Sunday, 21 February 2010

Starting together. Or, indeed, apart.

Top 8: 21st February 2010

Last week: it was Valentine's Day, and there was romance in the air! Well, manufactured and entirely hollow romance, admittedly. Which is about right for Valentine's Day, surely? Michael Ball joined the judging panel, and Carrie was consequently very excited. Hayley got 26.0, the highest score of the series, so there was obviously love to spare in her direction, but the love died for Dr Hilary Jones, and he was sent home. This week: we're halfway through the competition (THANK GOD), and pretty much everyone who remains is trying to paint him- or herself as the dark horse of the contest, which has led to the editors sticking the William Tell Overture on the soundtrack and your recapper wondering which of the remaining contestants has the most equine features. It's something I'll be considering over the course of tonight's episode, anyway. Oh, and Gary Lucy is injured. Hooray!

Post-titles, Phil and Holly are in the house, and Holly's looking very Dita Von Teese this week. Phil says that it's a shame that they don't have a doctor in the house any more, due to the number of injuries this week. Holly gives Amy Williams a slightly patronising shout-out for her Winter Olympic gold, while someone in the audience picks precisely the wrong time to shuffle in his seat as the director cuts to a camera right next to him, and all this talk of Olympic gold is the perfect opportunity to introduce Jayne and Chris, who will be doing a routine to 'Haven't Met You Yet' by X Factor favourite Mickey Bubbles. I'm not a big fan of Jayne's blue and pink dress, which I think is all wrong for her colouring, but it's a pleasure to see them as always, though frankly after watching footage on YouTube of Robin Cousins back when he was skating in the Olympics, my expectations of the sort of skating I expect this show to deliver me have increased significantly. [You're welcome, sweetie! Head Judge Robin Cousins is wonderful. - Carrie]

The audience goes wild, and Phil and Holly beckon Jayne and Chris over to join them. First things first, we learn of this week's required element, which is an individual opening and closing position, which the contestants must invent for themselves. Chris says that it's been fascinating to see what they've come up with, as there have been some very distinctive ideas of what constitutes as an original start position. Jayne says that the real competitive spirit is coming out, and we can look forward to some great performances tonight.

The skating stars arrive: Kieron and Brianne are on first, and the "mint" costume he promised us last week appears to be that of a gay punk; Sharron and Pavel are next, with an eye-catching entrance; then Danniella and Matthew, both in searing tones of orange; then Danny and Frankie, who has a neckerchief on and is presumably off to the Grand Ole Opry after this; then Hayley and Dan, in shiny silver and white, then Not Famous Emily and Fred, who are in pink again; then Gary and Maria, who are in mint green (unless that's the costume Kieron thought he had this week?) and finally Mikey and Melanie, who are in black and silver with a lot of fringing. And as anyone who watched Strictly last year knows, you must ALWAYS beware of the fringing.

It's time for a break, but when we return, Phil promises the intro of a new guest judge, and some injury porn. Hooray!

We return, and the ice panel are in different seats again: there's a news theme to their intros, because Angela Rippon is this week's guest judge, presumably on the basis of her Come Dancing connections. Karen is still head judge, by the way. Angela says she's looking for confidence in the skating and performances, particularly in the relationship between the celebs and the pro skaters. Karen mentions that it's the 30th anniversary of Robin winning Olympic gold, and everyone applauds our absent head judge, and then she talks about "survival of the fittest", and how there aren't many fit ones left, while staring into the wrong camera. Holly congratulates Emma on the receipt of her pointless Brit award, and then we're back to Phil, who's explaining how the voting works, for anyone who's just returned from a cave somewhere in the wilderness. [Honestly, this show is a fucking farce. Robin, come back! - Carrie]

Kieron and Brianne are our first couple, and were proud of their performance from last week. This week's routine is to 'Ever Fallen In Love' by the Buzzcocks, which neither Kieron or Brianne have heard before. Seriously: what is wrong with this year's contestants? [At least they didn't tell us that they are TOO YOUNG to have heard music before the years of their birth. - Carrie] Kieron rolls off the judges' table and hits his head, but unfortunately it does not knock any music history into his brain. To educate themselves, the pair go to a Buzzcocks gig in York, where they are told that punk is about rebellion, and you seriously cannot talk about "rebellion" and then go on to talk about "ice rinks". It's just silly. Kieron and Brianne practise their routine in the mosh pit, which I'm sure is delightful for all of the aging rebels around them. Kieron says that they are not dancing ON ICE this week, but rather punkin' ON ICE. Nicky Slater is unavailable for comment at this exact moment.

