After a fortnight of glitter and glamour, it was no surprise to see poor old Johnny Ball (at 74 he was the oldest contestant ever) leave the Strictly Come Dancing show on Sunday. But who is likely to be eliminated this week?
The towering Texan ex-model, Jerry Hall, was favourite to go last week and is in a similar position with the bookmakers betting odds this week (11/4 to get the boot).
Not only is she talentless on the dance floor, but she also succeeded in alienating the majority of the British public with her intro VT, drawling on about her wonderful, high-flying lifestyle in the company of rock stars. Mick Jagger and Bryan Ferry were the main ones but there were others – lucky them.
In the first week she barely moved a muscle while her professional partner, Anton du Beke, danced around her. Her most energetic and exciting move had more to do with her arms than her legs. She dramatically discarded her shawl. Her underwhelming performance prompted Craig Revel Horwood to suggest that she had “taken minimal to a whole new level” and score her accordingly with a 3.
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Her most recent routine did actually include a few dance steps but they were not enough to get her beyond a total score of 36. She has been a model of consistency. Her semi-comatose approach to ballroom dancing has resulted in a score of 18 points each time.
She will be attempting the quickstep on Saturday. She openly admits that she is not a naturally fast mover (on the dance floor). On Strictly she has so far resembled an outsized sloth. Poor Anton has his work cut out. Expect some humour – it is ‘Hollywood’ week – and she will play Mrs Robinson to his Benjamin.
However clever Anton’s routine, it’s unlikely that she’ll get beyond her traditional total which may send her to the very bottom of the leader board this week. She was twelfth of the fourteen contestants last time.
Fortunately for her, Anton has a fan base of his own who will probably pick up the phone once again to save him rather than her, especially if they are scored lowest of all. She should be good for another week at least.
The same cannot be said of showbiz TV presenter, Richard Arnold. He found himself in the dance off last week with his professional partner, Erin Boag. This week he is the second favourite at around 3/1 in the Strictly Come Dancing elimination betting – the same position was filled by Johnny Ball last Saturday.
He is also attempting the quickstep and should easily achieve a higher score with the judges than Jerry. He reached a score of 22 after his ballroom routine in the first week. He is definitely better in hold than when free to roam but the voting public do not appear to be behind him and Erin.
Who is Richard likely to face in the dance off this week?
After two performances, Westlife’s Nicky Byrne and cricketing ‘legend’ Michael Vaughan found themselves sharing the bottom spot on the leader board after the judges’ scores were totalled up last week. Fortunately the public vote saved them.
This Saturday Nicky will be attempting the quickstep and Michael will be trying to make a better job of the cha-cha-cha than he managed with his catastrophic jive.
The clip of Nicky Byrne training shown on ‘It Takes Two’ on Wednesday evening suggests that little progress has been made to improve his ballroom posture. He was given a score of 17, even lower than Jerry’s, after his first effort at ballroom in the opening show. He is likely to find himself close to the bottom of the leader board on Saturday once again through no fault of his own.
His professional partner Karen Hauer is new to Strictly and, while she is outstanding in her own right as a Mambo dancer, she appears to be a total liability as a coach and choreographer. She not only included an illegal lift in his waltz (resulting in that appallingly low score) but produced an outstandingly poor routine for his cha-cha-cha. Her total lack of application as a Strictly ‘professional’ dancer is extraordinary.
Having been partnered with Nicky Byrne, she did not even bother to find out what he was famous for before their first practice session. You can forgive her for not knowing anything about Westlife, she is a Venezuelan largely based in the US, but not for her failure to do a quick internet search. The illegal lift suggests that she has not even bothered to familiarise herself with the basic rules either.
Fortunately Nicky has plenty of fans of his own. They should ensure that he will not have to face the dance off even if/when Karen fails to help him improve his technique and provides conspicuously poor choreography once again. He is likely to be in the bottom third of the leader board.
Nicky’s fans should have their fingers crossed that Karen gets injured and that he gets a replacement professional who can actually teach him to dance and produce a decent routine. Even better, forget luck. Perhaps one of them could start an online campaign to get her booted off the show?
Michael Vaughan has the good fortune to have a decent coach in the shapely form of Natalie Lowe. He seems to be a thoroughly decent human being (Strictly is partly a popularity contest) and has provided some entertainment on the show. His backside may stick out ‘like a hanging basket’ when he is in ballroom mode but we can only hope that he can find something more constructive to do with it in a Latin routine.
The Bond film actor Colin Salmon is another possible contender for the dance off. He is doing the Argentine Tango this week. He can definitely dance but there is a good reason why specialists in this dance tend to be on the short side. At well over six feet, the superb Kristina Rihanoff is going to have to pull out all the stops to get him into the safety of the top half of the leader board, especially as he lost two days’ training to acting commitments in Canada this week.
Fern Britton could be another candidate for the dance off but she is doing a Charleston this week. This dance requires a sense of fun rather than great technique and will play to her strengths. You can rely on Artem to provide a great routine so she should scrape through.
Strictly Come Dancing Elimination Betting Tips
This week’s elimination looks to be between Richard Arnold (3/1 to go) and Michael Vaughan (5/1 to be bowled out). Cricketers have an outstanding record in this competition, though Vaughan patently lacks the talent of his predecessors.
- So Richard Arnold is our Strictly Come Dancing betting tip to get the axe at the best price of 10/3 with Coral Bookmaker.