Dancing on Ice 2019 – One Down, 10 to Go!
January 16, 2019
We’re two weeks into the eleventh series of Dancing on Ice and, now that we’ve seen all the pairs skate, we can make much more informed decisions about who to vote for, and which celebrities we think are a ‘safe bet’ to glide through the early stages.
Prior to the first show, the odds were based on speculation, grainy training footage, and previous experience.
Now, we are judging each couple on their performances, choreography, chemistry and likeability, and placing our bets accordingly.
The initial favourite was Love Island’s Wes Nelson, and he’s very much still in the mix, however, there were a couple of surprises over the first two nights, which have altered the 2019 Dancing on Ice betting odds slightly.
Richard Blackwood was a bit of a let-down, Brian McFadden struggled with injuries, and Wes didn’t push himself as far as he is capable, or rather his partner Vanessa Bauer didn’t, according to the judges.
Then there were those who either lived up to or, indeed, exceeded expectations, such as Melody Thornton, Jane Danson and, inevitably, James Jordan. Let’s take a look at the new front-runners.
Jordan Tops Dancing on Ice Betting Odds
James Jordan was third out on the ice on Week One, with the weight of great expectation on his shoulders. We watched a video of him struggling to master the basics of skating and then… he delivered a near perfect routine with pro partner Alexandra Schauman.
Come on, was there ever really any doubt?
It was Strictly on ice, they even performed some skippy toe chassés and, of course, made the roll-up lift look effortless.
Don’t get us wrong, the pair absolutely deserved their impressive score of 30.5 (the highest ever for a week one performance) but will the public want to see the professional dancer crowned Dancing on Ice champion? We have our doubts.
Jordan now claims that, as he has to ‘unlearn’ how he moves after 30 years of dancing, he doesn’t really have an advantage over the other celebrities.
At least one judge wasn’t buying that, with Christopher Dean telling him “Obviously, we’ve seen that it is a transferable skill.”
Still, we reckon he’ll definitely be in the final so if you bet on him before the show started, you could potentially see a nice return.
Alternatively, you could keep the faith with Wes.
His first routine, to Gravity, was fast and fluid, but not particularly difficult. The judges felt that Vanessa could have showcased Wes’ natural ability more and complained that the majority of the routine was skated on two feet.
Vanessa is beautiful and the chemistry between the pair did not go unnoticed by the judges. However, Wes was quick to squash any romance rumours, with Love Island girlfriend Megan Barton-Hanson watching from the front row.
Headlines regarding Vanessa splitting up with her boyfriend, and Megan’s response, have since been plastered all over the tabloids, with speculation that the whole thing is a publicity stunt.
Whatever the truth, Wes doesn’t seem to have endeared himself to the viewers and could very well have hurt his chances of winning the competition.
As reigning champion, there’s pressure on Vanessa to deliver spectacular routines, but the off-the-ice drama may make things strained. Can the pair put personal feelings aside to pull out a showstopper on Sunday? We hope so.
Former Pussycat Doll Melody insists she was more a vocalist in the group than a dancer, but she has a dancer’s grace and body awareness on the ice.
Skating with new pro, Alexander Demetriou, formerly Captain Hook in Disney on Ice, Melody delivered a stunning routine to Rise Up. The songstress floated across the ice, delivering Alex’ tricky choreography seemingly effortlessly.
Aside for some very slightly shaky transitions, she didn’t put a skate wrong.
Her overall score was brought down by Jason Gardiner only awarding her a 4 (for God only knows what reason) but Christopher Dean told her she could be a candidate for the first headbanger of the series, as she looked so comfortable performing lifts.
Watch this space.
The Former Westlife singer is locked in a friendly rivalry with James Jordan but, as Jason Gardiner commented, he’s got a lot of work to do to catch the ex-Strictly pro.
Skating to the Westlife cover of ‘Mandy’ by Barry Manilow, Brian and pro partner Alex Murphy brought romance to the rink, despite Brian’s dislocated shoulder.
The judges only gave the pair 20, landing him in the dangerous middle zone of the leaderboard.
However, Brian turns like a pro, he’s got bags of Irish charm, and an army of Westlife fans voting for him, so we don’t think he’s in any real jeopardy for a fair few weeks yet.
