Tx: Sunday 6th February 2011
You know how Big Brother jumped the shark and kept bringing in more and more ludicrous gimmicks in an effort to keep its viewing figures but they moved further and further away from everything that made the show good in the first place and managed to drag in some new viewers because it was such car-crash television?
Yeah, that wasn't good, was it?
Just bear that in mind. Especially if you're a producer of Dancing on Ice. Actually, if you're a producer of Dancing on Ice, just remind yourself of the first couple of series of this show. You remember - when it was about skating, and the simplicity of having a weekly required element actually allowed even the non-skating judges (oh, that's right, THERE WEREN'T ANY) to compare the contestants.
Or, thinking about it, have you already been doing that, and ignoring the stuff that made this an interesting show, and opting instead to bring in the stuff that made it over-the-top light entertainment? That would explain the reprise of Vegas Night, first seen in Series 1, and featuring John Barrowman as Elvis.
And seriously, you can only get away with that shit when you have Barrowman in your cast. I think we can all agree that there is nobody in this year's line-up even slightly as jazz-hands sing-out-Louise as Barrowman.
Let's get on with it, shall we?
Pre-titles! The contestants are skating in Vegas! Except not! There will be rubbish skating and injury porn! Much like every other week!
Oh, bizarre pre-filmed montage in the world's least glamorous casino, before we see Torvill and Dean begin a pro cast routine to Copacabana, with Colin doing backflips and OH IT'S SEAN! I'm mildly mollified. Oh! And then ROBIN DOES MAGIC! He makes Torvill and Dean appear in a big cage! And then makes them change their costume! Also, the sight of Sean trying to do club dancing (on ice) is brilliant. OK, so this is a big lengthy extravaganza, which is lovely (and notably all the contestants are missing). Why isn't Robin skating, or at least doing something worthy of his talent? We are being robbed, my friends, robbed, I tell you. [The whole thing did go on for at least a minute too long, though. I started doing my accounts. - Steve]
Phil and Holly welcome us, and tell us that the skaters will face a skating test and have to perform some elements. Well, it's about time. The people nominated to teach them in the weeks to come about these are Chris Fountain (who didn't win, by the way), last series' champion, and then some smug 50s-throwback twat. Phil and Holly congratulate Jayne and Chris on their lovely routine. Maybe Phil and Holly could be judges.
Right, time for some contestants: Jeff and Isabelle, Jen and Sylvain, Sam and Brianne, Laura and Colin, the no-surname twins, Kerry and Dan, Johnson and Jodeyne, Chloe and Michael (in a HAT and BRACES), Vanilla Ice and Katie, and Denise and Matt. And once we have them gathered on the rink, what better time to show some ads? And trail some weeping, of course.
I'm not going to make it to the end of this series, am I? [Me neither, for reasons that will become clear at the end of this recap. - Steve]
The stupid showgirls who are purporting to make this a Vegas-themed programme waggle their feathered fans concealing Phil and Holly, and it suddenly occurs to me that the tux-clad Mr Schofield is making a bid to play Billy Flynn in the West End. It's OK, Phil! Playing a lead role in Chicago comes to everyone in their time!
Jen and Sylvain are performing first, and she has to skate by herself to prove that she can do it after throwing a bit of a hissyfit last week at the judges' comments. [Sticking her on first, reminding us that she was a tad ungracious last week - she didn't stand a chance, did she? - Steve] This week, she is performing as Cher to If I Could Turn Back Time. She begins by herself, then there are a lot of lifts and elements where she leans on Sylvain. There's a side-by-side step sequence that isn't synchronised, and her lines look very wobbly from time to time. Gubba reminds us that these two are supposed to be shagging, as if we could forget. Scores - Jason 6.0, Robin 7.0 and Emma 6.0 for a total of 19.0. It really wasn't that good. You are all daft. Sylvain says Jen "did really great". Chris says they are part of the front-running group, and she needs to overcome her worries. This week, Jason is dressed as Billy Bunter, and admires their synchronicity (which was shit), asking them to stop holding back on the emotion: "it's as if you are a beautiful facade." Robin says she did well with the step sequence, but they can't be at the expense of the whole performance. Emma looks anaemic, and asks Jen to "own" the lift, or something.
