Last week! Some fought back (Zoe)! Some gave fighting talk (Roxy's good-humoured putdown of Jason's whining)! Some were shut up (the audience booing Jason during Donal's comments)!
This week! "The whole country has been DANCING ON ICE!" according to Phil, and no doubt giving much joy to Nicky "ON ICE" Slater. There have been tears (Coleen) and blood (poor Pavel getting sliced up again) and ooooh what will happen?
Here are Holly and Phil - he gives her a kiss, which is oddly adorable, and then steps back and looks like he's about to go all broody over her ever-increasing bump (this week covered in a lovely white chiffony smock). Then they both make puns to introduce this week's
Phil thanks Bette for flying all the way from Vegas to sing, and she says it was wonderful to appear with Torvill and Dean. She would not be caught dead skating herself though. Heh. Phil hauls Jayne and Chris off the ice to find out what has been happening this week - people have missed training (presumably cos of the snow); Chris has been nervous because of skating to Bette Midler (because of course EVERYTHING IS ABOUT HIM). This week's required element is a one-footed change of edge - some people are doing it assisted, some are doing it unassisted (no prizes for guessing who).
Time to welcome our skating stars - Jessica and Pavel (she looks a really, really weird colour); Donal and Florentine (he has too much lipstick on); Roxy and Dan (her nipples are barely covered); Ellery and Frankie (too much neon in these costumes); Zoe and Matt (they look beautiful); Todd (in a tux!) and Susie; Melinda, her fake hair and Lovely Fred; Coleen and Stuart; and Ray and Maria (and ew oh dear God he winks at her as they skate on and I am cringing).
After the break, Jessica attempts to castrate Pavel, just as that mad bitch Mumba did last year, though at least Jess has the grace to look upset about it when she sees the wounds rather than laughing manically; and Roxy screeches for fear of breaking her head.
Phil makes another ice-related joke, and for fuck's sake, we've not even met the judges yet, have we? Karen is "one of the few teachers who's been busy this week"; Nicky is as "exciting and unpredictable as the British weather", and srsly, what?; Jason blah, Ruthie blah, and Robin is "deep and crisp and even". Oh, for fuck's SAKE - Robin says the show is about DANCING ON ICE and they must all DANCE ON ICE. Don't make me come down there, Cousins. We already have four useless pointless judges, one of whom has the sole talent of reiterating the material upon which the contestants MUST DANCE; we don't need another.
Jess is first on, and Phil hopes her final outcome tonight is more successful than her husband's in the West Indies yesterday. So do I. In rehearsals, Chris takes a tip from the Strictly judges and witters about "Fred and Ginger". Jess is hoisted up onto Pavel's shoulder (she calls him "Pav", which I guess is obvious but still cute for some reason), and when she slips, he stops her from crashing onto the ice but catches her boot on his thigh in the process. Lots of injury porn, with Pavel sitting on a sofa with his trousers round his ankles. Poor Pavel.
They're skating to Cheek to Cheek, it's all lovely and smily, with one little stumble, and the dangerous lift ON ICE doesn't slice Pavel's trousers. Gubba wonders if Fred Astaire ever had his groin slashed. Scores - Karen 4.5, Nicky 4.5, Jason 4.5, Ruthie 4.0, Robin 4.5 for her best score of 22.0. She is happy. They feel like Fred and Ginger. Pavel is not happy about his underwear being shown on national TV. Ha! Jayne thinks Jess has shown how versatile she is. Robin thinks she looks lovely and she did well to stay focused. Ruthie says that this is an improvement from last week but the nerves kicked in. Jess agrees. Bless her.
Donal thinks that his fall last week had a certain musicality. He is wrong. He has absolutely no feeling for the beat at all, and Florentine seems utterly bewildered by his cloth ears. They go along to Pineapple for street dance classes. Donal looks frightened. Florentine looks fierce. They are skating to Black and Gold and I genuinely love Florentine's dress. Donal's kids have a banner saying "Daddy you are MY HERO". Florentine seems to be talking him through what to do, but it certainly looks more rhythmic than ever before. Scores - Karen 3.5, Nicky 4.0, Jason 3.0, Ruthie 3.0, Robin 3.5, for a total of 17.0. Donal thanks everyone for the opportunity to skate. Florentine is proud of him. Drink! Jason thinks it was better this week and he is glad that Donal went to Pineapple even though it was out of his league. Rude. The musicality was better but now he needs to accent things on different beats. Nicky says Donal is GRATE because he is A MAN and it is HARD TO BE A MAN AND SKATE and WOMEN HAVE IT EASY and thus men should get more marks for EVEN BOTHERING TO COMPETE. Fuckwit.
Phil welcomes us back. Roxy and Dan are next up. In rehearsal, she is not impressed with the choreography she's been given, for she has to do the headbanger. "It's quite a dangerous move," says Jayne, with impressive understatement. As she and Dan rehearse, Roxy screams, "DAN! DAN!" [I'm a horrible person, but I found that hilarious. - Steve] Then in dress rehearsal, her shoulder is ripped to bits on some jagged ice and proceeds to bleed and weep everywhere (the cut, not Roxy herself).
They skate to Hallelujah (Alexandra Burke version), and it looks quite fluid and lyrical with some good lifts (I'm always surprised when Dan does these as he looks so little), and the headbanger doesn't get going -it looks like Dan can't get her into the air - but everyone emerges unscathed. Scores - Karen 3.5, Nicky 3.5, Jason 3.0, Ruthie 3.0 and Robin 4.0 for a total of 17.0. Dan reveals that Roxy's boot went into his hand wrong so they couldn't bounce the headbanger. Karen says Roxy is brave; Jason is glad that's over and waiting for her performance is like going to the dentist. RUDE. Roxy replies, "Next time you go to the dentist, can they take all your teeth out, please?"
Last week, Ruthie wanted Ellery and Frankie's performance to be less safe. This week, Ellery was excited because he was given Boogie Wonderland to skate to, and he did lots of club moves around the ice. Frankie seems still to have failed to grasp the fact that when Ruthie said they were too "safe", it wasn't about physical danger and risk, it was about performance risk. They have a trick where he throws her into the air, she turns by 180 degrees, and he catches her with arms outstretched. It does not go well in rehearsal but they cannot remove it from the routine and Frankie gets quite cross at the suggestion.
When it comes to the actual routine, the throw ends a bit sloppily, but nobody dies. Ellery's leg lines look clumsy. I wish Frankie wouldn't do her hair in bunches, she's a grown woman. Scores - Karen 3.0, Nicky 4.0, Jason 2.0, Ruthie 2.5, Robin 3.0 for a total of 14.5. Frankie is disappointed because of the technicality of the routine. But she does not point out that technical routines are no use if you are not very good at DANCING them ON ICE. [Oh no, it's affected you too! - Steve] Hey ho, though, Frankie, Nicky's ladling the marks on because Ellery has testicles. Jason interrupts to say that he gave a 2.5, so really it's a 15.0. Then he goes on to rip the whole routine to shreds while Frankie looks daggers at him (and incidentally he mentions the rubbish leg lines).
Zoe and Matt are doing some bizarre mime butterfly routine backstage. In rehearsal this week, Zoe has been fired up and ready to take on three difficult lifts, one of which needs a STRONG (not wobbly) CORE. She can do the actual lifts, but doesn't seem to be able to come out of them. Heh. She says there is so much to think about, but doesn't look that traumatised.
Zoe seems to be wearing the wig Ruthie Henshall wore as Fantine in Les Miserables as they skate to Loving You (with an odd butterfly motif at the start, which explains the backstage mentalism). The lifts all go well, and Zoe is increasingly looking like a possible contender. [Hooray! I really like Zoe, even if no one else does. - Steve] Scores - Karen 4.0, and 4.5s from the rest for a total of 22.0. Zoe says she really enjoyed the routine and beams broadly at everyone. Jayne is pleased with her improvement. Robin says it is lovely to watch her grow and see the partnership grow.
Oh dear me, my self-appointed nemesis Piers Morgan is interviewing Sharon Osbourne soon. A veritable studio full of ego.
Phil welcomes us back and says Robin gave Roxy a 3.5, not a 4.0. Yeah, right - anyway, that makes her score 16.5, thus ranking her below Donal.
