Are odds-on backers Dancing on thin Ice?

Just four skaters remain in Dancing on Ice where producers must be ruing their decision to put one professional dancer amongst a field of actors, magicians, talk show hosts, presenters and a partially blind Olympian. That dancer, Perri Kiely, has been odds-on from week 1 and is now 2/9 to win the prize.

Such a lack of competition has cost bookmakers in terms of betting turnover and ITV a lot of viewers. 2020 viewing numbers are down by over 20 percent on last year’s number. In fact, at an average of 5.87 million per show, they are at their lowest since Dancing on Ice made its debut in 2006.

Ben Hanlin has miraculously avoided elimination for the last three weekends but he’s surely going home this week, leaving Libby Clegg (14/1), Joe Swash (7/2) and the aforementioned Perri Kiely to, for the want of a better word, fight out the finish. As the saying goes, ‘if it were a boxing match, they would stop it now’.

But as supporters of Luke and Siannise discovered in the recently concluded winter Love Island, long odds-on shots do get beaten in made-for-TV reality and game shows. Can it happen for a second time in a fortnight? Very doubtful…

Perri dancing off with the prize but there are other options

Dancing on Ice looks something of a done deal with our ante-post selection, Perri Kiely seemingly home and hosed. The Diversity star went into odds-on following the opening show and hit 2/7 prior to last weekend’s performance.

He’s gone back out a fraction since (now 1/3) but there’s clearly no value in backing the 24-year-old at this point – the likelihood of injury is probably quite strong in a show of this ilk after all – and so the focus has switched to other betting options.

There is an each-way play in the outright market as the 12/1 about Lisa George has some real appeal. The actress showed improved form in week 4, recording 32 judges’ points, and that took her into second position on the ‘average scores’ chart.

She’s still there now with those averages currently reading: Perri 32, Lisa 28.4, Libby 28.0, Ian H 27.1, Ben 26.3, Maura 25.0, Joe 24.6. A reminder, it was Kevin Kilbane that was sent home last weekend while Caprice mysteriously quit the show shortly before the cameras rolled.

At 12/1, Lisa George, a Coronation Street star who is probably the best known of all contestants, looks an over-priced forecast link and the one to play each-way. Alternatively, you can simply back her in the ‘top woman’ market where she is 11/8.

Ben or Maura to crash out next

The market on the next elimination sees Ben Hanlin considered the most likely celeb to leave this Sunday, albeit there is little between him at 7/4 and Maura Higgins who is 9/4 to go next. Upsets in this kind of market are rare and the betting is normally a great barometer, so it’s unlikely it will not be one of these two.

Both achieved personal best scores last weekend and there is little in it regarding their average scoring. But I’m a great conspiracy theorist and as elimination for Maura would see a lot of Irish viewers switch off, and leave just two female contestants in the show, I think this one might be manufactured to tip the scales towards an exit for Ben.

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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