Dancing With Death
Lesley’s Strictly elimination provided a 7-1 winner last weekend with Laura’s injury and subsequent bye enabling her to dodge a bullet and Daisy dragged down into the dance-off instead.
Laura’s jive had not looked convincing in training but the good news for her is, she gets to duck it now and reverts to ballroom this week dancing the tango.
‘Paint It Black’ is a suitably evocative track but with her injured ankle she didn’t look at home with the steps in early training footage this week. The routine is also themed as Mr and Mrs Death so has to get a red flag regarding her and Giovanni’s potential make-overs for Halloween Week.
Daisy looks teed up for a classic bounce back week with a paso set to a stirring piece of music in Santa Esmeralda’s version of ‘Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood’. Lady Gaga’s ‘Born This Way’ doesn’t seem quite so suitable for a paso, but will give Judge Rinder the chance to put his unique stamp on it, with he and Oksana playing the part of a moth and a butterfly.
We have two very different songs for the two Charlestons this week too. Following Ore’s break-out jive, he enjoyed further ramping from the judges on Saturday for a waltz which, to this eye, didn’t seem worthy of 9s yet landed him 36 and the highest score for the second successive week.
The narrative looks like it is being cemented of Ore laying down the most significant challenge to Danny at the moment, while Danny again can feel hard done by in comparison only receiving 35 last week for an excellent rumba.
We can probably expect further plaudits for Ore this week with his Charleston having jive elements which should play to his strengths. Meanwhile, Louise was given a damning appraisal by Len last Saturday that she has plateaued in this year’s competition.
This, of course, does give her the window to build her challenge from this point if and when the judges decide to tell her she has upped her game. Charleston certainly gives her the chance to shine with training footage suggesting this dance is going to be a triumph for her.
Anastacia had a good week dancing the quickstep with replacement pro partner Gorka. While Brendan is back with her this week the worry for her is, having to tackle the difficult jive. ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ doesn’t seem the most suitable jive music either. Training footage has looked no more than ok this week but with running order positions of 2, 3 and 4 in the last 3 weeks at least Ana can hope for a late slot on Saturday.
Claudia and AJ will dance the American Smooth so we can probably expect some spectacular lifts. Their music choice again pigeon-holes them as this year’s token young couple. Claudia will be a witch and AJ a frog so again this has to get a potential Halloween make-up department red flag. After their pimp slot on Saturday they could also find themselves on early.
Ed struggled with one of the lifts last week in his American Smooth but wisely showed the audience how it was supposed to have been executed post-dance. It usually isn’t until one of the series’ perceived big guns is eliminated in a dance-off that there is a voting backlash against the year’s ‘novelty’ dancer.
In this respect, Lesley’s exit wasn’t a negative for Ed. So he still has a good chance for his vote to hold up and to escape the bottom 2 again if he can entertain despite being tasked with the difficult CCC. Hansel Martinez version of ‘Love Potion No. 9’ is a nice song choice for him to ham it up as a mad scientist.
Danny can be expected to produce a top foxtrot though he could be on early after being drawn 8/12 and 9/10 in the last 2 weeks and may again find himself beaten to top spot on the judges’ leaderboard.
Which leaves Greg. He has been given trap 1 and trap 3 in the last 2 weeks to overcome very difficult dances in the salsa and CCC respectively. A show of confidence by TPTB that Greg’s vote is robust enough to withstand early running orders and middling to poor scores?
For him to now be given the ‘dance of death’ in the rumba would have initially set alarm bells ringing for his backers of a triple whammy of hideous dances to negotiate. But from the low point of his CCC last weekend it does give the chance for judges to focus on potential improvement and it is another dance you don’t want to have in the show’s latter stages happily ticked off.
Wishful thinking here perhaps, but it almost starts to look like they have intentionally built a path for Greg to overcome early setbacks and gradually turn himself into a top dancer with some good ballrooms potentially to come, and dramatic routines such as the paso and Argentine tango still up his sleeve as well.
In terms of the narrative this series, it would add an interesting new dimension if Greg yet emerges as a challenger and it is easy to see this happening in future weeks. The only dangerous fast Latin Greg has left to potentially negotiate is the samba and this is one that can be avoided altogether, as was the case with two of the finalists last year in Jay and Katie.
Greg and Natalie remain hugely likeable and voteable as a couple and possess that all-impotent chemistry you want to see in a partnership. They also at least have a dramatic piece of music to sell their rumba and should have the buffer of a late slot this week too.
Given all of the above, it makes Greg’s ever-drifting odds hugely appealing once more in the Outright market as he is now quoted at his pre-series odds.
With the Beeb probably loathe to lose another celeb this year through injury, perhaps the biggest question this week is, who is the longer-term risk – Laura or Anastacia? Pre-show both look at risk of landing in the dance-off.
Ed has the chance to escape the dance-off again despite very likely to be propping up the leaderboard. If there is a shock celeb who lands in the bottom 2 this week, it could be Claudia who is due an early slot. Judge Rinder doesn’t look entirely safe with a paso that could easily underwhelm but given her elimination price looks far too big Laura has to be the early play this week.
10-1 and during the time it has taken to post this article she has been cut to 7-1 but 7-1 still looks value, with Anastacia probably worth a saver at 2-1.
Greg – Outright – 25-1 – 1pt e/w (fifth the odds, first 3 places) – Ladbrokes, SportingBet
5th elimination – Laura – 7-1 – 1pt win – Ladbrokes
5th elimination – Anastacia – 2-1 – 1pt win – Ladbrokes
This week’s song and dance choices:
Anastacia and Brendan will be dancing the Jive to ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ by Meat Loaf
Claudia and AJ will be dancing the American Smooth to ‘Black Magic’ by Little Mix
Daisy and Aljaz will be dancing the Paso Doble to Santa Esmeralda version of ‘Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood’
Danny and Oti will be dancing the Foxtrot to ‘Take Me To Church’ by Hozier
Ed and Katya will be dancing the Cha Cha to the Hansel Martinez version of ‘Love Potion No. 9’
Greg and Natalie will be dancing the Rumba to ‘Bring Me To Life’ by Evanescence
Judge Rinder and Oksana will be dancing the Paso Doble to ‘Born This Way’ by Lady Gaga
Laura and Giovanni will be dancing the Tango to ‘Paint It Black’ by The Rolling Stones
Louise and Kevin will be dancing the Charleston to the Emeli Sande version of ‘Crazy In Love’
Ore and Joanne will be dancing the Charleston to the Bow Wow Wow version of ‘I Want Candy’