Blimey, It’s Got To Be Riley

Oct 16, 2012 by

Blimey, It’s Got To Be Riley

An early Strictly post this week for one main reason: Lisa Riley. We recommend backing Lisa today at 10-1 e/w with Ladbrokes and 6-1 to be Top Female.

BUY, BUY, BUY while stocks last. Her ballroom at the weekend was fine and we get the overwhelming impression she is going to be the ‘feel good’ contestant of this year’s show. With a jive to come this week, another high octane, fun, crowd-pleasing routine looks in the offing.

Much like her week 1 cha, cha, cha to ‘Think’ we expect her fast Latin routines to prove show-stealers series-long. Her and Robin’s enthusiasm and sheer joy dancing together is infectious and Lisa has rapidly carved a niche for herself as this year’s unexpected star.

Lisa and Robin have 10 times the chemistry of series favourites Flavia and Louis yet are available at 5 times the price. It’s one of those situations where your sixth sense tells you Lisa is going to prove herself enormously popular with Strictly voters. She already has that certain intangible Chris Hollins vibe about her and could well prove an unstoppable force in this series, especially with doubts persisting over the popularity of the front 3 in the market.

We are happy to keep Louis and Kimberley red for the time being. Good technicians in the making, yes, but neither looks capable of engaging the Strictly audience the way that’s required to win this show. We do, however, remain weary of Denise. That was a simply outstanding jive on Saturday up there with Jill Halfpenny’s legendary one in series 2.

Our advice to back Michael Vaughan at 16s for elimination last weekend proved a shrewd call as he ended up joint bottom of the leaderboard. There was ample opportunity to lay Michael to be in the bottom 2 at around 3 on Betfair before voting lines closed. We did so after concluding his jive was so horrendous it was the stuff of comic genius and would encourage a decent vote.

In a way the dance-off has not helped SCD value seekers because it has reduced the possibility of plucking out a big-priced elimination gem in these early weeks. A better dancer can always be dragged into the drop zone but it is highly likely they will end up there with someone who is inferior and so will be saved.

For instance, in the old scenario Colin would make some appeal at 14-1 to be eliminated but he is dancing the American Smooth. No doubt this will be competently executed, possibly to a Bond theme, which puts us off an investment because he would likely be saved if up against the likes of Jerry, Richard, Michael or Fern.

With Richard having the chance of receiving a bottom 2 bounce and Jerry well capable of a decent Quickstep dancing to ‘Mrs Robinson’ we would be looking in the vicinity of Vaughan again, dancing a cha, cha, cha, and Fern as the possible elimination value but we need to see more training room footage to firm up ideas.

We will post these thoughts in the Comments section accompanying this post. Join the conversation and let us know your latest Strictly opinions.
Rob Furber

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  1. fiveleaves

    With doubts over the voteability of the front 3 in the betting, then Lisa has to be the bet at double figures.
    Her CCC was a revelation and I’d expect her Jive to be equally crowd pleasing.
    She’s not just huge fun to watch, but also clearly has a large amount of natural dance talent.

    I know you still have hopes for Denise, and indeed her Jive was superb, but she still strikes me as a poor fit for this audience.
    The generally negative comments about her under an article on the Daily Mail site backs this up.
    I couldn’t back her at the price.

    My early pick, Sid, was slightly disppointing at his 1st try at fast latin.
    I still believe he showed enough to suggest he could be better next time he has a fast latin and altho a drift was justified, I feel it’s been overdone a little, as I believe he’ll be popular with the audience.

    As for the Elim. It looks tricky this week. Like you Rob I was looking at Colin this week (btw it appears he has the Argentine Tango now), but as you say, he’s likely to saved against most of the other couples he’d been in a dance-off with.

  2. Rob

    Thanks for posting, Mr Leaves.
    Denise has been readily available at 5.5 on BF in the last week or so which definitely looked a big price compared to Louis and Kimberley. She is so superior.

    The negative press from the likes of the Mail certainly doesn’t help her but see no reason why she cannot win the audience over courtesy of her sheer brilliance.

    We get these same stories every year about stage school advantage etc… it tends to fade away over the course of the series & the SCD audience is generally fair-minded. That said, if Lisa makes the final, you’d have to think she could take it.

    Dances come the 5-couple semi-final will be key but struggling to see how either Louis or Kimberley can win the show in any scenario. Happy to take them on for now with effectively 4 potential runners in Denise, Lisa, Sid & Victoria.

