Jive Shocker Worth Chancing

Nov 7, 2013 by

Jive Shocker Worth Chancing

It was week 6 of last year’s Strictly that Kimberley Walsh made a surprise bottom 2 appearance which, on reflection, should have alerted us to Abbey’s vulnerability last Saturday.

Kimberley found herself joint-second on the judges’ leaderboard only to land in the dance-off. Abbey was in a 3-way tie for 2nd and in a near mirror image plummeted into the bottom 2 in week 6 of this year’s series.

There can often be a backlash with the Strictly vote after a surprise bottom 2 appearance from one of the series’ most accomplished dancers. It was Richard Arnold (joint-last on the leaderboard with Victoria Pendleton) who was eliminated the week after Kimberley’s surprise bottom 2 last year.

This suggests Dave is probably going to be at his most vulnerable so far this Saturday, dancing a tango, as he is also due an early slot. Can Karen create some comedic, memorable, vote-winning choreo again? Quite feasibly. Dave has to earn a watching brief given he must have polled in the top 5 last week.

With Dave virtually guaranteed to be anchored last on the leaderboard again, most likely to be just above him are Mark (rumba) and Fiona (paso). Fiona has had a run of early slots (4th, 2nd, 6th, 2nd) on the show and again did well to escape the bottom 2 from trap 2 last Saturday. She must be due a later slot, and on the assumption her paso is going to have the requisite drama, she probably should not be favourite to be eliminated.

Mark, like Dave, is clearly doing well on the public vote and at worst must have finished in the top 6 last week. Rumba is often a forgettable dance but the guy can dance well enough and ‘Goldfinger’ could provide his routine some gravitas. An early slot will make him look vulnerable though.

The judges’ gave Patrick some major ramping last week despite being first to perform on the night. But it looks unlikely they will be able to score his American Smooth highly enough to get him as high as they did last Saturday in joint 2nd. So he has to be in the mix for bottom 2.

It looks highly likely to be any 2 from 4 out of Dave, Mark, Fiona and Patrick. Much like last week, it is too difficult to call before the show and so much revolves around Dave’s routine, elimination and bottom 2 investments are probably best left alone until in-running or we know the likely running order based on rehearsal pics on Saturday afternoon.

In highest scorer betting, we like the look of Abbey again at 3-1 e/w a third the odds 1, 2 with Coral dancing the Charleston. With the judges likely to inflate her scores after last week’s bottom 2 and the routine looking like it will be one of the best of the night regardless, she looks a safe bet to finish in the top 2 on the leaderboard.

Sophie is due a comeback this week dancing the Argentine tango. While unconvinced she can pull it off brilliantly 11-1 e/w looks too big as it could easily prove the show closer, Tanghetto’s ‘Sweet Dreams’ providing an evocative soundtrack to her routine. The staking plan advised would be 3pts e/w Abbey, 1.5pts e/w Sophie.

Jive is a fast-footed dance involving flicks and kicks that is tough to execute well and can easily go wrong. This is what gives value-seekers hope that Natalie can be knocked off top spot on the leaderboard. By the same reasoning Ben has to be worth a punt at 18-1 with Coral in its Lowest Scorer w/o Dave market. If Mark and Fiona can land 28 or higher, a misfiring jive by Ben could easily see him 2nd last on the leaderboard, and given his ropey looking early training footage this looks the stand-out value wager this week.

Here is the list of this week’s dances and songs:

Ashley & Ola – QS to “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” by Jet.
Patrick & Anya – AS (Foxtrot-based) to Harry Connick Junior’s “It Had to Be You”.
Abbey & Aljaz – Charleston to Liza Minnelli’s “Cabaret”.
Dave & Karen – Tango to The Proclaimers’ “I’m Gonna Be”.
Fiona & Anton – Paso Doble to Blur’s “Song 2”.
Sophie & Brendan – Argentine Tango to Tanghetto’s “Sweet Dreams”.
Mark & Iveta – Rumba to Shirley Bassey’s “Goldfinger”.
Susanna & Kevin – Waltz to “You Light Up My Life” by Whitney Houston.
Ben & Kristina – Jive to “Jump Jive an’ Wail” by the Burn the Floor Orchestra.
Natalie & Artem – Jive to Ike and Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary”.


