Hidden Gem

Oct 6, 2017 by

Hidden Gem

Strictly’s first elimination market was something of a crossbar job for big-priced Brian and Charlotte backers, with Chizzy spoiling the party.

With Chizzy dancing first and then receiving a largely negative critique and such a poor score, it was clear she was extremely vulnerable. Charlotte, meanwhile, managed to dodge a bullet by avoiding the dance-off with Brendan doing a good job in galvanising a sympathy vote for her.

Looking at tomorrow night’s ‘Movie Week’ and the 2nd elimination, pre-show it looks like Brian and Simon are the two prime candidates to end up in the dance-off.

Charlotte has tango which may well suit her wooden frame. Certainly Brendan will do a good job dragging her round and making her look respectable. It could also be in the script to talk her up and over-score her after her mauling last Saturday night, though her treatment tomorrow night will be interesting given Brendan’s ITT tirade this week criticising Shirley.

The Rev’s Flash Gordon paso and Susan’s Wonder Woman samba should both be entertaining enough to secure strong public votes. A rumba for Ruth to a Bond theme shouldn’t be that demanding. We have seen older women in the past produce adequate rumbas and this should have a veneer of respectability. Even if it is sub-standard her and Anton probably have enough popularity to escape the bottom 2.

Pre-show it looks like Brian and Simon are the two prime candidates to end up in the dance-off

You often see a bottom 2 bounce but without a concerted effort from the judges to talk Brian up and score him generously for his AS, it is questionable whether he will get one.

Dressed as a scarecrow presumably, and dancing to a Wizard Of Oz song, it may also lack the entertainment value of last week’s CCC which still landed bottom 2. Brian was also on this week’s One Show sounding somewhat resigned to exiting the competition tomorrow night.

Technique-wise Simon certainly has the scope to score higher than Brian dancing a QS, and his Toy Story routine may have a bit more charm. But he will be outfitted in full Buzz Lightyear garb, with maybe even a fishbowl on his head, which would be potentially distracting.

Brian has had running order slots of 2 and 6, compared to Simon’s 4 and 10. Logic dictates Brian will be dancing later than Simon tomorrow night, but in a field of 14, they could both easily be buried away towards the middle of the show and end up sandwiched between much stronger or more memorable routines.

If a Brian vs Simon dance-off comes to pass, pre-live show you would have to make Simon favourite to win it. However, Brian’s short price of 7-4 is not especially appealing without gaining further intel during the live show.

Salsa last week and this week CCC for Aston… It’s starting to look like they are giving him his best dances at series start with potentially less suitable dances left when it gets to the business end of the competition. Certainly CCC should allow him the chance to impress again and consolidate favouritism.

Alexandra shone last week with her powerful paso granted the pimp slot. It’s an AS for her this week and no doubt she will do a highly competent job dancing it. It looks like she will be a constant presence at the top of the leaderboard and is likely to excel every week.

Gemma might have a breakthrough week dancing a Charleston she should be able to sell well given her acting background

Debbie has another ballroom routine to a classic song which should be stylish and highly scored too. With the top 3 dominating, you sense they will need to change things up at some point and have some challengers emerge if only for the sake of making it look a more interesting and open competition.

Gemma might have something of a breakthrough week dancing a Charleston which she should be able to sell well given her acting background. Davood could also entertain to the classic Bee-Gees track though samba technique is demanding and it is usually a tough dance to score highly in.

Joe has an evocative song for his VW while Jonnie should bring the required power selling his paso. Mollie, meanwhile, hasn’t looked entirely convincing in training footage of her AS.

While Aston, Alex B and Debbie are looking hard to dislodge from this year’s final, stranger things have happened and there is a long way to go yet. The clear risk with all three is, they may have peaked too early in the competition and there is room for a journey candidate to emerge.

Gemma certainly has the winning personality to go far in the competition. With her, it’s much more a question of whether her technique can improve enough, especially on the fast Latin side of the equation, but it was interesting to read this week that she is Craig’s dark horse to win the competition.

