I found myself trying to create a 'first to last' positioning for the competitors on this tour. It is a competition whereby eight couples skate a number and we - the judges - give one mark. To separate them - using our marking system of 0 to 6 with 0.5 increments means you must start at 2.5 and finish on a 6.0 otherwise you have ties.
In the past, and on the series I have had ties (couples on the same mark). My criteria is what I sum up as the whole package. This is a mix of skating and presentation. In my skating days their were marks for Technical Merit and Artistic Impression. These days it is split but still has the same route. For Dancing On Ice the mark is simplified ( as against skating competition elsewhere run by the ISU ).
It is interesting to me though that I have been tared with the brush of 'The Nasty Judge'. "My you give low marks." Because my colleagues stay higher and tie. What seems to happen is that people see the relative mark and think you're harsh - but actually I am trying to be absolutely fair to those that have done better.
How we perceive what people do then is an interesting observation for me in this spot. As 10,000 people gleefully booed me in Manchester for about a minute and a bit as I continued chatting to them (!) we have had some fun. Great pantomime moments.
It's quite character building as well - as you might imagine. As i walked back to the hotel in Manchester car windows rolled down and "We love you Nicky- sorry about the booing we were told to do it" was repeated again and again.
Andy Collins - our brilliant warm up guy doing a great job then (?) plus one of our cast was actively encouraging the booing! :) All great fun -
However I may need some therapy when I get home and my mother in law has suggested I paid by the boo in future... That would dramatically increase my worth!
It's a funny old world.