Rumba Conundrum

Nov 11, 2015 by

Rumba Conundrum

This series of Strictly could not have gone much better to date. Carol’s elimination last Saturday made it 5 out of 6 eliminations called correctly. And with Kellie landing the bottom 2 money, the full list of advised winners now reads: 9-2, 9-2, 9-2, 2-1, 10-1, 2-1 and 8-1.

It is also a big thank you to commentator James who highlighted the 2-1 Ladbrokes offered on ‘Any judge to award a 10’ on the night as excellent value given the history of 10s scored in week 7. Backers hardly endured a moment’s anxiety as first to perform on the night, Peter, received 10s from Darcey and Len for his Charleston.

Looking ahead to this Saturday, Jamelia has already been backed in for 7th elimination from 4-5 to a best price at time of writing of 8-13. She will dance the samba and on the plus side she has at least shown more affinity to date for fast Latin dances. Erasure’s ‘A Little Respect’ does seem an odd choice though for a samba.

We also know from last weekend that Jamelia could not have been any worse than third from bottom on the public vote and certainly polled higher than Kellie. Despite being positioned in trap 2, she was given a lot of help on the night with the show trying its best to get the public behind her, sealed by Len’s trademark, ‘If you’re bottom 2 after that, I’ll pickle my walnuts’.

Jeremy, at worst, must have polled no lower than 6th (gaining him 5pts on the public vote). He was aided by a running order position of 9/10 and the judges again focusing on the entertainment value he offers the show. He has quickstep this Saturday dancing to The Jam’s ‘Going Underground’. To quote commentator James directly:

‘Historically this has been a good dance for the weaker male celebrities. Of the 11 males who danced the Quickstep, and were of a similar dancing standard, only two dropped into the ‘bottom two’ that week (David Dickinson & Rav Wilding) and only one was eliminated (Rav).’

You also get the distinct impression the show is invested in Jeremy’s progress because they probably want him to at least make it to the big Blackpool show, which is the following week. That could prove a fitting swansong for him, although, given he might be given the samba that week, his inspired run might continue.

Most of the intrigue on Strictly right now surrounds the treatment of Katie. The Daily Star informed us she topped the vote three out of the first 4 weeks, polling as high as 20%. She took on a tough quickstep last Saturday and lost timing in a couple of places, allowing the judges to focus on her errors and score her down.

Since Katie’s pimp slot, highest score-landing VW in week 4 (33pts) she has endured 3 weeks of judges’ deramping and tough scoring to the tune of 21 (salsa), 21 (paso) and 26 (QS). If we believe the accuracy of the Star, Katie’s popularity was enough for her to stay at the top of the vote the week of that salsa. But have two further weeks of damning appraisals and scores from the judges started to erode her vote?

On Saturday she has to cope with the dance of death, the rumba. This is a dance that is so open to interpretation and so consistently the subject of poor scores, you have to fear another judges’ mauling for Katie and Anton no matter how well she dances it. A rather obscure song choice of ’Never Never Never’ by Shirley Bassey hardly encourages confidence of a bounce back week for Katie.

The question then becomes, might her vote fall away enough, despite her early lead at the polls, to drop her into the bottom 2 on Saturday, and might this be a scenario the producers are actively seeking?

Certainly, if she is scored worse for her rumba than Jamelia is for her samba and the pair of them land in the bottom 2, it would give the judges justification to vote Katie off the show following the dance-off. Which is why 8-13 Jamelia for 7th elimination makes no appeal at least pre-show.

A watching brief is the best advice for now ahead of Saturday night, but if you are keen to back Jamelia, Katie looks the one to consider a saver on at 8-1.

The flipside argument to Katie’s recent rough treatment is that producers are simply wary of Katie’s popularity and are looking to deflate her vote heading towards the business end of this series. If Katie can negotiate this week, she has a nice run of ballrooms still to perform and if her and Anton are allowed to give the samba a miss, they will still look potential finalist material.

