Last week on Dancing on Ice! Our skating celebrities battled with props, and Greg Rusedski finally got voted out. This week! It's the semi-final! Who wants it the most? Who will risk everything? There can be only three...let's go! Titles!
Here are Phil and Holly, and my goodness, the Willoughby looks gorgeous tonight. She's wearing a strapless corseted scarlet dress, with crystals over the bodice. Phil reminds us of our semi-finalists - Gareth, Suzanne, Zaraah and Chris - but before we can see them skate, we have to sit through Leona Lewis performing a tedious song in over-sung fashion. [Please, someone make it stop! - Georgi] On the plus side, Jayne and Chris are skating round them, but not even they can save this.
Tonight's required element is a solo spot. But! They must skate out from the tunnel by themselves, then perform the first 20 seconds of the routine without their partner. Goodness. Can you imagine if Linda had got this far? [Hee. That was exactly my reaction, too. - Steve] Or if they'd had this required element in the first series, Langford? Jayne and Chris reiterate how tricky it is to work without your partner, and that the four semi-finalists would all be worthy finalists. Blah blah blah. So much filler.
We finally get to see our skating stars - Gareth (what IS he wearing?) and Maria; Suzanne and lovely Matt; Zaraah and lovely Fred; and Chris and Frankie. They wave. Phil explains the voting system. We meet the Ice Panel - Karen "the weeper" Barber, Nicky ON ICE Slater (incidentally, kids, you have to read his blog. It's a work of true eccentric genius), Jason booooo Gardiner, her royal highness Ruthie Henshall, and Head Judge [King - Georgi] Robin Cousins. We then cut to a VT where the judges talk about what is needed to reach the final, cut with archive footage from the series, and talking heads from the contestants about how much they want to win. Do we really need to know this? Or indeed care?
You know what's going to happen now, don't you?
First on to the ice, Gareth and Maria. Last week, they danced [ON ICE - Georgi] with a hat and cane, which as we know is VERY DIFFICULT. This week, they are dancing to Livin' On A Prayer, which is Gareth's favouritest song in the whole world ever. In rehearsal, he keeps growling at Maria. He complains about having to skate by himself, because he will be nervous, and he needs Maria to calm him down and "give [him] the right mindset". He claims that this week will be "do or die". [If only... - Georgi]
Anyway, he skates out of the tunnel by himself - but srsly, what the fuck is he wearing? It's a flesh-coloured vest, with silver-sequinned stripes, which do at least cover his nipples this week. [I was watching the show with four other people, and it took all of us a very long time indeed to figure out that he wasn't actually wearing a boob tube. - Steve] The routine is OK but they are really awkward in their lifts, none of which are even particularly spectacular. Also, once again the track they are skating to is butchered to bits. Gubba tantalises us by telling us that Gareth likes to sing Bon Jovi in the shower - "just imagine that, ladies!" I'd rather not, thanks. Scores - Karen 5.0, Nicky 5.5, Jason 4.5, Ruthie 5.0, Robin 4.5, for a total of 24.5. FUCK'S SAKE, Slater. Anyone else think Nicky is starting off with 5.5s so that he can mark relatively through the rest of the evening and give a 6.0 and look all generous should anyone be better? Gareth claims to have rocked out during the routine. [When? - Georgi] Nicky praises the amount of content. Jason is booed, but carries on regardless, informing Gareth that the routine seemed to get away from him and his arms were not good. He keeps talking about a "sem-eye final".
We are invited to enter a competition to be in the audience next weekend. The answer is Greg, but I'm buggered if I'm going to pay £1.20 to text that in. [You could've done it for free on the website, though. - Frugal Steve]
Phil welcomes us back to the drama and excitement of Dancing on Ice. Suzanne has the highest score of the series so far, but due to a bloody broken ankle she didn't do so well last week. Cut to our skating Barbie and Ken backstage - Matt kisses Suzanne's hands, and she kisses his forehead. Aw, they are so cute. Rehearsal footage - Suzanne screaming in agony because HER ANKLE IS BROKEN. She is frightened of taking a bow by herself. Really, she should be more frightened of the float spin, which is a bit like the headbanger, and she has to take off on her bad ankle. [Probably better than taking off on her good ankle but being held by her bad ankle though, eh? - Georgi]
Suzanne skates on with no mishaps. She is dressed as a flame, because they are skating to Eternal Flame. Do you see? Do you? DO YOU? Clearly Brian Friedman has taken over the costume department also. This is a lovely routine - all lyrical and romantic and beautiful, and technically very good, with the float spin looking excellent. I love watching them, they make a lovely couple, and I want them to get married and have lots of little babies and take them skating on ponds, possibly in New York. Gubba says that Suzanne's initials "almost spell SAS. Who dares wins!" The scores are straight 5.5s across the board, for a total of 27.5. Suzanne is squealing and incoherent. She does say, "This has been the best job ever!" Glad to see she's thinking of the cash - good girl. Matt is proud of her. Drink! Chris reveals that Suzanne forgot the routine at the start and completely improvised it. Haha. Robin praises Suzanne's talent for skating ON ICE and her technique. Ruthie praises Suzanne's performance, and Suzanne looks happy, because she is, as we know, a Ruthie Henshall fan girl. Suzanne and Matt smooch a bit. Team Shaw!
Last week, Zaraah was in the skate-off again, because nobody votes for her. Rehearsal - Chris: "Do you know what this week's required element is?" Zaraah: "Awww, I thought it was just fun, semi-final FUN." She falls over a lot. They have a difficult routine, and Zaraah nearly castrated Fred this week. She does, however, look really embarrassed and sorry about it, which is more than Mumba did when she almost put paid to Pavel's chances of becoming a father.
