Croft Original

Nov 3, 2023 by

Croft Original

Angela S appeared to be snubbed once more last Saturday with her excellent paso opening the show and ending up largely forgotten, not dissimilar to her week 3 Charleston positioned early in the 4 slot.

Ellie, meanwhile, enjoyed the pimp slot for her salsa, a leaderboard-topping 38, and has now been backed down to favouritism, being matched as low as 2.7 on the Betfair Exchange.

We know Strictly polling is a straight forward by-product of treatment on the show and Ellie has had two weeks’ worth of high scores for two impactful Latin routines and lavish praise from the judging panel.

She is being shown clear producer favour at this point while her main rivals are being nit-picked, scored down and treated much less well. Might this be part of a ‘scorched earth’ strategy by TPTB in propelling Ellie to the series victory?

The producers rarely show their hand this early but plans may have already changed following Amanda’s withdrawal as they look towards this year’s 3-couple final. A classic ballroom AS looks an easy chance for Ellie to pull in another 36+ score and for her to consolidate her favourite status.

A classic ballroom AS looks an easy chance for Ellie to pull in another 36+ score and for her to consolidate her favourite status

Nigel endured Shirley’s wrath for his CCC last Saturday, similar to his week 2 VW, while Bobby was only awarded 6 by Craig for his CCC. And let’s not forget Bobby previously endured a week 4 pimp that was thoroughly deflating and far, far removed from Ellie’s treatment last week.

Week 6 (Halloween Week) judges’ leaderboard:

Ellie and Vito: Salsa – (10) – 9, 10, 10, 9 = 38
Layton and Nikita: Tango – (4) – 9, 9, 9, 9 = 36
Angela S and Carlos: Paso Doble – (1) – 8, 8, 8, 9 = 33
Angela R and Kai: Charleston – (7) – 9, 8, 8, 8 = 33
Adam and Luba: American Smooth – (2) – 7, 9, 8, 8 = 32 – bottom 2
Nigel and Katya: Cha Cha Cha – (9) – 8, 7, 7, 8 = 30
Bobby and Dianne: Cha Cha Cha – (5) – 6, 9, 7, 8 = 30
Annabel and Johannes: Tango – (8) – 7, 7, 7, 8 = 29
Krishnan and Lauren: Viennese Waltz – (6) – 6, 7, 6, 8 = 27
Zara and Graziano: Charleston – (3) – 6, 6, 6, 7 = 25 – eliminated

Bobby dancing AT will be informative. Can he pull off being an authentic gaucho and selling passion and romance with Dianne? It doesn’t look an obvious fit with him, or them.

Nigel looks to have an easier chance to shine dancing tango. Bar that absurd ‘Movie Week’ Batman jive, Katya has produced some outstanding choreo in all other routines. The nit-picking of Nigel could also be viewed as potentially journey building for him. It has been interesting to hear Shirley continually referencing him as the ‘leading man’ in this year’s competition possibly offering an insight into the pv situation.

It has been interesting to hear Shirley continually referencing Nigel as the ‘leading man’ in this year’s competition possibly offering an insight into the pv situation

Angela S’s treatment so far is much more head-scratching and samba really doesn’t look like a genre that will suit her rigid frame which comes from her Irish dancing background. She could easily get pelters and low scores putting her in trouble of 6th elimination. Last night’s training VT offered a degree of encouragement and Angela S remains the only contestant among the front 5 in the market who hasn’t yet had a pimp slot.

Her escape clause could be Adam, tasked with the always difficult rumba. It would have been a surprise to many to see him land in the bottom 2 last week from a position of earning 7pts on the judges’ leaderboard ranking. But when you look at how poorly Adam polled on our week 6 exit poll, his dance-off appearance makes perfect sense.

He appears to have missed some training this week and knowing Adam he will do his utmost to instigate a sympathy bounce. But given the highly efficient way they have been picking off contestants in this year’s series – the last three eliminations all taking place from the Craig RH death slot, aka, r.o. slot 3 – you would have to fear Adam ends up in the crosshairs. He is at least due a later running order position.

Annabel has a CC paying tribute to her husband who passed away in July. It looks like being dreamy and lyrical, has pimp slot written all over it, and is likely to be Annabel’s high scoring point of the series. There probably won’t be a dry eye in the house and she has already shown herself to have a robust pv.

