Assassin’s Creed

Nov 20, 2020 by

Assassin’s Creed

Week 4 of Strictly witnessed an exquisite takedown of Max. When your number’s up, your number’s up on Strictly nowadays. There have been more brutal assassinations over the years – Danny John-Jules week 8 elimination in 2018 taking high rank as a deadly sniper’s hit. This was a more subtle affair; more Machiavellian in its execution.

Max put in a decent AS but you wouldn’t have known it based on what was to follow with Craig leading the way with the vote-deflating criticism, the dreaded 3 slot cleverly utilised by TPTB once more.

To then tie Max with Ranvir, despite her CCC being weaker than Max’s AS, hinted at producer intentions, the door left open for JJ to be placed below them but with the tie directly above him, his escape from the dance-off became that much easier.

Prince Harry turning up in JJ’s VT, the military garb he was outfitted in… the clues were all there this was a ‘save JJ’ mission on the night, and they were confident they could generate enough support for him to rise above Max following the public vote.

The sympathetic treatment for Ranvir was a further hammer blow for Max, leveraging off the goodwill they had built up for her across the series, and ensuring her pv would also jettison her to safety.

Prince Harry turning up in JJ’s VT, the military garb he was outfitted in… the clues were all there this was a ‘save JJ’ mission on the night

Meanwhile, poor Maisie, who put in one of the most technical, content-laden, well-executed routines of the night, endured heavy criticism and low scores in relation to the 10s being handed out like confetti and generous scoring afforded to others, which immediately put her in a hugely vulnerable spot on the judges’ leaderboard.

Week 4 judges’ leaderboard –

Clara and Aljaž: Charleston – (9) – 9, 10, 10 = 29
Bill and Oti: Couple’s Choice (Street) – (6) – 8, 10, 9 = 27
HRVY and Janette: Salsa – (1) – 8, 10, 9 = 27
Jamie and Karen: Samba – (8) – 8, 8, 9 = 25
Maisie and Gorka: CCC – (5) – 7, 8, 9 = 24 – bottom 2
Caroline and Johannes: Waltz – (7) – 7, 7, 8 = 22
Max and Dianne: AS – (3) – 5, 7, 8 = 20 – eliminated
Ranvir and Giovanni: CCC – (2) – 5, 7, 8 = 20
JJ and Amy: Jive – (4) – 4, 6, 7 = 17

Also hindering her, visually, her CCC was a bit of a horror show – from the set to her and Gorka’s outfits – and choreographically it certainly wasn’t Gorka’s finest hour.

With Bill and Oti’s inspired ‘Street’ routine memory-holing Maisie, she very likely would have polled last on the night, strongly hinted at by our week 4 exit poll, and it looked like this was all intentionally engineered by TPTB. They were actively striving for a Maisie vs Max dance-off and for Maisie to operate as a dance-off assassin which made the usual comments about her appearance in the dance-off being a ‘shock’ that much more distasteful.

The coup de grâce was to follow with Shirley claiming she would have saved Max in the dance-off which was an insult both to him and, even more so, Maisie. Motsi has even chimed in from Germany informing she would have saved Max. This starts to beg the question, what on earth has Maisie done to upset them? Shirley does have previous, however, for holding a grudge when it comes to younger, attractive female ringer-types on the show.

Anton’s long overdue first chance on the judging panel was a total triumph. He deserves to be a permanent judge but with Motsi due to come back and Bruno to return presumably in time for the semi-final, Anton may find himself sidelined once more.

With Bill and Oti’s inspired ‘Street’ routine memory-holing Maisie, she very likely would have polled last on the night, strongly hinted at by our week 4 exit poll

Clara had her overdue breakthrough on the night with her excellent, pimp-slotted Charleston. She is now 3rd favourite in the Outright and a samba tomorrow night looks a good chance for her to consolidate her position in the market.

It has to be on the cards for Maisie to receive a first pimp slot of the series, as compensation for the cruelty they inflicted on her last Saturday, with her salsa potentially a leaderboard-topping routine if they take the pimp route with her.

Ranvir earns the first Argentine tango of the series. This is likely to be on late in the running order and it is hard to imagine it not being well-received. Giovanni has good AT form, notably his 2017, 38-scoring routine with Debbie McGee, though Debbie possessed more natural dance affinity than Ranvir.

Jamie once again gets the chance to be the uptempo entertainer performing a Street routine with Karen who has a strong track record for this genre. This has looked high impact fun in training.

Bill has a classic song to sell a stylish AS, with him and Oti looking set to perform it with canes. So it all starts to point heavily, pre-show, towards Caroline and JJ being in most elimination jeopardy.

We know CCC is the dance of death, often used to kill off contestants, and Johannes went out last year dancing it with Cath Tyldesley. Caroline has to hope for a Ranvir-style CCC treatment, with Anton leading the way with a sympathetic critique and generous scoring. Her technique has looked ok in training, it appears her and Johannes are aiming for a fun routine, with Johannes styled as a fireman, and a clue to her treatment might reside in her song title this week, ‘Rescue Me’.

