Dancing On Ice 2011 Launches – Vanilla Ice and Laura Hamilton early favourites?

Dancing On Ice returns tonight with possibly some of the least famous celebrities EVER on a reality TV show. I’m serious. But still, we get to see lovely Holly Willoughby back on Sunday night telly, and she’s looking all pregnant and sexy. 

But that’s not what you came here for – you came for our rundown of tonight’s skating performances. So, let’s get started…

Stephen Arnold

First performance is an extremely wobbly Stephen Arnold (last seen being crushed by a collapsing building in Coronation Street). Immediately we see he’s playing the Todd Carty trademark comedy performance. This works because it involves a lot of goofing around and not much skating. The song is the Madness hit House Of Fun

Score: A paltry 7 points. Robin Cousins tells him that he can skate better than he did tonight, and that his fans will keep him in. Jason comments that Stephen was relying heavily on Nina, which he needs to change.

Angela Rippon

The veteran newsreader clearly has a bee in her bonnet about ageism and doesn’t want to be written off as geriatric. But she’s clearly unsteady – can she improve quickly enough to compete? The routine itself is quite good, but Angela’s more being lifted and moved around the ice by her partner rather than skating much herself. Funny stuff!

Score: 11 from the judges. Emma Bunton describes it as “a really sweet performance” while Robin Cousins says “there was a serenity about the performance” but worries that she’s trying to focus on being too perfect. Jason Gardiner goes on the attack by calling it “very dull and safe”.

Laura Hamilton

Who? Children’s TV presenter you say? Never heard of her, but she took an impressive injury in rehearsals – taking a chunk of skin out of her leg. Tonight she’s dancing to Kelly Clarkson’s My Life Would Suck Without You. This is a brilliantly paced piece of music, and Laura shows off some impressive ice dancing skills. Splits, lifts, tumbles – she does it all. A bit rough in places, but the energy more than makes up for it.

Score: 16. Robin compliments the energy and gusto, but notes that Laura led the dance in places. Jason tells her that she looks a bit goofy and tells her to make her arms more expressive. But he’s generally very supportive of her. Wow…

Johnson Beharry

Another who? contestant, but this guy is unique – he’s the only living recipient of a Victoria Cross. His backstory is truly, genuinely inspirational. He might be useful on a battlefield, but his initial foray into skating looks shaky! Tonight though, dancing to Wishing On A Star, he’s very competent – smooth and steady skating style, but maybe not much flair. Hopefully that’ll come in time, because this guy is probably more important than some of the celebs on this year’s show.

Score: 11. A woeful 2 from Jason Gardiner. Robin Cousins tells him he needs to present his warmth to the viewers at home. Emma Bunton gives him a glowing report as well. Jason tells him that his biggest challenges are performance and presentation. He’s right though – and clearly having a hard time reconciling his respect for Johnson with being honest about his skating ability!

Nadia Sawalha

Oh, how I love the Sawalha sisters. Julia more than Nadia, if I’m being honest, but I’ll take what I can get. Nadia’s first forays into skating look decidedly shaky, but the performance itself – to Proud Mary – is fun and energetic. Again, not perfect, but it’s only week one!

Score: 9. Loved Nadia’s comments – “It’s slippery out there!” Jason tells her it started off with great potential, but her legs looked anasthetised. Emma’s a bit more forgiving, saying she loved her energy and the lines and extensions. 

Kerry Katona

Bizarrely, the nations sweetheart again, due to the most successful branding turnarounds in recent memory. Sadly, I can’t judge this one impartially folks. She’s a total famewhore, and this is a transparent tie-in to give her fly-on-the-wall show on ITV2 some material. Spot the kids in the audience? How many other contestants got that extra bit of emotional exposure? I think I vomited in my mouth a little.

Jeff Brazier

I love Jeff. Dunno why. He may not be the sharpest guy in the world, but he comes across as a bit of a laugh. He’s due to be another comedy skater though, judging by his intro video – and in the performance, he’s not bad, but he fluffs the knee spin as predicted! Did not need the sweaty armpits shot at the end of the routine though!

Score: 11. Emma Bunton declares a soft spot for Jeff, and Robin believes that he’s got room for improvement. 

Vanilla Ice

The moment we’ve really been waiting for – Yo VIP, let’s KICK IT! Vanilla Ice in the house, baby! An admittedly good dancer, Ice claims he’s not a good skater, but he pulls off a brilliant, energetic and entertaining routine. 

Score: 15. Jason gives him a pretty good review, but insists on calling him Rob. He questions whether he can do any other styles. Emma and Robin are also quite supportive of him.

That’s it for tonight’s show – and that’s only half of the contestants! Two get voted off later on tonight, so tell us who you think deserves to stay and who deserves to go home!

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