Sunday, 22 January 2012

Blade running, Hollywood style

We've arrived at the absolute zero of tackiness, as our stars with a little 's' are seen climbing out of a limo for 'Dancing On Ice - The Movie'. Charlene Tilton tells us it's the role of a lifetime, but since she's barely worked in the last twenty years, she's hardly an authority on the matter. Christopher Dean says "the competition starts tonight", which leaves me wondering why I bothered sitting through the last two episodes.

Phil and Christine are doing their best to look as though they're number one on each other's speed dial, but their performances are less than convincing. Their onscreen chemistry might be as comfortable as a leotard full of nettles, but it hardly warrants the death threats she's been getting from the hardcore DOI fans on Twitter. It must catch in her throat to tell viewers about all the ways they can interact with the show online - that 'block' button is going to be working overtime tonight.

Chico is opening tonight's show, and he's keen to show us that "there's more to Chico than Chico Time." The mind boggles. To be fair to him, he's quite confident on the ice and the performance was competent, but I've got a horrible feeling that if he stays in the show, we're going to hear him sing at some point, and life is too short. His partner gives him the ultimate backhanded compliment by commending him for "giving a 100 percent", when everyone knows that on shows like this, it's 110 percent or nothing. Philip reminds us to keep the discussion going on Twitter, and even points out how to hashtag the show. But then he tells us to keep it PG, so let's hope that the fans tell him to go fuck himself.

Rosemary Conley is dancing to Wind Beneath My Wings, but since she starts her performance sitting on the ice, its the chill beneath her gusset I'd be more concerned with. I have to applaud her bravery though - most pensioners set one foot on ice and end up having a hip transplant, whereas she's being waved through the air with a young man's hand stuck up her chuff. She's very thankful for her partner who's doing a great job of holding her together, but a length of butcher's string would probably be just as effective.

In a recap of last week's comments, we see Louis tell Sam "I think you could really go somewhere." Like back to Barnsley, for instance. Whoever came up with the idea of asking a stocky lad to try kung fu kicks in ice skates either deserves an award or electroshock therapy. By the end of the performance, everyone's just relieved that he didn't screw up the backflip lift and put Alexandra Schauman in traction. He even manages to smile graciously when Katarina Witt compares him to a cuddly panda - not everyone would be so happy to be called a salad dodger in front of 10 million people.

Chemmy is performing to Fontella Bass' Rescue Me from Sister Act, which is why her routine opens with her dressed in a full habit and wimple. She gave a good effort, but her partner struggled with the big lift, demonstrating all the grace of a man lugging a corpse wrapped in a blood-stained carpet. Katarina helpfully points out that she's "a big woman". I guess she's not planning on making any friends tonight. Well, apart from Rosemary, who's busy making a list of all the people she can sign up for her slimming classes.

"I think as a dancer, I'm one of the best there is." That's Corey Feldman's entirely objective self-assessment, based on all the time he spent with Michael Jackson. As an utterly unrelated aside, Corey is planning to use his time on the show to publicise his forthcoming autobiography about his abuse at the hands of Hollywood's paedophiles. Happy to exploit any misfortune to further his celebrity, Corey is performing to Stand By Me, and will be dedicating his routine to River Phoenix, his co-star in that movie. Weirdly, he's decided to incorporate some of Jackson's moves into the performance, but it ends up looking as though he's having a bad reaction to his medication. The judges don't like it, so Corey folds his arms in angry defiance. But at least he's finally reminded the viewers at home of all those petulant brats he played as a child.

Poor Jennifer Ellison is suffering from rib damage from all the lifts in her routine. Lying on a physio table, she tells us "I'm not in a very good place." I've been to Elstree, so I know she's not lying. By the end of the performance, her face is stuck in a rictus grin from the pain, but somehow, that just makes her look more like a professional skater. Robin applauds her for "acting through every movement" as though she's just won an Olivier for taking a shit on stage.

Mark is still struggling to make an impression, and he's bringing his natural sense of comedy to tonight's routine. But there's a big difference between laughing at and laughing with someone. He's moving so slow on the ice that, at one point, I was going to complement his confidence skating backwards. Katarina says "Of course we love Mark" as though it was governmentally mandated. I'm afraid I'm going to be listed as a conscientious objector.

Jorgie's VT is all about her bum cheeks, because she's practicing a difficult lift with her partner Matt. Once their excellent performance is over, her arse is still on everyone's lips. Not like that, it's a family show, remember. Phillip Schofield tries to get in on the act, helpfully pointing out her wedgie situation, and Robin comments that a high speed routine like that means she needs to "be right on the button". I think Matt's hand is still on her button.

For Matthew's rehearsal footage, we get to see him dropping Nina and then falling on her, again and again. Maybe the producers are trying to win over the Jackass crowd. Matt's in his element this week, since he's dancing to Night Fever, the title song from the musical he starred in for over a year. Christopher points out that it's important to look after your partner, which must be a conversation he and Karen Barber have had on more than one occasion.

Charlene will be performing to Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend which, she tells us, is a dream come true. She needs to stop eating cheese before she goes to bed. They've tried to make her look like Marilyn Monroe, but Baby Jane Hudson would be closer. I'd have paid good money to see her dance to I've Written A Letter To Daddy instead. Her partner Matthew gushes about "working with a piece of Hollywood", like she's something he found in skip outside the Chateau Marmont.

Sebastien is slowing things down this week with Gary Jules' Mad World, and the Donnie Darko influence is felt in the slightly surreal choreography. Their goal this week was to concentrate on the partnership, and although they might have solved it on the ice, their interview skills need some work. It's like watching a couple meet for the first time after a particularly acrimonious divorce. Katarina doesn't get to add her two-penneth, because Philip needs to get in one of his painful puns. Don't worry though, she'll get her revenge during the break when she sidles up to him and tells him he looks fat in his glittery suit.

We all know the phrase 'polishing a turd'. Well, tonight the Dancing On Ice stylist has devised a new concept - smashing a shit. That's when you take something bad and make it look even worse. To wit - Andy Whyment wearing a T-birds ducktail quiff. It's a valiant effort, but he's got about as much natural cool as a Scotch bonnet chili pepper. Once off the ice, he tries his best to be funny but Jayne Torville's grinning at him like she's trying to humour a racist uncle.

Heidi is practicing hard, so her bandmate Amelle is here to lend some moral support, and to remind the audiences at home that The Sugababes are still a thing. Tonight, she's dancing to Goldfinger and she's come out looking like Shirley Eaton's death scene. Shirley Bassey's song has been given a bit of a contemporary overhaul and it all comes together quite well. Her Scouse accent is pretty think, and at one point I swear she says "I'm quite a shite person." No arguments here. The rest of the show fades out in a flurry of tedious innuendo, which leaves Louie in his element, but it's not one that you'll find on the periodic table.

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