Who would have thought someone with the name Caprice would be such a flake?
Lisa George & Tom Naylor : So let’s be honest, nobody was really paying much attention to Lisa and Tom, after the baffling events of the start of the show. After the usual poorly blocked prop heavy bombaround to “Don’t Rain On My Parade” by the pros and the…less wobbly celebs, to welcome us all to “Musicals Week”, we were treated to an ashen faced Phil & Holly telling us that Caprice and Hamish “have parted ways” but that “Hamish will remain part of the Dancing On Ice family”. No further information was given beyond this, and then Caprice didn’t appear at all for the rest of the show, and Hamish only in the back of shot (as much as all twelve feet of Hamish can ever truly be said to be in the back of shot). The unspoken implication is I guess that the relationship between Caprice and Hamish became so toxic that they had to be split up, and that…Caprice will return next week with a new partner? To an incredibly hostile audience? Imagine this all happening on a show that people actually cared about, it’d be non-stop newspaper headlines all week! I guess you get what you pay for with Caprice, what a content machine, her dread hand cast a shadow over the entirety of the rest of the episode. Who would be the best partner for maximum villain potential? Schlongchambon would be my preference. Anyway, Lisa and Dr Tom did a comedy cowgirl routine to “The Deadwood Stage” and got all 7s good for them, who would have thought Little Lisa From Grimsby etc etc etc.
Kevin Kilbane & Brianne Delcourt : So, it turns out that Kevin & Brianne’s romance for the ages/decision to immediately go to the bone zone within five minutes of meeting one another DIDN’T pay off in terms of courting public favour, as they found themselves in the skate-off this week despite getting the coveted Old Hollywood routine, to “Cheek To Cheek”. Although maybe that goes over less well with ITV audiences, what’s the driving ethos in Musicals Week over here on the dark side? Is it just Grease? Endless Grease? Nothing but Grease? “You’re The One That I Want” in skintight pleather from here to the horizon? In fairness it was a pretty drab routine, and a little overshadowed by the pre-dance VT with Kevin having to do the heavy lifting this week in terms of giving Joe Swash something to do this week. Yes Joe, notionally an actor (I know) was given the job of trying to teach Kevin how to be romantic and tender with Brianne on the ice in their routine. The hyper-accelerated nature of their relationship in reality tv terms presumably landing them at this point at the “the magic has gone, the spark has dwindled” stage. Yes, that’s right, this week, Joe Swash was the Love Guru, this show works in mysterious ways.
Lucrezia Millarini & Brendyn Hatfield : Leaving in the skate-off though, were these two, what a shame that they had to leave before we got to know them…in any way, at all, identifying them out of a line-up, knowing their names, any of it. Their designated musical was “Mamma Mia” and really you can feel the lack of effort on the part of the producers can’t you? The lack of care and commitment to story-telling it takes to give your contestant a song from the jukeboxiest of jukebox musicals? Taking on the judges notes from last week to do fewer lifts and more skating, Lucrezia and Brendyn did fewer lifts and more skating, wobbling around in the standard issue Mamma Mia dunagrees and shit wig, and it didn’t make the slightest bit of difference, the panel still weren’t interested, and neither were the public. Even the requisite SLOW, ELEGANT, and ROMANTIC patented lady skate to Landwood by Fleetslide Mac (thanks Trisha!) in the skate-off couldn’t save her, so off she spun, into the ether. I’d be surprised if I ever saw or heard of her ever again, BYE LUCREZIA, YOU WERE NO NICKELODEON GIRL!
Maura Higgins & Alexander Demetriou : Following on from Jayne’s throwaway comment from the judging panel last week that she “knows that you’re nervous, Maura, because you keep on telling me”, Maura’s storyline spiralled out here to an all-encompassing crisis of confidence as a human being, with Curtis, Alexander, and various passing strangers having to constantly reassure Maura that she’s fine, she’s great, she’s beautiful, she scored 0.5 HIGHER THAN YOUR ARCH-NEMESIS JOE SWASH, WHAT ARE YOU WORRYING ABOUT? Someone from Love Island seeming outwardly confident and sassy but actually having deep-seated self-esteem problems, WHO COULD HAVE GUESSED? As a little treat, Maura got to pretend to be Beyonce this week, as she skated to “One Night Only” with full on disco extensions and lame outfit. Sorry lamé, lamé, got confused there. She was a little wobbly, and the lifts…weren’t pretty, but she got through it all, that’s the main thing. And not just the skate – when she was revealed safe at the end of the show, Maura let out an almighty “FUCK” at the top of her lungs. This is why Strictly doesn’t have a live Results Show kids, you should have heard the FILTH that came out of Felicity Kendall’s mouth every time she was waved through to next week, it doesn’t bear repeating.
Ben Hanlin & Carlotta Edwards :Hey, remember a few routines ago when Kevin was having problems with being romantic with his pro partner on the ice? Well if you enjoyed that storyline, then you’re in luck, as Hot(?) Magician Ben was also having problems being romantic with his partner on the ice! Sadly the Joe Swash Academy Of Dramatic Arts can only take on one student at a time, so Ben had to sort himself out (not like that madam), forcing himself into character as Danny from Grease by wearing the world’s tallest and shiniest quiff-wig to get himself in the zone. The end result was a lot more hammy and goony than Kevin managed, but then again when you enrol at the Joe Swash Academy Of Dramatic Arts it’s a dramatic upturn in the subtlety of your acting that you see most immediately. The magic trick this week? A Polaroid picture from which Carlotta as Sandy SUDDENLY DISAPPEARED with a flick of the wrist ooooh. You do get the impression that in terms of THE FIRST MAGICIAN EVER EVER EVER EVER on Dancing On Ice, the bottom of the barrel has already been reached and they’ve found a fluffy white rabbit with advanced breathing problems down there.
Joe Swash & Alexandra Schulman : A true outpouring of support for the competition’s Average Joe this week, as first his sister turned up in training to show her solidarity, then James Jordan and a very pregnant Ola Jordan materialised in the front row of the audience to cheer him on (which at least makes sense on the grounds that Joe’s pro was James’ pro and also Joe is exactly the sort of person that James Jordan is always just itching to support) (unlike Matt Baker being there to boost for H, is what I’m saying) and then collectively the British General Public got behind him as this year’s UNDAHMARKED!, rescuing him from the bottom of the leaderboard. In fairness, the production decisions that led to Joe skating around in tatty rags to “If I Only Had A Brain”, doing choreography that was really just him frowning, gurning, scratching his head, and all but repeatedly whacking himself around the head with a tin tray, did feel a bit like bullying. HE CAN’T HELP BEING DIFFERENT GUYS, LEAVE HIM ALONE!
Libby Clegg & Mark Henretty : First of all, congratulations to Dancing On Ice for managing to, in Musicals Week, put on a performance with better Visual Effects, better performing, and better staging than the film on which it was based. Admittedly in this case the movie was “Cats” so we’re not setting a high bar here, Mark didn’t have his penis ineptly digitally removed and Libby didn’t literally skin herself mid-performance, that was enough. The two of them were of course performing to “Memory” from Cats and GUESS WHAT?! LIBBY WAS HAVING PROBLEMS BEING ROMANTIC WITH HER PARTNER ON THE ICE AGGGRRGAGGELRLLGLE. It’s moments like these that you truly appreciate why Dancing On Ice can only sustain itself as a show for so many consecutive years at a time because goodness me, they do struggle for things to talk about don’t they? Even with the added angle to Libby’s acting woes (she can’t see people’s faces, it makes things difficult!) it felt like things were getting fatally frayed in terms of repetition and we were only 3/4 of the show in. Oh ALSO this week there was a Judges Challenge, I forgot to mention it earlier, but it was one of those early series challenges like “bend to one knee and turn around” so you can see why it slipped my mind. Anyway, Libby made a royal muff of it and wasn’t really penalised for it so now she’s a PATRONISED OVAHMARKED, oh well, those brief shining moments when it looked like Perri might have competition? Like dust in the wind.
Radzi Chinyanganya & Jess Hatfield : No danger of drifting attention here, no forgetting this one, as Radzi, who must be all of about 5ft 6, was asked to portray Shrek, the gigantic and brutish cartoon ogre. And to do this, they gave him a fat suit and…not even a mask, just a giant immobile, uncanny Shrek head. That didn’t really change impression. And which he couldn’t really see out of. The end result wasn’t so much Dreamworks most beloved animated character as it was “Gene Belcher dresses as the Beefsquatch“. And bear in mind, they did this to Radzi given his obvious speed and balance issues last week, the cruel bastards. Somewhere at home Pasha Kovalev was sitting at home and, comparatively, counting his blessings that they let him off as lightly as they did with just a full body green rinse and stick on ears. As a result of this blatant sabotage, Radzi made a bit of a hash of most of his routine, particularly the end where he did a very very very slow spin and then went flying into the crash barriers. Would they have made Barrymore do this? ABSOLUTELY NOT!
H & Matt Evers : OK, so it’s been a long time coming, but honestly I think it’s time to stage an intervention. No more Greatest Showman guys. A year, two years, a moratorium, it can come back eventually, but enough now, ease off. H & Matt danced here to “The Other Side” which is so deep into the soundtrack listing as a song it doesn’t even have its own wikipedia page, and the routine seemed to mostly be them…dancing up and off and around a saloon bar in ill-fitting trousers? Isn’t the appeal of using The Greatest Showman on shows like this that it’s all big tacky rousing numbers, set in a circus big top for maximum spectacle and pyrotechnics? Not budget hour Oliver! ? Apparently this whole routine was in fact a paean to the concept of the bromance, as H told us afterwards that he’s the Zack and Matt is the Hugh. Which to be honest, I’m all in favour of same-sex partnerships on these shows, as we all know, but that’s a little bit too much information even for me. (Also Matt was a sloppy mess for most of the routine, oops, but then so was Dr Tom in the opening number to be honest, you just can’t get the pros these days)
Perri Kiely & Vanessa Bauer : When is a Pimp Slot not a Pimp Slot? When you’re wondering if Caprice is going to come out and skate to “On My Own” from Les Mis afterwards I guess (although her apparent aborted true song pick of “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Out Of My Hair” was barely less apropos). Anyway, this is pretty much exactly what you’d expect from Perri on this show. After being tied back last week, the afrom was out and in full effect, acting as a full mane to buoy up Perri’s performance as Simba to “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King” (even if it did make the lyrics about there never having been a king of beasts with quite such little hair look…well, wrong). Bouncy, fun, clean, cartwheels, never before seen lifts…it’s really hard to look past Perri as the eventual winner at this point, but who knows what could happen over the next seven weeks? Vanessa could plough face first into a wall again I guess.