Sunday, 17 January 2010

An entertaining idea

The boys
Tx: Sunday 17th January 2010

Hello, everybody! I'm still smarting from the loss of my Andrei last week, but Phil attempts to cheer me out of it by showing how happy Hayley and Dan were, and some of Jason's nasty comments, and how rubbish not-famous Emily was. Tonight the boys are going to "kick some ice". Meanwhile, Amanda Coutts, understudy Meat and Scaramouche in the West End's We Will Rock You, has warned us on Twitter not to vote for Gary Lucy, because he told her to fuck off outside Balan's last week. Good enough for me. [Me too. - Steve]

Anyway. Titles!

Holly's dress this week is a weird shape, and she and Phil introduce the boy pros, who begin an aces routine with Chris at the head of their pack. I love when the boys all dance together. Ooh, and then Jayne joins them, clearly thinking, "It was better the week Dean was off and I got to skate with ALL THE BOYS BY MYSELF."

Chris reckons they want to raise the bar this year, and mentions someone called Ray, who apparently competed last series, but I have no recollection of this. Jayne says these are the toughest first routines ever because the boys have had an extra week to practise. Fair enough. Here are our couples - Gary and Maria; Tana and Stuart; Dr Hilary and Alexandra; Danniella and Matthew; Danny and Frankie, whose hair is all over her face; Sharron and Pavel; Bobby and Molly, who I think is amazing already; not-famous Emily and Fred; Kieron and Brianne; Heather and Matt; Jeremy and Susie; Hayley and Dan; and Mikey and Mel, whose scarlet hair matches her dress.

After the break, Dr Hilary is "prescribed a large dose of ice", and Gary Lucy falls over a lot!

Back, and let's meet the judges - Nicky is growing a beard [unless it's his evil twin. Hang on, does that make our Nicky the good twin? Dear Lord. - Steve], Jason seems to be using ribbon instead of a tie, and Emma is wearing furniture upholstery fabric. Head Judge Robin, thankfully, looks respectable. He suggests that the boys should perform with conviction. Jason says he calls it as he sees it, and wants the boys to commit to a solid performance and remember that they are DANCING ON ICE. Thanks for that, Gardiner. Phil mocks Jason's tie, justifiably, and reminds us that if we don't vote, we cannot complain.

Gary Lucy claims to be an actor, and says he used to roller-skate a lot as a kid, because he, like your Bitching team, was a child of the Eighties when roller-skating was de rigeur. [Although I could never do it, but then I can barely stand up without falling over most of the time, so perhaps that's why. - Steve] So rehearsals go well because he's good at skating, but then go badly because his dancing skills extend as far as waving his hands in the air like he just don't care. He marks his way through the routine looking very embarrassed.

They're dancing to All Right Now, and indeed his skating skills look fine, beginning the routine separately, though the slowness across the ice when a lift is approaching should be looked at, presumably because he doesn't want to break Maria. Aesthetically and left to their own devices, he has nice arms; in the routine they look a bit limp. But otherwise this is a good start. But we are not supporting him - Couttsy said so. Scores - Karen 4.0, Nicky 3.5, Jason 3.0, Emma 3.5 and Robin 3.5 for a total of 17.5. Gary is relieved to not have dropped Maria (told you); Chris liked the pointing hand at the end of the routine. Jason tells him to watch his arms when they are free (told you) and concludes that it was lacklustre; Karen disagrees, of course, because she loves everybody. Gary will try to be more showbiz in the future.

