Dancing With Death

Oct 27, 2016 by

Dancing With Death

Lesley’s Strictly elimination provided a 7-1 winner last weekend with Laura’s injury and subsequent bye enabling her to dodge a bullet and Daisy dragged down into the dance-off instead.

Laura’s jive had not looked convincing in training but the good news for her is, she gets to duck it now and reverts to ballroom this week dancing the tango.

‘Paint It Black’ is a suitably evocative track but with her injured ankle she didn’t look at home with the steps in early training footage this week. The routine is also themed as Mr and Mrs Death so has to get a red flag regarding her and Giovanni’s potential make-overs for Halloween Week.

Daisy looks teed up for a classic bounce back week with a paso set to a stirring piece of music in Santa Esmeralda’s version of ‘Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood’. Lady Gaga’s ‘Born This Way’ doesn’t seem quite so suitable for a paso, but will give Judge Rinder the chance to put his unique stamp on it, with he and Oksana playing the part of a moth and a butterfly.

We have two very different songs for the two Charlestons this week too. Following Ore’s break-out jive, he enjoyed further ramping from the judges on Saturday for a waltz which, to this eye, didn’t seem worthy of 9s yet landed him 36 and the highest score for the second successive week.

The narrative looks like it is being cemented of Ore laying down the most significant challenge to Danny at the moment, while Danny again can feel hard done by in comparison only receiving 35 last week for an excellent rumba.

We can probably expect further plaudits for Ore this week with his Charleston having jive elements which should play to his strengths. Meanwhile, Louise was given a damning appraisal by Len last Saturday that she has plateaued in this year’s competition.

This, of course, does give her the window to build her challenge from this point if and when the judges decide to tell her she has upped her game. Charleston certainly gives her the chance to shine with training footage suggesting this dance is going to be a triumph for her.

Anastacia had a good week dancing the quickstep with replacement pro partner Gorka. While Brendan is back with her this week the worry for her is, having to tackle the difficult jive. ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ doesn’t seem the most suitable jive music either. Training footage has looked no more than ok this week but with running order positions of 2, 3 and 4 in the last 3 weeks at least Ana can hope for a late slot on Saturday.

Claudia and AJ will dance the American Smooth so we can probably expect some spectacular lifts. Their music choice again pigeon-holes them as this year’s token young couple. Claudia will be a witch and AJ a frog so again this has to get a potential Halloween make-up department red flag. After their pimp slot on Saturday they could also find themselves on early.

Ed struggled with one of the lifts last week in his American Smooth but wisely showed the audience how it was supposed to have been executed post-dance. It usually isn’t until one of the series’ perceived big guns is eliminated in a dance-off that there is a voting backlash against the year’s ‘novelty’ dancer.

In this respect, Lesley’s exit wasn’t a negative for Ed. So he still has a good chance for his vote to hold up and to escape the bottom 2 again if he can entertain despite being tasked with the difficult CCC. Hansel Martinez version of ‘Love Potion No. 9’ is a nice song choice for him to ham it up as a mad scientist.

Danny can be expected to produce a top foxtrot though he could be on early after being drawn 8/12 and 9/10 in the last 2 weeks and may again find himself beaten to top spot on the judges’ leaderboard.

Which leaves Greg. He has been given trap 1 and trap 3 in the last 2 weeks to overcome very difficult dances in the salsa and CCC respectively. A show of confidence by TPTB that Greg’s vote is robust enough to withstand early running orders and middling to poor scores?

For him to now be given the ‘dance of death’ in the rumba would have initially set alarm bells ringing for his backers of a triple whammy of hideous dances to negotiate. But from the low point of his CCC last weekend it does give the chance for judges to focus on potential improvement and it is another dance you don’t want to have in the show’s latter stages happily ticked off.

Wishful thinking here perhaps, but it almost starts to look like they have intentionally built a path for Greg to overcome early setbacks and gradually turn himself into a top dancer with some good ballrooms potentially to come, and dramatic routines such as the paso and Argentine tango still up his sleeve as well.

In terms of the narrative this series, it would add an interesting new dimension if Greg yet emerges as a challenger and it is easy to see this happening in future weeks. The only dangerous fast Latin Greg has left to potentially negotiate is the samba and this is one that can be avoided altogether, as was the case with two of the finalists last year in Jay and Katie.

