Anything that could be written about the show this week pales in terms of magnitude to this.
Gareth Thomas & Robin John Stone : Go on, admit it. When you saw the name originally you wondered briefly if Robin John Stone was a man, making Dancing On Ice the first show to break the TABOO on same-sex performances on talent based reality shows in the name of TRUTH IN ART AND INTEGRITY OF EXPRESSION and not at all making a desperate hack for ratings or anything like that. And who would bet again Professional Gay Gareth Thomas being the one to make the stand? His coming out in 2009 taught us all that there were gays with MUSCLES who played SPORTS and he then parlayed this platform to do important things like somehow be less interesting than Frankie Cocozza on Celebrity Big Brother and compete with the Go Compare Man and Lisa Rogers to see who could learn to speak Welsh first (oh yes, that’s a show that happened). Sadly (or not) Robin John Stone turned out to be All Woman, and probably this year’s best hope yet for being the one true heir to Frankie One-Name, in that she barrelled onto the show yelling that “SECOND PLACE IS NOT AN OPTION!” and pulling Victory Lap faces all the way through her first routine on the show. Said routine being to “All These Things That I’ve Done”, more specifically the “I’ve got soul but I’m not a soldier” part, complete with Barbie Girl robot dancing. It turned out to be the judges favourite routine of the night, once you balanced everything out, which is probably fair enough, given that it was a strong and confident performance once you got around the semaphore. I’m just not sure we needed “ballet lessons” hauled out in Week 1. We’re only getting to know (who) these celebrities (are), don’t be springing Week 6 Journey VTs on us!
Lauren Goodger & Michael Zenezini: First Chloe Madeley, now this. What has Michael Zenezini done to deserve the very bottom of the Z-List barrel both of his times on the show? Other than “be French” obviously. The day the ITV audience vote a Frenchman to vote for a Frenchman to win anything we might as well ACTUALLY leave the EU as we wouldn’t even need it any more. Anyway, Lauren Goodger (*checks cheat sheet*) is the ex-fiance of Mark Wright, and appeared in 66 episodes of The Only Way Is Essex. The only conclusion I can draw is that reality show producers have now burnt through all the good ones from The Only Way Is Essex, and we’re now on the dregs, because the girl displayed very little discernible personality beyond being a bit thick (“ICE IS SLIPPERY!”) and falling over a lot. I know, I know. I’m scared that we live in a world where Amy Childs, Kirk Norcross, and Joey Essex (ROBBED on Splash! incidentally. ROBBED! But I guess that’s what you get for trying to sass a man who just had his appendix removed) are “the good ones” but there we are. Mercifully for us all, nobody voted for her, so she went home. Mercifully both because she was dull as a personality and also because she was this year’s designated “slow skater” who does everything half-decently but at the speed of a slug rolling mournfully downhill and with all the vibrant expression of one of Marilyn Manson’s backing band. Normally these contestants last until Top Seven or so before they finally get the boot, so THANK YOU to the Great British Public for getting the job done early for once. I think the moment that really exemplified Lauren Goodger best was when she told us all that we should all really listen to the lyrics of her Skate-Off song as they really showed her fighting spirit. And then she danced to effing Female Empowerment Masterpiece “Rescue Me”. WAY TO BE, LAUREN GOODGER. WAY TO BE. (I think the moment that really exemplified Karen Barber best was when she told us that we all had to like Lauren because she had low self-esteem. NOB OFF KAREN).
Joe Pasquale & Vicky Ogden: Of course having felt a bit sorry for Michael Zenezini I now have to offer all my condolences to Vicky Ogden, who suffered through Andy Whyment all the way to 5th (?!) place last year, and this year has to partner the bumptious joke act again. I’m not sure if Joe Pasquale’s constant assurances that he didn’t want to be the joke act were a fit of irony or not, but what they were was tedious and then he STRIPPED OFF and DONE FELL OVER but possibly on purpose or possibly not on purpose or possibly a little of both and then he talked about having something stuck up his arse and Ashley gave him her highest score of the series and the public voted him through and I was reminded that if I got ITV’s idea of comedy I would have watched Benidorm in the first place. It is now my MISSION to get Cheggers past him somehow. At least his charging around the ice catching flies like Ralph Wiggum on a Smarties high is somewhat endearing. I’m not sure what this was, other than The Incredibles cos-play that nobody was meant to ever see.
