Reality Bites

Jan 8, 2014 by

Reality Bites

Before Eurovision 2014 season properly kicks in, a post looking at the other reality shows offering tv betting opportunities in the early part of this year.

Dancing On Ice All-Stars commenced last Sunday and it looks like series 4 winner Ray Quinn will be extremely difficult to beat. He is the most talented skater in the line-up and Sunday’s harsh judges’ critique looks teed up for him to improve and receive higher marks in future shows. Barring injury, he looks a guaranteed finalist.

Series 5 winner Hayley Tamaddon, re-united with Dan Whiston – who chose Hayley over last year’s winner Beth Tweddle – was somewhat underwhelming in that first show, but again there looks room for improvement and if they get the chance to reprise their best routine of Jai Ho at the business end of the competition Hayley could yet throw down a strong challenge.

But looking at the current prices, the advice here in terms of a value e/w selection, is series 3 winner Suzanne Shaw, reunited with her winning partner Matt Evers. Suzanne is available at 10-1 e/w first 3, a fifth the odds, with Stan James and Paddy Power. And given it looks a toss of a coin between Suzanne and Hayley for Top Female there has to be value in Stan James quote of 3-1 Suzanne.

Suzanne’s skating ability is certainly on a par with Hayley’s, if not superior, and if Matt can choreograph the same sort of routines that saw them charm viewers back in 2008, there is no reason they cannot make it to the final. She landed a flawless five sixes in two of her final routines in series 3 and it would appear Suzanne has kept up her skating since then. She has that all-important likability factor and her and Matt certainly have the chemistry.

Dancing on Ice Susan Shaw Final Night Performances by jo2306

Series 2 winner Kyran Brachen, while a highly competent skater, came across as overly-competitive in his VT last Sunday and while the market rates him 3rd favourite, the view here is those odds are wrong and he is likely to struggle to harness a strong enough vote once numbers thin out.

The same applies to series 6 winner Sam Attwater, who struggled to win viewers over throughout that 2011 series and dropped into the bottom 2 at the final 5 stage. Both Sam and Kyran are also hamstrung to a degree by not being paired with the pro partners they won their series with. You can put a line through the rest of the field.

From ice to water and the return of the compelling Splash! which is worth watching if only for the jeopardy involved. Last Saturday we saw Diversity’s Perri Kiely, red hot favourite to win the series, dive for the first time.

He put in an underwhelming effort off the 10-metre board though you sense he is capable of better and he may well have been instructed to hold back on his first dive so there is room for him to impress in the semi-final, and then the final.

Even so, a best price of 4-6 looks ridiculously short. The advice here is to back Austin Healey instead, at a best price 7-1 e/w first 2, a third the odds with Ladbrokes. Former rugby union player Austin has the sort of torso that will make female viewers swoon. Not only that but you just know this guy will be fearless and has it in himself to put in some spectacular dives off the top board that could well surpass anything Perri has left in his locker.

All we have to go on are a few pictures of Austin in training but one that appeared in the Daily Mail here said everything about his potential, capturing a backward dive during which he turns through the air.

Dan Osborne also has a vote-winning physique but the view here is Austin is likely to produce dives of far greater difficulty than Dan, and the disparity in winning odds between Perri and Austin is way off the mark. If you want to add in an extra shield of protection, you can take the 6-1 Austin e/w first 3, a fifth the odds with Coral.

Celebrity Big Brother can be a volatile betting heat and isn’t really conducive to giving long range selections. At this very early stage, Ollie and Sam are understandable market leaders while neither of them has done nearly enough in the house to justify winning. Staying out of harm’s way and simply being nice can, of course, take you a long way, but the show usually requires a housemate to be more heavily involved in the edit and have some sort of winning moment.

Many of the other housemates look to have significant flaws. One who doesn’t, is something of a national treasure, and looks a shoe-in for the final is Lionel Blair and while his price has already come in significantly, Lionel e/w at 6-1 first 3, a fifth the odds, still makes some appeal, and looks the safest stock to invest in as of today.

While BBC’s The Voice 2014 gets underway this Saturday, the coverage of the series here will be minimal. It’s a show the Beeb largely miss the target with by having too much of it pre-recorded. But if some stand out value is spotted along the way it will be mentioned in the Comments below.

Please feel free to comment on any of these shows below or any other tv betting business outside of Eurovision. Maybe you have a view on the upcoming awards season of the Golden Globes, Grammys, Oscars, Brit Awards or NTAs 2014.

