Love Is A Battlefield

Oct 29, 2021 by

Love Is A Battlefield

The outcome of Halloween Week’s fifth elimination hinges entirely around how the producers plan to treat Judi Love’s return to the show.

Special dispensation for Judi to carry forward her CCC routine from week 5 tells us how eager they have been for her to take part tomorrow night. This has everything to do with the current, fragile state of play in the series following Robert Webb’s withdrawal, with TPTB desperate to ensure no one else pulls out.

Will Judi be rewarded for dragging herself off her sick bed or will she be treated the same as Ugo, ie, thanks for coming back and welcome to your farewell performance? Ugo’s back injury made him more of a long-term risk for the show whereas Judi, after shrugging off Covid, is at least a safer bet to continue in the competition.

In week 3, post-Covid bye week, Tom and Amy were warmly welcomed back with their 32-scoring jive. Judi is yet to enjoy a pimp slot and while a CCC to ‘Physical’ has no discernible Halloween theme, throw in a few cobwebs and skeletons to create the ‘Ghoulish Gym’ and they could easily talk it up and score it up if Graziano has been clever enough to choreograph a work out skit high on comedy value.

Week 6 (Halloween Week) dances and songs:
AJ and Kai: Viennese Waltz to Dangerous Woman by Ariana Grande
Judi and Graziano: Cha Cha Cha to Physical by Olivia Newton-John
Rose and Giovanni: Tango to Shivers by Ed Sheeran
Sara and Aljaž: Couple’s Choice to Queen of the Night by Whitney Houston
Tilly and Nikita: Cha Cha Cha to Spooky Movies by Gary Paxton
Adam and Katya: Viennese Waltz to Moonlight Sonata by Ludwig Van Beethoven
Dan and Nadiya: Jive to Rock Lobster by the B-52’s
John and Johannes: Quickstep to Bad Moon Rising by Creedence Clearwater Revival
Rhys and Nancy: Paso Doble to The Eve of the War by Jeff Wayne
Tom and Amy: Tango to Highway to Hell by AC/DC

It looks like Judi was only able to return to the training room today having had a couple of days pre-Covid to work on the routine with Graziano. It is likely to be under-cooked but there could be a script there for the judges to focus on what she has achieved in such a short space of time.

Special dispensation for Judi to carry forward her CCC routine from week 5 tells us how eager they have been for her to take part tomorrow night

Judi was bottom 2 two weeks running prior to her Covid bye and the main issue seems to be, when you look down the remainder of the field, does Judi warrant saving over anyone else in the eyes of the producers? Dan, Sara and Tilly, up to this point, have enjoyed huge favour so to throw any of them under the bus for the sake of Judi making it to week 7 would require a sudden dark arts u-turn.

Dan and Nadiya dressed as lobsters attempting a jive sounds like it has all the ingredients of a takedown. But Dan is yet to enjoy a pimp slot and if Nadiya can make it entertaining in the eyes of the judges there could be a narrative there to help Dan survive the week.

Sara has Couple’s Choice which is traditionally like playing your ‘Get Out Of Jail Free Card’ on Strictly. The perplexing element is the music choice of ‘Queen of the Night’ by Whitney Houston which appears to lend itself most well to a disco-inspired routine.

Sara put through her quicker paces so far in this series has looked as immobile as a stranded ship in the Suez Canal. She will be queen of the dragons and it was hard to fathom the choreo seen on last night’s ITT but it will clearly have some stand out appeal on the night, and could even be in contention for the pimp slot.

Tilly has been enjoying some handy leaderboard protection but CCC is always a tricky hurdle to overcome and ‘Spooky Movies’ seems a bit slow. Having had r.o. slots of 7, 3, 5 in the last three weeks, Tilly’s CCC might take the later slot compared to Judi’s.

‘Moonlight Senata’ is an atmospheric instrumental for Adam to try and sell his VW but the judges have been keen to nit-pick Adam’s ballroom technique so he might find himself being harshly scored again. Adam also has AJ to contend with, performing a VW with a Medusa theme, which was looking excellent on last night’s ITT.

