Sunday, 15 January 2012

Morse the pity

Week 2: 15th January 2012

So, last week, half of this year's contestants made their ice debuts, while the other half watched - and this, according to Rosemary Conley, was quite scary. Corey, similarly, felt the pressure from watching such luminaries as Heidi "Sylvain Breaker" Range, and Jennifer decided that she just didn't want to be the one to let the side down. Presumably she was off frying up a batch of chunky chips for everyone when Mark Rhodes was on. Jorgie Porter was commended for the strongest opening routine in Dancing On Ice history, and Matthew Wolfenden saw that as the benchmark for the rest of them. Meanwhile, in a SHOCK RESULT, Andy Akinwolere went home. See, this is what comes of moving Blue Peter to half past two in the afternoon or whenever it's on now - adults don't get to see as much of it, thus making the transition from children's TV presenter to grown-up reality star far more difficult. Anyway, that was a SHOCK RESULT, and we'll be hearing a lot tonight about how it was a SHOCK RESULT, so just, y'know, prepare yourselves for that. Tonight, the remaining eight celebrities must skate to prove their worth to Epic Goddess Katarina Witt and also some other people, and this apparently involves a lot of falling over and muffled curses. Sounds good to me!

Titles, now using footage apparently recycled from the pre-series advert. Cutbacks, I guess.

We open with a performance from Pixie Lott, sounding quite rough, to be honest. Also, her posture is terrible. Stand up straight, love, you're in for a world of back problems in later life otherwise. This appears to be the "hen night" version of Pixie Lott, which is the most frequently occuring of her many personalities. Well, "personalities". Apparently the song's called 'Kiss The Stars', and I'm certainly not too mature to make a "more like Kiss My Arse, AMIRITE?" joke. She's accompanied by Lovely Matt and Nina (I think - I'm going mainly on the hair here) as well as Mark and Maria, but they're not featured anywhere near as much as they should be, and far more airtime is given to Pixie's off-pitch warblings and her bizarre underwear choices.

Thankfully, it ends (eventually) and Phil and Christine arrive. "What a way to start the night!" exclaims Phil, having apparently not noticed the stage direction "(despairingly)" in his script. Time to meet our skating stars: Jennifer and Dan, Remaining Andy and Vicky, Heidi and Andrei (get well soon, Sylvain! Seriously, you might have to hurry if you actually want to participate this year), Charlene and Matthew, Sam and Alexandra, Mark and FRANKIE!, Rosemary and Mark (she's looking a bit wobbly, sadly), Jorgie and Lovely Matt, Sébastien and Brianne, Corey and Brooke (he almost goes arse over tit the second she lets go of him), Chemmy and Sean, Laila and Lukasz, Chico and Jodeyne, Matthew and Nina and of course ICE LEGENDS Jayne and Chris.

Phil has a good old chuckle about Corey's near tumble, and reminds us of the SHOCK EXIT of Andy A last week, and Chris says this has put the wind up everyone and they've realised that performing well with the judges is no guarantee of survival. Christine asks Jayne who we should be looking out for, and Jayne non-answers that everyone did well in rehearsals. Stop sitting on the fence, Jayne. Phil tells us that Jennifer and Dan will be skating first, but not before...

.. an ad break. That "Truvia Scrumptious" commercial might just be the worst thing ever.

When we're back, it's time to meet the ice panel: Robin, Dance, and FLAWLESS GODDESS KATARINA WITT. Christine asks Robin if he's expecting everyone to perform as well as Jorgie did last week, and Robin says ABSOLUTELY NOT, because Jorgie did what she did, and everyone else needs to do what they do, and not worry about competing with other people. Isn't that kind of the whole point of the show, though? Robin clarifies that going out trying to beat other people rather than focusing on your own performance is the big problem. Katarina says that they won't get a second chance to make a first impression, so she wants everyone to do as well as last week's lot did. Dance is looking for "oodles of personality" once more, and also good timing, musicality, and precision. Three times precision, even. He reminds us that Robin and Katarina are here to judge the skating, while he is here to focus on dance and performance. I like that everyone knows their role this year. I suspect the problem in recent years was that Bunton was there, and no one had a clue what her role was supposed to be. I imagine, if asked, her response would've been something like Bubble's on Absolutely Fabulous: "I don't really know. Nothing. Get paid." Anyway, hooray for a likeable ice panel!

