Sunday, 24 January 2010

Holby pity

Top 12: 24th January 2010

Last week! The male contestants took to the ice for the very first time. Bunto told Mikey that it was his time to shine, while Nicky's Evil Twin told Bobby Davro that he'd made him smile from ear to ear. Jason was harder to impress, naturally, calling Gary HAHAHAHA Lucy "borderline dull" and Danny Young "like Frodo on steroids", and Bunto was even more of an embarrassment to womankind than Arlene Phillips by drooling so much at the buff young men that she actually managed to thaw some of the ice near the judges table. It's a wonder no one was killed, quite frankly. Ultimately, Gary Lucy (HAHAHAHA) and Bobby Davro ended up in the bottom two, and Bobby Davro was sent packing, much to the sadness of Nicky's Evil Twin. This week the sexes are mixed for the first time, something that Hayley is very excited about because she thinks the girls are going to kick ass, while Mikey thinks the lads have are up for the challenge. This is all followed by a series of everyone having meltdowns during practice, some more comical than others, so we should be in for a tense evening of skating and sequins. Oh, and everyone fell over a lot in rehearsals. Yep, I'm looking forward to this. Titles!

Phil and Holly step out into the arena. Holly is looking dazzling in a blue dress, and Phil is wearing what I think must surely be a velvet jacket? Snazzy! Phil tells us that this will be a "feature-length" edition of Dancing On Ice (oh dear), and Holly reveals that they're all waiting to get going, so without further ado, here they are: Hayley and Daniel are on first, followed by Dr Hilary and Alexandra, Emily and Fred, Kieron and Brianne, Tana and Stuart, Danny and Frankie, Heather and Lovely Matt, Gary (HAHAHAHA) and Maria, Sharron and Pavel, Jeremy (still looking wobbly, by the way) and Susie, Mikey and Melanie (and he misses her hand on the final turn as they skate in), and finally Danniella and Matthew. Wow, Phil wasn't kidding. There really are a lot of these people to get through this evening. No wonder we didn't have a big opening number.

Jayne and Chris are here! Holly explains that they haven't had time to do their own routine this week because they've been busy choreographing routines for the 12 contestants, but they will be back next week. [BOOO. MOAR JAYNE AND CHRIS PLZ. - Carrie] Jayne says that everyone's had less time to get to grips with the new choreography (er, apart from the girls, who've had two weeks, surely?), so the pressure's really on. Chris says that they've all bonded together as a family, and yet "having said that, not one of them wants to go home tonight." Eh? So, under normal circumstances, should bonding as a family make them want to go home? I don't get it. [They would FORSAKE THEIR OWN AMBITION for their family member, maybe? - Carrie]

There's a required element tonight: the pairs spiral. That's the one where each member of the partnership must skate on one leg with the other leg higher than their hip, just in case you'd forgotten. I know I had. Holly then introduces the ice panel: Karen (looking lovely), Nicky (has shaved off that terrifying stubble, thank God), Jason (not nearly so overdressed this week), Bunto (spotting an odd but not unappealing hairdo) and "our favourite cousins", Robin. Robin tells Holly that it's crucial to get the line right in the pairs spiral, which is something that Jason specifically will be looking for. "And to stay up," adds Holly. Well, indeed. She's earning her keep this year, isn't she?

Phil vaguely explains the voting system once more, and reminds us that Gary Lucy was in the skate-off last week despite being second on the leaderboard. HAHAHAHAHAHA. Sorry, that's the absolute last time I do that, I promise.

On first tonight is Hayley, who lest we forget, topped the scoreboard in the first week. We see a recap of that admittedly impressive performance and the plaudits from Bunto, along with the warning not to become complacent. Hayley tells us that her new routine is difficult - it's not cheesy at all and packed with difficult steps. Chris says that Hayley is one of their strongest skaters, so they are pushing her very hard at this point. Also, throughout this segment, both Hayley and Jayne are the most peculiar shade of orange, like they both slept in a pot of turmeric the night before. Daniel says that every segment of the routine has something different to worry about, and Hayley is getting stressed because she's not sure she can do it. She's also worried about going up against the boys, who she thinks are a very strong bunch. Chris says it's anyone's game at this point, and she will have to give it her all.

