You know you don’t want it.
Suzanne Shaw & Uncle Matt Evers: So to fit in 10 celebrity skating performances into an hour’s worth of airtime, a lot of stuff got chopped out this week. No humorous introduction to the judges, perceptibly abbreviated celebrity routines, the occasional skipped judges comment (or that might just be when my boyfriend hammered the mute button when Ashley doing her damndest to morph into a Louise Mensch Drag Queen became too much to bear), and most obviously of all, no introductory pro-dance where “the rewind button” is treated like the greatest feat of camera trickery since whoever had to make Lindsey Lohan look sober for “I Know Who Killed Me”. As such, Suzanne Shaw didn’t have much time to bask in the glory of being last week’s winner. Just a quick jaunt around the park and a Tom Farrell cackle from Uncle Matt over the suggestion from his showbiz-nephew that Suzanne do Splits On Ice this week, and we were straight in. Straight in to a routine being skated to “Applause” by Lady Gaga, albeit one without…any actual applauding in it? The one time you hope for literal choreography from Dean and he lets you down. It was the usual Dancing On Ice modern uptempo pop experience – ie Suzanne being thrown around a lot whilst wearing a Ribenaberry jumpsuit, and therefore not nearly as impactful as her emotional routine of the week before. Luckily for her she had the support of two of her fellow Hear’Say members behind her : Myleene Klass and Noel…erm…Noelson. (Danny presumably being off at the side waiting in his role as Eternal Bridesmaid Alternate) (Kym presumably being off having a job). Unluckily for her, even with all the cuts for time there was still space for a catfight between Karen & Jason during her judges comments. Apparently he was surprised she could see anything over the bling of that dress honey, and she thinks he doesn’t know what he’s talking about anyway. Edifying as ever.
Sam Attwater & Victoria Ogden : Obviously Sam’s main storyline this week was his intense misery, woe and surprise over being in the Bottom 2, as he and his Victoria gazed moodily into their coffees at a rinkside cafe, wondering how this could possibly have happened. I’m surprised he didn’t draw strength from the fact that he’d been in the Bottom 2 before and still won, but maybe he decided that was all those stupid props’ fault and didn’t count. Everyone else meanwhile was on tenterhooks, waiting to see how Sam would come blazing back from this misfortune. The answer? Yiffing. Yes, the story of our Dancing On Ice lovebirds carried on with the heartwarming fable of a man who shagged a cat who lives on the moon. It’s really hard not to relate every routine to the definitely real and in no way fabricated sex-life of Sam & Vicky after they basically invited the comparison last week by getting married before our very eyes, but personally this was a honeymoon I wasn’t ready for. Afterwards, Sam admitted and apologised for his arrogance, sort of, by admitting that as he’d come in as a previous series champion he’d at least expected to easily blaze past no-marks like Zaraah Abrahams (who previously couldn’t even buy votes in a Banana Republic election) and Todd Farty. I’m paraphrasing. Mostly. Mostly about the “apologised” part. Still Vicky Ogden in a catsuit was enough, and the balance of the universe was this week restored.
Zaraah Abrahams & Andy Buchanan: I think it was somewhere around the point that Zaraah skated in the death slot to a Miley Cyrus song (and not even the good one) dressed in (not-quite) skintight gold lame with Andy in a hoodie, that I realised that the show’s commitment to Making Zaraah Happen This Time was strictly a one-week deal. My suspicions were only confirmed as Schofield banged ON and ON and ON about how her rib popped out, which is never a vote-winner, especially for female celebrities. Nobody wants to hear about your owie love, and if you mention it more than twice we’ll just claim you’re faking it. I’m glad, in a way, because as much as Zaraah is one of my favourite skaters in the competition, the whole POINT of her is slaying bores in the skate-off (I’M LOOKING AT YOU LINDA LUSARDI!), a role she took back up this week with aplomb, taking Todd Carty out without even breaking a sweat, in her fifth Skate-Off victory. You have to wonder how many more skulls she can add to her belt (Bonnie at the very least looks ripe for the taking, and maybe Gareth depending on how long his fan-vote holds out against gravity) before departing, and just how many routines there even are from her original series that she can do. I hope she runs out of feasible ones, and blackmails the producers into letting her fly off to Randy Crawford again, as…let’s say Kyran Bracken eliminates her in three weeks time.
