Jake The Snake Hips

Oct 10, 2014 by

Jake The Snake Hips

The revelation in week 2 of Strictly was the salsa put in by Jake which has seen him leapfrog to the front of the Outright market, vying for favouritism with Pixie and Frankie.

It’s hats off to reader hemsby who identified Jake as a strong contender pre-series at big odds. The one slight concern for Jake backers is that he may have peaked too early and might find it hard to maintain such a high standard.

Not only that but the jury is still out on how well he can dance slow, graceful ballroom numbers that require perfect posture and hold. And the training footage of tomorrow’s waltz hasn’t entirely convinced. But he looks a definite runner and likely to push Simon hard for top dog status among the males this year.

It is likely to remain fairly tight at the head of the market among the top 5 of Frankie, Pixie, Caroline, Jake and Simon. Thom has lost favour in the betting market but does remain a possible journey contestant in this series alongside Mark and, at a push, Steve. It already looks extremely unlikely anyone outside these 7 or 8 can realistically challenge for the title this year.

This Saturday is Movie Week. Two questions, BBC: why do you insist on all these theme weeks now and what’s wrong with simply giving the contestants free rein? And why do you allow the same old songs to be regurgitated series after series when it would be SO refreshing to see routines set to some different music?

Show annoyances aside, the 2nd elimination market looks ripe for a surprise which could be good news for value seekers. You can certainly make a strong case for the 4 front runners in the market all escaping the bottom 2.

Jennifer: should get a bounce having been bottom 2 last week, and the bottom 2 bounce is often aided by the judges’ ramping the dance-off survivor from the previous week. A foxtrot certainly gives room for the judges to talk about Jennifer’s improvement.

Judy: bottom of the leaderboard last week and escaped the bottom 2. As predicted here, it looks like Judy has a patriotic Scottish vote helping her not to mention Anton’s fanbase. She has a quickstep and Anton is the ballroom maestro so there is scope for improvement too.

Tim: struck up a delightful partnership with Natalie, they clearly have support and you have to expect a really fun, vote-winning Charleston from these 2.

Scott: absolutely hopeless as a dancer but his Radio 1 fans could well come to his rescue again while there are so many contestants still left in the competition. His samba is very likely to be so bad he will get a mauling from Craig, which could well further boost his vote.

If we get plenty of ties this will further help all four of these couples if they find themselves propping up the leaderboard. That said, Donny Osmond is said to be a guest judge this week so presumably we will have a panel of 5 judges (unless one of the regulars is sitting it out or Donny is merely commenting) which would make ties less likely.

So who looks most vulnerable among the more accomplished dancers this week? Frankie, Pixie, Jake, Caroline and Simon should be safe enough at the top of the leaderboard. Thom’s Charleston should be a vote-winner and could prove his best routine to date. Steve should get the votes Quickstepping to ‘I Want To Be Like You’ and he looks like he might be about to achieve a personal best too.

Sunetra has a busy filming schedule which means she is spending less hours in the training room than most. She has an American Smooth. Her tears last week would have won her some new fans and the AS can be a vote-winner with its lifts but with an early running order slot she could be in trouble of a bottom 2 appearance as she looks very likely to be in that vulnerable mid-table position.

Mark doing a paso to the Superman theme doesn’t sound convincing especially if they kit him out in a Superman outfit. Alison will jive to ‘Footloose’ and she hasn’t impressed in her training VTs, looking too flat-footed. These 3 are certainly worth monitoring if we get some bottom 2 prices.

In terms of Highest Scorer, Pixie (6/6 and 13/15) and Frankie (8/9 and 15/15) have both enjoyed late running order slots in their first 2 appearances. The law of averages says they should be on earlier tomorrow, and given Jake doesn’t look like hitting the heights with his waltz, this could pave the way for Caroline (1/6 and 8/15) to top score. She should be able to sell the romance of her rumba with Pasha well, has the skills to get to grips with its fluidity, and she should (in theory) be due a later slot.

At bigger odds, Thom might be worth a small investment too. If he can stay in time with Iveta, his Charleston looked very promising in training footage. He is also due a later slot, after being drawn 5/9 and 1/15. William Hill are so far the only firm to offer a Highest Scorer market. Let’s hope for some more prices appearing later today. Keep an eye out for updates in the Comments section below.

This week’s routines:

Alison and Aljaz will be Jiving back to the 80s as they rock out to Kenny Loggin’s ‘Footloose’ from the film of the same name.

Caroline and Pasha will perform the Rumba to Aerosmith’s ‘I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing’ from 1998’s ‘Armageddon’.

Frankie and Kevin will dance the Paso Doble to ‘America’ from the brilliant Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim musical ‘West Side Story’.

Jake and Janette are Waltzing to the ‘Godfather Waltz’ by Nina Rota from the unforgettable mobster flick ‘The Godfather’.

Jennifer and Tristan will perform the Foxtrot to Abba’s ‘Mamma Mia’ from the film of the same name.

Judy and Anton will be Quickstepping to ‘Don’t Rain on My Parade’ originally sung by Barbra Streisand in the film ‘Funny Girl’.

Mark and Karen are performing the Paso Doble to the John Williams penned theme from ‘Superman’.

Pixie and Trent will Quickstep to ‘Be Our Guest’ from Disney’s enchanting ‘Beauty and the Beast’.

Scott and Joanne will dance the Samba to ‘Under the Sea’ from another Disney classic ‘The Little Mermaid’.