Hayley and Daniel are skating to 'You're No Good', and begin with a fake-out kiss before the music's started, while the audience are still being rowdy. The routine is really good - Hayley wasn't kidding about the difficulty level, but she's executing it all incredibly well. They skate their pair spiral facing each other, with Hayley going backwards, which is also quite impressive, though to be honest that looks like one of the easier parts of the routine. It ends with Daniel lying on the ice while Hayley skates across him before stopping and bending backwards onto his upstretched arms. That was pretty damn awesome, I don't mind telling you. It's so nice to have a good skater you can actually root for on the show this year! Gubba reminds us that Hayley has the highest score so far at 19.5, and also that she's 33 today. I thought she was younger, for some reason. Scores: Karen 4.5, Nicky 3.0, Jason 4.0, Emma 4.0, Robin 4.0 for a total of 19.5 again. Phil wishes her a happy birthday. Hayley admits that she has no spit when she leaves the ice. Hee. She says she felt the pressure after last week, and especially with the boys being there this year. Daniel jokes that, it being her birthday, she wore her birthday suit. Wah wah wahhhh. Phil points out that Hayley and Daniel have known each other for years (interesting that they're not keeping that secret) and Chris says that that helps with the chemistry, and that they're both fun to work with.

Holly asks Karen for feedback - Karen says that Hayley made it look effortless and covered up how difficult it was, while Nicky is asked why he scored it so low. His reply is kind of incomprehensible - about needing to give a wider range of scores because there are more competitors on the show tonight (so, is a good performance not a good performance when there are more skaters, then?), but her spiral was "super" and her presentation is "great", though he's not convinced about her skating skills on her own. [Ladies and gentlemen, I give you NICKY SLATER MARKING RELATIVELY. - Carrie] Jason says that he asked for a more sincere performance in week one, and she absolutely gave him one (ooer, etc etc). He calls bullshit on Nicky's score, and Nicky just repeats "slow OVER THE ICE" again and again and again. Weird. Eventually someone turns down his microphone. On behalf of everyone watching, I would like to thank the sound operator for doing that.

Coming up! Dr Hilary has a nasty tumble. Well, that's sure to stop people turning over for Antiques Roadshow.

On our return, a frankly lame "Doctor Doctor" joke from Phil leads into Dr Hilary's VT. He got a low score and poor feedback last week, but was saved by the public. He admits that he would've been disappointed not to have "another crack" - and if that preview is anything to go by, he's about to get his wish. He struggles in rehearsals, having gone from a four-week practice period to a four-day one - he admits to being a slow learner. Alexandra reveals that there's a lot in here for them to be getting on with - and in particular they have a move called "drop and roll", where Alex drops down to her knees while Dr Hilary skates past her, and it's not looking good. Even in rehearsals, they're struggling - and then Dr Hilary topples over backwards while carrying Alexandra, which knocks his confidence. And also, possibly, his pelvis.

Their routine this week is to 'Close To You'. His skating is still tentative, and the drop-and-roll doesn't go terribly smoothly, and then he loses his balance in one move but manages to remain upright. The pairs spiral goes without incident, though his leg is crooked in a rather ugly fashion, which I'm sure Jason will not approve of. They end with a hoover, and both seem relieved to be finished. Scores: Karen 2.0, Nicky 1.0, Jason 1.5, Emma 1.5, Robin 1.5 for a total of 7.5. Ouch. Phil congratulates him for staying upright, which I guess is all you can do. Dr Hilary says he was better than last week and is making progress. Except in score terms. Jayne consoles him that the move he tripped on was a very difficult one, and says well done for carrying on. Robin says that he was more comfortable watching him last week: he's written down "scary, laboured and uncomfortable" and says that's how he felt watching it, because he kept expecting things to go wrong. Emma "literally couldn't breathe" (FAIL) through the whole dance and felt physically sick when Dr Hilary lifted Alexandra because she was so nervous for both of them, so she couldn't enjoy it. Karen says that it's not easy for him to be flexible, and his elements from this week were harder, but she was quite glad when it was all over. Hee. Dr Hilary says he has a lot of work to do, and if he stays in, he's looking forward to the next routine, but of course that'll be up to the public.

More adverts? Bloody hell, no wonder it's so long. Anyway: Emily and Kieron are coming up, and Kieron appears to be having a woobie meltdown.

