Monday, 14 February 2011

Comedy of errors

Theatre week: 13th February 2010

Last week! 10 contestants performed! There was a SHOCK BOTTOM TWO featuring Jennifer and Handsome Sylvain and Vanilla Ice ON ICE and Katie, and the panel opted to send Jennifer home, thus depriving us (and by "us", I mean "me") of the opportunity to admire Handsome Sylvain and his Lovely Arms and Swoonsome Gallic Indifference for the rest of the series. Heartless bastards. What fresh torment do they have in store for us this week? Jumps, apparently. Cue lots of training footage of people falling over, even though most people will probably not fall over on the night. This is one of the reasons why this show is inevitably so disappointing. It is also West End Night, apparently, so everyone will be doing musical-style numbers and making lots of groansome theatrical puns. [I tweeted Robin on Sunday afternoon and begged him to reprise his Frank N Further or Teen Angel. To no avail. So if you've come here in the vague expectation that this show would actually draw on the knowledge of people in its cast with actual West End experience, you will be sorely disappointed. Unless you get excited by the sight of a Dreamcoat. - Carrie] Two couples will have to perform an "encore" (except "encores" are generally for performances that had a good reception, so, whatever the opposite of an encore is) and it'll be curtains for one of them.

Titles! Phil and Holly are here. Phil's suit is disappointingly un-shiny, and there seems to be a button in the middle of his tie for reasons I can't quite fathom. Holly and Phil joke that Phil is one of those audience members who rustles crisp packets and slurps his drink, even though we all know Phil's the perfect gentleman. If anyone from this show is likely to cause problems at the theatre, it'll be Holly's Boobs meaning that whoever sits behind her has a Restricted View. Anyway, shall we meet our skating stars? Yes, let's - and I shall attempt to judge which musical they will be homaging this evening based on their costumes.

Chloe and Michael (something involving gay pirates in the 1800s if Michael's outfit is anything to go by), Vanilla Ice and Katie (clearly Grease, because Katie has Slutty Sandy hair), Denise and Matt (Chicago, clearly, because Lovely Matt is wearing a mesh top, presumably as this show's means of apologising to me for Sylvain's absence. I am appeased, show. FOR NOW), Dave and FRANKIE! (oh God, it's clearly Hair, I'm cringing already), Laura and Squinty Colin (Hairspray, obviously), Jeff and Isabelle (Phantom, although I would've liked a face mask), Sam and Brianne (Deckchairs: The Musical judging by his jacket), Kerry and Daniel (Avenue Q, judging by the fact that Daniel will continue to stick his hand up Kerry to operate her), and Johnson and Jodeyne ( there a musical featuring O'Chunks from Super Paper Mario? If so, that one).

No one has addressed my complaints about this part of the show, so: everyone stands there awkwardly like planks until Jayne and Chris arrive, at which point they're allowed to wave at us. Phil and Holly remind us that the special skill for this week is The Jump, which will be demonstrated by some of the stars of yesteryear. I do hope one of them is Zaraah Abrahams. The skaters must jump unassisted (so no help from your partner, KERRY) and both blades must leave the ice. Chris tells us that there are good and precarious jumps ahead - Jeff will have to do three jumps in a row, and Johnson will be doing some good ones, while Vanilla Ice is attempting something rather Evel Knievel like. Phil reminds us that next week is the Ultimate Skills Test, which Jayne says that this will put extra pressure on the celebs. But that's next week, so let's not bother ourselves with that just yet.

When we return from an ad break (yep, after just over seven minutes of content), it's time for our first couple: Jeff and Isabelle. Last week he was vastly improved, so we're told, and Jeff thinks he's "on the upward climb" now. He tells us that the usual doubt that plagues his rehearsals is gone. Gone, I tell you! Jayne says that Jeff's been asking for more difficult moves, and they've been giving them to him. He falls over a lot practising the jump sequence, and admits that they're giving him sleepless nights.

