Dancing on Ice 2021, Week 1: The Validity of a Roly Poly

Every day for the last 10 months I have woken up like this hoping it was all a nightmare.

It’s back, the best show on ice! The “on ice” bit there doing a lot of the heavy lifting – it truly is the second-cousin you only see at big family events of the TV schedule isn’t it? But with a fairly Strictly Alumni heavy cast I thought, “Why not recap it?”

The show opens with a montage about how Dancing on Ice fever is taking over the UK like some sort of pathogenic Doctor Who monster circa 2006. The main effects of which are spontaneously Bolero-ing

The bolero looks like a pair of copulating swans at the best of times, making them do it on a small village cul-de-sac is just cruel!

Meanwhile the infection has reached London and poor Jason Donovan watches two builders badly ballroom dance and has a Vientam style flashback

That is the face of a harrowed man.

The opening routine is a little more classic Dancing on Ice because it looks a lot like The Wiggles: ON ICE!

And they’re really holding nothing back this series as we get two headbangers within the first 5 minutes of the show even starting.

Pace yourselves guys.

At least with Dancing on Ice we can always expect a suitable amount of drama and glam from Holly Willoughby, with Tess and Claudia on Strictly it fluctuates wildly between Office Christmas Party and Non-nominated Actress at the BAFTAs. And Holly looks lovely tonight

The cleavage obviously scandalised The Daily Mail so much that they wrote no less than 5 articles about it.

And on to the judges and I genuinely hadn’t realised that BARROWMAN! was a part of this show? But apparently he did the previous series too – I skipped a couple of them. The main thing I want to talk about is Christopher Dean being a cringe icon

Hello fellow kids, indeed.
And don’t worry, it gets worse later.

There’s also a ~twist~ this series. At the end of the episode the judges will award one lucky couple a Golden Ticket

The ticket grants them immunity for the evening and safe passage to Musicals Week in Week 3 – we’re going to have to sit through 11 routines based on Musicals? What a cruel and unusual punishment.

Jason Donovan and Alexandra Schauman
Moondance – Michael Bublé

You would think that Jason Donovan coming third on Strictly Come Dancing in 2011 might at least get a little bit of a mention – just so much as to say he can at least feel rhythm to a certain extent. NOPE. Instead it’s a lot of “I’M NOT A NATURAL DANCER!” – and I mean that’s somewhat fair, we all saw and remember that Samba.
In order to ease him onto the ice they’ve decided to go FULL DONOVAN with a jazz themed routine to a Michael Bublé song complete with full Kristina Rhianoff cosplay

I’m at least 70% sure she could sue over this.

It was a little cruel to make him start the routine at the top of a little flight os steps and force him to creep down them on his skates like an old man who got up in the middle of the night for a glass of milk

But other than that and a few toe stumbles that nearly sent him head of heals he did pretty well for a Week 1. I think what he mainly needs to work on is not lipsyncing during the entire routine like he’s on the mainstage of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Judges’ Scores:
Ashley: 6.0
BARROWMAN!: 6.0
Jayne: 6.5
Christopher: 6.5
Total: 25

Joe-Warren Plant and Vanessa Bauer
Sucker – Jonas Brothers

Bless his heart we should have known where this was going the moment they showed several clips of him looking like Bambi on ice during his training footage

And just to cap it all over Vanessa just constantly telling him that PERRI NEVER FELL OVER, NOT EVEN ONCE! Meanwhile Jiwirren is sliding across the ice on his belly like a tobogganing penguin.

For their routine they’ve got out that dance competition favourite, The Long Table

and the fact they have been given it and are not dancing a routine themed around an unhappily married couple trying to murder one another (SEXILY!) should be considered a crime. Instead they’re playing it as a bright and peppy young couple who apparently didn’t read the dimensions on the IKEA website and Joe-Warren spends most of the opening skating around with his hands in his pockets

I imagine the room is a bit nippy but someone could have just given him a pair of gloves.
And it was all going so well for him, he managed some mildly impressive jumps – impressive to me, someone who cannot get around an ice rink without grabbing onto the side and crying a little bit. And then the moment that we had been signposted towards this whole time

