Sunday, 24 February 2013

Dancing On Ice: Samia takes the strain

In a high standard props episode, it was Samia and Sylvain who lost out in the Save Me Skate Off to Luke and Jenna.

Suffering a groin strain, the result of this week's training, Samia was unable to overhaul Luke, but put in a brave performance to go out on a high. Both their props were tied in directly to their occupations: Sylvia with the chair on wheels and Luenna with a skipping rope, which gave them both the confidence to go for it.

Highlight of the night was Chris and Jayne accompanying Jools Holland and his R&B band, with Rumer on vocals, for the wonderful Accentuate the Positive, although Mattianne also put in a very groovy performance, attacking the three different hats with gusto. 

Bethan and Garbin were also given props to remind them of their former lives, Bethan skating elegantly with a hula hoop and Garbin handling a rugby ball with dexterity - theirs was the most accomplished use of the prop, seamless and beautiful.

All the judges were full of praise, although Jason admitted he was ready to come out all guns blazing following the "shambolic" rehearsals.

The Ice Panel scored as followed: Mattianne 36; Garbin 34.5; Bethan 30; Luenna 30; Sylvia 28.

Next week, they're flying! 

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Dancing on Ice: No Fortuna for Keilga

Keith and Olga sadly didn't survive a fourth time in the Save Me Skate Off this week, losing out to Sylvia - who inadvertently caused Chris Dean to snigger wildly!

A best-score for both couples wasn't enough, as original bottom of the leaderboard, Luenna, shot up to third place following the Team Challenge. A little unfair, really, since Beth, Matt and Gareth are clearly miles ahead of the others, so Matt's team was always going to win it technically once he'd nabbed Gareth. 

Keilga showcased his competent skating again, scoring 25 for his first routine, then reprising an amended O, Fortuna routine in the skate off. Sylvia showed that Samia could skate without Sylvain's support, using the song's characters to great effect (Barbie Girl), although I thought the impressive head spin looked a little limp on her part. Sylvain's "I've been very hard with her all week" was the comment that tickled Chris, who started everyone else off - Phil refrained from explaining. It following on from Ashley's "plastic doll situation" was what cracked me up the most.

Bethan had a terrific song, That Man, for their Charleston themed routine, with excellent skating and tricks as you'd expect although I found the facials a little too choreographed. Beth made up for that in her Team Challenge to Gangnam Style - much more naturally animated. Garbin has got the hang of performing now, so even though he had a couple of wobbly moments, Gareth's coping well with whatever they throw at him, such as the hip hop style this week.

Mattiane, skating to the classy A Change is Gonna Come, added a whole new dimension to Matt and I enjoyed this the most out of all their routines. Smooth, fluid, artistic, rhythmic and musical. The difference a decent song makes!

Having got first dibbs on the Team Challenge, Team Matt (he, Gareth and Luke) had fun with U Can't Touch This, showing much skill in the tricky footwork. Beth, choosing Samia's performance element over Luke's better skating and thus leaving her with Keith, had a better performance team  but sadly one not able to compete technically.

Thus, the leaderboard ended up looking like this:
Mattiane 71; Garbin 59; Luenna 49; Bethan 30.5; Sylvia 27; Keilga 25.

Whether Keith or Samia would've survived had it gone the other way, we'll never know. The judges were almost in agreement, saving Sylvia, although I agree with Jason, her timing was out and I'd have saved Keilga. Next week - Props! And Jools Holland :) Till then x

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Dancing on Ice: Jocky-ing for position

Jocky's support finally dwindled this week and pitched both them and Keilga into the Save Me Skate Off. It leaves no weak performers now, so there'll be a shake up next week.

You know when your time is up when you're given one of the twee-est songs ever written, Tiptoe Through The Tulips. Hardly what you'd call amorous, is it? Doing his best wasn't good enough on this occasion and Joe and Vicky bid us farewell. Sadly, it was Keilga in the bottom two again, after a delightful skate to the best song of the night, All About You, perfect for his smooth style. He's happy, he's good and it's a shame he hasn't got the support.

Bethan with a brave and tricky skate, following a banged bonce during the week, is showing why she's the one to beat, as the interpretation improves again. Heading the right way too is Luenna, more speed, more rhythm but oh, God: The soppy hand clappy crapness pat-a-cake makes an appearance *shivers* so I was cringing at the start. Funniest moment of the night was Jason alluding to the presage lift, while everyone else went "?" and assumed we must have blinked, or something.

On to Sylvia. Samia doesn't choreograph the routine, does she? So why give her the grief for being in Sylvain's arms all the time? If the judges want to see more skating, they need to talk to T&D. What Samia does do, is deliver an elegant and controlled performance in a beautifully put together routine. And that's appealing to the viewers. Mattiane has the opposite problem - confident all over the ice alone, but I'm not sensing much partnership. Impressive moves, low key performance. I actually thought he shrugged and looked a bit dejected at one point.