They're skating to 'All I Ask Of You' (told ya) from The Phantom Of The Opera [the Michael Ball solo version. Why isn't ex-guest-judge Michael Ball in the studio performing this? SWIZZ. - Carrie]. Jeff is not wearing a face-obscuring mask, which is a little bit disappointing. His skating's a lot more confident this week and the routine's far more fluid as a result, though there's still something faintly mechanical about it to my mind. He performs his three jumps (which are more like hops, really) with toe-loops to follow and it's a good, clean performance. Gubba refers to one manoeuvre as the "Christine cuddle" (give me strength). Scores: Jason 6.5, Robin 8.0, Emma 7.5 for a total of 22.0. Jeff punches the air in glee, and then I don't know what to do with myself because he discusses his score without mentioning football at all. WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH JEFF BRAZIER? Jeff tells Phil that he wants to keep improving and build on this performance if he's back next week. Jayne tells Phil that Jeff has done three different jumps to demonstrate his versatility, and she's sure he'll have an excellent spin next week.

Robin admires Jeff's control over his blades and the way he takes care of Isabelle. He also singles out the individual control in the jump. Control is our word of the week, apparently. Jason says that as the "dance expert" and with it being "theatre week" and with me being slightly addicted to "inverted commas", he's looking at "your overall artistic impression". He feels Jeff is definitely improving and has great control with his upper body, but failed to convey the romance of the piece. At times, he thought Jeff's face was "very pedestrian, like you were waiting for a bus." Surely if you're waiting for a bus, you're not really a pedestrian any more? The camera cuts to Karen, simmering. Bunto admires the power of Jeff's skating, but tells Jeff that if he ever wants to perform in a theatre (because Bunto is apparently now an expert on the theatre arts) he needs to feel it "here" so she can see it "here". I'd try to transcribe the gestures she makes to accompany those words, but it's not like it'd mean anything either way.

After the break, it's time for Denise and Lovely Matt. Denise recalls getting her mojo back last week and vows to keep it. She can't allow herself to step back - except she's totally going to. Chris says that Denise doesn't have a big jump, but has to do three smaller ones back to back. Unfortunately, this is a Busy Week for Denise, because she's off doing Loose Women an' ting, and also visiting her children in The North who, due to an unfortunate piece of video editing, appear to live in an ice rink. Denise complains that she is tired, and falls over a lot as a result. However, she vows to keep going, and says she'll continue even if she falls over.

She's skating to 'Roxie' from Chicago [the film version, not the stage version, and not the Ruthie Henshall version. Why is ex-judge Ruthie Henshall not in the studio performing this? SWIZZ. - Carrie] and, as my boyfriend rightly pointed out, Lovely Matt has a sequin over each nipple. Brilliant. Denise vamps a bit on the kiss-and-cry area at the start of her routine before leaping into Matt's arms (lucky her). Her skating's less impressive this time, it's a bit more staccato and unsure, but she's gamely mugging for all she's worth , and just about manages the lifts before finishing with an aeroplane spin, then Matt removes her jacket and Denise strikes an end pose in front of the ice panel. Gubba calls Roxie Hart "the perfect role for Denise", despite the fact that she's about 20 years too old for it, even by the fairly loose standards of West End stunt casting, and then likens Denise to former president Mubarak. Does anyone on this show even listen to him? How is he still there? Tim Healy continues to look bored in the audience, bless him. Scores: Jason 4.0, Robin 4.5, Emma 4.5 for a total of 13.0. Denise congratulates herself for wearing a leotard on TV at the age of 52, and rightly so. She talks us through her falls, but says that she loves the routine and Chicago. Lovely Matt congratulates her on the jumps. Chris thinks she did well to bounce back after the falls.

Jason congratulates Denise on her "delightful derriere", and isn't even being sarcastic. Between this and Jeff's lack of football commentary, I'm starting to think that this week's Dancing On Ice is being beamed to us live from Bizarro World. Jason explains that the Fosse arms were more like windscreen wipers, and little nuances like the teacup fingers were missing from the routine, and he feels that she didn't quite capture the wannabe starlet aspect of the number. Robin praises Denise's lovely lady jumps and does that hugely irritating "was it X? No! Was it Y? Yes or maybe!" construction that I really wish he'd just drop already. He wishes she'd had last week's speed and gusto this week that could've improved the routine. Bunto has worked a lot on Bob Fosse choreography (a likely story) [seriously, when does she claim to have done this? She hasn't even BEEN in Chicago, and EVERYBODY who's ever auditioned has played Roxie at one point or another. - Carrie] and feels that wasn't quite right. She missed the cheekiness, at which point Denise clarifies that she was going for "smouldering" and Jason hoots that she didn't pull that off either.

