In which Gemma Collins came back and just rolled around on the floor, which I couldn’t really work into anybody else’s write-ups but I thought worth mentioning as a capper to the “Gemma Collins On Dancing On Ice Journey” anyway.
Saara & Hamish : Say what you like about the cruelty of getting Saara to rehearse a full Bolero routine and then not allowing her to perform it on the actual show, there’s a certain dignity in letting your finale night tagalong actually be eliminated properly, rather than the “oh are you still here Ashley/Alexandra?” school of recent Strictly finales. Frankly it was barely worth pulling the camera far back enough into the audience to get either of those two in shot, they had to get Tessa Sanderson up out of her seat and everything. Saara meanwhile, before her axing before the antepenultimate commercial break, at least got to give a leaving speech and have a sense of finality. Sadly that was probably her peak, as you could tell everyone was still slightly weirded out by her choosing to do that puppet themed Eurovision routine again where Hamish wore her like a particularly avant-garde Philip Treacy hat and the less said about her Showdance the better. Choreographed by Torvill & Dean, it saw Saara lean into her freshly unearthed circus background as she performed death-defying feats of derring-do like…erm…juggling hankies? Mostly it was just juggling hankies? It was, to be honest, hard to tell, as about 10 seconds in the cameraman decided he’d fallen in love with some backing dancer who’d been given some flaming juggling clubs to play with and pointed the camera almost exclusively at her instead. You could just about make out Saara and Hamish flumping around awkwardly somewhere in the distance, Hamish’s hastily drawn-on magic marker moustache slowly melting off his face. Not a graceful note to exit on, but Hamish did at least get to have a good weep about how he’d made a real friend, a bit like she was the first one, in his life, a bit like the end of a Frankenstein movie. It was a sweet moment, especially given that both of our top two seemed slightly distant from their pros all night.
Wes & Vanessa : Bless Wes, his Torvill & Dean showdance production was even worse, a real technicolour yawn of flexing biceps, push-ups, and old Didi Conn choreography done to “Pump It” by the Black Eyed Peas, but he was just so damned excited about it it was hard to feel bad for him, even as Jason Gardiner cringingly told him that he hadn’t even been watching the technicalities of the skate, just sitting back and “having a perve”. (This was somehow not the most fist-bitingly awful Jason Gardiner moment of the night, as he later mispronounced “the annals of Dancing On Ice”…in exactly the way you’re imagining him doing it). Wes just looked so happy, chirruping away in his VT and gushing “HOW MANY PEOPLE CAN SAY THAT THEY SKATED A ROUTINE CHOREOGRAPHED BY TORVILL AND DEAN?!?!”. Which…pretty much everyone before the revamp hun, right down to Tana Ramsey, Natalie Pinkham, and Dr Hilary Jones. Nobody tell Wes this of course, I don’t want to harsh his buzz. From there though, his evening only went up, as he reprised his Peter Pan routine from Fairy Tales Week (complete with his own unique take on the Headbanger, which still looked a bit like someone trying to wring a chicken’s neck in reverse) and then put out a perfectly credible take on Bolero. We even found some time to get in some quality Injury Porn, as Wes eagerly showed Holly and Phil where his bone was floating around within his hand, at which point Phillip promptly doubled over and started retching. IS making Phillip Schofield almost throw up live on tv a greater achievement than becoming the first non-white person to finish in the Top 2 on Dancing On Ice? It might be, he’s quite the professional.
James & Alex : It was though, of course, James who skated away tonight as Dancing On Ice champion. I had a brief wobble in my certainty of his impending victory when it looked like Wes might actually have completely shaken loose of the dread clutches of Megan, but in the end quality will out. It was a rollercoaster of an evening for James, as he went from snapping at Holly and the judges not to mention his shoulder injury after his first routine because he didn’t want to milk it, to full on thanking the show’s physio for making his even performing tonight possible and gasping about how he was risking life and limb doing the climactic lifts in his Bolero whilst carrying it. Ah well, James was never one for consistency, let’s face it. Bizarrely, despite the fact that he was the only person to score below a 10 all evening (presumably to ward off complaints that he was just doing his day job by performing an Argentine Tango themed showdance) (Fun Fact – James Jordan never did an Argentine Tango in competition on Strictly so…he actually wasn’t), James probably had the best set of routines on the night, with the most coherent Showdance, a classic Dirty Dancing reprise, and the better Bolero, so you can’t really say he didn’t deserve to win. Unless it’s me, of course, he’s still James Jordan, you won’t make me, it will not happen, this is not going on any sort of permanent record la la la, it should have been (*shuts eyes and points*) Saira Khan instead, so there, can’t believe I neglected a “101 Things To Miss About Pasha Kovalev” post to focus on a reality show won by James Bloody Jordan, well we’ll see, maybe you’ll get one after all. Or at least after the Sewing Bee. Maybe.
1. Didi Conn – Week 3 : A Spoonful Of Sugar
2. Ryan Sidebottom – Week 3 : Beauty & The Beast
3. Jane Danson – Week 3 : I Dreamed A Dream
4. Saira Khan – Week 4 : Total Eclipse Of The Heart
5. Gemma Collins – Week 4 : It’s All Coming Back To Me Now
6. Melody Thornton – Week 4 : Sax
7. Brian McFadden – Week 8 : Suspicious Minds
8. Brian McFadden – Week 9 : Fix You
9. Brian McFadden – Week 9 : Then I Kissed Her
(Come back this time next week to vote for the Dancing On Ice 2019 Monkies, why not? You made it this far)