Sunday, 13 January 2008

Getting our skates on

Hello, all, and welcome to Bitching on Ice - an analysis of ITV1's celebrity performing arts contest that will doubtless be affectionate and scathing in turns, where appropriate.

Phillip Schofield sounds very eager to be back on weekend television, and promises faster! higher! harder! skating action, under the watchful eyes of Torvill and Dean. Who's got what it takes to go ALL THE WAY? This is Dancing on Ice - 2008!

Cue titles - same Bolero-introduced music, but different footage, with Jayne and Chris looking like they have fireworks attached to their boots.

The camera switches to the rink, and Jayne and Chris appear from a chandelier, for reasons best known to themselves. [If they hadn't been touring the country mercilessly all year, I would have suspected that they had in fact been suspended in time since the end of the last series, and that was their time capsule defrosting. - Georgi] They are joined by the professionals and skate to Shirley Bassey's version of Get The Party Started. They really should have got Rhydian to sing it. There's a fire juggler. There are clowns. I really wish I hadn't commented on their lack of insane choreography in my preview for the Guardian.

It's Phil and Holly. Holly looks like she's morphing into Katherine Jenkins [or Morticia Addams? - Georgi]. This is Not A Good Thing. [Depends if it means she gets to shag Gethin Jones or not, really. - Steve] Jayne and Chris join the presenters, and there is much hugging and kissing. Torvill and Dean are very out of breath, bless them, and they wheel out their usual anodyne platitudes about how nice the celebrities are and how hard everyone works and so on. I am actually very impressed by how Christopher Dean has toned down his fearsomely competitive personality for his creative direction slot,and become a nice but dull middle-aged man. Does anyone else remember that documentary from about 15 years ago where the camera crew followed him and Jayne round during training, and he was an appalling bully and made her cry all the time? (I do! 'Don't cry at me, JAYNE, you're a dead weight!'-Joel) You wouldn't guess it was the same man.

Time to meet this year's contestants. If you don't know by now, here they are -

- former tennis player Greg Rusedski, skating with Kristina;
- Hear'Say and Darren Day baby-spawner Suzanne Shaw, skating with Matt;
- filthmonger Aggie McKenzie, skating with Sergey, who missed last series and looks about 12;
- ex-Blue Peter and Children Ward's Tim Vincent, skating with Victoria;
- Prince Harry's chum and purported sports journalist Natalie Pinkham, skating with Andrei, who is lovely;
- Olympian Steve Backley, who looks very awkward indeed, skating with Susie, who is Andrei's wife;
- Going Live presenter and star of Ghostwatch Sarah Greene, skating with Fred (Greeno and Fred - best combination ever.-Joel);
- reality TV whore Chris Fountain, skating with Frankie;
- Samantha Mumba, who is optimistically laying claim to the job title 'film star' [I loled. - Steve] (I maintain that she has starred in a film and therefore can legitimate call herself a filmstar if she wants.-Joel), skating with Pavel [who almost drops her ON HER HEAD OMGZ! - Georgi];
- Michael Underwood, who I'd never heard of before the last week of The X-Factor, skating with Melanie;
- Page 3 old-hand Linda Lusardi, skating with Daniel;
- and finally Jordan's boy-toy and celebrity stammerer Gareth Gates, skating with Maria.

Phil reminds us that this is a competition, and promises us our judging panel shortly. Except of course WE HAVE TO GO TO A BREAK FIRST.

Right, now we can meet the judges, or "The Ice Panel" - Karen Barber, Nicky Slater, Jason Gardiner, RUTHIE HENSHALL (RUTHIE HENSHALL!!!!), and Head Judge Robin Cousins. Hooray! Well, apart from the fact that I love her, I imagine Ruthie will be a vast improvement on the fifth judge from previous series - Krez, who seemed to have wandered in off the street every week with her hair growing ever higher, and last year's Natalia, who often struggled with her English vocabulary [Racialist! - Georgi] so chose instead to beam at contestants when she was pleased with them. [I love Ruthie Henshall as much as the next person, but I'm not so sure about having two non-skaters on the Ice Panel. It's not as though the skating experts don't understand the performance aspects, is it? - Georgi] (Also, Ruthie's kind of a bitch.-Joel)

