Strictly’s Les Dennis could face first dance-off after ‘risky’ routine

Les Dennis says he’s having the ‘best time’ despite age

According to the bookmakers’ latest odds, Les Dennis could end up in the first dance-off of the series because of his and Nancy Xu’s “risky” performance.

On Saturday night’s Strictly Come Dancing, Les and Nancy performed the Samba to Rock the Boat by Hues Corporation.

However, following research from William Hill Vegas, the Samba is the show’s “most fatal” dance which could put the duo at risk of elimination.

The Brazilian routine, notorious for its complexity, precise hip action, and intricate footwork, has contributed to a whopping 20 percent of eliminations over the past five series. Notably Alex Scott (S17), Jacqui Smith (S18) and Greg Wise (S19).

Things aren’t looking great for Les and Nancy who received the lowest amount of points for their first and second performances.

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The pair has odds of 3/1 to be the first contestant to be eliminated from the 2023 series.

That price makes the actor the third favourite to depart the show this weekend, with Nikita Kanda (7/4) and Krishnan Guru-Murthy (11/4) currently the frontrunners.

Other contestants who have fallen victim to the Samba in the same timeframe include Richie Anderson (S20), Rhys Stevenson (S19), Tilly Ramsay (S19), Emma Thynn (S17), Saffron Barker (S17), Ranj Singh (S16), Danny John-Jules (S16) and Lauren Steadman (S16).

According to William Hill Vegas’ data, the Jive is the second riskiest routine from the 15 dance genres, contributing to 14.5 percent of eliminations since 2018 – including Matt Goss (S20), Adam Peaty (S19) and Ellie Taylor (S20).

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William Hill spokesperson, Lee Phelps, said: “The Samba is always perceived to be one of the trickier routines in Strictly Come Dancing, though few would have envisioned it to contribute to as many as one in five Ballroom eliminations since 2018.

“That alarming statistic makes uneasy viewing for Les Dennis, who was not only the bottom points scorer in last week’s opening episode but will be performing the Brazilian dance in this Saturday’s show alongside partner Nancy Xu.

“Dennis is 3/1 with us to depart the series in Sunday’s results show, making him the third favourite to receive the boot behind Nikita Kanda (7/4) and Krishnan Guru-Murthy (11/4).”

He added: “Will Strictly’s Samba curse strike once again?”

Unfortunately for Les, things didn’t quite go to plan on Saturday night as the presenter landed at the bottom of the leaderboard.

Motsi Mabuse told him: “It started off as a Samba…your own interpretation.

“It became hot but I wouldn’t call it Samba because you were having fun and I think that counts for something.”

Shirley Ballas told Les if it wasn’t a competition, she would have given him a score of 10 for entertainment.

She added: “You’re entertaining, you had foot faults galore, but there is something about that is attractive to watch.”

Strictly Come Dancing airs on Sunday at 7.15pm on BBC One.

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