Soph & Suze In Danger

Dec 5, 2013 by

Soph & Suze In Danger

A puzzle wrapped in an enigma is probably an under-statement regarding trying to figure out what is going to happen in this Saturday’s Strictly quarter-final – with the similar conundrum of the semi-final still to come – and it’s going to be squeaky bum time for a lot traders awaiting the result of the dance-off on DS’s spoiler list, and discovering the 10th elimination.

This is undoubtedly the strongest last 6 in the show’s 11-year history. First off, let’s consider this week’s dances:

Abbey & Aljaz – VW to Tom Jones ‘Delilah’.
Nat & Artem – paso doble to ‘El Gato Montes’ by Ramon Cortez Orchestra.
Sophie & Brendan – tango to Madonna’s ‘Material Girl’.
Ashley & Ola – salsa to Gloria Estefan’s ‘Conga’.
Patrick & Anya – rumba to ‘When I Was Your Man’ by Bruno Mars.
Susanna & Kevin – Argentine tango to Michael Jackson’s ‘Smooth Criminal’.

On the face of it, it looks like Patrick has drawn the short straw with the rumba. It’s a tough dance for guys and rarely a vote-winner – only last week we saw Ashley land in the bottom 2 following a very decent rumba by him.

But we have also heard Patrick name-checked by Craig as the best male dancer in this year’s competition. And series-long it has been a story of mostly high scores and glowing praise for Patrick; mostly under-scoring and nit-picking regarding Ashley’s dances.

Ashley is going to throw the kitchen sink at his salsa and the key thing is, salsa is often a vote-winner because it’s an uptempo party dance. Also in Ashley’s favour (in theory) is that he should get a bounce having been bottom 2 last week. But it is easy to imagine the judges highlighting any mistakes and refusing to score him above 35, which he has scored for the last 4 weeks.

The crowd in the studio will probably be on their feet applauding him post-dance, so heavy-handed criticism will be roundly booed, and Ashley could have a fair chance of avoiding the bottom 2 even if he finds himself in the bottom 2 on the leaderboard.

Abbey’s salsa received a perfect 40 last week which suggests she is struggling in the public vote and the judges want to afford her as much protection as possible, to try and help her reach the final. VW looks like it is going to suit her very well and she is likely to be trading in 9s and 10s. Abbey received 32 in week 1 for her waltz which announced her arrival in this year’s competition as one of the front runners.

Paso should suit Natalie very well too. She has all the power, ferocity and aggression to succeed in this and it is hard to imagine her not figuring among the top 2 on the leaderboard.

Sophie has tango. Tango requires passion, sharpness and a strong topline which are not Sophie’s strong points. The optimist’s way to look at it is, she is overdue a ramp and her first 10s of the series. But a pessimist’s view would be, ‘Material Girl’ doesn’t seem a particularly good song choice, early training footage didn’t impress, and based on Sophie’s treatment series-long you sense, like Ashley, it is more likely to be a mid-table scorer.

Susanna has had two sub-par weeks, the cha-cha-cha not suiting her at all and leaving her joint 3rd last on the leaderboard, and foot faults in her QS last week seeing her drop to 2nd last on the leaderboard.

She needs to come back strongly this week with her Argentine tango but again, you have to question the song choice of ‘Smooth Criminal’. Done well, the AT is about staccato steps and leg movements, executed with dramatic gusto. The pace of this song seems too frenetic, and it is apparently the first time Kevin will have danced the AT.

If Susanna is scored poorly again, she is seriously going to test the resolve of her vote base. Our instinct tells us that on most weeks Susanna and Sophie have probably been outpolling Abbey, Natalie and Patrick but the Strictly vote can be a fluid thing.

What we also know is, at this stage of Strictly the judges are known for ordering the leaderboard, very likely according to how contestants are doing on the public vote and the show’s preferred bottom 2 with a view to their ideal finalists this year.

They have the ‘Swingathon’ to add to scores and this will be telling regarding producer intentions. If we were pricing it up we would make Ashley favourite to be first knocked out, which would give him only 1 added bonus point. Our money would be on Abbey, Patrick and Natalie being in the top 3. Perhaps of most note will be who is allotted higher points between Sophie and Susanna – and where these 2 end up on the overall leaderboard is going to be key.