  3. fiveleaves

    I reduced my red on Denise at 5.5, anticipating a very good Jive, I still thik she has an uphill battle to win over this audience though.

    As for this weeks elim, I was looking at Nicky as maybe worth an outside punt.
    His CCC was ludicrous. Hardly any CCC steps. Just lots of boyband posing. It looks to me and I suspect the judges too, that he’s really not taking it seriously.
    The Westlife fans will probably do enough to save him, but if he did drop into the B2, I could see Len being very happy to dump him.

  4. Rob

    Nicky’s a strange one. In training clips he looked highly capable to me in fast Latin. He has the looks, a decent fanbase… yet, for whatever reason, he has failed to shine so far. I wonder if Karen is more to blame for her poor choreo…?

    The judges have certainly been incredibly tough on him to date. The quickstep for Nicky might be rather forgettable & classic mid-table mediocrity.

    Keeping an eye out for what Fern has this week.

  5. Rob

    Ladbrokes have some ‘bottom 2’ & ‘top pts scorer’ markets up.

  6. fiveleaves

    Cheers Rob,
    Richard at 100/1 a silly price compared with the 66/1 Vaughan.
    Richard can actually dance.
    No real chance of beating the top 3, but I’d love a handicap market based on those prices.
    I asked betfair for one last year, but didn’t even get a reply.
    I reckon it would be a lively market.

  7. Rob

    How this week’s dances are shaping up:

    Colin & Kristina – Argentine Tango
    Dani & Vincent – Foxtrot
    Denise & James – Foxtrot
    Fern & Artem – Chaleston
    Jerry & Anton – Quickstep
    Kimberley & Pasha – Quickstep
    Lisa & Robin – Jive
    Louis & Flavia – Salsa
    Michael & Natalie – Cha Cha Cha
    Nicky & Karen – Quickstep
    Richard & Erin – Quickstep
    Sid & Ola – Tango
    Victoria & Brendan – Rumba

    Worth taking on Denise, Louis & Kimberley for top points scorer. Have a few ideas but need to see some training room footage.

  8. Rob

    Strictly update – Wednesday night:

    Can see rumba suiting Victoria very well – well worth a bet at 25s to be top scorer.
    Fern also worth a small investment at 50s as a well-executed Charleston can be a show-stopper.

    As for bottom 2, & landing in dance off, looking at Colin at 6s as a bit of value given he hasn’t trained this week. Vaughan also in danger unless his cha, cha, cha is another comedy classic.

    Would rather back MV for elimination at 5-1.

    Assuming Nicky can grab enough of a vote courtesy of the Westlife fans, & a bounce for Richard, Jerry also looks a little vulnerable, though a QS to Mrs Robinson could be enough of a vote winner.

  9. Roach

    Evening Rob… where are these prices you are quoting?! Fern 50/1, Victoria 25/1 etc. Not that I’d back the latter! 🙂

  10. Rob

    Evening Roach,
    Lads have prices on highest scorer and to be in bottom 2 – worth a trip to a high st shop.

    Based on tonight’s ITT looks like Victoria’s rumba could be a real triumph – as long as she remembers her steps 🙂 Worth the risk at 25s.

    In these early weeks it suits the show’s narrative to have someone new at the top of the leaderboard so it doesn’t look like Louis vs Denise already.

    Salsa is tough to score highly in, and Louis looked flat-footed tonight. Can see them finding room to criticise Denise… the other one of interest is Lisa, 8-1, doing the jive.

    Might have a small cover on her, and Nicky could be a bottom 2 candidate (on assumption Westlife fans don’t bother), but 4s not as appealing as 6s Colin – struggle to see where his vote comes from.

