The first celebrity will be voted off Strictly this Saturday, and our betting man Alan Dudman has his ideas about that market and plenty of others ahead of the weekend's show....
"With further fuel to the fire, his partner Janette Manrara is the Latin sensation, and they've already got lifts planned for the second show."
What Happened Last Week
You'll like this, not a lot. Well you will if you backed Debbie McGee at big prices. She was the huge mover in the Winner market following an extraordinary 30 point Paso Doble on Saturday evening.
Her top price [55.0] for the Glitterball has disappeared into [8.80] (you could say as if by magic). She's also the clear second favourite in the Top Female market behind Alexandra Burke. The singer is [2.80], whilst the radio and TV personality (not my words) is now [3.30].
Can she win it? I don't think so. It could be more of the complete unexpected - although, maybe not as unexpected as the smacker she planted on Giovanni Pernice during the scores. Now that was magic.
Elsewhere Mollie King was the big disappointment. And if you watched the excruciating VT clip with her taking the mic, you'll know what I mean. I found it mildly amusing that AJ's voice was actually better. Her dancing was quite poor, and with 23 points in the first week, she has drifted out to [13.0] in the Winner market.
Our two positions with the ante-post winner bets are looking pretty good. Joe McFadden (who?), produced a decent Jive with 29 points for a scorer-friendly dance. He now trades at [10.0] to win, and he's been tipped here at [21.0].
However, he'll do well to beat Aston Merrygold. Our big selection was the top scorer in the opening week with 31 points, with an ultra-confident Waltz. Judge Craig described him as a "little too confident" and felt his steps were a bit self-indulgent. He's been cut from [5.40] to [3.80], and I think he would have gone shorter had it not been for McGee. I liked it, I liked it a lot.
In other news, Simon Rimmer and Brian Conley are going great guns to hold the title of 'Worst Ever Dancer'. In fact, the overall standard was not brilliant in the show that seem to last longer than a Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd instrumental combined. Now that is long.
The Highest Scorer market will revolve around Burke, Merrygold and McGee.
Burke only scored 24 points last week but looked quite good. She's got a chance for a show-stopper with a Paso Doble - and that's a dance that is traditionally a high pointer. It's quite early for the routine, and it's harder for the female with the intricate leg flicks. She's fierce in training, though, and she'll easily beat that 24.
However, all eyes on Merrygold. The JLS singer has a Salsa this week, and he's already said "it's a bit of me."
His training video on ITT this week with Ian Waite was frankly ridiculous for Week Two - he looked that good. With further fuel to the fire, his partner Janette Manrara is the Latin sensation, and they've already got lifts planned for the second show. We won't be seeing that from Ruth Langsford.
Janette is known for her risk taking, which is good news for new judge Shirley Ballas - who is the 'Queen Of Latin'. If she's the queen, Aston is king, as I was saying the other day to Caecilius.
Veni, vidi, vici.
If we can snaffle anything around the [3.0] marker for Merrygold, we are doing well. Liquidity was light at the time of writing, so I am expecting plenty of juice once we go in-play during the show.
The 58-year-old McGee has a Viennese Waltz to Billy Joel's "Always A Woman",which is much better than Joel Billy's "Woman A Always".
Surprise package McFadden dances the Tango this week, and was described by Waite on Wednesday as having a hand like a bunch of bananas. He dances to an Ed Sheeran song this week, and as you might suspect, I'd rather listen to a bunch of bananas than Ed. Once the ginger songsmith appears, I am off.
I've gone with Chizzy Akudolu for the First Elimination already at [7.20], and she's a similar sort of price a week later. Remember, these early exit markets are all about popularity with the voters, and we have to be encouraged with the bet by the fact that Ballas called her Lizzy on Saturday - which was all slightly embarrassing. I suspect that the new judge hasn't got Holby on her BBC One catch up.
I know I haven't.
Chizzy can dance, though, and I am slightly worried for the elimination wager if she meets either Conley, Rimmer or Langsford in the Bottom Two - who all displayed virtually no aptitude for dancing whatsoever.
Rimmer was absolutely appalling, and giving him a Paso was just plain cruel. He's got a very basic Waltz lined up, and I am struggling to split which could be the dullest; a Sheeran melody or two minutes of the Chef with no coordination. One foot in Cork, the other in York.
Or two birds with one stone - Sheeran on Sunday Brunch. Now that isn't magic.
And then we have poor Brian. He wore red sparkly shoes last week, and I really did feel for him. Just as I did when Peter Shilton was made to dress up in white gloves with a silly hat and perform one of the ropiest Charlestons ever witnessed. Conley struggled a bit, and spent most of the show gurning. This was obviously funny back in the 1980s and 90s, but comedy has moved on slightly.
His upcoming Cha Cha could be remarkable in the sense of having absolutely no Cha or Cha in it. Dancing to 'Shake Your Groove' is hardly ideal for a 50-something either. His song is by Peaches and Herb apparently, so it could be the thyme to back him for the Bottom Two.
Lowest score material.
Saturday's Recommended Bets
*Strictly airs this Saturday on BBC One at 18:45 to 20:50, with the results show Sunday at 19:15