Aw, Zaraah looks lovely in her pink dress with silver sparkles and trim. They are skating to One, and she does her solo spot in fine style. Fred sneaks up on her and lifts her as they go into the pairs routine, with some really impressive lifting, and she's even getting quite speedy across the rink. They end with an inverted swan spin, apparently, but regardless of Gubba's neologisms, it was spectacular. [Not to be spoilerific about this, but I think that ending's what got her through this week - it really was breathtaking to watch, and the way she kind of hopped out of it and landed back on her feet really showed just how far she's come since she started in the competition. - Steve] Scores - 5.5 from everyone, except a 5.0 from Karen, of all people, for a total of 27.0. Zaraah squawks. Jayne and Chris do praising. Jason declares that "a sem-eye final peformance" and raves about her arm lines.
Finally, Chris and Frankie. He talks about how lovely it is getting 5.5s and HOW DIFFICULT IT IS BEING AS GREAT AS HIM. He would like to get a 6.0, please. Thus, they are chucking in a couple of huge lifts (with Frankie shouting, "That's IT, Fountain!" when he finally manages it in rehearsal). They are skating to Livin' La Vida Loca, so obviously Frankie takes him to a salsa club. Sigh.
Chris is all in black, with a shirt open to the bellybutton, displaying his hairy chest, which I suppose would be nice for a certain demographic. [It certainly beats Gareth's nipples. Ew, ew, ew. - Georgi] Anyway, he showboats it all round the ice, and it all goes properly salsa when Frankie joins in. If there was any consistency in this show, Chris would get told off for letting his head drop in the dance steps, because he's concentrating on his feet, but this is going to get a 6.0 anyway, isn't it, Nicky, so it doesn't matter what I say. Scores: Karen 5.5, Nicky 6.0, Jason 5.5, Ruthie 6.0 and Robin 6.0, for a total of 29.0. Chris and Frankie hug, and he almost knocks her off her feet. Chris is pleased with those scores; Frankie tells him that "you were salsa out there tonight". Chris D does one of those stupid 'we're not worthy' waves. Holly is excited because there are three 6.0s on the scoreboard. Robin says it was a "great job" and he loved it. Jason says it wasn't flawless, and so the audience boo. Imbeciles. He says there is no question about his talent but there were a few glitches with the dancing. Chris and Frankie seem to think it's a fair criticism. Nicky witters on about them only having seven days to prepare their routines. [Jason: "Like everyone else." Ha ha, you tell him. - Georgi] Shut UP.
So there we go, our four couples fighting for three places in the final. Chris and Frankie are top of the pile, Gareth and Maria are at the bottom. Now it's time for us to have our say. Or in fact for us to sit on the sofa and not vote and then moan about it afterwards if people we like get voted off. A quick recap, and it's over and out for now.
Earlier tonight, blah blah blah THE SKATE-OFF! Whoop!
Phil welcomes us back; Holly beams at us benignly. The lines close, but of course we can't go directly to finding out the results. First we must listen to Leona Lewis sing again, and it's not even like there are skaters accompanying her this time round. [At least she had a band this time. I wonder if a grand piano would count as a prop? - Georgi] [I'm sure it wouldn't be as difficult as A HAT AND A CANE, though. - Steve]
Another recap, with the backstage comments - Gareth was wearing a boob tube, had fun on the ice, and wants to be in the final; Suzanne and Matt were adorable and technically gifted; Matt gazes affectionately at Suzanne while she speaks; Jason said Zaraah deserves to be in the final; Zaraah says Fred is the best partner EVAH; Chris was a showboating fiend and accepts that he wasn't perfect, but HE WILL BE NEXT WEEK COS HE IS JUST THAT AWESOME.
Robin says this is the strongest semi-final we've had so far; Jason says that the difference between a semi-finalist and a finalist is "a week". LULZ. Phil has the results...
...but we can't have them till after the break.
Back, and Phil has decided to stop tantalising us. The first couple through to the final...Chris and Frankie! Shocker. The second couple...Suzanne and Matt! Hooray! They kiss and look generally ecstatic. So it's a Zaraah/Gareth skate-off, which is probably fair, but Zaraah must be dead pissed off that she's skated so well and it's still not good enough. [I was secretly relieved hat it was a Zaraah/Gareth skate-off, because I knew she didn't really have a chance of getting through on the public vote, but at least she stood a fighting chance against Gareth with the judges. I was worried that it was going to be a Zaraah/Suzanne skate-off, in which case she would've been doomed. - Steve]
Anyway, we get the two routines again, and srsly, Gareth has to go - Zaraah is a much better skater and performer. We go to the Ice Panel for their verdict. Karen isn't quite sobbing yet, and she opts to save Zaraah. Nicky wibbles on about fighting, ice-dance, entertaining, and eventually saves Zaraah. Jason says that he wants a finalist, thus he saves Zaraah. Ruthie seems to be quite tearful, and saves Zaraah. Head Judge Robin Cousins makes it a clean sweep.
Hooray! Gareth does the usual thank-yous, claiming to love Maria "to bits". We see a compilation of his series highlights, mostly crashing to the ice in rehearsals. A lap of honour, and Gareth is out of the show.
Well, that was the right result, kids - we have a proper final next week. [When you say "proper final", I think you're ignoring the fact that they're going to be flying again, and therefore not really skating at all, thus making the whole final a farce. - Georgi] Will anyone ring in to vote for Zaraah? Can Suzanne go a week without breaking a bone? Will Chris attempt to dance Torvill and Dean's entire Bolero without amendments BECAUSE HE IS JUST THAT GREAT? Tune in next week to find out!