The FINAL. ON ICE
Tx: 22nd March, 2009
Last week! Donal, Jess and Ray progressed into the final! Coleen finally fucked off! It's the end of a ten-week journey (and just so you know, that is not the only time we will hear that word this evening). We have been amazed (by Ray, apparently) and entertained (by Todd, apparently). This week! Fucking stupid flying. This is not ON ICE. Ray is attached to an oxygen mask. Everyone learns Bolero, but only two couples get to skate it. Yawn.
Voiceover man sounds like he's on diazepam, and welcomes us to Dancing on Ice. Torvill and Dean skate quasi-Bolero on their miniature rink amidst much dry ice, accompanied by random orchestra. Jayne seems to be wearing giant white knickers. I'd have opted for purple, myself.
Here are Phil and Holly, who is ridiculously pregnant now and has to adjust her dress after moving her arms as her breasts are escaping. Chris claims that it is emotional to skate Bolero 25 years on. Phil claims THIS is the moment we've been waiting for, after ten thrilling weeks of competition. Thrilling? Really? Have I missed something? [I'll tell you what I've been missing - series three. Sigh. - Steve] Anyway, Phil and Holly helpfully remind us of the way the voting works, and then we see Jayne and Chris demonstrating this week's pointless and shit required element - flying. I've complained about this before; no need for me to go through it again. Suffice to say, it's the only time I ever agree with Nicky Slater.
We welcome our finalists - Donal and Florentine; Jessica and Pavel; and Ray and Maria. Everyone waves. The crowd chant for Donal. Srsly?
First ad break!
Phil welcomes us back, and it is time to meet the Ice Panel. Karen looks lovely. I have missed her weeping this series. Evidently she's cared as little about the contestants as we have. Nicky is in a tux. Jason is camping it up madly. Ruthie's changed her make-up. Robin has a horrid shirt but he is still Head Judge Robin Cousins, thus I forgive him. Then my forgiveness is removed when he mentions "journey" twice in the space of two sentences. Oh, Robin. Don't make me put you on my List, along with all your fellow judges.
Donal is first to skate - last week he had to skate off against Coleen, and it has taken ages for it to sink in that he's in the final. This week he's practically blinded everyone near him as he attempts to somersault NOT ON ICE. Chris and Jayne mock his leg positions as looking like it's from Riverdance. Donal reminds us just how macho he is - he grunts and grinds; he's not about grace and elegance.
They're skating to Rocket Man (at which I snort with barely suppressed derision). Flo looks very pretty in her red sparkly dress, though she seems to struggle slightly when she has to haul Donal around (albeit not as much as Frankie struggled with Chris "the pie man" Fountain last year). Gubba mentions a "journey". Scores - Karen 5.0, Nicky 4.5, Jason 3.0, Ruthie 6.0, Robin 5.0 for a total of 23.5. I wonder if Ruthie pressed the wrong button again. Everyone looks stunned. Donal says he owes so much to Florentine, Jayne and Chris, and will apply to Nasa forthwith. Flo says he was like Peter Pan. Jayne admires his control on wires. Jason says, "We KNOW how much Ruthie likes to dish out a 6.0!" And then Ruthie in an instant makes herself the most superfluous judge on this stupid show packed full of superfluous judges by saying, "I wasn't expecting you to be as graceful as you are!" So fundamentally she thought he'd be worse than he was, so he gets full marks. Jason calls him Ricket Man, sluggish, heavy, and other things we can't hear because the crowd go mental. Robin says he has done a lot of flying with blokes, and I laugh a lot. He then says Donal is the best male flier we have had on the show, and Jason continues to mutter sotto voce.
Time for Jessica. She cannot believe she's in the final. She is scared of heights, but thinks being on a wire is like being a fairy. She starts crying in rehearsal when she finds out she'll be flying to One Moment In Time, and does not know what's wrong with her. She fears not keeping up with the computer-programmed routine and being left behind.
Jess also has a very pretty dress, white and sparkly. She does lots of big sweepy cross-rink flying, and finishes with a rather laboured somersault sequence into a big spin. Scores - Karen 5.5, Nicky 5.0, Jason 4.5, Ruthie 5.0, Robin 5.5 for a total of 25.5. Phil says he is glad Jess is in the final because the routine was so beautiful. Jess says she didn't care about the fear of heights because it was so much fun. Pav is very enthusiastic and encouraging in his usual way. Holly wishes it had been her up there. Unlikely, Holl, you'd probably break the bloody wires at your current weight. Karen says inane words. Jason says she emoted throughout, but her arms were stiff.
Oh, dear. Ray squeaks about the prospect of flying, and then squeaks while in the harness. Jayne says he was very keen, but then started looking a funny colour. He looks like he's about to pass out, and they have to give him oxygen. Chris wails about him getting less rehearsal time than the others. Ray whines about trying his best and not being able to hack it. Ah well. Fuck off then.