Sam and Brianne are next. Last week he got the highest score of the series and hugely positive comments. Jayne thinks he'll be getting tens soon enough. Sam thinks Laura, Chloe and Jeff are closing in on him. Chris thinks that Sam has a tough week to keep ahead as his jumps will be under scrutiny. He falls over a lot, once landing right on his hipbone, but soldiers on. He takes a tumble in the dress rehearsal, and intones gravely that people expect a lot from him. You will note a conspicuous lack of Valentine's-themed Sam/Brianne showmance bobbins in this week's VT. I can't imagine why.

Their routine is to 'Flash Bang Wallop' from Half A Sixpence, and as such is complete with lots of "hilarious" Cockernee affectations, flailing limbs and gurning. There's no denying that they're slick - they even get a photographer at the side of the ice even though it is not Props Week - and Sam's jumps are impressive. They even incorporate a float spin, indicating the level of trust in their relationship. It's just a bit too frantic for my tastes, perhaps - I get that franticness is the actual point of this routine, but I think I'd rather they didn't push Sam quite so hard so fast, as it's hard to enjoy a routine that goes so damned fast and doesn't leave you time to process it. Gubba likens it to Hayley's 'Jai Ho' performance from last year. I remain unconvinced just yet. Scores: 8.5s across the board for a total of 25.5. Phil calls the routine "almost as complicated as your love life." Hee hee hee. Sam says he's loving every second and wants to stay in as long as possible. Jayne is impressed with how much he managed to pull off in one routine, and thinks he covered any mistakes with performance quality. Chris likes that it didn't require big lifts to grab scores.

Bunto loved it, but if she's being picky - and she is - she spotted synchronisation issues. Jason thinks it was full of character and energy, but agrees with Emma about the synch issues. Robin agrees with both of them, and says that he's "nailed [Sam] in the past" (FNAR) over his feet not being quite as clean as they should be - he's still not quite there, but he's getting there. Holly throws to Karen, who is not spoiling for a fight this week, and she says that it was a whole performance as far as she's concerned.

Next up, because we have one less contestant this week but still the same timeslot, we have some pointless filler. Hooray! Rachel Tucker is here to perform 'Defying Gravity' from Wicked. Her greenface looks a little roughly applied - her cheeks are kind of yellow. Also, I am greatly disappointed that she does not change any of the lyrics of the song to include her own name. The lyrics of the song have been tampered slightly to allow for the fact that it's no longer a duet, and this version doesn't really flow as well as the proper one, but there are people SKATING (Sean, Jodeyne, Alexandra and Lukasz) and SUSPENDED FROM WIRES (they are DEFYING GRAVITY, do you see?). There's also a camera trained on Rachel's face the whole time, and she occasionally catches Barrowmanitis, where what works brilliantly when playing to the back of a large theatre doesn't work quite so well on the somewhat subtler medium of television. Still, it's lovely to see her again, and if I hadn't seen the show already and the tickets weren't like £60 a pop I'd totally go and see her as Elphaba. [Watch out for that quote on a poster near you soon, folks! - Carrie]

Kerry and Daniel are next. Kerry thinks last week was the worst performance she's ever done. Oh Kerry - don't think we don't remember Atomic Kitten. She's surprised that the public kept her in, and wants to do her best to thank them. Her song this week is 'There's No Business Like Showbusiness', which excites Kerry because it's fun. Her skating is still so crap, though, that Head Coach Karen takes her into a remedial class where her arms are harnessed to her legs and she has to learn everything from the beginning again. Kerry thinks this has been very helpful with all the aspects of her routine - she even knows the actual words for the individual parts of the routine now! She just hopes the judges are impressed.

The routine's a proper gurnathon, and Kerry's clearly trying to reinvent herself as a comedy value contestant. Her solo jump comes right at the top of her routine and doesn't even require her to land unassisted. Beyond that, it's business as usual - Kerry struggling whenever she has to fend for herself, and relying on a lot of big lifts for oomph. Scores: 4.0s all round for a total of 12.0. Kerry cheers because her scores are going up. She tells Phil that she enjoys this song because it's kind of making fun of herself, and that going back to basics with Karen really helped. Dan says that Kerry let herself go and tried her best. Chris thinks that Kerry bounced back into life when she heard her music this week.

Jason tells Kerry that she's still getting carried around too much (true) and the required element wasn't landed by itself, and he's worried about how she'll fare with the Ultimate Skills Test next week. He's not sure that she's up to the standard of the others. Bunto, with some coaching from Holly, tells Kerry her confidence has improved and this sort of performance suits her better, but she's "getting away with" more than everyone else. Except not, because you're all pointing it out. Robin tells Kerry that she needs to spend the next week playing catch-up if she's still around to get herself up to standard for next week. Karen says that they need to continue the good work with Kerry. Holly asks if Kerry has it in her to be a good skater, and Jason shouts "no!", but is ignored by everyone else (hooray! They're learning!) and Karen says that it's all a confidence issue.

When we return from the ads, Phil identifies Jedward in the audience, just so we all know which direction to lob our popcorn in. Chloe and Michael are on next. This week they're skating to 'On My Own' from Les Mis, which Chloe loves, and identifies as a romantic song with lots of emotion required. No flies on her, clearly. Chloe worries that she won't be able to act it as well as Michael and get the emotion right. Chris advises her to tell a story through her face, and Chloe says that she loves the routine and wants to do Chris and Jayne proud, but she doesn't know if she's good enough to pull it all off.

Richard Madeley hollers encouragement from the audience as always, and they begin the routine. The improvement in Chloe is really noticeable this week - she's really lyrical in her movements, and I think she's selling the emotion of the song rather well. Also, my boyfriend pointed out that she kind of looked unusually hot this week, and you know what? He's not wrong. Her jumps are a little rough around the edges, but the rest of the routine is really rather good, so I'm willing to overlook that, for now at least. [NB - Why is Michael in an Enjolras costume? - Carrie] Gubba tries to explain the plot of Les Mis for the six people who don't know it, and cracks a joke about Chloe being on screen more often than her parents. By which he means "at all". Scores: Jason 6.5, Robin 8.0, Emma 7.5 for a total of 22.0. Chloe tells Phil that this was the most nervous she's ever been doing the show, and while she thinks she fluffed a step, she was really happy with her performance. Michael thinks she's getting there with the facial expressions. Jayne says that they love to challenge Chloe every week and give her something new to work on.

Robin tells Chloe that he wasn't watching her, he was watching Michael. It sounds like an insult, but what he means is that because Chloe was such a reliable and professional partner, she was always in the right place for Michael. I'm still not entirely sure it's a compliment, but okay, Robin. He thinks it lacked an emotional connection, though. Jason didn't feel the emotional consistency throughout the performance - she lost the longing and the passion at times, and he feels there wasn't enough light and shade in her execution of the choreography. Emma thinks there's "a little sparkle" missing from Chloe's performance. Thanks for the constructive feedback there, Bunto, I'm sure she'll find the specific detail you gave her hugely helpful.

Midway leaderboard: Sam and Brianne at the top, Jeff and Chloe tied for second, then Denise, then Kerry.

Next up are Johnson and Jodeyne. Jayne thinks Johnson's skating wasn't up to the usual standard last week. Johnson vows to get stronger this week. He'll be dancing to 'Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life' from Spamalot, which Jayne is hoping will bring out the cheeky side of him. Johnson finds it hard to get into character because he has "no acting skills", so he gets sent off for comedy training with Marcus Brigstocke. Can I just say this was such a missed opportunity to get Jodie Prenger to show off her Spamalot experience? I bet she'd have done an amazing comedy masterclass. [Pfft. Better King Arthurs than Marcus Brigstocke include Tim Curry, Simon Russell Beale, Peter Davison, Sanjeev Bhaskar and JIM ROBINSON FROM NEIGHBOURS, who remains my favourite ever. - Carrie] Anyway, Marcus encourages Johnson to be more cartoony in his performance, and Johnson vows to go out there and have fun.

