Right up Ali’s alley

Oct 23, 2009 by

Last week was a case of what might have been, as the 25s Jade to top the leaderboard missed out by a point of a tie with Ricky Whittle – the less said about Alesha’s decision to award him a 10, the better – and the 20s Laila to be bottom missed out on a tie by 2 points.
On reflection – and it’s always so much easier in hindsight – Whittle (top) and Craig Kelly (bottom) should have been our recommended cover bets and we will endeavour not to make the same mistake again.
Ali and Brian haven’t topped the judges’ leaderboard since week 1 and having been given a tough time for her salsa and jive in the previous two weeks, Ali is due a confidence-boosting performance and score, and you only need look back to their Quickstep to appreciate how good they can be.

Ali has apparently had flu this week but her training footage on ITT on Thursday evening suggested she is set to put in a fine display. Brian looks to have taken on board Len’s choreography advice that “less is sometimes more”, and the American Smooth gives her the perfect opportunity to shine.
Zoe Lucker made a surprise appearance in the bottom 2 last week and she looks likely to produce a top notch American Smooth as well. It is very difficult to get a high score in the samba and while Laila might surprise with a first decent, high tempo Latin dance, it’s hard to see her topping the leaderboard. Ricky Whittle is guaranteed to be good, but we think Jade will prove the samba queen. So we’re going to be brave by ducking Whittle at 4-5 and recommending you have your main bet on Ali at 11-2, and covering on Zoe at 12s and Jade at 6s.
At the other end of the table, it looks a match between Jo Wood and Craig Kelly for lowest score. Both are doing sambas but we don’t think either will be a ‘dance disaster, darling’ so the 9-5 available with Ladbrokes for 22 or more looks decent value. At worst Craig R.H. will give a four, but you’d expect three 6s from the other judges.
Either Jo or Craig looks most likely to be eliminated but this is no foregone conclusion. Zoe’s plummet into the bottom 2 last Saturday hints that the same fate could await one or more of the better couples left in.
Whoever finishes last on the judges’ leaderboard will probably escape the bottom 2, and with Zoe likely to get a spike in votes this week, the two contestants we see as most vulnerable to end up in the drop zone are Natalie Cassidy and Jade Johnson.
We suggest bottom two combo bets on Craig & Natalie (8-1), Craig & Jade (16-1), Jo & Natalie (9-1) and Jo & Jade (20-1). While it appears unlikely both Jo and Craig will escape the bottom 2, it would be remiss of us not to flag up the bottom two combo of Natalie & Jade at 66-1 as well  – definitely worth placing one of your chips on, in a market that could easily throw up a generously-priced winner if you cover these five combinations.

Rob Furber

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