Stephenson’s Rocket

Oct 8, 2021 by

Stephenson’s Rocket

After putting forward the notion of a 5-horse race last week, the market has since evolved into a 3-runner affair with AJ, John and Rose pulling eight points clear of the remainder of the field, and more or less sharing co-favouritism at the top of the market around the 3-1 mark.

Adam, in particular, endured a tough week 2 with his QS getting panned by the judges, scored a harsh looking 19, and him and Katya firmly labelled as ‘competitive’. That’s ‘competitive’ if you happened to miss it, hammered home again by Claudia during the results show.

It was a full-on deramping for the BBC’s star signing from the Summer Olympics and Adam now has the infamous dance of death, rumba, set to an Avatar theme, which could result in a further devaluing of the Adam and Katya stock.

Week 3 (Movie Week) dances and songs:
Adam and Katya: Rumba to I See You by Leona Lewis, from Avatar
AJ and Kai: American Smooth to I Have Nothing by Whitney Houston, from The Bodyguard
Dan and Nadiya: Foxtrot to Once Upon a Dream by Seth MacFarlane, from Sleeping Beauty
Greg and Karen: Paso Doble to The James Bond Theme by Monty Norman, from James Bond
John and Johannes: Paso Doble to He’s a Pirate by Klaus Badelt, from Pirates of the Caribbean
Judi and Graziano: Charleston to When You’re Good to Mama by Queen Latifah and Taye Diggs, from Chicago
Katie and Gorka: American Smooth to Cruella De Vil by Mel Leven (Dr John version), from Cruella
Rhys and Nancy: Couple’s Choice (Street) to Spiderman Main Theme by P. Webster and J. Harris, from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Robert and Dianne: Quickstep to The Muppet Show Theme by The Muppets, from The Muppets Movie
Rose and Giovanni: Foxtrot to Rose’s Theme by James Horner, from Titanic
Sara and Aljaž: Samba to Best Years of Our Lives by Modern Romance, from Shrek
Tilly and Nikita: Jive to Nicest Kids in Town by James Marsden, from Hairspray
Tom and Amy: Jive to Johnny B Goode by Chuck Berry, from Back To The Future
Ugo and Oti: Couple’s Choice (Commercial) to You’re Welcome by Dwayne Johnson, from Moana

Some traders would have had hopes for Rhys’s CCC having a positive impact on his Outright price last week, only for him to open the show, score a middling 30, and his price to immediately beat a retreat.

If Rhys is ever going to have a week to shine it has to be tomorrow night. Him and Nancy have been enjoying some outside choreography help and putting in 12-hour training days for their Couple’s Choice routine which looks firmly teed up to play to Rhys’s ‘Street’ strengths. It could be booked for the pimp slot and perhaps even a 10 paddle or two.

It was a full-on deramping for the BBC’s star signing from the Summer Olympics and Adam now has the infamous dance of death, rumba, set to an Avatar theme, which could result in a further devaluing of the Adam and Katya stock

AJ has an AS on the back of last week’s foxtrot which should stand her in good stead to deliver something top notch to ‘I Have Nothing’, while John and Johannes paso doble-ing as pirates will be demo-delighting. But among the 3 market leaders, potentially having a bigger impact on the Outright will be Rose’s first ballroom outing in the form of foxtrot to an instrumental piece from ’Titanic’ conveniently called ‘Rose’s Theme’.

The fascination pre-show is how Rose will be able to negotiate it without getting any lip-reading cues from Giovanni. Staying in time is going to have a lot to do with muscle memory and if she can pull it off it has the potential to be a dreamy delight.

Tom and Amy return from their Covid bye week with a jive set to Johnny B Goode. The Marty McFly, Chuck Berry moment at the Enchantment Under The Sea dance in Back To The Future is something Tom cites as inspiring his desire to form a rock band called McFly. It looks a routine most likely booked for a late slot and warmly received by the judges.

Tilly also has jive and while likely to take the earlier r.o. slot compared to Tom, the Hairspray theme may enjoy a big production. It should be good enough to allow Tilly safe passage to week 4 following her Charleston triumph from the pimp slot last week.

Judi also had a great week 3 with her twerking samba and gets the chance to follow it up with a Charleston which will no doubt be delivered with similar sass. Her and Graziano could yet establish themselves as the feel-good, entertaining pairing of the season.

Robert and Diane, styled as Kermit and Miss Piggy, performing a QS… their costumes and styling alone could be a visual barrier and we have just seen Adam put in a respectable QS only to score 19, and Nina eliminated on the back of an 18-scoring tango performed from slot 2. So Robert, who is due an earlier r.o. position, could find himself in jeopardy.

Dan has been shown favour once again, avoiding fast Latin for a third successive week, and a foxtrot to ‘Once Upon A Dream’ looks an open goal for the judges to talk Dan up and score him into a position of safety.

The market reckons it’ll be one of Sara, Katie, Ugo or Greg departing the show this weekend but all 4 have a valid survival case to put forward. Sara samba-ing sounds a recipe for disaster but she has just joint top-scored with foxtrot, so should have built up some voter goodwill, and we have just lost an older woman in Nina.

Katie looked in the crosshairs last week only to survive the dance-off and it’s often in the script for the show to help spare a dance-off survivor from the horror of a second successive bottom 2 appearance, especially early in the series when there are more numbers to play with. Playing Cruella should play to Katie’s acting strengths and recalling her week 1 tango, she should be capable of a decent AS.

