Strictly Come Dancing 2013 Preview

The first Strictly Come Dancing competitive shows air this Friday and Saturday. No public vote will take place until the following week, however, to give all the couples at least two bites of the cherry.

Since Chris Hollins’ victory in 2009, the title has gone to the opening night first or second favourite. For value-seeking punters this has meant a slightly frustrating air of predictability about recent results. Many have turned to finding the back-to-lay trade instead, such as Lisa Riley last year.

That may well be the case again this year, as the two market leaders look strong based on the launch show dance and more useful longer clips of initial training that you can watch on the BBC’s Strictly website or use the links below.

Heading up bookmakers’ lists at 5/2 is Coronation Street actress Natalie Gumede. Her admission in the launch show that she danced extensively until the age of 19 and performance in the group number marked her down as this year’s ‘ringer’.

Her professional pairing, Artem, is a formidable teacher and housewives’ favourite. The clip of their initial training did nothing to dispel the feeling that this pair will likely be topping the scoreboard in the early rounds at least.

Next up at 7/2 is Hollyoaks actor Ashley Taylor Dawson, who has also looked relatively accomplished based on what we’ve seen so far. He too has been treated favourably in his professional pairing, another show favourite, Ola Jordan.

Natalie and Ashley represent central characters in flagship shows for the BBC’s two main broadcasting rivals. A prominent run for both is a decent strategy for cementing ratings.

Ashley is one of the few male heart-throbs in this year’s field which looks suspiciously thin on leading men, as if producers are angling to add to only one female victory in the last five years.

To prove the point, it’s largely women who take up the following positions in bookmakers’ lists. BBC newsreader Susanna Reid has form, having done a ballroom skit for Children In Need, but her training clip with professional newbie Kevin indicates she’s as novicey as most.

Next up come singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor, whose initial training clip with Brendan shows promise for a journey ahead, and model-come-WAG Abbey Clancy, partnered with new pro Aljaz.

In betting lists they have leapfrogged Countdown numbers queen Rachel Riley, who looked all at sea in early training with Pasha. The latter is hoping to extend his good run of featuring in each final for his first two years on the show.

Ashley aside, the only other male below 25-1 is Ben Cohen, partnered with Kristina. He is this year’s celebrity beefcake, but compared to previous rugby players turning their hand to ballroom dancing, he looks far less a natural than the likes of Austin Healy, more on a par with Gavin Henson.

Below this there’s a lot of flotsam in the field. Tony Jacklin and Dave Myers look particularly hopeless. Among the women, Deborah Meaden and Vanessa Feltz would also appear to be starting from a low bar. It’s devilishly hard to know at this stage which if any of these will improve significantly. The same can be said for Fiona Fullerton and Julien McDonald.

Those punters eyeing up any back-to-lay value should take a look at Patrick Robinson, who showed promise in his early training clip, and Mark Benton, who has a stint in Hairspray and a fine line in visual comedy in his favour. The pair are 25/1 and 66/1 for the win, but make just as much back-to lay interest in the top male market at 8/1 and 18/1 respectively.

Personally speaking, I’m sitting this one out at the moment. I don’t feel strongly enough to tip anything based on the market as it stands right now, and predicting which of the celebrities emerge for a ‘journey’ is hard going until the shows begin. Do you have any inspiration? Let us know your thoughts below.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

113 comments to Strictly Come Dancing 2013 Preview

  • Allan

    Hi Daniel. Feel I missed the boat this year. My good lady, the expert on all these things instantly identified Ashley as good value at 9-1 when the initial odds were out. However, I thought we’d better wait till the first show and think we’ve now missed the boat.
    Purely on the basis of “first show dancing skills” we have backed Abbey (compared to the other girls she seemed to have the best moves bar Natalie) at 16-1, but that’s it for now…

  • stoney

    Had my first ever strictly come dancing bet on Ashley to be top man at 4/5, which has now inevitably led me to watching my first ever episode :/
    How does this show get more viewers than the mighty X Factor?

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      Sacrilege!

      I’d take a cosy episode of Strictly over that manipulative trash that is the X Factor every time. What Syco put Chris Maloney through last year was stomach-churning. And I prefer a dance show to a singing contest every time.

      Where Strictly triumphs over XF is in the fun and satisfaction of watching rookies improve during the competition. Plus the judges are all trained experts and practitioners in what they are passing judgement upon.

      I imagine it’s one thing to have an ex principal dancer for the Royal Ballet critique your pirouettes; it must be another thing entirely to be listening to Louis Walsh gurn while lobbing comments at you about your vocal technique.

  • Natasha

    Melanie really has NO star quality. Yeh she can sing but she has nothin ele to offer! IMO Hannah Barret was the stand out act tonight. Do we know for sure that Hannah has made the lives?

  • Natasha

    I mean the stand out act in the girls category

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Hi Daniel and everyone,

    As was expected and true to past form mentioned, Natalie Gumede danced like a semi-pro from the off. I was very interested to see that the same resistance I felt to watching her long-since-grooved moves and extensions was reflected by one half of the judging panel. Craig was quick to refer to her as a ‘brilliant dancer’ (as though he was mentioning an established fact) and land her with the dubious title of ‘front-runner’ (which Len subsequently sought to undo with his comments), which leaves her with no upward journey trajectory potential, and Darcey, rather tellingly I thought, issued her surprise at the level of ‘detail’ in her cha cha. In a rapidly performed routine, her hand shapes and positioning were as precise as a tutter or what is presented in classical Indian dancing.

    But more annoying than her already honed dance technique was her personality. She reminded me of that other ex Corrie “star” Angela Griffin. Eek! She’s even more irritating than the pointless Tess Daly, she of the inconsistent accent and follower of the Kate Thornton style of presenting: If-I-shout-perhaps-people-won’t-notice-I’m-a-charisma-free-entity.

    The 6/4 – 7/4 fap price range for her leaves me disinterested.

    BBC news girl Susanna Reid was strictly intelligent-girl-loosens-the-shackles sexy and was surprisingly excellent at hand detailing (though naturally her arm placements were sometimes wayward). I agreed with Craig that it was a ‘little heavy-looking’ at times but I wonder if Darcey was spot on when she recommended to her to wear lower heels to help her achieve better ‘bounce’. Didn’t extend on the kicks but given the natural rapidity of her debut dance than that is also equally natural, and arguably equally necessary. Likeable and I hope she improves.
    Interesting start from the well spoken middle England girl.

    Aliona caught the short straw in the lumpen form of Tony Jacklin. In his VT he saw hope for his ballroom fortunes in that he used to wear bright colours on the golf course! His dance highlight was showing off the much under-rated ability to take quick short steps backwards in a straight line while holding onto someone to keep balance.
    That deadly combination of pathetic and boring. Stood there listening to Craig’s accurate feedback without much reaction.

    Ben Cohen is a great big, big-smiling hunk of a man. Over- muscled and stiff as an oak. There was a sweetly funny moment mid cha cha when while looking bemusedly at his pro partner Kristina’s rapid hip-twisting he chuckled, thinking of the contrast with his own laboured effort. So a bit slow and ponderous and then there’s going to be the continuing problems associated with his 50% hearing. You want him to do well but doubt it.
    Limited. .

    Will return to this at a more benign time.

  • Allan

    Guildo – great analysis thanks. My household happy with our investment on Abbey at 16s. Concern is how the public will take to her.
    Natalie a terrible price now. Might be a bit of value on the hollyoaks chap who is now out to 7s…

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      Thanks Allan,

      And congrats on that awesome early-bird spot concerning Abbey 🙂 For a couple of reasons I skipped over Abbey when I first ran my eyes over the contestant list.

      Am sort of thinking the same as you re Ashley. I jumped on the early bandwagon for him,and snagged myself the fantastic value price of…wait for it…7/1 for him! Lol. The same top price he is now! I was disappointed with his show opening performance, but feel there are mitigating factors.

      I feel he was in a no-win situation. He was expecting his wife to give birth at any second. If he had took to the dance-floor and performed to polished perfection it may have left the notion lingering, in the minds of the female viewership in particular, that he cared more about the dancing than he did his expectant wife. Doing too well on the show could have been judged as a form of disloyalty or worse.

      He mentioned being tired in the rehearsal VT and he must have been living on his nerves and suffering endless false-alarm adrenaline rushes every time his mobile rang (which Ola confirmed had to be left on throughout rehearsals).

      Hopefully, his wife will not go much further past her due date and deliver soon. I wonder if he will then benefit from the new father bounce effect well known in golf circles? Or will he just endure even more sleepless nights?! Yikes.

      His schedule is a worry. He described how he up at 6:45 for Hollyoaks and when he finishes there, he’s off to the creative space of the dance studio, where his day (sort of) finishes at 12 midnight. Is he going to burn out? Where’s his rest bite going to come? I’m reminded of Scott Maslen’s situation from a few years ago. I suppose one difference may be that Scott was nearly 40 the time of his Strictly run but Ashley is just 31. Plus Ashley mentioned how as a teenager he wanted to be a pro tennis player, and how his dad took him all around the country to compete in tournaments. Tennis players are often the very fittest of sports people, up there with boxers, F1 drivers, triathletes etc so his early athletic background will stand him in very good stead, stamina wise.

      His fabulous, cheeky smile will also be of great help!

