Dancing on Ice, Love Week: Clam Digger Breeches

The show really went all out on villainising Amy Tinkler, huh?

Welcome to The Greatest Show Disaster on Ice where we’re one sprained ankle away from ITV taking the whole production out back and Old Yeller-ing it.

Another week and another two dropouts as Joe-Warren removes himself after testing positive for Covid and Jason Donovan developed a back injury because he spent most of routine doubled over like he was 90 years old – which meant the show started 6 minutes late and ended 5 minutes early but also means that the show will be forced into hiatus this coming weekend due to vague circumstances that suggest to me there was a Covid outbreak within the production crew as much that the celebrity skaters now all have A+E club cards – 6 stamps and you get a free cast in a colour of your choosing!

But we must persist with ITV’s weirdest theme week as the couples this week take on Love Week in which, and I’m quoting Holly directly “they will be celebrating the greatest love stories on ice” such as… Popeye and Olive Oyl…? Anthony and Cleopatra whose entire relationship was Big Yikes and of course Bonnie and Clyde who weren’t hardened criminals and murderers that died incredibly gruesomely… But hey, at least BARROWMAN! is having the time of his life

Sadly he doesn’t get a costume change halfway through the show – I imagine he had a Cupid costume ready and raring to go.
And while the theme was Love Torvil and Dean had come dressed in purple to celebrate Bolero Day (which is not a thing)

Doing The Bolero is not a personality.
There is of course a Judges’ Challenge this week in which the skaters must all perform a synchronised circular step sequence while out of hold – which seems like a distinct dig at Amy Tinkler.

Popeye and Olive Oyl
That TikTok Sea Shanty

I have never listened to Capital FM but is it a regular practice on their shows for the hosts to clap directly into their microphones?

Or do they have a particular grudge against the eardrums of their listeners?
Sonny-Jay was of course interviewing famed Sea Shanty singer (Sea Chanteur?) Nathan Evans ahead of skater and it’s a miracle Nathan got a word in edgeways because throughout the entire training VT this was the extent of Angela’s words

It’s really no wonder that I can barely remember the names of the pros from episode to episode, let alone series to series!

I truly can’t tell what the judges saw in this routine, but that might be because I was so distracted by the costuming, and Angela’s wig in specific

It’s accurate but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.
I also thought Sonny had a distinct look of apprehensive concentration throughout the performance, especially leading up the wobbly crucifixion lift where he looked a bit like he was going to be sick. Who could blame him really? It’s one hell of a lift, even if the thought of a crucified Olive Oyl does make me laugh

Oh and there was that moment in the middle where for one brief beat the performance become the most lacklustre performance of River Dance for absolutely not discernible reason, but Sonny-Jay got *very* into the little sassy shoulders and I’m sure continued them on for longer than was intended

And I was so sure that the judges wold nail him for the fact that the beginning and end of his Judges’ Challenge was extremely out of sync but it was difficult to tell when it started and when it ended because the damn thing went on for so long that the site I use to make Gifs can’t make one that long! I’m still not sure it deserved the two 9s that it got – I’ll be generous though and say at least one of those points was for the spinach prop that someone backstage must be very proud of, or was it just snatched off the set of Supermarket Sweep?

Judges’ Scores:
Ashley: 8.5
BARROWMAN!: 8.5
Jayne: 9.0
Christopher: 9.0
Total: 35

Anthony and Cleopatra
Maneater – Nelly Furtado

We are absolutely not making “Cleshurrpatra” a thing. Je refuse.
I do love that despite everything ITV is still trying it with the comedy VTs, even Strictly had the good sense to put them on a Covid Hiatus, and I’m sure a VT dedicated entirely to Lady Leshurr being treated like a Queen in which she had Brendyn had to fan her

moaned about having to repeatedly get her coffees and make sure they were a specific temperature, feed her grapes

and operating her phone for her did her popularity with the public many favours this week… Maybe we don’t caricature the one black woman on the cast as a demanding diva no matter how “comedic” you’re playing it.

I will say, I admire the fact that ITV had the good sense to not have them dance as Antony and Cleopatra to Walk Like an Egyptian by The Bangles, and considering only last year they had Alan Johnson sing it while dressed up in an alarmignly ugly Pharaoh costume it was a strong possibility that they would, but don’t worry they still did the “Egyptian Arms” for a lot of the routine so we got A Little Yikes. Also, the costumes were FIRE, rave all you want about musclebound gladiator Brendyn, Lady Leshurr as Cleopatra was It!

