Sunday, 20 February 2011

Skillz to pay the bills

Ultimate skillzorz test
Tx: 20th February 2011

Four months ago, a troupe of unfamous people started to skate and have fallen over a lot! Now, "only" eight of them are left, and they must undergo the ULTIMATE! SKILLZORZ! TEST! Kerry isn't Peter Pan! Sam might kill Brianne! And Ray FUCKING Quinn is going to resurface, isn't he? Fuck.

I'm not well. I'm not able for this shit.


Who or what is Rumer? Actually, don't bother telling me, I don't actually care. [I have literally no idea who she is, but whenever she appears on something I'm always faintly disappointed that she isn't Rumer Willis. Dunno why. - Steve] She sings a version of What The World Needs Now. Her face looks like a toffee apple. Jayne and Chris skate. I get distracted by the singing girl going flat and not being able to sustain any notes. Also, Jayne is frickin' amazing. If I were Nicky Slater I'd ring Chris and tell him that he's fortunate to have done so well in life because Jayne is the difference between him and everyone else in the world, but I'm not.

Here are Phil and Holly, who has BALLOONED WITH BABY in the past seven days. She is wearing a pretty cornflower-blue muumuu. They witter on about the freakin' Ultimate Skillzorz Test some more. They have to do steps, jumps and spins. "Now it really matters!" claims the voiceover. Does it? Does it really? I'm going with "no". [I do however appreciate the implication that everything up to this point has been entirely meaningless, though. - Steve] Chris reckons everyone has been struggling with at least one element; Jayne says to look out for Sam, Chloe, Vanilla ICE and Laura. Because they are the ones who are not entirely shit.

Here are the contestants, then - Johnson and Jodeyne; Laura and Colin; Kerry and Dan; Jeff and Isabelle (who is just in her underwear); Chloe and Michael (who looks a bit scrawny); Denise and Matt (who starred on BBC Three last night); Vanilla ICE and Katie; and Sam and Brianne, who I actually remembered this time, probably because Jayne reminded me about them five seconds ago.


Last week, Michael starred as Enjolras in an entirely rewritten version of Les Mis, and Emma lied that Chloe could be world-class, because clearly she'd know. This week, Chloe has to do Ultimate Skillzorz, and has mostly shouted at poor Michael. With massive understatement, he says she is being hard to work with. She blames it on losing confidence. Whatever, you miserable moo. Like Bunton, though, she reckons she gets panic attacks. It pissed me off when Bunton used to claim she had panic attacks just before she went on stage on Strictly. If you were having real panic attacks, bint, you wouldn't be standing, let alone dancing. What you mean is that you're nervous.

Anyway, they skate to Little Bird, and some of Chloe's lines are very ugly, but they do a really mad bit where she's upside down and pumping her fists, which is clearly brilliant. First set of marks - Jason 5.5, Robin 5.5 and Emma 7.5 for 18.5. Chloe apologises to Michael for being a bitch all week. Phil makes excuses for her. Michael taunts us with the idea that the series is nearly over. Robin says there are up to six points for the skills and four for performance, and then utterly confuses me, so I'll hope Steve understood that. [No such luck. - Steve] Emma says she gave Chloe 1.5 out of 2 for each of her three skills, because Emma is qualified to judge on skating skills, you see. Jason says something about being grotesque. Karen and Judy pull similar bitchfaces.


Back with a joke about Denise being a dirty old perv, and then it's over to Johnson and Jodeyne. Chris and Jayne say that Johnson enjoyed the sentiment of his pointless illogical Spamalot homage last week, which is good, because nobody else did. Chris is making Johnson lift Jodeyne over his head, because just doing the Ultimate Skillzorz isn't good enough. And hooray, lovely Sean turns up to show Johnson how to be a Real Man and throw Jodeyne about properly. "Keep her safe, OK?" he says, before adding with an ironic quaver, "she's my pride and joy."

Look at Jodeyne and Sean doing proper skating to the Apprentice music (from 3min 50secs). Loving the bit where he throws her in the air and she twizzles. She is older than she looks, obviously. And he had hair!

Anyway, they're skating to She Will Be Loved, and the lift is fairly ugly, but Jodeyne doesn't fall and nor does Johnson, and I think everyone is basically happy with that. Scores - Jason 4.5, Robin 5.0 and Emma 5.0 for a total of 14.5. Phil points out that he did all the skillzorz and a lift. Jodeyne is proud, of course. Chris says the scores are lower because of the skillzorz.