  1. Guildo Horn Forever

    Missed the 18/1 for Ben 🙁 That looks an incredible price for anyone who hopped on.

    • Tim B

      I was limited to a fiver 🙁

      • Rob

        Try and get to high st shops, Tim. Coral shop limit is £50 on tv betting markets. They should accommodate you.

        • Tim B

          Thanks Rob, that’s good to know. Living in a rural town has its downsides, but I’m moving to a big city soon and so will be spoilt for choice in regards to betting shops.

        • steve

          Hi Rob when you go in shop do they ring up for you or are they on screen?

          • Rob

            Hi Steve,
            Annoyingly, these Coral markets have never appeared on screen at the shop I frequent so they always have to phone through. But never a problem getting the bets on. It’s just that £50 limit you need to be weary of.

    • Rob

      It is always galling to miss out on best price but also important to consider what price is the right price.

      Tamera b2 last week on XF was a classic example. I’m sure many were annoyed to miss out on the double figure prices available on her but she still looked over-priced to me around the 6-1 mark.

      I think Ben should be no bigger than about 6-1 in the lowest scorer w/o Dave market so 10-1 still looks value imho.

      • That’s a good call, Rob. I salute you for digging that one out.

        Isn’t this the first time Corals have done a ‘without Dave’ market? If so, it explains the rick.

        I’ve covered that with Fiona. Don’t think we’ve had good Paso yet and the scores flatter the performances to date. Mark should do OK with Rumba, so not interested below evens.

        • Rob

          Yes, it’s the first time they’ve offered this market & it’s good to see. Clearly their lowest scorer market won’t see much business with Dave trading at 1-33, so they’ve offered the w/o Dave as an alternative.

  2. Guildo Horn Forever

    Also, Rob, do you think Abbey looks value at 6/1 for the outright given that she seems likely to to be marked in the T2 yet again?

    • Rob

      Much like XF 2013 at this point in time, I’m finding the SCD Outright very difficult to call atm, Guildo.

      I think among the front 5 Susanna is the value right now at 9-1 e/w first 3. I still think they will do their best to eliminate Ashley before the final & it’ll most likely end up an all-female final. But if Ashley makes the final, he would have a good chance if he is the only male.

      While Chris Hollins obviously had the added advantage of being male, Susanna’s Beeb profile helps her enormously imo.

      Sophie’s winning chance is based on her managing to make the final and reprising her Charleston but she has not backed up that single dance yet.

      I could certainly see Abbey have a run now reminiscent of Kimberley’s last year & get to the final. So much hinges on whether they can persuade the public to support Natalie. On balance, I would expect at least one other finalist to encourage greater support, & at the odds I would be happy to risk that that turns out to be Susanna.

      • Guildo Horn Forever

        Thanks for the analysis, Rob. I too am wrestling with uncertainty over both outrights.

        My only strong, consistent feelings from the off have been that Tamera won’t win XF and that Nat won’t win Strictly.

        I don’t have a bf account, so haven’t been able to “lay” them, if that’s the correct lingo.

        If Abbey pulls off an outstanding Charleston on Saturday then Sophie’s one trump card will have been matched, and with Abbey superior at most, if not all, of the other dances.

        Yet I don’t fancy Abbey to win.

        I have an existing bet on Susanna and hope she is the one, though I question if the standard of her dancing is up to being voted the winner. She needs to up her game.

  3. hemsby

    Thanks Rob,another excellent article.

    The 18/1 for Ben lowest score (without Dave) was exceptional value.I managed to get 14/1 which was still way overpriced.A little galling though to hear that he may be throwing a back flip into the routine,which could mean he gets over marked again.

    I’ve also backed Abbey and Sophie E/W in the highest score markets.TPTB can’t be comfortable with Natalie topping the table every week,and as you say the Jive may give them leverage to mark her slightly below one or two others.

