Holly or Alex – a Dutch Dream

Nov 29, 2011 by

Strictly is reaching the critical weeks now in which unsubtle scoreboard ‘ordering’ goes into overdrive. This was amply evidenced on Saturday during the group ‘Swing-athon’. We’re not sure Robbie & Ola even made it to the dancefloor before they were swiftly given their marching orders, closely followed by Anita & Brendan.
Anita also had the coffin slot, up first on the night, and it was fairly apparent from that point on that she was going to struggle to avoid elimination.
Holly was left in that dangerous mid-table position with 4pts and if we could have had a bet on the bottom 2 combo of Anita & Holly we would have got properly stuck in, with Chelsee given a clever extra boost in the Swing-athon, to push her above Jason, and land her a very secure 6pts.
This week we don’t even need to see the training footage to know how things are likely to pan out. Harry has the dreaded rumba (set to ‘Everything I Do’) which certainly won’t be topping the leaderboard and more realistically will achieve a score around 32.
Holly has the paso doble, a dance she has been desperate to perform series-long, following her Tweets. Given Artem’s inspired choreo, and the fact this dance is more about creating drama than elaborate dance moves, we reckon this will play to Holly’s strengths, and she will likely outscore Harry.
It’s movie night on Saturday and Jason is doing the American smooth to ‘Singing In The Rain’. We can see Jason selling this dance very well as he’s an excellent showman. Chelsee is doing the tricky jive which she should do a decent job of. It is most likely between her and Jason as to who tops the leaderboard.
Alex is also doing the American smooth and we think this is likely to be compared unfavourably alongside Jason’s. Robbie is back doing ballroom, where he is at his best, and the Viennese waltz.
Robbie has the potential to outscore Harry but may not need to to still find himself safe. He was at the foot of the leaderboard last Saturday yet escaped the bottom 2. And he has had a dreadful week losing his close friend Gary Speed. Whether this makes part of his edit, we have no idea, but viewers will be well aware of the news and we can only see this boosting Robbie’s public vote.
We think the key to Holly’s survival this week is whether she can get herself in the top 3 on the leaderboard and no worse than 4pts, and looking at this week’s dances we think this is achievable. She should get a double bounce too after her 2nd consecutive bottom 2 appearance, and the judges may well give her a points boost. If Holly reaches the heady heights of 2nd on the leaderboard behind, say, Jason, it could easily be Chelsee who finds herself in the bottom 2.
There is a line of thought that TPTB would like at least one woman to make the final, and given Holly’s consistently low polling, it would be handy for them to have her make the semi-final in which, with 2 couples eliminated, Holly would be booked to be one of them, thus acting as a potential buffer for Chelsee.
But overall, we think it points to Alex being extremely vulnerable this week as she looks primed to find herself in the bottom 2 on the leaderboard and we would back Robbie’s public vote to beat Alex’s nine times out of ten despite her One Show fan base. We can only see Alex getting a maximum of 3pts on the public vote – Harry, Jason and Robbie should all poll higher – which means Holly, if 3rd on the leaderboard, would have to be bottom of the public vote again and Alex finish no worse than 2nd from bottom on the leaderboard for Alex to be safe and Holly to be eliminated.
Of course if Holly’s paso bombs then all bets are off, but at respective pre-show elimination prices of Holly at 6-4 and Alex at 7-2, Alex screams the value bet. Of course, you can also play it safe, dutch them, and still turn a nice profit if one of them is eliminated:
Holly – £100 @ 6-4 = £250 (-100) = £90 profit overall
Alex – £60 @ 7-2 = £270 (-60) = £110 profit overall
Looking ahead to the 5-couple semi-final, in which they will all dance one ballroom and one Latin, we now know what the couples have left to choose from:
Harry: Viennese Waltz or American smooth (B), Paso or Charleston (L)
Jason: Argentine tango or Waltz (B), Samba or Salsa (L)
Chelsee: Viennese Waltz or American smooth (B), Rumba or Paso (L)
Holly: Argentine tango or Waltz (B), Samba or Charleston (L)
Robbie: Quickstep or Argentine tango (B), Charleston or Rumba (L)
Alex: Argentine tango or Waltz (B), Samba or Salsa (L)
So what can we deduce from this? In last year’s semi, there was only one dance replicated – the VW, danced by both Gavin and Kara. This year, there appears more possibility for replication. We think they would rather mix things up as much as possible so maybe only 2 dances will end up being replicated.
Jason will be confronted by a very tough Latin dance regardless, while Chelsee’s Latin choices look far from ideal. If Robbie was to get the rumba, Chelsee will surely get the Paso, while if Robbie lands the Charleston, it could be the very tough samba for Holly, though we did see 2 Charlestons performed last Saturday.
Overall, while it is rather dull from a value betting perspective, we think it is still most likely to end up a Harry vs Jason vs Chelsee final. Robbie will need to be smashing the vote for TPTB to have a re-think and hand him the opportunity to make the final by giving him the voter-friendly Charleston should he make it to the semi-final. More likely, they’ll try to ensure his exit by giving him the rumba.
Credit where it’s due to Harry – we thought his quickstep on Saturday was absolutely outstanding and he is a very worthy favourite:

Rob Furber

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