Female Strictly winner not as clear-cut as it looked pre-series

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Based on the celebrity casting for series 11 of Strictly Come Dancing, there was a strong feeling that the aim was to secure a female winner of the show.

After all, in the last five years, Kara Tointon was the only female victor in 2010 and only two women have lifted the winner’s trophy since series two.

There was certainly no shortage of eye candy among the females to attract votes, with Abbey Clancy, Rachel Riley and Sophie Ellis-Bextor taking part, while Susanna Reid is certainly not short of male admirers either.

Then, there was Natalie Gumede, an actor with a dancing background, who was pretty much assured to be the best dancer in the competition.

With the male line-up also not the most enticing, not only was a female winner expected, it was hard to look past an all-woman top three.

Four females currently head the Strictly Come Dancing betting to triumph in the show and so it would appear that the 1/6 offered on this being the winning gender would represent fair value.

However, despite the pre-season reservations of a male winner, there could be some mileage in the 7/2 that it is a male celebrity that waltzes off with the title again.

Dave Myers is obviously the worst dancer left in the show, but he is developing a similar cult following that have previously been experienced by the likes of John Sergeant, who would arguably have won series six despite his limited dance ability, had he not removed himself from the competition.

Apart from favourite Natalie, Ashley Taylor Dawson is the only celebrity to have scored at least 30 points in each of the last four live shows and this level of consistency should keep him in the mix.

Ben Cohen seems to be getting his fair share of positive comments too and although there are better dancers in the competition, he could well prove a darkhorse finalist.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.