How the Bookies See it:
Alexandra Burke - Winner of the X Factor in 2008, Burke looks like a natural performer who can easily convey the emotion of a dance. A likely finalist. BetVictor Odds - 4/1
Aston Merrygold - Runner-up to Burke with JLS on the X Factor, the pint-sized Merrygold might just have the talent and exuberance to take his revenge on the dancefloor. BetVictor Odds - 5/2
Brian Conley - On the evidence of his leaden-footed tango in week one, Conley will need to rely on his comedy to avoid an early elimination. BetVictor Odds - 66/1
Charlotte Hawkins - The judges see potential in Good Morning Britain presenter Hawkins, but making it to Halloween week may be as much as she can hope for. BetVictor Odds - 25/1
Chizzy Akudolu - Eliminated Week 1
Davood Ghadami - EastEnders heartthrob Ghadami is sure to get a few pulses racing and could be a dark horse. Maybe worth a punt at decent odds. BetVictor Odds - 9/1
Debbie McGee - The lovely Debbie McGee stunned the viewers and judges with her ability and passion in week one. Could she become Strictly’s oldest winner? BetVictor Odds - 5/1
Gemma Atkinson - Actress and former model Atkinson looked nervous as she started the series, and may struggle to get beyond the middle weeks. BetVictor Odds - 8/1
Joe McFadden - McFadden received high marks for his opening jive, but it is not clear why the bookmakers see him among their favourites. BetVictor Odds - 8/1
Johnnie Peacock - The first Paralympian to appear on Strictly, sprinter Peacock has a good work ethic, a winning personality and is sure to get a lot of support. BetVictor Odds - 10/1
Mollie King - Saturdays singer King was a bit stiff in her opening jive but still showed potential and her pop background should stand her in good stead to reach the latter stages. BetVictor Odds - 8/1
Rev. Richard Coles - Eliminated Week 2
Ruth Langsford - Lovable TV presenter Langsford has traded Eamonn Holmes for Anton du Beke, and will need to tap into his popularity to survive any length of time. BetVictor Odds - 100/1
Simon Rimmer - A chef who finished bottom in the week one leaderboard and is unlikely to have much of a fan base, Rimmer could soon be toast. BetVictor Odds - 100/1
Susan Calman - Scottish comedienne Calman isn’t the most talented dancer, but her partnership with serial finalist Kevin Clifton from Grimsby could be the funniest. BetVictor Odds - 66/1
The renewal of Alexandra Burke’s rivalry with Aston Merrygold was the main focus of attention for most Strictly punters before the first show, and both former X Factor stars were predictably accomplished. The surprise package was undoubtedly Debbie McGee, but the key question now is how she will fare once the series settles down, especially when the inevitable backlash begins surrounding her considerable dance experience.
Davood Ghadami has shown enough early potential to suggest he could come through and challenge the likes of Burke, Merrygold and McGee, while Mollie King and Johnnie Peacock could also be worth keeping an eye on at longer odds than the favourites. However, the fact that McGee is pushing 60 and can dance - according to resident pantomime villain Craig Revel Horwood - like a 20-year-old, is likely to win over a huge number of viewers. Many fans would like it, not a lot, but they’d like it, if McGee could see off the threat of her younger rivals to waltz away with the trophy.
Sports.net’s top tip:
Debbie McGee to win Strictly
*Please note, odds may fluctuate.