Sunday, 23 January 2011

Rhythm of the shite

First week of REAL competition!
Tx Sunday 23rd January 2011

Welcome back to nonsensical ice-dance extravaganza Dancing on Ice! In case you've not been keeping up, we've sloughed off all the dead wood (ie the contestants you may have heard of, plus a woman famous for her bed partner), we have a judging panel that is one-third useful, and some incredibly bloated shows. On the plus side, we still have Jayne and Chris, and that's always a good thing, right?

We begin with a reminder that the show is persisting with the farcical idea that the competition has not yet started, despite there being a) judging, b) competition and c) voting in the previous fortnight. "You chose them!" our presenters inform me. I bloody did not. If I chose a Dancing on Ice line-up it wouldn't include a celebrity drink-driving child or Jeff bloody Brazier, I'm telling you that now. Anyway, so they remind us of who the contestants are, which is just as well, because I swear I don't recognise half these people, even though I saw them last week. They are: Dave and Frankie no-surnames; Kerry Katona and Dan; Johnson Beharry VC and Jodeyne; Chloe Madeley and Michael; Steven Arnold and Nina; Denise Welch and Matt (in a CROP TOP); Vanilla Ice ON ICE and Katie; Dominic Cork and Alexandra; Laura not-famous Hamilton and Colin; Jeff Brazier and Isabelle; Sam not-famous Attwater and Brianne; and Jennifer Metcalfe and Sylvain.

Here are the judges. And much to my disappointment, there is no shock! twist! - just the trio we've put up with for the previous fortnight, two of whom are utterly superfluous. Still, looking on the bright side, the other one is Robin Cousins. They pose in front of their desk and look smug.

First up tonight we have Vanilla Ice ON ICE and Katie. It is greatly saddening that the cast of DoI persist in calling Vanilla Ice "Rob". I shall not be doing the same. Katie goads him into practising hard moves, including a big lift up on to his shoulder, by calling him a wimp. And...that's pretty much it. (Spoiler alert: I've looked ahead this evening and every single one of the pre-skate VTs is a pointless piece of time filler.) They're skating to Minnie The Moocher and Vanilla Ice has his nails painted black (/adds marks). He then mimes along to the words, although I'm not sure he's supposed to be all the time. Hey ho. The tricksy lift, where she's perched on his shoulder, comes off fine, though the camera work is abysmal as usual. Scores - Jason 5, Robin 6, Emma 5 for a total of 16, but remember they are now marking out of 10 (or 20, as it seems they are going to do half-marks) rather than 6 (or 12, if you count the half-marks). Vanilla Ice informs us that this is not music he is familiar with; Katie says she had to tell him to chill out. Jayne and Chris beam like proud parents. Phil asks, "Standards high?" and then re-phrases, "High standards?" Over with the pointless judges, Emma liked it but wants him to stop slouching, Robin agrees and praises him for the execution of the lift, and we are reminded that Jason marked him down last time because he was worried about the future routines that he might do because he is a TWAT. Karen pulls a classic face, and then says that she forgot they had skates on because it was so entertaining, and she will forget about the mistakes. Stupidly, Robin and Jason go, "That's why we're here!" and Karen says, "That's why I'm here as well!" which I am choosing to read as a commentary on the judging panel revamp. [Yeah, it's a shame that "here" for Karen is sitting on a sad individual chair halfway across the room. - Steve] AAARGH.


