McFly Double On The Cards

Dec 15, 2011 by

It is worth remembering the Strictly final is decided by public vote alone. The judges mark the dances, as usual, but this is purely for ‘guidance’. Of course, this still gives them a chance to focus on a dancer’s brilliance or slight failings, over-score/under-score routines as they see fit, and essentially ramp/de-ramp with their scoring/comments. And such tactics can carry enormous clout in swaying the public vote.
Last Saturday we saw Jason score a perfect 40 for his Argentine Tango which was the last dance of the evening, received rave reviews, and was clearly set up for him to get a big boost with his public vote having been bottom 2 the week before, and help get him to the final. Chelsee also got a 40 for her paso to ensure she had the relative safety of finishing 2nd on the leaderboard overall, behind Harry. The irony for us was, Harry’s VW was far and away the best dance of the evening in our view yet only scored 39.
One key question you need to ask ahead of this Saturday’s final is, will the judges give Harry a fair assessment and make up for last year when their blatant de-ramping of Matt cost him and Aliona victory and teed up the Kara win? Kara got the kitchen sink thrown at her VTs, was over-scored and they cleverly played on the moving back story of the fledgling love story between her and Artem. Naturally, the public played their part by buying into it hook, line and sinker, voting them to victory and giving the show that precious and rare female win. They surely owe Aliona one, and Len’s eulogising for Harry in recent weeks, and the 10s he has handed to him, bodes well and is certainly a far cry from the absurdly harsh criticism and consistent under-scoring Matt endured last year.
Let’s just re-visit those showdances from last year briefly. Craig gave Matt a miserly 7 for his showdance – and the judges comments towards him were very much of a deflating, critical nature. And yet Craig gave Kara a 9 and the judges comments were generally of a more positive nature despite her glaring errors. This is a classic example of how a judging panel can direct the public vote. When you look at the 2 routines it’s hard to understand Matt only scoring 34 to Kara’s 36, given the fun, the energy, and the content of Matt’s routine whereas Kara went wrong, lost timing, looked flat-footed in parts and made a mess of a number of elements:

Of course, Pam, meanwhile, received the highest combined score last year, leaving Matt in last place. Despite Pam being eliminated first, it was a psychological element that must have played a part in knocking the stuffing out of Matt’s overall vote.
Len has had issues with Aliona in the past as she has a ‘I don’t care what the judges say, I’ll do my own thing’ attitude and this rankled Len earlier in the series – the glaring under-score came after Harry’s superb Argentine tango which Len only gave an 8 to. But it appears as if all is forgiven now, and with the experience of last year’s final under her belt, this can only have helped Aliona in preparing for this Saturday.
We expect the judges to order things again on Saturday, and big up Chelsee to try and ensure the public follow their lead and give her a bigger public vote than Jason, to ensure a Harry/Chelsee final 2, and a classic top woman vs top man final, 2-dance shoot-out. We could even see Chelsee top the judges’ leaderboard.
That said, Jason is the ultimate competitor and will push himself to the limit in trying to match Harry and Chelsee this weekend and looking at the prices we’re surprised by Jason’s Outright & Next Elimination odds – too big and too small respectively. Do we really know for sure that Chelsee is going to comfortably out-poll Jason, in price terms of 1-6 vs 6-1, purely because of Jason’s bottom 2 appearance 2 weeks ago?
We don’t think it is that clear cut. What we do think is that Harry has built up such enormous momentum and good will over recent weeks – and in our view has proved himself to be a class apart from the rest as an all-round dancer – that he is near guaranteed a series-winning public vote from the Beeb’s Home Counties faithful and we fully expect him to take the crown, assuming no showdance hiccups of puppet-gate proportions.
Harry is doing the American Smooth, a rock ‘n’ roll showdance, the Argentine tango and the Quickstep. Jason is doing the Salsa, an old-style Hollywood showdance, the tango and the Quickstep. Chelsee is doing the rumba, a funky, disco showdance, the Jive and the Quickstep.
Of course, only 2 couples will have the chance to perform the latter 2 dances in the results show. All we can say about these choices is that Salsa looks a dangerous choice for Jason – and will give the judges leeway to mark him down, to keep him in 3rd on the leaderboard – but we can see his showdance being very stylish and entertaining. Rumba would not appear the ideal choice for Chelsee either, but will likely be ramped by the judges come what may.
If Jason makes the final 2 and gets to do his tango this will be a real crowd-pleaser, but you have to think Harry’s AT and Quickstep both have 40 written all over them.
A couple of interesting parallels with last year’s final. Kara, like Chelsee, danced the rumba and it was a triumph but with Artem’s supreme choreo, the chemistry between them and Kara’s elegant, leggy lines it suited her to a tee, and we do not see the same fit with Chelsee this year. Kara & Artem went into the final never having received a 10 from Craig. This year it is the same story with Harry & Aliona.
In conclusion, following Dougie’s victory in the jungle, we think Harry will make it a McFly double but represents no value at 1-3, and we expect a 1-2-3 of Harry-Chelsee-Jason. But given the value, we suggest backing Chelsee to be next eliminated at 6-1 with bet365, the Harry/Jason straight forecast at 8-1 with Betfred, and covering your stake on these 2 bets (or potentially lining yourself up a small overall profit) by also backing to a bigger stake the Harry/Chelsee straight forecast at 4-7 with Ladbrokes and Coral.
Rob Furber

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