Sunday, 26 February 2012

Defrosted/Nixon

Rock week: 26th February 2012

Last week! We had a shock! boot! in the skate-off as three celebrities were forced to perform solo for the right to stay, with only one of them set to survive. First Chemmy had a wobble and therefore thought she was doomed, but then S├ębastien came out and forgot the last half of his routine, and Heidi...was Heidi, so Chemmy stayed. This week, it's rock week! This noteworthy occasion is marked with a VT in which everyone indulges in "rock" behaviour like wearing make-up, smashing televisions, and blow-drying their hair. I don't know about you, but that's pretty much what goes on in my house every week while this show is on. Especially the middle one.

After the credits, we're treated to a performance of 'Don't Stop Believing' from the cast of West End show Rock Of Ages. Anybody who has ever watched an episode of Glee never ever needs or wants to hear this song ever again, and this performance really isn't going to change anyone's mind. Also, Shayne Ward continues to resemble Shangela, and Justin Lee Collins appears to not be much of a singer. Frankly, I'm a little bit embarrassed for everyone involved in this whole thing. Especially the pro-skaters doing a "rock" routine to accompany all of this, because they deserve so much better. [I reviewed this production when it opened. I was not impressed. - Carrie]

Phil and Christine enter to 'Welcome To The Jungle', making devil horns with their hands, and promising that we're going to rock tonight. Again, I find this show has me rocking most weeks - usually backwards and forwards, in despair. It's time to welcome our remaining skating (rock)stars: Andy and Vicky, Jenny Elly and Dan, Matthew and Nina, Jorgie and Lovely Matt (as Gubba says "you can't have rock night without a Queen." I'M SAYING NOTHING), Sam and Alexandra, Chemmy and Sean, a terrifyingly-coiffed Chico and Jodeyne, and finally Jayne and Chris. Jayne has apparently come as the title character from Kiss Of The Spider Woman tonight. Sooner or later, you're certain to meet, in the bedroom, the parlour, or even the street. There's no place on earth, you're likely to miss...Jayne and Chris.

Phil reminds us how the scoring works, while Christine shills the pointless app once again. Matthew and Nina are up first tonight, and Chris reminds us how excellently Matthew did last week. Matthew admits that he raised the bar higher last week than he ever thought he would, but that he's just got to keep going. In rehearsals, Chris and Jayne are all "yes, you were top of the heap last week...and now you're starting again. Sucks, doesn't it?" There are some complicated moves this week, and Matthew says that trying to make things look effortless isn't as easy as you might hope it would be. In particular, one small lift is giving him serious trouble, and Nina scolds him for repeatedly saying he can't do it. Matthew worries about having enough time to get it all together before the live show.

They make an elaborate entrance in which they both slide onto the floor and roll over before getting back up again. Showoffs. They're dancing to 'Don't Stop Me Now', and Matthew is covered in ugly fake tattoos, as well as wearing those hideous pleather trousers again. Why do they keep putting him in those? The routine's pretty decent, and the lift goes without incident after all that VT-related hullaballoo. It ends with a plateau lift and another slide onto the ice. Scores: Dance 9.0, Robin 8.5, Katarina 8.5 for a total of 26.0. Matthew says that it wasn't as clean a performance as he gave last week, so he agrees with the scores. Chris says that they did push him this week, but clearly not too hard as he's done very well.

Christine asks Dance about the 9.0, and Dance says that this routine showed his versatility, going from the lyrical into the rock movements, and declares Matthew one of his favourites. Katarina tells him that he rocked the ice and the audience, and she's glad that Chris and Jayne keep pushing him. Robin admires his control, and says he's doing extremely well. Phil asks how long it takes him to get from "I can't do that" to "I can do that", and Matthew's predictable response is that it doesn't happen until he gets on the ice for the live show. I could've told you that. Nina makes a statement of intense pride (I assume) in Russian, as a dig at Phil for not understanding her last week. Heh.