    Like yourself I’m struggling with the elimination/B2 markets and will wait until the show to see if any value emerges.

    • Rob

      It looks to me, hems, as if they have thrown in the backflip as a clever vote-winning measure (much like last week’s bare-chest). Kristina is shrewd when it comes to this sort of stuff. But in terms of jive steps and content I’m fairly confident Ben will not be able to execute the dance very well. Let’s hope it’s a routine followed by Craig giving his opinion first 🙂

  4. zoomraker

    sussana looked really good in her training footage

    watching her makes me feel like smiling, wonder if i should back for win

    • Rob

      Yep, it should be a very decent waltz. Susanna is due an early slot this week so perhaps most likely to be an 8s and 9s dance. I think she is the value pick atm, zoom, in terms of e/w first 3 on the Outright.

  5. Guildo Horn Forever

    Just caught up with the training room footage and Abbey’s Charleston looks bloody sensational. Has a 9s and 10s look to me.

    Brendan and Sophie make for a sweet couple.

    Can’t stand Natalie.
    Overbearing with v aggresive facial expressions. Do Artem and Natalie get along?

    Rob, is it possible for a couple to finish B2 if they have topped the judge’s (stage) leaderboard?

    • Rob

      Yes it is Guildo, but it usually requires a precise reverse allotment of points on the public vote ranking compared to the judges’ leaderboard ranking.

      It becomes more likely towards the back end of the series when less couples are involved. In series 7, week 12, the quarter-final, for instance, Ricky Whittle topped the leaderboard but ended up in the bottom 2.

  6. Watching last night’s ITT, I couldn’t help think that Dave’s tango wasn’t looking too bad. OK, it’s going to be a tad comical, but his body position looked strong.

    Fiona is a concern. That Paso looks limp.

  7. zoomraker

    Why do you post your tips for high score markets etc before we have seen all the training footage Rob?

    Surely there would be more value to be found after we have seen the footage?

    eg Bens backflip.

    • Rob

      I post on a Thurs after Wed’s training footage, zoom, because this is enough to give me a good idea of how things are going to go, & more importantly, prices have been issued by those bookies offering b2, elim, highest scorer, lowest scorer markets by then.

      The aim with this site is always to take a value approach to the markets & it is much better for me to post at the earliest opportunity once prices have been released by the high st because rest assured, there are enough shrewdies playing these markets to see value prices disappear very quickly.

      It is much the same post-XF live show. I was keen to flag up Tamera b2 last week & posted asap in the hope the 10-1 was still available but it had already been snaffled, and she was down to 6-1 before I could get the post up.

      Ben was into 7-1 in the lowest score w/o Dave market regardless of news he has included a backflip, & WH put him up at 7-2 this morning.

  8. fiveleaves

    Great spot on Ben lowest scorer W/O Dave, Rob.
    Amazing value.
    Fiona & Mark look the only dangers and they both look OK in training.
    As for highest scorer I agree on Abbey, but also see Patrick doing very well again this week. Excellent song and he’s looking good in training. 20/1 ew looks a decent bet.
    I also like him for top male @ 18/1. Was allowed £2.50 @ 20/1 with baldie 🙁 Spoils no good at all for me.
    He’s likely to be saved in most dance offs. Especially against any other men
    As for elim I think Mark is the value @ 7 or 8/1
    The Rumba is rarely a crowd pleaser as we saw with Abbey last week.
    Fiona & Anton’s support clearly doesn’t show on the net & Dave wearing a kilt & dancing to 500 miles looks safe for another week.

    • Rob

      I pinpointed Patrick as value for Top Male at 18-1 a couple of weeks back. You can still get 18-1 & I agree it looks great value still regardless of his b2 appearance for the reasons you put forward.

      That’s a strong argument for Mark being the b2 & elim value too. The Scots will likely appreciate Dave’s number & I agree that Anton & Fiona are very well liked in this series. Hopefully Fiona gets a later slot tomorrow.

