Webbe Of Intrigue

Dec 6, 2014 by

Webbe Of Intrigue

We’re now at the business end in both Strictly and X Factor. Tonight sees the Strictly quarter-final and for Jake fans there are worrying signs TPTB may not be keen for him to make the final.

Last week’s Argentine tango was Jake’s first pimp slot series long, only for it to prove, in Craig’s words, a ‘dance disaster’ set to ‘Zorbas’ which really wasn’t a fitting tune for such a dramatic dance. Tonight he dances a Charleston, again, to an inappropriate tune, ‘Entry of the Gladiators’, which is known as an entrance song for clowns at a circus.

It is starting to have echoes with Ashley’s treatment last year, who was eliminated at the last 6 stage. The fact Jake isn’t doing the Strictly tour might also be perceived as a slight negative (Pixie is also an absentee).

While Mark is understandably favourite to be eliminated, there may be plans afoot to try and negotiate Jake into the bottom 2 as well, and if this is achievable this evening, they may not miss out on the opportunity to eliminate him. So in terms of value it looks worth considering Jake’s elimination odds and his lowest scorer odds.

You certainly wouldn’t bet against Jake and Mark being hauled off first during the waltz-a-thon which will be used, as is always the case, as a transparent method of ordering the leaderboard and hammer home to viewers the pecking order of best dancer through to weakest dancer among the remaining contestants.

Last year, it became more and more apparent the show was determined for Patrick Robinson to be the last remaining male dancer. This year, it’s starting to look like it might be the same with Simon. He has improved enormously in recent weeks and has justifiably been receiving high scores. If Simon ends up being the only male in the final, which may well be the plan, his Outright odds still look very generous.

The X Factor semi-final sees the contestants singing 2 songs each. There is a 15-minute clash with Strictly so the first to sing could be at a small disadvantage but it is a night when the mentors’ post-song critiques may well be the most telling factor in trying to figure out who TPTB want in the bottom 2.

Andrea could well be in their sights, singing the much lesser known Mariah Carey Christmas song, compared to Fleur’s and also saddled with the difficult Wrecking Ball which, on the face of it, does not seem remotely suitable.

Ben has an obscure Eagles Christmas track which will at least suit his voice. Hallelujah has been extensively covered and may come across as a little flat given his vocal limitations.

Lauren has 2 songs she should be able to execute well and the One Direction song may allow her to leverage some more votes from their fanbase. We saw in last week’s sing-off just how good she is when she delivers her best. The big question is, how far they want her to bounce. Will she get her first pimp slot, glowing praise and demands for votes, or will they be looking to try and keep her in the bottom 2?

Lauren has overcome disadvantaged running order slots in recent weeks of 3, 2, 1, 2, 1, those last 2 slots being her positions last week. This suggests that, given any kind of serious push, she would comfortably leap out of the bottom 2 positions.

One of the key elements tonight is whether the Fleur ramp-a-thon continues. Fleur seems most likely to have been the one only 800 votes above Lauren last week and they may be keen to keep her above Lauren this week, or they may not. If they have decided she cannot get past Ben, they could yet switch horses. ‘Uptown Funk’, while likely to be little known among many viewers, could be eulogized, the likes of Cowell having the chance to say how this marks her as a modern, credible recording artist.

Of course, Andrea’s bounce, which enabled him to outpoll Lauren last week, may well not hold up, and given he was below Lauren the week before, if Syco want they should have the skill to negotiate him to the bottom of this week’s vote if they want him off the show.

It’s pure speculation Fleur was the one loitering just above Lauren, of course, and even if she was, there is no knowing how far ahead of her Ben was. We could be dealing with some very tight percentages which basically means, it’s all to play for, and the value plays as of now are either Ben or Fleur being eliminated tomorrow night and/or backing Lauren on the Outright.

On balance, the view here is Andrea is most likely to be eliminated this week but the value prices on this eventuality have already gone.

Keep an eye on Comments below for a Strictly update tonight and an X Factor update tomorrow.



