Sunday, 3 February 2008

There's no business like showbusiness

Show 4: 3rd February 2008

Last week, emotions ran high, as Michael and Mel blubbed their way out of the competition, and Mumba was kicked out despite being a better skater than Steve, because she was a looper. This week, Dancing on Ice “hits Broadway”. That’s not strictly true – but our couples will indeed be dancing to showtunes.

Hooray!

Phil welcomes us, and Holly’s breasts are slightly more concealed slightly more than they were last week. Phil teases her about the whole ZOMG HOLLY HAS BOOBS controversy, and she blushes. He promises us that Dancing on Ice will be CAMPER THAN EVER than usual “as if that were possible”.

And now Jayne gets to dance with people who aren’t Christopher Dean WHO IS INJURED! She has a whole posse of boys, including my Andrei, as the rest of the company skate around her to One from A Chorus Line. I am very much in favour of Jayne getting to dance with people who won’t shout at her and make her cry. [I did enjoy the fact that the routine and the choice of song were very "Christopher Who?" - Steve] I imagine Ruthie Henshall, as the original Roxie in the West End revival of Chicago, will agree, and vehemently support the concept of having a bunch of boys (“I’m gonna get me a swell act too...I’m going to get me a boy to pick me up and show me off…hell, I’m gonna get me two boys, it’ll frame me better…think big, Roxie – I’m gonna get me a WHOLE BUNCH OF BOYS!”)

Chris is waiting for her with Phil and Holly. He is doing his best to pretend he doesn’t mind that much that she’s skating without him, but he’s not that good an actor. Jayne hugs him. She says it sounds strange when she’s announced without his name, but it’s not the start of a solo career – “as my son said, ‘You should keep Chris.’ So I will.”

This week’s required element is the shadow step sequence. Gubba explains what it is, but if you seriously need a definition of a ‘shadow step sequence’, you really shouldn’t be allowed out by yourself. Phil thanks Jayne and Chris; Chris kisses Jayne’s hair.

Here are our skating stars – Tim and Victoria; Linda and Dan; Steve and Susie; Suzanne and Matt; Aggie and Sergey; Chris and Frankie; Greg and Kristina; Zaraah and Fred; Gareth and Maria. I think my mum and I have managed to successfully guess what songs they are performing to simply from their costumes, so well done to wardrobe this week.

Time for us to meet the Ice Panel – Karen, Nicky (in his tux), Jason (BOOOOOOOOO), Ruthie and Head Judge Robin Cousins. Robin blahs about it being difficult, like he does every week, bless him, when he’s obviously thinking, “THIS IS SO EASY, I HAVE BEEN ABLE TO DO THIS FOR THE PAST 45 YEARS.”

First, Tim and Victoria. My mum doesn’t like them; and I have to say that I haven’t particularly warmed to them either. Chris tells us that they’re skating to a song from Grease, and Tim is looking forward to being Danny Zuko. They go to see Grease in London’s Trendy West End, and Tim has an acting masterclass with Susan McFadden. Srsly. Tim Vincent USED TO BE AN ACTOR, or has he forgotten? It’s You’re The One That I Want, obviously. Why isn’t Victoria wearing black boots? Something needs to be done about this ridiculous fad for flesh-coloured footwear. It’s an OK routine – a bit clumpy on the start of the step sequence, but he picks it up, and it finishes well. Scores – Karen 3.5, Nicky 3.5, Jason 3.0, Ruthie 3.0 and Robin 3.0 for a total of 16.0. The audience boo; Tim says he didn’t deserve any more than that. Heh. Jayne has changed into a nice red dress, and says that he skated quicker this week. Nicky says that he admired the attack and the speed and the good presentation, but the skating wasn’t all that. He fails to inform us that it is about Dancing on Ice. [I know! For a second I thought I was still watching Torchwood. - Steve] Ruthie is the expert and gives us a potted history of the character Tim should be inhabiting (“King of cool…head of the T-Birds”). My mum suggests that Ruthie could be Kym Marsh’s older sister.

Break!

