Dead Cat Bounce?

Nov 7, 2014 by

Dead Cat Bounce?

What a relief. No clash between Strictly and X Factor this week. No having to try and stay on top of both shows at once.

Unlike this post, ironically, which will preview both shows this week, starting with Strictly…

Will Alison bounce? It is pretty much in the hands of TPTB. She has an, in theory, fun Charleston but training footage hasn’t impressed and the judges may not be overly keen to talk her up, given her escape could well mean a stronger dancer exiting the show.

That is, of course, based on the assumption Judy’s public vote remains steadfast enough to help her avoid the bottom 2 again. If Judy is on first tomorrow night, that might be a warning sign they have her in their sights this week. But a paso should give her and Anton the scope to ham it up.

You have to worry for Jake this week dancing a rumba. It’s a very difficult dance for a male dancer to impress the judges with, and training footage hasn’t convinced.

In terms of highest score this week, Frankie got top score last week after being gifted the pimp slot. She has the tricky samba so she looks unlikely to be topping the leaderboard this week.

Among the market leaders, It would be more logical to look towards Caroline, dancing the waltz, and Pixie, dancing the foxtrot – both available at 3-1 with William Hill – given Frankie, Jake, Pixie and Caroline have monopolised the top scoring dances in this series.

If there is a surprise top scorer, you can make a case for all of Sunetra, Steve, Mark and Simon. Steve’s paso is certainly going to be memorable and he should be well suited to the power of it. So 33-1 e/w with Coral looks tempting (cut to 20-1 while writing this post).

The show narrative in recent weeks is of Mark being on an upward curve so he could score highly for his waltz. There’s no reason why Simon won’t end up excelling in the quickstep, while Sunetra’s foxtrot set to ‘All Of Me’ looks teed up to be an evocative routine.

Given the possibility of both Alison and Judy escaping the bottom 2, and a strong chance at least one of them will escape the bottom 2, it is worth considering one of this series’ strongest dancers falling into the dance-off.

Simon has been bottom 2 twice so his pv looks the most vulnerable, Mark has had to dance off once, and it wouldn’t come as a surprise if one of Frankie or Pixie drops down. So much will hinge on the leaderboard ordering and pre-show it is too tough to predict.

Once again, we are left second guessing the running order and who will be given the pimp slot. For now, we suggest holding off bar a small investment on Steve e/w for highest score and hope the Beeb give us some running order clues tomorrow.

As for X Factor, pre-show you have to wonder if they are gunning for Paul. Cowell gave him a dressing down last week and this week they have lumbered him with ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’. Union J were slaughtered by the judges singing this in week 1 back in 2012. Of course, if they slaughter Paul this might galvanise his fans, as it did for Union J, but alarm bells will be ringing if he gets the coffin slot, or trap 2 sandwiched between 2 big hitters.

Among the others, you have to question the choices for Stereo Kicks and Jay in particular. ‘You Are Not Alone’ will likely have major tuning issues unless Syco do a sterling job cleverly concealing SK’s vocal frailties. ‘The Show Must Go On’ requires Freddie Mercury-esque chutzpah to pull off; Jay doing this screams damp squib.

Fleur will surely get a choir and possibly a pimp slot for ‘Will You Be There’. This song choice looks set up for them to talk up her versatility as a recording artist, while ‘Blame It On The Boogie’ should be in the sweet spot for OTY. Uptempo, fun and a chance for judges to say they’ve got their mojo back and found their niche.

Stevi doing Bohemian Rhapsody sounds preposterous, and that is probably the intention. They may be able to make it so absurd, enough viewers might love it enough to keep him safe.

Lauren has a safe choice in ‘I’ll Be There’ which should see her back on track this week, following 2 sub-par weeks, and ‘Man In The Mirror’ shouldn’t harm Ben. Among the 3 market leaders, Andrea looks to have most to lose, pigeon-holed with another overblown tune in ‘Somebody To Love’ that could well be a chance for Cowell to talk about too many donuts again.