Kieron and Brianne start lying poised on the ice in a crawling position, like wild felines of some description. Kieron's attempt at "punk rock", bless him, is not especially convincing, and his skating is a little shaky in parts this week - there's one lift early on in the programme where he appears to lose his grip on Brianne and almost drops her (though it looks a bit more stable in the replay, so perhaps I was just overly attentive to that bit), and he has a bit of a stumble while skating backwards. Still, there is some air guitar which he seems to be enjoying an awful lot, and they end by hurling themselves at the panel's desk before sliding down the sides back onto the ice. Gubba makes a lot of inappropriate comments about Brianne's attire. Scores: Emma 4.0, Nicky 4.0, Angela 4.0, Jason 3.5, Karen 4.0 for a total of 19.5. Kieron is thrilled, but suspects the scores are just for his hair. Phil asks him about the stumble, and Kieron says he thought he was a goner, but thanks Brianne for being so supportive and encouraging. Phil rolls his eyes at Kieron's lack of punk knowledge, and Chris praises Kieron for coming out and really attacking the performance.

Holly's with the judges, and Karen says it was a great performance - she liked the speed and energy, and thinks it was one of his best performances yet. Jason says it would've been a 4.0 but for the stumble, but he loved the performance, and particularly the start and end positions. He even thought Kieron's flaily limbs worked for this performance, but cautions him to be careful with putting Brianne down after the lifts. Angela says that she used to have a boyfriend with hair like that, and awards Kieron her "gold star for achievement", because she's amazed that he's achieved this level of skating and performance without any prior experience. Oooh, Angela's done her homework, everyone! Clearly a journalist to the core. [All the best journalists have gold stars to give out. - Carrie]

Sharron and Pav are next. Chris says that he doesn't think Sharron likes uptempo routines, but they need to show her diversity - so this week's routine is to 'I Want Candy'. Sharron doesn't really like the song, but has at least heard of it. She's a bit reluctant to dance this week's routine, and cites her old swimming injuries and her bad back for her trouble picking up the steps. Rehearsals go slowly, but Chris and Jayne are determined to make the routine work for her. Jayne says that they made a few simplifications to the routine on Monday, but then they discover that Sharron has changed the music and now wants to do a slow piece. Sharron says she wants to do something less taxing, which is surely the kiss of death on this show? She sulks a bit in rehearsals, and in all honesty, this is not a flattering VT for her. Chris says that he thinks she's playing it safe.

They begin with Sharron off the ice and Pavel on it, and 'Stay' by Shakespear's Sister kicks in. Pavel lifts her from her standing position onto the ice, and off they go. Sharron's face is again one of grim determination, and her leg lines are not, in all honesty, amazing. Someone has done a truly horrendous editing job on the track, by the way. As if not winning Popstar To Operastar weren't enough of a kick in the face for Marcella Detroit, ITV has to go and do this too. Sharron does seem to spend quite a lot of the routine on Pav's shoulders or in his arms. Scores are in: Emma 3.0, Nicky 3.5, Angela 3.0, Jason 3.0, Karen 3.5 for a total of 16.0. Phil addresses the controversy of the music switch: Sharron clarifies that she really wanted to do the original programme, but her shoulder couldn't quite live up to it after doing a fast number last week. She also adds that by "less taxing" she meant in reference to her shoulder, rather than in general. Chris says that the performance was good, when the mitigating circumstances are taken into account. Nicky is similarly impressed: he liked the consistent speed, and the extensions coming out of the lifts and movements. He thinks it worked overall, but there were no surprises. He hopes that she'll do something more surprising in future, because sometimes being pushed by your coach is good for you. Emma rather snippily says that she thought Sharron would be one of the most competitive and yet here she is changing her routine because she can't do it - she thinks Sharron's skating has improved, but her routines are getting very samey, and thinks Sharron should listen to Chris and Jayne if she's still here after this week. I think Emma was just stroking her random Brit award when Sharron was explaining why she couldn't do the routine she was given.

