Tx: Sunday 22nd February 2009
Hello everyone! I can confirm that I am now officially old, having finished a week-long festival of birthday celebrations, and to round off a wonderful seven days I now get to recap Dancing on Ice! [Would it help if I booked James Marsden to come on the show for your next birthday? - Steve]
But first, let us take a moment to laugh at Nicky Slater, courtesy of the wonderful gang at perfectsixes:
More to follow later.
And let us remind ourselves what happened last week. It was, of course, an 80s celebration, in honour of the fact that a) I am an 80s baby and b) oh, yeah, Torvill and Dean did some skating in that decade. Some waxen Scouse creation is apparently competing in this show, but I've not seen him, thus it IS NOT HAPPENING.
This week! Just seven remain, five girls and two boys, and Donal has nobody to talk about football with because a) girls don't like football and b) somebody called Ray is obsessed with his hair. That I can well believe.
I am loving the fact that Phil looks all broody every time he surveys Holly's blooming pregnancy. She's resplendent in pink; his suit looks maroon with shiny piping. And before we get anything exciting happening, we have Will Young singing some dirge and attempting to outstare the camera with his steely gaze. Obviously he's standing on a plinth in the middle of the rink, and Jayne and Chris emerge amidst the dry ice to skate round him. I really like Jayne's dress. I laugh out loud at some of Chris's emoting, but that's because I'm mean. There is whooping, but seriously, the best things I can say about that is that firstly, Jayne and Chris were there, and secondly, it was better than Will's appearance on Question Time.
Holly and Phil call them over (Holly's voice sounds WRECKED), and declare that they thought they were snogging at one point. (They weren't, but I'm sure it'll be macroed to hell by the end of the night, right?) Jayne says it's been a good week, and the semi-final is only a few weeks away. Chris says they continue to push the contestants every week because there is a new mountain every week.
This week's required element is the wonderfully tautological compulsory chain of elements - a spiral (you know what that is), a drag (like a lunge), an Ina Bauer (skating on parallel blades) [so, no relation to Jack, then? - Steve], then a stop on one foot (um...self-explanatory, I hope). Phil looks frightened. Jayne says they can do the elements individually but they're putting them together; Chris says that doing it unassisted is hard (chortle). They won't say who's been finding it tricky, because we'll see later. Ha.
Time to meet the couples - Zoe and Matt, who are in black and gold [I'd say this gave away what they'd be skating to if it hadn't already been used once this series - Steve]; Melinda and Fred in the cast-offs from Holly's dress; Donal and Florentine, in sparkly turquoise (aw, she has a ribbon in her hair, I like it); Roxy and Dan (Roxy seems to be attempting to look like Marilyn Monroe in The Seven-Year Itch); Jess and Pavel; Ray and Maria, who have come as the chorus from Grease and look even more hateful than usual; and bizarrely Coleen and Stuart are the last ones on tonight.
Nobody skates until after the break, when we'll see Matt knock Zoe's legs from under her, and Melinda punching people.
Phil welcomes us back, and we get to meet the ice panel with a variety of Oscar-themed gags - Karen is the first person the stars would thank in a speech; Nicky's case is more curious than Benjamin Button's (and I genuinely have to stop the SkyPlus here because I'm laughing so much); Jason would be Best Baddie; Ruthie is no stranger to a red carpet [too many Firecrotch jokes, must contain self - Steve]; and Robin has won plenty of awards himself, including OLYMPIC GOLD 29 YEARS AGO TODAY. Holly patronises him with "great achievement". He says that some of the contestants are missing the target, but it's all down to what they do tonight.
I think it's time for another macro while Phil bores us with a reiteration of the judging process.
Last week, Jason did not feel any thrill for Zoe. No mention of whether he felt a thrill for Matt. [If he didn't, I suspect he is not actually alive. - Steve] This week she wants to enjoy her skating again, and is very excited to be dancing to Abba's Mamma Mia. Jayne says the beginning of the routine is very dynamic. Alternatively, dangerous - Zoe and Matt keep kicking each other and squealing. And as if that wasn't bad enough, they are forced to go and watch the West End cast of Mamma Mia in rehearsals.
I am HATING the stupid flare-hems they've sewn onto Zoe's trousers. Also hating the shite angry acting they are both attempting. It looks even more ludicrous when they get into the routine and plaster on their standard beams. [I rather liked it, but then I am firmly TEAM ZOE so I may be slightly biased. - Steve] Zoe looks a little unsteady when she's not holding Matt's hand, but the chain of elements comes off without any major problems. Oh, and then they crucify the last bar and a half of the song by slowing it down. Scores - Karen 4.5, Nicky 5.0 Jason 5.0, Ruthie 5.0 and Robin 4.0 for a total of 23.5. Zoe loses all power of speech. Matt is happy. Phil reveals that he was wearing his Blue Peter badge inside his lapel, and Zoe suggests that she could have lent him her gold one so that he matched her outfit.
