Putting the “Ray” in “Team”.
Beth & Lukasz : So the CENTREPIECE of this week was obviously the Team Rig-For-Kyran-To-Limp-Through-Another-We…I mean the Team Skate. But before that, we had another theme to deal with, being “Routines That You Swear You’ve Seen On This Show Before” Week. Or in Beth’s case any other dance based reality show you might care to mention, as she got landed with performing to “You Can’t Stop The Beat” from Hairspray. Yes, Chris & Jayne were off yet again this week, puttering around Europe on the fumes of Bolero (ZOMG REMEMBER THE FLOWER GIRL??????!?!) (NO), so out went any attempt at originality or excitement and in came Beth being stuck with a routine already done by Nickelodeon Girl & Flippy McBackflips in Series 6, with a better wig. Not that it’d be hard to find a better wig than what Beth had been lumbered with, given that it looked like something you’d normally only see clomped up at the end of your plunger. All the usual hallmarks of a naff reality show “You Can’t Stop The Beat” hoof-a-long were there – the Pepto-Bismol pink, the giant hairdressing props, the female pros returning to play peppy/bitchy salon customers, the wantonly inappropriate squeezing of a giant hunk of a man down into the role of Uber-Twink Link Larkin… It felt so rote, and so exactly what they’re forcing Beth to do every week these days (when really her strengths are in the softer routines) that I don’t really see what the point was, unless they realised that Nicky never got to participate in the Series 8 “BETH CAN’T ACT!” pile-on and wanted to give him a shot. In which case…job done.
Hayley & Dan : Hayley was introduced with a pre-adverts segment featuring her gooning around with the show’s official Product Placement Tablet (which I swear will be introduced as a Prop Week in whatever week that’s happening), “catching up on the gossip” and “checking out the costumes” and so on. Some miseries have said this is all just part of the show’s attempts to push her as Top Female (see also : her being a Team Captain despite being no better than any of the other female skaters) but really that’s such a negative view of the world and of the show. I choose to believe the producers were trying to inspire senior citizens to get online by example. Anywho, Hayley Tamaddon (37) this week got to do ANOTHER emotional overwrought routine to show off her sincere and controlled side, in this case to “Skyscraper”. It opened with one of the single most cringey bits of choreography the shows ever seen, which I will now map out via bulletpoints :
- Hayley and Dan stand back to back, with Dan using the top of Hayley’s head as a travel pillow
- Hayley turns and hugs Dan from behind, one hand tickling his nipples whilst the other claws at his stomach. She looks ecstatic.
- Dan squeals “EURRRRRGH GET IT OFF!” and…it kind of looked like he retched? I dunno, contemporary innit?
- Despite this, Dan turns round and goes for a snog.
- BUT WAIT!
- DAN HAS A LETTER!
- Hayley reads the letter
- *CRASH ZOOM ON HAYLEY SAD-FACE*
- Hayley mouths “nooooooooooooooo”
- They do one spin together
- Hayley paws Dan’s face DEL-IH-CUT-LEE then jumps on him
What a load of old Torvill & Dean.
This it all turns out was in fact a bit of a set-up, as the high “emotion”, low content nature of Hayley’s routine set up our (at the moment, although I still swear they’ll find a way to crowbar Kyran in there somehow) obvious storyline for the final where we all go “WAIT! BETH CAN SKATE BUT CAN’T PERFORM! HAYLEY CAN PERFORM BUT CAN’T SKATE! RAY CAN DO BOTH, HE AM WIN!”. Although this storyline was further augured by Hayley’s VT, in which she went down the pub with a mate (also called “Dan” – girl’s fixated) and sat around talking about how great Ray is and how nobody’s going to beat him. Exciting times.
Kyran & Nina : Yes, I know her name now, because Kyran actually SAID IT and everything. He told her that he was really scared because he didn’t want to be the first champion to leave. Nina of course then repaid the favour of having her existence acknowledged for the first time by ballsing up both Kyran’s main routine AND his Skate-Off routine. She couldn’t even do pattycakes properly, and that’s the FIRST THING they teach you in dance school. Before even JAZZ HANDS. To her credit though she did break through her complete lack of English to take full responsibility afterwards, bless her. Now back in the cupboard with her. They were skating to “Can’t Hold Us” and the routine involved a lot of grunting and yelling and punching at camera because Kyran is a RUGBY SPORTSMAN, full of aggression and machismo and the spirit of the haka and all that. Sadly this, along with bacofoil pointy nipples silver leotard clearly intimidated the judging panel, leaving him bottom of the leaderboard before the shows all-conquering TWIST swooped in – in this case a Team Battle which Kyran managed to end up on the good side of solely by virtue of ending up on St Ray’s team, doubling his points and hauling him up to 3rd on the leaderboard. Sadly for him this was still not enough to keep him out of the skate-off, as the public vote scattered frantically amongst the female contestants, still ultimately leaving him (and yet somehow not Sam) high and dry. Fortunately for him…Suzanne happened. (Kyran’s VT this week mostly featured him baking cookies with his children, because this show has officially run out of ideas. ONLY A MONTH TO GO!)