Up first, as promised, are Jennifer and Dan. Phil introduces her as a "dancer, actress, singer and chef", and my boyfriend instantly grouses that winning Hell's Kitchen does NOT make you a chef any more than winning I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! makes you Crocodile Dundee. Anyway, Jennifer prefers to describe herself simply as an actress, though she states warningly that she's mainly been a mum for three years, and while she's "loved every minute of it", she's looking forward to a different challenge. Also: money. Chris notes that Jennifer lacks confidence, but has lovely lines, so overall there's potential. Jennifer wishes for Dan as her partner, but fears she won't get him; of course, her fears are unfounded because her partner for the year is two-time Champion ON ICE Daniel Whiston, who is definitely up for a hat trick. They rehearse well together, have a lot of fun, and Daniel thinks that Jennifer's picking things up quickly. Her confidence is still an issue, however, and is further shaken when she sees the uptempo routine she's got for the first show. To further complicate matters, Dan incurs an injury during rehearsals for last week's big group number, much to Jennifer's distress. It's a torn hamstring (cue hilariously suggestive footage of Dan with the physio, his leg in the air with his thigh being gently caressed), and Sharon the physio (whom I suspect we will be seeing a lot of this year) says it's a very serious injury, but they're determined to have him fit for Sunday. Dan vows to soldier on and be there for Jennifer.

They're skating to...sorry, what now? I didn't get a word of that, Gubba. Hang on, I'm going to Wikipedia. Bear with me...

...oh, apparently it's 'Bei Mir Bistu Shien' by the Andrews Sisters, though Gubba's pronunciation was somewhere closer to the Germanicised title, though still not quite correct even in that interpretation. Anyway, I've never heard this song before, but it's got a Charleston-y feeling to it, so their routine is quite 1920s, a little bit silent movie-style, and Jennifer's got some great lines, as Chris previously pointed out, and moves well over the ice. There's also a frankly terrifying lift where she sort of dangles around Dan's waist and does the splits while leaning back UPSIDE DOWN, and that's quite a lot to take in for week one. Jennifer's friends and family are wearing "Keep Calm And Vote Team Jennifer" t-shirts. Ugh.

It looks pretty good in the recap, and Gubba reminds us that she's played Roxie Hart in Chicago, though to be honest I think everyone's played Roxie Hart at least twice by now, haven't they? I've played Roxie Hart twice myself. Also, it appears that even Gubba's ability to give nonsensical names to the lifts has its limits, as he can't think of a name for the terrifying leg split back bend. Scores: Dance 5.5, Robin 5.0, Katarina 5.0 for a total of 15.5. Over at the kiss and cry, Phil asks if they have a name for that lift, and Dan titters that they do, but it's rude. Dan says that he's recovering nicely from his injury, and a breathless Jen adds that they're just glad to be here. Chris says that Jen "razzled and dazzled us" and opines that Jen's legs are the longest they've ever had on the show. I have my doubts, personally.

Christine's with the judges, and Dance says it was choreographed to her strengths, but says she would have got an extra point if she'd kept her shoulders down, though she gave him precision in the movements, which is what he was looking for. Katarina says that you can see Jennifer's dance background in her performance - the steps are careful, but perfect in a way. She thinks Jennifer looks comfortable, and her face is glowing and beaming. Robin agrees, and likes the naturalness of the performance, and then likens Jennifer to the DREAD LANGFORD, though doesn't point out that Jennifer appears to have at least mastered the rudiments of skating, unlike the Dread Langford. [Why has everyone forgotten that Langford never fucking set a blade on the ice? Honestly, this show's memory capacity worries me. - Carrie]

Phil encourages us to tweet our opinions using a hashtag that no one is using (#dancingonice, if you please. Everyone in my timeline was using #doi, or #ONICE), and then we go to another ad break, in which a man pretends to be Richard Branson. [It's Usain Bolt! - Carrie] I assume this is because Virgin Media's customer service is now officially so terrible, the man has to hire decoys lest he get attacked in the street.

When we return, it's time for Sam and Alexandra. Phil's intro for them actually acknowledges Sam and Mark's Pop Idol beginnings, which I don't think happened last week. We see some clips of what kids' TV looks like these days, and Sam says that he and Mark do everything together, before hastily backtracking that they don't do EVERYTHING together, nothing gaywise or anything like that. He says that Mark's the more competitive one, but he wants to beat him - again, presumably not in a gaywise fashion. Sam would like to win, not just for the sake of winning, but also so he can "rub it in Mark's face". Just assume that everything he says is followed by "not in a gaywise fashion", it'll save us all a lot of time. Alexandra is excited about Sam because he has a great work ethic, but Chris thinks Sam needs to work on his energy. Sam thinks the pressure is on because Mark's already survived one week. Chris thinks that Sam's the stronger skater, but Mark surprised everyone by not being entirely unpopular. Sam muses that if he doesn't get through, he'll never hear the end of it.