It’s a show stealingly good look THAT WAS CLEARLY WASTED ON THE CRETINOUS PUBLIC. What more does she need to do, bathe in donkey milk?

It was then a little sad that the skating didn’t quite live up to it and she was certainly down a quality level from last week in which she zoomed around the ice with such ease and now she was back to being a little tentative with a few minor stumbles here and there and then a significant portion of their routine was just being stationary and looking like an aggressively malfunctioning clock

It’s not really going to endear you to the judges who are marking the quality of your skating, is it? Not even BARROWMAN! was upping the score for the biceps, Christopher on the other hand…

Judges’ Scores:
Ashley: 7.5
BARROWMAN!: 7.5
Jayne: 7.5
Christopher: 8.0
Total: 30.5

Prince William and Kate Middleton
Marry You – Bruno Mars

How is it that in a show where a couple has skated dressed as Popeye and Olive Oyl that somehow the Prince William and Kate routine is the weirdest one? And maybe it’s just that after a week in which the judges demanded “more danger” from Faye the show then decided to saddle her with the personifications of vanilla and magnolia paint: Will and Kate. No wonder she was perfecting The Wooby Face after spending an entire afternoon on the ice skidding across it on her backside

Although, that wasn’t the only thing she was struggling with as she was missing her boyfriend during Valentine’s Weekend and I’m not going to comment on their relationship other than the fact they say goodbye in the creepiest way imaginable

Big Danny Torrance vibes.

I suppose the increased danger to Faye’s routine this week was her wildly swinging veil that threatened to obscure her vision at all times because for the most part the routine lacked a lot of personality (nailed the William and Kate vibe then – I’m not sure when this just become a royals roast, sorry) except for the moment that Faye nearly pulled a Todd Carty and skated off the rink

which I don’t know if the judges could see because most of the far side of the rink was obscured by the great big lumbering box that they climbed on top at the end to have a Red Arrows flyover

But this wasn’t before, in one of the most bizarre storytelling moments I have ever witnessed, William could propose to Kate while both of them were wearing their wedding outfits

The implication here is that he just stole Kate from someone else’s wedding like the final scene in Shrek.

And despite all the absurdity and royalist pandering the whole thing was upstaged by Joe hamming it up at the beginning of the performance as a tearful royalist

I love him so much.
Although this was until the judges were mean to Faye and she had to hold back an entire ocean of tears and looking like the Kill Bill sirens were playing

And then later in the show her mother all but threatened to murder Ashley Banjo with a rusty spoon – maybe this routine wasn’t so vanilla after all?

Judges’ Scores:
Ashley: 7.5
BARROWMAN!: 7.5
Jayne: 8.5
Christopher: 8.5
Total: 32

Ross Geller and Rachel Green
I’ll Be There For You – The Rembrandts

I always love it in these themed weeks where the theme for a couple’s dance is revealed and it means absolutely NOTHING to them, as was the case with Rebekah who has somehow never seen Friends despite being entirely conscious and alive during the late 90s. I am personally of the opinion that Ross and Rachel were entirely incompatible with one another so seeing them featured as “one of the greatest love stories on television” while Alex Horne and Greg Davies go completely unacknowledged is an AFRONT to me.

The big story from these two is that they will be attempting The Headbanger this week which means Rebekah Vardy has to wear a crash helmet for most of their training

which I’m sure will provide OK! Magazine with a wealth of screenshots to use on the cover in the future. And even if it goes wrong on the night Rebekah still at least has the protection of this comically bad wig

and I was so sure we were in for a mishap because just before they go in for The Headbanger Rebekah truly makes a dog’s dinner of the Judge’s Challenge but they pull it off remarkably well, although the dismount had all the grace of a fishmonger slapping his prize cod down on the counter

I think I gave a bigger gasp at the moment she ran along the sofa because something about the thought of the skate on that fabric sets my teeth on edge

I thoroughly enjoyed the routine though and it was the most personality we’ve seen from Rebekah and NOBODY can convince me that her Can-Can routine from last week was good, actually.

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

Bonnie and Clyde
Bang Bang – Will.I.Am

The absolute highlight of the entire show was the abrupt cut from Amy saying that Joe was “Just like my brother” to Chris asking them what their love story for the week was

Pitch perfect editing, giving them a BAFTA.

My other favourite moment was just every single acting decision that Joe made in this performance in which he was playing hardened criminal and prolific bank robber Clyde Barrow as charmingly camp as he minced around the ice like he was in Bugsy Malone: ON ICE!

