Remember when they pretended that this week wasn’t part of the show either? Oh “Dancing On Ice”…
Jennifer Ellison & Daniel Whiston : I know people claim that Dancing On Ice foregrounds the professional partners to a much lesser degree than Strictly Come Dancing, but seriously, did any celebrity on either show feel quite so much like a spare part to their entire segment than Jennifer Ellison this week? You could barely see her around British Gold Medallist Daniel Whiston. I mean what was there? The generic “West End Star” intro (ie “she was in Chicago for a bit”) and a fleeting reference to how she won Hell’s Kitchen (what an achievement, given that half the cast quit. Sodding Eggwina made fourth place), but otherwise? All Whiston, all the time. How he was going to be the first pro to win the show three times, his vague giggly embarrassment over that gynecological lift, and most important of all, INJURY PORN. And not classy softcare Injury Porn like Artem crying softly over a discarded shoe whilst clutching his shoulder. Oh no, this was full on, hard-core, legs in the air, bottom deftly probed by a skilled professional Injury Porn. I have no idea how this aired before the watershed any more than Lara Pulver skitting around naked on Sherlock Holmes whilst buggering Lastrade with a deodorant can did (or whatever happened in that episode of Sherlock, I don’t even know any more, I just know that it killed feminism). Anyway, Jennifer is here, she’s…alright I suppose, she’ll be around for a while, and about all the enjoyment I got out of this was Gubba mangling the name of an Andrews Sisters song worse than he mangles even everything ice-skating related. If you slow down the tape, you can hear he actually does say “dancing to By Meer Blah de Blah Foreign”.
SAMANDMARK & Alexandra Schulman : Speaking of footage manipulation, if you play SAMANDMARK’S section from this week’s show backwards, you will both hear and see MARKANDSAM’s section from last week. I don’t think two contestants on anything have been more joined at the hip than these two, not even any of the sets of twins that have done Big Brother. Given that next week is Movie Week, I hope that they both dedicate their skates to Rashomon and perform on the ice at the same time. Then we get to see the routine twice, each from a different perspective. Because their personalities are distinct enough to warrant it. I’d speculate as to which of them was supposed to be “the straight man”, but then SAMANDMARK announced that the forfeit for the loser of the two in the overall competition was that the winner got to “rub it in their faces” and it’s fairly obvious that the answer is “neither of them” (and nobody who watched TMI will be surprised by this turn of events). Anyway, at least we now know that SAMANDMARK is the one who is better at skating, but given that Mark is a) the one partnered with the pro that I actually care about, b) representing MIDLANDS PRIDE and c) fitter, it’s fairly obvious where my vote is going. You know. Of the two. If I was forced to. Mostly I spent their routine remembering Jade Johnson & Ian Waite, but that’s true of every routine on this and any other series, even the ones before Jade Johnson & Ian Waite existed.
Rosemary Conley & Mark Hanretty : The thing I liked most about Rosemary Conley’s segment is just how obvious it was that she’d presented herself to the show as some sort of WRINKLY RINGER and just how catty and pissy the show was prepared to be about her when she turned out…not to be. You can just hear them now reading her CV listing her credentials as a super-supple fitness expert with two whole years of ice-skating lessons behind her, then finding out to their dismay that at least one year and eleven months of those lessons were spent shuffling along at two miles per hour waving at her grand-kids who were wondering when they were going to get to do something fun when she baby-sat. The other month was spent drinking mojitos obviously. Cue an AVALANCHE of eye-rolls and catty comments from Torville & Dean, who appeared to spend most of this week’s Rosemary segment playing the Nancy Allen & John Travolta roles from Carrie. Things got even MORE vexatious for the show (and me) when she skated out and promptly stole the role of “Token Older Inspiration Couple” from my beloved Beaver Teeth & Charlene Tilton by being adequate and also more ITV-friendly during her skate. DAMN HER. Reserve me a seat with Torville & Dean by the lockers blowing spit-wads and mocking her thighs. It’ll still be less offensive than Gubba openly perving on her and reading out her vital statistics. Next week we’re going to find out her bra-size, I just KNOW IT.
Big Mo & Lukasz Rozycki : I’ll miss Big Mo. Not for her ice-skating, which was to be honest awful (although quite enjoyably surreal, in a sub-Lynchean lip-sync sort of way), and was only going to get worse once her shoulder eventually gave up and just fell out, but for the stink-waves of bad attitude she put out everywhere. Obviously there was the fact of the generally furious atmosphere surrounding her elimination, but how many surly eliminations have we had on this show before? BARROWMAN, Davies, probably Kay Burley I don’t know. But has there ever been a more appropriate Face Of Thunder deployed than when Blankley started whittering on to her about how she was trending globally on twitter (this show’s whole obsession with twitter is SO DEPRESSING, but we’ll get to that later). It read “I’m Big Mo bitch, why should I give a flying Pam St Clement about FAHCKIN TWITTAH?”. I guess once they got the fact that she’s Gary Oldman’s sister/cousin/wife/sister-wife out of their over-eager mouths there was nothing really left for her, although I feel Lucasz deserved better. After the Netto Nancy Dell’Olio that was Elen Rivas, this showing officially makes him the Anton of the show. Except nobody knows who he is. And he’s not unattractive, in a red-faced awkward sort of way. Now that Fred’s gone, it’ll have to do. Along with Robin talking about how she shone once “Dr Footlights” took over, which I guess is as good a euphemism for cocaine as any other.
