Favourite with the bookies to win Dancing On Ice, Eastenders actor Matt Lapinskas found himself in the skate off last night, shocking audience and judges alike. He fought for his Reality TV life against X Factor winner Shayne Ward. The feeling was that the viewers had not voted for him on the basis that they assumed that he was safe. This brings back memories of Ella Henderson finding herself in the sing off on the X Factor last Autumn with eventual winner James Arthur, when both were expected to be in the final. Shayne tried hard to come up with the goods and the pressure resulted in tears for actor Matt after he made an unusual fumble on the ice, but his fate was sealed when three of the judges voted for Matt to stay in the competition.
Whilst this whole drama was a sad event for fans of both Matt and Shayne it was a harsh reminder when putting a punt on these shows that if anyone is too far ahead in the running this situation of malaise on the part of the voters is not uncommon.
Comic Joe Pasquale, with his gawky moves, albeit served with great humour, looked certain to be eliminated this week and certainly deserved to go, but what effect has this had on the overall Dancing On Ice Betting? Matt has been favourite to win the show from Day 1, much in the same way as Matthew Wolfenden was last year and it seems that the bookmakers Paddy Power agree with the pundits that his demise this weekend was simply a case of viewers being certain that he was safe rather than a real fall in support, they still have him at evens to win the show.
Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle has been Matt's closest rival for several weeks now and it seems the gap is closing. For some time Beth has been unable to capture the essence of the mood or the music during her ice dance although her technical and acrobatic skills have been understandably excellent. Much in the same way as her Team GB colleague Louis Smith found his interprative skills lacking, Beth has been similarily unable to connect with the audience. This week however, Judge Jason Gardiner, one of the hardest taskmasters on the panel, was won over by her, declaring that at last he had been moved by her dance. Beth's odds have shortened to reflect this improvement and she is currently at 6/4 to win.
The race for the line really does seem to be between Beth and Matt with Samia Ghadia and Gareth Thomas at 8/1, Luke Campbell at 12/1 and the back runners Keith Chegwin and Joe Pasquale both at 50/1. The outcome of the battle for third place will be one of the most intruiging, especially after Gareth's performance last night, when an interpretation of a Sinatra classic saw him finally at ease with emoting. Gareth will have to progress further to beat Samia and her fans, but with his competitive instinct and newly uncovered soul he has every chance of doing so.
Odds plus a host of Novelty Betting Opportunities courtesy of Paddy Power
Matt Lapinskas evens
Beth Tweddle 6/4
Samia Ghadie 8/1
Gareth Thomas 8/1
Luke Campbell 12/1
Keith Chegwin 50/1
Joe Pasquale 50/1
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