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Loved Mark Benton. Loved the guy. Vaguely remember him being ace in Early Doors, but a bit morose-funny rather than the warm-funny he is now / was in real life.
    The storyline for his tango routine was wonderful and he has good chemistry with his partner. They seem a good performance match. Plus, it’s too early to say if he can dance but he certainly knows how to look as if he can. What I mean is: his footwork remains untested (his feet where in the right place at the right time, but he was a tad ploddy perhaps – it was difficult to judge because the bloody camera choice was always to be on his expressive face!) but his hold, posture and head placement looks right and gives him the overall look of a dancer.

    I was surprised at how grounded Fiona Fullerton was in her VT. She seems a nice lady. I had half expected her to be as full of herself and entitled as Lulu was a couple of years back on the show.
    The judges were very kind to her, I thought. Sure, it’s the Tango and like the Paso, you are meant to dance with a certain rigidity, or to keep certain movements crisp and stacatto, but her frame was riddled with tension and to my eyes it was obvious Anton was forcing her round the floor. The snap in her head turns was there but her swivel step was behind her head snap. I think she was continually on the verge of forgetting what step was coming next and suspect from her (partially independent) spin (and particularly from the recovery from it) that she has poor balance skills.
    She’s going to have to commit to endless practice and will find the experience a struggle.

    Vanessa Feltz. F**k off already.

    Enjoyed watching the wild thing that was Dave Myers, but not as much as I enjoyed Mark Benton’s performance. Dave was energetic and utterly random, I thought he was funny but a bit of an embarrassment. Had he even tried learning anything during his three weeks of rehearsing with his professional partner? The super slow-motion version of Moves Like Jagger remained too quick for him. Much prefer Mark to Dave. Dave looks like Bill Bryson and sounds a bit like Johhny Vegas. .

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      A further worry about Fiona. She was out of breath, was blowing hard after her Tango!

      Lord help her if she’s down for the jive this week!

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Don’t back many odds on pokes but felt I had to have a nibble at the 1/2 for Tony Jacklin to finish in the bottom two next week.

    There’s always the chance a contestant will be temporarily saved by the choreography-storyline of a routine, but I think Tony may be beyond help. Indeed, I think he is already looking forward to going home to the warmer climbs of Florida.

    What’s the point of his continuation in Strictly?

    • stoney

      At better odds for bottom 2 julien has to be worth a punt? i have a feeling hes hugely unpopular
      Im an absolute novice with the way this show works though i must admit

      • Guildo Horn Forever

        Yeah stoney, I agree, you’re right.

        For a few days I’ve been checking that 6/1 for Julien to be first eliminated, and then up popped that 3/1 for him to be bottom two.

        His performance the other night was bloody hopeless and in his banter with the judges he presented himself as deluded and unhinged. Like he’s had one too many Happy Meals and they’d gone to his head.

        Also: who the Hell is he?!.His demographic will comprise the other people who live in his house! Hehe.

        That vogue style cha cha was deeply odd. His cross over breaks were he hardly twists and where he left his style arm planted on a hip were definitely not choreographed, because Janette performed the moves in regulation.

        Also, my idea of voguing is either someone moving their arms faster than a wing chun master or else hitting flamboyant freezes. Julien just seemed to flop around indulgently, while sporting a manic ‘It’s Johnny’ grin.

        The reason I felt safer with plumping for Jacklin is that he is so bloody boring. Sometimes with the eviction market you are certain you have a winner, only for an interesting or funny routine to come to that contestant’s rescue.

        Jacklin is nearly 70, probably now shorter than his stated height of 5 ft 9 inches, has retired to America, barely moves, barely speaks and his face has developed that hooded business round the eye area, so that at times you can hardly see his eyes, which renders his face bland.

        Odds of 6/1 for Dave Myers to be next eliminated (with Lads) are ridiculous. There’s plenty of fun reasons why that’s a shockingly skinny price.

        So yes, stoney, I agree that 3/1 for Julien (for bottom two) is probably a value punt. I just went for the safer option.

        But As Jacklin’s partner went for an attempt at pathos with her routine for him (and it fell flat), at least the farcical routine option can still be tried; whereas Julien has already shown that he will ruin what should have been a flamboyant number with his non-connecting weirdness.

        It could be argued Julien is the safer option.

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Evaluating the 13/8 second fap, in bottom 2.

    Vanessa Feltz, although I can’t abide her, although she can’t dance, and although she and James Jordan make for one of the most odious couples in SCD history, she is very high profile (in a ‘Oh, not her again, sod off, for Christ’s sake’) and seems be a commentator or talking head or radio presenter or newspaper columnist on this, that or the other; so she might be able to muster enough support to get her through a couple of rounds. Plus, she gave Craig some welly, playing to the voters nicely and seemed to be trying to rouse the granny vote for herself.

    Deborah Meaden currently has an 8 point gap over joint bottom the leaderboard Dave, and enjoys a 5 point gap over Vanessa but I’d say the 7/2 for her to be bottom 2 is about right.

    Still feel confident about the bottom 2 including Tony Jacklin.

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      Ah! Being trying to conjure a counter argument against my Jacko’s-going-down confidence and found one over at Entertainment Odds with Rob’s information that Jacko will be attempting the Charleston this week. Many a poo contestant has been saved by a hoot of a Charleston.

      Hmmm.

  • stoney

    just got on ladbrokes 3’s for julien bottom 2, wouldnt let me put quite as much as i wanted too, ive noticed most sites are capping my reality bets now, sky bet barely let me put anything above 20 pound on now

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Bet capping is my nightmare.

    One (potentially) good consequence here is that you have only a small amount staked on you 1st SCD eviction round.

    Personally, I find this market v tricky. Always have done.

    Just checked to confirm that in last year’s SCD, at the soon-to-be parallel stage, Michael Vaughan and Nicky Byrne, were the two competitors propping up the leaderboard. with both having combined judges scores (from the two weeks of marks) of 35.

    Yet, I definitely remember it was Richard Arnold (wearing a ghastly multi-coloured shirt) and Johnny Ball who were the two celebs contestants in the dance off.

    I see Johhny was ranked two places above Michael and Nicky and that Richard was three places higher.

    The public vote (combined with the judges’ rankings) killed them. Nicky’s Westlife army no doubt melted the phone lines and jammed the frequencies voting to save their love from peril.

    In the dance off, I remember Bruno (or possibly Craig) voting to send home Johhny to make it three nil, a unanimous result (Len didn’t even need to vote). The dance-off process was a formality.

    So, as Deborah Meaden is arguably a better dancer than Tony, Vanessa, Julien, Dave, Ben and Fiona, she might beat any of those in a dance-off – this explains why though she is 7/2 to finish in the bottom two, she is 12/1 to be the one chosen to be eliminated from the compo.

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    As a long-time fan of Sophie Ellis-Bextor, I held low hopes for her coming into Strictly. In her videos or in concert she barely ever so much as breaks into a slow, wafty trot. She’s a wafting swayer at best. Like a sapling back and forth in a breeze. She doesn’t seem to have speed nor strength.

    She’s had and has a long career in pop and dancey pop music, so I would assume if she could dance she would have been demonstrating this in her videos. In concert, she barely moves to ‘Groovejet’ (the madly catchy sound of a summer that kept Posh Spice’s contender for worst video ever stuck at number 2).

    The judges loved her waltz, though it looked to me that it was her floppy elbows that were responsible for the stick she took from Craig for her ‘top line’ inelegance. I think the waltz suited her as she does look like a porcelain doll. She surprised me with a spot of nifty footwork mid-routine and she seems to have natural musicality. Even her little return walk at the performance end chimed beautifully.

    Still, not in the class of Abbey’s waltz.

    From her VT, I wondered if I was reading a subtextual message from married Sophie to womaniser Brenden to back the heck off her. But I think Brendan has heard, adapted and has worked out how to treat her. They seemed to be getting along nicely in the rehearsal footage and post performance.

    It could be that she’s just needed someone to push her to dance, but I’m sure if she’s ever shown any dance ability previously, producers would have pushed her to perform in her music vids.
    She considers herself ‘clumsy’ and prone to be ‘stampy’ so overall I think the 9/1 – 12/1 price range to be a bit on the skinny side.

    Rachel Rliey looked all over the place in early footage, and rehearsal footage, but Rachel and Pasha at least did look a lovely couple and similar to each other.

    Like Sophie, Rachel’s waltz also looked lovely and graceful, though the glaring mistakes came any time she performed an underarm. She would lose balance and stagger every time. Pasha, though, quickly corrected the mis-balances. The waltz was a good starter dance for her.

    Visually she reminds me of Nicky Byrne, and I wonder if she too will steadily improve. She needs too.

    It’s always difficult to judge the girls’ dance level from a waltz. The girl will be in hold for most of the partner dance, with the man leading, controlling and (often) setting the standard for the lady.

    The 8/1 to 12/1 price range again, to me, looks on the tight side.

  • Henry VIII

    “How does this show get more viewers than the mighty X Factor?” from stoney.

    It’s refreshingly less manipulated and ruthless. Unfortunately though the betting market is much smaller and more savvy. But still worthwhile.

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    I see that there’s been a sustained gamble on SEB the last 48 hours or so. As low as 5/1 with SkyBet. Has she been impressing with her Charleston training?

    Seems to be enjoying herself:
    http://tellymix.co.uk/reality-tv/strictly-come-dancing/162417-strictly-come-dancing-2013-sophie-ellis-bextor-excited-for-charleston.html

    Am myself sceptical that whatever studio form she’s been showing warrants the across-the-board price plunge.

