Hollywood Week proved to be the finale for the US born ex-model, Jerry Hall, but who will be left for dead after the Strictly Come Dancing Halloween special?
Retired cricketer and all round good egg Michael Vaughan (just 5/2 to get the boot this week) found himself in the dance off with Jerry last Sunday. At the very beginning of his cha cha cha routine he could not even nod his head in time with the music.
He was sitting down at the time and only his neck and head were moving so there really is no excuse unless he has a hearing problem. Natalie Lowe, his long suffering partner must be in a state of despair.
After such a poor start, it was no surprise to see that he had timing issues again in his lukewarm Full Monty style routine to Hot Stuff. He attracted a derisive score of three from Craig Revel Horwood. Even Bruno Tonioli could only bring himself to give him a four. Darcey Bussell and Len Goodman both gave him a sympathetic six, presumably for effort.
He found himself in eleventh place once the scores were totalled. Third from last is a very dangerous place to be. He was extremely lucky that he had such languid opposition in the shape of Jerry Hall. Both celebrities were even worse in the dance off than in their original routines but at least Michael bothered to move around a bit and was saved by the judges.
He will have to move pretty fast this Saturday as he is attempting the quickstep. We can probably look forward to seeing his backside taking centre stage. After his last attempt at ballroom, Bruno said that it stuck out like a hanging basket. Natalie may be more worried about his footwork. Can you get steel toe caps for dancing shoes?
EastEnders star Sid Owen (16/1 to leave) and partner Ola Jordan found themselves at the very bottom of the scoreboard after their ‘rock and roll’ take on the tango last week. Fortunately their desperate position prompted the public saved them.
Help from the voting public may well be needed again this week as iron lady Ola has had to go to Poland. Her mother had a heart attack. In Ola’s absence, Sid has been put through his paces by Iveta Lukosiute, the emergency replacement for the injured Aliona Vilani.
Iveta’s gentle approach has so far proved pretty disastrous. She partnered Johnny Ball who was the first to leave the show.
Sid says he feels as if he has been on holiday compared with Ola’s much tougher training regime. After his last performance, he needs all the help he can get.
Ola is coming back in time for the live show but there will be precious little time for them to practice the cha cha cha together.
Unlike Sid, Westlife’s Nicky Byrne (14/1 for this to be his last week) had a great Hollywood week. With the help of his green mask, he made a breakthrough with his quickstep and found himself in the top half of the leaderboard for the first time.
The main criticism of his quickstep was his inability to straighten his legs. Fortunately, slightly bent knees are just what are needed for the tango he will be dancing with his dodgy debutante professional partner, Karen Hauer, on Saturday. If his upward curve continues, he should not need too many of his fans to phone in to save him.
The gold medal winning cyclist, Victoria Pendleton (16/1 to be on her bike this week) also made progress in Hollywood week. She managed to conquer her nerves enough to lose her startled rabbit expression for the first time. If she hadn’t half strangled herself with her chiffon scarf during the rumba she would have finished much better than tenth with a score of 22.
Her partner, Brendan Cole, has high hopes for her this week. They are attempting the tango. Wherever she finishes after the judges’ scores, we can be absolutely certain that she won’t be facing the dance off. She has done enough for her country to ensure that the public will save her if necessary.
Television presenter Fern Britton (5/1 to be eliminated) scored just one more point than Victoria with her Mary Poppins themed Charleston. Unlike Victoria, she has no problem with smiling in front of the cameras but still produced a distinctly lacklustre Charleston.
This week she has another potentially crowd pleasing dance, the American smooth. She may be fairly substantial (despite her gastric band) but Artem Chigvintsev should be strong enough to shoulder her for the three permitted lifts. She is unlikely to go much further in Strictly but should be good for another week or two.
Showbiz GMTV reporter Richard Arnold (5/2 to go) escaped the dance off last week thanks to a respectable attempt at the quickstep. He finished eighth with a score of 25 and received some praise from the judges for his improved posture and footwork.
His partner, Erin Boag is a true professional and a very good coach. She has done a great job with him but has got a mountain to climb this week. He does not do aggression and that is exactly what is needed to pull off a decent paso doble. He is naturally more of a mincer than a masterful matador.
Who is likely to go this week? Our Betting Tip
The bookmakers agree that Richard Arnold and Michael Vaughan are the most likely to get the boot but are undecided over which one will go. Fern Britton is the third favourite across the board to leave the show.
Fern has the advantage of a crowd pleasing dance and a professional partner with his own following. Sid Owen may well put in a poor performance again but there should be enough EastEnders fans to save him
Michael is likely to find himself at the very bottom of the leader board which should prompt the public to pick up the phone and save him.