Nicky Up Against It

Dec 6, 2012 by

Nicky Up Against It

Interesting developments on Strictly with news that, for the first time ever, it will be a 4-couple final this year. Why have they decided upon this? Well, we know, courtesy of the Star, that Denise has been struggling on the public vote, so it might be considered an extra buffer to ensure she makes the final.

Previously, we have seen 2 couples depart at the semi-final stage which was based on the bottom 2 following a 50/50 calculation of leaderboard points and public vote points combined. Semi-final rules are still to be clarified but we can only presume the 5-couple semi-final this year will incorporate a dance-off between the bottom 2.

This Saturday the couples are performing this ‘dance fusion’, a combination of 2 different dance styles in one routine. And this is what the couples are dancing:

Nicky – samba/AS (foxtrot-based)
Louis – tango/rumba (to ‘With Or Without You’)
Kimberley – tango/cha, cha, cha
Lisa – tango/cha, cha, cha (to ‘Voulez Vous’)
Denise – jive/QS
Dani – Charleston/QS

It’s certainly good news for Louis that he is getting the rumba out of the way on Saturday, and maybe not so good news for Lisa supporters that she is reprising the cha, cha, cha – which has been her stand-out, crowd-pleasing routine to date, dancing to ‘Think’. Does this mean she will not be allowed to reprise the cha, cha, cha again if she makes the final? Who knows.

It could also be telling that Nicky is having to dance 2 new dances in his ‘fusion’, whereas both Kimberley and Lisa have 2 dances they have already performed, Dani has performed the QS before, Louis has performed the tango before, and Denise has performed the jive before. So it looks like Nicky has a disadvantage on top of being in the bottom 2 last week.

Last week Nicky’s AT was blatantly under-scored – we rated it one of the routines of the series – and given the way he is being scored it appears highly likely that he will be eliminated either this Saturday or at the semi-final stage.

Samba/AS looks the trickiest combination to pull off convincingly too, but we would rather back Nicky to be lowest points scorer at 11-10 with Ladbrokes, rather than to be next eliminated, as he has the potential to bounce, and another severe under-scoring from the judges on Saturday could boost his chances of escaping.

We expect to see Denise back at the top of the leaderboard which will see her safe from the bottom 2. We know Louis has been topping the public vote so it is very unlikely he will be in the drop zone. Which leaves us with the quandary that is Kimberley, Dani and Lisa.

Of those 3 Lisa looks like she is polling best and Kimberley worst, but they keep appearing to overscore Kimberley to try and get her into a position of safety on the leaderboard.

From a purely value perspective Dani looks too big a price at 7-2 with Ladbrokes to end up in the bottom 2 so has to be worth an investment. Given Lisa looks like having a fast, high energy routine, especially with the cha, cha, cha element in there (on Twitter she has described it as the ‘fastest choreography in the world’), this should play well to the audience. Kimberley has the exact same 2 dances but we reckon Lisa has the potential to sell her routine better. So we favour the Kimberley/Dani bottom 2 combo at 12-1, and the Kimberley/Nicky bottom 2 combo at 9-4, both with Ladbrokes.

We will duck out of the Ladbrokes points markets this week as there doesn’t appear any stand-out value and also hold fire on elimination betting until watching the show. As a saver on the above Dani bets, we would also suggest a back of Dani to be highest scorer at 7-2 with Ladbrokes.

Ladbrokes also has some straight forecast betting and there are some prices there that are too tempting to leave alone. Even if Denise lands in the bottom 2 in the semi-final, is saved, and then gets a boost heading into the final, the value, as stated in our previous SCD post, has to be either Lisa or Dani ending up Top Female.

If Louis is in the final up against 3 women, given the standing ovations he is already getting after his routines, it is very hard to see his public vote being overtaken. So we think the wise plays here are 1st Louis 2nd Dani at 6-1, and 1st Louis 2nd Lisa at 12-1.

Looking ahead to the remainder of the series, these are the dances we think the couples have left to choose from.

Dani – Paso, Rumba, AS, AT
Denise – Rumba, Samba, AT, Tango
Kimberley – Charleston, Rumba, AS, AT, Waltz
Lisa – Paso, Salsa, AS, AT, Waltz
Louis – Jive, foxtrot, QS, AT
Nicky – Paso, Salsa, VW

We know Vincent and Flavia are both master exponents of the AT, and it would certainly be no surprise for Flavia to pull out her AT trump card in the semi-final or final, which would likely be another huge plus for Louis.

