It's Week Five on Strictly Come Dancing this weekend, and Alan Dudman returns with his take on Saturday's show. He believes that TV presenter Ruth Langsford might survive....
"She hasn't scored highly at all this series, but people are voting her in. If she's around [1.90] for the Bottom Two - that's a lay bet."
What Happened Last Week
If you follow Ruth Langsford on Twitter (and why not?) you might just have seen who was axed before the Sunday night results show. The huge spoiler alert came with the exit of Charlotte Hawkins, and we are now down to 12 celebrities.
It wasn't a great weekend for Charlotte, who was called Mollie by head judge Shirley Ballas. It's the second time Ballas has got someone's name wrong. Don't worry Charlotte, I played football with someone who called me 'Dougie' or 'Dougs' for about two years. I didn't have the heart to tell him.
Her departure prompted more exit rumours concerning Brendan Cole. We get them most years, but he's been pretty fiery this season. I say to him don't worry about it Brian.
Scores on the doors were Alexandra Burke's 39 point Jive. We had three bets last week, she was the only wining one, proving once and for all the Jive is now becoming the 'go-to' dance. Hollyoaks' superstar Gemma Atkinson pulled a rabbit out of the hat (which is usually Debbie McGee's job) with a pretty fierce 35-pointer. She finished second on the leaderboard and judge Ballas praised her acting ability. Has she watched Hollyoaks?
Our fears (thanks Ian Waite) concerning the Aston Merrygold dance proved spot on in a quirky 32, although the star of the show was undoubtedly Susan Calman who improved a massive ten points to 30 to close the show. She left everyone beaming according to Zoe Ball following her Morecambe & Wise routine - and she hit all the notes in the right order!
The dance-off was a massive surprise - especially as the pair of wardrobes Brian Conley and Simon Rimmer (I keep typing Simmon) evaded the red zone. It was Davood Ghadami (29 points) who appeared versus the Hawk.
How both Simon and Brian remain in this competition is anyone's guess. Rimmer's Cocacabana was more Benidorm than Brazil, whilst the Conley Paso was too smiley with (yet again) a series of face-pulls. Simon's 19 points were only bettered by two with Brian.
Who Dances What This Week?
Well, we are but one show away from Halloween Week, and the chance for the Over 2.5 Ghouls bet. But more on that nearer the time.
For Saturday, Alexandra will probably be odds-on for Highest Scorer marks following her three 10s last week. She's got a Samba which Burke says herself is "hardcore". Her speed and ferocity is very impressive, but if she's about [1.70], we might just have to leave her alone.
She is the new favourite at [3.60] in the Winner market.
There's a Jive this Saturday, which gets the Highest Scorer klaxon sounding. However, it's Davood, and I'm not sure he can get above 36 points as he isn't technical enough. His song will be Tell Her About It by Billy Joel. They like Billy Joel on this don't they?
We ought to mention Susan again, and she came up with a rather funny line on ITT this week by saying: "Everyone wants to see a fusion of me and Little Mix."
However, the Cha Cha Cha might just dip her back under the 30 mark - but last Saturday was a personal best, and she's with Kevin (from Grimsby) - he has made the final in each of the last four seasons.
McGee needs to up her game following her 27 in Cha Cha Cha last weekend. She looked a bit stiff, but she'll probably say that about me when I am 58 years of age. She managed a fantastic 180 degree leg move, but it was too reserved. She's got a tricky dance again this Saturday with a Rumba - which is probably the most difficult routine for the female celebrity. If she's around [3.0], she could become lay potential - but I have a gut feeling she won't be short enough.
Do we back Aston this week at around [3.0]? Well he's back in ballroom with a Waltz and he has Elvis Presley's Can't Help Falling In Love. This has potential - if he can sort out his frame.
Other contenders are Gemma with her Foxtrot, Joe McFadden with his Paso Doble, and Jonnie Peacock with his Quickstep. The surprise package could be McFadden this Saturday, as the Paso Doble (or PD) has scored well so far, and Ian liked his training footage on ITT. He'll be a fairly big price at around [6.0] for Highest Scorer.
Who Faces Elimination?
It's highly unlikely we'll be seeing Davood again in the Bottom Two, especially with a Jive, and the fact we always get an early shock in the red zone. Usually the fans come out in force, so I imagine he'll be safe.
The usual suspects are in trouble here. Rimmer has a Charleston for Saturday but he's too flat-footed (and naff). Ian on ITT called his dance "a jig", which doesn't bode well for the confidence. He'll try to channel Gene Kelly here, but I feel it could be more Graham Kelly - despite the addition of a violin as a prop.
It's a tough call who is more wooden - him or the Stradivarius. Both are bound to popular in the 4th Elimination market. Conley is [2.46], Rimmer is [2.24], with Langsford at [4.80].
He survived last week, and only scored 19. We should avoid the Lowest Scorer bet as the Charleston in theory should get him up to about 24.
The upcoming Jive for Brian needs to be better than previous scores 16 and 19, and he could be Lowest Scorer material to It's Not Unusual by Tom Jones. This needs to be full of hips, I fear it could be all hip replacement. A price of [2.50] for bottom marks should be expected.
Meanwhile Ruth got up to 24 last Saturday and showed a dramatic improvement. Progress. Will she take a step back? She has a Samba to Love Is In The Air by John Paul Young. His lesser-known hit was One Foot In Front - a good mantra to live by in the dancing world, and something Langsford will need to remember.
She hasn't scored highly at all this series, but people are voting her in. If she's around [1.90] for the Bottom Two - that's a lay bet.
Week Five Recommended Bets
Back Simon Rimmer for Bottom Two @ [2.0]
Lay Ruth Langsford in Bottom Two @ [2.0]
*Strictly airs this Saturday on BBC One at 18:35 to 20:20 with in-play markets available, with the results show Sunday at 19:15 to 20:00.