Anton has also gone out in Blackpool Week in the last 2 series, dancing with Fiona Fullerton in 2013 and Judy Murray last year. If Katie and Anton can get through on Saturday, producers might be keen to build a narrative around ‘Can Anton make it past Blackpool this year?’ and this may already be in their plans.

Looking back to earlier investment advice for Top Woman in this series, Katie, Anita and Helen are all covered to a stake of 12pts. If you have followed this advice it has to make sound sense to get Georgia covered as well.

While Kellie’s challenge looks like petering out, Georgia is the female contestant the show appears to have been keen to build up in recent weeks as the main rival to Jay, which has seen her consolidate as a strong favourite to be Top Female.

The problem is, her price of 13-8 is very short given the possibility this will only be paid out as a dead-heat if the winner of the show is male and two women share the runners-up spot.

According to the Strictly website we will see the same final format deployed as the last three years: a 4-couple final, a couple eliminated in fourth place, and the winner announced with the BBC not clarifying who finished 2nd and 3rd.

Georgia is 6-1 now on the Outright available at e/w a third the odds first 2. If Georgia shares 2nd place, this would mean you would lose on the win component of the bet and only get half your place stake at odds of 2-1.

A better way to get Georgia on side is to back her in the ‘without Jay’ market at 9-4 with William Hill. If she wins the show, you’ll be paid out in full. If Jay wins and Georgia and any other dancer share 2nd spot, you will be paid out according to dead-heat rules which will be half your stake at full odds of 9-4.

This is obviously much better value than the possibility of being paid out, half your stake at 13-8 if Georgia ends up sharing Top Female honours. The only scenarios that would see that 13-8 looking a better value investment is if Georgia shares second place with Peter behind Jay, or Peter wins the series with Georgia sharing second place with Jay.

Georgia still has some tricky dances to negotiate, particularly in the cha, cha, cha and the paso, and may yet have to win a dance-off to make the final but she has to be backed as insurance if you have followed earlier Top Female advice.

The full dance and song list for Saturday is as follows.

Anita and Gleb will be performing the Quickstep to ‘Don’t Get Me Wrong’ by The Pretenders.
Georgia and Giovanni will be dancing the Charleston to ‘Hot Honey Rag’ from Chicago.
Helen and Aljaž will be performing the Tango to ‘Hold Back The River’ by James Bay.
Jamelia and Tristan will be performing the Samba to ‘A Little Respect’ by Erasure.
Jay and Aliona will be dancing the Foxtrot ‘Lay Me Down’ by Sam Smith.
Jeremy and Karen will be performing the Quickstep to ‘Going Underground’ by The Jam.
Katie and Anton will be dancing the Rumba to ‘Never Never Never’ by Shirley Bassey.
Kellie and Kevin will be performing the Samba to ‘Boom Shake The Room’ by Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince.
Peter and Janette will be dancing the Viennese Waltz to ‘You’re My World’ by Cilla Black.

Kellie’s samba music looks as questionable as Jamelia’s but you have to expect a big comeback narrative for her and Kevin following their ‘shock’ bottom 2 appearance last Saturday.

Georgia is due an earlier slot but has a dance she can potentially impress with once again as her recent ramp looks set to continue. Helen, Jay and Anita look to have 3 of this week’s better songs.

Keep an eye on the Comments section below for updates if any value is spotted on the other weekly markets once prices are issued.


Georgia – Outright ’without Jay’ – 4pt win – 9-4 – William Hill


  1. Stuart

    Hi Rob

    I’ve never bet on the “without” market. I’m surprised its not your full stake at the odds quoted but you confirm it would just be half your stake at full odds.

    • Rob

      Hi Stuart. It’s something of a grey area and seems to differ from bookmaker to bookmaker. I recall some Betfred markets ahead of the Strictly final last year, and they paid out in full despite 2nd and 3rd not being confirmed.

      In a w/o Jay market, if Jay wins and Georgia is one of the remaining 2 standing there (ie, she is effectively joint second), it’s open to interpretation if that would be paid out in full, or just half your stake.