He and Alexandra are skating to 'Fascination' and he is biting his bottom lip for all he's worth (let's not be crude about this, just for a change). His dancing is quite hesitant and a little bit off-the-beat, and he doesn't appear to be too keen to let go of Alexandra, though to be fair he's not too bad when required to skate solo. He does look very nervous throughout, and there's a very slight slip when getting up from a slide, but by and large it's pretty good. Gubba tells us that Sam has already lost a stone in training, and is also preparing for the London marathon. Gubba fails to come up with any good names for the lifts. Scores: Dance 4.5, Robin 5.5, Katarina 5.5 for a total of 15.5. Sam pulls "WTF" faces, and Mark gives him the thumbs up from afar (not in a gaywise, etc etc). Sam says that he loved it, and Alexandra says that he's great and so positive that she's just smiling all the time, goshdarnit. Jayne thinks Sam's worked really well on his core strength and is in great shape now. She thinks there were a lot of steps in the routine, and that's why they got such great marks.

Robin thinks Sam is looking very comfortable in a natural stance over the blade, and to be doing an inside double turn in week one is very impressive, even if it's not quite perfect. He thinks it was messy around the edges but not at the expense of being in control. Dance says that it was a good programme with good musicality, but he's looking at the arms, and he thinks Sam could've been stronger at the start, though he warmed up throughout the programme, and he had a good relationship with his partner, which is important. He thinks Sam really has the ability to progress. Katarina tells Sam that he is much faster than Mark, and that she was really impressed with his step sequence and the twizzles and turns and going on his toes were all very impressive.

Next are Rosemary and Mark. Rosemary reminds us that she's a diet and fitness guru, and is very excited about being here. Jayne asks her if she's skated before, and Rosemary says yes, so Jayne invites her to skate around the rink. Rosemary does so, s-l-o-w-l-y. Rosemary says that she's had skating lessons a couple of times a week for the last few years. Wow, someone REALLY wanted to do this show, huh? Chris jumps out at her like a bastard and then comments that she's starting from a good level, but that's with two years of practice, so will she improve? He wonders if we'll see her doing a headbanger. CLEARLY NOT, DEAN. Rosemary worries that she'll need a patient partner because she's taking longer to learn things than someone half her age. Mark says that he's hoping to do slightly better than last year, where he went out in week one, or week 0.2, or whatever we call it. In training, Jayne notes rather scornfully that Rosemary is treating things like a fun day out rather than a serious competition. Rosemary reflects on Andy's departure last week and how even doing well with the judges doesn't guarantee your safety. She doesn't want to be in the skate-off, and vows to do everything in her power to prevent that.

They're skating to 'Fernando'. It's all very mannered and rather static at the start, and Rosemary slips - but doesn't fall - soon after moving from the start position. There's a faintly wobbly, Bambi-ish quality to her skating, and it's all a bit slow over the ice (TM Nicky Slater), but by and large it's a respectable programme.

Gubba notes the early stumble but opines that she's got it back together. He tells us that she has a 25 inch waist, which is INSANE. Scores are in: Dance 3.5, Robin 4.5, Katarina 4.5 for a total of 12.5, which is "respectable", as Phil puts it. Rosemary thinks the trip was unfortunate, and Phil asks if it was nerves, because he's not seen her slip before. Rosemary admits that this is one of the scariest things she's ever done, though she admits that it's still "a huge privilege" to be on "the most wonderful show on earth". Calm down, Rosemary. Mark says that he's loving having Rosemary for a partner and says that if he can do what Rosemary did at the age of 65, he'd be happy. Chris patronises her about being A Lady and always being well turned-out and pristine. He thinks nerves got to her tonight, but was impressed by her speed over the nice. Phil also decides to get in on the patronising act by telling her she looks beautiful.

Dance tells Rosemary that he was glad for the slip, because it caused her to break into a smile where before she'd looked tense. He thinks she did some nice lines, but he felt it was a bit laboured and hesitant in the choreography, though she exudes elegance and grace. Robin disagrees and says that it wasn't laboured, in fact it was genteel (wtf?). He thought the quality of the footwork was great, despite the stumble, and there was something lovely in seeing her and Mark on the ice together. Katarina thinks that Rosemary is Inspirational and she hopes that she can be out there, many years from now, with the same poise that Rosemary has. She also notes that there is no sound when Rosemary skates, meaning that she's caressing the ice, which is a good thing, apparently.

Ad break.

