Sunday, 17 January 2010

That Friday freezing

Dancing on Ice Friday: 15th January 2010

I begin this recap with some trepidation, as I don't really know what to expect from these Friday shows, and I can't shake this feeling that ultimately I am wasting my time as well as yours even considering it. However, when we signed up to recap this show, we promised to do so in full, and thus we are at the whim of ITV's scheduling team, so without further ado: onward!

On Sunday, the series began on a high, and to illustrate this performance we have Danniella (I shall refrain from making jokes about her being "on a high" because it's just too easy) and Hayley, though not for everyone, because Emily made a right balls-up of her routine, as did Sharron. EXCLUSIVE BACKSTAGE FOOTAGE shows Jayne saying that some of Jason's comments were a bit harsh, but then that's Jason for you. We don't exactly see her shrugging, but I'm sure it's only the fact that her shoulders are permanently tensed in an athletic state of readiness that prevents her from doing so. And then there was Sinitta, for whom the series got off to arguably the worst possible start, in that she was sent packing by all the judges except Bunto, and no one pays attention to the new girl anyway. Backstage, Phil and Holly sympathise that to go first is horrid, because it's whipped out from underneath you just as you're beginning to like it. Then, hilariously, Sinitta is literally swallowed by a blackout. That's it, folks. She's GONE.

Now! In tonight's show, we'll meet the boys (again), the judges will get a grilling, and we'll be getting up close and personal with Torvill and Dean. Not too close, I hope. I've just got comfortable on my sofa. Titles!

We're in a studio that looks uncannily like the one they use for It Takes Two, even down to the backdrop. Not that I'm suggesting for a second this is any kind of cheap ripoff, you understand. There is muted applause as Ben Shephard and Coleen Nolan enter down an icy-looking walkway. They talk about what's coming up, which is essentially everything we heard about two minutes ago before the opening titles, so I don't think we really need to go through that again. First up, in the studio are two of this year's couples: Mikey and Melanie, and Gary and Maria. Applause! Coleen jokes that at this stage last year she was trying to make a break out of the country to avoid having to go out and skate. Well, I say "jokes", I think we all know she's entirely serious. Gary admits to being "terrified" about Sunday, despite being an obvious ringer and joint-favourite to win last time I checked, and Mikey is similarly nervous. Melanie and Maria, on the other hand, are more "fuck this, BRING IT ON." Ben asks Mikey what he thought of the ladies' performances last week, and after a bit of hem-hemming, Mikey admits that he thought Hayley was good, and also Danniella. We see a clip of Danniella's performance, and there is some talk about it being hard to go on first, until Melanie interrupts that she thinks that's actually the best slot to get, because it means you're not stood around backstage watching everyone else and getting nervous. She's got a point. Gary, whose hair is looking like an offcut of shagpile for reasons best known to himself, says that he thought they all did well, and adds Heather's name into the list of people who mustn't be underestimated, blah blah courage and determination. Ben spills that Heather revealed afterwards that her leg actually popped out during the routine, and that it was really only her tights keeping it attached. Lawks. There is more talk about how it is HARD to skate with a prosthetic leg and Coleen marvels that she couldn't even tell. Perhaps she didn't watch the pre-performance VTs where they spoke about nothing else. [I really hope they give up mentioning the amputeeness every three seconds. It's embarrassing and patronising. - Carrie]

From here, we lead into a VT of the boys all rehearsing together, sold under the pretense of them all sizing each other up and doing competitive MAN THINGS like that, although the women are all there watching too, with their professional partners. Daniel in particular is noteworthy for looking distinctly unimpressed at most things. Danny says that they're all working very hard and someone must go on Sunday - he just doesn't want it to be him. Gary uses the phrase "smash it" for the second time so far this episode and I hope to God that's the last time I have to hear it today. Kieron says that he feels the need to up his game after seeing everyone else. Bobby anticipates being "one of the worst" skaters, but thinks he's the most enthusiastic. Recently returned from injury Jeremy curses the young'uns for their youth and agility. Hilary [I think you'll find you mean DR Hilary - Carrie] is "behind the pack" and rates his confidence at "about zero". Aww. Then there's some boring rivalry between Mikey and Danny, who see each other as their main competition, and are probably going to drag this out for as long as humanly possible. Snore. Although it is at least vaguely amusing for the subtext that Mikey really doesn't like Danny, however much he tries to play it off as a joke. I shall be watching their interactions on this week's show with interest.

Back in the studio, Mikey laughs off the rivalry, and Ben pretends that we know Gary best as a policeman rather than as Luke Morgan on Hollyoaks, being raped over a car bonnet on a late-night special (admittedly there may be a reason why this particular career highlight was not mentioned on TV at 8:06pm), and wants to know how he's finding the sequins. Gary replies that he wore lots of ridiculous outfits on Footballers' Wives and thus this does not trouble him, it's actually the "dance belt", which is like a thong, that he's struggling with. Coleen suggests that he looks comfortable on the ice itself, but less so with the dancing, and Gary says that he's not a trained dancer (which is presumably supposed to score him audience points ahead of people like Hayley and Jeremy who have actual dance training) and is basically uncomfortable dancing in front of people. I wonder if he was unaware of this show's title when he signed up. I'm sure Nicky would be only too willing to explain it to him. In what I'm sure is an entirely spontaneous moment, Coleen suggests that Gary needs something to get him in the mood for dancing, and thus the Nolan Sisters song is cued up and earns her sisters a few pennies in royalties.