We are welcomed back after the break with the news that Bunton and Jade out of Damage have (finally) announced their engagement. About bloody time. [And'd think if it had been in the offing for that long, you'd find a classier way of announcing it than during the adverts on Dancing ON ICE. - Steve] Chloe and Michael are next to skate, and brilliantly she hams it up backstage, pretending to scold him for not buying her a ring. Then we're into the VT, and we learn that Chloe is doing that 'frog lift' (acording to Gubba) that Sinitta did and nearly castrated my poor Andrei. Michael takes his trousers off to show us his war wounds (fnar), which just look like a couple of paper cuts to me. However, nobody seems to be injured even though Chloe is panicking, so this is all a bit exaggerated about something that might happen but probably won't. Let's get on, shall we? They're skating to The Climb, and Chloe really is good. She's graceful, she's brisk, and she looks lovely; she and Michael make a nice couple ON ICE. Their movements match each other well and they clearly get on, which is good too. There's a great bit where Chloe wheels out some Chris Dean literal choreography - reaching her hand up on the word "high". Gubba has many lolz at a Frenchman doing a 'frog lift', the Louis Walshesque racist. Scores - Jason 5.5, Robin 7.0 and Emma 6.5 for a total of 19.0. Everyone is glad that Michael still has his penis and testicles intact. Robin points out that Chris is wrong and it's actually a harder lift than Sinitta did because her partner is on a different edge. Jason is incredibly offensive and gets booed. Bunton says some crap.

Ads! Are we seriously going to have a break after EVERY SINGLE CONTESTANT? It certainly seems so.

Last week, Denise got told by Jason that she looked like Matt's mum. She is having none of it: "It's cougar time!" And wouldn't you just know it, she's going to skate this week to Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight), because this show is all about class. Chris tells her, "You'll have a line-up of boys!" Denise beams. She and Matt go off to Mamma Mia! because that's the best way to learn about great choreography. And then back on the rink, what the fuck? Denise skates on alone, looking like Kate Monster from Avenue Q with a big open-mouthed grin, then actually does have a line-up of boys to choose from, Matt tears off his navy clothes hiding his golden croptop, and the routine eventually begins, but this is rubbish and it's partly the choreography's fault. Straight 3.0s for a total of 9.0 and she's lucky to get that. Denise wails about having a senior moment and failing to feel the beat. Matt wails about not knowing where she was until she felt him (fnar). Jason says "spunk" and I snigger. Robin says it isn't a question of confidence, it's allowing herself to have fun with it. Bunton says Denise is fun to watch even though Matt is carrying her round the ice. What? Jason interjects, "Really?" and he's right for once.

Ooh, no ads, straight on to Dom and Alexandra. He wants to impress people this week, and Chris tells us how adventurous he is, and they've put in a death spiral at the end. We know how this is going to end, don't we, children? Yes, they have a fall during the dress rehearsal and Dom cracks his knee. According to Twitter earlier, it was questionable whether they'd skate or not, so it's good news that they are. Dom's skating is a little tentative, but he whacks on a smile and gets round; even though the lift is dodgy the death spiral is very good. Alex looks like she's going to cry with pride. Scores - Jason 3.0, Robin 4.5 and Emma 4.0 for a total of 11.5. Dom admits he was worried prior to the lift, but wanted to enjoy it. He enthuses once more about how much he loves Dancing ON ICE. Alexandra reminds us that Corky is a SPORTSMAN. Bunton says that Dom has improved a little bit but is a selfish performer, and concludes: "I don't know what to say." Well, fuck off then. Jason says Dom is missing a yellow brick road. What? Karen reluctantly agrees with Jason but then points out that Dom embodies the spirit of DANCING ON ICE. Robin says that now Dom knows how to fall, he can get on with the rest of it.


A fortnight ago, Laura wasn't famous, but was good at skating; this week, it's much the same. They're loading on the tough choreography for her, and she reminds us that she's a novice skater. The lifts they're programming look awful, and she's making hideous grunting noises as she attempts to haul herself into them. Karen shouts at her to calm down. They're skating to All The Lovers, and bosomwatchers will be pleased to note that Laura's are present and correct albeit slightly better strapped down than last time round. The routine isn't as fluid as the first one but it's much more technically demanding and all the lifts seem to work. Scores - Jason 6.0, Robin 6.5 and Emma 7.0 for a total of 19.5. Laura and Colin gabble insanely at Phil. Jason says he can see why the public saved her, and he loves to watch their partnership (which he calls "enigmatic" - does he know what that word means?). He then tells her she has "stumpy legs", which isn't strictly true, but if he means that her leg-lines need to be extended at times, then he's right. Still, why say something constructive when something offensive will do?

