There is a lot to like about the prospects of Louisa Johnson winning this series of the X Factor.
She has been given the most screen-time of all of the acts in Cheryl Fernandez-Versini’s girls category to date. She was showcased last on the very first audition show of the series and has been given favourable comments so far.
As things stand, 2/1 is plenty short enough on her winning based on the results of female acts that have entered the live shows in similar betting positions.
It is one thing for Simon Cowell and the producers to have a preference for a particular act winning the X Factor, but it is another for them to get the voting public onside.
Here’s how the favourites ahead of the first live show have previously got on. It highlights just how badly the show has done when attempting to engineer female acts a victory, in comparison to other categories:
However, steps do appear to have been taken to limit the number of acts that could threaten to take votes off Louisa.
Simon Lynch and, to a lesser extent, Josh Daniel were examples of male acts that have a natural habit of holding sway over the middle-England vote, in the same way that the likes of Matt Cardle and Ben Haenow have done previously.
They both failed to make it beyond judges’ houses.
Anton Stephens is now the closest to hoovering up such a vote this time, but the fact he will largely sing similar songs every week, with awkward facial expressions and movements on stage, give producers a chance to rein in his appeal.
Meanwhile, with the show running over fewer weeks because of the Rugby World Cup, producers don’t need to find as many narratives to hold a viewer’s interest.
For example, Louisa is heading into the live shows without a story. She isn’t trying to make her family proud, overcome serious nerves or create a better life for any children.
Little Mix largely won because of the way the show dealt with internet comments about band member Jesy’s weight. The tears and storyline helped drum up support for them.
Don’t be surprised if the show finds a similar narrative for Louisa in an attempt to gain additional votes.
The latest X Factor makeovers don’t have Louisa looking especially made up and Little Mix were also promoted on the basis that they won’t be stealing any boyfriends.
If Louisa is shown in a similar girl-next-door fashion and can retain the reserved outlook that worked so well for Rebecca Ferguson and Leona Lewis, she has every chance of at least reaching the final.
This in itself would almost be a victory for an ante-post female favourite.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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