Ugo Loss?

Oct 22, 2021 by

Ugo Loss?

One of the most intriguing elements of last week’s Strictly was, how they gave Judi the emotive VT, she danced a decent waltz, and the script seemed to be there for the judges to give her maybe a 31 for it. Instead, they gave her a miserly 24 and all the goodwill they had built up for her was immediately killed stone dead.

The only logical conclusion is, they were afraid that by scoring Judi up and granting her safety away from the dance-off they would risk condemning one of the series leading lights to a shock bottom two appearance, most likely, Rhys.

Judi now has a Covid bye which looks bad news for the returning Ugo’s survival chances. Ugo has required injections in his spine and his back issue sounds like it could flare up again if put through serious training room rigour, which is probably why he has been given a slow, undemanding rumba.

After Robert Webb’s withdrawal, TPTB must be concerned about losing Ugo to injury too. The spectre of either having to create a bye week or a 2-couple final will be unappealing which leads you to suspect they may choose a swift and punitive Ugo execution tomorrow night, cancelling out the possibility of him pulling out of his own accord.

Last night’s training room footage of Ugo trying to get to grips with the sensuous rumba movements didn’t look especially promising. And on an evening when the seemingly favoured Sara also has rumba, Ugo looks like losing that particular head-to-head and could find himself being given an early r.o. slot.

Week 5 dances and songs:

AJ and Kai: Argentine Tango to Edge of Seventeen by Stevie Nicks
Rose and Giovanni: Viennese Waltz to Fallin’ by Alicia Keys
Sara and Aljaž: Rumba to You’re Still The One by Shania Twain
Tilly and Nikita: Foxtrot to Little Things by One Direction
Adam and Katya: Samba to Faith by George Michael
Dan and Nadiya: Viennese Waltz to She’s Always a Woman by Billy Joel
John and Johannes: Charleston to Milord by Édith Plaf
Rhys and Nancy: American Smooth to I’ve Got The World On a String by Michael Bublé
Tom and Amy: Salsa to Watermelon Sugar by Harry Styles
Ugo and Oti: Rumba to Leave The Door Open by Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak and Silk Sonic

AJ’s first pimp slot of the series looked teed up for her first 10s last Saturday, but it was clear to see within a matter of moments of her samba routine commencing that it wasn’t going to go well for AJ which begs the question, why did they keep her in the pimp? It could be seen as a method of journey building. They have been keen to stress she is an absolute beginner with no dance background despite her impressive start to the series.

Training room footage of Ugo trying to get to grips with the sensuous rumba movements didn’t look especially promising

Pre-show, Rose had looked the one potentially teed up for a tough night dancing CCC but opening the show, this notoriously tricky dance was negotiated by her with the minimum of fuss and Anton, in particular, was perfectly on-script highlighting Rose’s improved footwork.

The market has shifted significantly on the back of last weekend’s events with Rose emerging as an even stronger favourite, significant sums matched on her as low as 2.0 on Betfair. John had a less impressive night dancing AS and with AJ’s samba misfiring, the move on Rose is understandable.

Tomorrow night looks good for all three of the market leaders. A VW for Rose set to Fallin’ should see her return to similar scores to her week 3 foxtrot. John’s Charleston to an Edith Piaf classic could easily result in 10s for him again, while the sharp staccato lines of AT should suit AJ’s long legs to a tee.

Dan is dancing a VW to his wife’s favourite song, and his wife is due to be present in the studio. VW is one of Nadiya’s specialties as she holds the fleckerl world record and she should have instilled good technique in Dan.

Sara has now top scored in two of the first four weeks which is some feat among this year’s field, and a current Back price of 42 on Betfair doesn’t tally with this achievement. The market refuses to be seduced partly because no matter how much the judges want to tell the audience how good she is in ballroom hold, the fast Latin dances look like continuing to expose her.

Sara has now top scored in two of the first four weeks which is some feat among this year’s field, and a current Back price of 42 on Betfair doesn’t tally with this achievement

Greg’s samba from the 4 slot looked a classic stitch up last Saturday, and so it came to pass. Everything from set design to costumes provides major pointers on Strictly these days. Sara has had incredible make-overs, dresses, dry ice, dramatic lighting and perfect song choices for her 2 ballroom routines, while poor Greg was outfitted like Quentin Crisp on a drunken night out in Soho in the Seventies, invited to dance on an empty, exposing stage with incongruous visuals and an unappealing colour palette.

In a parallel universe 9s and maybe even a 10 could have been brandished for Adam’s AT last Saturday. The fact he got 8s across the board speaks volumes for his treatment on this year’s show. They appear scared to endorse him, preferring to firmly apply the handbrake for fear of his popularity if they allowed his journey to build. In fact, swap Adam’s treatment with Sara’s in this series and Adam would probably be trading as a strong second favourite.

Adam gets to return to fast Latin for the first time since his excellent week 1 CCC. He has the hip action for samba for sure, but it’ll be interesting to monitor how pernickety the judges get.

Swap Adam’s treatment with Sara’s in this series and Adam would probably be trading as a strong second favourite

Part of the issue with Rhys so far in this series is, all his fast routines have ended up looking the same. He’s a good dancer but it always comes across as a bit too frenzied. This does look a potential script in play tomorrow evening and his AS, set to that classic Michael Bublé track, could be billed as a more restrained, sophisticated triumph.

Tilly, like Rhys, may well be struggling on the pv and the 32 awarded for her paso looked like blatant leaderboard protection for her last week. She will require similar treatment with her foxtrot tomorrow night to avoid the bottom 2 and there are hints she will tug on the heart-strings in her VT due to being the subject of body shaming this week.

Tom always seems to be an after-thought. Last week’s foxtrot was competent enough but somewhat forgettable on the night. His music seems a bit pedestrian for a salsa and he may end up lurking in the lower half of the judges’ leaderboard.

Unless Rhys is granted high scores, and potentially a first pimp slot of the series, he could be at risk of falling into the bottom 2 tomorrow night, as could Tilly, as could Tom, as could Sara, as could Dan… but regardless of who it is, they should be safely through to week 6 if up against Ugo.

Please do register your votes on the week 5 exit poll which will go live during tomorrow night’s show:

Strictly 2021 Exit Poll – Week 5

Week 4 judges’ leaderboard:

Sara & Aljaž: Tango – (7) – 9, 9, 9, 9 = 36
Adam & Katya: Argentine Tango – (10) – 8, 8, 8, 8 = 32
Tilly & Nikita: Paso Doble – (3) – 6, 8, 9, 9 = 32
Rhys & Nancy: Salsa – (6) – 8, 8, 7, 8 = 31
John & Johannes: American Smooth – (5) – 6, 7, 8, 8 = 29
Tom & Amy: Foxtrot – (2) – 7, 8, 7, 7 = 29
AJ & Kai: Samba – (11) – 5, 7, 8, 8 = 28
Rose & Giovanni: Cha Cha Cha – (1) – 7, 6, 6, 8 = 27
Dan & Nadiya: Cha Cha Cha – (8) – 5, 7, 7, 7 = 26
Judi & Graziano: Waltz – (9) – 4, 6, 7, 7 = 24 – bottom 2
Greg & Karen: Samba – (4) – 3, 5, 5, 6 = 19 – eliminated

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