When we return, Christine is with all the couples and head coach Karen, who tells us that everyone's very nervous, especially Jennifer, who conquered her nerves tonight. She votes for Chico as the dark horse of the competition, citing him as a hard worker. Chico chips in that he wants to be a horse that finishes the race, and continues talking forever and ever and ever and OH GOD THIS IS TOO MUCH. Jennifer says that seeing her family helped her to settle, and she hopes she did okay. Christine asks Corey if he's nervous (sensing a theme here, anyone?) Corey says that the stage is shaking, it's not him. Christine looks lustfully at Matthew Wolfenden in his leathers (it's really not doing anything for me, I have to say) before introducing our next couple: Laila and Lukasz. Laila reminds us that she's best known as EastEnders' Big Mo, so I wonder how well she'll fit in on this show where she's far from the only big mo. (*Rimshot*) Laila says that she's fairly terrified, but wants to prove all the naysayers wrong, hopefully. Chris admires her determination, and Layla says she wants to do it for the older women out there. Unfortunately, she is amongst the walking wounded this year: she tells us how she ripped a tendon in her shoulder in training, but vows to make it back onto the ice. However, it takes a toll on her skating, as she's three weeks behind everyone else. Lukasz says that he wants to make sure Laila has fun and also that she stays safe. Oh, bless him. He's impressed by Laila's balance on the ice. Chris explains that Laila's routine is slow- to mid-tempo with lots of character, and he hopes the character will come out, and not the pain. Oh Dean, you utter drama queen. Laila's injury continues to plague her throughout rehearsals, but she determines to go ahead because doing this is important, for some reason.

They're skating to 'My Girl', and Laila is an early frontrunner for the "loudest supporters" award. There's not an awful lot of skating in the first 30 seconds or so, and her lines are a bit feeble because of the arm injury, but her footwork's actually surprisingly good. She's impressively light on her feet. She's mouthing all the words too, and given what we saw in her VT, I wonder if this is a diversionary tactic she's employing to take her mind off her injury. She looks properly chuffed with herself when she gets to the end, though, as well she might.

Gubba reminds us that Laila only had one month to train, and name-drops that Laila will be sending a DVD of that performance to her little brother in LA, Gary Oldman. You mean he's not in the audience, waving a banner, Richard and Judy-style? Shame. Scores: Dance 3.0, Robin 3.0, Katarina 3.5. Laila tells Phil she thought it was absolutely brilliant, and Phil says that she's a real trouper. "Well, we're the Oldmans," Laila responds, and giggles. Lukasz explains that rehearsals have been difficult because Laila can't move that arm much, so they've had a lot of things to work around. Jayne says that Laila was very determined, and it looks like she had lots of fun out there, so Jayne is very impressed.

Robin says that she made it through unscathed, and he wouldn't have known that she was coping with an injury if he hadn't seen the VT, because the actress in her came out and she worked through it. He thought it was basic, but she was in control and enjoyed herself. Katarina thinks Laila deserves a 10.0 for her courage and for not showing pain, but this is about skating, and she saw Lukasz basically doing all the work, so she needs Laila to be more in control on her own, because she's singing more than she's skating. Dance compliments her on her lines, and tells her to remember to keep stretched when she's in the air, but tells her it wasn't a bad performance considering the injury. A cheap knockoff of the EastEnders drum riff plays as Phil encourages us to vote, and then it's time for our next couple: Sébastien and Brianne.

Sébastien talks about how free-running is "more than just a sport, it's an art" (sure, why not?) and, in a bid to prove he's definitely famous, honest, tells us that he's in the opening of the film Casino Royale. He freeruns into the skating arena to meet Jayne and Chris, and Jayne recoils a little bit, which is quite funny to watch. Chris says that Sébastien wants to bring his natural agility to the ice, and he gets a 7 out of 10 in his basic skills test, which he seems quite pleased with. Brianne arrives and declares herself THE CHAMPION of last year's series. Yeah, Sam who? She enjoys Sébastien showing off in rehearsals, but Chris worries that Sébastien is treating it as an individual sport rather than a team sport, and Brianne does seem to be bristling a bit with him in rehearsals. Chris says that Sébastien needs to sort out his partnering issues if he doesn't want to be criticised by the judges.

Sébastian's fans are also loud, and Brianne appears to have a few screamers in herself. They're skating to 'Clocks' by Coldplay, complete with dazzlingly literal choreography with Brianne as the pendulum. They're not quite in sync throughout, but he's definitely good, with excellent balance and a lot of energy as you'd expect. Gubba cracks an "if he gets voted out, he'll really go up the wall" joke. Oh dear. Scores: Dance 5.0, Robin 6.0, Katarina 6.5 for a total of 17.5. "Formidable!" exclaims Phil in his best French accent. Sébastien says he wants to cry because he has So Many Feelings and he's very happy to be here. Brianne says that she's hard on him, but only because she loves him and sees his potential, and she's so proud of him for doing so well tonight. Chris claims that he tried to include an element of free-running in the choreography (oh Chris, I'm not sure that three forward-rolls really counts as "an element of free-running").

