Ay, Ca-rumba!

Nov 21, 2013 by

Ay, Ca-rumba!

With Mark looking booked for the bottom 2 this week, and guaranteed to be eliminated if he is in the dance-off, trading options are somewhat compromised and we are back to trying to find the contestant most likely to join him.

There is always a chance of a, ‘If you’re bottom 2 again after that I’ll pickle my walnuts’ moment from Len but a foxtrot accompanied by a Michael Buble song doesn’t look winning material for any sort of significant bounce for Mark.

Ben has the crowd-pleasing Charleston and though Tony Jacklin was eliminated performing a Charleston in this series, it is a dance with a history of bottom 2 avoidance. Susanna has a dance in the cha cha cha she has danced before in Children In Need, but this is likely to be one of Susanna’s weaker dances. We can probably expect another Natalie masterclass dancing the tango.

Ashley and Patrick both have waltzes, and Patrick is due the later slot. The judges have been eager to ramp Patrick in recent weeks but based on early training footage, Ashley’s routine looks much the stronger and should… should be scored higher.

Paso requires attack and aggression and will be a tough dance for Abbey to sell, whereas rumba should suit Sophie to a tee being slow, romantic, tender and under-stated. This looks an open goal for her to get a high scoring dance under her belt with Sophie also due a late slot this week.

On the face of it, Abbey and Patrick, who have both been bottom 2 already this series, look the most likely contestants pre-show to drop into the dance-off, but based on the assumption Patrick will be lower on the leaderboard than Abbey, the advice here is to back Patrick at 5-2 to be in the bottom 2.

If it was a fairly scored contest, we would be piling into Ashley for highest scorer this week. The nagging doubt, as always, is that he will be under-scored but given Coral is offering the incredibly generous 33-1 Ashley to be the highest scorer, he simply has to be backed e/w at that price, as does Sophie at 12-1 e/w.

It is interesting to study the list of dances the main contenders potentially have left to choose from:

Charleston – Ashley, Patrick
Rumba – Ashley, Patrick, Susanna
Jive – Natalie
Salsa – Abbey, Ashley, Natalie, Sophie, Susanna
Samba – Abbey, Ben
Paso Doble – Natalie, Patrick, Sophie

American Smooth – Abbey, Natalie, Sophie
Argentine Tango – Abbey, Ashley, Ben, Natalie, Patrick, Susanna  
Foxtrot – Ashley, Ben, Natalie, Susanna
Tango – Ben, Sophie
Waltz – Patrick
Viennese Waltz – Abbey, Ben, Sophie
Quickstep – Susanna

Some idle thoughts that spring out of this:

– Given Ashley’s treatment on the show, it would come as no surprise to see him doing salsa next week, or possibly rumba, which can often prove forgettable and is easy to mark down
– Ben could be lined up for the samba the week after that, working on the theory the producers’ ideal male finalist this year is Patrick, in what looks like being a 4-couple final, according to this BBC link.
– There were 3 American Smooths performed in last year’s semi by Dani, Kimberley and Lisa; it could be teed up for the same again this year, danced by Abbey, Natalie and Sophie.
– With Abbey and Sophie looking like they may well be battling for a single spot in the final, it would make sense for their dances to be the same at the semi-final stage, and they could both be given the salsa as well as the AS.
– Last year, at the quarter-final stage (last 6), they gave us ‘Dance Fusion’ week in which each of the remaining couples performed a routine combining a ballroom and a Latin dance, and they were allowed to select dances they had already danced earlier in the series.
– It is invariably the case that contestants who reach the Strictly final miss out some dances completely. Last year, Louis didn’t dance the quickstep or the Argentine tango; Kimberley missed the waltz, the rumba and the Argentine tango; Denise ducked the samba and the Argentine tango; and Dani avoided the paso double and the rumba.

Here are this week’s dances and songs in full:

Ashley & Ola – waltz to ‘I Will Always Love You’ by Claudia Streza.
Patrick & Anya – VW to Celine Dion’s ‘A New Day Has Come’.
Abbey & Aljaz – Paso Doble to ‘You Got The Love’ by Florence and the Machine.
Sophie & Brendan – Rumba to Amy Winehouse’s version of ‘Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow’.
Mark & Iveta – Foxtrot to Michael Buble favourite ‘It’s A Beautiful Day’.
Susanna & Kevin – Cha Cha Cha to the classic ‘Hound Dog’ from Smokey Joe’s Café.
Ben & Kristina – Charleston to ‘No Diggity’ by Minimatic.
Natalie & Artem – Tango to Rihanna’s hit ‘Where Have You Been’.


  1. Missed that 12/1 on Sophie recovering from a hangover. Damn! Might take the 9s.

    Not impressed by Ashley one bit and thought Patrick’s rehearsal showed a dance packed with attractive details. If performed well, I can see Patrick’s score pushing 35. Plus, if the male narrative continues, I can’t imagine them scoring Ashley higher.

    I feel stuck for playing options this week, but feel Mark should/could be joined by Ashley or Abbey. Last week wasn’t a shock, but I reckon this week is teed up for one.

  2. Rob

    Thanks Gav. Ben’s routine looks like it’ll be a real crowd pleaser. Patrick has improved compared to earlier in the week but Ashley’s waltz looks more polished to me – it really will be very telling if they give Patrick a higher score than Ashley this week.

    Having been keen on Sophie’s rumba, more in theory than anything else, she doesn’t seem to have any of the sultry hip sway this dance requires. It all look rather too stiff and upright.

    Abbey’s paso skills look to have come on a bundle, and to be fair Susanna’s CCC looks much improved too.

