Sunday, 29 January 2012

Battle Royale with Cheese

"The Duel" Week: 29th January 2012

LAST WEEK! People were scared. There was a tie at the top of the leaderboard. Rosemary stumbled again. Chemmy's lift didn't quite come off. Mark went home. Now 12 skaters remain, and it's time to spice up the format. No, it's not the return of the Ice Pick (thankfully), it's the Originally Named Duel! Each couple will compete on the ice against another couple head-to-head, dancing to the same music. The judges will decide which couple wins each duel, and the winners will be immune from the public vote. Everyone's in a fighting mood, of course. Titles? Yeah, titles.

Phil and Christine arrive, and Phil promises us "something very special from Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean". Please don't let it be their holiday snaps. He and Christine then explain the stupid Duel twist that we've already had explained to us in the pre-titles part, other than the new information that the couples were paired up according to their position on the scoreboard last week, meaning that the couples (of couples, bloody hell this is going to get confusing) for this week are:

Matt and Jorgie
Heidi and Charlene
Chico and Sam
Jennifer and Sébastien
Corey and Chemmy
Andy and Rosemary

Shall we meet the couples? Here they are: Jenny Elly and Dan, Sébastien and Brianne, Corey and Brooke, Chemmy and Sean, Andy and Vicky, Rosemary and Mark, Charlene and Matthew (with Charlene looking a lot less like a drag queen this week, which is good news for her but bad news for me, as there's a lot less comedy mileage in her looking fairly normal), Heidi and Andrei, Jorgie and Matt (who are in leathers with fake tattoos, oh dear), Matthew and Nina, Chico and Jodeyne, and Sam and Alexandra. Finally, of course, we have Jayne and Chris, and Jayne is looking very lovely in a red dress tonight. Everybody scooches up a bit for a line-up, and Jayne gives Chris a side-eye. Intriguing.

Everyone disperses, and Phil promises our first duel coming up after the break, while a VT promises more injury porn. Hooray!

Adverts. I still can't believe that the kid from the BT family is getting his own advert spin-off series. Still, anything that moves Kris Marshall out of the picture is a positive, I suppose.

On our return, Christine reminds us all that it is DUEL NIGHT and asks Robin what we're all looking for tonight. Robin says that they'll be sharing the music, which means we get a direct comparison between all of them. Yeah, sure, that sounds like a thing that's going to happen, since I gather they'll be doing different choreography to that music. Dance is asked the same question, and he says he's looking for danger. Katarina says that Jorgie and Matthew are the strongest contestants, so she's very intrigued to see them go head-to-head. She also appears to have borrowed an outfit from Hilary Devey off Dragons' Den.

Our first duel, and the only all-male battle of the night, is Sam versus Chico. Chico says that Sam is a fantastic skater who's getting better and better, while Sam points out that Chico has beaten him score-wise both weeks so far. Chico vows not to underestimate Sam. Jayne says that both celebrities will start the performance together, then one will do a bit on their own, then the other one will take over. That sounds stupid. The judges will be looking for timing, precision, synchronicity and good skating. Chris thinks this is due to be a heck of a duel because they're both exciting people who are also good skaters. Make of that what you will. Alexandra says that Sam's got some crazy footwork to master, and Sam falls over a lot in rehearsals. Chico, meanwhile, is also struggling because he's got so much to learn. In life, generally, I imagine. Jayne says that she can't tell right now who's going to win this one. Which makes it drastically different from most of the others, which are pretty much all foregone conclusions. Sam says that he wants to win. Odd, that.

They skate out in matching outfits - yellow jackets and white tracky bottoms with red stripes down the side - and do a bit of posturing. 'Under Pressure' comes on the soundtrack and they begin with press-ups on the ice, and proceed to be out of sync before Chico scarpers and Sam and Alexandra get their spotlight moment. It's not too bad, but perhaps a little bit overly careful. Nicely controlled, though. There are a few jumps, but they're a bit lame. Then Chico and Jodeyne arrive, and their programme is a lot faster and more showy, as you might expect. Chico is grinning like a maniac, but executing his moves very cleanly and his whole section of the performance just appears to be much better than Sam's. They return to the centre of the ice and both couples do the push-up thing again.

