By William Hill
Last Updated: 6th December 2019
We’re down to the final four in this year’s series of Strictly Come Dancing as Kelvin Fletcher, Emma Barton, Karim Zeroual and Chris Ramsey bid this weekend to make next week’s final. We preview their chances of landing the Strictly crown.
Comedian Chris Ramsey played the Artful Dodger to Karen Hauer’s Oliver Twist in their shimmering foxtrot last time out and as a judge said of Ramsey, “He’s loving it more each week.”
But enthusiasm and ability, of course, aren’t always the same thing. “He needed to be a little bit more refined,” observed Bruno Tonioli to the agreement of his fellow judges. Watching Ramsey artfully dodge all the dance’s technical moves, it’s hard not to think he was right to be nervous about last week’s musical week. Sure enough, the sloppy performance landed him in the bottom two, narrowly escaping elimination at the expense of ex-footballer Alex Scott.
Priced at a very long 16/1 to win, drinks are on the house for the brave punters backing Ramsey.
Personality, authenticity and delivery were three words used by the judges following actress Emma Barton’s performance at the weekend. Taking it back to the 1920s with her partner, Anton Du Beke, in a rendition of the classic Charleston so skilful that even Craig Revel Horwood was impressed.
A near-perfect score of 39 suggests that the rest of the panel clearly agreed – with Shirley Ballas saying Barton had “fast-tracked her way to the final.” At 9/2, though, the markets haven’t been so generous – so perhaps the smart money is on Barton to win after all.
Children’s TV presenter Karim Zeroual came back fighting last time out after closely avoiding elimination the previous week – this time around, he earned himself the first perfect score of the current series. His jive to Hairspray track You Can’t Stop The Beat merited full marks from every judge – and his odds climbed, too, now standing at 9/2 alongside Barton.
Soap star Kelvin Fletcher, dancing as Gaston last time out from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast with professional Oti Mabuse, at one point swung from a chandelier. He was wearing a white shirt with frilly cuffs and a fake ponytail – the legendary Andy Sugden, whom Fletcher played for 20 years on Emmerdale, would surely have approved.
The pair got three tens and a nine, with one judge saying the routine was “outstanding on so many levels.” It wasn’t enough for some fans, though, as the post-match Twitterati were furious that they didn’t get four tens.
Not many people know that Fletcher has form performing musically on telly. He once dressed up as a 70s rocker and drummed on Harry Hill’s Alien Time Capsule. We all like someone who can make a fool of themselves – and with Fletcher the favourite at a short 4/11, apparently the markets do too.
Unfortunately for Ramsey, the comedian’s odds of victory match Fletcher’s chances of being eliminated in Sunday’s semi-final – at 16/1, Fletcher is the least likely candidate for failure this weekend. Ramsey, on the other hand, is odds-on for the boot, priced at 1/4 for next elimination. It could be a case of so near, yet so far for the comedian.