Johnson's acting is very much by the numbers and cartoony. It's still not funny, but at least he's trying, bless him. [I do not understand his costume in any way, shape or form. - Carrie] His jumps are a little bit Bambi-like, and I kind of lose interest in the routine about halfway through because nothing's really happening. Even Gubba can't think of much to say. Scores: Jason 4.5, Robin 5.0, Emma 5.5 for a total of 15.0. Johnson thinks that was his best routine so far, and that the acting lessons with Marcus were very helpful. [You'd have been a damn sight better off if you'd rung JIM ROBINSON FROM NEIGHBOURS. - Carrie] Jodeyne is very proud of him. Chris says that he's happy the public's getting to see the funny, witty Johnson that they know. He's also impressed with Johnson's SPEED OVER THE ICE.

Jason says that the beginning of the routine showed promise and characterisation, but Johnson lost character halfway and reverted to smiley normalness. Robin says that Johnson hasn't really been smiley since week one anyway, and he loved being able to enjoy Johnson enjoying the performance. And I enjoyed Robin enjoying Johnson enjoying the performance. Or something. Bunto is grinning like a loon and enjoyed the SPEED OVER THE ICE and the comedy and the fact that Johnson takes on a new evening class for the show's benefit every week.

When we return from the ads, Phil's donned his old technicolour dreamcoat from his Joseph days and recites all the colours just to prove to us all that he still can. He's so adorable. Vanilla and Katie are next. Vanilla says that being in the skate-off was stressful and he doesn't want to have to go back there. Jayne and Chris have given him a waltz jump and a toe loop, which he struggles with at first, but as he gets better, he starts to get increasingly creative - he's going to jump over Katie. ON ICE. "It's quite scary," Katie understates. She's a bit nervous. We could be having our very first decapitation ON ICE, kids. Karen can barely watch.

They're skating to 'Born To Hand Jive' from Grease - ahh, so presumably Katie is being Cha Cha rather than Slutty Sandy. Either way, it's a good look on her. Vanilla Ice's skating is a bit more controlled this week, though still somewhat haphazard in places. His solo jumps go okay, though his first toe loop is a bit sloppy. He successfully makes the jump over Katie without injuring either of them, and you can see the relief on her face when she sits up. Scores: Jason 6.5, Robin 8.0, Emma 6.5 for a total of 21.0. Robin's kind of confusing me with his scores this evening. Vanilla says that he would've sacrificed his body if the jump went wrong in order to save Katie. Katie doesn't look especially convinced.

Robin says that tonight he saw a figure skater who was so much stronger than usual, and he congratulates Katie on being brave enough to risk her life for light entertainment. Emma compliments Vanilla on his improved posture, and she loves the way he performs, though she felt it was less free-spirited than usual. Jason said that it was disjointed, and that while Vanilla is normally great with the lifts, there were a few tonight that lacked dynamism. Jedward heckle him from the audience, then applaud themselves. Sometimes I feel this show is beneath all of us, I really do.

Dave and FRANKIE! are next. Dave thinks that last week's performance was "a shocker". He'll be skating to 'Aquarius' from Hair this week, and since his step sequence last week was sub-par, Chris and Jayne are hoping he can raise the game with his jumps. FRANKIE! points out how hard it is to land properly. As Dave struggles with his second jump (a toe loop), Chris and Jayne amend the routine to include two waltz jumps instead, which Dave is happier with. Ooh, he rejected the choreography! I smell trouble brewing.

Sara Cox is in the audience next to Chris Moyles! I love Sara Cox. I do not love Chris Moyles. Obviously, this is a comedy routine, but most of the comic heavy lifting is being done by the costume and wigs, and Dave is just basically doing a smell-the-fart face underneath it all. He lands both of his jumps, which is nice. Gubba tells the "kids" in the audience that this is how their parents dressed in the sixties, even though I should imagine most of the "kids" probably don't have parents who were alive in the sixties. You're showing your age, Gubba. [Seriously. Every.Sodding.Series. It's the 21st century, Gubba! - Carrie] Scores: Jason and Emma 4.0, and 4.5 from Robin for a total of 12.5. Dave is pleased that his score is going up. He says that he was surprised to land the jumps, and he's had a bit of a "wobble week". FRANKIE! says that Dave is improving week on week, and she thinks he'll be fine with next week's Ultimate Skills Test. Chris thinks Comedy Dave is back, since we lost him last week in the same place we lost Kerry. Behind the sideboard, or whatever. He says that Dave is one of the hardest working contestants.