After the ads, we're back with Phil, and Dance makes a bit of a tit of himself in the name of Rawk. Chemmy and Sean are up next. Bloody hell, she's been in two consecutive skate-offs - what does Chemmy have to do to get a slot near the end of the show? She recalls last week's tension and having to do the skate-off all by herself, but she was elated to survive and says it was one of the mentally toughest things she's ever done. Chemmy says that she loves rock music, although her track is 'Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)' by Kelly Clarkson, which is more pop-rock. Still a choon, though, so the point stands. To get ready for the routine, they go to the 2012 Rock Ball. It's a nice idea, but I think practising the skating would probably be more useful in the long term. "Comedy" Dave is also at the event - is Chemmy really in so much trouble that she needs advice from him? Chemmy says that she feels very rock now, and if this doesn't help her, nothing will.

They're wearing lovely purple outfits, but are ill-served by the choreography which includes some very ungainly-looking jump kicks and a lot of skating along in a step sequence while pumping one's arms in the air to indicate strength. There's a very nice spin at the end, though. Scores: Dance 7.5, Robin 7.0, Katarina 7.0 for a total of 21.5. That's 0.5 lower than last week, but Chemmy's happy with it as a score. Spider-Jayne says that she loved Chemmy's funky moves at the rock ball, and that this was a very solid performance. Chemmy tells us how she overidentifies with the lyrics, having almost killed herself in various winter sport-related accidents over the years, and having been made stronger by it. Robin tells Chemmy she's getting stronger week by week, and he thinks she shouldn't have been in the skate-off last week. He likes that she's learning restraint, even in rock week, though there are a few problems with the exits from manoeuvres. Katarina thinks Chemmy's more of a rock star than a pretty snow queen (ouch), and everything was on the rhythm, so she thinks Chemmy should carry on like this. Dance thought this was her strongest dance performance, and her leg lines were improved, but he feels like she lost a bit of her personality. Chemmy says that she's just glad she wasn't doing the blowfish face.

More adverts. I'm intrigued that the dog in the Vax advert is called Gatsby.

When we return, Phil is playing air guitar, but needs some assistance from the tech crew to get sound out of it. This is the level of humour on display tonight. Jennifer and Daniel are up next, and she thinks that Ultimate Skills Week worked in her favour, because she's ultimately skilled, or something like that. Shut up, Jennifer. She thinks it was a massive achievement to get through it, and that's built up her confidence. For now, anyway. She's skating to 'Total Eclipse Of The Heart', which is one of her favourite songs. This is because it is ONE OF THE GREATEST SONGS IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD. Jayne says that she wants to see lots of energy in the routine, and Jennifer admits that she lacks conviction and power in her skating. Karen gives her some protective gear to try and help Jennifer get her speed up. Jennifer screams a lot, but does commit to it all, to her credit. Karen tells Jennifer she now has the power, she's just got to use it.

It begins with some fairly ugly pirouettes and lifts, before launching into an emotionally overwrough skating session, which isn't actually all that much faster than usual. This performance feels like a complete waste of an amazing song, and I'm very disappointed. They do a lift where Jennifer wraps her knee around Dan's neck, and it's quite impressive but her dismount is rather floppy. Scores: Dance 8.0, Robin 7.0, Katarina 7.0 for a total of 22.0. Jennifer is absolutely flabbergasted, and very excited.

Christine asks Robin to open for the judges, but it's Katarina's turn. Oops. This show really is getting quite sloppy nowadays. Katarina says she sees a different Jennifer this week - she always loves their chemistry and choreography, but this week she had speed and power, and it really worked in her favour. Robin was pleased to see her using her blades because she wanted to use them, not because Dan was pushing her to do so, which is a big difference. Dance thinks she has wonderful extension and the ability to emote (this will be important later), and this suited the song. He thinks it wasn't as good as "decapitation week" (going into the top of the skull seems like a remarkably inefficient way to decapitate someone, but I'm no expert) but her fluidity was lovely. Dance particularly liked the way she caressed Dan's face, and demonstrates on Robin. Christine consults Karen's opinion, but no one cares what Karen thinks, so let's just ignore her. Everyone agree? Excellent. Chris says that when you have a good performance on the Sunday, it carries through to the following week, and Jennifer really built on that with her session with Karen this week. Jennifer continues to look excessively pleased with herself.