Even if his score is inflated, we still reckon Patrick is the most likely contestant to end up in this week’s dance-off. Who joins him there is much more of a head-scratcher. First and foremost your trading this week should come down to your Outright positions as much as a value approach to the markets.

If you stand to win most in the Top Male market on Patrick having backed him at double figure odds, you might want to consider backing him to be eliminated at 2-1. Patrick remains a ticklish one though because we could envisage him being saved in a dance-off up against Ashley or Sophie, and possibly Susanna too.

So backing him to be bottom 2 at 5-6 might be a better strategy as this is a better price than backing Ashley to be Top Male at 4-5, and means you could collect on the bet and still have Patrick as a winner in the Top Male market, or potential winner in the Top Male market (if he defeats Ashley in the dance-off, or they both survive this week).

If you stand to win most on Sophie or Susanna winning Strictly, then it is a no-brainer you should be backing them for elimination. We will stick to the tried and tested of value and back BOTH Sophie and Susanna for elimination as they simply look over-priced at a best price 9-1 Sophie and 11-1 Susanna with Betfred.

If there are leaderboard ties this week, it becomes a lot more feasible for a leaderboard top scorer to drop into the dance-off. A lot is also going to hinge on the vote appeal of the routines which is why it might prove wise to look to lay Ashley for bottom 2 in-running on Betfair at odds-on.

The other question you need to ask yourself is: who is most likely to have been topping the public vote on most weeks, and would the show be willing to cull the contestant the public has shown the most consistent level of affection for in this series?

It is the old chestnut of a straight dance competition vs an entertainment programme. While the judges appear to push more for the former, it remains a tug of war and the show has, in the past, more often relented to the public’s wishes. Chris Hollins, Tom Chambers, even Louis Smith last year…

We really couldn’t call this week with any great confidence pre-show and it would come as no surprise to see any of the 6 in the dance-off. Looking ahead, here is the choice of semi-final dances (1 Latin, 1 ballroom) based on the dances each contestant has left to choose from:

Abbey – Samba and AS or AT
Sophie – Salsa or paso doble and AS
Susanna – Salsa or rumba and foxtrot
Natalie – Salsa or jive and foxtrot or AT
Ashley – Charleston and foxtrot or AT
Patrick – Paso doble and waltz or AT

Keep an eye on Comments below as hopefully there will also be highest scorer/lowest scorer markets to discuss.


  1. zoomraker

    material girl clearly an attempt at a stitch up for Sophie.

    trying to associate her in the viewers mind with the negative character of the song.

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      Good point, zoomraker.

      I thought the dance pros chose the songs, but perhaps not. Either way: an unwise choice.

      Perhaps Brendan (if it was Brendan who chose the song) thought it might lend an edge to Sophie, encourage her to be more dynamic, as she can seem to (want to) blend into the background during proceedings.

      But still agree with you.

  2. It’s a nightmare trying to get any money down with Betfred. Eventually told that my account was now limited. Settled with 11s elsewhere.

    Thinking about which stake I’m likely to see again… I’d say Sophie. For me, Smooth Criminal works better for AT than Material Girl does for normal Tango.

    Sophie will probably score the least in the swingathon too; I see her as the least gifted, most wooden and shyest of the remaining celeb dancers.

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      Great obseration, Gav, about Sophie being a bit ‘wooden’.

      I do like Sophie(always have) and like her shyness. Particularly when contrasted with ball-buster Natalie, pouty Abbey, and likeable yet irritatingly me, me, me Susanna.

      But now you mention it, Sophie is a bit wooden.

      Is she Rachel Riley MK2?!

    • Yeah I think I’d be calling Ashley safe from that footage. Any nitpicking will focused on his hips.

      Sophie and Susanna rightly in trouble – both dances and songs look ropy.

      I’m tempted to take some bottom 2 on Natalie, but will wait for tonight’s footage.

      • Not so confident about Natalie bottom two. Even though it was a speculative punt, I’m glad I held off.

