Speculation is rife that Sam Bailey is miles ahead of her X Factor competition as the series reaches its final stages.
According to The Sun the singing prison officer – who is Sharon Osbourne’s last remaining over-25 act – is looking virtually unbeatable after polling around 35 per cent of the public vote every week.
And the paper claims that puts her well ahead of nearest rival Nicholas MacDonald, who they say is earning less than half that amount of votes – and third placed Sam Callahan.
“Sam Bailey is so far ahead it’s unreal,” a source told the paper.
“She’s the runaway leader, a million miles in front of her nearest rival and, if it was the final this weekend, she would romp home.
“Viewers love her voice and have really taken to her back-story. She is a mum who has worked in a tough job and people seem to relate to that.”
The report suggests that last remaining group Rough Copy are in fourth place, with Luke Friend currently the fifth most popular act.
However there’s a surprise in sixth place, which is said to be occupied by Tamera Foster, just ahead of seventh-placed Hannah Barrett.
The source added that this news would be unlikely to please Simon Cowell, saying: “He wants Tamera Foster to win. He has publicly said she is a star and he genuinely thinks she could be massive internationally like Leona Lewis — but she isn’t connecting with the public.
“She’s already been in the bottom two and Simon is frantic she improves her position.”
A spokesperson for the show said that the public vote was always subject to ‘speculation’ but added: “We never comment until the series ends.”
Saturday’s X Factor will see the seven remaining performers tackle classic songs from British acts – with the action kicking off on ITV at 8pm.