Show 4: TX 1st February 2009
Last week! Ray Quim was declared the best dancer on ice in the history of forever (bleurgh), while Todd skated right off the rink, fell over, and in the process gave Phil his new favourite moment from his entire time on the show, and Kurt Benson went back to Chester to have another look for Rob Hawthorne's body (we never saw it! He could still be alive!). Tonight there are new moves (cue: Melinda and Fred doing the macarena) and surprises in store (two more Nolans than usual). We end with Ellery doing an off-camera faceplant as the admirable Frankie grimaces on camera. Is it just me, or is she so much more likeable now she's not partnered with Chris Fountain?
Titles. Phil is looking dapper as anything in a shiny silver suit, and Holly is giving it some old-school glamour with the cleavage mostly masked by black dress with a sort of lacey, flowery thing going on over the boobs and her arms. Phil says that the paramedics had to be called after Todd's routine last week, because 12 million viewers split their sides laughing. Heh.
Holly tells us that we have a treat before the actual show gets going and I think I know what this means: bugger, Chris is recovered and back to join Jayne on the ice. It's not nearly as much fun as it was when she was being all kinds of fierce with her harem of dancing boys. Carrie's prediction from last week seems to be bearing fruit as they skate up and over the judges' desk (which is currently minus judges). It's a good routine and everything, but it's no solo Jayne. Not that I wish permanent shoulder injury on Christopher Dean or anything. I'm not that horrible. Chris openly admits to having hated not being able to dance with Jayne over the past couple of weeks; Jayne tries to pretend she feels the same. Apparently the celeb routines will be harder this week, and the required element will be a pairs spiral: y'know, where they skate on one leg with the other raised behind them, above the knee and with the foot turned out. Yeah, Todd's attempt at this is going to be interesting. Jayne tells us that it requires balance, and they can't be supported by their partner because the partners will be doing it too.
Here come the skaters: Melinda and Fred (she's covered in orange ruffles, oh dear), Zoe and Matt, Ellery and Frankie (and Ellery doesn't really seem to know what he's doing as they pose for the crowd, and Frankie's "bitch, don't show me up" face is a joy to behold), Coleen and Stuart, Donal and Florentine (he's wearing sparkly pinstriped clown trouseres), Michael and Melanie, "Emmerdale darling" (wut) Roxanne and Daniel, Todd and Susie (he can barely stand up, as you'd expect) and OH MY SHITTING CHRIST WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO JESSICA? Her costume looks bad enough when you see it in motion and it's this huge hippy mess of yellow and orange and hot pink, and then you see her face and she's wearing so much make up she can hardly open her eyes. Bloody hell. She must've really upset some folks in make-up and wardrobe.
The judges are introduced, with a family theme: Karen is "like a big sister" (presumably the one who always came into your room in floods of tears every time she got dumped by her boyfriend), Nicky is "loved like a brother", Jason "is not the sort person to keep mum", Ruthie is apparently always "on good relations with everyone", a statement which is given the lie by a small contingent of the audience booing her, which makes me laugh, and "the daddy on the ice", Robin. Robin tells Holly that he's not convinced they're all strong enough to become great skaters, but they can all be convincing and give great performances.
Phil reminds us that the judges' scores will be combined with our votes, though does not specify how, and I'm surprised they can get away with being that vague considering the amount of scrutiny the Strictly vote system was under at the end of last year, but I suppose there is no licence fee payers' money being spent here, nor is there a general witch hunt against ITV like there is against the BBC, so I shall put this grievance to one side and move on.
