Bright And Early

Nov 26, 2015 by

Bright And Early

For anyone who followed the Strictly betting recommendations flagged up here last week, Saturday’s show would have felt like a travesty of justice.

Anita was the main selection to top score, came out and performed an outstanding paso with Gleb and yet, another early running order position of third to perform, and the devious machinations of the judges ensured she didn’t top score, missing out on top spot by 1pt.

As the night wore on, it became abundantly clear Peter was in big trouble of elimination. 20-1 was advised as he ended up at the bottom of the judges’ leaderboard following a lacklustre jive.

Craig and Darcey scored Jamelia 1pt higher than Peter, while Len and Bruno had them tied on 8pts. Jamelia nailed her quickstep in the dance-off and yet Craig and Darcey proceeded to save Peter, reversing their earlier scoring, and Bruno saved Peter too rendering Len’s vote meaningless. To allow Jamelia to feel marginally better about her exit from the show Len sportingly said he would have saved her, an easy statement to make when your vote doesn’t count.

Jamelia’s controversial exit hit the headlines this week and as part of the damage limitation exercise Len even appeared on yesterday’s ITT to try and justify the judges’ actions.

With Ola Jordan going on record stating the judges’ leaderboard is manipulated according to the public vote (she must read this site) and X Factor also enduring further ‘fix’ allegations, the man behind the curtain is becoming ever more visible to the wider viewing public.

Of course, such events as Saturday’s are an occupational hazard as a trader of these shows and you have to take it on the chin and move on. In the hope the near-misses are behind us, there could be some decent value lurking in terms of the 9th elimination market. Here is the list of Saturday’s dances and songs:

Anita and Gleb are dancing the Rumba to ‘Read All About It’ by Emelie Sande.
Georgia and Giovanni will perform the Paso Doble to Europe’s epic soft rock anthem ‘The Final Countdown’.
Helen and Aljaž perform the Viennese Waltz to the beautiful ‘At Last’ by Etta James.
Jay and Aliona are performing the Tango to the Prince classic ‘When Doves Cry’.
Katie and Anton will dance the Argentine Tango to Ástor Piazzolla’s ‘Libertango’.
Kellie and Kevin will Salsa to the poptastic ‘I Want You Back’ by The Jackson 5.
And Peter and Janette are going to dance the American Smooth to the soulful ‘Sweetest Feeling’ by the great Jackie Wilson.

It came as a surprise to see Katie priced up as favourite to be the next elimination. She has the dramatic Argentine Tango to call upon, set to a classic AT piece of music.

Anton has never danced AT on the show before but his ballroom expertise should ensure he creates a strong routine. We also have reason to believe Katie and Anton have been consistently polling towards the top series-long and it would be surprising if they find themselves in the bottom 2 on Saturday regardless of their position on the judges’ leaderboard.

Peter should be lined up for a ramp this week and a Len ‘pickling his walnuts if he’s in the dance-off’ moment. The show probably wants to ensure two males make it through to the quarter-final at least.

Helen has started to look increasingly vulnerable but like Anita she has done well to dodge the bottom 2 so far. She top scored in week 1 dancing the waltz, and VW should give her the chance to shine and probably land 36pts or higher.

Rumba is a tougher proposition for Anita but the way she commits to her dances, Gleb’s choreo and that Emile Sande song should make for a resonant routine. This may have been said here before but Anita is also long overdue a late slot. Early training footage has also looked promising.

The pick for elimination pre-show has to be Kellie given her tough assignment of a salsa, a dance it is tough to score highly with. Kellie has already been in the bottom 2 in week 7 and while she landed a very generous 33 for her samba in week 8, that was on her bounce back week when it was in the script to score her up.

Given she was granted, somewhat bizarrely, the pimp slot in Blackpool last week, and generously scored 37, in a move that looked manufactured to ensure she wasn’t in the bottom 2, she also looks likely to be on early on Saturday which would put her in more jeopardy.

It is also interesting to note salsa saw Ashley Taylor-Dawson eliminated in the quarter-final in 2013, Nat Gumede danced it in the semi-final of that series and landed bottom 2, and it also landed Mark Wright in the bottom 2 at the same last 7 stage last year.

