Dancing On Ice: Las Vegas theme week; Sam Attwater makes it a one-horse race

Welcome to my run-down of tonight’s Las Vegas-themed Dancing On Ice episode. There were some surprises – Jeff Brazier and Denise Welch seemed to raise their respective games, while Dave Vitty and Kerry Katona lost any shine they had in the first place.

And in other quarters, Karen Barber picked a fight with Jason Gardiner only to find that the obnoxious Aussie had no intention of retracting his caustic comments!

As for the rest of the show, Sam Attwater comfortably retains his lead. Just like Hayley tammadon last year, Sam established his lead early on and continues to improve week on week. There really is no challenger for him at this stage. The people in second, third, fourth – Laura Hamilton, Chloe Madeley and possibly Vanilla Ice have almost no chance of catching him up.

Anyway, on with my round-up of tonight’s show – don’t forget to read Nick’s Dancing On Ice liveblog from during the show also!

Jennifer Metcalfe and Sylvain

I loved that for the Las Vegas theme, the Hollyoaks babe chose to wear a Cher-inspired costume, especially since their routine was to Turn Back Time. A solid routine from Jennifer and Sylvain, but a touch wobbly on the tabletop lift.

Jason Gardiner commented that she’s holding herself back by concentrating on the steps. He pushes it a bit too far when he suggests that she’s very beautiful, but empty inside. Robin Cousins is a bit more forgiving, and Emma Bunton says she wants to see that Jennifer’s owning it more.

Scores: Jason: 6, Robin: 7, Emma: 6 Total: 19.0

Jeff Brazier and Isabelle

We see Jeff getting some much needed performance advice from a motivational coach during the week, and you can see how he’s tried to apply that to his routine tonight. However, most of the showmanship occurs at the start of the routine. Dancing to Tom Jones’ It’s Not Unusual, Jeff seems to be fulfilling his claim that he’s one routine away from ‘arriving’ in this competition.

Robin Cousins remarks “quality basic skills used in the right way at the right time.” Emma Bunton overplays her comments by calling the routine smouldering, but we’ll forgive her for being a bit overblown. Jason Gardiner notes the improvement in Jeff’s skating, but says it needs fine tuning.

Scores: Jason: 5.5, Robin: 7.5, Emma: 7.0 Total: 20.0

Laura Hamilton and Colin

Fresh from shredding Colin’s leg in practise, here’s one of my personal favourites from Dancing On Ice this year, Laura Hamilton. Laura and Colin are dancing to Celine Dion’s All Coming Back To Me. Sadly she has a bit of a slip during the step sequence, and after that Laura seems a little bit nervous in the lifts. However, it’s a brilliant routine, and I think she conveyed the emotion in her performance.

Jason Gardiner says Laura actually moved him through that performance. “You feel and surrendered every inch of yourself to that performance.” Robin Cousins tells her that he’d have marked her higher if it hadn’t been for the stumble – but praises her passionate performance.

Scores: Jason: 8.5, Robin: 8.0, Emma: 7.5 Total: 24.0

Denise Welch and Matt

From the amount of grumbling Denise Welch did in her intro video, I expected this routine to be a train wreck. But she and Matt actually pulled off a rather charming routine toS’wonderful. The thing about all that complaining is you’re watching the routine for stumbles instead of entertainment – and there weren’t any wobbles or falls. Strangely, this isn’t reflected in the judges’ marks.

Emma Bunton comments that she loved the Charleston sequence, and even Jason Gardiner calls this “confident, sweet…it had all the fun elements that you have as a person.” He cautions her on her leg lines but says she’s turned a corner. 

Scores: Jason: 4.5, Robin: 4.5, Emma: 4.5 Total: 13.5

Comedy Dave (Vitty) and Frankie

Terrible routine from Comedy Dave tonight – awkward and trying too hard for laughs in the absence of a powerful skating routine. Even Frankie fell over at one point, although I don’t think Dave can be blamed for that. There was a lot of awkwardness in Dave’s skating and normally he compensates for that with comedy, but not so much tonight.

