The closest we’ve come to a death on the ice since David Seaman power-bombed Pam.
Luke Campbell & Jenna Smith: I mean…Dancing On Ice has had some random finalists in the past. But there’s always been some justification for it before. Donal McIntyre was the Ultimate Underdog to Ray Quim’s marauding Overdog. The only real alternative to Duncan James was Lisa Scott Lee. Zaraah Abrahamas was a BOTTOM TWO GODDESS! That gay one from Hollyoaks made it on enthusiasm alone. And Stefan Booth slayed BARROWMAN’s dreams and therefore deserves a free VIP pass everywhere in life, not just the Dancing On Ice final. And now Luke joins them, only in the final because Gareth Thomas died and also the Olympics happened. His role in this semi-final was basically to serve as designated whipping boy for the very notion of Men Doing Flying Routines, as Jason all but jammed a full fist of fingers down his throat to try to induce vomiting and retching over a flying routine that…wasn’t that bad? Just to prop Matt up? I’m guessing this is because Gareth’s death left a void of criticism that needed filling because let’s face it, that was going to be far far far worse than a tastefully done whirl around to Vincent James McMorrow. In a way this should make me somewhat sympathetic towards Luke but…then he did his Save Me Skate to Adele and I couldn’t remember a single thing about his other routine even if I actually watched it again, not that I’d do that. YOUR DANCING ON ICE 2013 FINALISTS EVERYONE!
Gareth Thomas & Robin John Stone : So yeah, Gareth died then. Somewhere off set obviously, because this is ITV not some controversial BBC 4 documentary about euthanasia via flying harnesses or anything, but whatever the important thing is that Gareth had to withdraw from Dancing On Ice due to motion sickness and Robin John Stone got a nice audition for a future presenting gig on overnight ITV phone-in programming, given just how much padding she had to carry. My own personal favourite moment was when she recounted how Gareth, clearly dazed, confused, nauseous and unsteady, had to be walked step-by-step through the routine he’d just done by her because he couldn’t remember what he’d done. And then everyone on twitter wondered why he couldn’t just be given a bye into the final anyway. I would have loved to have seen him crowned Dancing On Ice champion 2013, then watching his baffled face as he had to ask where the hell he was and what a Robin John Stone was. Still, at least ITV gave him the opportunity to go out with one final routine. One final really basic routine that he grinned emptily through like Alex DeLarge in the more pleasant parts of the brainwashing sequence in A Clockwork Orange, then promptly forgot on the spot as everyone stared at him like they expected(/hoped) he would vomit or spontaneously combust or both. In terms of great moments in reality tv amnesia, it is sadly only second to the time on Amazing Race 2 when a woman fell of a diving board so hard that 15 minutes later she was stood in the middle of the street screaming that she’d forgotten her name. But that’s really more of a niche show.
Matt LaPenis & Brioche Delcourt : And what entertainment did ITV choose to stage at Gareth Thomas’ wake? The most ridiculously filthy routine in the history of Dancing On Ice. God knows what was going on in Dean’s head when he choreographed this (and given that he’s suddenly given Brioche the pet name of “Brie”, I’d hate to speculate MUCH further) but immediately after Gareth’s body shuffled off the mortal coil forever we were treated to :
- Brioche writhing her arse around in Matt’s crotch with her tongue lolling out like a Great Dane hanging out a car window
- Brioche slapping Matt’s face, then Matt licking the resulting blood off his hand and becoming visibly aroused
- Matt grabbing his genitals and yelping like a bonobo in heat
- Matt lifting Brioche up by the vagina as she shook her tits to camera
- Brioche whipping her hair back and forth in a quasi-orgasmic Herbal Essences advert flurry
- Brioche crouching down to Matt’s waist level, then rotating her tongue around her mouth like a candy-floss machine.
Needless to say it was my favourite routine of the series so far, just for the wanton inappropriateness. To be fair, even if all we had was the jump-cut from Robin John Stone paying tribute to Gareth’s courage in the face of his own mortality to LaPenis leaping around like a goon in training, that would have been awkward enough, but this took things to a whole new level. Oh yeah, and he had a flying routine and he redefined what it MEANT to be a male celebrity and to do the flying routine on Dancing On Ice. I’m sure they’re rewriting the history books now. MAKE WAY MARY SEACOLE!
Beth Tweddle & Daniel Whiston : Beth Tweddle’s journey into her own womanly sexuality was, on the other hand, rather less exciting. I mean…God only knows who could be sexy whilst trying to perform to the sound of Jessie J scrabbling around in Katy Perry’s bins for scraps but Beth seemed to be doing her best to make things as awkward and fiddly as possible. I mean…we all get she’s a gymnast, but when it gets to the point where she’s upside down and trying to portray “adult female sexuality” by cranking on her vagina so hard I was worried that she was going to try to insert his head up there. And then take off, because frankly I’d lost track of which routines were supposed to involve flying and which weren’t. Fortunately, Beth got her chance to fly FOR REAL later, when she and Daniel both played the romantic part of a giant flying battering ram. And so everyone went mental over how artistic and lyrical Beth was, and I wondered if they could maybe not do flying again, because at least when Samia was being praised for being hauled around it was being done by a big burly Frenchman, not someone backstage with a winch in one hand and half a sandwich in the other.