Bonnie Langford & Andrei Lipanov : This week Bonnie Langford had a Full Force Five meltdown after tripping over, like, once, wailing and pouting on Andrei’s utterly disinterested shoulder that she’d had enough and was useless and stupid and useless. So those of you waiting for Bonnie’s Violet Elizabeth side to come out didn’t have long to wait. Admittedly, those of us with more of a psychological grounding may detect the roots of Bonnie’s sudden desire to quit in the start of her pre-dance VT, when Karen told her over lunch that as far as she was concerned, Bonnie was representing her and all other older women on the show. Whether it was the thought of generally being this year’s Colleen Nolan or of representing Karen specifically that put the shits up Bonnie we’ll never know. Anyway, Bonnie came out, eventually, and skated to The Pussycat Dolls version of “Sway”, marked mostly by Nicole Shitslinger huffing and puffing like she’s trying to frost up a window, and Ashley having PTSD flashbacks at the side. Whatever Ashley, they let you dance about a bit. It’s more than I’d do. Bonnie was noticably a little off her game this week, although to be honest the whole song and dance seemed to be thematically and choreographically almost exactly the same stuff she was doing last time two weeks ago, so you can see how she would have got bored in the interim. Afterwards, Bonnie remained constantly on the verge of tears and promised that she’d only have hysterical meltdowns off-camera in future (BOO!) and Jason complained that she didn’t give him the horn. Something to work on there.
Gareth Gates & Brioche Delcourt: Who would have thought going in that Gareth Gates would emerge as the King Of The Also-Rans for this All-Stars series? As it stands, despite (or possibly because of) Jason’s sneering and lobbing of a 4.5 at him, he stands as the only Non-Winner to have avoided the Skate-Off so far. This despite the obvious indifference of the show, with no scene more indicative of this than Torville & Dean sat bored senseless at the side of the rink talking in monotone about how exciting it is that Gareth is trying new things as he kicked at the air a bit. Maybe you could also count the in-no-way incredibly patronising benediction of Ray Quinn, lurking in the shadows like Emperor Palpatine, saying that Gareth was doing some really nice tricks now, 10 out of 10, well done *pats head*. (Maria remaining silent about the fact that it’s far better than anything she ever got out of him NATCH) (Can we talk about how they need to reference that some of these celebs are skating in rivalry with their old partners more? Because they really really do). On that note, really I put Gareth’s success, Pop Idol/Grease tour hangovers/blog-infiltrating forumites aside mostly down to Brioche, who whilst not the warmest of human beings, could clearly haul a half-decent performance out of a Chuckle Brother by force of will and TERRIFYING BRITTLE SNAPPING alone. Her outraged face at Jason’s low-balling was the most gifable thing that happened all week, and her snapping off the end of Gareth’s stutter to deliver a motivational pep-talk was Textbook Brioche.
Ray Quinn & Maria Filipov: I’ll be honest, as much as I try to be fair and balanced and give everyone a chance, this sort of routine is where I lose touch with some of the show’s fanbase entirely. If watching Ray Quinn skating sexily with sex-faces to Blurred Lines with Maria Filipov dressed like a Special Guest Madam Of The Week from Band Of Gold is your thing, then all power to you. It’s nothing but fast-forward for me, no matter how well performed it is. Some of you probably watched Mr Selfridge when this was finished as well. You’re welcome to your planet.
