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The X-Factor is a long-running talent show created by Simon Cowell. It made its debut on ITV in 2004 following the success of previous shows such as 'Pop Idol.' It usually airs on ITV from August until just before Christmas, often ensuring a Christmas Number One hit single for its winner. This year the series is due to finish in early December so that Christmas Number One looks a distant dream now.

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X Factor 2017 Latest News

Audience figures for the 2016 edition of the show were at an all-time low so Simon Cowell will be desperate for an upturn in fortunes as the series returns this year. Nonetheless the betting markets remain in place and even if less people are tuning in, those that do can still have a little wager on things.

Despite criticisms, Cowell hasn't lost faith in the judges and the line-up remains the same. That's the first time in seven years the same panel returns for the new series. That means a line-up of Sharon Osbourne, Nicola Scherzinger, Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh will all remain on the panel and it's hoped this series will be a lot more successful particularly now another major singing talent show has now moved to the channel.

The new series began on Saturday September 2 at 8pm as the auditions and the long road to the final began. There may be no changes in the judge's line-up but Simon Cowell has said there will be some changes made to the series.  The auditions will include some being held at Thorpe Park

When it comes to the live shows, there will be six rather than ten with acts being voted off on both Saturday and Sunday. The hope is more viewers will tune in knowing the show will end with an elimination. There will also be star guests appearing on both evenings. It's also believed that the show wants to focus less on novelty acts such as Honey G and are encouraging acts to perform their own songs to get rid of that karaoke feel. The jukebox wheel that selected themes for the live shows won't be returning.

Live Shows Begin

After all the auditions, Boot Camp, the six chair challenge and Judge's Houses, October 28 and 29 saw the live shows begin. One contestant is eliminated on each show and the sing-off has been changed. Rather than the bottom two competing, it's now the contestants who get the highest amount of votes on Saturday and Sunday that compete to win an apparently life-changing prize. Not that the first week's chance to meet Pink quite fits into that category. Even host Dermot O'Leary was all a bit confused by it all, almost making you wish for the return of Olly Murs, but not quite.

The finalists this year are

Groups - coached by Simon Cowell

  • The Cutkelvins
  • Jack and Joel
  • Rak-Su
  • Sean and Conor Price

Over-28s - coached by Nicole Scherzinger

  • Talia Dean
  • Tracyleanne Jefford
  • Matt Linnen
  • Kevin Davy-White

Girls - coached by Sharon Osbourne

  • Alisah Bonaobra
  • Grace Davies
  • Holly Tandy
  • Ra-Elie Williams

Boys - coached by Louis Walsh

  • Sam Black
  • Lloyd Macey
  • Leon Mallett
  • Spencer Sutherland


Week One -  Talia Dean and Spencer Sutherland

Week Two -  Leon Mallett and Tracyleanne Jefford

Week Three - Alisah Bonaobra and Jack and Joel

Week Four  - Rai-Elie Williams, Holly Tandy and Sean and Conor Price

Semi-Finals -  Lloyd Macey, The Cutkelvins and Matt Linnen

Prize Fight Winners

Week One -  Grace Davies beat Rak-Su to win trip for meet and greet with Pink at Madison Square Garden

Week Two -  Kevin Davy White beat Rak-Su to win recording session with Grammy Award winning producer

Week Three - Lloyd Macey beat Kevin Davy White and will open for Little Mix when they perform at the Manchester Arena.

Week Four - Rak-Su beat Grace Davies to record a song with Ali Tamposi

Rak-Su Favourites Win Final

Rak-Su were the odds-on favourites to win the final and that's just what happened. The final was held on Saturday and Sunday with Kevin Davy White being eliminated on the first night. That left Rak-Su and Grace Davies as the two finalists and the clear winners were the group. They are 5/1 with Paddy Power to have the Christmas Number One this year.

Betting on the X Factor

For decades there had been talent shows on television with 'Opportunity Knocks' producing a host of stars. The same can be said of 'New Faces' which introduced us to stars such as the late, great Victoria Wood and Marti Caine and Sir Lenny Henry and Jim Davidson. That show included a judging panel and the Simon Cowell of his day was Tony Hatch. Where 'The X-Factor' differs though is the fact that we now get to see the auditions and this is where the fun begins. There's the moment when you see a really talented singer and the comedy from the really appalling ones. Older contestants are able to take part which wasn't the case with shows such as 'Pop Idol' which was geared to the younger singers. 

