Jason a serious contender for The X Factor crown
HE'S the long shot according to the bookies, but Jason Owen just might be the dark horse who wins The X Factor.
The 18-year-old is the only finalist in the reality singing competition to have never up for elimination.
His fans have consistently called in to voting lines to support him.
At Tuesday's semi-final elimination show, where Bella Ferraro was sent home based on the public vote, one audience member admitted to voting for Owen at least 200 times.
"It's unbelievable to think I've obviously go to much support in the country to keep me in," he said.
"Without the support I wouldn't be here. Luckily enough I haven't changed as myself throughout the competition, and I think people really like that."
Online betting agency SportsBet has him a 6.00 odds to win this year's X Factor title, which includes a Sony Music recording contract and a car.
But the young crooner certainly hasn't been discounted by his competitors.
Both Samantha Jade and Zach Russell from The Collective see him as a serious contender.
"Jason works so hard and he's such a good person," Jade said.
Russell added: "Jason's never been in the bottom so maybe he's the biggest threat. Jason would have to be going in as the favourite surely."
But Owen said he prepares himself for the worst each week.
"Every Tuesday night I go out there thinking 'you're in the bottom two' and I don't know how but I keep on getting called out (as safe)," he said.
Owens credited his mentor, former Spice Girls member Mel B, with nurturing his confidence as a performer.
The pair travelled on Thursday to Dubbo, where Owen performed for fans near his hometown of Albert.
Mel B tweeted several photos from the trip.
"She's done wonders with me from the start until now," he said.
"It's just amazing what music I'm singing, how I'm looking. If it wasn't' for her then I probably wouldn't be here.
"We're both from opposite ends of the earth and we get on like a house on fire."
The X Factor grand final performance show airs Monday at 7.30pm on Seven.
The 2012 X Factor winner will then be crowned on Tuesday night.