The main focus here moving through to the final on May 10 will of course be Eurovision 2014. The aim will be to keep you updated on significant moments throughout the national heats, and analysis will kick off properly with coverage of Melodifestivalen 2014 over in Sweden. Look out for the first post to drop ahead of heat 1 which takes place on February 1.


  1. Boki

    Hi Rob, I’m in line with you on Austin since found Perri too short. It’s a pity most of the bookies don’t offer e/w.

    Suz topf looks like a decent proposal, will consider it. Any thoughts about 3rd elimination? Zaraah pv was weak back then according to the figures but I have no idea if she gained some popularity in the meantime.

    • Rob

      Hi Boki,
      Zaraah was a replacement in that 2008 series after Michael Underwood injured himself. She was then in the bottom 2 four times and each time she had the lowest public vote but the judges saved her, so she managed to make the final where she finished 3rd of 3. Not very impressive polling!!

      My concern would be, we saw Bonnie Langford talked up and then survive the skate off last Sunday. I could envisage them giving Zaraah similar treatment.

      There was some 5-2 Zaraah to be 1st elim on Sunday with Stan James, which would have been value. 11-8 not so much. I think David Seaman and Gary Lucy could also struggle on the pv.

      Todd Carty may well be in the mix too though you would have to presume he will camp it up Pasquale-style which may be enough for him to avoid the bottom 3.

      I’d be more tempted by the 15-1 Gary Lucy to be 1st elim with SJ. He was in the bottom 2 in his 1st week in 2010.

      • Anonymous

        I think the odds offered now are for bottom of pv only (3rd elim) just like last week so she could go first despite being called “queen of the skate off”.
        Todd will probably avoid that bottom spot.
        I saw on wiki that Gary was bottom in wk1 but that might be due to the top of the leaderboard (people asumed he’s safe).
        Maybe it’s wiser to wait and see…

        • Rob

          That’s right. I can see Zaraah being talked up enough to avoid being bottom of the pv, like Bonnie last week.

          Sam Attwater could even find himself in the bottom 3. It’s a very volatile situation when it’s pv only. A lot depends on whether they try to ‘sell’ Todd to viewers on the night & encourage support for him.

          • Rob

            Wasn’t surprised to see David, Gary & Sam in the bottom 3 tonight. Zaraah was bigged up, as predicted. Just a shame Gary wasn’t bottom of the pv for a big-priced winner.

          • Boki

            Went for David a little so can’t complain, it’s a pity we are getting no other option than elimination only. I hope they will offer bottom 2 from now on. Great Suzanne call btw!

          • Rob

            Well done on your David investment, Boki. Ladbrokes were offering prices on who is eliminated via skate-off. I think one other firm too – possibly Skybet.

            Ladbrokes were 5-1 Gary Lucy to be eliminated via skate off and that was available up until phone lines closed.

            On Oddschecker this could be found under the ‘More’ tag.

  2. Rob

    Interview here with Paul Ross from about 2hrs 10mins 35secs in – he suggests Anna is going to be the star of the show tomorrow night on Splash:

    If she is as could as he suggests, she looks likely to get the pimp slot. Keith Duffy will be a threat to her on the pv, so they may well give him an early slot and if he is not perfect they may try to drop him into 3rd place on the leaderboard, or use some vote-dampening. Even if Keith is 2nd on the leaderboard, if Anna excels she looks the type that should encourage support among viewers.

    Keith is certainly not a natural according to this interview:

    Anna available at 14-1 on Outright, 10-1 e/w first 2, a third the odds. And Evens to win the heat.

  3. Rob

    Duffy in trap 1 seemed teed up for Anna to have pimp slot, but bizarrely given trap 2, an underwhelming dive and Duffy top of leaderboard makes Duffy look a near cert to win the heat.

    Anna didn’t help herself in interview. Not vote-winning comments. Reversed position here. Toyah gets the pimp slot but expect it’ll be her vs Anna in Splash off with Anna progressing.

    • Boki

      Great analysis, all that I can say is: Bring me the head of Paul Ross :). I hope Austin will not disappoint like Anna did.

      • Rob

        I’m pretty confident Austin will excel, Boki. We’ve not seen any proper somersaults yet from the 10 metre board. I expect him to produce something special. Looks like Austin must be in heat 4 – saving the best til last 😉

  4. Rob

    Suzanne Shaw now 9-2 to win DOI & 5-4 to be TF, so that has worked out well.