Andy and Vicky are our next couple. He was pleased to survive last week, despite a stumble with the step sequence. He's very keen to break the 20.0 score mark this week. His song to dance to is 'Don't Look Back In Anger', and Chris explains that it's a thoughtful and reflective routine. Oh dear. Still, Andy is looking forward to show us he can be a Serious Skater. Andy tells us that he used to be in a band that played this song (like, who didn't?) and it takes him back to those days. For some reason, he and Vicky go to a bar in Camden to do a brief performance of this song, as people look on, utterly baffled. He hopes that this could be his strongest week yet.

He begins by strumming an actual guitar OH DEAR GOD (quite poorly, as well), and when the song itself kicks in, there is literal choreography aplenty. It's actually not that bad a performance - there's confidence and conviction in there, but he's concentrating so hard that it all feels a bit internalised for such a play-to-the-back-row show as this. At the end he picks up the guitar again, but doesn't play it - mercifully. Gubba tells us that Andy used to be a busker in Manchester, earning up to £100 a day. Again: who wasn't? Scores: Dance 6.0, Robin 6.5, Katarina 6.5 for a total of 19.0. Andy says he's disappointed with the scores because he thought he did a good job - he wasn't hiding behind a character and the skating was good.

Katarina says she wanted to give him all the points, but it was a difficult song for him to do, and she missed the character element, and that showed up that his skills aren't quite as good as some of the others. Andy starts back-chatting to her, rather ungraciously. Robin says that the skating is very nice and clean, but flat and emotionless. The audience boos. Dance says it wasn't emotionless, and that Andy can relate to this song because he is FROM MANCHESTER, but he would've liked to see him emote a bit more. He wanted more lyricism in the movement, but felt like he understood the emotion. Spider-Jayne says she wanted to bring out a different side of him, and she thought the song was perfect for him because it's one of his favourites. Chris thinks Andy's living it all in his head, and just needs to bring it out into his body. Phil asks Andy if the scores make more sense, having heard from the judges, and Andy snits that he doesn't think it was emotionless and that he doesn't know what they want. Ugh, I wish he would just go.

We have a quick peek at the midway leaderboard: Matthew at the top, Jennifer second, Chemmy in third, and Andy at the bottom.

Coming up: Jorgie attacks Lovely Matt's beautiful face. Does she even understand why people watch this show?

After the ads, Christine is positioned with Karen (ugh) and the contestants. Christine reminds us of the imminent danger to Lovely Matt's Lovely Face, and asks Karen to tell us what happened in rehearsals. Karen explains that there's a very dangerous move in the routine, and it did go wrong yesterday, but they're back and recovered and braving the move again. Christine opines that you "can't keep Matt down". That sounds promising. Christine turns to Jennifer: "you're looking very happy with yourself." Seriously, no kidding. Apparently Rosemary Conley and Laura Hamilton have tweeted in their support for her. Christine points out to Jennifer that she's second on the leaderboard, though Jennifer points out that this is probably not likely to be the case for very long. Christine finishes by saying that she must come back to Andy (really? Must we?) and how he was tasked with a different sort of routine, which the judges didn't warm to. Karen babbles on about how it's a reflective emotion and he was trying to be SUBTLE, damn it, but if the judges didn't agree, that's their opinion. Andy makes a slightly better fist of not sounding like a petulant child while maintaining that he disagrees with the judges and that he was very happy with the final result.

Up next are Sam and Alexandra. Sam says that getting injured just before the live show was very difficult, mentally, and he thinks it was the right move to remove the frog lift, and while things didn't go perfectly on the night, he was very happy with it. He was expecting to be in the skate-off, and was very surprised to be saved by the public. His leg's still strapped up, but he's feeling better and hoping to deliver a really good performance this week. They're going to try the frog lift again - but not before Sam pulls his trousers down to show us his bruises. Ew. He gets very frustrated because he wants to get it right. He's worried that everyone else is so good, and he needs to up his game.

They're skating to 'Human' by the Killers, and clearly they've been told to be very stoical during the performance, but Sam cracks up very quickly. They perform the frog lift, and although Sam is very wobbly on the bottom of it, it passes without incident and they continue the rest of the routine, with some decent solo work and lifts. He's developed some nice arm extensions in this routine, I have to say. Alexandra gives a little fist-pump of joy at the end. Scores: Dance 8.0, Robin 7.0, Katarina 7.0 for a total of 22.0. Sam's thrilled. Phil asks him about the frog lift. Sam: "That frog lift can go and kiss my backside." Hee! He says they've only got it right three times this week without any assistance, with tonight being the third. Spider-Jayne threatens to put it in next week as well. Chris is pleased to watch The Evolution Of Sam, and feels that his problems are frequently mental rather than physical. He thinks they've got to lock his brain away to stop Sam from over-analysing and creating problems for himself.