        Just thinking of bottom 2 combos and who might stay or go based on the narrative to date:

        Abbey: stays, but tough call against Susanna/Natalie

        Ashley: goes against anyone.

        Natalie: I think she stays, but again, tough call against Susanna/Abbey. It’s still not clear she’s TCO, but it is interesting they’ve ranked her lower or overmarked others to her score.

        Sophie: goes against anyone barring Ashley

        Susanna: stays but tough call against Abbey/Natalie

        Patrick: goes against Abbey/Natalie & Susanna

  3. Guildo Horn Forever

    Have been very tempted by the fancy prices in the elim market but finally plumped for the 9/4 for Ashley to be eliminated.

    Judges marks will probably be enough for Natalie and Abbey to stay clear of the overall B2.

    Of the remaining 4 it seems the unanimous opinion that Ashley leaves against anyone, in a dance-off.

    For 3 consecutive weeks Mark didn’t bounce so it’s no certainty that Ashley will bounce; plus there’s even more room for manoeuvre this week to get Ashley in a dance-off. Further, Ben’s support did not (somewhat surprisingly) migrate to Ashley last week.

    From a value point of view I note that the bookies have near identical prices for Ashley and Patrick for both B2 and elimination. I would have thought that Ashley would be substantially comparatively warmer in the elim betting, given he and Paddy are the similar odds for B2.

    Completely agree, though, that the big prices for Soph and Suze look attractive.

    If Ashley does clear the B2 then likely that Patrick won’t (seems probable that at least one of them will be in a dance-off tomorrow).

    Over the last 5 weeks, Patrick has outscored Sophie every time.
    Over the last 5 weeks, Patrick has outscored Susanna three times (with one tie, and one “win” to Susanna.

    So, it is entirely justifiable for the judges to save Patrick in a dance-off with either of these two ladies.

    Also, saving Patrick helps support the intention to be rid of Ashley, as in a remaining field of 5, with just one good-looking lad left, female viewer support might coalesce around Ashley (this potential factor probably not applying to Patrick).

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      Just re-looking at week 10s leaderboeard positions:

      Abbey: 1st
      Patrick: 2nd
      Natalie: joint 3rd
      Sophie: joint 3rd
      Ashley: 5th
      Susanna: 6th
      (Mark: 7th and eliminated)

      Will the judges be aiming for the same top 6 sequence this week. What odds a repeat? It has a look of having been optimally ordered (with the intention of shuffling Ashley to the bottom).

      If Abbey (and to a lesser degree,Patrick) is being protected with over-scoring, (and Natalie is being regularly slightly underscored) does this mean that Sophie and Susanna are dominating the public vote? (in that they are not afforded the weekly boost of over-scoring protection)

      • Rob

        Some excellent analysis here, Guildo. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Ashley is first on. It’s going to be an uptempo party dance which will really get the show started well.

        And maybe Natalie will get the pimp slot with her paso. You have to think Patrick & Abbey have been loitering at the bottom of the pv. And I feel quietly confident Nat has generally been polling badly as well.

        • Anonymous

          Thanks, Rob.

          Yes I too am convinced that Natalie is polling poorly. Have never liked her; and that’s definitely not down to disliking her as a person, from a spill-over from dislike of her (supposedly) nasty character in Corrie – as I don’t watch Corrie

          The other evening I had the opportunity to speak to a large pool of middle-aged women, well heeled (who all shopped at M&S and Waitrose!) and who liked watching Strictly.

          Three main dislikes emerged:

          1) Abbey. Difficult to relate to. Plus her obvious fancy for Aljaz wasn’t a selling point. No one mentioned her WAG status or accent, but I had the feeling they were being silently held against her.

          2) Natalie. Seen as aggressive and pushy – threatening. Disliked and considered a professional in an amateur contest.

          3) Tess Daly. Perceived as useless, ungainly and a creature with a strange fashion sense. Also noted that it was palpably obvious when she doesn’t like another woman. A few of the ladies exampled this with Tess’s body language any time she is near Abbey.

        • Guildo Horn Forever

          ‘…Ashley is first on’

          Aye Rob, that make all kind of sense.

          You note that Ashley’s score for the last 4 weeks has been 35!