It’s a real shame we don’t have bottom 2 prices pre-show. Paul looks too short at 5-2 to be next eliminated given it may well take another week or 2 to erode his vote enough to drag him into the sing-off. Of course, Syco still have one more double elimination up their sleeve and they are so shameless, if they don’t take him out before, they’ll pick him off as soon as he is 3rd from bottom.

Given the dubious song choice for SK and some of the negative press they have received this week, you do wonder if the show has given up on them. Would they be saved again if they land in the bottom 2 for a third time?

And was ‘The Music Of The Night’ and a meal with Cowell at Harvester a fitting climax to Stevi’s time on the show? He was given the pimp slot last week and surely won’t be afforded that luxury again. But against Paul, you could see Stevi being saved.

In conclusion, a few too many imponderables pre-show but at the odds Jay James looks worth a small investment. If he lands bottom 2 he will certainly trade shorter than 14-1.

Of more interest is Ladbrokes ‘Final Two’ market. You sense Syco is slowly taking the wind out of Andrea’s sails – based on his treatment in the last 2 weeks – while Lauren, Fleur and Ben look to have the full backing of the show. Ben could ultimately prove Syco’s most powerful weapon in taking Andrea down.

Look out for follow up recommendations in Comments below – focusing on Strictly tomorrow, and X Factor on Sunday.

Pre-show recommendations:


Steve – highest score – 20-1 – 1pt e/w – Coral

X Factor:

Jay – next elimination – 14-1 – 1pt win – bet365

Lauren & Ben – final 2 – 9-1 – 4pt win – Ladbrokes
Fleur & Ben – final 2 – 16-1 – 2pt win – Ladbrokes


  1. Rob

    sick note for Jay James, potentially:

    JAY JAMES @JayJames · 19m 19 minutes ago

    absolutely devastated, couldn’t soundcheck, voice is totally gone. being sent to see a specialist now 🙁

  2. Boki

    For those who still can ‘win’ on ‘B’, they have X-b2 market.

  3. Rob

    Looks like I called it right with Steve given the pimp slot for his paso. 16s still available. Sod’s law this will be the night when the pimp isn’t awarded highest score!!!

    Steve Backshall @SteveBackshall · 19m 19 minutes ago

    So Psyched for tonight; fave song, fave dance, great costume, partner @The_OlaJordan looks stunning and closing the show! Bring it on!

  4. Rob

    wide open for b2 tonight. So many ties really help Judy and Alison’s chances of escaping b2.

    Could be any of Jake, Caroline, Sunetra, Mark or Simon down there.


    Sunetra – 13-2 – next elimination – 2pt win – Coral
    Jake – 25-1 – next elimination – 1pt win – Paddy Power

  5. Rob

    Caroline vs Alison – Alison out.

    A disappointing result ultimately as felt there was a strong chance of Alison escaping.

  6. M8

    Did anyone catch the unbelievable article published early yesterday by the Daily Mail about Steve apparantly making an official complaint against Ola? To publish such a story in the middle of the competition and the morning before a show was ridiculous and unsurprising the fallout has been massive.

    I think their is a bigger picture. Obviously someone at the BBC has it out for Ola and it would of course be a disaster should she win considering her previous comments about the show and the general behaviour of her husband. You have to wonder if Steve is getting a massive amount of votes. He’s never been in the dance off despite ending up in the dangerous lower middle ground most weeks, he was last on the running order tonight (so maximum focus could be put on the couple) and he was dancing the Pasodoble of all dances. The judges commenting on how roughly Steve was treating his partner in the dance (a sly dig and hint at the story perhaps).

    It could all be rubbish but after what has come out. I’m glad I took a small stake on 80/1 EW for Steve a while back. Just in case. It would take a miracle bigger than Chris Hollins even. But you never know.

    Only had 3 bets on tonight, Mark 10/1 and Pixie 3/1 top scorer and Jake to be eliminated. But tonight proved a couple of things for me. Jake Wood has a fanbase, if that score was from Simon Webbe or Mark Wright I think they would have been in the bottom 2. He was slap bang in the dreaded 3rd last spot but managed to avoid the dance off. For me I think that ensures that he’ll make it to the semis. I still don’t think he has a prayer of winning and I still very much fancy Mark to win the top man spot.

