Evening all. Well, it's come round very quickly indeed, but tonight Chris and Frankie, Zaraah and Fred, and Suzanne and Matt will be skating ON ICE FOR OUR VOTES, and of course for the chance to perform the Bolero.
Plinky piano music, with a montage of our finalists. Dramatic swoopy noises. Phil VOs about their Journeys and so on. Clip of Aggie wailing; clip of Michael sobbing. Montage of our finalists BLOODY FLYING. That is NOT SKATING. STILL. Everyone wants to win. What Will Happen?
Here are Phil (in a tux) and Holly (in a weird black sparkly dress, but her necklace is nice and her bosom is tremendous). Remember tonight our finalists are skating for our votes, and our votes alone. They will do their routine on strings, then their favourite routine from the series, then one couple will be knocked out, and the other two will do the Bolero.
To show them how it's done, here are Jayne and Chris, in their purple chiffony costumes, and here's Julian Lloyd Webber, of all people, to play the Bolero for them. There is lots of dry ice and some strange Christmas tree lights, so we can't really see the footwork, but you know what the routine looks like, even this watered-down version for the middle-aged. Chris looks like he's struggling to lift Jayne, though. Poor old git. Applause!
Jayne and Chris go over to join Phil and Holly, and they are reminded that it is nearly 25 years since they first danced ON ICE to the Bolero. Jayne and Chris pant a bit, so Holly throws to Gubba to tell us about this week's required element - bastard bloody flying. Phil says it is much harder than it looks; Chris agrees. Jayne has a big chunk taken out of her arm where the wire caught her in rehearsal. Holly is excited because Jayne and Chris will be skating for us again later.
Our skating stars are welcomed to the ice - Zaraah and Fred; Chris and Frankie; Suzanne (who pulls a face and waves frantically, presumably to her son?) and Matt. They wave. Holly clasps her hands together in glee.
Fuck all has happened so far, so that means it's time for a break.
We're back with Phil and the trophy (not La Willoughby, she's obviously been seconded over to look after the Ice Panel). Phil reminds us that it's our votes alone that count tonight, but the judges will be here to help us decide. HAHAHA yeah right. Anyway, here they are - Karen, Nicky, Jason, HRH Ruthie and Head Judge Robin Cousins. [I thought it was very odd that Nicky's intro was basically a run-down of all the reasons why he loves Chris Fountain. I was all set to get all "ZOMG TEH CHOSEN WUN!" about it. - Steve] I really, really want Ruthie and Robin to sing a duet tonight. Holly witters a bit. Robin says it is an exciting night and everyone must leave their nerves behind.
Phil tells us AGAIN that it's all down to our votes. He introduces "this year's queen of the skate-off", Zaraah. Rehearsal footage of her whooping as she flies, then groaning when the harness exacerbates that old rib injury from a few weeks back. Jayne says that she always gets lots of bruises when she wears the harness, but she straps herself in anyway because she is delighted to get the chance to rehearse with lovely Fred while Zaraah is out of action. Heh.
Zaraah and Fred are performing to One Day I'll Fly Away. AHAHAHA, do you see what they did there? Fuck, they have a bubble machine and everything! Srsly, kids, I don't see the point of this - the celebrities don't do any skating at all, and we already know the pro skaters can skate. I mean, in series 1 I assumed they'd brought it in so that Langford had chance to look good for a bit, but it's two years on and they've still not seen sense. [I wondered if they were thinking of renaming the final episode 'Dancing Above Ice'. - Steve] Gubba admires the routine, anyway. He says that she has been so close to extinction so many times that David Attenborough is filming her performance. Scores: Karen 5.5, Nicky 5.0, Jason 5.0, Ruthie 5.0, Robin 5.5, for a total of 26. They are pleased. Zaraah says it was painful, but great because there were fireworks and bubbles, which is fair enough. We see the huge amount of strapping on Zaraah's back. Robin says that he loved the eye connection between the pair and the "exquisite" arms. Jason congratulates Zaraah for making it to the final, and is applauded by the audience, possibly for the first time ever.