We've had ten minutes of programme - surely it's time for another break? Phil promises us more Sin City after the break. [I thought he said Sim City. That would've been more entertaining. - Steve] So far, I actually fail to see how this is Vegas at all, apart from having showgirls standing around. You might as well have got a roulette wheel and put it by the judges' desk, it'd have served the same purpose.
Phil and Holly do a tedious little skit which ends with the gag that Holly smells, or something. Time for Jeff and Isabelle. He says being in the Ice Pick was easy because he didn't have to do anything, and thinks he is one good performance away from "arriving in the competition". Does that mean the competition still hasn't bloody started? Performance coach Kate comes in to tell Jeff that he is a lazy twat and should be better at things. I could do that.
They're skating to It's Not Unusual. Jeff is clearly doing Acting because he has a character face on, and makes as if to kiss Isabelle before they start the routine. The strongest feeling I have from this Tom Jones-themed dance - which is pretty good, actually - is that Chris so choreographed this because he wants to dance it with Jayne. You can just imagine it - the hip-grinding, the faux-arm-kissing, the Jayne-perched-on-shoulder moves. Love it. Scores - Jason 5.5, Robin 7.5, Emma 7.0 for a total of 20.0. Jeff reminds us that HE IS A DAD WITH CHILDREN. He then talks some bollocks about people wanting to see the skating rather than the performance, and that his name is Tom and Isabelle is called Natasha. Robin gives a big huzzah for Jeff's quality basic skating skills. Emma employs sibilance but little else. Jason says Jeff is doing much better.
Laura and Colin next. She lies that she is glad Sam is in the competition. She and Colin then totally fuck up their spiral lift in rehearsal, and she slices her blade through his leg. Still, at least it's not your scrotum, Colin. My Andrei and Pavel were not so lucky. This week they're skating to It's All Coming Back To Me Now, dressed in bright white, all the better to show up the blood if Laura maims Colin. They pull off the lift well, but the look of concentration on her face until she gets her balance is brilliant. It's a lovely, lyrical routine, although there's a slight stumble at the end. Good work. Scores - Jason 8.5, Robin 8.0 and Emma 7.5 for a total of 24.0. "Are you sure?" demands Colin. Laura does the humble thank-you routine....and I've just noticed, they actually DO have roulette chips on the judges' table. This show, srsly. Anyway, Jason says he was really moved, Emma jabbers about knocking marks off because the stumble was in front of her (clearly the ghost of Nicky Slater ON RELATIVE ICE has possessed her), Robin was happy with them showing such emotion. Karen says that Laura puts her heart and soul into everything, and they are a good team, and they had one of the most difficult step sequences. Ah, remember when people had to skate the same elements? So you could see who did them best? Good times.
Denise and Matt do a little arm-wrestling skit, and Matt appears to have a £50 note. Did I see that right? Clearly he's been storing up the cash Heather Mills split with him. Last week she got rubbish scores and doesn't understand why; Jayne and Chris wonder why she's not got any better; Denise says she relies on Matt the entire time, and, after a tumble in the dress rehearsal, promises us that she will 'rethink' and do the whole thing tonight. Good idea!
They're skating to 'S Wonderful and Matt is pulling the cutest Twenties Charleston faces ever as Denise carefully tip-toes her way through her step sequence. It's unfortunate that the troublesome bit comes towards the end, because as soon as she's done it, she looks so much more relaxed and happy. Know who doesn't look relaxed and happy? Tim Healy. He looks bored. [In Tim Healy's defence, I think you or I would be gnawing our own limbs off if we actually had to sit through this shit every week without the benefit of fast-forward. - Steve] Scores - straight 4.5s for 13.5. The audience boo but Denise and Matt seem moderately content. Denise is also happy because Jayne says she did well. Emma patronises her, Jason says he only gives her a hard time because he loves her (the camera cuts away at this point to Karen fiddling with her hair), and Robin uses his rhetorical question device (does he? YES) yet again.