After another ad break, Phil says it's been a good week for Danniella Westbrook, because it turns out Sam didn't kill Archie. No, bloody Stacey did, and that was such a fucking swizz. IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN JACK OR RONNIE. Although maybe my opinions are coloured because those were the two I had money on. Because they were the most dramatically satisfying storyline prospects, but apparently, those in the know at Elstree decided that Stacey should have MOAR DRAMA in her life, because being pregnant and bipolar isn't enough. ANYway, Danniella was thrilled to be called the dark horse of the contest by Karen last week - she thinks Hayley has set the bar really high, but it just gives the rest of them something to work towards. Their song for this week is 'You Don't Have To Say You Love Me', and Danniella says that they're aiming for some of Dusty's inherent sense of drama. They've created a character for her as an awkward, clingy girl, and she's also been given a taxing lift to do this week: given her history of having her nose rebuilt, Danniella is worried about having her face so close to the ice, because if her nose breaks, they probably can't re-set it. Eeep. Full marks to her for addressing that side of her history, though, rather than just trying to paint over it in broad strokes as I thought they might've done.

She begins by clinging onto the entrance tunnel and emoting fiercely, before skating over to Matthew and glomping him. It's quite a nicely comical routine, with him trying to get away from her, and her being all sulky and jittery. Her skating's really come on, too - she's very smooth OVER THE ICE. There are some lovely lifts, and Danniella's acting her heart out. The float spin at the end doesn't quite go to plan - she sort of bumps over the ice a few times before he manages to get her airborne, but when he finally does, it looks great. Gubba makes a random Fatal Attraction reference which doesn't really make sense in the given context. Scores: Emma 4.5, Nicky 4.5, Angela 5.0, Jason 5.0, Karen 5.0 for a total of 24.0. Danniella thinks she ate too many roast potatoes today, because Matt couldn't get her off the ground. Everyone laughs. Danniella says she's never worried about anything Chris and Jayne give her to do, because she knows they trust that she can do it. Hmmmm. I wonder if that was aimed at anyone in particular? Chris is clearly desperate to talk, but Jayne gets in first: she's impressed that Danniella managed to do the drama, the comedy and the skating. Angela is still giggling, and loves that Danniella told a story, and was graceful throughout with wonderful transitions. She says that they were all willing her to get up off the ice at the end. Nicky says that a lot of Danniella's skating is good, but she needs to be careful with her crossovers - he docked 0.5 because she couldn't get off the ice at the end, which seems more like something he should be docking Matthew for, but hey. Jason admires her attitude - he loves that she will give anything a go, and it was a committed performance. He says that it could've been a 5.5 if the end had gone a little smoother. Danniella is overawed.

Skate-off survivor Danny is next - his recurring score of 17.0 is brought up again, and he says that while the skate-off knocked his confidence, the tougher the battle, the sweeter the victory. He's skating to 'Sherry' by Frankie Valli, and does at least appear to have heard of it, even though he's not entirely sure it's the best song for him. He looks very ruddy faced in rehearsals, and then he and Frankie go off to see Jersey Boys in the West End to get some inspiration. [At least two of the Jersey Boys are utterly barking mad in real life. It is a shame we did not see more of that. - Carrie] The Four Seasons give him a natty red jacket and teach him how to swing it Sixties-style. Frankie swoons from the sidelines. Naturally, having met some actors in a theatre, he now feels READY FOR ANYTHING, as is always the case in this situation.

They begin back to back with their arms interlinked, and he lifts her up in the air while she kicks her legs, then he puts her down and she slides underneath him. There's a bit of business before they skate off while miming punting a barge, apparently. The dancing is a little bit stuttery, but Danny is at least attacking it with a bit of gusto, while Frankie does her best manic pixie face. They finish with a lift where she rolls around his shoulders and into his arms before he drops her gently to the floor. Now, will he get past 17.0 this week? Time to find out: Emma 4.0, Nicky 2.5, Angela 3.5, Jason 3.5, Jaren 3.5 for a total of...17.0. Doh! [AAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAH! - Carrie] Phil is outraged that Nicky scored him 2.5, but an optimistic Danny points out that at least their overall score hasn't gone down. Chris says that Danny really gets into his performances and puts a lot of time and effort into it, and he's just wishing the scores could go up. Holly is with the judgerinos, and asks Nicky and Emma about the discrepancy in their scores: Emma loves that Danny takes criticism on board and goes away and works on things, and she's pleased that the cheeky chappy in him is back. Nicky hates giving him such a low mark, but felt compelled to do so because the elements are separated, he's slow OVER THE ICE, and he's not skating out. Someone boos, and Nicky says that they can boo all they like, but it's Danny's fault he had to give such a low score. This just causes the boos to grow louder, and Holly says she'll have to cut him off there because he's not popular. Hee! Danny says that if he's here next week, they'll take Nicky's advice on board and try to be more fluid and less contained next week.

