George Best Bet

Dec 3, 2015 by

George Best Bet

It’s the Strictly quarter-final on Saturday night and ahead of the show you sense we might be in store for a ‘shock’ dance-off.

Looking back to last week it came as quite a shock to see Georgia in the pimp slot again. It is hard to recall another contestant in Strictly history to have received a more favourable sequence of running order positions than Georgia as we have moved into the business end of the competition.

Starting in week 6 (Halloween Week) Georgia has danced 9/11, 10/10, 8/9, 6/8, 7/7 (average 8). In all 5 of those weeks she has danced later than both Anita – 4/11, 7/10, 1/9, 3/8, 6/7 (average 4.2) – and Katie – 1/11, 6/10, 5/9, 4/8, 2/7 (average 3.6) – who have just cause to feel hard done by.

Factor in the trend during those 5 weeks of generous scoring for Georgia, which has seen a judges’ leaderboard sequence for her of 1st, 2nd, 1st, 1st, 2nd, and harsh scoring for Anita and Katie, and is it any wonder the show has come under increasing scrutiny in the media? The logical conclusion to reach is that Georgia has been struggling on the public vote compared to Anita and Katie.

You can interpret all this as protection for Georgia to ensure she makes the final given the fact Georgia is signed up for the Strictly Tour. The oddity in all this is we also know Anita is touring and yet producers have been willing to leave her looking more vulnerable on the leaderboard of ending up in the dance-off.

For instance, last week’s QS-athon saw Georgia leap up to 2nd place on the judges’ leaderboard whereas Anita was left 2nd bottom. You can only assume they were confident Anita would outpoll Kellie.

If they thought they could get Katie in the dance-off there was a chance for them to manoeuvre her into the bottom 2 on the leaderboard but instead they pushed her up to 4th place. The last 3 weeks has seen a return to a more positive judges’ reaction and better scores for Katie and Anton’s dances.

You get the distinct impression the 3 contestants consistently polling among the top 3 on the public vote this year are Jay, Katie and Anita.

It’s Musicals Week on Saturday which has resulted in some moribund looking song choices. Here is the full dance and song list:

Anita & Gleb will dance the Argentine Tango to ‘Cell Block Tango’ from Chicago.
Georgia & Giovanni will Foxtrot to ‘Beauty & The Beast’ from the show of the same name.
Helen & Aljaz perform the Paso Doble to ‘At The End Of The Day’ from Les Miserables.
Jay & Aliona are going to Rumba to ‘Falling Slowly’ from Once.
Katie & Anton are dancing the Foxtrot to ‘Maybe This Time’ from Cabaret.
And finally Kellie & Kevin are performing the Viennese Waltz to ‘Oom Pah Pah’ from Oliver.

As predicted, Helen bounced back last week with her VW scoring 39. However, she has a much tougher looking assignment this week in the paso, early training footage hasn’t looked convincing, and it might prove difficult for her to convey the power of this dance.

With Kellie landing in the bottom 2 last week for the second time, she has a chance to bounce back on Saturday dancing the usually high scoring VW and after being on first last week she could be on late.

It could well be in the narrative to big up and score up Kellie as the show may have it in mind she will be easy to dispatch in the semi-final – following the same trajectory as fellow Eastender Jake Wood last year.

Katie and Georgia both have the foxtrot. In terms of running order, by the law of averages as well as the vaguest sense of fair play, Katie must be on later than Georgia on Saturday. Not only that but Anton will be in his element and should create something evocative to the Liza Minelli tune.

Even if Georgia outscores Katie as seems likely based on the last 5 weeks, you would expect Katie to land a decent score for her foxtrot and her public vote to hold up well enough for her to avoid the dance-off.

So we have fair reason to look outside of Kellie and Katie for the 10th elimination value. Anita has the usually compelling AT. Gleb got a dressing down from Len for his rumba choreo last week. We saw something similar with Giovanni earlier in the series only for Len to eulogise him the following week. It could well be in the script for something similar to happen on Saturday.

While rumba is always flagged up as the dance of death and a dangerous one to get in the show’s later stages, Jay looks more likely to prove the exception to that rule. He has such balletic ability it should suit him and he should earn a respectable score for it.

Pre-show the contestant who looks most at risk of being in the bottom 2 on Saturday has to be Helen. If the Kellie comeback is in the script and she is pushed up towards the top of the leaderboard, maybe even top, it is going to depend on exactly where Anita and Georgia figure on the leaderboard, but if Kellie is placed above them both, either of those 2 could well be in for a ‘surprise’ dance-off appearance.

Katie will only start to look vulnerable if they place her last on the leaderboard and ensure there are no ties above her, and place Jay one place above her. But at the prices, and studying the most likely permutations, Helen looks the value play for 10th elimination.

