Monday, 19 March 2012

A far from Jen-uninely sad loss

Semi-final: The Ultimate Ultimate Skills Test
Tx: 18th March 2012 IT'S MOTHER'S DAY DON'T YOU KNOW?

Last week! There were props! There was Dance bitchfacing about Jorgie's emotionless, boring routine of ribbon-twirling! There was Angry!Lovely Matt! There was Princess Christopher Dean pulling a face at the outrage of having his omniscience questioned! There were clowns which terrified at least fifty per cent of the viewing public!

And sadly there is no longer either Chemmy nor Sean, for they have disappeared into the ether of eliminated contestants. Oh, I'd forgotten that Blue Peter man was even on this show! And Laila Morse of Gary Oldman fame! Truly this has been a memorable series.

This week is the semi-final and everyone is doing headbangers and all sorts of dangerous tricks because what's safety compared with the thrill of live television danger? Note to producers (and Chris): if you persist with this show next year, can we just have a series where people don't get sliced open by blades, or break bones, or incur concussion? Thanks.

I can't even be bothered to parse the tautological nonsense that is "the return of the Ultimate Skills Test", so let's just get on with it, shall we?


We open with Jayne and Chris lying flat on their backs on the ice, as images are projected on to the rink. Apparently this is some kind of impressive optical illusion, but frankly it reminds me far too much of the choreography and production values for Fire and Ice for reasons I can't even begin to consider, because I try not to think about that if I can possibly avoid it.

Here are Phil and Christine. He wishes all the mums a Happy Mother's Day. If Jen invokes the I'M A MOTHER! card I am switching off, I swear to God. Anyway, we only have an hour and a half tonight, so what better start to the show than a VT about how far the contestants have progressed? Jorgie witters on in her inimitable style, while Robin points out that she's not really got any better at skating. Chico took his shirt off, and Katarina seems to think this is a good thing. Robin wanted to cut Matt's legs off at the knees, or something, and Dance thinks he is on fire. Jen didn't ever imagine she'd be in the semi-final, and although she has improved, Robin fears it may be too little, too late.

So here they all are - Jennifer (and ringlets) and Dan (and his nipples); Chico (and his nipples) and Jodeyne; Jorgie and Lovely Matt (and his nipples); Matthew and Nina (and her black lips OF DOOM). Jayne has changed in what appears to be a wedding dress.

First tonight, Chico and Jodeyne. Last week he got his highest ever score while lifting pretend dumbbells, but still had to skate off. He doesn't understand how he could be in the bottom two. Because people hate you? Just a thought. In rehearsal, he is wearing a bandana. And he is skating to The Fucking Bastard Cocknobbing Flood by Take That. (Steve, seriously, they're taking the piss with the reality show cliches these days, aren't they?) There are some impressive lifts, and Jodeyne is gorgeous, so they look lovely. He slips over while taking his bow as Gubba talks some bollocks about how very old Chico is. Straight 9.5s for a total of 28.5. Jodeyne says she is proud of Chico, who has brought it all together and touched her heart. Chris says it was a powerful skate, and then Chico interrupts him. (GOODBYE, CHICO, FOREVER.) He talks more bollocks about there being nothing tougher than being a mother (incidentally, this blog entry makes me seethe). Robin says Chico was very protective of Jodeyne and he thought the routine was brilliant. Katarina completely loses the thread of what she was saying. Dance invites Christine to shut him up when she needs to. If Christine had any gumption about her, she'd stop him as soon as he drew breath for his spiel. FOR SHAME, BLEAKLEY.