Two of those were show-openers while Mark danced second. So Kellie could well open the show on Saturday night and even if she scores 32 she could easily end up in the bottom 2 on the judges’ leaderboard.

Pre-show it looks more a question of who is most likely to join Kellie in the bottom 2. ‘The Final Countdown’ has to be the worst of this week’s song picks and with Georgia long overdue an early slot, it will be interesting to see how well her vote holds up, while tango might not be one of Jay’s stronger dances.

Saturday will also see a ‘Quickstep-athon’ which will no doubt be used as a thinly-veiled mechanism to try and hammer home to viewers who is leading the way in this series and who are the remaining weakest dancers according to the judges.

Looking further ahead to the quarter-final and semi-final, this is what they have left to dance:

Anita – AT (latin), Foxtrot, Salsa (latin), VW
Jay – Charleston, Rumba (latin), Samba (latin), VW
Kellie – AmSm, AT (latin), Rumba (latin), VW
Georgia – AT (latin), CCC (latin), Foxtrot, VW
Helen – AmSm, AT (latin), Jive, Paso (latin)
Katie – Charleston, Foxtrot, Samba (latin), Waltz
Peter – AT (latin), Salsa (latin), Samba (latin), Waltz

With one dance in the quarter-final and 2 in the semi-final, all the couples end up avoiding one dance. Producers will probably aim to ensure all remaining couples dance one ballroom and one Latin routine in the semi-final.

That said, in the 2012 semi-final Kimberley was allowed to dance American Smooth and Charleston. And in 2011 Harry and Aliona danced the VW and Charleston in the semi-final. Charleston is very much ‘playing your joker’ on Strictly and either or both of Jay and Katie could yet dance Charleston in the semi-final.

The show has started to hint it might ideally like Georgia, Jay and Anita in the final, Georgia and Anita’s availability for the Strictly Tour a big plus for their final chances in theory. The fourth celeb most likely to join them looks a lot more open at this stage.

In the hope Katie can do a Susanna Reid and successfully negotiate this week, the quarter and the semi-final by avoiding the dance-off thanks to her robust public vote, she looks worth backing in Coral’s ‘without Jay’ market at 14-1 e/w a third the odds, 1-2.

If she ends up dead-heating for 2nd behind Jay you will collect on the win component, half your stake, and the place component in full. Worthy of note is Katie trading 11-10 in a h2h match bet with Kellie at William Hill. That looks a shade of value too.


Kellie – next elimination – 4pt win – 5-2 – Betfred, Stan James

Katie – ‘without Jay’ – 0.5pt e/w – 14-1 – Coral


  1. James

    Hi Rob. I do wonder if last weeks dance off controversy may dampen down the ramping of Peter this week. With the public and media watching his dance and score very keenly for any signs of bias, I think the judges will be wary of over-scoring him.

    If Peter were to finish in the bottom two this week, I don’t see him surviving against Jay, Georgia, Anita or Helen. Kellie is also a better dancer technically, and I think she would beat him in a dance off.

    Peter might win a dance off against Katie, but I think it’s unlikely she will end up in the bottom two. Katie is probably picking up at least five points this week via the PV, and so will only need 2-3 points via the judges leaderboard, to avoid the dance off. Previous Strictly weeks which included either a Swing-a-thon or a Waltz-a-thon have tended to lead to more tightly bunched leaderboards with some ties. For example, even though Mark Wright finished bottom of the judges leaderboard in week 11 last year, he actually earned 3 points, rather than a single point if there had been no ties. Something similar could save Katie this week.

    I feel that Kellie’s PV remains weak against the remaining celebrities, and a middling performance would land her in the bottom two. I suspect that in a dance off, she would lose out to those confirmed/expected to tour (Jay, Georgia, Anita), but would beat Peter or Katie. It would be difficult to pick a victor if it were Helen vs Kellie, but as you mentioned a VW is likely to see Helen score well well, and avoid the bottom two this week.

    Here are a couple of ‘fun facts’ that I spotted.