On our return, Phil reminds us that Emily is YOUNG and also got the lowest score in the first week. Her VT reminds us that her first performance was uninspiring, and Emily was gutted to be at the bottom of the scoreboard, but managed to survive the public vote despite not being famous. She vows to work as hard as she can now, and Chris notes that she's definitely more focused on the ice now. She says she wants to show Jayne and Chris she's serious about it now. Apparently she wasn't before. That's good to know. Fred turns harsh taskmaster, and she says that it's good that he's working her hard, "even if I do want to kick him up the bum sometimes." Heh. Things seem to be going well in training, and Fred is actually quite impressed with her progress. Emily hopes people will see that she is working hard and taking it seriously. Perhaps she should've thought about this in week one.

Their routine is to 'Beautiful' and they're both outfitted in slightly unflattering orange. Her skating is still a little awkward and there's not masses of content in this routine, but she definitely looks more confident and executes everything with more precision than she did in her first appearance, so that's a step in the right direction. Gubba reveals that Emily's costume is almost the same colour as tonight's Loser Bouquet. Heh. Scores: Karen 2.5, Nicky 2.0, Jason 2.5, Emma 3.5, Robin 3.0 for a total of 13.5. "It's going up!" says Phil. Emily is clearly underwhelmed, but covers by saying that it's better than the first one and says she's happy with that. She wasn't surprised by the reaction she got last time because she let her nerves get to her. Chris says that her concentration has helped, "and she's realised that practice makes it better". Snerk. Holly asks Jason what gives, and he says that her leg lines are "like that of a 90-year-old", especially in the required element. She has a stiff neck and there is no release in her upper body, so she has to start generating movement there. Emma disagrees - she thinks Emily is definitely better, but she wants to see her take more risks, and she thinks Emily's upper body got much better this week. Robin agrees a bit with both of them - he can still see the effort in what she's doing, but it's good that she's making an effort in the first place, having apparently not bothered in week one, and wants a bit more pliability in her body.

Kieron and Brianne are next. The VT focuses on Jason's negative feedback, even though I seem to remember the rest of the ice panel being fairly encouraging last week. Nonetheless. Kieron is sad not to have impressed Jason. There's "a big lift" in the routine this week, and he's worried about doing it because he's so scrawny. Chris points out that Kieron actually lifts well, and the problems are mainly in his head. Kieron has a meltdown in the training session, and feels that he shouldn't have got through the first week because he can't do what's required of him this week. Brianne says that the pressure's getting to him, and he has a heavy workload on Hollyoaks to boot. He's knackered, but determined to do his absolute best on Sunday.

He's wearing a fancy waistcoat this week (apparently to hide his own sense of his scrawniness), and they're dancing to 'Evergreen' [Will Young, not Streisand - Carrie]. The big lift goes well, as does the required element, though he looks a little wobbly once or twice - which, given his VT, could just be tiredness as much as anything. He does seem to have done well under the circumstances, anyway. Gubba remarks that the costumes would be ideal for a Vegas wedding. Scores: Karen 3.5 Nicky 2.5, Jason 3.0, Emma 3.5 and Robin 3.5 for a total of 16.0. Kieron is pleased with his score - he says that Brianne had to coax him out because he was so nervous, and that he feels he didn't "bond" with the routine because he had so little time. Bless. Chris thinks he did well, and urges him to focus on the positives rather than the negative. Robin tells him that if doing his day job takes his mind off the skating, that might actually help him - there's still work to do on his stiffness, but he's doing in the right direction. Holly asks "Nicky Low-Score" what's up with that, and Nicky says that Kieron's technical ability is impressive, but his presentation is lacking, because his free arm "looks like a wet fish".

Time for another break, as Tana gets sexy, and Danny frets about "the curse of the frog lift". At home somewhere, Sinitta's all, "yeah, tell me about it." [As are Andrei's testicles. - Carrie]

When we return, Phil tells us that Emma's score for Emily was 3.0 and not 3.5, giving her a total of 13.0 instead of 13.5. Righto. Tana's on next, and her rubbish first routine is recounted in agonising detail, with Tana admitting that all the commentary was fair. This week's routine is to Beverley Knight's version of 'Piece Of My Heart', and it's a bit raunchy. Stuart is determined to show Jason that they have a connection. They giggle a lot in rehearsals, which I would say is a good start, but they think this is bad, because they should be being sultry. Stuart thinks Tana is afraid of what she will look like. Jayne says that Tana needs to put herself into a character. Chris doesn't help things by telling Tana that the move she did where she "curved her boobs" was "lovely". Tana hopes she can deliver on the night. And indeed, on the Knight. (Geddit?)

