What a revolting development.
Sam vs Kyran: Yes, this week on Dancing On Ice saw the return of THE DUEL – slayer of Oona King and Corey Feldman. In THE DUEL, the celebrity contestants are seeded according to their overall performance thus far, and then pitted against whoever is supposedly their closest rival. Of course in practice this can mean that the 2nd best performance on the night is put in danger, and the 7th best performance is saved, but in this All-Stars series I’ll take whatever twists I can get to mask and obfuscate the long and winding road to the inevitable Ray Quinn victory. Even next week’s 80s theme. EVEN THAT. The first duel of the evening was between Kyran and Sam, and as such the vibe aimed for was “Grizzled Veteran” vs “Cocky Upstart”. The impression that Kyran was the Golden Boy of this match-up was only enhanced by the pre-skate VT, in which he received the news that he would be facing Sam on his swish new high-tech state-of-the-art Tablet, whilst Sam found out from a note shoved under his dressing room door. A dressing room which looked a bit like the cloakroom. Under the stairs. It was hard to imagine them dumping Kyran right back into danger again after last week, and so it proved, although they did give Sam the slight recompense of the “Performance Judges” backing him for the win in their Michael Jackson themed face-off to “Beat It”. Personally I would have given Sam the win, but it was hard to deny that he and His Victoria were out of time with one another for pretty much the entire routine. Whether you (or indeed he) blame him or her is up to you. I know that I appreciated that I got my sanctioned ATTWATER MOMENTS regardless, both during the skate (the crotch-chops) and afterwards (claiming that Kyran had texted him dick-pix to try to put him off LOLZ).
Fortunately for us all Sam and Vicky got to show off their chemistry again in the next round of proceedings – a self-choreographed routine. In his case to (*retch*) Newton Faulkner. Heaven knows how Torvill & Dean were persuaded to let slip their icy grasp of the show’s choreographical whip hand. Maybe they were off filming too many “HEY REMEMBER BOLERO?!!!!!” vignettes for programmes about The Winter Olympics to notice what was going on. Not having taken the hint from his Week 1 results, Sam apparently decided that what would save him in the eyes of the public was to play up the sexual chemistry and romance between him and Vicky as much as possible. This…did not work, resulting in a soggy overwrought slop of a dance, although he appeared to notice, stumbling off the ice at the end with all the wounded pride of the premature ejaculator, saying that it didn’t normally happen like that. As such, it was left up to Sam to skate a THIRD time, in the skate-off, reclaiming his immortal performance of “Please Don’t Stop The Music” (*shrug*) from the dread clutches of his faux-ex Brioche, and regifting it to Vicky with her name scrawled on over the Tipp-Ex. Such an Attwater.
(Words said by Nina this week : “yes”)
Bonnie vs Gareth : The second duel was even easier to call, especially if you noticed that almost the entire pre-skate VT was narrated from Gareth’s perspective, with Bonnie set up as some sort of Showbiz Demon Goliath (Openly cackling when she found out she had the easiest possible opponent <3) and Gareth as the humble David taking her on on her own territory : musical theatre. Musical Theatre as interpreted via the medium of Robbie Williams doing a bad Bobby Darin cover. Of course, just like in The Bible, Gareth twatted Bonnie in the head with a (metaphorical) rock and took her down (again with a split between “skating judges” and “comparing people to fictional characters with developmental disorders judges”). I’ve spent the last few weeks pondering who the producers were keener to get rid of, between Gareth with his crappy performance positions, woeful choreography, and mean judges comments, and Bonnie with her crappy performance positions, samey choreography, and meanly edited VTs, and I guess this answered that question. Mostly I enjoyed it for the part of the routine where Bonnie grabbed Brioche’s boobs and wouldn’t let go.
