Dancing On Ice 11 – Week 1

Sorry, The Greatest Dancer won the poll but I couldn’t get through more than 20 minutes of it so you’re getting this instead, what did you want me to recap, the audience going “that was rubbish” and “I’m not voting for him he’s a forrin” no thanks.

Jane Danson & Sylvain Longchambon : For those of you who didn’t watch last series, one of the principle problems with it was that the two most annoying members of the cast were ALSO on Coronation Street, and it is an inviolate rule of Dancing On Ice that if someone is on an ITV soap you’re not getting rid of them ever ever ever ever ever. Ever. Antony Cotton stood there quite happily for a month and a half, flipping the bird at Torvill & Dean and wobbling around the ice like a Creme Brulee on a gym treadmill whilst poor Lemar was in the skate-off four weeks out of five. This series though, the show has apparently remedied that by having their Corrie representative being Jane Danson, quite possibly the most benign human being alive, whose sole story point so far has been simpering merrily around Jayne Torvill’s dress going “miss, miss, my name is like your name and I liked the Bolero that you did at the Lympics!”. Not even pairing her with Sylvain Schlongchambon could spice this one up, as she skated nicely enough round and round to “On The Street Where You Live” in front of a video-wall replica of the Coronation Street set. Of course Jason Gardiner didn’t like it because she didn’t flop a tit out or whatever, but frankly I was glad of the rest after last year’s egregiousness from the ITV soapie stable.

Didi Conn & Lukasz Rozycki : Although if you thought that Jane dined out on her dayjob then good grief. I don’t think we went more than five seconds in this segment without someone saying “Frenchie From Grease”, or genuflecting at Didi’s feet about how amazing it was to have such a Hollywood legend in the cast, or literally kissing her ring in the case of Christopher Dean, and…am I missing something? She didn’t even have a song! I know it’s not the starriest cast in the world but there’s people here who’ve played their sport for their country, won Olivier awards, had number 1 hit records around the world, and lived in the Big Brother house with NANCY DELL’OLIO, we don’t need to over-egg it this much for a woman who was in one film, mostly walking around in the background looking like she’d just been twatted on the back of a head with a soup ladle. Anyway, Didi skated around to, yes, a song from the Grease soundtrack and pulled funny faces and let Lukasz haul her about a bit (and who wouldn’t?). Can’t wait for next week when she pulls out a reference to her other hit roles like the Muskox Number 2 in an episode of The Wild Thornberries, “Nurse” in an episode of Law & Order : Special Victims Unit, and introducing old episodes of Thomas The Tank Engine on PBS by singing Camptown Ladies.

Saara Aalto & Hamish Gaman : This year’s X Factor alum, only arriving at Dancing On Ice via tanking at Eurovision rather than doing alright at I’m A Celebrity, Saara is also one of this year’s EVEL RINGAHs, on the grounds that…erm…she’s from Finland? Apparently that’s enough these days. Saara turned up to this year’s show already being able to ice-skate, probably from all those nights hunting seals across the frozen wastes of Oulunsalo or whatever they do out there in Scandinavia for a good time when the discos are closed. Not only was Saara able to skate coming in, but she was also able to skate BACKWARDS, a fact that caused James Jordan and Brain McFadden (oh I can’t wait for that alliance, I absolutely can’t, BRING ON THE BANTER) to cat-call her and call her a teacher’s pet. Sadly, contrary to the opinions of the Jordan-McFatHead Connection, Saara has a clear handicap in the eyes of the judges – being partnered with Hamish, one of the large contingent of last year’s newbies who spent his entire abbreviated run of the show getting hammered by the judges for being a crap choreographer. And guess what? They started RIGHT in again on him this week. At least Melody The Mole went off to do…whatever it is she’s doing now and didn’t keep on at a losing game, she knew when she was beaten. Can Hamish move on up from here, I hope so, he’s just got one of those faces you want at least moderately good things for. Saara was mostly notable for blatant pandering to her gays by skating to Born The Way, and also for doing the one routine all night that split Torvill & Dean, scoring wise. I guess he always has been that bit more advneturous than her. By a whole 0.5 points.

James Jordan & Alexandra Schauman : Oh how I have missed pre-dance VTs featuring James Jordan that consist of a ringah going “ooooh I can’t, oooh it’s so hard, oooh there are so many differences to my dance related dayjob that you civilians just don’t understaaaaaaaand, ooh it could definitely all go horribly wrooooong” and then oooh look it’s perfectly fine. Except this time James was the ringah! In fairness, James also paid tribute to Denise Van Outen in other ways, as he opened this week’s Old Hollywood themed routine to “I Won’t Dance” sitting on a chair. What a beautiful homage to her greatest West End dancing moment! Despite all the endless fretting, James in fact got the best week 1 score since Ray Quinn when all was said and done. Another fully trained ballroom dancer who also just happened to be really good at Dancing On Ice, what are the odds. But it just happened ok, it’s just a coincidence, and besides, all the other contestants have their own advantages as well, like what about the sportspeoples being fit and the actors…knowing how to talk and stuff? Anyway James genuinely did really well, and will be in the final and quite possibly win given that he’s not a dreaded LADY RINGAH, and currently I’m mostly sat here thinking that for someone who was quite happy to slag other contestants off as Teachers Pet he was also awfully happy giving the big Brenda Cole brown-nose speech about how great all the skating coaches and backstage staff are after the marks were in. I guess self-awareness was never James’ strong suit.

