Monday, March 12, 2007


Excellent skating. Why I gave Kyran a 5.. A big hair moment on Defrosted and The TV Times....

This was a superb evening of skating, drama and entertainment for the semi finals of DOI. What we see on our screens is now the product of a well-oiled machine consisting of the entire front and back of house staff on Dancing On Ice. I love seeing what goes on backstage and getting to know more of the staff of different areas. The Dancing On Ice family feel is certainly growing for me as many of us are now enjoying our 16th (I think it is for series 1 and 2) show.

CHRIS & JAYNE – Moondance: I love this song. In fact I sing it as a part of my singing repertoire and when I last performed it the girls got up and danced. I think some of them took rather a shine to me “and I want to make love to you tonight” being the words in the song that perhaps made an impression. I didn’t by the way! Just in case you were wondering... Moving on… back to Chris and Jayne’s skating…

I loved the interpretation of this number, as ever some sublime choreography and finesse in a perfect show number. How Chris and Jayne can keep producing this quality and surety in such a short time week after week is amazing. They are the best in the world at this – and it shows. For me it’s some of the transitions between the highlights that are the highlights. And, as you know, the show is always live. Great entertainment and the risk element that is always present for all the routines in the show, which always adds to the excitement.

OK let’s first take competitors in the order I ranked them:

KYRAN & MELANIE – Loved the body popping, the attack, the ice coverage and the fun. So, just to remind ourselves, this is a rugby player body popping and dancing on ice and skating so fast that Melanie has to work hard to keep up! Who would have thought it possible?

But… last week’s routine with Wally for me was better. Previous blog says why I liked that one. This one, whilst being the best on the night, did not have the completeness and overall quality of the week before. It also had a mistake; the jump into the teapot position requires Melanie to complete the rotation before going into the sit position, she didn’t complete this and it was right in front of me. So it wasn’t perfect as a performance and not as strong as the week before. Overall then a 5.5 from me for this skating performance.

You might have seen Stephen and Phillip saying they thought I regretted not giving a 6.0. Well, for the record I didn’t and I don’t. I wish I could have given the 6.0 to provide a full house with my colleagues but, had I done that, I wouldn’t have truly reflected what I saw in the performance.

Getting booed for 5.5 is a somewhat surreal experience though. Weird to be ‘odd man in’ last week giving a 6.0 and ‘odd man out’ this week not giving one! Believe me I do not plan this nor know what my colleagues will give. It’s not comfortable being odd man out but my job is to reflect what I see with integrity and honesty. I wouldn’t have done either week differently.

So for the record – 1st place to Kyran and Melanie – and very well deserved again.

CLARE & ANDREI – the best and most difficult ‘Unique Element’ of the competition. Clare was supporting her own weight in an inverted lift. Andrei was just balancing her with one arm, very impressive.

This was a packed routine that was ambitious, daring and strongly performed. Once again (as in what I’ve seen in weeks previous) I feel the routine needs a bit more polish, showmanship and speed. I tend to feel another week would give so much more to the overall programme.

It’s a trade off – simple done well or more difficult with some ragged edges. Clare and Andrei go for the difficulty. If they can embed more quality, showmanship and speed in there too then they will be pushing for top spot. Always a big ask in the timeframe of Dancing on Ice. For the record, what they achieve each week is more than we thought was possible last year. This reflects the higher standard of DOI 2007 and their ability and Clare’s amazing ‘Go for it’ attitude.

DUNCAN & MARIA – First run through for me was a little disappointing. A lot of static moves at the opening and they were going for more individual skating from Duncan in the routine. So this is where the – simple done well – philosophy applies. Unfortunately the flow and grace I’d seen in the past was not evident throughout this piece. The routine looked tentative and uneasy it earned a 4.5 in the first run through from me.

The skate off for Duncan and Maria was a completely different matter. Speed, confidence, more power and flow resulted in greater ice coverage and a tremendous overall improvement on the first skate.

How often the skate offs seem to release the couple to just – Go for it. There is literally nothing to loose and this creates a new relaxed approach from the skaters. Being relaxed and getting down into the ice with softer ankles and knees gives you more speed.

EMILY & DANIEL – Emily was the weakest individual skater left in the competition but had the best ‘relationship’ with her partner in terms of expression and softness of the performance. Emily’s smile and the way Daniel is able to work with his partners top bring out this feeling of trust that seeps out to us watching is a real gift in terms of care and coaching.

The upshot of this was that, whilst Duncan was skating more on his own, Emily and Daniel’s routine was a better overall piece for me. I tied the couples in the first part of the competition giving Daniel and Emily a 4.5.

I was in a quandary just before the skate off as separating the two couples into an overall result (had they skated the same) was going to be tough for me. As it turned out Duncan skated at a much higher level and that was worth a place in the final.

All the skaters and celebs have done wonderfully well and Emily has contributed as much as anyone up to this moment. A wonderful smile, soft movements over the ice, excellent interpretation and the ability to come back from confidence knocks being items of particular note. And all whilst holding down her day job as an actress – awesome. And the synopsis programme showed how much she has contributed through the series.

Well done Emily.

BIG HAIR MOMENT – Stephen and the Defrosted team are always great fun as we play with the IceStrator (no noughts and crosses please! – we got into trouble when we did that!) and they wound me up with a ‘big hair moment’! They showed a photo of me when I had long locks from a few years ago. It’s above. Ha ha… unexpected and fun. I did say that my fiancée had said she wouldn’t marry me if I didn’t have the hair cut off. This was wrong – she would never be so controlling! It was another way around, an ex girlfriend said that if I had my hair cut short she would leave me. We were splitting up so it went…. I kept the ponytail for a while as a momento but then found it one day in a carrier bag! And it looked like a dead rat… yuk. So I binned it.

FINALLY – thanks to Busy for the car ride home. I’ll see the next part of The Illusionist next week please. Perry can I have Victor and Busy as my drivers please. And can you remind me of which one is which next time!

HA TV TIMES – front-page slot on TV Times – great fun. My quote was only partially correct. I love performing and I’m developing as a songwriter and singer. I love the old swing songs and I’ve been writing loads of my own material. I’m building a musical around some of this work. I need to get songs produced and on the web as the next stage here – loads to do.

As I think of developing an act (which will be great fun to do but will need a bomb to get me out there) I wonder whether perhaps this could involve a little dancing too – dancing on ice? Well that would be fun….

That’s it for this week. Roll on the final….



No comments: