Strictly Come Dancing 2016: Odds on Norwich City chairman Ed Balls winning Strictly are slashed - even before he hits Blackpool
PUBLISHED: 11:22 19 November 2016 | UPDATED: 11:22 19 November 2016
The odds of Norwich City chairman Ed Balls winning Strictly Come Dancing have been slashed ahead of the Blackpool showdown in which he will show off his Great Balls Of Fire.
The ex-Labour MP is set to jive to the 1957 Jerry Lee Lewis hit with partner Katya Jones as the competition reaches the seaside town special.
Balls is expected to be lowered from the ceiling of Blackpool’s Tower Ballroom playing a grand piano during Saturday night’s performance as he prepares to top last week’s pony dancing extravaganza that left judges speechless.
Bookies Coral have cut Balls’ odds of winning to 12-1 from 100-1 at the start of the series as he has consistently escaped the bottom two dance off due to a high volume of public support.
Appearing on It Takes Two on Tuesday, Balls said the only thing he had ruled out for this weekend’s dance was being “fired out of a cannon”.
He added: “But apparently anything else is possible.”
The ex-Labour MP also appeared to reject claims he might drop out of the competition, telling Zoe Ball he will keep dancing as long as the public are voting for him.
The 49-year-old is 11-4 to be kicked off the competition this week with Olympic longjumper Greg Rutherford the favourite to leave at 13-8.
Rutherford will tackle a quickstep in Blackpool to Hand Jive by Sha Na Na with professional partner Natalie Lowe.
Television barrister Judge Rinder - who is second favourite to leave behind Rutherford - and partner Oksana Platero dance the salsa to Spice Up Your Life by Spice Girls.
Olympic gymnast Claudia Fragapane and partner AJ Pritchard will dance a jive accompanied by Toni Basil’s Hey Mickey while BBC sports presenter Ore Oduba and Joanne Clifton will follow last week’s rumba with a Viennese waltz to Frank Sinatra’s That’s Life.
Favourite to win Strictly is actor Danny Mac followed by former singer Louise Redknapp.
Redknapp and partner Kevin Clifton will perform a paso doble to Explosive by Bond while Mac and Oti Mabuse will dance the Charleston to Gregory Porter’s Puttin’ On The Ritz.
Coral spokeswoman Nicola McGeady said Balls was the bookies “worst nightmare”.
She added: “Usually the joke act is gone at this stage of the competition, but with Ed Balls, it seems punters are determined to see him go all the way.”
Sir Tony Robinson, a guest on BBC Two spin-off show It Takes Two, said he was backing Balls to win because it is “the year of the weird elections”.