Welcome, welcome, welcome dear readers – to the Dancing On Ice semi-finals night. Only four skaters remain – hot favourite Hayley Tamaddon, flamboyant Hollyoaks star Kieron Richardson, The Bill star Gary Lucy and Eastenders actress…whatshername…umm…the blonde one…Daniella Westbrook.
It should be an exciting evening, the four skaters involved are among the best this series has produced. That should make the Semi-Finals a nail-biting finish. Is even Hayley Tamaddon safe? The slightest slip-up could cause major problems…
Join me right here for live coverage, updated every ad break. I’d love to hear your comments as the show progresses – leave your thoughts below!
Alright – the show starts off with a massive group routine, featuring Torvill, Dean and the celebrity skaters. Not the smoothest of routines, to be honest, but fun to see the celebs performing with these seasoned pros.
Hollywatch: Ms Willoughby’s glorious chest is – for about the third week in a row – crammed painfully into a canary yellow dress, again trimmed across the top in sparkly glitteries. I really do wonder how she’s breathing right now. Unless it’s a Hollybot with no need of air. (Happy, David? 😉 )
- Hayley Tamaddon and Daniel Whiston – 27.5
- Gary Lucy and Maria Filippov – 24.5
- Daniella Westbrook and Matthew Gonzalez – 23.0
- Kieron Richardson and Brianne Delcourt – 23.0
The required element tonight is a solo spot by the celebrity that should last at least 20 seconds. That’s a considerable amount of time in the already short spots that the performers have. Anyway, having the first dance of the night is…
Skating to In My Life, Hayley takes the solo straight away and it’s like she’s channeling Bonnie Langford in her facial expressions. The solo is ever so slightly hesitant, and you expect her confidence to return when Daniel joins her on the ice, but the performance is just a bit dull. The usual adjectives apply – graceful, elegant, etc. But I just wasn’t feeling it.
Score: 27.5 Robin: I loved the practice this afternoon, but it was beautifully placed tonight. There was absolutely no change in the quality of what you did once Dan joined you. Yes, it was nice and serene and controlled. Nicky: Well done for you. It was precise, poised and your presentation was just beautiful. But the skating is slow over the ice. It’s more difficult to skate and do those moves. You’re not free as a skater on ice yet. Jason: It’s called Dancing On Ice, and that’s exactly what you do, Hayley. You started off and I didn’t even worry about you – there’s nowhere to hide in the solo spot. You two moved so beautifully, it was a sublime performance.
Gary arrives on the ice in quite a gangly fashion – I wasn’t sure if that was part of his routine. His solo spot’s quite good, although he slows down when the chorus kicks in, which seems to impact the flow of the routine. Things improve when he’s joined by Miss Fillipov, but I did enjoy his solo routine, and he’s definitely improved a lot in the last few weeks.
Score: 24.5 Emma: I’m so happy with him. You came out here, you gave your all.Your performances are getting much better. Sometimes I think you’re a little bit self-conscious. Your solo was strong, you’re a strong partner. You’re starting to excite me, and that’s great. Karen: You have come such a long way. You’re always very solid in your lifts, your skating ability – I can’t fault it. For me, you were on your toes a little bit and some of your lines were a little off. Jason: Gary, you’re like skating Vallium to me. I’ve been here every week, asking you to give me a performance. There’s no dynamism, there’s no thrill, no presentation. I’m sorry, punching up in the air was pathetic mate. You’re a good looking boy, but you’re so boring.
Could this be the moment when Daniella gets exposed as a bad skater? Even at her best performances, she’s relied heavily on her partner to get through. And in her solo spot, she’s embarrassingly basic. Daniella’s dancing to Kelly Rowland’s When Love Takes Over. She’s just not a great independent skater. This is proven by the leap in performance quality when she’s joined by Matthew Gonzalez – it’s as if they’re compensating for the weakness of her solo. I hope the judges note this.
Score: 23.0 Nicky: I made that your presentation as ever was super in places. You generate energy in the dance movements, but it’s static and your skating skills are tentative in comparison to the others. This evening, we’re looking at skating skills first and that’s why my mark is not so high. Karen: The skating skills are there. There was a little slip, but that was Matt. There was a lot about that that was very confident. The solo section was really good. Emma: There is something about your performances that give me tingles. I get excited when you’re dancing. I think your spiral could’ve been better – you’re a little bit unsteady sometimes. But performance wise, you make me smile.
Are we about to be wowed with a death spiral from Mr Hollyoaks? Closing the show with what should be an impressive routine, they clearly expect this to be a good luck charm. Kieron is skating to Time Of Your Life by Green Day. He starts off on his knees and rolls into a standing position. He kinds of glides backwards while bent over, then joins Brianne for the remainder of their routine. Funnily enough, all of the performances have been better after the pro skater joins the celebrity, and this routine was no different – although, Kieron’s routine was probably my favourite tonight.
Score: 23.0 Jason: Let’s break it down. The solo spot – I thought you performed it rather ugly. You were doubled over, it was hunched. It’s your arm movements and presentation that really let you down, and a lot of them were just gratuitous and pointless. There was no expression in them. And actually in the death spiral, you weren’t counter-balancing that and giving a continuous line with your free arm. Karen: We’ve watched you grow not only in strength but in confidence. There was so much in that routine and you were doing some of the hardest things you’ve done so far. You did them with speed and for me, it was one of your best performances.
What a mixed bag tonight! I thought the judges were overly gushing about Hayley and Daniella. They should have ripped Daniella for her pathetic independent skating, and Hayley was quite shaky in her solo spot too. Kieron deserved much more praise, although I agree with Jason that his solo spot was bizarre. But come on, credit for a good routine please! And I can’t believe that Gary Lucy could have scored so highly, considering his lack of passion on the ice.
So, who’s in your bottom two tonight for the skate-off? Tell me, tell me, tell me…
Alexandra Burke sings badly
Alexandra Burke comes on to perform her latest single All Night Long (no relation to the Lionel Richie song). She stands on a podium, barely moving throughout the performance, clearly in mortal terror of the slippery ice just inches away. I’d like to say I like the song, but I don’t. Her singing was terrible, sounded awful especially on the high notes. And the more suspicious thing was that the members of the national press that we follow on Twitter were raving about it. Calling it a classic and her best work yet. Either they’re collectively high on something, or there’s a conspiracy at the highest levels of the mainstream media. You decide…
Gary Lucy falls on his arse…
At the end of his skate-off routine, Gary Lucy falls backwards on the ice, pulling Maria Fillipov on top of him. Er…get a room guys. The sight of the hot skater lady lying on top of daddy sets Gary Lucy’s daughter off, and she’s in hysterics on camera. Gary and Maria skate into the middle of the rink…to prove that they can skate? Daniella Westbrook is the other skater in the skate-off, but she doesn’t do anything so horrendously wrong.
…but lands on his feet
Luckily, Robin judges that Gary’s fall was after the routine finished. And ultimately, Robin breaks the deadlock when it comes to elimination, sending Daniella home and sending Gary Lucy through to the finals. As Nicky said, if it hadn’t been for Robin’s ruling, he’d have put Daniella through.