    Anita is one of the favourites for the pimp slot, however the last time that a Rumba closed the show was week 3 in 2010. So it would appear that the production team are not huge fans of this dance!

    Georgia is dancing the Paso to ‘The Final Countdown’ this week. Rachel Stevens danced the Paso to this tune in 2008, in week 11. She only scored 32 (3.8 points below her series average), and finished in the bottom two.

    • Rob

      Hi James. I think potentially the biggest implication for the show following the Jamelia controversy, is the judges playing it more straight in dance-offs. Or at least giving more of an impression of playing it straight.

      It is going to be interesting now if Anita or Georgia land bottom 2 and are up against, say, Helen. Would they contrive a save of the one who is touring against one who isn’t (assuming Helen isn’t on the tour here; we don’t know for sure yet), if Helen out-dances her opponent and scored higher on the judges’ leaderboard?

      The bounce is alive and well on Strictly and I think this is less of a concern for producers regarding how the show is perceived. Jamelia bounced after her week 1/2 bottom 2; Ainsley bounced after his week 3 bottom 2; Kirsty bounced after her week 4 bottom 2; Jamelia bounced after her week 6 bottom 2; Kellie bounced after her week 7 bottom 2.

      The only non-bounce this series has been Jamelia on 2 occasions. You have to assume given Peter’s save last week the show wants 2 males in at least through to the quarter-final.

  2. M8

    Out of all those remaining dances, I think Helen has the best routines to call upon. AM, AT, Jive and Paso are all big audience hits and score winners if performed correctly. The Viennese Waltz this week should give her the opportunity to bounce back after last week. I wouldn’t rule her out making the final. I’m not ruling Jay out of a bottom two appearance down the line as he has two very dances in Rumba and Samba to come.

    • Rob

      Hi M8. I agree with you that Helen could still make the final. The other thing in her favour is, she is such a good technician, she will be very hard to beat in any dance-off she appears in.

  3. Rob

    Some rehearsal footage on latest video:

  4. Rob

    A cover bet on Peter in order.


    Peter – next elim – 5-2 – 2pt win – BetVictor

  5. Rob

    Peter vs Kellie

    Peter OUT

    At least cover bet landed. It did look a nailed on bottom 2.

  6. James

    Hi Rob. Here are some of my thoughts from last night’s show.

    – Obviously this was a very good night for Helen. Is this just one good week, or the start of a sustained push? Both Abbey Clancey and Caroline Flack topped the leaderboard in week 10, and never looked back. It was interesting that in the judge’s comments, Bruno mentioned that this was a ‘breakthrough dance’. I still feel she is likely to join the SCD tour, and would be tough to beat in a dance off, which makes her a probable finalist. Before yesterday’s show, I placed a bet on her to be top female at 14/1 with Coral, as that price looked too high. I still see her as an unlikely winner, but it’s certainly possible to see her finishing joint second behind Jay.

    – The quickstep-a-thon was used to give Katie & Georgia a boost, and drop Peter, Anita & Kellie into the dangerzone. This could suggest that Georgia’s PV is weaker than imagined, and that the producers/judges felt she needed the additional 6 points to avoid a potential drop into the bottom two.

    – If the producers had wanted to eliminate Katie from the competition, yesterday’s quickstep-a-thon would have been the perfect opportunity to put her bottom of the leaderboard. Instead, she was given a boost, and to me, it looks like the producers ideal final four is Jay, Katie and two from Helen, Georgia & Anita.

    • Rob

      Hi James. I was astonished to see Georgia favoured again once more in the running order. Like you say, another pimp slot and 6pts for the QS-athon clearly indicate she is struggling in the vote and they are trying to protect her from the b2.

      Helen’s high score was largely merited and she will be hard to beat if she lands in the dance-off in the qf or sf.

      I tend to agree prods are probably happy for Katie and Anton to make the final now. It adds a feel-good element and as we have seen in recent finals, a public fav can’t sustain their lead on the pv in a final when voting numbers increase massively.

      Still intrigued to see who else gets chosen for the Strictly Tour and how the dance selections pan out over the next 2 weeks.

