Dani To Sparkle with Samba

Nov 22, 2012 by

Dani To Sparkle with Samba

A rapid-fire Strictly post to flag up the value as we see it in Ladbrokes weekly markets before the prices are gobbled up.

Dani looks like she is due her biggest night on Saturday dancing the samba. We know fast Latin is this young lady’s forte and training footage suggests she might produce something truly outstanding and we could even see Dani’s first 10s of the series.

She looks the value call for highest score at 4-1, with a saver on Denise at anything odds against as she is almost guaranteed to be vying for top spot dancing the American smooth.

Looking at the lowest score market, we would be very keen on Lisa at 8-1 dancing the rumba were it not for the fact the show is really pushing Lisa in this series and it is more likely she will be over-scored again.

Victoria faces a serious test attempting a salsa and she looks the logical call for lowest score at 13-8, now 11-8. Charleston (Nicky’s dance) usually lands decent scores and we expect Nicky to do a competent job. Michael is possibly a little more vulnerable dancing the tricky Argentine tango but we would expect him to, at the very worst, still out-score Victoria.

The other outsider to consider here is possibly Louis dancing the paso. Early training footage did not look very good at all. Given his dip in form in recent weeks it is not inconceivable this continues and 16-1 looks on the big side. So we would be looking at something like a 6pt stake on Victoria with 1pt savers on Lisa and Louis in the lowest scorer market.

We saw the 10s come out last week for Denise’s Charleston and we expect the 10s to continue this Saturday. We think there is a potentially shrewd way of turning a nice profit covering the possibility of there being between zero and 3 10s which looks the logical call given Craig is unlikely to pull out his 10 paddle no matter what.

We advise backing number of 10s0-2 – at 13-8, to a 4pt stake, and backing highest total score of 39pts at 4-1 to a 2pt stake.

In lowest total score betting, we reckon all the remaining couples have it in them to produce decent routines, and as long as Victoria doesn’t fall apart during her salsa, we like the look of 26-28pts at 13-8.

This gives room for as big as four 7s from the judges, but also allows room for a couple of 6s and a couple of 7s. Assuming a decent effort by Victoria, Len can be relied upon to pull out a 7 about as much as Craig can be relied upon to pull out a 6, so the range of scoring offered by this bet looks very fair value.

In terms of bottom 2, we were initially eyeing up Kimberley, Lisa and Dani as the potential value here. But we sense Dani is going to have a blinder, will get a lot of praise, and will likely be among the top 2 at the top of the leaderboard, so we reckon it is worth dutching Lisa and Kimberley both at 5-1 with Paddy Power.

Two weeks ago Kimberley fell into the bottom 2 so we know her public vote is very shaky. She is dancing a tango and the judges may well try and thrust her towards the top of the leaderboard again, but even from third top, say, we could still see her easily dropping into the bottom 2.

Lisa may well be over-scored too but there has to be a chance her rumba is hugely underwhelming and doesn’t inspire a big vote. With Nicky due a bounce, Louis’s public vote likely to be strong enough, and Michael and Victoria having proven in previous weeks to have decent support, it is possible to even envisage a Lisa Kimberley dance-off, especially if Dani, Denise and Louis grab the top 3 positions on the leaderboard.

We think it is worth backing Kimberley to be next eliminated at 16s and Lisa at 10s with Coral. You might fancy Kimberley’s tango to beat Lisa’s rumba in a dance-off but given it will be Kimberley’s 2nd appearance in the bottom 2 they could contrive a Kimberley elimination.

That all said, Victoria still looks most likely to be in danger of elimination on Saturday and we would advise taking the 2-1 she is next eliminated and having something like a 6pt wager on her, staking 2pts on Lisa and 1.5pts on Kimberley.

In Outright betting, we have had reservations regarding Louis series-long and this weekend could tell us a lot more regarding his future trajectory on the show.

We already wonder if the theme of disappointment will continue among the judges, and the drip, drip, drip of criticism will begin to slowly take hold with the audience much as did with Matt Baker in the 2010 series.

Ultimately, the Strictly judges will push for the best dancer to win and the usual scheme of things dictates the best dancer is only ever toppled on Strictly by a journey contestant with unstoppable momentum.

