Dancing On Ice 2021, Dance Week: Was Bach Not Good Enough For You?

I see they have the reserves for the judging panel ready and raring to go.

Interesting that they only decided to have “Dance Week” in the fourth week of the show as opposed to the first 3 which were just… Skate Weeks I guess?

Well this series is turning out to be a bit if a disaster isn’t it? Both Billie and Denise dropping out due to injuries and Rufus Hound is still trapped in isolation AND IT IS DEFINITELY NOT BECAUSE HE INSULTED THE GOVERNMENT… Their insurance is going to cost an absolute fortune next year. If there is a next year…
This does of course mean that the second reserve has been brought in and so Matt and Vicky join our line-up

This goes exactly as you’d expect someone giving a week 1 performance in week 4 would go.
But let’s lighten the mood a little bit with both John Barrowman and Christopher Dean somehow manage to vogue worse than Michelle Visage

They’re so into voguing right now.

On top of the rather superfluous theme the judges have also thrown in another Judges’ Challenge almost entirely designed to produce the messiest results possible. Each couple is required to showcase a move that they have made up and that has never been on Dancing on Ice before and let me tell you, there are A LOT of reasons that some of these moves are not ordinary ice skating moves.

Joe-Warren Plant and Vanessa Bauer
Quickstep / Ballroom Blitz – The Sweet

Due to the fact the quickstep is, as the name suggests, both very quick and very steppy Joe-Warren has to start his training off the ice and is treated to a lesson in the Winter Gardens Ballroom in Blackpool

Which is more Blackpool Ballroom action than Strictly say last series. Rude.

Their routine is themed around a pastel pink fairground (we haven’t seen that recently at all) and starts off at the strength tester

and all I can think about whenever I see one (which admittedly isn’t often) is that time Sally Phillips on Taskmaster claimed they were the preferred hobby of lesbians – which has never been verified nor debunked.

He manages to build up some serious speed on the ice while still managing to keep it under control which for someone who fell on their first night is quite impressive. As is the fact he stays in sync with Vanessa throughout the performance

It’s just a bit of a pity that their final lift was a bit of an inelegant clunker

And would have been an easy excuse for Ashley to justify his low score of 7.0 but instead he goes off on them about how it isn’t based on his ability (weird choice by ok) but is instead based on the sacrality of the Judges’ Challenge, claiming that their attempt at it was boring and safe, which isn’t untrue

but still comes across as delightfully petty amongst everyone else’s 8.5s.

Ashley: 7.0
BARROWMAN!: 8.5
Jayne: 8.5
Christopher: 8.5
Total: 32.5

Matt Richardson and Vicky Ogden
Paso Doblé / Somebody Told Me – The Killers

This was just an exercise in cruelty and malice. The poor sweet sacrificial lamb of the evening Matt Richardson not only being made to do his first performance with everyone else on their third but also having to do the Paso Doblé – a dance that requires poise, strength and authority. None of which Matt even possess a modicum of on the ice which is understandable given the absolute crack he took to the ice

That smack echoed across the country.
As he was the replacement of Rufus Hound he gets a little pep talk from him – because I imagine the man who skated precisely once and scored 23.5 has some great words of wisdom. As it turns out all he could suggest was “Enjoy it!” – at least they were sensible and just made this a Zoom call unlike last time

An iconic TV moment.

If you’re a fan of Strictly you probably know that one of the biggest features of the Paso Doblé that everyone looks forward to is the Cape Work whether it be your standard Matadorian Style, Rapid Skirt Wafting or maybe the rare and illusive Feminist Statement Gender Swap Cape-ography – either way, it’s what everyone wants to see which is why it is so BAFFLING TO ME THAT MATT FLUNG THAT CAPE AWAY WITHIN IN SECONDS OF THE ROUTINE STARTING

At least give him something to distract from the fact he can barely ice skate out of hold! But truly nothing made me sadder than him trying to get off his knees and looking like a doddery old man

But there are moments when he gets into the groove, and how could he not when he’s dancing to mid-2000s banger and staple of highschool house parties Somebody Told Me by The Killers?

and then a Indy Rock Paso comes to the only conclusion it ever could, by Matt dropping off Vicky like she’s this week’s shopping and it’s somebody else’s turn to pack it all away

If you’re going to only have 1 dance on the show you might as well make it memorably awful.

Rebekah Vardy and Andy
Can-Can – Galop Infernal

And here we begin to see the sudden panic that overcame the producers as they realised they couldn’t just only use the styles of dance that Strictly uses and thus the Can-Can was inflicted upon Rebekah Vardy, which she was obviously utterly thrilled by

While also contending with the notion of having to do the can-can on ice she was also having to rebound from the Skate Off and sought advice from Lady Leshurr and the two of them dub themselves “The Queens of the Skate Off” – there have been exactly 2 skate offs – call me when you’ve survived 4 of them, only then can you be a Bottom Two Goddess.

