Visage Mirage?

Oct 4, 2019 by

Visage Mirage?

Last Saturday night’s Strictly result was an odd one in the sense 3 judges scored James higher than David during the main show, only for them to reverse this in the dance-off, claiming David improved.

James’s VT referencing his brain injury and the more positive response to his jive also hinted the show was trying to help James avoid the dance-off altogether with those judges scores the contingency plan if he did fall into the dance-off. It was a salutary lesson that trying to read producer intentions is never a foolproof exercise.

It looks very much in the script for them to ramp Michelle to the max during these early weeks with her even turning up in Alex’s VT last Saturday, acting as her mentor. This was reminiscent of how the X Factor would push contestants by having them appear in rival contestants’ VTs – Rak-Su were everywhere when they won the series in 2017.

In a Strictly vote, it is hard to imagine Michelle proving more popular than Alex Scott or Emma Barton at the business end of this series, but that hasn’t stopped eager punters matching her below 10 on Betfair.

It looks very much in the script for them to ramp Michelle to the max during these early weeks

It would come as no surprise for the Michelle positivity to continue tomorrow night, with her doing her best Liza Minelli impression selling a Cabaret-inspired routine for her quickstep.

One of the other main take homes from last Saturday night’s show was how firmly the show applied the breaks to Kelvin. This had been anticipated but looking ahead to the remainder of the series the worry for his backers has to be, the nit-picking of his ballroom technique could be the start of a season long narrative.

We shouldn’t lose sight of the fact he was drafted in as a substitute for this series and Strictly has plenty of previous form for nobbling the most popular and talented male dancer.

It could end up like the 2013 series when the middle England-friendly Ashley Taylor-Dawson found himself being criticised for the most absurdly minute details because the show simply didn’t want a male winner that year, when it conspired an all-female final. Matt Baker endured similar in 2010 when the show was able to gradually erode his vote while getting fully behind Kara Tointon.

Kelvin no doubt smashed the week 1 vote so TPTB may have panicked a bit and thought we need to curb this immediately. Mary Poppins as his movie week theme did not look particularly favourable when first revealed but his Charleston training has looked excellent this week.

Karim may well enjoy the better series-long treatment among the 2 male front-runners with samba looking set to suit him well tomorrow night. You sense he is going to impress every week and unlike Kelvin he is more likely be endorsed by the judges rather than be nit-picked. While there is no doubting his excellence as a dancer, is there a lack of spark between him and Amy? And being so good so early in the series is the other concern.

How the Outright market evolves from this point revolves heavily around whether or not Alex and Emma B can raise their game as the series progresses. In the short-term, neither look set to particularly impress with Emma B tasked with the difficult salsa which could be high on entertainment but low on technique, with Anton dressed as Austin Powers, and Alex having to negotiate the tricky hurdle of the rumba.

In their favour, after tomorrow night both of them would have negotiated 2 of their least favourable looking dances. And it is always good to get the less suitable dances out of the way early in the series.

How the Outright market evolves from this point revolves heavily around whether or not Alex and Emma B can raise their game as the series progresses

Dev could be set for a decent night as he and Dianne get the chance for the first Couples’ Choice routine of the series, a street/commercial dance which has looked promising in training, and should go down well as long as they can maintain timing.

Saffron looks like being well-suited to paso doble and has also impressed in training. Catherine might also enjoy more praise and improved scores for her rumba, while Emma W is certainly looking more secure in ballroom, dancing foxtrot.

The 2nd elimination revolves entirely around the show’s treatment of David. Having been in the dance-off last week, we often see a concerted push the week after to help the contestant escape the bottom 2. And a VW-based AS has looked promising for David in training.

Mike looks like struggling with the technique of CCC and could well be last on the judges’ leaderboard. If this comes to pass, it will be a test of his popularity. Anneka has the chance to sell a fun Charleston which should aid her bottom 2 escape chances.

Chris could find himself at risk of the dance-off if his foxtrot-based AS underwhelms, and training footage has looked unconvincing, while Emma W will remain vulnerable of dropping down if she ends up mid-table or below.

The dark horse in this year’s field looks to be Will. He is coming across tremendously well in interview, has a very infectious, ‘giving it my all’, attitude, and has struck up a great partnership with Janette. His dancing ability has a clear ceiling but for as long as the judges endorse him, he will enjoy strong public support.

Mike looks like struggling with the technique of CCC and could well be last on the judges’ leaderboard

A paso for him tomorrow night offers the window for another impactful routine. The worry for him is, the judges tend to go into killjoy, sober scoring mode around the last 7 stage of the competition and in the first 3 weeks of the series he will have used up 3 good dances for him.