Phil welcomes us back, and there are people in the audience waving banners for Aggie. DO NOT WANT. Linda and Dan are so cute. He continues to rehearse with his glasses on. Linda is making the effort to skate by herself this week, but she doesn’t like letting go of Dan’s hand. She swears a lot. Chris says, “You’ll get there. It might be next Tuesday, but…” Rude. What kind of thing is that to say? Linda’s chum David Seaman turns up at the rink and skates with her. They are cute too! Linda and Dan, resplendent in checkerboard outfits, are of course dancing to I Know Him So Well, a karaoke favourite of your Bitching on Ice team. [I thought we agreed that was to stay behind closed doors? - Steve] Linda actually looks pretty good when she’s skating by herself, and they’ve both got their Acting Faces on. There are a few good lifts in here, and this is definitely their best routine yet. Scores – Karen 4.0, Nicky 3.5, Jason 3.0 , Ruthie 3.0 and Robin 3.5 for a total of 17.0. Ooh, that’s a bit low. I thought they deserved more than that. Chris admires their connection. Aww. Jason says he is looking for great performances and interpretations, and that wasn’t it, as she looked terrified when she wasn’t with Dan. Booooooooo! Holly asks Karen what she thinks, and Nicky interrupts to give his opinion, despite nobody asking for it. Phil mocks Nicky. Quite right too.

Next, Steve and Susie. Chris says that Steve came out fighting in the skate-off; Jayne agrees, albeit with a giggle. Steve is demoralised and is Losing His Fighting Spirit, because it is so very hard. He hides behind an advertising hoarding, announcing, “I’m hiding.” Susie, in her lovely Geordie style, replies: “I can’t do it on me oooown.” They’re skating to Hello Dolly, and Steve’s skating seems to be OK in terms of footwork, but the actual dancing and performance is just so laboured. But what the hell, I like him, and I like Susie because Andrei married her so she must be nice. [That's...not the most watertight theory I've ever heard. Alesha married Harvey, and he's not nice. - Steve] [Much as I love Alesha, Harvey was ALWAYS a cockhead of immense proportions. I hoped she'd knock some sense into him. Susie does pretty ice-skating and is delicate and beautiful, also Geordie. - Carrie] Go Team Backley/Lipanova! Scores – Karen 3.0, Nicky 3.0, Jason 2.5, Ruthie 3.0 and Robin 3.0 for a total of 14.5. Steve felt he let Susie down last week (ahh!) and he is disappointed with his scores this week. Jayne says she thought there was more commitment this week. Karen says he looks more comfortable on the ice this week, and cheerleads his previous sporting achievements. She’s a rubbish judge. Lovely lady, I’m sure, but she doesn’t say anything useful in her judging capacity. Jason opens his mouth to speak, and the audience boo. Heh.

It’s the fluorescent Suzanne and Matt now, all legwarmered and headbanded up. Can you guess what they’re skating to? Matt says the routine is extremely difficult. Suzanne crashes to the ground a lot. In dress rehearsal, Suzanne cracks a rib. Oh DEAR. But! The Show Must Go On. The routine begins with a bit of tap-dancing, then the music kicks in – Fame! The audience clap along. Suzanne goes into the splits and looks agonised. She must be in a hella lot of pain. Doubtless her ‘hard’ face will be criticised, though. A few wobbles throughout the routine, but you have to admire the girlie’s guts. Scores – Karen 4.5, Nicky 4.5, Jason 4.0, Ruthie 4.5 and Robin 4.5 – a total of 22.0. Phil asks Suzanne if the splits hurt. She says no. Phil says it looks as if she was in pain, and she replies that that shouldn’t have shown. Heh. Robin admires her performance skillz and the fact that she gave “more than 100%” (grrr).

Preview – Aggie cracks her skull and screams. Why doesn’t she just quit?

Ads – Alexander O’Neal has a new CD out. ZOMG.

Next up, Aggie and Sergey, who is dinky. For three weeks running, Aggie has been shit, but still HAS NOT GONE. She falls over a lot in rehearsal. Torvill and Dean look pissed off. She screeches her way through rehearsal. She cracks her head and Sergey hugs her, kissing the wound better. Aw. [She wails like a child, though. I mean, I'm sure it hurt, but I just can't stomach an adult wailing. - Steve] Aggie has realised that she is only in because people vote for her. CLEARLY. They are skating to I Feel Pretty, which highly amused Jason in yesterday’s Make Me A Star, because he’s a bitch. (Incidentally, I note that Karen was invited to the secret judges’ dinner party yesterday, but Nicky still wasn’t.) Aggie falls over. There you go, she’ll be safe for another week, then. Scores – Karen 2.0, Nicky 2.0, Jason 1.5, Ruthie 2.5 and Robin 2.0, for a total of 12.0. Aggie is upset and embarrassed, and looks like she is about to cry. Sergey cuddles her and he says he feels how she is dancing. Bless him. Jason criticises the song choice – it is about a young woman experiencing a first love, and it was inappropriate. [And is, of course, extremely and unnecessarily personal about Aggie in the process. What a horrid little man. - Steve] He hopes that the viewers will stop being sadistic, ie stop saving her and finally get rid. Karen says she is always relieved when the music is over and Aggie is still in one piece. Phil gives out the phone number to vote for Aggie, and Sergey raises an arm in a solidarity salute.

