Dancing on Ice blog 2012: Week eleven

First published in Opinion Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Former British Figure Skating champion

Semi final week has arrived – along with the Ultimate Skills Test! Only one more show to go before we have another Dancing On Ice Champion!

Opening the show with some funky light and camera work was Torvill and Dean skating to “I’m Feeling Good”. We haven’t seen much of them skating this series so it was nice to see them back on the ice.

So with the pressures running high, each celebrity’s challenge was a double skate – one with their partner and one solo number!

I like the inclusion of the skills challenge again as it is a good indicator of improvement and how much confidence each skater has gained.

An extra incentive for the skaters – the leader at the end of the evening will have gained immunity from the public vote!

Chico and Jodeyne.

Kicking off the semi final was Chico and Jodeyne skating to “The Flood” by Take That. A slightly change in pace and style for Chico this week but it worked well and he seems to be able to adapt with ease.

Their lifts have also become completely solid with Chico lifting Jodeyne over his head twice plus a spinning upside-down lift. It showed off his strong basic skills well and his smile shone throughout. A huge score of 28.5 was well deserved.

Jennifer Ellison and Daniel.

After beating Jorgie last week and not being at the bottom of the leaderboard, Jennifer should have gained confidence. I have to admit to not being her biggest fan as I feel that she relies on Daniel a lot to move around the ice.

This week’s upbeat number to “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” was nice and fun to watch but again I felt Dan kept her up. A little stumble did detract from the routine and the lifts were nice and with lovely positions but I want to see her skate more. The skills test will be a great test for her.

Jorgie Porter and Matt.

After the disappointment of the judge’s marks last week all the stops were pulled out to make Jorgie’s performance special.

The Headbanger has made its return this week along with a one-foot exit, which makes it very difficult and this didn’t seem to be going too well in practice. I thought the routine this week wasn’t as good as last week but she did complete some lovely lifts and a solo step sequence.

The Headbanger didn’t really “headbang” but it was exited on one foot with a look of surprise on Jorgie’s face! 27.5 for a score – which put her under Chico on the scoreboard – and it was about right as Chico was slightly stronger.

Matthew Wolfenden and Nina.

Matthew well deserves his place in the semi final and his music for the routine was Michael Jackson “The Way You Make Me Feel”. If there was a routine that needed performing, this is it!

Competition is brewing between him and Jorgie with both having Headbanger’s! I liked the routine although I think it was a little tentative in the build up to the main event of the Headbanger.

His dancing was great as usual and his skating skills were nice. A weak Headbanger tarnished it at the end where he nearly dropped her on her head. For me not his best routine, as I felt it was all focused on the end – I think he has more to give.

Chico.

A brilliant skills test from Chico and he really is keeping his eye on the final! Great skating and a nice waltz jump and spin included in the mini-routine. 27.0 made for a high score and 55.5 the total score for both sections.

He really has been the under dog in this competition and he has worked his way up with perfect timing!

Jennifer Ellison.

The skating was nice, if a little slow and tentative. Her spin went a little out of control and she nearly fell over but I think a job well done. Considering how weak a skater she was at the beginning of the competition, this was a massive improvement. 23.5 - the right score for this section and a total of 47.5 for both parts.

Jorgie Porter.

A lovely skate from Jorgie and she powered through the routine.

Fabulous poise and control with no errors. I thought she should have got a slightly higher mark than 27 but it was still a great score.

Matthew Wolfenden.

With Chico being the one to beat Matthew had a look of pure concentration throughout the routine! No slip up’s made and he looked strong and smooth over the ice. 28.5 put him ahead of Chico and straight into the final!

Skate Off.

With Matthew through to the final, Chico, Jennifer and Jorgie had the anxious wait to see who would have to skate for a 3rd time!

Chico was saved from the skate off by public vote so it was an all female competition at the end!

Jennifer skated her best programme yet and seemed to really enjoy performing, as did Jorgie, who completed a second successful Headbanger.

All 3 judges voted Jorgie so she skated into the Final next week! Bye to Jennifer but she came further than I ever thought she would and she should be proud of her achievements.

So, the final is already here! Next week the champion will be crowned!

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