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Strictly Come Dancing: Week 12 preview

Nigel Harman bid his farewell to Strictly Come Dancing last week due to a series-ending injury, but there was a good chance he would have got the boot via the vote anyway.

Either way, it means there are just four contestants remaining to battle it out for the Glitterball Trophy, and, having reached the semi-final stage, the competition is taken up a notch this week.

Each couple will have to perform two dances on Saturday in a bid to reach next week's final, so it could be a survival of the fittest as much as it is a test of who can dance the best.

With three relatively young contestants to get past, the odds are stacked against 57-year-old Annabel Croft, who has exceeded expectations to reach this stage.

She is 11/8 second favourite to be eliminated this week, with Bobby Brazier the 4/7 jolly.

There's a nice symmetry to the competition with two male and two female dancers remaining, but there's a lop-sided look to things in the gender of winner betting as it's 1/33 that one of the ladies gets their hands on the trophy, and 10/1 that a bloke swans off with the prize.

Ellie Leach continues to lead the way in the outright market, where she is long odds-on for glory, and she remains the one they must all beat according to the betting.

Layton Williams landed the first and only maximum score of 40 points last week, but that has barely caused a ripple in the winners market, where Brazier is propping up the rest at 20/1 for Glitterball glory.

WhatStrictly Come Dancing
When19:35 Saturday 9th December 2023
WhereBBC Elstree Studios, London
How to watchBBC One and iPlayer
Winner oddsEllie Leach 1/5, Annabel Croft 5/1, Layton Williams 12/1, Bobby Brazier 20/1

Tennis star Croft facing a fitness test

Annabel Croft is the lowest scorer remaining in Strictly Come Dancing and things don't get any easier this week, with the 57-year-old having two dances to contend with.

The former British tennis star was bottom of the scoring charts last week with 33 points for her foxtrot and she is way down on the leaderboard for her scores across the series with 335 points at an average of 30.5 per dance.

She's way off the pace of Layton Williams who has landed a maximum score of 40 from the judges in Week 11 and who tops the leaderboard with 393 points at a rate of 35.7 per dance.

That's 10 points clear of Ellie Leach, who is scoring at a rate of 34.8 per dance despite being the red-hot favourite to win Strictly Come Dancing.

Bobby Brazier managed just 34 points last week and would likely have been in the dance-off until Nigel Harman's withdrawal through injury.

Two dances will test the stamina of all four remaining contestants this week, but you have to think that the young guns have the advantage over Croft despite the fact she is obviously still in great shape.

Whether she can cope with having to perform two routines remains to be seen, but the betting suggests she could make next week's final as she is 5/1 second favourite to win the competition.

However, she is also the 11/8 second favourite to get the boot this week, too, so it's fair to say a watching brief is needed where Croft is required.

Girl power looking too strong

A male contestant has won Strictly in three of the last four series, but it's 1/33 that this year's winner is female and Leach looks the one to beat at just 1/5 for glory.

The Coronation Street star has led the way for most of the series and it looks like a straight shootout between her and Williams to win the 21st series of Strictly Come Dancing.

It's more clear-cut that Brazier could be the dancer in the most danger this week as he is the 4/7 favourite for the next elimination and he is the 20/1 outsider to lift the Glitterball Trophy next week.

It would be no surprise to see Brazier and Croft in the dance-off this week and that could spell trouble for Croft who would have to perform her third routine in the space of a few hours.

That could see her run out of steam at just the wrong time, so the 11/8 that she gets the boot this week could give punters a decent run for their money.

This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.

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