Chris and Frankie were the Best Ones last week, and this week they are Timewarping (to the film recording of the soundtrack). Frankie is unimpressed at the insane difficulty with the routine. You’d think that she’d be able to manage it, really, seeing as that’s what she’s employed to do. She does seem to be being flung around a lot. Chris is rehearsing in an ice-hockey shirt, because he USED TO PLAY ICE HOCKEY. Chris is Acting in character as Riff-Raff, with Frankie as Columbia. It’s a frantic routine, but it’s a lot of fun. [I haven't laughed that much in ages, and only 50% of the laughs were mean ones. - Steve] Scores – Karen 5.0, Nicky 5.0, Jason 5.0, Ruthie 5.0 and Robin 5.0, for a MASSIVE 25.0! Chris has lost his voice, and growls his way through a lot of insipid comments. Frankie is proud of him. Drink! Chris is wearing tights under his trousers. Like we needed to know that. Holly thanks the judges for fabulous scores. Robin is impressed that Chris committed himself to the routine and praises the quality of the skating. Ruthie liked the performance and says the competition is becoming a one-horse race. Ooh.

Break!

This week, Greg is terrified, because there is dancing. Greg, darling, DANCING ON ICE. How many more weeks do we have to explain this to you? [Perhaps Nicky could cover the subject in more detail for him? Maybe as an evening class. - Steve] He is worried about lifting Kristina and hurting her, so they take out a scary lift and put in an easy one. They are skating to Any Dream Will Do, and Greg has been singing his way through rehearsals. Heh. The audience are singing along! The opening sequence involves extended arms, and he really does have an incredibly wide reach. My mum suggests that he should be dancing with Steve Backley instead. Again, his skating isn’t too bad, but he can’t dance, and with such a teeny-tiny partner he looks like a lummox. Scores – Karen 3.0, Nicky 3.0, Jason 2.5, Ruthie 2.0 and Robin 2.5 and that’s a total of 13.0. Greg was pleased they took out the lift, as was Kristina. She is proud of him. Drink! Jayne thinks Greg has improved since last week. Ruthie says that she actually gave a 2.5, so that score should really be 13.5, but she thinks it might be time for Greg to go. She suggests that he should watch Kristina’s performance to get some ideas. Greg says he would like to come back next week and prove her wrong, and Ruthie agrees that she would like that too.

Newbie Zaraah is next, with lovely Fred. She crashes around a lot in rehearsal. They compare ‘emotional’ acting faces. They are going to do some scary lifting. Zaraah seems very nice, and is wearing a very pretty dress, so well done to her. [I want Zaraah to win, and I'm not even sure why. - Steve] They are skating to Don’t Cry For Me Argentina (Madonna version, ie FROM THE FILM). The drape lift doesn’t go as successfully as I’d imagine they’d wanted, with Zaraah dropping down to Fred’s shoulder very quickly, but there’s no blood and no noticeable deviation from the routine. Scores – Karen 4.5, Nicky 4.0, Jason 3.5, Ruthie 3.0, and Robin 4.0, for a total of 19.0. Zaraah admits that she came out of the lift quickly, and Fred points out that it’s only her second week. Yeah, we know. Robin suspects that nerves played their part tonight, and that she will help to make the show into a real competition.

Break!

The final contestant of the evening is Gareth, who slagged Maria off all last week, so am hoping to see her punch him in this week’s VT. Tonight, viewers, Gareth Gates is going to be Billy Flynn! They go to visit Duncan from Blue at the Cambridge Theatre. In the masterclass, Duncan dances with Maria while Gareth dances with a chorus girl. Maria misses Duncan, I think. They’re skating to the FILM RECORDING of Razzle Dazzle [Aah, I was wondering why it was so sucky. That explains it. - Steve], and Maria has a pretty black and silver dress, while Gareth has a see-through top – not exactly Billy Flynn. It’s not Fosse, but it’s good. Scores – Karen 4.0, Nicky 4.5, Jason 4.0, Ruthie 4.0 and Robin 4.0 for a total of 20.5 – their highest score, and they’re finally in the 20s! Phil asks Gareth if he took wardrobe tips from Holly. Hehe! Nicky is impressed with the detail that Gareth put into the arm movement, and wants him to take it up a gear. Jason says that “both Ruthie and I have done Chicago” – yeah, but Ruthie did to more effect and renown than you did, Gardiner, because she is a West End Leading Lady.