Ray and Maria skate to The Greatest Day and there are some HORRIBLE moves where it looks like they are going to KISS and it is just WRONG because a) she's old enough to be his mother and b) Ray Quinn shouldn't kiss people. Scores - straight sixes. Fuck off, fuck off, fuck off. Jayne says he deserves them, Chris blahs. Nicky says, "Competition, Ray Quinn, bring it on" and then starts doing that thing I'd almost forgotten he did, where he poses rhetorical questions and then ANSWERS THEM HIMSELF. He also says "ice". Ruthie says it was like Baryshnikov in the air. FUCK OFF. She also says he can sing, which is patently untrue. Kids, I don't want to get cross with Ruthie Henshall, because the woman is a goddess, but she is making it very difficult. [Come over to the dark side. It's nice here, we have cake. - Steve]
Time for a short recap, and then Phil and Holly urge us to vote, vote, VOTE for the two stars we want to skate Bolero. Can we have Torvill and Dean again?
Phil reminds us that Donal has come a VERY LONG WAY (presumably on a journey). Donal VTs that Jayne and Chris were his zimmer-frame support when he started, and the toughest thing has been learning to be a performer. He has lost 40 pounds (or maybe £40? In a bet with someone, maybe?). His most tender moment was Everybody Hurts as it was when he and Flo realised they were on a "journey" together. He wants to make his last skate the best it can be, so that his children and wife are proud of him. Anyway, Donal and Flo reprise Everybody Hurts. Everyone cheers. Gubba talks about Donal's rippling back muscles and Ireland's week of celebrations. Scores - 5.0s all along the board apart from Ruthie, who gives 5.5 for a total of 25.5. Donal mentions his special journey again. He talks about skating, dance and choreography, and one of his kids shouts, "I LOVE YOU, DADDY!" which is adorable, and everyone awws. Karen talks about his journey twice. Ruthie says that he has a lovely heart which shines through. What? I mean, what? Donal takes a tip from Chris's book and kisses his partner's hair several times.
Jess has loved every minute of Dancing on Ice. I'm guessing that doesn't include the bit where she clanged to the concrete floor and cried. She loves Pav, which is reasonable. Then she goes off on an Alesha tangent to talk about how much she loves the dresses and feeling like a princess. She says her family and friends have been there every week with banners and posters. Except for her husband, who's in the West Indies, but she seems to be overlooking that. They skate Mercy again, and I heart Jess's faces in this. Scores - 5.5s from Karen and Nicky, 5.0s from the rest for a total of 26.0. Jess says it means the world to her to be in the final. Pav is wearing a wedding ring. I have never noticed that before. Perhaps he felt left out what with Jess's massive amounts of fourth-finger bling. Nicky talks about "a big strong guy and a beautiful lady" and I vomit. Jason likes the coolness of the choreography but thinks there's no wow factor. Jess attempts to bitch back.
Phil introduces Ray's retrospective VT with double JOURNEY excitement. Ray says words. I do not listen. My ears prick up momentarily when we learn that Chris approached Ray and said, "You've been practising those Russian split jumps - do you want to do one of them?" This is not, of course, the way it was portrayed the other week, when we were led to believe Ray was shown some footage on a laptop at the rink, was astounded, and then picked it up straight away. Oh, shite, they're skating to Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now, and Ray has his arms out. Ew. Gubba says the routine is one minute and 25 seconds of pure skating pleasure. One minute 25? It seemed like longer. Straight sixes. Fuck off. Ray says he is speechless and then continues to witter. Fuck off, fuck off. Robin talks about all the little things Ray does that people at home won't notice. Fuck off, fuck off, fuck off, FUCK OFF.
Phil and Holly attempt to throw to the break amidst chaos in the studio as the audience continue to chant for Donal.
Phil tells us someone's JOURNEY is about to end, and the phone lines have closed. Holly introduces the winners of Ice Star - the Oxford Freestylers. It is quite easy to mock these boys, so I do for a bit, particularly when Chris sticks his nose in and starts choreographing a madly gay routine for them. Steve and I can't work out how these boys set up their urban skating collective. "Hey! Let's not drink cheap cider and hang out in a park this weekend! Let's do acrobatic ice-skating instead!" The little one talks about their journey. You learn quickly, moppet. And then they start skating, and this is actually the most compelling thing I've seen on this bloody show all evening, if not all series. Some of Chris's choreography doesn't really work, but perhaps they'll take that out before the tour. I like the urban posing, and when the blond one does high fives with all the celebs and pros. They're like Blazin' Squad ON ICE.
All the finalists are in the Bolero outfits and standing on the red carpet, and it's time to find out who'll actually get to skate...and Phil touches his ear, all the better to announce Ray's progression. SIGH. And the second couple - Donal and Florentine. Jess is devastated. It is NOT a good day for Mr and Mrs Pietersen. Pav hugs her, and Phil attempts to comfort her, but she is weeping and is desperately trying to compose herself. Wisely, Phil throws straight to the montage, featuring Jess in an amazing variety of bizarre costumes. Back at the rink, Holly looks like she is racking her brains for something helpful to say, and Jess sobs that she wanted to skate it for her mum on Mothers' Day. Pav cuddles Jess and brings the mood up again by saying they will be skating on the tour which will be BRILLIANT. Bless his little Czech heart.