People lie that Dave and Frankie are entertaining. Dave says that he needs to show that he can skate, and Chris is worried about him being tired because of his daily routine. Seriously, don't start this shit. I've got no patience with it. Either don't do the fucking show if you haven't got time to do it properly, or do the show and stop your whinging. I told Metcalfe that the other week, it applies to you as well. There's a brilliant bit in rehearsal where Dave careens out of control and you can hear Frankie panicking, which she does through the method of making a sound like an air-raid siren - "Whoo! Whoooooo!"
Oh, fucking hell, it's a COMEDY routine to Please Release Me. Bored of comedy shit now. Surely Jason must mark him down on the assumption that he cannot do anything that isn't COMEDY. Frankie falls over at one point when she's supposed to be balanced on his boot and even though I've re-watched it, I can't really work out how it happened. Total of 11. Frankie says she fell, and even pros fall after 30 years of skating, so the judges shouldn't penalise Dave. Dave then says that there are people that work in factories and have three kids who get up earlier than him, so he should really stop his whining. Chris says the step sequence was OK and the ice is rough, so that's why Frankie fell. Dave keeps talking over Chris. Don't talk over Chris, you fool, he'll cut you. Robin says Dave focuses too hard on things so it doesn't gel. Emma wondered if he was playing a wooden soldier because his movement was so stiff, and wanted more comedy. Seriously, Bunton? "You're like a cod mime artist with rigomortis," says Jason. Is a corpse better or worse than a lump of turd? Who can really say?
Still to come - Johnson in a vest, Vanilla Ice regaining his memory!
And apparently a really lame Elvis lookalike. Honestly, even Barrowman was more convincing. [That's because he KNOWS HIS CRAFT. - Steve] This is all to lead in to the VT of Vanilla Ice and Katie, who are skating to Blue Suede Shoes, despite the fact that he buggered off to Canada for most of the week and didn't rehearse. And that is it. Out on the rink, he is skating in blue boots and sneering his way through miming to the backing track. It is fun enough, and ends with him throwing Katie over his head. They both laugh. Well, that's nice. Scores - Jason 5.5, Robin 5.0 and Emma 5.5 for a total of 16.0. Vanilla Ice claims to not be delusional, and then Phil reminds us that he had concussion last week. I had totally forgotten that. Maybe I have been hit on my head at some point. Jayne says she's never seen so much energy from Elvis. Well, no, because he's dead. Robin says Vanilla Ice skates like a hockey player trying to be a figure skater, but he likes that he looks after his partner. Jason begs Vanilla Ice not to mime along with the words. Karen says the judges are stingy and she hates them, the pissy bitches.
Last week, Johnson thought he was shaky at points, and now he wants to be better. Chris and Jayne note that he's not fully confident, but he has always coped well with that he's been given. Johnson recalls that he was probably the worst person Jayne and Chris have ever seen on the ice when they did their initial assessment of his skillzorz. This week he has struggled with the step sequence. That is all. He and Jodeyne are skating to Piano Man. Johnson seems to be taking his blades off the ice sometimes rather than gliding along, and also struggles with supporting Jodeyne's entire weight (of about three stone) at places. Straight 4.0s for a total of 12. Johnson says that tonight he has a friend in the audience who he hasn't seen for five years, since they were in hospital together. Jodeyne looks like she's going to cry with pride; she thinks he's done "not bad" bearing in mind he has memory problems. Jason reminds Johnson he's looking for performance, and he wants to see continued improvement. Karen, meanwhile, is crying, so obviously it's time to cut across to her and let her blub away about Johnson's "major achievement". Jason interrupts her and says, "If your opinion still mattered, you would still be on the panel." Oh, Jason. Are you really under the delusion that anyone cares what you or Bunton think? Karen gets up and offers him out, basically; she asks him to repeat what he said, and then they begin to have a rather embarrassing row before Holly interjects and gets Karen to sit down again. If Karen had any gumption at all, she'd have done a Sharon Osbourne and walked out. See how they liked that, and who's really more important to the show. Or, you know, actually slapped him. I wonder who Karen loathes more - Jason or Nicky? I genuinely think it might be Jason. [I love that there was a Twitter campaign to get Jason sacked after this - like this kind of shit isn't EXACTLY the reason he's still there. - Steve]
Ads! And not a moment too soon!