Any stand-out prices other firms offer on the weekly markets we will endeavour to flag up in the Comments section below.
Rob Furber

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  1. Rob

    Full list of this week’s songs they are dancing to:

    Lisa and Robin perform the Tango/Cha Cha to Voulez Vous

    Kimberley and Pasha perform the Cha Cha/Tango to It’s Raining Men

    Denise and James perform the Jive/Quickstep to Reet Petite

    Louis and Flavia perform the Tango/Rumba to With or Without You

    Dani and Vincent perform the Charleston/Quickstep to Happy Feet

    Nicky and Karen perform the Samba/American Smooth to Troublemaker

  2. Boki

    One question Rob, just came to my mind, what is the chance they would like to have 2 males against 2 females in the final? That would mean boosting Nicky this week and saving again another, is that possible at all (sounds more like x-fac style I know but as a scd newbie have to ask those stupid questions :)).

  3. Rob

    It’s not a stupid question, Boki. You would usually assume them doing that – to have an even mix, but all the clues this series appear to be telling us they are favouring the women, and want rid of the men – or, at least, the ones they can get rid of ahead of the final.

    At series-start, if you recall, my counter-intuitive position was that they might like a woman to win this series – it looked a much stronger line-up on the female side. But it looks like they may have to concede Louis’s vote is simply too strong.

    Would expect a 3-woman, 1-man final, the way things are shaping atm.

  4. Ryan P

    So a Denise/Nicky dance off, which backs up the Star’s claim of Denise being very low/dead bottom with the pv…I thought Kimberley was really stunning last night..very interesting to see what happens next week. I’m not so convinced that Lisa will make the final – she is now clearly miles behind the other four in terms of technique and I’d be amazed if she isn’t lowest judges score next week.

  5. Rob

    Thanks for posting, Ryan. If the odds had been available in-running, the Denise/Nicky bottom 2 combo looked like buying money.

    Wasn’t as blown away by Kimberley as you but it was all in the script – last on the night & cue 1st 40 of the series. They are clearly desperate to get her to the final.

    Looked a tactical ploy to allow Denise to perform 1st & then put her in a position on leaderboard where she was guaranteed b2 based on polling figures.

    This was with a view to her bouncing to the final. Next week, it has not yet been confirmed whether there will be a dance-off, or it’s a straight last place following leaderboard/pv combined being eliminated.

    We know Lisa is polling highest of the women so she has a sporting chance of avoiding b2 if it’s the former. She has an even better chance of survival if it’s the latter. Would be an odd move by the show to try & get rid of the woman polling highest.

    Landed the Nicky lowest score bet & just missed out on Dani highest score.

  6. Boki

    Hi Rob, I still don’t like the ramping Kimberley gets and it might continue next week also. Can we expect DVO outside bot2 bounce in such a late stage if she was not polling so good along the way? Likely they will ramp her as well. To me it looks like they want Lisa out since officialy we (public) don’t
    know if she polls best.

  7. Rob

    Hi Boki. Yes, the Kimberley ramping was turned up a notch. They have cleverly managed the elims over the last 4 weeks now & looks like they will try to do the same in the semi which doesn’t bode well for Lisa.

    Denise will get a big bounce for sure – rest assured she will be getting 10s next week, unless she has a complete calamity & forgets her steps, & we’ll have Len saying, ‘If you’re not in the final after that, I’ll pickle my walnuts.’ etc etc.

    The scripting is blatant – poor Nicky danced great but got slaughtered with Craig lined up to comment first about his routine.

    We have seen the public refuse to play ball in previous series when they have ramped female dancers like Lisa Snowden – even giving her 2 consecutive 40s for her routines in the final, & she still finished 3rd.

    Kimberley likely to be bottom 2 next week which will give her a small boost ahead of the final if she makes it through (likely at Lisa’s expense). But Lisa, if the highest polling female, might manage to escape the bottom 2, in which case it’ll likely be Kimberley vs Dani.

    Would already be fairly confident in calling Denise & Louis safe next week.

  8. Ryan P

    Nicky danced great? For me it was one of the worst things I’ve seen all series. His bent knees looked like he was doing a tango (a mistake he was making weeks and weeks ago on a quickstep and clearly hasn’t bothered to rectify), and the samba was no better than Michael Vaughan!

  9. Rob

    Think that’s a bit harsh, Ryan. What they have done these last few weeks is focus entirely on the negatives & no way should that have been getting a 5. It was easily a 7s and 8s routine given Lisa gets 7s & 8s & her routines have mostly been of an inferior standard to what Nicky has produced in the last 2 weeks. His AT the week before should have been getting at least 9s – it’s blatant scoreboard ordering.

  10. Ryan P

    Well I agree with you about the 5. What I meant was, it was one of the oddest dances choreography wise and by now the remaining contestants should have their ballroom technique pretty much nailed – Nicky just couldn’t and he paid the price. But on that basis I entirely agree with you on Lisa – overmarked horrendously and the judges are too scared to tell her the real issue with her inelegance I think for fear of being called un-PC. Of course size should not be a barrier to dance, but it should not lead to sympathetic scoring either.

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