Dancing on Ice 2019 Preview
January 5, 2019
The self-proclaimed ‘Greatest Show on Ice’ returns this weekend, to fill the Strictly-shaped hole left in our lives, and the Dancing on Ice team have even brought a former Strictly pro to the proceedings.
Gliding onto our screens at 6pm on Sunday, this will be the eleventh season of the show, which took a four-year hiatus from 2014-2018.
Despite being on rival TV channels, the fact that the two shows never go head to head ensures the audience doesn’t have to choose, thereby securing high ratings in prime Saturday and Sunday evening slots.
It also means that there’s plenty of appetite for Dancing on Ice betting.
There was controversy on Strictly last year, revolving around finalist Ashley Roberts’ previous dance experience, including her two-season stint as a judge on Dancing on Ice. It later emerged that fellow finalist Faye Tozer had once worked as a choreographer on Dancing on Ice.
So, will professional dancer James Jordan, who was part of Strictly for seven seasons, face the same kind of backlash from the DOI fans? Time will tell.
Aside from Jordan, Dancing on Ice is serving up an interesting mix of soap favourites, popstars, reality TV personalities, TV presenters and a token sportsman, cricketer Ryan Sidebottom.
So far, so normal. The twist is that, although they are known to UK audiences, a number of the contestants hail from far-off lands.
Melody Thornton of the Pussycat Dolls, and actress Didi Conn, who is best known for playing Frenchie in Grease are both American, Neighbours actor Mark Little is Australian, and pop star Saara Aalto is Finnish.
With pro skaters from all over the globe, there’s a distinctly international feeling about this season.
However, all previous winners of Dancing on Ice have been British, so will that trend continue?
Let’s take a look at the favourites in Dancing on ice betting.
Who is Topping the Dancing on Ice Odds?
Despite girlfriend Megan Barton-Hanson having a dig at him for ‘not looking manly’, Love Island alum Wes Nelson is the hot favourite to take the prize.
Not only does he have the full weight of the ITV Love Island fanbase behind him, he’s also young, fit, and can dance.
Neither is the 20-year-old kickboxer and social media star lacking in brains. In fact, he’s a nuclear and electrical systems design engineer – clearly a man of many talents!
Wes has topped the Dancing on Ice winner odds since he confirmed he would be taking part, and, after Kem Cetinay’s unexpected success in reaching the semi-finals, the bookies feel he could go the distance.
He’s also been partnered with reigning DOI champion Vanessa Bauer, who lifted the trophy last season with Jake Quickenden.
Hoping to spoil Wes’ party, is jack-of-all-trades, Richard Blackwood. Having been in the public eye for decades, first as a TV presenter, then a popstar and, most recently, in Eastenders, Blackwood really does seem to be able to turn his hand to anything.
He’s been upfront about his previous dancing and skating experience, which includes playing Donkey in the West End production of Shrek The Musical.
This ability to learn choreography quickly, and already being comfortable on the ice should stand in good stead.
Will his fanbase be a match for Wes, though? We’re not quite convinced.
One of the most outspoken of the Strictly Come Dancing professional dancers, both whilst he was part of the show, and on Twitter, since he left in 2013, James Jordan’s odds for winning Dancing on Ice have lengthened in the run-up to the first live show.
A professional ballroom dancer for 30 years, Jordan should have no problem learning complex dance routines, and can already perform impressive lifts.
The only thing he has to do is translate that onto the ice which, now he’s got the basics of skating under his belt, shouldn’t be too tricky.
However, he is known for calling out celebrities with previous dance experience on Strictly, and could well face a taste of his own medicine now that the skate is on the other foot.
He’s also fairly likely to argue with the judges, which may or may not win him points with the public.
Another of the former Pussycat Dolls, Melody Thornton is more of a vocalist than a dancer, but still has a leg up on many of her fellow constants.
The only woman in the top five favourites, Melody can move, and will likely be more comfortable being lifted and learning routines than the actresses, reality TV people and Eurovision singer she is competing against.
Thornton was very much part of the ensemble and never really stood out in her Pussycat Doll days, so it will be interesting to see whether she shines as half of a pair.
The Dark Horses
In terms of ice skating, there’s not a lot we know about Saara Aalto, other than a couple of quotes coming from the training rink saying she thinks it’s ‘insane’ to try to learn to skate in just two months. However, you don’t come second in the X Factor (2016) without having a strong fanbase, and her natural flair for performing will be an asset on the ice so she could be a value pick if you don’t want to plump for one of the favourites.
Jane Danson has two advantages in the competition – the Coronation Street vote, and Sylvain Longchambon. Known to ITV audiences for playing Leanne Battersby on and off since 1997, Jane is likely to be popular with the DOI viewers, and historically, Corrie stars do well on the show. Hayley Tamaddon won in 2010 with Daniel Whiston, whilst Brooke Vincent finished runner-up to Jake Quickenden last year.
Samia Ghadie didn’t do quite so well, being voted off in the eighth-week skate-off, but she did later marry her pro partner, none other than French Olympic skater, Sylvain Longchambon.
A firm fan favourite, the handsome Frenchman hasn’t had the best of luck in the series, having had to withdraw from the seventh series due to tearing a tendon in his right bicep and being eliminated second last season, with Hollyoaks’ Stephanie Waring. However, fans are rooting for him, and as Jane is good friends with Samia, she and Sylvain already know each other well, which should make it easier to build a partnership together on the ice.
Finally, don’t discount Frenchie! Didi Conn is a Grease legend and a veteran of stage and screen. She may be 67, but she’s as bubbly and petite as her Grease heyday, and she certainly knows how to put on a show!
So, there you have it, the favourites in the Dancing on Ice betting, and a few who may just surprise us.
Tune in to ITV on Sunday at 6pm, to watch the first half of the celebrities try to get to grips with Dancing on Ice – we can’t wait!
Here are the bookies offering 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 Executive at ActiveWin Media