Hope & Glory

Sep 21, 2018 by

Hope & Glory

We have the Strictly song and dance choices for tomorrow night’s first live show and bar Ashley (at time of posting) we have seen all the celebs put through their paces in the ‘First Steps’ videos.

CCC and waltz have become par for the course for week 1/2 dance choices. Perhaps more telling is who gets to stray outside of this. Danny and Graeme’s dance choices look dictated by TPTB eager to shoehorn those particular songs in for them in week 1 – Graeme having the old BBC test match cricket theme music and Danny getting the ‘Cat’ reference early with a hat tip to his Red Dwarf character.

Vick looks a prime candidate for the pimp slot and a chance to shine performing the jive to that infectious Portugal. The Man track. Joe’s jive will likely look poor by comparison and also appears hamstrung by an odd song choice in ‘Take On Me’. The market believes Joe is going to go well on the public vote in this series but it remains to be seen how many of his YouTube regulars will be tuning in and voting for him with Strictly’s voting demographic traditionally heavily slanted towards older women.

Vick looks a prime candidate for the pimp slot and a chance to shine performing the jive to that infectious Portugal. The Man track

Danny, as we know, is one of this year’s ringers. The first non-story of the year has been him struggling with injury. In truth, this essentially amounts to having his feet bandaged up for protection. He has been somewhat friendless in the market but there is room for his price to contract on the back of a strong foxtrot in week 1 and possibly an even bigger chance to shine in week 2 performing a Latin routine.

Graeme’s samba, meanwhile, could well be one of the show stealers tomorrow night and is expected to be superior to Susannah’s, which has car crash written all over it. This might actually mean Susannah’s survival chances improve, with a ballroom to follow in week 2 and the chance of a redemption for her.

Ashley noticeably has a VW, and a chance to set herself apart from the other 3 standard waltzes. Stacey being given the lesser-spotted QS (in terms of week 1/2 dances) also allows her to differentiate herself from the field and looks a nice launch pad for her.

It is noticeable they have ensured Ashley has a ballroom while Vick has a Latin and this pattern may well be maintained over the weeks. With Vick looking a natural when it comes to Latin dances, it could prove something of a poisoned chalice for all others who have Latin dances the same week as her. It might be a similar story in the weeks Ashley gets to strut her stuff with fast Latin.

Seann has the only tango. Whether Katya can shoehorn in some fun flourishes remains to be seen but in terms of Seann’s survival chances at least this tees him up for a potentially entertaining fast Latin dance in week 2 and a window for Katya to whole-heartedly go down the comedy route. You sense he will need this to survive the first elimination.

Graeme’s samba could be one of the show stealers while Susannah’s has car crash written all over it

It will be a marathon show in the first 2 weeks squeezing in 15 dances, with tomorrow night’s Strictly lasting 2 hours 20 minutes. Running order, as always, will be a useful tool for TPTB in sending certain contestants down the memory plug hole.

With a survival case to be made for both Susannah and Seann, we need to be asking who might be most vulnerable among those mid-table or lower celebs after the first 2 dances. Lauren has a tender track for her waltz tomorrow night and we have to remember she has her salsa card to play at some point, possibly in week 2, and it’s a dance she has previously taught.

Lee has looked ok in training footage and should have an older female appeal given Blue’s fan base though he will have a tricky Latin routine to negotiate in week 2. Kate Silverton may well get enough middle-aged, BBC-friendly voters on her side but could be vulnerable, as her CCC tomorrow night looks like being the weakest one on the night.

Despite Joe’s jive also anticipated to be poor, ballroom in week 2 will likely see improvement and his fanbase of teenage girls should see him safe at least in terms of the first Strictly vote of the series.

Charles may well be generously critiqued and scored to ensure he doesn’t become the surprise black guy falling into the bottom 2 early on – something TPTB will surely be eager to guard against. It will be interesting to see who copes better with CCC between Charles and Faye in terms of their long-term prospects.

Despite Joe’s jive anticipated to be poor, ballroom in week 2 will likely see improvement and his fanbase of teenage girls should see him safe

This leaves Katie Piper and Dr Ranj. There is a belief Katie P will earn enough of a vote purely because of her heart-rending back story but she has what looks like being a rather forgettable waltz tomorrow night, and based on early training footage she may well struggle in week 2 assuming she has to negotiate a fast Latin routine.

