Guessing Game

Oct 25, 2019 by

Guessing Game

In this Strictly series, it has started to feel like there is a random score/comment generator being applied, particularly in the last 2 weeks.

Trying to second guess who will be the lucky recipient of the judges’ highest praise and scores, and who will endure criticism and stingy scoring, has become a bit of a lottery.

They even added an extra layer of uncertainty last Saturday by praising Will to the rafters for his highly emotive Contemporary routine, only for Craig to pull out his 7 paddle, and the judges to score him a harsh 32 overall, not in keeping with the anticipated ‘feel-good’ pay-off.

Unpredictability is a useful narrative for the show, of course, in setting up an open competition and a sense that no one is safe.

Saffron being given the pimp slot on the back of 2 late r.o. slots in the previous 2 weeks also came as a surprise and the generosity she is being afforded strongly suggests she will be doing the Strictly Tour next year.

In this Strictly series, it has started to feel like there is a random score/comment generator being applied

The main issue they have in this series is that Karim and Kelvin are by far the strongest dancers so they need to get creative with their scoring and assessments to try and keep things interesting. It looks like they will continue to try and shake things up.

Kelvin has tango and thus far ballroom has been his achilles’ heel, according to the judges, so this is a narrative that may well continue for him, though he has looked good in training. Karim has paso, not a genre that looks a natural fit with his skill set, and the Bronski Beat track is an odd one to use, though we know this is going to be ‘Stranger Things’ inspired. His routine has looked like it risks being too frenetic again.

Looking at the Outright picture, you have to wonder whether Amy’s ‘kitchen sink’ choreo is beneficial to Karim. We have seen him incorporate a one-handed handstand in 2 routines and on Saturday he was at it again, walking on his hands this time. In the audience’s eyes it must be starting to wear thin and risks coming across as repetitive and commonplace.

The youthfulness of his routines, song choices and VTs have also been potentially limiting up to this point. It is interesting to note both Karim and Saffron have been given 80s pop classics this week, perhaps trying to extend their appeal to older viewers.

The main issue they have in this series is that Karim and Kelvin are by far the strongest dancers so they need to get creative with their scoring and assessments to try and keep things interesting

Alex has Street to the iconic ‘Ghostbusters’ theme music. This looks a good opportunity for her to build on her Charleston which was scored 33. This felt like a partial ‘break out’ performance for Alex, with room for further improvement in terms of her series narrative.

Emma B’s tango is 1 of 3 on the night. The Bach piece is a great piece of music to capture the drama of tango and it is beneficial there are no lyrics to sing. Craig claimed her paso was a damp squib, and the other judges were similarly harsh and requested Emma perform with more gusto. This looks the ideal opportunity for her to do just that.

Michelle may have come close to being in the dance-off on Saturday, while the big push the show gave both Saffron and Emma W on the night probably enabled them to rise above Mike on the pv, condemning him to the dance-off. We may have been given a clue the previous week that Mike isn’t polling brilliantly.

Looking ahead to tomorrow night it comes down to whether TPTB still see Mike as a valuable asset to the show moving forward, or they decide the fun Mike interlude has run its course and they cut him loose. A tango to that Gwen Stefani track, one of 3 tangos on the night, pitching him against Emma B and Kelvin, doesn’t scream ‘safe’, and he will need a ramp from the judges to survive. If he is on early & receives middling praise and scores he’ll obviously look in big danger.

The one who could find herself firmly in the elimination picture tomorrow has to be Catherine. She has CCC which is highly technical and she hasn’t convinced in training. The Steps track doesn’t seem a great fit with CCC either and if she is harshly assessed on the night, her popularity with the audience will be severely tested. The other potential negative for her is, a female is due to leave the competition.

It will come down to whether TPTB still see Mike as a valuable asset to the show moving forward, or they decide the fun Mike interlude has run its course and they cut him loose

Michelle would also come into the elimination mix if she has a poor night, and she did receive her first inkling of negativity from the judges last Saturday, but you sense the show is going to get behind her again as she will play Morticia Addams performing her foxtrot.