Gubba reviews it all, and points out that Sam did an inside death spiral with Alexandra, while Chico has had to cancel all his bookings - like GOING TO THE DENTIST, lols. There are no scores, so Phil comes straight to Sam, who says they've worked really hard on the footwork this week, and Alexandra says he's a pleasure to skate with. Chico says that he feels like he's going to the Olympics, and he's enjoying every moment of this and feels like "the child of the present moment". Okay, then. Jodeyne says that Alexandra is a great friend of hers, so it's great to share the ice with her, and Chico says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer man than Sam.

Chris says he wants to put moustaches on them both. Keep your sexual fetishes to yourself, Dean. He says that they've worked hard this week and he and Jayne are only going to push them more in the future. Phil tells them that they must head out and face the judges to decide who will win the duel. Dance tells Sam that he's starting to show elegance and grace in his performance, as well as nice lines, but he thinks the connection with his partner is lacking sometimes. He thinks Chico did some lovely turns, but he wants him to watch those connecting steps. He votes to award immunity to Chico and Jodeyne. Robin compliments Sam on his neat footwork, but would've liked more enthusiasm. Chico on the other hand was powerful AND enthusiastic and controlled, so he gets Robin's vote too. So Chico has immunity anyway, but let's go to Katarina because she's awesome. She says that they both gave great performances, and Sam's skating is getting smoother but she wants to see him develop his connection with Alexandra. Chico uses his natural presence, and she was impressed with his axles, and votes for Chico and Jodeyne as well - so Chico gets the immunity, and Sam faces the public vote. Not really a surprise, was it?

Christine asks Sam how it feels, and he says it's been a tough week, but that was a fantastic twist, and he thinks Chico's a great person to be up against because his enthusiasm really spurs you on. I can think of many possible alternative endings to that sentence, with " leap off a cliff and never look back" being just one of them.

Up next are Jennifer and Sébastien. Chris does the "choose your weapons!" gag again, and Sébastien picks Brianne. Damn straight - I'd want her on my side in a fight. Sébastien wants to prove to Dance that he is a performer, and says Jennifer is a great skater, and he fears her dance background because he has none. Jennifer says that she needs to give it a bit of welly, because she'd love to have immunity this week. Jayne says that she thinks Sébastien is uncomfortable with the dancing (ON ICE), but she knows he will go away and work on it. Meanwhile, Jennifer is starting to doubt herself, and Dan says that she can totally win the duel if only she'd BELIEVE. They both deliver a bit of fighting talk, and then it's time to deliver on all of that.

They sass each other a bit (Sébastien totally wins the sass fight, if you ask me) and 'Just Can't Get Enough' (by The Black Eyed Peas) plays. Jennifer's section of the routine is quite balletic in the opening and then moves into more of a hip-hop section. Her skating's getting stronger, and there are some good lifts in this that are executed and landed well. Then Sébastien and Brianne start out with a bit of body-popping and some spins and jumps. His skating isn't as good as Jennifer's, but his performance is more flashy and energetic, so this one could go either way, I guess. Personally, I'd vote for Sébastien, but I'm not the one in control here.

Gubba reminds us that they had tied scores last week, and makes a reference to "The Showgirl and the Frenchman." Ah, yes, that famous film. No doubt the behind-the-scenes antics on that one will be the setting for a future Oscar-contender, My Week With Jayne Torvill.

Jennifer tells Phil that it was lovely to go out there without anxiety for the first time, and she thinks she did a really good job. Dan says he thinks it's the first time she really enjoyed the routine. Jennifer adds that she had a really lovely time skating with Sébastien. Sébastien adds that he really enjoyed it, and he thinks people saw that. Jayne points out that they have very different styles, and she wouldn't like to have to choose between them.

Phil sends them off to face the judges. This time, Robin goes first, and he says that Jennifer is glamorous and elegant and always hits her lifts, as well as really improving her skating. Sébastien is fun and exciting, but needs to work on keeping his legs together. Fnar. He votes to award immunity to Sébastien. Katarina thinks Jennifer has beautiful lines and her skating has improved, but she needs more speed in the crossovers. Sébastien is free of spirit and not polished, but she likes that, and the fact that he did a corkscrew. She votes for Sébastien too. Dance says that he would also have voted for the couple who found their personality this week: Sébastien and Brianne.