Unfortunately, Tana's sexy face seems to involve her alternating between a pout and a lemon-sucking face. Her skating is still slow and tentative, and she still looks nervous, but she is doing more complicated manoeuvres including being thrown about by Stuart with aeroplane spins and whatnot. She even manages to sass the camera at one point, which is a step forward, I suppose. Gordon's in the audience again. Gubba wonders if it was "hot and steamy, or a pan of boiling potatoes". Scores: Karen 3.0, Nicky 2.0, Jason 2.0, Emma 3.0, Robin 2.5 for a total of 12.5 again. Tana says she enjoyed this one more and they had a lot of fun working on it, and she hopes she did better this week. Jayne says that they gave her more difficult steps and wanted to challenge her with the performance, and they think she did well. Stuart says he loves his job (hee!) and that there was "such a transformation" this time. Jason tells Tana that she has "the sensuality of a frigid schoolmistress", saying that her face looked like she was sucking lemons (hey, that's what I said!) and she needs to work on expressing the entire movement with her entire body. Emma could see her shaking, and didn't believe the story between them at all, but she did think it was an improvement on last time. Karen thought it was a massive challenge, especially since Tana has no performing background, so she thinks Tana did well under the circumstances. Tana thanks the judges for their feedback and promises to work on what they've mentioned. I love the idea of her hopping backstage and writing "do not look like a frigid schoolmistress" in a notepad.

Danny's next, and he got the highest score last week, and says that being top of the leaderboard is a huge thrill, but obviously now there is a lot of pressure on him. Chris describes this week's routine as "character-driven" and "Elvis-esque". Danny says that there's lots involved and if he pulls it off, he'll look amazing, but if he gets it wrong, he won't. There's a frog lift involved, and he's concerned by what happened with Sinitta. Frankie has ripped his trousers a few times in rehearsals and Danny admits that "I like my bits and pieces where they are." He says that the pressure's on, but they'll give it a go. Frankie crosses her fingers. Heh.

They're skating to 'Devil In Disguise'. I don't want to be the first one to bust out "wobbly core", but I do find myself wondering if that's why his legs keep shaking. Other than that, however, it's all pretty good, particularly the backward roll, and the frog lift leaves his manhood intact. Chris Fountain is in the audience, still looking bitter. Gubba tells us that one of Danny's pals texted him to say he skated like a mermaid. Harsh. Scores: Karen 4.0, Nicky 3.0, Jason 3.0, Emma 3.5, Robin 3.5 for a total of 17.0. Danny says that his bits are intact, and he hasn't got to back out and pick anything up, so it's all good. A member of the audience cheers for him, and he replies "thanks, Mum." Phil asks about the frog lift, and Chris says that it's all a case of "no guts, no glory" - and in this case, it was glory. Karen says that the frog lift is really hard, and it worked, but the tricks are taking over from his basics and they will need to work on those. Jason says that there were two distinct gear changes in the music, and he doesn't think Danny's dancing matched them. He also thinks that Danny doesn't finish off his movements, and also sometimes he looks like he's going to attack Frankie. Danny wonders why Jason is always so angry, and offers him a hug. Jason is unimpressed (but will probably take him up on that offer during Wild At Heart).

Coming up: more dancing ON ICE!

Heather and Lovely Matt are the next couple when we return. Nicky was wowed by her apparent lack of disability out on the ice. Heather says that all she wanted was to not go out first, so anything else is a bonus. Jason advised her to work on getting into lifts more attractively. Heather has thrown herself into her next routine, and Jayne says that there is a higher difficulty level in this routine, but she hopes that Heather can improve her transition. Heather says that it's so very complicated, but if you fall over you just have to laugh and get up. Her spin on the required element is difficult, because she has to pass from one side of Matt to the other in the middle of it. She's also worried that her prosthetic leg is heavier than an actual leg. I don't know if that's true, but she's probably more likely to know than I am, so I'll accept her version of events. Lovely Matt is very impressed with Heather's core strength and the strength of her supporting leg. Heather says she's tried really hard to work on her feedback, and she hopes to please all the judges. Who'd have thought Heather Mills would be the one with the most sensible outlook on the show? It's a mad, mad, mad, mad, mad, mad world.

