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Judd still favourite for Strictly Come Dancing after opening show

| 11.09.2011

The first Strictly Come Dancing show saw our soon-to-be heroes line up with their partners for the first time on Saturday night.

Pre-show favourite Harry Judd of McFly has been paired with Allona Vilani who may not have five colours in her hair, but her flame-coloured barnet should ensure her and her dishy drummer get plenty of attention.

Vilani has yet to win the show, but that need not be bad omen – no professional dancer has ever won the competition twice.

The couple can be backed at 5/2 to become the 2011 champions.

Meanwhile, Holly Valance has been paired with last year’s winner Artem Chigvintsev who won the competition with Kara Tointon.

Chigvintsev and Tointon have since gone on to be a proper real-life couple and Sir Bruce Forsyth has already jokingly warned Valance to watch out for Tointon’s evil stares.

A lack of chemistry between the pair could hinder them, but with pop star Alesha Dixon winning in 2007, there’s no doubt Valance’s brief stint as a gyrating singer could help her tame the more difficult dances.

Valance is out at 4/1 and is second favourite to win the show.

Meanwhile, another former Neighbour, Jason Donovan, is also priced at 4/1 and could be worth a cheeky punt.

The likeable Aussie has been partnered with Kristina Rihanoff – which is undoubtedly an improvement on having to goon around with Kerry Katona in Iceland adverts – and his stage training should help him go far.

Finally, Audley Harrison and Edwina Curry are the huge outsiders at 150/1 and even being paired with Natalie Lowe and Vincent Simone respectively won’t help their chances.



Richard Anderson