Jason says it was a good opening and a wonderful routine, admiring her acting (srsly?), and now wants her to work on the breadth on the top of the shoulder-line. The audience boo but everyone with a braincell realises that this is helpful criticism. Robin makes a long list of skating criticisms, telling her that it's cheating. I heart that man.
Last week Melinda had to skate off again because nobody is voting for her. This week she's been a pitiful mass of blubbing, and so instead of skating she's gone to talk to boxer Ricky Hatton. Ah yes, Dancing on Ice invariably finds perfect training sessions for its skaters. [Until the day it brings in The Barrowman as an acting coach, it will not be as bad as Strictly. - Steve] Melinda skips around the ring in golden shoes. There is actually no evidence that she has done any skating this week.
Melinda and Fred are skating to Let's Hear It For The Boy, which is an AMAZING song [trufax - Steve], and I really like the step work they do at the start. She looks a bit like a rag doll in the first lift...oh, and the third and fourth. And fifth. It doesn't help that she looks terrified and then seems to suddenly remember to smile. Scores - Karen 4.0, Nicky, Jason and Ruthie all 3.5, and Robin 4.0, for a total of 18.5. People are booing but I'd say that's fair enough - her routines are all a bit meh for me. Phil praises them for the drape lift which concluded the routine; Fred is proud of Melinda for taking risks "which some of the others don't" - ooh, burn! Melinda enthuses about Ricky Hatton. Jayne says it was a confident performance. Karen says the lifts were strong (well, Fred is strong) and her personality shines through; Nicky agrees, like we care, and suggests "fight[ing] at practising", like that makes sense. He seems to have finished his comment and then picks up another floating train of thought, and Jason, just out of shot, is clearly annoyed. Nicky tries to make a joke out of it - "Jason's getting bored now" - and Jason then endears himself to me for at least the next three minutes by giving a magnificent queeny sigh and declaring, "I'm ALWAYS bored by you, Nicky." Once Nicky shuts up, Jason says what's letting her down is her leg-lines, because she's not pointing her feet or turning them out - "they're almost prosthetic." Melinda witters about it being a challenge. Oh, shush.
After the break, Roxy tries the headbanger again, surveyed by what seems to be a posse of schoolchildren on their half-term outing.
We're back after the break - look, there's Tony Blackburn! Next up, Donal and Florentine. Last week, he looked like something out of Miami Vice and finished fourth, and they hope to improve this week. Rehearsal footage - Chris gropes his arse, and then inspects it. I'm not even making this up. [After Ben Miller made out with Rob Brydon on QI this week, nothing surprises me any more. - Steve] Their song this week is Everybody Hurts, and he is not used to emotion. So Florentine makes him watch a video-message from his kids, who are cute and want him to make them pancakes this week. Bless.
Anyway, it's all very lovely, but there's a slip, which he recovers from well, and presumably will get more marks for from Nicky, because as we have seen previously, it is GOOD to fall because you then get to show your mettle by getting back into the routine. The audience whoop and cheer like gibbons. Scores - Karen 3.0, Nicky 4.0 (told you), Jason 3.5, Ruthie 3.5 and Robin 3.0 for a total of 17.0. Donal was pleased with the routine; Florentine explains that their blades just clicked but it was still lovely to skate with him tonight. Jayne says that could happen to anyone, even "Chris and I". Chris says that Donal stayed in character, so well done for that.
Jason says that it was much smoother and had a better flow, and he applauds him for staying in character. He suggests that he savours his tricks more, so that we all get to enjoy them with him. Ruthie agrees, and reveals that she went skating this week with her kids, and she fell over three times, giving her a new-found respect for skating. She says that he looked comfortable ON ICE. Nicky says it is about presenting your partner, and it was smooth and beautiful.
Dan is shoving an electric fan up Roxy's skirt backstage. Really. This week she wants to improve, and wants to do that through the medium of putting the headbanger in again. She tried it a fortnight ago but it failed because she gave her foot to Dan in the wrong position so he couldn't lift her. She is determined to correct that this week, though, because she doesn't want "to let Christopher Dean down". She's still screwing it up in rehearsal, and Dan says, "If I'd bounced her, she would have smashed her face on the ice." Oh, sod it, Dan. She wants to do the headbanger - bang her bloody head. That'll teach her for not laying on the ice correctly. [And if I may just have a massive moan here, their version of the headbanger still sucks whatever Roxy is doing with her feet. Suzanne's was so awesome because she went into it from a standing position, which is so much more dramatic and dangerous-looking. Roxy just lies down and waits for Dan to pick her up and whirl her around - it's so dramatically inert in comparison. Also, I just watched Suzanne's performance again when I found that clip and fuck me, it's amazing. I miss Suzanne. - Steve]
They are, of course, skating to I Wanna Be Loved Be You. Roxy gurns and pouts her way through it, and Dan has to support her through the required element. She pulls a face before going into the headbanger, but they manage it! Dan applauds her. Scores - 4.0s from everyone except Ruthie, who gives a 3.0, for a total of 19.0. She says she doesn't care about the score because she has done the headbanger, whoop whoop. That's just as well, really. Roxy enthuses about Jayne, Chris and Dan; Dan says Roxy simply does not give up.