Todd's next up, and he would like to get into double figures. This week, they are skating to Smile, and Chris wants to move him away from comedy. That sounds like a rather ambitious aim. Karen barks at him throughout practice, and he does manage to skate by himself for a bit.
The routine begins - and seriously, this is dreadful - not from a skating perspective, even though that is awful, obviously - but because he is hamming it up to a horrific degree. The audience are laughing. And this is really starting to piss me off for exactly the same reasons as John Sergeant pissed me off - if you want to be in the competition, fucking take it seriously, otherwise fuck the fuck off. Scores - Karen 2.0, Nicky 2.0 and 1.5s from the others, making it 8.5. Susie says his skating is getting better; Todd is grateful to be here; Chris says everyone is enjoying their time with Todd. Even Karen can't think of nice things to say. Jason says the performance was endearing, but the solo was stationary. Then he gives up and puts his head in his hands.
Last week Melinda was in the skate-off because she was hamstrung with the horrible Macarena routine. She couldn't get to the rink on Monday because she was snowed in. Fred seems quite pissed off all through Tuesday's practice. The Saturdays come to help her rehearse because they are skating to Up. Fred looks much happier then. When Melinda VTs, he just gazes into space. I am concerned for Fred's wellbeing. I might tweet @schofe later.
Melinda too has taken a wig from Ruthie Henshall's old Les Mis kitbag. There's a stumble right at the start, and that seems to put her off for the rest of the routine, as does her occasional habit of swallowing a big chunk of fake hair. Gubba leers over her and makes excuses for her. Scores - 3.5s from Karen, Nicky and Ruthie and 3.0s from Jason and Robin for a total of 16.5. Melinda is upset because it all went wrong, but Fred is proud of her nonetheless. Drink! Jayne says she always comes back fighting and has a great attitude. Holly looks all sad for poor Melinda. Nicky witters a bit, and says she needs to relax more. Ruthie says it wasn't Melinda's best week and she must work on her leg lines.
Phil gives us the opportunity to be at Dancing on Ice next week! No thanks, I'm off to the Whatsonstage Awards for my birthday to schmooze with Sheridan Smith, yay!
Break! Torvill and Dean documentary soon!
Next up is Coleen, who really wants to push herself this week. There is doom-laden incidental music, and sure enough we have Coleen's trials of self-doubt, culminating in tears - "I CAN'T GET IT!" and copious amounts of self-pitying whinging. Bissix is sitting at home going, "Well, quit then, you complaining old tart." [Bissix is not alone in this. - Steve]
They are skating to Can't Fight The Moonlight. I miss Adam Garcia. He should be in more things. Anyway, there's a few incidences of hideous literal choreography, and a lift where a nasty camera angle gives us a perfect view of Coleen's undercarriage. Coleen seems to be much slower across the ice than everyone else, but there is no falling over, and she doesn't cry, so that's a result. Scores - 3.0s from everyone except Ruthie, who gives a 3.5, for a total of 15.5. Phil laughs about knowing her much better now, and asks how close she was to quitting. She reckons she was very close, and she doesn't ever cry normally. Then she does a horse impression because she has a fake ponytail. Jayne sympathises because the show is very emotionally draining. Ruthie is all congratulatory - and then says she is starting to earn her place, as if Dancing on Ice is some sort of institution with stiff entry requirements. [Ruthie is quite the stealth bitch, it would seem. - Steve] Robin says Coleen will not be doing big tricks but she doesn't need to. Coleen looks a bit upset and says she MIGHT do the headbanger so NER.
Ray's next. I cannot watch it. Sorry. Truly, I am. His nipples are on display. It's just cruel and unusual punishment.
Scores for Ray and Maria - 5.0s from Karen and Nicky and 5.5s for the rest, so I guess it was pretty good. Karen is happy. Jason says Ray DANCES ON ICE. I throw a brick through my television, meaning I cannot watch any more of this but presumably I don't miss much - just a look at the leaderboard, where Ray and Maria are top and Todd and Susie are bottom, and a recap.
I'm off to buy a new television quickly. Back later for the results.
Television duly installed. Earlier tonight, these nine couples danced ON ICE for our votes, and now one is going to be lined up against a wall and shot! It's time for the skate-off!
