There are now just hours to go until The Masked Singer final and bookies and fans have been putting their money where their mouth as to who is behind the mask.
The second series of the crazy ITV show has now been going for well over a month but, after famous faces like Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Mel B, Martine McCutcheon, Lenny Henry and Gabrielle have been booted out, just three remain in the final.
The favourites for Badger, Robin and Sausage are So Sick singer NeYo, JLS star Aston Merrygold and Cilla star Sherdan Smith respectively.
But, having entered the betting last week and been a cert for many viewers since day one, there is growing speculation that Joss Stone is Sausage and she is now at 4/1.
The final odds, with all the names in the frame are:
Aston Merrygold: 1/2
Olly Murs: 3/1
Nicky Byrne: 8/1
Perry Kiely: 10/1
Lee Ryan: 14/1
Gareth Gates: 16/1
James Blunt: 20/1
The clues definitely point to Aston, with mentions of ‘outta this world’ in week 1 – the names of JLS’ second album, a Michael Jackson link, which matches with Aston first finding TV fame as Jacko on Stars in Their Eyes Kids; ‘feeling blue’ – the colour of all of Aston’s JLS merchandise back in the day and of course his distinctive voice.
Sheridan Smith: 8/11
Joss Stone: 4/1
Stacey Solomon: 7/1
Billie Piper: 16/1
Ellie Goulding: 25/1
Pixie Lott: 33/1
Leona Lewis: 40/1
The clues are a real mine field with Sausage. Nods to both Two Pints of Lager & a Packet of Crisps, Legally Blonde and being a ‘funny girl’ left many viewers in doubt it’s Sheridan but, over the past week particularly, Joss Stone’s name has come more into the frame, with suspicion fuelled further after Sheridan’s performance on Musicals: The Greatest Show.
Clues that point to Joss include a camper van – she’s spoken about owning one and going travelling in it; ‘menu fit for a princess’ – she was on the bill for a Princess Diana memorial concert and ‘bagged myself a king’ – she was one of Henry VIII’s wives in The Tudors. where she was also called a horse by the many in the role of Henry, another clue mentioned by Sausage.
The latter could also refer to Stacey Solomon, as could the king clue as she’s engaged to former I’m A Celebrity King of the Jungle, Joe Swash.
Peter Andre: 2/1
Adam Lambert: 3/1
Jay Kay: 5/1
Pharrell Williams: 14/1
Kevin Clifton: 16/1
Carl Fogarty: 25/1
Most definitely the hardest to pin down and the one that, without a doubt, looks set to give the judges the biggest shock.
Bookies tip NeYo has been the name on the lips of many fans with many arguing that him singing Because of You in the week when host Joel Dommett said the song choices were a big clue, was the give away.
NeYo has both a single and album called Because of You and eagle-eyed sleuths said he’d been spotted in London around the time series 2 was filmed.
Betfair spokesperson Sam Rosbottom said: “The Masked Singer may have captivated people up and down the land in 2021, but the biggest riddle of all is still bamboozling amateur sofa sleuths – just who is Badger? While there are odds-on favourites in the forms of Aston Merrygold at 1/2 to be Robin and Sheridan Smith at 11/8 to be Sausage, the furry biker has everyone stumped.
“Ne-Yo is the current 11/10 favourite to be Badger, followed by Peter Andre at 2/1 and Adam Lambert at 3/1 – but having concealed themselves so well, the unmasking will come as a surprise to everybody come Saturday night.
“The polished performances of Robin sees him as 6/4 favourite to win the show – but he is very closely followed by Badger at 15/8 and Sausage at 2/1 in what the odds suggest will be an incredibly tense final of everyone’s favourite detective show.”