Jennifer and Dan next. Last week we learned that Jen's son likes Toy Story. This week, she is fretting about a reverse neck spin, which she fears might damage Dan's beautiful winking face. Bloody hell, they're skating to I Wanna Dance With Somebody, which is reality TV kryptonite, and also invokes Whitney Houston (who is DEAD). Too many cliches, show, TOO MANY OF THEM. You are just toying with us now. Jen is basically thrown around the ice as Dan manoeuvres her into position and beams in a really unconvincing way. 8.0s across the board for a total of 24.0. Jen cries. Katarina says Jen is getting better but not enough, really. Dance invokes the narrative about Jennifer not having the self-confidence she needs. Robin says Jen is beautiful but makes mistakes when she isn't clutching on to Dan. Pointless app users have rated Jen's routine as 9.0 or above. This is because they know nothing and that is why they are not judges.

Over in Christine's creche, Jen acknowledges there is no point in crying. Stop it, then. Karen has also been crying. There's a shock. Seriously, this is just reality TV by numbers tonight.

We're reminded of Jorgie's TRAUMA WITH RIBBONS last week; this week they're putting in a proper headbanger, where she doesn't lie on the ice and get picked up and put down again - yep, she's taking off and landing on one foot. She fucks it up all week and in the dress rehearsal. Well, what will happen tonight, then? Well, it's a routine with some actual content, a very weak headbanger which nearly ends in collapse, but it does not end in bloodshed or death, so I think we can deem it a success. Scores - Dance 9.5 and 9.0 from the other two - a total of 27.5. Chris says it would have been easy to take the headbanger out and replace it with something easier, so well done for that. Dance jabbers on about last week once more and then goes so high-pitched that only dogs can hear him now. Katarina says it was good to land on one foot, and Robin was concerned after seeing the afternoon rehearsal, but this evening she has kept up with Matt. Faint praise, there.

Out in the audience, Heidi and my Andrei are in pink t-shirts wishing a happy mother's whom? Can anyone tell me? Sigh. Time for our final couple, Matt and Nina. Last week he brandished a whip and made Katarina very happy. This week he is imitating Michael Jackson, and Chris is in his element during rehearsal. Matt continues with the historical revisionism that says that Sam bloody Attwater was the first-ever male celebrity to attempt a headbanger.


Anyway, Matt somehow throws Nina across the rink and she smacks her hip. Karen does a sombre piece-to-camera about how the headbanger is not to be taken lightly. Probably Nicky dropped her at some point when they tried out some non-competition tricks.

Tonight, Matt and Nina are skating to The Way You Make Me Feel, and he is scrunching up his face in a way I presume is meant to be sexually attractive. We get to the headbanger, and Nina whacks on to the ice again, but fortunately it's near to the end of the routine. We then learn that Matt has been engaged to his fiancee for two years. Commitophobe. Scores - Dance 9.0, Robin 9.0, Katarina 9.5 for a total of 27.5. Nina confirms that she is OK and that she is proud of Matt. Jayne says they are both very brave. Katarina says she would have given a 10.0 if the headbanger had been right. Robin loved the feeling of the routine, and then criticises Matt's lack of detail in his footwork. Dance comments on the "little mistake" at which Nina visibly thinks, "Little mistake? LITTLE MISTAKE? Have you seen the size of the bruise on my hip?" or the Russian equivalent.

Right, so the leaderboard has Chico and Jodeyne at the top, Jorgie and Matt and Matthew and Nina joint second, and Jennifer and Dan at the bottom. But wait! We still have the Ultimate Skills Challenge to come! Robin reminds them to stay focused, but says they should all love the fact they have all the ice to themselves. Katarina says they will of course be nervous, but they should be better than they were on the last Ultimate Skills Challenge. You'd hope.

Chico's first. does seem to be the exact same Ultimate Skills Challenge routine (to the weird version of the show's theme music) that they did a few weeks ago. It is no more interesting to watch - it is, fundamentally, a string of elements with no real choreographic thread. Jodeyne waves thumbs-up signs at her partner from Christine's creche. Straight 9.0s from the judges. Remind me why Dance gets to judge the Ultimate Skills Challenge, when he knows nothing about skating skills?