Bunto hoots and makes a bunch of meaningless noise until she cops that the costuming did most of the work - she thinks there's nothing in his face or eyes and it feels like he's going through the motions. She wants Comedy Dave back. Jason says that it's a number about reckless abandonment, and that Dave spent too much time looking down at the ice and not engaging with the audience. Robin thinks there's positivity - Dave made the jumps, for starters. However, he thinks Chris's comment about Dave being a hard worker is telling, because we can see the hard work in his face. Even Karen finds it hard to say nice stuff beyond "Dave works really hard" and basically admits that every day working with Dave is a day that she needs danger money. Poor Karen.

Our final contestant of the night is Laura. Last week she was epicmazing to Celine Dion and narrowed the gap on Sam, but she admits that she still hasn't quite rivalled him yet. She explains that this week's routine is very challenging, and she'll also be adding a backward flip, which has never been pulled off by a celeb on this show. As tradition dictates, she has several accidents in rehearsals and doesn't pull it off in the dress rehearsal, leaving an element of doubt (well, "doubt") over whether she'll pull it off on the night or not.

She's skating to 'You Can't Stop The Beat' from Hairspray. It suffers from a few of the same problems as Sam's - it's a bit too frenetic to really appreciate properly, and there's also a lift at the beginning that's so awkward-looking that the first time I saw it I thought it was a botch job, but apparently no, it was supposed to look like that. Her tits are bouncing around merrily again and OMIGOD SHE LANDS THE BACKWARD FLIP! That was pretty awesome. After that, she does her solo jumps which feel a bit of an afterthought at this point but she executes those well as well. She looks ecstatic when the routine finishes, as well she might. In the replay, it looks a bit like after she lands the backward flip, she gives Colin a little tap on the hip as if to go "yeah! We did it!" I don't know if that's actually what happened or not, but if so, it's super-cute. Scores: 8.5s all round for a total of 25.5 and a spot at the top of the leaderboard, joint with Sam. Laura tells Phil that seeing that VT beforehand was quite scary. Phil asks her if she was worried about the jumps, and Laura says that she was, because the routine was packed full of tricks and there was a lot to get right. Squinty Colin geeks out over how well-suited to their personalities this routine was, presumably because they're both dorks. Jayne says that they were a bit reluctant to ask Laura to do this manoeuvre, but she's pleased she pulled it off.

Jason tells Laura that she entertained him tonight - "you are so Disney, it's brilliant" - and says that she brought her children's TV presenter fun and goofiness into the routine. Robin loved her exuberance and that she has a go at whatever she's asked to try. Bunto says this was her favourite routine of the night, and that the exaggerated expressions really worked - "it was pure theatre, dahling". Oh do shush, Bunton.

Leaderboard: Tie for top between Sam and Laura, then tie again for second between Jeff and Chloe, then Vanilla Ice, Johnson, Denise, Dave and Kerry in that order. The lines are opened for the public to vote, and we get a recap of the night's performances. And there we have it. Two contestants will face the dreaded skate-off later - but who'll be posting early closing notices? [Dirty Dancing, featuring Ray.Fucking.Quinn! - Carrie]

The Skate-Off

You know the drill: earlier tonight, nine couples performed for our votes. One couple's going home. It's really very simple when you think about it.

Phil and Holly welcome us back to the show and lead us into the recap with extra backstage footage: Jeff is impressed that he's doubled his score in two weeks, and looks forward to next week's challenge if he gets through. Denise is disappointed with the marks, but knows she's basically dependent on the public vote and hope she'll be kept in because she's not ready to go yet. Tim Healy says he is proud of her [but bored of the show - Carrie]. Sam vows to work on his timing next week in the hope of getting that nine that Bunto promised. Kerry thinks the judges are all right about her, and she's going to keep having fun as long as the public are having fun watching her. How incredibly hubristic of her. Chloe feels she could've acted the performance better, but she's still very happy with her score. Johnson enjoyed every moment of his routine, and hopes to get higher marks if he's back next week. Vanilla Ice hopes not to have to do the routine again, and vows that he is not melting. Because he is ICE. [Could make an Elphaba/melting joke. Can't be bothered. - Carrie] Jedward are interviewed, and no one cares. Dave enjoyed his jumps and not falling over, so he's happy overall. Laura was thrilled to pull off the backflip, since it's gone wrong nearly every time before that, and was slightly bemused to have received the same score as Sam.