This left Bonnie to skate again in the Choreography Round, and those of you expecting her to pull out another classy tasteful MT routine for her Farewell Tour were DEAD WRONG, as Bonnie burst through weeks of limp and uninspired geriatric choreography to go batshit rock-chick crazy to Suzi Quattro, complete with lip-syncing and obscene jumpsuit. It caused Robin Cousins to have one of the most terrifying Gaygasms I’ve ever seen, and it was great to see Bonnie go out on something approaching her own terms. It was horrific to watch, naturally, but fun, and to be honest far more so than her doing a perfunctory run-through of “Big Spender” (with lifts) in the Skate-Off. Torvill & Dean’s sniffly farewell to the woman who’d been there at the birth of Dancing On Ice and now was here at the end felt like the closest thing we’ve seen (or will see) to genuine emotion all series. The great big hams. You will be missed Bonnie.
Hayley vs Beth: So basically, Hayley vs Beth was the last point of the evening where I was still clinging to the hope that my favourites might not lose every single match-up (because let’s face it, we all know how “Anything vs Ray Quinn” is going to end), so it was doubly depressing when it turned out to be the biggest wipe-out of the night. Pitting Beth (the weakest “performer” in the whole competition by some distance) against Hayley (the “strongest” performer in the whole competition by some distance) was always going to highlight her…facial deficiencies, but it was still uncomfortable to watch what an utter blow-out it was, as Torvill & Dean handed the pair a very dance-heavy performance to “Fighter” by Christina Aguilera. Both of them stumbled and mis-stepped a couple of times, but Hayley did it in the pursuit of a performance, and Beth did it in pursuit of doing aggressive sign-language to the back row. If Bonnie has spent this series auditioning for a contestant’s slot on Strictly Come Dancing, Beth appears to have spent the last couple of weeks auditioning for See Hear! Beth compared the whole mess to “two sisters fighting” and if that’s the case then Hayley just powerbombed Beth through her Barbie Dream Mansion and ripped the head off her Tiny Tears.
Beth’s Very Bad Awful week only got worse in the Self-Choreographed round, as she put out a routine so dull and expected, in neon yellow to Aretha Franklin, that it might as well have been choreographed for her by Torvill & Dean themselves. I guess Lucasz’s lack of Dancing On Ice experience showed itself fatally here – lest we forget that he has now spent more than twice as many weeks skating with Beth than he had done previously with all his other previous partners combined. At this point, one Gareth away from looking at the Winners line-up and starting to knock people off, Beth probably needed to do a better job of not giving people a reason to let her go than either of her performance gave this week. Here’s hoping for something truly…New Romantic in 1984 Week.
Ray vs Suzanne : It feels slightly odd that the show is blowing its obvious Final 2 this early (although they already did it two series’ ago in this same twist with Matt vs Jorgie and the exact same outcome) but I guess there’s really no point denying the impending Ray Quinn victory, so why not just get the question out of the way already so we can enjoy whatever outlandish themes are to come. A Props Week with actual weaponry? Love Week with actual shagging? The glorious return of flying? Whatever, regardless of how Ray Quinn might cackle about gow Suzanne offered him his first real challenge, you can’t help but get the feeling that he saw his closest rival on the ice as not being Suzanne, but instead being Uncle Matt. Regardless of the quality of his skating he certainly had more of a resemblance of Meatloaf (skating as he and Suzanne were to “Dead Ringer For Love” in full costume) than Matt did, although which of Suzanne and Granny Maria most resembled Cher, that’s between them and Cher’s plastic surgeon.
Suzanne rebounded from her inevitable setback with an angsty emo routine to “Trouble” by Taylor Swift, complete with quasi-contemporary choreography, dramatic head-clutching, a dubstep breakdown and a BENCH. Thematically and performance-wise she had the edge over everyone bar maybe Bonnie even before she threw in that weirdo Twisting Exorcist Headbanger, landed perfectly. Admittedly she DID fall flat on her arse at one point, but you can forgive a girl that after spending all week with a Ray Quinn shaped executioner hanging over her head. And as Uncle Matt said, it was entirely his fault because his hand was so sticky that it got caught between her legs. Just like it did with Pamela Anderson. (HI-OH!) The fact that Suzanne skated away from her mishap so clean leads me to draw the obvious conclusion that we’re looking at a Ray-Suzanne-Hayley final in about a month’s time. I’ve already got Suzanne’s number pre-dialled in my phone in anticipation.