Keep an eye on the Comments section as hopefully we might get some bottom 2 and highest/lowest scorer prices issued later this week.


Helen – 10th elimination – 2pt win – 9-2 – Coral



  1. hemsby

    Excellent article Rob….totally in agreement with you this week,

    My idea of the PV ATM is…


    As you say,Helen’s PD doesn’t look like being a LB topper,and if she’s anything blow 3rd I’d say she’s a B2 certainty.

    Given Kellie’s song choice / theme it’s not difficult to imagine a decent LB score,and perhaps a PV above Helen’s.

    A B2 of Helen V Georgia wouldn’t surprise me this week.

  2. James

    Hi Rob. To be fair, Georgia’s good fortune in receiving five excellent running order positions, has made up for the unhelpful positions she received in weeks 1-5.

    If we look over the course of the series to date, it is Helen who has had the most advantageous RO position.

    Helen 7.5 avg, Kellie 6.2, Georgia 6.1, Katie 6.1, Jay 5.6, Anita 5.5

    M8 mentioned previously that Helen has never opened the show, and in fact I see she has never danced in the dreaded second spot either. The number of times each celebrity has danced either 1st or 2nd is as follows.

    Jay 3 times, Anita, Katie & Kellie 2, Georgia 1, Helen 0

    So my guess for the running order, and scores, are as follows

    Helen 34, Georgia 38, Kellie 36, Jay 35, Katie 34, Anita 39

    I think this set of scores would lead us to a dance off between Helen & Kellie.

    As to who would win the dance off, I think a lot will depend on whether Helen has signed up for the tour. If she hasn’t, whoever dances best in the dance off will stay. If she has, I feel confident that the judges will keep Helen in the competition.

    • Rob

      Hi James,
      That is still a dream run during a more critical 5 weeks. I just like to see some fair play and when you have Len coming on ITT trying to tell viewers nothing about the show is fixed, it just doesn’t wash.

      Nearly all my analysis would be redundant if it isn’t fixed 🙂 Georgia has been heavily favoured for a reason.

      I think your score for Anita might be a bit ambitious given her treatment series-long. I could see Helen scoring less. Maybe 32?

  3. Rob

    Coral has highest/lowest scorer prices available e/w. It’s a very difficult week to assess as a lot will depend on how the judges choose to order things.

  4. Tim B

    Any running order clues yet, relating to Anita or anyone else?

  5. M8

    Helen with another pimp slot and still yet to perform first. Can’t help but feel she’s struggling with the votes.

  6. Rob

    I think Anita will poll 3rd top but she will need to. I predict a Helen vs Georgia bottom 2 and if so, Helen will be gone.

    Worth a small saver on Anita to go because she is in trouble if her vote doesn’t hold up.

    Advised – Anita – next elim – 4-1 – 1pt win – Boylesports

  7. M8

    Len giving everyone 9s bar Jay is very telling considering he has the most important vote in the danceoff. Probably gives TPTB the cards to make a decision without stirring up any controversy when they find out who the bottom two are.

  8. Rob


    Georgia v Helen bottom two

    Helen out

    Hope lots of readers got on at 9-2. You’re very welcome 🙂

  9. Matt

    Brilliant work Rob. Tricky week perfectly analysed.

  10. M8

    Well done Rob. Spot on as always. Hopped on at 4/1, very very happy. Shout out to all Anita and Katie power voters for doing their bit for us 😉

  11. Rob

    Well done guys. It’s been a highly profitable series so far. Bring on the semi-final 🙂

  12. James

    Hi Rob. Tonight’s result was very helpful in letting us know the relative popularity of Anita & Georgia.

    – Anita must have finished at least three places higher than Georgia in the PV
    – Georgia was either 5th or 6th in tonight’s PV
    – Anita was 1st, 2nd or 3rd in tonight’s PV

    I still suspect that Kellie will be sacrificed next week, to ensure Georgia makes the final, but tonight’s result would suggest that Georgia is now not a threat in the final, and indeed should be favourite to finish 4th.

    The bookies still have Georgia as odds on to be top female, which looks crazy. Dutching Anita & Katie for top female looks like a reasonable betting strategy at this stage.

    • Boki

      I’m not following the show closely so don’t mind if I post stupid questions. Could they kick out one of Anita/Katie next week (against Kelly) in order for Kelly to finish 4th so Georgia still makes the top3?

      • Rob

        Hi Boki,
        They can try and do whatever they want but you have to ask, what is their motivation? We know Anita and Katie are the two most poular female dancers with the Strictly voters, so it would be an odd decision to deny either a final place.

        Kellie on the other hand has been in the dance-off twice. Getting Georgia to the final is their biggest aim and rest assured she will get a big ramp in the sf next week to ensure this.

        There is a fair argument the placings in the final matter little to them. Their main focus will be seen to be fully behind Jay winning, and treating him like a winner. That was clear to see in last night’s treatment.

        • Boki

          Thanks Rob, I understand now that the key argument is to get Georgia to the final and not necessarily to have her placed.
          I guess the next week Kelly will be b2 with either Anita/Katie so I guess their scoring would indicate what’s going to happen, if they don’t overscore Kelly than it’s clear.

          • Boki

            Having said that, Jake went out against Mark who was 2 times in b2 so I don’t get why do you compare him to Kellie, it’s more like Jake=Anita/Katie who was denied the final place and Kellie=Mark.
            Admittedly he was a threat to a female winner and didn’t sign up for the tour. Is it still unknown if Kellie and Katie are touring?

          • Rob

            Mark was signed up for the Tour, Boki, Jake wasn’t. We are all assuming that fellow Eastender Kellie is also unable to Tour so in theory they will be happy for her to bow out at the sf stage like Jake.

            I can’t see how they won’t be talking about the Anton story next week and making this part of his VT – his first chance to make the final. And we know Anita and Georgia are touring.

            We had Sophie EB in the final in 2013 who was unable to Tour and who finished 4th. It looks to me like Kellie is the most obvious elim at the sf stage given she has been b2 twice and to the best of our knowledge won’t be touring.

          • Boki

            Ok, reasoning clear now, thanks.

          • James

            The three dances that Kevin & Kellie have yet to perform are the American Smooth, Argentine Tango and Rumba. If the producers make each of the couple dance one Latin and one ballroom dance next week, Kellie will have to dance the Rumba.

            Interestingly, in the past two years when Kevin made the semi-final, the dances he chose to skip were the Rumba (in 2013 with Susanna) and the American Smooth (in 2014 with Frankie). Presumably these are two of Kevin’s least favourite dances.

            The one time he has danced the Rumba, he managed an unimpressive (for a semi-final) score of 34 with Frankie.

            His one American Smooth scored 32. His two Argentine Tango scores were 38 (Frankie) and 32 (Susanna).

          • Rob

            Hi James. Great analysis as always. The remaining dances by my reckoning:

            Anita – Foxtrot, Salsa (latin), VW
            Jay – Charleston, Samba (latin), VW
            Kellie – AmSm, AT (latin), Rumba (latin)
            Georgia – AT (latin), CCC (latin), VW
            Katie – Charleston, Samba (latin), Waltz

            The AT is considered a ‘Latin’ dance so Kellie might get that instead of rumba but perhaps Georgia more likely to get AT (in theory, easier to produce something impressive in than CCC).

            Looks like Anita will definitely have salsa, Georgia VW and Katie waltz. They may not want too many waltzes so maybe Anita will be given the foxtrot.

            As I wrote previously: ‘In the 2012 semi-final Kimberley was allowed to dance American Smooth and Charleston. And in 2011 Harry and Aliona danced the VW and Charleston in the semi-final. Charleston is very much ‘playing your joker’ on Strictly and either or both of Jay and Katie could yet dance Charleston in the semi-final.’

            All pure speculation atm though. Be very interesting to see how the dances fall.

    • Rob

      Hi James,

      I’ve long thought Georgia’s very short odds for Top Female of around 1.5 were wrong and merited laying.

      My main reason for thinking this was that I found it hard to see her beating Jay in the final (and I never saw Peter as a likely top 3-er), which would mean at best she dead-heats for 2nd, which would mean as a 1.5 layer, you will make a profit as a layer because dead-heat rules apply.

      If someone stakes £100 at 1.5 and it dead-heats, this means they only get half their stake as a winner – £50 at 1.5. So as a layer you pay out £25, but you collect £50 on the losing portion of the £100, leaving you +£25 in profit.

      Your logic is sound and Anita/Katie have remained over-priced for Top Female, especially in the ‘without Jay’ market e/w with Coral.

      The one big proviso is, the Strictly final is a different voting dynamic compared to the rest of the series. Voting numbers ramp up significantly, and there is a strong ‘best dancer’ vote which could aid Georgia if they persist in scoring her highly and eulogizing her which seems likely.

      I agree Kellie is the ideal semi-final ‘buffer’ now – like Jake Wood last year, Patrick the year before and Lisa Riley the year before that.

  13. M8

    Rob is spot on regarding the final. Lots of people who don’t normally vote will hop on board for the final and that benefits the better scoring dancers like Georgia. It will also benefit Katie if she makes it to the final, as I can see a lot of people hopping on the Anton to win bandwagon (including my own mum haha).

    I can imagine a classic one liner from Len in the semi finals urging the public to get behind Georgia. I’m going for a “If you’re in the danceoff this week I’ll show my bottom in the supermarket”.

