Lack of variety makes Richard Jones a BGT shoo-in

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Considering Britain’s Got Talent is meant to be a competition among acts of various and far-reaching talents, the lack of different disciplines on offer in this year’s final is a little disappointing.

Of the 12 finalists, half are singers, four in some way incorporate dance, one is an ‘extreme’ sword swallower and the other is a close-up magician.

Although the singers are not all of a similar age group and performing to identical genres of music, there is a fear that they will all be a bit samey-samey to stand-out enough in the public vote.

This is especially true of Beau Dermott (9/4), who may be the second favourite in the betting, but is competing in the same child-singing pool as Jasmine Elcock.

In terms of YouTube views, the most popular semi-final performance came from impressionist singer Craig Ball (16/1), which is even more remarkable given that he was the show winner in the final semi-final, which obviously means his performance has been available to stream for less time than the majority of the other finalists.

The main issue with his chances of victory are that many of the voices he incorporated into his successful semi-final mirrored those in the audition and there is a danger that he has played all of his cards too early.

Furthermore, the song choice of ‘Hello’ by Adele was almost as big as it could have got in the last round. It seems unlikely that he can top this performance, unless he has a new batch of impressions to unleash.

There has only been one singing winner in the last four years and this is understandable given the collection of other talent shows around for this type of gift.

Britain’s Got Talent feels like it should support other forms of talent.

Somewhat strangely, a magic act is still to triumph, although Jamie Raven missed out by just 2% of the vote last year. This was despite controversies in both his semi-final involving a shoe and in the final itself with a hole already seemingly cut into a lemon.

Richard Jones is this year’s magician and his pre-final controversy involves the potential semi-final rip-off of a previous audition on America’s Got Talent. If last year tells anything, it is that this is unlikely to harm his vote.

Not only does Jones have the variety element pretty much to himself in a final where many acts are similar, the fact he is a former soldier is liable to be a positive to his vote collection.

Richard is the 5/4 favourite to win Britain’s Got Talent and will look an even better bet if he is allocated a late slot in the running order.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.