      Really needed to get Georgia covered in some way having previously advised Top Female investments on Katie, Helen and Anita. Could well re-visit the Georgia investment should she make the final and look like a legitimate threat to Jay. Still much to play for in this series.

      • Stuart

        I’m in agreement here Rob. I’m calling it first Jay second Georgia at the moment.

        • george

          georgia looking amazing in this weeks training footage

          • Rob

            Charleston is often the show-stealer, George. It does look good but she is prone to mistakes. She is also due an early slot but it would come as no surprise if they continue to ramp her – recent treatment suggests they want to build her up as the main rival to Jay.

            I’m more intrigued how they treat Katie. Her rumba training looked promising but the narrative seems to be to dampen her and Anton’s support. The good news for Katie backers is that Jamelia’s samba training didn’t look all that good.

          • James

            I notice that since the Charleston was added to show in 2009, each series has contained at least one week in which a female Charleston achieved the weekly high score.

            Series 7: Ali
            Series 8: Pamela
            Series 9: Chelsee
            Series 10: Denise & Kimberley
            Series 11: Sophie… (also Natalie had a tie for 1st)
            Series 12: Caroline

            After this week, only Helen & Katie have yet to perform the Charleston, so the best chance of the streak continuing is for Georgia to come out on top on Saturday.

            In contrast, Jay’s dance (the Foxtrot) has only seen two male celebrities take top score of the week (Ricky Whittle & Jason Donovan).

  2. James

    Hi Rob. I can see it being a close battle between Katie and Jeremy for low score this week. Here are some of the numbers which lead me to this conclusion.

    1) Anton’s average score over the past 13 series’ is 23.2. His average Rumba score however, is much lower at 20.1
    2) Katie’s last three Latin dances have scored 20 (cha cha cha), 21 (salsa) and 21 (paso)
    3) As Bruno prefers the ‘raunchy’ Rumba, I don’t see him scoring Katie’s ‘romantic’ Rumba more than a 5, and an overall score of 21 (4,6,6,5) looks like a reasonable prediction
    4) The Quickstep is a relatively decent point scoring dance for the weaker male celebrities. Of the 11 males who danced the Quickstep, and were of a similar standard to Jeremy, the average score was 21.9. Six scored more than 21, 2 scored exactly 21 and 3 scored less than 21
    5) Jeremy’s last four scores from the judges are Craig (3,3,4,4), Darcey (6,5,6,6), Len (6,6,6,6) and Bruno (5,4,6,5). I think the most likely score for Jeremy this week is 21 (4,6,6,5) which would lead to a tie with Katie!
    6) Somewhat surprisingly, Jeremy has already outscored Katie on two occasions (weeks 3 & 6)
    7) The past four occasions Anton has danced the Rumba (Laila, Ann, Nancy & Fiona) he has finished bottom of the leaderboard in that week.

    Jamelia’s early training footage on ITT does not look promising, however since week 2 her scores have been 25, 32, 26, 26 & 28. I see her more likely to score in the mid 20s rather than the low 20s.

    Given the likely closeness of the battle between Katie & Jeremy for low score this week, the Katie @ 9/4 odds currently offered by Coral look to be decent value.

    • Rob

      Hi James,

      This is very impressive historical analysis and I respect where you are coming from flagging up Katie as the lowest score value at 15-8. I see she is now 13-8 so I think a few people agree with you 🙂

      My proviso would be, it has very much been in the narrative to overscore Jamelia to help her avoid the bottom 2 on 3 occasions. Now the show has managed to get rid of Carol and Jamelia avoided the bottom 2 last week, there is a strong argument she has served her purpose on the show and they will cut her loose tomorrow night.

      Her samba training hasn’t looked very good, while Kellie has a samba too and is, in theory, on a bounce back week when we can possibly expect this to be bigged up by the judges.

      They could be punitive with Katie again but her rumba training has looked good to me. I think it will more likely score in the 23-27 range, while 23 looks the ceiling of Jamelia’s pts total, unless there really is something sinister afoot and they want Katie off the show.