They begin with Heather lying on the floor, and they're skating to 'Frozen'. [ON ICE. - Carrie] Some of her transitions are still a bit lumpy, and her arms still need work, but there is some improvement here, I think. Her required element goes well, and she ends back in the same position she began in. Hey, never underestimate the power of symmetry. Gubba says that the "levitation lift" was a real test of her stomach muscles, and that her programme was a real abdominal workout. Scores: Karen 3.5, Nicky 2.5, Jason 3.0, Emma 3.5, Robin 3.5 for a total of 16.0. Heather's amazed with that skill, and is happy with her transitions. She's having a lot of fun, and thinks it's a privilege to work with Matt, Jayne and Chris. Lovely Matt is "speechless" that Heather skates like this every day. Chris takes his hat off to her. Bunto is impressed with Heather's confidence and trust in her partner, so she just wants her to relax her shoulders and face a bit more so we can see how she's enjoying it. Jason says it was a very confident performance and he liked the nuances with her hands. He asks if she can turn out with from the hip with her artificial leg to make a better leg line. Heather says that if they can make her leg lighter, they can, but because it's heavy, it won't turn out, and demonstrates a few times. Robin loves that she was so keen to demonstrate, and that she just has no hesitation or boundaries. Paul McCartney, however, is probably less happy about those particular attributes of hers.

After the ads, we're back with Gary Lucy. Gary says that last week "went quite well - but obviously, not well enough". LOLERAMA. Chris was surprised to see him in the skate-off, but thought his second performance was better than his first one. Gary says that the hardest thing for him was when his little girl got up the next day and asked him why he had to skate again, and he had to explain to her that it was because he wasn't good enough. Aww. Jayne says that he has a much harder routine this week, but she's confident that he can handle it. Gary thinks he has an impressive routine lined up. His little girl, India, likes him to re-enact with her what he's been doing with Maria each day. I think it is a good thing for all of us that he and Maria are strictly professional partners. His daughter is all kinds of adorable, but frankly, it will take more than an exceptionally cute child to win me over. [But fair play to Gary for stooping to whoring out his offspring in his second week of competition. Where will he go next? - Carrie] His VT ends with India saying "Jason, don't be mean to my daddy!" Heh. Although presumably this means that Karen, Nicky, Bunto and Robin have carte blanche. [As do we. - Carrie]

His routine this week is to 'I'm Yours'. His dancing seems a little bit smoother, and interestingly, there's a moment where Maria seems to stumble coming out of a lift. The required element is present and correct and showy, and there are a few more lifts, and then it all ends. India is in the audience jumping up and down. Scores: Karen 4.0, Nicky 3.5, Jason 3.5, Emma 3.5, Robin 4.0 for a total of 18.5. Gary says that he has a shoulder injury, and he doesn't know if it's from lifting Maria or India. He says that he would've been devastated if he'd been eliminated because India is enjoying it so much. God, can it with the emotional blackmail, Lucy. Maria enjoyed the routine. Jayne says that they wanted to bring out his playful side, and they think that happened tonight. Robin hopes that will keep him out of the skate-off, but that he runs the risk of being "nice" every week, and needs to learn to stand out. He compliments Gary on keeping Maria standing when she stumbled. Robin and Jason argue about whether he cheated in the required element (Jason thinks yes, Robin thinks no, and clearly I'm going with Robin on this one because Robin is the king).

Sharron and Pavel are next. We're reminded that she was possessed by a tree during her first performance, and she says it's hard not to get hurt by Jason's comments when they get personal. She was saved over Sinitta in the skate-off, and feels she has a lot to prove. Chris wants to work on softening Sharron down and keeping her arms low. Sharron is conscious of her "tree-like" arms, which she thinks is a shame, because they worked well in the water. Sharron and Pavel go to meet a synchronised swimming coach to help her with her arms, and I'm sure Carrie will appreciate Pavel being shirtless for this entire segment. [Wet Pavel. In trunks. *faints* - Carrie] Sharron is pleased to be back in the water. Surely Dancing In Water cannot be far off?

Their routine for this week is to 'These Words'. Sharron's skating has improved, though there's the odd wobble, and I don't think her arms are that tree-like, though she does still have a gangliness that's probably going to take a while to overcome. I would definitely call that an improvement on her first week, though. Gubba compliments her form in her costume, which is swimsuit-like (and she does look in excellent shape, I must say). Scores: Karen 3.5, Nicky 2.5, Jason 2.5, Emma 2.5, Robin 3.0 for a total of 14.0. Sharron is sort-of happy with that, saying that she's "getting there". She says that her nerves get the better of her. Chris says they've been working on her arms and how she presents, and she looked like she was enjoying herself out there. Nicky thought the synchronised swimming practice was inspired, and if she can pick up those arm movements and put them on the ice, she'll do very well. He thinks there's potential for real improvement with her, and suggests that she does some basic ballet classes. Sharron promises to do that. Jason thinks there was improvement in the arms, that they had more breadth, though she's hit and miss with them, and he'd like her to sustain the consistency and lock in her core. "You look like you've got a solid body, that's impressive." Sharron thanks him. He says that she's improving, and the marks reflect that.

