Rosy Outlook

Nov 12, 2021 by

Rosy Outlook

AJ stole the show last week with her incredible Charleston but perhaps of more significance in terms of the Outright was Rose negotiating her samba without breaking sweat.

After having dusted off his 10 paddle for Rose’s tango the week before, there was no way Craig was going to award a 10 in two shows running, which was a shame for AJ and Kai as it certainly deserved 40, and was arguably the best ever Charleston in the show’s history.

One of the great mysteries of the night was how Tom’s paso ended up being scored within 1pt of AJ’s routine, but it looked like the script was going to go his way as soon as the camera panned to his wife in the studio, along with Amy’s parents, not to mention the double whammy of the Shirley/Motsi standing ovation which now offers a clear indication of upcoming scoring.

The lack of a big, live studio audience has been a delight in this series from the point of view of not being subjected to the incessant standing ovations. Just a shame Motsi and Shirley now feel the urge to regularly stand and applaud, and so deliberately steer the edit.

The script is everything these days and TPTB have had a vice-like grip on the eliminations in this series, with Saturday night a textbook execution of Adam. On first, faint praise, poorly scored, and later in the show it was noticeable Shirley conveniently awarded Dan 1pt more than Adam, offering plausible deniability in the event of an Adam vs Dan dance-off.

The script is everything these days and TPTB have had a vice-like grip on the eliminations in this series, with Saturday night a textbook execution of Adam

The next glaring piece of dark arts skullduggery was the absence of leaderboard ties, making it much harder for Adam to escape the dance-off from last place. We had already had a 34 and a 32 ahead of Sara’s QS in the pimp slot – 8, 8, 8… naturally, Anton awarded it a 9 so Sara scored 33 and a no-tie leaderboard was neatly completed:

Week 7 judges’ leaderboard:
AJ and Kai: Charleston – (8) – 9, 10, 10, 10 = 39
Tom and Amy: Paso Doble – (3) – 9, 10, 10, 9 = 38
John and Johannes: Rumba – (7) – 8, 8, 10, 9 = 35
Rhys and Nancy: Quickstep – (4) – 7, 9, 9, 9 = 34
Sara and Aljaž: QS – (9) – 8, 8, 8, 9 = 33
Rose and Giovanni: Samba – (2) – 8, 8, 8, 8 = 32
Tilly and Nikita: Tango – (5) – 8, 8, 7, 8 = 31 – bottom 2
Dan and Nadiya: Couple’s Choice (Street/Commercial) – (6) – 6, 7, 8, 7 = 28
Adam and Katya: Jive – (1) – 6, 7, 7, 7 = 27 – eliminated

Onto week 8 and it looks teed up for Rose to have a starring role with her Couple’s Choice routine. It’s a great track for a lyrical number with Rose and Giovanni likely to be barefoot, and Rose could be in line to enjoy her first pimp slot of the series.

AJ’s paso music, ‘Game Of Survival’ by Ruelle, seems a good choice for a dramatic routine though it is going to be tough for her to match that Charleston:

Among the big three it might be John who finds himself scored slightly lower with his samba. It’s another decent song choice for him and Johannes in DLG’s ‘Acuyuye’, but it’s a fast Latin dance which is often difficult to achieve a high score with.

If he can control his energy, Rhys should have a good night with a Charleston set to the perfect Charleston song. After her dance-off appearance it looks on the cards for Tilly to be scored generously for her QS to help her escape the bottom two. She has the ideal music for it with ‘I Won’t Dance’ by Damita Jo, set to a Parisian backdrop.

The most likely looking bottom three on the leaderboard, at least pre-show, are Tom, Sara and Dan. Dan and Nadiya’s AS looks like being a classic Fred and Ginger-inspired routine, which usually plays well to the older Strictly voters.

After her dance-off appearance it looks on the cards for Tilly to be scored generously for her QS to help her escape the bottom two

Dan has been practising his cane work all week, and while an injury has meant less training hours, it’s the sort of thing that could potentially lead to his highest score of the series, and the first time he ventures into the 30s. It plays out like that and Dan will be in good shape to avoid elimination as he also appears to have a strong hidden vote not showing up online.

Tom has struggled in ballroom hold previously, scoring 29 both for his foxtrot and tango. His VW training looked unconvincing last night and he was sounding a lot less bullish compared to last week’s paso. On paper, it looks one of the least impactful routines on the night, and if he scores sub-30 again, he could find himself in trouble but the heavily over-played and over-rated ‘Iris’ by Goo Goo Dolls looks like being half the battle won in setting the right tone.

The one which has left Strictly traders scratching their heads all week is Sara’s song choice for AT. ‘No More Tears (Enough is Enough)’ by Donna Summer and Barbara Streisand just doesn’t sit right with a traditional AT, moving as it does into disco territory.

Sara has just enjoyed the pimp slot so could well be on early. While the judges have been kind to her in hold, it feels like it has started to wear thin and last night’s training room footage shown on ITT didn’t impress.

This might be the week for the producers to finally say, enough is enough, and give Sara her marching orders. They could also flip the script, rave about taking risks, and score her generously, but certainly pre-show Sara looks the most likely contestant in the crosshairs this week.

Please do keep the votes coming in on our Week 8 exit poll which will open during tomorrow night’s show:

Strictly 2021 Exit Poll – Week 8

Week 8 dances and songs:
AJ and Kai: Paso Doble to Game of Survival by Ruelle
Rose and Giovanni: Couple’s Choice to Symphony by Clean Bandit featuring Zara Larsson
Sara and Aljaž: Argentine Tango by No More Tears (Enough is Enough) by Donna Summer and Barbara Streisand
Tilly and Nikita: Quickstep to I Won’t Dance by Damita Jo
Dan and Nadiya: American Smooth to King of the Road by The Proclaimers
John and Johannes: Samba to Acuyuye by DLG
Rhys and Nancy: Charleston to The Charleston by Bob Wilson and his Varsity Rhythm Boys
Tom and Amy: Viennese Waltz to Iris by Goo Goo Dolls


  1. James (the other one)

    My thoughts on the last couple of weeks:

    1) What is going on with the pimp? Ever since AJ’s botched pimp a few weeks back they have consistently underwhelmed, with active de-ramps for Rhys and Tom. The big routines of the last few weeks have been in the second half but never the pimp. Is it incompetence or is something else going on?

    2) Do we know who is signed up for the tour? Watching last week, I was wondering if Tom said yes and Tilly said no – if that’s the case, she may still be persona non grata this week even though she has developed hugely as a dancer.

    3) I’m curious about the size of Sara’s public vote. Until last week’s return to form, I think she was used as a decoy to ensure Judy and Ugo didn’t get any pity votes from the bottom of the leaderboard – which makes me wonder if she’s built up a real fanbase. That being said, if the producers want her gone, she’ll be gone – we’ll just have to see their intentions when we watch tonight.

    • Rob

      Hi James (the other one). The Great Deflating Pimp Mystery of 2021 is one for the Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew. Maybe they are onto us, as analysers of Strictly, & have decided to shake things up this year.

      You could be onto something with Tom. Bafflingly favourable treatment often equates to Tour participation. Tilly seemed to have their support up until last week. Tonight will be revealing.

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