I was kind of hoping for somebody to yell “I CHOOSE ME!” and skate off down the middle.
Chloe Madeley & Michael Zenezini : It’s taken me a while to ponder it out, but I’ve made my decision, and I’d like to hand the Fred Palascak Mantle of Utter Indifference on to Michael Zenezini. I’m not saying he hates Chloe, just that for most of his time on screen there’s a distant look in his eyes, like he’s trying to remember all of the presenters of Blue Peter in order rather than really engaging in proceedings. Maybe he’s shy, maybe he’s trying to be mysterious, maybe it’s just his inherent Frenchness, but his presence on the show thus far has been one giant Gallic shrug. A *bouf* if you will. Of course this may partly be because he’s partnering not one, not two, but three other people, as valuable Michael Zenezini VT time is still being eaten up by Judy shaking with nerves and Richard trying to come across on camera like an actual person on his day off (something he’s never really been good at). No wonder he doesn’t really get a look in. Anywho, enough about the pros, we’re not supposed to care about them, and if I do, even for a minute, Jayne Torville will crawl out of my tv like Sadako and EAT MY BRAIN to replace the one she’s wilfully given up to carry on with this nonsense for another series. Chloe herself skated around to “I Love Rock N Roll” by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, and somehow managed to slide in under the bar set by Britney Spears for genuine rock chops as related to this song, and she set the bar MIGHTY low. If only they had fully committed to the irony, and skated around dressed like background extras from a Twisted Sister video to “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing” it would have been much more fun, but sadly they just set themselves up to fail. You can tell Chloe’s idea of rock is, like, Mumford & Sons or something anyway. Or Rooster. Remember them?
Johnson Beharry & Jodeyne Higgins : HE’S A HEEEEEERO! Oh…wait…are we not doing that any more? It’s so hard to keep track. Anyway, now that Johnson isn’t a hero any more, particularly (anyone remember what they said he did at the start of the series? I think there was an ice-cream truck, tnt, and a bus load of nuns involved?) we have to get on with evaluating Johnson Beharry the reality tv contestant. I mean, there’s definitely promise there. He happily went to dance lessons, in line with the ridiculous VT demands of the show. He kept his broken fingers tied up in ridiculously ostentatious fashion, which is promising in terms of reality shows obsession with injury porn. He succumbed to the borderline offensive ethnic stereotyping (so long as it’s tied to a nationality, not a race, IT’S GRAND! JERK CHICKEN AHOY!) that the show thrives on. He blandly and superiorly and serenely skated over to the worst skater of the bottom 2, just to eke out the tension a bit longer, in a vain attempt to make the stupid twist feel a bit more pointful. He skated just a little bit better than he has done before, stretching out his journey arc. But still…there’s something missing. Who knows? Maybe this experiment of having people who’ve actually achieved something on this show is best left as a noble, yet tragic, failure. Because when you’ve blown up the Death Star in a helicopter for your country (or whatever…) and then you’re out-skated by that woman who plays a sexually-active satsuma on Hollyoaks, there’s just a sadness to it.
Jeff Brazier & Isabelle Gauthier : Oh Jeffrey. I mean, it got the stage where “Poor Jeff” was trending WORLDWIDE on twitter, and even this was before he decided to hear “Jennifer & Sylvain” as “Jeff & Isabelle” in the announcements related to who was going to be the ICE SKATE PICK OFF! Because Jeff…done fell over. And managed to boot (well…leg more accurately. If it had been an actual boot to the face I would imagine we would have heard more of it, as Isabelle’s brains flobbed out onto the ice) Isabelle in the face as he went down. Better Together indeed. I mean, the poor boy was only doing what we all watch the show for – he made a complete tit of himself four amusement (TWICE! TWICE!) and how did we repay him? RIGHT into the bottom two with him, and how. Maybe if he wasn’t on such a 24/7 aggressive charm offensive the whole time (emphasis on the “offensive”. And the “harm”) we’d be more forgiving, but when he’s doing things like thanking the audience, and making sure to emphasise very definitely that he means EVERYBDODY, because he loves them all, not just his own fans (/boys, who are, lest we forget, experts in gang-bangs), it’d kind of hard to cut him much slack. Reality show favourites only become so by making themselves their own worst enemy, so avoiding the fights and moral grey areas that occur when that role is taken up by another human being, so it’s no surprise to see him undercut himself with such ruthless frequency, but…that’s where we are.