  11. Mitch69

    Thanks Rob for the latest posts.
    Just caught up on them. I follow, for top scorer, VP could do a good rumba if nerves and memory holds. At 25/1 great value and I agree they will hopefully look to pimp someone else rather than the usual suspects. BBC won’t want it to be a procession of Louis v Denise, with Lisa also in the mix every week. Fern at 50/1 worth a bite for sure. She’s not too shabby on her feet and could carry off the Chaleston well. I’ll have a small flutter. My gut feeling goes with Vaughan, Jerry, Colin and Nicky in the shake up for bottom two. I am hoping for a bounce with Richard. Thought he was unfairly judged last week. Colin will be dong his James Bond number which he could nail, but lack of training may tell. The sheer lack of coverage on Vaughan suggests to me he is in danger of bottom 2 and then elimination. I have taken 5/1 on MV with Lads as you suggested. Boyband Nicky in the small clip this eve looked all over the place, so a speculative drop zone bet on him. If I had to name two as of now though, Michael Vaughan and Jerry Hall bottom come Sat night.
    By way, took your Lisa advice early this week.
    Cheers Mitch

  12. Bruce

    Usually on here agreeing with your assessment Rob but want to query your comment “Dances come the 5-couple semi-final will be key but struggling to see how either Louis or Kimberley can win the show in any scenario”

    I agree re Kimberley – the female competition is very tough and not sure how likeable she is. Louis however is a very different scenario. Only strong male dancer in the competition (sorry leaves not Sid) and whilst his personality is lacking, one could say thats a good thing at this stage. Gives him room for improvement and for future glowing judges reference to his improving chemistry with Flavia.
    Given that 2 judges at least are ‘in lust’ with him and with a dance off safety net he’s a certain finalist, most likely the only male finalist. So with that scenario 3.3 on Betfair looks an excellent trade for me.
    His personality/sexuality perhaps remains an issue but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt at this stage, for the same reason many people are, that his sport and training have given him a natural ‘reserve’
    As for the comments on his flat footedness this week its interesting that Ian Waite actually stated that he didn’t see that when asked by Zoey.
    Also interestingly Ian’s comments about Lisa being flat footed haven’t been remarked upon.

    I know your opening remarks for this series says they want a women winner, perhaps your focus is too much in this direction.

    Lisa’s jive will tell us more, my suspicion is that by the end of the series everyone will be focussing on the extremely good dancers and Lisa’s amazing opening feelgood factor will seem a distant memory

  13. Rob

    Great post Bruce.

    My reasoning is, I struggle to see Louis beating Denise if both of them make the final because surely such a showdown would be all about who is best and deserves to win for being the better dancer.

    A popular male beats a popular female, so goes the theory, but Louis does not have it in him to create that landslide ‘Harry from McFly’ voting power imho.

    He is heading more towards Ricky Whittle territory. I may well be wrong but my gut instinct tells me he isn’t the sort of contestant who will harness that big middle England, middle-aged female vote.

    Louis is decent but nowhere near the standard of Denise & I’m struggling to see him close the gap or produce the sort of performance that has the audience going, ‘wow’ as we have already seen with Denise after only 2 weeks.

    He is not a ‘feel good’ contestant, in the way we have seen in the past with the likes of Gough and Hollins, which has led to them smashing the pv. This is where Lisa could hold the trump card if she makes the final.

    The way in which Louis styles himself by way of hairstyle doesn’t help endear him. He has a naturally smug expression which may well just be a misfortune of nature but all these things add up. He also seems to have quite an ego on him – which has already come across in some of his VTs.

    And he & Flavia have a real lack of chemistry for whatever reason. If you have a look on DigitalSpy all these same doubts are being expressed by others so it’s not some insular view.

    I don’t see him turning this round. Don’t think it’s shyness – he has been in the tabloids in what has looked a PR exercise to push him as a ladies’ man. And the time he spends on his looks doesn’t suggest shyness.

    Harry last year really did blossom not just as a highly proficient dancer until he was the absolute stand-out performer but also as a personality. And his profile was a much better fit to end up getting that big middle England female vote. There have to bigger doubts with Louis.

    You make a great case for Louis making the final. Certainly my money would be on a 2-female, 1 male final at this stage but obviously things can change.

  14. Bruce

    Thanks Rob, good of you to spell out your case against Louis in some more detail.

    I hold many of the reservations you express but when some on Digital Spy are at the stage of considering his haircut as evidence of why he may not win, along with how far he sits apart from Flavia on ITT, then I feel its taking things to the extreme in week 2 🙂
    The key here is his dancing potential. I seem to remember Harry being ‘too dull’ to win at this stage last year. For all Harry’s McFly support think Louis and the Olympic feel good factor.
    Time of course will tell; if he ends up as good a dancer as I think then the current price will look good. If not and he ends up making the final via a judges save then he won’t win and the price will much greater.