Next up is Chris, who will doubtless tell us how difficult it is being as great as him. He is very excited about flying. He is not very graceful. Karen and Chris D laugh at him. Also, he is at a disadvantage because Frankie's six-stone weight cannot haul his 14-stone bulk around the rink. Get her to eat some pies, then. [If they took some of Chris's pies, specifically, and gave them to Frankie, that would solve everyone's problem. - Steve] They're performing to Fly Me To The Moon. OH TEH PUNZ! I CANNOT COPE! Blah blah, flying, slow-motion running. [He's surprisingly graceless in the air, though. It was really noticeable coming after Zaraah, who was very deft. - Steve] To be fair, Chris is also doing some skating. Gubba admires him. Scores: Karen 5.5, Nicky 5.5, Jason 4.5, Ruthie 4.5 and Robin 5.5 for a total of 25.5. Chris laughs a lot about nearly getting stuck upside down. Frankie giggles too. Nicky says that he looks at the performance AND the skating, and is impressed by Chris leading the routine because Frankie is too little to take control. Ruthie says the transitions were clumsy. She has really nice eye make-up - gold sparkly eyeshadow and her trademark black liner and mascara.
Finally, our skating Barbie and Ken. They are happy to be in the final. Suzanne skates into the rink to see Jayne in her harness and shrieks, "YOU'RE LEVITATING!" Hee. [I wonder if she said the same thing to Linda? - Steve] Once she gives it a go herself, she realises she gets motion sickness, so she's not going to eat before the performance for fear of projectile vomiting. Suzanne and Matt are performing to Time To Say Goodbye, which does not have the word "fly" in the title, but "goodbye" does rhyme with it, so perhaps that's where they were going. [I, in my rabid conspiracy theorising, assumed this was the show's subtle way of convincing us to vote Suzanne out to leave the road clear for TEH CHOSEN WUN Chris Fountain. I don't like it when I get all grassy knoll-ish about Dancing on Ice, of all programmes. It's undignified. - Steve] Suzanne looks a bit ill at the end, but there is no sign of vomit. Scores - Karen 6.0, Nicky 6.0, Jason 6.0, Ruthie 6.0 and Robin 6.0 for a straight 30.0 FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER. Matt looks a bit shellshocked, and Suzanne looks a bit less green now. Corey goes mad in the audience. Jayne does sobbing, as does Holly, who decides to ask Karen for her opinion. Yeah, that's a good idea. Obviously she's in floods. Jason says it was spectacular.
But anyway it doesn't matter what the judges think, because it is UP TO US. If you want to vote for Zaraah and Fred, the number is 09016 161001; Team Fountain is 09016 161002; and Barbie and Ken are on 09016 161003.
We're back, and Phil welcomes us. The excitement is apparently unbelievable. What actually IS unbelievable is the AMOUNT OF TIMES HE KEEPS TELLING US THAT IT'S ONLY OUR VOTES THAT COUNT.
Time for our finalists to skate their favourite routines. Zaraah is first again. She says her relationship with Fred is fantastic, because he makes her work hard but they also have "super-fun". Her favourite routine of the series was Diamonds and Pearls, though I suspect it was just her favourite costume. She says that DoI has been the most challenging experience of her entire life, and she is proud to have got through four skate-offs. She wants to succeed for everyone who has been supporting her. Aw. Anyway, here they come, covered in their crystals, and Fred's nipples are proudly on display. Halfway through the routine, Gubba's commentary cuts in, which is a little confusing. Scores - Karen 5.5, Nicky 5.0, Jason 5.5, Ruthie 5.0 and Robin 5.5 for a total of 26.5. Zaraah is caught between laughter and tears. Jason is in a good mood tonight. He admires the partnership again. Robin agrees with him, and also admires the quality of the skating.
Incidentally, you have no idea how much I want a Zaraah/Suzanne Bolero skate-off. I would laugh and laugh.