Kerry Katona & Daniel Whiston : It’s all starting to crumble a little bit isn’t it? Week 1 she was inspirational – she was coherent, she looked, if not classically beautiful, then broadly handsome, she got high scores, she got unexpectedly voted through, validated by the love of the public, but with no real backlash yet. And now, here we are, three weeks in, she’s slurring all over the place and swinging her moods about wildly, dressed up like the unholy ghost of JonBenet (or like an updated version of those “LOL! IMAGINE IF PETER STRINGFELLOW WAS A BROWN! Now don’t be racist” adverts), at the bottom of the leaderboard (when really she’s no worse and no better than she was in week 1), blamed fulsomely for such fascinating and layered contestants as Dominic Cork going out (OH NO). It’d almost be enough for me to feel sorry for her, if she weren’t still Kerry Katona. Also her presence, and the ridiculous “Up In The Air” choreography that it forces Christopher Dean to resort to prompted Jason vs Karen : Round Camel’s Back, and I can’t in all good conscience justify that. It’s nice to know that the old feud between her and Phillip Schofield is back on with a vengeance though, given his not at all passive aggressive “I’ll help you stop then Kerry LOL LOL!”. I mean she gave it the good old panto try with her “oh Phillip!” reaction, but you could tell she was SEETHING as she skated away from him to glomp herself on to a barely willing Chloe Madeley on Team Famewhore Juniors in the NOSE-PICK-SKATE-FACE-IN!
Vanilla Ice & Katie Stainsby: I’ve not seen a celebrity body part smack into the ice so hard since Beaver Teeth (still so very missed) bounced Daniella Westbrook off the ice by the tits during “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me”. Admittedly this was only in practice, and not on the actual ice, but his marvellously diva-ish reaction made up for it. “CALL AN AMBULANCE, MY BRAIN MIGHT SWELL!”. For real? Would Johnson Beharry say that? No, no he would not. You could just tell as his partner (this week like a bit like one of those Fraggles from The Dark Crystal or whatever they’re called) skated off to fetch the paramedics that she wished she’d got Kay Burley, Stephanie Beacham, Samantha Thumba, Gillian McKeith or someone less diva-demanding. Even they probably would have held back from complaining quite so vociferously about being asked to dance to a ballad. That’s just not how Vanilla Ice DOES, man. Still, in the end, he turned out my favourite performance of his so far, so I don’t know what he was bloody well whinging about. Admittedly it was mostly for the incongruity of Vanilla Ice doing Heart level EMOTIONAL PERFORMING to Bon Jovi (although for future reference show, this will forever more be the definitive version of that song thank you very much), but still, in terms of getting out of his comfort zone, better this than that jazz-age crollocks from last week. Still, he’d better buck up, because it’s only to get more gay and emo from here on out. Nobody looks butch on wires Vanilla. Also – coin flip? We aren’t Harvey Dent darling. That shop has sailed, even with Christopher Nolan’s more interesting casting decisions recently.
Dominic Cork & Alexandra Schauman: Bye Dominic. Even to the end he couldn’t quite come up with anything new. The half-hearted pleas not to be put back into the bottom two again, the tiresome “well, why don’t you come and try MY day job then?” that straight sportsmen ALWAYS do to the bitchy gay male judge (such a tragic attempt to claw back a sense of masculinity and superiority in every single case that I can’t even be bothered to start), the need to very earnestly thank your dance/skating partner for all the work they’ve done on silly old you… If we’re going to have SPORTSMEN! on this show, can we at least not do it better than this. Even Graeme Le Saux was better than this. I kind of do hope that Alexandra does get a better partner next year (although I’d bet heavily on her going down in the inevitable cull of 70% of the cast between series), because there’s incipient madness lurking in there, it just needs someone on her level to bring it out. The repeated clip they showed from this routine basically showed her spasming around like she had an unfortunate facial twitch. Not that that isn’t necessarily an appropriate reaction to The Who, or to the face-full of sequin dazzle from those frankly terrifying costumes that she was getting at that point, but I doubt having a contestant as lacking in presence as Dominic was really helped her sense of the dramatic. Either she needs a showman next year, or she needs Frankie! to take her to one side and show her how it’s done, possibly in an homoerotic fashion.