      Georgia looks far too short for highest score to me given she was afforded last week’s pimp slot and was 9/11 the week before. I appreciate we saw Peter top score from trap 1 last week but that really goes against the norm.

      It would still come as no surprise if Georgia does top score but in terms of value this week, I am going to flag up Jamelia as the lowest score value and worth a small investment. She was initially 12-1, then cut to 7-1, and is now 11-2. I still think that’s a decent price.

      Good luck with your bets 🙂


      Lowest score – Jamelia – 11-2 – 1pt win – Coral

  3. M8

    I can only see Katie or Jamelia being eliminated on Saturday. I’ve decided to have a small nibble on Katie at 8/1. The odds were too good to turn down and she’s surely going to be scored low and I can honestly see her getting booted ahead of Jamelia due to her potential latter stage of the competition threat. Let’s see how hard Anton fans are really voting now the excitement of the early weeks have died down.

    Also I’d like to congratulate James for his 2/1 ten score spot last week. Honestly a fantastic find and bet of the series by a mile!

    It’s worth adding that I’ll be interested to see Anita’s score this week. She’s still someone who I’m not 100% clear about when it comes to how she’s doing with votes. She came into the competition with no real fanbase, yet I’m sure her along with her partner have gained support throughout the series due to her normality so to speak. She strikes me as a potential female version of Matt Baker. But with the competition so tight and a tough quickstep this week, there could be potential for her to drop into the bottom two if she finds herself in the middle of the scoring pack. Kellie I assume will get a boost and with Jeremy and Katie having strong fanbases this will be a good week to test how well Anita is doing on votes.

    • Rob

      Hi M8. As I outlined in the article, if Jamelia isn’t eliminated tomorrow night then Katie would have to be in the producers’ sights.

      I’ve decided not to get involved because I find it hard to believe they would want shot of a public favourite in Katie at such an early stage, and I get the impression Jamelia has gone as far as she can on the show, and is too short a price to back for elim. Good luck with your Katie punt 🙂

  4. george

    the thing I really like about Georgia’s training footage is how well she looks to be moving with her partner.

    It’s a bit like they get in to some kind of flow state where they effecetively become a single dancer.

    Any thoughts on 2.88 at corals for highest score?

    • Rob

      Evens now George. I think Georgia is far too short as I don’t think she will be on late tomorrow and when you look at the stats highest scorer does still favour the pimp slot.

      • James

        Georgia has now shortened in to 8/11 with Coral. If she does falter in her routine and only scores in the mid 30s, who could take advantage?

        Before last weeks Rumba put her in the middle of the pack, Helen had a very consistent record, with a top two placing in five of the first six weeks.

        It would appear unlikely she will have an advantageous spot in the running order this week, but I still think having her 6th favourite, with odds of 14/1 are under valuing her chances.

        • Rob

          I agree James – there has to be some value outside of Georgia for highest score. Helen, Anita or maybe Kellie – they do love to inflate scores following a b2.

          14-1 does look too big for Helen but I will be ducking highest scorer this week. Good luck!

  5. Rob

    Anita dancing first tonight

  6. Rob

    Jamelia vs Jezza – Jezza OUT

    They tried to help him with the pimp slot and comments but feared it wouldn’t be enough. A case of close but no cigar with Jamelia lowest scorer bet. Had high hopes Jezza would produce something better for his QS but it really was lame.

    Well done Georgia highest scorer backers. She is looking Jay’s main rival for the Glitterball atm.

  7. M8

    I’ve not seen Anita’s dance or score but regardless she must be pulling in a healthy number of votes to beat the bottom two despite being first in the running order at this stage of the competition. Well done to Katie for a decent rumba, my small stake on her to go not paying off this week. Will be interesting to see who joins Jamelia in the dance off next week after Kellie’s inevitable bounce this week.

  8. James

    Hi Rob. The 9/4 Georgia ‘without Jay’ bet was another excellent suggestion. I suspect this price will now be odds on all the way to the final. Here are some of my thoughts from tonight’s show.