Simon and Kristina perform the Rumba to Berlin’s ‘Take My Breath Away’ from the film ‘Top Gun’.

Steve and Ola will be Quickstepping to the joyous ‘I Wanna Be Like You’ from Disney’s ‘Jungle Book’.

Sunetra and Brendan are performing the American Smooth to ‘The Way You Look Tonight’ originally sung by Fred Astaire in ‘Swing Time’.

Tim and Natalie will be dancing the Charleston to ‘Money, Money’ from the Bob Fosse musical ‘Cabaret’.

Thom and Iveta will also perform the Charleston to ‘New York, New York’ from the soundtrack of the Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra musical ‘On The Town’.

71 Comments

  1. hemsby

    Thanks for another great article Rob,especially as I’m mentioned 😉

    I’m sitting out this weekend’s elimination…..as you state,its possible to make a case for any of the expected bottom 4 on the LB to escape B2.

    Obviously I’m delighted with the start that Jake has made,but share the concerns you mention.Having just watched Friday’s ITT though,his waltz may be better than anticipated so hopefully one of the doubts extinguished.

    Good luck with your plays this weekend 🙂

    • Rob

      Yep, it did look like he had improves his posture. Wonder if the judges will be critical though as they probably don’t want it to look like a procession already.

  2. Guildo Horn Forever

    I’m another who agrees that you can make a case for the expected LB bottom 4 to avoid the dance-off.

    I do think that Jennifer is the worthy favourite. The bounce effect isn’t a given. I think that it was the fact of duelling against Aliona and Gregg last week that was her saving grace. The lack of homeland voting support for her partnership will continue to damage.

    The outbursts of Aliona and the obnoxious wooden dummy presenting of Tess combine to lead me to believe that Anton’s popularity is at an all time high, and that his tartan partner’s 2nd fap odds are skinnier than cat gut.

    I love Tim and Nat and imagine their stay extends into another week.

    Scott is the outsider of these 4 at 5/1 and imo the possible value of these 4. He’s useless and boring. He could easily exit pitted against any of the above mentioned 3 and would probably definitely exit facing any other contestant. Currently, his continuation is pointless. Exterminate!

    To be blunt, I think Lisa Riley lasting to flipping week 10 a couple of seasons back was in part attributable to the high and rising level of obesity in this country. She represented a huge demographic. Probably the same applies to Alison, this season. She’s v likeable but personally I’m bored with her already. That Lisa Riley surprise element outlasted its welcome and Alison should be long gone before week 10. Aljaz deserves more credit, in the partnership. But setting a number to a song called ‘Footloose’ could be a mistake.

    You do wonder at what iconic Superman moves Mark Wright will be performing. The superman punch?! If the routine is a send up of Nark’s persona then all well and good; if not then the public could punish him (in addition to Len disliking any unconventional elements.)

    Looking at the brief training footage video you posted on the Gregg thread, Rob, I agree that Thom looked excellent (and surprisingly fleet (which bodes v well, long term)) in his clip. He still does remind me of Derek Zoolander. But it does seem that, in acting parlance, he is a guy who ‘takes a note’ very, very well. The early ‘too safe’ feedback was logged and immediately acted upon. You provide him with feedback and direct him towards a new goal…and the guy reinvents himself. More Madonna than Zoolander. I agree: definitely of EW interest in the high scorer market and is looking increasingly capable of a Strictly journey.

    Caroline was phenomenal last week and imo undermarked and I just love her poise, in evidence again in the training footage clip. Jake was looking all moody, charismatic and intense again. Aside from being a cracking dancer he sells the Hell out of a routine.

    Not warming to Frankie, don’t think she’s even the best looking of The Saturdays, and tbh she looks like a boy (from a distance you would be forgiven for thinking Frankie Dettori had taken to the dancefloor). The girl doesn’t fill a dress. She married herself off to boring Wayne Bridge and her personality and chemistry with Kevin from Grimsby are in unflattering contrast to Susanna and Kev’s partnership from last year. Pixie outshines her. Not understanding Frankie’s 3/1 2nd fap status in the outright market, at all. Mystifying.

    All told, I simply agree with you, Rob.

    Wouldn’t be surprised if the dance-off was between 2 of Jennifer, Scott and Sunetra. Sunetra has many factors, fair and unfair, working against her.

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      Btw, I know I’ve been far too harsh on Frankie Bridge – just having a bitchy moment.

      • Rob

        The Dettori comparison did make me laugh 🙂 I agree Pixie outshines her on the dancefloor. My problem with Pixie and Trent is, the pair of them remind me of Rutger Hauer’s replicant character in Blade Runner: when they perform it looks monochrome. Their looks sucks the colour out of the performance, or maybe it’s just me…?

        • Guildo Horn Forever

          I see what you mean! 😀 How long do they have left before expiration! Hadn’t looked at Pixie and Trent that way. Yeah, maybe they are a bit too platinum to be considered a natural fit for golden couple status. I think it might be that they look too similar a la Von Trappe / Swiss Family Robinson / XF Same Difference / Grant Bovey & Anthea Turner. Looking related, as they do, probably invokes a slight resistance in the viewer towards fully enjoying, say, a romantic waltz from the pair. I imagine kids like them.

  3. Guildo Horn Forever

    Poor show from the bookies. It’s gone half eleven Saturday morning, yet still no bloody sign of odds on high scorer, low scorer and B2 markets 🙁 (Looked on Oddschecker, and on Coral, and WH sites.) Think I’ll just be back in to watch Strictly tonight as pure telly, with no betting interests running.

