Week 7 - 24th February 2008
Last week! Greg and Jason had a lovers' tiff! The judges all fought amongst themselves! (We drank!) Steve Backley got voted out - Carrie was sad, but nobody else was that bothered. [I bet Ruthie was. - Carrie] This week! The celebrities have to do a solo jump - high injury porn potential, so don't go away!
Here are Jayne and Chris! In an attempt to be topical, they're doing their routine this week to 'Valerie' by Amy Winehouse, although she didn't actually win a Brit award. [Although it's Mark Ronson whose name is credited first, and he did get one, so it sort of works. - Steve] Phil points out in his introduction that Jayne and Chris may have gold medals but they don't have a Brit award - for goodness' sake, Phil, don't give Chris ideas. He's so insanely competitive he'll be in the studio before you know it. I don't know about anyone else, but the popularity of this song pisses me off because the Zutons' original version was much better and Mark Ronson is a waste of fucking space. [That much hotness could never be a waste of space, trust me. - Steve] Anyway. Jayne and Chris are doing their usual trick of making all the contestants look bad when they haven't even skated yet.
Phil has his usual quick chat to Jayne and Chris - this week, Jayne's blade cut Chris's arm and he punched her in the nose in retaliation. It's a shame we don't get to see their rehearsals, isn't it?
There are six couples left in the competition, and they are: Zaraah and Fred; Greg and Kristina; Gareth and Maria; Linda and Daniel (in a disturbing skate-country ensemble); Chris and Frankie; Suzanne and Matt. It's only three weeks until the final, so what is the atmosphere like backstage? Jayne confirms predictably that it's "getting more tense and everyone wants to do the best they can." This week's required element is "the toughest one yet": the unassisted jump. There follows a short VT explanation, although it's completely self-explanatory. Phil observes that people you'd think would do well are struggling and vice-versa, but actually I'm not that surprised, because the people who get the high scores aren't necessarily that good at skating - Greg, for instance, is probably not having too much trouble, I imagine.
Holly introduces the judges, slightly unfairly describing Karen as "the most scary Barber since Sweeney Todd". There is nothing scary about Karen Barber. [Except when her mascara runs. - Carrie] Krez - now she was scary. Note - la Willoughby has put her tits away tonight for a change, all the better not to scandalise Daily Mail readers, but possibly alienating her target audience. Awww, Nicky has just had a baby today! Well, his wife has. Begging the question: would he have still turned up for the show if she was still in labour? [No, apparently. He was not expecting to make it to Elstree in time. - Carrie] He wants to call it Tiger Slater, but it sounds as though his wife is not a complete idiot. [Now, I THINK Nicky was joking. But his delivery of the gag is not what it should be, so nobody laughed. - Carrie] Robin says that the contestants are "on the home stretch", so they need to perform as a team (I'm kind of struggling to see how they could not), show us their skating, do some great moves, etc, etc. It also sounds like he wants the audience not to play silly buggers with the final line-up - subtext: don't vote for Greg!
Zaraah and Fred are first up. She was in the skate-off last week, but clearly better than Steve. However, this week they're having problems because, according to Jayne, "Zaraah doesn't like the idea of jumping". That is a bit of a setback. In rehearsals, she's barely leaving the ice. Does that even count? "I can't do it," she whinges. Fred is being quite reasonable, probably because he remembers what it was like skating with Kay Burley last year. Zaraah's mum has turned up to cheer her on [along with what I assume are Zaraah's younger brothers, one of whom is interested solely in texting rather than cheering his sister on - Carrie], but no nans in sight as yet. Presumably they're being kept under wraps for a later stage in the competition.
