X Factor Leak?
Saturday, 1 November 2008
Well I’m back from Budapest - no joy in the tournament, but I got the chance to see a lot of this beautiful city, and also became, briefly, a Hungarian celebrity when our PokerStars press conference was broadcast on the main news. For two days, I was the new Zsa Zsa Gabor. Or possibly Uri Geller. A cashier in the Tropicana casino (which isn’t even the casino where the EPT was happening) asked for my autograph! I was very excited. Until I remembered that this means “the breasts question” has now been broadcast halfway across Eastern Europe…
Anyway, I was home just in time for the X Factor - I’m watching it now, and I have to admit I’m nervous. Louis has just told my boy Austin that “You have a problem connecting with the public”. Where does this come from? Has Austin had a low phone vote that Louis knows about? After all, this is a good-looking kid with a fantastic voice. A “problem connecting with the public” is exactly what Louis WOULD say if he was aware of an unexpectedly low vote.
I was worried about a leak a few weeks ago, when Diana suddenly went favourite and has stayed that way ever since. Don’t get me wrong - I think Diana would make a great little pop star, but that’s different from being an X Factor winner. Why such a sudden switch? And how come the punters are so sure of her victory that the market’s barely moved since she went favourite? Do they know something?
But what can I do? I can only follow my instincts. If I rule out the possibility of a leak, I would have to say that Austin (12/1 and will drift massively after tonight, if he doesn’t actually get evicted) is the value. I’d also have thought that Laura would strike a bigger chord with X Factor voters than Diana. In fact, of those who have half a chance, Diana is my only loser.
I’ve been right on every series of the X Factor and Pop Idol since they started - except once. Leon was my best result, when the world (last year) was so sure of a Rhydian victory that there was a “winner without Rhydian” market on Betfair. And two years ago, I laid Leona to win and that was a terrible rick.
This time I have liked Austin from early on, but my note of caution is coming in: something about what Louis said has made me fear a phone vote leak. Nothing much I can do with my position; I’m rich if Austin wins, poor if Diana wins, and banking a reasonable profit on everyone else. But I’m nervous. I’m nervous.