The X Factor 2017 winner 'revealed by science'

Nicola Agius

From Digital Spy

Relax. It's not a fix, and we don't know who's *actually* going to win. But thanks to science we can make a pretty solid guess.

Thanks to Simon Cowell making this the shortest series of The X Factor ever, there's less than three weeks to go until the final.

Currently, there are still ten acts left in the competition and fans are starting to get a feel for who might win this year.

According to the bookies, Rak-Su are favourite to be crowned champion at 5/4, followed closely behind by Grace Davies at 3/1 and Kevin Davy-White at 5/1. But the odds keep changing by the minute. Rewind a few weeks back and it was Grace at the top of the leaderboard while Kevin was nowhere to be seen.

So what's a more reliable way of determining who is most likely to win X Factor 2017? Science, of course!

To get an idea of who really stands a chance of securing that all-important record deal, Digital Spy has looked back at X Factor history.

The mentor factor

Judging by the stats, it looks like whichever category Simon happens to mentor stands the greatest chance of coming out on top. In total, an act from his group has won the show three times. Nicole Scherzinger has managed to lead her team to victory twice, while Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh's groups have only ever been crowned champions once.

This means that this year, the groups have a 43% chance of winning the show thanks to Simon. While The Cutkelvins and Sean and Conor Price might not be favourites as far as the bookies are concerned, having the music mogul as their mentor does appear to give them a strong advantage in the competition.

The categorical imperative

On the contrary, if you look back at how groups have performed previously, the future really doesn't look so bright, not even for Rak–Su. During the show's 14-year history, a group has only ever won the competition once. That was of course Little Mix back in 2011.

Photo credit: Digital Spy

Without a doubt, the most successful category over the years has been the Boys. In total, guys aged 24 years old and younger have repeatedly been most popular with the nation. In fact, they've won the competition six times – almost one in every two series.

The bookies' odds

Bookies expect the latter will be eliminated from the show this weekend during Saturday and Sunday's live double eviction. Lloyd on the other hand is one of the favourites to win.

The Welsh singer is currently in fourth place at 8/1 with a 10% chance of winning, according to Ladbrokes (we'll spare you the maths, but that's as a percentage of the sum-total implied percentage). Meanwhile, Kevin is just ahead with a 14% chance , Grace is in second place with 21% and Rak-Su are miles ahead with a 38% likelihood of being crowned this year's champions.

Since the live shows started, Rak-Su and Grace have both already had singles shoot towards the top of the iTunes chart. Grace's self-penned track Too Young, which she performed during Express Yourself week, reached number two, while Rak-Su's original song Mamacita hit number three.

On Sunday night's show [November 12], X Factor guest performer Paloma Faith admitted that her single Guilty hadn't reached the top of the charts yet despite her live performance because of Rak-Su. The boys' latest self-penned tack Dimelo went straight to number one last week despite fierce competition from already established artists.

Commenting on their chart success, the boys told fans "Guys, we are literally so happy, thank you, to everyone who voted for us and thank you to everyone who bought it as well. Honestly, for four friends who have been doing this by ourselves for a while now. If someone had said six months ago we'd have a song at number one in the iTunes chart we would have just laughed at you. So this is is just... mad".

We've got to admit it, it is looking very likely that Rak-Su will win. But we don't want to rely entirely on what the bookies say, especially as a group has only ever won The X Factor once.

Combining the X, Y and Z factors

So, we decided to take all factors into account to work out which act really is most likely to be crowned champion this year. To do this, we combined the likelihood of each act's category winning, the likelihood of each act's mentor winning, together with the stats provided by the bookies. After summing up the totals, we were then able to determine the percentage chance of each act succeeding.

So what did our calculations find? Well, it looks like the bookies are right – but not about everything:

Photo credit: Digital Spy

While Rak-Su are the clear favourites to win X Factor 2017, our calculations found that both Lloyd and Kevin are ahead of Grace. Even Sam appears to be beating her despite the fact he's tipped to leave the competition this weekend.

Frustratingly, the stats also show that Rai-Elle Williams could be set to leave the competition this week, meaning we'll never get to hear her duet with Stormzy. Although she's delivered strong performances week after week, it looks like having Sharon as a mentor combined with poor odds from the bookies means she may soon be a goner.

Luckily, although our science is obviously spot on, statistics mean nothing to the individual. So really, this could still be anyone's race...

The X Factor is on ITV, Saturdays and Sundays.

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