And this is where the fake audience reactions really comes into play as the applause track doesn’t even bother to give us as “ooof” reaction and instead continues to cheer mercilessly at the poor boy. It’s hardly the worst fall we’ve ever seen, it’s hardly Gemma Collins Superman-ing herself into the dry ice fog.
He recovers very quickly and still manages to last bit of the routine with quite a lot of confidence which is heavily reflected in the judges’ scores

Judges’ Scores:
Ashley: 6.0
BARROWMAN!: 6.5
Jayne: 6.0
Christopher: 6.5
Total: 25

Joe-Warren falling flat on his arse and still getting the same score as Jason Donovan ❤

Denise van Outen and Matt Evers
Proud Mary – Tina Turner

So Denise had a rough week after a pretty nasty fall that required a trip to A&E

“lucky” for her it wasn’t a fracture and she had just partially dislocated it which meant she could continue on with the show but she couldn’t lift her arm above her shoulder meaning Matt had to rechoreograph chunks of the routine. But Denise can pick things up quite quickly, she’s done Strictly as well as a musical or two BUT ALL SHE DID WAS SIT ON A CHAIR, and then of course there’s whatever this little showcase was:

A one woman production of Moulin Rouge at the local community centre?

I think a lot of what went wrong with Denise’s performance can probably be put down to the fact she was likely off her head on a cocktail of painkillers and nitrous oxide, or at least that’s how I’m choosing to explain the moment she got stuck while bent over Matt’s knee

It’s a very tentative routine but who can blame her and she deserves recognition for still going out and doing a semblance of a routine, not that Denise van Outen would ever let anything get between her and screen time, remember how she got a whole musical number in the middle of the Sewing Bee Christmas special? What an icon.

Judges’ Scores:
Ashley: 5.0
BARROWMAN!: 5.0
Jayne: 5.0
Christopher: 4.5
Total: 19.5

Lady Leshurr and Brendyn Hatfield
Salute – Little Mix

My only knowledge of Lady Leshurr extends to her appearance on Celebrity Masterchef and her Instagram Live cooking sessions, which are GREAT by the way. So to me she is more famous for loving salmon so much she sometimes has it three times a day than she is for her music. I did enjoy them trying to big up her celeb status by saying she is followed on social media by Barack Obama, who it turns out follows almost 600,000 people on Twitter and almost certainly doesn’t use it himself. £2000 for anyone that finds his fake socials.

So far she also seems the most invested in the show, the previous three all very much came across as having joined the cast because acting work was slow or stage productions had been cancelled for the foreseeable future and Lady Leshurr probably would have been on the cast regardless of Covid – she also obviously spent the most on training outfits:

She looks like she’s about to go BMXing. Have they ever done Celebrity BMXing?
She’s also heavily gunning for a spot on I’m A Celeb by telling everyone her biggest fears are spiders and ice skating… Maybe be a little more subtle?

I did enjoy that because she’s a rapper she got to start off her routine with a little (Little Mix Brand Feminist) rap of her own, the less said about Torvill and Dean pretending to be “gangsta” the better

It’s a yikes from me babes.

Leshurr is by far the most confident on the ice and builds up some serious speed at times and manages hell of a spin for a week 1 novice skater

and apparently that means jack shit to the general public! CRETINS THE LOTTA YOUSE.

And just as Lady Leshurr was riding high off the success of her routine, Brendyn brings it all crashing down around them with this… what we shall generously call a rap:

and nothing sums it up better than Ashley Banjo reacting by just about cringing himself out of existence

Judges’ Scores:
Ashley: 6.5
BARROWMAN!: 6.0
Jayne: 6.0
Christopher: 6.5
Total: 25

Rufus Hound and Robin Johnstone
Think About Thinks – Daði og Gagnamagnið

Well, when your repeated angling for a place on the Strictly cast doesn’t pay off I suppose Dancing on Ice is the next best place for you.

If there’s one thing you can guarantee with Rufus Hound it’s that he will show up dressed as a deep sea fisherman who is about to go on a three month voyage to catch as many spider crabs as he can

Although he did change halfway through into this gem of a hoodie:

I would like to see someone on Trawler Men wearing that one day.