      Ben looks right in the mix for 2nd bottom spot on the judges’ scores. The backflip won’t help him score higher if his jive steps are poor & training footage suggests he is going to struggle.

  9. I don’t see how they can give Patrick another 34 points. I am becoming slightly irritated by his presence on the show and his confidence is gradually turning into attention-seeking arrogance.

    His American Smooth might be forgettable, which again puts him in danger, as Patrick is among the bottom 3 for PV (IMO). If they do over-mark him again, then yes, that might suggest a surprise bottom two.

    • Rob

      They could give him a 34, Gav, but it will likely not be enough to get him among the top 2 on the leaderboard this week.

      They are very keen to score him highly & on the logic fiveleaves points out, this means he will be hard to beat against most in the dance-off if he does drop into the b2.

      With the persistent under-scoring and deramping of Ash, and Ben seriously struggling in the fast Latin stuff, there is a strong case for 18-1 Patrick TM being a very worthwhile & not unrealistic wager.

    • I see the logic in that Zoomraker. Good point. Struggle to believe he can be protected for that long though.

      Training room footage has made me back Sophie e/w top scorer. There are highly technical elements that should earn recognition.

    • fiveleaves

      Still Patrick ew for me looking at all the training this week.
      His frame has improved and they tend to ignore any errors he makes.
      The complete opposite with Ash, where they love to nitpick, but he looks very good again too.
      Abbey looks the stand out dance. A real crowd pleaser too. I can see the 10’s coming out unless she makes an obvious mistake.
      Nat’s Jive looks rather odd to me. It’s lacking the sharp movements of a good jive. Maybe because of her back.
      Mark doesn’t look great and like the look of 7/1 for elim even more now.

      • Rob

        The strangest thing for me in Nat’s routine & visually jarring were her ‘drunken sailors’. Just look totally bizarre.

        I think Mark is definitely the value call b2 (7-2, Lads) & elim (7-1, generally) pre-show now.

        • Guildo Horn Forever

          When I watched Nat’s ‘drunken sailors’ I marvelled at the miraculous recovery her back has made.

      • Guildo Horn Forever

        I expect Ash will next be told to work on his upper top line, that made by his eyebrows. Also he needs to point his ears, and work on strengthening his soft tissue and synchronising his nostrils.

        It’s putting in the graft on these details that will provide the polish that can allow the judges to upgrade his marks.

        • Rob

          Yes, & not forgetting the fabric on his trousers requiring more work & his molecular structure not creating clean enough lines 🙂

  10. zoomraker

    if they do want a female winner Patrick would be an ideal token male to take into the final.

    absolutely no chance of winning but good enough dancer to be credible and also provides ethnic diversity which the BBC likes.

    what’s the better bet top male or winner ew?

    • Rob

      You can get 100-1 e/w first 3 a fifth the odds with Ladbrokes, zoom. I couldn’t see him winning but I could envisage him being last man standing so Top Male at anything around 16-1 looks the call to me.

      I like the ethnic diversity angle, zoom, & I also like the ‘male contestant in the final who is zero threat to a female winner’ angle.

      • zoomraker

        trouble is to be last man standing Ben and Ashley have to start dropping into the bottom two with favored females

        • zoomraker

          and once one of them goes you could get massive consolidation in the others vote.

          thought Len’s remark that Ashley wasn’t putting the hours in was interesting.

          • Rob

            Noticed that comment too, zoom. Yet again, undermining Ashley. He is putting in the hours, clearly, as best he can, but Len definitely dropped a bit of poison into viewers’ minds with that comment.

            I am looking forward to seeing Ola’s face when her and Ash get told to leave the dancefloor within about 20 seconds of the group dance they usually score them extra on around the last 6 stage. She was livid when they did this to her dancing with Robbie Savage, understandably, as it was a massive stitch up. The same sort of treatment likely awaits Ashley this year.

  11. Rob

    Not sure this order is exactly right but looks like Ben and Mark on earlier than Dave. Fiona another early slot too.