Phil and Holly return. The lines are now CLOSED, and it's time for the unseen HOT BACKSTAGE ACTION! Jess thinks she managed to cover the stumble; Pavel didn't notice. I am increasingly loving Pavel. Donal says, "We've improved week on week!" Well, you might have. Fairly sure Florentine was decent to start with. Roxy says she switched off when Jason was talking because it was like listening to an old woman at the bingo. [I'm not especially moved by Roxy's skating, but I do enjoy her trash talk. - Steve] Ellery thought that Frankie should have changed a light-bulb because he threw her so high; Frankie thought Ellery was a disco diva. OK THEN. Zoe is amazed to be equal with Jess. Matt dimples but does not get to speak. The drinks are on Todd. Susie just looks a bit fed up. Melinda says it wasn't her best week, and she was better in rehearsal. Fred also looks fed up. Coleen gave it her best shot but says she can't stop her legs from shaking. Stuart says she can't do anything better than her best. Ray says...words.
Final words from the judges - Nicky thinks the required elements shows competence in basic skating, and congratulates Ray and Jess, but thinks everyone needs to work on their skating. He does not want to see too many lifts. Holly nods and says, "Skating is key," which is so asinine I don't know what to say. [That she forgot to mention the importance of dancing ON ICE? - Steve] She then asks Jason who is beginning to outstay their welcome. "Apart from me, you mean?" he replies. He eventually selects Ellery, for his lack of improvement.
Phil touches his ear, for it is time for the results. In no particular order, the couples skating next week - Roxy and Dan; Ray and Maria; Melinda and Fred; Jess and Pavel; Donal and Florentine; Zoe and Matt - and thus there are three couples left, so the final safe couple will obviously be revealed AFTER THE BREAK.
Phil welcomes us back, and it's down to the final three - Ellery and Frankie, Todd and Susie, Coleen and Stuart. The seventh couple safe and skating next week - Coleen and Stuart! She is happy and pretends she is crying. Todd gurns a bit. Susie smiles through gritted teeth. [The voters on this show are clearly less idiotic than the voters on Strictly, thank God. - Steve]
Jayne says that Ellery needs to relax and listen to the music and find the disco diva within him. Holly asks Chris what Todd should do. Everyone laughs. It seems as if Christopher Dean is, for once, lost for words. He eventually drags up, "Sell it." Is that not what he tried to do earlier? Singularly unsuccessfully?
Ellery and Frankie go first. That throw thing looks horrible. I think Ellery looks quite ungainly but in terms of skating he doesn't really look like he's going to fall or anything. He says that he finds it hard to find rhythm; Frankie says it was better than the first time, and Jayne concurs.
Todd and Susie are second. Phil laughs introducing them. Watching Todd skate out, I really think he's not as technically bad as he pretends. There's certainly nothing stopping him from straightening his arms, but of course that wouldn't make him look so wobbly. (Not in his CORE.) Todd is pleased he didn't fall, and wasn't surprised that he was in the bottom two. Susie smiles through gritted teeth some more.
Time for the verdict. Karen says it wasn't a skate-off but a chance to enjoy Todd for the last time, and saves Ellery. Nicky says Ellery had soul, and saves him. Jason saves Ellery with no comment. Ruthie is judging from a performance point of view and saves Todd. [And thus crosses the line into COMPLETELY useless. Idiot woman. - Steve] Robin says that from a performance point of view, yes, it was that close, but from a skating point of view there was no contest, and saves Ellery.
Phil tells Todd he has been fabulous, and then it is time for a montage - Todd falling over, Todd pulling Christopher Dean over, Todd doing a spiral, Todd skating off the rink, Todd belly-flopping onto the ice. A glorious tenure, that's for sure. Todd thanks everyone who voted for him and who supported him in the studio, and Susie, and his family, whom he loves. Susie says she has had a brilliant time. I think she is fibbing. Chris says Todd has been great entertainment. Phil asks them to take their bouquets and do their lap of honour - "God knows what will happen now."
Next week! Shoulderpads, sequins - "and that's just me!" says Phil. Not really, it's Eighties week and a Bolero celebration! Join Steve then!