Leaderboard: Hayley in first, Gary second, Danny third, Kieron and Heather tied for fourth, Sharron fifth, Emily sixth, Tana seventh and Dr Hilary at the very bottom. Phil implores us to vote - once the lines have opened, of course.

Coming up: Jeremy in tight pink lycra, which I'm sure will appeal to a certain subsection of the audience.

After the ads, Phil says that there are still three more performances to go, and Jeremy is the first amongst them. Jeremy says that Sunday was terrifying, and he's concerned that the judges thought he was a great big slow-pants. Chris says that this week's routine is more uptempo, and Jeremy will need to be faster over the ice. Jeremy says it's a rocky routine, and he's not a rocker. The challenge is for him to fight his fear and get on with it. He's sent off to Mandy Worth, former Olympic speedskater, to pick up some speedy tips. Dressed in bright pink lycra, he tumbles a lot, but says that the experience has been very helpful in teaching him to get more attack out there on the ice on Sunday. He does seem to be improving towards the end.

He's skating to 'Stay With Me', and his speed has definitely improved, but it seems to have been at the expense of technique, as he's rather ungainly and shaky, and one lift looks as though it has to be cut short prematurely just so Susie can steer him away from the edge. Still, he gets through the required element, so that's one thing. Gubba thinks it was a bit "formal". Scores: Karen 3.0, Nicky 2.0, Jason 2.0, Emma 2.5, Robin 2.5 for a total of 12.0. Jeremy says it felt a little bit faster, but it was still scary - just trying to co-ordinate his feet at that speed is difficult. Asked if she feels safe, Susie answers in the affirmative, but I am not wholly convinced. Jayne says that the last lift wasn't easy, but he gave it his all and credit to him. Karen says that the speed is creeping in, but the routine is getting harder - but his spiral was good. Nicky says, angrily, that he is so frustrated when he sees Jeremy skate. He tells him to get his "marriage gear" forwards - I wonder if he knows that Jeremy is not the marrying kind? Nicky tells him that he should imagine he's holding a grenade between his buttocks. Jason is openly laughing at such supreme idiocy: "A grenade? Up your bum?" Jeremy is also laughing: "I'm not going to forget that one." Phil says that he'd like to see the grenade. Ooh Phil, you saucepot.

Next up? Mikey. He had a few trips last week, and thus his confidence has been shaken. The moves are technically difficult in this new routine, but he's focusing on getting everything together. He says that he's in his own "little terrified bubble". Heh. The complexity of the routine starts to get to him, however, and he's starting to worry, despite Melanie's efforts to talk him down out of his tree. To cheer him up, there is a video message from the rest of Boyzone, telling him that they're supporting him. Keith Duffy openly mocks him in his part of the message, which is quite funny. It seems to have done Mikey some good, anyway.

They are dancing to 'Just Say Yes', and Mikey is green, because he is IRISH. He's more stable on his feet this week, and does some lovely partnering with Melanie. They're a good couple, these two, I think. He grins throughout his required element, and even touches his raised blade with his free hand. Scores: Karen 4.0, Nicky 3.0, Jason 4.0, Emma 4.0, Robin 3.5 for a total of 18.5. Mikey says that the dancing is tough, but the mental side of things is even harder, because trying to keep his nerves under control is a real struggle. Chris says that Mikey had a rough week this week, but he really turned it around tonight. Karen says that they lost Mikey around Wednesday and they weren't sure if he was going to come back, but he has lots of potential. Nicky thinks he's almost as good as Gary, but for a few stutters, and praises him for dancing "with your lady". Emma says he gave her goosebumps, and she hopes that the luck of the Irish is with him tonight.

Phew, nearly there. One more set of ads to go!

Daniella's the last celeb up, and is pleased with her performance from the first week, saying that she was bursting with pride afterwards. The judges agreed, which was nice. Jayne says that Danniella's an inspiration because she always wants to try new things, and never says no. Insert your own joke here. A few days into training, Danniella has a nasty fall mid-routine - she went to physio, and has bruised underneath her ribcage and tightened all the muscles in her back. This makes all the lifts difficult, and even in the rehearsals on Saturday, she's feeling the pain, but she vows to skate through the pain and smile for all she's worth.