Melinda and Fred are up first: Melinda says she didn't feel "gut-wretchingly sick" last week, which was progress. Lovely Fred is apparently not keen on 'Macarena', which will be their soundtrack this week. Melinda consoles him by reminding him that at least it's not 'The Birdie Song'. Chris says it's a crowd-pleasing piece, and this is borne out by the other skaters at the practice rink all joining in with it. Melinda says if she can have that kind of effect in the live show, she'll be laughing. Fred, meanwhile, is still all "the Macarena? SERIOUSLY?" I love Fred. [Poor Fred. He tries to be professional about it, but his horror cannot truly be disguised. - Carrie]
I must say, despite what I said when she was in the dance-off against Dame Clare Devine, I think the quality of Melinda's skating has definitely improved over the past couple of weeks - there's still something slightly reticent about her, but she's a lot more fluid than she was. She gives it a moderate amount of sass, and pulls off her spiral easily enough. There's a random lift at the end which is a little bit messy, but looks pretty good. Scores: Karen 3.5, Nicky 3.0, Jason 3.5, Ruthie 3.5, Robin 3.0 for a total of 16.5. Melinda thought a few things could've gone better, like the lift at the end, but wonders if she's supposed to admit to that. Fred frets that his Macarena may not have been strong enough, heh. Chris says there were hiccups, but Melinda is getting better because they're not holding her up. Robin agrees that it could've been better, and tells Melinda to let her legs work how her upper body works. Jason thinks 'Macarena' is one of the worst things to have to perform to and feels sorry for Melinda being lumbered with it, but he thinks her performance was good. With regard to the lift, Melinda is not helping Fred "get up", apparently. Ooer. Apparently she needs to work on her core, like pretty much everyone does at this point. [Wobbly core! Drink! - Carrie]
Back from the ads, and we're with Ray and Maria. I'm going to attempt a Bitching On Ice first tonight, and watch the whole routine without running from the room wailing with my hands over my eyes. Honestly, the things I do for you people. [Mr Perkins, you're a braver bitch than me. I locked myself in the bathroom. - Carrie] We flash back to Ray being BEST EVARZ last week. Ray has 'Smooth Criminal' as his song for this week, and proceeds to "delight" us with a Michael Jackson impression. Well, it's not like he'd need to add any extra creepy into his everyday persona to pull it off, is it? Ray falls over a lot in rehearsals, and does a Zoe in the dress rehearsal by taking a tumble on the ice. Ahhhh, that's satisfying. Ray hopes it will all be all right on the night, like.
The routine opens with a moonwalk on ice skates, and if this were anybody else, I'd probably be quite impressed, but it's Ray, so already I'm just wishing the damn thing was over. Ray does a sprawly kind of jump and fumbles it a little bit, though sadly not enough to wipe out entirely. His pair spiral is predictably showy: as well as lifting up and balancing on one leg, he pivots and then does it going backwards. Show-off. "Ray Quinn is Michael Jackson on ice," says Gubba, and if that potential concept for a show doesn't qualify as Nightmare Fuel, I'm not sure what does. Scores: 5.0 from everyone except Jason who gives 4.0, for a total of 24.0. Ray thinks the nerves got the better of him, and he says he was fighting his body to get back to that "cool, calm state". Apparently his problem is that he's a perfectionist. I wonder how he reconciles that with his face? Chris says the routine was very hard, and it was a fantastic performance, and it's just Ray's creepy manchild head that gets in the way. I may have editorialised there slightly. Nicky thinks Ray has the potential to be the best skater ever in the history of the show, despite having said last week that he already was. He commends Ray's spirals, but wants to see him going up a gear. Jason thinks this wasn't Ray's best week, and he didn't think this was his choreographic style. Jason thought it was "too polite for me, and not convincing". As a human being, presumably.
Time for Zoe to leap into action. Because she's Zoe Salmon, geddit? Matt tells us that there's been a pattern with Zoe's nerves every week - she starts off calm, but turns into a basket case as the live show approaches. We flash back to her wiping out in last week's dress, and in an attempt to conquer her nerves, Zoe goes to a hypnotherapist in Harley Street, who will be teaching her a relaxation technique she can use on her own, and also to get on her hands on knees and recite the Gettysburg Address every time she hears the word "biscuit". Zoe and Matt are skating to Katy Perry's 'Hot 'n' Cold', a song which I like despite myself. Matt's face throughout is hilarious; he is giving it attitude with a capital A. Zoe's a little stiff to get in with and some of her footwork is still a bit floppy, but she's definitely enjoying herself this week. She is being lifted an awful lot this week, mind, and there are sections which don't seem to be as fast as they should be, but the ending where she wraps her ankles around Matt's neck and remains airborne by sheer force of will is right up there with that time on Strictly Come Dancing when Matt whirled Flavia around by the vagina. The routine ends, and Matt is still doing Blue Steel. I have a bit of a crush on Matt, but shhhh, don't tell anyone. Oh, and Konnie Huq is in the audience! Gubba tells us that Zoe adopted a penguin at London Zoo as a Christmas present for Matt. I adopted my boyfriend a seal for Christmas, I had no idea I was being so fashionable.
Scores are in: Karen 4.0, Nicky 3.5, Jason 4.0, Ruthie 4.5, Robin 4.0 for a total of 20. Zoe feels more confident now and is pleased to have got better marks because it means she's improving. She feels less nervous, thanks to the hypnotherapy. Matt says "we're starting to change, and that's all I can ask." HA! Call me, Matt! Holly throws to Ruthie, who thinks Zoe has recovered her confidence, and she's a fighter who came out fighting, but she needs to work on her fluidity. Nicky congratulates her on the attack, but she tends to arch her back and go straight on her legs, which would throw her balance off, so he tells her to work on that. Phil pretends to hypnotise Zoe into not arching her back. Oh, Phil. You're such a dork, but we love you anyway.
Ellery and Frankie are up next. Frankie thinks Ellery really came together under pressure, and Chris says that Ellery has to show he's stronger to avoid the skateoff again. They're going to include a drape lift this week for extra showmanship, which requires Ellery to lift Frankie up in the air and balance both their weights on "one inch of blade", per Frankie. This does not go well in rehearsals and Frankie seems sceptical that Ellery will not drop her and break her neck. "If he doesn't focus, I'm going to fall down ten feet and really hurt myself," says Frankie - and then in the bit we saw earlier, there's a crash off-camera as we pan over to Ellery flat on the floor. "I'm a little bit concerned that he might do that on the night," deadpans Frankie.
They're skating to 'With Or Without You', and Ellery's input is minimal at first, though even doing a turn on one knee causes him to wobble and slip. He pulls off the pair spiral, and mercifully the drape lift does not result in Frankie plummeting to her doom. That's pretty much all we can ask for, right? Frankie does a "yeah, you did it, big man!" face to him afterwards. Heh. I bet she really doesn't want to be in the skate-off. Scores: Karen 3.5, Nicky 3.5, Jason 3.0, Ruthie 2.5, Robin 3.5 for a total of 16.0. The audience does not approve. Ellery was happy with the lift, and says he felt much more comfortable this week. Frankie said she felt safe, and is glad he was lifting her rather than the other way around. Heh. Chris wants him to be more reckless on the ice, and Frankie's all "...yay?" Karen tells Ellery he tends to rush his basic skating, so they need to work on that, while Ruthie says she wants to see more of Ellery's personality because the performance was too safe. "Safe?" repeats Holly incredulously, and Ruthie eye-rolls that the performance was safe, and I'll thank you not to take that patronising tone of voice with me, young lady. Frankie quite likes safe, it seems.
After another break for some ads, it's time for Coleen and Stuart. Coleen improved last week because she was enjoying herself, and we see the moment where her music for this week is revealed to her: 'I'm In The Mood For Dancing' by the Nolan Sisters. Chris quizzes an oblivious Coleen about the original choreography while her sisters Linda and Official Best Nolan Bernie sneak up to surprise her. Coleen is squeakily overjoyed, and Linda tells how they run up huge phone bills (unless they have some kind of friends and family package) by teleconferencing the show when they can't all get together to watch Coleen. Coleen is excited about dancing to this song, as well she might be. The beginning of the routine seems a little too faithful to the original choreography, since it's awfully static, but it eventually gets going. Coleen manages her pairs spiral, and a hoover, but the problem I'm having with her is the way she plays to the crowd every time she actually pulls off a move. It's really distracting; I'm sure she's very happy not to have fallen over, but can't she contain herself for a few minutes until the routine's actually finished?
Gubba informs us that Coleen is the first celebrity ever on the show to dance to her own song, released 30 years ago when she was 14. [Well, first released 30 years ago when she was 14 and not in the Nolans. They've re-released it every couple of years since then, and she joined officially in the mid-80s after Ann left. I looked all this up earlier. I didn't actually know it. - Carrie] Scores: Karen 3.5, Nicky 3.0, Jason 3.0, Ruthie 3.5, Robin 3.0 for a total of 16.0. Coleen said it felt very strange, and never thought she'd be skating to that song in a tutu. Jayne thinks Coleen is getting more confident every week. Jason tells Coleen her leglines were better this week, but her hoover was laboured, like she was maimed and Stuart was helping her out. He wants the transitions to be smoother and surprise them. Karen shakes her head and thinks we should not take away the massive achievement. Jason says that's all good and well (sic), but she needs constructive criticism. "She gets that every day!" replies Karen, indignantly. Fight! Fight! Fight!
Leaderboard: Ray and Maria at the top, Zoe and Matt second, Melinda and Fred third, and Coleen and Stuart and Ellery and Frankie tying for fourth.
Who's next? Why, it's undercover reporter Donal MacIntyre. Donal thinks that Nicky's criticism last week, regarding his lack of presentation, was wholly accurate - he's not used to milking the limelight, being an undercover reporter and all. This is despite the fact that he's more of a presenter than an undercover reporter these days, since most people know his face. Florentine has been harder on him this week and is determined to bring out some kind of presentation genius. [She looks like Minnie Driver but less hexagonal. - Carrie] Donal then gets a Presentation Training Montage, and seems to be getting marginally better.
Clown Pants and Florentine are skating to 'Everybody Needs Somebody', and it looks like quite a tricky routine for a relative novice, with lots of quick footwork. Midway through Donal becomes the first celebrity of the series to take a tumble (on camera, anyway) but gets up again impressively quickly. The presentation was a little better, I think. He was certainly giving it a good go, anyway. Scores: Karen 3.5, Nicky 4.5 (oh dear), Jason 2.5, Ruthie 2.5 (apparently slipping is only okay when Zoe does it) and Robin 3.0 for a total of 16.0. Phil congratulates Donal for getting straight back up. Donal says the judges were right last week, and "most of them were right this week". HA! Chris says that Donal goes for broke, and should be applauded for pushing himself so hard. Nicky says that it was like a different man when Donal started moving, and he thought it was great, and a transformation from last week. [And also argues that he awarded extra marks for the recovery after falling. Oh, Nicky. You get more ludicrous week by week. - Carrie] Jason disagrees: he thought there was no musicality, and he's still ahead of his partner. He says that Donal was at a ballet class for tiny tots last week, which was "pathetic tokenism" (the sort of thing this show is normally so clearly above, amirite?) and he danced like a tiny tot this week. He is, by the way, almost drowned out throughout by a lot of booing from the audience. Phil congratulates the audience for succeeding in shouting down Jason, and the audience lap it up.
Returning from the break, Phil has his hand over Jason's mouth. I'd be careful, Phil, you don't know where he's been. Michael and Mel are back, and Michael is learning that he has to stop arsing about and be serious about it all if he's to be a better skater. In a rehearsal hours before the show, Michael trips and falls on top of Mel. She is apparently fine (albeit seeing the physio), but Michael's confidence has taken a knock. Angellica Bell is in the audience to cheer him on. They are dancing to 'Kiss' - Michael's skating seems to have improved this week, and he manages the lift wherein he previously dropped Melanie without another tumble - likewise the pair spiral. Wait - Gubba tells us that Angellica is Michael's girlfriend - holy crap, I would not have guessed that. [Srsly? My sister texted me last week to tell me she didn't know they were together, and I thought it was common knowledge. Hey ho. - Carrie] Scores: 4.0 from Karen and Nicky, 3.5 from everyone else for a total of 18.5, which is Michael's best score. Mel assures Phil that she is fine - she fell on her knee, but it's working. Michael says it was a silly mistake, and it won't happen again. Jayne says it was the cleanest performance she's seen him give. Karen tells Michael he's been improving all week - she wants him to be the same on the show as he is in training. Robin warns Michael against switching feet in the middle of the lift, because that's what caused him to fall, and he did it again tonight, but thankfully his strong core (not WOBBLY) stopped him from falling.
Roxanne and Daniel are next, and were pleased to be fourth last week. This week's routine, however, is far more complicated. The cartwheel lift in particular is proving problematic, and her legs are getting too far apart. Daniel advises her to keep her legs together - sound advice for all of us, really. They're skating to 'Sweet About Me', a song that I am possibly alone in still liking. Roxanne still grimaces a bit unattractively sometimes while skating, but she does seem to pull this routine off reasonably well - the spiral has a slight wobble, though it seems to come more from Daniel pushing down on her waist. Scores: 3.5 from Karen, 4.0 from Nicky, 3.0 from Jason, 3.0 from Ruthie and 3.5 from Robin for a total of 17.0. Roxanne says that she felt like she was in a washing machine during the fairground lift, and asks Daniel if her legs were together during the cartwheel - he assures her she was perfect. Jayne says people like Roxanne are what this show is about, because she's improved since the beginning. We go to the judges, and Nicky says that the men can't hide because they have to skate for themselves from the beginning, whereas the women can hide to some extent (and I'm sure some people will be outraged by this, but I'm running late as it is, so I'll let it be) and he's impressed with her skating. [O NOEZ! POOR TEH MEN! It is so difficult to LEAD! Women are just fake ho0rs and have natural innate girly skating ability! Fucking hell, just fuck the fuck off already, Nicky. - Carrie] Jason thought it started out promisingly, and it had nice moments - but her problem is that her nice moments do not add up to a completely impressive programme yet. Jason tells her she needs to work on her core stability - "I'm trying! Give us a break!" is Roxanne's response. It's just goodnatured enough to not sound unpleasantly petulant, though obviously Jason gets all Captain Pissypants about it.
Back from the ads once more, and flippin' 'eck Tucker, it's Todd Carty. Todd recounts his spectacular fuckup from last week, where he apparently caught his toepick. Todd's skating skills are not up to par, says Chris in the understatement of the series, so they're playing up to his character acting skills instead. Oh, joy. Susie points out that Todd's actually done the spiral in both of his routines so far, and it is pretty much his signature move. I'd forgotten about that. Of course, before he could lean on Susie for support. They're skating to 'Every Breath You Take', and the whole routine is ridiculously pantomimed to the lyrics. [Literal choreography makes me want to poke people in the ears with cocktail sticks. - Carrie] Todd manages the pair spiral without falling, but it's all downhill from there really. Honestly, I don't even know what the fuck is going on half the time, but I'm pretty much dying from secondhand embarrassment here. Gubba tells us there were a million hits on YouTube for last week's performance. Scores: Karen 2.0, Nicky 2.0, Jason 1.0, Ruthie 1.0, Robin 1.5, for a total of 7.5. Todd is just happy to be here, etc. Chris tries to explain the choreography, but really, there can be no explanation, can there?
Holly throws to Robin for his opinion, and Robin can only make a noise of anguish. He explains that he got 0.5 each for the lunge, the spiral, and not falling over. Karen says that there's not much skating to mark, but what's there is entertaining. Phil explains that the star of The Bill was dancing to the Police, which I missed. Well played.
Finally, Jessica and Pavel - we relive her being told she's not animated enough, or whatever, which I guess is what the scary drag queen make-up this week is in aid of. Jessica wheels out that old reality TV staple of "just because I was in a pop band doesn't mean I can dance!" and insists she's just been blagging her way through it. Jayne says that Jessica needs to feel the music in her whole body, and Jessica says she will shake what her mother gave her. She's dancing to 'Groove Is In The Heart', and oh, so THAT's what that costume's all about. It's the most entertaining routine of the night, with a decent amount of showmanship, and the second most impressive pair spiral after Ray's. Scores: Karen 4.5, Nicky 5.0, Jason 4.0, Ruthie 3.5, Robin 4.5 for a total of 21.5. Jessica says that she stumbled at the beginning due to nerves, but she loved it. Pavel says it was so great to watch the "transformance", [robots in disguise - Carrie] and Chris says it's the best performance quality we've seen from her. Holly asks Ruthie what gives, and Ruthie says that while Jessica has raised her game, it was inconsistent as far as she was concerned. Nicky loved the rhythm, and sees this as worthy of a 5.0 for this stage in the competition. I'm still not sure whether we're grading on a curve or what, to be honest.
The end! Leaderboard: Ray, Jessica, Zoe, Michael, Roxanne, Melinda, Ellery and Coleen and Donal in joint seventh, and Todd in tenth. Phil reminds us that our votes can change the order, and the lines are now open. We recap: Fred cringing through Melinda's Macarena, Ray summoning the Mastodon in order to form the Megazord, Zoe and Matt with their Attitude Faces, Ellery not killing Frankie, Coleen making DANCING ON ICE HISTORY, Donal's sparkly clown pants, Michael's new improved core, Roxanne's vaguely boring routine, Todd staying upright despite all the odds, and Jessica's costume from hell.
The crowd go nuts, and Phil and Holly remind us of the voting numbers. Join us later for the skate-off!
Earlier tonight, ten couples danced ON ICE for your votes, but as far as one of them is concerned, 'tall will have been for naught. The lines are now closed, Phil informs us. Soon we shall find out who is skating for survival, but first here's a chance to catch up with the excitement onstage and backstage.