Oona King & Mark Hanretty: Yes, after the “success” of Widdy on Strictly Come Dancing, we’re already starting to scrape the walls of the saucepan a little bit for viable politicians to appear on these shows. Oona King is noteworthy primarily for two things : getting publicly pantsed by George Galloway (and I don’t even care if you WERE complicit in starting an illegal war and by association culpable in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians, NOBODY deserves that humiliation) and being the first non-insane black female MP to be elected to UK parliament. Not really MUCH is it? She’s been paired with Mark Hanretty, who is growing into his face at least, and to her credit seems to have made a good start in appearing level-headed and normal, saying from the off that she’s not going to get any votes and frankly is just here to impress Robin Cousins. Which really, as life goals go, is more relatable than most of the steely-eyed dreams of politicians. I’m just saying, if Oona King’s life were a biopic and the climax were impressing Robin Cousins (played by Robin Cousins, natch) then I’d definitely watch it over The Iron Lady. Just…might be better if it didn’t feature too much of her skating, which was all a bit “yummy mummy down at Westfields Christmas Ice Rink showing off to her bored children”. Still, it was enough for the judges to award her second place, making sure her vote went somewhat untested…for now. We’ll see how she fares when the dross has been sifted a bit more and she’s facing a slightly more stern challenge in the vote than Anthea Turner.
Luke Campbell & Jenna Smith: Luke Campbell is one of those British people who won gold at the Olympics in the sport of Punching People In The Face which I have to say is not one of the sports where I paid the MOST attention to the personalities of the people who won, unless they were ex Big Brother contestants or tiny adorable history making black lesbians from Leeds. Luke Campbell apparently is the Bantamweight winner which is easily the least dignified of all the weights. I’m just saying if I prided myself on my ability to punch people in the face, the animal I would least be flattered by a comparison to would be poultry. What was refreshing about Luke Campbell was his inability to pretend that he was here for any reason other than somebody asked and he was bored. Not for the attention, not for the money, not for the journey, not to learn a new skill. Just because he might as well. It fills the time and it’s more dignified than appearing on Question Of Sport. Marginally. Despite the show’s best efforts to make us vomit pride out of our noseholes by projecting his Olympic victory onto the ice to the strains of “Gold Forever”. He did seem very non-plusssed by all the attention, being mildly pleased when people were nice to him, and laughing all the way through Jason’s nonsense critique. I’m glad someone reminded him that he was supposed to say at say at some point that he wanted to punch Jason out, otherwise what’s the point of even having a boxer on? I don’t really remember anything about Jenna Smith other than that she’s yet another new American Female Skater and that she is blonde and perky, whilst not being one-tenth the woman that Brooke Castille was, FACT.
Anthea Turner & Tommy Wiseau: Oh Anthea. Again? The last attempted rebrand as the Human Personification Of OCD wasn’t enough? Yes, she’s back, fresh from her show on the Food Network Canada, with Grant Bovine back at her side, perpetually 5 seconds away from a full body meltdown. I mean…I’m always happy to watch desperate tightly-wound middle-aged middle-class women on my reality shows, but it’s not a casting niche that’s ever really met with much success in the public vote. Once she hit the ice, Anthea fairly quickly became this year’s Bonnie Langford, in that it was obvious that the whole skating/dancing thing wasn’t really her forte, but damnit she could make really nice lines as her partner carried her about the place. This OF COURSE wasn’t enough to keep her out of the skate-off, even with the benefit of the Pimp Slot and Golden Globe Winning Bond Theme “Skyfow”. My most fervent dream for Anthea’s stay is that AT SOME POINT someone cuts themselves and bleeds out on the ice a little, at which point Anthea will run out with a toothbrush and a manic look on her face. If only she could last long enough for it to happen. She won’t.