Sunday, 14 March 2010

Loose props

PROPS WEEK AT LAST, HELL YEAH!
Tx 14th March 2010

Last week! Hayley and Dan were awesome on Movie Week, Kieron and Brianne did a Pink Panther striptease of sorts, and Danny resorted to taking his top off. Meanwhile, Gary was dull as anything yet Mikey left the competition. This week is PROPS WEEK, FINALLY. And we can barely contain our excitement. Apologies for any typos, by the way - I've torn the ligaments in my right hand and cannot actually type with it, so it's a long, slow process. A bit like this series, really. Badoom-TISH!

Titles!

Oh dear GOD the I HEART YOU DADDY banner is out in force already, and we've not had any skating yet. Gary Lucy, you are an egregious vote-mongering gimp. Phil and Holly welcome us, and then ask us to welcome Jayne, Chris and two cowboy hats. No, seriously, that's actually what Holly says. [And they say television is dumbing down! - Steve] And the studio audience are so stupid they do so. Then something really weird happens with the sound - the applause fades down but you can still hear it in the background, even though nobody's clapping. Anyway, Jayne and Chris are doing a Western-tinged routine to A Little Less Conversation. Jayne is not happy with the hat tricks, I would guess, and Chris fancies himself as a cowboy.

Phil tells them they are show-offs, and then introduces the customary VT explaining what a prop is. This year's roster consists of a chair, a mic stand, an umbrella, a cane and a hat. I miss the wheeled suitcase and the table. Jayne and Chris confess that they don't really like skating with props either. Apparently all the couples have been struggling this week. Probably not as much as Gareth Gates, though, who had the hardest time in the history of ice-dance with his props, as I'm sure you'll remember.

So here are our skating stars - Gary Lucy, who IS A FATHER, and Maria; Danniella and Matthew; Kieron and Brianne; Hayley and Dan; and Danny and Frankie.

And obviously then it's time for a break.

When we come back, we meet the Ice Panel - Robin is already writing notes for some reason, and Emma is dancing around in her seat, the weirdo. Holly says to Robin, "This is one of my FAVOURITE weeks," and he just interjects, "Yep," in a really flat, sarcastic way, which is bizarrely brilliant. He says that the couples need to interact with their prop, and the skating takes a bit of a backseat. He also sounds out a warning to Hayley - last week doesn't matter any more and all five couples have to prove themselves.

Phil mocks Jason's peculiar sartorial taste again and then finally gets round to introducing Gary. 18 minutes in, and we get our first contestant, with Schofe warning Jason, "He's got a big stick." This is a family show, Schofield! Less of the filth. Last week, Gary didn't actually manage to do the required element, so he hopes to do better with the cane, which he seems to think is a baton. Maria informs us that canes do not listen, which I also tend to find is a recurring problem with inanimate objects. And once again Gary's inability to move with any kind of grace and coordination is creating difficulty in rehearsal. To his credit, though, he has decided to put in the spin (that he failed to do last week) just to show that he can do it. Well, better later than never, eh, Gary?

They're skating to Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick, and have two silver glittery canes. They begin with some shoulder-shrugs and Gary couldn't look more embarrassed if he tried, which he wouldn't, because trying is anathema to him. There's a weird bit where Maria does some disco-dancing by herself while Gary does semaphore at her. Well, at least it wasn't as dull as it has been previously. Damning with faint praise, perhaps. Scores - 4.5s from everyone except Jason, who gives 4.0, for a total of 22.0. Gary tells Phil that the canes are his foes, and it is really difficult to get them to move in a line, and everything was better in rehearsal WHINE WHINE WHINE DID I TELL YOU I HAVE A DAUGHTER? Chris is pleased Gary put the spin in, just for his self-confidence. Robin says there were some major timing issues in rehearsal, and Gary did well to save himself from a couple of trips. Jason says Gary has upped his game, but there were some synchro issues, though he applauds him for adding the spin. Nicky says it lacked commitment and that it was "Ian Dury and the Blockheads meets Fred Astaire". What? [I swear I'm only understanding about one word in every twenty Nicky says this year. - Steve] Then he and Jason start bickering again so Holly has to break them up AGAIN.

