Rak-Su have wowed both judges and audiences throughout the competition, winning the public vote on their night in three of the first four weeks. However, from those three victories, they only won the prize fight, where the winners of the Saturday and Sunday shows go head-to-head, once. The two acts to beat them were fellow finalists, Grace and Kevin.
Grace Davies reduced judges Nicole Scherzinger and Sharon Osbourne to tears with her self-penned audition song Roots, and the 20-year-old from Blackburn has mixed original material with covers over the live shows, with varying results. Her two live original numbers have seen her top the vote both times, winning the prize fight once.
Kevin Davy White has also won the night on two occasions and the prize fight once. The Parisian, who has lived in London for a year, previously chanced his arm at the French version of The Voice with little success. However, he has proven popular on the X Factor, and superstar Ed Sheeran has even given Kevin his backing.
The X Factor 2017 final is much more finely balanced than the bookies would have you believe. It is true that Rak-Su have been a force of nature, expertly moving from original material to cover versions with a fun, high-energy approach. However, 1/2 odds on them to emulate Little Mix and become only the second group to clinch the crown don’t take into account the fact they have lost public votes to both fellow finalists.
The Watford lads will hoover up a large proportion of the youth vote, that much is true, but Grace and Kevin both have large fanbases to mobilise too. Kevin’s timeless rockstar rasp appeals to an older audience who watch the show in large numbers, and if he can get them to vote in similar volume, he looks very good for 6/1. Man-of-the-moment Ed Sheeran giving the 30-year-old his endorsement on Sunday’s show will help no end too.
However, it is Grace that could be the biggest threat to Rak-Su. At 20, she certainly has a lot in common with the younger wing of the voting public, who can look upon her as a real inspiration for taking to the stage alone in front of millions of viewers every week and pouring her heart out in song form. Older viewers will also appreciate her bravery, down-to-earth nature and the maturity of her songwriting. If she has another couple of big self-written anthems to bring out this week, her 3/1 winning odds could prove a big mistake on the part of the bookmakers.
Sports.net’s Top Tip