Mark Little & Brianne Delcourt : Bless Mark Little, but what can you say? His claim to fame is from 30 years ago, he’s not done much high-profile work since, and he seems incredibly laid back about being there. It’s fairly obvious he was the most superfluous piece of casting in this half of the draw, if not the entire cast, and everyone at home seemed to agree, dumping into the first slot for next week’s skate-off, after a routine that seemed to be themed around his being Australian and not so much about skating, really. He seems like a bit of a waste on Brioche who, as we have established in previous series, attacks everything with the energy of a woman who’s just been revealed as the slasher in the last 15 minutes of a 1999 teen horror film. I’m not holding out much hope, although if he could knock out Brian on his way out the door it’d be much appreciated.

Gemma Collins & Matt Evers : I know that loving Gemma Collins enough to cast her on your reality show requires a certain level of appreciation of irony, but goodness me they really felt like they were trying their damndest to troll her as much as humanly possible in a 10 minute segment. Matt Evers talking up how he wanted someone humble and genuine to partner him this year? Check. Choreography that required her to roll around on the floor in a skintight gold lame catsuit before flopping into a “splits” that featured one leg being stuck out straight and the other crumbled up like a sausage roll that someone had trod on? Check. Matt piling in again to yell out in her defence that the judges should cut her some slack because “she’s never exercised before in her life!”? Check. There was so much material there they were even able to edit out footage of the show trolling her by pretending that they were going to make her skate to The Vengabus Song, and that was tv gold right there. And yet after all that indignity, Gemma Collins still skated off down that tunnel into Week 3, letting out a truly bloodcurdling scream of triumph on the way. She’s winning guys. In her own way, she’s winning.


23 thoughts on “Dancing On Ice 11 – Week 1

  1. Martin

    I voted for DOI so I’m happy as it means I don’t have to watch it and listen to Phil and Holly’s ‘comedy’…

    Your descriptions are superb anyway – I did catch the James Jordan routine and all of the training footage of him being crap must have come from his first hour on his first day. Either that or he’s been training 24/7 for 3 months (wouldn’t put it past him). Good to see Ola again in the audience as well…

  2. Faggy

    All the things that I didn’t enjoy last year (and whined about in my comments on the first show here) are still present so it looks as if ITV are happy with the show being a right shambles.

    The song choices actually made Strictly seem subtle!

    I do wonder who Matt Evers annoyed to get lumbered with Collins.

    I hope Hamish lasts longer this year but only because he’s the one professional that I actually fancy.

    1. monkseal Post author

      They at least seem to have axed that weird bit where everyone’s skating around “backstage” to warm up.

  3. Penny

    I feel vindicated in my answer to your poll: “wait to see whether The Greatest Dancer is actually entertaining viewing before deciding”.

    Probably won’t actually watch DOI, especially now it is revealed that JJ won’t be falling on his arse and throwing massive tantrums about undermarking on a regular basis, but very much looking forward to your recaps nonetheless.

    1. monkseal Post author

      The only entertaining thing about The Greatest Dancer was Oti having to correct the official twitter account because they couldn’t tell the difference between a samba and a cha cha.

  4. Toasted Toad

    Not interested in watching DOI, but I did see JJ’s tweets and by the look of things, he genuinely couldn’t skate at all 3 months ago. T&D confirmed it on the programme and it didn’t look to me like they were lying. It isn’t just a matter of him pretending to wobble in a silly manner. He had no idea how to balance on a slippery surface or how to produce movement on the ice. For a long time, you could see he was doing it wrong and that each time, it was a different thing he was doing wrong. You can still see that the way he skates now uses very basic movements and that he is unsure on anything other than straight forwards and backwards. He cannot spin (he can go in a rough circle, but that’s not a spin). He tweeted several times that he was working like crazy for many hours. As a professional dancer, that sounds more than likely to me – he is used to that kind of discipline, and did not make a twit of himself on TV. So I’m sure he has ringah status performance wise, and now that he’s got the hang of it a bit, he may well be able to learn faster than some. But I don’t think he has much more of an advantage than any sportsman, and definitely a disadvantage to someone who could already skate.

    1. monkseal Post author

      I…”he is unsure on anything other than straight forwards and backwards” wasn’t reflected in the routine I watched to be honest.

