Sunday, 18 January 2009

Single ladies (put a rink on it)

Show 2 - The girls
Tx - 18th January 2009


I swear to God, if they play that fucking Sugababes song tonight, I am walking.

Last week: the boys were on the frontline, and the gloves were off, says Phil. Ruthie decided that "you are a hunk" qualified as constructive feedback, Ray came dressed as JonBenet, Todd looked like a lemon in more ways than one and lovely Graeme went home.

Tonight, the only contestants I give a shit about ladies are on the ice, at long last! Melinda says that you can't have fun when you're scared, Soap Bitch Gemma Bissix is putting Roxanne off, Coleen is losing the will to live, and pretty much everyone is crying. As it should be.

It is Sunday night, and we are live! Though I am watching on a very slight delay for recapping purposes, and also because I was watching the new episode of 30 Rock beforehand. Phil and Holly arrive, and Holly's boobs are present and correct - possibly even more impressive with the pregnancy? [Absolutely. It suits her, though. - Carrie] Phil welcomes Jayne and Chris and the professional skaters, which means that it's another routine where Jayne takes centre stage and Chris comes on briefly at the end - hurrah! The routine is to 'Spice Up Your Life' and there is fire everywhere! Jayne looks like this is the most fun she has had in her entire life, bless her. There's a really awesome bit where she does a kind of loop-de-loop while being borne aloft by two of the guys, like she's a boar on a spit or something. It looked a lot cooler than I just made it sound. The routine ends, and Chris is nowhere to be seen. Hee. I think I'm really going to enjoy the opening numbers this year.

Phil calls Jayne "posh and sporty, but not in the least bit scary". I don't know, I'm kind of scared of her. Oh, and here's Chris - looking slightly miffed not to have been in on the hot skating action. Chris says he feels like a "lame duck". Oh dear. Jayne tells us that the girls are nervous and excited and looking gorgeous. Chris says that there are a lot of daredevils amongst them.

Holly lies that the girls have got a lot of live up to after last week's snoozefest. But before we get any actual competitive content, let's meet the skating stars: Roxanne and Daniel are first, Donal and Florentine are second, Melinda and lovely Fred are third (wow, Melinda's eye make-up is terrifying), Ellery and Frankie are fourth, Coleen and Stuart are fifth (she gets a huge cheer, and I keep hearing his surname as "Wiggle" even though I know it isn't), sixth are Jeremy and Darya, seventh are Zoe and Matt (looking like an explosion in a paint factory), eighth are Michael and Melanie, ninth are Soap Villain Gemma Bissix and Andrei [yay! - Carrie], tenth are Ray and Maria (boo, hiss, etc), Jessica and Pavel are eleventh [yay! - Carrie], and finally, of course, Todd and Suzie (he can barely even stand up straight on ice. Would anyone else watch Standing Up Straight On Ice? Because I think I would).

The black and white flicker appears in the top-right corner, so we know a break is on the way. Does any show on ITV use that any more besides this one? It seems so archaic, but in a sweet sort of way. And indeed, after some pleasant inanities from Phil and Holly, here is the break.

Back from the ads, and Holly introduces the ice panel: double Olympic competitor and weepy coach Karen, stater of the obvious Nicky, pantomime villain Jason, neither use nor ornament Ruthie [oi, watch it. Ruthie's constructive criticism may not be up to much but she is vey vey pretty and talented. Also I am quite amused by her leching at the men and not getting flustered, like some other judges I could mention - Carrie] and Head Judge Robin, who is the unfortunate victim of another one of Holly's slips of the tongue (she tries to say "there isn't anything he doesn't know about skating" but almost says "there isn't anything he knows about skating", HAHAHA).

Robin tells Holly that the women have to be equals (feminism ftw!) and to be carried without just being props. And that is apparently it for judges' preliminary chat this week. Apparently Phil slapped Jason around the head last week? I didn't notice this. Anyway, Phil assures the viewers concerned about injury that he didn't hurt himself at all, lulz. Eighteen minutes into the show and we finally get to contestant number one!