We see it as a given that Denise is far and away the best dancer in this series, and to date the 2 dancers who look the most likely journey candidates are Lisa and Michael. But this series is evolving from week to week and we would not be surprised if Dani‘s ‘journey’ becomes a developing narrative after this weekend, so she could be well worth taking 16s on the Outright and 15-2 to be Top Female.

We are growing in our resolve that Kimberley will not win this series, and while Nicky also had a look of a potential journey contestant, his bottom 2 appearance last weekend looks to have taken the wind out of his sails.

Do others agree Louis is now looking something of a dodgy fav? And who do you see as the most likely journey contestant this year to build up a head of steam as we head towards the final? Once other bookies issue prices, we will also flag up anything of value we see below.
Rob Furber

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  1. Bruce

    Dani certainly has some momentum at the moment and I can see some value in the top scorer and OR markets.

    The OR bet I would see as a trade only as ‘the munchkins’ simply don’t look that graceful in ballroom, her personality doesn’t do a lot for me and her body shape and tattoos are rather unflattering also (sorry Dani). She’s undoubtedly moving up in people’s radar though as a potential winner however.

    I took the 13/8 Victoria lowest scorer and despite my views on Louis, also couldn’t resist the 16/1. Elimination I also am for Victoria at 2/1.
    I think she was lucky to escape the bottom two last week and that a kind of ‘residual fair play’ comes into the following weeks public voting. Nicky may have been unlucky to find himself there last week and may bounce out of contention for a bottom two placing. If thats the case I find it hard to see Victoria avoiding the chop unless she recieves a score significantly higher than I would expect for a Salsa.

    Lisa may well be value for these markets given her dance, however I haven’t got involved as the judges favourable bias towards her (particulary Craig’s) shows no sign of abating and I’d imagine the public support is still sufficient for now to drag her down into the mix for B2/elimination.

    Coming back to Louis its a pivotal week for his OR chances. I remain convinced even after last weeks disappointing performance that he is the public’s favourite. However another week of judges marks pointing to him having peaked or indeed going backwards would soon undo his early positives.
    Is this likely? – well my back for lowest scorer tells you I do harbour fears in that diresction but I will be surprised and saddened if such a competitive sportsman doesn’t fight back. If so, Bruno and Darcey are still huge fans in my opinion and more favourable scores and comments will be forthcoming.

    After Nicky’s rather surprising bottom 2 placing I’d say Michael Vaughan is the only remaining serious ‘journey’ candidate. To make me think he could actually challenge for the win he will need at least one excellent Latin dance between now and the final. That’s not something I’m at all confident he can produce.

  2. Rob

    Thanks for the comments, Bruce.
    It shows what a nonsense the bookies have become when it probably only took your bet on Victoria at 13-8 to shift the price to 11-8.

    Starting to think one of Lisa or Dani is likely to make the final. They’ve done well to date to make Lisa’s progress look like a journey when she hasn’t really progressed at all from week 1 & can look very stompy.

    But there is a sense (call it intuition) they may be about to switch their attention to Dani who is clearly capable of more refinement in her routines while agreeing with you that her ballroom efforts never look entirely graceful.

    With Lisa, it’s a bit like watching Jahmene’s performances on XF. Afterwards you are left completely underwhelmed & waiting expectantly for the judges to come up with some criticism, but it is never forthcoming & instead all they do is eulogise them.

  3. Rob

    This week’s songs:

    Victoria and Brendan perform the Salsa to ‘Candy’

    Lisa and Robin perform the Rumba to ‘As If We Never Say Goodbye’

    Kimberley and Pasha perform the Tango to ‘When Doves Cry’

    Michael and Natalie perform the Argentine Tango to ‘Bust Your Windows’

    Denise and James perform the American Smooth to ‘Imagine’

    Louis and Flavia perform the Paso Doble to ‘Dirty Diana’

    Dani and Vincent perform the Samba to ‘Single Ladies’

    Nicky and Karen perform the Charleston to ‘Doop’

  4. Ryan P

    Chris Hollins also performed his Argentine Tango to ‘Bust Your Windows’. If I was religious I would call that a sign. But I’m not haha.