Week 3 songs and dances:

Alexandra and Gorka – American Smooth to Wouldn’t It Be Loverly from My Fair Lady
Aston and Janette – Cha Cha to Can’t Stop The Feeling from Trolls
Brian and Amy – American Smooth to If I Only Had A Brain from The Wizard of Oz
Charlotte and Brendan – Tango to Danger Zone from Top Gun
Davood and Nadiya – Samba to Stayin’ Alive from Saturday Night Fever
Debbie and Giovanni – Quickstep to Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off from Shall We Dance?
Gemma and Aljaz – Charleston to The Bare Necessities from The Jungle Book
Joe and Katya – Viennese Waltz to Somewhere My Love from Doctor Zhivago
Jonnie and Oti – Paso Doble to The Raiders March from Indiana Jones
Mollie and AJ – American Smooth (foxtrot) to Climb Every Mountain from The Sound of Music
Rev. Richard and Dianne – Paso Doble to Flash’s Theme from Flash Gordon
Ruth and Anton – Rumba to Diamonds Are Forever from James Bond (Diamonds Are Forever)
Simon and Karen – Quickstep to You’ve Got A Friend In Me from Toy Story
Susan and Kevin – Samba to Wonder Woman (Theme) from Wonder Woman



  1. Stoney

    At the moment I think Joe is playing the perfect journey contestant. Once Susan goes out his vote will be hard to beat if hes at the top end of the leader board.

    • Bruce

      I’m very much a veteran of betting on this show and some of the recent stats from James and insight by Rob is incredibly useful but you also have to be able to assess the dancing capabilities and scope for improvement and that’s gained mainly from experience.
      Re Joe I don’t understand the judges overall positivity and think he’s been hugely overmarked. I would put him as mid table quality and very far from the required level of a winner of this show. I don’t honestly see much scope for improvement mainly because of his age and bidy stature.
      Alexandra, Gemma or Molly for me as likely winners, I had hoped Davood would impress and improve tonight but his posture was terrible.
      Aston was hugely impressive tonight but he’s peaked too soon

      • Stoney

        I guess it’s a matter of opinions isnt it. For eg, I rate Mollies chances somewhere around where you rate Joes.
        I hope Gemma steadily improves as the show goes on having backed her from the start, however id get better odds now.

        • Bruce

          True of course. That’s the trouble with giving a dancing insight as against stats or betting advice. I don’t expect anyone to rely or bet on my opinion, just had to put an alternative opinion on Joe out there. Best of luck – you must be well positioned value wise so that’s half the battle

          • Stoney

            I’m sitting pretty on Joe, Debbie and Alex but not so good on Gemma whos drifted since original stakes. Joe is easily my biggest green so obviously I’m hoping he does come good. James Jordan commented tonight that he felt Joe had a lot more to give which is encouraging as he is usually bang on the money.

  2. Bruce

    Re the dance off Brendan messed up badly both in the dance and his chat back. Brian’s routine was charming and think he’s easily safe. Simon easily forgettable so for me it’s Simon and Charlotte.
    Ruth’s dance was a snooze fest but her public vote should stand up at least this early on

    • Rob

      I think Simon vs Charlotte is potentially on the cards too. Brendan doesn’t endear himself with his backchat. A shame the bookies seemed to shut up shop with in-running 2nd elim odds tonight – a worrying development.

  3. Bruce

    And a final thought. The Rev Richard really isn’t very entertaining and might go a lot sooner than some, including the show, may anticipate.

    • Stoney

      I think he goes tonight.

      • Stoney

        Happy days. Seems to have come to fruition.

        • M8

          Susan took his vote I think. Don’t think the choreo helped him at all.

          • Bruce

            Good shout Stoney, didn’t expect it this early. Very surprised Brendan got away with his backchat, maybe the public felt sorry for Charlotte. That or Shirley hasn’t established any goodwill yet with her inconsistent marking and comments

          • M8

            Bruce, Shirley definitely has her favourites. AJ Pritchard for starters. I’m pretty she’s taught him before and she’s now given him and Mollie 23 out of a possible 30 points. I remember her praising his choreography last season on Twitter and tagging him directly. Simon Rimmer of course as well being a Wallasey girl which could help him in more future dance offs.

      • Rob

        Well done guys. I thought Rev would have enough good will to scrape above b2 but being last on the leaderboard with no ties tonight proved a bridge too far.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *