TX 5 – Fantasy Week – AKA The GC in the Fairytale Mosh Pit
AKA The Week Disney & ITV Join Marketing Forces
Once upon a time, there were Twelve Dancing Princesses/Princes, all of whom happily learned to skate together before they were on the telly. One of them, a reality TV persona known as The GC, was determined to win the Dancing On Ice trophy. Each morning, she’d look into her magic mirror and, asking about the other contestants in her best evil queen impersonation, query “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who in this studio rink is the fairest of them all?” The mirror never replied, so she was left to time travel into other fairy tales. First, she sought to prove the shoe fit, but like Cinderella’s evil stepsisters, the skate did not fit The GC.
Then, her intended Glide of Fame transmogrified into a Walk of Shame with a GIF-worthy toe-pick assisted fall from grace. Here’s an example from Twitter. Note: this does not constitute a skating element.
While recovering from her personal variation of a Headbanger, she realized her Dancing On Ice success lay in the media blitz that supports all reality TV. The GC, accompanied by her Prince Arg, enlisted her skating partner as her personal Page to spin the media like Rumpelstiltskin spinning gold from straw, burying the competition in lack of attention from the voting viewers. Even her close contenders, having ditched their dates on that enchanted evening of TX 2 when their eyes first met across the crowded ice, have been left wondering which version of the Frog Prince they are in. Has she kissed him and both have become frogs?
But, the tale hasn’t ended yet. Perhaps our enchanted frogs will channel the Russian version of this tale, with the female transforming into Vasalisa the Wise, a female sorceress with the power to crush The GC. Or, perhaps, the remaining Seven teams (you can see this one coming, right?) led by Dancey and Singey to re-group in the magical forest, will return singing, “Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to skate we go,” and provide an ending where we all live happily ever after.
~The Mad Hatter
Now, back to the figure skating.
As you know, I’m traveling the next couple of weeks, so please excuse me for being a bit slower to post or respond to comments. It’s hard to believe it’s halfway through the season of Dancing On Ice, but at this point, you can definitely see who is improving and who is a bit stagnant. It’s a fun point in the show, and I’m really happy with the return to additional Judge Challenges. One thing I focused on this week was how long it took from the start of the program for the celebrity to actually be SKATING – not just, for example, turning around from a standstill or being a pushme/pullyou like a Dr. Doolittle llama! Maybe that was my own judge challenge!
Comments in alphabetical order:
Sara Aalto & Hamish Gaman “Puppet on a String,” Sandy Shaw
This was by far my favorite concept of this episode – love it! I would have scored the choreo higher if it weren’t that it took 30 seconds to get to skating because of the concept. ) It’s a tough balance between the two issues.) Saraa is getting good speed across the ice, which means she is actually starting to use the edges of the blade more consistently. The elements were strong, the head spin was awesome and fit right in. Great character and performance quality!
Gemma Collins & Matt Evers “Look What You Made Me Do,” Taylor Swift
Here, I am still chuckling that my lead-in posted before the show (above) called Gemma’s role, as well as a couple of others! But, I agree with the judges that she was rougher this week than last. The lead in was about 30 seconds before she actually took a skating step, and that was actually walking on toe picks and a lunge almost from a standstill. Gemma’s crossovers (forward and backward) are decent and the dance 3-turns were nice, so I’m not sure why it seems like the rest of the program is her gliding on 2 feet, while her pro either pushes or pulls her along. I still think she is capable of much more than she is doing.
Jane Danson & Sylvain Longchambon “A Kind of Magic,” Queen
Lead in – about 20 seconds before skating movements. A nice basic lunge and markedly better lift than last week. That’s good improvement given her rough week too. (Seems they all had a rough week!) I feel that Jane’s performance quality was better, but that she still looks tentative, and somehow -for me, at least -the choreography felt flat. It was a strong effort, but somehow just feels like it’s not coming together yet.
James Jordan & Alexandra Schaumann “Sleeping Beauty Waltz,” Tchaikovsky
I love that this program starts with James skating out on his own – and actually skating. It was a well-executed classical dance, moving in both directions around the rink. On this, I agree with Ashley – this program stood out because it was about solid skating with less gimmicks. I like the lunge with him supporting her and their roll up. James looks very comfortable on the ice, despite his continued assertions that he can’t do this or that!
Saira Khan & Mark Hanretty “The Perfect Year,” Dina Carroll
Ah, sadly, this was not the strongest skate. About 20 seconds passed before Saira skated, which was followed by nice lifts but – as Chris noted – way too many of them. Also, on the lunge, Saira doesn’t get up on her own. It was a sweet dance, but Saira doesn’t seem to be improving as much as some others, and it’s become more obvious that Mark is using his skills to cover her weaknesses. I’d hoped for more development.
Brian McFadden & Alex Murphy “I Want Candy,” Bow Wow Wow
This was a really fun program for these two – definitely suited their personalities. I really enjoyed watching it, and it led to Brian showing more confidence, which was important progress for him. There was about a 15 second lead, followed by toe steps and a lunge. I did like their roll-up, solo lunge and pivots – they fit with the music. I also really enjoyed that, although Brian’s skating skills are a bit less refined than some of the others, he was going for it today – skating on his own, not in hold or right next to Alex all the time. He just looked more confident and like it was more fun all the way round.
Wes Nelson & Vanessa Bauer “Rewrite the Stars,” James Arthur & Anne-Marie
I feel this was Wes’ best skate thus far, and that they did go back to basics, which shows in his improved skating skills. The lead-in before active skating was about 15 seconds, but he then went into actual skating moves. Although the judges spent a lot of time talking about the headbanger, I was much more impressed with the nice pivots and back cross-overs, waltz jump/toe loop combo and the unique lunge set up and change of direction. Like Ryan, I think a bit more effort could have been put into performance values and character development.
Ryan Sidebottom & Brandee Malto “Giant,” Calvin Harris & Rag ‘n’ Bone Man
The first 20 seconds passed before Ryan skated, followed by some nice skating, though he’s clearly still struggling to get back up to speed. The small waltz jump was a nice add, and he’s definitely improving at stopping though there is still work to be done. I think there could have been more choreography here that helped Ryan develop the giant character.
Melody Thornton & Alex Demetriou “Breathing Underwater,” Emeli Sande’
I like that Melody was out on her own, setting up a great spin, within 10 seconds of program start. Although she had a rough week like some of the others, she is clearly a fighter and is a strong skater on her own. This also shows in her good speed over the ice and skating elements in this program. I do feel the choreography was a bit weaker for her this week, and that the program overall didn’t have the performance quality of last week, but this is offset by the strength of her skating skills.
The Enchanted Skate-Off
Saira Khan & Mark Hanretty
It didn’t feel like Saira’s heart was in this program, more like going through the motions. I also felt that the number of lifts stood out due to the earlier program and Chris’ comments about them. There weren’t that many additional true skating elements.
Ryan Sidebottom & Brandee Malto
Brandee and Ryan were much more engaged with their program, and Ryan completed more actual skating moves. They weren’t always the most elegant, but the fact that he skated on his own, did a spin, a partnered spiral and side by side footwork, as well as a few mini lifts, made this a strong Save Me Skate. I completely agree with the judges, and would have saved this team.
If you have any questions or comments, please comment below. I’ll do my best to reply. However, nasty comments, spam and such will be deleted – my discretion. I’m happy to engage in dialogue, but you won’t find me trash talking Dancing On Ice, the celebrities or skating professionals here, and I won’t have that on my website.
Thanks for reading!!