Dance says that he's looking for precision, and Sam has really grasped that. He thinks Sam's got the best arms in the competition, and he has a lovely way about him when he dances. He says that Sam mastered finding emotions amid the emotionless parts of a performance, which I suspect is directed at Andy. Katarina congratulates him on the frog lift, even though "it had a little thing going on". Or nearly coming off, as the case may be. She liked the step sequence, and how Sam was smiling and performing, which made him enjoyable to watch. Robin says Sam commanded their attention and really gave conviction to the moves. He thought the skating was very smooth as well, and it was lovely to see it all come together.

Competition: win a chance to go skiing in Dubai. Yeah, no thanks. I hear they're not so fond of the gays.

Post-adverts, we return to more sub-par comedy delivered rather hesitantly by Phil and Christine. You can almost sense the gun being pointed at their heads just off-camera. It's time for Jorgie and Lovely Matt. Chris thinks that Jorgie rushed herself last week, and that led to problems. He says that it was the first time that she wasn't at the top of the leaderboard, which as a statement is rather open to debate. She did lose her duel to Matthew in week four, suggesting that she wasn't top that week, but you could also make the case that there was no leaderboard that week anyway, so every week there's actually been a leaderboard, she's been on top of it. Until last week. I think I'm probably thinking about this far too much, aren't I? One of her moves for this week is the neck spin, which is very difficult to get into, and Lovely Matt's all "yeah, be careful with those big sharp blades heading right for my face please". He's right to be concerned, because, in the dress rehearsal on Saturday, Jorgie delivers him a blade straight to the nose. Under the circumstances, he handles the situation remarkably calmly: I'm sure it's an occupation hazard that wouldn't be entirely alien to him as a professional ice dancer, but when all's said and done, it's still A BLADE IN YOUR FACE. Didn't Suzanne nearly take his eye out in series three at one point as well? People really are not nearly respectful enough of Lovely Matt's face, if you ask me. Backstage, Jorgie panicks that she doesn't quite know what's happened, and sobs that she's terrified about what she might have done. We see her sobbing to Karen "what if I do it again?" as Lovely Matt goes off to get some stitches in his lovely face. Which is FILMED, because Dancing On Ice is classy like that. I do feel quite bad for her, because she must be feeling insanely guilty right now. Nonetheless, they return to rehearsals (with Matt sporting some very necessary but also very unbecoming headgear) and vow to soldier on. [I said to Steve on Sunday that I feel that Dancing on Ice is rapidly becoming like pro wrestling at the moment - they keep putting in more and more spectacular moves, even though the performer might not be ready for them, because that's what they think the audience want to see, and somebody ends up getting hurt. You never saw Gaynor Faye slice off anybody's face. - Carrie]

They're skating to 'Bring Me To Life', with a shitload of dry ice as Lovely Matt (complete with fetching bandage over the bridge of his nose) plays some sort of creature of the undead who brings Zombie Jorgie to life. I bet the producers of Hollyoaks wish they knew how to do that. It's another excellent routine from the pair of them, but there's definitely a hesitancy in Jorgie this week, presumably because she's terrified about the upcoming neck spin and the possibilty of doing further damage to Lovely Matt. Fortunately, they make it through the neck spin without any noticeable injury to anyone. Gubba opines that perhaps we should call her "Jorgie Voldemort", because she might have just given Matt a permanent scar to the face. Somehow I doubt either Jorgie or Matt will be particularly pleased by that bit of commentary. Scores: Dance 8.5, Robin 9.0, Katarina 9.0 for a total of 26.5, her highest. Jorgie tells Phil she was dreading that lift coming up, and would rather have done the headbanger 14 times in a row. Lovely Matt admits that he was dreading it a bit too, but he trusts Jorgie, and credits Jayne, Chris, the physio and the brilliant doctor who stitched up the lovely face in a manner that will hopefully not leave a scar. I think I need to buy that doctor some flowers. Chris says you can just see how much they trust each other. Spider-Jayne says that it was an amazing routine. Er, didn't you choreograph it? Humblebrag o'clock.