After another ad break, Phil's in the audience with Jon Culshaw. Now there's someone deserving of some booing. Hayley and Dan are on next. Everyone cried watching them being all lovey-dovey last week, and gave them uniformly excellent scores This week they have a more jazzy number in the form of 'Get Happy' - a song that Hayley's sung a lot in her career as a STAR OF STAGE AND SCREEN. They're starting on the judges' desk, kicking their feet. Hayley says that they started messing around and ended up making up a little section, which they showed to Chris and Jayne, and they loved it and decided to incorporate it. Hayley thinks the competition is tough, and thinks Gary and Danniella are putting up the biggest fight, but she wants to prove she can be good, goshdarnit.

They begin, as promised, with a bit of leg-scissoring before trotting gleefully onto the ice. It's a really fun programme to watch, with some lovely lifts, and all very smoothly executed, aside from a small stumble during a step sequence. They end impressively, with a swooping lift of the kind that almost brought them down the other week (Gubba calls it a "magic carpet ride", and says it's appropriate because the Whistons sell carpets, apparently), and then she pinches his bum and he lies down on the ice, while she skates over to him and perches delicately on top of him, just resting on one arm and her knees. Very nice indeed. Scores: Emma 5.5, Nicky 5.5, Angela 5.5, Jason 4.5, Karen 5.0 for a total of 26.0 for the second week running. Phil asks if there's extra pressure on her because people think she's the one to beat: she says she's feeling the pressure because everyone else is so good, and she feels that she has to raise the bar every week. Chris says that they're never complacent when they come in on a Monday - they "work their tails off [...] and it shows."

Holly asks Jason why he gave Hayley a lower score than he gave Danniella. Jason points out that Danniella didn't mess up, whereas Hayley did. He says that he loves Hayley's attitude and work ethic, but he scores her hard because he knows what she's capable of. [Jason Gardiner, relative marker. Twat. - Carrie] Hayley says that's entirely fair. Jason adds that it's not a one-horse race at all. Karen says that she docked 0.5 for the stumble, but normally Hayley is foot perfect, which just goes to show how easily something like this can happen to anyone.

Leaderboard: Hayley and Dan in pole position, Danniella and Matthew second, Kieron and Brianne in the middle, Danny and Frankie fourth, and Sharron and Pav at the bottom. Phil reminds us that our votes can make a difference, y'know.

After yet more ads, we're back once more. Phil's in the audience, with Dean Gaffney standing behind him looking a bit bored. Not Famous Emily and Fred are next, and Chris was surprised - but happy for her - that Emily wasn't in the skate-off. She's very excited by this week's music choice: Alexandra BURKE's 'Bad Boys'. However, she's worried about having to bring out the schmexiness required for it, because she doesn't feel sexy or elegant. But wait, who's this? It's Alexandra BURKE herself! Emily is very excited, and hugs her gleefully. Fred is typically stoic about the whole thing. Alexandra offers performance tips, saying that she doesn't have an alter-ego, but she does call herself "The Beast" on stage, a tip she presumably picked up from her pal Beyoncé. Emily thinks this is the best advice ever, possibly because Alexandra gave her complete licence to flirt with Fred as much as possible. Emily is very star-struck, perhaps because Alexandra is Famous, unlike Emily. [I did love this bit. "Fred, I hugged her! Did you hug her?" "Um, yeah." - Carrie]

