Strictly Value Lies Among Male Celebs

Sep 8, 2011 by

Regular followers of EntertainmentOdds will know Strictly is something of a favourite of ours – an initial win on Darren Gough starting a love affair with tv betting. Flagging up Chris Hollins at 28-1 also remains one of our finest recommendations.
We firmly believe it is worth taking a position pre-show from a value perspective so here goes our initial analysis of SCD 2011:
Harry Judd from McFly will likely prove himself highly accomplished, as anyone who saw him dance with Ola in last year’s Children In Need will likely agree. But a current best price of 3-1, rumours of being paired with Aliona, and given McFly’s teenage-skewed fanbase, there is enough doubt there to initially oppose him.
Among the male celebs, we much prefer the prospects of Dan Lobb, Jason Donovan and Robbie Savage. Lobb is a former gymnast, good looking in that perfect middle England audience way, and is likely paired with Katya, who we rate among the top 3 or 4 female pros. A possible negative is his height – six foot six is not conducive to tricky Latins like the Samba and Salsa but we still think he is a value e/w bet at 10-1 with Ladbrokes (12-1 to win with Totesport), and at 5-1 to be Top Male with Victor Chandler.
Jason is partnered with Kristina according to the rumour mill and he should tick a lot of boxes in this competition. You sense he has the potential to gain broad appeal in the same way Dan does. Kristina is another excellent female pro and Jason’s West End experience and likability – he’s been in the UK that long now, he is like an adopted son – are also possible pluses.
We suggest taking the 7-1 e/w with Ladbrokes and Coral (8-1 to win with Totesport and Betfred) and 11-4 to be Top Male, also with Ladbrokes.
Robbie Savage is a bit more of a high risk proposition. On Twitter, he is insisting he has two-left feet and should be 100-1, but as a sportsman and teamed with the excellent teacher Ola, we think he could turn out to be a lot better than he suggests. It is a risk worth taking at 14-1 e/w with Ladbrokes, Coral, BlueSq and 888sport (20-1 to win with Boylesports), and a best-priced 14-1 to be Top Male with Victor Chandler.
Among this year’s women, the value is looking very thin on the ground. We expect Holly Valance to be decent and she is paired with last year’s winner Artem, who is a brilliant choreographer and teacher. There is always a slight concern with pretty females like Holly that it can be tough to win over female voters. And being Australian is another possible negative – xenophobia does exist and can play out on these shows.
We have more doubts regarding Alex Jones. The One Show is a nice vehicle for her, as it was for Christine Bleakley, but Christine didn’t win and during her stint on The One Show we reckon she had a much stronger connection with the audience than Alex does.
We were quite keen on Lulu’s prospects but she is paired with Brendan, who has a tendency to mouth off a little too much, and has built a rather Marmite image for himself on the show. Lulu will be a good dancer but she has the sort of personality that leaves a question mark over her.
We are old enough to remember her telling Sheena Easton in The Big Time she would not make it in showbusiness. We wonder if a roasting from the judges could see her sharp tongue exposed and Brendan is hardly the ideal partner to conceal this sort of feisty mannerism.
Chelsee is an unknown, dancing with an unknown, which makes it tough for her from the outset, though you might expect her to be a good mover and Artem was unknown last year. Nancy will likely be decent too and is paired with the popular Anton, but her media profile makes her a definite lay. Edwina Currie and Audley Harrison don’t look vote winners either.
Anita Dobson screams mid-series exit as does Rory Bremner, though he is paired with the best teacher in the competition in Erin so if he has any dancing talent she will drag it out of him.
Of the outsiders the one that makes some appeal is Russell Grant. He is clearly being teed up as this year’s comedy contestant but early footage suggests he is a pretty decent mover who is going to throw himself into the competition. We reckon he will prove an audience favourite and will go far in the style of John Sergeant and Anne Widdecombe, especially partnered with Flavia who is a popular pro among Strictly stalwarts.
At 50-1 e/w on the Outright with BlueSq, 888Sport and Ladbrokes, (66-1 to win with Boylesports and SportingBet), and 33-1 to be Top Male with Ladbrokes and Victor Chandler, he could prove an excellent back to lay proposition – we wouldn’t be surprised to see his odds go much lower over the course of the series.
Who is your money on in this series? Feel free to comment below and join in the debate.
Rob Furber

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