His routine is to the official unofficial winner of Eurovision 2020, Think About Things and how else would you theme it other than off-brand Super Mario

God bless the efforts to avoid a copyright violation. They could have potentially veered closer with Lady Luigi though

As far as the routine goes it’s as stiff as the 8-bit background and a not inconsiderable amount of it in the middle is just lying on the ice and doing a roly poly

But to be fair Jamie Laing did that in the finale of Strictly Come Dancing so who am I to judge the validity of a roly poly?

Judges’ Scores:
Ashley: 6.5
BARROWMAN!: 6.0
Jayne: 5.5
Christopher: 5.5
Total: 23.5

It’s….. Rebekah Vardy and Andy Buchanan
Alive – Sia

Roll on the Rebekah Vardy PR Damage Control as she stares directly down the barrel of the camera and says “I love this show so much because it’s not about whatever is going on in your personal life, it’s all about the ice skating.” Is it now?

She and Andy have a bit of a mishap during their training as she slices his cheek open with her ice skate during a cartwheel

luckily all he needed was a plaster and she missed his eye by a couple of centimetres – could you imagine if she had gone on Dancing on Ice to rehabilitate her public persona and had been responsible for blinding a man?
But by far the worst part of her training footage is the fact we almost got through a whole episode without a single mention of Piers Morgan and then they had to go and ruin it all!

She’s dancing to Sia’s Alive and spends most of the last bit of the routine splayed out on the back of Andy like a crucifix

She’s being really subtle about resurrecting her reputation, huh?

Rebekah is a very elegant skater though and as confident on the ice as Leshurr was, I think she lacks the fun and charisma of Leshurr but it was a strong routine, or the little of it that she wasn’t being carried around for was very strong.

Judges’ Scores:
Ashley: 6.0
BARROWMAN!: 6.0
Jayne: 6.5
Christopher: 6.5
Total: 25

So with everyone having danced here’s our very undiverse scoreboard

  1. Michael Bublé: ON ICE!
    • Feminist Icon Lady Leshurr ft. Little Mix
    • Rebekah Vardy Died For Our Sins
    • An Incorrectly Used Long Table
  2. Italian Plumbing Brothers
  3. A Walking Paracetamol Advert

A Golden Ticket

And now we come to the twist in the tale, the judges have to vote for their choice to avoid the public vote and it’s a unanimous decision to award it to Rufus and Robin, with Jayne citing “his improvement”. – Ma’am, it’s the first week? I get that they started basic training 7 weeks ago but just say you liked their routine and be done.
Rufus seems as bemused as the rest of us and part of me wonders if the cast we made aware of this weird twist or if some producer thought of it 5 minutes before the show went to air. Phil asks him if this is the craziest thing that has ever happened to him and Rufus proceeds to fire shots at the government and their handling of free school meals

Of course he was promptly accused of politicising a light entertainment show and people began pretending that conservatives were an oppressed class.

Before we get to the results a few of the pro-skaters get to do their own routine and I’m not saying that Strictly has the monopoly on Erotic Sex Dungeon Routines set to Run Boy Run by Woodkid but we have already had an Erotic Sex Dungeon Routine set to Run Boy Run by Woodkid, lest we forget

Nobody made a fuss about Giovanni dancing with Gorka then, did they?

But back to our ice skaters who haven’t quite gone so far as to dress John Barrowman up as Commodus – you know he would have been willing. Instead this is kink WITH HATS!

I’m aroused.
unfortunately they discard them inexplicably fast and for one feel robbed of a full sun-hatted routine the likes of which we haven’t seen since Katya Virshilas left Strictly. But there is men dangling from the ceiling over a roaring fire

Very Armie Hammer.

And now we must move onto the results with a plethora of Safety Sex Faces, once again in honour of Monkseal, but the reactions aren’t quite so dramatic because everyone is still petrified of falling over on the ice

which means the bottom two is either Lady Leshurr or Joe-Warren and guess which one the public didn’t vote for?

I swear to God if she goes out next week I will be FUMING. Joe-Warren fell over and Denise van Outen probably wont remember the last 12 hours once the Co-codamol passed through her system – I don’t understand people’s voting and I wont ever pretend to.

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