They Think It’s All Over…

Nov 18, 2022 by

They Think It’s All Over…

Hamza has hit a new low on the Betfair Exchange matched at 1.32. The market is convinced he has the series in the bag already but could there still be a chink in his armour?

His 38-scoring ‘Afro Beats’ Couple’s Choice, performed from last Saturday’s pimp slot, felt more deserving of that score compared to his CCC the previous week. And the script was yet another thorough endorsement not just of Hamza the dancer but also Hamza the person.

The show heads to Blackpool tomorrow evening and Hamza has been handed a foxtrot-based American Smooth, which is going to be a classic Fred and Ginger number.

He already performed foxtrot in week 1, we know he is graceful and light on his feet, he will be styled in a tail suit… this sounds like it couldn’t be much more ideal at the spiritual home of ballroom.

The script was yet another thorough endorsement not just of Hamza the dancer but also Hamza the person

Helen remains a stubborn-to-budge second favourite trading at 5.7. Her salsa last week was underwhelming on the night and her price drifted afterwards. But on news she has quickstep she has come in for support again.

The vast sprung floor of the Blackpool ballroom is tailor-made for a showcase quickstep, and Helen looks an Even money shot to close tomorrow night’s show, given it’s only her and Will who haven’t yet been granted the pimp slot in this series.

We usually see score inflation on the feel-good Blackpool Week, and given this is the first time the show is going to Blackpool since 2019 there will probably be an even bigger onus on high scoring routines. If there was a market for who on the night is most likely to earn the first 40 of the series, it would have to be Helen.

While Hamza has been peaking, there are still five shows between Blackpool and the Glitterball trophy, and Helen’s journey feels like it has more of a race still to run.

Tomorrow night has also been teed up to matter most to her as it’s her local crowd. So the Helen threat to Hamza doesn’t look like it’s going to go away, and there also still remains the question of who is going to be signed up to next year’s Strictly Tour.

Among the uptempo routines tomorrow night it’s a mini battle between Fleur, Molly, Tyler and Will. A Couple’s Choice to a Destiny’s Child megamix looks like firmly playing to Fleur’s strengths, and she arrives on the back of her brilliant samba.

Molly is a good technician and her jive to ‘Bandstand Boogie’ could well be the show opener and if so, it is likely to be swiftly followed by a strong endorsement from the judges and a high score.

The vast sprung floor of the Blackpool ballroom is tailor-made for a showcase quickstep, and Helen looks an Even money shot to close tomorrow night’s show

Tyler landed in the bottom 2 last week after his misfiring paso was scored 31 on the night, the same score as Ellie and Kym. So we know Ellie and Kym outpolled Tyler on the public vote but it’s an extremely fluid vote among a number of this year’s contestants and prone to shift week on week based on treatment.

Week 8 – judges’ leaderboard:

Fleur & Vito: Samba – (7) – 9, 10, 10, 10 = 39
Will & Nancy: Waltz – (8) – 9, 10, 10, 9 = 38
Hamza & Jowita: Couple’s Choice (Afro Beats) – (9) – 8, 10, 10, 10 = 38
Molly & Carlos: Rumba – (6) – 9, 9, 10, 9 = 37
Helen & Gorka: Salsa – (4) – 8, 8, 8, 8 = 32
Kym & Graziano: American Smooth – (3) – 8, 7, 8, 8 = 31
Ellie & Johannes: Charleston – (1) – 7, 8, 8, 8 = 31
Tyler & Dianne: Paso Doble – (2) – 6, 8, 8, 9 = 31 – bottom 2
Tony & Katya: Jive – (5) – 4, 6, 7, 7 = 24 – eliminated following withdrawal due to injury

A salsa to KC & The Sunshine Band looks firmly in Tyler’s fast Latin wheelhouse and a potentially strong comeback for him on the night.

A Will samba, however, to ‘I Go To Rio’ could prove a stumbling block. Will has just had his peak waltz week with requisite heartstring-tugging VT and tears, and looks due a dip in form.

Faye Tozer did score 37 dancing samba to this track in the semi-final in 2018, but it looks an unlikely stand out on the night.

Will himself has already described it as camp with a full-on Rio Carnival theme, and given he only scored 26 for his week 2 salsa, even 8s and 9s could see him towards the bottom of the judges’ leaderboard.

The other two who could be lurking in the bottom 3 scoring-wise are Ellie and Kym. Ellie has the less impactful song for American Smooth and up against the powerhouse of Hamza looks likely to be overshadowed. Johannes should be able to drag her round and make it look competent but Ellie may still find herself last on the leaderboard.

Those two Rihanna tracks for Kym and Graziano’s paso aren’t totally unsuitable for paso, but they don’t seem the most natural fit either. With paso, like AT, you ideally want to see traditional music that helps set the tone and build the drama.

Ellie has the less impactful song for American Smooth and up against the powerhouse of Hamza looks likely to be overshadowed

Kym’s public vote has felt like it has been on the rise in the last couple of weeks, she is able to sell a dance given her acting skills, and between her, Will and Ellie, you would probably make Kym favourite to be scored the highest tomorrow night. But we also know Ellie has this strong and robust core vote which is going to stand her in good stead of potentially avoiding the dance-off again.

A possible Will elimination would mean only two men left in the competition and five women. But we’ve had a 4-female final in the past and a potential gender imbalance at the last 7 stage probably doesn’t play on the minds of TPTB as much as we are prone to thinking it does.

Please do let us know who got your vote(s) when the Blackpool Week (week 9) exit poll opens at the end of tomorrow night’s show.

Strictly 2022 Exit Poll – Week 9

Last week’s exit poll again proved illuminating and hinted that Tyler would be in the bottom two and Tony’s vote had fallen off a cliff.

Blackpool Week (Week 9) dances & songs:

Ellie T & Johannes: American Smooth to You’re My World by Cilla Black
Fleur & Vito: Couple’s Choice to Destiny’s Child Megamix by Destiny’s Child
Helen & Gorka: Quickstep to Valerie by Mark Ronson ft Amy Winehouse
Kym & Graziano: Paso Doble to Only Girl (In The World) by Rihanna / We Found Love by Calvin Harris ft Rihanna
Molly & Carlos: Jive to Bandstand Boogie by Barry Manilow
Hamza & Jowita: American Smooth to (Theme From) New York, New York by Frank Sinatra
Tyler & Dianne: Salsa to KC & The Sunshine Band Megamix by KC & The Sunshine Band
Will & Nancy: Samba to I Go To Rio by Hugh Jackman

1 Comment

  1. Stoney

    Not quite looking the one horse race it was a few weeks ago. With Helen gaining serious momentum with some really encouraging comments from the judges over the last few weeks, including a spot in the final being mentioned and last night her growth being mentioned. I think Hamza is ahead at the moment but the constant over marking and the fact his scores will probably be around the same level by the time of the final means this is far from over. I think the journey contestants such as Helen and Ellie who must have very strong core support are more likely to pick up the floating votes from the ones going out in the run up to the final. Also seeing lots of comments that people thought Helen deserved the 40 last night which again is a positive as they look to be saving that to complete the journey narrative.

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