The winner of each series of the show wins a recording contract.  Many of the previous winners didn't manage to keep that contract too long though especially the first winner of the show Steve Brookstein, who the show conveniently tends to ignore when looking back at its past.

The show has four judges who are also mentors, each has their own category to look after so it becomes a battle between the judges as well as a quest to find a new star.

The series has several stages beginning with the auditions. Then they go onto boot camp. Once the contestants have been narrowed down the judges find out which category they will be managing. There are four of them:

  • Groups
  • Boys
  • Girls 
  • Over 25's

The next stage is the six chair section. Each judge has to choose six contestants from their category to go forward to the next stage of the competition. Each contestant auditions again and then if selected they get to sit in one of the chairs. When the chairs get full it gets really scary. If any of the remaining contestants are judged good enough to be in the top six then they get a chair and one of those already selected has to vacate theirs.

The final six in each category now go into the Judge's House stage which is often set in luxurious surroundings. The judges have to decide which three of their acts will go through to the live shows. Wildcards can also be decided on to complete the final round-up.

Now it's onto the live shows where each act perform and be judged often leading to spectacular arguments. Viewers can then vote for their favourites.  This year there will be eliminations on both Saturday and Sunday. Again acts will have to sing-off to stay on the show with the judges making the final decision. Sometimes there are two eliminations with the act with the least number of votes automatically leaving and the next two with the lowest amount of votes going into the sing-off.

The X-Factor Final usually takes place right before Christmas. This results in the winner's single becoming the Christmas Number One. 

Stan James are the only bookmakers currently offering odds on this year's competition at the moment, with the market for the winning category. They currently price the Boys category as the shortest option at a price of 9/4. Next comes the Overs at 11/4 with the Girls category at 3/1 and Groups at 10/3. 

There are also odds on the winning judge with Louis and Nicole the joint 9/4 favourites, Sharon Osbourne at 11/4 and Simon Cowell the outsider at 10/3.


When is it on?

Weekly on Saturday nights on ITV 1  from September 2 at 8pm and another show on Sunday nights. After each show there's the companion show 'The Xtra Factor' on ITV2 with new presenters Rylan Clark-Neal and Matt Edmondson. This includes interviews with the judges and contestants and phone-ins.

What can you bet on?

Using your free bet you can back anything from a range of markets including the most popular: the overall winner.

Markets are also available for the respective categories with bets available on each category, the winning judge and who will be eliminated each week. you can also bet on whether the competition will be won by a male or female contestant.

Previous X-Factor Winners

2016: Matt Terry

2015: Louisa Johnson

2014: Ben Haenow

2013: Sam Bailey

2012: James Arthur

2011: Little Mix

2010: Matt Cardle

2009: Joe McElderry

2008: Alexandra Burke

2007: Leon Jackson

2006: Leona Lewis

2005: Shayne Ward

2004: Steve Brookstein

You don't have to be a winner to go on and launch a successful career.  JLS only finished second in 2008 with Stacey Solomon third and Olly Murs was runner-up in 2009.  Rylan Clark-Neal didn't even make the final but has forged a hugely successful presenting career particularly following events in the most famous reality TV house in Britain

Simon Cowell has mentored the winning act on three occasions (2004, 2006 and 2014), Cheryl Cole has 2 wins and is the only judge to mentor the victors act two series in a row. Also on two wins are Nicole Scherzinger and Dannii Minogue with Sharon Osbourne, Tulisa Contostavios and Rita Ora on one. Despite being the only act to appear in every series, Louis Walsh only has one win and that was with Shayne Ward back in 2005.

Using your X Factor Free Bet

X Factor free bets and offers are credited in the same way as a sporting free bet. Once you have opened a new account with your choosing online bookmaker and adhered to their sign-up terms and conditions, the X Factor bonus will usually be added to your betting account balance.

In order to use the token or bonus you simply need to make your betting selection in the normal manner, but before placing the bet tick the box that indicates you wish to use your free bet amount.


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