Seriously, I cannot get over this. When they've spent the entire series telling us Jason is marking the dance, Emma is marking performance, and Robin is the skating expert, how can they possibly now ask Jason and Emma to award 60 per cent of their marks to the skating when they do not know anything about it? [And Robin sort of suggested earlier that either all of the other week's marks are meaningless, or this week's marks are meaningless. Either way, the two seem to be incompatible. - Steve]

Right, back to the rink. Simon Weston is in the audience. Emma talks. I'm bored.

Laura and Colin now, skating to Sam Brown's Stop!, which is Steve's favourite song. They go and meet that absolute twat from Pineapple Studios for a random pointless dance class. Laura's spins are slow OVER THE ICE and that's not a very flattering skirt length on her. There's a great lift, though Laura struggles to keep her legs steady and thuds back down, and her steps are good. Frankly, though, the most notable thing about this routine is the way they have butchered the soundtrack. [I really liked this routine. I didn't even notice that they'd butchered the song, so it must have been good. Although a lot of the songs were really truly massacred tonight. - Steve] Scores - straight 8.5.s for a total of 25.5.

While the judges talk for a bit, watch this. It's CRAZY.

By the way, I just heard Bunton say, "I couldn't fault that." Yes, because you know fuck-all about skating.


Tedious old Jeff now. Last week he was being Raoul, except even more tedious and wet. This week he is going to perform his skillzorz, but reminds us that he fell out of the last spin that he tried to do. In rehearsal he smacks his elbow, and then in dress rehearsal he clatters himself and Isabelle, which is frankly a bit excessive. They're skating to Forget You, and though Jeff splatters up a storm of ice every time he has to spin or do steps and none of them are synchronised, he doesn't fall over or maim Isabelle, who remains the most attractive person left in the competition. [YOU TAKE THAT BACK. - The Matt Evers Appreciation Society] Scores - Jason 5.5, Robin 5.5 and Emma 5.0 for 16.0. Jeff blathers about his nerves and needing to attack the routine. Isabelle, it is interesting to note, is smiling but leaning very obviously away from him. Emma witters on about fancying Jeff, Jason says it was messy and misplaced, Robin says the content was hard. Karen says she agrees with the comments but reiterates how hard the content was. Jason interrupts, and then Robin puts his Head Judge hat on to explain why some skaters get hard content they can't really do. Jeff keeps fucking whinging about needing to be pushed. At this point, Steve suggested on Twitter that FRANKIE! might be able to push him. After a lengthy discussion, we decided that between us we could fulfil his pushing requirements, shoving him from one side of the rink to the other, on his FACE. Problem solved.


Phil welcomes us back and also says hello to "the wonderful Coleen Nolan". That's funny, I thought she was the entirely mediocre Coleen Nolan. She is pleased that she didn't have to do Ultimate Skillzorz, and is no longer skating. Good, well, that was a job worth doing then, wasn't it? She is of course supporting Denise and Matt, who are the next to skate with a "packed routine". Lovely Matt tells her all week that she can do things, when the evidence suggests completely the opposite. They're skating to True Colours (wearing entirely white costumes) and poor Lovely Matt, he's really struggling to make his skating as slow and simple as Denise's is. That must actually be very tricky. "A brave attempt," says Gubba, and it's rewarded with straight 5.5s and a total of 16.5 - her highest ever. Simon Weston is sitting next to Tim Healy who gets to his feet and waves his arms, possibly the most animated he has ever been on this show. Well done, Tim Healy! Everyone keeps saying "serenity". Jason says he is proud of Denise. Karen genuinely looks like she is imagining new and varied ways to kill him.

Next, Sam and Brianne. Sam is happy with his skillzorz, but he is worried that Laura is catching him up. In order to wow the crowds, he's going to risk Brianne's life in the headbanger, which the show is trying to tell us is the first one EVAH by a male "celeb". "It's a move that is left to the professionals," says Chris, with tremendous understatement. Karen tells Sam that if he gets to the moment and he's not absolutely sure, then he DOES NOT DO THE MOVE. I like that we are ignoring David Seaman's near-decapitation of Pam in their headbanger, which was Pam's fault for presenting her boot wrongly, but they still did it. As Steve rightly blogged in the curtain-raiser to last series: "VO Phil says that the only non-professional man to ever attempt the headbanger was David Seaman." Phil, can your memory really have deteriorated that much in the space of a year? Or are you hoping ours have?

