Andy Holding previews the Strictly Come Dancing betting markets.
Strictly Come Dancing - Next Elimination
Since this dance extravaganza burst onto our TV screens back in 2004, only two female celebrities have been voted off first, which all pointed towards the likes of Johnny Ball, Iwan Thomas, Tony Jacklin, Greg Wallace and last year, Melvin Odoom – to name just a few - all having little or no chance of surviving the public vote. It also suggests that the large voting demographic of middle-age females tend to vote to keep their ‘sisters’ in the show early doors and that also stacks up heavily against the two most likely candidates this series, BRIAN CONLEY (best price 5-2) and Simon Rimmer, getting the heave-ho in week one.
Both - although thoroughly nice blokes with no massive egos - have got no chance of winning the show based on their dancing ability displayed in week one and wouldn’t be that badly missed if they went early - making them pretty dispensable. In what should turn out to be a straight fight between the pair, it all boils down to the dance they have to perform this week and which one highlights their poor technique. With Simon having the graceful waltz, being in hold with his partner Karen Clifton might just be enough for him to survive whereas Brian is likely to be totally exposed doing the Cha Cha Cha. Although one of the most basis of the Latin dances, it does require good footwork and a constant straight leg and that could prove tricky for a bloke pushed 60.
This year’s Russell Grant/John Sergeant/Ed Balls comedy act, Rev. Richard Coles has enough personality to keep himself in the competition for a few more weeks and his unlikely relationship with newbie red-head dance partner Dianne Buswell – or Beauty and the Priest as they are now known – looks set to flourish. Next in the betting is Susan Calman and while she has to be in line for the chop sooner rather than later, she does have the Charleston this week to show off her comedic value and with her professional dance partner, Kevin Clifton (made it to the final ever year) always a popular vote with public, the stand-up should breeze through to week three.
Strictly Come Dancing - Top Woman
Without doubt, the surprise package in week one of Strictly was DEBBIE MCGEE and she already looks like one of the front runners for the Glitterball trophy based on her dance capabilities and personality. Not only did she perform a great Paso Doble, her sassiness and suppleness for a woman approaching her 60th birthday was nothing short of a revelation. In a year when there aren’t too many big stars on the show and, in general, the women are a pretty bland bunch, the former magician’s assistant should stand out against her counterparts. Although the likes of Mollie King, Alexandra Burke and Gemma Atkinson all look great and can dance, they lack the personalities of former female winners Kara Tointon and Abbey Clancy and are therefore all opposable at their current odds. With her relationship with Italian Stallion Giovanni Pernice set to blossom and many middle-age women seeing her as a role model for those that think they past it once they are over 50, her popularity looks sure to grow with the voting public with each week that passes.