The highlight being the very prominent limp wrist

I find him to be nothing short of a delight and I hope he isn’t relegated to a reserve position again next year for not listening to a single thing the judges keep telling him as once again Amy manages to spend 34 seconds of the routine just not skating, whether it being a rather long lift

or just standing still while Joe fannied about her

It takes a while for most pros to learn how to properly choreograph a routine that lets them shine, shows of their partner but also gives the judges what they want – lest we forget Janette Manrara’s first few series of Strictly and I’m genuinely shocked that Ashley didn’t score them lower than a 7 after going in hard on Rebekah and Faye – but I suppose someone on the judging panel has to not suddenly hate the gymnast who is actually quite good and fun to watch.

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

Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett
With or Without You – 2Cellos

Colin’s big hang up this week was that during training his cannot get his head around the concept of synchronicity and do you know what the best remedy from this is? That’s right, a threatening Zoom call from Daley Thompson

which I think mostly helped, or at least it did with the synchronicity at the expense of speed

It’s like two very elegant tortoises.

Of course because Colin is a black man in period costume everyone immediately says “You look more like The Duke of Hastings from Bridgerton than Mr. Darcy”

which you know, seems like a loaded statement because he absolutely looks nothing like The Duke of Hastings or Mr. Darcy – big Louis Walsh telling Paije Richardson he looked like “a little Lenny Henry” energy.
I on the other hand spent most of the performance fixated on Colin’s pants which I was convinced were a pair of clam digger breeches

before realising that the top of his boots weren’t his skin.

It was mostly a very elegant, if a little sedate, routine that suited the couple they were given as their theme and of course ended up in that very too-close nearly kiss that would have set the tabloids alight if it weren’t between Colin Jackson and his female partner but I’m 90% sure that The Express will still write up something about it given half a chance.

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

Before we get to the results there are three very special performances to get through, first of all Yebin gets to prove that she is back to full health and can skate once again

At the point ITV is just desperate to prove they haven’t completely mangled everyone that sets foot on this cursed ice rink.

The second of the performances was Made in Chelsea’s Toff being completely and utterly upstaged by the dog she chose to make the Skype call with while trying to give an inspiring speech to Rebekah

and then most importantly it’s the most ill-advised booking they could possibly make as Rita Ora is brought in wearing one hell of a wig to perform Bang Bang

Who did she bribe for this gig?
The wig wasn’t the biggest mystery of the whole performance though as for some reason she had a bedazzled tennis racket on the back of her jazzy devil suit like she’s in a niche LA gang

I just cannot fathom who thought this booking was a good idea and then the fact they absolutely had to close down production due to Covid concerns, I WONDER WHY? You had Miss Corona herself walking about the place.

And now we must find out who is in the dreaded Skate Off as well as see if anyone has upped their Monkseal Safety Sex Face game since last week

Far too much sudden turning away from the camera and Faye Brookes continues to slay the competition and is at this point just doing it on purpose – everyone else take note.

That of course means that Leshurr and Brendyn are inexplicably in the bottom two alongside Amy and Joe

Either way I lose one of my favourite this evening: Lady Leshurr or Joe Johnson’s nuclear level of theatre kid energy that radiates from his every pore at a near lethal dosage.

First in the Skate Off is Lady Leshurr and I had forgotten that they just do the same special Skate Off dance every time their in the bottom 2 – or up until everyone is so bored by it because you’ve been there so many times they force you to change it – I believe the limit is 3.
She’s good, there are still a few stumbles and you can tell how uncomfortable she is skating backwards but the headspin is as impressive as ever and they clearly learned from last time to shellac the hell out of Brendyn’s hair so it doesn’t end up as a crow’s nest by the end of it

that barnet isn’t moving an inch.

Amy and Joe’s routine is your standard Amy and Joe fair, barely any solo skating, most of it is in fact just walking on the ice and then quite a few impressive lifts and I think this might be the most impressive move we’ve seen in the series so far

but of course the judges were really looking for Amy to come out and prove to them that she could skate confidently on her own and the there was absolutely none of that in the routine whatsoever and if they had bothered to actually try and embrace the skating side of the competition I’m pretty confident in saying that Amy would have bodied the competition but sadly it was heartbreak in Love Week for Amy as the judging panel unaminously decided to save Lady Leshurr who once again provided a series highlight by skating off the rink shouting “HAPPY BOLERO DAY GUYS!” and we must protect her at all costs because clearly the voting audience cannot be trusted.

And so 6(?) couples remain, I’m genuinely not sure if Jason Donovan is still in the competition or not

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