Roxanne reminds us that we know her from Emmerdale, and tells us that she is lazy, does not go to the gym, and likes to eat chips. She's well qualified to blog this show, if not to actually be on it. [Oi, watch it! - Carrie] In training, she cries a lot, but then meets Daniel, who is quite the harsh taskmaster, leading to a Sports Training Montage. Roxanne gets the hang of skating, but her work with the choreography is less impressive. Roxanne refers to herself as an "unstable person", something Soap Villain Gemma Bissix clearly knows all about. She falls in rehearsals and worries about falling on the live show.

They will be skating to 'Take A Bow' - ooh, Madonna or Rihanna? Let's see. Oh, Rihanna. Feh. Although the opening line of "you look so dumb right now" is oddly appropriate given Roxanne's clunky mannequin choreography, I suppose. Once they actually get skating, however, things look more promising. It's a little hesitant, but fairly appealing. Gubba tells us that Roxanne's costume is the skimpiest of the night. We see recaps of her rotating sash lift, and her plank finish (lol). Scores: 3.0 from Karen, 3.0 from Nicky, 2.5 from Jason, 3.0 from Ruthie and 3.5 from Robin, for a total of 15.0.

Roxanne cannot speak because her mouth is dry, and never thought she'd actually get to be here given her standard in training. Daniel says she's worked very hard and he's very proud of her. He says that he's been putting apples in her chip butties, heh. Chris says Roxanne really puts the hours in, and makes the moves her own. Jayne says that Dan brings the best out in his partners.

Robin says that when it worked it worked very nicely, but when her nerves kicked in, her whole body tensed up. He thinks things look promising for the future, though. Jason thought the execution of the choreography was terrible at the start (this is true), and that she was chewing with her mouth and licking her lips, and there were very stunted lines. Karen disagrees, and is applauded for such, and tells Roxanne that through hard work she will get higher marks. Also, through better skating.

Next are Melinda and lovely Fred. Melinda is a model and TV presenter, but on Five, which doesn't really count. She feels like a five-year-old and enjoys being whirled around by Chris, but is scared, generally. She starts well with the choreography, but admits she's dreading the judges' criticism and doesn't want Jason to call her "a pig on ice skates" because she isn't thick-skinned at all. We see her backstage last week going "oooh!" at all of Jason's "witty" "barbs", which made her tense in rehearsals this week. And seriously, woman, if you get this uptight over criticism directed at OTHER PEOPLE, you need to get it together.

Melinda and Fred are dancing to 'Love Song' by Sara Bareilles. She's lighter on her feet and more natural-looking (insert obvious joke here) than Roxanne was, though I think she's helped by her choreography whereas Roxanne was hindered a little by hers. Fred does seem to be doing more than the lion's share of the work, though, and there are points where she seems to be struggling to keep up. There's a cartwheel at the end, which is nice. And Fred still looks like Jensen Ackles, so all is well on that front.

Gubba tells us about the ages of Melinda's children, then recaps the rotating double stag and the back-to-back arabesque. Scores: Karen 3.5, Nicky 2.5, Jason 2.5, Ruthie 3.5, Robin 3.5 for a total of 15.5 Melinda looks cheered by this, despite the apparent knowledge that Jason is going to be MEAN. Melinda thanks Fred for being a brilliant trainer/counsellor/therapist. Heh. Halfway round, she says, her lips stuck to her teeth. Well, ice will do that to a person. Jayne likes Melinda's presence and calmness on the ice.

Holly talks to Ruthie, who is always good for nothing: she thought Melinda was gorgeous and a joy to watch, but she needs to work on the fluidity. Jason tells Melinda not to liken him to another show's inane judge because he would never refer to her as an ice-dancing pig (AND ARLENE NEVER SAID THAT ARGH ARGH ARGH HOW MANY FUCKING TIMES), more an ornamental pooch. He says she needs to turn out her legs and land more gracefully, and her presentation needs to be looked at because it is messy. Ruthie takes issue with this and says again that Melinda is a joy to watch. How helpful.