    1) The judge’s leaderboard was a nightmare scenario for Jeremy. Only one tie, and Jay’s low score meant he started 4 points behind Anita and 5 points behind Kellie, before the public vote. I suspect that Katie, Jay & Georgia would have all outpolled him last night, which left him stuck in the bottom two.

    2) Jamelia & Jeremy scored in line with my expectations, however Katie & Anton were a big surprise for me. Anton’s score of 31 beat his previous best Rumba score by 4 points, and matched his highest ever Latin score, in 42 attempts.

    3) The streak of each series producing at least one female Charleston weekly top score is maintained. A stat to remember in 2016! Fortunately, I had bet on Georgia which offset my losses on Katie.

    4) Helen finished in the top two of the judges leaderboard for the sixth time in eight weeks. Something to think about in future weeks which don’t feature a clear stand out dance.

    5) After Jay performed ‘that Jive’ in week three, what would have been the odds that he would fail to pick up another weekly high score in any of the five preceding weeks? Surely his odds to win the show will start to drift slightly. One advantage he seemingly had was that a repeat performance of his Jive in the final, would be a knockout blow to his rivals. I think Georgia’s Charleston, could now neutralize that threat.

    6) I am struggling to see how Jamelia can survive past next week. I think her only hope would be for her to dance the Argentine Tango, and for her to perform it well. An unlikely scenario, but one that worked for Simon Webbe at Blackpool, a year ago.

    • James

      In reality, it seems very likely that Jamelia (& Kellie) will have to dance the Quickstep next week to ensure that all remaining couples have performed this dance ahead of the Quickstepathon in week 10.

  9. Rob

    Hi James. Thanks for those bullet points – excellent observations. I still think there is room to build Jay up in the weeks to come and for him to produce another ‘wow’ routine or 2. I’m sure the prods are really holding out on this happening.

    I’m not sure viewers are as invested in Georgia as they are in Jay atm plus his jive is in a different stratosphere for me than Georgia’s Charleston. Him and Aliona have much more voteability too.

    I also think Gleb is kind of Anita’s hidden weapon, as is the fact she is viewed as a total beginner who has achieved so much. Giovanni, in comparison, isn’t helping Georgia win votes.

    My thinking was Jeremy could potentially manage 6pts on the pv, behind Katie, Jay and Georgia, and Anita looked in serious jeopardy of possibly earning only 2pts on the pv, only ahead of Jamelia.

    I thought this might be the plan with Anita on 1st and rather forgotten, and Jezza getting the pimp slot. With mention of the production they had lined up for Jezza in Blackpool I think they genuinely messed up their meddling.

    Like you say, Jezza needed some more ties. They also had room to score Jamelia much lower. Their scores for her felt generous and I don’t think anyone would have been surprised if they had all scored her 1pt less, so it would have been 4, 6, 6, 6 (22pts) for her samba.

    Jeremy could have been given the same scores, 1pt more than he was actually awarded. Then, they could legitimately have contrived a save of Jezza in the dance-off.

    It’s that element of Strictly ‘playing it straight’ that remains part of the equation in trying to figure things out.

    What we know so far ahead of Blackpool is Helen has Charleston and Katie has American Smooth. Looks like Peter may have the jive.

  10. george

    think Jay’s “voteability” is declining – he comes across as a bit wet and his dances seem a bit bland/emotionless – all technique no passion.

    If we forget all theories about producers wanting a male winner this year surely the momentum is now with Georgia?

  11. Rob

    Georgia certainly has all the momentum right now, George. Question is, is that guaranteed to continue and even if she achieves lots more leaderboard-topping dances will that translate to her topping the pv come the final?

    We have seen plenty of outstanding female dancers fall short when it comes to the final. It is worth remembering when Abbey won, it was an all-female final. And last year, Mark and Simon never had the look of potential winners having both been in the dance-off 3 times prior to the final.