    Surprised and intrigued at this mid-to-late week gamble.

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Completely off topic but strongly fancy Chris Weidman to win his November rematch with The Spider.

    Watched both Anderson Silva fights against Sonnen. Anderson won both – but was dominated in both.by the trash talker. In the first fight, Sonnen beat the usually elusive Silva to the punch at the start sequence of every round and then took him down and ground and pound the life out of him for the remainders (apart from the final sliver of the final round).

    Against Weidman, who was billed by his trainers and v good judges (GSP himself) as the real deal, Silva left himself even wider open than ever. Such was the extremis of his sticking-my-chin-out-coz-you-can’t-catch-me-with-a-shot taunting, I began to suspect that Silva, incredible as it seemed, was lacking confidence, such was his recklessness.

    Weidman kept on carefully closing the distance, putting himself into position, not overextending. and then eventually came forward with a series of punches…and it was lights out for Silva.

    In the rematch, if it goes to the ground Weidman dominates Silva. As a striking contest, Weidman knows he has k.o. power in his fists for Silva. And Chris is now a champion.

    Silva is 38 and his bend-and-roll reflexes may be slowing. Plus, his win-sequence confidence has been ended; he’s been caught now. But adopting a more conservative style runs counter to his style. His success has derived from luring mistakes.

    Plus: Weidman heads for the rematch, again as second favourite and should be in his prime.

  • stoney

    Julien into 2’s now for bottom 2

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      Yeah, stoney, the only two we have previously favoured for bottom two status are the only ones whose odds have shortened in the meantime.

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Props to Abbey Clancy for her ‘gorgeous’ waltz. Unlike Natalie or Susanna (for examples’ sake) Abbey has ‘never, never done any tap, ballet, anything’. This was confirmed with spots of her training footage with heroically-bottomed, Coulthard-jawed, new pro addition Aljaz (who looks like he could be a squintier-eyed Dolph Lungdren’s son), wherein she was regularly struggling with knowing her left from her right – no-one with a background of dance training would be struggling with such basic body awareness; unless the person had some proprieception, learning or other issues / inaptitudes. At the time that she nervously joked that her lanky “robot” husband [Peter Crouch] was ‘better than her’ [at dancing] she probably wasn’t playing the false modesty card.

    The model and WAG does a good a job as she can of presenting herself as a down-to-earth every-wife, though whether this translates to her achieving Abbey National status, remains to be seen. I think her slight scattiness is real but it does conveniently hide the competitive perfectionist in her.

    Her dance performance was a beauty and given this already startling degree of development from the novice, it could be that the Charisse-legged one is a bit of a natural. Dangerous Abbey. She comes at you in sections.

    Am interested in how Mrs Crouch’s smitten looks and nervous at ‘hottie’ Aljaz, and playful post-dance hands, will play with the viewership. Viewers’ imagination / observation certainly didn’t harm the success of dance partnership Natasha Kaplinsky and Brendan Cole back in Strictly’s inaugural season.

    Also intrigued at how the Scouse accented Abbey’s Liverpool demographic will help or hinder her chances. I wonder if the girls and ladies of middle England hear a Scouse twang in their dance princess dreams?

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Had another couple of bets on Ashley. One EW, one win.

    • stoney

      Yeah I had an smaller outright bet on him for the win the other day

      • Guildo Horn Forever

        I now have Ash EW at 7/1 x 2, and 6/1; and my win bet is on him at 4/6 for top male.

        It’s obvious that Nat is the best dancer in the competition. It also looks fairly clear to me that Ash is the second best dancer.
        Yet Nat is generally 7/4, whereas Ash is generally 6/1.
        For a very tall, novice dancer who has yet to prove she is a rapid mover, Abbey is a skinny price at a general 7/2. Likewise, the modal 5/1 for Sophie ain’t screaming value at me. Plus, her Charleston tonight may make her price shorten further (deservedly or undeservedly).

        Have toyed long and hard with backing Susanna EW this week, especially after a betting guru described her as ‘incredibly likeable’, but the rash of females at the top of the market, and the presence of only the one viable male outright winner, has made me lean every time towards Ash, when it came to putting the money down, pushing the chips forward. Might still back Susanna.

        I took the 1/2 for bottom two for Tony in this week’s elimination market and had a smaller saver at 3s on Julien.

        Easily the second best male dancer in Strictly -behind Ash- is Patrick; yet I have my doubts about him. He performed a very good jive last week, which went some way to prove that his knee injury / injured knee will not prove a problem.

        But then again, he might have slightly inflamed his right (side) knee injury. It was hurting him during studio rehearsals, so he probably shouldn’t have been performing last week. A physiotherapist wouldn’t have recommended intensive training for the jive for strengthening, as rehabilitation!! Patrick himself stated that the fundamental movements of the jive were hurting his knee.

        Ash is in a different class to Patrick dance wise, looks wise, sex appeal wise, age wise, current profile wise, back-story wise, everything wise. Even his partner is better and is a better fit.
        Personally, I like Patrick, but that’s irrelevant. I don’t even vote on reality shows!

        Patrick and his partner Anya remind me, in a very negative way, of the partnership of Colin and Kristina from last year.
        What the PTB at Strictly are thinking is difficult to comprehend.
        The following story link is unconnectad in any way:
        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/celebritynews/9098732/BBC-boss-banned-me-for-speaking-out-claims-black-actor.html

        That 4/5 you took for Ash for top male a week+ ago looks sweet, stoney, That 4/6 is still available for him now surprises me.

        Have also had a small saver in the top male market.

        • Guildo Horn Forever

          That small saver was on Dave at 25/1.
          Although I personally much prefer Mark, I think from a betting POV it has to be Dave.
          The value of the 25/1 hits home strongest when you see that Julien is available at the same odds.
          LMAO!

          Looking at the males in this year SCD, I have to say that with the exalted exception of Ash they really are a piss poor bunch.
          Might be the worst ever.

        • Guildo Horn Forever

          On the subject of who are the best dancers.

          Natalie is from a different planet. Her control is tight.
          I think she could dance anything.
          She looks like she’d make a f**king sick krumper – whether she’s experienced in it or not.
          That’s the thing with Nat, though, isn’t it? She’s aggressive.

          For someone who has virtually no time to train in the routines, Ash is fantastically *cough* good.
          I wonder how long we will have to wait to see footage of his new born baby boy, Mason Mac? Young fit family man cradling his baby boy with his beautiful fiancée.

          Abbey. We haven’t really seen demonstrations of her solo technique yet but she has sumptuous movement.

          In my very speculative opinion, she is one of those very tall girls who, while growing up, has developed a certain ditziness and a disinclination to extend and express herself through dance as this would make her appear even bigger than she already is. Focused, non ditzy people, can appear taller; I can imagine Abbey in arabesque croiséee – she would appear immense.

          I guess she is someone who can dance, once her inclination (and need) to believe she can’t is stripped away. I can imagine her performing ballet, but this does not necessarily mean she can cope with a rapid latin number. Height can work for and against you. Sometimes, the smaller you are the more time you can have.

          What I’m describing is different from the phenomenon of blokes who try all kind of sports, don’t like or can’t do any of them, but eventually find that can be good at karate. That’s different. I’ve known a number of kareteka who can’t dance for toffee, and for obvious reasons. Now, Wushu exponents…that’s a different kettle of fish!

          Ah! Have to go! Will submit this. And speculate on Susanna later.

          Apart from stoney, there’s no-one chatting with me or engaging with me. This thread feels like a series of my long monologues and speeches. I’m having to counter argue against myself!

          Anyone – please!

  • stoney

    I would imagine ashleys odds for top male will go down after tonight. All depends on his comments he got luke warm praise from a couple of judges they obviously don’t want him storrming ahead early on

  • stoney

    Apparently tony has gone tonight over the saved julien. Get in there. Ladbrokes were right not to take my 3 figure stake. Wasn’t too far off it though 🙂

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      Brilliant stuff! 🙂

      Between us we had the bottom two, and the elimination, down to an exact tee, on Monday!! Haha!!

      I do love a flying start 🙂

      • Guildo Horn Forever

        Plus I launched a battery of smart missiles at that 4/6 for Ash and I will look forward with pleasure to viewing tommorow’s revised top male market odds.

  • stoney

    Yeah im chuffed with my start to life as a strictly come dancing bets man, gonna keep my eye on juliens odds next week for bottom 2 he is surely a dead man walking. And yes re ashley looking at his outright odds in comparison to the other men could we be looking at somewhere in the region of 1/5 for top man?

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      Spot on – 1/5 with Lads; and 1/6 in a couple of places.
      And as low as 3/1 for the outright.

      We just need his Mason Mac to be a good, quiet sleeper, to allow his dad plenty of unbroken rest now!

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Yep – only a few revised prices up so far today but two outfits have him at 1/4. He’ll be 1/5 somewhere by the end of the day.

    ‘Dead man walking’ – is that a critique of Tony’s dancing last night?
    I think ‘Insane man walking’ describes Julien’s performance last night!

    In response to your comment near the top of the thread, I described X Factor as ‘manipulative trash’ – which is fair enough!- but that wasn’t to imply that there above a little pushing, dampening and mis-scoring on Strictly.

    As I recall, last week Bruno marked Natalie with a 7, and Julien with a 6. *Ahem*

    There’s no rational for this ridiculous marking than to conclude that Bruno deliberately undermarked Natalie in order to try to help her, to stop her from assuming clear front-runner status.