    • Rob

      Yes, disappointing show from the bookies. Seems like they are trying their best to squeeze out tv betting punters more & more. Even when they price the markets, it’s hard to get a decent bet down.

  4. Rob

    Simon and Alison in the mix for bottom 2 along with Jennifer. Tim not entirely safe.

  5. Rob

    Simon vs Jennifer. Jennifer gone.

    Annoyed there weren’t any b2 prices knocking around as would have backed Simon.

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      Only had time to catch chunks of the show tonight. Missed Simon’s dance, and the feedback, but did see part of the Claudia debrief. Couldn’t help but notice Simon’s strange body language with Kristina. He seemed so determined to blank her that he repeatedly started grazing from his popcorn carton like it was a feed-bag. Has Kristina knocked back Simon’s advances or something? He seemed, and has seemed, half-arsed.

      And that’s the 2 opening B2s containing a contestant who has stuck their face in food (Gregg in the trifle; Simon in the popcorn container).

      Perhaps demonstrates how middle class SCD is compared to the likes of the BB franchises, where pissing on the floor is a vote booster.

      Also noticed Pixie’s unimpressed face during Claudia’s tributes to Frankie; and the incidence of parallels between Jake this season and SEB from last season.

      • Rob

        Simon looked teed up for bottom 2 giving early r.o., a forgettable rumba – which is always incredibly difficult for a bloke – and the position he found himself on the leaderboard, down in 9th. I thought the choreo was poor from Kristina – she always seems to want to make herself the main focus and it was a lacklustre routine.

        Need to check back on later dances as my main focus was on X Factor.

        • Guildo Horn Forever

          I know you would have backed Simon for B2, Rob, had that market been offered.

          I remember last year you were light years ahead of everyone in predicting Strictly production team priorities for that coming season and I was what was probably weeks behind you in realising that Patrick was being set up for top male status (and that Enemy Number 1 was Ashley).

          • Rob

            Thought we had a bit of a ‘group think’ on that one Guildo (Patrick Top Male). Let’s hope the bookmakers are more forthcoming with prices this week and for the remainder of this Strictly series, otherwise my analysis here will start to look redundant.

  6. M8

    Furious with myself that I didn’t get on Frankie 2/1 highest scorer yesterday. The combination of Pixie doing Quickstep and the Pasodoble in week 3 put me off just enough. Tonight proved why guest judges absolutely suck. This is not America where 10s get thrown around like sweets. Screw you Donny Osmond!

    On a side note has anyone had a go on DWTS outright winners? I’m a big DWTS watcher and both Sadie Robertson and Bethany Mota at 9/1 are absolutely massive IMO. Only Alfonso in the way but he’s already used his ace card (The Carlton) in only week 4.

    • Rob

      Thanks for posting M8 & totally agree – Osmond was diabolical. Absolutely hopeless in his assessments and a liability with his paddle.

      Have not followed DWTS other than seeing the Alfonso clip posted by Guildo. Thanks for the heads up. I am very interested in your recommended dutch of Sadie and Bethany.

  7. M8

    Hi Rob

    Alfonso is the juggernaut with that Carlton and five years ago would win the competition hands down. But times have changed and free online voting via social media changes everything.

    Bethany Mota has 7 million youtube subscribers and gets over 1k RTs for everything she tweets. Her partner is also Derek Hough who has a massive fanbase himself and is comfortably the most popular pro. She got a 40 herself in week 3 and did a rumba routine based on being bullied last week which will have gained her more fans.

    Sadie Robertson also has a massive social media following and gets the most YT hits on her routines and seems to be the most popular on Facebook with Alfonso. She is very well known from Duck Dynasty and seems to be very down to earth. Her partner Mark Ballas also has a big following. She’s been getting horribly underscored but I expect her price to shoot down tomorrow night after she nails the Charleston which suits her style perfectly. So there is a small window of opportunity.

    I’m just hoping a final 3 and next elimination market could be added, as I see some real value in this market considering the bookies don’t know much about DWTS. As I say the only worry is Alfonso but like all of you I prefer to put my money on good value bets rather than lumping on the favourite. Hope this is helpful to you. Thank you for your articles on other reality shows!

    • Rob

      You put forward a very strong case M8, & really appreciate you taking the time to post. I have been checking out the routines online and think Sadie & Bethany both look highly competent. Bethany’s routine to ‘Singing In The Rain’ was superb.

      Also, I see Lea Thompson of ‘Back To The Future’ fame is paired with Artem. I did think their BTTF tribute set to ‘The Power Of Love’ looked weaker than Sadie and Bethany’s best. Plus, I can totally see how Alfonso has likely already played his ace. So the dutching of Sadie and Bethany at 9-1 each with WH looks a shrewd play.

      Do you get involved in any other tv betting events in the US? I made a decent amount on Miss Universe 2013, and funnily enough had an even better result in the last Miss World after latching on to Miss Philippines.

      The Awards season is always of interest if you ever have any thoughts on the Oscars/Grammys/Golden Globes etc. Thanks again for posting 🙂

      • Guildo Horn Forever

        Hi guys,

        I’ve toyed for years with setting up a blog (or twitter feed, etc) that covered in detail the areas where the majority of my betting takes place (and my selections and their rationales!). I certainly have a number of stories to share (big wins, near misses as well as expensive and total misreads!)