She and Matthew are skating to 'Because Of You', and I really am impressed by her arms, which look really good. She does not look in pain during her transitions out of the lifts, and executes her required element very well. Gubba comments on her "lovely lines", and is that really the best thing to say about the contestant who used to have a massive coke habit? Scores: Karen 4.0, Nicky 3.5, Jason 3.0, Emma 4.0, Robin 3.5 for a total of 18.0. Danniella thinks it could've gone better, but she's over the moon with how it went. She says that the professional skaters skate with injuries like hers every week, and that it's just part of the job. Matthew says they've had a tough week, but she did her best and it went well. Jayne thinks Danniella has a lot more to give, and this performance was a step up from her last one. Emma thinks that Danniella's movements are so very fluid and she's so watchable. Robin says that he started out at a 4.0 and she just slipped on a few moments, but that everyone with a slow number has to work that much harder because it requires more precision.

And that's it! Final leaderboard: Hayley at the top, Gary and Mikey joint second, Danniella in third (shouldn't it be fourth? Or are they just adopting the Strictly Come Dancing scoreboard process wholesale?), Danny fourth, Kieron and Heather joint fifth, Sharron sixth, Emily seventh, Tana eighth, Jeremy ninth and Dr Hilary at the bottom. Phil declares the lines officially open, and we get a video recap to remind us of people we might like to vote for: Hayley and Daniel defying their song by actually being Good, Dr Hilary and Alexandra muddling through, Emily and Fred actually trying this week, Kieron managing to lift Brianne despite being a big skinny girl, Tana and Stuart not quite smouldering just yet, Danny and Frankie being a bit mental, Heather and Matt working on those transitions, Gary chucking Maria around by the wrist, Sharron being less tree-like with Pavel, Jeremy and Susie being faster, Mikey and Melanie partnering nicely, and Danniella skating through the pain with Matthew.

Phil and Holly run through the numbers again for all of us. The skate-off looms later this evening, where two couples will battle it out to stay in the competition - but who will they be?

The Skate-Off

So, earlier tonight, 12 couples danced ON ICE for our votes, over the course of 140 extra-long minutes. Now two of them must face THE SKATE-OFF. ON ICE. (ON ICE!)

Phil and Holly welcome us back, and for the benefit of the viewers who are capable of superhuman speed, here is what happens next:

PHIL: ...if you haven't voted yet, then you'd better get a move on because the lines will close in a matter of seconds.
HOLLY: At the end of tonight's show, two of our stars will have to skate again, and one of them will be leaving the competition for good.
PHIL: And there's nothing more you can do about it, because the lines are now closed.

Seriously? Did anybody actually have time to vote in that nanosecond? What was even the point? Oh, never mind. Time for a catch-up with what happened earlier: Hayley and Dan were Good, but Nicky thought she was slow OVER THE ICE, and Jason disagreed. Hayley thought it was brilliant to have Jason, of all people, defending her. Dr Hilary and Alexandra were scary and laboured, and temporarily caused Emma Bunton TO DIE. Or something. Dr Hilary, despite his medical training, does not call her on her obvious falsehood, instead saying he can understand how she feels. Fool! Emily was chewed out for her bad leg lines, and backstage she admits to not being very athletic, and vows to work on it with Lovely Fred [who is noticeably leaning away from her as she attempts to pretend they are Best Mates - Carrie]. Kieron and Brianne did well, though his back arm looked like a "wet fish". Kieron is proud of Brianne for keeping him going. Tana was not sensual, but she has chosen not to be insulted by him. Gordon would like to grill Jason in the kitchen. Danny was warned for looking like he wanted to attack Frankie, and Frankie thinks that Jason is asking for too much at this stage. Heather and Lovely Matt also did well, and Lovely Matt thinks Heather absolutely nailed it, and he can't believe what they're achieving. Gary really delivers, says Robin, but needs to get beyond "nice". Gary hopes not to get lost in the crowd, while Maria looks elsewhere. Sharron's arms improved, but she was still hit-and-miss, according to Jason. Sharron feels there is more work to come, but is pleased to be moving in the right direction. Jeremy can now skate at speed, but has a long way to go. He is worried it's too little, too late, but vows to keep pushing. Mikey and Melanie gave Bunto goosebumps, and Melanie claims to have had them too. Can you give yourself goosebumps? [Maybe she was just cold. Cos of THE ICE. - Carrie] Finally, Danniella and Matthew delivered a strong routine, and she's trying her hardest and just happy that the judges like it.