Compared to last week this dance is a revelation, Rebekah genuinely seems to have managed to tap into character have fun on the ice. I do wish they had given her a better skirt because there was nothing sadder sight than her trying to swish her mini skirt around

and I get that ice skating outfits have a certain aesthetic to them and that anything too long is a bit of a risk with the skates but this really could have been just that little bit longer and flouncier to give her something to work with. Lord knows she needed it during whatever the Hell this sequence was

it’s somewhere between overjoyed child and a shot duck.
And I do think they had one of the better attempts at the Judges’ Challenge except the camerawork did them no favours and you could barely see what it was actually meant to be.

Judges’ Scores:
Ashley: 7.0
BARROWMAN!: 7.5
Jayne: 7.5
Christopher: 8.0
Total: 30

Sonny Jay and Angela Egan
Baroque / Rather Be – Clean Bandit ft. Jess Glynne

Dance week was looking it was going to be one hell of a challenge for Sonny-Jay given that this was how he was choosing to approach it

With Graham Bell gone someone had to be the dad dancer of the group. And if thought the can-can was a super weird choice someone clearly scrolled through Wikipedia and landed on Baroque and then couldn’t be bothered to use any of the traditional music and said they could dance to a Jess Glynne song because it has 1 bar of a violin in it, WAS BACH NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU?

After last week’s Judges’ Challenge in which he and Angela didn’t even manage to build up the speed of a child’s theme park ride so this week they wanted to pull out all the stops, which just involved Sonny-Jay kneeling on the ice for a bit while Angela danced around him

It is at least a better move than last week and we do have to commend him for being the first of the male celebrities to attempt an overhead lift

Which he pulled off, the same cannot be said for their spin in which Angela was just about found herself scraping along the ice like a penguin failing to live its dreams of flying

which was all the justification I needed for Ashley Banjo’s sudden decision to be the villain of the panel and score them a 6.5 – the others being fully glamoured by the fact the two of them were dressed like the entry from one of the Eastern European countries that always place middle of the table in Eurovision

Judges’ Scores:
Ashley: 6.5
BARROWMAN!: 7.5
Jayne: 8.0
Christopher: 7.5
Total: 29.5

Jason Donovan and Alexandra
Tango / Here Comes The Rain Again – Eurythmics

Seeing as it’s dance week and that Jason is doing the tango you would think they might even just give the slightest nod to the fact he danced one on Strictly and this it was the highest scoring Tango of that series and one of his highest scoring dances with four 9s in Week 3. BUT NOPE instead we get him asking his disinterested daughter if she thinks he’ll do well

someone resents their father for putting them through the Reality TV Show Family rigmarole again.

The Tango was probably a very good choice for Jason given that it’s stiltedness can easily be used to hide his own stiffness on the ice, or they could just have Jason stand still on the ice for the first 20 seconds of the routine but eventually you have to start moving and NOTHING could completely conceal Jason’s abominable posture

I am very glad to see that the Stormy Night Tango lives on here after going a bit out of fashion on Strictly, and obviously because Brendon Cole left and these were his bread and butter. I’m not entirely sure this really lived up to expectations, I think we have to face the fact that Jason is not a good skater, I mean this leg extension is BAD

I’ve seen a cocker spaniel do better.
I will admit that their Judges’ Challenge move was really quite cool and did obviously take some skill from Jason

You know, he wasn’t just kneeling on the floor.

Judges’ Scores:
Ashley: 6.0
BARROWMAN!: 6.5
Jayne: 7.0
Christopher: 7.0
Total: 26.5

Colin Jackson and Klabera Komini
Samba / Bambaléo – Gipsy Kings

Remember when Colin danced a samba to Naughty Girl by Beyoncé? Oh the heady days of 2005. You’re forgiven for not remember because Dancing On Ice has forgotten too…

I think the samba translates better to ice skating than a lot of the other dances – that’s not to say Colin was good though and we can surmise that he looked so nervous throughout the routine because he knew this finale lift was coming

I apologise now for calling Joe-Warren’s lift sloppy because Colin almost dropping Klabera and then losing his head up her skirt is amazingly slipshod and the less we say about their Judges’ Challenge the better

It’s like two injured spiders helping each other to cartwheel and quite frankly Ashley giving them a 6.5 is generous, there others giving it 7.5 are positively charitable.