Jake Wood – lowest score – 8-1 – 2pt win – Coral

Jake Wood – next elimination – 10-1 – 2pt win – widely available

Simon Webbe – Outright – 9-1 – 1pt e/w (a fifth the odds, first 3) – SportingBet*

* You can get 12-1 win-only with Bwin





  1. Rob

    Simon on 1st, Caroline 2nd tonight, which might suggest Frankie or Pixie most likely to top score, very likely to be on 4th and 6th.


    Frankie – highest score – 1pt e/w – 4-1 – Coral

  2. Rob

    About as subtle as a brick negotiating Mark into last place. 3-way tie above him. Jake looks safest of those 3. The ties give Mark a fighting chance of avoiding bottom 2.

    Pixie still looks vulnerable of b2 despite 2nd top. Simon looks a highly likely b2-er, possibly with a view to bouncing him to the final next week.

    Got it totally wrong with Jake tonight. Strange routine but fun and the judges raved about it.

  3. Rob

    Simon vs Pixie – Pixie OUT.

  4. M8

    Absolutely buzzing, my one big red still in the competition GONE! Pretty sure I predicted a real shock result this week if Jake didn’t finish in the dance in an earlier blog post on this site. I got on Jake outright earlier in the week when I found out his dance, very glad I did now. I’m pretty much in green now no matter who wins. I see Bet Victor haven’t yet cottoned onto the shock result. Frankie and Jake still 3/1 with Caroline 7/2. They won’t last long for anyone looking to top up their outright bets.

    I get the feeling TPTB are pushing for a Caroline win after the last 2 weeks. I’m certainly not complaining. The only person I can 100% see not winning right now is Simon. He just doesn’t have the popularity of others IMO and will be the first person out in the final. I think Mark will go next week. The bounce got him through this week but the result will have shocked the public and sympathy votes will therefore be at a premium next week.

    • Rob

      Well done M8. They seemed to actively encourage Simon to fall into the b2 with Pixie tonight – looked very much on the cards & I managed a small amount on Pixie to go at 100-1. Like you, my big red on Outright so a pleasing result.

      Surprised Jake got his 2nd pimp in a row as I thought that music might see him ridiculed. Based on tonight’s treatment, it looks like they could be backing the guy who is topping the pv – as they always need to be seen to be backing the winner.

      I think Simon will get a mega-pimp next week & sail into the final. 2 men, 2 women final… still not easy to predict but as long as Jake can escape 1st elim in final (as happened to Sophie last year, who had her Charleston teed up), he has his ace to play in that salsa.

  5. Rob

    The Fleur East Show continued last night, while Lauren was invited to start digging her grave.

    Her twitching corpse is still, of course, clinging to life. You have to expect she will be singing off against Andrea.

    Louis will be saving Andrea for sure. Lauren’s tiny glimmer of hope is Simon saving her & sending it to deadlock. It’s certainly not a given she is bottom of the public vote. But if she is not bottom of the pv, the way last night went, you might expect them to kick her off the show by way of a 3-1 vote.

    But in the hope this isn’t the way it plays out, & given the value in his price.


    Andrea – next elimination – 9-2 – 2pt win – widely available

  6. Rob

    These appear to be the remaining dance choices for the semi-final, so it looks like both Frankie and Mark could have the rumba – especially tough for Mark if so. And Jake could have the CCC, which is rarely done well. Certainly plenty of potential banana skins…

    Caroline & Pasha – Foxtrot or Viennese Waltz / Salsa
    Frankie & Kevin – American Smooth or Argentine Tango / Rumba
    Jake & Janette – Foxtrot or Viennese Waltz / Cha-Cha-Cha
    Mark & Karen – Argentine Tango or Viennese Waltz / Rumba
    Simon & Kristina – Foxtrot / Samba

  7. James

    Rob, lots of comment about how there being ties this week on the scoreboard that the judges/producers were targeting certain dancers for the bottom 2. For a layperson, can you explain a little more about how this works, and why people have these suspicions?