In the first week, Steven and Nina and their comedy routine were rubbish. The day after the first show, Steven doesn't bother turning up to rehearsal. Everyone bitches about him in his absence, and then he VTs that he slept through his alarm. Plonker. Nina then has to try to teach him Chris's choreography - "I am here to KICK YOUR ASS!" she announces. Steven moans about having a tough start to the fortnight. Well, turn up to rehearsal then, you fool. They're skating to Rhythm of the Night, and Steven keeps biting his lips and then pouting when he's doing the dance moves. Is that what passes for club dancing these days? He's not leading, and he's very slow. Ugly routine. Scores - Jason 2.0, Robin 2.5 and Emma 2.5 for a total of 7.0. Jayne and Chris lie that he did well. Robin says the routine was enjoyable for the wrong reasons and the skating was poor, even though he appreciates he is doing his best. Jason clearly has no time for Steven at all, and criticises his lack of commitment. Steven agrees with Phil that the comments are harsh and he knows that he doesn't have any natural ability but he will give it his all. Except for the days when he's going to stay in bed instead.


Phil has a little row with the audience who are giggling while he reads the autocue, and then has a chat with Hayley STAR OF STAGE AND SCREEN Tamaddon, who reveals that she picked his suit for him this week. Kyran Bracken is next to Hayley, but he gets completely ignored.

Time for Jeff and Isabelle! He is pleased that Emma is so vapid that she increases people's marks based on whether she fancies them or not. In rehearsal, Jeff complains about not having done things before, including spinning on the spot. He cheerfully admits that he was rubbish in his first routine, but will endeavour not to be now that the judges' scores will count for something. That's good of him, isn't it? They're skating to I Want You Back, and I'm guessing that Jeff isn't supposed to be half a beat out with Isabelle. He also falls out of his spin, demonstrating why he was worried about it. Are they going to bring in required elements again this year? I hope so. Scores - Jason 3.0, Robin 4.0 and Emma 4.0 for a total of 11.0. Jeff says he put a lot of work in, but just didn't do it correctly. He then jabbers on about being drunk at a barbecue, because he is a Man of the People. Brazier then warns Jason about his mates in the audience who are experts at "group insemination" oh HAHAHAHAHA, and confesses he dropped his "little petite filoue" on her face in rehearsal. Chris and Jayne lie that he did well. Jason says the Jackson Five are tight and punchy, and his dancing is sloppy - "it's almost like you're missing a couple of chromosomes." Jeff makes some more helpful vaguely homophobic comments. Karen tells Jason that Jeff's errors were down to nerves and there is no need to be offensive. Robin says he agrees with everyone, because blessed are the peacemakers. Emma says she will back off now she is engaged. That's a relief for all concerned.

The no-surname twins now. Last week they did robotics to The Safety Dance; Chris hopes they do not continue that kind of choreography this week. Frankie shouts at Dave throughout the rehearsal as Chris likens him to a Thunderbird. What is to be done? Of course, send him off to Pineapple Dance Studios. Dave is sure that his one single dance lesson will have been invaluable. They're skating to The Way You Look Tonight (I love the way YOU look EVERY night, Chandler Bing!) and Dave has done his hair in the style of Ray Quinn in homage to the 50s, of course. His arms still look horrible, but his skating isn't too bad, despite his musical ear being non-existent. Gubba nudges us in case we hadn't realised it was supposed to be a Rat Pack routine. Scores - Jason 2.5, Robin 3.5, Emma 3.5 for a total of 9.5. Dave doesn't know how he feels about that, but he's enjoying himself. That's the main thing, eh? Phil laughs at Dave looking like he's going to fall over and then not. Jayne giggles a bit about the Thunderbird arms not quite disappearing yet. Robin says it is hard to be loose and carefree (and does a little wiggle in his seat) and then talks about the money shot. I'm not sure he meant to say that. Jason says Dave can't dance, perform or find a beat, but he can't stop looking at him despite that. Emma says they were all laughing at him and wasn't sure whether they should have been or not.