Holly welcomes the judges back. Karen has been shifted to the far end of the bench [so Head Judge Robin Cousins is in less danger of being on the receiving end when she starts bawling and the snot starts flying - Georgi], where Nicky used to sit, and Ruthie is sitting between Jason and Robin. Robin talks about how hard everyone must work. Ruthie is looking for RISK-TAKING and PERFORMANCE and REMEMBERING ROUTINES (maybe she should have been judging Strictly and given Matt di Angelo a piece of her mind?). [I am looking for SKATING ABILITY. Anyone? No? Sigh. - Georgi]

Greg Rusedski is the first one to skate tonight. He tells us he is a tennis player. He grew up in Canada, so of course he can skate, because it is THE LAW to learn there. He says he is competitive, which is helpful for a professional sportsman. In rehearsal, he asks for a faster partner, and criticises Torvill and Dean. Chris may hit him. Even placid old Jayne snarks, "Greg gave us a really good lesson in choreography today." However, Greg may be able to skate, but he can't dance at all. But then again, nor could Kyran Bracken, and he's done OK. [Greg's kind of adorkable. - Steve]

Greg and Kristina are skating to I Got You Babe. I'm actually quite surprised these two have been paired together, as I'd guess he's the best part of a foot taller than her and they look a bit strange. Still, as we know, it's also very difficult for couples to skate together if they are the same height - isn't that right, Sean and Marika? Tony Gubba commentates on the action replay and makes lots of tennis-related puns. Drinks! Scores are in - Karen 3.0, Nicky 3.0, Jason 2.0, Ruthie 2.0, Robin 3.0 - 13 out of 30. Ouch. Chris says that tomorrow he is going to teach Greg to play tennis. Heh. Nicky says that nothing is joined up and Kristina is leading. Jason, who is now bald, reminds us it is a competition and likens Greg to Herman Munster. Booooo!

Suzanne and Matt are spinning round in adorable circles backstage. Bless. We see Suzanne stumbling in rehearsal, but Jayne and Chris are quite positive about her chances. Matt says lots of nice things about her - "awesome"! Suzanne falls over and swears. She has been working too hard and is having problems with balancing mummyhood and skating. Aw.

Ooh, they're starting separately - very unusual this early on to see a celebrity skating without the support of their partner. Anyway, they're performing to Hips Don't Lie, and though she looks a bit like she's sucking on a lemon, I quite like this - quite a few scary lifts and throws chucked in there. Gubba enthuses about the amount of content in the routine. Scores - Karen 4.0, Nicky 4.5, Jason 3.0, Ruthie 3.5, Robin 4.0, for a total of 19.0. Suzanne is excited. Oh, I'm loving her make-up - lots of glitter around her eyes and beads in her hair. Matt seems to like his partner this year much more than last year. Hmm. [Or is that we like her better? - Georgi] Robin says it was a week 3 or a week 4 performance, and advises her to relax. Suzanne's little boy is waving banners in the audience. Cute. Ruthie seems to be saying that she is judging relatively because it is week 1. That's Nicky's shtick, Ruthie! Don't steal it from him! [Because fuck knows what ridiculous method of marking he'll invent next. - Georgi]

Another ad break.

Phil promises us MUCH MORE EXCITEMENT. Clearly it will come with the OLDEST-EVER CELEBRITY, Aggie off How Clean Is Your House? We see her first day on the ice - she falls and cracks her head. Ouch. She does the same again a week later. Sergey is wearing a sweatshirt emblazoned with Made In The 80s - is he taking the piss? In dress rehearsal, Aggie pulls a hamstring. Oh dear God, she's going to be DoI's Kate Garraway, isn't she? (I love how she screams every time she falls down. Which is a lot.-Joel)

And OH DEAR GOD, they're skating to Build Me Up Buttercup. They make it through with a couple of lifts, and no broken bones, so well done both. Someone in the audience is urging SCOTLAND to vote for AGGIE. [Unfortunately since the whole Leon fiasco, I think we're all agreed that Scotland should be disenfranchised when it comes to reality TV voting. - Georgi] Who says ITV's light entertainment is formulaic? Scores - Karen 2.5, Nicky 2.0, Jason 1.0, Ruthie 2.5 and Robin 2.5, for a total of 10.5. Phil thinks it is unfair. Aggie thinks she can do a lot better because she was nervous. Chris says that it is the beginning of the series and it is difficult to recover from injuries when you get old. Sergey hugs Aggie and says that they will bounce back because they work hard. Aw. [Sergey is hot. I never said I wasn't shallow. - Steve]

Jason says that Aggie needs to overcome her fears because at the moment it looks like Sergey is flinging around an OAP. Karen says the marks don't reflect effort, and she wishes she could mark her higher, but she can't. Nicky tries to interject and say that he would mark her with a 6.0 for courage. [See what you've started, Ruthie! - Georgi] Clearly he doesn't think he's getting enough screen time.