  7. Rob

    Foxtrots for both Georgia and Katie next week.

    • M8

      Forgive the X Factor spiel Rob but could this be the opportunity TPTB have been waiting for to deramp Katie and push Georgia by praising and scoring her foxtrot significantly higher than Katie’s?

      • Rob

        I’m not so sure, M8. Georgia has been on later than Katie in the last 5 weeks!!! Surely they can’t give her another late slot and later slot than Katie? Also, Anton is the ballroom king and it is ‘musicals’ week so I’d expect him to choreo a top notch routine.

        Also, as James alludes to above, prods seem to be behind Katie & Anton atm.

  8. M8

    The reason I’m not convinced TPTB want Katie to make the final is firstly will she be on tour (Anton has his own show) and two if she makes the final you have to believe she can bring it home with the overwhelming public support Anton will get. Plus it’s not like Katie has been getting the scores of a potential winner.

    Saying that, Katie might be getting so many votes that TPTB may be forced to give up and embrace the Anton never winning story as it is a real feel good story and will banish the negative publicity the show has had this season regarding dance offs being fixed etc (notice Tess asking the judges who they wanted to save “and why” probably in response to last week’s result. Chris Hollins was doing so well in the votes that TPTB gave up and embraced him winning even giving him a perfect score for that Charleston to try and at least justify him winning in the final. Will the same thing happen with Katie?

    My prediction at the moment is a Jay, Helen, Georgia and Anita/Katie final. Remember Anita is going on tour, don’t write her off for the final yet.

    • Rob

      Hi M8. Worth remembering – the Strictly final is a very different beast compared to the rest of the series with voting figures much, much higher.

      This means it is much easier for them to ‘control’ their desired outcome. A series-long public fav like Katie can easily be overhauled in the final, as happened to Susannah Reid in 2013.

      This is maybe why they will be happy for Katie and Anton to make the final: it’s something of a feel-good story while they will be confident they can keep a lid on their vote if they don’t want them to win.

      Paso for Helen.

  9. Rob

    Unconfirmed, a degree of speculation, taken from Digital Spy:

    Week 11 Dances
    Anita & Gleb – ? (MUST be ballroom, so AT, FT or VW – AT suggested on Facebook)
    Georgia & Giovanni – Foxtrot (results show – Beauty and the Beast theme)
    Helen & Aljaz – Paso Doble (Janette on Periscope)
    Jay & Aliona – ? (MUST be latin, so Charleston, Rumba or Samba)
    Katie & Anton – Foxtrot (results show)
    Kellie & Kevin – ? (MUST be ballroom – AS, AT, VW left)

    Semi-Final Dances:
    Anita & Gleb – Argentine Tango, Foxtrot, Viennese Waltz / Salsa
    Georgia & Giovanni – Argentine Tango, Viennese Waltz / Cha-Cha-Cha
    Helen & Aljaz – American Smooth, Argentine Tango / Jive
    Jay & Aliona – Viennese Waltz / Charleston, Rumba, Samba
    Katie & Anton – Waltz / Charleston, Samba
    Kellie & Kevin – American Smooth, Argentine Tango, Viennese Waltz / Rumba

    Conclusions being made Georgia would have CCC and AT in the semi-final, and:
    Anita – salsa
    Helen – Jive
    Jay – VW
    Katie – Waltz
    Kellie – rumba

  10. Rob

    Jay – rumba to ‘Falling Slowly’ from the movie ‘Once’.

    • James

      Hi Rob. Here are some Rumba stats.

      1) No male celebrity has ever received a weekly top score with a rumba.
      2) The highest score for a male celebrity rumba is 36 (by Patrick Robinson, Harry Judd and twice by Colin Jackson).
      3) Aliona has a pretty decent record with the rumba, including scores of 36 with Harry and 35 with Matt Baker.
      4) The last time a male celebrity rumba had the pimp slot was in series 2.

      • Rob

        Thanks James. I think rumba is going to suit Jay very well. Been eager to see him get this dance for a number of weeks now. Glad he gets the chance with it, rather than it being the one he misses out on.