        Given the amount of research I used to invest, and my tendency to waffle, a blog would have been more fitting, but I’ve always felt conflicted over the matter and so it’s never happened.

        • Rob

          Writing my analysis here helps crystalize my trading strategy, Guildo. Always appreciate you posting your views. I think there is room for one, all-singing, all-dancing tv betting analysis website, with a variety of contributors and experts offering analysis across all the different ‘Specials’ markets.

          I think such a site, run by professional traders in these markets, would merit a subscription model, which is a route this site may yet go down one day.

          • Guildo Horn Forever

            Hi Rob, I recall a in-depth discussion I was involved in over on sofabet a while back on the topic of the advisability of throwing a spotlight on some of the quieter betting areas. No need for me to rehash any of that discussion here (nor even provide a link).

            My perspective was, in part, shaped by my betting levels. Compared to many (commentators on entertainment betting sites), I’m a modest bettor, financially. As such, I have a tendency to want to protect value areas (certainly the ones in which the majority of my biggest wins have taken place!)

            I’ve probably built up a lot of knowledge on areas where I might literally be one of only a handful of gamblers involved in a market. I know this because I remember becoming used to my bets instantly moving a market!

            Here’s a niche betting experience I’ll share. In April / May of this year, I contacted over a dozen bookies, desperate for any one of them to offer me odds on a number of selections, for a market that had yet to be priced up.

            I had 5 selections in 5 different markets. Not one bookie would offer me odds. Not ****ing one of them. It eventually transpired that I’d (long ahead of the game) figured out (foresaw) the eventual favourites in two of the markets, the 2nd fap in another market, and the 3rd fap in another. The key word here is ‘eventually’ because the first market to appear contained a selection of mine that would eventually become the very short priced fap, but was initially chalked / pixeled up at nearly 33/1. I nearly broke my computer in my scramble to back it at those odds! Guess what? The bookie in question restricted me to a maximum bet of £4 win. Grrrr.

            Here’s my take. If there’d been more (historical) interest and bet volume in that market then I would have been allowed to put down a much bigger sum than 4 quid on my selection. However, if there had have been an established interest there then would my selection have been so casually, initially offered at that remarkable price? Somehow, I doubt it. I imagine higher betting volumes, and thus substantially higher potential liabilities, would have motivated the oddsmakers to conduct somewhere approaching the same level of research into that market that I had undertaken. I suppose I have been spoilt, become accustomed to specialising in markets were it is blindingly obvious that I am more knowledgeable than the oddsmakers. I say ‘spoilt’ because I feel the days seem to be numbered wherein the poacher is the specialist and the gamekeeper is the naive rookie.

            But, anyway, yes Rob, (my own very personal concerns aside) I agree that an all-singing, all dancing tv betting analysis site is inevitable. Progress comes with a price, but is inevitable.

          • Guildo Horn Forever

            A bit of a random add-on, this, but I sometimes find I can foresee which golfers will be being tipped by the golf bettors, for the weekly tournaments.

            It’s the 16 man field, World Matchplay tourney this Wednesday (through to Sunday) and I can imagine Stephen Gallacher (at odds of 22/1) being a headline tip you may be spotting on the net and in the Racing Post golf preview section.

        • Rob

          You’ve articulated it very well, Guildo. This is why tv betting was a goldmine in the early days; not quite so much now. It was a small niche, the odds compilers hadn’t done their research and you could give yourself an enormous edge.

          One example: one of the spread firms way back when offered head-to-head spreads on Strictly based on leaderboard points totals. This was back in the days when Craig RH did a training room analysis section with Claudia on ITT and it was 99% certain, following this analysis, who was set to shine on the Saturday and who was set to fail.

          For a period of weeks, their odds compiler clearly hadn’t done his research – I recall one spread quote had Penny Lancaster favourite over Gabby Logan, both of them doing the jive.

          The spread had Penny as fav to outscore Gabby because it had been set based on their scores the previous week when Penny outscored Gabby in the Quickstep. But it was transparent that she couldn’t cope with the jive whereas Gabby looked superb.

          I did a max SELL of Penny – Gabby beat her by 6pts which resulted in a massive win. Not surprisingly, my account was closed not long afterwards.

          The foundation of the betting industry is that it should be layer vs backer but it seems the big high street firms are now run by bean counters, and they are unwilling to accomodate decent bets on the tv betting markets.

          They just want to focus on their awful FOBT machines in their high street shops, with the biggest concentration of betting shops appearing in the country’s most deprived areas, as they prey on the poor. And their online businesses are no doubt making their biggest profit with the casinos.

          I think it’s scandalous that they are allowed to so heavily advertise during primetime tv, encouraging gambling, when what they don’t say is, if you make a profit they will close your account.

          • Guildo Horn Forever

            I think the This Is The Ladbrokes Life campaign features an unrepresentative slice of the service user base, and is ripe for true representation, elaboration and spoofing.

            Instead of characters such as Generous John and True Believer, how about Homeless FOTB Fool / Addict, the guy who’s worked hard all his life but who now has lost his life savings, house and family because of his addiction to FOTBs and his denial that a virtual roulette ball definitely has no memory (not to mention that FOTB roulette machines are NOT random, as advertised. Apparently, the FOTB machine randomly downloads 6 numbers and then CHOOSES a winning number from that set of 6, taking into account payouts on each respective number and on the machine’s current percentage profitability). The shop staff always offer Homeless FOTB Fool / Addict a big welcome, and a free, piping hot cup of coffee. Never has the reciprocity principle been so abused or disproportionately initiated than with the “free” beverages for the FOTB addicts. Plus, good old caffeine helps keep the shops’ lifeblood / idiots awake. Wouldn’t want them falling asleep and unable to press the pigeon reward button – sorry, I mean ‘spin’ button every 20 seconds, now would they?

