With shock exits, drop-outs and injuries, it’s safe to say it has been one of the most unpredictable series of Strictly Come Dancing yet.
But with our remaining six pairs having now faced the daunting Blackpool ballroom and quickstepping towards the final stages of the competition, one big question looms: who will ultimately lift the Glitterball Trophy and be named Strictly champion?
Not to brag or anything, but RadioTimes.com is really rather good at this predicting malarkey, having accurately deduced Joe McFadden would take the title in Strictly 2017, and called a tie between Joe Sugg and eventual winner Stacey Dooley in 2018.
We’ve analysed the numbers for 2019, and can now reveal that the most likely winner of Strictly Come Dancing 2019 is….YouTuber Saffron Barker and her dance partner AJ Pritchard.
How did we do the maths? With our hugely extensive spreadsheet, we looked back at the previous 16 Strictly champions, and found their average total score after nine weeks in the competition is 285 points.
We then added up the total scores of our remaining six couples to see who came closest to this statistical profile.
With a total of 283, Saffron and AJ are the frontrunners to take the top prize.
Saffron, 19, has one additional advantage over the other remaining celebs – in a strange statistical twist, almost half of all eventual Strictly winners earned a score of 27 in their first week in the competition. Going further, ten out of 15 of them achieved either 27 or 28 the first time they faced the judges, and the average first score for a Strictly champion across every single series is 27.5.
Saffron’s score for her first-ever dance? You guessed it, 27 – putting her right on track to take the trophy.
But despite the statistical indicators, this series of Strictly has shown anything can happen – and with Saffron having landed herself in the dance-off last week, she may find herself out of the competition far earlier than the numbers could have predicted.
The second pairing closest to the magic number of 289 is Karim Zeroual and Amy Dowden, whose total score after nine dances is 300.
But hot favourites to win Kelvin Fletcher and Oti Mabuse may just have been too good for Glitterball glory, with a dangerously high total score of 311.
Only 2007 champion Alesha Dixon had scored such a big total by this point in the competition, topping the table with 323 points after her ninth dance, and that’s an anomaly; the next one down on the list is 2010’s Kara Tointon, with 305.
Emma Barton and Anton du Beke, and Alex Scott and Neil Jones still have just a glimmer of hope of winning – having amassed 255 and 252 points in total, they’re not too far from 2009 victors Chris Hollins and Ola Jordan’s average, having notched up just 247 by this stage.
But it’s bad news for Chris Ramsey and Karen Hauer; with just 228 total points, their accumulative score is far lower than any other previous winner at this stage in the competition.
So will Saffron be taking the title? The stats say so, but we have to keep tuning in to find out…
Strictly Come Dancing is on BBC One, Saturday at 7pm