Katarina tells him that she enjoys the element of risk within the routine, and she hopes he will keep experimenting, because more interesting things will come out of that. She's impressed with his skating skills and speed, and thinks the big challenge will be for Chris and Jayne to choreograph routines worthy of him. Dance tells Sébastien that he reminds him of Chemmy last week, with the same speed and aggression in the performance. He thinks it was very contemporary, but points out that Sébastien spent a lot of time looking at the floor and needs to work on that. Robin agrees with everything that Dance and Queen Katarina have said, but also wants to remind Sébastien that this is a pairs skating competition, and as lovely as it is to see him skate out on his own so much, he does need to actually acknowledge Brianne's existence at some point.

Adverts. I would say something horrible about Wonga.com here, but last time I tried that on Twitter, an official representative pounced on me and gave me a telling-off. Still, it's good that they're not super-defensive or anything. [Let 'em come after me. Those kind of loan companies are the personification of evil capitalism and our crumbling indebted society. - Carrie]

When we come back, it is Chico time, apparently. It's strange - there doesn't appear to be any specific designation on the clock for this wondrous hour, it's just Chico time whenever anyone says it is. If only that worked for lunch time. NotChesneyHawkes tells us that he is a singer, and one who is so excited but also so scared. My God, it's like the entire plot of 'Jessie's Song' encapsulated in one sentence. During the skills test, Chris observes that Chico is "precarious", but he gets through by the skin of his teeth. Jayne expresses concern that Chico lacks the necessary stability and balance, but says that his passion and enthusiasm keeps him going. Jodeyne reminds us that last year she made it to the semi-finals with a HERO, but this year she's planning on making the real final. Chico explains that he's had the fun part of training, being a reserve, where there's no pressure on you - but then Chesney went and broke himself, and suddenly the heat is on. He pretends to be a live-action cartoon while relating all of this. Jayne says that he's been working hard in rehearsals, and loving every minute. Chico says he's skating 50% for himself, and 50% for Chesney, so the two of those add up to the full 100%, which is what he is going to give. Pfft. Amateur.

They're skating to 'Wild Thing', and Jodeyne looks fucking terrified. I think this might be what happens when you're forced against your will to live in a world where it is Chico time all the time. His dancing is skittish, to say the least, but his general speed is impressive and there are some quite tricky manoeuvres in there for this stage of the competition.

Gubba tells us that Chico is "still chasing stardom". I think he may be looking in the wrong places. Scores are in: Dance 6.0, Robin 6.0, Katarina 6.5 for a total of 18.5. Chico takes this score with quiet grace. Oh, of course not: he goes absolutely nuts. Phil points out to Chico that he got the same score as Jorgie. Chico thinks that this is the first time in his life that anyone's ever told him he did something well. If that's true, then that is very sad indeed. He goes on to remind us that he is turning 40 soon, and that is all fine because life starts at 40. You might even say that when you turn 40, it's Chico ti--no, it's no good, I can't do it. Jodeyne says they've only had seven days together, but Chico's determined to make the best of the time that they have. Jayne agrees, saying that when they're working on the ice, Chico is very focused. Robin opens for the judges, saying that the song should be named 'Wild But In Control Thing'. Oh, Robin. It really shouldn't, for so many reasons. He saw speed and power, but control, and he thought it was terrific. He hears that Chesney was pretty good, but he also thinks that Chico is pretty good, and thinks the partnership worked instantly. Katarina says that she thinks his speed and performance and interaction with his partner was all great. Dance says that Chico is not just easy on the eye, but he knocked out a great routine - but he would've got an extra 0.5 if it were more sexy and less cheesy. Fair enough.

Ad break. Anybody else planning to watch Winners And Losers? I'm sort of tempted, I won't lie.

As we return, Phil reminds us once again of Andy's Shock Exit last week and how that affected the skaters who survived. This takes us into a VT, and Heidi says that being in the skate-off just shows you how easily this could all end. And this is from a woman who's used to having her colleagues kicked out at regular intervals [/obligatory weak Sugababes joke]. She likes her new routine, but it's more difficult, so she just wants to enjoy it. Still Here Andy says that he was relieved to survive last week, and wants to survive and get better - he's here to show that he can skate. Charlene admits to having been shaking when she got off the ice, and while she feels she's making progress, she's still having to review the basics all the time. Chemmy didn't realise how much she would enjoy the opening week, but needs to work on her finesse and her lines, and she's quite scared of the lift she's been given for next week, which she can't seem to land. Mark says that he was "jubilant" to survive, and is aiming for the lofty heights of double figures. He's got a "comical" routine for next week, which is worrying. Jorgie is feeling the pressure to maintain her score from last week, and her new routine is very fast with a lot of things going on. She hadn't anticipated getting such a hectic routine so soon.