    Lionel gone the other way in the CBB market in a very perplexing series. Still hard to call the winner in that.

  5. Rob

    Eurovision allocation draw next Monday. It would appear they are copying the same format as Malmo last year in dividing countries either into the 1st or 2nd half of each semi-final with the precise running order decided by the show producers.

  6. Tim B

    Shameless plug alert for my new CBB blog post – Operation Jim D.

    • Rob

      It’s a good argument, Tim. He’s a decent green for me as I also got on early at big odds ew figuring the show could be teed up for some sort of redemption for him. He doesn’t have much to beat at this stage but obviously a long way to go yet.

  7. Boki

    I backed Richard Whitehead at 13 and 11, he looks like someone with great potential also.

    • Rob

      Agree Boki. As a Paralympian he looks guaranteed a big pv & landing top 2. May well win the heat unless Austin produces something amazing which he may well do.

      I guess over the course of 3 rounds his pv could go down unless he can improve & produce something exceptional as a less able-bodied athlete.

  8. Rob

    ESC 2014 allocation draw. Good news for Ireland being able to rely on the UK votes and also being in the 2nd half of semi 2.

    Russia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia all in semi 1 – thought the allocation was about breaking up voting power…?

    semi 1 (16): (Spain, France, Denmark)

    1st half:


    2nd half:

    San Marino
    The Netherlands

    semi 2 (15): (Germany, Italy, UK)

    1st half:


    2nd half:

    FYR Macedonia

  9. Tim B

    Regarding Splash! this weekend, it’s almost certain that Austin and Richard will progress, but in which order? If Richard is second on the leaderboard to Austin, he could quite feasibly win the heat if he gets a sympathy vote. Alternatively, producers may want Austin to win the heat and so could manipulate the judges’ scores to put Richard third. Una Foden has swimming/diving experience and could score well enough to place second with the judges, if attempting a difficult enough dive. Pollyanna also looks to be fairly athletic, but little is currently known about her ability. A big red line through Jenny Eclair.

    For the semi finals it seems that SF1 will contain Perri, Michaela, Keith and Anna. From this line up I am sure Perri will progress, and I’d fancy one of the females to qualify alongside him, with Danielle coming later in SF2 being weaker. So not to disregard the second heat altogether, perhaps Anna will get the nod over Michaela.

    In SF2, we should expect two of the three guys to qualify over Danielle. Perhaps Austin automatically and then maybe Dan as to not disregard heat 3? Although I’m not sure if this is a relevant factor for producers. Maybe the audience won’t remember or care who was in which heat, and so maybe both Austin and Richard could qualify to the final.

    Would be interested to read your thoughts on the above, Rob and Boki.

    • Rob

      Thanks for posting, Tim. This last heat on Saturday is like the ‘Group of Death’. Looks very competitive.

      I’ve read Austin is doing it to overcome his diving fears after cutting his head open diving as a youngster. And he wanted his kids to meet Tom Daley. This sort of back story, if used on Saturday, will certainly do Austin no harm whatsoever in terms of his pv.

      Austin proved very popular and came across well when competing in Strictly in 2008. He was desperately unlucky to go out at the last 4 stage, mainly due to landing the difficult to score highly in salsa and ending up bottom of the judges’ leaderboard.

      No doubt he will go off the 10m board on Saturday and given how competitive the heat looks he may need to go for something with a fair degree of difficulty.

      Richard is the fly in the ointment in this heat. He is apparently diving without his prosthetic legs, which will very likely boost his vote even more. He could very easily top the pv and win the heat.

      I would still expect Austin to be at the top of the judges’ leaderboard (assuming he nails his dive off the 10m board). And I think Austin is more than likeable enough to finish, at worst, 2nd to Richard on the pv.

      So who wins the heat will probably come down to whether Richard is able to finish 2nd on the judges’ leaderboard. As you suggest, Tim, I wouldn’t be surprised if Una Foden is marked higher than Richard, assuming she nails her dive, to try and give Austin a bit of a safety net as the signs are Austin is going to be the main challenger to Perri in this series.

      It is very hard to see outside Austin and Richard progressing to the semi but it is a technical sport, and we have seen how dives can go wrong.

      If it is Richard in the Splash Off it will all depend on how technical his dive is compared to (most likely) Una’s. You could envisage Jo Brand saving Richard for his bravery but the other 2 guys would likely put Una through over Richard, IF she produces a technically superior dive to Richard and nails it.