          His last 8 weeks scores have been:

          31, 31, 31, 33, 35, 35, 35, 35.

          (It feels like looking at an IQ test where you required to provide the next number in the sequence!)

          This helps explain this series big marks (a brace of 39s in week 8 for instance). Ashley is that good that 35 is an instance of an undermark – to push him down the leaderboard, the judges need to roll out high-end 30s (and a 40).

          If Ashley opens the show, they could mark him 36, which would be his highest mark of the series. Brucie would be sure to highlight this. Ashley would be happy and the audience would be pleased too.

          As the show progressed, four other couples could be given higher marks (with no problematic ties).

          On this basis the leaderboard could finish:

          1st – 40
          2nd – 39 (or perhaps another 40?)
          3rd – 38
          4th – 37
          5th – Ashley with 36
          6th – 34 (to break the sequence – far too obvious otherwise)

          (Or maybe this kind of arrangement will be in evidence only after the combined Swingathon scores. The same principle applies).

          And the dancer placed in last would be the biggest vote puller, perhaps?

          I’m beginning to suspect Susanna might be in trouble this week.

          The judges seem to mark Susanna honestly; they do likewise with Sophie but are a little less kind with the tone of their comments.

          In a dance off I wonder if the judges might be slightly more inclined to favour Susanna over Sophie; but on the other hand, I’m guessing that Sophie’s less irritating demeanour might be more popular with the public.

          I can’t seem to make up my mind and better now appreciate the savviness of the title of this thread!!

  4. Guildo Horn Forever

    Just an extra passing thought:

    I wonder if anyone who’s backed Abbey EW can start counting the money from their place return?

    In a dance-off, who would be saved over Abbey?

    She’s had 4 top scores and last week was given the holy 40.

    Would even Natalie be saved in a dance-off against Abbey?

    Nightmare scenario for me is Patrick in the B2 with either Abbey or Natalie.

    Patrick survives against Ashley, has a fighting chance against Sophie or Susanna, but is a very probable goner up against Abbey or Natalie.

    That’s the trouble with the judges – they judge Natalie’s professional background differently from the average viewer. I think they respect the fact that’s she’s been professionally trained from the age of 4 or 5. They like the fact that she was good enough to follow her passion and dance professionally in her teens. And they sympathise with her dance career being prematurely curtailed by injury. They respect her commitment to dance and esteem it as a positive.

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      Sorry Rob, for cluttering up your thread! I get like this with writing sometimes.

      But (!),I was was just thinking back to a comment of Zoomraker’s (I think) regarding a possible under-appreciation of Sophie Ellis Bextor.

      I’m having second thoughts by wondering if he might be right.

      Even more pertinently: is there an over-estimation of Susanna’s likeability factor?

      She’s held in high regard by me, and a number of other bettors.

      I’m male and so are they.

      I’m wondering if “we” like Susanna because she’s a game girl, a fun-loving extrovert, and because of her flirtiness?

      Women might much prefer Sophie over Susanna. She’s less of a threat. Although SEB is generally considered to be an incredibly, extraordinarily beautiful woman (with impossible cheek-bones), she is genuinely shy, humble, reserved and (from a married woman’s perspective) is definitely NOT the type to make a pass at our husband.

      Whereas, Susanna’s come-to-bed eyes and gaze, knicker-flashing and endless flirtiness will worry a number of women, who would definitely feel safer leaving their boyfriend or husband in the company of Sophie.

      Susanna might not be as popular as presumed; plus I’ve just watched her ‘Good Morning’ routine from last Saturday’s show. She couldn’t keep up. Simple as that.

      Found this article about her:

      She’s a long-term long-distance runner. That’s doing nothing to activate the fast twitch muscle fibres. Pylometric exercies and footwork drills would be of more use.

      Also, her times for the Marathon are nothing special, either. In hindsight, it’s unsurprising she struggled with the quickstep.

      What relevance this factor has to Susanna’s dances tomorrow, I don’t know.

      I agree that Sophie’s training room footage doesn’t impress. Looks as though she’s being dragged around a bit.


    Looks like Ashley first followed by Natalie. Could be some memory-hole action going on there.

