From Neo To Zero?

Oct 12, 2018 by

From Neo To Zero?

Following an inspired, Matrix-themed paso doble last Saturday it has felt like Strictly swallowed the red pill this week, with a drunken kiss between Seann and Katya grabbing all the headlines, and social media’s morality police going into overdrive ensuring they have been pilloried to the max.

Of far greater importance to Strictly traders has been trying to unravel what this means to Seann’s chances of survival tomorrow evening. On paper, he and Katya have a gem of a song for a fun, crowd-pleasing Charleston. Factor in Katya’s amazing choreo skills and in normal circumstances you would think they will be sailing through to next week.

While we have seen the inevitable hysterical stampede to try and paint Seann and Katya’s indiscretion as on a par with Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, a hint of a backlash against the moral do-gooders has also started to emerge with people suggesting what goes on in people’s private lives should have nothing to do with the show which first and foremost is a dancing contest.

On paper, Seann and Katya have a gem of a song for a fun, crowd-pleasing Charleston

A poll run by tells us 64% of people think they should continue on the show and a remorseful Seann and Katya appeared on Wednesday’s ITT to apologise for their actions.

Viewers cannot lodge an anti-vote and it should be business as usual in terms of, if people are impressed by his and Katya’s Charleston the majority will be fair-minded enough to still vote for them. There will also be some older viewers and voters tomorrow night who, whisper it, won’t even know anything about this story.

There was clear production favour shown to Seann and Katya last week combined with a favourable r.o. slot (10 of 14). What we don’t know is how the show will treat them now. There is room for an early running order slot and perhaps muted praise and deflating scores but TPTB may be more tempted to keep them back until later on the show to ensure viewers stay tuned in.

One issue for Seann and Katie might be trying to sell a fun, upbeat routine when the overriding atmosphere could be rather sombre but after TPTB backed them to stay on the show, there might be a concerted effort to vindicate that decision by receiving the routine positively and scoring it up.

Will any of the judges go as far as to publicly slate them? It seems more likely no mention will be made of the incident. Shirley was on ‘This Morning’ this week and she made a point of saying she is there to judge the dances on the show, not what is going on in people’s private lives.

TPTB may be tempted to keep Seann and Katya back until later on the show to ensure viewers stay tuned in

Looking at the first 2 eliminations of the series, it would appear TPTB are becoming increasingly savvy in terms of avoiding ties on the leaderboard when they want someone at the bottom of the leaderboard ideally ending up in the dance-off.

Lee looked a reasonable fit with middle-aged female voters pre-series, and had come across well on this year’s show. There was a line of thought the show might like to keep him and Nadiya around for a while with a view to milking some tabloid tittle-tattle surrounding them but TPTB did a clever job of dampening any potential bounce for him.

Last week was a good one for Stacey and her fun, impressive jive. There was also a sense of her being under-scored which is possibly the hint of a journey being plotted out for her on the show.

Faye impressed again with her quickstep and her and Stacey now vie for favouritism. Joe looked somewhat awkward in hold and has started to lose favour in the Outright. Ashley was brilliant but the market has become savvy to her ringer status and remains skeptical of her long-term chances.

Looking at potential pimp slot routines, the arrow points firmly towards Charles who has the chance to impress performing salsa after his dance-off appearance last week.

The market has become savvy to Ashley’s ringer status and remains skeptical of her long-term chances

Vick also looks like having a good week dancing QS to a tune that has been used on the show before to great success, landing Helen George joint-top score of 35pts in week 5 of series 13, and Dani Harmer 2nd highest score of 36 in week 7 of series 10.

Faye has a great track to sell an emotional rumba, as tough as rumba is, but is due an early r.o. slot after enjoying the pimp slot in week 1, being drawn 12/15 in week 2 and 13/14 last week.

Ashley also has a cool, contemporary and apt track for tango. It may be a more muted week for Stacey performing foxtrot while Joe looks like having another tough assignment trying to produce a competent CCC.

Kate S is going to be tested performing samba as she has looked heavy-legged. ‘Africa’ seems a very slow track for a samba and it is hard seeing this being a success. In her favour, she is due a later r.o. slot after being drawn 2/15, 5/15 and 4/14 in the first 3 weeks.

Katie P also looks up against it trying to impress with a jive. She could also find herself back on early after being drawn 9/14 last week and looks likely to be vying for last place on the leaderboard. In Dr Ranj’s favour is that he at least has a stirring, appropriate paso song to sell something dramatic as much as he doesn’t convince in the dancing department.

Graeme is suited to uptempo and his jive is expected to eclipse Katie P’s, while Lauren’s QS looks like being over-shadowed by Vick’s. Danny has a VW to a classic broadway track. He should do well with this but it might not be among the headline routines on the night.

In Dr Ranj’s favour is that he at least has a stirring, appropriate paso song to sell something dramatic

In the last couple of years week 4 has seen the first 10s of the series awarded – Ore’s pimp slot jive in 2016 scored 39; Alex Burke’s jive (11 of 13) also scored 39 last year. If there is a 10 dance lurking this week the most likely candidates appear to be Ashley, Faye, Vick and Charles (based on the notion of a potentially over-scored pimp slot routine by him).

TPTB might like to shake things up a bit by not having Ashley and Faye at the top of the leaderboard again, and Vick and Charles look the only 2 who could potentially leapfrog over them this week.