    • Rob

      Hi James.

      It certainly looked suspicious. Initially the leaderboard was:

      Caroline – 39
      Jake – 38
      Simon – 35
      Pixie – 35
      Mark – 35
      Frankie – 34

      The waltz-a-thon changed the leaderboard to this:

      Caroline +3 = 42
      Pixie +6 = 41
      Jake +1 = 39
      Simon +4 = 39
      Frankie +5 = 39
      Mark +2 = 37

      It was interesting they maintained the 3-way tie. This concertinas the point allocation because in Strictly, the rule is the next scorer below the tie receives only 1pt less.

      So the scores going into the public vote were:

      Caroline – 6pts
      Pixie – 5pts
      Jake – 4pts
      Frankie – 4pts
      Simon – 4pts
      Mark – 3pts

      Then, in the event of an overall tie, it’s the contestant who scores highest on the public vote who is saved over the contestant with lower public vote.

      Jake and Frankie had the last 2 slots in the running order and memorable routines, so it was easy to see them outscoring Simon (who was 1st to perform) on the public vote.

      It was also easy to see how Pixie could drop down into the bottom 2 given the criticism of her routine and Trent’s backchat.

      I would guess Pixie got 1pt on the pv, Simon 2pts on the pv, Mark 3pts. Jake, Caroline and Frankie would likely have been the top 3 on the public vote imho. So it possibly ended up something like this:

      Jake – 4 + 6 = 10pts
      Frankie – 4 + 5 = 9pts
      Caroline – 6 + 4 = 10pts
      Mark – 3 + 3 = 6pts
      Simon – 4 + 2 = 6pts
      Pixie – 5 + 1 = 6pts

      The above would have led to the Simon/Pixie dance-off as Mark’s higher public vote haul puts him above both of them.

      I am sure they knew Pixie has been struggling on the pv series-long as it has been noticeable how they have been eager to try and get her towards the top of the leaderboard.

      I also think giving Simon the coffin slot, & placing him where they did on the leaderboard, they were pretty confident he would land bottom 2 – I think this was possibly part of the plan to then help bounce him into the final next week.

      Just a question of whether they had Pixie in their sights this week – giving her and Simon the same scores for their dances gave them leeway to justifiably vote Pixie off in the dance-off – or whether Mark’s pv was higher than anticipated, allowing him to escape the bottom 2.

  8. Rob

    The semi-final songs and dances:

    Caroline and Pasha will be performing:

    The Salsa to ‘Maria’ by Ricky Martin.
    The Foxtrot to Josef Salvat’s version of ‘Diamonds’
    Frankie and Kevin will be performing:

    The Argentine Tango to ‘The 5th’ by David Garrett.
    The Rumba to Lily Allen’s version of ‘Somewhere Only We Know’
    Jake and Janette will be performing:

    The Viennese Waltz to ‘When a Man Loves a Woman’ by Percy Sledge.
    The Cha Cha to ‘Boogie Shoes’ by KC and the Sunshine Band.
    Mark and Karen will be performing:

    The Rumba to Eva Cassidy’s version of ‘Fields of Gold’.
    The Viennese Waltz to ‘I Got You Babe’ by Sonny and Cher.
    Simon and Kristina will be performing:

    The Foxtrot to ‘My Guy’ by Mary Wells.
    The Samba to ‘I Like To Move It’ by Reel 2 Real.

  9. Rob

    XF final songs:

    Andrea Faustini

    Feeling Good (originally by Nina Simone)

    Song of the series: Earth Song (originally by Michael Jackson)

    Winners Song – I Didn’t Know My Own Strength (originally by Whitney Houston)

    Fleur East

    Can’t Hold Us (originally by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis)

    Uptown Funk (originally by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars)

    Winners Song – Something I Need (originally by One Republic)

    Ben Haenow

    Demons (originally by Imagine Dragon)

    Song of the series: Man In The Mirror (by Michael Jackson)

    Winners Song – Something I Need (originally by One Republic)

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