The X Factor 2018 - The Six Chair Challenge

Warning. Article will contain spoilers.

This year’s Six Chair Challenge definitely shook things up in the outright market. Ireland’s Brendan Murray (5.3) is now challenging for favouritism following a strong performance of ‘Everybody Hurts’ which saw him receive Louis’ (no, not that one) Golden X. A very favourable edit for Brendan saw Simon say he’s ‘in a completely different league’. This part of the competition couldn’t have gone any better for him and we should be able to assume he’s made the live shows. Song choice will be absolutely crucial and I have witnessed personally that Brendan isn’t the most reliable of performers, so I’ve had to make him a large red for now.

Also making strong impact at the Six Chair Challenge was urban duo Misunderstood (6.4), who thrilled with an excellent performance of an original song. They seem to be a cross between Five After Midnight (3rd, 2016) and Rak-Su (1st, 2017) which is no bad thing in terms of progressing deep into the competition. There’s big money trying to back them at 7.0 on Betfair for such an early stage. I have a decent sized green on them (mostly from laying others), but missed the value backing them last night after thinking about it for too long.

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Shan (4.8) impressed singing ‘A Song For You’ and still looks like the potential alpha in the Girls category. Our three frontrunners in the market could be a feasible final line up for the weekend of 1st December, though Shan doesn’t have the most exciting of personalities or backstory.

Other movers in the Girls category include Bella Penfold (17.0) and Molly Scott (22.0), both of whom have drifted since performing at the Six Chair Challenge. Georgia Burgess (15.0) is still more fancied to win than either, despite credible rumours suggesting she’s out. I’m a backer of Molly from a couple of weeks ago, so I’ve got my fingers crossed that she’s made the live shows at least.

Ricky John (20.0) is also apparently out in the Overs category, which would leave Ayda with a load of rubbish to take to live shows, if correct. Though he has been backed in a little in the last couple of days and had a strong edit, so let’s wait and see.

Aaliyaha + Acacia are now known as ‘A Star’ (24.0) and looked much more like a group styled in cute matching outfits. It’s a slight concern that Robbie made them reprise their audition song, but any backers should be hopeful that commercial potential means they’ve made the cut. Other new manufactured groups include twink-y boyband Vibe 5 (22.0) and girl group Sweet Sense (60.0), the latter of which are friendless in the market. I would be amazed if Misunderstood were not the alpha group.

Elsewhere we saw Dalton Harris (16.0) continue to prove he’s the strongest vocally in the Boys category, Anthony Russell (15.5) do well enough to get through without being particularly exciting and anyone not mentioned is pretty much irrelevant as far as the market is concerned.

I’m looking forward to the glamorous Judges’ Houses stage, which starts tonight. It will be interesting to see what happens with Georgia and Ricky in particular, as their price movements have been so volatile in recent days and weeks.