    Julien used to perform a sort of Wayne Hemmingway function on It Takes Two, his dance performance was weird and risible, and so was in sore need of scoreboard help, to keep him away from the bottom two danger zone.

    One thing to watch for, stoney, is the bottom two bounce effect: just as with XF it exists on SCD as well. But yeah, Julien is such a God-awful dancer and so plain odd that he it’s only a matter of time.

    • stoney

      yeah but in order to gain a bounce back you need to have fans willing to panic vote the following weeks, does julian have any fans likely to do that?

      • Guildo Horn Forever

        Good point!

        I’ve never fully understand the workings of the bounce back.
        I’ve heard it described as the “sympathy bounce” and I myself have wondered if there is an element of the the practice effect or edit effect or airtime effect at play also.

        I suppose if Tony has survived there may have been a feeling of sympathy in the air for such a small, old guy being forced to dance for his continuation in the competition. I did feel a sorrowful twinge for him when he earnestly opined post-dance to Claudia ‘Logan’s Run costumed’ Winkleman that he possibly could have ‘mis-stepped’.

        Bless his daft, cotton socks.

        Anyway, Julien favourite for bottom two again next week then?

  • stoney

    yes, but i dont think well be seeing anything like the generous 3/1 offered this week though

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Hi stoney,

    Initial impression of the 2nd elim market was that Julien was a shade of value at 4/5. (Have taken it).

    We seem to think there is an over 50% chance of him (and “dance” partner Janette) finishing in the bottom two. And possibly that chance is nearer 75% than 50%?

    Plus there is at least a 50% chance that he is eliminated from that dance-off? Against anyone but Tony have might have on Saturday, yes?

    So, 4/5 seems a decent price, on that basis.

    Add to this that it’s “love week”. That’s suits the likes of Vanessa better than it does Julien – it’s “love week”, not “insane-robot love week”.

    Perhaps James Jordan will choreograph a rumba for him and Vanessa to Smokey’s ‘The Tracks of my Tears’.

    Janette is possibly as irritating as Julien and they have the collective sexual chemistry of a bi-polar android trying to leg-hump Bonnie Langford.

    *Please note: the above sentence is my submission to sofabet’s “commentator’s line of the week” feature – should one happen to start up…*

    The only two celeb dancers against whom I could see Julien surviving in a dance-off are: Dave, and Ben.

    I doubt Ben will be finishing bottom two this week, and I still think it is a little early to be backing Dave for elimination. Though the odds on both of them are interesting.

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Hi sofabet team: any chance of a running “sofabet commentator’s line of the week” feature?

  • Boki

    Didn’t have time to comment but I joined you guys on Julian bottom 2 last week (no Lads for me, only crumbles on betfair) and took some 4/6 today for his elimination (hopefully not jinxing it with this comment). I’m (unfortunately) not watching the show btw so rely on your eyes and ears 🙂

  • stoney

    hopefully it wasnt beginners luck for me, i was a strictly virgin til last weekend. Did you get on the 4/5 for ashley top male?

    • Boki

      No, doing only eliminations and skipped the rest. Last year was my first SCD year (also blindly) and did bad in top categories, escaped luckily in the OR and did good in eliminations so will focus there.

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Hi Boki, welcome to the party!

    Review of the Big 3 (in the betting) from week 2:

    Sophie and Brendan:
    The porcelain pop princess shocked me with her fabulous performance and game-girl attitude. ‘A born flapper’ sounds like a drunken, rejected misogynist’s last midnight insult, but for Sophie this fitted like an Art Deco polka dot dress.

    My mistake was in being a long-time fan who had seen no evidence of her even moving quickly, let alone dancing up a brave, brave perfect storm.

    Would never have thought Sophie would capture the girl-next-door ambience but up the top of the leader-board in the company of pro-in-thin-disguise Natalie and determined-WAG Abbey this is the flavour she has.

    In terms of body movement and ankle-flicking my favourite Charleston remains Kara Tointon and Artem’s from a few years ago, but for flamboyance, choreography and wow factor this was the ultimate.

    Terrific moments at the end of the performance in the eye contact between Brendan and Sophie, as he told her with body language how amazed and proud of her he was. Sophie-is-making-Brendan-likeable shocker!

    Sophie and Brendan are probably through to the final on the brilliance of this performance alone. People will need to see an encore of this show-stopper again.

    Nataile and Artem:
    Technically stunning. Again. The stand-out masterclass of the show. Again. A noticeably softened, slightly demur

    Natalie performed certain moves to a standard and speed that Darcey hinted that she herself would be troubled to replicate.

    It’s silly to have physically incapable 69 year olds such as Tony Jacklin on the show, who serve solely to act target practice for Craig’s barbs. Arguably, it’s ageist to include such people.

    I find it equally silly, at the other end of the ability spectrum, to watch a celeb who is clearly already at semi-pro level contesting in the show. (This was my beef with Denise last year.) Why not go the whole hog and have Artem participating as a contestant as well?

    In golf there would be a handicap system.

    I wonder if contestants such as Natalie should be marked out of a lower score than the others, e.g. from a top potential score of 36 (4 times 9 points).

    A 69 year old ex golfer could start with a starting score of perhaps 8 (and could theoretically score a maximum of 48 (8 points + 4 times 10 points)

    How these things would be determined and weighted fairly, I don’t know – but things are unfair as they stand now.

    It’s clear Strictly doesn’t believe in handicapping Natalie; indeed, they partnered her with one of the most popular dancers on the show, Artem. A real power couple.

    I think many regular Strictly watchers feel the same way as me re the inequality. This extent of this perception will probably determine if Natalie finishes 1st or 2nd.

    Ashley and Ola:
    The only male contestant with a shot at the SCD crown improved from last week with a gorgeous American Smooth. He’s looking more like David Beckham did at the same age every week. David Beckham-esque , with the additional bonus of a sexy voice, rather than a squeaky mumble.

    Considering he must have been feeling bloody knackered the last couple of weeks, he has been producing the goods over and above what could be expected. I think he must be cruising by on previous dance and performance training, and a quick-learner aptitude.

    Ola has massive confidence in his abilities, as evidenced by her packing the show routine with an ‘amazing’ amount of ‘content’, despite knowing that Ashley’s wife was likely to be going into labour anytime this last week (which she duly did).

    With training time slashed to the bare bones, and a non-stop routine to perform with no easy passages, Ashley managed to amaze Craig, and score 32 on his second week.

    Abbey’s stunning week 1 performance, Sophie’s unbelievable week 2 performance, Natalie’s ridiculous standard, and Ashley’s intrusive and dominating (though ultimately helpful)baby news have served to keep Ashley under the radar. He’s not getting the credit he deserves and will need to produce a stand-out performance of the week, like Abbey and Sophie before him, to properly launch a quickstep at the crown.

    Fingers crossed that he can and will.

    The bookies’ prices look about right on all 3 of the primary contenders.

  • Highlighted

    On a sidenote. So cruel for producers to bring back Melanie for good TV but to crush her hopes. Seems like this audition process has been all about Melanie and boosting her hopes to knock her down. Cruel.

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Hi stoney , Boki and a shout out to the missing-in-X-Factor-analysis-action (?) creator of this Preview thread, Daniel.
    And what happened to the shooting stars that were Allan and Chatterboxx5200?

    Monday night Strictly bottom 2 and elimination club:-

    Now, that 4/5 for Julien to be second for the boot has long gone. The 4/6 will soon be heading the same way.
    But I fancy having a nibble at fancier prices, rather than also hop on the 4/6, for this market and have gone for the other two worst celeb dancers in the competition, Ben and also Dave, and have taken 25/1 and 7/1 respectively.

    According to the judges Ben was significantly improved from the previous weeks’ performances. Bending his back while holding onto the ballet bar had apparently worked wonders for him. Myself, I could barely see the difference in him. Still a ponderous mountain. Dave, too, was again bloody woeful, as far as I could tell.

    For the bottom 2, I am mindful of the nonsense marking accorded to Victoria Pendleton last year. She was bloody rubbish yet received blatant over-marking every week for frigging ages. Olympic golden girl bias c**p.

    In my opinion, Deborah and (particularly) Rachel were under-marked last week. One line of thought would be that if so, it is surely only a matter of time before they begin receiving the marks their performances merit. But, thinking of it another way – if this week either of them actually do turn out a mare of a performance, the judges will probably show no mercy. Add to this that I am doubtful that Deborah is very popular and I am beginning to wonder if Rachel (or perhaps even the elfin Pasha) has fallen foul of the Strictly judges, behind the scenes. Rachel really has improved, or at least has demonstrated her excellent and rapid hip and foot movement, but listening to the judges you wouldn’t have thought so, as they focused on the negatives that have been apparent from the get-go.

    Have nibbled at the respective 6/1 and 20/1.

    Rachel will probably be alright (as will Ben) because it is “love week” or slowy week. Back in hold she should be fine. In these terms the three who may struggle to prosper this week, for different reasons – Julien, Dave and even Patrick.

    Jumped on the 2/5 about Julien for the bottom two. Just re-watched that omni-horrific, irredeemable mess from JJ on Saturday night, and it’s true that Julien somehow regressed from his awful first dance. His pro dancer partner, Janette Manrara (like in response to hearing Julien’s name – who?), has to shoulder some of the blame for that performance and I have no confidence in her either.