Next up, Tim Vincent and Victoria. They are wearing a great deal of gold lame. We see them in rehearsal - Tim is tentative and uncoordinated, but hey, he lives in LA, so he wins. Chris says that Tim is the weakest skater, probably because he's doing bugger-all practice. Karen tells him that he falls over quite gracefully. It's just a shame he can't skate gracefully too.

They're skating to She's A Lady, and for some reason Tim is clutching his buttocks at the start of the routine. He seems OK when they're standing on the spot and dancing, and you can tell he's nervous about skating, but Victoria is doing most of the content here and I suspect Jason will annihilate him for that. I quite enjoyed the routine, though. Gubba says that Tim is hoping for the vote from the valleys, because he is FROM WALES. [Their telephones don't work though. Ask Rhydian. - Georgi] Scores - Karen 3.0, Nicky 2.5, Jason 2.0, Ruthie 2.5, and Robin 3.5 for a total of 13.5.

Phil chats to Tim, and...has he had some work done on his face? [A clue: he lives in LA. Isn't it the law, or something? - Georgi] Or is he just subject to the ravages of time? Jayne says the routine was very sexy. Ruthie tells him to develop some rhythm and work on the dancing because the rest of the contestants are better with the moves. [Suzanne maybe, but Greg and Aggie? Pshaw. - Georgi] Robin agrees to an extent, but admires Tim's bravado.

Now it's Natalie Pinkham, who is very beautiful but I can't say I'd recognise her if she punched me in the face. However, she has the advantage of skating with Andrei, who is one of my favourites. We see some of her daredevil type escapades on television, and if she jumps off cliffs into waterfalls, I wouldn't have thought skating and being lifted into the air by Andrei (who was called a "human winch" last series, maybe by Duncan?) would hold too many fears. Chris doesn't think she's a natural skater, but thinks she has the right attitude to do well. Natalie is reluctant to let go of Andrei, which is understandable. "Can I hold your hand one more time?" she pleads. She's then shunted off to dance class to make her more graceful. Hey, it worked for David Seaman.

Natalie and Andrei are skating to About You Now. I like Natalie's dress; it is red and shiny. Their footwork isn't always synchronised, but she extends her legs well and the lifts look good. Scores - Karen 3.5, Nicky 3.0, Jason 2.5, Ruthie 3.0 and Robin 3.0, for a total of 15.0, which is quite respectable. Natalie says it is the scariest thing she has ever done, and apologises to Andrei for her stumble. Andrei says he is proud of her. Drink! He draws a confusing pancake metaphor. I love Andrei. Have I mentioned that? Jason criticises her hands and body in general; Karen tells her she did well to carry on after the stumble. Holly Willoughby is so vacuous.

Ad break!

It's Steve Backley! I love Steve Backley! When I first started watching sport properly, he was one of my favourite to watch as I always liked his rivalry with Jan Zelezny. So, with that caveat in place, I do want him to do well. Jayne Torvill notes that he is very tall. Steve stumbles in practice and Chris automatically goes to catch him, then realises that's probably not a good idea. Steve has a false hip! His partner Susie has a nonsensically broad Geordie accent. She does not want him to get injured. It's a bit late, though - he's covered in purple bruises. Come on Steve!!!1111"!/zomg/!1!111!!!!

They're skating to For Once In My Life, and Susie has a lovely dress - light blue and sequinned around the bosom. Steve's children are in the audience with a Good Luck Daddy banner. He looks a bit ungainly and nervous. Send him to Seaman for "skating while over six foot four inches tall" classes! Scores - Karen 3.0, Nicky 2.5, Jason 3.0, Ruthie 3.5, Robin 3.0, for a reasonable total of 15. Steve is pleased, particularly with the score from Jason, and claims to have loved the training. Chris is going to make Steve skate with more speed next week. Nicky is impressed with Steve's posture, but thinks that he is nervous with the skating. Ruthie rolls her eyes and says that Steve's interpretation of the music was brilliant - "Even if the music had been turned down, I would have known it was Frankie."