They begin with Fred lying on his front, with Emily reclined on top of him - he then rolls back and she slides over him. She's having a bit of trouble marrying the required amount of sass with the trademark Dancing on Ice cheesy grin , though. She's still a little bit uneasy out there, with some of the lifts looking a little clunky, and the dancing itself lacking definition. They do pull off a pretty decent tabletop lift at the end, though, and finish back in the position that they began in, so I appreciate the symmetry of it, if nothing else. Have her scores improved this week? Emma 3.5, Nicky 3.5, Angela 4.0, Jason 3.0, Karen 3.5 for a total of 17.5 - so yes, it's her highest score yet! Emily cops to being starstruck by Alexandra, and says that her advice was wonderful. Jayne is really pleased with how Emily developed over the week and got over her embarrassment. Fred thought he saw a little Alex out there tonight. Perhaps Emily should've kept her legs together then. Karen thought Emily gave her best performance yet, and particularly liked the tabletop lift. Angela thought it was an impressive performance, though she would've liked to see more sexiness and raunchiness: "You've got it, girl, go and sell it!" It's very odd to hear Angela Rippon saying that. Jason didn't think there was enough sexiness or raunch in it, and thought her unique move was "the ugliest thing [he's] ever seen", and basically slates the entire thing. Oh well, never mind. If I were Emily, I'd just be thinking, "Suck it, bitches, Angela Rippon likes me, and she is AWESOME."

Gary and Maria are up next, and Chris thinks that if Gary continues to push himself, he could be in the running for the top spot. They're skating to Westlife's wretched cover of the wretched Daughtry original 'What About Now', and they have anasty tumble in rehearsals. Gary says that when he got home, WHERE HE HAS A DAUGHTER, he iced the injury as he was told to, but when he woke up the next day, he was as stiff as a board. [FNAR. - Carrie] Sharon the physio says that he's sprained one of his ligaments, which has put all of his muscles around it into spasm. Gary's upset to have missed valuable training time, but is determined to turn it out on the night.

Oh look, Gary's daughter's in the audience with an "I LOVE YOU DADDY" sign, and the cameraman just happened to get a lovely close-up - what are the odds? Their starting position is Gary doing a side stand with Maria perched beneath his armpit. Lovely! He's doing his best "serious, emotive" face, using all the skills he learned on Hollyoaks and Footballers' Wives. His dancing's still a bit laboured, and it's not the best programme of the night, but there are, again, some nice lifts in there, and it's probably the best job he's done of selling a routine thus far. Marking relatively, I mean. He's still nowhere near the standard of Hayley, Danniella, or even Mikey. Scores: Emma: 4.5, Nicky 5.0, Angela 4.0, Jason 4.5, Karen 4.5 for a total of 22.5 - his highest score yet. Phil thinks he's a completely different bloke (still not an interesting one, sadly), and Gary says that the routine was fun and he really enjoyed it. Maria is very proud of him for everything he's achieved this week. Jayne recalls the slam when he fell, and how scary it all was, but she thinks he's coped admirably with everything, and she loves the emotion he put into it. Gary thanks Sharon the physio for her amazing work. Emma loves the way he throws Maria around with ease, and he managed to tell a story with ease. She even thought he was sexy tonight. Steady on there, Bunto. "Even in the green?" Gary asks. Oh, shut up, you preening ninny. Nicky liked that Gary was attacking his skating and going for his lifts - he isn't consistent yet, but he was SKATING OUT, so he thinks Gary is stepping up week by week. Phil points out that Gary's daughter, WHO IS A DAUGHTER, was enraptured by the whole thing.

After some tedious filler revolving around a competition and some thirty-second slots in which people try to sell us stuff, we're back for our final couple of the night: Mikey and Melanie. Last week, Bunto wanted him to get his confidence back. This week, he's dancing to 'Ring Of Fire' by Johnny Cash, which he's quite excited about, though I am not - not because I don't like Johnny Cash (I do), but just because they're really going to hammer the Western part of this into the ground, aren't they? Sure enough: Mikey and Melanie go linedancing to give themselves something interesting to do in their VT, and are shown how to do "the tush push". Mel thinks they have a bit of yee-haw in their step.