Christine's in the studio with the viewing skaters, and asked Jorgie how she's feeling about next week, now that her high score from last week has been equalled by Chico and therefore tarnished somewhat. Jorgie says that she is "so much scared". Oh, she speak English goodly. Mark thinks that Sam has laid down the gauntlet, and compliments him on pulling off the orange outfit so well. Christine reads out a tweet from "Comedy" Dave last year complimenting Sam, and tells us that "Big Mo" is globally trending, though do we know for definite that it's referring to Laila Morse? Maybe homophobia's just really popular right now. Matthew (still in those leathers, still not doing a thing for me) says that he's feeling all right at this point, if a bit sweaty because it's pleather, not leather, and trying to control his nerves.

Up next are Corey and Brooke. His voice sounds kind of destroyed at this point. He affects a Wild West drawl as he faces the ice for the first time, with that ludicrous thing still dangling from his hair. He's given his skills test by Matthew Gonzalez, because he had too many commitments to come to the UK for it, or something. Brooke tells us that she's a pretty tough partner, capable of whipping anyone into shape. Anyone, it seems, except Corey, whose progress is slow. In training, Karen scolds him for having stuff in his pocket, giving him a full-on health and safety lecture. Chris is unimpressed with Corey's lack of progress, and Corey rates his own skating ability as "zero", oddly proudly. We see clips of Corey watching last week's show and his complete lack of ability slowly dawning on him. Oops, indeed. He says that watching last week's show was "eye-opening, to say the least" and now appears to have developed some sort of work ethic. Hooray for work!

They're skating to 'Summer Of 69', and his skating is really not good. He's all over the place and bungles one of the slide-throughs because of a stumble, leaving Brooke hanging behind him. Brooke's really working it, and I feel rather sorry for her - I think she deserves a rather better partner. I'd say "maybe next year", but with the turnover on this show, we might never see her again. [She looks a bit like Stacey Solomon if you squint. Or look at her through an odd strand of hair. - Carrie] He manages to stop on his toepicks, and pulls off a knee-slide, so there's clearly some hope here, but it's not that great a start. I find myself oddly drawn to him though, if I can ignore that thing in his hair. I think I just have a weakness for a man with a strong jawline.

Gubba tells us that Corey's got six Playboy bunnies in to support him, ugh. Scores: Dance 3.5, Robin 4.0, Katarina 3.5 for a total of 11.0. Phil then says that there are eight bunny ladies in the audience - apparently they're multiplying like, well, like bunnies, or someone can't count. [The very fact that this show is proud of having these women there makes me want to puke. - Carrie] Corey says that he was working on two films at the same time as training for this, so he didn't have the time to devote to it, but now he's here and totally ready to commit. We've all heard that one before, am I right ladies? Phil welcomes Brooke to the show, and she says that what's great about Corey is that he gives 100% in terms of performance. Chris says he was on the edge of his seat, possibly for the wrong reasons, but thinks that Corey gave a great performance when he was out there, and calls Brooke "my hero".

Robin cracks some dreadful puns about "tension" and "intense" and says that Corey tends to "plod" rather than glide. He makes a laboured "lost boy" joke and says that Corey needs to work on bringing the same intensity to training that he does to the performance if he gets through. Dance says that most of the marks were for performance, and that it was tentative all the way through, and he was waiting for him to fall over. He tells Corey that he needs to work on the choreography and "danceability". Katarina says that he's working so hard that she finds it hard to criticise him, but it was like he was walking on raw eggs, and she's worried about him stepping on Brooke's hair or dropping her in one of the lifts, so she's pleased that neither of them are dead. Phil mentions that Corey's hair has its own Twitter account, but I think it's best we all ignore that and hope it goes away.

Ad break. I wonder if Max Beesley spent a lot of time moaning about work last week, or whether having lots of ad-money numbs the pain.

Finally, we have Matthew Wolfenden and Nina, who openly admits to his dance and gymnast background. *cough*ringer*cough* He gets 10/10 in his basic skills test, and grouses (albeit in a tongue-in-cheek fashion) that he wanted to do better. Oh dear, he's one of those. Matthew grunts and snarls at himself a lot in practice, and says "oh, CRIKEY" like a good ITV1 soap star. Chris worries that Matthew's perfectionism getting in his way, and Matthew thinks that Jorgie has set a very high bar for him to meet, and hopes he can do it on the night.