  6. Rob

    Looking like potential r.o. of:


    • We speculated that Ashley might open the show and surely this is a clear sign he’s in the cross hairs again?

      Has there been an instance where the bottom 2 escapee from the previous week has danced first the following week?

      Like you suggested Rob, I reckon they will mark him high, but nearly everyone else higher; and when it comes to the swingathon, I’m expecting him to be eliminated early.

      • Rob

        It’s a good question I don’t have the answer to. It is certainly a rarity.

        I guess his salsa is the ideal show opener. Be worth keeping a close eye on Nat’s score. If she is not top of leaderboard she could find herself in trouble.

        • Guildo Horn Forever

          Just took the 5s for Natalie to B2.

          It’s easy to imagine Abbey or Patrick (or both topping the leaderboard) ahead of Nat.

          I’d wager that Sophie and Susanna are more popular than Natalie. In which case that 5/1 for Natalie suddenly reveals itself as huge.

          An Ashley vs Natalie wouldn’t surprise…but would certainly delight.

          • Guildo Horn Forever

            As is obvious, I’ve been wrestling with deciding whom of Soph And Suze I should back for elimination tonight. I haven’t wanted to back both. I’ve finally plumped for Susanna.

            Abbey and Natalie and Susanna are all, for different reasons, marmite characters.

            Sophie has the broadest appeal of all the girls.

            10s for Susanna is too big for elim, and the 3s for B2 for her appeals to me as well.

          • zoomraker

            i think suzanna would go against patrick, nat or abbie so 10/1 would seem value especially as her dancing is looking weaker with each passing week.

            think sophie could shine this week but do suffer from falling in love with my green

          • Brilliant. Back Natalie bttm 2 before the comments.

            Nat vs Ash?

  7. Guildo Horn Forever

    Desperate for Ashley to go tonight, but 35 (again!!) for that performance was ridiculous.


  8. Working Ashley facing either Susanna or Natalie in the bottom 2 with Ashley going.

  9. zoomraker

    patrick and suzana b2 for me

  10. Rob

    Very difficult to call. Think there is a lot of motivation for Susanna’s fans & could see her top the pv tonight.

    Patrick + 1 but the 1 could be any of the other 5.

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      I’m now resorting to praying for Patrick to be saved from a dance off!

  11. Boki

    And I just want Patrick in b2.

  12. Guildo Horn Forever

    Just nipped over to the DS SCD forum, and my lord, the reported voting behaviour amazed me. Multi-dozen-voting a la plenty!

    Can now see how Patrick might fall tonight. Darn pity Patrick throws in a poo performance while Ashley lets loose a spell-binder.

    Made the manipulation too blatant. Backlash ensues…

    • I tried Patrick scoring least points on my points table and still have him clear of the dance off by a single point.

      I reckon TPTB used the Swingathon to manipulate their desired result. I reckon it’s very close near the bottom, but wouldn’t be surprised to see Patrick just avoid it.

      Those DS forums are poisonous. Personally, I thought his was the best Rumba of the series and his score was justified. Ash was under marked, but don’t see that as being Patrick’s fault.

      • Guildo Horn Forever

        Who do you have as the B2 on your points table reckonings, Gav?

        • As above, I was working on Ashley/Natalie or Ashley/Susanna

          Think Nat is short of support. What do I know though

  13. Guildo Horn Forever

    Just noticed that bf are not showing SCD winner prices for Natalie or Susanna.

    Does that mean they are the dance off pairing?


    • Guildo Horn Forever

      Just spotted it on DS too…

      Am ecstatic. And relieved.


  15. Rob

    Ashley out, Patrick saved DS is reporting.

    Fantastic if true. Top Male Patrick as advised here at 18-1. A massive winner for readers.

    And Patrick b2 banker this week – PP even went 5-4 post-show.
    Layed some 1.6 Ash b2 in-running but happy to take that small hit.
    Susanna & Sophie live to fight another day.

  16. Guildo Horn Forever

    I wonder if this means that Patrick has now served his purpose?

    But they can afford to keep him around for the final, as he’s virtually no chance of winning.

