Credit: ITV

Sunday night again and week seven of our favourite skating show. The programme commenced with the studio lit up yellow and blue, indicating the colours of the Ukraine national flag, which was a compassionate acknowledgment to the ongoing invasion by Russia.

The Dancing On Ice panel were back to the original four this week, with no guest judge. As the number of celebrities left in the contest reduces, the challenge and pressure increases and this week, the partners were skating with the addition of a prop.

First to strut their stuff were Regan Gascoigne and Karina Manta. The pair performed to ‘Can’t Hold Us’ by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis ft Ray Dalton, skating to a baseball theme with a bat as a prop. Energetic with some definite home run moves, they were in a league of their own. Awarded a smashing 36 out of 40 score from the judges and receiving praise for their “Beautiful,” dance.

Next up were Stef Reid and Andy Buchanan who skated to ‘Material Girl’ by Madonna. Skating with a clothes rail as a prop to a pop art back drop, the performance had exceptional skill, sass and the first headbanger move of the season! A phenomenal dance that resulted in a massive score of 36 for the team. Stef has improved each week and the judges acknowledged this. I think Stef has the potential to reach the final and perhaps even a bronze medal!

Third to show their skills this week were Sally Dynevor and partner, Matt Evers. Using a chair as a prop, the pair skated to ‘You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)’ by Sylvester. With a guest appearance from fellow Coronation Street star and former Dancing On Ice contestant Antony Cotton, the dance had flamboyant, disco vibes with Sally and Matt looking like they had a ball! The scored 25.5 from the judges. Feedback to the pair was that the panel felt they did little skating due to the chair prop.

Kimberly Wyatt and Mark Hanretty took to the ice next. Dancing to ‘Easy on Me’ by Adele with a curtain of silk, named ‘Suzy,’ as her prop. Stunningly choregraphed, Kimberly sparkled in a bright pink outfit as the pair mesmerised the audience. With wonderful on ice chemistry, the pair received an overall score of 38.5 and a flawless 10 from Chris. Comments from the judges informed the skaters that their performance was incredible, amazing, beautiful and seamless. It was definitely that!

Talk on Twitter focused around Holly’s outfit this week, which is often one of the trending points. Dressed in a figure skimming pink, floor length dress by Sassi Holford, Holly had mass comment of admiration across the social media platform.

Up next were Kye Whyte and Tippy Packard, skating to ‘Mess Around’ by Ray Charles. With a school theme and a desk as a prop, the fast-paced dance had humour and great skating, that left Kye full of laughter and smiles. Totalling a 34.5 and a generous 9 from Chris, the pair pushed themselves for this performance and it paid off. Feedback advised the pair that they were improving each week but still had to keep working on posture.

Connor Ball and Alexandra Schauman were second last to skate, dancing to ‘Paradise’ by George Ezra. With a mop and bucket and a ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean’ style scene, the performance was action packed and could have been a big screen hit until the pair had a nasty fall. Connor sustained another injury but the team still got an overall score of 34. The determination always shine through from Connor, his heart goes into each performance and the judges acknowledged this.

Last to take to the ice were Brendan Cole and Vanessa Bauer, who was back after a week out last week. After an exceptional dance last Sunday with Brendyn Hatfield, there was perhaps a little pressure on the pair to meet the mark. ‘Falling’ by Harry Styles played to their performance, with an umbrella as their prop. The dance was eloquent, sensual and absolutely mesmerising. Scoring top marks from all judges and an overall score of 40, the performance was faultless. This was a dance that I think we could have all watched over and over; magical and emotionally fuelled. Tonight, the best was saved until last!

Credit: ITV

The great public voted and our two bottom scoring celebs were Sally and Kye. Dancing for their show survival, it was the end of the show for Sally and Matt as all four judges chose to save Kye and Tippy. It was goodbye to a still smiling and grateful Sally and another week to compete for Kye and Tippy.

As the skill of the celebs increases and the intensive training pays off, we are seeing higher scores. Still, there is constructive critique from the judges as everyone fine tunes their technique and pushes themselves. Next week is Torvill and Dean week, but who will make it to another week and who’s skates will go blunt?

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.