Sebastien Foucan & Brioche Delcourt : Brioche continues her rise to “Almost As Amazing As Frankie One-Name” DOI LadyPro Boss Bitch-ness by opening their segment by proclaiming herself “the” champion of the last series of Dancing On Ice. Sam Attwater who now? Maybe he really pissed her off by botching a lift during all that sex they definitely had? Anyway, this year she has moved on to a new hunk, this time “the cofounder of free-running”. Personally I refuse to believe there are not at least 6 other people all claiming the same thing and having vicious and protracted arguments about it, because that’s just how these things work. Anyway, he is French and officially Not Bad To Look At, and also his free-running abilities have broken Christopher Dean’s brain. Have we ever had a routine quite this…conceptual in Week One before? Sebastien was asked to portray about fifteen different parts of the mechanism of a watch, and also do three forward rolls on the ice for absolutely no reason other than that he can. At one point he swung Brioche around like a pendulum (which, incidentally, if she was doing that with Sam you KNOW her free arm would have been trailing around on the ice as a safety the entire time) and I almost wondered why nobody made a Foucan’s Pendulum pun and then I remembered that THIS IS DANCING ON ICE ON ITV. Anyway, I would get invested in his chances, but they’ve already showcased why he’s going to lose (all that balls about him being a “bad partner”, so why bother? Oh also he’s French and with Brioche and, I dunno, black or something, let’s throw that in there as well. As long as he stays riskful (thanks Katarina), I’ll be happy.
Chico & Jodeyne Higgins : Remember how last year Jodeyne was partnered with WAR-HERO Johnson Beharry? Well after a month with Chico she frankly looks like she’s been through whatever war it was he took part in. Seriously, she looks TRAUMATISED. I’ve seen hostage videos that looked more upbeat and happy. Faces Of Death looks like an edition of Holiday compared to how Jodeyne appears to be holding together mentally this year. And who can blame her, given that Chico’s entire personality is yelling “CHICO TIME!” repeatedly and spewing self-help positivity aphorisms whenever he isn’t. You have to think that being partnered with Timmy Mallett would probably have been better for her sanity, and I can see her shoving Chico into the void along with Schlongchambon, Cheggers and Chesney Hawkes. Possibly by trying to persuade him that it is CHICO TIME for the show’s first Gender-Reversed Headbanger. No really Chico, just hold still and FEEL THE GS. The worst part for her? He actually seemed to be…quite good? I quite enjoyed the near-hysterical snow-blindness of people who refused to admit it to themselves because, well…it’s CHICO for God’s sake, but I actually probably enjoyed his performance the most of all the ones on this second Performance Show. Poor Jodeyne. If we all chip in the money we’d normally spend voting, I bet we’d be able to get her the therapy she need….well we’ll get her a Big Brother psychologist at least.
Corey Feldman & Brooke Castile : Oy. First of all, obviously the THING needs to be addressed. By which I mean that thing emanating from his forehead. Both in it being a thing in and as of itself, as a reality tv phenomenon, and also as a victim of the show’s obsession with WHAT’S HAPPENING ON TWITTER. Because Phillip pimping out one of those awful “parody accounts” that lose their initial concept and just devolve into generic bitchy comments within two episodes (where some of us have the good sense to just start off there and plough that furrow/rut for the entire run) killed stone-dead my interest in making fun of it in 5 seconds flat. Poor Corey as well. BixMix won an entire reality show on the back of “mean people are being mean about your appearance on the mean Internets”, but apparently it’s not traumatic when you’re Corey Feldman and the entire show can jump in and pile on as well. So what else is there to make fun of? His deathly immobile face? The fact that his super-peppy skating partner appears to have escaped from an audition for All-New American Gladiators? His almost endearing revelation that he might want to be able to stand up on the ice in time to be broadcast live to the nation? I don’t know, but I’ll find something for the…two weeks or so he’s got left on the show, I SWEAR IT.
Matthew Wolfenden & Nina Ulanova : I have a long and storied history with this show in either finding the “good skaters” either tedious (Jessica Taylor/Suzanne Bore/Clangford/Kyran/Claire) or insanely annoying (Ray Quinn, Hayley Tampon-Condom, BARROWMAN) to the point that I actively disengage and just start rooting for Stefan Booth because he’s fit or Gay-Faced Vulcan because he’s a Gay-Faced Vulcan, or the Sweet Sweet Embrace Of Death Because Series Four was just THAT BAD. My record for liking the “good skaters” on this show is basically Chris Fountain and the entirety of last series, which was like a glorious cosmic alignment between my soul and Dancing On Ice in that I quite enjoyed all three of the people who could actually remain upright for more than 6 seconds at a time. This is a very lengthy pre-amble to basically get to the point of the fact that I am never ever going to find Matthew Wolfenden interesting on this show, and no amount of screaming “ZOMG HE IS SO FIT AN A GYMNAST AND IN LEATHER AND HIS DICK IS TRENDING ON TWITTER, DID WE MENTION TWITTER ENOUGH TIMES YET? TWITTER TWITTER TWITTER TWITTER TWITTER TWITTER! HE’S IN LEATHER AND STUFF AND TWITTER!” is going to persuade me otherwise. Do. Not. Get. It.