Tx: Sunday 20th March, 2011
Good evening, children, and welcome to this year's semi-final ON ICE. Yes, the series, which began only three thousand years ago, with just eighteen million contestants, is drawing to a close, with our final quartet of Laura, Sam, Chloe and Johnson still standing. You'll notice that one of those contestants is a significantly weaker skater than the others. However, I should point out that FRANKIE! enlightened us all on Twitter earlier today that Johnson in fact began the series in a coma. (While the rest of us are slipping wearily into one.) So that's that one cleared up.
I also must point out that on the Sky EPG, Johnson was given his full title of Lance-Corporal, whereas Sam was described as an "ex-EastEnders actor" and neither Chloe or Laura's metiers were included. Maybe that's because they're so famous (much like FRANKIE!) they need no introduction? Or, y'know, the other thing.
Anyway, this week's shock twist, which leaked onto the internet by the end of last Sunday's show and which everyone involved in the programme seems to have given up keeping secret, is that each contestant must skate a solo routine this week. Previously, Jeff fucked off, defeated by props, as Sam had been, and we are treated to a reprise of Sam's protest against headwear. Now, people are excited and want to win. Including Johnson. Chloe is very fearful and Michael pats her like a scared puppy (there's also a cute bit where she hurls herself at him and he picks her up like you would a toddler); Sam claims skating solo is like being naked; Chris thinks it is too close to call, and Jayne is hoping for some tricks. Right on cue, everybody reckons they are going to do the headbanger, or at least something as dangerous as it.
Here are Phil, Holly and the imminent new person emerging from under her frock. They welcome us, and immediately the "skating stars" - Laura and Colin; Johnson and Jodeyne; a wobbly Chloe and Michael; and Sam and Brianne. Phil promises us an exciting semi-final. The rest of the series hasn't been exciting, Phil, why are you changing the format now?
Quick clip of lovely Robin being forced into playing the bad guy and telling the contestants they have to skate solo. I like the way he says, "You WILL skate again." This week, contestants can score up to 60.0. He advises them to be selfish, to enjoy the limelight and commit to the performances. I want ROBIN TO SKATE.
Shitty montage of the judges saying mostly patronising things about the contestants, with shockingly minimal content from Robin. Laura says they never expected to reach the semi-final; Sam says it has been an amazing journey; Johnson says he can make it to the final; Chloe thought she would be eliminated immediately. Back at the rink, everyone agrees this is the highest standard of skating ever (sigh - you'd hope, they've been skating for THREE THOUSAND YEARS). [I had a long drive home on Sunday, and missed the start of this show by 15 minutes. I wasn't wholly surprised to discover I hadn't actually missed any of the competitive skating. - Steve]
Here we go then. Chloe is proud of herself and is now excited about the semi-final, demanding that Chris "hit" her with some choreography. Karen says it is the first time that a female celebrity has done a knee slide, which Chloe is struggling with; and then we see a stupid lift where Chloe stands on Michael's chest. "This is the most ridiculous thing we've ever tried to do," she concludes. In the dress rehearsal, she throws a bit of a wobbler and Michael, God bless him, gets a bit annoyed.
And here is where I finalise my decision that I actually love Michael. Before they skate out, he MOCKS COLIN BY DOING A STUPID WINK TO THE CAMERA. Michael ftw! They're skating to Firework, and the ridiculous lift looks a total fucking mess. Chloe skates much more fluidly for the end of the routine, but then she and Michael lock blades and both crash to the ground. Not a good display, kids. Straight 7.0s, and Michael kisses her hair. He has bashed his cheek on the ground, and he says the fall was his fault because he stepped too wide. Then everyone is all like "well, you did the hard bit!" ignoring the fact that it all went horribly wrong. Robin says it was FAST OVER THE ICE and calls Michael "Frenchie". Like on Grease? Jason has stolen Sam's hat from last week and decided to wear it in tribute. Emma says she is confused. Emma confuses me.
Johnson and Jodeyne now. He enjoyed last week and thinks he handled the props well. He is now ready to take it to the end, and likes his track this week, Life Goes On. Chris tells us that Johnson is the weakest skater left and has to up his game and be FAST OVER THE ICE. However, Johnson is struggling with remembering both routines, and fears he is "full up of information".
Tonight they are wearing some really ugly outfits. It never fails to amaze me how they can make attractive people look dreadful on this show (and Strictly, to be fair). This is not a great display of mastery from Johnson; Jodeyne is clearly leading and prompting him. However, he does manage to smile and put across a semblance of a performance. 6.0s from the boys, 6.5 from Emma for a total of 18.5. Jodeyne leaps in to talk about how great Johnson is, particularly in keeping her safe and doing tricks that she normally does with Sean. Chris is proud of Johnson's complex routine. Emma snarks that this was very basic compared to Chloe, but keeping it simple is the best thing for him. [And for her, probably. - Steve] Jason is unnecessarily bitchy about it being a tedious performance, and then Robin says that Johnson compromises his performance by concentrating on getting things right and looking after Jodeyne. Which is a much nicer way to say it. Because Robin is classy, rather than a pissy old (balding) queen.