Robin says that because Jorgie was aware of what was coming up, everything before it was done with more caution and precision. He thinks her performances are emotive and theatrical for the right reasons, and the skating is great as well. Katarina says she's very emotional - especially to speak after Robin because he's always so polished. Heh. She liked the strength of the routine and the incredible lifts and tricks, and tells Matt that even with scars across his face, he's still beautiful. Dance points out that she only got 0.5 more than Sam from him, because sometimes simplicity can lead to perfection, and he thought it was overly hesitant rather than precise in the way that Robin saw it.

After the final ad break of the night (at least, I hope so - I wouldn't be surprised if they tried to shoehorn a few more in), it's time for our final couple of the evening - Chico and Jodeyne. Jayne thinks that Chico gave one of his best performances so far last week, and Chico says that he was very happy with his score. He was particularly pleased that Dance thought he might be able to win the competition. His song for the week is 'Mony Mony', and he's struggling a bit with the knee slide in his routine - and since it's the very end of the routine, he's hoping he won't end up messing it up. Let's find out, shall we?

He starts out by drumming (about as well as Andy played guitar), and Jodeyne does some fairly indifferent headbanging. It's another very showy routine with a lot of dynamic lifts, though the bits in between those lifts get a bit dull after a while. The knee slide isn't quite fully under control, but pretty darned close, to the point where I'd be inclined to give him a pass on it. Scores: Dance 8.5, Robin 8.0, Katarina 8.0 for a total of 24.5. Chico is very pleased with that, even though he looks like the Cowardly Lion right now. Apparently he did this routine for a little boy who's got muscular dystrophy and is being operated on tomorrow. That's...nice, I guess? Chris says that Chico is a strong and powerful skater, who does not need to smo--oh, wrong show. He's a strong and powerful skater, who needs to be reined in occasionally.

Katarina saw everything she wanted to see - energy, power and wildness. He was a little more in control last week, but rock and roll doesn't always have to be like that. Dance says that Chico is a born performer who commands everyone's attention, and he thinks people aren't even appreciating the technical ability needed for the lifts that Chico is doing. Robin concludes by saying that the lifts aren't being broadcast, we don't get lots of warning, but he would like to see Chico paying attention to the finite detail in the transitions if he wants to push his score even further up. Chico vows to deliver on that if he's back next week. It's coming to something when Chico is one of your humbler contestants, isn't it?

Leaderboard: Jorgie at the top, then Matthew, then Chico, then Sam and Jennifer tied, then Chemmy, then Andy at the bottom. The lines are open, and we get given a swift recap of the night's performances. That's it until the skate-off - who'll be joining Chemmy in the skate for survival tonight? Because let's face it, with the best will in the world, she would appear to be a dead cert for it at this point.

The Skate-Off

Phil and Christine return and run through the voting numbers for us one last time, because those lines are currently still open. From there, we go to a recap of earlier, as Matthew got great feedback from Dance on his strength and his lifts. Backstage, Matthew says that he's really happy to be getting such great feedback as it means he's obviously moving forwards. Robin told Chemmy she was getting stronger week by week, despite a few stumbles. Chemmy hopes never to be in the skate-off again, which basically means she wants to make the final without ever being there at any point in between. This seems unlikely. Dance put the moves on Robin while complimenting Jennifer's sensuality, and Jennifer was thrilled to have great comments from everyone. Andy got criticised on a flat performance by Robin and Katarina, and continues to whinge about it backstage while pulling a giant stinkface. Classy. Robin clarifies that thinking you're emoting doesn't mean you are emoting. Thanks, Robin. Sam pulled off his frog lift and got complimented by Katarina, as well as his best score so far, which came as a compliment. He gets a hug off Mark for his trouble. Jorgie managed not to mutilate Lovely Matt this time, and Robin admired her all-encompassing theatricality. Jorgie is pleased that she didn't hit Lovely Matt in the head this time. Dance liked Chico's lift-ability and Chico hopes that he's done enough to get the people at home to vote him through into next week. Chris thinks it's the most mistake-free show they've had so far. Hooray, I guess?