That’s your lot. Chris and Frankie are top of the pile; Aggie and Sergey are bottom, obviously. Join us in an hour to see who’s going to be next to leave! I can pretty much guarantee that it won’t be Aggie, but we can hope! [That's the last time I take your word for anything! - Steve]

Results show

Earlier tonight! Our nine couples danced ON ICE for our votes! Now one must LEAVE THE ICE FOR GOOD! It’s the SKATE-OFF!

Phil welcomes us back and urges us to vote as the lines will close in 20 seconds. He summarises the night’s action. Holly witters for six seconds. The lines close – Phil chants, “Don’t phone now, your vote won’t count and you might still be charged!”

Recap along with additional backstage comments – Tim says he and Victoria had a good time, and rated his performance as eight out of 10, somewhat over-optimistically. Linda says Jason is entitled to his opinion. Steve was pleased to get through it. Susie calls him “Dolly”. Hehe. Suzanne is happy. Aggie knows she isn’t good, and she lacks confidence. Right. Chris thought he was going to fall over, but he didn’t. Greg says that if he is in the skate-off, he will find a way to stay, because he thinks he is getting better. Zaraah enthuses about how good Chris and Suzanne are, and she wants to be up there with them. Gareth is pleased to break the 20-point barrier, and hopes he dazzled the people at home. [Only if by "dazzled" he means "bored". Nothing against Gareth, but that really was an uninspired routine. - Steve]

Holly does jazz hands, for no apparent reason. Jason says that Chris was best. Robin says Greg, Aggie and Steve are more suited to Ealing Broadway than New York Broadway. HA! [As someone who lives very near to Ealing Broadway, I take huge offence to that. We had an ice-rink at Christmas, and we wouldn't have tolerated any of them. - Steve]

Phil has the * touches ear * results! The couples who are safe – Greg and Kristina! They are gobsmacked and SO HAPPY! Yay! Chris and Frankie! Linda and Dan! Gareth and Maria! Zaraah and Fred! Suzanne and Matt!

And the seventh couple will be revealed after the break.

Break!

SO! Now Phil will deign to tell us who’s through and definitely skating next week – Tim and Victoria! Booooooooo!

Steve and Susie and Aggie and Sergey seems a reasonably fair bottom two, don’t you think? And I am very proud of the British public for not resorting to the sympathy vote this week.

Jayne says that Steve needs to skate with full commitment, as he did last week. Chris says that Aggie needs to take advantage of her second chance. Except he says “chance” with a mid-Atlantic drawl.

Steve and Susie go first. He takes the opening position and blows kisses to the audience. That’s the kind of performing he should be doing first time round, really, then Ruthie and Jason might be nicer to him. Well, Ruthie might, anyway. Actually, Ruthie seems quite enamoured with him apart from his skating skills, so maybe a bit of chest and arm exposure might work? Steve splutters about not feeling on top of his game, but cannot define why, despite Phil’s pressing and fierce interrogative skillz.

Aggie and Sergey come out, and goodness me, Aggie doesn’t even look happy standing still on ice. She looks OK when Sergey lifts her up and spins her round, though, but to be honest I think I’d quite enjoy that too. It’s better than it was first time out, but it still sucks. Sorry, Aggie, but you MUST GO NOW.

Phil asks Jayne if they’ve done enough. Jayne clearly knows that they haven’t and replies, “It’s up to the judges to decide.” Aggie tells Sergey that he’s her champion, and Sergey says, “You too.” Aw, he is so sweet.

Here we go, then – the Ice Panel have to decide who to kick out. Who will they save? Karen saves Steve, and says, “It’s not difficult”, thus no weeping, hahaha; Nicky saves Steve, though Aggie is OVER 50 and brave; Jason says it’s a shame he can’t get rid of both of them, but saves Steve (that was bollocking rude. Srsly, Jason, get some manners); Ruthie says Aggie is a “wonderful warrior woman” and saves Steve; and Robin says that neither of them were particularly on their game, but will save Steve.

Aggie is glad it’s all over. We see a VT of her “best bits”, which is actually a collection of her screeching and falling. Phil asks Aggie if she has anything to say to Jason, and she says that she thinks he has a “certain vulnerability” (wtf?). [Perhaps she meant "certain vulture ability"? That would make a little more sense, albeit not much. - Steve] She says the best thing has been working with Sergey, which isn’t a great shock.

Phil and Holly bid Aggie farewell, and the rest of us too. They’ll see us next week!

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