ITV bosses will have been rubbing their hands with glee last night as two of their reality TV behemoths were aired back-to-back in a viewer-grabbing frenzy.
But unlike Carl ‘Foggy’ Fogarty’s somewhat surprising I’m a Celebrity triumph, this year’s X Factor semi-final went to script with Lauren Platt eliminated and the final three subsequently sent on their way to campaign for glory (quite literally).
Fleur East, Ben Haenow and Andrea Faustini will take part in 2014’s show-stopper but according to the bookies it’s pretty much a no-contest.
Throughout the week we’ll be looking at each finalist’s best bits as we look to further unpick the bets to be on.
But for now here’s a quick glance at how things currently stand.
It would take something pretty special to stop Fleur in her tracks.
The 26-year-old Londoner produced the performance of the series with her rendition of Uptown Funk, a moment that mentor Simon Cowell proclaimed marked her transition from ‘contestant’ to ‘star’.
Even the likes of high-brow Guardian TV critic Stuart Heritage are jumping on the bandwagon while judge Louis Walsh has been quoted as saying ‘Fleur East is the best thing on 11 years of the X Factor’.
Fleur to be top of the over 25’s ahead of Ben at 4/11 has slightly more appeal with the 8/13 on the diva of the moment grabbing the UK Christmas Number One another of the few remaining value picks.
He may have the backing of recently eliminated Lauren but Ben has his work cut out if he’s to grab top spot.
Having wobbled and croaked through his versions of Please Come Home for Christmas and Hallelujah he was visibly emotional and had to take a few criticisms from the judges on the chin.
But as we’ve seen, van driver and man of the people Ben enjoys a huge swathe of support and if that alone can carry him through then the 2/1 on a Solo Male winner looks a good investment.
It would have been criminal for Andrea to have missed out on the final and thankfully the 21-year-old from Rome has earned his rightful place.
Sure, he’s guilty of oversinging at times and he lacks the pop-star quality of fellow male contestant Ben.
But the boy can hold a note and his consistency has at least been rewarded to some degree.
Who knows? A small wager on Fleur and Andrea to make the final two at 4/1 may not be the worst way to go about things.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim up to £25 in free bets.