Back from the break, Alan Carr is in the audience, to a rapturous reception. Phil suggests he should skate, but Alan insists he'd be like a dog on lino. Apparently Alan came in support of Michael, but got the wrong week. Oops. Someone in the audience has a sign reading "I'm in the mood for DANCING ON ICE." I think Nicky gave it to them. Jessica's husband Kevin does not want to see her fall over and go boom. Are there limpet mines on the ice? [Oh, Kevin Pietersen. I loved that you tried to be nice and encouraging and say you were so glad to be supporting your wife, but in fact you ended up just saying that she'd done fuck all in terms of a career for four years. - Carrie] Oh, apparently the sign belongs to various types from Loose Women: Jane McDonald is all "fuck the Nolans, we're her family". Sherrie Hewson complains her back is hurting. Oh, save the whining for Monday lunchtime, lady.

Okay, seriously, Coleen's VT contains the best two-second summary of Loose Women ever: Coleen says "chocolate" and the audience goes "WOO!" Seriously, isn't that all you need to know? Apparently it is better than men - who knew? She is very excited to meet Torvill and Dean - it's as exciting as when she met the Osmonds. She is such a fangirl, and it is actually quite sweet. Jayne thinks Coleen needs more confidence, and Chris thinks Coleen puts herself down as a matter of course. She fears the other girls with their youth and tininess. She complains that it doesn't feel easy or lovely, and Stuart has absolutely no truck with that shit. However, in rehearsals, she does actually start to enjoy herself a little bit.

They are skating to 'Dream A Little Dream Of Me'. Holy cow, this is the cheesiest routine I've seen in ages. It also appears to be lifted from an entirely different show called Stepping From Left To Right On Ice. It does eventually liven up, though there are some slips as she comes down from her lifts - nothing major, but they are there. Still, she's no Aggie Mackenzie, so that's something. She does a rotating stag and a teapot, apparently Scores: 2.5 from Karen, 2.5 from Nicky, 2.0 from Jason, 2.5 from Jason and 3.0 from Nicky, for a total of 12.5. Coleen tells Phil off for laughing at her and says she doesn't care about the score, but appears to be on the verge of tears. She is glad it's over, and enjoyed the end. Dammit woman, my friend Sarah would KILL to be on this show - at least try to have some fun, can't you? Chris says it has been an emotional rollercoaster for her, and wants to congratulate her for actually getting through it.

Robin says that her nerves didn't show - the skating was messy, and everything is nice and needs to get better, but he was pleasantly impressed. Karen says the marks don't reflect her effort, that her confidence will come and then it WILL feel lovely. Stuart is totally thinking "don't contradict me, lady!"

Leaderboard: Melinda is in the lead, Roxanne is second, and Coleen is third. Phil reminds us that our votes will be important to save our favourite skaters. Before there is any more ladyskatin' action, we catch up with the boys: Todd says that to survive was fantastic, and Jayne does a fantastic lip-purse at the prospect of giving Todd more steps next week. Todd suspects Suzie will not let him lift her. Michael says that his performance on the show was the worst he'd skated all week. Donal said that the skate-off reminded him of the time he had a gun to his head. I am so sure. Frankie is having trouble co-ordinating "Hanley" and says that when he walks ON ICE, he looks drunk. Ellery is not given a chance to refute these allegations. Jeremy said that he wasn't perfect last week, but it was the best he could do. His next routine is more uptempo and therefore harder. Ray attempts to fake surprise at his good comments from Jason last week, and falls over a lot when required to skate more slowly. [In that case, make him skate SLOWER. - Carrie]

Back in the studio, Jeremy hopes that quicker steps will help him "get into the groove". Ray can tell the girls have got their game faces on. His week has been "sand" and he can't wait to get back out there. Todd is hoping to be better next week.