Jennifer skates her way over to Christine and says that she really enjoyed it, and if she has to do it again in the skate-off, she'd actually quite enjoy that - though she quickly clarifies that she would also like people to vote for her. Christine reminds us that Jayne and Chris will be dancing with Christina Perri, but not before the break.

When we return, Phil reminds us how everything is working tonight, but doesn't manage to make it sound any less stupid. Christine is with Karen, who says that they've all loved the challenge of the duel this week and the competitive spirit is strong amongst this lot. Christine turns to Andy: "Andy, you want it desperately, don't you?" FNAR. Andy says Rosemary's so lovely that he's not actually sure he wants to beat her. Wimp. Christine congratulates Séb on his amazing performance, but doesn't actually give him a chance to say anything in response.

Time for Duel #3: Corey vs Chemmy. Last week, Chemmy's lift went tits-down, and Corey got almost negative points, so it wasn't a good week for either of them. Chemmy admits that she didn't feel like she'd done herself justice. Corey says that having been knocked down, it's hard to come back with a sense of pride. Chris says that Chemmy's a much better skater, and Jayne adds the only reason they're skating together is because Chemmy had a bad week last week. Chemmy says that Corey's a better dancer than her, but I think she's just being polite. During rehearsals, Corey and Brooke bicker a bit, and he tells her she has "negative energy" because she won't let him dance to the music straight away. Brooke's like "bitch, learn your steps first and then maybe we can try it to the music". He calls her "impossible". TEAM BROOKE. Meanwhile, Chemmy and Sean are surrounded by bright sunlight and dancing woodland animals, so great is their bond. Since things are going so smoothly for her, Chemmy pays Corey a visit, and he bitches about Brooke to her. Chemmy's like "...what's the problem exactly?" and says that she wants them to sort out their differences. I quite wish Chemmy had done last series instead of this one - I've got amazing mental images of her trying to mediate between Jason and Karen.

They're all skating to 'Opposites Attract' and Chemmy's dancing at the start is way better than Corey's. Corey's completely out of control and off-balance in places, but has decent speed. His dancing is is very static in the body and kind of...wavy in the arms. Chemmy, meanwhile, is vamping it up and doing some elaborate lifts with Sean to make up for last week's mishap. They're clearly having more fun and working better, including doing quite an impressive spiral together. Her dancing's a bit flaily too, but because her skating is so much better in general, it doesn't matter as much. Also, whoever did the edit job on this song made SUCH a mess of it.

Gubba makes up more shit about a "pantomime gesture sequence" for Corey and mocks him for not quite managing his jump. Phil asks Corey how he feels now, and Corey talks about his strand. He says he feels really good about how it went, and that they've worked through their problems now. Phil asks if they're friends now, and Brooke says "yes", unconvincingly, adding that Corey is a challenge, but one she's not going to give up on. Chemmy says that she wasn't familiar with the song (SACRILEGE!) but now she's living and breathing it. She thinks both she and Corey upped their game out there, which is good for everyone, and Sean drops in the fact that Chemmy skated with two broken fingers. "You don't need fingers for skating," Chemmy shrugs. Chris says that it's a bit of a mismatched couple, but this was Corey's best week on the show, and that Chemmy is back.

Corey and Chemmy make their way back out to the ice. Katarina agrees with Chris that this was his best performance, and that she felt he had his feet grounded on the ice for the first time, although he still has a long way to go. She's happy that Chemmy used her physical strength and energy and did a whole pair spin. Phil harps on at her to give a name, and that's one of the reason why I hate this set-up: it doesn't give the judges enough time to give proper feedback. Anyway, Katarina's going to vote for Chemmy for immunity. Dance tells Corey there were more dance moves in there this week, and it was great to see him out there on his own. I'm surprised he doesn't break into a musical number here. He thinks Corey needs to learn to take direction, while Chemmy is a powerhouse who gave beautiful legs in her lift, but needs to remember to keep it contained from time to time. He votes for Chemmy to have immunity. Robin lapses into his bad habit of trying to use lyrics from the song to give his feedback, but votes for Chemmy because she's sassy. Corey skates over to Christine, and says that it's very good for his morale to have had good feedback, and he's interested to see where this goes now, because he finally feels like he's in the game. (Spoiler: he isn't.) Brooke says tonight was his best performance, and so much fun to do.