Holly says it still makes her nervous watching the headbanger, "but Roxy nailed it, didn't she, Robin?" And Robin is on fine form tonight, and I quite want to kiss him when he snarks, "Um, Daniel nailed it. Roxy did what she needed to do." [Exactly my point, though I do not have Olympic Gold to reinforce the validity of my comments, sadly. - Steve] Holly tries to get him to be complimentary by praising her bravery, and he truly has taken his bitch pills because he adds that his marks didn't take into account the headbanger - they would have been the same without it. Subtext - so stop making such a fucking fuss about putting in showy tricks and concentrate on your skating, bint. Ruthie gets Roxy's name wrong, but eventually spits out that she doesn't like Roxy and ends up just watching Dan. Jason thinks it was quite a charming performance, and he enjoyed being proved wrong.
Still to come - more skating!
Phil welcomes us back and introduces Jessica and Pavel - "her husband's been smashing fours in the West Indies, but will she be happy with anything less than a 6.0?" She is delighted to be skating to Toni Braxton's Unbreak My Heart; Pavel, in the background, looks less excited. She claims to be struggling with the required element, and is exhausted. So she is cheered up by a video-message from her husband, Mr Jessica Taylor, and then she bursts into tears to hear him say he is supporting her. Has she not spoken to him since he's been on tour, then? Weird.
There's a terrible piece of literal choreography for the lyric "I need your arms to hold me now", which makes me hide behind a cushion, but apart from that, it is a pretty routine and I almost believe that Jess and Pav might be in love. Almost. Scores - 5.0 from everyone except Nicky, because he's a prick. Total of 24.5. Jessica is gobsmacked. Pav confesses that one of their lifts went wrong because he didn't pick her up properly - "I missed her legs. I don't know how I missed them, they are very long." Ha. Chris praises them for covering up the mistake. Karen says the passion and feeling was there. Jason says it was a sincere, dramatic interpretation, and he enjoyed it. He suggests adding a sense of growing in all of her positions. Nicky's opinions, as always, are unwanted, and this time are unsolicited.
Ray and Maria are next. He VTs about being happy to get 6.0s. This week he has a rock'n'roll number. Sadly there is no rehearsal footage of him hurting himself, only him hurting Maria. Sorry, this is where my patience with him runs out. Fast-forwarding now. Steve will let you know what happens if he has the stomach for it. I just don't. I'm truly very sorry. He's just such a sickening, entitled, smug, plastic-faced man-child. [Honestly, the things I do for this blog. It was the usual: showy, skilled, and utterly nauseating. I will admit the high kick was impressive. I spoke to my mum about it on the phone and though she doesn't really give a toss about this show because it clashes with Lark Rise to Candleford, she thinks he's very good. I don't care - he mustn't win because he must be punished for having that awful, awful face and making me look at it every week. He got 6.0s from everyone except Jason, who gave him 5.5. I assume they're just going to alternate each week which judge has to give him 5.5 so he doesn't get 30 again until the final. - Steve]
Ad break, in which I have to compose myself.
Phil welcomes us back for the final contestant - Coleen, who was the Lady in Red last week. She doesn't like getting negative comments. Be better then. How many more times must I explain this? She and Stuart are skating to The Shoop-Shoop Song this week, and is very happy because she likes it. She is not good at skating, but she thinks she might have an inner showgirl. Like Elizabeth Berkley did? [Maybe she should wear a Ver-sase for her routine? - Steve] Stuart reassures her that she's not rubbish, and she concludes that she should start believing in herself, because the people who are voting for her believe in her.
She looks like she's having more fun than last week, but I suspect Ruthie might still deem this tentative. She's looking at Stuart all the time, and not in the good "strong partnership" way, in the "five-year-old looking for reassurance" way. They fail to finish at anything approaching the right time. Gubba patronises her by saying that she is flying the flag for millions of housewives. Scores - 3.5 from everyone except Jason and Robin who give 3.0s for a total of 16.5. Coleen hams it up and talks in fridge-magnet joke cliches before telling Chris to stop laughing.