Dr Ranj might also be vulnerable. On paper, his week 1 CCC to a cliched, over-played Whitney track doesn’t look like being particularly stand-out unless he manages to go the full Judge Rinder hamming it up. And then he will have a likely forgettable ballroom routine in week 2 and given his pint-sized dimensions ballroom doesn’t look like being an easy fit for him.

Small 1st elimination plays are advised at this very early stage with value obviously being the byword.

Strictly 2018 week 1 dances & songs:

Ashley & Pasha: Viennese Waltz to Perfect by Ed Sheeran featuring Beyoncé
Charles & Karen: Cha Cha Cha to Ain’t No Love (Ain’t Not Use) by Sub Sub featuring Melanie Williams
Danny & Amy: Foxtrot to Top Cat Theme by Hoyt Curtin
Dr Ranj & Janette: Cha Cha Cha to How Will I Know by Whitney Houston
Faye & Giovanni: Cha Cha Cha to Lullaby by Sigala featuring Paloma Faith
Graeme & Oti: Samba to Soul Limbo by Booker T and The M.G.’s
Joe & Dianne: Jive to Take On Me by A-Ha
Kate & Aljaž: Cha Cha Cha to Kiss by Tom Jones
Katie & Gorka: Waltz to When We Were Young by Adele
Lauren & AJ: Waltz to I’m Kissing You by Des’ree
Lee & Nadiya: Waltz to Take It To The Limit by The Eagles
Seann & Katya: Tango to SexyBack by Justin Timberlake
Stacey & Kevin: Quickstep to Dancing by Kylie Minogue
Susannah & Anton: Samba to Tico Tico by Carmen Miranda
Vick & Graziano: Jive to Feel It Still by Portugal. The Man


  1. James

    Here are the scores that the previous Strictly champions achieved in their first dance, and their position on the leaderboard after every contestant had danced once.

    S1: Natasha, 27, =2nd
    S2: Jill, 27, 4th
    S3: Darren, 19, =8th
    S4: Mark, 27, =3rd
    S5: Alesha, 31, 3rd
    S6: Tom, 28, 4th
    S7: Chris, 26, 6th
    S8: Kara, 30, 3rd
    S9: Harry, 28, =2nd
    S10: Louis, 27, 3rd
    S11: Abbey, 32, 1st
    S12: Caroline, 27, =3rd
    S13: Jay, 27, =3rd
    S14 Ore, 27, =6th
    S15: Joe, 29, 3rd

    So the numbers to look out for on Saturday are 27, 28 & 3 as twelve of the fifteen champions scored 27-28 points with their first dance and/or finished in 3rd/=3rd place on the leaderboard.

    • Rob

      Many thanks for this, James. It’s a useful reference point. There’s a general sense you don’t want to come flying out of the gate in week 1 & top the leaderboard, but the stats still suggest potential winners are towards the top in week 1.

      • Stoney

        Ive been away this weekend so havent had a chance to watch this weekends show. I see Stacy Dooley is now the favourite which is not a good thing. Id much prefer she went under the radar for a few weeks.

        • Stoney

          Can anyone come up with any feasible reasons why Staceys odds have dropped so much since Saturday nights show?
          Apart from the gut feeling I had, a similar one that I had with Joe I have seen nothing from saturday nights performance or anything online which answers why she’s now pushing favouritism with most firms.

          • Rob

            Hi Stoney. I think it is being regarded as an ideal week 1 performance in the sense she showed her dancing potential and as one of the genuine beginners at series start, the makings of a journey contestant, with the panel pointing out she is a fish out of water given her usual day job as an investigative journalist.

          • Stoney

            Hello Rob would you be viewing her as a serious contender at this point?

          • Rob

            I think she has to be considered a contender at this early stage though we need to see a lot more of her, particularly dancing Latin routines. She’s a good fit in terms of being a non-threatening female but Kevin not being available for the Tour has to remain a slight concern.

  2. Keley Ann

    I hadn’t seen this til now – quite amusing to read back in retrospect 😉 surely Joe has got to be one of the outright favourites if he maintains this level – cute, non-threatening boy with a decent ability is always a shoe-in in Strictly!

  3. Stoney

    Aside from the other favourite to get the boot this weekend I have to say Lee Ryan is worth a punt. Largely an unpopular character and not in a comfortable position on the leader board at the moment.

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