Emma W has a Charleston and Charleston usually equates to ‘safe’. Saffron’s jive hasn’t looked anything special in training but given her treatment in the last 3 weeks it looks on the cards for the judges to continue to praise her and score her generously.

Samba will at least offer Chris the chance to entertain to the Backstreet Boys track and Will has probably built up enough support to survive the week with jive offering the window for him to deliver a feel-good routine, even though the technique will be lacking.

Halloween Week songs and dances:

Alex and Neil dance a Couple’s Choice (Street/Commercial) to Ghostbusters by Ray Parker Jr.
Catherine and Johannes Cha Cha Cha to Scared Of The Dark by Steps
Chris and Karen Samba to Everybody (Backstreet’s Back) by Backstreet Boys
Emma and Anton Tango to Toccata and Fugue in D Minor by Bach
Emma and Aljaz Charleston to A Little Party Never Killed Nobody by Fergie feat. Q-Tip and GoonRock
Karim and Amy Paso Doble to Smalltown Boy by Bronski Beat
Kelvin and Oti Tango to Bad Guy by Billie Eilish
Michelle and Giovanni Foxtrot to the Addams Family theme by Vic Mizzy
Mike and Katya Tango to What You Waiting For by Gwen Stefani
Saffron and AJ Jive to Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic by The Police
Will and Janette Jive to Casper by Little Richard

 

Week 5 judges’ leaderboard:

Saffron and AJ – foxtrot – 9, 10, 9, 10 = 38

Karim and Amy – salsa – 8, 10, 9, 9 = 36

Emma and Aljaž – VW – 9, 9, 9, 9 = 36

Alex and Neil – Charleston – 8, 8, 8, 9 = 33

Kelvin and Oti – CCC – 8, 8, 8, 9 = 33

Will and Janette – Contemporary – 7, 8, 8, 9 = 32

Michelle and Giovanni – rumba – 7, 7, 7, 8 = 29

Catherine and Johannes – tango – 6, 7, 7, 8 = 28

Emma and Anton – paso – 5, 7, 7, 7 = 26

Chris and Karen – QS – 5, 6, 7, 7 = 25

Mike and Katya – samba – 3, 6, 5, 7 = 21 – bottom 2

David and Nadiya – jive – 3, 4, 4, 5 = 16 – eliminated

4 Comments

  1. James

    Hi Rob

    It will be interesting to see if Giovanni receives the highest score in Halloween week for a fifth consecutive year.  A Foxtrot is not the obvious choice to be overmarked and receive a judges standing ovation, however 17 female celebs have topped the leaderboard with this dance style over the years (including Saffron, and all seven previous female winners).  Incidentally, from week 6 onwards Bruno has never scored a Giovanni routine lower than a 9.

    Ten of the eleven ‘couples choice’ routines have scored 32 or higher, so Alex should be in the mix for a top three placing this week.

    Aljaz has ended up in the dance off three times on Halloween week (with Abbey, Alison & Daisy) and finished bottom of the leaderboard on another occasion (Kate).  Emma W’s Charleston has looked decent in training and it should earn her a place into week 7.

    Janette has performed the Jive on four occasions, leading to two dance off appearances (with Julien & Peter), and a Halloween Jive last year (with Dr Ranj) left her bottom of the leaderboard.

    Katya hasn’t got a great record with the Tango with an average score of just 21 (23 with Ed, 22 with Joe, 18 with Seann).  A similar score for Mike this week would likely lead to his departure.

    • Rob

      Thanks James. With the top scorer market, it is mostly a case of trying to predict the pimp slot. Well, that’s been the case in the last 2 weeks & tends to be the show’s m.o.. I suppose with foxtrot getting the pimp last week, another foxtrot in the pimp looks less likely but it’s a pretty random affair this year & the judges do whatever they want scoring-wise.

  2. Stoney

    Slightly confused as to why Kelvin’s Charleston still remains his highest scoring dance when he’s done around 3 better dances.
    Anyway he’s still cruising along and has now conquered the ballroom.

  3. Stuart

    Nice call James on Giovanni getting the highest Halloween score for the 6th year running. I suppose Michelle was a perfect fit for Morticia Addams. Will have to remember Giovanni’s record for next year!

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