More adverts. I've yet to see any of those "Philadelphia recipes" ads where the finished product looks even remotely appealing.

We return to some painfully scripted banter between Phil and Christine. Their chemistry...needs work. Before we get back to the business of duelling, we have a performance from Christina Perri, who is still flogging the life out of 'Jar Of Hearts'/'Giraffe Farts'/whatever you want to call it. Jayne and Chris give us a little showcase performance, but I think I'd prefer it if they had to face the judges afterwards, and one of them would be safe and the other had to face the public vote. I think we all know Jayne would win if this was a real duel, of course. Meanwhile, Christina Perri honks away, fairly tunelessly, and getting all out of time with her piano playing. I hope for her sake she's got some more tunes tucked away somewhere, because even she seems quite bored of this one now.

Time for a girl-on-girl duel: Heidi vs Charlene. Charlene says it's the Bond Girl against the Marilyn. Jayne says that they've only been separated by half a point each week, though the first week Charlene was ahead and the second week it was Heidi. They have the skate-off as common ground, so obviously immunity is a big sell for both of them. Charlene's got to do some actual skating this week, and says that she can't depend on (air quotes) "acting" this routine for a week. She thinks Heidi's a lovely skater, but Heidi admits to struggling with her final lift and says she's running out of non-bruised places on her body. Charlene vows to fight all the way for that precious immunity.

They do a bit of pat-a-cake to start with (really? That's your pre-fight sass? RUBBISH.) and then 'Islands In The Stream' kicks in. The opening's quite fun, with them doing circuits around each other's partners. It's all quite line-dancey, and Charlene is vamping it up as she is given to do. Charlene is indeed actually doing some skating, including a spiral and some nice dainty steps. She concludes with an aerial cartwheel that knocks her hair all out of place. Heidi takes her turn, and is SLOW OVER THE ICE, with a programme full of lifts. Her skating is still a little unsteady in places, but she's definitely got the hang of balancing her lifts properly. I can't call this one - Heidi will probably take it, but they've both got their plus points and their downsides.

Gubba acknowledges that whoever doesn't win immunity is probably in the skate-off, and tells us that Heidi's 81-year-old nan is in the audience tonight, having come to London for the very first time. Heidi says she really enjoyed it tonight, adding "there was a few..." before thinking better of it, and just going back to how much she enjoyed it. Phil says they were really supporting each other as a team, and Charlene says that it was a thrill to get to know Heidi and Andrei. She thinks that trying to learn the choreography and the skating was hard for an old gal, and says that she hasn't done a cartwheel since she was nine, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth. I'm not being mean, she actually said that. Jayne says that Charlene is a natural performance, and her skating came on this week, while Heidi did have a few wobbles, but she's really coming on as well and her lifts were impressive.

Time to get the judges' verdict. Robin says it's a difficult one, and that Heidi really pushed herself, while Charlene really ingratiates herself with the audience, but he would like to see her push herself as hard as Matthew pushes her. He awards immunity to Heidi. Dance says that Charlene was a bit safe, but gave a good performance. He thinks Heidi really pushed herself and made a breakthrough this week, so he's giving her immunity as well. Katarina says that Charlene's side-by-side spiral was great, while Heidi looks more comfortable and is gaining confidence, but she wants her to perform more. She would've also voted for Heidi, so it's another clean sweep. I suspect they're all going to be clean sweeps tonight, apart from Jorgie vs Matthew.

Charlene skates over to Christine, and says that she thinks Heidi's definitely got the edge on her ability-wise. She begs people to vote for her, saying that she'll come and wash our dishes if we vote for her. I'm actually having trouble washing dishes right now because I sliced my thumb open last week and I'm not supposed to get the wound wet, so I'd be lying if I said I wasn't tempted by this.