They're skating to 'Give Me Everything' by Pitbull and surprise, surprise - he's very good indeed. He's light on his feet, sharp in his movements, and infectiously enthusiastic. I'm a bit disappointed that nothing in the programme really explained the pleather though, because now it just feels gratuitous. I know, on this show, who'd have thought? Matthew pounds the ice in exuberance afterwards, and The Ice is all "yeah, you just watch that in future, sunshine".

Scores: Dance 7.0, Robin 6.5, Katarina 7.0 for a total of 20.5. Phil declares this score "astonishing". Matthew tells us we should all have a go at ice-dancing in front of millions of people because it's a real buzz. For a perfectionist, he admits to being very chuffed with his performance. Phil asks Nina if it's harder to work with a perfectionist, and Nina says that she's one as well, so it makes it harder, but he turns up at practice and gives it 100%. Jayne says we've had several contenders tonight but Matthew's got the highest score, so that makes him a definite contender. Thanks for that, Jayne.

Katarina tells us that she DEFINITELY gave her score for the right reason, that being Matthew's skating skills, and not for how sexy he is or how great he looks, then cracks "Okay, I'm a woman!" Hee. I heart Katarina, especially since she then tells him to ditch the pleather and get into jeans and a white shirt, which will be a much better look. Possibly still not very practical for ice-dancing, mind. Dance says, on the other hand, that his points are SOLELY for the pleather. Hee. He thinks it was "almost perfect" and thought that Matthew built with the music and it was all very exciting to watch. Robin thought it was a fantastic end to the night, and thinks this is going to be a fantastic series.

It's Chico leaderboard time! Matthew's at the top, Chico's in second, Sébastien is third, Jennifer and Sam are tying for fourth, behind them is Rosemary, then Corey, and Laila is, unsurprisingly, at the bottom. Also, Phil says "Jennifer and Danielle" when he's reading out the scores, which I think is a couple in a very different version of this show. The lines are now OPEN, so get voting! Or, you know, don't. I mean, I didn't, so it's not my place to force anyone to do it. And this was two days ago, so they're closed now anyway.

Recap: Jennifer and Daniel(le), several hours ago, with a song whose title Gubba couldn't pronounce; Sam and Alexandra trying to clear the low bar that Mark Rhodes set last week; Rosemary fulfilling all of the Inspirational Older Lady tropes in one fell swoop, right down to not actually being that great; Laila definitely not being Inspirational, but still being surprisingly entertaining; Sébastien doing something that I have decided to call "free-icing" (mmm, free icing); Chico doing whatever it is that Chico does; Corey doing the Dancing On Ice equivalent of turning up to an exam having done no revision and indeed not attended any of the classes, and finally Matthew possibly being the Ringiest Ringer That Ever Rang, even though this is technically a woman's year to win.

Phil reminds us that last week we had a SURPRISING SKATE-OFF, and how that means it is of serious importance that we vote. Christine reminds us to tune back in for the skate-off later, and Phil forgets what Wild At Heart is called. Heh. Someone's getting a stern phone call from the top brass at ITV in the next hour.

The Skate-Off

Tonight's eight couples are lined-up on the ice, while Phil reminds us that one couple is about to go home, for it is indeed The Skate-Off, as you might have spotted from the bold lettering up there.

Post-titles, Phil welcomes back everyone who isn't currently one-third of the way through a gripping episode of Sherlock and airing their Jim Moriarty sex fantasies on Twitter (I definitely wasn't doing that, no sirree) [I was watching the wrestling on Challenge - Carrie], and Christine tells us that someone's adventure will end this evening. The lines are still open, Phil tells us, so we get a quick recap of everyone's vote number in case we want to chuck a bit of last-minute support their way.

Shall we have another recap of earlier? Oh, do let's: Katarina spotted Jennifer's dance background in her professional-looking movements, and backstage Jennifer is thrilled that Katarina thought she looked like a professional, adding "I must be a good actress, then, because I was terrified!" All right, love, don't get carried away. We also see her seeking the approval of her children, which is far too Gary Lucy an approach for my liking, so let's move on. Robin thought Sam looked very comfortable, if a little messy around the edges. Sam thinks it's lovely to have comments like that from an Olympic gold medallist, and then Mark turns up and kisses him on the cheek, but not in a gaywise fa--actually, that is pretty gay. Not that I'm complaining. Poor Rosemary's slip is focused on in her performance clip, so that Dance can remind us how glad he was that it happened and broke her fear. Rosemary was very encouraged by his comments, and feels there's room for improvement, but is glad they saw some strengths in her. Katarina thought Laila deserved a 10.0 for courage, but was singing more than skating. Laila says that skating when injured takes a lot of guts. Dance notes that it's been a hot night considering two OAPs were involved.

