Fern’s Time To Exit

Nov 8, 2012 by

Fern’s Time To Exit

Last week’s Strictly involved some highly irregular scoring from the judges. Denise really shone in her VW and it looked for all the world a dance that deserved a 10 or two. Yet Darcy gave her a miserly 8, and we were left sweating on our headline advice to back her for top score at 6-4.

In the end the money was deservedly landed. Having watched Strictly for 10 years, there is no way Kimberley’s salsa merited 33pts last week. It lacked any real content and incorporated only very basic steps.

It was bizarre to see three 8s and a 9 from the judges and certainly adds fuel to the theory Strictly now heavily incorporates a high degree of scoreboard ordering.

We wonder if Kimberley’s public vote hasn’t been very good, and the judges were determined to get her into a position of safety on the leaderboard. Certainly going first on the night is always a risky position and an inflated score looked pre-determined.

Our advice to back Victoria for lowest score at 10-1 proved very unlucky as she would have been bottom of the leaderboard but for Richard forgetting his steps.

Looking ahead to Saturday, we would have been flagging up Louis at a stand-out 7-4 with Ladbrokes to top the leaderboard as soon as we discovered he is dancing the waltz while Denise has the paso and has also suffered the disadvantage of losing her partner James with an injured foot this week which has clearly compromised her training.

Sadly, that price vanished in an instant of ITT revealing this news last night and Louis is now a far less appealing 5-6. His biggest threat may prove to be Kimberley dancing the VW and in the highest score market we would favour taking the 6-1 Kimberley with Ladbrokes (now cut to 9-2), and covering your Kimberley stake with a back of Louis.

In lowest score betting, Richard looks the wrong favourite. He is coming off a bottom 2 appearance and has a potentially fun Charleston to sell to the judges and audience.

Michael, like Fern, is having to take on the salsa. We would like to think, and hope, the judges accentuate the positives in a routine Michael is sure to throw himself into whole-heartedly, with training footage hinting at an improvement for him in fast Latin, and him and Natalie sounding quietly confident when interviewed on ITT.

Fern has some humour she is going to call upon at some stage of her routine but this may well not be enough to impress the judges, and assuming he gets through it without losing his timing we would expect Michael to outscore her.

Victoria is teed up for a better score this week dancing a quickstep she looks far more comfortable with. Dani has a tango, while Lisa and Nicky both have the foxtrot. All of these have the potential to be somewhat underwhelming, but we would expect some score inflation to kick in among the females, and Nicky certainly looks the more vulnerable, as foxtrot can be tough for males to execute well.

On the assumption Michael really sells it and gets through it unscathed a back of Fern at 3-1 looks the play here (after writing this, again we now discover Ladbrokes have cut her to 5-2 – do they have a sly piece of software monitoring this computer?) with a saver on Nicky at 5-1.

Given the judges refusal to pull out 10s last week, we don’t see why it should be any different this week, given Louis and Kimberley are having a go at the same dance Denise executed so perfectly. So we would favour a back of 9 being the highest single number at 5-4 with Ladbrokes.

Probably the best value punt this week is the lowest judges’ score being Over 21, a 5-4 shot with Ladbrokes. Unless a contestant has a complete meltdown on Saturday the same way Richard did last week, Craig should not pull out anything lower than a 5 for what we expect to be competent enough efforts all round.

The other judges can usually be relied upon to score at least one point higher than the self-styled misery guts of the panel, and even a Craig 4 followed by three 6s would be enough to land the money.

As soon as Artem appeared bare-chested last week, we were fairly confident Fern would avoid the bottom 2, the drama of the paso also aiding her escape. So we were busy laying Fern having previously backed her for elimination at 3-1.

Unless this comedy moment in her salsa proves another vote-winning masterstroke, Fern does look the most likely to be next eliminated but pre-show 5-2 only represents fair value.

Level stakes bets of Fern lowest scorer at 5-2 and Fern next eliminated at 5-2 looks the way to go as it gives you, in theory, 2 shots at the target. Another thing that perhaps favours a Fern exit on Saturday is the show probably preferring not to be left with a 6, 3 split in the female to male ratio.

We always like to try and find a value play at a bigger price each week, and we reckon Lisa’s foxtrot could prove a rather forgettable routine. Her early momentum appears to be fading fast and in the hope of a mid-table position and some identical scores below her, 9-2 for Lisa to be bottom 2 is also worth a speculative flutter, again with Ladbrokes.

