"There's-a gonna be some mighty big changes this here season," is how Simon Cowell would have described X Factor 2006 if he was an elderly bearded man in dungarees who lived during the American goldrush.
But he isn't, and these big X Factor changes are continuing to be the lamest thing ever. Kate Thornton's still useless, the X Factor judges still pretend to dislike each other to keep people watching and the only real change is that X Factor now has things like Rod Stewart Night, which sounds like something you'd find in a pikey pub that mixes their spirits with Panda Pop. But still, Saturday was X Factor's Rod Stewart night, or 'Make Ben Look Better Than He Is Night' as it was probably called at one point. But how did the X Factor hopefuls fare?
Here are the X Factor betting odds for Kerry McGregor, Nikitta Angus, Ray Quinn and Ashley McKenzie…
Kerry McGregor - When Kerry was out through to the finals of X Factor, she must have felt that she would become the third most famous wheelchair user in the world after Tanni Grey-Thompson, Robert Wyatt and Ironside. Sadly though, it doesn't look like Kerry McGregor will ever reach that heady height – not because she's in a wheelchair and everyone who watches X Factor is a disabled-hating scumbag, but because she's just not as good as some of the others. Even though Kerry's X Factor song was I Don't Wanna Talk About It, and she was obviously singing about not wanting to talk about being in a wheelchair or something, Kerry has yet to make her impression on X Factor. Still, at least Sharon Osbourne didn't screech "Do a wheelie! Do a wheelie!" when Kerry got through like she did in week one. Current X Factor betting odds – 20/1
Nikitta Angus – After last week's X Factor, when she seemed to forget which part of her face she was supposed to hold her microphone up to, Nikitta seems to have been working on her technique a bit more. And the effort paid off – in one fell swoop Nikitta went from being easily the worst performer in Simon's group to only just being the worst performer in Simon's group. Nikitta was wearing weird clothes and shouted like a construction worker at times, but she's getting better. We may have temporarily zoned out, but she didn't mention death quite so much either this week. Current X Factor betting odds – 14/1
Ray Quinn - Ray Quinn is X Factor's adorable little puppy. And, like most puppies, the sight of him sort of makes us want to stuff him in a binbag with some rocks and throw him in a river. Just kidding – it's only Ray that we want to do that to. Remember how Nikki was an unintentional monster in Big Brother, then started playing up to the camera when she went back into the house? We get the feeling that's what Ray might be doing on X Factor. He knows how powerful the HRT housewife vote is, and he'll get it anyway he can. It's a matter of time before Ray bounds onstage wearing a powder blue tuxedo, sings There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly and then wets himself just because an old woman in Shropshire will think it's adorable. Mark these words. Current X Factor betting odds – 10/1
Ashley McKenzie – We're not sure that he's going to win X Factor, but it doesn't take a giant stretch of the imagination to see Ashley McKenzie becoming the most famous of this X Factor bunch. For a start he can actually sing (which puts him above the likes of The MacDonald Brothers), he has a personality (so he leapfrogs Leona) and he doesn't look like a rat (and that's something he's got over Ben). Plus Rod Stewart said that he really enjoyed watching Ashley closing his eyes, which is creepy as hell, but it's his second big name commendation in as many weeks, which is bound to work in his favour. Current X Factor betting odds – 6/1
Tomorrow – X Factor betting odds for Eton Road, Leona and Ben…
[story by Stuart Heritage]