Adam Peatys place in Strictly final sealed with Samba choice – analysis hints at win

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Olympian Adam Peaty and pro dancer Katya Jones have become one of this year’s most talked-about couples on Strictly Come Dancing, in no small part down to their jaw-dropping performances and marked improvements on the dance floor. Week Five, however, promises to serve up the pair’s biggest challenge yet in the BBC contest as they take on the Samba to George Michael toe-tapper, Faith. But could the choice of dance have already preempted their spot in the final? Analysis of previous years certainly suggests so.

That’s because Adam and Katya are not the first couple in Strictly history to perform the Samba to the George Michael hit.

Diehard fans will remember way back in the fourth series of the BBC show, England rugby star Matt Dawson and Lilia Kopylova took on the same routine to the same dance in Week 12.

The pair racked up a score of 31 points for their own rendition and while it was nowhere near their best performance, they went on to place as runners-up in the 2006 finale.

And they set the trend for Aljaz Skorjanec and his partner Abbey Clancy.

In the 11th series in 2013, Abbey and Aljaz wowed the judges and voting public alike as they took on the Samba.

And, like Matt and Lilia, they performed the high-paced dance to none other than Faith.

However, unlike Matt and Lilia, Abbey and Aljaz’s own take on the Samba resulted in them earning an almost-perfect score of 39 – with the two going on to win the entire series.

And as if that wasn’t enough, the Samba and George Michael combination was also part of singer and YouTuber HRVY’s path to the final last year.

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Paired with former pro turned It Takes Two host Janette Manrara, HRVY took on the dance to Faith for his very first performance.

And it clearly worked wonders for the pair as they received a score of 25 from the three judges on the panel that week.

This made them the highest scorers of the 2020 series’ debut week and led to their successful path to the finale.

Sadly, HRVY and Janette finished as runners-up to series winner Bill Bailey who lifted the Glitterball Trophy with Oti Mabuse.

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Nevertheless, the fact that every celebrity to have performed the Samba to the George Michael song has ended up in the final certainly bodes well for Katya and Adam.

Will they be able to keep up the trend after Saturday and land themselves in the grand finale?

As it stands, bookmakers currently have the pair as outsiders to make it to the final stage ahead of their Week Five performance.

According to William Hill, it’s EastEnders star Rose Ayling-Ellis who looks the one to beat and best primed for a finale spot with odds of 8/11 to lift the Glitterball.

Also tipped to join Rose and Giovanni Pernice in the final is Steph’s Packed Lunch star and Bake Off winner John Whaite.

He’s currently second favourite to win the entire series with odds of 5/1 alongside partner Johannes Radebe.

And the third favourite for glory and thus at least a spot in the final is AJ Odudu at 11/2 following a series of impressive performances with Kai Widdrington.

Adam and Katya’s odds currently stand at 16/1 to win this year’s Strictly, but could their Samba change everything?

Strictly Come Dancing airs on BBC One on Saturday at 7:05pm.

All odds are correct as of October 20.

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