Cowell torn over X Factor winner
X Factor supremo Simon Cowell has said he "genuinely" wants boyband One Direction to win the talent search - but he admitted if he was a betting man his money would be on Matt Cardle.
He said he "didn't have a clue" what will happen this weekend, when the winner will emerge after two separate shows, and told Steve Wright on his Radio 2 show on Friday that One Direction, who he mentors, are "some of the nicest people I've ever worked with".
He said: "They're polite to the crew. You can always tell what an artist is really like if they are polite off camera and the way they treat the crew, the people around them, the fans.
"They're absolutely hilarious, nice people. I genuinely, genuinely want them to win."
But he said he thought the band were joint second favourites with Rebecca Ferguson, and Cher Lloyd was the outsider.
He added: "The favourite to win I think is going to be Matt. If I had to put my money on it, I'd put it on him, because I think he's going to get a big female vote."
The bookmakers seem to agree, with Betfair putting the former painter and decorator at evens to win ahead of Rebecca at 3-1 and One Direction at 4-1.
Cher is the 43-1 outsider.
Betfair's Alex Bake said: "Matt has proved himself to be a versatile performer since the live shows began. He can sing any song and sing it well, that's why the punters think he'll go on and win it."