The ice-rink. Apparently even less of a place for a woman on her own than an unlicensed taxi.
Kyran Bracken & Thingytits: The gimmick this week, as we trundle towards the final with all the velocity of a slug in reverse, was that the celebrities had to do an entire routine on their own in addition to their usual skate. Obviously on paper this was going to prove no problem for Kyran, who frankly has spent the last two months pretending his professional partner doesn’t exist anyway. Surely this should have been the thing keeping him safe over the other public pariah of the series, given that Sam is tethered to his professional albatross via the bonds of LOVE and therefore can’t ditch her for solo glory quite so forcefully? Sadly not, as Kyran didn’t reckon on one thing. Well…two things really. Two things coming together to create one mega-super awful thing, with the power of at least five individual quite bad things. Olly Murs and Robbie Williams. Doing a swing duet of a song from The Jungle Book. Inspiring a routine where Kyran had to pretend to be a monkey. A lot. How do you feasibly prepare for that? If you’re Kyran, you do it by turning up for training for a rugby club you haven’t played for 8 years, to blythely throw a rugby ball about a bit, having officially run out of sane ways to remind people that you’re a SPORTSMAN, looking a bit like Norma Desmond in tiny shorts. You can only imagine that if Kyran had made it to the semi-finals next week he would have skated out in full England regalia and popped a rugby ball directly into Jason Gardiner’s face. Sadly the jungle pseudo-swing was too much for the judges, leaving him too far adrift of the rest of the pack to feasibly catch up in his solo skate, a perfectly competent sprint around the ice to Bruce Springsteen (what else?). The ensuing skate-off culminated in Kyran and Nina performing a headbanger that came closer to actual death than any I’ve seen before (except the one where David did actually kill Pam) (or the one which Brioche abandoned halfway through by repeatedly spanking the ice until Sam made it stop), which ultimately made no difference. There’s just no stopping the combined power of Riverdance and this series’ designated supreme Bottom Two Goddess.
Hayley Tamaddon & Daniel Whiston: Obviously the major draw of this week for those of us of a sadistic bent (which is…basically everyone reading this, yes?) was seeing Hayley severed from her BFF FOREVER Dan, and forced to perform on her own without him to use as a crutch. And it wasn’t just the dark denizens of the Internet who were salivating – Suzanne and Kyran both basically gave notice this week that they were officially getting their toffee-coated popcorn of bitterness out in anticipation of Hayley falling flat on her inevitably bowler-hatted face. So, as a confirmed Hayley denier, it falls upon me to argue awkwardly that she…wasn’t that bad? Maybe it’s just because Hayley’s lack of technical prowess was gone over this week so much that it basically sounded like she was considered by all the Proper Skaters as the second coming of Kerry Katona. There were a few obvious skids and wobbles but I actually think being on her own and crapping herself (metaphorically, obviously, in that leotard it would have been obvious if it were otherwise) took the edge off the less appealing side of her performance style. A less appealing side that was in full evidence during her paired routine to Conga, when her metamorphosis into Bonnie Langford Jr (but less awesome) became complete. The frizzy hair, the grin, the peppy game-girl sexuality, the hideous outfit… Still, it got 10s, because…well we’re getting near the end of the series, so you might as well eh?
Beth Tweddle & Lukasz Rozycki: Poor Beth. She needed to come out strong tonight to make up for last week’s problems and instead she came down with a MYSTERIOUS POSSIBLY FLESH-EATING VIRUS that meant that she spent the entire week looking like her head was about to do a 360 degree turn and start spewing pea soup. There was no more mournful sight this week than her in training, rehearsing her solo skate (a truly misguided country themed hoe-down to “Man! I Feel Like A Woman!” in denim cut-offs and sparkly bra), falling on her arse, then grimly grinding through the last few moves with all the rote mechanical disinterest of…well, Torvill & Dean’s choreography for this series in general really. This left the judges in the awkward position of having to point out to Beth her obvious deficiencies whilst she stood there shaking and somehow managing to look deathly pale even under the chocolate-cake thick wedges of slap this show habitually doles out to everyone. Most awkward of all was Jason, who tried to affect the demeanour of a kindly uncle, which was a bit like watching a goldfish trying to walk on its hind legs. It was at least kind of the cameramen to do their best to try to hide the part of her partners routine (to “Burn” by Ellie Goulding) where she tried to push Lukasz’s face into the ice coming out of a cartwheel using her vagina. Of course, despite Beth’s illness, the public waved her through to next week anyway. Take THAT everyone who claimed that the Olympic Legacy had dissipated.
Sam Attwater & His Victoria: This week’s VT for Sam and Vicky featured them bickering in Tesco’s as to whether to buy pre-packaged salad or individual Baby Gem lettuces, complete with Victoria whining that she NEVER GETS TO CHOOSE WHAT THEY EAT. If you’d told me that this is what DANCING ON ICE – ALL STARS was going to involve before it started I would have been a) baffled and b) much more excited about it than I was to begin with. Particularly as the segment ended with a random drive-by from a little old lady shouting “I’M ROOTING FOR YOU!” as she zoomed past. Notice that she didn’t say “voting” because…well…transparently nobody is. I like to imagine how this segment would have run when Sam was “dating” Brioche ie with Brioche shoulder-barging him into a palette of grapefruit. Sam and Vicky then moved onto the frozen goods aisle in order to discuss whether he was going to get any 10.0s this week. (Why?). And then…he did get 10.0s. Well…a 10.0. From Ashley. But erm…that still totally counts. The real story this week though was Jason Gardiner’s attempts to break Sam and Vicky up, by sneering that Sam skated much better without her, and that all the passion between them on the ice was fake. The performance that Jason was praising in the highest incidentally was Sam pulling David Copperfield faces and doing Spiderman web-slinging arms to a song that I didn’t recognise but which embodied late-night Heart FM. I’d say it was interesting to see what turned Jason on but a) what happened next with Ray was 10 times as terrifying and b) that would be a lie anyway and c) we all know the true emotional climax for Sam is going to come next week when Sam Attwater claims the official record for Skate-Offs appearances. The final is going to seem like such an anti-climax in comparison.
Ray Quinn & Granny Maria: Is there anything left to say about Ray Quinn at this point? And we’ve got *checks watch* three more episodes of him left. He himself said it right at the top of his VT – now that he’s got 40.0, how can he exceed himself? Where is there to go in terms of his storyline, now that we’ve declared him to be an Olympic level champion skater? Even with Karen cackling in from the sidelines about FINDING A MOVE RAY CAN ONLY DO 99 TIMES OUT OF 100 IN TRAINING WHAT A LOSER HA HA HA HA HA there’s just so transparently no momentum or shading to Ray’s time on the show that it all just feels like marking time from here on out. Anyway, what swooshed in to fill this void was unfortunately everyone offering to spread them for Ray, as the show abandoned any sense of self-control as Ray did porno dancing to “Kiss” and literally every single person on the show asked him to have sex with them afterwards. It all briefly felt like the show had turned into “The Bisexual Bachelor : Ray Quinn”. Far be it from me to ponder who might have ended up receiving Ray Quinn’s rose, but given Christopher Dean’s demonstrated Sex Moves…it probably won’t be him. Also Ray did a paired routine to One Republic and he only got 39.5 instead of 40.0 and nobody really explained why and it felt like this should have been some source of drama but…it just wasn’t.
Next Week : FLYING! SAM ATTWATER FLIES! Like I said. That final is going to be an awful anticlimax.