Jennifer is next, with her odd Whitney/flamenco dress. She doesn't do too badly at all - it's all rather slow and deliberate, she wobbles out of the spin, and obviously she cries at the end, but she does at least remember the damn routine. Scores - Dance 7.5 and 8.0 from the people who know about skating, for a total of 23.5. Jen tells us all about how the show has made her believe in herself. Jen, tell us it's Mother's Day and that you have a son! It's the FINAL ROLL OF THE DICE!

Jorgie is third out, and she can actually skate beautifully. Excellent job from her, with a gorgeous spin, and straight 9.0s from the judges. And finally Matt, who has a Serious Face on. He looks a tad awkward in places, not as fluid and aesthetically attractive as Jorgie's lines (and I hate his spiral), I'd say, but then I don't award points for MANLINESS like some judges. He gets straight 9.5s for a total of 28.5, meaning he is now top of the leaderboard and is Immune From Elimination - ie he has gone straight through to the final. He says he tried to forget about his mistake from earlier and concentrate on his skillzorz.

So the lines are now open. Who will join Matthew in the final? Well, YOU get to decide. Or not.

The skate-off


Earlier, Matthew got the highest combined score from his routine and his Ultimate Ultimate Skills Challenge, and thus he is in the final. Now you must vote vote vote and keep these celebrities in Swarovski crystals on their outfits. I sort of get the feeling that neither Phil nor Christine cares that much about this any more.

A recap, then - Chico thinks he couldn't have got a better score at a better time, although obviously he could have got a score that was good enough to beat Matt. Jennifer cried due to her guttedness, but insists there is yet "fight in the old dog". I'll leave Steve to insert the joke here. I'd suggest that Jorgie is dizzy from the headbanger, but frankly she isn't really any more coherent the rest of the time. Matt thinks the headbanger could have come out better. Yes. Yes, it could. Then there was the Ultimate Skills Challenge, and Robin pointed out that a solo is all about being on your own. Yes. Yes, it is. Chico was lost for words (hooray!); Jen promised that she would come back fighting; Jorgie was feeling the pressure; and Matthew won immunity and went through to the final. He says that it wasn't easy, and he is used to having his partner by him. Jorgie says it is important for people to support her now, while Chico uses the cliche of "just going out there and enjoying it".

Well, the lines have closed. The drama is almost too much to bear. Christine asks Robin about the Ultimate Skills Challenge, which he says was very close this evening. Katarina says there were a few performances that were edging towards a "flawless, breathtaking" 10.0. Dance tells the contestants not to mess up. Well, that's helpful and constructive advice.

Phil touches his ear. Who is through to next week's final? Why, it's Chico and Jodeyne, because the viewing public hates women and apparently likes people who talk bollocks about Mother's Day! That means it's Jorgie v Jennifer in the skate-off. Why are we even bothering with this, please? Jorgie says it's the first time she's done the skate-off, and Matt says they will go out there and do their best. Jen informs us she will go out there and do herself proud, as it's all entirely out of her hands.

Jen and Dan go first. Dan's ears remain intact again, which can be counted as a triumph. He claims it is the best that Jen has ever skated. Then Jorgie and Matt, who are obviously better, although the headbanger is still very sloppy. So it's over to the judges. Dance says they both pulled out all the stops, but he's saving Jorgie. Robin says that Jennifer can go away with her head held high, but he is saving Jorgie on her best performance of the series. And Katarina says the extra pressure brought the extra out in both of them, and she's saving Jorgie too.

Farewell, then, Jennifer Ellison. You stayed longer than you probably should, and you've got the scars to show for it. Next week's final will be contested between Matthew, Chico and Jorgie, then, and Steve will take you through it. I wash my hands of the whole sorry affair. See you next time!


Fiz said...

My daughter said horrible Matt got the extra 0.5 just for having a cock. I'm beginning to think she's right.

Carrie said...

I really didn't think Matt's Ultimate Skills Challenge performance was any better than Jorgie's. 0.5 penis bonus!

Soph said...

Are you guys blogging The Voice?