Now, back to some normality with my Dancing on Ice commentary after my 7 day lapse last week.
Tonight we saw the final 10 contestants perform and the theme was 'Vegas' with the skills steps sequence added this week to notch up the pressure on those remaining.
But first of all before we start, as I've done over previous weeks, we start with a vintage performance by Torvill and Dean. This time it's the 1994 Lillehammer Winter Olympics. As I've already mentioned in my initial 'Dancing on Ice' blog post, I can actually vividly remember watching this performance and jumping for joy at the display. Yet, they only won Bronze and I still feel that 10 years after their Sarajevo triumph in 1984, they were robbed of a stunning comeback Gold medal.
So here, as I remember it from 1994, it's 'Let's Face the Music'.
This is what I'm talking about...
The Final 10 - Brazier Makes His Move
So, we're now down to the final 10 contestants for the competition proper and it's getting ever more competitive. Tonight in particular has seen some real competition changing performances. The Vegas theme worked well and I loved the music. Well, how could a mix of Cher, Tom Jones, Meat Loaf, Shirley Bassey, Elvis, Frank Sinatra, Barbara Streisand and Billy Joel not work?!
We began with Jennifer Metcalfe who opened the evening with another solid performance with good skill sequence steps. But she was tentative as her need to learn every routine quickly took its toll. The concern is that her scores are not increasing - there's no big progress being made. Next up was Jeff Brazier and after his stuttering fall into the bottom two last week, he turned it around tonight with a confident, positive performance which has suddenly propelled him for the first time into the competition running. Laura Hamilton continued with her excellent progress as well with another great performance. She even had a minor slip so she shows that there's room to progress further. Denise Welch was a joy. Not technically the best of course but again, she has shown a good deal of forward movement with her confidence and that came across in the routine. She also I felt, dealt with the required skills sequence admirably. Next up was Dave Vitty and he is struggling. He is not making the personal progress that his colleagues are achieving and he's in trouble.
Vanilla Ice gave a typically hyperactive performance but he made a few slips and his boundless energy does need reining in somewhat. After a really powerful opening few weeks, I worry that he isn't moving forward and by definition is therefore falling back. Johnson Beharry gave another solid but unspectacular performance and again, this isn't good enough. Sam Attwater on the other hand continued to show why he is the early favourite with a straight 8.5s routine. Then, poor Kerry Katona demonstrated far too clearly as has been evident in recent weeks that she lacks any confidence in skating solo. The required element this week showed her up badly and her tentative, nervous performance has continued a personal theme. Finally, Chloe Madeley gave an energetic finale to the evening and showed that she is one to watch this year.
Sam and Laura are the pace-setters at present with Chloe not far behind. Jeff has made a great leap forward this week and suddenly must be treated as a serious contender. I fear for Jennifer and Vanilla Ice - they have the talent but they need to perform on the ice.
On basic talent, these 6 are a stride ahead of the bottom four. Of this latter group, Denise has shown the most promise this evening with Kerry, Dave and Johnson imperilled.
My hunch was that Kerry and Johnson would find themselves in the bottom two.
I'll update this post after the results...
WELL - WHAT A SHOCK!
I didn't see that coming! Yet, looking at my comments above from earlier this evening, my concerns for Vanilla Ice and Jennifer Metcalfe took on a whole new meaning as they both fell into the bottom two. They did so for the reasons that I gave - they were not improving week on week and were giving viewers no new reasons to vote for them. But still, what a surprise!
Even after the skate-off in which both improved on their earlier performances, I expected the judges to save Jennifer. I must admit that I was pleased to see them save Vanilla Ice.
So, we're down to 9 but next week, everyone will be on edge. This has been a shock and proves that no-one is safe if they let their performance levels drop.
NB. A Parting Shot to the Cameramen
An additional word of sheer frustration. Alyson and I have found ourselves increasingly yelling at the TV screen (particularly tonight) at the sheer lunacy of some of the camera angles. Sweeping shots from afar looks all lovely and professional but it takes away from the action on the ice. How can we keep a close eye on each contestant's every move if they are mere specks in the distance on our screens? Not good enough ITV - sort it out.