            High street shop staff are instructed to keep the FOTB addicts well hydrated, particularly with coffee, as though the staffs’ jobs depend on it. Which they do.

            The Ladbrokes Life character called The Professor is the systems analyst archetype. But breaking news! He has been identified as having built up a pattern of consistent winning. He won twice on the trot on reality markets. In response, this character has now been discontinued. He’s currently sending his virtual wife (his mistress!) in to put his bets on for him. Until she’s barred.

            Seriously, Rob, you might be the most skilled shrewdie I’ve listened to. I’m surprised any of the bookies let you have an account with any of them! I should imagine you use betfair; and a number of disguises as you visit a wide spread of high street bookies in your local area and beyond! (Please don’t answer my speculations – in our internet discussion here! Keep your Modus Operandi to yourself. You don’t know who is reading this! I’m just thinking out loud.)

          • Rob

            That’s scarily accurate, Guildo, including the virtual wife. Add in a few virtual friends too, & I’m sure you get the picture 🙂

          • Guildo Horn Forever

            Sounds fun! 🙂

  8. M8

    I’ve always watched SCD and recently started watching DWTS. I don’t get involved in any other USA betting unfortunately. I never planned to but when I saw bookies has opened a DWTS market with Sadie & Beth at such long odds I simply had to get involved this year.

    You mention Lea & Artem, they are the reason why I’ve been trying to get a next elimination market going. Despite being very strong dancers, with their lack of a fanbase (Artem new to DWTS) I fully expect them to be a shocking elimination before the final.

    Anyway I’m going off topic, regarding your earlier posts I think you have it spot on. Jake Wood will not win. Eastenders stars always burn out before the final and as mentioned Jake has peaked to early ala Sophie Ellis Bextor. Frankie Caroline and Thom are my big greens from before the show even started. I think the young mum, card will win it for Frankie, also she seems like a down to earth nice girl with a big following. I expect Pixie to probably come 2nd but get the same treatment as Natalie last year (dance training etc etc).

    Good luck everyone with your reality bets. I’ll make sure to keep an eye on your future articles Rob. 🙂

  9. Rob

    Dances for this Saturday we know so far:

    Alison & Aljaz – Samba
    Caroline & Pasha – Ballroom?
    Frankie & Kevin – Ballroom?
    Jake & Janette – Latin?
    Judy & Anton – Tango
    Mark & Karen – Ballroom?
    Pixie & Trent – Rumba
    Scott & Joanne – Ballroom?
    Simon & Kristina – Ballroom?
    Steve & Ola – Latin?
    Sunetra & Brendan – Latin?
    Thom & Iveta – Ballroom?
    Tim & Natalie – Paso Doble

  10. Guildo Horn Forever

    Have noticed the elim markets up – with peeps unlikely to be in a hurry to try to make a mint on Judy, available at a top price of 6/4 fap?

    • Rob

      tango – another ballroom for Judy. It should suit her. And her and Anton have support. Tim looks like having a comedy paso, and Scott has fans too.

      So, again a solid case to look further down the list. Could do with seeing what everyone has but Alison makes some appeal at 16-1 with Coral. She couldn’t do salsa, it’s hard to see how she will be able to cope with samba, and all the ‘well done for throwing yourself into it’ is surely starting to wear thin with the audience.

      • Guildo Horn Forever

        Yeah, there’s an accommodation made in the marking and the critiques for Alison because of her size; an accommodation that isn’t made for the elder competitors in respect of the disadvantage of being relatively advanced in years. I’ll say it out loud: Alison is too overweight to be light on her feet – biology and physics make it so.

        In their different respects, Simon and Judy are virtually equally awful and I wouldn’t like to predict who would get
        the nod if they both landed in the dance off (on whichever week), so 6/4 for Judy seems a strange one in many respects.

        Am currently watching SCD on a catch-up service and it’s seeming obvious that one or both supposedly singleton Simon and / or Kristina are actually shagging away with someone, as there is a weird absence of connection chemistry between them, both during and after their simulated sex rumba routine.

        Bit worried for our Tim. He should be alright in a dance off against Simon or Judy, but against anyone else…

        Thom really is Zoolander (or do I mean the new Mike Yarwood?). His impressions are all identical! I think Thom might be Gavin Henson’s long lost brother! Dancing really did improve but the guys’s gormless.

        I think I’ve seen Steve Backshall’s martial arts background peeking out – I’d guess that he studied ju-jitsu and some karate. A dance full of big athletic movements and large shapes but with some nicer small details, too. Having a look for myself now at the EW outright and top male prices now. Even the opening segment where he briefly imitated Rose from Titanic was adorable! I find myself taking the position of quietly rooting for him to win the thing. He seemed to find his mojo with that quickstep. Relative to Mark Wright’s price, for instance, (though I do kind of like Mark) Steve’s odds look generous. In comparison to Alsion’s odds he also looks wrongly positioned in the odds table. I can definitely see Steve finishing top 4 or 5. I’d mark him 5th favourite, some way behind Caroline (who’s terrific) in the betting. Yep, I see what you mean, Rob, about Steve.

