One of the biggest hidden questions remaining on this series of the X Factor has now been answered. Not who will win the show, but how many acts will participate in the final.
With a double elimination for week 7 now confirmed, it means the show is settling on a three-act final, no doubt confident that it can get the three acts it prefers to reach this stage.
Here is how we are anticipating the rest of the series to pan out for the remainder of the series and be warned there is some controversial suggestions present.
Most controversial is that the favourite to win the X Factor Andrea Faustini is not even expected to make the final.
There have been signs that producers are trying to knock down his status a peg or two and don’t be surprised to see a rare semi-final sing-off if they believe they can get him out, especially if it is at the expense of Fleur East, who they appear to be helping as much as possible.
Something similar was done previously when producers wanted Cher Lloyd in the final over Mary Byrne.
Of all of the contestants, Ben Haenow seems most likely to pick up floating votes spared by fans of acts to have already been eliminated. This is why he looks a logical winner at this stage.
He is also yet to have a “moment” and has a general Middle England appeal, which usually means X Factor success.
Making the final tends to be the minimum expected of acts that will have a semi-successful career after the show and this is why Fleur will be among the final three.
A group will take the final place and given that Only The Young have a more definable target audience, are more fun and have been spoken of more highly in recent weeks, they should be pushed towards the final more than Stereo Kicks.
The act in immediate danger has to be Lauren Platt and don’t be surprised if she is a surprise elimination in week 7, at the expense of one of the groups.
Just remember that you heard it here first and here are three bets that can be taken out of our predictions.
Ben Haenow to win the X Factor @ 5/2
Stevi Ritchie to be the 10th act voted out @ 4/5
Cheryl Fernandez-Versini to be the first judge to lose all of their acts @ 15/8