Phil declares the lines officially closed. Dun dun dun! Christine's with the judges, and asking if there's any chance of a Chico win. Dance thinks so, because his marks are improving, so he just needs to work on the finesse over the next few weeks. Katarina thinks that Andy still has a lot of work to do - she thinks it's about skating, and the whole package, and body language. That's a tad confusing, but she gets a bit clearer when she talks about needing to show everyone what you're feeling. Christine mumbles something about Andy having come very far, and Robin says that Jennifer and Sam both impressed with their development tonight.

Everyone's lined up behind Phil and awaiting the results, but first we must go to the ads, in which we discover that there's nothing like Australia. Although I'd wager that New Zealand is probably a little bit similar, at least in terms of the vegetation and the general ecosystem.

When we return, Phil's got the results *touches ear*. The first couple safe is Matthew and Nina. The second couple safe is Jorgie and Matt. I bet Matt's very glad they don't have to do that neck spin again in the skate-off. The third couple safe is Jennifer and Daniel, and the fourth is Andy and Vicky. UGH. So it's between Chemmy and Sean, Sam and Alexandra and Chico and Jodeyne. The couple with the last guaranteed spot is...Chemmy and Sean! Bloody hell, I really did not see that coming.

So it's Sam and Alexandra versus Chico and Jodeyne in the skate-off. I'm surprised, but at least now I know why we got that very pointed comment from Chico in the VT earlier about how they'll just have to work really hard if they're in the skate-off, as well as Christine asking Dance if there was a chance Chico could win. This show does enjoy its foreshadowing, after all. Christine asks Chico if he's upset, and he says no, because he loves the routine and this means he gets to do it again. Sam vows to go out again and try to be a bit more relaxed this time. Oh, I've just realised this means he's got to do the frog lift again. His poor, poor thighs.

Sam and Alexandra are the first to return to the ice, and the frog lift is better second time around - Sam's a lot more stable. It's a very confident performance, but he does seem to mess up the step sequence in the middle. Alexandra gives him a big, reassuring hug at the end and they make their way over to the kiss-and-cry. Phil says it looks like he really enjoyed it, and Sam says he did. Sam says that you always feel more relaxed in the skate-off, and if that's his last performance, then he's chuffed. Alexandra says that Sam's a fighter, and he can definitely deliver under pressure. Spider-Jayne says it was great to see the frog-lift again, bigger and better.

Chico and Jodeyne skate out next and reprise their number from earlier, complete with drumming, which somehow seems even more inept than it was before. It's a difficult one to call, because Chico's performance is a lot more rough around the edges than Sam was, but he's the more accomplished skater, so it's going to depend on whether the judges are basing their decisions on the overall picture or not, and that's something I'm never entirely sure of from week to week. Chico has the louder fans in the audience, if that means anything. Chico tells Phil he preferred that performance to the earlier one, and that people pay lots of money to be on TV (they do?) but he got to do that for free. Or, y'know, he got paid to do it, but apparently we don't talk about that.

Both couples head out onto the ice to get the verdict from the judges. Dance goes first, and says that it's a difficult decision with two great performances, but since Chico took their feedback from earlier on board and delivered the finesse, he's saving him. Robin says that they both stepped up from earlier, but one did just that little bit more, so he's saving Chico. And Katarina makes it a clean sweep.

Sam tells Phil that it's been a great experience, and a real privilege to be taught to skate by Torvill and Dean, adding this thanks to all the coaches and of course Alexandra. We see his best bits, including those bruised thighs again. He's lost a fair bit of weight since the series started, looking back at his earlier performances. Spider-Jayne says that he's been a joy to work with, and she's going to miss him because he used to bring her cake. Flowers are handed out, and Sam and Alexandra head back onto the ice. Phil and Christine announce that next week will be the team challenge, where everyone will be competing to have their points doubled - and we'll find out what the teams are on This Morning tomorrow, if anyone's interested. Carrie will be bringing you the full recap next week, assuming she hasn't hacked off her own arms to get out of it or anything. From the way this series is going, I wouldn't put it past her. [I can't bear it. I quit. - Carrie]

3 comments:

Fiz said...

Get rid of the totally untalented and self-pitying Andy Whyment (Whinement) for the love of God!

Fiz said...

Is anyone else watching besides my family and the bloggers?

Carrie said...

I'm not even watching, really.