  11. Rob

    Scott – American Smooth

  12. Rob

    Steve & Ola – jive

  13. Rob

    Charleston for Simon & Kristina

  14. Rob

    rumba for Pixie

    possibly a Quickstep for Caroline

  15. Rob

    Foxtrot for Thom & Iveta

  16. Guildo Horn Forever

    Karen is on the couch now but minus Mark Wright, who’s unwell. So he might be a little under-prepared for their quickstep this Sat.

  17. Guildo Horn Forever

    Hi Rob,

    Gallacher’s (untipped (!) and currently 1 down with about 5 to play in his first match) out to 40s (which I’ve optimistically and possibly foolishly taken) but for SCD I’m thinking Tim vs Alison this week in the dance-off, with Alison thus the must-bet at 16s. Think I’ll grab that price before it’s gone as she’s contracted into 12s with one firm.

  18. Rob

    Alison and Aljaz will be performing the Samba to ‘Bootylicious’ by Destiny’s Child.
    Caroline and Pasha will be performing the Quickstep to ‘We Go Together’ from the musical Grease.
    Frankie and Kevin will be performing the Cha Cha to ‘Call Me Maybe’ by Carly Rae Jepsen.
    Jake and Janette will be performing the Jive to ‘All Shook Up’ by Elvis Presley.
    Judy and Anton will be performing the Tango to ‘Jealousy’ by Billy Fury.
    Mark and Karen will be performing the Quickstep to ‘Tiger Feet’ by Mud.
    Pixie and Trent will be performing the Rumba to ‘Stay With Me’ by Sam Smith.
    Scott and Joanne will be performing the American Smooth to ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ by Bonnie Tyler.
    Simon and Kristina will be performing the Charleston to ‘My Old Man (Said Follow The Van)’.
    Steve and Ola will be performing the Salsa to ‘Jump in the Line’ by Harry Belafonte.
    Sunetra and Brendan will be performing the Salsa to ‘Turn the Beat Around’ by Vicki Sue Robinson.
    Thom and Iveta will be performing the Foxtrot to ‘Build Me Up Buttercup’ by The Foundations.
    Tim and Natalie will be performing the Paso Doble to ‘The Best’ by Tina Turner.

  19. Rob

    No Strictly post this week because there are no bottom 2 or highest/lowest scorer markets. P*ss poor effort from the high street.

    This week’s training footage:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/strictlycomedancing/posts/Week-Four-In-Training

    If some odds magically appear before tomorrow night’s show, keep an eye out here for advice.

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      Wonder why there’s dozens of markets available on XF but barely a handful on SCD? It seems to be a co-ordinated black-out.

      Are they running scared of your tipping? There must be a reason for the collective no-show.

  20. Rob

    At last Coral has some prices & I have some recommendations for the offical portfolio of bets:

    highest scorer – Simon Webbe – 1pt e/w – 16-1 – Coral (third the odds, 1, 2)
    highest scorer – Jake Wood – 2pt win – 11-4 – Coral

    In terms of lowest scorer, Sunetra at 28-1 looks too big a price e/w, third the odds, 1, 2 as she looks like struggling with the salsa.

    Scott Mills fair value at 5-2 given how poor he consistently is, and they may well big up Judy (because Andy has promised to watch her next week & that will be an opportunity the Beeb won’t want to miss out on). So it could well be Tim vs Scott most likely to be vying for lowest scorer.

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      I wish I’d waited and watched the the peeks of training footage accumulate during the week before I’d had my early elim bet on Alison. There’s traditionally little in the way of market movers during the week so I don’t know why I jumped the gun.

  21. Rob

    WH have highest scorer market too & offer a shade better value of 3-1 Jake to be highest scorer.

  22. M8

    Mark v Tim in DO with Tim gone. Good stuff the only bets I had on tonight were Tim and Allison to be eliminated. Was at football so no time to do any high scores bets. Shame as I probably would have gone for Caroline. So frustrating that no bottom 2 markets are open. Some real value to be made there while Judy and Scott are still in.

  23. Rob

    Scott getting enough votes to escape the bottom 2 is surprising. Actually thought either Sunetra or Alison were in more danger of bottom 2 than Mark.

    Still, an ok night with Jake joint top scoring with Caroline who I thought was over-marked tonight along with a few others, while Simon was under-marked.

    And Scott to be lowest scorer was a winner too.

  24. M8

    I think Scott will be around for a few more weeks yet. He’s the worst by a mile and certainly the established joke act for me. He also has a big fanbase and the ability to promote himself on radio whenever he wants. I think we’ll see a surprise bottom 2/elimination very soon. Every season a finalist or winner lands themselves in the bottom two around week 5/6. Kimberley Walsh, Abbey Clancy etc.

  25. Rob

    What we know so far:

    Alison & Aljaz – Tango
    Caroline & Pasha – Paso Doble
    Frankie & Kevin – Foxtrot
    Jake & Janette – Quickstep
    Judy & Anton – Charleston
    Mark & Karen – ?
    Pixie & Trent – Samba
    Scott & Joanne – ?
    Simon & Kristina – possibly ballroom?
    Steve & Ola – ?
    Sunetra & Brendan – Viennese Waltz
    Thom & Iveta – Cha Cha Cha

  26. Rob

    This week’s dances:

    Alison and Aljaz will be performing the Tango to ‘Addicted to You’ by Avicii.

    Caroline and Pasha will be performing the Paso Doble to ‘Live and Let Die’ by Paul McCartney & Wings.

