Strictly Come Dancing is just hours away from returning to television screens and taking over Saturday nights for the next twelve weeks. Ahead of the first show, speculation is rife as to who is going to lift the Glitterball Trophy, but according to one bookmaker, the fan-favourite celebrity never wins. Therefore, is Alex Scott at risk of being eliminated early on?
OddsMonkey has taken a look at data from all previous series of the competition and have revealed the contestants who start out as favourites, don’t end up being crowned the winner.
And if the data is anything to go by, it seems football pundit and her professional partner Neil Jones won’t be crowned number one this year. So who will?
In the show’s 16-year history, less than 20 percent of the favourites have got to the final and scooped first place.
Since 2003 the show has dominated autumn entertainment, and only three popular celebrities remained the favourites and took the honours. All of them have all been female – Natasha Kaplinsky, Alesha Dixon and Kara Tointon.
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Following Natasha Kaplinsky in series one, Geordie actress Jill Halfpenny won the second series after dancing up a storm with Darren Bennett, but it was Olympian Denise Lewis who was the firm favourite when the show started and placed second.
14 years ago, Darren Gough was the first sportsman to be crowned the winner after he held off long-time favourites Zoe Ball and athlete Colin Jackson.
Following Darren, Mark Ramprakash shocked the nation when he won with partner Karen Hardy.
The former cricketer beat huge pre-show favourite Emma Bunton, and 2006 viewers saw her come third place with Rugby star Matt Dawson scooping second.
The second pre-show favourite to win after Natasha was Alesha Dixon back in 2007 with professional Matthew Cutler.
But her crown was taken over by actor Tom Chambers the following year after a brilliant final dance with Camilla Dallerup.
He was not on the bookmakers radar when he began dancing in week one, instead Rachel Stevens and Lisa Snowdon were tipped to win big.
Ten years ago, Strictly fans saw Chris Hollins and Ola Jordan lift the Trophy instead of Hollyoaks duo of Ali Bastian and Ricky Whittle.
Kara Tointon who is known for her role in EastEnders was popular with show fans when she announced she would be taking part in the competition back in 2010.
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She secured victory with Artem Chigvintsev and became the third pre-show favourite to win.
Onto 2011 when McFly drummer Harry Judd secured his place on the wall of fame with Aliona Vilani.
Meanwhile, in 2012, Louis Smith was the first athlete to take the honours since 2006 when he and Flavia Cacace scooped the number one spot.
Six years ago, fans thought Sophie Ellis-Bexter and Susanna Reid were going to be the frontrunners but it was Abbey Clancy who wowed the judges and viewers to get her to the final.
Caroline Flack was crowned the 2014 winner with Pasha Kovalev, but she was never considered one of the ones to look out for when the show began.
Instead popstars Frankie Bridge, Simon Webbe and Pixie Lott were considered the final three celebrities when they were announced.
Back in 2015, BBC One viewers tuned in to see Wanted singer Jay McGuinness win, despite Peter Andre being considered the people’s champion before hitting the dancefloor.
Perhaps the biggest shock in the show’s history was when Will Young withdrew from the competition back in 2016.
The singer had been tipped to win the series but instead it was presenter Ore Oduba, a firm outsider who claimed the top spot.
Onto 2017 when the nation went into turmoil as JLS’ Aston Merrygold was booted out of the competition extremely early on and flash forward to the final, Joe McFadden lifted the Glitterball Trophy with Katya Jones much to everyone’s surprise.
Now to last year when Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts was the contestant on everyone’s lips.
Her pre-dance experience fooled everyone into thinking she had what it took to be crowned the winner but it was Stacey Dooley who was named the series champion.
Therefore, with Alex proving popular before even hitting the dance floor, if previous statistics are anything to go by, she might make it to the final but she most certainly won’t be crowned the winner.
Unless she of course follows in Natasha, Alesha and Kara’s footsteps, but it will all depend on how popular Neil proves himself with viewers.
This is the first time Neil has been given a celebrity partner.
Since joining the show back in 2016, he has only been involved in the group dances, professional performances and choreography.
Strictly Come Dancing airs tonight at 7pm on BBC One.
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