Anyway, they skate, it's fine, quite dull, Brianne doesn't die, who cares? [She does wallop her arm on the ice several times, and looks pretty annoyed when she comes back up. - Steve] Scores are 1.0 less than Laura, so that is funny. Phil asks Brianne about shouting during the headbanger. Apparently she shouts, "OUT!" when she's had enough. (Fnar.) Jayne makes a snarky comment about it being the only "travelling headbanger" she's ever seen, because Sam failed to stay fixed on the spot. Stupid audience people boo Jason for giving Sam 1.5 instead of 2.0 for one of the elements. I wasn't paying attention, I'm sorry. Once more, we can but hope Steve can fill in the blanks for me. [Jason tells the people who are booing to get a fucking grip. For once, I am entirely in agreement with him. - Steve]


Kerry and Dan next. She talks a lot in her VT and I'm not actually convinced that it's in English. She's worried about jumping. Karen ties her into a weird fishing-rod harness to practise, which apparently helps. Well done, Karen! And actually, Kerry manages to skate by herself for a large proportion of the routine, even when she's not supposed to be and Dan is holding his hand out to her fruitlessly. Gubba informs us that Kerry's booked a holiday next week. Scores - Jason 2.5, Robin 3.0 and Emma 3.5 for a total of 9.0, her lowest ever. "It's only a TV show!" she says. "I'm having a good time!" Jason says Kerry has given up on herself and that is a shame.


Hey, shall we watch some Nicky and Karen?

This week, Vanilla ICE is ON ICE to ICE ICE Baby! "What if I screw up my own song?" he wonders. So. Many. Jokes. "I can't dance like that on ice," he points out. Then brilliantly, he dances on his blades at the side of the rink with Katie and Chris trying to copy. "Ice Ice Katie!" he keeps singing.

Ah, so this is why he has this week's pimp slot. They dance in front of the panel for a bit. Jason is LOVING it. This is really, really good, actually. He is singing along. Is that more acceptable for Jason, do you think, as it's his own song he's syncing to? Gubba claims Vanilla ICE is not doing this show for the money. Then - what the hell is he doing it for? Scores - 7.5, 7.5 and 7.0 for a total of 22.0. "I never thought that my job would lead me to this," says Katie, with massive understatement. Robin says it was the best overall performance of the night. Huzzah! Then Emma starts to flap because she meant to give 7.5 too. So that's 22.5 overall. [So apparently we can add "button-pushing" to the things that Bunton is not qualified to do correctly. - Steve] Vanilla ICE thanks Jayne and Chris, Jayne and Chris thank Vanilla ICE. It's all good.

So that's it! Laura and Colin are top, Kerry and Dan are bottom. Time for Wild at Heart? [Or, if you're me, True Blood recorded on the V+ box. - Steve] Join us again in an hour...

Results show

Phil welcomes us back, and he and Holly keep saying "skills". Time for a recap? Don't mind if I do. Chloe is happy with her marks as it was a difficult week, and her parents are proud of her. Johnson liked the lift, which he thought felt really good. Laura and Colin were nervous but are amazed at their scores. Jeff hopes he will stay in. Denise is reeling from the nice comments from Jason. Sam whines about not being top, but apparently you can't be top all the time. Well, no, not if you're not the best one. Ray FUCKING Quinn managed it though. Kerry is sure she will be in the skate-off. Phil and Holly mock her. Vanilla ICE loves his great partner and is glad that Robin thought they were best.

Over to the judges. Jason notes that the skillzorz test affected overall performance. Wasn't that the idea? Concentrating on skillzorz over performance? Robin says that the celebrities mostly did quite well. Nobody cares what Bunton thinks, but then they never do.

Time for some results? Touch your ear! Through - Denise and Matt; Sam and Brianne; Laura and Colin; Vanilla ICE and Katie; Chloe and Michael; and time for an ad break before the final couple is announced................................


.........................................................and it's Johnson and Jodeyne, who begins to dance around like a mad thing. I increasingly heart Jodeyne. So it's Kerry and Dan v Jeff and Isabelle in the skate-off, and we might as well save time here because we know what's going to happen. Jayne thinks skillzorz week has made an impact on the leaderboard. Chris suggests both couples skate better. Good idea, Chris! Anyway, Jeff and Isabelle are definitely loads better this time round, and Kerry and Dan look like they've been in the pub, including a desperate section where Kerry nearly falls out of a lift. (Not an elevator lift. A lift ON ICE.) Kerry bellows at Phil about it having been an honour and now is going to swim to her holiday. Dan, Jayne and Chris patronise Kerry for trying hard, and Chris says Dan is great for not letting Kerry die. Anyway, everybody saves Jeff and bids Kerry farewell.

Kerry starts to cry, of course, and thanks everybody in the country, reiterating that her kids are proud. She then points at everyone in the studio and thanks them too. Dan diplomatically says that partnering Kerry has been a "journey" and she is his winner.

Next week is the Dancing on Ice World Tour. What the hell is that going to be? [I have my fingers crossed for The Amazing Race ON ICE. - Steve] Find out with Steve! Until then, goodnight!

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