Suzanne & Uncle Matt: Who would have bet on Suzanne Shaw being the first winner out? Surely the lack of public appeal should have done for Sam first? Or the fact that Kyran was on this show ages ago? Or Beth’s…faceness? Not the Chris Fountain conquering queen of the highest-rated series of the show ever? Where did it all go wrong for Suzanne? Was it the Teams Twist putting all three of the remaining women, none of whom had hit the bottom 2 ever before, in jeopardy? Was it the fact that her VT this week didn’t feature her adorable child, instead focusing on her pissing off down the pub with her showbiz friends Noel from Hear’Say and that teacher from Waterloo Road with the stupid hair? Did she alienate the shows hefty and prudish female fanbase by doing a routine to “Black Velvet” that mostly consisted of her orgiastically writhing around with sex-hair and a black babydoll negligee rammed halfway up her tuchas? Did she alienate the shows hefty and prudish female fanbase by doing a routine to “Black Velvet” that mostly consisted of her orgiastically writhing around with sex-hair and a black babydoll negligee rammed halfway up her tuchas WITH UNCLE MATT DRESSED IN ACTUAL BLACK VELVET AND DOING JIZZ FACE? Was the public only further sexually terrorised by Karen going weepy post-coital bonkers and scoring it a 10? Was it that in fact her skating wasn’t that good and that she spent a lot of this week looking a little unsteady on her feet? Was it that (whisper it) “Music” was never that great in the first place? Whatever the reasoning, she is now gone, and the gays of the Internet aint ever going to recover. I did like her snarky humblebrag that Kyran only beat her because he was experienced with being in the Bottom 2 though. A nice note to go out on there.
Ray & Granny Maria : As Ray skates further and further off over the horizon and on to some sort of mythical Dancing On Ice All-Stars All-Stars series, where the winners of all the Dancing On Ice All-Stars series square off in 2093 for the title of the All-Star All-Star, judged by Robin Cousins head in a jar, the show’s continued internal debate over how to judge him rages a-pace. Should they be comparing him to the other celebrities? The professional skaters? OLYMPIC LEVEL professional skaters (although how the show expects that bullshit to fly when the viewer is at all times one button press away from watching ACTUAL Olympic level professional skaters I do not know)? Mythical beat-like gods of skating? Lets be honest, they’ve got no idea, and they’re never going to if their public thought processes on the matter consist entirely of Jason Gardiner and Nicky Slater snitting at one another and bizarre VT segments where Ray gets touched up in the gym by other male pros like some sort of pre-sex scene from a gay porno (on guest duties this week – Andy Buchanan, presumably because Stuart Widdall wasn’t available). Still, I guess they’ve got to find some way to interestingly pass the time before his victory, and god knows self-choreographed routines to Ed Sheeran aren’t going to do it. It wasn’t recorded whether Kyran and Hayley’s routines were their self-choreographed reheated leftovers as well, but I wouldn’t bet against it. Once his second (and obviously not last) 40 of the series was under his belt, Ray then went on to lead his TEAM OF MEN to Team Skate glory. I think the role of Sam and Kyran in that victory can best be captured by the fact that they were announced the victors via the medium of half the judges saying “my winning team is Ray”.
Sam & Vicky : I’m almost sorry that I called out “Kyran Bakes” as the point where the show ran out of VT ideas, as I’m not sure anything encapsulates the sheer pointlessness of the pre-skate footage this series than almost an entire VT (after the obligatory “oh noes I was in the Skate-Off again I would do anything for that not to happen again!” trundle) dedicated to Sam gooning around in the woods with his mates playing laser tag. This apparently symbolised Sam giving up his Skate-Off demons and being HAPPY, a fact that was also symbolised by him doing his routine this week to “Happy” dressed in a bow-tie, douchebag fedora and what looked like fishing waders. Sometimes you just get SO happy that you don’t even care what they dress you up as. I actually really appreciate this new carefree Sam, if only because even when he’s not trying I can’t help but find him endearingly twotty. I’m sure I’ve only got two weeks at most of Sam left, but I really appreciate every moment I get of him grinning, lip-syncing, pumping his fists and trying to look fly. I know that this blog’s audience-preferred final 3 of Beth, Ray and Suzanne just got busted wide open, but I hope you can find it in your heart to root for Sam to get just a bit further. For me.