That also applies to Krishnan, who will be playing his CC joker as well. ‘You Can Call Me Al’ seems an odd choice but looks like being all about him and Lauren selling the charming friendship they have forged, in a similar manner to Bill & Oti’s iconic ‘Rapper’s Delight’ routine.

Annabel’s CC has pimp slot written all over it, and is likely to be her high scoring point of the series

Angela R has a classic waltz and given series-long treatment you would have to expect decent scores for this as the show continues to point her towards Blackpool Week. Layton will no doubt do a professional jive and may well open the show. It also means he would have burnt through all the high impact fast Latins, leaving him potentially looking vulnerable on future shows when he has to perform sober ballrooms.

If Angela S can survive the week her journey could start almost from rock bottom, which might be part of the plan. Should she end up eliminated, however, you would have to start to consider Ellie is Plan A this year, with her main competition on the female side taken out.

Please do let us know who got your week 7 vote(s) when the exit poll opens during tomorrow night’s show.

Strictly 2023 Exit Poll – Week 7

Week 7 – dances & songs:

Adam and Luba: Rumba to Dancing On My Own by Calum Scott
Annabel and Johannes: Couple’s Choice to Wings by Birdy
Angela R and Kai: Waltz to Fascination by Nat King Cole
Angela S and Carlos: Samba to Ain’t It Funny by Jennifer Lopez
Bobby and Dianne: Argentine Tango to Sail by AWOLNATION
Ellie and Vito: American Smooth to Ain’t That A Kick In The Head by Robbie Williams
Krishnan and Lauren: Couple’s Choice to You Can Call Me Al by Paul Simon
Layton and Nikita: Jive to Shake Ur Body by SHY FX, T.Power, Di
Nigel and Katya: Tango to Nothing Breaks Like a Heart by Mark Ronson ft. Miley Cyrus




  1. Donna

    Great review. I’m enjoying this series a lot. I am wondering like you if TPTB are seeing Ellie as the front runner.
    I don’t see Layton as a finalist. I think he will run out of steam. Angela S seems out of favour and I fear for her samba.
    Public backing Krishnan on the polls. Would be great to see him progress further.
    It’s great to see Luba enjoying her best run on the show, can Adam pull off a sensual rumba?
    Annabel is lovely but I don’t see her as a finalist either.
    I’m predicting Ellie, Bobby and Nigel final… but will be interesting to find out who is touring as that usually has a bearing on a couples progress.

    • Lucy

      Ellie is the chosen one and as Rob said, Angela is her main female competition so I think they’ll pull out all the stops to get her out, along with Bobby who also seems to be on a downward trajectory.

  2. Stoney

    I’m wondering if rumours of Angela moving to ITV and therefore missing the tour are whats causing the awful treatment. I guess we will find out more this weekend. Would be nice for a complete u-turn with universal praise for excelling in a dance no one expected her too. Stranger things have happened!

    • Lucy

      ‘I’m wondering if rumours of Angela moving to ITV and therefore missing the tour are whats causing the awful treatment’

      I think you’ve hit the nail on the head there Stoney

      • Stoney

        It’s the only explanation if they try and get her out tonight before even letting her dance the Rhumba they talked up at the start of the show.
        I’m keeping faith that they are gonna throw their weight behind her after this weekend.

        • Stoney

          Couple of pointers
          While she is clearly getting the best treatment, Rob also said the ones that come out flying this early normally tail off.
          Also do you really dress your chosen one and make her look like Shrek during the big Ramp on Halloween week?
          I guess we will find out a bit more tonight.

  3. Lucy

    Yes to be honest I was a bit miffed at how they were dressed and styled last week, unflattering to say the least. In contrast, Angela looked incredible imo. Looking forward to how it all pans out tonight

  4. Stoney

    Nigel is topping the vote then

    • Lucy

      Angela at the bottom 🙁

      • Stoney

        Did a hatchet job on her. I’m fearing the worst. If Adam scores more than her she’s gone tonight.

        • Lucy


          Also, it’s clear Ellie is ‘The chosen one’ after tonight.

          • Stoney

            Can’t argue with that. However there is still a long way to go. But yeah kitchen sink thrown at her staging tonight.