      Richard could, of course, produce a very good dive himself, and the show will surely be aware he has the potential to be a massive vote magnet. It would be a feel-good story if Richard won the entire series. It will come down to whether he improves enough over the course of 3 shows and how the show decides to treat him.

      I took some 12s and 10s Richard as cover for my Austin investment which started when he was priced at 12s and I’ve been happy to back Austin as low as 6-1 as I think this is still likely to prove to be over-priced.

    • Boki

      Two things I wondered when I saw Richard in heat 4 were: is he going to use his prosthetic legs (thanks for the clarification Rob, just saw the article) and why is he announced so late in the competition.

      Did they want to surprise us with him by not letting anyone know? That sounds stupid, it seems most likely that he was simply added to the list at the later stage, btw I don’t know if they planned 4 heats from the beginning or not. But does it mean he didn’t have as much time to practice as the others? That will further mean he will do a simple jump or that he has some experience before (wiki page says he was also a swimming instructor). To many ifs here, my thinking is that one of them will fail (our) expectations in terms of dive difficulty and still not 100% sure who but that gives Una reasonable chance to be 2nd on the leaderboard.

      Your SF1 analysis looks good to me Tim, SF2 is too early to say. Last year the best diver qualified from each semi and I expect the similar this year.

  10. Rob

    Emma Marrone will sing this for Italy at ESC 2014:

  11. Rob

    Richard looks a cert to win tonight’s Splash heat. 4-9 still available & value. Looks a big contender to win the whole series but he is going to have to go for greater difficulty in semi & final.

    Austin has a dog fight just to reach splash off and qualify. If he does qualify he will remain a strong contender too with a lot of room for improvement, & going off the 10m board.

  12. Boki

    Great evening, took Richard several times between 2.5 and 1.6, I thought he might be dangerous. The question is can he even do a somersault confidently (all that center of gravity stuff)? I hope his wow factor wears off because the final is pv only so he might win it even without more complex dives.
    I used to think that the best diver wins (as you say improved Austin from 10m) but they ramped Richard pretty much tonight…

    • Rob

      Well done Boki. I, too, got some 7-4 Richard, & then 8-11. You will never see a bigger cert to win a reality tv betting event.

      It’s a tricky one to call. He probably has it in him to go for greater technical difficulty but they might ease off with their praise and scoring at the business end.

      Or, they may want him as a ‘feel good’ winner, keep giving him pimp slots and fulsome praise.

      I am glad I got him on side when he was double figures. I have him and Austin vs Perri basically & am happy with my position atm. It looks a 3-horse race.

  13. Boki

    Going back to Tim’s SF questions: since evidently 2 guys from SF2 will go to the final a female looks certain from SF1, so bye bye Keith?

    • Rob

      I missed the very end of the show. Is the composition of each sf confirmed, so presumably Michaela, Keith, Perri & Anna in sf1; Richard, Austin, Dan & Danielle in sf2?

      • Tim B

        Hi Rob, for some reason Danielle Lloyd is in semi final 1, with Anna being switched to semi final 2. Could one female now qualify from each semi, Michaela from SF1 and Anna from SF2?

        • Boki

          Anna might easily be bottom of pv, Michaela has more chance.

        • Rob

          Sorry Tim, missed your post. I think Michaela is a feasible qualifier from semi 1. She will have to show some improvement, go from the 10m board, nail her dives and might need pimp slot too.

          I find it intriguing they have essentially switched Danielle and Anna. Anna came across badly in her heat and it will be hard for her to get a higher pv than any of Austin, Richard and Dan, assuming they all nail their dives.

          Danielle had a great VT & must have done very well on the pv to get into the splash off – think she must have received 2nd highest pv after Dan, if not highest.

          So maybe prods are thinking they have 2 decent shots at getting a female into the final from semi 1.

          Keith might find it hard to improve; ditto Perri. There is room there for a ‘massive improvement; you’re what this show is all about’ narrative for either of Michaela or Danielle.

          You would have thought the prods will want at least 1 female in the final. Linda Barker made the final last year.

          Richard also might have plateaued tonight. What else can he do over 2 dives? Attempted somersault? They seemed to hint tonight that this is virtually a physical impossibility for him because of having a different centre of gravity. Likely to get a decent vote again just for trying. Will come down to whether the judges are going to ramp him again or they ease off and subtly guide him into the splash off.