Ads. If someone came up to me in the street and implied that my toothpaste wasn't working, I think I might punch them.

We're back, and it's time for Jorgie vs Matthew. Matthew reminds us again that they drew at the top of the leaderboard last week, so he feels he's up against the strongest skater in the competition. He doesn't actually SAY "other than me", but one gets the feeling it's implied. He calls her "faultless" and "a beautiful skater" and says that worries him. Jorgie says that going head-to-head with Matthew is nerve-wracking because he's confident and he has a dancing background. Jorgie says that if she doesn't win the duel, the lack of leaderboard means she's going to need people to vote for her. Yes, dear, that's how it works. Chris says that they've both got difficult lifts to conquer this week - Jorgie's worried about actually taking off during her tabletop lift, because she's not very bright. Meanwhile, Matthew's got a serious case of the OOH ME BACKs, and things cause problems during the dress rehearsal when he has a bit of a wobble and drops Nina. He frets about the possibility of things going wrong on the night, but let's face it, they probably won't.

They're skating to '4 Minutes'. Matthew goes first, and the choreography isn't doing him a lot of favours here, because he looks like a lumbering zombie and I don't think it's his fault. That said, there is a nifty move where he and Nina slide down onto the floor while they're moving and leap back up again. He manages not to drop Nina in the lift he was worried about. They finish with an elaborate lift, before Jorgie and Matt take over, and do some more elaborate lifts. I quite love the looks of shade Lovely Matt is throwing Matthew and Nina as they finish their routine - he's quite the sassmeister. Jorgie's skating's really come on as well - I think our initial worries that she might be a bit of Langford might be unfounded. The tabletop lift comes off without Jorgie launching into space.

Gubba says that life is imitating art for both of them, because they're both romancing their on-screen partners. In the soaps, that is, not on this show. Lolz, indeed. Phil tells Jorgie that people are tweeting about her black PVC outfit. Lovely Matt says she did brilliantly, and both she and Matthew have worked really hard this week. Matthew says his back is really sore, and he's going back into physio straight after this. Chris says it's impossible to separate them, and says that they both always deliver on the choreography front. He begs for them both to have immunity. Where would the fun be in that?

Dance says it's incredibly difficult to judge because they were both phenomenal. He loves the way Jorgie moves, but people don't realise HOW HARD IT IS FOR A MAN BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO LIFT. He votes for connection, and votes to give immunity to Matthew. Katarina says they both managed incredibly complex choreography, and she loves seeing Jorgie being sexy. She votes to give immunity to Jorgie. So it's down to Robin, who says that Matthew skates like a skater and lifts his partner like a pro, but asks him to be careful when he's lifting not to bob his head around. He tells him to keep his legs together. He calls Jorgie "a rough and ready little girl" and calls her sassy again, and awards immunity to Matthew and Nina. Not an entirely popular decision - there appear to be a few boos in the auditorium amongst the cheers.

Jorgie tells Christine that she's "a little dizzy". AIN'T THAT THE TRUTH. Christina tells Jorgie that the people judging along at home on the Dancing On Ice app voted for her to have immunity tonight. I bet that makes her feel so much better, knowing she's got the support of six whole people.

Final ad break. It's baby and toddler time at Morrison's, apparently. I'm more of a peanut butter jelly time person, myself. Also, seriously, does anyone understand those bloody Macleans bumpers? Because I haven't got a clue.

Time for our final duel: Andy vs Rosemary. Rosemary's worried because Andy's skating has improved a lot, and she hasn't delivered a performance without a stumble yet. Jayne points out that Rosemary's always fine in rehearsals, so perhaps this is a nerves issue. Andy, meanwhile, is struggling with his lunges. Jayne says that it's going to come down to who gives the best performance, and Chris blahs on about the direct comparison allowing the judges to see who the better skater is. Yes, because how else would they be able to tell? It's not like they're professional dancers and skaters or anything.

