Dancing on Ice 2019 – Pride Comes Before A Fall
January 30, 2019
A lot can change in two weeks, particularly in reality TV, and there have been plenty of twists and turns, on and off the ice, since we caught up with our skating stars.
First, we had diva drama with Gemma Collins (we know, we’re as shocked as you are!), then jealousy and a social media spat between Wes Nelson’s girlfriend Megan Barton-Hanson, and his professional partner Vanessa Bauer.
On the rink, it was Musicals Week, and we were charmed by Didi Conn’s infectious personality as she channelled Mary Poppins, and seriously impressed with Ryan Sidebottom’s enchanting Beauty and the Beast performance.
We also had a Dancing on Ice first, with Finnish popstar Saara Aalto singing live as she skated to “Let it Go” from Frozen!
Wes and Vanessa topped the leaderboard with an energetic routine to Hairspray’s “You Can’t Stop the Beat” but Richard Blackwood’s “Beggin” from Jersey Boys left the judge’s feeling flat and he was sent home in the skate-off, against Saira Khan.
Richard started the competition as one of the favourites, so his departure had a significant impact on the Dancing on Ice betting odds.
The transition into Week Four was far from smooth, with bumps and bruises both literal and metaphorical for many of the celebs.
Wes and Megan decided to ‘consciously uncouple’ whilst Gemma was given a dressing down by her parents and appeared to take it to heart, putting in far more hours of training.
Brian’s shoulder continued to heal slowly, whilst Ryan was ruled out of competing on the Sunday, due to a groin injury.
Didi did press ups on the ice, James Jordan showed off his Lindy Hop skills, and Gemma Collins…fell flat on her face, quite literally.
More accusations of a publicity stunt followed, but Gemma and Matt did receive their highest score in the competition so far – 16.5, so, there’s that.
We also got to see the first headbanger of the series, ably performed by former Pussycat Doll Melody Thornton and her pro partner Alexander Demetriou. Melody freely admitted “it hurts, but it’s worth it for the scores!” and topped the leaderboard with a season-high of 32.5.
To top it all, Torvill and Dean performed!!!
Unfortunately, we had to say goodbye to the legend that is Didi Conn. The 67-year-old star pulled no punches with a Rocky-themed routine to Survivor’s anthem “Eye of the Tiger” but was knocked out in the skate-off against the much more accomplished skater Saara.
So, Neighbours’ Mark Little, Eastenders’ Richard Blackwood and Grease’s Didi Conn have left the show. Let’s take a look at how the Dancing on Ice betting odds are shaping up as the competition progresses.
Wes Nelson Returns to Favourite
Wes is once again the bookies favourite to win Dancing on Ice at 11/8 with Betfair, despite finishing third on the leaderboard in Week Four.
He admitted he forgot part of the routine at the beginning, but the rest of his routine to Harry Style’s “Sign of the Times” managed to be both dreamy and romantic as well as packed with choreography and difficult technical elements.
The 22-year-old has all the attributes of previous Dancing on Ice champions and is already showing a lot of style, as well as skill, in his skating.
If he can focus on training and keep his head on the ice, he will continue to be the one to beat.
We’re excited to see how he and Vanessa bring Disney to the ice!
James Jordan Lindy Hops to Second
Hot on Wes’ heels, is former Strictly pro James Jordan.
James and his professional partner Alex Schauman’s game plan seems to be to treat us to a different style of ballroom or latin each week, and we have to admit, it’s working.
From their dramatic Paso-infused Phantom of the Opera number, to last week’s lively Lindy Hop, this couple really know how to wow the audience.
Aside from his previous experience, Jordan’s downfall could be that, while he can certainly dance on ice, his actual skating is far less polished, and he keeps messing up the required elements.
As those elements are only going to get more difficult as the competition progresses, he will need to nail them to continue to receive high marks from the judges.
Melody Thornton Tops the Leaderboard
It’s been a while since we had a female Dancing on Ice champion – Olympic Gymnast Beth Tweddle in 2013, in fact, but we think Melody is in with an excellent chance.