Dr Hilary Jones is next. He says "vigilant" in his introductory VT, which I enjoy. Chris reveals that Dr Hilary is our oldest contestant to date; Jayne says that being a doctor, Hilary is very aware of all the damage he can do, and indeed he then reels off a list of potential injuries. He admires Alexandra's ability, and is very dedicated to improving, but it seems to be happening very slowly. Seeing the girls skate in week 1 has given him an added impetus; Jayne notes that his skating has become much more aggressive this past week, and he vows to make people think, "The doctor can skate." He's a doctor, by the way. [Shit, I'd better write that down. - Steve]

They're skating to Everlasting Love. The footwork at the start is a little tentative, with some rather weird armography, but probably Chris choreographed that, it looks like the kind of stuff he'd do. The actual skating isn't too bad - it's slow, and there's a significant stumble, but he is smiling his way through it and performing. Scores - 2.5s from Karen, Emma and Robin, 2.0s from Nicky and Jason, for a total of 11.5. Phil says that Dr Hilary, who is a doctor, has too much medical knowledge; well, maybe for a skater, but probably not for a doctor, which he is. Chris says that age is always a concern for all of us. Bless. Then he makes some medical puns. Oh, Christopher Dean. Nicky and his beard comment on the slowness of the speed round the ice, but he liked Dr Hilary's presentation and suggests he builds on his confidence. Whoa, I've just noticed how far undone Dr Hilary's shirt is. Emma starts talking about what happens when you get old, and then patronises him, the daft bint.

After the break, not-famous Emily is moaning about lovely Fred!

Now, time to be reminded about the girls. Danniella says she couldn't have skated any better than she did; Tana, who I keep forgetting about, largely because she too is not famous, thinks she got away lightly from Jason; Hayley reckons it was the biggest buzz ever and is slightly concerned about the difficulty of this week's routine; hilariously, Chris is trying to hold Sharron up in rehearsal despite the fact that she looks about six inches taller than him, while Pavel tells her that challenging is good; Emily moans about Fred being mean to her and I wonder whether Fred's famous patience is finally running out (I'd have snapped after Burley); and Heather was expecting to be in the bottom two. Rinkside, Danniella tells Phil that the boys have been working their fingers to the bone, and Hayley says the girls are all very nervous, while Sharron complains about having to stand next to the tiny Tamaddon. Heather makes a joke about giving the boys deep tissue massage, which nobody laughs at. Emily says she wants to channel her nerves into something positive; Tana thinks the boys are fantastic and deal with their nerves through calmness rather than chatting. Insightful stuff, ladies, thanks!

Danny Young's skating experience is non-existent, and as he scratches his way on to the ice, Jayne's attempt at pretending she isn't horrified is worth re-watching. However, his hard work indicates that he will make some good progress, so Jayne and Chris choreograph the toughest first routine ever for him, which nearly involves Frankie going a bit Reservoir Dogs on him.

Danny has some pace across the rink, but he doesn't seem confident in the lifts yet. No major errors, though he keeps looking at Frankie for reassurance, and at the end they laugh with relief. Scores - Karen 3.5, Nicky 4.0, Jason 3.0, Emma 4.0 and Robin 3.5 for a total of 18.0. Frankie highfives her boy. Danny enthuses about it being the best thing EVAH and thanks Frankie for all her work and patience. She says you're always nervous on the first night, but Danny did them both proud. Jayne comments on the amount of content in the programme. Emma thinks it was feisty and flirty, but mentions the loss of timing and generally lechs over him. Jason says there were moments of great energy, and moments that were like Frodo on steroids, but he liked the "partnering, with your partner". Right. Robin observes that if Jayne and Chris see such potential in him now, he can progress far as long as he works on the basics. Frankie tells Bunton to piss off with her attempted partner-stealing.

Next, Bobby and Molly. He says he is a comedian, and as an afterthought mentions that he is also an actor. In training he is working with a chair, which as we all know is difficult, and Jayne and Chris have their work cut out. Bobby's jaw drops open when he sees Molly, and teases her, "You could have got me a pretty one!" Bobby is also IN PANTO IN MILTON KEYNES which means he has little time to practise, but he does seem to be working hard when he's actually on the rink. Ominously, he promises that he will entertain...

