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Nic Ladds 20th May 2009 - 14:58

Susan going off the Boyle as the kids start to take over

The hysteria surrounding 'The Hairy Angel' aka Susan Boyle finally appears to have calmed down and while she still sits favourite it is at more reasonable odds of 10/11.

A whole host of the weird and not so wonderful have sung, danced, stripped, squawked and cried their way through the auditions the last month and we are nearly at the point where the competition gets, ahem, serious.

Boyle still retains her place at the head of the market but having been as short as 1/2 at the peak of the madness she has drifted to something backable.

However, too much publicity for Boyle's heavenly voice and hellish face may have caused her bubble to burst.

One thing that the voters of Britain's Got Talent love is a cute child who is either very good at what they do or is battling against the odds as they 'strive for a better life'.

For this cynical reasoning we have some live contenders to challenge the dulcet tones of the current favourite.

Clear second favourite is Aidan Davis who is a solo dancer in the exact same mould as last year's winner George Sampson.

The 11-year-old wowed Simon Cowell and his fellow judges with some incredible dancing, a cute smile and surely captured the young heart of thousands of pre-pubescent girls.

He is 7/2 in the betting and providing the British public and indeed the Queen don't mind seeing another dancing boy then he will certainly be in the final and will push for a win.

Other singing youngsters include 12/1 chance Shaheen Jafargholi who's performance may have been spectacularly set up (who's bizarre song choice was 'Valerie' then was stopped by Cowell only to then sing a very well prepared version of 'Who's loving you?' by Michael Jackson.

Fixed or not he was good and he has chubby cheeks and a nice checked shirt to pull at the heart strings of mothers everywhere, and if money speak volumes then it is worth noting he is the second most punted on contestant behind Boyle - definite contender.

Two little girls are also prominent in the market in the shape of 12/1 shot Hollie Steel and 20/1 chance Natalie Okri.

Out of the two Okri is preferred as she sang a difficult song very well and has the cute, shy, innocence that endears child stars to the public.

Hollie meanwhile did a terrible bit of ballet dancing before coming out with some extraordinary opera style singing unheard of in a child her age.

While it was impressive I don't know if it's just me but there's something slightly creepy about a child singing like an adult and I just don't see this appealing to the masses as much as others

If you're fancying one of these get on Natalie Okri at 20/1 (sure enough nearly as many bets have been taken on Natalie as Hollie despite her appearing only last week in the auditions).

Moving on from the children, at odds of 7/1 is Jamie Pugh who in the mould of winner of the first series Paul Potts, has a great voice and was seen overcoming chronic nerves before his audition in which he claimed he'd never performed in public before.

Unfortunately for him, he has recently been outed as telling some porkies as he has performed in the West End before and while he has the talent, this may have thwarted his chances somewhat.

Dance groups seem to be all the rage at the moment and if this writer is honest Flawless and Diversity have so far been my favourites in the competition.

Fun, varied and carried out with unbelievable precision and talent these two deserve to both be battling out in the final weeks but there could well be space for just one of them so take your pick between 12/1 Diversity and 20/1 Flawless with the main difference being Diversity have cute children in their line up (the cynic in me escaping again!).

Shaun Smith is 14/1 and he is a forgettable singer with a decent voice that would not be out of place in X-Factor but he's not unique enough to win this.

Julian Smith is of great interest at odds of 16/1 which I can only see shortening in the coming weeks.

He played saxophone which may sound dull but it reduced the judges (well Amanda Holden) and audience to tears and earned him a standing ovation.

Add to that he comes across as a genuinely nice guy who the public would have no qualms in voting for and we could have found a cracking each way bet from a unique act that everyone would be proud to have perform in front of the Queen (add to that his marketability for Cowell and he is a sure thing!).

We also have Greg Pritchard at 25/1, the singer who sounds like he's been repeatedly punched in the testicles but is unique although is unlikely to have wide appeal, the disgustingly sickly 2 Grand who are 33/1 and Sue Son the violin player who had to get rid of her extremely untalented friend to get through at odds of 40/1.

Everyone will have their own personal favourites and with one week of auditions left to go maybe another front-runner will emerge.

The feeling Susan Boyle has had her time and can be beat now with some less in-your-face candidates emerging who will tug far harder at the nation's heartstrings and make Simon Cowell a lot more money.

For those fancying a punt now, tentative selections are Julian Smith at 16/1 and Natalie Okri at 20/1.

Just please, please, please, everyone pray that 125/1 chance DJ Talent does not get through!

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