Make Money from TV Talent Shows
November 21, 2015  »  By: Niki Hamilton  »  TV

Niki Hamilton looks at the carousel of talent shows to hit our TV screens and asks if there is money to be made?

Autumn / Winter TV scheduling signals the start of ‘silly’ talent show season.

Strictly Come Dancing and X Factor get the ball rolling. Then a far-shorter (just over three weeks) but more popular series, I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, starts in November. All three conclude before Christmas but couch potatoes can get yet more TV game show fill from the very start of the year when Celebrity Big Brother and The Voice get underway in January. A short hiatus will follow, before Britain’s Got Talent infects our televisual airwaves around April.

In the viewing stakes, the general public are deserting the X Factor like rats from a sinking ship. Strictly is holding up well with an average of 9 million per-show. The irrepressible Ant & Dec keep I’m a Celebrity’s viewership at a constant 10 million+ average year after year.

The Voice, hosted by Emma Willis and Marvin Humes, has two new coaches in 2016. Out goes Tom Jones for Boy George and Rita Ora, who has joined the dark side (ITV’s The X Factor), is replaced by Paloma Faith. Will I Am and Ricky Wilson remain. Combined they will be hoping to surpass the 8 million viewing average the show has been stuck on for all four series to date.

Of course this genre of TV show, which we will surely look back on in 20 years’ time and ask ourselves “what were we thinking?”, has a single common denominator: public voting via metered telephone calls. This formula, for the most part, determines the winners. However telephone voters, allied to being out of pocket, are often left deflated when their favoured contestant does not win or, worse yet, is eliminated.

A better investment is surely placing a wager on the outcome of individual shows or the destiny of the outright title. While you may boost the profits of a bookmaking firm, the alternative is definitely lining the pockets of an already wealthy telecoms provider and TV network. What’s more, there is a very real chance you may financially benefit yourself.

There is one small problem, like all bad gamblers, you may find yourself betting with your heart and not your head. For example, a trawl through the results of previous I’m a Celebrity series show the best-known celebrity contestant does not only rarely win, they never win! It’s a fact. Backing the best-known contender at the outset of the series is as futile as a vote for the Green Party at a General Election.

Similarly your personal favourite contestant may demand the support of your money but the fact is, I’m a Celebrity is a graveyard for ‘favourites’. Exhibit A: Joey Essex, the odds-on favourite for the 2014 series who finished fourth. Young Essex may have had the good looks, cheeky smile and low IQ that made him the object of desire for an estimated quarter of viewing audience but it was former boy-band member Kian Egan who landed the prize.

And so, before clicking through to your favourite online bookmaker, my best advice is:

1.  Avoid the early favourites.

2.  Ignore the highest profile celebrity contestants.

3.  Do not allow your judgement to be clouded by personal preference.

4.  Do not place bets on the outright winner until the second week of the series.

These are just a few simple rules that have proven invaluable when identifying the previous winners of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here.

Do your own homework and you will find all such talent shows have similar trends; some are glaring. For example novelty acts – the polite term for terrible singers or dancers – never make it to the final night of X Factor or Strictly. Likewise the oldest ever winner of Strictly was aged 38.

So rather than spending money voting, why not use the knowledge gleaned over years of your favourite viewing to make some money on the side? There are worse ways to spend Winter nights.

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