Credit: Olympics

It’s Sunday night once more and we are tuned into Dancing On Ice, week 8!

This week it’s Torvill and Dean week and the show started with a stunning routine from the legendary pair. Along with some wonderful scenes from performances of past, we watched the mesmerising pair glide across the rink. It is quite remarkable to think that the still brilliant skaters are in their 60’s.

First of our celebs to compete and skating to Torvill and Dean’s 1984 and 1994 ‘Let’s Face The Music And Dance,’ by Frank Sinatra were Brendan Cole and Vanessa Bauer. Performing to a brilliant, bold, Broadway vibe, it’s sometimes hard to absorb that Brendan is on ice skates with his exceptional ballroom grace ever-present in his performances. Executing the head banger, the pair completed a flawless dance, scoring top marks of 40 and admirable feedback. Twitter agreed, with many comments saying the pair deserved their perfect 10!

Kye Whyte and Tippy Packard were second on the stage, skating the judges former Exhibition piece to ‘At the Hop,’ by Danny and the Juniors. After being in the skate off last week, the pressure was on to excel in the high paced dance. With a 1950’s American Diner feel, the pair managed the intricate, energetic choreography. The dance had charisma and a strong head banger move! Scoring their highest score of 37, the judges saw Kye’s personality sliding into confidence and felt proud of his determination.

Next to skate for a place in next week’s show were Connor Ball and Alexandra Schauman. Dancing to ‘Cecilia,’ by Simon and Garfunkel we were all hoping for no further injuries for Connor who has had a catalogue of catastrophes on the ice, resulting in cuts, bruises and stitches. Replicating the skating legends comedic dance, Connor and Alexandra performed the animated routine with humour and fun, although Connor was suffering the impact of last week’s fall. Perhaps not their most engaging of skates, skill wise, the pair scored a high 35 with acknowledged feedback that the performance couldn’t be as flexible as usual due to Connor’s injury.

Stef Reid and Andy Buchanan took the ice to ‘Mack and Mabel,’ by Donald Pippin and orchestra. From Torvill and Dean’s 1982 famous performance, it involved the legendary “Train” move. With a 1920’s film set stage backdrop and theme, Stef and Andy delivered another magnetic and skilled dance, achieving the “Train” move and some beautiful lifts. Being awarded 36.5 from the judges, it was the highest score of the series for the pair. Feedback told the smiling pair that the skate was energetic and entertaining.

Credit: ITV

Second last to dance this week were Kimberly Wyatt and Mark Hanretty. ‘Puttin’ on the Ritz by Robbie Williams was the chosen song for the classic routine. Glamourous and graceful was the result. Sleek moves, a balance of jazz hands, tap moves, jumps, and chemistry made the dance gold standard. Then the pair performed the upside-down inverted splits, a first in the whole 16 years of Dancing On Ice! With feedback stating the pair would beautifully in unison, skated phenomenally and Ashley Banjo saying the choreography was one of his favourites on the show ever, the pair received the ultimate score of 40!

Last to perform their magic were Regan Gascoigne and Karina Manta. Performing to Torvill and Dean’s ‘Barnum,’ by CJ Coleman, Michael Reed Orchestra routine, the pair danced to a circus theme. This performance had great stage presence, with Dick Van Dyke vibes of entertainment and charm. Full of smiles throughout, Regan was grinning like a Cheshire cat then became overwhelmed with emotions with the judges score of 40! Feedback told the paid they had the “Wow,” factor, their performance was brilliant.

With 50% of the celebrities scoring 40/40, the skate off was bound to be a difficult one for the viewing public at this point in the contest. Added to this, before the public vote, Phil announced there would be a double elimination next week.

The public spoke and Kye and Tippy alongside Stef and Andy were in the bottom two couples. Facing the skate off, Kye and Tippy had a powerful, up-tempo dance. Stef and Andy’s performance was slow, sensual and graceful. Both couples have become such skilled skaters, but the judges saved Kye and Tippy, who are skating into the semi-finals. We said goodbye to Stef and Andy, who have been exceptional and Stef has inspired the nation.

The semi-final next weekend is later at 7:30pm and will no doubt be filled with magnificent skating and high emotions. I can’t wait!

Dancing On Ice: 7:30pm, Sunday on ITV

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.