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Strictly Come Dancing: Week Twelve preview

The latest season of hit BBC One show Strictly Come Dancing has not disappointed this year and the competition reaches the semi-final stage on Sunday.

English actress, singer and presenter Kym Marsh became the latest celebrity to depart along with partner Graziano Di Prima last time out, crashing out in Musicals Week following their Cha-Cha-Cha to 'Fame' from the musical of the same name.

Actress Molly Rainford and Carlos Gu also found themselves in the bottom two, but squeezed through and are part of the final five.

Also still in the running are singer-songwriter Fleur East and Vito Coppola, cameraman Hamza Yassin and Jowita Przystal, TV presenter Helen Skelton and Gorka Marquez and actor Will Mellor and Nancy Xu.

The battle for the Glitterball is intensifying and this week each celebrity and their partner will perform to two songs in front of judges Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse, Anton Du Beke and Craig Revel Horwood.

What: Strictly Come Dancing, Week 12
Where: Elstree Film and Television Studios, London
When: 19.15, Sunday 11th December 2022
How to watch: BBC One
Odds: Hamza Yassin 4/6, Helen Skelton 5/4, Will Mellor 18/1, Fleur East 66/1, Molly Rainford 100/1

Yassin remains frontrunner for the Glitterball

Cameraman and wildlife presenter Hamza Yassin has led the way in the Strictly Come Dancing outright betting for a number of weeks and is 4/6 To Win Outright heading into the semi-finals.

In Musicals Week, Yassin and partner Przystal actually posted the second lowest score of the week, receiving 36 out of 40 for their Samba to 'They Live in You' from 'The Lion King'.

But that should not dampen the optimism surrounding Yassin, who has been one of the most consistent performers this year with no pair bettering the couple's average of 34.2 in the series.

That score of 40 may still elude them but there is a lot to be said for consistency on the show and Yassin's charisma has clearly gone down well with the public with rumours having circulated that he could be in line for his own TV nature show with the BBC after this year's series.

Whether that comes to fruition remains to be seen but for now Yassin looks a worthy outright favourite and he can also be backed at 1/5 to edge Will Mellor in the Top Man market.

Skelton the most likely to pull off a shock

Never one to turn down a challenge and having previously turned out for the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special, former Blue Peter presenter Helen Skelton was always going to impress on the dancefloor.

Of the remaining celebrities in this series, Skelton and partner Marquez actually have the lowest average score across their 11 dances with 32.3 but they have gone from strength to strength as the series has progressed.

In two of the last three weeks, they have posted scores of 39 out of 40, most recently with their Couple's Choice to 'Mein Herr' from Cabaret in Musicals Week.

For those with any doubts about frontrunner Yassin, Skelton is the obvious second choice at 5/4 To Win Outright. She is also 1/5 to be Top Woman.

This week Skelton and Marquez are set to perform the Argentine Tango to 'Here Comes The Rain Again' by Eurythmics and the Waltz to 'Only One Road' by Celine Dion.

Rainford looks solid bet in next elimination market

According to the betting, it is a toss-up between Molly Rainford at 10/11 and Fleur East at 11/10 in the Next Elimination market and Rainford represents the better bet out of those two.

East may not always be the most popular with the public but viewers should not forget her and partner Vito Coppola scoring 40 with their Couple's Choice dance to a medley of songs by Destiny's Child back in week nine.

And while Rainford has previously promised to be a dark horse in the race for the Glitterball, she and partner Carlos Gu have declined a touch in recent weeks and have found themselves in the bottom two in two of the last three shows, including in Musicals Week.

It is at this stage the best dancers really come to the fore and, although neither Rainford nor East has much of a chance of going the distance, Rainford looks the more likely to depart in the semi-finals.

There is a jump to the next celebrity in the Next Elimination market with actor Will Mellor available at 10/1, while Skelton and Yassin are both 33/1 to be dumped out.

This series has not been short of shocks, but this week's results are unlikely to cause much of a stir.

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