They should have a “Strictly Come Dancing” week on more reality shows.
Laura Hamilton & Colin Ratushniak : If the show were trying to avoid the obvious conclusion that it was shamelessly aping Strictly this week, then it made a rather poor start picking a dance that a) is strongly associated with Strictly Come Dancing, b) which has no real relation to any internationally approved form of ice-dance (no surprise given that Charleston requires ankle-swivvels, which you’d imagine would be impossible in ice-skates), c) doesn’t really read “International Week” so much as “Time Travel Week” d) apparently required the presence of a choreographer who they have actually used on Strictly Come Dancing, and e) featured that choreographer pretty much lifting the same naff moves that got liberally sprinkled through the Strictly Charlestons. Did anyone need to see the bum bongos ever again? I know I didn’t. Ah well, at least Laura didn’t scoot around on her arse like a dog with worms whilst Colin made swimmy motions and people called it WATCHABLE AND ENJOYABLE DANCING. And of course, there’s always the blessing that it wasn’t the BLOODY LINDY HOP (*die die die*) Instead they awkwardly minced around in a pink Harlequin tank-top and neon pink wig, I think mis-representing 1920s America as being more gay friendly than it was (either that or they were fronting that the Charleston was invented in Lazytown). Definitely one of Laura’s weakest efforts this week and that, combined with a number of ties on the leaderboard, resulted in her falling back to exactly where she was week 1 – SKATING FOR SURVIVAL. I’ve got a feeling this might happen a few times before this series is done with.
Jeff Brazier & Isabelle Gauthier: This week Jeff was mostly being a little bit miffed that he was in the skate-off last week. I mean, I can appreciate the indignity of ever having to suffer a direct comparison to Kerry Katona but…you did kind of bomb out of the Ultimate Being Good At Skating Test Jeff, what were you expecting? In further “comparisons to Strictly Come Dancing” news, following said stay in the bottom 2, the producers kicked into gear to save their one “journey” contestant by lobbing Jeff the easy sell of a Waltz. Seriously, is there any better way to be able to get someone up and out of reach of the public vote than a good waltz? In this case, the Viennese Waltz from Vienna, and yet he came out decked out all in white, like he was trying to be classy or something. Seriously ITV, you’re ITV, if people are doing a dance from Austria, stick them in lederhosen. And have Isabelle have a sausage dangling out of the corner of her mouth at all times. Otherwise what’s the point of being on ITV at all? Outside of the tragic absence of borderline racist stereotyping it was alright, I guess, which is as a statement about as positive as I’m going to get about Jeff. So he should probably be happy with this week’s performance. On the ice at least. Judging from his performance in that ballroom rehearsal class (sadly not being taken by Louis Spence, making this Dancing On Ice sadly two months Louis Spence free…) he’s actually more graceful when wobbling about out there than he is on dry land. No Strictly appearances in Jeff Brazier’s future then, WHAT A SHAME.
Denise Welch & Matt Evers : In further “ripping off Strictly Come Dancing” news, Denise this week was initiated into the sacred art of the salsambcha, being asked to somehow perform a samba to “Let’s Get Loud”, which is cha cha cha music if ever I heard it. All this with a wig that looked like it had been constructed out of guinea pig fur perched on her head. Oh and also she was an older woman going to a samba club, fretting mildly about how sexy she was being asked to look. They do that a lot on Strictly as well. Of course Denise needn’t have worried as, as per usual, every eye in the audience was trained on Matt Evers’ arse in those spray-on trousers. Even with the distractions of those hideous slaughtered muppet epaulettes and that unflatteringly cut crop-top, because we’re dedicated like that. No fashion disaster is going to put us off. Which let’s face it, is probably a blessing given this programme. Of course, the trials and tribulations of being an older lady having to dance salsambcha whilst sweating under the weight of several pounds of animal carcass was lost on Jason, who promptly said that Denise came off the rink looking like she needed to be measured with an MRI scanner. Given that MRI scanners are pretty much exclusively used to detect cancerous tumours, I have to think that Jason is probably about as good a doctor as he is an ice-skating judge, unless it was a particularly circumlocutory burn on that wig.