They're going to be skating to... wait for it... 'Jump', probably in the style of Girls Aloud. I think they've taken it all a bit literally. [Has Brian 'NotLouis' Friedman taken over creative direction and brought his literal choreography skills to bear on the evening? - Carrie] Dear me. Hopefully later in the show we can look forward to Greg and Kristina skating to Kris Kross's 'Jump' and Linda and Daniel skating to House of Pain's hip-hop anthem 'Jump Around'. Back to this routine though, and it's not great - Zaraah's stumbling a bit on the steps and is a bit out of time. [I'm not entirely sure that's her fault - no one else had their backing track butchered in the editing room tonight like Zaraah did. Seriously - what the fuck was that? - Steve] Her jump is a single toeloop, but blink and you'll miss it - she barely left the ice. The judges scores are: Karen - 4.0, Nicky - 4.5, Jason - 3.0, Ruthie - 3.5, Robin - 3.5, for a pretty poor total of 18.5.
Zaraah says that it was one of her favourite routines and she doesn't know what happened. Fred admits that it was "not our best performance", while Chris laments the fact that they had "done it in practice so well" and Jayne optimistically points out that at least Zaraah landed the jump. Holly goes straight to Jason for his comments, and Jason is all like, "What jump?" I have to agree. "I thought you were being rather ironic." LULZ. He thought the routine this week was "very disappointing" and Zaraah has lost a lot of confidence with it, and her "facial expression was painted on". Nicky says that he "liked the energy and content, but it was stuttery in places and you missed an element coming out of the lift... but the fact that you can do so much in a week is always amazing to me." Whatever.
Still to come - Greg and Gareth (not together, this isn't Blades of Glory), and Chris attempts a jump never seen before on Dancing on Ice. Cue falling-over porn!
Greg and Kristina are next to skate. Last week Jason called Greg dull and uncharismatic, then - lest we forget - threatened not to turn up for the final if Greg got through. It's not like the judges do anything in the final anyway, is it? Chris: "Greg's on fire this week". Phil voiceovers that the jump plays to his strengths - because he's actually good at skating. (I added that last bit, by the way.) Chris: "He likes to jump, be it a little out of control, and it's not a skating jump, it's a made-up Greg jump." Kristina says that they're going for quantity rather than quality, which I'm not sure is a valid tactic in ice dance, but we'll see.
They're skating to Supergrass's 'Alright' and, showing off, they do a whole series of jumps. [I'm surprised Jason didn't point out what a ridiculously inaccurate song choice this was for Greg, since he is not YOUNG, like he did with Aggie. Although admittedly whether Greg runs green or not is probably not public knowledge. - Steve] I think I counted about seven or so. Unfortunately Greg loses his balance on the last one, which according to Gubba was the one he wanted the judges to score. Whoops. Gubba describes Greg as "like a frog on happy pills". The scores are expectedly poor: Karen - 4.0, Nicky - 4.0, Jason - 3.0, Ruthie - 3.0, Robin - 3.0, for a total 17, their highest score so far, but presumably one that will leave them languishing at the bottom of the judges' leaderboard again.
Greg say that he's "disappointed I didn't make the last jump, but it was fun." Chris rather unhelpfully says, "No guts, no glory!" and says that Greg reminds him of "a little boy at a wedding" when they're choreographing. Here's an idea: why didn't you choreograph it with one jump and actually make sure he could do it without falling over? Holly tries to start a fight again by talking to Jason, but Ruthie interrupts, "Don't talk to Jason about Greg! He loves you, he thinks you're going to go all the way." Jason, once he manages to get a word in, says he "can't argue with the fact that it was entertaining... but for all the wrong reasons. Your jumps looked like you were dodging bullets... Do you deserve to be in the competition?" The audience cheers, "Yes!" Ha ha. Serves you right for asking stupid rhetorical questions.