It's Sarah Greene! Phil makes a gag about knowing her already! AHAHAHA! She is skating with Fred, the lucky girl, and I'm fairly sure that she will be easier for him to live with than Kay Burley was. The coaches want Sarah to get out of her comfort zone. There is plinky-plonky piano music as she looks pensive about how HARD it is to SKATE. They are skating to Downtown, and when she hears it she tells Chris, "I love this song", and wells up. It reminds her of a romantic break in New York with her husband Mike.

Anyway, they take to the ice, and they're clad in pink, and they're skating what seems to be a fairly complex programme. There are a few glitches, including a slip at the end, but this is quite good, so the scores look pretty harsh - Karen 2.5, Nicky 2.0, Jason 2.0, Ruthie 2.5, Robin 2.5, for a total of 11.5. Sarah and Phil bicker; Jayne says she thought it was a good skate; Nicky recites a poem "Dancing on Ice for you is a lot between the ears/ So I invite you to throw away the years, throw away the fears/ Enjoy every moment and we'll see laughter, and happy ever after, and not tears." That's a shit poem. [I hate poetry, and the fact that it causes people to spout bollocks like that is one of the many reasons why. - Steve][I can tell Nicky is going to be a problem this series... - Georgi] (Bullshit scoring, I'm afraid. Poor Greeno.-Joel)Robin tells Sarah she looks fantastic. Oh, the traditional middle-aged lady's backhanded compliment (see also: Letitia Dean).

Next is reality TV whore Chris Fountain, who used to play ice hockey, despite not being Canadian, so he can skate already. Jayne tells Chris D that Chris F is faster than him, and cackles. Chris F is not used to the toe picks, and keeps falling over. It is funny. He threatens to file them off. Partner Frankie is looking a bit pissed off by it, and keeps screaming in horror - unsurprisingly, as he's trying to lift her and then collapsing.

They're skating to I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor. Their costumes look like they've been spattered with paint, and Frankie has a cute little skirt with net petticoats. Chris is extremely fast across the ice, and he does a nice dance routine on his blades. [Although he did look a bit like he was about to fall over throughout his little step sequence. Perhaps they just worked his way of skating into the routine? - Georgi] Frankie looks delighted not to have incurred serious injury, Chris whoops. Scores - Karen 4.5, Nicky 4.5, Jason 3.0, Ruthie 3.5, Robin 4.5, for a total of 20.0 - straight to the top of the leaderboard. Frankie says that playing ice hockey is not an advantage for ice skating, because lots of sports are played on the ice, for example curling, and dancing with a partner is something entirely different. Jason says there is no finish and no interpretation and no connection between the partners (notably, Ruthie and Robin nod vigorously in agreement).

Ad break!

Back after the break, and Phil says, "She can sing, she can act, but can she skate? It's Samantha Mumba." There are so many jokes to be made there, but I shan't. Ooh, we see a clip of Gotta Tell You, which is still one of my favouritest pop songs of that era.[Me too, although I prefer 'Always Come Back To Your Love'. - Steve] Samantha is pleased to meet Jayne and Chris but screeches in horror when she is being lifted. She does the same when she's skating with Pavel. Pavel tells her that she won't learn by saying no. Yeah, yeah, Pavel, bet you say that to all the girls. They skate off, and Samantha falls. Pavel drags her up, and she complains, "My right knee, it went out and in." Pavel replies, "Oh, that's not good." She looks at him and says, "Do you know what I mean?" It is very, very evident that he doesn't, but he says he does anyway just to shut her up. She takes two weeks off, and when she comes back she's even more hesitant than she was before.

They're skating to some weird acoustic version of Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow (who is DOING this? Anyone? Is it the Strictly house band? It sounds like someone I should know). [I'm reliably informed it was Winehouse. - Steve] Anyway, she doesn't fall over, so I don't know what all the fuss was about. Scores - Karen 3.0, Nicky 3.5, Jason 2.5, Ruthie 3.5 and Robin 3.0 for a total of 15.5. Samantha is pleased to have made it through to the first live show after ALL THE PROBLEMS SHE HAS HAD. Jayne admires Samantha's musicality. Jason was expecting more from her than he got. Ruthie looks appalled, says she had beautiful lines and sneers at him. Heh. [FFS, Jason and Ruthie are having a fight about Samantha's dancing ability. Surely those two ought to be able to agree on that? - Georgi] Robin agrees with Ruthie, and applauds their chemistry.

