Well a dramatic evening and difficult to judge. It's Chalk and Cheese - two types of abilities - one where the presentation is excellent the other where the skating ability is higher. The challenge for me, as a judge, is that the two elements of skating ability and high presentation skill are not in any one couple.
Skating was the lead factor. I had Gary and Maria first in the main show - Hayley and Dan second - superb presentation but slow skating over the ice when Hayley is solo (it is much easier to do moves when one goes slower rather than at speed) - Kieron third, who skates fast but run out of steam half way through and was a bit messy, Daniella fourth. Daniella has superb acting skills and very good presentation but the weakest skating ability.
The skate off saw Gary and Daniella facing each other. I expected Gary to be the winner. He skated, missed his spin, wobbled and generally had a much poorer performance than in the main show. Finally he fell at the end of the programme. Daniella skated and presented well - the same level as the main show performance. Daniella was ahead for me.
Robin - as head judge - called the fall of Gary and Maria as being after the routine had finished. Honouring that call meant that - for me - Gary just squeezed ahead of Daniella. Had the fall been included then Daniella would have gone through on my marks.
I am sad that we will not be seeing Daniella fly. She would have given a strong performance as less actually skating ability is required and I hope that gary can have a breakthrough with his acting and presentation ability for the final.