Holly's with the ice panel, and asks Robin what the leg lines were like. Robin says that there were some real standouts - for good and bad reasons. Emma thinks Mikey and Hayley were the standouts, and she thinks Kieron can be brilliant, but he needs to get more confidence. Jason is asked who needs to up their game, and he cites Dr Hilary and Tana, who needs to look less self-conscious, and Jeremy, who is not performing like an ex-dancer.

There's a trail for the tedious Dancing On Ice Friday, where Ben and Coleen will be discussing the upcoming elimination. Oooh, exciting.

Time for the results. Touch your ear, Phil. Touch it! Woo! That's the stuff. The following couples are safe and returning next week: Gary and Maria, Tana and Stuart, Danny and Frankie, Emily and Fred, Danniella and Matthew, Hayley and Daniel, Mikey and Melanie (who seem to have the most fans in the studio), Kieron and Brianne, Dr Hilary and Alexandra, and...one more couple to be announced after the break, of course.

After the break, there are three contestants awaiting their fate: Heather and Lovely Matt, Sharron and Pavel, and Jeremy and Susie. The tenth couple safe and returning next week is...Heather and Lovely Matt! Hooray! That means that Sharron and Pavel are up against Jeremy and Susie in the skate-off this week.

Holly's with Jayne and Chris: Jayne's surprised by the outcome all the time, and thinks there could be further surprises to come. Chris thinks Sharron had a great first performance and just needs to come out and do that again, while Jeremy needs to keep his speed up.

Sharron and Pavel are the first couple to return to the ice, and she's looking a little defeated in the face, as well she might be. There's no noticeable dip in performance quality though, and if this turns out to be their final performance on the show, then they're going out on a high note. Jayne thinks she skated it just as well as the first time, and Chris says her previous experience of the skate-off meant she knew what to do. Because "repeat your performance and hope not to be eliminated" is otherwise such a tricky thing to grasp? Phil asks Sharron if she's surprised to be in the skate-off again, and she replies that she doesn't know what she's doing wrong, but all she can do is keep trying. Awww. She says it's easier once you've already done it once because you can relax, and that's her tip to Jeremy.

Jeremy and Susie return to the ice, and he's a little bit more in control this time, though he still looks quite awkward doing some of the choreography, particularly when he's skating unaided. He and Susie swoosh over to Jayne, Chris and Phil, and Jayne thinks it was better than the first time. Jeremy says that his heart was certainly beating faster, and that being in the skate-off is scary. Susie thinks he did a great job, whatever happens next. The two couples have the usual consolatory hug and then head back out onto the ice to await the panel's verdict. Karen votes to save Sharron. Nicky thinks both routines were better, but one was stronger, and though he would like to mark on potential, he cannot (GET ON WITH IT, SLATER), so he's saving Sharron. Jason thinks one was marginally improved, the other is getting worse, so he saves Sharron. Emma saves Sharron, for improvement, and Robin saves "the Olympian" for rising to the occasion. So it's a clean sweep, and Jeremy's out. Well, he was already out, but now he's been eliminated from Dancing On Ice, too. [And the Lipanov household's involvement in this series is officially over in week three. - Carrie]

Jeremy skates over to Phil and Holly, and admits to being disappointed, and will miss skating with Susie, but he's slightly relieved to not have to be in so much pain any more. Susie thinks Jeremy has worked very hard, and missed a lot of training because of his injury, but she really thought his extra training helped. Jeremy thinks it may have been too little, too late. Jayne says it's sad because he has been improving, and Chris thinks there was more to come from Jeremy, "as long as we don't have any more hand grenades". Phil asks if we want to see Jeremy's best bits. Didn't we see those already during last week's physio visit? His VT shows some excellent dance training not wholly translating onto the ice, and while he impressed Bunto last week, it wasn't enough to keep him around this week.

Back in the studio, Jeremy and Susie head out on their lap of honour, while Phil informs us that next week is '70s night, which it shall be Carrie's unfortunate duty to recap. See you next week!

1 comment:

Livilla said...

You know what? I'd be happier if they just ditched Nicky. Or taped his mouth shut. Whiny bitch.