This week’s songs and dances:

Ashley and Pasha – Tango to ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ by Taylor Swift
Charles and Karen – Salsa to ‘Use It Up and Wear It Out’ by Odyssey
Danny and Amy – Viennese Waltz to ‘I’ve Gotta Be Me’ by Sammy Davis Jnr
Dr Ranj and Janette – Paso Doble to ‘Cancion del Mariachi’ by Los Lobos
Faye and Giovanni – Rumba to ‘Chandelier’ by Sia
Graeme and Oti – Jive to ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ by Queen
Joe and Dianne – Cha Cha to ‘Just Got Paid’ by Sigala feat. Ella Eyre and Meghan Trainor
Kate and Aljaz – Samba to ‘Africa’ by Toto
Katie and Gorka – Jive to ‘Why Do Fools Fall In Love’ by Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers
Lauren and AJ – Quickstep to ‘If You’re Over Me’ by Years and Years
Seann and Katya – Charleston to ‘Bills’ by Lunchmoney Lewis
Stacey and Kevin – Foxtrot to ‘Hi Ho Silver Lining’ by Jeff Beck
Vick and Graziano – Quickstep to ‘Can’t Hurry Love’ by Diana Ross and the Supremes

Last week’s judges’ leaderboard:

Craig – Darcey – Shirley – Bruno

Faye & Giovanni (13) QS 9 9 9 9 = 36 (14)
Ashley & Pasha (8) Salsa 8 9 9 9 = 35 (13)
Stacey & KfG (5) Jive 8 8 8 8 = 32 (12)
Graeme & Oti (7) Charleston 7 8 8 8 = 31 (11)
Seann & Katya (10) Paso 7 7 8 8 = 30 (10)
Kate & Aljaz (4) Foxtrot 6 7 8 8 = 29 (9)
Danny & Amy (14) Paso 6 7 7 8 = 28 (8)
Vick & Graziano (1) Salsa 6 7 7 7 = 27 (7)
Joe & Dianne (6) AmSm 6 7 6 7 = 26 (6)
Charles & Karen (12) AmSm 6 6 6 7 = 25 (5) – Bottom 2
Katie & Gorka (9) Foxtrot 5 5 6 6 = 22 (4)
Dr Ranj & Janette (2) QS 4 5 5 6 = 20 (3)
Lauren & AJ (11) CCC 4 5 5 6 = 20 (3)
Lee & Nadiya (3) CCC 3 5 5 6 = 19 (2) – Eliminated


  1. James

    Hi Rob

    Given the training footage we have seen, I think Katie P is likely to receive the lowest judges score, this week.

    Not many of the ‘weakest’ dancers have stayed in the competition long enough to perform the jive, but when it has happened over the past five years, it hasn’t gone well.

    2013: Dave Myers, 19 pts in week 6 (last place on the leaderboard)
    2014: Jennifer Gibney, 18 pts, in week 1 (joint 2nd last)
    2015: Jeremy Vine, 20 pts, in week 4 (last place)
    2017: Charlotte Hawkins, 19 pts, in week 4 (joint last)
    2017: Brian Conley, 16 pts (out of 30), in week 5 (joint last)

    On a separate point, Faye topping the leaderboard, when dancing the quickstep, is a strong indicator of future success. Nine former Strictly champions topped the leaderboard in the week that they performed the quickstep.

    • Rob

      Thanks for posting James. Agree regarding Katie P. I guess the bigger question is, will there be a big enough sympathy vote to help her escape the dance-off? Much will depend on her treatment at the hands of the judges.

  2. James

    This weeks result is certainly a positive sign for Stacey. All six previous female Strictly winners topped the leaderboard in the week that they performed the foxtrot!

    Series 1: Natasha, 35 pts, week 4
    Series 2: Jill, 34 pts, week 4
    Series 5: Alesha, 36 pts, week 5
    Series 8: Kara, 32 pts, week 2
    Series 11: Abbey, 35 pts, week 5
    Series 12: Caroline, 35 pts, week 12

    • Stoney

      I would have preferred for her to have kept under the radar a little longer, however I think baring in mind she is not the most famous in there her popularity could do with the early boost. Im starting to feel as confident as I was with Joe last year.

      • James

        Hi Stoney. I can see certain parallels between Stacey and Caroline Flack from 2014. Both…

        a) were partnered with professionals who had reached multiple Strictly finals, but hadn’t won
        b) started the first few weeks of the series by receiving lower scores than two other female celebs
        c) topped the leaderboard for the first time in week 4, after scoring 33 points from the pimp slot

        If this mirroring continues, we should expect Stacey to appear in the dance off in week 7!

        If Stacey does reach the final, who would be able to beat her in the public vote? I would see Joe as the biggest danger, with Kate S also having an outside chance.

        At this stage, I see Stacey as the most likeliest winner (which would be my best result financially). If she does fall into the bottom two at some stage (as happened to Natasha, Alesha, Abbey & Caroline), lets hope it’s not against either Ashley or Faye.

        • Stoney

          Hi James I would hope her public support would keep her out of the dance off.
          Joe is an unknown quantity. Massive online following but will that transfer to strictly votes. For all we know hes uncatchable in voting numbers. I have him backed as top male which at 2/1 was absolutely huge.

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