They're skating to 'Baby It's Cold Outside' (which leaves me obliged to link to this), and Andy goes first, with his right lunges looking a lot better than they did in rehearsals. He's still a bit wobbly sometimes, but he's definitely come on a lot since week one. He assist Vicky in a cartwheel lift, but it's a bit ugly going up, largely due to his unsteadiness. Rosemary is looking pretty good, too - going quite fast and having some nice lines in her choreography. She looks rather nervous going into the last lift, and after an almost mistake-free programme, stumbles slightly in her dismount.

Gubba says that neither has yet delivered a fault-free programme, but they'll both be pleased with that one. Seems like a fair enough assessment. Phil says that it is indeed COLD OUTSIDE, but it's warm in here. Phil says that he didn't think Rosemary stumbled this week, as a giant elephant wanders onto the ice, only to be ignored by everyone. Rosemary says she doesn't want to beat Andy because he's so lovely. Mark says that this duel is an excellent distraction for Rosemary, and he thinks they should do it every week. Andy says that he's skated this a lot better, and he's not sure why it didn't work tonight, but he did his best. Vicky says he pulled it together and worked hard. Andy makes a comment about "trumping" on his cartwheel and Phil makes a crude comment before apologising for lowering the tone, though after last week I hardly feel that's necessary. Jayne says that Andy's skating is still improving, and Rosemary looked like she really enjoyed things tonight.

Time for the judges to vote: Katarina thinks Andy gave beautiful ballroom dancing tonight and they worked well as a couple. She thinks Rosemary's storytelling was great. She was pleased to see her nerves not give out. She awards immunity to Rosemary. Dance applauds Rosemary for not stumbling, as the elephant blows its trumpet. He feels Andy (whom he calls Mark) really pushed himself, and says he's going to save the person who challenged herself more, and thus saves...Andy. Wow, that was confusing. A split decision, that I was not expecting. Robin tells Andy that his tension showed, but he was really skating. Robin tells Rosemary that she was elegant, and votes to save Rosemary.

Andy skates over to Christine and says again that he doesn't know why it didn't come together, but says that he's not bothered because he'd have felt gutted for Rosemary if things had gone the other way. Christine reminds us of the importance of voting.

So the immune couples are Chico and Jodeyne, Sébastien and Brianne, Chemmy and Sean, Heidi and Andrei, Matthew and Nina and Rosemary and Mark. The other six couples will face the public vote, and the lines are now OPEN. Time for a recap of the performances, focusing of course on the people who aren't safe and ignoring those who are.

So that's it! Who'll face the skate-off? I dunno, I'm off to make some enchiladas. See you in the second half!

The Skate-Off

Earlier tonight: the stupid duel. Six couples lost in a head-to-head and were left to face the public vote, and now two of them will have to go head-to-head again before one couple gets kicked off. This makes my brain hurty. TITLES!

Phil and Christine return, and remind us that the lines are still open, should we feel sufficiently motivated to vote for anyone. After a quick recap of the numbers, we get a less-quick recap of the performances. Sam thinks that Chico did deserve his clean sweep with the judges tonight, but hopes that with Mark already ousted from the competition, he can stick around a bit longer to keep the Sam and Mark flag flying. Jennifer says that the thought of going is heartbreaking, because this was her first "clean" skate, free of injuries and nerves, and she wants to be able to do some more. Corey says once again that getting positive feedback was nice, even if he didn't get saved. Chemmy tells him that she'll vote for him. Aw. Charlene says that she was in the skate-off last week, and really doesn't want to be there again because she wants to stick around and get better. Jorgie begs the public to back her and keep her in. Phil thinks that they've had finals as good as Jorgie vs Matthew was tonight. And indeed in the case of Ray vs Donal, they've had finals significantly worse. Andy says he gave it 100% and the judges obviously felt Rosemary was better, so he just hopes people vote. Jayne opines that the competition really spurred everyone on, and Chris says that the standard was more like show nine or ten than show four. So, y'know, up there with the real greats, like Coleen Nolan.