Quality Control. Normally you associate that with a factory or some such, but Garbin's skate had it in abundance. Understated and now showing the refinement to complement his power. Deservedly at the top of the board tonight (except for Bethan being undermarked, obviously).

The Ice Panel's Board:
Garbin 30; Bethan 29.5; Mattiane 28.5; Luenna 24; Sylvia 22; Keilga 22; Jocky 18.5.

So, the big issue of the week for DOI was, of course: Did Christine come by way of Rivendell? I'm joshing, of course, she probably could've picked up a tree-dress anywhere. No, really - why is DOI losing viewers?

Is it because, when you miss an episode, watching on ITV player is the single most frustrating, painful and irritating pastime in the world, ever? Because you cannot fast forward the adverts? You can fast forward but the adverts still play - you just miss the actual show bit *sighs*. So instead of you catching up and being happy, you catch up and punch the computer.

Is it the fact that the show only talks about the celebrity, never the partnership? "I'm saving Keith". Well, he's nothing without Olga, shouldn't you save her too?

I suspect it's deeper than that. I believe it goes back two series ago, and the treatment of Sharron Davies. The show lost its warm, fuzzy feeling. I actually tweeted that to Phil and he assured me, it would be back. Erm, nope. The trouble is, there's a sense of 'them' and 'us'. Sharron appeared to be isolated. On Strictly, no matter what a judge says, everyone is on the side of the contestants. Tess, Bruce, everyone (including the other judges) yet even Holly and Phil seemed to gang up on Sharron. Torvill and Dean, two of my Olympic heroes, came across a bit Prima Donna-rish. Whatever you do, do not argue with the choreography, just shut up and put up, seemed to be the message. They call them skating royalty and the impression I get is, you'd have to make an appointment for an audience with them to say how you feel.

The constant trying to stir up headlines/controversy of showmances, injuries and the hate between Karen and Jason, is quite frankly, tiresome. I used to watch DOI to wind down from Strictly, it was fun and friendly but I'm finding it hard to care right now. The judges sit there, po-faced and serious, like it's all so dreadfully important. It's a Sunday evening, family entertainment show, people - it's not life or death. And Strictly gets that. Watch the camaraderie between everyone involved in the show, behind the scenes and out front: Bruno falling off his chair, Bruce's bad jokes . Yes, everyone's working hard and taking the training seriously, but they don't lose sight of the fact that they're being paid to entertain and make life just a little bit more fun for the rest of us. That's what DOI needs to do if it's going to stop the slide.

 I could be wrong. What do you think?

Monday, 4 February 2013

Dancing on Ice: What a Shayma!

Shane and Maria were voted off last night, after a skate off against Mattianne that, on paper, was a no-brainer - until Matt tripped up!

In the true spirit of previous competitions, Jason voted to save Shane, who didn't make a mistake, while the other three went with the still-technically-superior-in-spite-of-the-fall Matt.

A confident solo opening for Shayma was enough to leave him equal 4th on the scoreboard and out of danger, you'd have thought. But we know that's never the case. I thought the lift looked a bit nervy and I'm not so keen on the whole trying to seduce the camera act, it's a bit too tentative on ice! Mattiane delivered something different which was clearly unappreciated by his fans. A brave choice which could've been performed with a little more artistic finesse and less aggressively, but for attitude, power and balls, he didn't deserve to be in the bottom two. It just cemented my feeling that ITV reality show viewers just aren't as cultured as the BBC's ... controversial?

Keilga showed good characterization in their Tango routine, as did Garbin with a gentle swayer, showing a new side to him, which was an ongoing theme, as both Luenna and Bethan both finally delivered on the performance front. Luke's wasn't earth shattering but was smooth and credible, while performance of the night was Beth, nailing a tender, touching routine with beauty and poise. Wonderful.

In a complete turn around from last week, Sylvia found themselves sharing the bottom rung with Jocky, following a lacklustre solo which was just nice but whose overall routine surely deserved more than Joe's, who, though fun (for some) he may be, was so unsteady it seems a little unfair he could compare, score wise. Both of them leapfrogging Matt must have left T&D feeling rather nervous; they'll have to be even more creative with the challenges, since The Leveller didn't turn out how they thought At All. It means even Bethan will be at risk if not topping the table.

Still, that's all part of the fun, isn't it? Till next time ..

Week 5 Ice Panel's scoreboard: Bethan 30.5; Mattiane 28; Garbin 27.5; Shayma 23.5; Luenna 23.5; Keilga 21; Sylvia 18; Jocky 18.