    Warning and disclaimer (!): I usually struggle on the elimination markets on SCD, so I very, very much welcome any disagreement to the above conversational starting points.

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      erm,Tuesday night…, I meant – late this week.

    • Boki

      Omg, you struggle on eliminations, stoney is a scd virgin and I don’t watch the show – doomed for success 🙂

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      I don’t know how to answer that!

      But, anyhow, further to my post at the top of this series, I should further state my unease with my selections.

      To back Julien is to back against the bounce. Taking 2/5 on a selection to not enjoy the bottom 2 bounce effect is probably all kinds of dumb.

      My worst bets on SCD and XF have failed to heed this established phenomenon. Bad habits and all that.

      Also Boki, I too am in a sense backing blind, as the song and dance-style list isn’t out yet. Thursday, I think, is the usual day for this.

      My backing Rachel for a poor Saturday night just because she didn’t master the salsa (though not through lack of flexibility) ignores the long line of poor scores at that dance. Someone like Ben will truly struggle at the salsa.

      On the subject of Ben, droves of women probably adore him and he’s probably as safe as statues this week.

      If I could “dislike” my entire lengthy post up top, I would.

      Warning over.

      • Boki

        Guys I was joking and it seems that stoney took it seriously, no worries, I also have 100% record at the moment haha :). Guildo, feel free to post whatever you like, I might go along or not with small stakes so don’t care much.
        Btw while bounce is a fact it doesn’t always work and my blind gut feeling is that it’s not going to work for Julien (just as wasn’t for Colin last year).

    • Chatterbox5200

      Hi Guido – still here, but am currently out of the country a lot, so keeping tabs on what’s going on sufficiently to be able to offer some in-depth analysis is proving a little tricky.

      I’m more than grateful for being able to keep informed via the thoughts of the other commentators on here. As soon as I have something worthwhile to share, I will definitely do so, don’t worry.

      This is the first year I’ve taken some interest in the SCD market, and must agree that although the sympathy bounce is well recognised, it does rely on the fact that fans of the act are kick-started into voting for fear of losing their act now they know they are at risk. This does mean that the act must have some kind of following/fan base to get motivated to vote. I really can’t see Julien having this and would agree that he looks doomed this week.

  • stoney

    Dont despair, my track record is 100% thus far, with a running bet placed at 4/5 currently trading at around 1/6

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Thanks for the reassurance, guys.

    Question: does anyone know how to work out the book overround on a contest with two guaranteed winners?

    I’m looking at the Lad’s prices on the bottom 2 market for SCD this weekend. The more I take in the range of prices the more I suspect that list offers horrible odds.

    The full list of odds are:
    2/5, 5/4, 5/2, 4/1, 6/1, 6/1, 7/1, 10/1, 14/1, 20/1, 20/1, 25/1, 33/1, 33/1.

    Do you work it out the usual way by translating how much would have to be placed on each odd/price to return 100 – but when you have your final accumulated total, you then see how far above (or below) it is to a mark of 200? And adjust the percentage over or under accordingly (working to a base of 200, not 100)?

    Is this right?

    71.42 + 44.44 + 28.57 + 20 + 14.28 + 14.28 + 12.5 + 9.09 + 6.66 + 4.76 + 4.76 + 3.84 + 2.94 + 2.94 = 240.48.

    Does this work out at an overround of 20.24%?

    Am interested because the more I looked at those first three prices (for Julien, Vanessa and Dave), the more I became convinced that this was the worst value market ever! (Well – save for those offered on races at the Polytrack at Lingfield Park!!)

    But now I just think the 2/5, and that 5/4, were the poor value bets.

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Have had something of a rethink on Ashley.

    Daniel says this in his preview piece:

    ‘Ashley is one of the few male heart-throbs in this year’s field which looks suspiciously thin on leading men, as if producers are angling to add to only one female victory in the last five years.’

    Am reminded here of Series 8 and the respective “treatments” of Kara and of Matt.

    Reread my own rationales for favouring Ashley and it is possible to arrive at different conclusions to the ones at which I preferred.

    The time factor is an angle worthy of more thought.

    The celeb dancer who has other hefty time commitments, leaving relatively little time for weekly practice/rehearsal is in a no win predicament.

    They are severely disadvantaged by their lack of preparation, when they dance their televised dance. There is no handicap system in place. The judges and public evaluate the televised dance. No allowances are made for lack of rehearsal time – and anyway, the respective rehearsal times of all the competitors are not measured, not quantified, not published. How can one make a measured allowance, even if one wanted to? People judge the performance on the night.

    Ashley’s Mason Mac time tribulations have dominated his VTs. They have to. Susanna’s difficulty in finding time to practice was demonstrated by footage of her and Kevin in hold in the aisle of a train, squeezing in some practice.

    These VTs could come across as the celebs bragging about what busy, busy lives they lead. Or they could convey a sense of the celebs whinging about the pressures they are under.

    But there is no alternative but to highlight that these celebs are running at a disadvantage; plus the content of the footage is accurate and worthy of inclusion in their background videos.

    Of the big 5 in the betting, it would appear that the most disadvantaged is Ashley, followed by Susanna.

    Natalie isn’t in Corrie at the moment, I believe. Sophie seems to have plenty of free time to rehearse and Abbey, I guess, will have found it fairly easy to clear her schedule.

    I seem to have all my eggs in one basket on the outrights, with Ash – am feeling a little exposed.

    I don’t like Natalie.I find her very pushy and full of herself. She’s clearly been previously trained up to close to professional standard in dance. Worse yet – before joining Corrie she was an estate agent!
    And then there’s the deal breaker to add to this, for me, when it comes to even considering taking 9/4 for her to win the title.
    How can I put this?
    SCD is a dancing contest and a popularity contest and I’m wondering what percentage of the middle-aged white women of Middle England will pick up their phone to vote for a woman with the surname, Gumede.
    There will be people who will be looking for and wanting to have other viable celebs to vote for the winner. There are deeply held prejudices against mixed race people. Just saying. Am not condoning. Yeah?

    Susanna looks a big price at 9s. Her problem last week was her styling. In week 1 she shone. In week 2, Kevin produced a boring routine and Susanna was unrecognisable from the effervescent glam milf she was the week before. Her face looked darker, older and squarer. Those styling mistakes are easily avoided and very probably won’t be repeated.

    Sophie has been fabulous, is very likeable and has BBC royalty for a mum. It’s nice to see and think of a BBC presenter from yesteryear, without being put in mind of their latest court appearance!

    Sophie and Brendan have quickly evolved into a wonderfully complimentary chalk-and-cheese combo. Sophie’s character is bringing out the best in him.

    I’ve missed all the great prices and think the 2/1 is probably about right.

    Abbey reminds me of Pamela Stephenson – also a natural dancer.
    But there’s her Scouseness, her Scouse accent (am speaking from a betting POV), her height, her being a model, and her being a WAG.

    And last week was a problem for her.

    In week 1 she was nearly orgasming while dancing a delicious, dreamy waltz with her Aljaz. Prince and princess dreams and imagining yourself into that budding romance – a feel-good daydreamy bubble.

    In week 2 SCD produced, with jokey aplomb it must be admitted, footage of the burgeoning romance…between Peter Crouch and Aljaz! Clearly, Peter insisted upon integrating himself into rehearsals and asserting his presence. Peter Crouch is well known and not disliked. The daydreamy bubble suffered a prick of a reality check.

    Add to this discomfort, the fact that Julien’s Macdonald’s dance partner, Janette Manrara is the girlfriend of Aljaz!
    No wonder Abbey looked a little distressed the other night after she had finished her Cha Cha Cha performance! She ‘missed loads’, so she said. Not really surprising.

    Abbey has got herself under a lot of pressure and her gushing and pining for Aljaz (I mean: could it be any more obvious?!) probably won’t even bring her any of the budding romance in the offing votes as the casualty rate and collateral damage involved in that eventuality would sour and overwhelm any happy ending narrative.

    So, in mind of lessening my reliance on Ash, and in mind of the power of a good, winning SCD relationship (this is a partner/couple-dancing show, not a solo-freestylers’ dance off, after all) I considered Mark and Iveta again.

    I’ve loved them from the start. I think they’re both hilarious and Iveta is clearly a genius choreographer for Mark. Two weeks of rip-roaringly entertaining performances proves that they are made for each other. On Saturday Mark performed a salsa-free salsa (!) yet the fact remains he is a pretty good mover and that the whole routine was just so damn SKILLFULLY entertaining and amusing that the lack of salsa was very, very easy to forgive.

    For different reasons, I have major doubts about Patrick and about Ben, so I have had a medium sized bet on Mark at 14/1 for top male (compared to the nibble I had on Dave).

    I don’t think there’s room for both Dave and Mark in the competition. To my eyes Dave’s dance-skill-set on Saturday was at about the same standard as the week previous, so it could well be Dave to leave first.

    If Mark’s dancing starts to improve (and I think there’s a decent chance it will), if Dave is bundled out the competition (very possible), Ashley ends up knackered from his bonkers schedule (plus a baby who is perhaps screaming the place down at night), Patrick remains boring, Ben remains a very ponderous mover and Julien remains an all-rounder at awfulness – then that 14/1 will be journeying downwards.

    Oh yes – the comparison I made in an earlier post to Ashley becoming a father again with the well-known effect this produces to golfers was flawed.
    I’ve realised the key difference is that the golfer gets to drive/fly away to the tournament, to a hotel, away from the baby and so can enjoy good interrupted sleep.
    Ashley circumstances are different.