Gareth and Maria are the next couple to take to the ice. Chris thought Gareth's performance last week was "fantastic", stripey trousers notwithstanding. Gareth is also struggling with the jumps though. "Greg's a sportsman so he can jump, Chris is an ice hockey player so he can jump, I'm just a musician." Oh, fuck off. Yes, just because Greg's a sportsman, that means he can do anything? Last time I checked, there wasn't that much jumping in ice hockey either, so stop making bloody excuses. In training, Gareth asks Karen how everybody else's jump is going, and she rightfully tells him to concentrate on his own jump. Fuck's sake. Gareth: "We still have that fighting spirit and we will fight to the end." I think Maria's getting sick of him. I am too. [And me. - Carrie] [And me. And I hate the way he always says "we" when talking about his difficulties, because I'm fairly certain Maria isn't having the same problems. - Steve]
They're skating to 'Sweet Talkin' Woman' by ELO, and the jumps are fine, so put that down as another VT edited for melodramatic effect. Gubba says the routine was "quietly consistent". They were out of time on the spin though. The scores are: Karen - 4.5, Nicky - 5.0 (marking relatively again), Jason - 4.5, Ruthie - 4.5, Robin - 4.5, for a not-too-shabby total of 23. [They are overmarking him so much. He's competent, yes, but he's also boring as hell. - Steve]
Gareth loved the jumps, apparently, and Chris observes that "Everyone's a bit nervous tonight." Not surprising really, is it, since, as they keep pointing out, people have usually been skating for at least a year before trying to learn jumps. Robin says that his mark would have been a 5.0 if the lift had gone better, but Gareth's "control and confidence are brilliant to see" and with the overall performance he's really put himself in the running.
Time for a quick look at the leaderboard - Gareth and Maria are at the top, Greg and Kristina are at the bottom, with Zaraah and Fred in between.
Still to come - Linda and Chris, and "Will Suzanne cause a stir with the judges again this week?" There's nothing like a good argument between the judges.
Linda and Daniel are up next. Jayne tells us that "Linda has found new confidence" and is doing the jump quite well. But - UH-OH - she falls on her arse during a step sequence and nearly rips Daniel's hand off, making rehearsals difficult. As if Daniel hasn't taken enough punishment, he then get a skate in the ear practising a lift. Poor Daniel.
They're skating to KT Tunstall's 'Suddenly I See', which isn't even fucking country, so somebody sack the costume department. Linda seems to be doing the chicken dance. Women of a certain age shouldn't wear their hair in bunches, don't you think? They have trouble with the bit where, erm, Linda rolls down through Daniel's legs and is supposed to land on the ice but doesn't seem to be able to let go, whilst he's desperately trying to put her down without dropping her. Gubba observes that "At times, the programme was right on the edge", and he's right. Oh, apparently that bit they fucked up was the move they "invented" last week, the Lusardi Levitation. [I'm fairly certain it was nothing of the sort. - Steve] The judges' scores are: Karen - 3.5, Nicky - 4.0, Jason - 3.5, Ruthie - 4.0, Robin - 4.0, for a total of 19.
Linda tells Daniel that the problem was that, "I just couldn't get hold of your trousers!" Hee. Daniel seems pleased that his wrist is still attached. Jayne says the week has been quite good for Linda because she has had to do more skating on her own. I don't think that's a recommendation for injuring your partner, though. Karen says her marks were a bit low because the lift went wrong, but it makes a change for her to be exercising her critical faculties. Linda did her required jump very well, though. This week Ruthie is a "big fan of Linda" because she's "a pleasure to watch and your personality shines through".