Blackwood was, to a certain extent, a victim of his own hype. He’d admitted he could already skate to a high standard and has also danced in West End shows such as Shrek the Musical.
Perhaps that’s why his performance felt a little underwhelming. Skating to Stevie Wonder’s Sir Duke with new pro, Carlotta Edwards, Blackwood’s performance just wasn’t as smooth as his 70s-style velvet blazer and we were left a little bit disappointed. It seems the judges felt the same, only scoring them 17.5 points.
It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t particularly good either. Mediocre might be the best description, and his Dancing on Ice winner odds slipped accordingly. He’s down from second favourite to fifth with some bookies, but there’s plenty of time for him to take his skating to new heights.
We had Jane down as a dark horse before the competition started, and the Coronation Street actress didn’t disappoint. Skating to ‘On the Street Where You Live’ her routine was as easy on the eyes as her pro partner Sylvain Longchambon.
As predicted, the existing friendship between the pair (Sylvain is married to Jane’s Corrie co-star Samia Ghadie) translated well to the rink and complemented the elegant yet technical nature of the routine. These two are definitely ones to watch.
Who’s Skating on Thin Ice?
Neighbours’ Mark Little (and former champion Brianne Delcourt) may have been the first to be eliminated, but there are more than a couple of celebrities who have yet to get a sure footing in the competition.
Cricketer Ryan Sidebottom landed himself in the first skate-off of the series with Brandee Malto, against Mark, but lives to skate another week after being unanimously saved by the judges.
At 6’4 it’s a long way to fall when the swing bowler hits the ice, and he does so frequently in training, but you should never discount a professional sportsman and their natural competitive instinct.
Nicknamed ‘sorebottom’ Ryan gave a glimpse of promise in his ‘save me’ skate to Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake It Off’ which was enough to see him through to next week.
Can he and Brandee bowl us over?
Didi Conn is the oldest celebrity on this series of Dancing on Ice, at 67, but she’s a legend, and her naturally bubbly personality was a hit with audiences, even if her skate was tentative.
Performing to “We Go Together” from Grease in her original Pink Lady jacket, complete with mustard stain, Didi only managed a combined score of 14.5 from the judges – we would have given her an extra couple of points just for the jacket!
We hope to get a few more Grease numbers from ‘Frenchie’ before she and pro partner Lukasz Rozycki bid a fond farewell to the competition.
It was always touch-and-go whether Gemma would even make it to the rink, with rumours of diva behaviour and threats to quit, rife in the run-up to the first show.
However, a song switch, some encouraging words from pro partner Matt Evers and, evidently, a decent amount of training hours logged later, and Gemma took to the ice.
Serving up their version of Crazy in Love, Gemma and Matt went all out. With gold outfits, head tosses, half splits and major Beyoncé attitude, the pair certainly entertained.
Gemma doesn’t have a great record with reality TV, to put it mildly, and she did have a stumble, but she stayed on her feet and seemed to enjoy performing, so she might go further than first thought.
There are also Finnish X Factor runner-up Saara Aalto and Loose Woman Saira Khan competing this season, and both hit the middle of the leaderboard.
In fact, Saara and her pro partner Hamish Gaman scored the same as Jane Danson and Sylvain, with a fun skate to Lady GaGa’s ‘Born This Way’.
However, looking at the odds, the bookies clearly feel the Corrie star has a better chance of winning the hearts and minds of the voting public.
Saira was only a point behind the pair, with an energetic performance to Madonna’s ‘Express Yourself’ with Scottish Pro Mark Hanretty, but she trails them by some distance in the Dancing on Ice betting odds.
Everything could change as the celebrities take to the ice again on Sunday – Will Melody brave the headbanger? Will James bring out a samba, or an argentine tango on ice, perhaps? Will Gemma turn up?
There’s only one way to find out – bring on Sunday’s show, we’re ready!
Here are the bookmakers offering the best Dancing on Ice betting odds
A Boro fan from birth, Elle is a qualified sports journalist and the former editor of the now-defunct sports site ComeOnBoro.com and Sporting Preview. Her work and strong opinions have been published in The News of the World, The Observer and BBC Tees Radio. After work in PR, Elle returned to her roots as a copywriter as a Content and SEO Editor at ActiveWin Media.