Tilly has been enjoying some handy leaderboard protection but CCC is always a tricky hurdle to overcome and ‘Spooky Movies’ seems a bit slow

John top scored last Saturday with his Charleston, suggesting his werewolf-themed quickstep to ‘Bad Moon Rising’ is less likely to be top scoring tomorrow night, which brings us on to potentially a more likely top scorer candidate in Rhys. He enjoyed his first pimp slot last week with his American Smooth only to endure a thoroughly vote dampening, going over.

Placing Rhys fifth from bottom on the leaderboard immediately left him looking enormously vulnerable of ending up in the dance-off, as so it transpired. They would have known Rhys has been struggling on the pv series-long so to do that to him from the pimp slot looked rather callous and unnecessary, and hints they see him as thoroughly expendable in this series. But in the short-term, a paso to Jeff Wayne’s intensely dramatic ‘The Eve Of The War’ looks teed up for a monumental bounce back week for him.

Giovanni carries a compelling Halloween Week stat into tomorrow night. Since making his Strictly debut in 2015 he has either top scored or joint top-scored in all five Halloween Weeks to have taken place. A tango to ’Shivers’ by Ed Sheeran should see Rose, who will be the queen of ice tomorrow night, firmly in contention for top score after she grabbed her first 10 of the series for last week’s wonderful VW:

Almost forgot Tom again. Tom has ‘Highway To Hell’ which was apparently his kids’ song choice. With his family in likely attendance in the studio, his tango looks lined up to be generously treated. The judges seemed overly kind in their assessments of last Saturday’s salsa and this might be the week to afford Tom his first pimp slot.

Since making his Strictly debut in 2015 Giovanni has either top scored or joint top-scored in all five Halloween Weeks to have taken place

If there is a routine with the potential to be scored lower than Judi on the night, then it has to be Dan, but you get a sense his jive will more likely be on late and there will be a focus on the fun factor and generous scores will be forthcoming.

Judi is ultimately seeking the same sort of treatment, and despite the hard fought battle to get her back on the dancefloor tomorrow night, and how precious her participation is to the ongoing health of this year’s series, she looks more likely to draw the short straw, and if Dan is helped and Judi not it could be Tilly who finds herself in danger of the dance-off against Judi.

Please do keep your votes coming in on our week 6 exit poll which will go live during tomorrow night’s show:

Strictly 2021 Exit Poll – Week 6

Week 5 judges’ leaderboard:

John and Johannes: Charleston – (8) – 9, 9, 10, 10 = 38
Rose and Giovanni: Viennese Waltz – (9) – 9, 10, 9, 9 = 37
Tilly and Nikita: Foxtrot – (5) – 9, 9, 9, 9 = 36
AJ and Kai: Argentine Tango – (6) – 8, 8, 10, 9 = 35
Tom and Amy: Salsa – (4) – 8, 9, 9, 8 = 34
Rhys and Nancy: American Smooth – (10) – 8, 8, 8, 8 = 32 – bottom 2
Adam and Katya: Samba – (2) – 7, 7, 8, 7 = 29
Dan and Nadiya: Viennese Waltz – (1) – 7, 7, 7, 7 = 28
Sara and Aljaž: Rumba – (3) – 4, 7, 7, 7 = 25
Ugo and Oti: Rumba – (7) – 3, 6, 5, 6 = 20 – eliminated


  1. James

    Hi Rob. I am backing AJ for top score this week. The Viennese Waltz is one of the simpler dances to learn, and AJ has already picked up some experience of it having performed an American Smooth VW in week 3.

    Historically, the best female celebrities have performed well in the week they danced the VW.

    S18: Maisie, top score
    S17: Michelle, joint top score
    S16: Ashley, joint top score; Faye 2nd place
    S15: Alexandra, top score; Debbie 2nd place
    S14: Louise, joint top score

    Of course, the show may want to keep Giovanni’s Halloween top score streak intact, so maybe we see a tie at the top tonight?

  2. Rob

    Hi James. Thanks for posting. I thought AJ was looking great last night & she is definitely the value call at 4.4 with SBK currently. Will they destroy Giovanni’s HW streak or aim to continue it? I think more likely the latter.

    All of Rose, AJ and Rhys have a single 10 to their name in this series. All could easily be adding to those 10s tonight. I think it’s a tough one to call & wouldn’t be surprised to see a tie.

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