The fifth couple to skate is Chris and Frankie. Chris felt that "Last week didn't go well", despite the fact that they came top with the judges, because he didn't think they deserved to be there. [I'm getting so bored of Chris and his "it really is tiresome being as awesome as I am" schtick. - Steve] Chris is going to be doing two jumps - one in a step sequence, and an axel, which is a 1.5 rotation. [Poncey wanker. - Carrie] Chris says it will be "the hardest move any celebrity has done in any of the series". Indeed, it's so difficult that Chris has to practise with a harness and only realises once the harness is gone that it's really fucking difficult, and he couldn't even land it in the rehearsal this morning. Frankie, showing great faith in her partner, says they've put it at the end of the routine so that it doesn't matter when it goes wrong. At least he's more likely to break himself than to break Frankie this week. [Perhaps that's what Frankie meant by it not mattering. - Carrie]
They're skating to 'Ain't No Sunshine' by Bill Withers, and it's the most assured and elegant performance so far this week. [Although I nearly hyperventilated with laughter at Chris's Acting Face at the start. Also, GET UP OFF THE FUCKING ICE, Fountain. Breakdancing - DO NOT WANT - Carrie] The flip jump in the middle of the step sequence is great and miraculously Chris manages to land the axel. It's obvious that Frankie is chuffed, albeit his landing was two-footed. [I loved that Frankie did a fist jump of joy when he pulled it off, despite still being in the routine. Hee - Steve] The judges' scores are suitably high: 5.5 from everyone except Head Judge Robin, who gives them 5.0, for a total of 27.
Chris (Fountain) explains that, "That jump has been so inconsistent" - he practised it on his own on Friday and did it on Saturday, "but not landed it today except then". Chris (Dean) says he told him not to bottle out and he went for it. Holly tells the judges that she loves them all, "Except Robin, I love you a bit less." That's Head Judge Robin to you, Willoughby. [I still love Head Judge Robin MOST. - Carrie] Robin says he only gave them 5.0 because they could have done it a bit better, but he is impressed with Chris's ability to "deliver a different performance every week", and although they struggled a bit at the beginning of the series, now his relationship with Frankie is "natural and comfortable".
On the way to the break, a pointless competition to win a trip to see Dancing on Ice next week. The question is: how many skate-offs did Steve Backley perform in? There isn't even a multiple choice, so if they're not making it as easy as possible, I don't think I'll be bothering to ring in.
Still to come - Suzanne and Matt! And possible controversy!
So, the final couple to skate this evening are Suzanne and Matt. Jason backstage last week points out that it's not easy to be lifted, and he knows because he has choreographed girls being lifted. Nicky is very clear that he wants to see more DANCING on the ICE! [I shouted, "Drink!" at this point. I was in my house, by myself, at the time. It was a reflex reaction. - Carrie] So, to please Nicky, they are putting in "loads of skating" this week. Suzanne says the routine is "the hardest one yet", which presumably is a comment that ought to be true every week, as their skating gets better and the competition gets tougher. She says she's "worried at this point", although that probably was Monday. Matt says they're "both freaked out about how many steps there are and how synchronised they have to be". Get a grip, man. Suzanne is concerned because she hasn't picked up the choreography as quickly as usual and "The pressure's on". Yeah yeah.
They're skating to 'Music' by Madonna, and while I might have mocked Matt a little, they do have to be very synchronised with all their dance moves. This is certainly going to give Chris and Frankie a run for their money. Going off on one for a moment, I'm always a bit sceptical about the use of the word "bourgeoisie" in this song because I have a suspicion that Madonna only learned it during the filming of 'Evita' and doesn't really know what it means. Anyway, it's a good routine, but doubtless the judges will have something bad to say about Suzanne, because they usually do. Gubba says that Suzanne "deserves Dancing on Ice's bravery medal this series". They're giving out medals now? I think Maria should get it for letting Gareth lift her. Is there actually a move called "the human necklace"? Who can really say? The scores match Chris and Frankie's exactly, with 5.5 from everyone except Ruthie this time, who gives them 5.0, for another 27.0.
Suzanne looks pleased that they are actually being fair to her this week. But what's this? Phil: "I think Ruthie has a problem with her score." Ruthie confirms that she actually pressed the 5.5 button, which means they've actually got 27.5! What is going on with the scoreboards this series? [I'm not entirely sure I believe Ruthie. I think she originally meant to score them exactly as she did, but she saw the opportunity to wipe the smug grin off Chris Fountain's face and took it. Lord knows I would've. Team Suzanne! - Steve] Holly asks Nicky pointedly if the routine contained enough skating for him, and he replies, "What a day I've had - I've become a father and seen you skate." Yes, because seeing Suzanne Shaw skate must be on a par with becoming a father for the first time. He says it's getting "very near a 6.0".
