Going into the Top 16 round of live shows on the "X Factor" for Season 2, there has been much speculation on who seems to have the best chance of winning. Huliq reported last week that Team Britney Spears (Teens) most likely had the team to beat, with the possible chance of Team L. A. Reid (Over 25s) giving her the toughest competition from the four categories. That doesn't mean Team Demi Lovato (Young Adults) and Team Simon Cowell (Groups) don't have much of a chance, just that their teams appeared somewhat weaker as units. But all that being said, what do the professional oddsmakers have to say about it? It looks as if they would agree that Spears' young guns start the live competition rounds off as the favorites.
In fact, according to three professional oddsmaker websites tracked by Oddschecker.com, two of Spears' Teens are tied as favorites to win. But more on that in a moment...
The first casualty of the Top 16, at least according to odds ratios, will be from judge L. A. Reid's crew: Jason Brock. His odds of winning it all? They range from bet365's 40/1 odds to WilliamHill's 25/1.
Truthfully, the four finalists that have the worst odds of winning are all the same in both the aforementioned oddsmakers' lists and in a third, 188BET. Those four acts are Brock, Sister C (Cowell's Groups), David Correy (Reid's Over 25s), and Paige Thomas (Lovato's Young Adults). Per "X Factor" rules, four contestants, one from each team, will be eliminated after the first round. This will be done by the judges themselves without viewer voting. Those left in the competition, three per team, will then vie for the title as the Top 12, an audience vote count deciding the two lowest vote totals and the judges choosing which of the two should be saved to continue.
The top two acts, at least according to the oddsmakers, are two 13-year-olds: Carly Rose Sonenclar and Diamond White. Sonenclar is a solid odds-on favorite, posting 7/2 odds across the board. White also scored 7/2 odds with 188BET. However, she fell just slightly back of Sonenclar with both bet365 (4/1) and WilliamHill (5/1). If this duo actually makes the finale, it would give Team Britney a 50 percent chance of being the winning mentor/coach.
Although there is general agreement in the ranks of who might make the Top 4 (and the finale), not all the oddsmakers appear to be in total agreement. Lovato's Young Adults put two in the final four contenders as well: Willie Jones and CeCe Frey. (Although it might be argued that CeCe is so "unlikable" she won't get past the first elimination of the Top 12, it must be remembered that the judges can save contestants until the Top 6 and Top 5, where double eliminations automatic boot the least vote-getter. Unlikable or not, CeCe Frey is Team Demi's strongest singer.)
However, bet365 throws a wrench into the perfect machine. With 8/1 odds, that particular oddsmaker places Vino Alan of Team L. A.'s Over 25s as the act with the third best odds to win. He is tied for third with five other contestants at 188BET and is tied for sixth with 10/1 odds at WilliamHill.
But it looks like this year's mentor will ultimately be rookie judge Britney Spears. She's also favored by oddsmakers like Bovado, where she posts a 1/1 odds ration to win. Fellow rookie judge Demi Lovato stands at 7/2 odds to see one of her team win and both Simon Cowell and L. A. Reid post 4/1 odds.
It also appears that last year's winning judge/coach/mentor, Simon Cowell, will most likely see his acts eliminated fairly quickly, much the same way as judge Paula Abdul saw hers vanish within the first few shows. She, too, had the Groups category. All of her finalists were gone before the Top 8. If Team Simon's contingent holds with the odds, all of his acts will be gone before the competition reaches the Top 6.
Still, given the auditions, the various singing rounds, the backstories, confessionals, and general conversation, it is difficult to see some of the acts advancing. These include the obnoxious but talented Emblem3 and CeCe Frey. Willie Jones looks to be a liability for Team Demi as well due to his seeming to be limited in his vocal range. And even though the oddsmakers place David Correy in the bottom four, Team L. A. will only lose one finalist in the Top 16 eliminations. That elimination will not be David Correy, who just might be the strongest singer in the entire competition.
But who knows? Before it is all said and done, the last four finalists standing for the finale may not be any who are showing the best odds to win. That's why we watch the shows.
"X Factor" will return on Halloween night, Wednesday, Oct.. 31, a day ahead of schedule due to the quick completion of the 2012 World Series. The Top 16 will perform live beginning at 8 p.m. EST on Fox Television.
2012 X Factor USA Odds To Win (bet365 via Oddschecker.com)
Jason Brock, Over 25s -- 40/1
Sister C, Groups -- 33/1
David Correy, Over 25s -- 33/1
Paige Thomas, Young Adults -- 25/1
Arin Ray, Teens -- 18/1
Beatrice Miller, Teens -- 14/1
Tate Stevens, Over 25s -- 12/1
LYLAS, Groups -- 12/1
Emblem3, Groups -- 12/1
Lyric 145, Groups -- 10/1
Jennel Garcia, Young Adults -- 10/1
Willie Jones, Young Adults -- 9/1
CeCe Frey, Young Adults -- 9/1
Vino Alan, Over 25s -- 8/1
Diamond White, Teens -- 4/1
Carly Rose Sonenclar, Teens -- 4/1
Odds subject to change prior to results.
(photo credit: rocor, Creative Commons)