ancing On Ice is back and the list of celebrities, which was announced last year, has promised us some amazing talent. Torvill and Dean themselves claiming that this may well be the most impressive line up they have ever had on the show. We also welcomed back the ice panel made up of professional skaters Robert Cousins and Karen Barber, along with new girl, Pussycat Doll and dancer Ashley Roberts, fresh from the wilds of the jungle along, with a return of the ‘ice queen’ himself, Jason Gardiner. If we were not already excited by the line-up, then the opening ceremonies which introduced the celebrities and the professionals decked out in a gold and silver standard certainly assured that, followed up with a suitably dramatic entrance from Torvill and Dean bringing true elegance and power to the arena.
In this opening show, only six of our twelve celebrities took to the ice with rest doing their first performances next week. However, we think we got some of the cream of the crop this week and our appetite was certainly whetted to see the rest.
Samia Ghadie and Sylvain Longchambon
First of all, we have to give special mention to the size of Sylvain’s biceps – they are nearly bigger than Samia’s head. They must have come in handy since this first routine was quite heavy on the lifts, and soap star Samia seemed too happy to be held in this skating hunk’s warm embrace. Her motions were very fluid but there is definitely room for her to improve, although we are sure we will see a lot more of her in the season to come. It is safe to say that this was an impressive first performance, but we have to admit that we were a bit sad to not see her do more on the ice on her own without her towering adonis tossing her around the ice. The judges picked up on it being an amazing first attempt, but Jason meanly critiqued her lack of control with her arms and the overall lack of polish. We were just impressed by what was a the great first routine and we can’t wait to see what they go on to do later in the series.
Keith Chegwin and Olga Sharutenko
Keith’s skating career was marred by an injury sustained in his training in October 2011, so we would have forgiven him for not being in the same league as some of his more athletic skating colleagues. However, he managed to hold his own, making a very good impression and working very well with partner Olga. Was it a wow performance? Not really. However, it was quite fun and he had obviously worked very hard. Ashley liked the fun aspect of it, and Karen saw a lot of character in his performance. Jason. however, did bring us crashing down to earth by pointing out the sloppy presentation. Personally, we thought that it was a pretty good routine from someone we didn’t honestly expect a lot from. He was also humble in the face of his criticism and made a promise to do better next time. We are looking forward to see Keith go on, but we were concerned we may not get that chance since he did have a pretty weak routine compared to Samia’s amazing opener.
Beth Tweddle and Daniel Whiston
The first of this year’s two Olympians, we came in to Beth’s routine expecting a great deal of grace and flexibility and we were not disappointed in the least. She was also wisely partnered with Dan, who had previously helped two other celebs win the show. We also got to see the pair create a new lift that has never been seen on Dancing On Ice before. We were a bit sad to see that the performance did not quite flow as much as we would like, and she seemed to be ever so slightly uncertain of herself on the ice. However, she did amazingly well and her athleticism worked in her favour. Beth also divided opinion with the judges with the performance being marked down by Jason who found it boring and robotic, whereas Robin and Karen praised the technicalities.
Matt Lapinskas and Brianne Delcourt
This Eastender is certainly easy on the eye, but now that he has hit the ice we do wonder if he is perhaps a tiny bit too orange to be allowed. He seems to have the skating equivalent of ADHD and we were occasionally hoping he would calm things down. The performance, however, was charmingly self-indulgent. with Matt relying on a few of his own dance moves to make a lasting impression. He certainly has a lot of power which he showed with his lifts, and we were amazed by just how fearless he was at performing, even pulling out a few moves that make him an ice skating cheeky-chappy that we would love to see more of. The dancing and flashy performances put a bit more of a smile on Ashley and Jason’s faces, who even cracked a smile and was quite complimentary. Definitely one to watch in the coming weeks.
Shayne Ward and Maria Filippov
Having never been on the ice before. Shayne definitely needed to work on his confidence, seemingly in need of a lot of encouragement from partner Maria, and Torvill and Dean themselves. However, on the night he managed to unleash a little bit of charm and did a fairly competent job considering this is the first week, and he is competing against professional athletes. He also looked rather cute in his tight little red number, which presumably helped. Nevertheless, looks are not what are being judged here and this was probably the weakest routine of the night, along with Keith. The judges certainly picked up on this, quite rightly telling him he needed to build his confidence and raise his game. We weren’t greatly impressed.
Pamela Anderson and Matt Evers
Pamela Anderson is perhaps the most well known name to grace this year’s cohort of Dancing On Ice, and we were very keen to see how the Baywatch babe would do off the beach and on the ice. We were not let down when Pamela delivered one of the most lovely performances of the night. It was a little slow, which we were surprised about since we thought she would try to make it loud and memorable, but it was well executed and she had great chemistry with her partner Matt. There were a few wobbles which let the overall performance down, but she did quite well considering that she was another complete beginner. The judges picked up on her lack of confidence on the ice, but suprisingly Jason criticised little, and simply urged her to relax and enjoy herself and not overthink her movements. We agreed with Robin that she came across as very natural in her movements, and has great potential.
Altogether, we are thrilled that Dancing On Ice is finally back on our screens and this is definitely going to be a line up to watch in the coming weeks and months. The performance that shone for us this week was Matt and partner Brianne in their mad but thrilling routine. We were not overly enthused by Shayne Ward’s less than impressive turn on his skates. In the end, though, it was down to the public to decide as the lines opened and we waited with baited breath for the results.
In a departure from previous seasons, the celebs and their professional partners had to have a special skate-off routine rather than repeat their previous performance, making this somewhat more interesting for the viewer. This week, the public had decided that first skate-off of 2013 was going to be between Keith and Olga, and Pamela and Matt. This seemed a shame, as we didn’t want either pair to go this early in the series, but we were more than impressed by the energy and passion that they each put into they final performances. Keith was competent in his role and came across well in a simple but dramatic number that saw his partner do most of the acrobatic work. However, when Pam got onto the ice she went for an elegant turn all in white which was rather sweet but wobbly beyond belief after a dress malfunction; nerves clearly got the better of her.
It was a tough decision, but finally all four judges decided to save TV presenter Keith Chegwin and we said a shockingly early goodbye to Pamela Anderson. We could not help but feel quite bad about her early exit, and even presenter Phillip Schofield seemed rather subdued by losing our Hollywood star so early. Roll on the second week, when we get to see the rest of our celebrities brave the ice.
Dancing On Ice airs on ITV every Sunday at 6.15pm
Images courtesy of ITV