So that's yer lot. Suzanne and Matt are at the top of the board, with Chris and Frankie just half a point behind. Greg and Kristina are at the bottom with 17.5, though Zaraah and Fred aren't too far above them. Recap! I think Greg might actually end up in the skate-off this week, although Linda has to be in the danger zone and nobody ever seems to vote for Zaraah. Join us for the skate-off in an hour's time.
Welcome back. Phil is still excited about that axel jump, as I suppose he is entitled to be. Before the results, a chance to catch up with what's happened backstage. Zaraah is disappointed with herself, but at least will be able to prove she can do it better if she's in the skate-off. Fred doesn't want to be in the skate-off. Greg had a lot of fun, even though it didn't work. Gareth says that Robin's positive comments "meant the world to me". Linda really enjoyed it, even though it went wrong, and Daniel reassured her about how brilliant she is. Chris was thrilled that he landed the axel, and Frankie rather euphemistically cries, "Pulled it out on the night!" Oo-er. Suzanne is "so excited" about being at the top of the leaderboard, and amazed that she managed to beat Chris.
Holly is with the judges for a final word. Has the required element split those that can and those that can't? Head Judge Robin thinks that some of their performances let them down. Jason says what stood out is that, "There was a difference between those that still possess the championship spirit and those who have lost it - Zaraah wasn't on her game particularly - and mistakes are going to cost them."
The results are IN! Phil is about to be given THE RESULTS via his trusty earpiece. So the couples who are through, in no particular order, are: Chris and Frankie; Suzanne and Matt; Greg and Kristina, oh dear me [for FUCK'S SAKE - Carrie] - and the final safe couple will be revealed after the break!
The tension is unbearable. The final couple saved by your votes is Gareth and Maria, leaving Zaraah and Fred and Linda and Daniel in the skate-off. If Linda manages to grab Daniel's trousers this time round, she might just get through. On the other hand, Zaraah reckons she has done the routine much better in rehearsals, so if she can get rid of the mistakes, she's also in with a chance. In other words, it's really all riding on their skate-off performance this week.
Zaraah and Fred are first, and she still doesn't look like she's really doing much of a jump, but I think they'll be more pleased with that performance - which Zaraah confirms to Phil. Awww, she wants to make Fred proud of her. [If he is, that warrants a DRINK!, surely? - Carrie] It's Linda's first skate-off and she looks nervous. Her jump is a bit more wobbly than it was earlier, but they don't have the same trouble with the Lusardi Levitation, although it still looks clumsy. Jayne says it will be tough because both couples have skated better and didn't make the mistakes. Linda shrieks that it was the worst moment of her life because it was so nervewracking.
So, over to the judges. Karen picks Zaraah [and is CRYING LIKE A FOOTBALLER - Carrie]. Nicky says it's the closest skate-off EVER, but he saves Zaraah, and so does Jason. [At which point I did a Frankie-style fist pump and yelled "YES!", and surprised myself with just how emotionally involved I am with Zaraah's continuing survival. - Steve] Ruthie says Linda is "such a loss", but she's saving Zaraah. Robin is sad they ended up here, because he's dying to vote out Greg and Kristina [he didn't actually say that, to clarify - Carrie], but he's saving Zaraah, so it's a clean sweep and Linda and Daniel are out. Linda is a dignified loser, talking about what good fun it has been. She and Daniel were good value, but they didn't perform tonight. After their VT, Karen, shockingly, is in [floods of - Carrie] tears.
Hooray, next Sunday is Props Night! As you'll be aware, it's very difficult to work with props ON ICE [particularly CHAIRS - Carrie]. Wave goodbye to Jayne and Chris, and we'll be back with more Bitching next week.