      1. Toasted Toad

        I didn’t say he couldn’t do it, just that he was unsure. He doesn’t know how to stop or start properly (he often drifts). By the same token, of course he can’t spin (he just plants his feet wide apart and skates in a circle). The only person who span was his partner (the camera was always cutting off her legs so you couldn’t see, but you can see she’s rotating on the spot). The choreography was, as it should be, designed to disguise his limitations and enhance what he can do. Nice little bit danced on the tip of the skates was clever – he had something of the grip he was used to when dancing. No, he has clearly been skating only for a very short time, but has worked very hard.

  5. StormyTV

    a ringah going “ooooh I can’t, oooh it’s so hard, oooh there are so many differences to my dance related dayjob that you civilians just don’t understaaaaaaaand, ooh it could definitely all go horribly wrooooong”

    Sooo…Ashley all season in Strictly? 😛

    1. monkseal Post author

      And James was a massive vocal supporter of Ashley as the best contestant ever on Strictly and the clear winner and obviously she was working far harder than everyone else so shut up jelus hatahs, clearly laying the groundwork there ;-p

      1. Toasted Toad

        Well yes, he’s a dancer. As Ashley was the best dancer in the competition he enjoyed watching her. It makes sense. He wanted the best dancer to win. But there are other things that count – that dreaded “j” words – and personal likeability. So Ashley’s dancing was never going to win her the glitterball.

      2. Stormy

        He totally would say something like that. Ugh, I wish that creature (can’t be bothered calling him a man) would just disappear.

  6. Agrippina

    I’m so glad that someone was unable to sit through The Greatest Dancer. I was all primed to enjoy it due to the presence of Oti but I was bewildered by the rules and that business with the mirror, the fact that we had to watch the acts checking in at reception, and then they had a VT from one of the dancers’ mums saying how hard he’d worked and shit, all before anyone had even danced. It was at that point that I shouted “This is boring! I’m bored!” at the telly and watched the series 1 finale of The Crown instead (that should tell you something about my boredom threshold). I didn’t even make it to the first act dancing because I couldn’t bear to watch any more.

    That said, I didn’t watch DOI either, due to presence of JJ, and having seen that Torvill and Dean docudrama over Christmas, which made me feel a bit funny about them because I fancy Will Tudor and I don’t want to have those sorts of feelings about Chris. I shall settle for your extremely evocative recaps instead.

    1. monkseal Post author

      I checked iPlayer and I made it just over half an hour in. In fairness, audition episodes aren’t my bag at all but it was deathly stuff all-round.

  7. Sue Howarth

    Have to agree, the greatest dancer was fun for one episode, but I won’t be back. I am glad in a perverse way. It looks like Oti is looking for a career change and if this program were to be a hit we might lose her.
    I voted for RPDR all stars. It has got very formulaic, but it has to be said losing Latrice was a shock, not seen a joke for years, and Violet outshone her considerably on the werk the world tour last year, but a shock nontheless.
    Last years drag race had this group of POC queens at it’s core. The editing relaxed, I was ready for the program to take a turn and educate this middle ages white woman of the current gay scene in USA, a return to Paris is burning as it were. The fact that it ended with only one POC in the final was shocking and leaving it to Vixen, who really does not have the mature enough chops, to call it out was simply racist.
    So now we have one white face left in the line up, who should make top 3, if she wins or loses there has to be a racial question, and the formulaic presentation is glossing over it.
    I am very uncomfortable

    1. monkseal Post author

      I’ll be running over AS4 at the end with the usual ranking post but for me the watermark in terms of racially charged endgames will always be AS3. All of Bebe, Shangela, and Kennedy would have been valid winners (with Ben having self-eliminated at least) but a jury of mostly white queens handed the victory to another white queen (who was in no way a valid winner based on anything served up in two whole seasons of the show) on a platter, mostly to avoid getting backlash from her predominantly white fanbase. In terms of optics it was just a mess. In Series 10 at least all of the non-white contestants (other than maybe Monet) unequivocally blew it up for themselves by murdering butterflies or whatever Monique thought she was doing in that LSFYL or by being The Vixen.

      1. Sue Howarth

        Oh gosh yes, I had forgotten that, it would have made so much more sense to give the win to Kennedy as the queens own favourite.
        Kennedy would have enjoyed the win and used to fame much more graciously. Although in Trixies defense she has said it was unfair herself.
        Buzz Lightning in drag as the Christmas fairy update. Little niece, (the one you can see dancing in Hamberger Marys Orlando trip adviser review, in a minion t shirt) absolutely loved it. Grandma said Oh God you cannot put that on a tree it is dreadful, she had a point it came out rather terrifying, in a Faye Tozer as a puppet way. Little niece then went on to explain that Drag Queens could be fairies if they wanted to be, anybody could be a fairy even drag queens. It went on for a while, I was pleased how strong her equal rights politics are, but we were all creased up, it was painful.

  8. Huriye

    OH! I read that as “The Greatest Showman” and was gonna agree, what a crap film, with a coupla good songs.

    Why do you never recap the Pro routines on DOI?

  9. dex

    My favourite bit was when Jane claimed to remember watching Bolero when she was “3 or 4”
    She was six. Wikipedia never lies.


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