Jen and Sylvain now! She likens getting through the skate-off last week to having a baby. No, I don't know either. She moans incessantly about the fact that she has a full-time job as well as doing Dancing on Ice. Seriously, bitch, don't even try that shit. If you've not got time to do the show, don't fucking do it. I haven't really got time to spend a Sunday evening recapping your feeble whining, and it would be much easier with one fewer couple to write about. They skate to California Gurls and Sylvain camps it up ridiculously, flexing his biceps [this is relevant to my interests - Steve] and hurling Jen around the ice. There's a bit of a stumble on some of the through-leg swings, but it's mostly good. Scores - Jason 6.0, Robin 7.0 and Emma 6.5 for a joint-top total of 19.5. Phil asks after Jen's leg, and she reckons she'd forgotten about it. Everyone points and laughs at Sylvain for being scared of blood. Jason says that Jen is good but Sylvain hides some of her flaws. Robin concurs but says it in a nicer way. Emma wants Jen to rein in her energy to have a little more control.

Next, Sam and Brianne, who are going to do a lyrical routine. This week they are mostly dangering it up with a table-top lift, during which Brianne is going to let go of his wrists and rely totally on him. Sucker. Sam is trying to act 'intense', I think, which is funny; they do the table-top lift well, although the landing is clunky. Scores - Jason 8.0, Robin 8.5 and Emma 8.5 for a total of 25.0. Brianne says the table-top lift felt great. Freak. Emma says Sam performs with ease and lifts Brianne effortlessly. Holly says something stupid about Sam being as good as a pro. Robin laughs kindly.


Johnson and Jodeyne now. Chris reminds us that some fucking mentalist shouted, "You're a hero!" at Johnson before he started his first routine. However, rather than calling the fucking mentalist a fucking mentalist, as is right and proper, Chris says it put a lump in his throat. In rehearsal over the past fortnight, Johnson has mostly been breaking a finger because a skate fell on it., which we know because he told us last week, and apparently nothing else has happened since then. They're skating to Something Good. Johnson isn't the most musical of individuals but he does skate quite well, managing a few one-footed jumps. Scores - Jason 4.0, Robin 4.5, Emma 4.5 for a total of 13.0. Johnson is all, pfft, broken finger, what, and Jodeyne, bless her, is all, "He's had such a tough time!" In reference to a broken finger. When he's been shelled. And got a VC. Oh, Jodeyne. Jason praises Johnson's attitude, taking it as a chance to castigate some of the others a bit more, and suggests some dance classes, which Johnson says he might consider.


Finally, FINALLY - Kerry and Daniel. She has mostly spent rehearsal time screeching. Dan says he has to push her because her confidence is like a rollercoaster; Kerry says she wants to be a skater and then starts spouting some stream of consciousness into the camera. And that is the sum total of their VT. They are skating to Respect, and Kerry catches her toe picks a few times, and the execution of the steps is a little ragged. Still, Dan manages to throw her around and put in some decent lifts regardless, which is nice. Scores - Jason 4.0, Robin 5.0 and Emma 5.0 for a total of 14.0. Kerry witters on about being full of attitude; Dan says that he has RESPECT for Kerry and then mocks her for thinking her boobs had fallen out of her dress. Robin says Kerry brings life to the ice, and Jason says that Kerry doesn't do enough work by herself. Emma, though, cannot fault Kerry's performance. So why give her a 5.0 then, if you can't fault it? Idiot. [I took "I can't fault that performance" to mean that Bunton was admitting she's not supposed to be judging this show. - Steve]

Right. That's everyone done. Sam and Brianne are top; Steven and Nina are bottom. All is as it should be. Tune in one hour from now to see people who can skate getting eliminated in favour of morons who are rubbish!