Michael Underwood is the next celebrity, except I don't think he is famous because I have only ever clapped eyes on him once before. [He's C-list at best, but I'd still be 100% more likely to recognise him than Whatsername Pinkman. - Steve] He falls over in rehearsal and knocks over a bystanding member of the crew. [Well, if they will put camera tracks on the ice... - Steve] Melanie keeps laughing at him and they are getting no work done because of all the hilarity that is ensuing. Michael fears Greg and Gareth - Gareth because he is good at ice skating, and Greg because he is so insanely competitive.

They are skating to Walking on Sunshine. Michael is gurning at the camera, which was a tactic Bonnie Langford used to great effect previously. He seems to have problems coming to a stop, but apart from that the skating definitely looked better than I thought it would. [Also, bless, he looks very pleased with himself for not falling over on the knee-spin at the end. - Georgi] Scores - Karen 3.0, Nicky 4.0, Jason 2.5, Ruthie 3.5 and Robin 3.5 for a total of 16.5. Michael thanks Mel for keeping him under control, and Mel thanks Michael for holding her up when she stumbled earlier. Ha! Nicky says that holding the lady up is a vital skill for male ice dancers. Jason says though it is unsightly, the fun is infectious. Whatevs.

Ad break!

All the way from the Woolpack, it's Linda Lusardi, who is a former model, turned actress. She claims to have spent half an hour on the ice in her entire life, and is scared of hurting herself. She hurts herself and is RUSHED to hospital with a SUSPECTED BROKEN FOOT. From what I understand of the diagnosis, she's torn a ligament and ripped a bit of bone off in the process. She gets back on the ice four weeks later and is very scared and worried about playing catch-up with the rest of the contestants.

They're skating to She's The One. We have a close-up of the judging panel as the routine begins, and though most of them are looking stony-faced, Ruthie is smiling at Linda and Daniel in encouraging fashion, which is nice. I've always wondered why the judges on Dancing on Ice don't applaud the couples when they skate on. Aw, this is a sweet routine, and Linda looks a bit scared but otherwise OK. Tony Gubba makes a joke about Daniel moving into Linda's house. Yes, we're very likely to believe that Daniel is in the midst of a torrid affair with Linda Lusardi. [Why on earth is he in her house, though? Does she have her own personal ice rink? - Steve] Scores - Karen 4.0, Nicky 3.5, Jason 3.0, Ruthie 2.5, Robin 3.5, for a total of 16.5. Ruthie explains that she thought the performance was beautiful and touching, but felt that Daniel was supporting Linda a little too much. [This is more like it - we will not stand for women being carried around because they can't stand up! I'm talking to you, Langford. - Georgi] Karen says that she is pleased Linda has made it here at all - so, what, marks for turning up? She adds that there is more to come - so, what, marks for potential? Daniel and Linda clap each other and hug.

Finally, Gareth Gates, who calls himself a singer-songwriter. There is much LOLzing in my house. He is ludicrously hard-working and very hard on himself. Chris thinks Gareth is his own worst enemy, and Jayne says he has a bad habit of stopping mid-flow rather than working through the mistakes. [And Karen threatens to be cross with him. I am struggling to imagine it. - Georgi]

Gareth and Maria are skating to Beautiful Day, and I could be imagining it, but I think his head is dropping far too much, far too often. [On the plus side, I'm loving Gareth's mint-green shirt and pinstriped white waistcoat combo. - Steve] There are some nice bits, and it doesn't look like there are any major errors, it's just a bit laboured for my tastes. Scores - Karen 4.0, Nicky 4.0, Jason 3.0, Ruthie 3.5, Robin 3.0, for a total of 17.5. Phil has a pop at Gareth's negativity, Jayne says he did great, Jason has a pop at Gareth's negativity. Holly screeches, "We believe in Gareth Gates!" [If I refuse to believe in him, does that mean he doesn't exist? - Georgi] Nicky tells him his head and shoulders are down. Yes! That's what I said! [Don't get too excited - that means you're thinking like Nicky. Your next rundown will be composed entirely in terrible poetry if you're not careful. - Georgi]

So that's it. The leaderboard has Chris and Frankie at the top, and Aggie and Sergey at the bottom. We are urged to vote before the results show in an hour's time, and are kindly provided with a recap. And we're out! Join me later for the results - and the skate-off!