There follows a montage of Mikey falling over a lot in training, though to be fair, it does look like he's attempting some fairly tricky manoeuvres at this comparitively early stage. He says that as the youngest of seven kids, he's been pushed around a lot and is used to falling. Apparently his Boyzone experience is no comfort, he's just trying to maintain a positive mental attitude. With Boyzone invoked, it's only a matter of seconds until Ben brings up the fact that Stephen Gately was a contestant in series two, and Mikey laments that he never got to tell Stephen he was taking part. Oh, brother. There is some talk of Stephen looking on proudly from his own personal heaven, while he possesses his lesbian best friend and uses her body to lose his virginity. Oh, wait, that's The Lovely Bones. Sorry. A propos of nothing, we then see some rehearsal footage of Bobby and Molly [incidentally, this may be my favourite website ever of any pro skater, save Nicky's mad blog - Carrie], and Coleen thinks he's looking "tentative". She would know.

After that, there's another VT, this time of tips from the ladies on how to succeed. Danniella suggests smiling lots and giving Bunto a big wink. Tana advises them to remember to breathe, because she didn't, while Hayley says that they should all imitate her giant cheeseface. Since she was told not to do that by the judges, I can only assume this is outright sabotage on her part. I approve. Ben then announces that 61% of the participants in an online poll think the men's performances will be better than the women's. Coleen thinks the men have been phoning in to influence the vote, apparently having missed the part where it was an online poll. Pay attention, Coleen.

Next VT: Chris and Jayne rehearsing a number with the pro skaters. Except Jayne's not there, having been marooned by the bad weather. Chris is tense, but rehearsals begin anyway. Some time later, Jayne arrives in a cab looking a bit guilty, and says that Chris is a great timekeeper and does not care for lateness. On the ice, she notes that Chris is skating and dancing while holding a cup of coffee: "for once, a man is multitasking." Snerk. Then there is some choreography work with the celebrities, and some talk about how Jeremy is playing catch-up because of his injury. Jayne refers to Chris as a worrier, and cites the lines in his brow as evidence, with her own smooth forehead as evidence that she in turn is not a worrier. I am very sure that "lack of worrying" is the reason she looks like that. Jayne suggests some amendments to the routine, and Chris frets some more about being ready on time. [I freakin' love La Torvill. She is aces when Chris isn't there hogging screen time. - Carrie]

Now Coleen is standing by the rehearsal ice while Jayne and Chris are giving Jeremy and Susie (I think) some advice. Coleen hollers at them from the side, and thanks to the magic of live TV, they don't respond initially, leaving Coleen to wave and holler a bit more. Hee. When they eventually arrive, Coleen asks if the boys are shaping up better than the girls, but Chris refuses to be drawn. He thinks the ladies out there will enjoy the show as the men will be strutting their stuff. Dancing on Ice: not currently courting the lesbian audience. Chris asks Coleen when she's getting back onto the ice, while she attempts to throw back to Ben in the studio, who teases the appearance of the judges in the second half before we disappearance into the ad break.

On our return, Coleen's back and Hilary [Dr Hilary - Carrie] and Alexandra are on the training rink. Ben reveals that Hilary [Dr Hilary - Carrie] has a huge bruise from his hip to his thigh, but thankfully we aren't shown it. After this, the ice panel (minus Robin, again) [who presumably has better things to do than this shit - Carrie] are welcomed into the studio, with a special welcome being extended to Bunto, who loved her first show last week and having the dancers right there in front of her. She says that she's loved the show for so long, she feels like she's been part of it for ages anyway. The judges are then shown some rehearsal footage for the first time (except Karen, as assistant coach, has seen this all before): Bobby is first up, and Jason is annoyed that he doesn't seem to be doing anything. Karen says that they're playing on his strengths: "his presentation skills and his musicality, not his skating". Heh. Nicky thinks Bobby has a wobbly core, possibly "a wobbly everything". Kieron is next, and is worried about doing his lift. Bunto thinks he should get down the gym, though Jason thinks his lift looks competent enough in rehearsals - and then tells Karen to make sure he knows he has to lift his chin up. Hee, again. Karen says that Kieron fell earlier in the week and it's knocked his confidence, and Nicky says that he shouldn't worry about doing the lifts - that when he skated with Karen, they did traditional ice skating without the lifts (Karen starts to roll her eyes magnificently here) and that if you can skate well...and then he reads the room and trails off. "Let it go," Karen tells him. Ha!
[Poor Nicky. I feel a bit sad for him. He has been disappointed in life. - Carrie]

From here, we go to what I assume will be a regular slot, where one of the contestants gets to "judge the judges" - this week it's Sharron and Pavel. Sharron says that she tries to take it all as good criticism, and go away and work on it, but her little girl was very upset. I hope that isn't a euphemism. Sharron adds that her little girl had to go to school on Monday and deal with the aftermath and everyone's all "Jason! How could you!" and...isn't this something Sharron should've thought of when she signed up? I don't really see how any of that is Jason's fault. Jason says that hopefully his comments gave her a clear indicator of what she looked like, and hopefully she will go away and work on her performance, and when she comes back, she will "not look like a tree." Coleen advises Sharron to use her branch-like arms to smack Jason. Bunto is asked what she thinks of Jason's comments. Does it matter? She says that he pushes it a bit sometimes. Nicky says that from a still image point of view, it was funny, but Jason pushed it a bit too far when he said she didn't look human. He advises Sharron to find the time to get to ballet class. Jason says it will make a "tree-mendous" difference. I'm a sucker for a bad pun, I really am. Summing-up time: Emma can't wait to see the boys in lycra on Sunday, Jason agrees, but also wants to find a standout guy who will thrill them with something spectacular. Nicky is looking forward to Gary and Danny, and Karen throws Mikey into the mix, thinking that there are several good men this year but no one standout.

And that's it! It was not the most exciting show in the world, admittedly, but I think we all learned something. Check back here later for Carrie's recap of Sunday's live show!

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