Show-stealing renditions have been few and far between in the current season of the X Factor, but Fleur East certainly raised the bar with her version of the currently unreleased single Uptown Funk.
Such was the reaction of her semi-final performance that it reached number one on iTunes, but more importantly sent her odds-on to win the competition.
Fleur is now 1/3 to win the X Factor and it has become standard in recent years that the act to top the vote in the semi-final repeats the feat in the final.
Given Fleur’s Uptown Funk performance, four-judge standing ovation and general audience reaction, there is every chance she received the most semi-final votes.
However, there are reasons to believe that Fleur hasn’t been polling as well as many would assume.
It is widely accepted that a late slot in the running order for a live show is beneficial and Fleur has been given more than her fair share of these.
Compare this to Ben Haenow, who has been far less favourably treated in terms of his performance positions, but has still clearly got a big fanbase, having not been in the bottom two sing-off in any of the previous weeks.
Ben is 5/2 in the X Factor betting to be victorious and in what can largely be considered to be a two-act competition, despite Andrea Faustini also being present, this looks a decent price.
The obvious positive with Ben is that he logically appeals most to Middle England, which is useful for gaining votes.
Acts hailing from places like Scunthorpe or Swindon can’t rely on local support solely to survive, but those acts that appeal to the masses outside of their hometown tend to do well.
Ben fits this criteria more than Fleur and at the prices ahead of the X Factor final, it is worth a wager on the London van driver upsetting the odds.