Please share your opinions below and we will be flagging up any value we spot when William Hill and SportingBet issue prices.
Rob Furber

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10 Comments

  1. Rob

    Off-post but of interest to readers if not seen it yet, with big implications to our favourite tv betting event of the lot, Eurovision:

    http://www.eurovision.tv/page/news?id=running_order_malmoe_2013_to_be_determined_by_producers

  2. Rob

    Songs they will dance to this Saturday:

    Dani & Vincent – Tango to ‘Rumour Has It’ by Adele

    Denise & James – Paso to ‘Seven Nation Army’ by The White Stripes

    Fern & Artem – Salsa to ‘You’ll Be Mine (Party Time)’ by Gloria Estefan

    Kimberley & Pasha – Viennese Waltz to ‘A Thousand Years’ by Christina Perri

    Louis & Flavia – Waltz to ‘Moon River’ by Andy Williams

    Lisa & Robin – Foxtrot to ‘This Could Be (An Everlasting Love)’ by Natalie Cole

    Michael & Natalie – Salsa to ‘I Want You Back’ by The Jackson 5

    Nicky & Karen – Foxtrot to ‘The Best Is Yet To Come’ by Michael Buble

    Richard & Erin – Charleston to ‘Pencil Full Of Lead’ by Paolo Nutini

    Victoria & Brendan – Quickstep to ‘Luck Be A Lady’ by Frank Sinatra

  3. Bruce

    FWIW my views on this week are:
    Top Scorer: Louis looks likely as you have said. Hills have him evens. My savers have been on Kimberley and Dani. Dani’s jive didn’t particularly impress me from the VT clips whereas this week she has very much so with her Tango. Vincent is the ‘tango king’ so this should suit.

    Lowest Scorer: Have laid Richard at the prices. Charleston should suit and I don’t believe he’;s the worst dancer left in. Salsa’s can be car crash so have to have Fern and Michael Vaughan onboard but from the training clipps Nicky Byrne looks vulnerable and Ladbrokes 5/1 which was available most of this week tempted me in. A small saver on Victoria Pendleton at Hills 12/1 is suggested as anything can happen with this girl. Quickstep should suit and be a high scorer but her chances of fluffing her lines badly like Richard did lst week are much less than 12/1 imo.

    Elimination: I’d love it to be Fern because I don’t like her dancing – its all a bit dull for me. Howwvere she is getting very sypathetic coverage form the womens magazines and I can imagine your typical Loose Woman type watcher to get her safe. So if she isn’t then who?
    Finding it hard to work this week out – I still think Victoria is value here as she’s not coming across well to me and I started off wanting her to do well and liking her.

    Overall: Louis well ahead and likely to be more so after this week. Odds on here we come

  4. Bruce

    Sorry for the typos in my last post.

    For anyone that can actually get a decent bet with Sportingbet they have Nicky 13/2 and Vicky 14/1. Both are excellent value imo

  5. Bruce

    ^^ for lowest scorer

  6. Rob

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Bruce – you are proving the Strictly supremo – fancy penning a preview piece one week as a guest writer? 🙂

    Wouldn’t disagree with any of your observations. SportingBet also offer a marginally better 6-5 Louis for top score as well.

    Thought Lisa looked extremely average in initial training clip but last night Zoe Ball seemed to be keen to talk her & Robin up – all it takes is top hats for props & maybe the judges will go into another sycophantic Lisa love-in.

    So probably best to scrub the initial advice of Lisa to land in the bottom 2. Could definitely see Nicky scoring quite poorly & definitely worth a saver in lowest scorer market as cover for the salsa-ing duo.

    Looks a tough week value-wise, & always a worry putting your investments in the hands of highly subjective judges.

    The safest way to play things is definitely the style of trading you outline – short-list those most likely in each market & try & build in at least a small profit if able to take best prices across the bookies offering prices, & BF.

  7. Bruce

    Thanks for the compliment Rob but you seem to be doing plenty well enough on your own :). Some excellent wins so far.

    This series looked very competiive on paper and I certainly wouldn’t be critical of anyone who struggled to find what would look now as a good opening book.
    Louis was very briefly available at I believe 6/1 or 11/2 but by the time most people started to get interested the 3/1 type prices on him were far too low to be tempting. I would have been against him at this stage also on purely value grounds.
    I had Nicky and Vicky early on so to be honest I think just about anyone could have done better than me.
    Only getting on Louis from 3.7 down on Betfair has helped it look a bit better subsequently.

  8. Boki

    Well, this week I got some luck since I lost belief in those high/low scoring combos and did only Fern elimination. Good insight about Kim not polling so well, I wonder how she ended in bot2 with such high scoring tonight (not sure if I understand the overall scoring system I’m afraid).

  9. Rob

    Well done Boki – a decent week by way of recommendations:

    9, highest single score – 5-4 – LANDED!

    Lowest judges’ score, over 21 – 5-4 – LANDED!

    Fern to be eliminated – 5-2 – LANDED!

    Michael was beaten by Fern by 1pt for lowest score, & highest score proved a loser with Denise landing in top spot despite being 1st to perform on the night – something of a rarity.

    Looks like we may have called it right with Kimberley’s strange score inflation last week – she landed in the b2 with Fern which means Michael was in the top 4 in the public vote and Richard was among the top 6… we think.

  10. fiveleaves

    Some great picks again this week Rob.
    I didn’t play the elim this week. I just found it too tricky to call.
    I did lay Richard and Nicky for lowest scorer tho, so a small win.
    An excellent show this week I thought, with all the couples upping their game.
    Even VP remembered her steps 😀

    Happy to see MV survive and he obviously polled very well to get above Kimbers and avoid B2.

    The other thing that struck me is the continued undermarking and nit picking when it comes to Louis. Especially by Craig.
    It’s often a classic way to boost someones vote, which suggests to me he might not be polling that well atm.

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