  14. Rob

    A little clearer now on sf dances:

    Anita – salsa & foxtrot or VW
    Jay – Charleston & VW
    Katie – Charleston & waltz
    Georgia – AT or CCC & VW
    Kellie – AT or rumba & AS

  15. M8

    So they’ve let Katie escape the Samba. Massive boost for her scoring and chances of escaping the dance off next week providing Anton can choreograph a strong Charleston.

  16. Rob

    Putting 2 & 2 together, I think we will see:

    Anita & Gleb – Foxtrot & Salsa
    Georgia & Giovanni – Argentine Tango & Cha-Cha-Cha
    Jay & Aliona – Viennese Waltz & Charleston
    Katie & Anton – Waltz & Charleston
    Kellie & Kevin – American Smooth & Rumba

  17. Rob

    Anita & Gleb will dance the Foxtrot to Frank Sinatra’s ‘New York, New York’ as well as perform a Salsa to ‘Feel This Moment’ by Pitbull feat. Christina Aguilera.
    Georgia & Giovanni will dance a Viennese Waltz to ‘Runaway’ by The Corrs plus they will dance an Argentine Tango to ‘Tanguera’ by Sexeto Mayor.
    Jay & Aliona are going to Charleston to ‘Doctor Jazz’ from musical Jelly’s Last Jam and perform a Viennese Waltz to Bryan Adams’ ‘Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman’?
    Katie & Anton are dancing the Waltz to ‘O Mio Babbino Caro’ by Puccini as well as dance the Charleston to ‘Too Darn Hot’ from the musical Kiss Me Kate.
    Kellie & Kevin are performing the American Smooth to ‘Let’s Face The Music And Dance’ by Irving Berlin plus they will perform a Rumba to ‘Songbird’ by Eva Cassidy.

  18. James

    Hi Rob. I’ve noticed that since 2010 (when Strictly began having five couples in the semi-final) the couple who finished 5th on the judges leaderboard ended up leaving the competition that week on each occasion. This shows the power that the judges hold at this stage of the competition.

    I can see this week’s scores following a similar pattern to the 2013 semi-final. That year had two couples scoring in the high 70’s (Abbey & Natalie) and the other three couples all scoring approximately 70 (Susanna, Sophie & Patrick). This time around I can see Jay & Georgia scoring comfortably more than Anita, Katie & Kellie.

    Regarding this week’s elimination, Jay is in no danger, and the combination of a b2 bounce plus a high leaderboard position should see Georgia safe as well. I suspect Kellie will be fifth in the PV this week, and as I don’t see her in the top two of the judges leaderboard, she would end up in the dance off.

    It is tough to predict which of Anita or Katie would join her in the bottom two. There is still no announcement as to whether Katie will be joining the tour, whereas we know Anita is touring. In the past five years, 17 celebrities both signed up to tour, and reached the semi-final. Of these 17, only one failed to reach the final (Lisa Riley). Of the 8 celebrities who didn’t tour, and reached the semi-final, just two made it to the final (Kimberley Walsh & Sophie E-B). These stats strongly suggest Anita would survive a dance off against Kellie (on the assumption Kellie is not touring).

    If it were to be a Kevin/Kellie vs Anton/Katie dance off, I suspect it would be a battle between K&K’s American Smooth and A&K’s Waltz. Both celebrities have been wise to pick excellent song choices. It is certainly worth keeping a close eye on the judges’ scores and comments for these two dances in particular, as this could steer us towards what the judges’ final decision will be.

  19. Rob

    Hi James. You have articulated a lot of stuff above that was already going in my article 🙂

    Interesting change of dances confirmed on BBC Strcitly site – Georgia no longer doing the AT, but doing the CCC instead.

    Georgia & Giovanni will dance a Viennese Waltz to ‘Runaway’ by The Corrs plus they will dance a Cha Cha (music track TBC).

    • James

      Hi Rob. Great minds think alike!

      Interesting decision to make such a late switch from the AT to the Cha Cha. The Cha Cha is usually performed by celebrities at the start of the series. We have seen twelve this year, all performed between weeks 1 and 3.

      Most celebrities find it tough to learn the AT with a whole weeks preparation, so perhaps taking this on in a two dance week was too ambitious?

      Anyway, I think Georgia’s VW is likely to receive a score of 40 this week. Her American Smooth, which had a VW base, scored 38.

  20. Antony

    If the PV was (most likely) 1st Katie, 2nd Jay, 3rd Anita, 4th Georgia and 5th Kellie, that would have left Anita, Georgia and Kellie trailing on 6 points each and either of Georgia or Kellie’s two dances would score over whichever dance Anita reprised. Hence Anita’s exit.

    Could next week’s PV still leave 33/1 Katie ahead of 1/4 Jay?

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