Richard Looks A Goner

Nov 16, 2012 by

Richard Looks A Goner

As confident as we are it’s home time for Rylan over at X Factor this weekend, we reckon Richard will be dancing for the final time tomorrow night on Strictly.

A salsa has fallen for him at a bad time, the big open space of the Wembley Arena dance floor likely to accentuate his footwork frailties. The only way we can see him survive tomorrow is if the panel give him an absolute mauling leading to a sympathy vote and they are surely too savvy to go and do that, aren’t they?

The bigger prices have already been snapped up but we reckon 11-10 with Boylesports is still reasonable value. We would also advise backing Richard for lowest score at 6-4 with William Hill. We picked up on Craig, earlier this week on ITT, commenting on his flat footedness during the Charleston. While it was a slapstick dance he could really sell, we think this is going to be seriously exposed attempting a salsa, dancing to ‘Club Tropicana’.

We are struggling to see who will score less than him assuming the rest get through their routines without any major hiccups. We did have question marks over Nicky doing the jive but training footage suggests he’s going to give this a very decent stab.

Victoria has the paso doble, presumably involving her on a bike at some point as her and Brendan are performing to ‘Bicycle Race’ and the routine involves a prop. She has stated she feels a lot more comfortable selling the aggression of the paso compared to trying to be romantic in ballroom. A lot will come down to Victoria’s ability to perform it.

If she does an adequate job, we would expect a minimum of 28 for her, and more than likely something higher, whereas Richard looks up against it to land anything higher than a 6 from Craig. For this reason, we loved the look of Ladbrokes quote of 6-4 the lowest score this week will be 27 or less. As usual, the shrewdies have already piled in and this is now into a less appealing 4-5. On individual score betting we would be happy to take 4-5 Richard scoring under 28, so in this context it still looks value.

Lisa has a samba, dancing to ‘Car Wash’, and given the way the judges continue to big her up and inflate her scores we see no reason why this won’t continue tomorrow. Kimberley is in line for a voting bounce and a judges’ ramp doing a samba to ‘Livin’ La Vida Loca’.

Louis and Flavia have an American Smooth dancing to ‘I Got A Woman’, a routine Louis will no doubt execute well. Michael and Natalie, also doing an AS, certainly have the more compelling tune in ‘New York, New York’, and Michael reckons this could be their best yet if he can pull off some tricky lifts.

Denise and James are doing a Charleston to ‘Walk Like An Egyptian’ which sounds a strange combination but we expect another Denise masterclass. Kimberley dropping into the bottom 2 last week may well lead to plenty of reminders to viewers that those at the top of the leaderboard are not safe.

Given the leaderboard ordering Strictly incorporates we expect they will be very precise tomorrow which leads to the conclusion it will probably be tough for either Michael or Victoria to get out of the bottom 3 or 4 regardless of how well they perform their routines. So they do look the most likely to be joining Richard in the bottom 2 but neither of them appeal at the odds.

Dani is doing a Quickstep to ‘You Can’t Hurry Love’ which we were initially going to say looked the sort of routine that could get lost on the night. But their confidence on ITT last night puts us off backing Dani to end up in the bottom 2 pre-show.

We would rather advise a watching brief and whoever is lower on the scoreboard out of Dani or Lisa to then carry small stakes for a surprise bottom 2 appearance – this is based on the assumption Denise, Louis and Kimberley will land the top 3 spots on the leaderboard and receive plenty of fanfare.

Given it’s going to be the ‘feel good’ Wembley night, and all the couples performed so well last week, we also see some value in Ladbrokes quote of 13-8 the lowest individual score is a 6. You are relying here on Richard producing a respectable salsa and not giving Craig the chance to pull out the 5 paddle, or lower, but at 13-8 we reckon this is a risk worth taking.

Where is your money heading on this week’s markets? Is it conceivable for another top-of-the-leaderboard contestant to end up in the bottom 2? Is Richard an elimination good thing? Please do let us know your Strictly thoughts below.
Rob Furber

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13 Comments

  1. Boki

    Hi Rob,
    So if I understand correctly, you think Richard is a goner no matter who he encounters in a dance-off?

  2. Rob

    Hi Boki,
    Would expect their objective will be to get Richard into the bottom 2. Once there, find it hard to see him being saved against anyone, yes, unless his opponent has a complete meltdown in the dance-off.

  3. Ryan P

    Hi Rob,

    Just some thoughts on Michael. Is it optimistic of me to say that Michael’s chances of being in the bottom 2 are actually very low? Some maths from Kimberley’s unexpected appearance in the bottom 2 last week shows that Michael came at the very least 4th in the public vote, possibly higher. This to me does suggest some genuine public support. By genuine I mean that, considering his salsa was neither slaughtered by the judges nor so bad it was comic genius (think of his week 2 jive lol) being so high on the public vote suggests he has very solid support, as opposed to the large votes being down to mere sympathy.

