I've never been much of a Strictly Come Dancing fan. Though I'm a Bruce Forsyth fan, the programme has never really grabbed me.
But Dancing on Ice on the other hand has usually had me hooked to my TV screen each year. Why? Well, I can't ice skate - my flat feet probably have put paid to that! But I've always been a big Torvill & Dean fan. What they did in Sarajevo in the '84 Winter Olympics with their perfect 6's was mesmerising. Incredibly, after a 10 year absence, they returned and won European and British Figure Skating Gold in '94 and were robbed of Gold at the Lillehammer Winter Olmpics of that year when they only won Bronze - I should know, I remember screaming at the screens as a child at the injustice of it all!
This is what I'm talking about...
So watching 'celebrities' trying to emulate these heroes on the ice is just too good a TV idea to turn away from.
The 2011 In-Take
This year has seen the 16 contestants split into 2 qualifying programmes of 8 each with only 6 from each qualifying for the competition proper.
Coronation Street's Ashley Peacock (aka Steve Arnold) who was killed off in the great tram crash last month started proceedings and was very hesitant on his feet. Angela Rippon gave an elegant performace before Nickelodeon presenter Laura Hamilton wowed us with a very positive opening even if she was almost too energetic with her efforts. Victoria Cross hero Lance Corporal Johnson Beharry gave a solid display which is more than could be said for actress Nadia Sawalha who barely moved for much of her performace and certainly was unable to skate solo away from her professional partner. Former Atomic Kitten Kerry Katona, fighting against her personal demons I felt gave a very dignified debut and TV presenter Jeff Brazier gave a promising first performace even if he did have to use his hand to help him back onto his feet on one occasion. Popstar Vanilla Ice closed the first evening with a very, very good, strong performance which must auger well for the competition proper.
On the performances on the night, it should have been our Ashley and Nadia to go home. Vanilla Ice in my opinion was the best of the night and deserved to go through with Laura also doing very well.
But personally, I wanted our Ashley to go through simply because I like him (and I'm a Corrie fan) and I like an underdog. I also wanted Angela to go through to strike a positive blow for the more mature members of our society.
There were no surprises apart from the shock of Laura (who top scored with the judes) finishing in the bottom 3 and therefore in the skate-off. Incredibly, our Ashley made it through! I'm delighted for him but what it meant was that the skate-off really was a formality. Laura had to go through and whilst Nadia will be no loss to the competition, Angela certainly will be.
But, it's us the great British viewers that made the decision, so we have no right to complain if we don't like the result!
Next week, it's qualifier 2...