Phil and Holly introduce the next bit with a little skit about Mothers' Day - he wishes his mum a happy day thus saving on the expense of a card. Holly looks genuinely outraged. Next up to skate are Danniella and Matthew, who had to skate off last week against Mikey and Mel, and were surprised to survive. This week, they have to dance with a chair ON WHEELS ON ICE. Their choreography this week seems to be living out some of Christopher Dean's perverse fantasies - he clearly knows the characters he wants them to play before he's even spoken to them. "Hmm, She's Got The Look - what do you think she might be?" he asks Danniella. Before she responds, he suggests, "What about a secretary, that's very prim and proper to begin with?" He then explains how he wants her to let her hair down (literally). Meanwhile back on planet earth, Danniella and Matthew are struggling with the chair. She throws it all over the place, and there are clunks as it crashes into the hoardings and wheels ping off.

First off, can we please just establish how amazing Danniella's breasts are looking tonight? Even better than Holly's, I think. And this routine is utter and absolute FILTH. [Indeed. I loved it. - Steve] She's fantasing about her boss, or something, and smouldering at Matt and the camera over the top of her glasses. And she does an admirable job of letting her hair down as she flies across the ice in that damned chair. The routine finishes a little behind the music as they get the float spin nailed, and then Tony Gubba clearly needs a cold shower as he recaps the routine for us. Scores - straight 5.5s for a total of 27.5.

Danniella has been panicking about the chair all week. Matthew reveals that the chair is called Scarlett. Jayne says that doing things with a chair is different from doing things without a chair. Chris jokes (?) that Danniella is well suited to work with a chair because she likes sitting down. Emma enthuses about Danniella's lines; Robin says that even sitting down, Danniella's feet look lovely and she's taking care of detail. Karen enjoyed watching the character develop over the week. Schofe presents Danniella with a bill for all the chairs she broke in practice. She bites her lip cutely.

Last week, Kieron and Brianne were adorable, pink and camp. This week, Chris and Jayne play them 'The Great Pretender', and Kieron asks, "Why do I know that voice?" Chris looks bemused and replies, "Because it's Freddie Mercury?" And Kieron and Brianne learn that their prop is a mic stand on a rounded stand. Part of Kieron's routine is to sing the words along with the song, which is the cue for a funny montage of him singing it in a variety of situations over the course of the week.

Sure enough, Kieron's doing a Stars In Their Eyes version of Freddie Mercury ON ICE, and this is actually a very appealing routine. The skating looks really good too, and though Brianne's pulling some odd faces, maybe she too is in character of some description. They use half the mic stand as a cane as well as keeping it in situ, which shows a bit of creativity. Scores - 4.5s from everyone but Emma, who gives 5.0, for a total of 23.0. Kieron is very happy, even though he still cannot sing. Chris is pleased that Kieron sold it, and Jayne has commented on how strong his skating is now. Nicky loved the commitment to the character, but thinks Gary had a harder task. Well, that's not Kieron's fault, is it? [And still not nearly as hard as Gareth Gates' props from series three, I'm sure. - Steve] He then tells him off for chucking Brianne back onto THE ICE rather than placing her gently. Jason says Kieron's turned it up a notch, and though he'd like to have seen more done with the mic stand, he knows that's not Kieron's fault. That's very reasonable of Jason, isn't it? Seriously, Nicky, when you're sounding more mental and illogical than Jason, you know you need help.

Next up, Hayley and Dan, who are going to have their work cut out to follow last week's full house. Dan was pleased that they got a standing ovation from the judges. Jayne thinks it will be a stand-out performance from all the series. They are then rather scarily enthusiastic about the umbrella they've been given to work with to the tune of Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head. Hayley is not good at throwing, and then they do a quick Chuckle Brothers skit - "To me! To you!"

And see, this is lovely and lyrical and romantic, but it's a bit...diabetes-inducingly sweet. This is the kind of routine Hayley and Dan should never do because there is just too much showbiz gloss and insincerity. Oh, look, some beaming at the camera in tandem. Yuck. There are some nice lifts, some lovely lines, but just...there's nothing wow about it, particularly after last week's Bollywood extravaganza. Scores - 5.5s from the skating judges, 5.0s from the performance judges, for 26.5. Hayley lies that she's happy with that. She says that this week hasn't been about skating, it's been about "Dolly the brolly". Dan explains what a challenge this week has been, and Chris thinks they did very well with a charming piece. Karen says they are a pleasure to watch; Emma admires their control with the prop, but she didn't have any feeling as there was no energy or any spectacular. Robin says it was a different style of skating - not spectacular - and it was a bit "nice" for him, but they did what they were asked.

Next up, Danny and Frankie. Jayne smiles nostalgically with the reminiscence about Danny's toplessness last week. This week, he has a hat and a McFly track. The hat, he and Frankie correctly note, is orange. Danny is not good at catching it. Frankie is unimpressed and has her evil pixie face on. [Isn't that just...Frankie's face? - Steve] There's a bit where the hat is balanced on Frankie's toepick and it keeps slipping off "50 or 60 per cent of the time". That bodes well.