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Watching practice clips for this Saturday.

    Ben has a slow number. 🙁
    Julien has slightly improved.
    Sophie looked excellent.
    Rachel has super fast change-of-direction turns and quick feet but still struggles out of hold
    Ashley was practising at night-time 🙁 And as usual looked excellent yet a little tired and laboured 🙁
    Dave is as prone to Captain Caveman leaps and bounds as always.
    Mark needs to lose weight from his belly.
    Vanessa was very stompy and ploddy.
    Deborah is a better mover than Vanessa but gets confused.
    Fiona and Anton seem to be dancing the same dance every week!
    Patrick’s a good dancer.

    Natalie is far and away the best dancer. Leagues better. No one comes close.
    I fancy the judges will finally relent and mark her accurately this week. She will very likely top the leaderboard this week, I should imagine.

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    This week’s dance style and song list:-

    Sophie & Brendan – Salsa – ‘All Night Long’ by Lionel Richie

    Ben & Kristina – Rumba – ‘Make You Feel My Love’ by Adele (originally Bob Dylan)

    Patrick & Anya – Foxtrot – ‘Let There Be Love’ by Nat King Cole

    Dave & Karen – Paso Doble – ‘I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)’ by Meat Loaf

    Deborah & Robin – Quickstep – ‘Higher and Higher’ by Jackie Wilson

    Natalie & Artem – Rumba – ‘Love The Way You Lie’ by Eminem and Rihanna

    Abbey & Aljaz – Jive – ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ by The Beatles

    Susanna & Kevin – Viennese Waltz – ‘Annie’s Song’ by John Denver

    Fiona & Anton – Waltz – ‘True Love’ by Bing Crosby

    Vanessa & James – Tango – ‘Lay All Your Love On Me’ by ABBA

    Ashley & Ola – Samba – ‘Love Is In The Air’ by John Paul Young

    Rachel & Pasha – Cha Cha – ‘When Love Takes Over’ by David Guetta and Kelly Rowland

    Mark & Iveta – Foxtrot American Smooth – ‘It Must Be Love’ by Madness (originally Labi Siffre)

    Julien & Janette – Jive – ‘Everybody Needs Somebody To Love’ by The Blues Brothers

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Initial thoughts…

    Am irritated at the crowd-pleasing sing-along clap-along song choice for Julien. His manicness might suit the jive. Hopefully, his lack of control will still shine through. Being out-of-hold should encourage wildness.
    Was hoping for a foxtrot.

    The Cha Cha is a relatively easy dance to learn. At least, I found it the easiest to learn. But I think Rachel may receive exactly the same feedback as last week as she did for her salsa. Interesting. That 20/1 for bottom two may have an outside chance after all.

    Vanessa’s one-rhythm ploddiness and body shape will look awful in the tango. Disaaaaahsta written all over it. Hope she survives if only to watch her attempt a samba one week!

    Dave doesn’t have the discipline for a Paso.

    Ben will look slow and stiff in another slow dance and yet still receive trugs of votes. Although, he is unfortunate that Natalie and Artem will be demonstrating a piéce de résistance, a masterful performance of how to perform the same ‘dance of love’. Natalie’s grace, elegance, lightness and finished detail should show up Ben’s offering.
    Hopefully, Abbey and Aljaz can show up Julien in a similar fashion. Still very nervous at JJ’s clever song choice.

    Mark is performing to a Madness number but I think it should be Dave who should be using Madness tracks as backdrops.

    Deborah might lose her way in the quickstep.

    Natalie will receive at least 36 points this week, I predict.

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      Touched up a tad on Rachel. If the panel decide to repeat their accentuation of the negative she could be in for a nervous night.

      Imagined Vanessa in a dance off with Julien (wouldn’t want to imagine them together in any other situation!) Her tango versus his jive. Imo, their respective body shapes in relation to their respective dance forms does not make for a foregone conclusion of the result.

      I lumped on the 4/5 for Julien earlier in the week. His price has shortened, pushing Van out to 11/2, so I’ve had a piece of that.
      Van’s tango could be a car crash.

      Would be interested in Fiona for B2 but for the fact she shows flashes of excellence, but for her having super popular and next-in-line-to-Brucie’s-throne Anton as her partner, and but for the fact there is only 4s available for her.
      Self-conscious and out of the public eye for such a long time make her of interest but her potential for a very high score (from the judges) makes me wary. She can’t be relied to kick Anton in the shin every week, now can she?!
      Similar sentiments apply to the already very good (and consistent) Patrick (available at 6s).

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Have watched the training clips in full and see things a little differently. Only saw brief snatches of them earlier.

    Rob over at Entertainment Odds makes a persuasive case for Mark to be B2 on Saturday. Much as I wish he is wrong on this, watching the training in full does lodge a strong doubt in the mind.

    But, a positive for me was that the more I got to see of Julien rehearsing the happier I became.

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      I see that Dave will be flying the flag with lots of mad cape flourishing. In a sense, this a very old school approach to a Paso Doble as much as it is a comic turn.

      Dave, though burly, isn’t rigid enough for the marching of a Paso Doble. But the clever introduction of ‘cape work’ allows for big swirling (difficult to trace and evaluate their accuracy) movements from big random Dave.

      A nice touch can be for the man to gather his cape by detaching it from part of his partner’s dress (while she spins away). Could be a very amusing routine and the props will make it a memorable and novel one too.

      • Guildo Horn Forever

        Watching Abbey practising the jive. That girl can move!
        She’s so impressive for someone who hasn’t danced before. I think she’ll finish second on the leaderboard behind Natalie on Saturday.

        I remember in Pamela Stephenson’s year one of judges voicing th regret that Pam hadn’t discovered dancing at an earlier age. Abbey continually brings Pam to my mind.

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Am laughing out loud watching James Jordan trying to manhandle Van around for her tango. He’s laden it with content and I think that’s a mistake. She isn’t ready/able. To be brutal: it’s arguable that dreadful Julien is a better dancer than Vanessa.

    Have to be a total bitch and finally say that Deborah Meaden without slap on looks like a sunburn victim. Can’t bear a talking head of her. Leaves me feeling all queasy.
    To say that she works very hard at her dancing sounds like a further insult? But it’s not. She’s miles better than Vanessa and I am warming to her attitude. I respect her.

    Am concerned at the copious amount of bandages and strapping around and below Mark’s patellas. He really could do with losing some weight. Think I understand now why Mark’s performances are punctuated with so much armography. Bit of a worry, that.

    More disturbing though is listening to Julien’s speaking voice. It’s clicked that he sounds very like Lauren Harries!

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Tried the highest score market with a bet on Nat at 7/4 to proudly top the leaderboard tomorrow.
    Am hoping and thinking that the judges will be let accurately mark her.
    Predicting a score of 35, comprising of three 9s and a token dampener of an 8 from Bruno.

    Am worried that Susanna dances very well tomorrow night because I think the judges would grab the excuse to have her this weekend’s table topper.
    A sequence of Abbey,Sophie, Susanna and then Natalie (as weekly leaderboard leader would amuse).

  • stoney

    Really hoping julien leaves tonight, or miss dynamix, although im more confident of julien, need to make way for more betting funds, ive cleared my account out with stricty/x factor bets, gotta wait for returns to come in now before i can eat lol

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Get in there! Yeeessss! Natalie’s just scored 36!
    Only Debs to go – so that’s surely a winner then 🙂

    Also: Vanessa’s big mouth might have got her eliminated her tonight.

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Looks like Rob may have been right about Mark 🙁
    A bottom two of Mark and Vanessa looks possible.
    With Vanessa definitely going.
    I hope.

  • stoney

    Julien saved over vanessa, suprised at that. Oh well back to the grindstone Lol

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Sorry stoney 🙁

    The 7/4 for Natalie was a nice early win for me.
    The 2/5 for Julien B2 also hit.
    But it was the 11/2 for Vanessa to be eliminated that won me my money.
    As soon as I saw footage of her tango I realised she could easily (and indeed probably) lose to even Julien
    James Jordan’s unrealistically ambitious choreography and Vanessa’s gobby inability to handle criticism sent her packing tonight.

    You were right, stoney, about Julien not bouncing.

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      I notice the under-marking of Ashley continued tonight 🙁

      Also, Ola and Ashley finally seemed to dance with a real connection tonight, only for James bloody Jordan to turn up with a 10th anniversary cake for Ola, his wife.

      There seems to be 5 people in that partnership now: Ash, his new baby, the mother of his baby, Ola and her husband, James. 🙁

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Will be taking that 1/2 for Julien to be eliminated this week. Unlikely to last.

    Even with mini-trampoline training, he didn’t “bounce” so probably has even less chance to escape B2 this week.

    In one respect, the Julien bet feels like a 1/2 bet that Dave avoids B2. And still yet, that scenario could go either way…

    B2 odds are disappointing. Was hoping Patrick might be 5/1+ for the relegation zone, but none of that – with him available at 3s.

    Ho hum.

  • stoney

    Nope I’m steering clear. He should have gone last week second appearance in a row, yet vanessa gets chopped for her first bottom 2 appearance. Thought u guys said this show was more fairer than the x factor?

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      Vanessa dancing was shocking – if Julien was flat-footed then Vanessa was stamp-footed.

