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Janet the value bet for X Factor axe on wide-open week seven

| 20.11.2011

A fortnight after The Risk were voted out in one of the biggest ever X Factor shocks, another act at one stage seen as a serious contender looks set to exit the competition.

All three of the acts viewed to be the most vulnerable – Craig Colton (11/8), Misha B (5/2) and Janet Devlin (7/2) – are more familiar with the upper regions of the winners’ market, with Craig and Janet never even placed in the bottom two before.

But the return of Amelia Lily – never culled by the public and brought back with a rumoured 48% of a four-way vote – the constant improvement of Little Mix and a strong show-closing performance by 5/2 favourite Marcus Collins leaves the trio in danger.

Despite odds of 20/1 on Little Mix going, the poor history of girl groups on the show and The Risk’s fate means that a bottom- two appearance isn’t unthinkable, however the judges seem keen to see one flourish for once, and would probably save them.

So if it comes down to the three former frontrunners, who should be most fearful? Craig’s position as favourite is linked to the fact that he sang first. Having received largely positive feedback thus far, he also isn’t an obvious person to phone up to protect.

The Scouser has the fabled X Factor likeability factor though and has regularly enjoyed the mentors’ acclaim, whereas after a stellar start, Janet’s star has fallen, with Louis Walsh a huge fan but the others – particularly Gary Barlow – less warm.

The judges would likely favour Craig f they prove to be the pair fighting for survival, and there is reason to view that is a strong possibility as Misha B, having struggled for public backing throughout, appears to have finally made a breakthrough.

Her recent off-screen trauma, prompted by the revelation that her estranged mother wants a reunion, saw Saturday’s live crowd soften, while the mentors were full of praise.

A third audience sentence to the sing-off might prompt them to ponder cutting ties, yet she is one of the competition’s standout vocalists, and her growing fanbase should be out in greater numbers as a result of last week’s close shave.



Richard Anderson