Laura and Colin next. Jayne says it has been an exciting series because there have been lots of different people emerging at the top of the leaderboard. I say it has been a dull series because...it's been dull. This week Laura and Colin are doing lots of tricks, and lots that they haven't done before. Including the headbanger. Karen presents her with a helmet. "You must wear this. Otherwise it's bye-bye semi-final," she portentously declares.
They're skating to The Last Dance, and Laura has some hilarious SRS ACTING FACES on. When she is skating, she is gorgeous, and the tricks all work, although she skirts the ice with her hair worryingly on the headbanger. 9.5s from the idiot judges, 9.0 from Robin for a total of 28.0. Laura screeches about having felt the ice and it being closer than when it was in the dress rehearsal. Colin is all, "YEAH WHATEVER ADRENALINE!!!!!1111ELEVENTY!!!" Jason says it was a semi-finalist performance, and Robin says it was a "finalist-wanting-to-be" performance. Crazy old Emma takes about goosebumps. Karen says that headbanger was the closest she has ever seen. Laura beams happily.
Um, what the hell is this? It's a SAND ARTIST. Artistifying to the sounds of Yellow by Coldplay. As Jayne and Chris skate around him and the image he is creating is beamed on to the ICE. I...don't even get this. Jayne and Chris have a nice lie-down. [I don't understand why, if they had to fill time, they did it three-quarters of the way through the performances. It just made it look like they thought Sam was so awesome they wanted to separate him from everyone else. - Steve]
Phil makes an inappropriate joke about stealing all the sand for gritting the roads, and then lies that Sam is over last week's Hat-Gate. The show certainly isn't, as that particular episode takes up the first half of his introductory VT. We then see them try to do the headbanger, but Laura has stolen that particular clap of thunder. Sam then worries about having been so awesome all series and being the bookies' favourites. Brianne's hair looks dreadful; much like Christina Aguilera's, with all that entails.
They're skating to Don't Stop The Music. [A hideous cover thereof, to be precise. With this week and last week, I'm wondering what Rihanna did to upset this show. - Steve] Sam's chest hair is on display. Sorry, must go and vomit quickly.
Right, where was I? Oh yes, Sam and Brianne. Yeah, whatever. He lifts her over his head, their footwork is tricksy and intricate, she doesn't die in the headbanger (though his feet look wobbly afterwards). 9.5s from the boys, 9.0 from Emma, for a total of 28.0, to tie with Laura. Sam crows that he stayed on the spot during the headbanger. AND THEN FOR FUCK'S SAKE SAM STARTS TO TALK ABOUT THE BLOODY HAT. How exactly is THAT being over it? Jason smugs about being right and thanks Sam for his "gallant" apology. Emma witters about the "sparkle" between the two of them. Robin tells him that in previous weeks he was skating for the wrong reasons (a pay cheque?). Sam then displays a cut finger and Phil tells us that there is blood on the ice.
So the leaderboard - Sam and Laura tied, then Laura and then Johnson. And next, some solos!
After a break!
We're back. Robin explains that in solo skating, you don't have a partner. Thanks, Robin! He says that it's about commanding and maintaining people's attention. And Chloe has to go first. Jayne and Chris also tell us that solo skating is different, and so they've got Robin to teach the contestants about it. He sets up in a little classroom at the side of a rink, and conducts a workshop. Love.Him. Then he does little tutorials and pokes Chloe in the stomach. "I cannot HELP her!" screeches Michael. Chloe wants to get to the final for Michael's sake. Aw. I love when couples actually like each other.
She's skating to That's Not My Name. She lipsyncs. I thought we'd decided that was a bad idea, even when it's your own song (on ice). She gets through it, and her lines are improved from earlier. Scores - idiots 6.5, Robin 7.0 for a total of 20.0. She says it was a weird experience but she enjoyed it. Jayne says that Chloe looked confident; Chris says they wanted to get Chloe's fun nature out in that routine. Robin thought it was terrific and that she did well coming out first. Emma enjoyed the attitude. Jason says he is nitpicky and thought she was awkward and tentative tonight. Karen says this was a big achievement for Chloe, who covered her mistakes well, and Chloe cackles at this and then shrugs into the camera. Pfft.
Johnson is excited to prove what he has learned in the past five months by skating to Don't Worry Be Happy. "I'm not worried. I'm Beharry," he chuckles. Back to Robin's masterclass, in which he introduces a video showing by saying, "We've selected one of my performances from the world professional championships, which I WON," and I then have to pause the SkyPlus because I'm laughing so hard. Back to the show and Johnson's face when watching Robin skate is so adorable. Johnson intends to enjoy his skate, like he always does.