    Also Pixie is finally starting to make that surge all the way to the final. But I’m sure her “previous dance experience” will let her down when it comes to votes like it did with Natalie last year. To be honest if Frankie doesn’t win the series I’ll be shocked, a lot can change I know but I think she has it in the bag, tonight only helped her cause. Similarities to last year with harsh Craig comments designed to get the viewers on her side. The tears will have helped as well. Caroline in the bottom 2 throws things slightly when it comes to her public support.

    At this point I think only 2 finalist positions can be rubber stamped (Frankie & Pixie). Literally anyone of Caroline, Mark, Jake or Steve could join them, even Sunetra can’t be completely ruled out.

    • Rob

      I’ve just read that article, M8 – thanks for flagging up. Very odd indeed. Can only think it has been confected by the BBC possibly, like you say, to deflate their pv.

      I find this series increasingly difficult to call. A bottom 2 appearance for Caroline at this point not necessarily the death knell for her chances.

      Of the 3 top women, I’ve always felt Pixie is the least likely winner. But if all 3 women make the final, and 1 guy, I would think that would heavily favour the last remaining male.

      But maybe the Beeb will aim for 2 males, 2 females.

  7. Rob

    This XF series has so far not worked out well for value-seekers with elimination favourites landing. But it’s the only approach to tv betting, & betting in general in my view, if you want to achieve a profit long-term.

    Hopefully, you followed the advice flagged up on Friday of Jay being the elimination value at 14-1. He is now a best price of 3-1 on the high street. I think he’s in big danger of b2 tonight – his performance was limp & forgettable in the context of the night.

    Paul has been smashed in to odds-on favourite but you have to think his elimination odds are now artificially short.

    He sang well, comments were positive and you sense he is popular – more popular than Jay. Of course, that was the thinking with Lola last week – that she was still popular – & it didn’t work out.

    It would be no surprise to see Paul land b2 given TPTB have so far controlled things well.

    b2 main candidates look to be Jay, Paul, OTY, SK & Stevi, but there were clear indications last night that Fleur has been struggling on the pv.

    They tried their best to pimp OTY, SK & Stevi. Of those 3, I seem to say this every week but I think Stevi is most vulnerable.

    With Cowell boasting about still having 4 acts it could be set up for 2 Overs to land b2 – he probably knew, ahead of last night, that all 3 of Stevi, Fleur and Jay have been flirting with being in the sing-off.

    If it’s Stevi vs Jay or Fleur, then Stevi would likely be toast. If Stevi is against OTY or SK, he may well be toast too. His elimination odds have certainly drifted out to an attractive price.


    Stevi – to be eliminated – 10-1 – 1pt win – Ladbrokes, b365

    Stevi – to be bottom 2 – 4-1 – 2pt win – Ladbrokes
    Fleur – to be bottom 2 – 8-1 – 1pt win – Ladbrokes
    Stevi & Jay – bottom 2 combo – 10-1 – 1pt win – Skybet
    Jay & Fleur – bottom 2 combo – 20-1 – 0.5pt win – bwin
    Stevi & Fleur – bttom 2 combo – 40-1 – 0.25pt win – bwin, Skybet

  8. Rob

    The drought continues 🙁 Syco sniper not missing this series.

  9. Rob

    An early Strcitly recommendation: Ladbrokes offering Judy Murray week 8 score. Blackpool usually sees some score inflation – expect to see some 10s being handed out for those at the top of the leaderboard.

    Judy is dancing the VW with ballroom supremo Anton at the spiritual home of ballroom. Judy should be able to do a competent job. It’s unlikely we will see the judges being very harsh with their scoring of her because this is also a vote motivator.

    Far more likely, they will praise her & give her her highest score of the series. Judy got 22 for her tango in week 4. I expect to see her improve on that, so:


    Judy – week 8 score – 23 – 12-1 – 2pt win – Ladbrokes
    24 – 16-1 – 2pt win – Ladbrokes
    25 or over – 12-1 – 2pt win – Ladbrokes

  10. Rob

    In case of a Craig 4, with three 6s from the other 3, a saver on 22pts is wise but it would come as no surprise to see Judy get some 7s if she executes her VW adequately.