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      Hi Rob, I backed and tentatively flagged up Sophie for a B2 appearance earlier in the week. I still haven’t seen any training room footage yet, but I’m a little more hopeful after reading your comments about her progress so far.

      I’m not that surprised to read that her rumba is a little upright as her Samba, as well as being too languid, also had an oddly detached quality about it.

      Maybe she is one of those quiet girls who prefers to be coy rather than provocatively, wrap-around sexy?

      Abbey and Natalie seem girls who are more at home ‘working it’.

      Do you think Sophie to B2 at 6/1 has any value in it, Rob, or is Sophie still just too popular for that eventuality?

      • Guildo Horn Forever

        Erm…I should be asking your evaluation of 8/1 for her! Haha!

      • Rob

        8-1 does look big. I think the hardest thing, Guildo, is trying to work out exactly how the top 6 will be scored. My original thought was, this could well be Sophie’s week and she might find herself top 2 on the leaderboard. Now, I feel much less sure.

        Abbey now looks the highest scorer value e/w at 10-1 because her paso looked very good in latest training footage.

        I anticipated Patrick to find himself mid-table and if he is, he will look a very likely bottom 2-er, but again his routine looked improved, and we know they are keen to mark him highly.

        If Sophie doesn’t convince with her rumba, she could find herself mid-table but on all known evidence, and given the way the judges have ramped the women in this series, I still think it’s more likely they will position her in the top 3 which should ensure her safety, so I would leave it for now with a view to pouncing in-running (Ladbrokes keep their b2 prices open during the show) if Sophie doesn’t convince and is scored poorly.

        I certainly think Ben is a bottom 2 lay at anything around 11-8. Maybe they will be happy for Patrick to drop bottom 2 again tonight as he will then bounce next week, when he should be back to his forte of fast Latin, & they can try and manoeuvre Ashley into b2 if they are now thinking things out the way Syco do on XF.

  3. Next presenter market available at Laddies.

    As a newbie to SCD, from the off I always considered Du Beke as the heir to Forsythe: they have the same charisma and on screen presence.

    Du Beke’s website also portrays him more as a TV personality than a dancer. 6/1 is a gift IMO.

    • zoomraker

      i think the fact he once told his partner she looked like a “paki” will still strongly count against him

  4. That’s quite a long time ago now. If the Beeb felt that strongly about the incident, I imagine Anton’s TV days would’ve been over long ago.

    My reasoning is that he’s loved by the audience and has that ability to interact on live TV.

    The Beeb might wish to modernise, so an entirely different direction might be taken – it’s bound to be a male/female combo though.

  5. Rob

    Looks like pimp slot for Patrick. Abbey penultimate, so 10-1 e/w Abbey for top scorer with Coral definitely looking like value.


  6. Rob

    With Patrick given the pimp slot, and Abbey on 2nd last, it looks like a re-think is required in terms of b2. Calling Guildo – Sophie might well be vulnerable but I see the 8-1 has gone.

    Natalie’s score will be worth monitoring also. If she drops down slightly on the leaderboard, 10-1 for her to be b2 will look a huge price.

    • Do you not think Ashley looks sandwiched?

      • Rob

        I think this is one best left for in-running, Gav. Too many imponderables. Certainly if Ash is trap 2, between Susanna and Natalie, it intimates a continuation of operation de-ramp Ash.

        It was a different order on the Gallery which has been accurate sometimes:


      • Guildo Horn Forever

        Hi Rob,
        took the 8s for Sophie, and had a nibble at the 10s available earlier in the week for Natalie. Have to laugh as I see Nat is 12s for B2 with PP at the moment.

        • Guildo Horn Forever

          If, as expected, Mark exits tonight, next week’s B2 will be v interesting, as they’ll be no-one who can be considered a B2 lock – they’ll be a genuine couple of places in the B2 slots to be filled.

  7. Guildo Horn Forever

    Like the 10/1 for Abbey to high score and the 9/1 for Patrick in the same market.

  8. Fair play to Brendan for taking the judges on. That Rumba was fantastic. I couldn’t fault it.

    It seems only Natalie could get away with a mediocre performance tonight.

  9. Rob

    Ashley has landed the e/w money – 11-1 place odds for those who took the advice here & managed to get the 33-1.

    Bottom 2 is interesting – would still make Patrick most likely to join Mark but it could be Abbey, & she is 7-2 with Ladbrokes.

    • Well done on that Rob. Really didn’t see that one happening. Marking was crazy again tonight IMO.

      I’ve got Abbey/Mark bottom two by my scoring with a 4-way tie separating the other main protagonists.

  10. Sorry this might hurt a bit… Mark and Ben in bttm two,

    Ben out

  11. Rob

    This is a surprising result but shows the show’s agenda to get rid of the most dangerous male threats to a female winner.

    I dodged a bullet – dangled 2.7 on BF Ben bottom 2 but no takers. I laid £2 at 2.6 so a loss of £3.20 🙂

    Annoying that Mark is still in so only one bottom 2 slot to aim at again next week.

  12. Rob

    What we can deduce so far for this week:

    Nat – American Smooth
    Susanna – Quickstep (to ‘Good Morning’ from Singing In The Rain).
    Abbey – salsa (though she has also mentioned foxtrot training on Twitter)
    Patrick – Charleston most likely to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang theme.
    Sophie – ? most likely a ballroom, so tango or VW if not doing AS like Nat.
    Ashley – ? most likely a Latin, which would mean rumba for him if they want to make sure everyone is doing different dances.
    Mark – samba

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