Movie Week song and dance combinations:

Anneka and Kevin: Charleston to Woo Hoo by The’s from Kill Bill
Alex and Neil: Rumba to How Far I’ll Go by Auli’I Cravalho from the film Moana
Catherine and Johannes: Rumba to Shallow by Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga from a A Star Is Born
Emma and Anton: Salsa to Soul Bossa Nova by Quincy Jones from Austin Powers
Emma and Aljaž: Foxtrot to Downton Abbey by John Lunn from Downton Abbey
Michelle and Giovanni: Quickstep to Cabaret by Liza Minelli from the film Cabaret
Saffron and AJ: Paso Doble to Everybody Wants To Rule The World by Lorde from The Hunger Games
Chris and Karen: American Smooth (Foxtrot) to Cheek To Cheek by Frank Sinatra from Top Hat
David and Nadiya: American Smooth (Viennese Waltz) to Kiss From A Rose Seal from Batman Forever
Dev and Dianne: Dev and Dianne dance a Couples’ Choice routine to Friend Like Me by Will Smith from Aladdin
Karim and Amy: Karim and Amy Samba to Kung Fu Fighting by Carl Douglas from Kung Fu Panda
Kelvin and Oti: Charleston to Trip A Little Light Fantastic by Lin Manuel Miranda from Mary Poppins Returns
Mike and Katya: Cha Cha Cha to It’s Raining Men by The Weather Girls from Magic Mike 
Will and Janette: Paso Doble to Gotta Catch ‘Em All Original Theme (Jason Paige) from Pokemon

Week one and two combined scores:

1. Karim & Amy – 31 (CCC) + 32 (foxtrot) = 63
2. Michelle & Giovanni – 30 (CCC) + 32 (VW) = 62
3. Kelvin & Oti – 32 (samba) + 28 (waltz) = 60
4. Dev & Dianne – 30 (foxtrot) + 27 (jive) = 57
5= Will & Janette – 26 (QS) + 24 (salsa) = 50
5= Saffron & AJ – 27 (tango) + 23 (CCC) = 50
6. Emma and Anton  6. Emma B & Anton 23 (jive) + 24 (foxtrot) = 47
7. Alex & Neil – 21 (QS) + 22 (CCC) = 43
8. Emma W & Aljaz – 19 (CCC) + 22 (tango) = 41
9= Chris & Karen – 13 (CCC) + 26 (Charleston) = 39
9= Catherine & Johannes – 20 (VW) + 19 (samba) = 39
10. Mike & Katya – 22 (jive) + 14 (AS) = 36
11. Anneka & Kevin – 14 (CCC) + 19 (waltz) = 33
12. David & Nadiya – 17 (foxtrot) + 10 (paso) = 27 – bottom 2
13. James & Luba – 11 (tango) + 13 (jive) = 24 – eliminated


  1. Stoney

    Hi Rob im guessing you’d prefer it if Kelvin didnt win. If you want to apply the breaks surely a 7 7 7 7 followed by a Charleston the following week is not the ideal solution?

    • Rob

      Hi Stoney. Not at all. I backed Kelvin pre-lives, both Outright ew & for Top Male. He’s a big green for me. I’m just putting forward the concerns his backers should consider.

  2. Stoney

    Good stuff Rob it would be dangerous to have him red. I think the comparisons with Ashley are wide of the mark though. Because aside from being a good looking Male that’s where it ends. He was a competent enough dancer for sure. But he didn’t even win top male that year. And they had to get him out to stop the threat of a man winning.
    Kelvin in my option is a different beast to Ashley and much more well known. Will be interesting to see how they play it this weekend though.

  3. Stoney

    Kelvin overmarked last night in my opinion. Would have preferred 8s across the board. On the plus side we can definately end the doubt over whether they would want him winning.

    • Rob

      Hi Stoney. I’m not so sure about that. Everyone is saying the same thing (even friends of mine who are not trading the event) – 10s were not merited so why did they award him 10s?

      I would be delighted if Kelvin won the series but I think you can put forward an argument 10s this early are a negative & offer room, at the business end to say, he underwhelmed them. Just a possibility but always need to be aware of potential dark arts on these shows.

      • Stoney

        Yes this is a fair point actually. But im not seeing a strong journey contestant at the moment that can stop him winning. Also I am aware that they havent mentioned him as a non dancer at any point which is also of concern.

        • Tom

          I think Dev has the most journey potential in this line up. His VT showing his background was strong and he has been marked well so far while being under the radar of higher scores. He has room for improvement whereas Kelvin and Karim have set very high bars for themselves in the first couple of weeks.

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