Greg Wise landed the third elimination money last week and Rob Furber believes he has got an even stronger selection lined up for tonight...
"Rose hasn't been top of the judges' leaderboard yet, she hasn't received a single ten yet, she hasn't had a single pimp slot yet... and yet, her price on the Betfair winner market keeps shortening."
Today's Strictly analysis was all set to put forward the case as to why Ugo Monye was the value fourth elimination punt, and Judi Love a favourite worth opposing.
Sadly, Judi was declared a non-runner on Thursday evening following a positive Covid test which in Strictly 2021 equates to a one-week bye, and Ugo now resides on Betfair as a strong 1.635/8 favourite to be given his marching orders.
Get your money on Monye
It is hard to find a reason why Ugo won't end up being eliminated tonight. This series has already lost Robert Webb due to health concerns and Ugo missed last week following an old back injury flaring up.
The producers appear to have had Ugo's injury in mind in giving him the rumba tonight, which doesn't make the same physical demands on the body as, say, fast Latin numbers.
Looking further ahead, they have to be concerned about Ugo's back problem, which has required him to have injections in his spine, as they cannot afford to have another contestant pull out, with a cloud currently hanging over Judi's future participation as well.
We also know rumba is the dance of death and last night's rehearsal footage of Ugo didn't look encouraging for his survival chance.
Sara Davies has rumba tonight too and the generous treatment she has been receiving from the judges appears to put Ugo in further peril. So while it is not going to make you rich, Ugo has to be the selection for fourth elimination at around 1.635/8.
The biggest puzzle ahead of tonight is, who Ugo might end up meeting in the dance-off. The general feel of this series is that both Rhys Stephenson and Tilly Ramsay are struggling on the public vote. However, Rhys has a classic ballroom routine to sell in American Smooth set to 'I've Got The World On a String' by Michael Bublé. It looks the sort of thing teed up for a potential first pimp slot for him and the eulogies of the panel.
Tilly has foxtrot to One Direction's 'Little Things' which may not be as high scoring as Rhys's AS but after a week in which she has been the subject of body shaming, it is easy to see an emotional VT for her covering this topic, seeking to generate support among Strictly voters.
Waltzing to safety
Dan Walker is expected to have a good night courtesy of his Viennese Waltz to Billy Joel's 'She's Always a Woman'. Not only is this his wife's favourite song but she is going to be in attendance in the studio. And his pro partner, Nadiya Bychkova, holds the world record for fleckerls, a dance step in VW she will no doubt have drummed into Dan and sure to be credited this evening by ballroom maestro Anton Du Beke.
Adam Peaty will dance a samba to 'Faith' by George Michael. Adam has looked well-suited to fast Latin dances as we saw in his week one CCC, and he has the hip action to pull off a good samba. He may find himself opening tonight's show as a way for the judges to talk him up while scoring him down.
We have seen the judges nit-pick Adam's routines but at this point in the competition he should have enough public vote to keep him clear of the bottom two.
Sara Davies is someone enjoying the polar opposite treatment to Adam, and she has already top-scored twice with her foxtrot and last week's tango. It is doubtful rumba will suit her quite as well but decent scores should be forthcoming for her if only to help further condemn Ugo.
Tom set to underwhelm?
The one catching the eye as a potential surprise bottom two candidate tonight is Tom Fletcher. He will dance salsa to Harry Styles' 'Watermelon Sugar'.
The tempo of that track doesn't seem to be fast enough for salsa, it is an exposing dance, and while snake hips Adam will set pulses racing among female viewers with his samba, the optics of the ultra-vanilla Tom shaking his booty to a salsa could, by comparison, be underwhelming.
Tom feels like the forgotten man in this series and he looks worth a small investment to end up in the bottom two tonight at around 5.04/1 if you can get matched.
Rose Ayling-Ellis has been well backed to win Strictly 2021 this week, matched as low as 1.910/11. Rose hasn't been top of the judges' leaderboard yet, she hasn't received a single ten yet, she hasn't had a single pimp slot yet... and yet, her price on the Betfair winner market keeps shortening.
Having negotiated some of the trickier dances early in the series, the market believes she is being held up for a run and there is a burgeoning Rose journey brewing.
Rose looked good in yesterday's rehearsals and could come under consideration for tonight's pimp slot. She will dance a VW to 'Fallin'' by Alicia Keys this evening which is expected to see her get back to the same sort of score as her week 3, 36-scoring foxtrot.
John Whaite will dance Charleston to the quintessential chanson, Édith Piaf's 'Milord', which looks an open goal for a high scoring triumph. If they pull out tens again for John he could shorten from 4.3100/30 but among the front three in the market there is possibly greater scope for AJ Odudu's price to come in from 8.07/1.
AJ to bounce back
Having tipped AJ to top score last week, everything was going perfectly to plan as she stepped onto the dancefloor for her pimp slot samba, only for the routine to fall apart.
Tonight she has Argentine tango and the script looks there for her to bounce back strongly from her samba woes. The AT to Stevie Nicks 'Edge Of Seventeen' should suit the long-legged AJ down to the ground as she is capable of hitting great lines.
The highest scorer market looks a difficult puzzle to solve as you can put forward a case for any of Rose, Rhys, John and AJ, and there could even be room, via the pimp slot, for Dan to surprise. Better to focus investment on Ugo being eliminated at around 1.635/8.