Holly's with the judges looking for a final word or two. Robin thinks that some people were so focused on the jump that they didn't focus on the rest of the performance. He thinks everyone will have to step it up with next week's Ultimate Skills Test. Jason thinks there's an upper echelon of Laura, Sam, Chloe and Jeff, and thinks Laura needs to believe in herself more. Bunto hopes the audience are voting for skating ability and "pure performance".

Phil's got the results. Go on, touch your ear. You know you want to. In no particular order, the following couples are safe and skating next week: Vanilla Ice and Katie, Laura and Colin, Jeff and Isabelle, Sam and Brianne, Chloe and Michael, Johnson and Jodeyne, and Denise and Lovely Matt. So Kerry and Daniel and Dave and FRANKIE! are in the skate-off. But first: there are commercials.

When we return, Phil and Holly are seeking advice from Chris and Jayne. Jayne thinks that both Dave and Kerry have struggled with the skills required of them. Chris thinks Kerry can improve her steps, and Dave needs to improve his overall performance.

Kerry and Daniel are out first. Kerry's a little improved this time around - she's still not really competition-standard, but she's fixed some of her smaller mistakes from the first performance and the whole thing is slightly more fluid and coherent. Kerry tells Phil that the judges are right, and while she's "devastated" to be in the skate-off, she's thankful to the public for allowing her to get this far in the first place. Dan, Jayne and Chris all agree that she skated better this time around.

Dave and FRANKIE! take to the ice. Dave is not so much improved - in fact, there are areas where he's noticeably more stumbly than he was first time around, and his balance seems to be off, though he does still land both of his jumps. It's not really a vote-winning performance though, if I'm honest. Dave tells Phil that FRANKIE! told him to bear in mind that he'd have to skate every routine twice, so they've always been prepared for the skate-off. The audience takes about six years to get this joke. FRANKIE! thinks Dave improved this time around, and he even smiled at her this time around. Jayne noticed this too, and Chris thinks the jumps were great, second time around.

Judgement time. Bunto goes first, and says that she found it a difficult decision, and while she can't believe she's saying this, she has to vote on performance [because, little as she knows about that, she knows fuck-all about skating - Carrie], and votes to save Kerry. There is some booing. Robin says that it was a real toss-up, but as a skater he needs to vote for the skater, so he saves Dave. Jason is looking for performance, as this is theatre week, and based on the skate-off performances, he's saving Kerry. So Kerry is through and Dave is out. He tells Phil that he's gutted, but he knows he's not one of the best skaters, and he's had a great time, and FRANKIE! has been a brilliant partner. We review his highlights, such as they are. He had fun, that's the important thing. Phil reminds FRANKIE! that they will miss her too, lest she shiv him.

Next week! It's the Ultimate Skills Test (you may have noticed them mention this - they were quite subtle). The skills will be worth half of the overall score. It will be DRAMATIC, apparently. Dave and FRANKIE! set out for their lap of honour, and that's the end of theatre week. Join us next week to see how everyone gets on with their Ultimate Skills!


Muinimula said...

Does Bunton's extensive knowledge of Fosse choreography perhaps refer to the video for 'Maybe'?

I wouldn't entirely reject Denise Welch as Roxie Hart. 28-year-old Natasha Hamilton as Mrs Johnstone, anyone?

Carrie said...

Have no problem with young Mrs Js as she has to age up over the course of the show (ditto, no problems with older ones either). It's stupidly old Roxies who couldn't possibly be pregnant that make me cross.

JS said...

Isn't the video for Maybe completely based upon Bob Fosse's choreography for The Rhythm of Life?

Carrie said...

I refuse to accept one video shoot nearly a decade ago as "working a lot on Fosse choreography".