Sam and Brianne next. I had FORGOTTEN ABOUT THEM AGAIN. Dull, dull, dull, dull, dull. This week, they are skating to I Get A Kick Out Of You. Chris says YET AGAIN that there is a group of front-runners. Sam then weirdly says that this is the first character routine he's done. Shouldn't actors always be finding a character in a performance? If I've learnt nothing else from my study of reality shows, I've definitely learnt that. They then go to the Savoy (ironically, seeing as Brianne seems to be dressed as Elle Woods) to meet a Frank Sinatra impersonator to find out nothing they couldn't have found out from a quick scout through YouTube. They skate, and I do like their steps on the off beat, and also Sam's unintentional comedy straining face when he picks Brianne up by her ankle for the non-headbanger lift. Straight 8.5s for a total of 25.5, the highest of the series. Sam talks boringly about a few mistakes they made, which Brianne claims were her fault, and then he refers to 'Frank', as if he knows him personally. Holly throws to Emma with "Sometimes it's hard to tell which one's the professional," and Emma agrees. Well, yeah, if you know fuck-all about skating. Which Bunton does. Robin loves to see him being so committed to the routine, and says he is capable of a 10.0.
Last week, Kerry was rubbish, and thought she deserved to be in the skate-off. She cries about not enjoying it so much any more, because she can't do it all like everybody else can. "Can't do it!" she whines, like a petulant child. Even patient Dan, bless him, is clearly getting pissed off. "Don't give up on me. Don't give up on YOU!" he demands. But it's OK, everybody, because Kerry HAS CHILDREN and she is doing this FOR THEM. To be fair, the little ones are exceptionally cute.
Oh my goodness, that depth of spray-tan is not a good look with a bright pink costume, Kerry. They're skating to Woman In Love. She is still having problems with the step sequence, and her arms are desperately trying to keep her balanced. [Obligatory "it'll take a lot more than arms to do that" gag. - Steve] Still, the bits where Dan is throwing her about are good. Total of 10.0, and Kerry says she's not as good as everyone else but she is having fun. Except she wasn't the other day. Maybe she forgot. Maybe SHE had a concussion. Robin says that Kerry is a bit rubbish and should be better. So does Emma. So does Jason.
After the break - rabbits and hats!
And - water fountains, apparently, in pitiful attempt to make a gag about the Belagio. Oh, show. Last week, Chloe was a rock chick, except not; this week at the beginning of the "skills weeks", she has to do loads of step sequences to In The Mood, which Jayne and Chris once skated to.
I think once again we are reminded how farcical it is when idiots like Holly and Emma liken DoI contestants to proper skaters like Jayne, Chris and Robin. (NB - that clip begins with Sing Sing Sing, but worth listening to for the commentator using the immortal phrase "ON ICE" right at the start.)
Anyway, Chloe and Michael watch the routine on a laptop, and note how fast Jayne and Chris are OVER THE ICE as well as spotting places where they've been given the same choreography. They are honoured, but also a little scared. Out on the rink, Michael is dressed as the world's gayest soldier, and Chloe as a slutty Miss Moneypenny, for some reason. It's quick, it's quite rock'n'rolly rather than Forties, but it's performed well, with some good footwork from Chloe and a great lift or two. Scores - Jason 7.0, Robin 7.5 and Emma 7.5 for a total of 22.0. Chloe says it was the hardest routine she's had and Michael agrees that it was achallenging and they were both stressed by it. Heh. Jayne congratulates them; Chris says he doesn't recognise the young people dressed in green in the archive clips. Jason says the technical difficulty compromised her performance; Emma patronises a bit; Robin says, "Props to you, girlie," which I like for no discernable reason.