  5. Stoney

    Still not fully sure that a week after week gushing over a trained polished dancer is what the public want to see.
    When Stacy Dooley won, she beat 2 much better female dancers in the final. So we also know the producers don’t need to kill Angela off to enable another female wins the show.
    For me Angela has the best personality of all the remaining females and still has the potential for the best journey in the run up to the final. Motsi gave us another glimmer of hope in the comments. With it looking likely that Adam went out last night, Angela needs a show stopping pimp spot dance next week, the Quick step or a couples choice, or ‘the Rhumba’ cos she has a lot of ground to start clawing back now.

  6. Lucy

    Other favourites have had week after week gushings over a polished dances and have gone on to win. Jay McGuinnes for example. That Jive sealed the deal and it was kind of upwards from there. I do admire your confidence that there’s still hope for Angela. She knew what they were playing at last night and upstairs she made comments on that awful dress they gave her. When stood behind Ellie, it made her look really ‘cheap’ and it wasn’t nice at all. I really like Angela and again, felt sorry for they way she was treated again last night

    • Stoney

      Women contestants are a different kettle of fish, I think this is the point you are missing. The large core of voters (women) are way more likely to get behind an attractive male and vote blindly week after week no matter what happens.
      Aside from Rose, women in recent times only win when given a journey.
      Adam is now confirmed as being the one that went out against Angela Rippon in the dance off. Someone that has had moubtains of preferential treatment. So we at least know that Scanlon has more support than Rippon.
      There is only still hope for Angela if the producers are playing the long game. I do still believe that it will be easier for Angela to beat Nigel with a journey narrative than it will to pimp Ellie every week until the final while still nitpicking away at Nigel every week. Does that mean I have any high level that Angela wins from this point? No not particularly, but as I said stranger things have happened.

      • Stoney

        Ps Jay McGuinnes was nitpicked week after week in the lead up to the final, and more so in the final. Kelvin would have been a better example.

      • Rob

        It was the Breeders’ Cup this weekend which got me thinking about one of my favourite horses of all-time who won incredibly after being held up. We have to hope Angela S is Strictly’s version of Arazi –

        • Stoney

          Fingers crossed Rob.
          This has been one of the most confusing series I can remember. Still can’t work out what the game plan is with the Ellie ramp at this stage. Unless they have a big job lined up for her at the BBC of course. Also if they want to wipe out competition that eats into her vote they would be better off focusing on Bobby.

        • Lucy

          As an Angela backer Let’s hope so! Let’s also hope for some fairer scoring as until now, she continues to be massively undermaked, especially the last couple of weeks. But then I guess that’s the ‘journey’ narrative you keep referring to?
          The treatment Ellie has been getting is a concern of course but will try and keep the faith as you and Stoney do

          • Stoney

            The elephant in the room is whether they want to hand her the journey narrative. Because at the moment all they are doing is relentlessly nit picking at a popular contestant with no worse dancing ability than 2/3 of the cast. I would argue that the 2 biggest ringers Layton and Ellie are the only ones clearly better than Angela at dancing. But this weekend if you watched it for the first time, you would think she’s one of the worst after listening to the judges comments.

  7. Lucy

    Angela has the Waltz

    • Stoney

      From pimp spot I would hope.

      • Lucy

        We expect it every week Stoney and are always disappointed. I can’t see a waltz being a pimp slot dance though

        • Stoney

          Possibly not, but they are still priming her for run of vote winning dances in the run in

  8. James

    I have just caught up with the weekend – Adam looked like a condemned man the entire time. I agree with the commenters saying the elimination outcome feels too predictable each week and it’s stifling the show a bit, nearly every eliminated contestant was in the bottom two the week before.

    Agree Ellie is feeling more and more like the chosen one, drawing on the very PV- friendly side of Vito which has come out this year. The thing I can’t understand is the motive – do they want a female winner but they just don’t think Angela is up to the job, or is the ITV rumour true?

    Helen Skelton had a remarkably late push last year, it was only really post Blackpool that we got her big moments like the jive and her CC. With everyone else looking pretty robust and Angela R presumably destined for Blackpool, Annabel feels like the only potential other candidate for an elimination to me now her big dance is safely dealt with. Will be very telling to see if the producers continue slamming Angela now there’s no obvious other cannon fodder left…

    • Lucy

      Annabel has the samba so looking likely. Put her in the death slot and she’s a guaranteed goner!

  9. Stoney

    I think Krishnan needs to go this week. Annabel should have enough good will from her couples choice last weekend to carry over into this weekend.

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