    • george

      all good points Rob,
      what are your thoughts on price movement if she continues to nail it until the final

      • Rob

        It’s a tricky one to call, George. I think it is largely dependant on what Jay does in the next few weeks. If he disappoints while Georgia continues with a succession of dances that land 10s, Georgia will no doubt shorten further.

        Blackpool is usually a week when we see plenty of score inflation, they overlook the mistakes, and lots of dancers are awarded 10s.

        The week after Blackpool they are also having a ‘Quickstep-athon’. This often signals producers’ intentions, with the dancers ordered and certainly the one first out the one they are trying to tell the public is not good enough to win.

  12. Rob

    Anita and Gleb will perform the Paso Doble to the dramatic ‘Malaguena’ by Connie Francis.

    Georgia and Giovanni dance the American Smooth to the Whitney Houston power-ballad ‘I Have Nothing’.

    Helen and Aljaž are going to Charleston to ‘Anything Goes’ from the musical of the same name.

    Jamelia and Tristan Quickstep to 1960’s classic ‘I’m A Believer’ by The Monkees.

    Jay and Aliona will Salsa to the disco-flavoured ‘Cuba’ by The Gibson Brothers.

    Katie and Anton perform the American Smooth to Dean Martin’s ‘Ain’t That A Kick In The Head.

    Kellie and Kevin will be Quickstepping to Dolly Parton’s ‘Nine To Five’.

    Peter and Janette are Jiving to Tina Turner’s ‘River Deep, Mountain High’.

  13. James

    Hi Rob. I agree that on the whole the Strictly judges ‘play it straight’ when judging the dance off, however at this time of the competition an important factor to keep in mind is the Strictly Live Tour, and which celebs sign up to take part.

    Nov 24th 2014 – Mark Wright announced for SCD Live Tour
    Nov 29th 2014 – Dance off: Mark vs Sunetra (not on tour). Sunetra eliminated
    Dec 13th 2014 – Dance off: Mark vs Jake (not on tour). Jake eliminated

    Dec 5th 2014 – Simon Webbe announced for SCD Live Tour
    Dec 6th 2014 – Dance off: Simon vs Pixie (not on tour). Pixie eliminated

    Do you have any thoughts on which of this year’s celebs are likely to tour? Frankie Bridge has already been announced, and I would expect six of this year’s celebs to sign up. I would rate the prospects as

    Highly probable: Jay, Georgia
    Likely: Helen, Anita
    Possible: Peter, Jeremy, Katie, Ainsley
    Unlikely: Kellie, Jamelia
    Highly unlikely: Kirsty, Carol, Daniel, Anthony, Iwan

    I am rating Kellie as unlikely due to her work commitments, and that Frankie & Kevin would seem a likely partnership. I am rating Katie as no higher than possible, as it looks like Anton isn’t usually part of the tour, and Katie’s value would be much lower if she were dancing with another partner.

    • Rob

      Hi James. You are spot on regarding the significance of the Tour line-up and its correlation with elims during the latter stages of the series, and who makes the final.

      Peter apparently is unavailable for the Strictly Tour (because of his own tour, I think) and has already been in the tabloids complaining he thinks this will jeopardise his chance of winning this series.

      Agree Kellie looks unlikely given E’enders schedule, Jake having the same issue last year, and Frankie probably lined up to partner Kevin again.

      Anton has his own dance tour with Erin Boag which is why he never tours. This does put a question mark over Katie but she could, in theory, dance with someone else.

      Sophie E-B, of course, couldn’t tour in 2014 but she was still given the chance to make the 2013 Strictly final, though they ensured she wouldn’t be winning that year and put her away so she was first out in 4th place.

      There has been a theory doing the rounds Anita has been continually under-scored in this series because she cannot tour but I have not read any confirmation of this.

      I imagine they will want at least 3 of the 4 finalists available for the tour but it remains an unclear picture.

  14. M8

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t announce the tour lineup until after the show. People are starting to wise up to the fact that the results are heavily influenced by who goes on tour. This Peter Andre story along with James Jordan running his mouth are simply adding fuel to the flames.

  15. M8

    Someone’s been listening to me haha.

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