Right, that's it. Phone. Vote. Come back in a bit.
O HAI PHIL! The phone lines have closed, and this is the skate-off!
Phil lies that the night has been Vegas-like and glamorous. He says he feels like George Clooney. So does Holly. In HER condition. Oh, Willoughby. Time for some recap filler? I think so. Jen hopes she gets through because she likes skating by herself even though she loves Sylvain; Isabelle has really nice eyebrows; Laura can't ask for more than 24.0, so expect no Matt Baker ten-grubbing from her; Denise is glad that people have seen an improvement; Dave thinks it was the worst he has ever skated, and Chris Moyles thought it was dull; Vanilla Ice is a PERFORMER and is here to PERFORM; Johnson thinks he is improving and will try harder, but does not want to get involved in stupid bitchfights between Karen and Jason; I HAD ACTUALLY FORGOTTEN ABOUT SAM AND BRIANNE AGAIN; Kerry thinks she will be in the skate-off, and so does Dan, by the looks of it; Chloe is happy that Robin, the Olympic champion, noticed that she had some hard choreography to do. Idiot.
Holly asks Robin how concentrating on the step sequences has changed the competition. He says that it has changed it a lot. Thanks, Robin. Jason then makes an apology to Karen, which is quite gracious, and then treads on it completely by telling her that she should listen to him more and also stop crying. Karen tells him to talk to the hand, for he is a "nasty, nasty man." Crashing on, then, Emma thinks Chloe most personified the spirit of Vegas. Where have the showgirls gone, by the way?
Some *touches ear* results, then? Safe couples - Sam and Brianne; Jeff and Isabelle ("That's us, right?" he verifies); Kerry and Dan ("oh my GOD. NO!" she screeches) [that's funny, so did I - Steve]; Laura and Colin; Dave and Frankie (who both seem to have strokes); Chloe and Michael; Denise and Matt...and Johnson and Jodeyne.
So Jen and Sylvain, who were fucked over by being put on in the graveyard slot, and Vanilla Ice and Katie, who were fucked over by...him being Vanilla Ice, as far as I can see, will skate again to stay in the competition.
After a quick break, obv.
Back. Jayne and Chris are surprised because Jen and Vanilla Ice are two strong skaters. "Obviously the audience at home aren't listening to the judges," says Chris. Well, quite, but why would anyone listen to Jason and Emma? We've been through this enough times.
I didn't notice before, but Jen has sparkly skates. Jen and Sylvain ftw! They skate, anyway, and Jen is suffering with some injury or other. Sylvain is spectacularly unbothered by both her injury and the prospect of leaving the competition. [I love his Gallic indifference so very much. Also: his arms. - Steve] Vanilla Ice does his obvious miming again this time round, and he and Katie still cackle at the end. He too is unbothered about the prospect of leaving the competition, but wants to give Katie credit for having a broken toe. HA.
The judges decide: Jason saves Vanilla Ice ON ICE; Robin saves Vanilla Ice ON ICE; and Emma also saves Vanilla Ice ON ICE. Although I do think that surely Jason should vote, then Emma, so that the head judge actually does get the casting vote in the event of a tie. This. Fucking. Show. Anyway, Jen and Sylvain can get off the rink and carry on their real-honestly romance in private.
Quick montage of their highlights, then back to the rink to see Jen weeping and Sylvain kissing her head. "See you on This Morning tomorrow! We'll have some tissues! Bye, darling!" bellows Phil as Jen and Sylvain take their lap of honour.
Another week over, kids. And next week Steve will have to recap the horror of a performance from the cast of Wicked, one of the few West End shows I simply cannot bear! Join him then! [I'm not even sure I'm watching next week. Without Sylvain and his arms, what point is there? In anything? *sobs* - Steve] [Man up, Perkins. You still have Matt. I have nothing and NO ONE. - Carrie, who misses her Andrei]