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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 2018 - Latest News

It's going to be an important year for the show as they continue to trail Strictly Come Dancing in the ratings. The changes made last year didn't have much affect and more are going to be on their way this year. Word is that the Sunday show will be scrapped meaning the acts will perform live and face elimination all on Saturday evening.

There are also rumoured to be changes to the Judges panel. Cheryl could be taking over from Nicole Scherzinger for the 2018 series. The former judge is on speaking terms with Simon Cowell again and just like Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh, could be returning to the panel. Auditions will be beginning soon so we'll see if the rumours are true when they begin.

X Factor 2017

Favourites Rak-Su 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 were 5/1 with Paddy Power to have the Christmas Number One but failed to reach the top of the charts.

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

2017: Rak-Su

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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