King’s Reign To End?

Nov 24, 2017 by

King’s Reign To End?

So what did we learn from Blackpool Week? Possibly that the Susan vote dampening is now underway, with her surprisingly afforded the earlier paso slot for her ’Strictly Ballroom’ routine that was then given the damp squib treatment by the judges.

Mollie also didn’t get as many plaudits or as high a score as she may have hoped, and deserved, for her spirited Charleston routine. Davood did well again and was scored more fairly for his paso, while Joe, as predicted, enjoyed great treatment – not only given the pimp slot for his salsa, but then receiving a generous 34 for an average routine.

Gemma again endured an earlier running order position (5/8) in comparison to Alexandra (7/8). That is now 8 out of the 9 weeks of lives Gemma has danced earlier than Alex, and still no pimp slot for Gemma series-long.

On the plus side for Gemma backers she received her highest score and first 10s of the series for her AS and the judges were back reading from the Gemma ‘journey’ script, acknowledging how hard she works in the training room, takes their comments on board and keeps improving.

It is now 8 out of the 9 weeks of lives Gemma has danced earlier than Alex, and still no pimp slot for Gemma series-long

However, at first glance, Gemma appears to have drawn the short straw in terms of this week’s song and dance choices. ‘The River of Dreams’ does not seem an ideal fit for a samba routine. There isn’t enough tempo in that song to choreograph a crowd-pleasing samba, and the clear concern, outside of Gemma’s technical frailties in fast Latin, is that it could fall a bit flat.

She may well find herself lurking towards the bottom of the judges’ leaderboard ahead of the paso doble-athon. In previous series we have seen these group dances used as a transparent mechanism to order the leaderboard to suit TPTB’s dance-off aims. It is one to monitor closely in-running.

Susan has a song and a dance which look in the sweet spot of charming viewers, and which could well be enough for her to avoid the dance-off again, even if she is bottom of the judges’ leaderboard after the paso doble-athon.

In the battle of the quicksteps, you would have to anticipate Joe outscoring Mollie based purely on series-long treatment, and Joe being generously scored since his poor CCC in week 4. He and Katya will be construction workers for their routine which sounds odd for a QS but they appear to have the better of the QS music. However, Mollie should get the later running order position between the two.

Susan has a song and a dance which look in the sweet spot of charming viewers

Debbie looks teed up for a triumphant return to the top of the leaderboard dancing Argentine tango to the ideal track. One quandary with Debbie is that Blackpool Week looked intentionally set up for her to fall into the dance-off. The outfit, the wig, the track, the running order position, the dance she was tasked with… it was all reminiscent of the week Aston was eliminated.

In previous weeks she had been highly praised and scored to the point of media outcry and fan anger regarding preferential treatment. Is Debbie touring or not? Much like the rest of this year’s remaining field (bar Susan who we know is touring), the answer to this probably holds the key to her future trajectory on the show.

Alexandra’s rumba could risk becoming over-dramatic set to ‘Halo’ and she isn’t the sort of dancer who is naturally delicate and nuanced the way a rumba needs to be. Even if she doesn’t convince, you would have to anticipate a high score for her to try and keep her safe at least in 2nd position on the judges’ leaderboard.

If, however, TPTB want to drop her down this looks the week when it could happen. And if she is maybe 3rd on the leaderboard after the paso doble-athon she would look a candidate for the dance-off.

With a 5-2 female-male split, we should probably anticipate a female departure this weekend

Davood has a waltz which might find itself on early, could be one the judges decide to nit-pick and may end up a bit forgettable on the night. He has been built up in recent weeks and has possibly been stealing some votes away from Joe.

While Davood is proving himself the superior dancer to Joe, it’s probably more a case of whether TPTB are willing to allow Davood to go further in the competition than Joe despite Joe presumably touring (based on series-long treatment) and Davood presumably not (due to Eastenders commitments).

Joe and Alex should be on earlier too but as we have seen in the past this sometimes doesn’t pan out as you might expect.

With a 5-2 female-male split, we should probably anticipate a female departure this weekend. Leaderboard ties would further help Susan escape the dance-off, and on the assumption Susan’s public vote will be robust enough to drag her out of the bottom 2 again, Mollie looks vulnerable and pre-show, the educated guess here would be a Davood vs Mollie dance-off.

This week’s songs and dances:

Alexandra and Gorka – Rumba to Halo by Beyoncé
Debbie and Giovanni – Argentine Tango to Por Una Cabeza by Carlos Gardel and Alfredo Le Pera
Gemma and Aljaž – Samba to The River of Dreams by Billy Joel
Mollie and AJ – Quickstep to The Baseballs’ version of Umbrella by Rihanna
Susan and Kevin – American Smooth to Beyond the Sea by Bobby Darin
Davood and Nadiya – Waltz to With You I’m Born Again by Billy Preston and Syreeta Wright
Joe and Katya – Quickstep to Jumpin’ Jack by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy




  1. Bruce

    Pre-show I’m strongly of the opinion Susan will be leaving. There should be some kind of backlash against a better dancer ending up in the Dance Off at Blackpool and Susan even admitted to being the worst dancer left in last weeks results show. Few could disagree with her.