A QS for JJ looks an easier task for him compared to last week’s jive. It is all going to come down to the script and whether they actively seek to help Caroline escape the dance-off, as they did JJ last week, or they go in for the kill. One alternative might be, Caroline is tied with JJ at the bottom of the leaderboard which would allow for a potential dance-off save.

It appears Caroline and Johannes are aiming for a fun routine, with Johannes styled as a fireman, and a clue to her treatment might reside in her song title this week, ‘Rescue Me’

Bill might not find himself flying so high this week but the other contestant who could end up flirting with the bottom end of the leaderboard on the night is HRVY. A tango for him looks potentially forgettable and the routine has looked too frenetic in training with HRVY struggling with the correct frame and posture. This could easily be open to nit-picking and harsh scores if, for fairness, they are keen for him to have his turn as the dance-off patsy and be used, like Maisie was, as the assigned assassin on the night to take down either Caroline or JJ.

As we head into the halfway point of the series it’s very much all to play for and you sense a few more twists and turns yet, the composition of this year’s, as of now, 4-couple final far from clear cut. Please do register your vote(s) for tomorrow night’s Week 5 exit poll, which will open towards show end and can be found here.

Week 5 songs & dances:
Bill and Oti: American Smooth to Under My Skin by Frank Sinatra
Caroline and Johannes: Cha Cha Cha to Rescue Me by Fontella Bass
Clara and Aljaž: Samba to That’s The Way (I Like It) by KC and The Sunshine Band
HRVY and Janette: Tango to Golden by Harry Styles
Jamie and Karen: Couple’s Choice: Street/Commercial to Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) by C&C Music Factory
JJ and Amy: Quickstep to For Once In My Life by Stevie Wonder
Maisie and Gorka: Salsa to Better When I’m Dancing by Meghan Trainor
Ranvir and Giovanni: Argentine Tango to When Doves Cry by Prince


  1. M8

    Thanks for all your reports so far Rob. At this stage of the competition things still look up for grabs in terms of a winner but I do very much like Ranvir’s chances. She was impressive with her AT and whilst I’m certain nothing is going on, the chemistry being played up between her and Gio is certainly a vote winner. Gio having never won as well will help them as TPTB love their first time winners along with their ethic diverse winners of which Ranvir ticks every box. The only worry is whether they’d want an ITV family member to win, but that didn’t stop Caroline Flack.

    On a side note, the very best of luck to you and anyone else who has money on the DWTS finale tomorrow night. It’s a very big (and nervous) night for me with Nev a huge green. Justina is also a substantial green (although her chances have diminished with placing in the bottom three last week). Nelly is money back (probably second most likely to win) whilst Kaitlyn is the big red. Not gonna lie I’ll be gutted if Nev can’t win as he’s had the winners edit & judges comments, has finale dances that suit a winner (black swan paso & singing in the rain showdance) and the bookies deserve to pay after dropping the ball completely on him. Fingers crossed for a big early Christmas present!

    • Rob

      Best of luck ahead of the DWTS final, M8. I’m also very hopeful regarding Nev’s chance & from a book perspective I would be delighted if he wins. Good to hear he has had the winner’s edit and judges pointing his way. His final dances do look ideal.
      Ranvir has certainly enjoyed series-long support up to this point. My 1 worry remains, her actual dancing ability being short of the usual winning standard. How they plot her dance choices over the next 3 weeks is going to be key. I would predict as of now she will be given a rumba at some point.

      • M8

        Well if ever a result sums up 2020 for me it’s that one. A very tough pill to swallow, the alarm bells started ringing as the gold ticker tape came down in Kaitlyn’s showdance. I don’t regret my decision to get behind Nev, he was clearly the deserving winner, but it doesn’t make the result any easier.

        What will be will be though and with plenty of money still to be made on Strictly and IAC, I’ll pick myself up and go again! Hopefully you had a much better night than I did on the profitability front Rob and anybody else with a stake on the result.

        • Rob

          Sorry to learn it was a costly reverse for you, M8. Very unlucky. The UK books initially offered much bigger odds on both Kaitlyn and Nev compared to the US ones so they were the value plays from a UK perspective early in the series, along with Skai.
          From what I had seen, I felt Nev should have been favourite going into the final. Justina looked up against it based on the sf result while Nelly seemed to be someone they knew couldn’t win. Not sure what swung it in Kaitlyn’s favour on the night. As per the rest of the series, her and Nev produced the strongest dances on the night, at least to my eye.
          I don’t know if the US voters got behind the Artem having never won DWTS before narrative but I wonder if that edged things in Kaitlyn’s favour? Don’t suppose they reveal voting figures? I much prefer the DWTS format though of revealing 4th, 3rd & then the winner. Would be much easier with UK Strictly settlement if they did the same here.
          Hopefully will be able to bounce back courtesy of Strictly and IAC.

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