  11. Rob

    Anita & Gleb will dance the Argentine Tango to ‘Cell Block Tango’ from Chicago.
    Georgia & Giovanni will Foxtrot to ‘Beauty & The Beast’ from the show of the same name.
    Helen & Aljaz perform the Paso Doble to ‘At The End Of The Day’ from Les Miserables.
    Jay & Aliona are going to Rumba to ‘Falling Slowly’ from Once.
    Katie & Anton are dancing the Foxtrot to ‘Maybe This Time’ from Cabaret.
    And finally Kellie & Kevin are performing the Viennese Waltz to ‘Oom Pah Pah’ from Oliver.

  12. James

    Hi Rob. I am wondering if there is some value in Anita to leave this week at 9/1 with Skybet.

    The VW could come to Kellie’s rescue this week. Katie, Kirsty & Helen have all scored 6-7 points above their series average when dancing the VW, so a score of around 38 for Kellie is certainly a possibility.

    Given Kellie’s low PV, even this may not be enough to save her from the b2, but it would give her a decent chance of winning a dance off. Fellow EastEnders actors Scott Maslen & Jake Wood also survived until semi-final week, so perhaps Kellie’s role is to win a third dance off before departing in 5th place.

    I don’t see either Georgia or Jay falling into the b2 this week. The danger for Katie would be if she were to finish bottom of the judge’s leaderboard, with no ties and with Jay as a blocker between her and the other females. If she picks up two points from the judges leaderboard, I believe she will be safe this week.

    This would leave Kellie, Anita & Helen as contenders for the b2, and I am not convinced that Anita would survive a dance off against either competitor.

  13. M8

    I disagree about Georgia 100% being safe from the bottom two this week. I think their is some weight on Rob’s earlier comments about her struggling in the votes due to her recent spots in the running order and she is due an earlier slot. She has the same dance as another competitor which poses a danger if she scores lower than Katie.

    I’m actually going to turn things around and wonder if their is potential value for Anita to be highest scorer of the evening? Cell Block tango is a dramatic piece of music (see Holly and Artem’s ballroom tango from 2011) and Gleb won’t be slapped down for any lifts. Also last time Len slapped a pro down for choreography (Giovanni) he marked him and Georgia a six back in week three. The following week Len gave them a nine. Should the same pattern emerge here, then this indicates that should Anita nail that Argentine Tango we could potentially see a ten from Len. The big question mark is will Anita be pushed back to an early running order slot after going second to last on Saturday?

    James makes a good point regarding Jay and the rumba. I think he’ll handle it well as Rob says, but tens are a big ask for such a difficult dance.

    Another stat worth noting, the only couple left in the competition yet to open the show are Helen and Aljaz. You’d imagine this leaves them with a fairly strong chance of opening on Saturday especially with a dramatic dance such as the paso doble. But going first would see their chances of topping the leaderboard decrease.

    • James

      Hi M8. I think the judges will put Georgia in the top two this week, which would offset any weakness in her PV (which of course, is only a theory at this stage).

      Looking back at previous quarter finals, it usually takes a score of 39+ to achieve the weekly top score. This would appear to rule out Katie (Anton has a top score of 35) and Jay (no male has scored more than 36 for the rumba).

      I’m not sure Helen’s paso will score well this week. Aljaz’ only other paso (with Abbey in week 9) scored 32.

      Georgia, Kellie & Anita all have a good opportunity to score highly this week.

  14. M8

    I agree James. Also with the style of dance, the dramatic music and following last week’s disappointing rumba, I feel like there might not be any middle ground this week for Anita. She’ll either nail the dance and wind up with tens and a spot in the top two of the leaderboard. Or she’ll get another average mark of say eights with one or two nines thrown in and end up in the dance off and possibly even going home.

    Thanks for the tip regarding Aljaz’s paso history. Add that to an early spot in the running order and Helen could be in trouble. Currently she’s 4/1 best odds to leave.

    I wish the press and/or pros would give the public a heads up on the running order say a couple of hours before the show starts like pros do on DWTS in order to rally support. It would make things very interesting for people like ourselves.

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