Next up is a star we prepared earlier: Zoe. She's done wingwalking and thrown herself out of plane, but THIS is scary, apparently. Chris thinks Zoe is a hidden talent, and Zoe throws herself right into training. Her training footage is quite comical, and Zoe says that while she is enjoying it, she's panicking underneath. Like Melinda, she was scared watching it all from backstage last week. Surprise surprise, back in training, her nerves are affecting her performance. She worries about fucking up on the night and Matt is all "dude, you won't". I like how Zoe cries with a big smile on her face - the true mark of a children's TV professional. Or, if you are a poster on an internet forum, A FAKE H00R. [I like that Matt genuinely calls people "dude". - Carrie]

Zoe and Matt are skating to 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody', aka reality show kryptonite. But are its effects lessened when you're dancing to it instead of singing it? She's pretty good, actually - the skating is a little frantic and sloppy in places, which looks like nerves to me, but overall I think she acquits herself rather well. Gubba tells us she turned down a panto role to be in this show. Hear that, Todd? SHE TURNED THE PANTO DOWN. We recap her low-aeroplane spin and her double stag. Scores: 4.0 from Karen, 4.0 from Nicky, 3.0 from Jason, 3.5 from Ruthie and 4.0 from Robin for a total of 18.5. Zoe is very pleased with her scores, and says she's wanted to do this since she was a little girl. She was a little girl in 2006? She talks nineteen to the dozen about wanting to stick around and get better and stay enjoying herself. Chris says this was one of her best performances, and that the first thing Zoe said to him when she stepped off was "I made some mistakes!" Aww.

Nicky says she did well with difficult choreography and shone throughout. Ah, but was she dancing ON ICE, Nicky? Jason said she was fun to watch and had great partner interaction, but in her lifts she was hunched and crunched, so she has to elongate her neck and use her lovely decolletage. Phil says, a propos of nothing, that Holly thinks Zoe looks like Truly Scrumptious out of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. We are promised tumbles and tears with Jessica and Gemma after the break.

We're back, with Soap Villain Gemma Bissix, who says she is "best known for her role in EastEnders". Pfft. She will always be Dame Clare Devine-Cunningham, Child Torturer Extraordinaire from Hollyoaks to me. Gemma likes a challenge, and this is a hell of a challenge. She wants to be the best and get a six. A Bissix? Sorry, that was lame. She sees Roxanne as her biggest competition, Soap North vs Soap South. Gemma struggles, however, in her training with Andrei - she wants to be good, and she thinks she is not. She wants to restart a routine that goes wrong, and Andrei tells her off because she can't do that on the live show. Gemma worries that she might not be able to get it right on the night. [Ooh, vaguely irritated Andrei. Rrrr! - Carrie]

Gemma and Andrei are skating to 'The Power Of Love'. They don't fanny around with any static choreography at the beginning, which automatically gets them brownie points with me. Gemma is a little bit wobbly, and pulls a marvellous "ooer" face when one lift doesn't go quite as planned, but again, I'm quite impressed. We recap her arabesque and towering lift of love (the hell?). Scores: 2.5 from Karen, 3.0 from Nicky, 2.0 from Jason, 2.5 from Ruthie and 3.0 from Robin for a total of 13.0. Phil asks the superfan how it was to get out there: Gemma is out of breath, but was ecstatic to get out there and do the routine. She wasn't happy with the routine, though, and thinks the scores speak for themselves. Andrei tells her she did well. Jayne says that Gemma had a rough day yesterday, but should be proud of her work today.

Holly's with the judges: Robin says that Gemma has good legline and good turnout, but she needs to turn out her foot to match her leg, and that her air positions are nice - she needs to relax, because the skating was tentative. Ruthie says that Gemma's determination will hopefully keep her in, but she needs to become more solid, and "grace" is the word of the day. Dictionary.com begs to differ with you, Ruthie: it's actually "narcolepsy". So nerr.

And finally, the lovely Jessica Taylor from Liberty X, and also Strictly Ice Dancing (where she was ROBBED), which is tactfully referred to as "another television skating competition" by Phil's VO. She is very confident on the ice and works well with Pavel, but she gets apprehensive when faced with ice choreography. She's worried about tripping over Pavel, and reveals herself to be the person crying bitterly from the intro after falling and hitting her head - though she admits it was more from being scared than anything else.

