Credit : ITV

It’s Sunday night again, which means our weekly treat of Dancing On Ice! The theme of the week was ‘Favourite Things,’ and with the judges challenge; a circular step routine for the celebrities, in sync with their partner.

Stephen Mulhern did a great job last week, stepping in for Phil and was a hit with the viewing audience, but it was nice to see Phil and Holly reunited. Holly looked beautiful as always, with her outfit trending on Twitter and being likened to a “Pink, fairy-tale gown.”

The show’s opening pair were Brendan Cole and partner Vanessa Bauer. Performing to ‘House of Fun’ by Madness, the ‘Favourite Thing,’ was a DIY theme, one of Brendan’s hobbies. With seamless lifts and bold spins, including the execution of the judge’s challenge, the team had speed, rhythm and magnetic chemistry. With an overall score of 34, it wasn’t their highest of the season but exceptional nonetheless. Judges comments focused on feeling the pair could push themselves a little more, creativity wise.

Second to grace the ice was Kye Whyte, teamed with Tippy Packard and skating to ‘Supermassive Black Hole’ by Muse. The pair were in the skate off last week, so the pressure was on, especially after Kye fell in rehearsals. With a computer game digital backdrop, the performance had an appealing edge and despite any pressure, Kye seemed to enjoy the skate with impressive skills, lifts and symmetry alongside Tippy. Scoring 28.5, some of the scores showed an obvious disappointment from the audience. Complimented on his strength of skating, judges mentioned the transition to moves for Kye at times felt less fluid. 

Sally Dynevor and Matt Evers chose ‘Faith’ by George Michael to skate to, in an 80’s themed pop-fest. Sally was full of smiles, retro curls and blue eyeshadow and looked like she had great fun. Not the best skater, technique wise, I think Sally continues to look and perform phenomenally. I hope I’m as good as her at 58! 26.5, highest score so far, with an impressed panel and Chris calling her “Sassy!”

Credit: Instagram

Performing to ‘Bad Guy’ by Billie Eilish, Kimberly Wyatt paired with Mark Hanretty were up next. Being the highest scorers of the series to date, there was a lot to live up to. Skating to a ‘True Crime,’ theme, an interest of Kimberly’s, she played the role of a murderer on the ice in a Dick Tracy-esque costume and stage! High tempo, high skill and enthralling energy, Kimberly was exceptional and managedshowstopping lifts. Scoring 36.5, the judges were clearly finding it hard to critique but commented that at times the step sequences were a little hesitant.

Liberty Poole and partner Joe Johnson were next to dance. Skating to ‘Right Round’ by Flo Rida ft. Ke$ha, Liberty’s ‘Favourite Thing,’ was a rollercoaster theme. The performance had great speed and liveliness but towards the end, had what looked like a painful tumble. Still scoring 28, their highest score of the series, it proved that they did a sterling job, even with the fall. Judges liked the step sequence and gave praise to the pair but encouragement to up the performance.

Following Liberty and Joe, Stef Reid and partner, Andy Buchanan skated to ‘I’m Kissing You’ by Des’ree. With a poignant insight of how she got with husband Brent Lakatos, her theme was ‘Romance.’ The dance was graceful and sophisticated with Stef and Andy connecting beautifully. Stef came into her own this week, a breath-taking, spellbinding performance and got a well-deserved score of 34. The judges were mesmerised and commented the dance had a “Heart.” 

Bez and Angela Egan took to the ice performing ‘Walking OnSunshine’ by Katrina & The Waves. Skating to a ‘Bee,’ theme, Beekeeper Bez and Angela had their usual entertaining performance. Bez’s skating seemed a little more streamlined at times, with slight better rhythm but with a stumble that maybe lost the pair a little scoring and had Bez disappointed in himself. Praised for trying new moves and keeping motivated and determined, they received an overall score of 19.5.

The penultimate pair to perform were Regan Gascoigne andKarina Manta to ‘Shivers’ by Ed Sheeran. Regan chose ‘Reptiles,’ as his theme, having a love from his childhood for the animals. With attitude, quirky choreography, liveliness and outstanding technique, the performance from the pair was enthralling as always. Despite a few little stumbles, the judges loved the performance awarding a total of 36.5 and giving them their highest score to date!

The final couple to skate their hearts out were Connor Ball and Alexandra Schauman, dancing to ‘Vertigo’ by U2. An edgy, synchronised performance to a skydiving theme, Connor was still recovering following an injury requiring stitches last week to his face and a dislocated shoulder. There was less of the wow factor than previous weeks, but this may be due to Connor’s injuries and perhaps a slight injury to his confidence. The pair still scored an impressive 32, with positive and constructive feedback from the judges.

Before the skate off, we witnessed a stunning dance by Jane and Chris who earlier commented it would be 38 years tomorrow since they won Olympic Gold at Sarajevo. They still have the connection and chemistry and skating to the pair looks as natural as breathing. 

The lowest scoring couples from the public vote were announced; resulting in Liberty and Joe against Kye and Tippy in the skate off. A clear hard decision for the judges to make, it was thank you and good night to Liberty and Joe.

Next week it’s “Musical,” week. With Brendan and Vanessa still being favourite to win, followed by Regan and Karina, as each week passes the competition is getting harder and the stakes, or should that be skates higher!

Helen Aitchison

Helen is a journalist for Radio Gateshead, a local lass who has spent the last two decades working in health and social care. She has recently set up a community interest company called Write on the Tyne which amalgamates her passion for supporting and empowering marginalised groups to thrive with her love of writing. Her debut novel, The Dinner Club, was released in March 2022 with UK based Cahill Davis Publishing, and her second book The Life and Love (Attempts) of Kitty Cook will be released in March 2023.