The ousting of Rev. Richard Coles last week, sent an important message out to this year’s contestants - the public clearly aren’t in the same charitable mood as in previous years. Normally, the comedy acts such as Ed Balls and John Sergeant - relying heavily on entertainment value rather than any great dance technique - have seen their connection and likability with the viewers stretch way beyond the period of time their moves on the dancefloor should have allowed.
Just like all the other big voting-driven reality shows on TV, when there’s a big field involved, the running order in the early part of the show has a massive effect on whether you are in the dance off or not, and based on this season’s series so far, going out first has clearly had a detrimental effect. In week one, the bubbly Chizzie had the dubious honour of kicking off the live shows and even though she did a fair job with the foxtrot, she bit the bullet with the judges favouring Brian Conley’s Tango (face). The same almost repeated itself last week when first cab off the rank, Simon Rimmer, found himself in the bottom two, only to be saved by the panel due to his better technique than the Rev. Richard Coles
. Clearly, an early slot in the show is bad news for any dancer – even more so with those who are easily forgotten – but without knowing this information in advance, it makes life difficult sorting the wheat from the chaff. That said, having gone out first last week, there’s a decent chance that this week’s favourite to go, Simon Rimmer, will be given a better slot deeper in the show and based on that likelihood along with the perceived ‘sympathy bounce’ from last week (public more likely to vote for someone hard done by or attacked by the judges), he might just have enough votes to escape the chop despite doing the notoriously-difficult Samba.
Having already been in the dance-off, BRIAN CONLEY (best price 5-2) looks the other obvious candidate for the boot and it’s easy to see why given his supposed lack of connection with the public (bottom on most voting polls with only 1%). He seemed to do a fair job doing the Cha Cha Cha on week one but found himself in the bottom two, and there’s a decent chance he will be in danger again this week being asked to do the Paso Doble. Another who appears to be getting through by the skin of her teeth is Charlotte Hawkins. Despite each week threatening to “sex it up”, the Good Morning Britain presenter has come across as being a Rachel Riley Mark II and her two performances so far have been way below par from a technical point of view. Along with her partner Brendan Cole’s constant bickering with the judges, the duo are really struggling to get a foot hold in the show and it’s surely only got to be her loyal morning TV fans that are picking up the phone and keeping her in. Out of hold in the Cha Cha during week one, the 42-year-old looked all over the place and that could turn out to be the problem this week as she tackles the jive - a dance where poor technique and lack of timing are thoroughly exposed. The only saving grace for her comes via a charity dance competition she took part in for Sky TV when she did the jive to a pretty decent standard (can be viewed on Youtube). If she doesn’t go this week, the inevitable is surely only just around the corner. Of the rest, Susan appears to be getting on fine with the quickstep looking at the training videos and she has the ever-popular Kevin Clifton to keep her in the show for a few more weeks yet, while the likes of Johnny, Joe and Davood are too good to be a consideration for the heave-ho at this stage.
If there’s to be semi-shock in this week’s elimination fight, it could turn out to be RUTH LANGSFORD (best price 6-1) who, although has the King Of The Ballroom, Anton Du Beke, to guide her (being the operative phrase) around the dancefloor, she has all the ingredients to slip into the role of a wallflower. Steady but rather unspectacular at the moment, it’s hard to see her going on any particular ‘journey’ on the evidence of what we’ve seen so far and this week’s Tango, which needs a certain amount of poise and drama, just might be out of the reach for Eamon Holmes’ other half.