  12. I’ve got Fiona quite late on this order. I think this week’s order appears more accurate too. Mark buried and Abbey ending the show right where she needs to for sympathy bounce.


  13. Rob

    Nat not dancing apparently. Fainted twice during rehearsals. She will get a bye to next week. This looks like the r.o.

    (Natalie – not dancing)

    • Well that will spook the betfair market again and might leave an outsider open to bttm 2 appearance.

      We’ll probs get a rule 4 at Coral now Rob. No luck in this highest scorer market!

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      Rob, do you know how many byes a contestant is allowed? Is that Nat’s first and last free pass?

      I wonder further if there may be a rash of contestants suffering fainting dramas in the coming weeks?

      • Rob

        One free pass only, Guildo, based on doctor’s sick note. She will have to compete next week. Otherwise she will be out. Jade Johnson got injured a few years back, was given a bye, but the following week she still couldn’t compete so had to withdraw.

  14. Guildo Horn Forever

    Really unlucky guys – they’ve just given Mark 23.

    I think Craig undermarked Ben and the others overmarked him.

  15. Rob

    Hit the crossbar with Ben. Very unlucky but you keep grabbing 18-1 shots like that & you will win long-term.

    Mark looking very vulnerable for b2 & possible elimination.

    • Agreed. Was quite heavy on Mark bttm 2, so glad he scored low. Have duly topped up for his eventual exit, probably against Fiona.

      Dave should absorb most of the comedy vote and his ode to Scotland should see him through to next week with ease.

  16. Guildo Horn Forever

    Wow! Patrick’s comments and scores!

    I’ve been all over the top male for Patrick, as many others have.

    Very Nice 🙂

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      Just “Bumped” a couple of old comments of mine over on sofabet for anyone interested.

    • Rob

      That absurd 10 from Darcy for Patrick when he messed up the finish was a wounder for Abbey highest score backers. But does bode extremely well for his Top Male credentials heavily discussed here earlier in the week.

    • Boki

      They saved Dave over Mark !

      • I can’t believe that. My tummy churned when I read it. It’s best result imaginable, but so close to a big kicking. I had layed Dave quite heavily. Nearly stung!


  18. Anonymous

    Apparently Dave out, a typo was it 🙁

  19. Rob

    Incredible night of near misses:
    Ben lowest score w/o Dave, foiled my Mark.
    Abbey highest score, foiled by Patrick & a truly absurd 10 from Darcey.
    And just when you think you’ve landed a nice 7-1 winner with Mark eliminated, you learn it was in fact Dave who was eliminated. Still, 7-2 Mark for bottom 2 was a very nice winner & hopefully made it a profitable night for readers.

  20. Andy

    Did Saturday’s dancing give any more clues to the outright winner Rob ?
    I have staked money on Sophie & Susanna.
    After Saturday I am leaning heavily over to Susanna.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if she has been topping the public vote for weeks now.
    Her dancing is improving and she really seems to be enjoying herself, not fake in any way and makes me smile every week.
    She is a joy to watch.

    • Rob

      Andy, you read my mind – my thoughts exactly. This is really a follow on to the response I made to Guildo on this thread a few days ago. He was asking if I thought Abbey was value; my conclusion was Susanna was the value at 9-1 e/w.

      Like you, Saturday cemented my view on Susanna, with so many doubts over her female rivals. Natalie fitness & non-journey/ringer tag; Abbey already landed bottom 2; Sophie, very much living off the past glories of that Charleston & not followed it up well enough.

      Susanna is improving, continues to throw herself into the challenge each new dance brings, & like you I’m fairly confident she is close to, if not, topping the public vote. A Beeb favourite who looks a very solid top 3 prospect to me & potential series winner. And still good value.

    • Andy

      Thank you Rob. I have to judge the personality because I am a novice at dancing, and she is winning by a landslide if personality comes into it, and we know it does.

  21. Andy

    Shake your tail feather & ‘Whenever, Wherever’ crack me up every time I watch them.