When Chris signed up for Dancing on Ice, he didn't realise how difficult it was going to be because SKATING IS SO HARD and he is SO BUSY. He loves Frankie. They have a connection. His favourite routine was Cry Me A River, particularly the wanky spin he did. He reminds us that he landed an axle, and they got 6.0s last week, and he is proud to call himself an ice dancer (because now he can DANCE ON ICE). ZOMG, I forgot how fucking funny this routine is, with Chris's Urban Acting at the start. I tell you something, though, it's not as good as the first time they did it, particularly Chris's blur spin - and as I type that, Chris proves my point by toppling over at the end. Scores: Karen 6.0, Nicky 5.5, Jason 5.5, Ruthie 6.0 and Robin 6.0, for a total of 29.0, which is absolute bollocks. Karen enjoyed the routine and says that Chris is one of the best things that has ever happened to Dancing on Ice, because he can't put a foot wrong. Except for when he fell over at the end. Nicky gibbers about DANCING ON ICE and that Chris fell over, so it wasn't a 6.0. Ruthie says it was an End Position, so the fall didn't matter. Srsly, what? [He is TEH CHOSEN WUN. Even when he falls, it's art! - Steve]
Suzanne has had an eventful series. She says it has been one of the best experiences of her life, and she now has a special friend. Aw. She claims to have enjoyed every second on the ice with him. I suspect she doesn't mean the second when he split her head open with his blade, but maybe she doesn't remember that. [But she almost gouged his eye out the other week, so they're probably quits now. - Steve] She likes wearing the costumes because it makes her feel like a doll. She wants to win FOR HER SON. Aw again. Suzanne and Matt are dancing to Music, which is an ace routine. And they've changed the end headbanger so she does a little twist while she's being rotated! Fuck. That was incredible. Scores: STRAIGHT 6.0s AGAIN! COME ON, TEAM SUZANNE! [Seriously. She picked a fine time to totally up her game, didn't she? - Steve] Corey is crying in the audience! Suzanne is crying too. Phil attempts to interview her, then gives up and talks to Jayne and Chris instead. Jayne says she has never seen anyone do that twist in the headbanger before, and suggests that she should enter the Olympics. All the Ice Panel are crying. Robin talks about Suzanne's Journey. He mentions that tricks aren't allowed in the Olympics, but he has only ever seen one other pair team do that twisting headbanger before. Jason says more nice things. Suzanne is all big-eyed at Matt, who seems a bit subdued tonight. What's THAT ABOUT?
Welcome back. The phone lines are about to close, kids, and one couple will be OUT and hanging up their skates FOR GOOD. Whoooooooooo! Phil will have the results in his earpiece shortly, but first of all we get Torvill and Dean skating again, this time minus dry ice, so we can actually see their feet, which is nice. Then we get a montage of Jayne and Chris's best moments of the series. For goodness sake, they're TORVILL and freakin' DEAN - they've had HOURS of best moments of the series - it's their job. Although I'd probably argue that their boybandy routine with Westlife wasn't one of them.
Phil is about to announce the two finalists who will be skating off for the trophy. All three couples are dressed and ready for the Bolero. [I can just picture Zaraah getting changed for that, going "but what's the fucking point?" - Steve] The first couple to skate will be - Suzanne and Matt! YAY! Fuck, her Bolero dress is horrid. The second couple - Chris and Frankie. Shocker. No bugger has voted for Zaraah all series (except Steve tonight, obviously) [I'm going to make a "I voted for Zaraah" t-shirt. - Steve]. Zaraah puts a brave face on it, but cries anyway. Montage of Zaraah and Fred's highlights. Holly wanders on to look like she is important, and yet AGAIN her dress is too long for her. Zaraah does her thank-yous.
Here we go, then - the phone lines are open again. Now, all previous votes are removed, and we're starting again from scratch. 09016 161002 for Team Fountain; 09016 161003 for Suzanne.
Phil welcomes us back again, standing in front of Suzanne's brother who is waving a big banner that says 'GO 4 IT SIS!' Phil then plugs the DoI tour. I quite want to see some of the pro skaters again (*cough* my Andrei *cough*), but am not really bothered about the celebs, to be honest. Also, as Nicky revealed in his ridiculous blog, the judging is a total farce.
Chris and Frankie are first to do their Bolero. He says they will never be as good as Jayne and Chris. Really? Are you sure you are not THAT BRILLIANT that you can manage it anyway? Choreography is not his strong point. Frankie just skates round him and shouts instructions as he looks bewildered. Phil VOs that Chris is finding it difficult. Chris VTs that the original routine is technically very challenging. No shit, Sherlock - a gold-medal, straight-6.0-winning performance is technically difficult?