Jessica and Pavel are skating to 'La Isla Bonita', which was the first record I ever bought, fact fans. She's very good - very smooth, very confident, and this is a tricky routine. Gubba then annoys me, and Carrie I suspect, by referring to her as Mrs Kevin Pietersen. [I snarled. But then I don't suppose you can expect anything else from Gubba. - Carrie] Apparently this is the first time Mr Jessica Taylor (ha! How do you like them apples, Gubba?) has seen her skate, because she wouldn't let him spy on her during rehearsals. We recap her backfloat spin, and her hoover. Apparently. Scores: 4.5 from Karen, 4.5 from Nicky, 3.5 from Jason, 4.0 from Ruthie, 4.5 from Robin for a total of 21.0 - the highest score of the night, in case you weren't keeping up.

Jessica loved everything about this, and is very pleased her husband and family have given her such great moral support. Chris was worried about her at first because she concentrates so much that he thought she might forget the performance, but he needn't have because it was great. Holly asks Nicky for his feedback, and Nicky looks at Karen. Holly signals for his attention, and then Nicky gives his feedback: he thought they'd work well together before he came to "this event", but there's more than that: he's seeing such intricacy and great content done so well, he thinks she's a cert for the final. Jason thinks she's stunning to look at and she has beautiful lines, but he didn't see any Latina pasion. Jessica demonstrates a move and he's all "yes! There it is! But I didn't see it on the ice!" And then everyone starts fighting, and Holly has to shush them.

Final leaderboard: Jessica in first, Zoe second, Melinda third, Roxanne fourth, Gemma fifth and Coleen last. I'm predicting Gemma and Melinda for the skate-off, in case anyone's interested.

The lines are now open! We get a recap VT: Roxanne being tentative but showing promise, Melinda floating on Fred's back and looking like Amanda Holden, Coleen hating every moment but needing the money, Zoe clicking her fingers, Gemma wobbling on her lift, and Jessica lacking el fuego en la sangre, apparently. Lines close at the start of the results show, folks. We'll be back at 9:30pm when two skaters will battle it out in the dreaded skate-off. See you then!

The Skate-Off

Earlier tonight, six couples danced ON ICE for your votes. And yes, one of them must leave the ice for good at the end of tonight's show. Let's get on with it, shall we?

The opening titles still look like a Butlin's advert, however many times I see them.

The lines will be closing in a matter of seconds, Phil informs us. Holly does her Sympathetically Grim Face as she reminds us that however much practice they put in, it will not have been enough for one couple.

Recap With Added Extras: Roxanne was swishy, and Robin thought she and Daniel were a lovely match, but she was nervous, while Jason thought her initial execution of her choreography was awful. Roxanne admits backstage that her legs were like jelly and she stumbled a few times, but she tried to carry on regardless. The Beautiful South would approve. Melinda the ornamental pooch was clumpy in her landings, per Jason, while Ruthie thought she was beautiful. Melinda thought that being called a pooch was preferable to being called a pig, and is grateful that Ruthie was nice. I'm A Nolan Sister, Get Me Out Of Here was glad it was over, though Robin didn't see her nerves. Backstage, she admits it was everything she thought it would be. She doesn't quite clarify if this is good or bad. Nicky thought Zoe shone throughout her difficult routine, and Jason thought she was fun to watch. Backstage, Zoe was thrilled that Jason was nice to her, and constructive to boot. Matt, of course, does not get a chance to get a word in edgeways. Speaking as someone who once interviewed Zoe and was faced with the prospect of transcribing it afterwards, I can confirm she is always like that. She's lovely, though, if that helps. [Namedropper. - Carrie] Gemma the Fangirl struggled coming down off her lifts, and Robin thought she was only okay, while Ruthie thought she needed to become more grace (sic). Gemma says she wasn't nervous before she went on, but she just went to pieces when she went on. She is struggling with the grace because she is a TOMBOY. Jason felt Jessica lacked passion, and backstage she thought she had been bringing the passion. Pavel says they will do it next time: "there's plenty of talent and good looks there," he says, pointing to Jessica. Bless. [Also, would quite happily back Pavel in a fight versus Kevin Pietersen. - Carrie]