Danny has at least Five Colours On His Waistcoat, and his "shy" acting is appalling. I'm not overly keen on the editing of All About You, either. They seem to have decided to avoid the potential problem of hat-dropping by wearing it most of the time. Oh - no, there are a few throws, which seem to have improved since rehearsal. Hang on - for all Slater's whining about Gary having the hardest prop, didn't they used to have to have two props for each couple? If they try to tell us this is the Best Series Ever, there will be consequences. Scores - 5.0s from everyone except Emma, who gives 5.5, for a total of 25.5. Danny suddenly starts talking in falsetto because he is so very excited, and then says, "Cheers, thank you," to Frankie, which tickles me. Emma thinks his dancing is getting stronger, and that it is very difficult to dance with a hat. Nicky is pleased that the skating is better and that he stayed in character throughout, but advises him to avoid hesitation before each element. Jason mocks him, then Nicky starts shouting, "FASTER! FASTER!" and suddenly it's all gone a bit strange.

While we have a recap of the five couples' routines, I must mention here that the Dancing on Ice game for the Wii is a work of pure insane genius. Clearly the most important point to note is that I have been able to fulfil my dream of skating with my Andrei, albeit in pixellated form, but I'd also like it put on record that I got a 6.0 from Karen in week 3 of competition earlier. Also, for each week of competition you get through, you UNLOCK A NEW OUTFIT TO SKATE IN. I cannot wait for Steve to come round and partner Frankie the ice pixie. [Mentally, I am already there. - Steve]

The skate-off

You know what happened earlier. You know what's going to happen next.

Titles!

The phone lines have closed, so don't try and vote now, you hear? Meanwhile, here's some backstage gossip. Gary was glad to get the spin in and would like to be in the semi-finals; Danniella can't believe that she's top of the leaderboard; Kieron wants to be in the semi-finals and prove himself; Hayley magnanimously says that Danniella deserves to be at the top of the leaderboard; Danny and Frankie say...something I don't quite get. Something about confidence, maybe?

Jason says that Danniella's performance was "...so...DIRTY" and had "hairography" and that is why he liked it. Robin refers to "Danniella THE MINX Westbrook" but singles out Kieron and Brianne for best use of prop.

Trailer for DoI Friday like anyone in the actual world ACTUALLY CARES, particularly if they're bragging about Ray Quinn and Chris Fountain as studio guests.

Phil touches his ear. You know what that means? Oh yes, here we go - the couples skating next week are - Danniella and Matthew; Hayley and Dan (Gary has a HELL of a bitchface on at this point)...advert break...Gary and Maria. Oh FUCK OFF. Seriously. FUCK RIGHT OFF. [Remember the good old days when Gary was in the skate-off? *sighs wistfully* - Steve]

So Danny and Frankie and Kieron and Brianne have to skate again, much to everyone's disgust. Jayne lies that everyone is good now; Chris says he doesn't know what else they can all do, and it'll come down to this performance, right now.

And Kieron is really giving it some, more so even than he did earlier. And his spiral leg seems to be higher than before. He and Brianne beam at each other the whole way through. They're so cute. They're a bit Chris-and-Ola, aren't they? Kieron says that he never thought he'd get through to week 10 and if he goes out, he will go to Benidorm tomorrow. Right. Schofe tells him he won't get a better tan. Heh.

Danny and Frankie reprise their routine, but with two hat drops (one of them coming after the hat refuses to budge from Frankie's toe-pick, irony of ironies), and he has a face like THUNDER. Frankie plasters on a smile and wails that it stuck to her toe-pick. Danny tries to assume a "que sera sera" mindset, but it's like someone's DIED or something with a funereal atmosphere on the kiss-and-cry step.

So the judges give their verdict. Karen isn't crying, clutches her hair, and saves Danny; Nicky says that Freddie wins and saves Kieron; Jason says it comes down to the required element and saves Kieron; Emma is gutted for Danny, and saves Kieron; and Robin, even though it doesn't matter, declares, "BENIDORM WILL WAIT!" and saves Kieron. Hooray!

So Danny and Frankie leave the competition, to a montage sountracked by Macho Man. He does a chirpy Cockney list of thank-yous, omitting Frankie, until she presumably kicks him with her blade to remind him.

And that's it! Join Steve next week for the semi-finals! [Without props. Woe. - Steve]

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