Chwegwin’s Last Gleaming.
Team LaPenis : So I’m breaking this recap down by teams this week, and this is in no way to paper over the fact that I remember literally nothing about Gareth’s solo skate, other than the fact that somebody let Dean loose with the Scott Mills Drive-Time show playlist again. I mean…there’s coming out, and then there’s skating to Conor Mayonnaise. A man can go too far. Fortunately, Gareth was pretty irrelevant to the story of the week anyway. LAST WEEK was his week, when he showed off his romantic side. And the week before was BETH’S WEEK when she showed off her technical skills in The Leveller. Which, by process of elimination, made this Matt’s week, not that this show’s distribution of the spotlight is mechanical and rote or anything. Matt seized the initiative in many ways this week. Partly by captaining a team to victory in the TEAM SKATE. Partly by getting to hand-pick that team because…things. Automatically giving him the win given that there are only three good skaters in this series. But mostly by topping the leaderboard by skating to “A Change Is Gonna Come”, co-opting hundreds of years of struggle against racial oppression into his own journey of being a bit less shit than he was last week on a reality show. Such a noble path, trod by many. Certainly his performance warranted the jumping up and down screaming and hooting every time anybody said anything nice to him. By the end it was getting so out of control I expected him to propose to Katie Holmes.
Also along for the ride on Team LaPenis were Luke & Jenna. Very much along for the ride, as he was quite thoroughly made to look like a spare part in the TEAM SKATE (clearly the better of the two team skates overall, despite his presence) and then had Jason jump up and down on him by talking about his bad attitude. Why anyone would take the word of JASON GARDINER as gospel with regards to bad attitudes I’ve no idea, but apparently this is a plot point now. Maybe they need something to carry us to the end of the series now that the sell-by date on Samia’s “storyline” is so past due that it’s gone solid and you can’t get it down the drain. Regardless I feel contractually obliged to support anyone who gets called out on a bad attitude by a man who used “Locked-In Syndrome” as an insult and then claimed he was just “raising the topic for discussion” (lol).
Team Twaddle : It feels odd that there was ever a week where Keith WASN’T in the skate-off doesn’t it? But apparently it happened. Somewhere towards the middle of the series I think it was. He’s been in so many at this point that he actually RAN OUT OF SONGS to skate to, and just had to loop back to the beginning all over again, as he redid his Omen routine a little bit faster and a little bit more assuredly. Really the only question this week was who Keith would be facing in the skate-off as it was clear he couldn’t avoid the chop much longer, especially after he got a fairly rote “rocker” routine from Dean (using the woman’s leg as a guitar?! YOU’RE SPOILING US!!!). It turns out the answer was Samia, despite her truly INHABITING the role of an inert lump of plastic in her Barbie Girl routine. I will give her this credit – her routine was the first time all show I actually sat up and paid attention. Admittedly it was only because it looked like Sylvain had finally got that haircut. Sadly it turned out just to be a wig but…baby steps right? Speaking of which, SAMIA SKATED ON HER OWN THIS WEEK, and was inordinately proud of the fact, three whole weeks away from the end of the series. I mean, this didn’t really extend to her safety skate at all, but she’s trying!
Beth meanwhile was stuck in the role of Louis Smith, having to show her personality with a Charleston (ON ICE!) to Caro Emerald complete with stupid faces, pointless dipping up and down, and random flashing of her knickers. Unlike with Louis Smith however, this wasn’t so much a performance breakthrough as just another excuse for Jason to try to undermine her chances of winning, in his role of being in charge of making sure that the Dancing On Ice trophy is the sole preserve of mediocre ham soap actors. This can’t have been the best impetus for her having to move in to push her team to try to bring something new, exciting and innovative to performing to Gangnam Style (or, indeed, as Ashley had it “Gingham Style”). They failed, most notably at the point where the song triumphantly transitions from verse to chorus, which the team marked by having an awkward circular group hug. OPPA GANGNAM STYLE! indeed.