Todd Carty & Alexandra Schauman : Those of you who watch Strictly Come Dancing will know that is a common trick, when dealing with the…less naturally gifted male contestants, to have the female professional whirl around them in their pants as a distraction tactic, whilst the celebrity stands there as solid and still as possible to act as a handhold for their dirvishing. So all credit to Dancing On Ice this week who went BEYOND doing the opposite of that and out the other side, with Alexandra sat on her arse in a boat looking fierce and eating ice-cream for the entire routine, as she played glamorous tourist to Todd’s hapless gondolier to “O Sole Mio”. Andy did more skating wheeling the bloody thing out into the middle of the ice. You can just feel Aliona Vilani having new clauses written into her Stricly contract for next year just in case they get desperate again. Sadly (lol) Todd doing the odd knee-slide and spin wasn’t enough, and the public called time on his Dancing On Ice journey. Not entirely surprising given that, for all the show’s pimping of him as the GREATEST COMEDY CONTESTANT EVAH, he could only manage 9th last time. Before Zaraah put him out his misery though, one question remained to be answered. Was he going to GO DOWN DAH TUNNEL? Mercifully, Dean managed to come up with a reasonably smart twist on the question as, at the climax of his skate-off, Todd shoved Alex DOWN DAH TUNNEL so that he could soak up all the plaudits. Bizarrely, despite being a professional skater who could have murdered him dead the second he started shoving her, Alexandra was much more convincing in the role of GOING DOWN DAH TUNNEL than he was…
Beth Tweddle & Lukasz Rozycki: Beth’s story this week mostly revolved around the rage-spiral she swooped into after only managing to finish in 7th on the combined Week 1 leaderboard (ah, gymnasts). A rage-spiral that Lukasz, barking out monotone subtitled assistance from off-camera like an ESL Speak & Spell, was powerless to slow down. And so it was that Beth went home to visit her family and her mum broke it her very slowly and gently and supportively that she might not (/definitely won’t) win this series but she’ll always be her champion. At which point Beth sighed “aw, that’s so sweet” and resumed plotting to pay Michael Zenezini to go full Tonya Harding on Hayley Tamaddon’s kneecaps. Fortunately for Beth, Dean took note of her Olympian Psychosis and gifted her a full John Lewis cod-ballet routine complete with dancing (sort of) en-pointe en-ice, with a lot of swooning spins and sudden impressive lifts. A routine more Dancing-On-Ice it’s hard to imagine, and it’s one that bought her 2nd-place on the leaderboard and hopefully a respite from the gritted teeth and clenched fists. Beth also did a lift this week that had NEVER BEEN SEEN BEFORE ON DANCING ON ICE EVER BEFORE EVER. Although…so did more or less every other contestant. I’ve just edited out most of the references (and there were a lot) because I’m kind like that. I’ve also cut out the part where Christine Blankley just started speaking French for no reason. I’m so good to you.
Kyran Bracken & ???? ??????? : I noticed this week that Kyran Bracken looks a bit like a gay-porn Michael Ball. I’ve no idea why such a thing would be required by the Universe but…Rule 34 I guess. Those people are out there. Kyran’s VT this week was mostly him complaining that he’s old and he’s hurting in places that he’d rather not show to the camera but which are nevertheless very important to him. He’s 42 now, but he was a sprightly 35 when he won Series 2! Things have changed! Presumably in an attempt to push this storyline all the way into a full-blown midlife crisis, this week Kyran played his trump card from his series. LATE 80S STYLE BODY-POPPING! It felt like I was at a Young Farmers convention or something. To be fair, he did throw in the odd patented Kyran Bracken POWER LIFT to break up the mimed heart-beats and arm-wiggles, but it does feel a bit like he’s given away his best trick a little bit too early on if he expects to be here for the long-haul, although based on Jason’s sour mug and faint praise, he’s still got a Judge Rivalry storyline to fall back. Jason’s main problem was that Kyran wasn’t interacting with his pro partner enough and it was hard to see a partnership forming with such a lack of chemistry. A pro partner who so far this series still hasn’t been allowed to speak. And who Jason didn’t even refer to by name. Yeah…I’m not sure the lack of chemistry entirely down to Kyran…
Hayley Tamaddon & Daniel Whiston: I would like to petition that, every time Hayley Tamaddon is shown doing things like lounging on her sofa in a pink polka-dot onesie and zebra kneesocks, chatting about her performance-ethos like a first year drama undergraduate, a little caption pops up saying “Hayley Tamaddon is 36”. And given stage-school types attitude to broadcasting their age, I think that’s more than generous. (“Bonnie Langford is 49”). This week, the show sailed directly into Hayley’s stage-school style, as she performed a routine to “If My Friends Could See Me Now” in a top hat, bolero jacket, and silver body-stocking. Jason Gardiner then said that this was too restrained. He said that she didn’t gurn enough.
Yeah, I’m done.