They're skating to Got My Mind Set On You. There's a lot of limited footwork at the start before they actually get moving, but Molly is incredibly engaging and watchable; Bobby might as well not be there. Gubba claims to be able to hear Bobby's joints creaking as he crosses the ice. Scores - Karen 2.0, Nicky 2.5, Jason 2.0, Emma 2.0, Robin 2.0 for a total of 10.5, the lowest score of the series so far. Bobby cackles and says he is just glad to have made it through, and now he is finished with panto he will rehearse ALL THE TIME, and boasts about his fake tan and his costumes, and beams at Molly. Chris and Jayne pretend they're not laughing, saying that it was very entertaining. Holly puts on her sympathetic face. Nicky suggests that Bobby should work on his skating skills, but the entertainment is already there. Jason says he thought Bobby would be dreadful and he was, technically, but he is a great showman and he hopes that he'll put in the work now. Karen says it was like "watching Todd. In time."

Kieron claims "no fear", and promptly bellyflops on to the ice. Adorably, he looks embarrassed not for looking silly on television, but for looking silly in front of Torvill and Dean. He is worried about lifting Brianne, who weighs six and a half stone, and says that he is doing weights at home while watching Hollyoaks. Oh, Kieron, really? Anyway, obviously the best thing to do when you're having problems like this is a) choreograph in a hideously dangerous lift and b) ask Chris THE PIE-MAN Fountain (who, lest we forget, did not win) [and is still noticeably bitter about it, hee hee hee - Steve] for advice.

They are skating to JLS's Beat Again, which is an ace song, and also features a video with the Yellow one wearing a bow tie. The dancing in this routine is a bit raunchy, isn't it? The camera work is shite, though. Ooh, I like this. Kieron is really giving it some. [Kieron is my favourite of this year's boys, I think. He seemed to be having the time of his life, bless him. - Steve] Gubba mocks his lack of muscles. Scores - Karen 4.0, Nicky 4.5, Jason 2.5, Emma 3.5, Robin 3.0 for a total of 17.5. Kieron claims that he is a really shy person and did not go to the loo before taking to the rink because he feared losing more weight. Brianne is proud of him, anyway, and Chris earmarks him as the competition's dark horse. Jason thought the hip-grinding was insipid; Nicky says the routine fitted together and worked as a couple.

After the break, DISASTER STRIKES for Jeremy. Who is a Hollywood actor. In his pants. Way to keep our attention!

We're back and Chris Fountain burbles away in the audience to Phil. Now Jeremy and Susie; he admits he is best known in the UK for being in Holby City, and then to his credit reveals his ballet training. Jayne and Chris are excited about his dance ability, but rather underwhelmed by his skating, and with his efforts to get his skating respectable, he pulls a hamstring. He promptly takes his clothes off [too many tattoos. You've lost my vote, Jeremy. - Steve] and goes to the physio, who tells him not to skate for three weeks. There is a great deal of plinky sad music accompanying the narrative about losing so much rehearsal time.

Ooh, Jeremy has BEAUTIFUL arms. Seriously. His hand-shaping is gorgeous. His skating is slow and mediocre, as you'd expect, but the performance is good, and the bits where they're on the spot and putting in dance steps are magnificent. Gubba says it was hesitant and lacked dash. I wonder if Nicky will mark relatively according to the other contestants, or according to how much rehearsal time they've had? Scores - Karen 2.5, Nicky 2.5, Jason 2.0, Emma 3.0, Robin 2.5 for a total of 12.5. Phil thought it would be higher than that; Jeremy still seems quite shaky but says he enjoyed it. Susie thinks he's done well, considering, as does Chris, who enthuses about his lines, and Jayne says that dance training has given him great "body awareness". Fnar. Robin urges passion, drama and speed. Emma lechs over him as well, and says that the routine conveyed emotion. Karen says this has been his best week. Isn't this his first week?

