End Of The Road For Audley

Oct 20, 2011 by

We are all capable of having absolute shockers – keeping them to a minimum over the course of the series is the key – and we are happy to hold our hands up and say that last Saturday was certainly one for us with our Strictly bets. We are still reeling from Craig getting his 9 paddle out in only week 3. Week 3, Craig, what are you playing at? We put it down to clear Antipodean bias he is showing towards Jason Donovan and, to a lesser extent, Holly Valance.
In striving for value you can occasionally come a cropper but if you are consistently astute at spotting the over-priced gems, you will turn a profit in the long run. Which is why we are willing to oppose Jason Donovan in the Highest Scorer market again this week.
Len described Jason as the postman who always delivers after he topped the leaderboard for the 3rd consecutive week last Saturday. Four in a row? We are willing to bet against it. For one, he is dancing the notoriously difficult Paso Doble. For two, early training footage showed him struggling with the correct positioning of his body according to pro expert Ian Waite. For three, he is long overdue an early slot, possibly even first up, which would mean he is virtually guaranteed not to top the leaderboard. For four, a 4th top score really will make this series look like a procession, surely something the producers wish to avoid. And for five, there appear to be 3 genuine contenders this week who have the potential to oust him from top spot: namely, Harry, dancing a waltz, Chelsee dancing a quickstep, and Holly dancing a Viennese waltz.
Aliona is really pushing Harry, and has come up with a difficult routine for him by all accounts which could just lead to mistakes, so 4-1 Harry doesn’t make much appeal. Which leaves Chelsee and Holly. These two ladies have ballroom dances in which they are in hold and being led, so if Artem and Pasha do their work properly, both are capable of shining.
Of the two, Holly, in theory, has the easier dance, and one that she should be able to perform with requisite grace. She has the height and figure to produce the elegant lines it demands. Chelsee’s dancing has proved too frenetic at times, which might lend itself rather well to the speedy footwork of the QS. But at the same time it also requires control and that does not appear to be Chelsee’s strong point. Holly has danced first twice and is also due a late slot, if not last to perform. So we recommend taking the 9-1 Holly for Highest Score with William Hill (with a small saver on Chelsee at 14-1), especially recalling the excellent VW Artem created last year dancing with Kara, and which bagged them a 39:

The elimination this week looks intriguing. Anton might just create a dramatic and entertaining Paso for Nancy, a dance that could well suit her sultry Latin persona. Lulu’s samba, you might assume, will be a car crash, but she appears to have got her confidence back, was talking positively on ITT this week, and looked ok in early training footage. Audley looks like he is struggling with the rise and fall of the foxtrot, but you sense viewers are warming to Audley’s smiling, ‘give it my best shot’ attitude. Rory, meanwhile, is having to do the tricky cha, cha, cha and we struggle to see him producing anything remotely decent but if the judges slaughter him, this could help boost his vote.
It is easy to envisage a bottom 3 on the leaderboard of Nancy, Audley and Rory. At the odds we think Rory is worth a small investment at 12-1, with Audley worth the weightier wager at a widely-available 9-4. Rory could well trade a lot shorter on Betfair come Saturday night, while Audley looks just as vulnerable as Nancy, if not more so, and is a much better value price.
In Outright betting, it will be interesting to see how Robbie does with his jive because if he can master the fast Latins he could emerge as a legitimate challenger. Given the joy Russell Grant exudes when he dances, his refreshing positivity, the great chemistry he has struck up with Flavia, Flavia’s superbly entertaining choreography, and the standing ovations they consistently receive in the studio, we still see him as over-priced at 25-1 e/w with Ladbrokes, and a widely-available 16-1 to be Top Male.
Rob Furber

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