It looks as if the U.K. gambling community is betting on either Adele or P.J. Harvey to walk away with this year's Barclaycard Mercury Prize for Album of the Year.
The albums by these two currently unstoppable British female soloists were among the 12 finalists announced today by BBC TV and radio presenter Lauren Laverne at The Hospital Club, London.
Adele's chart-topping "21" (XL/Columbia) and Harvey's "Let England Shake" (Island Records/Vagrant Records) were declared favorites at 4/1 each in what bookmaker William Hill described as "the closest it has ever been" in terms of the odds.
The event, which made history by being streamed live for the first time ever on Facebook, disclosed the next two favorites at 5/1. This was one for the boys: BRITS Awards winner and the sole rap nominee Tinie Tempah with his debut studio album "Disc-Overy" (Parlophone), and Progressive rockers Elbow with their album "Build a Rocket Boys!" (Fiction Records/Polydor).
Next to be hailed as potential Mercury Prize winners (6/1) were the other two female solo acts Katy B, the dubstep/R&B artist with her album "On a Mission" (Columbia), and indie rocker Anna Calvi and her self-titled album on Domino Records.
The Mercury Prize winner will be unveiled at the awards ceremony on Sept. 6 at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London. It will be broadcast live on BBC TV network BBC Two and radio station 6 Music.
Calvi and jazz pianist Gwilym Simcock performed a track from their respective albums live at the nominations event.
Last year's winner was indie rock act The xx for the debut album "xx" (Young Turks).
The total 12 finalists are selected from hundreds of albums released between July 2010 and July 2011 by British and Irish artists.
The Mercury Prize Finalists For Album of the Year:
Anna Calvi's "Anna Calvi"
Elbow's "Build a Rocket Boys!" (Fiction Records/Polydor)
Everything Everything, an alternative rock act and their debut album "Man Alive" (Geffen Records)
Ghostpoet, the electronic artist/producer and another debut album "Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jam" (Brownswood Recordings)
Pianist Gwilym Simcock and his jazz/classical works on "Good Days At Schloss Elmau" (ACT)
James Blake, the electronic/dubstep singer/songwriter, with his debut album "James Blake" (Atlas/A&M)
Katy B's "On a Mission"
Scottish singer/songwriter King Creosote and London-based electronic producer Jon Hopkins' collaboration "Diamond Mine" (Domino Records)
Metronomy, the electropop group and their "The English Riviera" (Because Music)
PJ Harvey's "Let England Shake"
Tinie Tempah's "Disc-Overy"