After hitting the elimination crossbar last Saturday, Rob Furber takes aim again in seeking tonight's assassination target...
"Movie Week can be used as a clever mechanism by the producers to stitch up some of the contestants with unappealing costumes and styling."
It was all going according to plan, only for Katie McGlynn to survive last week's dance-off vs. Nina Wadia on a split decision. Having advised Katie at 8.07/1 and seeing her backed heavily below 2.01/1 during live in-running elimination betting on Betfair, I'm chalking that one up as a trading win.
Katie now takes on the American Smooth styled as Cruella de Vil, and she finds herself favourite for second elimination on Betfair.
Having decided to save her over Nina, it seems more likely they will seek to earn Katie a reprieve from the dreaded dance-off this week.
Among the women, Sara Davies is another strong elimination contender according to the Betfair odds. She is dancing samba and based on her week one CCC, it could prove a struggle. However, Sara was joint top scored last week for her foxtrot and probably has enough credits in the bank among the audience to drag herself clear of the bottom 2 on the public vote.
Ugo Monye, as suggested here, avoided elimination in week one despite being favourite. He now gets a Couple's Choice routine and the genre of 'Commercial' should mean Oti is able to throw in a few vote-winning, freestyle moves.
Judi Love's samba last week was one of the show's highlights. She now has Charleston and should be able to sell it well with requisite fun and attitude.
Tilly Ramsay showed how a Charleston can be a real audience-pleaser and she has the chance to build on that joint-top scoring routine with a jive set to 'Nicest Kids In Town' from Hairspray.
The producers have been kind to Dan Walker again, as he ducks fast Latin for a third successive week. A foxtrot to 'Once Upon A Dream' from Sleeping Beauty looks a safe bet to keep him safe.
Tom Fletcher returns to the competition after a week two Covid bye, and looks teed up for a triumphant comeback dancing jive to 'Johnny B Goode'. His band isn't called McFly just for the hell of it, and it was Marty McFly's routine in Back To The Future that inspired him to forge his pop career. Tom looked good in yesterday's rehearsal footage, might even earn the pimp slot and, if so, could be in contention for top score.
Movie Week can be used as a clever mechanism by the producers to stitch up some of the contestants with unappealing costumes and styling.
Which brings us to Robert Webb and Diane, styled as Kermit The Frog and Miss Piggy performing a Quickstep.
The Muppet Show Theme offers the right tempo for a QS but as we saw with Adam Peaty last week, if the judges decide to get pernickety, a QS is as easy to score down as to score up. On early (he is due an early r.o. slot) and Robert may find the vultures circling.
From hero to zero
Adam Peaty looked a legitimate Glitterball Trophy contender in week one performing CCC but highlighting how quickly a fall from grace can happen on Strictly, last week he got pelters for his QS and a miserly 19pts - be afraid Robert Webb - and an Avatar-themed rumba has all the ingredients to potentially underwhelm.
That said, knowing Katya she will come up with some Hollywood choreo moments to help Adam negotiate the notorious dance of death, and he looked ok in rehearsals.
The three at the top of the Betfair winner market - John Whaite, Rose Ayling-Ellis and AJ Odudu - all have a chance to consolidate their position.
A Pirates of the Caribbean-themed paso for John won't see him walking the plank tonight.
AJ took to ballroom like a duck to water last week and gets to follow up her impressive foxtrot with an American Smooth set to Whitney Houston's 'I Have Nothing'.
Rose to sink or swim?
Of more significance to the Betfair winner market will be Rose's first ballroom outing, a foxtrot, set to the instrumental 'Rose's Theme' from Titanic.
Her routine could hit an iceberg because she won't be able to lip-read Giovanni for instructions in hold, but if she is able to maintain timing and nail the required footwork it's a beautiful piece of music to potentially deliver a 'moment'.
Adam was available at 50-1 for second elimination earlier this week, and along with Robert, available at 20-1, both looked over-priced and worth a punt. Already they have both proved decent trades on the Betfair elimination market.
Of the front four in the second elimination market Greg Wise looks potentially most vulnerable.
Licence to kill
Greg will channel his inner James Bond for a paso doble set to the timeless Bond theme. They wouldn't dare attempt to kill him off, would they?
Well, he was given the opportunity to dance his disco Couple's Choice as a tribute to his sister last week, and he specifically requested this Bond-themed paso tonight, which could equate to, job done and journey over.
Keep a close eye on Greg's running order tonight because if on early he could well be in the sniper's sights for a takedown and merits a second elimination wager at 3.7511/4 being offered by Betfair.
Right up Rhys's street
Rhys Stephenson looks the bet to be the Week Three Highest Scorer tonight, available around 2.89/5.
A Couple's Choice 'Street' routine looks perfectly in his wheelhouse as the popping and locking popular within the hip hop community - oh yeah, I know how to stay down with the kids - will play to his strengths.
Him and Nancy have been putting in 12-hour training days together and given the assistance of an outside choreo expert.
It points to Rhys's Spiderman-themed routine being one of the big highlights tonight, possibly in the pimp slot and possibly seeing the first tens of the series, though not from Craig.
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