Dead Heat Rules Apply

Dec 2, 2016 by

Dead Heat Rules Apply

It was a sad farewell to Ed last Saturday as his epic Strictly journey came to an end. It was a clever dispatch by the show as the first 3 to dance – Danny, Ore and Louise – were all eulogised with Len stressing how fantastic they all were, prior to Judge Rinder and then Ed performing, and scoring 29 and 23 respectively, well below the lowest score among those first 3 dances – Ore’s 36 for his paso.

Claudia was given the pimp slot for her AT to help her vote, and the judges’ score of 36 probably helped boost her vote further, as some viewers may have felt it was worth a first 10 for her in this series.

The Cha Cha Cha Challenge was perhaps an insight into the preferred pecking order this year with Ed finishing last, followed by Judge Rinder, followed by Claudia, followed by Ore, followed by Danny, followed by Louise.

It is Musicals Week tomorrow night and based on dance and song choices alone, a Judge Rinder vs Claudia dance-off could be in the offing. Judge Rinder has the always tough samba, and a week after Danny’s magnificent 40-scoring samba:

‘Oh! What A Night!’ is a reasonable song choice for Judge Rinder from an entertainment point of view but you have to expect him to be scored the lowest by the judges. Claudia and AJ are once again pigeon-holed as this year’s ‘young’ couple, dancing the difficult salsa to an obscure song from The Lion King.

This means Claudia would have danced both the samba and the salsa in this series whereas Louise has been able to duck both these tricky fast Latin dances up to now. A hint of producer favour?

A first ever 40 for a samba and 40 two weeks in a row sees Danny arrive at the quarter-final stage with momentum. After the judges were punitive with him earlier in the series they have finally succumbed to acknowledging his consistent brilliance.

This means Claudia would have danced both the samba and the salsa in this series whereas Louise has been able to duck both these tricky fast Latin dances up to now. A hint of producer favour?

Danny, Ore and Louise danced 1st, 2nd and 3rd last week, so it will be easy for the show to justify placing Judge Rinder and Claudia in the first 2 running order positions tomorrow night, which would be a further blow to their chances of escaping the dance-off.

Louise has a classic musical number for her QS from Calamity Jane that the Strictly audience should lap up and which could steal the show given its potential for a big production.

Danny’s tango song is a slightly odd one in ‘One Night Only’ from Dreamgirls but no doubt him and Oti will do a fantastic job with it as they have done with previous songs that didn’t seem the most obvious fit. These two are clocking up an astonishing number of hours together in the training room.

Amazingly, Danny has not enjoyed a pimp slot since week 2 and Ore not since week 4. Claudia has had 3 pimp slots; Louise two. Tomorrow night’s pimp may go to Ore dancing a foxtrot to the dreamy ‘Pure Imagination’ which should be very stylish and also audience-pleasing. Ore has appeared very happy with this dance in training this week.

To sum up, it is a bit of a dead betting heat this week as Judge Rinder looks a near certainty to depart but 4-11 is not remotely appealing.

Tomorrow night’s pimp may go to Ore dancing a foxtrot to the dreamy ‘Pure Imagination’ which should be very stylish and also audience-pleasing

Looking further ahead, presuming a dance-off at the semi-final stage, Ore and Claudia appear most likely to find themselves fighting it out for the last final place.

Who might the judges put through? Well, Ore possibly carries four trump cards – he works for the BBC, he will be on the Strictly Tour next year, he is black, and his pro partner, Joanne Clifton, is sister of Kevin, Louise’s partner, so there is the chance for some familial rivalry to be built upon in the final there.

Claudia’s only ace is potentially the wowser of a showdance she could light up the final with. We saw last year the touring Helen George and Anita Rani eliminated before the final, while the non-touring Kellie gained a final spot and was ramped hard against the touring Jay and Georgia May-Foote.

This did, however, come on the back of the show having to fend off ‘fix’ allegations in the press so this year it could well be a return to the norm and the tourers favoured.

These are the contestants’ remaining dances:

Claudia: QS, tango, rumba
Danny: AS, waltz, salsa
Louise: tango, salsa, samba
Ore: AT, quickstep, samba

It should be one Latin and one ballroom in the semi-final. More significantly, this BBC press release suggests it will be only one show for the final on Saturday December 17.

This could mean we are most likely looking at all three couples standing there at the end of the show, waiting to hear who has won. If this transpires, it will mean dead-heat rules will be in operation for 2nd and 3rd place. Something to think about if you are considering bets with a view to this year’s final.

This week’s dances and songs:

Claudia and AJ will be dancing the Salsa to ‘I Just Can’t Wait To Be King’ from the Lion King
Danny and Oti will be dancing the Tango to ‘One Night Only’ from Dreamgirls
Judge Rinder and Oksana will be dancing the Samba to ‘Oh! What a Night!’ from Jersey Boys
Louise and Kevin will be dancing the Quickstep to ‘The Deadwood Stage’ from Calamity Jane
Ore and Joanne will be dancing the Foxtrot to ‘Pure Imagination’ from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory


  1. M8

    I see Claudia finally got her 10. This gives judges the leverage to push her back down next week especially if she has rumba. Ore beat Rinder in the danceoff tonight so if he bounces as expected that would probably be enough to beat out Claudia next week giving TPTB their preferred final.

    • Rob

      That’s my read too M8. Ore on first and a thoroughly underwhelming dance. It was a really poor production & he looked certain b2 with Judge Rinder.

      Ore has had a shocking run of r.o. positions over the last 5 weeks – 3/9, 4/8, 2/7, 2/6, 1/5.

      Claudia, in those same 5 weeks – 9/9, 6/8, 1/7, 6/6, 4/5

      Expect Ore to be placed higher on the leaderboard over his 2 dances than Claudia next week. Ore has the more exciting dance choices too – AT & samba should trump Claudia’s dance choices.

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