  22. Andy

    BTW I have asked dozens of friends who watch SCD who their favourites are and the majority are coming back with Susanna.

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      Hi Andy,

      I backed Susanna a few weeks ago, but then had a crisis of confidence about my SCD betting and reflected that perhaps my Susanna bet was a mistake. But then again…

      I’ve had doubts about Abbey’s appeal (another contender) from the off (though she’s more likeable than I expected), but her perfectionist streak is still a little off-putting (she obviously “want’s it” badly); and as much as I respect her dance ability I’ve never been able to force a bet on her for the outright.

      And I have to say I was genuinely very disappointed to read this the other day:


      I remember what she said on her first VT from the live shows, hence my disappointment with reading the above.

      A question for you, Andy. Just one to answer to yourself (and not to respond to on the internet!), not to me: but your friends, the majority of whom, you report, regard Susanna as their favourite – are they from the Home Counties region, or do they consider themselves middle class etc? If they are neither Southerners nor middle or upper class and their fave is Susanna, that’s an even stronger tip than it already is that Susanna is the one.

      For me, her dancing still needs to improve a bit. It’s all very well putting on a dreamy waltz, but if the judges get behind her, and her technique continues to improve, it seems she has the necessary popular support and willbe ticking all the necessary boxes.

  23. Natalie and Artem – Charleston to ‘Bang Bang’ by will.i.am

    Mark and Iveta – Jive to ‘You Can’t Stop the Beat’ from Hairspray

    Susanna and Kevin – Paso Doble to Carmen’s Los Toreadors

    Ben and Kristina – American Smooth to ‘Fallin’ by Alicia Keys

    Abbey and Aljaz – Quickstep to ‘Walking on Sunshine’ by Katrina and the Waves

    Fiona and Anton – American Smooth to ‘Come Fly with Me’ by Frank Sinatra

    Sophie and Brendan – Quickstep to ‘The Lady Is a Tramp’ by Shirley Bassey

    Ashley and Ola – Paso Doble to ‘You Give Love a Bad Name’ by Bon Jovi

    Patrick and Anya – Samba to ‘Copacabana’ by Barry Manilow

    OK, is Strictly learning from the XFactor when selecting their songs?

    Ashley – You Give Love a Bad Name
    Sophie – That Lady is a Tramp
    Ben – Fallin

    We know Ashley has been continually de-ramped. Are they starting to move in for the kill?

    Ben is literally fallin’ from grace now that Patrick has been proclaimed judges’ pet.

    Sophie hasn’t really matched the heights of her Charleston and even last weekend’s Argentine Tango appeared to lack likability.

    With Mark recreating his Hairspray day job and celebrating his birthday, the bottom two market should involve a shock or two.


    • Rob

      Ha, ha 🙂 Well thought out – you could be on to something, Gav.

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      Hi Gav,

      I was thinking Mark could bounce this week anyway. Rob predicted last week that the weaker dancers would be in trouble due to Abbey’s appearance in the previous week’s B2.

      The most likely recipient of Dave’s votes is Mark,and that building thirst to punish the weaker dancers has been satiated, for now.

      Patrick received a birthday present 10 last week so a bump in the marks for mark would be consistent.

  24. Guildo Horn Forever

    Haven’t watched any of the training room footage this week but I see there’s four guys left in the competition.

    Patrick will definitely be pimped to high heaven again. The producers have nailed their seal of approval to his masts.

    Ashley was overshadowed by Patrick last week but did receive fairly warm praise, for once.

    There’s a cluster of reasons to believe Mark may bounce.

    Ben’s vote may be squeezed a bit and I think he looks a bit of value at 10/1 for elimination. In a dance off against even the 11/8 second favourite (for elim), Fiona, I could well see Ben waving goodbye.

    • He looked OK for AS with VW bits. Looked sharp. It was more interesting to hear him subtly criticise the irregularities in the scoring. 10/1 a fair shout at this point, though I could quite easily see the judges favouring Susanna’s Paso over Ashley’s. A troubling week!

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