Vanilla Ice & Katie Stainsby : Aw. Bye Vanilla. I guess it was his time, because when you’re mid-table 4 life and you hit your first dance-off you have to know you’re on borrow time. Where Laura can probably go into next week knowing that a bottom 2 bounce, judge over-marking and a sudden lack of ties will keep her safe, when you’re a mid tabler, you know there’s nobody who can help you but yourself. Well, yourself and Katie Stainsby, who this week transformed into a little bit of a silver fox. But it was all to no avail, as when Vanilla Ice is told to not hip-hop…it pains him. All series you could see it burbling, just under the surface, the desire to bust a move, but he just about managed to hold it down. Through the Elvis, the Bon Jovi, the musical theatre. He danced like the show’s performing monkey doing whatever they wanted him to, when really he just wanted to hustle, flow and do the robot. And then two things happened – first they let him taste the freedom of rap for one week only, and then they dangled it in front of his face the week after, all whilst telling him that he had to behave, and do flamenco. FLAMENCO! That’s not even a real dance! In the end, he wound up defeating himself, to the extent that really I think he should have gone out and just done a bit of breakdancing right in front of Torvill, Dean, and all the judges. TOO REAL FOR THIS SHOW! Really it would have been more dignified that having to sit there mute whilst Emma Bunton decided that her Wheel O’Vayjayjay had landed on him this week.
Sam Attwater & Brianne Delcourt: I’m sorry, I can’t help it. I can’t take Riverdance seriously. It’s just funny to me. All that jumping about and head bobbling and self-seriousness and earnestness and the cacophony of all those feet pounding into the floor in unison. It’ll always be comedy to me. Particularly Brianne, who was trying her damndest to do Proper Irish Dance Face and instead just came out looking like an angry leprechaun, pissed off at Sam for stealing her pot of gold/powerbombing her through the ice. Can you imagine if Frankie! had had to do this number? Angry little Pixie Leprechaun Witch really is the next logical step in her evolution to Godhood. Although I doubt she could have encapsulated Brianne’s commitment to the Irish vibe, turning up as the Irish flag (green, white and orange) as she did. This was actually a pretty good routine (from what I could tell, amidst bouts of laughing) so hopefully Strictly take the hint and do some reverse ripping off of their own, and incorporate jumping up and down bobbling your head as a discipline to their ever-expanding slate. Not as a proper dance, but maybe as a Jigathong to replace the Swingathong? I think that’d be one way to make it more bearable. Oh, and before I forget, DRINK LUCOZADE! Between Sam and Tina O Brian, someone high at Lucozade PLC is obviously willing to dole out the big bucks for shilling their “power drink” within a reality tv context so LUCOZADE LUCOZADE LUCOZADE! Drink of Champions. I wouldn’t even consider blogging without it.
Chloe Madeley & Michael Zenezini: I think we can all agree that, if Strictly are going to pull something back from the Black Hole Void that is Dancing On Ice, it probably won’t be “supposedly Middle-Eastern dances, like maybe a bit Turkish belly-dancing, but we’re just using most of the moves we used for the Bollywood routine from last year but whatever”. Chloe Madeley was totally being a dusky maiden and stuff, so…erm…YEAH. To be honest, I feel a bit wrong talking about Chloe this week, as I think, no joke, most of her segment this week was actually about Richard & Judy. Or more accurately Richard’s hands and Judy’s facial…situation. They even between the pair of them delivered this week’s tribute to Chloe’s blessed nerves, which, yes, still exist. Happily though what also exists is Michael Zenezini’s personality, making a roaring debut this week after months of inactivity. Maybe he realised that Chloe’s in with a chance of winning and he might as well make a decent fist of it. In this vein see also : him getting his nips out for the ladies. And very nice I’m sure they were too, although they did only serve to act as landmarks highlighting his slight pigeon-chestedness. Michael’s sudden BURST of enthusiasm was neatly counter-balanced by Chloe skating round with kind of a poo-face on for the whole routine. Maybe it was supposed to be a look of Eastern mystery and hints of delicious Turkish delight buried underneath a spiky exterior, but really she just seemed vaguely pissy. Oh, and those “kiss kiss”s looked a bit more like she was trying to test her lip-gloss to try to make sure it wasn’t going to crack when stressed. I did laugh when Colleen cooed that they’d spoken to Richard earlier about Chloe’s lack of self-belief, like that’s something he could ever relate to or even really understand. Oh Richard Madeley, never change.
Johnson Beharry & Jodeyne Higgins : 1…2…3…YOU’RE A GAUCHO! Oh Crazy Audience member, where were you this week? When we needed you most? Yes, this week, Johnson was given the dance draw of tango, to allow him to show off his passionate and erotic side. And what dark, sultry, moody Latin classic was he given to facilitate this? Fine Young Cannibals of course! Nothing more Latin than that, except maybe a bit of UB40, or some Fairground Attraction. Johnson struggled manfully, but betrayed his lack of performance background by coming across as kind of blank and rote. Worst of all though, he showed worrying signs of thinking that he’s part of the main competition. Don’t do it Johnson! I was kind of hoping for you to blithely and serenely float to a win in a competition all of your own, separate from the rest of this circus. Don’t slum it with the Braziers and the showmances and the Nickelodeon Girls and the Loose Women of the world. BECAUSE YOU’RE A HERO.