    Also, more generally, I’m wondering if this will be the first series since 2009 where there are regular surprise bottom 2s (a la Zoe Lucker, Ali Bastian, Ricky Whittle…) and we have a progressive contestant like Michael taking the trophy.

  4. Rob

    Thanks for posting, Ryan, & excellent observations. Michael, as you rightly point out, was at worst 4th from top last week which raises high hopes his pv is strong & consistent, & will see him clear of the drop zone again.

    I guess he may have received the classic last place on the leaderboard bounce last week, to a certain degree. But overall, Richard certainly received a far more vote friendly edit following his Charleston.

    The concern is, the pv each week may well be a little irregular possibly in light of very low voting totals – my impression is, with XF starting at the end of SCD, many viewers likely switch over & become absorbed in XF rather than bothering to vote on SCD.

    Agree with you that we are likely to see many more surprise bottom 2s this series. Being a Michael backer also, it’s fingers crossed his pv is robust & he continues to make improvement & the public buy into his journey more & more – he has undoubtedly struck up one of the best partnersnips this series with Natalie.

  5. Rob

    SportingBet have individual score betting again this week. Their compiler is very shrewd setting these. Little value angle.
    Only one stand out we can see:

    Michael – Over 31.5 – 5-6

    Richard – 4-9 for lowest score & Dani 9-4 for bottom 2… Doing a good impression of Scrooge with those prices.

  6. Bruce

    I agree on your headline selection Rob, Richard Arnold should really be going this week and I have backed him at 6/5 and evens.
    There is a possibility he won’t be lowest scorer but as you stated its hard not to see him falling into a dance off situation. Kimberley falling into the Bottom two last week should provide a sufficient warning to the better dancers voters to lessen the chance of a shock this week.
    In saying that though I have dabbled on Dani and Denise falling into the bottom 2 this week as some value. Denise was originally 20/1 then cut to 12/1 now best 10/1; and Dani at 5/1 best now 9/2.
    I have a strong hunch neither are getting votes commensurate with their leaderboard placing. If either should fall out of the top 2 of the leaderboard then I think given the strength of Lisa’s, Nicky’s and Michael’s public vote they could find themselves B2.
    Given their dances this week and with Louis and Michael having the normally high scoring American Smooth and the possibility of some favourable ‘scoreboard management’ for Kimberley I think it represents some value.

  7. Rob

    Those look wise, value bets, Bruce. Was going to advise Dani bottom 2 at 5-1 but got cold feet after her interview on ITT on Thurs – sounded like she was quite confident, & much like Lisa, get the impression the judges are eager to over-score her.

    But given the Kimberley b2 last week, a fair argument one of those among top 4 could drop down. Finding it a very hard public vote to call this year.

    Far from convinced Louis is that popular, but Denise probably isn’t at the top of the vote either, though would still expect her to be receiving a reasonable pv as she has had some properly impressive routines that to my eyes have looked good enough to capture viewers’ imagination and earn her a decent vote. Do not think she is as toxic to middle England as some are eager to paint her.

  8. Ryan P

    It’s exciting really not knowing who is going to be bottom 2 along with Richard (I think everyone is agreed that he’s a shoe-in to be one of the 2). I’m going to say…Victoria. She may well suffer a split ‘Olympian vote’, if such a thing is existing, and although she does come across as likeable and has embraced the show as the weeks have gone by, she hasn’t really had any progress in her Latin. If her paso tonight isn’t too great the public may well feel they’ve had enough.

    She could, of course, come out full on and produce an excellent routine. WHO KNOWS?! 🙂

  9. Rob

    It’s certainly a head-scratcher, Ryan. Also sounds like Victoria’s routine is teed up for potential prop malfunction – she’s going to be in a harness, presumably riding a bike on a wire high up – which has nothing to do with paso & if it was XF it would have the hallmarks of an assassination.

    And, of course, Russell ended up being eliminated last year at Wembley after he had the prop headliner of being fired out of a cannon. Why they insist on this sort of nonsense makes a mockery of the show imho.

  10. Rob

    Richard vs Nicky in dance-off. Never like to pre-empt things as dance-off not happened yet but looking good on SCD bets this week.

  11. Boki

    Yes, well done, played only Richard elim but that’s enough for me.

    Now on to demon eyes 🙂

  12. Bruce

    Another excellent headline selection and great tipping again.

    I only just about broke even with my value bets for bottom two finding the two top spots on the judges leaderboard 🙁

    I’ll just listen to you from now on Rob

  13. Rob

    A decent night for readers, hopefully.
    Prices weren’t great but always happy to settle for a slow & steady profit.

    Well done Boki, & breaking even is better than losing, Bruce, & there has probably never been a trappier series of SCD ever.

    Last night we discovered that Louis, Victoria and Lisa all received a higher pv than Nicky, which is a little surprising given Nicky looked like he was carving a position for himself as a classic Middle England popular male.

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