    From ITT Kevin is going for a classic American Smooth trying to show Susan can do graceful and be technically proficient, which is a losing strategy. Any lifts can hardly be spectacular given her shape and weight in relation to Kevin’s strength. Also from ITT there is lots of gapping evident which at this stage of the competition must surely be commented on by the judges and has been previously commented upon with this duo. failure to remedy such weaknesses is often a very negative factor as with poor Johnnie’s derriere.
    AS Stoney commented in last weeks aftermath, Ed Balls left at this stage last year. He was, I think, hugely more popular than Susan and probably a better dancer. I can’t see Susan avoiding the bottom 2 and there is no-one she can beat in the Dance Off, calamitous blunders excepting.
    Given the current Betfair prioes Susan offers better value, albeit at shorter odds, to my mind.

  2. Stoney

    couldn’t resist a dabble on the 33s for Alex to go.
    Joe is gaining some serious momentum heading into the final weeks.

    • Bruce

      Stones, first time tonight I have seen Joe look like a winner and that’s irrespective of Alexandra’s lacklustre performance. The guys definitely have the momentum. But confused in all honesty.
      Alexandra most likely has Charleston next week, I’m assuming she will still be there as I can’t see Susan avoiding the dance off

      • Stoney

        Great to have you on board Bruce. I hope youve got him covered? Alex is still a max red for me so im interested to see her support about to be tested tonight.

        • Bruce

          Joe is a red but not maximum and could easily be made green even at current prices as I have traded the series fairly well.
          Indeed a major test for Alex. If it somehow ended Alexandra v Davood your 33/1 would look very tasty. I’m assuming Joe and Debbie are safe as houses.
          Mollie receiving very harsh treatment from the judges and TPTB I hope she makes it through

          • Stoney

            Unfortunately Alex came up against the only dancer she was a cert to progress against tonight (aside from Gemma)
            Oh well close but no cigar.
            However I’m looking at the bigger picture. Susan leaving is very good news for my man.

  3. Stoney

    I’m seriously considering turning Gemma red. I know this would seem a crazy idea as she hasn’t yet dropped into the bottom 2 but I just can’t see someone who scores 25 3 weeks from the final going on to win.

  4. James

    Unlike most weeks, I actually enjoyed Gemma’s dance last night, and felt it was criticised too harshly by the judges. If Gemma has been consistently near the top of the PV, and turns out to be taking part in the tour, I am not sure why the show would be handing out that type of treatment to her, three weeks out from the final.

    None of the previous 14 Strictly champions received a score lower than 27, in weeks 6-10 of their series. Gemma scored 26 in week 7 and 25 last night (week 10).

    Gemma’s overall scores to date are similar to those achieved by Lisa Riley & Anita Rani. They both avoided the dance off in the first ten weeks, and both went on to finish in fifth place.

    Having said all that, I did feel that pricing Gemma up at 12-1 this morning, was an overreaction.

    Given that the oldest ever winner of the show is 38 year old Chris Hollins, it is remarkable to think that the two favourites for the win this year are aged 59 & 42. This is certainly not a typical Strictly series!

  5. Stoney

    I think we will be waking up tomorrow to a brand new strictly favourite.

    • Bruce

      Samba for Joe next week, probably won’t be favourite after that 😛
      As a purely trading ploy I have been laying him at 3.4ish on Betfair expecting to buy back at a better price

      • Bruce

        Mollie has a Rumba, going to be hard for her to avoid elimination given the judges will no doubt find it hard to find anything above a 7 🙁

      • Stoney

        Wouldnt be so sure mate. The rumba didnt stop him. Katya is sure to produce another vote winner.

        • Bruce

          You may be right, just my view of course but the Rumba was overmarked by at least 4-5 points. Of course he may be average and get hugely praised again but I will take my chances 🙂
          It’s all relative to Debbie and Alexandra’s performances of course and I would expect them to be clearly better than Joe this week

          • Stoney

            While this may be true we pretty much know this is a popularity contest in which Joe is miles ahead of the pack. I haven’t been this sure of a winner since Jay. However they would probably be able to derail him if they wanted to, and it would have to start this weekend.

  6. Rob

    Alexandra has Charleston, Gemma quickstep. Debbie has to have ballroom which means AS, foxtrot or waltz for her.

    Mollie and Joe certainly have the trickiest dances this week & I am in the camp Joe will struggle with samba as he did his week 4 CCC. And his salsa at Blackpool was definitely over-scored imho.

    • Stoney

      Dont you agree with the theory this is to help Debbie and Alex avoid another dance off by getting some more of the best dance of the night vote?

      • Stoney

        Im very confident they wouldn’t hand Joe a tricky dance that could get him a score than would get beaten in the dance off.

        • Rob

          Hi stoney. I fully expect Mollie to be scored lower than Joe. Alex will be back at the top of the leaderboard, Debbie likely 2nd from top.

          • Stoney

            Yes mate I can see that as well. But I also see Joe avoiding the dance off.

    • M8

      On paper that looks like it could be a big week for the three girls. As for the runt of the litter in Mollie, rumba seems like the perfect dance to send her home on with the “relationship” developing between her and AJ.

  7. Stoney

    The dance and choice of music definately looks like an application of the breaks for Joe this weekend. I guess we will see him in the middle to lower end of the table and a real test of his support.

  8. Rob

    A change to Mollie’s rumba song:

    Davood and Nadiya perform an Argentine Tango to The Phantom Of The Opera from The Phantom Of The Opera

    Joe and Katya will Samba to Money Money from Cabaret

    Alexandra and Gorka dance the Charleston to Supercalifragilistic from Mary Poppins

    Debbie and Giovanni perform an American Smooth to Memory from Cats

    Gemma and Aljaz will Quickstep to Hello Dolly! from Hello Dolly!

    UPDATE: Mollie and AJ dance the Rumba to Hopelessly Devoted To You from Grease

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