The market reckons it’ll be one of Sara, Katie, Ugo or Greg departing the show this weekend but all 4 have a valid survival case to put forward

Greg’s profession is also as an actor and he gets to play the iconic James Bond role set to the iconic James Bond theme music, bringing the drama of a paso. This is actually at Greg’s behest and with Bond fever sweeping the nation right now, this doesn’t look the sort of thing engineered for a takedown, but if it turns up early and is averagely scored…

Which leaves Ugo, potentially bare-chested and in a grass skirt, and wearing a wig apparently which sounds disconcerting visually but performing a Couple’s Choice (Commercial) routine which should see Oti bring out her choreo box of tricks and conjure up an entertaining freestyle number, allowing Ugo to continue on the improvement arc.

It is quite the elimination conundrum pre-show. Given we lost a woman last week, a man departing looks the likelier outcome tomorrow night, but isn’t a given. If we are to have another surprise, both Robert and Adam could come under threat granted badly received and poorly scored routines. A safer bet is to seek out a Highest Scorer market, with Rhys looking poised to rocket to the top of the leaderboard.

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

Strictly 2021 Exit Poll – Week 3

Week 1 + 2 judges’ leaderboard:
AJ and Kai: Jive – 8, 8, 9, 9 = 34 (14) – Foxtrot – 7, 9, 7, 8 = 31 (7) = 65
John and Johannes: Tango – 7, 7, 8, 8 = 30 (12) – CCC – 8, 8, 8, 7 = 31 (6) = 61
Rhys and Nancy: Viennese Waltz – 6, 7, 7, 7 = 27 (4) – CCC – 7, 8, 8, 7 = 30 (1) = 57
Tilly and Nikita: Waltz – 5, 5, 6, 5 = 21 (2) – Charleston – 8, 9, 9, 8 = 34 (15) = 55
Sara and Aljaž: Cha Cha Cha – 3, 5, 5, 4 = 17 (5) – Foxtrot – 8, 8, 9, 9 = 34 (11) = 51
Dan and Nadiya: Quickstep – 5, 5, 7, 7 = 24 (6) – Paso – 7, 6, 6, 7 = 26 (12) = 50
Adam and Katya: Cha Cha Cha – 7, 7, 8, 8 = 30 (15) – QS – 4, 5, 5, 5 = 19 (3) = 49
Judi and Graziano: American Smooth – 6, 6, 6, 6 = 24 (13) – Samba – 6, 7, 6, 6 = 25 (8) = 49
Rose and Giovanni: Jive – 6, 6, 4, 6 = 22 (7) – Salsa – 6, 7, 6, 7 = 26 (10) = 48
Greg and Karen: American Smooth – 6, 6, 5, 7 = 24 (10) – CC (Disco) – 3, 6, 7, 7 = 23 (5) = 47
Robert and Dianne: Cha Cha Cha – 6, 4, 4, 6 = 20 (9) – Tango – 7, 7, 6, 7 = 27 (9) = 47
Katie and Gorka: Tango – 6, 5, 5, 6 = 22 (8) – Jive – 4, 6, 5, 6 = 21 (4) = 43 – bottom 2
Ugo and Oti: Samba – 3, 5, 5, 5 = 18 (3) – QS – 5, 7, 7, 6 = 25 (13) = 43
Nina and Neil: Samba – 5, 5, 7, 7 = 24 (11) – Tango – 3, 5, 5, 5 = 18 (2) = 42 – eliminated
Tom and Amy: Cha Cha Cha – 4, 7, 5, 5 = 21 (1) – BYE


  1. James

    Hi Rob

    I agree it’s a tricky week to work out who is likely to be eliminated. I would have Sara as the favourite, as it’s hard to see her scoring well with the Samba, and I’m not certain that the goodwill earned from last week’s performance will carry over into this week’s public vote.

    Aljaz’s last four Samba’s have seen him in the bottom two of the judges leaderboard.

    S15, wk10: Gemma 25/40, 2nd last on leaderboard, safe
    S16, wk4: Kate 20/40, 2nd last on leaderboard, safe
    S17, wk7: Emma 26/40, 2nd last on leaderboard, eliminated
    S18, wk5: Clara 18/30, last on the leaderboard, safe

    It’s also possible that earlier this year, Greg told producers that he would sign up to the show if he could (a) pay a disco tribute to his sister, (b) dance to Sinatra and (c) perform as James Bond. So maybe having done all of these, ‘three weeks and out’ for Greg is the plan?

    With Kai & Nikita having already topped the leaderboard, a couples choice does seem a good way to let Nancy (as the third new pro) have her showcase moment.

    A promising start from Rose, and now she has her first ballroom routine. Given Giovanni’s record with the Foxtrot, there must be a good chance that Rose receives her first score in the 30’s.

    S13, wk11: Georgia 36/40
    S15, wk12: Debbie 36/40
    S16, wk5: Faye 33/40
    S17, wk6: Michelle 39/40, topped the leaderboard
    S18, wk3: Ranvir 27/30, topped the leaderboard

    • Rob

      Thanks for posting your analysis, James. Can definitely see that being the case with Greg, & maybe echoes of Michelle Visage but on a much more short-term basis.

      I thought Rose was looking good tonight in rehearsal footage, so she could challenge for top score. I think Sara is being shown a degree of BBC in-house favour, similar to Ugo, & expect both to potentially be over-scored and dodging a bullet again tomorrow night. Aljaz’s Shrek outfit looked horrendous though, it has to be said.

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