Phil welcomes us back, and prepares us for the Bolero-fest to follow. Donal and Flo go first, and they are backstage looking very srs. In rehearsal, Donal appears to have never seen Jayne and Chris's Bolero ever before in his life, but then claims it is a dream come true to skate the ultimate love story. And then he talks about his journey from hard man to show man. There is a big clatter to the floor in rehearsal and Donal immediately shouts, "ARE YOU ALL RIGHT?" to Flo, with genuine concern and panic, which endears him to me a bit. I feel relatively fond of him at the moment anyway, simply because he's not Ray. They skate, and I am struck with the observation that Flo has a very beautiful back. Is that weird? The ending is a bit lame, with a couple of roly-polys (polies?), but Gubba likes it because it is an amazing end to Donal's amazing journey. Honestly, that word is beginning to lose all meaning.
Donal says that the judges' scores don't matter, and he never thought he'd be lost in a dance, and if bankers have knighthoods, then so should Jayne and Chris. Except Jayne would get a damehood, one would think. Then Donal mentions his journey, as does Robin, who then proceeds to talk utter garbled drivel of the type usually spouted by Nicky Slater.
Ray and Maria are ready backstage, and he keeps touching her waist. Ew. In rehearsal, they watch Jayne and Chris's Bolero on the omnipresent laptop, and Ray keeps saying things like, "Ooh, I like that." I'm sure they're delighted to get his approval. Ray wants to do the splits, just like Chris. They begin, and Ray strokes Maria's face. I have to leave the room to be very ill. By the time I get back, it's finished, and Gubba is telling me it was almost as good as the gold-medal-winning performance. I am unconvinced. Ray talks through his nose about it being a privilege to skate Bolero. Chris says both versions of the dance have been fantastic, and he got a lump watching Ray. EW. Nicky is not surprised by what he saw, and then interlinks unrelated sentence fragments.
While we are given more time to vote for our winner, it's time to welcome back the fallen - Graeme and Kristina, who are adorable; Jeremy, who is a bit gross, and Darya, who is pretty but gets hauled across the rink by her partner; Michael, who was a nonentity for two series running, and lovely Mel; bloody Todd, who I'm sure isn't as bad at skating as he's pretending to be, and poor Susie; Ellery and Frankie; Melinda, who's clearly been practising until her feet bleed, and Lovely Fred; tedious Roxanne and Dan; Steve's beloved Zoe and beloved Lovely Matt [swoon - Steve]; and Coleen and Stuart, who I'd tried to forget about. No Bissix due to an injury, which means no my Andrei either. This sodding final is such a bloody swizz.
Time for another filler VT telling us that Torvill and Dean are good at skating. I miss the weeks when Chris was off sick and sulked while Jayne took to the rink and proved herself awesome. We get a reminder of the gayest opening routine EVAH (tm), which is nice, and the saucy little look Chris gave Jayne before Save The Last Dance. Applause! Holly hails them as geniuses, and they wave and bow, and Chris does the forehead kiss. Bless.
And there's time for one more ad break before we finally find out who the winner is...
...and we're back on the red carpet. Donal says he is giggling at the fact that he's in the final. We get a VT of him wrestling Chris to the floor in homoerotic fashion, and many, many falls. And then the journey, obviously. Ray reckons he didn't expect to be in the final. Like HELL he didn't. VT of him lusting after his lycra outfits, training in a minging vest, and trying to kneecap Maria.
But there can only be one winner. And the Dancing on Ice champion for 2009 is -
Ray FUCKING Quinn.
Yes, British public, you have voted for Ray fucking Quinn as your Dancing on Ice champion. The smug, plastic, nasal-voiced, punchable-faced, pseudo-swing child. You have prolonged his career. You may as well have personally offered him that contract as Danny in Grease. You have singlehandedly kept him in the public eye. When Baby Ballroom gets another series, or he's the guest mentor on The X-Factor for a week, or he releases another album, I hope you realise you'll have that on your conscience. I don't know how you can sleep at night. I know I shan't, because the apocalypse must surely be nigh.
Meanwhile, just as 2008's Strictly didn't have a victor and Alesha still reigns supreme, as far as I'm concerned this year's Dancing on Ice did not happen. It's been the most uninspiring of the lot, and may as well have been taken off the air a fortnight in. Thus Suzanne Shaw retains her crown - congratulations to her.
In a bid to lift our spirits, Steve and I watched the gayest opening routine EVAH (tm) and the Christmas special, complete with Chris Fountain's bitchface, immediately after the close of this show, which made us feel a bit better. We're also relieved that now we have a break of several months before having to recap the no-hopers on The X-Factor, and a bit longer before the usual C-listers are wheeled out into the ballroom. (Though incidentally if you're interested, we'll be talking about The Apprentice, and I'll be gossiping about the West End and Broadway. Plug over.) (Oh, except that if you've enjoyed the bitching and are looking for reassurance that the world isn't a terrible place really after tonight's debacle, you could always sponsor me to run a half-marathon and help me raise money for the Alzheimer's Society. Plug REALLY over now.)
I'm off to have a lie-down and silent weep. Thanks for your company this series. See you soon. ON ICE. [JOURNEY. - Steve]