Before Karen gets to give her comments, Ruthie interrupts to apologise to Roxy for calling her Zoe. Then Karen has stolen the bitch pills from Robin - "You are so much fun until you put your skates on." Jason high-fives her. HA! Karen attempts to dig herself out of the hole. Jason was happy that Karen took on his role for a minute, and Coleen sticks her fingers in her ears. He says her cartwheel was like a gingerbread man. Snort. Nicky attempts to make his views heard, but as ever, nobody cares, and he hollers, "I'll tell you after!"
So that's your lot, and it's time for a recap - Zoe Acting to Abba; Melinda looking frantic but fighting; Donal clipping Florentine's blade with emotion; Roxy doing the headbanger and everyone being singularly unbothered; Jess and some literal choreography; some smug Scouse tosser; Coleen being a gingerbread man.
Results will be in within the hour!
Earlier, these seven couples danced ON ICE for our votes! Now one celebrity contender will be dragged off the rink and shot! This is Dancing on Ice - the skate-off!
Phil and Holly are still present and correct, and they remind us of what happened earlier before the voting lines close. Then it's time for the Hot! Backstage! Action! Zoe cannot believe her score. Melinda thinks positive comments really help but she has a lot more work to do. Donal says tonight was the best skate he's ever had. Roxy jabbers about nothing. Jess was pleased that Jason liked her routine. Pav moos, "More, more, more will come!", which seems to puzzle her. Ray says, "Eh, eh, eh, calm down." Jason says that Ray lacked height in the overhead lift. Coleen says it is down to the public vote, and Stuart is pleased with "good marks - for us", which is quite sweet.
A final word from the judges - Robin says it was tough, but Jess and Ray did best with the required element because they did it by themselves. Jason says Jess and Zoe were best in terms of performance, and Karen agrees.
This is it - the results are in, and Phil touches his ear. Hooray! In no particular order, the couples safe and skating next week are - Coleen and Stuart; Zoe and Matt; Ray and Maria; Donal and Florentine - and the fifth couple safe and skating next week will be revealed after the break.
And the final couple who'll be performing next week - Roxy and Dan! Bloody hell, that must mean that Jess got practically NO VOTES AT ALL. [Whimper. Suddenly the prospects of Ray winning look all too likely. I feel this is my fault for saying on Saturday that the early frontrunner never wins this show, and assuming that Jess would take it. Damn you, voting public. Although I voted for Zoe, so I suppose it's my fault as much as anyone's. - Steve] Anyway, I am fairly sure I know the way this is going to go, but I do not wish to tempt fate. Melinda thinks she knows the way this is going also, but she will enjoy it and work on the leg-lines. Jessica isn't surprised, and Pavel is going to endeavour to do the lift properly this time.
OMG, Dancing On Ice - Make Me A Star hasn't been forgotten about altogether! Quick VT montage of people doing entertainment ON ICE. They shepherd their acts into a room, and Jayne tells them they don't bite - at which point Chris BARKS. REALLY. Jayne also keeps saying "Chris and I" in the wrong context and it's grating. A four-year-old girl claims to have been skating for six years. Jayne and Chris beam at her, and when she finishes, she sits on Jayne's knee and it is all very sweet. Jayne likes a pretty boy in tight jeans and a vest. Chris tries to get Jayne pole-dancing ON ICE. Seriously, this is dragging on for far too long now. Back at the rink, Chris says they still haven't worked out how old the four-year-old girl is. Jayne didn't like rejecting people and made Chris do it, because he is MEAN AND CRUEL. He made her do one rejection, of a little girl, who wept.
Anyway, it's still not time for the sodding skate-off - there'll be another break first. Law and Order: UK looks awful. Although anything with a character called Alesha must have something going for it. [I saw the first episode; quite liked it. It should've been Sexy Victims Unit, though. - Steve]
Phil welcomes us back AGAIN and we are FINALLY going to see the BASTARD SKATE-OFF. Melinda and Fred go first. Melinda's husband's trendy hair is looking a bit young for him now. They skate. Melinda didn't mind doing it again because she likes the routine, and the other skaters were making Fred laugh. Jess and Pavel go second. (Jess's husband is in the West Indies - not sure if you knew that.) They get the routine right this time. Chris says it was a better performance, as was Melinda's.
Time for the judges' verdicts - Karen is crying, hooray! She saves Jess. Phil ignores Nicky and asks for Jason's choice, but Nicky talks anyway and saves Jess. Jason says it's not a part of the show that requires a personality contest, it's just about technical merit, and thus he saves Jess. Ruthie saves Jess also, and Robin tells Melinda she is delightful, as was her JOURNEY, but he is saving Jess too. As is only right.
Montage of Melinda's highlights, which revolve around Ruthie having a bit of a crush on her. Melinda says she has really enjoyed it, and thanks everyone, especially Lovely Fred.
That's it. Join Steve next Sunday for PROPS WEEK!