    Frankie and Kevin will be performing the Foxtrot to ‘Daydream Believer’ by The Monkees.

    Jake and Janette will be performing the Quickstep to ‘I’m Still Standing’ by Elton John.

    Judy and Anton will be performing the Charleston to ‘Varsity Drag’ by Pasadena Roof Orchestra.

    Mark and Karen will be performing the Samba to ‘That’s The Way I Like It’ by KC and the Sunshine Band.

    Pixie and Trent will be performing the Samba to ‘I Yi Yi Yi Yi’ by Edmundo Ros.

    Scott and Joanne will be performing the Charleston to ‘Flash Bang Wallop’ by Tommy Steele.

    Simon and Kristina will be performing the Viennese Waltz to ‘Somebody to Love’ by Queen.

    Steve and Ola will be performing the Waltz to ‘I Wonder Why’ by Curtis Stigers.

    Sunetra and Brendan will be performing the Viennese Waltz to ‘Anyone Who Had a Heart’ by Cilla Black.

    Thom and Iveta will be performing the Cha Cha to ‘It’s My Party’ by Jessie J.

  27. Rob

    Having just watched ITT & the initial training footage, I think the value punt this week has to be Alison to be eliminated. We know Judy and Scott both have loyal voters, and they both have Charlestons which will be potentially entertaining.

    Alison doesn’t look suited to the tango; it’s not the sort of thing that can be sold as ‘fun’ either like her samba and jive in previous weeks.

    I am flagging it up now because I doubt the 10-1 will last. It simply looks too big a price to miss out on. Obviously if either Judy or Scott do land b2 with Alison, they will be eliminated but at the odds it’s worth taking the gamble they both avoid b2.

    And if it is Alison vs any other I would be pretty confident Alison will be voted off. Sunetra looks like producing an excellent VW.

    Recommendation:

    Alison – next elimination – 10-1 – Ladbrokes – 3pt win

    • *words right out of my mouth*

      Although, I’ve also taken a position on Judy. Two Charlestons together, one clumsy and trying to be good, against another clumsy effort but containing comical moments. I’ve a feeling that Scott could stick around until Halloween like Dave did last year – at least TPTB would get their full money’s worth.

      I’ve also taken what I felt was a moderate price for Caroline to be highest scorer on Betfair, while also taking a very small lay on Jake. I expect it to be dead-heated with another not involving Jake.

      • Rob

        Certainly whichever of the 2 is on earlier will likely be more vulnerable. Talk of both Judy’s sons attending on Saturday. I would take that as a positive.

        Scott’s R1 army just seems relentless at this stage no matter what rubbish he produces each week. Will look to cover in-running only if it looks like they are killing one of them with kindness & trying to cleverly keep a lid on their vote. I think Anton knows how to play the game well.

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      Haven’t seen any ITT this week. If Judy, Scott and Alison all avoid the B2, any suggestions on 2 or 3 likely candidates to be comprising the B2?

      Might bite the bullet in backing Alison again this week as I also agree she looks the value call to go.

      Not entirely convinced a VW is the ideal dance for Sunetra.

      Currently seeing Thom at 28s for top scorer, btw.

      • Rob

        All things being equal, I’m pretty confident Alison will be bottom 2 tonight, Guildo. The worry is, Strictly has got a lot more sophisticated ‘managing’ the leaderboard & the public vote to a certain extent which concerns me they will somehow manage to dampen Scott or Judy’s vote enough to get 1 of them into the bottom 2.

        But Alison was certainly worth backing at 10s. Of the others, I think Sunetra could put in a very decent VW. Mark should get a decent b2 bounce, I don’t think Simon will drop down again as I expect his VW to be excellent. It could be a week when Pixie or Frankie drop down into the b2.

        Thom at 28-1 looks too big for highest score & worth a small investment e/w with Coral – I thought his footwork looked much improved in the training video. I think Simon is over-priced at 10-1 too as he was sounding very confident about his VW last night on ITT. It looks an open week – cue Frankie & Caroline finishing joint top scorer!

  28. Rob

    Coral and WH have highest/lowest scorer markets.

    Scott looks nailed on for last place, so 4-6 with Coral looks like value.

    As for highest scorer, Caroline had the pimp last week so probably won’t get it for her paso. Not convinced by Pixie’s samba skills. Jake may still have work to do on his top line.

    Frankie, on first last week, is consistent and may well top score with her foxtrot. Simon had a great Charleston last week but was under-scored and given trap 4 which was odd given it was a routine that had pimp slot written all over it. He could be a bit of value ew at 10-1 with Coral doing the VW.

  29. Rob

    Thom’s footwork also looks much improved doing the CCC. He is no forlorn hope for top score this week. A shame we are not getting r.o. information this year as it is hard to make highest scorer recommendations without it.

  30. Rob

    This week’s training footage:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p029847q

    Caroline and Pasha look to have a song and routine befitting of a pimp slot. It just seems unlikely they would be afforded this luxury 2 weeks running.

  31. Rob

    Andy won’t be attending tomorrow night because he is through to the semi-final in the Valencia Open. But Jamie will be there to support his mum.

  32. Tim B

    Hi Rob, have you seen this article in the Daily Star about Judy topping the vote? Obviously it’s probably intended as a long-term vote-dampener but she should be safe this week, if true.

    http://www.dailystar.co.uk/tv/strictly-come-dancing/406830/Shock-as-Judy-Murray-dances-into-top-position-as-bookies-favourite-to-win-Strictly

    I’m on Allison to be eliminated with a saver on Scott.

