Four acts may have been axed last week, but this is the first time in this series of the X Factor that the public are allowed to cast judgement on proceedings, and in each of the last three years, they have helped send a group home first.
That pattern is expected to be adhered to once again, with Nu-Vibe rated 2/5 favourites to after Saturday’s live show, having already been backed in from 7/2 to 2/1 favourites to be the fifth performers sent packing earlier in the week.
The teenage boyband were considered somewhat fortunate to survive week one, when their mentor Tulisa eventually decided to get rid of 2 Shoes, and failed to impress with their rendition of U2’s With or Without You.
Nu-Vibe were the first of the 12 contestants to take to the stage – always a difficult position to attract votes from– and were criticised by the judges, with Louis Walsh and Gary Barlow accusing them of offering “no vibe”.
The three solo stars viewed as vulnerable to an early exit are Kitty Brucknell (10/1), Johnny Robinson (10/1) and Sophie Habibis (12/1), however Johnny should be safe, as never in the show’s history has a solo male been first out by the traditional method.
It would also be a shock if Kitty left at this stage, her status as a headline generator likely to gain her a stay of execution from the judges, while she was also the last to perform, boosting her chances of survival considerably.
Sophie is therefore the pick of the outsiders to go despite a decent reception to her version of The Calling’s Wherever You Will Go. Gary Barlow noted that she lacks a spark, but Nu-Vibe should keep her in the competition for at least another week.
At the other end of the spectrum, Janet Devlin remains the 9/4 favourite to win, with The Risk now in to 5/2 to be the first ever group to triumph.