    • Rob

      Thanks Boki. Surprised they have put Danielle in there. Going to be tough for either of the 2 women to qualify from sf1.

      Semi 2 the ‘semi of death’.

      • Boki

        OMG, I’m posting a link but didn’t read it correctly, so it’s Danielle instead of Anna in SF1.

  14. Guildo Horn Forever

    Hi guys,

    Laura Hamilton for The Jump is screaming ‘winner’ at me. Snapped up the 7/1 and had a piece of the (still available) 6/1, too.

    Will be very disappointed if after tonight’s second heat she is not vying for favoritism with Sir Steve Redgrave (who’s trading at the 7/4 – 2/1 price range).

    Apologies if, somewhere among this thread of comments, someone has already flagged up this value bet.

    • Rob

      I like your confidence, Guildo! She has the look of a serious competitor in this, that’s for sure.

      On balance, I would rather back her to be TF at 6-4 with Coral as I reckon Sir Steve is likely to prove pretty much unbeatable in every discipline.

      Just been trying to seek clarification on how this show is ultimately decided. Anyone know?

      • Guildo Horn Forever

        Darn! There was only 1/2 for TF available for her last time I looked.

    • Boki

      I hope that speed skating is the last discipline since Laura is losing in everything else.

      • Rob

        I think she is still a contender, Boki, & looking good for TF. But assuming the final will see them all jump and the longest jump win, it is still wide open.

        Joe McElderry has impressed the most on the jump itself so far, but Joe to beat Sir Steve…? That’s hard to imagine but if he achieves it he will become the 1st 3-series winning reality star – XF, Popstar To Operastar, & this.

        • Boki

          Lol, can’t believe Anthea is a TF.

          • Rob

            Crazy show 🙂 With so many injuries, contestants taking part who weren’t even on the show in the 1st place, & the jump element, it has ended up an extremely random event.

    • Boki

      Missed all events last night, any idea why they didn’t take a chance to put Michaela through?

      • Rob

        It would appear they are judging the dives fairly, Boki, & Keith’s dive in the Splash Off was better than Michaela’s. A bit more difficulty involved.

        Perri messed up his 2nd dance. This show will be decided by who executes their dives best in the final.

  15. Boki

    Hi Rob, I would like to hear your opinion on DOI. If (and I say if) Sam/Beth end up in bot2 would they save Sam for the fifth time?

    • Rob

      Hi Boki,
      With DOI they play it fair in the skate-offs & mistakes will be punished so it will come down to who skates the cleaner, better performance.

      I am quite confident Hayley is booked for 2nd place behind Ray. We are likely to see a Sam vs Beth skate-off this weekend, & you would have to favour Beth to win it if they both skate clean. That said, Sam’s Riverdance routine is a gem so Beth will have to produce her best.

      It’s one that may well come down to head judge Robin.

      • Boki

        He performed Riverdance last week and second time already, surely he won’t do it again ?

        • Rob

          I don’t know for sure, Boki, but I thought they all had only 1 skate-off routine.

          • Tim B

            Hi Boki/Rob, I think it’s more likely that Hayley will be joining Sam in the skate-off tonight, at least pre-show. We know that Beth has beaten Hayley for the last two weeks in the pv, and perhaps even longer. However Beth’s fans were motivated to vote the last two weeks, with her being bottom of the leader board both times. I reckon that the girl second to Ray this week will probably be the one in the skate-off. You’re right, Boki, that Sam has performed his Riverdance twice in the skate-off so probably wouldn’t be allowed to do it again (and two weeks in a row). If Hayley lands in the skate-off, I assume she’d be performing the show-stopping Jai Ho routine and would be safe as houses. Not sure what Beth would perform, but you’d expect either of the girls to be saved instead of Sam a 5th time. You’d also think the show would prefer to avoid a backlash if one of the girls were voted off at this stage. Ratings for the final will be important for ITV and I don’t believe they’d want Sam there at all. Therefore I think Sam to be eliminated has got to be a stand out bet tonight.

          • Boki

            Hi Tim, sorry for not replying earlier, I would disagree that we know for sure that Beth has beaten Haley although I had high hopes for that (including my Beth top woman bet). After all thinking I went for Sam gone tonight purely based on his potential 5th skate off. This would be my answer today.

            Now, after the show, we still don’t know for sure if Beth out-polled Haley but I still hope she did. I guess we were a bit lucky about Sam since the judges speeches gave impression he would stay against Beth.

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