    • Rob

      Hi Tim,
      Yes, seen it. It doesn’t surprise. It’s why Judy was of interest to me pre-series as I thought her & Anton would prove very popular. What I didn’t bank on was Judy being such a poor dancer – I thought she would at least be decent in ballroom. Star has a superb record with its vote leaks. Sadly, the show likes to do everything in its power these days to kill the voting behemoth if said contestant is an inferior dancer.

  33. Rob

    In light of what we know about Judy’s vote, suggest a cover on Scott to be eliminated as cover for earlier advised Alison bet. Scott’s vote has been strong up to now but it makes sense to cover on him. Expect his elim price to go shorter in-running.

    Recommendation:

    Scott – next elimination – 4pt win – 7-4 – Coral

  34. Rob

    DS saying Thom vs Simon dance-off, Thom out.

    Covered both in running as easy to see they were both in dangerous spots on the leaderboard. Disappointing for portfolio of bets.

  35. M8

    Pixie brought in the bacon yesterday with her 4/1 highest score. Took a gamble that she would nail the Samba. Although a tough dance it’s plainly obvious she is the best natural dancer and I didn’t think Caroline could come top scorer 2 weeks in a row. She got four 8s last week for a rumba that I thought was disappointing for her standards. As for elimination I only had a stake on Allison. Really annoys me how she manages to gain votes. She’s loud, annoying and did a rubbish tango. More of a Julian McDonald than a Lisa Riley for me.

    • Rob

      Well done, M8. Have to say, I didn’t think Pixie was remotely the best on the night but it seems pretty much a rule now on Strictly that the pimp slot MUST be given top score. It’s ironic as Caroline’s paso, for me, was the dance of the night and deserved top score. The week before, Caroline was given the pimp, certainly wasn’t the best on the night but was awarded joint top scorer with Jake who was in the penultimate slot. Simon’s Charleston was the best dance that night but was under-scored.

      I found last night’s scoring totally contrived – they were keen to avoid ties and they clearly ordered the leaderboard, as they like to do these days. Pixie being awarded highest score tells me she is doing very badly in terms of polling. I was glad to cover on Simon and Thom but Alison would have been by far my best elimination result. It staggers me, too, that she maintained a high level of support – her tango was very poor indeed. Very surprised she outpolled Thom in particular. Actually thought Thom was shaping up as something of a journey contestant in this series. Not to be.

  36. M8

    I’m just finding it hard to predict the bottom 2 since Tim left. Things just seem quite unpredictable. I’m must preferring betting on the highest scorer. Worth taking note that Jake was 1st this week so may get himself a pimp spot for next week. It’s Haloween week as well so I’m expecting some more generous scores handed out. Well done Rob on your Thom bet, I watched the show on I-Player before checking the elim thread on DS and was confident of Allison. I certainly didn’t predict a Simon Thom bottom 2 so good job! We go again next week.

  37. Rob

    Dances we know so far for this Saturday:

    Alison & Aljaz – Charleston
    Caroline & Pasha – Samba
    Frankie & Kevin – Tango
    Jake & Janette – Paso Doble
    Judy & Anton – American Smooth (Foxtrot-based?)
    Mark & Karen – Jive
    Pixie & Trent – Tango
    Scott & Joanne –
    Simon & Kristina –
    Steve & Ola – Charleston
    Sunetra & Brendan – Waltz

  38. Rob

    Scott & Joanne – foxtrot with Scott as Uncle Fester:

    http://www.comicbookreligion.com/img/u/n/Uncle_Fester.jpg

    Hmm…? Stitch up?

  39. Rob

    Judy & Anton’s AS (presumably foxtrot-based, with lifts) vs Scott & Joanne’s ft, with Scott dressed as Uncle Fester.

    After a shock bottom 2, it is often the way the voting public feel somewhat ashamed voting for the lesser dancers and their vote drops like a stone.

    We know from the Star Judy has been topping the pv, so she looks in better shape to withstand this compared to Scott.

    Simon should get a bounce & Alison has the chance to ‘sell’ a Charleston. An early one this week because the price looks too big to me.

    Recommendation:

    Scott – next elimination – 4pt win – 5-2 – bet365

  40. Rob

    Looks like some of the dance choices have mysteriously changed:

    Alison and Aljaz will be performing the American Smooth to ‘Wuthering Heights’ by Kate Bush.
    Caroline and Pasha will be performing the Samba to ‘Le Freak’ by Chic.
    Frankie and Kevin will be performing the Tango to ‘Defying Gravity’ from the musical Wicked.
    Jake and Janette will be performing the Paso Doble to ‘Black Betty’ by Ram Jam.
    Judy and Anton will be performing the American Smooth to ‘Cruella De Vil’ from the movie 101 Dalmations.
    Mark and Karen will be performing the Jive to ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ from the musical of the same name.
    Pixie and Trent will be performing the Paso Doble to ‘Danger! High Voltage’ by Electric Six.
    Scott and Joanne will be performing the Foxtrot to The Addams Family Theme.
    Simon and Kristina will be performing the Paso Doble to ‘Poison’ by Alice Cooper.
    Steve and Ola will be performing the Charleston to ‘Dem Bones Dem Bones’ by Kay Starr.
    Sunetra and Brendan will be performing the Jive to ‘Tainted Love’ by Gloria Jones.

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