Robin Cousins comments about his wooden skating like a coathanger stuck in his shoulders. Emma Bunton agrees but says she missed the fun performance of other weeks. Jason Gardiner doesn’t hold back – he calls him a cod-mime artist with rigor mortis and suggests it’s time for him to leave!

Scores: Jason: 3.0, Robin: 4.0, Emma: 4.0 Total: 11.0

Vanilla Ice and Katie

Vanilla Ice turns Elvis this week, skating to Blue Suede Shoes, but surely they mean blue suede skates? Ice and Katie give a really energetic performance, but there are a few scary moments when it looks like he’s going to fall over. However, he handles the step routine quite well, and the final lift, backflip and throw was amazing. My heart almost stopped!

Robin Cousins says “you perform like a hockey player trying to dance”, and tells him “don’t fluff through it”. Jason Gardiner asks him to stop mouthing the lyrics when he performs. He also calls out a lack of finese in his lines and “it’s too unbridled and too crazy”.

Scores: Jason: 5.5, Robin: 5.0, Emma: 5.5 Total: 16.0

Johnson Beharry and Jodene

Piano Man – what a great song to skate to! A really rousing tune you might remember from Glee, and Johnson pulled off a pretty good routine tonight. I thought there was good chemistry between Johnson and his partner, but it would seem that the judges didn’t agree.

Jason Gardiner tells Johnson that he’s looking for more performance, but says he’s not improving enough. Karen Barber bites back, asking the judges to note the trickier lifts he was doing. Jason tells her that if her opinion mattered, she’d still be on the judging panel, which draws a pantomime amount of boos from the audience.

Scores: Jason: 4.0, Robin: 4.0, Emma: 4.0 Total: 12.0

Sam Attwater and Brianne

What’s to say about this routine? Sam Attwater is arguably as good as some of the professional skaters on the show. And this routine to I Get A Kick Out Of You is wonderful – good speed on the ice and some confident tricks between him and Brianne.

Emma Bunton calls Brianne the perfect partner and tells Sam that he’s going to be getting 10’s very soon, while Jason Gardiner turns on the charm (after his last batch of comments) and tells Sam he gets a big kick out of him. “You are progressing and refining every week…you and Brianne are a beautiful partnership”. Robin notes that Sam stayed in character all the way through but picks on some small details because everything else is so good.

Scores: Jason: 8.5, Robin: 8.5, Emma: 8.5 Total: 25.5

Kerry Katona and Daniel

Kerry and Daniel dance tonight to Woman In Love and though I find her an unimaginably horrible person, it wasn’t a bad routine. However, her step sequence was awfully shaky and she looked like she couldn’t cope on the ice without Daniel. 

Emma Bunton tells Kerry that the step sequence really exposed her tonight and notes that the others are so far ahead of her now. Jason Gardiner agrees with Emma and Robin that without Daniel, Kerry is completely exposed. Oh dear.

Scores: Jason: 3.0, Robin: 3.5, Emma: 3.5 Total: 10.0

Chloe Madeley and Michael

Chloe and her partner Michael dance to the wartime classic In The Mood, but although the routine is strong enough tonight, I didn’t find it very exciting this week. The rock n’ roll lift that they did was fantastic, and I don’t think we can fault the quality of the skating this week! Good work from Chloe, who’s surely one of the front-runners on Dancing On Ice this year.

Jason Gardiner tells Chloe that the routine compromised her because it was too technically advanced for her – but praises her for giving the routine a damn good try! Emma notes that Chris and Jane are pushing her hard, but says that she’s doing amazing things for someone with no previous experience. Robin Cousins congratulates her for getting through a very difficult routine.

Scores: Jason: 7.0, Robin: 7.5, Emma: 7.5 Total: 22.0

 

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