    Even less chance now Ashley supporters will be fuming that their man was blatantly set up and got rid of tonight; while teacher’s pet Patrick received the ultimate in preferential treatment.

    • Rob

      This was the thinking from a long way back, Guildo – Patrick the perfect Top Male this series as he offers zero threat to a female winner which the show wants. This was behind the suggestion to back him at 18-1 for TM.

      Tonight’s result hints strongly that Susanna is topping the pv, which has also been the view here. Susanna is 5-1 e/w a third first 2 with Ladbrokes.

      This looks amazing value. Patrick quite possibly served his purpose as you say, Guildo. You would have to think Nat, Abbey & Pat in more danger next week on the pv.

      I’m fairly confident they knew Susanna would be safe on the pv tonight – her poor scores and then dragging her off first in the swing-a-thon before it had barely began was further motivation for her legion of fans.

      • Guildo Horn Forever

        Great advice and tipping, Rob. You’ve been on the money throughout the series 🙂

        Regarding Susanna, I’m not sure her dancing is good enough to win this Strictly. My favourite performance of hers was her first of the series. She’s a bit leaden around the dance-floor (and Kevin’s choreography doesn’t always help her.

        I wonder if it’s Sophie who’s topping the public vote. Like Susanna, her dance technique still emphasises the same faults, and she too hasn’t noticeably improved since an early high point. But Sophie is light on her feet, does have that show-stopper of a Charleston to wheel out if she makes the final, and that Charleston is so long ago now, I’m looking forward with fondness to seeing it again!

        Have to say that I’m amazed at the intensity of the recent run of male celebs departing the show (in the run-up to the final). It’s not just the fact that there’s no bounce factor operating for them – it’s that there seems to be no evidence of vote migration either: Dave, Ben and Ashley have departed over the course of the last four week’s worth of eliminations; and those same eliminations have featured two men in the dance-off. There’s like a non-bounce torch that’s been passed from Mark to Ashley (and now probably to Patrick!)

        Very, very happy with the Ashley result, but I really do genuinely feel for him (and Ola). A terrific dancer from the series start – it’s Ashley who made the most improvement of any of the dancers. I loved he and Ola’s routine last night (and their chemistry seemed to be a bit more sparkly too).

        Shame he didn’t enter Strictly next year, when he might have been given a fair crack of the whip, given that SCD would have succeeded in their mission to obtain a female winner the year before.

        Regards Patrick’s future next week. I think he’s damaged goods from this week’s blatantly preferential treatment.

        SCD might take the view that they need a token male in the final, to (slightly!) disguise the fact that the series has revolved around getting rid of any good, popular male dancers. Do they need to stick with Pat a bit longer, given the level of pimping they’ve been elevating him with?

        Or will the backlash against him from this week rear up into next week, with the judges needing to ditch him to prove (!) they aren’t playing favourites.

        I think the celeb who deserves to win Strictly is Abbey.
        The celeb I personally (outside of punting needs) would like to win Strictly is Sophie.

  17. Rob

    Susanna also lands the h2h money vs Ashley.

  18. Rob

    I think Ashley’s salsa was a real vote winner on the night. I struggle to see how he wasn’t in the top 3 on last night’s pv.

    Susanna’s treatment was definitely a big vote motivator. Nothing about Sophie’s rather tame tango effort from the pimp slot screamed top of the polling imho, but I would still expect her to be polling higher than Nat & Abbey.

    If you give Ash a minimum of a pv ranking of 3rd top = 4pts, this would give him 7pts overall.

    We know Nat outpolled Ash the week before. I’m not so sure she would have outpolled him last night. I would have it more likely something like this:

    Patrick – 6+1 = 7
    Nat – 6+2 = 8
    Abbey – 5+3 = 8
    Sophie – 4+5 = 9
    Ash – 3+4 = 7
    Susanna – 2+6 = 8

    Susanna has her brilliant paso and waltz to reprise if she makes the final – both of these are 10 scoring dances, even though she got 4 9s for her waltz. It will receive 10s in the final because they have to be seen to support a public favourite ultimately.

    The odds as they stand are wrong. Susanna should be joint-fav with Sophie.