Greg and Natalie remain hugely likeable and voteable as a couple and possess that all-impotent chemistry you want to see in a partnership. They also at least have a dramatic piece of music to sell their rumba and should have the buffer of a late slot this week too.

Given all of the above, it makes Greg’s ever-drifting odds hugely appealing once more in the Outright market as he is now quoted at his pre-series odds.

With the Beeb probably loathe to lose another celeb this year through injury, perhaps the biggest question this week is, who is the longer-term risk – Laura or Anastacia? Pre-show both look at risk of landing in the dance-off.

Ed has the chance to escape the dance-off again despite very likely to be propping up the leaderboard. If there is a shock celeb who lands in the bottom 2 this week, it could be Claudia who is due an early slot. Judge Rinder doesn’t look entirely safe with a paso that could easily underwhelm but given her elimination price looks far too big Laura has to be the early play this week.

Laura was 10-1 and during the time it has taken to post this article she has been cut to 7-1 but 7-1 still looks value, with Anastacia probably worth a saver at 2-1.


Greg – Outright – 25-1 – 1pt e/w (fifth the odds, first 3 places) – Ladbrokes, SportingBet

5th elimination – Laura – 7-1 – 1pt win – Ladbrokes

5th elimination – Anastacia – 2-1 – 1pt win – Ladbrokes

This week’s song and dance choices:

Anastacia and Brendan will be dancing the Jive to ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ by Meat Loaf
Claudia and AJ will be dancing the American Smooth to ‘Black Magic’ by Little Mix
Daisy and Aljaz will be dancing the Paso Doble to Santa Esmeralda version of ‘Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood’
Danny and Oti will be dancing the Foxtrot to ‘Take Me To Church’ by Hozier
Ed and Katya will be dancing the Cha Cha to the Hansel Martinez version of ‘Love Potion No. 9’
Greg and Natalie will be dancing the Rumba to ‘Bring Me To Life’ by Evanescence
Judge Rinder and Oksana will be dancing the Paso Doble to ‘Born This Way’ by Lady Gaga
Laura and Giovanni will be dancing the Tango to ‘Paint It Black’ by The Rolling Stones
Louise and Kevin will be dancing the Charleston to the Emeli Sande version of ‘Crazy In Love’
Ore and Joanne will be dancing the Charleston to the Bow Wow Wow version of ‘I Want Candy’


  1. M8

    Thanks for the write up Rob. I think your tips are spot on, It feels like Ed is set up for the token Blackpool duffer exit that seems to happen most years. Ana is still cannon fodder below him. I’m not sure when Blackpool week is having assumed it was next week. If Blackpool is next week then I’m assuming TPTB would prefer an Ana exit tomorrow with Ed going next week. If it’s the week after, then I think we could see our first shock elimination either tomorrow or next week with Ed going the week after. I think the preference will be that Ana leaves tomorrow from the show’s point of view, but it would be foolish not to cover Laura with a weak fanbase and a less than convincing training video.

    As you say Daisy will get the predictable ramp treatment but Claudia is a question mark for me. A bad dance and running order could leave her in bottom two danger? It’ll need to be a good dancer in the bottom two for Laura to be eliminated, could Claudia fit the bill?

    • James

      Blackpool week is scheduled to coincide with Children in Need, which is three weeks away (Nov 18th). For me, it’s tough to see either Ana or Ed making it as far as Blackpool.

      I suspect Laura will finish bottom of the public vote tomorrow, and will need a high score from the judges to avoid the dance off. I found it interesting that the show stated clearly last week that had Laura been able to dance, she would have been 9th out of 11 in the running order. Was this announced to justify an early running order slot for her this week?

      On the last seven occasions Brendan has performed a Latin dance (in elimination weeks), he has ended up in the bottom two on six occasions.

      Kevin received the Halloween week pimp slot in both 2013 & 2014. I would not be surprised to see him close the show again tomorrow.

      Natalie’s Rumba will be her first on the show since 2010. Let’s hope it’s a good one!!

  2. stoney

    Everything going perfectly for Greg tonight. Seems as if its being set up to get him back in the race. Just hope he performs now

    • stoney

      Not quite to plan

      • Matt

        The journey has begun though – i thought the Craig “10 if it was a show dance” was quite telling

        • Rob

          Yep, I think Greg & Nat will avoid the dance-off. Ana looking a goner, possibly up against, whisper it, Ore.

          Daisy may get a bounce. Judge Rinder’s vote might hold up enough, though any of those 3 vs Ana would not surprise me.

