Anastacia responded well to the adversity of losing professional partner Brendan Cole to illness last week on Strictly Come Dancing, posting her best score of the series to date – 30 –to ascend to sixth on the leaderboard, her highest position since the opening weekend.
Despite that, she is a worthy and appealing favourite to be the next celebrity eliminated at odds of 6/4 for a variety of reasons.
Firstly, it is difficult to dispute the perception that she is the least popular performer of the 10 left in the competition having found herself in the bottom two in two of the four votes to date.
Indeed, there is now an established pattern whereby she was there for the first in week two, received a boost in week three, slid in again in four and once more experienced a lift for the fifth, aided by her strong showing last week, which suggests that she will be vulnerable again.
The other reason why the even weeks are more troublesome for the singer than the odds is that she is performing Latin dances – this time the jive – where her average score of 26 is some distance short of her ballroom average of 29.
In her previous two bottom-two appearances, the 48-year-old opposed someone less well known (Melvin Odoom) and someone less talented (Naga Munchetty). Unless Ed Balls drops in the public vote, she won’t face the same luxury this time.
The politician is the sole star remaining with a lower average mark than Anastacia, yet is a hit with the audience and many viewers. The other two to have been forced to dance for survival before – Laura Whitmore and Daisy Lowe – score three and four higher than her respectively.
Both have reason to be confident of avoiding the showdown this week too, the former eliciting sympathy after sitting out last week – and the jive she was so excited for – due to injury, and the latter having just been forced to dance for her place in week six.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.