A Bridge Too Far?

Nov 26, 2021 by

A Bridge Too Far?

Strictly fandom went into meltdown last week mainly due to Tilly’s Couple’s Choice (Theatre) routine being award a perfect 40. The keyboard warriors were also incensed by Dan’s continued survival on the show.

Breaking news, folks, Strictly is not always kosher. And the hints were very much there we would see a big Tilly push, and that Dan would continue on his merry way courtesy of his pimp-slotted Charleston.

TPTB seem to have this series under a tight rein and have been carrying out executions in a highly efficient manner. Cynthia Erivo played her part as a deadly assassin expertly last Saturday, leading the way in burying Tom.

Our Week 9 exit poll suggested a Tom vs Rhys dance-off was most likely to come to pass, though you sense John probably only just outpolled Tom, and came close to falling into the bottom 2, with Tom pleading for votes on social media among the McFly fanbase.

Strictly 2021 Exit Poll – Week 9

It’s interesting to look back on this entire series and discover that Dan, despite being perceived among the weakest dancers throughout, has only finished in last place on the judges’ leaderboard once, and that was last Saturday, and even then he was tied for last place with Tom. In Week 9!

Week 9 (Musicals Week) judges’ leaderboard:

Tilly and Nikita Couple’s Choice (Theatre) – (6) – 10, 10, 10, 10 = 40
AJ and Kai Waltz – (1) – 9, 10, 10, 9 = 38
Rose and Giovanni – (4) – 10, 9, 9, 9 = 37
Rhys and Nancy Jive – (2) – 8, 8, 8, 8 = 32 – bottom 2
John and Johannes Viennese Waltz – (5) – 8, 8, 8, 8 = 32
Tom and Amy Couple’s Choice (Contemporary) – (3) – 7, 8, 8, 8 = 31 – eliminated
Dan and Nadiya Charleston – (7) – 7, 7, 9, 8 = 31

They cunningly dropped Adam below him in week 7 and AJ in week 8. In the two weeks prior to that, Ugo, Judi and Sara (twice) were neatly placed beneath him, also enabling him to get away with his absurd, lobster-themed jive in week 6.

At the same time, they have built this gradual improvement arc for Dan, with him finally breaking through the 30 barrier last Saturday. But now he has the dance of death, rumba. Rumba is one of Nadiya’s specialties but that probably won’t help in terms of Dan’s contribution to the routine.

Having just enjoyed the pimp slot, Dan could find himself back on early, and presuming Craig is back from his Covid sick bed, Dan looks likely to be in for a tough night. ‘Desperado’ by Eagles is a perfectly lilting track for a romantic rumba and in many ways this could serve as the ideal send off for Dan, and a tribute to the sterling work Nadiya has done in guiding him to the last 6.

A romantic rumba could serve as the ideal send off for Dan, and a tribute to the sterling work Nadiya has done in guiding him to the last 6

A further issue for Dan tomorrow night could be the fact John has what looks a headlining AT to ‘The Fifth’ by David Garrett, and a routine potentially teed up to deliver a moment for him and Johannes, very possibly from the pimp slot. This would push John’s public vote comfortably above Dan who will probably find himself only ahead of Rhys and Tilly at the Strictly polling station.

A Tilly samba offers Dan a tiny glimmer of hope. We know samba is a tough dance to score highly with and we could see what has become a recurring pattern in this series of contestants suffering a big drop after a leaderboard-topping routine.

As examples, AJ went from first place (39-scoring Charleston) in week 7 to last place (28-scoring paso) in week 8. Rhys went from a perfect 40 in week 8 for his Charleston to a 32 for his jive in last Saturday’s Musicals Week which left him back in the dance-off.

So Tilly could be due a fall from grace, but the likelihood is she will still be scored higher than Dan, but potentially 2nd last on the judges’ leaderboard, leaving her to carry out the coup de grâce on Dan in the dance-off.

Rhys might now enjoy a better week returning to ballroom and a waltz. He scored 27 in week 1 for his VW so there looks a window there for the judges to focus on his improvement. And ‘You Light Up My Life’ by Whitney Houston is a nice track to sell it with.

A Couple’s Choice for AJ looks as much a potential winner for her on the night as John’s AT. Janelle Monáe’s ‘Make Me Feel’ looks a great song selection for her and Kai to deliver what has been described as a ‘cool and funky’ routine incorporating Commercial/Jazz elements with a minimal set. AJ is, however, exposed to the subjective interpretation of the four judges.

We could see what has become a recurring pattern in this series of contestants suffering a big drop after a leaderboard-topping routine

Rose takes on the paso and has a good track to deliver the drama with Sia’s cover version of ‘California Dreamin’ as long as the live singers can do it justice.

We have been waiting for a bump in the road for Rose and this might be the last chance we do see a leaderboard slump contrived. They have been trying hard to highlight the unpredictability of this series, which might see a top three on the judges’ leaderboard of John, AJ and Rhys, with Rose dropping down to fourth or even fifth place.

The question you need to ask is, has Dan’s journey now served its purpose? They tend to want the best dancers left at the business end, and if they are seeking to convey this ‘highly competitive, anyone can win it’ narrative, then Dan does look to have run his race and will probably be adjudged surplus to requirements heading into the quarter-final.

Please do let us know who you voted for on tomorrow night’s Week 10 exit poll which will open during the show:

Strictly 2021 Exit Poll – Week 10

Week 10 dances & songs:
AJ and Kai: Couple’s Choice (Commercial/Jazz) to Make Me Feel by Janelle Monáe
Rose and Giovanni: Paso Doble to California Dreamin’ by Sia
Tilly and Nikita: Samba to Levitating by Dua Lipa
Dan and Nadiya: Rumba to Desperado by Eagles
John and Johannes: Argentine Tango to The 5th by David Garrett
Rhys and Nancy: Waltz to You Light Up My Life by Whitney Houston

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