Dancing on Ice, Prop Week: Clap for French Maids

Has an image ever captured the general zeitgeist so perfectly?

It’s the premature semis which means two routines and an increase in the judges overmarking and critical blind spots!

This week the celebs find themselves tackling the dreaded task of trying to skate with props of wildly varying difficulty with Faye spending most of a routine twirling a golf club and Colin Jackson trying to navigate a trolley with a death wish around the ice

The bravery to allow this after the wealth of evidence that points to this series being cursed has to be admired slightly.

Before we get to the celeb’s skating the pros are here to provide us with what might be one of the most bonkers professional routines I have ever seen and I am counting Strictly’s Cursed M&S Necklace routine and the time they danced to Chandelier dressed as a flock of mono-winged birds in that statement. At first I honestly thought this was going to be a melancholic John Lewis-y cover of Mad World induced ode to the key workers of Britain

but then I noticed the comedically bad French maid outfit and I’m not quite sure that counts as a keyworker? Although I would happily join a weekly Clap for French Maids event.
The assortment of occupations that Vicky Gill could source costumes for are then ushered into the tiny little grey house by a goth traffic conducting Mr. Mime

and thus their boring grey lives are transformed forever as we transition from John Lewis brand sadness ballad to the Singin’ In The Rain soundtrack and they become a troupe of truly terrifying clowns

and if the cacophonic aesthetic wasn’t enough old Goth Mr. Mime spends the entire routine blowing a whistle like a referee trying to blag their way through a junior league football tournament. And then they transform into some sort of clown powered war machine

Can you imagine if we had shown up on the beaches of Europe with that during World War 2?
I can’t really tell you who anyone in the routine is because A. the show does a dreadful job of building up a relationship between the audience and the professionals and B. because of the makeup but I do know Joe is there because I can feel the theatre kid energy pulsating through the routine and you can guarantee Yebin is in there just to prove she’s still alive and can still skate.

Once everyone is done clowning around they are transformed back into their dull ordinary selves, but the magic isn’t completely lost as Yebin dressed as Generic CEO throws up some confetti in the air

Big celebrating-your-birthday-on-your-own-in-the-middle-of-Lockdown energy.

Even with it being Prop Week the judges have still got a Judges’ Challenge for the skaters, or so they lead is to believe and then the Judges’ Challenge for Prop Week was to… use the prop. Which as it turns out some skaters still failed to do…

Faye Brookes and Matt Evers
Golf Clubs

I imagine Faye declared that her golf clubs were “really hard” before she knew the fact everyone else was dancing with ungainly pieces of furniture, right? Because the hardest thing they had to deal with was the fact neither of them could play golf for toffee

pretty sure that could get you banned from a club for 6 months!

As for the routine it was perfectly fine but let’s not ignore the fact that they’re use of props wasn’t exactly revolutionary, they just did a load of moves recycled from their other routines but they were holding a golf club

She never had to deal with how the prop moves on ice or the fact it probably weighs a good 5kgs. To be honest, the closest she got to using a prop like everyone was was the great big lumbering golf bag at the beginning of the routine

It really didn’t feel like an even playing field.

Judges’ Scores:
Ashley: 9.5
BARROWMAN!: 9.5
Jayne: 9.0
Christopher: 9.0
Total: 37

Lady Leshurr and Brendyn Hatfield
Chairs

Lady Leshurr and Brendyn found themselves this week straddled with chairs as their props and we saw how well everyone coped with them at the beginning of the series

I will never get bored of Rebekah Vardy falling off her chair as Lady Leshurr rides past in the background badly strumming a guitar – it is art.
Not that it’s going much better for Leshurr as in rehearsals she falls on nearly every take they try

You will be very pleased to know that they did indeed change her outfit for the proper performance

At least, if nothing else, Lady Leshurr was the wardrobe department’s favourite – she has looked ace all series long.

I was very worried about this routine when they started considering this was the opening move

You know in playgrounds they have roundabouts that due to health and safety have to be made so they don’t spin very fast? It’s very that.

With that concern over the rest of the routine is fun, fast and has A LOT of prop work, there’s only a 20 second bit in the middle where the chairs aren’t involved in some capacity. There is a little hesitation and rigidity here and there, mostly because she’s having to both manage her own balance and make sure the chair doesn’t develop a mind of its own and become a four legged death trap. But despite this it is by far her best skate and has moments of real elegance and poise, or at least more than she showed in rehearsals

and the crowning glory in their routine it the floating spin dismounted off of the chair itself

Try that with a golf club, Faye.

Judges’ Scores:
Ashley: 10.0
BARROWMAN!: 10.0
Jayne: 10.0
Christopher: 10.0
Total: 40

Personally absolutely thrilled that Lady Leshurr was the first one to get the full 40 of the series. I don’t know why but it feels like justice.