Time for Mikey Graham and some nice Boyzone montage. He says that he has become accustomed over the years to hiding behind the other boys. Aw. He predicts that he has potential if he works hard. And then there is an awkward insert which nearly makes me cry where he talks about the loss of Stephen, and having never told him that he was doing the show. Still, Dancing on Ice isn't a show to dwell on the bad things in life, and we're soon back into the hilarious comedy footage of Mikey crashing to the ground; in fact, he noticeably looks more svelte as they get further and further into training.

They're skating to Let's Dance. Ironically, Mikey doesn't actually seem to be that good at dancing. The skating is decent, though. Scores - Karen 3.5, Nicky 3.5, Jason 2.5, Emma 3.5 and Robin 3.0 for a total of 16.0. Mikey fesses up to a couple of stumbles, and reveals that he predicted last year that he'd do this series. Mel admires Mikey's enthusiasm, and Chris is pleased that Mikey enjoys skating so much. Jason says that the slips were a shame, but he liked the interpretation, and suggests that he keeps his head up. Emma empathises with coming from "a band" (sic) and doing something by oneself. Robin deems his technique "strong" and looks forward to his progress.

So Danny and Frankie top the board, Bobby and Molly are at the bottom. Now it's time for the viewing public to have their say, because the lines are now open! What will happen? We'll find out in just over an hour...

Results show

Earlier, the seven boys and their partners DANCED ON ICE for our votes. Now one must go away. Oh, yes, it's the skate-off!

Phil and Holly are back. He tells us we saw a breathtaking show earlier, and if we want to vote we must do so quickly before the lines close. Time for a recap, though. Jason thought Gary was "borderline dull" with "moments of grace", but Maria thought he did a good air guitar. Emma wanted Dr Hilary to support Alexandra more, but the routine as a whole was endearing. Dr Hilary thought the score was lenient and hopes he will go through to next week. Danny was the subject of a jealous cat-fight between Emma and Frankie. Nicky liked Bobby's entertainment value, which is basically all he is bringing to THE ICE at the moment. Kieron was bumping and grinding and vows to impress Jason if he gets chance. Jeremy is proud to have got his routine over with and claims to have enjoyed it as Susie heckles him. Mikey was disappointed with his stumbles, and Mel thinks he did a great job for the first time out. And now - the lines are CLOSED.

While the votes are being counted, the Saturdays perform their new single, lounging on a disc in the middle of the rink and giving their miming some welly. Fred and Mel do some of their acrobatics around them, and Alexandra and Lucas (whom we don't know, do we?) join in.

Holly turns to the panel and Robin says Danny impressed him most, while Jason expected more from Jeremy. And that's that. Phil touches his ear, and the results are in. In no particular order, the couples skating next week are -Dr Hilary and Alexandra; Kieron and Brianne; Danny and Frankie; Jeremy and Susie (who look very serious); and then we have to go to the break. Obviously.

So who will be the fifth couple definitely safe and skating next week? Why, it's Mikey and Mel, which means Gary and Maria are skating off against Bobby and Molly. HAHAHAHA GARY LUCY. [He'll think twice before telling anyone to fuck off outside Balan's again, that's for damn sure. - Steve] Gary and Maria go first, and Phil tries to reassure him that Stefan Booth had to skate off in his first week too. Gary gets all defensive and moans about his mates not voting for him because they are down the pub on a Saturday night, at which point Phil says that it is Sunday, and introduces Bobby and Molly. They are cute, but really in terms of ability there's no real competition. He drops a "j" bomb and wishes he hadn't eaten sausage rolls between the shows.

Time for the judges' verdict. Karen says the effort was there, the skill wasn't, so she saves Gary. Nicky will miss the "great entertainer", and saves Gary, as does Jason. Emma says Bobby made her laugh but it is not Comedy ON ICE. Robin doesn't think either should have been in the skate-off, and saves Gary for a clean sweep.

Bobby is disappointed but he knows he isn't the best skater and wouldn't have been able to win it. Phil thanks Molly, who says it's been an honour, and then they go on their lap of honour.

Next week! Boys and girls are skating toe-pick to toe-pick! Join us next weekend!

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