Judges’ Scores:
Ashley: 6.5
BARROWMAN!: 7.5
Jayne: 7.5
Christopher: 7.5
Total: 29.0

Lady Leshurr and Brendyn
Swing / Candyman – Christina Aguilera

This was an absolute delight of a routine, quite why it was set on the set of Strike It Lucky remains to be explained to me

But I have come to expect bizarre aesthetic choices on this show.
Leshurr didn’t have the best week last week, she was rather jittery on the ice and more than once she looked like she was about to hit the decks but she really came into her own this week –

You cannot convince me that that was the same skater as last week – the improvement in just a week is astonishing!

not that she spent a great deal of time on the ice considering the amount of lifts and spins that Brendyn put her through

They totalled a time of 34 seconds off the ice, just over a third of her routine. What an icon.

In fact it was Brendyn who hit the ice, and I know this was obviously choreographed into the routine but it certainly doesn’t look like it went quite as smoothly as he had planned

And that’s what you get for showboating.

Judges’ Scores:
Ashley: 7.5
BARROWMAN!: 8.5
Jayne: 8.0
Christopher: 8.5
Total: 32.5

Amy Tinkler and Joe Johnson
Line Dancing / 5,6,7,8 – Steps

After an incredibly strong and slightly surprising debut last week the pressure was really on for Amy and I’m not sure making her do a line dancing inspired routine was really setting her up for much success. Although doing it to 5,6,7,8 by Steps did at least soften the blow – and her freak out when she got to Skype with H was adorable

The playful giddiness had kind of worn off by the time she got to the ice where she seemed a little hesitant and seemed a little uneasy, and it might have been because Joe had packed an awful lot into this routine, the most impressive moment being the travelling spin

but because of Amy’s tentativeness the routine lacked, and I can’t believe I’m about to say this about a line dancing ice skating routine set to a Steps song, a certain level of campness, and it was all about as flat as their Judges’ Challenge

I don’t think we can call mounting someone’s leg “a move”.

Judges’ Scores:
Ashley: 7.5
BARROWMAN!: 7.5
Jayne: 7.0
Christopher: 7.0
Total: 29

Faye Brookes and Hamish Gaman
Ballet / Swan Lake – Tchaikovsky

Ballet was a tough one to get – it comes with a strong expectation of being extremely light and graceful as well as the fact it’s a dance that everyone is somewhat familiar with in terms of its basic moves and aesthetic, luckily I think this all translates very well to the ice, and very well to a FILTHY RINGAH like Faye. Although the dance didn’t open too well as I’m not sure she got quite the rotation she was going for in her kneeling spin

but she recovered well and didn’t allow it to throw her off her game, also lucky for her that they were going Full Black Swan so her scowling her way across the ice was to be expected – it’s what we call The Natalie Portman School of Ballet.
I had expected more from Faye and Hamish in their Judges’ Challenge, this feels like something we have seen before

I’m almost entirely sure Lady Leshurr and Brendyn just did it.
But their routine had a suitable amount of drama and the closing shot of it was *chef’s kiss*

I love a midnight fog machine.

Judges’ Scores:
Ashley: 7.5
BARROWMAN!: 8.0
Jayne: 8.5
Christopher: 8.5
Total: 32.5

A Dance Week Leaderboard

  1. Joe-Warren’s Quicksteppin’ Carnival
    • Lady Leshurr’s Quiz Show Debut
    • Full Black Swan
  2. Can Rebekah Can-Can?
  3. If It Ain’t Baroque Don’t Skate It
  4. Colin Jackson’s Salsambacha
    • Below The Line Dancing Amy Tinkler
  5. It’ll Take More Than That To Tango

Before we get to the results Torvil and Dean have a wonderful little routine for us by which I mean the only part I can ever remember no matter how many times I watch it is this

The rare, powerful and often catastrophically destructive Cringequake.

And now for the results! But most importantly The Monkseal Memorial Safety Sex Face Gallery

That’s one for the family photo album.

This of course means that our bottom two are Colin & Klabera and Matt & Vicky

Jason Donovan is clearly hitting the ITV audience – which honestly was to be expected for at least the first 5 or 6 weeks.

First into the skate off was Matt and Vicky, which in many ways was the kindest thing to do because at least he didn’t have to follow Colin and make himself look any worse than he already is, and I’ll be kind and say this was better than his Paso – I certainly couldn’t have seen him doing this in that routine

but it didn’t last long because he becomes an unmitigated disaster in the middle of the routine and I’m not sure if Vicky knew what he was doing or if he knew what his limbs were doing

Bless him for even having a go, I’d have just gone and cried in the tunnel.

I really cannot even begin to describe how monumentally better Colin was than Matt other than that the worst it got for Colin was when he slightly fumbled Klabera and looked a bit like a Gremlin desperately clinging to the side of the plane

But not a soul in the country could have expected anything other than a unanimous save for Colin and Klabera and so it was done and we must bid adieu to one of the shortest lived contestants on a reality Tv show in recent memory

We truly hardly knew you.

And so, by the skin their teeth, 8 celebrity skaters remain

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