Katarina liked Sébastien's experimentation and daring, and he's very pleased about that, and promises to bring more fresh and new stuff to dazzle us with next week. Dance liked Chico's speed and precision, but wanted more excitement. Chico is thrilled to have got such a high score having originally not even been in the competition. Christine and Phil discuss how Chico is easily overlooked because of his jokey personality, but agree he's a contender. Robin liked the attention Corey paid to Brooke, and Corey says that he fully anticipates being in the skate-off unless everyone really pities him. Basically, whatever happens, Corey's dignity (or what remains of it) is not getting out of this evening alive. Katarina definitely did not think Matthew was sexy, and Matthew was pleased to top the leaderboard and loving the whole experience. Jayne thinks tonight was all about the guys, and that Matthew gave a fantastic end to the evening.

Phil declares the lines officially closed, and reminds us of what's about to happen. Christine's over with the ice panel, and asks Robin how things are shaping up now we've seen everyone skate. Robin thinks tonight is really "rocking it", and thinks the men have really challenged the ladies of last week. Dance thinks the biggest surprise of the evening was definitely Chico, who really attacked the choreography with speed and almost had the complete package. Katarina says that towards the end, things got so steamy that she could only find high numbers on her pad. However much they're paying Katarina, it's not enough. Phil sends us to the break without even declaring anyone safe yet. Blimey.

Afterwards, Phil welcomes us back, and with a touch of his ear, brings us the results. In no particular, the following couples are safe and skating next week: Rosemary and Mark, Matthew and Nina, Jennifer and Dan, Chico and Jodeyne (the audience had just been hollering his name at this point, so it's safe to say they're quite chuffed), Sébastien and Brianne, and Sam and Alexandra. This leaves Corey and Brooke and Laila and Lukasz in the skate-off, meaning that the bottom two couples with the judges are the ones facing elimination, and that we're unlikely to get another SHOCK EXIT to be discussed at length next week. Corey looks grimly accepting of the news, Laila looks PISSED OFF.

Christine is lurking backstage, and asks Corey how he's feeling. Corey says that he's "pretty relaxed" and then giggles. He says he's feeling better than the main show, so this should be fun. Brooke hopes to have a good time and give it one last go. Laila says that she will give it a go, and titters. Lukasz says he is proud of her for going so far with her injury. Christine wishes them both luck, and sends Laila and Lukasz out for the first of tonight's skate-off reprisals.

Laila's loud entourage cheers, and Laila delivers a fairly indifferent version of the routine. It's odd - we all knew she was only in it for the paycheck and probably didn't really care about the competition, and yet she still seems rather affronted by the public not voting for her. Mind you, I suppose it was always going to be hard being a BBC1 face on an ITV1 show and not even being the only Inspirational Older Woman in the cast. It ends, and they head over to the kiss and cry. Phil asks Laila if the look on her face is one of disappointment or relief, and Laila says it's both. Phil asks again if she's disappointed, and Laila, arms crossed, says "not really, no". Heh. SURLY. Chris says that he felt the singing was a lot more passionate this time, and Laila says "I never bothered!" (She did, I saw her.)

Time for Corey and Brooke to return. He's giving it even more performance energy this time, though his skating is still questionable, and he fumbles the part where she slides between his legs again. Poor Brooke. I really don't envy her in those lifts at all. It's the sort of skate-off performance that probably would've seen them eliminated against anyone else, but...Laila barely even turned up for hers, so let's see. Phil scolds Corey at the kiss and cry for not taking his bow out there, so Brooke takes an extra big bow for both of them. Heh. Corey says that he thinks his body's pretty tired by now. Jayne says it was "another consistent performance". Well, quite.

Both couples are sent back out to face the Ice Panel. Dance says he's going for the strongest overall performance in the skate-off, so he votes to save Corey. Katarina says that truthfully, for the sake of Laila's health, she's going for Corey as well. So Corey's back next week whatever happens - and he's got Robin's vote too, though Robin does say that he admires Laila's courage for having a go.

Phil asks Laila if she disagrees that her health is a concern, and Laila does. Phil thanks Lukasz for sacrificing his dignity for the second year in a row. Poor Lukasz. He seems so nice, when's he going to get a break, eh? By which I mean a lucky break, not the sort of break that Sylvain or Chesney had. Phil tells Laila to look after that shoulder as she's given her flowers, and Laila replies "I will" a tad frostily.

Next week it's Movie Night, and 13 stars will compete together for the very first time. And it's Carrie's responsibility to guide you through that one! Will it be a blockbuster, or will it be The Human Centipede 3? We'll find out soon enough. Laila and Lukasz head out for their lap of honour, and that's it. See you next week!

1 comment:

sophiasaywhaat said...

I am crying with laughter. This blog is the best thing about the show! Loved it.