They begin in a rather unfortunate position, with Mikey reclining and Mel between his legs, holding onto his hands and leaning back. It does kind of look like he's going to the toilet. There's a definite air of linedancing ON ICE to their programme, though it's charming enough, and they're both hamming it up for all they're worth. It's a little rough around the edges, I think, but it's still an entertaining routine. Like Not Famous Emily and Fred, they end back in their starting position. Scores: Emma 4.0, Nicky 3.0, Angela 3.5, Jason 4.0, Karen 4.0 for a total of 18.5, the same as last week. Phil asks if the line dancing helped, and Mikey's all "um, not really". Heh. However, he liked having a persona to adopt, which gave him something to focus on. Mel is very proud of his work, as is Jayne, who agrees that being in character helped him, because it stopped him thinking too much about the skating. Angela would've liked to give him a higher mark, but thought it was lacklustre and underperformed, at which point some shitheads in the audience had the audacity to boo Angela Rippon. They will need to see me afterwards for a stern talking-to. Karen thought it was fun and showed Mikey's personality, and they're almost back to where they were a few weeks ago. Unusually, this is a good thing. Jason loves that Mikey doesn't mind looking a bit daft, though it's annoying that he's still letting simple steps trip him up, but he disagrees with Angela - he thought Mikey had a lot of yee-haw out there.

That's everyone, so let's look at the leaderboard: Hayley and Dan at the top, Danniella and Matthew second, Gary and Maria third, Kieron and Brianne fourth, Mikey and Melanie fifth, Emily and Fred sixth, Danny and Frankie seventh, and Sharron and Pav in last place. There's a video recap of everyone's programmes from this evening, and Phil and Holly remind us of the numbers to call should we wish to vote for our favourites. (I'm abstaining from the vote, incidentally, since my experiences on So You Think You Can Dance tended to involve everyone I voted for ending up in the bottom two. We'll be back after Wild At Heart to see who's in the skate-off...

The Skate-Off

Earlier! These eight couples danced ON ICE for our votes. I didn't vote, therefore they completely wasted their time - right? Two of them must face the skate-off, but which two?

Phil and Holly return, and bust out their usual trick of telling us that we have mere nanoseconds to cast a final phone vote, and then not actually leaving enough time for any normal person to actually do so. I still can't make sense of that.

Recap of earlier: Kieron looked like Angela's ex-boyfriend (Angela, darling, I think we need to talk about a few things), and despite his stumble, he thinks he had an amazing experience out there. Sharron committed the cardinal sin of changing her music and incurred the wrath of Bunton, but she's just glad she hasn't knocked herself out through injury. Danniella was dramatic and hilarious, and got reams of praise from Jason for her efforts. Backstage, she said that she didn't mind looking a bit psychotic, which is fortunate. Danny got 2.5 from Nicky, and then Nicky got booed by the audience and got very flustered. Frankie is strangely mute on the subject this week, which is almost scarier than when she gets angry. Hayley had a wee stumble, but was warned by Jason that he judges her harshly because he knows how good she is. Backstage, Hayley says that he was entirely right to do so because she needs to improve. Not Famous Emily danced to Alexandra BURKE's 'Bad Boys' and got her best score yet. Backstage, she felt gently elated but was aware of the need for improvement, and Fred was entirely uninterested as usual. Gary told a story this week and Bunto thought he was sexy, and he was very pleased with his highest score so far. Mikey and Mel went country and western, but Karen wanted him to try harder lifts, and backstage, he expressed awareness of the need to reach the next level - Mel promised a different Mikey if they made it through to next week.

Back in the studio, and Holly's with the judges for some final thoughts. Karen is asked if Robin will be impressed with the improvement on his return: she thinks yes, as a group they're getting tighter, but the gap at the top is getting closer. [He will not, however, be impressed with his fellow judges' behaviour in his absence, I suspect. - Carrie] Angela loved being so close to the action, and thinks it looks much different there than it does at home, and she thinks you have a better view of the glitches and errors from that seat, which is why the public sometimes quibble the scores. Well, that and the fact that the public, in general, are a bunch of grumpy malcontents.

After a teaser for the still-rubbish Dancing On Ice Friday, Phil's ready with the results *touches ear*. The first set of couples guaranteed a place in next week's show are: Kieron and Brianne, Hayley and Daniel, Gary and Maria, Danniella and Matthew and Mikey and Melanie - leaving Sharron and Pavel, Danny and Frankie, and Not Famous Emily and Fred having to wait until after the break to hear their fate. Well, the person who updated Wikipedia during Wild At Heart to say that this week's skate-off would be between Emily and Fred and Mikey and Melanie was wrong - possibly because the lines were still very much open at that point. Wikipedia is a strange and scary place when you think about it too much, or indeed at all.