Phil declares the lines officially CLOSED. Christine's with the judges and asks Robin if people lived up to his expectations. He says they did, and while there was friendly rivalry backstage, they all delivered on their own performances and did a fantastic job. Christine asks Katarina which was the toughest duel to call, and Katarina says it was Rosemary and Andy, because they both had an elegant routine, and sometimes you just have to let your heart decide, because she loved Rosemary's desire to skate. Katarina asks Dance who stood out, and he says there's more than one person out of those in danger, and they are Jorgie, Jennifer and Sam.

Everyone's lined up on the ice, and Phil is rinkside, but we won't find out who's in the skate-off until after the break. Crivens!

Ad break. HSBC want to get my new year off to a good start, apparently by encouraging me to borrow money that I don't need in a time of generally dire financial straits for everyone. Thanks, HSBC!

We're back, and *touches ear* it's time to find out which of the non-safe couples are safe after all. In no particular order, those definitely returning next week are: Jorgie and Matt, Sam and Alexandra, Jennifer and Dan (Jennifer leaps about and can't get herself off that ice fast enough) and Andy and Vicky. So it's Charlene vs Corey in the skate-off, perhaps unsurprisingly as they've both been there before.

Christine's with the couples in danger, and asks Charlene what else she can give. Charlene says she's going to go out there and kick some ice. Matt says that they've had so much fun and it's been great working with everyone. "You're saying goodbye already!" Charlene scolds. Corey says they're going to have a good time because that's all he can do, and he's had a good time, so if he has to go home, at least it's been a fun trip and he really loves London.

Corey and Brooke go out first, and he seems to almost knock her over as they swap sides. Whoops. The skate-off itself goes reasonably well - once again Brooke's completely out-performing him, which is maybe something she needs to look at if they survive because it might be in her best interests to stop making him look bad. I mean, he makes himself look bad, but if she dialled back slightly on the performatron, it might help.

Corey says it went well, and Brooke congratulates him on the best skating he's even done - she says if that's the way he goes, then what a way to go! Jayne says it was a great skate and they both looked like they enjoyed it, and Chris congratulates him on making the jump without stumbling at long last.

Then it's time for Charlene and Matthew to return. She blows him a little kiss, which is sweet. She's really going for it, which is nice, but I expect it's because she thinks she's going home. She needs not to grit her teeth quite so much, and to stablise her dismounts from the lifts, but it's a good performance, and she really has come along. She cracks up at the end of the aerial cartwheel and just does a sort of "ta-da!" gesture at the end of it.

Phil asks her if she just "kicked some ice", and Charlene cackles that she kicked some ice all over the place. She concedes that it wasn't her best, and Matthew says that she had a lot more energy out there tonight, and he just has fun skating with her, and then his voice goes really high and Phil makes fun of him. Chris points out that Charlene was improvising out there tonight, but does not specify whether this was in fact a good thing or not.

It's decision time, but who will the judges save? I think probably Corey, to be honest. Katarina's up first, and tells Corey it was his best performance, and then tells Matthew that it won't be goodbye just yet because she wants to see Charlene kick ice again next week. Robin congratulates Corey on being controlled and together, saying that Charlene wasn't quite as together as she was earlier, so he votes to save Corey. It's all down to Dance, and he says that while Corey gave his best performance and had a lot of fun, he has to save his blonde bombshell Charlene - so Charlene skates next week.

We review Corey's best bits, a lot of which seem to revolve around him being entirely unprepared for the competition. He says that he'll walk away with the knowledge that this has been a great experience and he's done things that many people never will. Back in the studio, he thanks everyone for the experience and says any excuse to have a vacation in London is good. I think treating it as a vacation might have been part of the problem, dude. They're handed their flowers, and Phil says how sorry we will be to lose Brooke. I kind of will be - she's my favourite of the new pros this year. Still, Brooke looks kind of relieved to be done with all of this.

Next week is pop week, and One Direction will be here. Lucky Carrie, eh? She gets to recap that one. See you next week!


Fiz said...

I have found it's best to watch this show on Sky+ - you can get through it in just over half an hour!Anybody else thinking Chris and Jayne's number was messy and Chris' choreography is starting to slip?

Unknown said...

Steve, I love you for linking to F&M. (And the recapping, obviously, but that goes without saying).