  3. Rob


    Daisy V Anastasia

    Anastacia OUT

    Happy to take a small profit tonight & most importantly – Greg through unscathed & now a chance for him to hopefully build some momentum.

    • stoney

      He clearly has a strong fan base to build on, and I’m all for wishful thinking but can we all agree if he gets another 4 or 5 from Craig next week he isn’t going to win.

      • Rob

        Fear not, stoney, he will win Craig over yet. All part of the script to come 😉

        • stoney

          Lol i really hope so im going Jamaica all inclusive for a month on the back of this. Greg is My only runner as well. I don’t scatter bet. It doesn’t matter too much anyway cos I’m quids in with matt terry for x factor so one of them will win for definite

          • Rob

            One thing I am pretty confident of – Greg will trade much, much shorter in the coming weeks & I expect him to drop below 10 if he comes out and nails a ballroom routine, which I think he will. Fingers crossed 🙂

    • James

      Brendan’s poor run in the Latin dances continues!

      I was thoroughly underwhelmed by Louise tonight. I had thought the Charleston was going to see her break out from the ‘plateau’ that Len had mentioned, and become a realistic contender. The judges enjoyed the dance, going by their inflated scores, and scripted feedback, but I now have real doubts that she will be a finalist. The one thing still to her advantage is Kevin’s popularity. Rob, do you still see Louise as the most likely top female, or can you see Claudia (or whisper it, Laura) winning this market?

      • Rob

        I thought Louise danced it well, James, & deserved the highest score on the night but from trap 1 it did underwhelm, esp. with that choice of music.

        I didn’t think Claudia’s routine was very good but, as seemed to be the script for the night, it was talked up & over-scored. The reaction & scoring for Laura’s tango was the biggest farce though. It was really poor but they clearly wanted to save her.

        Strictly has become as bad as XF in terms of post-dance appraisals and leaderboard manipulation.

  4. hemsby

    Congratulations on another winning week Rob.

    It has to be said,your week by week advice,plus the AP advice on both XF and SCD has been exemplary even considering the extremely high standards you have previously set.

    No surprise your tips now have a huge propensity to move the market when published…..you’ve turned into the Pricewise of reality TV betting !

    Take a bow…..sensational stuff.

  5. stoney

    Greg has the Vienese Waltz Saturday. A ballroom at last. Even though he wasn’t great at the weekend the market seems to be respecting his chances again. Glad I got back on at the higher prices last week.

    • Rob

      Yep, great to see him finally given a dance he has the chance to excel in. Hopefully they get a great song choice for it tomorrow.

    • Bruce

      Your tipping and opinions really do influence markets markedly now Rob and why not with your LSP and current run of form.
      Have to say though I’m totally shocked at Gregs price, he’s technically miles behind the best dancers and though he will improve I don’t believe he will ever reach the required level to win. I don’t find him particularly likeable or his partnership with Natalie to have much chemistry.
      Just wanted to post an opposing view for a change as, let’s just assume his VW isn’t technically that great on Saturday and gets some judges criticism, then the price should drift dramatically. A celebrity Journey is a great thing but of the 2 Olympians, Claudia has improved the most, has a great Charleston in the bank and is only 6 points lower odds than Greg as I type this.
      Not much upside for me to counter this risk. It’s one thing trusting your judgement but on a risk/reward basis Greg is a terrible bet at current Betfair odds to me.

      • Rob

        Hi Bruce. It’s the room for improvement & ‘journey’ potential that appeals with Greg. Agreed – not produced the goods yet, but I think he is capable, especially now he will get a run of much more favourable dances.

        This is a series that will be decided by TPTB. Last 5 onwards, it will be down to the show who they push & who they choose to ditch. I think him & Nat have been really good together in interview & certainly the signs so far have been very positive for them in terms of producer support.

        • Bruce

          I agree TPTB will be able to ‘manufacture’ the result they want as no one has done enough yet to be an unstoppable force by any means.

          Your analysis as always is spot on, the difficult dances have been negotiated by Greg and Nat and he really should kick on from here. I can understand the logic, I just don’t see his potential the way that you do.

          Claudia at 10 v Greg at 15 is a ‘no brainer’ for me but lets see how it plays out. You have the magic touch at the moment, won’t be at all surprised to be back on here congratulating you after Saturday’s show

          All the best, keep up the fantastic work Rob

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