Results show

Earlier tonight, 12 couples danced on ice for OUR VOTES! Now we're back at the rink, ready for the results, and the bottom two couples will skate off to stay in the competition. Phil and Holly welcome us back, and reiterate the entire concept of phone voting. The lines close - the audience "wooooooo" in scary-ghost fashion.

We see snippets of the routines again, interspersed with backstage gossip. Greg reckons that Herman Munster and he are both "loved giants". Suzanne is a Ruthie Henshall fan girl, and understandably so. Aggie was expecting minus marks. Tim thinks his personality compensated for the lack of skill. Natalie doesn't know why she stumbled, and Andrei looks on benignly. Steve admits he was nervous, but says everyone is, and you have to deal with it. Sarah enjoyed herself, and Fred tells her that is the important thing. Chris confesses he nearly fell twice, and was relying on Frankie (who is like a little doll) to hold him up. Samantha is happy she didn't fall over. Melanie is crying because Michael makes her laugh so hard. Daniel makes Linda smile. Gareth thinks it went well and wants to stay in the competition. [And at this point I note that contrary to my prior observation, Gareth's waistcoat is sequinned, not pinstriped. I still sort of covet it, however. I always forget how gay I am until I watch this show. - Steve]

Wow, stunning insight to our contestants there.

Holly talks to the judges some more. Ruthie thinks the standard of skating was fantastic, and thinks Michael should progress for his improvisation. Robin says that competition will get tougher and everyone must continue to give 100 per cent. [He means 110 per cent, doesn't he? - Georgi]

Hooray! Phil is about to get the results, and touches his ear! Drink! The first couple through is: Linda and Daniel! Also safe are - Chris and Frankie! Michael and Melanie! Gareth and Maria! Suzanne and Matt! Steve and Susie! Natalie and Andrei! Tim and Victoria! Greg and Kristina!

Ooh, so we are left with three ladies - Sarah, Samantha and Aggie - and the final couple who will definitely skate next week will be revealed after the break.

So we're back, and the final couple who will skate next week - Aggie and Sergey! What the fuck?! [Hardly a surprise. I mean nothing against Aggie, as she seems lovely, but she had a lot of things counting in her favour: the woobie vote from all her accidents, the sympathy vote for the person at the bottom of the table, and the never-to-be-underestimated vote for people who are SCOTTISH. - Steve] Right, we need Sarah Greene to stay, I think, but I suspect she won't. Maybe Phil could pull a few strings with the judges. Jayne and Chris murmur platitudes about being a big family.

Sarah and Fred go first. Phil gives her a cuddle, and she says that this time round was much more nerve-wracking. Samantha and Pavel go second - still really hating that version of the song - and Jayne says that she skated better this time round. Samantha says she was more nervous but thinks it went better than before.

Time for judgement. The couples go back on to the ice to face the judges. Karen saves Samantha; Nicky saves Samantha; Jason saves Samantha; Ruthie saves Samantha; and head judge Robin Cousins, whose casting vote makes no difference whatsoever, saves Samantha too. Poor old Greeno. And poor Fred. [Poor, pretty Fred. Sigh. I was hoping he'd get some time with a nice partner this time around, after being stuck with Kay Burley last year. - Steve]

Phil is gutted. Heh. Sarah says it has been a privilege being involved in the show, and she will not be hanging up her skates. Instead, she will be going down to Slough ice rink and carrying on with her new hobby. That was impressively gracious. [And I am tempted to go down to Slough ice rink and skate with her, because she is awesome. And anyone who has seen me skating will see how motivational Sarah had to have been to get me anywhere near an ice rink. - Steve]
(Poor Greeno. She didn't deserve to go first week, because she is lovely. I hope she comes back and skates Ruthie and Jason's faces off.-Joel)
Phil and Holly bid us farewell, and Jayne and Chris wave. Well, it was an action-packed hour and a half. [I counted two and a half hours... or did it just feel like it went on forever? - Georgi] Join us next week!

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