      I said this on Thursday:
      ‘Imagined Vanessa in a dance off with Julien (wouldn’t want to imagine them together in any other situation!) Her tango versus his jive. Imo, their respective body shapes in relation to their respective dance forms does not make for a foregone conclusion of the result.’

      And this on Friday:
      ‘Am laughing out loud watching James Jordan trying to manhandle Van around for her tango. He’s laden it with content and I think that’s a mistake. She isn’t ready/able. To be brutal: it’s arguable that dreadful Julien is a better dancer than Vanessa.’

      And this on Saturday after watching her “dance” and aggresive comments to the judges:
      ‘Also: Vanessa’s big mouth might have got her eliminated her tonight.’

      So it wasn’t a total surprise or injustice for her to go. Over the latter half of the week, I became steadily more convinced she was going.

      Though, the under-marking of Ashley, imo, is unfair and strategic. But I should have factored that into my decision-making before placing a number of bets on him for the outright. It was foreseeable.

      There could be an action replay this coming Saturday night of the Julien vs Vanessa dance-off, if Julien meets Dave in this Saturday’s dance-off – with Julien being saved over Dave. They’re both awful. And Dave has hardly learnt a basic step in four weeks of training with a top flight professional.

      As I think Julien will be B2 this weekend but Dave won’t, I thus seem to be conceiving of the 1/2 for Julien to be eliminated in terms of a bet on Dave not being B2.

      But yes, stoney, I think an even safer bet, with much better odds, is the one you and seemingly all of sofabet are jumping on: Dynorod to get the chop this Sunday on XF. I managed to grab some of the 7/4, while it was still available.

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    This weekend:

    Julien and Janette will be having a go at the salsa.
    Susanna and Kevin will be performing the samba.

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    For anyone looking for a value 2/7 shot: that price for Natalie to top 3 finish looks ok.

    Barring injury, it’s difficult to conceive a scenario whereby she doesn’t finish in the top 3.

    Think 2/7 for her to top 3 is a better bet than the 6/4 for her to win the outright (even though she is an outstanding dancer).

    That 8/1 for Susanna looks worthy of consideration. I think Ashley is a better dancer than Susanna but there are bigger factors in Susanna’s favour.

    Plus: there’s gruelling story-lines being filmed and played out in Hollyoaks this week, meaning yet another ultra-knackering schedule for Ash this week. It might be only after this weekend that Ash’s life settles down a bit. I hope Ola has selected a slow ballroom dance for Ash and herself this week.

    N.B. I haven’t actually backed any of the above mentions. Am just pondering them.

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    On ITT, there was the briefest of looks at Julien’s salsa training. But that’s all it took. If possible, his movement looked more stiff yet. I’m very happy with the 1/2 I took for him to be eliminated this weekend.

    if he finishes B2 and is up against anyone but Dave, he’s dead in the water.

    Breaking down that B2 market, it possible to knock the 13 runner field down to 6 (or perhaps 7) potential contenders to fill those two bottom spots.

    The first 6 in the betting are:

    Julien
    Patrick
    Dave
    Deborah
    Fiona
    Mark

    Julien looks a certainty for B2, so that leaves one spot to fill.

    Of these, imo, Dave will again be initially bottom of the leaderboard, but ‘the people’s champ’ (as Len named him) will be lifted clear by the GPB. One worry would be if Karen produces a boring waltz for him.

    Deborah looked like she might struggle a bit this week; to be frank she is a bit dumpy so the jive will always be a challenge for her. but I think she has built herself a (little) bit of a fan base; plus Vanessa being gone might be of extra help to her as well.

    I think Ivana is playing and plotting a clever game with her charge, Mark. She took the opportunity to have Mark concentrate on selling himself as a straight dancer last week. Who knows? She might do the same again this week (and therein is the worry) I think she is a canny girl, because she has realised that even if they did drop into B2, they would very, very, very likely be up against Julien (or perhaps Dave). And she figures Mark and herself would be saved (in either scenario). Once Julien is out of the competition, that safety net, and the opportunity it provides, is gone.

    So, that leaves Patrick and also Fiona.

    I like and respect Anton and Fiona but I worry a bit about Fiona when she is finally required to perform a routine mainly out of hold. Her balance issues have been masked these last few weeks.

    Patrick is as sexy as a limp lettuce but his jive was excellent so his cha cha cha should also be on point.

    The question for Patrick and for Fiona is whether they can score high enough to lift them high enough to compensate for their lack of popularity.

    The prices for this market seem a bit tight (though the overround seems acceptable) and I’m struggling to find where the value is in this market at the moment.

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      Ok.
      B2 market.
      3 main contenders for a spot versus Julien in the dance-off.

      Patrick available at 3s
      Fiona available at 4s
      Deborah available at 4s

      Not sure if there’s any value here, but am imagining the bottom 4 spots on the leaderboard this Saturday.

      I picture:

      Mark 4th bottom (10th).
      Deborah 3rd bottom (11th).
      Julien 2nd bottom (12th)
      Dave at the bottom (13th).

      It’s conceivable that both Patrick and also Fiona could finish above these four plus Ben (who hasn’t really improved that much at all), plus possibly Abbey (she’s being undermarked and does get very tense) and plus the inconsistently marked Rachel.

      They both would need this depth of buffer to survive the effect of the GBP vote.

      Deborah is possibly more popular than Patrick and also Fi but has an ill-fitting dance this week.

      One at a bigger price to consider in coming weeks (when there are genuinely two bottom place rungs to be filled, ie with Julien out of the competition) is Abbey.

      Am unsure where the value lies, so am holding fire for now.

      • AlisonR

        That bottom 4 looks very plausible. From that I would think the bottom 2 would be Julian and Mark, with Julian to go and Mark to bounce the following week. However if Julian goes and Mark isn’t bottom 2, I would back Mark to go next week. Dave to last another 6 weeks I think.

        • Guildo Horn Forever

          Hi AlisonR,

          I take your point about Mark. He’s the ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ of dancing. Facially expressive and funny, physically expressive and funny, a skilful mover but not much of a dancer.

          I wish I’d seen training footage of him with the Egyptian Mummy style bandaging around knees, earlier. I suspect he may be physically incapable of many moves and may not be able to move and twist his legs at speed.

          I see this week that he is performing a cha cha cha to MC Hammer’s ‘U Can’t Touch This’.

          Another stroke on genius from his dance partner pro, Ivana. The ‘Hammer time’ sections of the song will allow for the comedy elements, in which mark excels. And, crucially, Mark will be able to wear the huge, baggy aeroplane pants hiding and distracting the (lack of) movement of his legs.

          Maybe he is more likely to be in trouble next week.

          Agree that Dave will be around a fair bit longer. Like last year’s XF, I imagine we will see a contestant in the first two in the betting week after week for the B2, who never actually finishes in that area.

          Dave and also Mark have been and are bad news for Julien. Julien doesn’t even come across as oddly funny – because of the presence of these comedy heavyweights in the show.

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    This week’s song, artist and dance style list:-

    Sophie & Brendan – Cheek to Cheek by Dick Haymes Foxtrot

    Ben & Kristina – Hard to Handle by The Black Crowes Salsa

    Patrick & Anya – Mercy by Duffy Cha Cha

    Dave & Karen – Take It To The Limit by The Eagles Waltz

    Deborah & Robin – Making Your Mind Up by Bucks Fizz Jive

    Natalie & Artem – Yeah by Usher Quickstep

    Abbey & Aljaz – Say My Name by Florence & The Machine Tango

    Susanna & Kevin – Whenever, Wherever by Shakira Samba

    Fiona & Anton – World of Our Own by Westlife Rumba

    Ashley & Ola – Angel by Sarah Mclachlan Viennese Waltz

    Rachel & Pasha – Johnny Got a Boom Boom by Imelda May Quickstep

    Mark & Iveta – Can’t Touch This by MC Hammer Cha Cha

    Julien & Janette – Spice Up Your Life by Spice Girls Salsa

    Sophie & Brendan – Salsa – All Night Long by Lione

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      ‘Sophie & Brendan – Salsa – All Night Long by Lione’ (sic)
      This is wrong.

      The song, artist and dance at the the top of the above list ‘Sophie & Brendan – Cheek to Cheek by Dick Haymes Foxtrot’ is what they will be dancing and dancing to.

  • stoney

    What do you make of the natalie injury guildo, apparently she may be a doubt for this weekend, can only be good news for ashley surely?

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    I’m upset, stoney.

    If it’s anything but an end of the line injury then it will serve to showcase her bravery, fortitude etc.

    It will possibly give her the journey story that she’s been missing.

    I much prefer reading stories like the one that reported on Denise Van Outen championing Natalie.

    http://www.dailyecho.co.uk/leisure/showbiz/10742355.Van_Outen_defends_Strictly_s_Gumede/

    These are the type of stories I want to be reading. Ones that promote the DVO MK2 angle.

  • stoney

    Oh right so strictly doesnt work like X factor, if someone takes a week out through illness they usually go out soon after

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Two key bits plucked from the blog link that follows:

    http://uk.omg.yahoo.com/gossip/the-juice/strictly-come-dancing-natalie-gumede-confirms-injury-agony-reveals-doesnt-know-dance-saturday-exclusive-blog-165220233.html

    ‘What was particularly terrifying was that the pain was all too familiar, as I had had a back injury 10 years ago that has given me problems on and off ever since.’

    ‘The original fear was a slipped disc which has now been eliminated’.