Over the first few weeks of the competition, she’s proven she’s not only a fantastic dancer (and really rather bendy!), she’s also brave and will tackle challenges head-on (pardon the pun).
We don’t usually see many celebrities attempt the headbanger so early in the series, and she and new pro Alexander Demetriou have quickly formed an exciting partnership to deliver fresh and fun choreography each week.
Now that they’ve topped the leaderboard, we expect bigger and better stunts and even more showmanship!
Brian McFadden Heads Chasing Pack
Brian ‘from Westlife’ McFadden isn’t quite at the dizzying heights of the other three, but he’s gaining ground fast.
Despite being hampered by a shoulder injury, the Irish charmer never disappoints. Paired with Alex Murphy, Brian has quietly been doing his homework, and the results are already impressive.
Their cheeky Bugsy Malone inspired number was a crowd pleaser, whilst last week’s “With or Without You” routine made even Jason Gardiner happy with its fancy footwork, and sad ending.
Does he have enough in his locker to topple one of the top three?
Who Needs to Watch Their Step?
It’s such a shame for Ryan that he managed to raise his game and score a very respectable 19 in Musicals Week, and then suffered an injury blow.
Unfortunately, not only will he now be a week behind the other celebrities in training time, the public may also feel that he had a free pass this week and send him into the skate-off, rather than someone they prefer, on his return.
It really depends on what he and Brandee bring to the rink on Sunday, but, for our money, it’ll need to be pretty spectacular to keep them safe.
Many of the viewers felt that Saira should have gone in the week three skate-off, instead of Richard Blackwood, but she and pro partner Mark Hanretty took on board the judge’s critique.
Saira upped her game last week, doing far more independent skating and even some rather gorgeous lifts.
She doesn’t seem to have a lot of public backing but DOI veteran Mark will continue to push her to deliver more difficult routines – will it be enough?
Jane started the competition well but seems to have stuttered in the last two weeks.
Her hoedown with Sylvain was all a bit messy, and even the Frenchman’s ab-revealing wardrobe couldn’t quite distract us from all the errors, though it was discussed at length on Twitter!
Still, her Coronation Street fanbase is loyal and will grant her a couple of week’s grace.
She’ll need to return to her Week One form soon, however, if she wants to escape the dreaded skate-off.
This is a bit of an odd one, as Saara is not only multi-talented, but seems universally liked.
However, her Week Four performance didn’t match up to her ‘Frozen’ triumph and she ended up in the skate-off against Didi Conn.
Destined to be somewhere in the middle of the leaderboard, purely due to the dominance of the ‘top three’ Saara needs public votes to keep her safe, and her UK fanbase perhaps just isn’t big enough.
Love her or hate her you can’t ignore her.
‘The GC’ seemed to have settled down and actually did some skating, to Celine Dion, obviously.
And then, that fall.
Whether she tripped, or threw herself at the ice’s mercy, the TOWIE star is now sporting some bruises, but will have to throw herself into rehearsals if she wants to continue in the competition.
With better skaters being voted off each week, Gemma is definitely in the danger zone.
We don’t want to blow our own trumpets here, but our predictions and hunches have been pretty accurate so far…
We wondered aloud whether James Jordan would plump for a Samba, or an Argentine Tango on ice, he actually performed a Paso Doble and a Lindy Hop in the respective weeks, so, we weren’t far off.
Richard Blackwood disappointed an expectant audience, Melody did indeed brave the headbanger, and Ryan Sidebottom turned it around and determinedly pulled off a rather lovely performance.
So, there you have it, our guide to the last two weeks of Dancing on Ice action and betting.
Next up, we’re being treated to Disney Week.
More than one of the pro skaters spent time as part of the Disney on Ice company, so we’re expecting gorgeous costumes, sweeping romantic gestures, and some magical choreography.
Let’s hope our dreams come true!
Find all your Dancing on Ice betting odds here
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