First things first, I have watched Dancing On Ice right from the start. Admittedly I don’t really remember much from the first couple of seasons, but I definitely remember watching with my mum. Season 3 is the first season I fully remember, how good were Sunday evenings with DOI, Wild At Heart and then the DOI results show??
I absolutely loved Dancing On Ice when I was younger. I loved that I was able to watch it with my mum, it was one of only a few programmes that we both loved. When it was announced that it wouldn’t be coming back I was honestly sad. Wanting to cling on to the Dancing On Ice magic for just a little bit longer I decided to buy my mum and I tickets to the tour and we both loved it. Fast forward a few years and it’s announced the show will be coming back. I was super excited to see something I had such great memories of watching return to our screens.
My mum and I were super hyped to watch the first episode and whilst it was all so new, it still had some grasp on its old roots. At the end of this first episode it was revealed that Candice (and pro skater partner Matt) would be facing the first skate off the following week (after half performed in week one, the rest in week two). The real controversy however came after the second episode. When Lemar (and pro skater Melody) were revealed for the skate off, both couples had to perform again and prove to the judges that they deserved to stay in. I saw people online saying that it wasn’t fair that Candice had an extra week to practice her skate off dance, however all couples should be working on their skate off dances throughout training just in case. Lemar and Melody should have been rehearsing both skates (show skate and skate off skate) during their rehearsal time. Now in my opinion Candice was the better skater out of the two celebrities. The judges were also split with Jason and Ashley choosing to save Candice, whilst Jayne and Chris voted to save Lemar. Here’s where the some of the controversy starts, both Jayne and Chris are sharing the role of head judge and alternating the job each week. Seeing as Chris was head judge this week, it was his vote that saw Lemar through to next week.
Following the previous couple of weeks, I’d began to feel somewhat comfortable with the new format. Although there was a lot I didn’t agree with, I had accepted that this was the way things were going to be from now on. Week Three brought ‘Disco Week’ and whilst I disagreed that some songs were ‘disco’ songs it was nice to see everyone skate on the same night. I felt myself disengaging with the show at times and felt like all the ad breaks were unneccessary and quite frankly distracting. This week saw some great performances and some not so great performances. After the judges scores and public votes were combined it was revealed that Stephanie (and pro skater partner Sylvain) and Lemar (and pro skater Melody) would face this weeks skate off. Stephanie went first and put up a relatively good performance, she was by no means amazing but she put up a good fight. Now onto Lemar. He performed the same skate off dance as the previous week (I swear in previous series they used to do a different routine each time they faced the skate off) and he showed no real improvement, but most importantly was the fact that he stumbled/fell at the end. The votes were once again split, with the judges stating how much of a difficult decision it was (it shouldn’t have been that hard a decision to make). Jason and Ashley both voted to save Stephanie, and once again Jayne and Chris voted to save Lemar. With Jayne being head judge this week it was her vote that would see Lemar through to week four. Now, I was under the impression that the skate off was something completely seperate than the main show in the sense that any previous skates don’t matter and the decision was based soley on that skate off performance. So why were Jayne and Chris referring to Lemar’s previous skate? Fair to say at this point I was pretty much fuming, as was my mum.
Week four brought a mixed bag of performances, I honestly preferred the themed ‘Disco Week’ because at least everyone was on a similar wave length with music (but what do I know). Following previous weeks I feel we could have all predicted exactly what was going to happen, the only question was who else would be facing the skate off (and probably inevitably leaving). Needless to say I wasn’t exactly surprised to see Lemar (and pro skater Melody) facing the skate off once more. His opponant this week was Perri (and pro skater Hamish). Lemar being in the skate off three weeks on the run can’t be a coinsidence. Clearly not enough of the public are voting for him, because he isn’t that good. You could say that Cheryl isn’t that good and no she isn’t, but she owns that, she knows she isn’t great. The public clearly like her and want to see more of her. Anyway, back to the skate off Perri performed first (whilst Lemar rehearsed backstage no doubt) and put in a strong performance. Then it was Lemar’s turn. *sigh* What a surprise he’s doing the same skate off routine he’s now done three times. As much as I like Bruno Mars, that song is starting to annoy me. To me, again, it’s a no brainer who should have been saved… Perri. However the judges thought differently. Jason and Ashley both did a complete flip and decided to save Lemar (what?!) as did Jayne and Chris (no surprise there). I honestly just feel so bad for Candice, Stephanie and Perri. They were the better skaters/performers on the night and deserved a second chance. Lemar’s had plently of chances to prove he deserves to be in the competition and the weekly improvement just isn’t enough when compared to what others have achieved. Whether Lemar was a late edition or not, that shouldn’t factor into the decision to save him in a skate off.
What gets me though is that whilst writing this post I did a quick search and read through a few articles and read that Ashley had said at the NTAs (23rd January) that Lemar “(has) been given enough chances. Lemar is now level pegging. If he’s in the dance off again I think he should go.”[x] Fast forward a few days to 28th January and Lemar’s in the skate off, yet who does Ashley choose to save? Lemar. It honestly makes no sense to me. I know that I have no dance ability or any skating experience, but I have been a viewer of this show for years and never have I disagreed with decisions this strongly before. This can’t just be a coinsidence, or purely down to the fact I’m older and more vocal now.
Hearing that Dancing On Ice has been renewed for a 2019 series honestly saddens me, and as a Television Production graduate I see a lot of things that need changing. Lessons need to be learnt and changes need to be put into place or I simply won’t be tuning in again. It’s so sad to see a show my mum and I both loved so much turn into something we’re both slowly beginning to hate.
This post hasn’t even addressed other issues I have with the show/format but I honestly don’t want to bore you all so I’ll keep quiet about them, for now.
I’d love to hear other people’s thoughts about the new format or just the show in general. Did you used to watch it back in the day? Are you enjoying the comeback? What do you think needs changing? Or do you think everything is great as it is? I’d honestly love to hear because I know everyone has such varied opinions on this.
p.s. I’ve shied away from talking about TV shows in the past or giving reviews on any form of entertainment really for fear of being judged or being controversial etc but I really want to do more things like this, just talking about a show/series/thing. I have an idea for something which I don’t know if other people will enjoy, but I know I will. Honestly if you’re still reading at this point then a massive ‘thank you’ for listening to my rants.