Shining Jules

Nov 2, 2018 by

Shining Jules

It is at this point of Strictly when it is useful to start projecting ahead not only in terms of who makes it to Blackpool in 3 Saturdays time, but also looking at what dances the main contenders have left.

We need to lose 2 more contestants before Blackpool Week and there has become a clear divide now between the front 5 in the betting market and the remaining 5. You would have to think it is a long odds-on shot we lose 2 out of Charles, Lauren, Graeme, Kate and Dr Ranj in the next 2 weeks.

Among those 5, Kate appears to have been thrown a lifeline at least this week by being given the first Argentine tango of the series. It will be the first time Aljaz has performed AT on the show but this could conceivably end up the pimp slot routine. It looks on the cards for Kate to be talked up performing this following her disappointing rumba and they have a good track to sell the drama of it.

There has become a clear divide now between the front 5 in the betting market and the remaining 5

After appearing in the dance-off Graeme also has a window to bounce back performing a moving waltz, which is the dance he has most wanted to tackle series-long. It will be dedicated to his grandparents as this was their favourite dance and song. While he has had difficulties with the posture of ballroom you can see the judges focusing on his improvement this week based on promising training footage, and it looks like being an emotive routine which should connect with viewers.

Lauren’s jive training has also looked ok after her pimp slot paso last week. As long as she doesn’t lose timing her scores should put her in a safe-ish position unless she finds herself up against one of the series big guns in the dance-off. The ‘Girlfriend’ theme of the song looks like being played upon with Molly King scheduled to make an appearance in the audience.

Outside of week 5’s pimp-slotted ’Street’ routine, Charles has been scored 25 every week. This has appeared to be the judges’ in-joke. Certainly the 25s for his week 4 salsa and last week’s jive looked particularly harsh.

When you compare his series-long treatment compared to Dr Ranj, in general Charles has enjoyed tough scores and critiques while Dr Ranj has enjoyed sympathetic critiques and generous scores. In terms of dance ability, Charles has looked the stronger dancer but this is one where you start to wonder who the show favours more and wants to help get to Blackpool more.

In general Charles has enjoyed tough scores and critiques while Dr Ranj has enjoyed sympathetic critiques and generous scores

Charles’s VW training has looked more promising than Dr Ranj’s samba training, and he has the more dance appropriate track, but that may not be reflected in their scores.

Among the front runners it has been a tough week for Stacey after she tore an intercostal muscle in training. She needed to rest up for a couple of days so could be under-cooked tomorrow night due to lack of training time. Given the slow nature of the track, it will be interesting to see exactly what sort of ’Street’ dance Kevin has conjured up.

Ashley and Faye have foxtrot and tango respectively. While both have hinted at struggles in training, on ITT last night Ian was being ultra-critical of Ashley’s technique in particular. This might be the week when the judges go to town nit-picking one of the top dancers in this series, ie, Ashley, which would potentially tee her up for a ‘shock’ dance-off appearance.

Back in series 12, Pasha landed in the dance-off in week 7 with Caroline Flack. Might history repeat itself? Danny, meanwhile, could steal the limelight tomorrow night performing QS to a fantastic track for QS. He has the lightness of foot to impress with this.

Given the slow nature of the track, it will be interesting to see exactly what sort of ’Street’ dance Kevin has conjured up

This could prove a testing week for Joe. Paso doble does not look a natural fit for him as he doesn’t have the build or persona to put in a commanding, powerful performance. They have gone down a modern route with the Bastille track but if it does comes across as limp and lacklustre it will be informative to see how the judges treat him.

This week’s songs and dances:

Ashley and Pasha – Foxtrot to ‘Orange Coloured Sky’ by Natalie Cole
Charles and Karen – Viennese Waltz to ‘Piano Man’ by Billy Joel
Danny and Amy – Quickstep to ‘Freedom’ by Pharrell Williams
Dr Ranj and Janette – Samba to ‘Freedom 90’ by George Michael
Faye and Giovanni – Tango to ‘Call Me’ by Blondie
Graeme and Oti – Waltz to ‘The Last Waltz’ by Engelbert Humperdinck
Joe and Dianne – Paso Doble to ‘Pompeii’ by Bastille
Kate and Aljaz – Argentine Tango to ‘Assassin’s Tango’ by John Powell
Lauren and AJ – Jive to ‘Girlfriend’ by Avril Lavigne
Stacey and Kevin – Couple’s Choice (Street and Commercial) to ‘Empire State Of Mind (Part II’) by Alicia Keys

Last week’s judges’ leaderboard:

Craig – Darcey – Shirley – Bruno

Ashley & Pasha (6) Charleston 9 10 10 10 = 39 (11)
Faye & Giovanni (9) Couples’ Choice – Theatre Jazz 9 10 10 10 = 39 (11)
Joe & Dianne (10) Foxtrot 8 9 9 9 = 35 (10)
Stacey & Kevin (2) Tango 8 9 9 9 = 35 (10)
Danny & Amy (5) American Smooth (FT) 6 8 7 9 = 30 (9)
Lauren & AJ (11) Paso 6 7 8 8 = 29 (8)
Charles & Karen (8) Jive 6 6 6 7 = 25 (7)
Graeme & Oti (1) CCC 4 5 6 6 = 21 (6) – Bottom 2
Kate & Aljaz (4) Rumba 4 6 5 5 = 20 (5)
Dr Ranj & Janette (3) Jive 5 5 5 5 = 20 (5)
Seann & Katya (7) VW 3 5 6 6 = 20 (5) – Eliminated


  1. James

    Giovanni has an excellent record on the show when performing the Tango

    2015, week 6: 35 points & 1st place with Georgia
    2016, week 6: 36 points & joint 1st place with Laura
    2017, week 7: 40 points and 1st place with Debbie

    Based on this, I think Faye is good value to be this week’s top scorer at 7/2 with William Hill.

    With some question marks over the scores Ashley & Stacey will receive tonight, as cover, I have also had top scorer bets on Danny at 5/1 each way (Star Sports) and Kate 40/1 (Betfair).

    • Rob

      Bad luck James. Ashley really turned her foxtrot training around. Either that or Ian is now putting us all away.

      • James

        Thanks Rob. The high/low score markets are always a bit of a lottery. If I had known pre-show that Faye was going to be on as late as eighth in the running order and would end up scoring 38, I’m sure I would have doubled my stake!

  2. Stoney

    I managed to get on the 20s for Danny to go earlier on in the week. Imagine my joy waking up to todays stories. 5/1 now, and likely to go lower I guess.

    • James

      Well done Stoney. The drinks are on you!

    • Rob

      Shrewd investment Stoney – vwp

    • Stoney

      I had some more at 8 and then 5s
      A good night last night. Ive got Joe covered on the outright but Stacey winning would be an absolute dream.
      I’m hoping Joe’s vote is in check and they are just keeping him onside for the final.

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