  19. I wonder where Ashley’s support goes now? I’m doubting it’ll be Susanna, so would one band of soap lovers join another in supporting Natalie?

    I doubt that!

    What worries me is that Sophie has the Charleston to repeat: the one dance she has successfully pulled off.

    It’ll be intriguing to see how this unfolds.

    • Rob

      Just make sure you are big green on both of them, Gav.

      Susanna’s paso is just as much of a show-stopper & she plugs directly into the Beeb’s middle England mum vote imho.

      • Well going to start winding down on Natalie, laying off Patrick again (he’s served his purpose) and I’ll start investing in Sophie and Susanna again. Will go for Abbey if she goes double-figs again. She seems destined for 3rd though.

  20. Steve

    Ladbrokes has a h2h Sophie v Natalie. As the feeling seems to be that Natalie doesn’t deserve a top finish and Sophie performs the unthreatening female on a journey role (with a killer Charleston in her hip pocket) to perfection which is so loved by the typical voters, good odds for Sophie to come out on top. I always rely on my mum’s thoughts on a Strictly winner. Susannah or Sophie apparently (now that her
    beloved Ashley has gone)

  21. Rob

    Semi-final dances, what we know so far:

    Abbey – Samba & American Smooth confirmed

    Sophie – Salsa or paso doble & American Smooth

    So both Abbey & Sophie will dance the AS.

    Susanna – Salsa or rumba & foxtrot

    Natalie – Salsa or jive & foxtrot or AT

    Because Nat was training for the jive the week she pulled out due to back injury, consensus is, she will dance salsa

    Patrick – Paso doble & waltz or AT

  22. I’ve had a punt on Natalie next elimination. I thought 13s was too high, and if by some miracle Patrick avoids the bottom two, I reckon Natalie is primed to take his place.

    Small stakes obviously.

    • Rob

      Hard to work out how they will play it with Patrick but a significant bounce at this stage is unlikely & he will require the mother of pimps to avoid b2.

      If we are to assume Suze & Soph polling 1st & 2nd, Nat or Abbey appear more likely to be in the mix for b2.

      Denise VO ended up b2 in the semi last year from 2nd top on leaderboard. Wonder if they will contrive similar scenario with Nat to then give her a boost heading into the final – DVO’s boost pushed her into 2nd place.

      Think I’d rather take 9-4 Nat b2 with Lads compared to 9-4 Soph or Suze pre-show.

      • Ahh Lads’ prices aren’t showing on oddschecker. Have covered bottom two now, which is the more sensible option.

        Looking at some of the comments sections on newspaper websites, Abbey does appear to have some support. Natalie just isn’t mentioned as much, which makes bttm 2 likely.

  23. Rob

    Looks like AS & paso for Sophie, so 1 dance the same as Abbey & 1 dance the same as Patrick.

  24. Rob

    Paso & waltz for Patrick

  25. Rob

    Patrick and Anya will dance the Paso Doble to ‘Because the Night’ by The Patti Smith Group followed by a Waltz to the Righteous Brothers ‘Unchained Melody’.

    Abbey and Aljaz will perform the American Smooth to Neil Diamond’s ‘Sweet Caroline’ and the Samba to George Michael’s ‘Faith’.

    Sophie and Brendan Paso Doble to ‘Montagues and Capulets’ by Prokofiev and the American Smooth to Lisa Stansfield’s ‘They Can’t Take That Away From Me’.

    Susanna and Kevin will perform the Foxtrot to Frankie Valli’s ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’ and the Salsa to ‘Move Your Feet’ by Junior Senior.

    Natalie and Artem will dance the Argentine Tango to ‘Montserrat’ by Bajofondo and the Salsa to Michael Jackson’s ‘Wanna Be Startin’ Something’.

  26. Well that’s confused the hell out of me!

    Things we can say for certain…

    Natalie’s AT is looking strong.
    Patrick will be let down by the Waltz.
    Sophie still looks miserable.
    Abbey’s Samba will drag her score down.

  27. Rob

    They will no doubt still order the leaderboard to try & ensure the dance-off they want.

    Looking v. likely Patrick + 1.

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