    The first quote is very interesting. Either Natalie’s suffered a repeat of an old injury (a terrible sign for her, if so) or she has suffered a new injury in an area prone to, and carrying, injuries.
    The new (?) problem will probably come about from the body over-compensating to the old unhealed / scar-tissue injuries

    The second quote is good for her but bad for me! Haha! If she’d been diagnosed with a slipped disc, she would be gone from the competition.

    How to react?:

    I don’t like quick decision betting, impulsive betting, reactive betting etc.

    But I realised that if I didn’t then all the tempting prices will had gone.

    So I did the bet I’ve been on the verge of doing for weeks:
    Susanna EW for the outright. Took 8/1 for her.

    I figured that if Natalie has to retire from the competition, then smashing – all the better for Susanna. If she doesn’t then Natalie’s hand could well be strengthened. If she fights through the injury and dances on Saturday, she would have sown the seeds for her potential victory in the competition. Sympathy for the soldier. Even so, sympathy for Ashley will have been diminished and soon forgotten. Again, all the better for Susanna. She will be better enabled to at least grab a place on the podium.

    Strictly is obviously undermarking Ash; plus Susanna is one of their own.

    I’ve an awful feeling that Ash is nailed-on to finish 4th. (Though that should be good enough for top man).

    Also, I’ve had a straight match bet on Sophie at 6/5 to finish ahead of Natalie. She’s a chance of doing so anyway, but if Natalie is forced to withdraw, at some point, then I will feel really silly if I didn’t take the 6/5 for Sophie.

    Got very close to backing Deborah and also Fiona for B2 yesterday – but continued to hold fire.

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Oh for f***s sake, Len has just given Julien a 7. Again.
    Ridiculous.

  • stoney

    Fiona locked for bottom 2?

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      Could be. That 23 for Deborah (1 point more than Fiona) could be key.
      Fiona has the Anton factor going for her, but that might not be enough.
      Am annoyed with myself, now, for being on the verge of backing them both for B2 for days, but doing neither!
      Haha!

  • stoney

    Lol I’m sticking to my original word of sticking to my strong show this week

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Apparently, from what I’m reading it’s Julien who’s been eliminated.
    He was B2 with…Rachel.

    Very happy Julien has gone 🙂
    Relieved I didn’t get involved in the B2 market this week 🙂

  • stoney

    Yep another man closer to top man bet coming in 🙂

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Complete reversal for me this year with my Strictly betting:

    Elimination markets are doing very nicely for me.
    (I suspect) My bets on the outright markets are a pile of pants.

    ‘Tis usually vice-versa.

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      Strictly mistaken: a reflection on my mistakes on the outright markets in Strictly Come Dancing.

      Well, more helpful for your ego to suffer than for your bank balance to continue suffering!

      Mistake No 1 – near the top of this thread I defended SCD against stoney’s preference for X Factor, as I argued that SCD is much less manipulative than X Factor (which is true). In Strictly, the celeb dancers’ professional partners (so I believe) select the dance they wish to dance each week, and certainly create and decide upon the choreography, and order the costumes and I imagine have a large say in the staging and setting of their Saturday dance. SCD have less control than XF and also the judges evaluate much more meritoriously On SCD than on XF, particularly when it comes to the ‘-off’ (the dance-off for SCD; the sing-off for XF).

      But what SCD do sometimes employ is their own gender-based strategy of Positive Discrimination. Anyone who’s ever attended dance classes (outside of hip-hop, street, krumping etc – the “harder” styles, to borrow from the short-hand vocab re Chinese Martial Arts distinctions) will know that there is always a shortage of men.

      This imbalance is further demonstrated at exercise classes. Salsacise, Body Combat etc – the women can outnumber the men by about 20 to 1.

      The BEEB, Knowing that the vast majority of their viewership for Strictly is female, know that it follows that male winners of Strictly is the likely result. Add to this that the percentage of female users of iPlayer has steadily increased (I believe to past the parity mark). Just 5 years ago the percentage of users of BBC’s catch-up service who were female was in the mid 30% range.

      Excellent male dance partners are highly valued and prized, so a good male dancer will be more likely than an equivalently skilled female dancer to attract the attention, fantasies and votes from the female viewership.

      Although Matt Baker motor-mouth didn’t help him in the final against the Kara-Artem love-ship, there’s no doubt the BEEB were desperate for a female winner that year (2010). Apologies to Pamela Stephenson, possibly my favourite ever contestant, who frankly wasn’t going to be able to win the final because of her age. Viewer ageism this time, not the BBC executive level variety.

      The bare stats say that 4 of the 10 winners of Strictly are female but it’s worth noting that the first 2 winners were female. Put another way, 6 of the last 8 winners of Strictly have been male (and 4 out of the last 5).

      In the first Strictly there were only 8 competitors and as excellent as Natasha Kaplinsky was that year, the BBC girl’s rumoured affair with Brenden was the biggest talking point of the series. Romances can be very helpful on Strictly in a way that they are arguably not (in the long term) on a show like Big Brother.

      In the second Strictly there 10 competitors, but they included Jill Halfpenny, one of the best ever celebrity contestants. But it has to be added that the highest placed male contestant was Julian Clary in 3rd. The male competition could have been stronger.

      On this thread or on a XF thread I mentioned that, at an early point, 5 out of the first 6 in the betting for SCD were female; and in the XF market it was 7out of the first 8! (or there or thereabouts)

      Thus, I was as daft as the plot from Die Another Day, or Sean Bean’s accent in Goldeneye, to ignore the stats and plump for Ashley for the outright, because he had the USP of being easily the best (in many respects) male dancer among the bevy of excellent females.

      Wrong, wrong, wrong thinking.

      As has been proved week after week Ashley and Ola are being ridiculously undermarked. To add insult to injury, the two males who SCD know are not serious threats to Natalie, Sophie et al are being overmarked – Patrick isn’t appealing enough to win and Ben isn’t improving as quickly as his marks would suggest he is. They can mark Dave accordingly because they know the GPB will respond by saving Dave from the perils of bottom of the judge-marked leaderboard for weeks to come.

      All of this was foreseeable: and ignoring this was my first big mistake.

      He’s currently 41/8 on betfair, but I’ll be v pleasantly surprised if he finishes top 3.

      But I haven’t been back in long so I’ll pursue the finish of this piece another day.

      • Guildo Horn Forever

        Mistake No 2 – being a long-time Sophie-Ellis Bextor fan. I absolutely adored Groovejet, the sound of late Summer 2000 and thought SEB was the bee’s knees. Loved all of the stuff since (fav vid – ‘Me and my Imagination’).

        Rewatched her ‘Murder on the Dancefloor’ video, which is set at a dance competition. She is the one who cheats in order to win. Obviously, the video’s storyline demands that Sophie demonstrates dance skills of a low order, but I figured that this storyline would have been conceived to work around the ability of Sophie.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsISfQAXE60

        I’ve only ever seen her move in delicate, beautiful slow-motion.
        She’s surprised the heck out of me in Strictly.

        After her first dance, a waltz, I think she was available around the 12/1 mark. If that waltz had been performed by anyone but Sophie I might have considered 12/1 a bit of value. I was further aware that as a fan I would probably be prejudiced into overestimating the quality of her dances and thus doubted my judgement of her turn at the waltz.

        Oh dear! Managed to tie my thinking up in knots.

        And after her Charleston (and actually even before that) the price on her was long gone.

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      Mistake No 3 – recently, backing Susanna Reid EW. Stupid reasoning behind this one.

      Reacted to news of Natalie’s injury by backing Susanna. Lol. I was sort of thinking that if Ash was going to miss out on even finishing 3rd, that I should back Susanna to fill that position.

      So, I didn’t and don’t fancy Susanna to finish in the top 2, but I thought she had a chance of 3rd, and backed her EW – at 8/1. Haha! The more I consider that the funnier it gets.

      If I had the outright winner pegged as coming from Sophie or Natalie it might have made sense to back them both, or at least to back Sophie. Better yet would have been to have not backed Susanna, Sophie or Natalie. To have gambled that money elsewhere.

      I should add that I thought it was a bit of a gamble for Natalie to perform yesterday evening. If she was receiving steroids and painkillers it might have been more sensible to skip yesterday’s dance and have a good week’s rest. With steroids, painkillers and adrenaline you are very badly placed to feel the further damage you may be inflicting on your injuries.

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Incidentally, my frustration at the systematic undermarking of Ash has led me to have a good medium-sized bet on Ben to be top male at 6/1.

    I did consider backing him at EW at 50s for the outright last week but held fire, as I imagined that if he became too popular then the judges would start dampening their enthusiasm for him and vote him off in a dance-off. The 50/1 looked great in comparison to Abbey’s price or even Rachel’s price but with reflection I realised that it may not be the juicy plum I initially thought.

    There’s a possibility that come the final 5 or 4, there may be a dance-off involving Natalie, and I can only foresee Sophie being (possibly) saved over her.

    Ben’s dance partner Kristina is very cleverly masking Ben’s lack of movement with whirls of blinding wrap-around movement. But I have to admit that he did look a bit sharper last night.

    I thought Patrick would finish very high on the leaderboard last night, as he did, but he’s as sexy as as a earnest lettuce, so I’ll be ignoring him.

    Another shout out to the best choreographer on the show, Mark’s pro dance partner – Ivana. She’s consistently brilliant and a savvy girl.

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Dave and Karen to do the Salsa this Saturday;
    Ashley and Ola the Jive.

 Leave a reply...