Melinda's lift was stuttery, and not a great performance, and she thinks Robin's comments were fair - she thinks she did a decent performance, and they both enjoyed it. Ray didn't have his best week, and it didn't convince Jason. Ray thinks he needs to stop letting his head take over. He also thinks Jason was fair. Zoe got her confidence back, and she does it for Ruthie (ooer). Zoe was overwhelmed with the score and comments. Matt whoops, but does not get to speak actual words. Ruthie was not impressed with Ellery, and Ellery thinks it was important to be safe given what the routine involved (which isn't what Ruthie was saying, but whatever) and Frankie tartly informs the cameras that we can talk about this once Ruthie's been hoiked up ten feet in the air. [If Ellery and Frankie (and Holly for that matter) genuinely think that Ruthie was criticising physical safety rather than not taking enough risks performance-wise they deserve to be beaten over the head with an Olivier award. - Carrie] Coleen seems to think she performed the song live on ice as opposed to just dancing to it. Donal's timing was all over the place, even if the audience didn't want to hear it. Donal is proud of himself for picking himself up after the fall. Michael needs to watch his footwork but is improving, and Melanie was thrilled with the score. Roxanne's "nice moments" did not make a coherent whole - she would like to get out there and get rapturous praise, but accepts it may never happen. Todd left Robin at a loss for words, and explains how Susie told him to "calm down, calm down" beforehand, to which Susie replies "I'm a Geordie, not a Scouser!" Hee. Jessica is pleased the judges thought they raised her game ("Heaps more!" interjects Pavel) and she's really enjoying herself.
Robin says that Todd surprised him by actually getting the required element right, even if nothing else, but he thinks Zoe had the complete package. Ruthie agrees that Zoe conquered her demons. Jason didn't enjoy everyone's performances, and thinks the evening was flat. Karen thinks Coleen shone, and nobody cares what Nicky thinks. Hee!
The scores are in, and Phil is about to be given the results *indicates but does not actually touch ear*: the safe couples are Donal and Florentine, Jessica and Pavel, Zoe and Matt, Ray and Maria, Roxanne and Daniel, Ellery and Frankie (Frankie looks hugely pleased not to have to do that routine again), Todd and Susie and...somebody who will be revealed after the break, of course. I suppose I should applaud the contestants for at least trying to look like they're surprised by this turn of events, even when it happens every week.
After the ads, Phil reveals that the final couple safe for this week is...Coleen and Stuart, which leaves Melinda/Lovely Fred and Michael/Melanie in the skate-off. Wow, that's quite a plummet for Michael from fourth place. Ouch.
Jayne advises Melinda to control the spiral and be careful on that last lift, and Chris says that Michael needs to get in the right frame of mind to recreate his performance from earlier.
Melinda and Lovely Fred are up first, and poor Fred has to do the Macarena again. Melinda looks a touch more animated this time, and even Fred seems to be having fun with the hated routine. The skating's still a touch leaden where Melinda's concerned, and the lift is a lot neater (if possibly a bit slower) this time. Melinda is pleased to have got the lift right - it's scary to be in the skateoff, but she thinks it worked. Fred is concerned that he has to skate against his wife. Jayne thinks Melinda couldn't have tried any harder.
Michael and Mel return to the ice and their routine seems to be of a similarly high standard - I think they had less to improve on compared to Melinda, but there are no obvious fuckups that I can see, so I'll be interested to see how the judges vote. Michael slips skating back over to see Phil, but Phil assures him that bit doesn't count. Michael thinks that being in the skateoff just makes you feel like you have to go for it and have fun, in case it's your last chance. Chris says that Michael is in the zone. Mel is no happier to be skating against Fred than he was to be skating against her. Time for the judges to vote.
Karen says it's very tough, but votes to save Michael. Nicky thinks one celebrity did more, and votes to save Michael. Jason thinks neither of them deserves to be in the bottom two, and votes for Melinda, since she stepped it up this week. Ruthie agrees with Jason and wants to save the one with more sparkle, and picks Melinda. Robin thinks neither one was perfect, but one person stepped up two whole levels in the skateoff, and saves Melinda. I'm not going to lie, that was pretty tense.
Melinda hugs Lovely Fred as Michael is dragged over to see Phil, no doubt inwardly cursing his inability to last more than three participating episodes per series. We see Michael's best bits, including a fair share of tumbles and his infamous wobbly core. Michael says he's had a brilliant time and was glad to come back. Mel is very proud of Michael, and says he was courageous to come back and do it again. And my PVR cut off at this point - I doubt I missed anything terribly pivotal, but I'm sure Carrie will fill you in if necessary. [Nope, that's about it - but join us next week when Torvill and Dean's prop will be MISS BETTE MIDLER, singing live from the rink! - Carrie]