Phil's with the boys: Michael thought the girls were great, and that the boys need to raise their game next week. Ellery felt nervous for the girls, so even though it was his night off, he found it hard to relax. He thinks the girls were much better than the boys. Donal advises them all to remember to smile. Jayne thinks the boys are desperate to get out there and skate again. Chris thinks the nerves got to a few people.

And Holly's with the judges: Nicky thought that Gemma needs to go past where she think she can - less talk, more action. He tells them to believe they can fly, as R Kelly would put it. Jason was surprised by Gemma for being all mouth and no skates, and Zoe for turning in a great performance.

Phil has the results (touches ear, despite lack of obvious earpiece). The first couple safe and skating next week is: Coleen and Stuart. Coleen looks shocked and pleased, in a horrified sort of way. Also safe are: Jessica and Pavel and Zoe and Matt (yay!), and the fourth couple is...going to find out after the break, obviously.

Adverts. Is that Mad Di Barker from Bad Girls advertising Thomson and First Choice holidays?

Once we're back, Phil reminds us that only one remaining couple is safe, and it is...Roxanne and Daniel, like anyone really thought the Emmerdale star would be in any danger in week one.

So it's Melinda vs Gemma in the skate-off (I knew it!), skating once more with a clean slate. Or should that be a clean skate? Jayne says it's going to be tough for them. Chris says that Melinda needs to remember her great rehearsal, while Chris says that Gemma needs to get into the zone and stay with the blades. Okay then. [If they didn't stay with their blades, it would be difficult to Dance On Ice. - Carrie]

Melinda and Fred are up first. Melinda's skate-off seems a little smoother than before, though there's still some clumsy legwork going on. Afterwards, Melinda tells Phil it's terrifying: you want to cry but you have to keep it together. She admits she was expecting to be in the skate-off, but she feels she did it better this time around. Fred thinks she was more relaxed this time. Chris says it was indeed like her good rehearsal.

Now it's Gemma and Andrei's turn. Gemma seems more hesitant but less wobbly this time around, if that makes sense. Again, I'd say this was better than her earlier performance. It's going to be a tough one - if it were down to me I think I'd save Gemma, but it could go either way. Gemma tells Phil she doesn't want to go home - when Phil asks if she's disappointed to be in the skate-off, and Gemma practically shouts that she's the show's biggest fan so she wants to stay for another week. She adds that she hasn't cried in three years, but she's cried four times this week. Wow, she really wants this. I'm quite amazed. Chris and Jayne think she was much better the second time around.

It's judgement time: back onto the ice to face the judges. Melinda kisses Gemma and they hug. Aww. Melinda doesn't seem to know where she's supposed to stand, and Fred has to pull her back out of Gemma's way. Heh. The crowd go wild and start shouting names. Karen says they both did themselves proud, and is sorry, but she votes to save Melinda. Nicky says one person gave a much better performance, and votes to save Melinda. Jason wonders whether he should save Cardboard Cutout 1 or Cardboard Cutout 2. Fine talk from a stock panto villain. He votes to save Melinda. It's academic at this point, but Ruthie and Robin both vote for Melinda. Gemma is distraught, as you might expect. She vows to come back every week - she's very excited that she gets "me plus one for the rest of my life on Dancing On Ice!" She's gutted to be out, obviously, but is proud of what she achieved having never stepped on the ice before beginning training. She thanks Andrei and says she wouldn't have wanted to have anyone else as her partner. [Fair enough. - Carrie] Jayne says that it's disappointing, but someone has to go. Phil is gutted to lose the fangirl and Carrie is gutted to lose Andrei.

They skate off to do their lap of honour, and Phil tells us that next week boys and girls will be competing together! Whoop! Join us then!

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