    Judy – 22pts – 12-1 – 1pt win – Ladbrokes

  11. Frank

    Thanks Rob, great spot. I’ve followed you!

    • Rob

      Prices looked too big, didn’t they Frank? I see all have been cut now but possibly still some value there.

      • Frank

        Yes Rob, certainly some generous prices there and quite a strange market for them to create.

        If you don’t mind me asking, do you have a particular method of finding the markets as soon as they open or simply search every couple of hours? Quite often the good prices only last a few minutes and I never know when the markets will be added.

        • Rob

          Purely down to checking the website early, Frank. Lads have been pricing up b2 so I was keen to see their prices this week, & lo & behold they had this market on Judy’s score.

          Think they’ve priced b2 on a Monday before. I just wish a few other firms would stick their necks out.

  12. Rob

    Dances we know so far for Saturday:

    Caroline & Pasha – Jive
    Frankie & Kevin – Quickstep
    Jake & Janette – American Smooth
    Judy & Anton – Viennese Waltz
    Mark & Karen – Charleston
    Pixie & Trent – Paso Doble
    Simon & Kristina – Argentine Tango
    Sunetra & Brendan – Samba

  13. Rob

    Complete song and dance list now in:

    •Caroline and Pasha will be performing the Jive to ‘Crocodile Rock’ by Elton John.
    •Frankie and Kevin will be performing the American Smooth to ‘A Town Called Malice’ by The Jam.
    •Jake and Janette will be performing the American Smooth to ‘Feeling Good’.
    •Judy and Anton will be performing the Viennese Waltz to ‘Let’s Go Fly a Kite’ from the musical Mary Poppins.
    •Mark and Karen will be performing the Charleston to ‘We No Speak Americano’ by Yolanda Be Cool.
    •Pixie and Trent will be performing the Paso Doble to ‘The Eve of War’ by Jeff Wayne.
    •Simon and Kristina will be performing the Argentine Tango to ‘El Tango De Roxanne’ from the film Moulin Rouge.
    •Steve and Ola will be performing the American Smooth to ‘Rolling in the Deep’ by Adele.
    •Sunetra and Brendan will be performing the Samba to ‘I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’ by Scissor Sisters.

  14. Rob

    Quickstep for Frankie

  15. Rob

    Andrea Faustini – Summertime (by Ella Fitzgerald)

    Lauren Platt – Smile (by Nat King Cole)

    Only The Young – I Wanna Be Like You (From The Jungle Book)

    Stereo Kicks – Still TBC!

    Ben Haenow – Cry Me A River (by Michael Buble)

    Fleur East – Bang Bang (byJessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj)

    Jay James – Empire State of Mind/New York New York medley (by Alicia Keys/Frank Sinatra)

    Stevi Ritchie – Mambo Number 5/ She Bangs medley (by Lou Bega/Ricky Martin)

  16. hemsby

    Hi Rob.

    Great spot with the Judy Murray score prices…..too slow off the mark here to take advantage unfortunately,but the best of luck.

    I’ve backed Judy for elimination this week.Similar to you,I expect an improved display plus higher marking,and I’m hoping that dampens the PV enough to see her slip into the B2.I’ve had a saver on Sunetra as the dance doesn’t seem to suit,and the song (including the lyrics) seem like a big negative also.

    I’ve also backed Simon for Top Score @ 20/1 and 16/1 E/W.The training clips look very promising.

    Let’s hope we both have a good week 🙂

    • Rob

      Thanks hems. I agree – Simon looks over-priced again for highest score & really should be in line for a later slot. Jack and Caroline the other 2 most likely candidates for pimp slot, I reckon, & both of them could be due a bounce back in their narrative this week, which might mean one of them will get the highest score.

      Sunetra would still be my strongest fancy pre-show to be eliminated this week, but so much will depend on what the judges say about her, as well as her running order.

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