He actually does look remarkably comfortable, more so than one would expect. He too is lipsyncing, and his choreography is much like a nursery school's singalong routine. Scores - Jason 4.5, Robin 5.0, Emma 6.0 for a total of 15.5. Johnson complains about the smiley faces being beamed onto the ice, which keep "looking" and "winking" at him. Jayne is proud of Johnson. Jason says he was worried and unhappy with that performance, which demonstrates Johnson's awkwardness and that he is not as good as the others. But you didn't need a solo skate to show that, silly. Emma points out how much progress he's made, and then says her foetus kicked all the way through the routine. Seriously, she's increasingly barking. [I don't blame Bunto's foetus for kicking her. If I were close enough, I'd do the same. - Steve] Robin wanted to see more of the playful Johnson. Jodeyne says that he inspires her to do better every week, because she's very sweet. Karen thinks Johnson coped well with a simple and entertaining routine.
Laura next, and Chris says that she likes to push herself but usually she has Colin to rein her in. Robin suggests that she think, "Yeah, Colin, you've been lovely for the past few months, but now it's ALL ABOUT ME." And thus she skates to These Boots Are Made For Walking, in one of the most hideous outfits I have ever seen, and attempting to look coquettish by twirling her pigtails, for this is the Jessica Simpson version, and all is not right with the world. Scores - Jason 8.5, Robin 9.0 and Emma 9.0 for a total of 26.5. Laura pretends she is surprised. Chris says Laura comes alive on the ice (because she's really dull the rest of the time? How rude). Emma says that Laura is a confident, competitive performer who is upping her game. Jason notes some musicality problems, but says she deserves to reach the final. Robin never thought it would be better with Colin. Heh.
Finally, Sam. Chris says it is his chance to shine, so choreographs a hydroglide for him, which apparently he can't do properly. However, everyone is hoping it doesn't go wrong tonight. OK then. He's skating to Superstition, which I can't listen to without tormenting myself with memories of having to play that bass line back in the day - it's hideously difficult. Whereas Sam is just hideous, with hip thrusting and stripping and breakdancing and using Chris Fountain's patented "worm" move. Scores - Jason 9.0, Robin 9.5 and Emma 9.0 for a total of 27.5. Sam says initially he was terrified and wanted Brianne, but has enjoyed it, and then moans about not throwing his jacket far enough away. Robin says the routine was clean and controlled, with great speed OVER THE ICE. Emma is glad that Sam got to do a solo, and then pontificates on how much fun it is being a "solo artist". Jason says that overall it was an excellent solo skate. Brianne is fake-pissed off that he didn't miss her. Karen says that Brianne is noisy. Sam then makes a late plea for votes. Shameless, I tell you. SHAMELESS.
Right, that's it. Sam and Brianne are top, then Laura and Colin, then Chloe and Michael, and then Johnson and Jodeyne. What will happen? Wait an hour, and you'll find out...
Earlier tonight, all that stuff above! Now, the skate-off!
And a recap - Chloe and Michael are gutted that they went wrong in the crossover; Johnson had fun; Laura scolds Colin for being cheeky and bouncing her in the headbanger, and he attempts to ingratiate himself by saying he only did it because she was so good; with his head in Brianne's cleavage, Sam says he has his fingers crossed that they've done enough. Then the solo recaps - Chloe thought it was exciting, but doesn't think she's done enough this week to make it to the final; Johnson says he is capable of skating by himself, even though it's not perfect; Laura missed Colin but hopes she's got them both through to the final; Brianne says she and Sam are "back in the game"
Robin invents the word "acompletelynother"; Jason was a bit disappointed with Chloe but in another way wasn't; Emma loved the solos, headbangers and Laura. Good, glad we know that, Bunton.
Touch your ear, Phil. Give us the good stuff. Yes, it's results time - in the final are: Sam and Brianne...and...after a break...Laura and Colin. Who go really quite insane.
Time to skate again, then, and Jayne says that the public can really see the skaters now, while Chris suggests that Chloe avoids falling over and that Johnson show his playful side, employing the verb "to pizzazz".
Chloe and Michael go first and, though evidently nervous, don't fall over; Michael displays his war wound, and Chloe is highly entertained that the bruise looks a bit like a firework. Chris says he keeps grabbing Jayne when Chloe does a scary lift. Phil tells him to stop choreographing them, and man's got a point.
Then Johnson and Jodeyne, who surely know they're on their way out no matter what they do now, so basically grin their way through. Despite that, Johnson says he didn't like it as much as the first time round; Jodeyne goes all weepy again about Johnson's inspirationalness. Johnson then tries to take the mic to do his thank-yous, but Phil refuses to let him because there is time allowed for that when the decision is made. Basically Johnson is pre-empting it in order for us all to get to bed earlier. Robin congratulates Johnson but saves Chloe; Jason says it is about a final to be proud of, and though Johnson has come a long way, he is saving Chloe; and Emma concurs with the inspirationality but Chloe is saved.
So Johnson and Jodeyne are out, having made it a surprisingly long way. Johnson says he is not sad because he has had so much fun, and then finally gets to do his thank-yous. And next week, we have a final, with the three least famous people who competed in this series! And Steve will recap it! See you then!