They begin. Goodness, that tight satin shirt isn't doing him any favours, is it? Once they're skating, all is well, but the first section, on the knees, is very lumpy. Also, I am entertained by Chris sticking his tongue out with concentration just as they go into the drape lift. Gubba says it was "brilliant" and "a haunting interpretation". Chris says that he connected with Frankie in that routine, and he doesn't care what anyone else says. Chris D says that is true and he has finally given 100% because he is worn out. Robin says it was almost too intense. Ooh, ouch. Jason disagrees with Robin and says that the routine should have that passion, and agrees that they finally connected. Chris says he was trying to impersonate Chris D. AHAHAHA.
We see Suzanne in rehearsals being excited about doing the Bolero. She says it is intimidating having to perform it in front of Torvill and Dean. I am amused by them wearing purple chiffon wristbands. They want to do a move called the Snakecharmer in their routine. It is difficult. Oh, OK then. Anyway, Suzanne's dress has an odd puffball netting effect, but I very much covet her sequinned fishnet tights. The Snakecharmer is there, present and correct; the camerawork in this routine sucks. The dance is a bit tricksy, as you'd expect. Suzanne starts to cry and says nice things to Matt, who has his chest out - had not noticed that before. Nicky does his bit where he asks rhetorical questions and then answers them himself in words of one syllable. He tells her she is his champion. Suzanne and Matt cuddle; he cradles her head. Aw.
While the finalists get their breath back, we get the rest of this series' celebs back on ice - Greeno and Fred skating to Downtown, with a really, really good lift. Greeno was robbed; Natalie and my Andrei, skating to About You Now; Michael with his leg in plaster being pushed around on a chair by poor Mel to Walking on Sunshine; Aggie, dressed as a flamingo, molesting poor Sergey to I'm A Woman; Tim and Victoria doing their Grease thang; Steve and Susie skating to Mony Mony; Linda and Dan being cheerleaders; Greg leaping around the ice and throwing Kristina around to the strains of She's So Lovely; and Gareth and Maria, who looks too thin. Where the fuck is that lunatic Mumba and lovely Pavel? Perhaps she is too busy being a Film Star. [Whatever the reason, I'm sure Pavel's scrotum breathed a huge sign of relief. - Steve] Holly grabs Phil's hand and exclaims, "Greg Rusedski TERRIFIES ME!"
The phone lines are about to close, and apparently we are going to gloss over the fact that Mumba and Pavel aren't there - in fact, we're not even going to mention it.
THE LINES ARE NOW CLOSED. DO NOT VOTE. They're going to count the votes - and in the meantime, go to a break.
Here we go, bitches, it's crunch time. Phil welcomes us back for the final time. Chris feels sick, as do I watching him stroke Frankie's arm. We get a montage of his highlights, including the axel, and Frankie does her fist-pump in real time. Heh. Suzanne and Matt have a glow about them, and they look a bit like a superannuated Prom King and Queen. AHAHAHA Matt says that Suzanne is his best partner from all three series, "not wanting to discredit Bonnie or Lisa, but our partnership is a friendship." We see their introduction, as Jayne asks Suzanne, "Do you want to meet a nice handsome young man?" Hee.
Phil marches purposefully down the red carpet, all the better to get the results through his earpiece.
Our 2008 Dancing on Ice champions - Suzanne and Matt!
HOORAY! [YAY! - Steve]
She doesn't seem to have realised that she's won the entire competition - it takes a couple of seconds for it to sink in and then she starts to shriek. Chris and Frankie pretend they don't mind. Matt bows to Suzanne. And then that's it.
Srsly? That's it?
Yes, indeed, that's it. The credits roll, and they plug the new Dancing on Ice DVD through a credit-squeeze. We see Suzanne skating over to the audience to hug her son, and we're into the ads.
Well, it was a somewhat anti-climactic end, but I think that's a fair result, both on balance over the series and, particularly, on this evening's performances. Congratulations to Suzanne and to Matt, commiserations to Zaraah and Fred, and Chris and Frankie. That's your lot for this series - but if you need more Bitching, don't forget we rip Torchwood and I'd Do Anything to shreds on a weekly basis, and The Apprentice is next in line for our very special homage later this month. Bye!