Adverts. I know that Heart FM want us to think that they play such an exciting variety of music that we'll all be dancing in the workplace, but I'd prefer it if they didn't suggest that the music is in fact so exciting that it stops doctors and nurses from attending to the people around them who are probably in need of medical attention.

Back in the studio, and Phil has the name of the final couple who are guaranteed to survive this week, and that couple is...Danny and Frankie. Which means it's Sharron and Pavel against Not Famous Emily and Fred in the skate-off, which is pretty much what I thought it would be, even before I saw this week's show. Holly asks Jayne and Chris what advice they have for Sharron, and Chris says that she's an Olympic competitor, and will know what to do. Jayne says that Emily needs to dig deep to find her inner bad girl and impress the judges.

Sharron and Pavel return to the ice, and reprise their routine from earlier. Sharron looks a lot happier this time, perhaps because she thinks she might be about to go home and finally rest her aching muscles in a nice warm bath. One of the lifts is a little stumbly, but aside from that, they deliver a slightly better performance than they did earlier, largely because she just seems more relaxed. They skate over to Phil, and he asks if they wish they'd done the original routine now. Sharron says no, because they probably wouldn't even have made it to the live show if they'd continued with it, but she just wants to thank Pavel for basically being wonderful, and if this is it, she's had a great time.

Not Famous Emily and Fred skate back out, and I think Emily's looking a little sassier this time around - perhaps because she's already done this routine for the judges once, so she's less tense about it this time. It's still not a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination, but it's definitely an improvement, and I think she's pretty much a dead cert to be saved by the judges. At the end, Kate Robbins can be seen in the audience jumping up and down and clapping, which is sweet. Phil asks if they changed anything about it this time, and Emily doesn't hear him at first, but says that she just gave it as much attitude as she could, and she really enjoyed it this time - and she knew she'd have to face the skate-off eventually.

The couples head back out onto the ice to face the judges, who offer up their verdicts: Emma votes to save Emily for her determination. Nicky saves Emily, because it "would've looked fine on MTV" (?) [at which point I spluttered and shouted, "WHAT?", so I am glad it wasn't just me - Carrie], Angela says that it's not just skating on ice, it's DANCING ON ICE, and saves Emily [well done, Angela, for winning whatever bet it was that got you to mock Nicky on live television - Carrie]. Jason saves Emily too, and Karen makes it a clean sweep. She and Fred skate off, with Emily casting Sharron a forlorn look behind her. Sharron tells Phil that she's had a great time, and again says that Pavel is an amazing partner. She says that the other contestants are great skaters and fantastic people, and she'll continue going down to the Swindon rink to practise her skating even though she's not in the competition any more. So, er, look out for her.

Sharron's best bits: a lot of tumbling over and being tall, and giggling with Pavel, some gradual improvement, presence ON THE ICE, the terrifying uptempo number, and that's it. Back in the studio, Pavel is sad that they have to part, but they have had a tremendous JOURNEY, and seeing Sharron start to enjoy it was the best part. Sharron says that skating is a great sport and a great way of getting fit. Chris says they've been a pleasure to work with, and thanks Sharron for being a part of it.

Next week: no theme is given, but Katherine Jenkins will be here for a performance with Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber. [BUT ROBIN WILL BE BACK. I am clinging to this. - Carrie] I can't exactly say I'm going to be on tenterhooks for the rest of the week waiting for that. Anyway, Carrie will be here next week with all the terrifying details, so make sure you join her!


Livilla said...

Awwwww, damn it. I hate live performances. It's like the camera people forget what the show is called.

And heh, judging from Phillip's twitter, that excuse about the shoulder is just that: a massive, flimsy excuse. Oops.

Liz said...

Dancing on Ice Friday needs to take lessons (a lot of lessons) from Claudia and It Takes Two!

Steven said...

Livilla - I'm sure Nicky can remind them!

Liz - Indeed. You can tell from the set design that they're clearly aiming for ITT, but I think the crucial problem is that whereas Claudia has demonstrable enthusiasm for the show she's fanzining, Ben and Coleen just seem so uninterested in it all, so it just falls a bit flat. That, and they're basically trying to squeeze a whole week's worth of ITT segments into about 24 minutes, which is a terrible idea to begin with.

ht said...

"Gary's daughter, WHO IS A DAUGHTER..." - quite possibly my favourite quote ever. Good work chaps.