    I’m at this stage thinking the winner comes from Louis, DVO or Lisa.
    I’m very much of the opinion that I can wait to back Lisa if and when she consistently produces the feel good factor in her Latin and some degree of elegance in her ballroom. By then of course the price will have significantly reduced but thats the risk I have to take given my reservations about her.

  15. Tim B

    Surely another positive for Lisa is that, if she gets to the final, she will have lost a significant and noticable amount of weight. This would emphasise that she’s been on a journey and would possibly make her an inspiration to women. Rob, do you think this kind of thing could make a difference?

  16. fiveleaves

    I agree Bruce, that Louis is the best male dancer by a long way, but so were Colin Jackson, Ricky Whittle and Matt Baker.
    All 3 were beaten.
    He might trade lower and I’ve backed him to be top scorer this week (DVO looks like she’ll be better at latin), but ultimately I think he’ll be beaten too for the reasons Rob points out.

    As for this week, Vaughany looks much improved and looks a lay for elim and B2 for me.
    Nicky looks poor and could be worth a nibble for elim and I like the look of Dani B2@9/1. Like DVO she’s not great in hold (not that I can get on)

  17. Rob

    That’s a very good point, Tim, & one I’d not entirely factored in. If she goes the distance you’d have to expect her to shape much slimmer come the latter stages, & as you say that really would add to her story & her ‘journey’ – potentially striking a chord with a lot of female voters. I think other dancers have stated how much weight they have lost in the past putting in the training each week.

    Coming round to Mr Leaves thinking regarding MV – thought he came across tremendously well on ITT tonight, & certainly some of the training footage for his cha, cha, cha hint at significant improvement.

    Nicky, Colin & Dani all look potentially vulnerable this week. Finding it very tough to call b2 and elimination pre-show, & may only become clearer in-running.

  18. fiveleaves

    Poor week for me.
    It just shows how deceptive the training videos can be sometimes.
    Vicky and Fern worse than expected and Nicky and Dani much better. Especially Nicky. The least said about Sid the better 🙁
    I’m just pleased MV was saved in the dance-off or a not great week could have turned into a shocking one.

  19. Bruce

    Interested in your views on Lisa’s chances after this weeks show.
    To use your own phrasing I’m struggling to see how Lisa can win the show in any scenario
    Had this same feeling about Russell last year when a few were getting carried away and tipping him as a at least a trade – she’s peaked imo. Thought she was overmarked and that some of the novelty had worn off, pretty bad for week 3.

  20. Rob

    Hi Bruce,
    I think Lisa can maintain her status as the feel good contestant of this year’s Strictly – pretty confident she plugs in to a core voting demographic.

    When you consider the portly Natalie Cassidy finished 5th in series 7 & she never created the buzz Lisa has achieved in only the first few weeks, that certainly bodes well for Lisa’s final 3 chances.

    As does the fact this year’s field has been obliterated already. Louis got the perfect treatment on Saturday – the pimp slot dancing to an iconic routine loved by middle-aged women.

    This might suggest my theory the show would prefer a female winner this year is incorrect. But it’s early days & I still do not see him reaching anywhere near the same standard of Denise.

    I guess the counter argument is, he may not have to because of a question mark over Denise’s popularity. But I would still have doubts over Louis’s popularity.

    Given Sid’s seeming implosion – courtesy of being asked to dress up like a complete tool & dance to a horrible track – Louis certainly is looking something of a good thing for the final as you called. So well done you.

  21. Rob

    This series hasn’t been kind to value seekers as yet. The training videos are certainly not what they used to be by way of a form guide – back in the golden days CRH would do his training analysis & time & again this proved an accurate predictor of what took place on the show.

    My prediction they would look to shake things up at the top of the leaderboard proved well wide of the mark.

    And having seen room for other candidates to challenge outside the top 3 or 4, suddenly the competition this series looks extremely threadbare.

    Not given up completely on Victoria but it’s not looking good for her given her struggle to remember routines.

  22. Tim B

    Hmm, seems the majority of Betfair punters this week don’t think Michael Vaughan will bounce, and think he’ll be next eliminated. Personally I hope he does.

  23. Rob

    Hi Tim,
    I am always uncomfortable backing any contestant for elimination, be it SCD or XF, who was in the bottom 2 the previous week.

    On balance, I would favour MV avoiding the bottom 2 this week. But we need to see some more training footage.

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