Last night we decided to give Mikey (Graham) a leg up towards his Bolero - a 5.5 from all the judges for his performance. Audience voting had him in the final with Hayley.
Mikey skated the funniest Bolero I have ever seen and skated a routine that had moments of flow, poise and speed along with lifts and a relationship between him and Mel that has characterised their routines. There were also moments of wobbles, of 'which way should I go now?' and the feeling that it would all end up in a heap. But it didn't. A superb one off effort by an Arena trained showman. My it made me laugh and it made me think - you are skating out... and I was surprised to overall be impressed by his ice coverage and presentation.
Hayley skated her Bolero with Dan. This is a totally different routine. It is theatrically perfect in its presentation and works with the music. However, I always analyse from the feet up and Hayley and Dan's routine - which they choreographed themselves - has Hayley in the air for a major part of the piece. When the skating happens it is precise yet slow over the ice.
So, in comparing the routines I found myself reflecting on the amount of skating and presenting of his partner Mikey did in a positive light. And the comedic and entertainment value of his performance added weight to my overall decision.
I was the only one to vote for Mikey as my Champion. I was surprised - as I often am - that I was the only one to do so!
Well done him for delivering a memorable and entertaining Bolero. A treat for Belfast for one night only. It takes nothing away from Hayley and Dan's presentation but I will always be a stand for skating first as for me - Dancing On Ice is done best when you are doing the dancing whilst moving fast over the ice - that's when it's more difficult.