    This must surely be one of the most open Strictly’s ever. Last year and in 2010 you just felt very sure who those final 3 would be – maybe with the exception of Scott Maslen, who at about this stage, curiously started to fade away. I really do wonder if Louis will be one of those ‘faders’, and perhaps worn down by the judges, exits in semi-final week. If we rule out Kimberley and Nicky owing to bottom 2 appearances, and also Victoria as she is by far the weakest dancer left, I can;t help but feel the remaining two come from Lisa, Dani or Michael. Thus the final is a Strictly standard of best dancer but least popular (Denise), likeable female (Lisa/Dani), and the polite, likeable white male who has given everything a jolly good go and has dramatically improved (Michael). It fits nicely with previous finalists. Michael did,of course, appear in the bottom 2, but that was very early on following two disastrous Latins, and before the public had begun to like him.

  5. Rob

    Extremely feasible analysis there, Ryan.

    Michael needs to keep on his upward curve – he could have a make or break samba still to negotiate but today’s training footage on the BBC Strictly website offers high hopes his AT will be pretty decent.

    Great spot that Chris Hollins did his AT to the same tune.

  6. Rob

    SportingBet have done their usual skinflints act with their markets this week, though they are a stand-out 18-1 Kimberley to be eliminated.

  7. Heisenberg

    I’m very encouraged to read your views about Dani’s improved prospects – all of a sudden my early £10 Dani/James Arthur outright double at 442/1 has a glimmer of hope!

    Agree with the Pendleton prediction – time for her to leave, who will her vote block transfer to? Maybe Dani?

  8. Rob

    Hi Heisenberg,
    That could be an inspired double – hope you have it as an e/w double.

    Victoria has certainly been receiving a loyal vote. Difficult to tell who benefits from potential vote transfer if she goes this weekend.

  9. Bruce

    Victoria’s vote is undoubtedly due to her Olympic success. If she exits it all must surely go to Louis, right?

    Well thats what I’m hoping anyway 🙂

  10. Rob

    It’s a possibility, Bruce. Big night for Louis tomorrow…

  11. Boki

    Cheers for the 3rd week profit in a row, hopefully it will continue and be enough to cover reds on Louis (it seems that he will be top man after Michael’s second bottom 2 appearance ?).

  12. Rob

    Another very decent night on the Strictly markets – pleased you turned a nice profit, Boki.

    Victoria – lowest score – 11-8 – LANDED
    No. of 10s – 0-2 – 13-8 – LANDED
    Victoria – next eliminated – 2-1 – LANDED

    Called the show almost spot on. Unlucky again with Dani 1st up on the night, then scoring 36 but missing out on joint top spot by 1pt thanks to Bruno’s 10 for Denise. But looks like, as predicted, her Outright & TF odds have now come in.

    Louis, again as predicted, was poor with his paso & continues to drift, now out to 2-1.

    Very unlucky not to have one of Lisa or Kimberley drop into the bottom 2. It must have been very close on scoring with MV probably falling 1pt short on his public vote.

    A shame MV landed b2 for 2nd time – makes his Outright prospects not look so rosey. Nicky certainly rekindled his hopes with a brilliant Charleston.

    A lot still to play for in this series.

  13. Boki

    Hi Rob, what do you think of second bounce for Michael? I guess (a total newbie guess) he will be eliminated if ends up in bot2 but can he escape? We still don’t know his dance though…

  14. Rob

    Hi Boki,
    The detectives over at Digital Spy have been hard at work & come up with this provisional list:

    Dani & Vincent – American Smooth/Viennese Waltz (Dani’s twitter plus process of elimination)
    Denise & James – Salsa (James’ twitter)
    Kimberley & Pasha – Jive? (suggested on her twitter but NOT outright stated yet)
    Lisa & Robin – Quickstep (Lisa’s twitter)
    Louis & Flavia – Charleston (Sunday show)
    Michael & Natalie – Samba (Michael on 5Live)
    Nicky & Karen – Argentine Tango (Nicky’s twitter)

    Samba is the last remaining fast Latin of concern as a Michael backer. He is sure to throw himself into it whole-heartedly & hopefully with the bounce taking effect this will push him clear of the bottom 2.

    He probably has the best chance of beating Kimberley, Dani, Denise & Lisa on the pv, so best hope might be 2 of Dani, Kimberley or Lisa dropping down to maybe 3rd & 4th on the leaderboard. Some tied scores above him will also help his survival chances.

  15. Boki

    Thanks Rob, can you also comment who would the show itself gladly see gone? Latin given to MV doesn’t sound encouraging for his bounce to me…

  16. Rob

    Think they are very keen for a woman to win this series, Boki, which was my initial impression when this year’s field was first revealed.

    There is usually some unsubtle scoreboard ordering to try & ensure they get their desired bottom 2.

    When you look at that potential list of dances, many of them look like they won’t suit – Kimberley’s jive, Lisa’s QS… but overall, they would probably be happiest if it’s a Nicky/Michael bottom 2 & maybe even Louis dropping in there if he fails to perform his Charleston.

    With Louis, it’ll likely only be at the semi-final, 5-couple stage when they can successfully get rid of him.

  17. Heisenberg

    Hi Rob,

    Well, that’s one half of my James Arthur/Dani Harmer double taken care of (33/1 and 12/1 respectively – win only).

    Would be interested in your thoughts on Kimberly’s pimp perfect score this week – do you think it’s an agressive move to push her into the final at the expense of Lisa or a serious move to position her for the crown?

    I won’t be laying Dani just yet (no pun intended) because I consider her a certainty to make the final – question is, who’s the main threat? Right now I’m thinking Louis or Kimberly because Denise doesn’t have the public support and the show wants rid of Lisa now.

    Only current option that catches my eye is a straight forecast of Kimberly/Dani at 40/1.

    Cheers for any insight you may have.

  18. Rob

    Thanks for posting, Heisenberg. That is outstanding work. Really hope that comes off for you & you have a great chance with Dani. Also like to attempt these long range doubles on XF/SCD but did not manage to couple James with Dani this year, sadly.

    My reading is Kimberley has been consistently over-scored ever since her shock bottom 2 & again that didn’t look a 40 dance on Sat yet she got it from the pimp slot.

    Denise has danced much, much better than that & got nowhere near 40. The Star leak suggested Kimberley has been polling very poorly, like Denise, which might explain the over-scoring – trying to push her into a position of safety & enable her to reach the now 4-couple final.

    If they are trying to push Kimberley for the win, it has to be deeply flawed thinking on their part – simply cannot see her beating any of Dani, Lisa or Louis in a straight pv in the final.

    They may be hoping Denise’s vote really spikes up from her semi-final bounce onwards.

    It does look like Lisa is being teed up to be eliminated in the semi-final but her pv is looking like being the highest among the women series-long, again based on that Star leak.

    The worry for Lisa backers is, Denise looks sure to get a big bounce so Lisa may end up 3rd at best on the pv behind Louis & Denise this weekend. And if she is last on the leaderboard – likely given 2 dances & the way they have been ordering things in recent weeks, she will only have 4pts which looks likely to lead to being bottom 2. And if she is b2 she looks a goner.

    Louis definitely appears the biggest threat to Dani, & as advised here earlier – Dani top female & Louis 1st, Dani 2nd looked value plays.

  19. Heisenberg

    Cheers Rob – really value your opinion.

    Early dance reports for semi-final:

    Dani & Vincent – Argentine Tango/Paso Doble or Rumba
    Denise & James – Argentine Tango or Tango/Rumba or Samba
    Kimberley & Pasha – American Smooth, Argentine Tango or Waltz/Charleston or Rumba
    Lisa & Robin – American Smooth/Salsa
    Louis & Flavia – Foxtrot/Jive

    Do you think there’s any danger of Dani missing out on the final? If she’s bottom 2 with anyone except Lisa then I’d fear the worst!

    I sense a bit of a Kimberly backlash following the pimp perfect 40 – there’s a precedent for this – when Rachel Stevens got a perfect 40 a few years ago (after already appearing once in the bottom 2 a few weeks earlier) she found herself immediately back in the bottom 2 the following week, but survived and eventually placed 2nd behind Tom Chambers.

    I guess much hinges on the size of Lisa’a public support (assuming there’s a dance off in the semi which I’m sure there will be if they’re gunning for Lisa).

  20. Rob

    There is some danger. If there are ties on the leaderboard above Lisa this will boost her chances of avoiding bottom 2. Go out on a limb here & predict Louis & Denise will avoid bottom 2 on Sat.

    Will come down to where Dani & Kimberley place on the leaderboard. Think most likely b2 is Kimberley vs Lisa, 2nd most likely: Kimberley vs Dani.

    In Dani’s favour is that she will dance the AT – Vincent’s specialty. Could see Dani being saved over Kimberley – might be one for Len to decide. If Dani gets to reprise the AT, would boost her survival chance.

    We still don’t know for sure there will be a dance-off but must presume so.

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