Results show

Drama! Earlier 12 couples skated for our votes, and gave it their all - but two must skate off, and one must leave! The lines have closed and the results will be revealed (to Phil's ear) very shortly! Drama drama!


Phil welcomes us back and he and Holly quickly go over the rules for us once again, reminding us that the judges' decision is final. Thunder and lightning crash; "MWAHAHAHAHA!" cackles Phil, who I believe may be opting for the preferable choice of drinking while watching this show. [Suddenly his utter refusal to every do any skating himself makes a lot more sense. - Steve]

Recap! Vanilla Ice says he will not make any excuses and then makes some excuses; Chloe was a bit upset about Jason likening her arse to a baboon's, as you would be; Denise loves being part of the show (she's expecting a low phone turn-out then); Dom reassures us that he and Alex are trying their hardest; Laura seems relatively OK with being told that she has stumpy legs, and Colin nods his head; Steven is going to listen to what the judges say (and maybe turn up to practice); Jeff...also seems drunk, and expects to be in the skate-off; Dave thinks the scores were too harsh; Jen admits she forgot some of her routine; Sam was close to crying when his scores came in, the big baby; Johnson says he used to go clubbing but never went on the dance floor, as Jodeyne giggles; Dan reassures Kerry that he thinks they've done enough to get through, and they agree that they're both happy.

Holly's with the judges. Jason says there is a little bit of potential in the line-up, and you can already see who will step up and who will not cope well with the pressure. Robin tells the skaters to forget what happened earlier. Thanks, Robin!

Results time, but the little ticker is in the top right-hand corner of the screen, so we know what will happen - and yes, Phil throws right to the break before revealing who's safe. Oh, Phil. You and your ways.

OK, read now, Schofield? Yes, indeed, he touches his ear, and our safe couples are - Kerry and Dan; Sam and Brianne; Dave and Frankie; Johnson and Jodeyne; Laura and Colin; Vanilla Ice ON ICE and Katie; Jeff and Isabelle; Jen and Sylvain; Chloe and Michael (who I'd actually forgotten about and didn't know who they were when he announced the names); and Denise and Matt.

So Dom and Alex skate off against Steven and Nina, and weirdly, that seems almost fair. Jayne says the public have mostly gone with the judges' scoring, so this is a second chance. Chris knows that Dom can do better and had been thrown by the fall earlier, and Steven just...has to be less shit, in summary.

Dom and Alex perform their routine much better this time, and they are both tearful at the end. And LOOK! There is Mark Ramprakash! Former Strictly champions who also play cricket are frequenting the DoI studios! Steven and Nina do their routine; he's gurning much less, and it occurs to me that even though some of these contestants are shit at dancing, they seem to be better at skating than the worst ones in previous years - Todd Carty, for example.

The judges' decisions - Jason is sad that it isn't a double eviction, because he is a graceless classless tossbag, but saves Dominic; Emma saves Dominic; Robin smacks Jason down because he is a nice man and knows how to behave, and says he is glad it is not a double eviction and he knows we will see more from Dominic, and saves him. [My latest realisation about how crap this new judging set-up is: since Bunto and Jason are basically the same person, Robin's vote is going to count for shit-all in the skate-off. - Steve]

So Steven and Nina are out, which is basically what was foreshadowed from the start of this episode. He thanks her for being like a big sister to him; Chris fibs that Steven is a lot of fun, and says that he is glad that Nina is not his partner (because she is assertive and a bit shouty and control-freaky, and there's not room for two of those in a skating duo).

Ooh, and scary dramatic VT from Robin saying that he is going to reveal some news to the skaters, and he and Jayne and Chris confirm that this could change the course of the competition. Ooh, are they going to get in some judges that know about skating? That would be good. But we won't find out until next week! Or maybe tomorrow, when people will be talking about it on Twitter! Regardless, join us next week to find out!

1 comment:

rmonk said...

Excellent review, amusing with really nice attention to detail. I'll be reading again next week.