There’s an amazing circus-themed intro to the show as Torvill and Dean appear in the midst of some colourful freaks (who are not the contestants) – there are trapeze acts, weird costumes, various twirling things and did I mention weird costumes? A spectacular visual feast to kick off the new series.
Phillip and Holly (looking gorgeous, naturally) chat to Torvill and Dean. Christopher talks about how good the contestants are, while Jayne tells us that they’re learning quickly. The contestants file out in fine order – Davro looks amused that he’s even there, I can’t work out why I don’t like Daniella Westbrook, and would people please stop describing Sinitta as a pop star? Davro’s pot belly looks like it may be a distinct disadvantage in this competition!
Let’s slide past the ice-panel, only to mention Schofield’s introduction of Emma Bunton – “From Spice Girl to Ice Girl” – groan…
Fresh from ruining EastEnders since she returned, Westbrook is ON ICE. From the video bit, it looks like her nerves are a major problem, and she’s one of those people who likes to freak out rather than get on with it. Performing to Evacuate The Dancefloor, you can see a little of the nerves affecting her, but she’s surprisingly good, managing some lifts and turns straight off.
Daniella and Matthew receive a total score of 17 from the judges. And the comments from the judges – Robin: Terrific! Your face and your body never showed any worry. You came out with a great back, great attitude, wonderful musicality. Emma: Your transitions out of your lifts were great for your first show. Karen: A great start to the show and the series. Well done, Danielle. Jason:Surprisingly Danielle, you haven’t danced before. A little bit more attack and punch, but that was an incredible first performance.
Gordon’s missus is apparently determined to master her technique on the ice. She claims that she’s not a natural dancer – her partner says the skating is improving, but not the performance. Tana and partner Stuart are dancing to Berlin’s Take My Breath Away. She’s quite stiff in her movements, and I noted during the showcase the other night, she was being lifted and led an awful lot.
Tana and Stuart receive a score of 12.5, the highest marks from Karen and Emma. Jason: Lyrical, romantic, express that was not. I feel you’re being overly reliant on Stuart. What you need to get is a bit of your husband’s fire. Nicky: Your family will say well done. Having said that, there’s a bit of a mountain to climb at the moment. What came over for me was the gaps in your performance. Just don’t stop between the movements.
So, former Emmerdale actress and Soapstar Superstar contestant Hayley is best buddies with her partner. She has a rib injury during rehearsals for lifts, but she’s cute as a button and very brave about it. (We like Hayley here at Unreality TV!) Hayley and partner Daniel just look like they’re loving the performance – her smile never falters for a moment!
Hayley and Daniel receive a score of 19.5 from the judges. Christopher Dean describes the performance as “larger than life”. Jason: Hayley, you’re like this Shetland pony, so full of energy. For week 1, you’re head and shoulders above what we’re seeing. Emma: It was a little bit “stage school” smile. The next thing is, you cannot become complacent – keep that standard up!
Olympic swimmer Sharon is ginormously tall, which makes it hard for her to be graceful on the ice. She complains that she can’t use any of the technique she learned in swimming on the ice (naturally). There’s plenty of footage of Sharon landing on her arse. They’ve clearly drawn the short straw from the costume department – those awful canary yellow outfits! Despite a self-effacing introduction, Sharon’s actually reasonably good. Not as good as Hayley, perhaps, but a step above Tana.
Sharon and Pavel receive a score of 12.5, equal to Tana’s score. Jason: If I have to be honest, you look possessed by a tree. Your arms are like branches, there’s no expression whatsoever. You have to work at being softer and more feminine. Karen: Sharon, you are a great athlete. That was a really solid first performance. Relax and have fun with it, we’ll work on your arms.
Baby-faced actress Emily is partnered with Fred and they’re performing to Taylor Swift’s Love Story – so what could go wrong? Well, tearing my eyes away from the hot pink costume, she’s a tad unsteady on her feet and very reliant on Fred to lift her and more or less carry her through the performance.
Emily and Fred receive a score of 11 from the judges – lowest of the night so far. Nicky: You know you can do it better – next week, come and surprise us. Emma: You didn’t skate much, you made me nervous, I felt uncomfortable. I really need you to attack it more.
Walking telly car-crash Sinitta only name-drops Simon Cowell once during her VT, which is a blessing, I suppose. I like Sinitta, I just wish she’d be a bit more natural. I’m sure all this flamboyance is all down to self-confidence issues. Did I just see a Russian man’s crotch? Ahem, performance wise, it’s not too bad, a tiny bit wobbly and she manages the frog lift beautifully!
Sinitta and Andrei receive a total score of 15 from the judges. Jayne compliments her on beautiful lines. Robin: You have great natural spacial awareness. The skating’s a little tentative, but with a little work, you’ll be right up there. Karen: You need to loosen up a little there and you’ve got a lot of potential.
Lady Mucca..er…Mills…I mean…Heather Mills
“One of my most recent fundraisers was…” your divorce? Sorry, apologies for the bad taste allusion to her high-profile divorce. More interestingly – how will Heather manage skating on a prosthetic leg? She says she can barely stand in heels, so this is definitely the most interesting routine of the evening. Don’t forget, Heather was on America’s Dancing With The Stars, so she’s playing up the problem a little, methinks. Good performance from the pair, and as my couch buddy just said, you could barely tell she was wearing a prosthetic.
Heather and her partner receive a score of 15.5 from the judges, a good result. Nicky: At times I’m not seeing any disability at all. You are attacking it, you’re skating and you look confident. I’ve got you joint first. Jason: It’s the rest of you we need to work on. I find, even though you’ve done Dancing With The Stars, a lot of your dance ability was thrown away. You need to watch some of your transitions and work out how you’re going to make getting into lifts attractive.
The Results Show…
Sinitta and Sharon Davies are going head to head in the skate-off. That’s quite unfair on Sinitta, since she was actually quite good tonight. However, Sinitta isn’t well liked – even here on Unreality TV, we’ve felt she’s been quite attention-seeking in the past. However, with her toned down performance tonight, it was refreshing to see Sinitta in a different light.
First up in the skate-off, Sharon and Pavel. They reprise their routine, to M People’s Search For The Hero. She’s a touch more confident and graceful on the second performance. Jayne comments that she seemed much more relaxed.
Sinitta and Andrei take to the ice one more time – we’re reminded that she’ll have to do the frog move one more time. She needs to convince the judges that she has more potential than Sharon to stay in the competition. Unfortunately, she slips during the critical move. Worse, she’s sliced through Andrei’s trousers with her blade. We feel soo sorry for her…
The first three judges vote to save Sharon. In fact, only Emma Bunton votes to save Sinitta, meaning that she’s out of the competition. That’s a sad moment for her, because she was really good during her first run. The question is, since her first performance was so good, was it public opinion of her that resulted in so few public votes? Did her image as a Cowell hanger-on turn people off?
Sad for you Sinitta, because Dancing On Ice was your chance to turn that image on its head.