Colin Jackson and Klabera Komini
A Hotel Trolley

Continuing the trend that Faye set of introducing props that nobody has used before, Colin had been cursed with a hotel luggage trolley and if you thought the chair was a four legged death trap, then the hotel trolley is practically the grim reaper of props hanging around their necks as a constant reminder of their possible deaths and within the first 5 seconds of their routine it threatens to take both Colin and Klabera down

In the dark corner of the studio the health and safety officers breaks out into a cold sweat.
This obviously didn’t set Colin off on the best foot and he was very nervous for at least the first quarter of his routine with his adorably feeble bunny hop

but the fact for the rest of the routine they kept the trolley perfectly controlled given that its centre of gravity is all of the place was incredibly impressive. It did also enormously help their routine that they took an extensive 40 second break from the trolley in the middle which does mean almost half their routine was completely prop free. But I did adore the final pose and Klabera desperately trying to get onto the spinning trolley with barely an ounce of grace

and the utter lack of control they had over the trolley in this moment meant the final pose to camera looked like this

God bless.

Judges’ Scores:
Ashley: 9.0
BARROWMAN!: 9.0
Jayne: 9.5
Christopher: 9.5
Total: 37

Sonny Jay and Angela Egan
A Massive Table

Sonny Jay and Angela were coming in hot with the biggest prop of the night in the form of their sinister looking buffet table

Although to call it a prop is extremely generous considering it moved just about as much as the massive long table that Joe-Warren Plant used in the first episode

I’m not really sure that mostly banging your fists against it like a couple on the brink of a messy divorce on ITV’s latest flagship drama really counts as “prop work”

and really the table didn’t move much at all beyond them spinning it gently in a circle

It wasn’t a very dynamic performance and in order to make it seem more moody they relied a lot on the mist which Angela frequently disappeared into

and also disguised quite the stumbled during one of their spins

Bishop Briggs’ “River” and the lighting were also doing a lot to amp it up and give it any real sense of sex appeal – I think Sonny Jay just has too much of a baby face to make this into a sexy move

it has the same energy as Alex Jones an arbiter of Toddler Energy trying to do a tango.

Judges’ Scores:
Ashley: 9.0
BARROWMAN!: 9.0
Jayne: 9.5
Christopher: 9.5
Total: 37

A Mid Episode Leaderboard:

  1. Chairwoman Leshurr
  2. Hotel Trolley to Hell
    • The Tables have Turned
    • Golf Tango Foxtrot Oscar

Alexa, Play Landslide by Fleetwood Mac

As it’s the semi finals and ITV have to somehow have to turn this into a 2 hour show everyone gets to skate twice and instead of giving everyone a second prop for Prop Week they will all skate a routine dedicated to someone they love. It’s lovely and obviously emotionally charged which is why I’m not going to recap every performance individually because… it’s difficult to navigate writing in my style about 3 people talking about either a very traumatic brush with cancer in the family in their childhood or the deaths of incredibly young loved ones, as someone who has lost people in similar circumstances it’s difficult to write about so forgive me for skipping over it, I hope it doesn’t seem callous and I genuinely hope these routines helped Faye, Leshurr and Sonny Jay process the traumas they’ve gone through.

It is the problem that with Dancing on Ice having so many themed weeks, it’s difficult to insert these emotionally charged routines within them when you’re having to dress up as absurd characters and what we end up with is this lump sum of incredibly raw and intense emotions with the only reprieve being Colin Jackson talking about how much he loves his heritage and Jamaican ancestry.

In brief, Faye got 40. Colin and Sonny Jay tied with 38 and Lady Leshurr was quite honestly extremely undermarked with only 37.

The Final Leaderboard

  1. Lady Leshurr
    • Faye Brookes
  2. Colin Jackson
    • Sonny Jay

So with that disaster of a leaderboard on the cards it was time to find out who would go through and get their final portraits hung in the Monkseal Memorial Safety Sex Face Gallery

I think we could have all called this result from the beginning of the episode – it is VERY frustrating as a verified Lady Leshurr stan account, at least she’s on The Celebrity Circle trolling the absolute hell of Denise van Outen – delightfully awkward. I demand to know what the backstage vibe was like and how desperate they were to talk about it!

The Skate Off very much felt like more of a formality than anything else, it was Leshurr’s fourth time in the bottom two which in most TV series would mean an automatic elimination OR SO I THOUGHT but then BARROWMAN! and Ashley decided they would decide to save her again over Colin but were entirely overruled by Torvil and Dean who both decided that Colin deserved to saty, which was probably the right decision and Leshurr seemed more relieved that anything else

She came. She was in the Skate Off 4 times. She got the first 40. It’s cool guys.

And so only 3 couples remain

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