Laura Hamilton & Colin Ratushniak: OK, not to harp on the theme of this show’s understanding of the fine points of national identity (JERK CHICKEN HELICOPTER LIFT AND TING!!), but seriously, Shakira is a Colombian pop artist. This doesn’t make it appropriate or relevant to dress your celebrity dancer in traditional Spanish dress and to parp on about the flamenco influences in the routine. Unsurprisingly, the world is a more complicated place than Dancing On Ice would represent it as being. Try not to look TOO surprised. I imagine that Christopher Dean hoped that everyone would get caught up in waiting on tenterhooks for the “lucky that my breasts are small and humble” line so we could all go “no they bloody aren’t” in unison as a nation, and so we’d all be distracted from the inappropriateness. In further objectification of Laura Hamilton news I also noticed this week that she’s got a bit of a side-gob. Not quite Pirate Queen Jessie Buckley levels, but it’s there, and it’s fun for all concerned. Anyway, I really liked her routine this week, and she and Vanilla Ice are fast establishing themselves as my favourites, and as such will finish about 3rd or 4th or somewhere like that. Hopefully she will have an attempt to try the Dreaded Wristripper again at some point in the future so she can triumphantly get it right and prove that mean old Robin Cousins wrong. I mean, if Jeff Brazier and Jennifer Metcalfe can get their second chances to redeem obvious fuck-ups, WHY CAN’T SHE? (And no I don’t mean Jade Goody)
Jennifer Metcalfe & Sylvain Longchambon:
Dear ITV. This section is a protest.
NO CILLA BLACK! EVER!
Denise Welch & Matt Evers : I can’t quiet believe I’m saying this but…Denise Welch was undermarked this week (*bites fist*). I mean I know the scoring system is being compiled by one skater, one Spice Girl, and the new host of “One Man And His Gay Dog”, and so to expect sense is to piss in the wind, but seriously, given that she was skating slowly to a routine called “Slow” by Rumer, I think she did pretty much as well as could be expected. I mean, she was still Denise Welch, and she was still mildly self-pitying and brittle and surly pretty much a waste of Lovely Matt Evers and Lovely Matt Evers’ Lovely Arse but, between this and the completely ridiculous attempts by people in the press to try to make Loose Women out to be some sort of hot bed of virulent misandry, it almost makes me want to take up arms on her behalf. I mean whatever you thought of this it surely wasn’t worse than Katona busting out some old Atomic Kitten moves for five seconds before being half-successfully wobbled around the ice by the Fairground Prize-Grabber claws of Daniel Whiston to Rihanna. I mean, a 3 is Robin’s lowest mark of the series. This is where he bottoms out? Not seeing it. Poor Denise. You know, ish.
Sam Attwater & Brianne Delcourt : Dear show, I kind of covered this with you last week, but it appears that you’ve failed to take the hint. To be blunt this is not nearly good enough. I don’t have any particular interest in Sam Attwater, but I’m sure there are many out there that do, and you are doing them a grave dis-service. For starters, what sort of angle is that? If your viewers were to be so inclined to imagine giving Mr Attwater mouth-attention, I know this is ITV, but I’m sure they can do most of the work on angles themselves. Secondly, take his bloody hat off. Thirdly, give him a spray-tan. People should want to mother/shag this boy, not give him a hosing. For all future Injury Porn sequences I suggest you get in a consultant from Strictly Come Dancing, as it’s one of the things that they very definitely do better than you do. Brianne at least seems to have learnt the Strictly lesson of claiming any weaknesses in the routine are down to the intent of the choreography. The “It Was Meant To Be Like That” defence, as it’s most commonly known. Moving on, this week saw what was obviously Sam’s weakest performance, although obviously it got his highest scores yet, because the show can’t quite help itself on that front. I mean even he was saying that it was over-marked in not so many words. If nothing else, he’s at least honest. Oh and for those keeping track, he has now extended his lead over his nearest rival in the overall contest standings to over 15 points. This year’s thrilling competition continues!
Comedy Dave & Frankie! : I hope she comes back next year as Comedy Frankie! It would only be appropriate given the journey that she is finding herself on this year. Who would have ever thought that Frankie! would be able to so deftly combine comedy gurning with being an evil little pixie-witch. I mean she spent a solid 90 seconds skating around to Billy Rae Cyrus, patting bums, pulling disingenuous “WOW!” faces and boot-scooting like she was doing the dance from 5-6-7-8 for the very first time, but then they got poor marks and she let everyone know that her claws are still in there, ready to emerge at the slightest notice. I am also warming to Comedy Dave, if only because it’s quite heartening to see a fairly unassuming man, who looks about 12 year old, emerge from the shadow of his boorish mentor (and I also noticed that he’s married to a tv presenter, which, not that I know the woman specifically, can’t be great for ego issues either) to become a moderately well known figure in his own right. I mean, he’s still Comedy flipping Dave, and I’m going to have to avoid tuning into Chris Moyles’ show ever again if I want to carry on finding him in any way likable (…shouldn’t be too much trouble to be honest) but if anybody’s going to be the “why are they still there?” competition foiling comedy contestant this year, I want it to be him out of all the available options. You know, him and Frankie!