a little east of reality

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

dancing on ice

One of the few reality shows I've gotten into recently is Torville & Dean's Dancing on Ice. Like the dancing version and the singing version of this theme, total skating novices are partnered with professional skaters and learn to skate. However, there's one important difference with this show, and that's Torville & Dean. These guys created and performed the most beautiful piece of ice dancing I've ever seen (Bolero, 1984 Olympics) and they are not only training the skaters personally, but also choreographing the pieces they perform each week. So even though they are beginners (though doing hella better than anything I could manage on the ice) the dances they perform are beautiful, playful, cute, sexy - fit to the person and the music. It's astounding to me how much people can improve over such a short time. They only trained for eight weeks before starting and now there's a show, and therefore a new routine, every week.

My favourites are Jake and Maria, and Lara and Matt. (There's a little credit card ad before the performances start.) But the guy who's become very popular with the viewers is one of the worst skaters, Jules. Jules started training about three weeks after everyone else, so his skills are running behind the crowd, but he's funny and entertaining. One of the judges told him he looked like a giraffe on the ice and the nickname has stuck, with a fan even bringing him a little stuffed giraffe with skates on.

He was getting a bit of flack the first couple of weeks because he was very much avoiding the spangly costumes that make ice dancing so uber-camp for the guys. So on episode 3 he decided to, as he put it, 'embrace the little dancer within" and came out (no pun intended) in this little number. Incidentally that crash at the end isn't his mistake - he was supposed to slide out the doors for the finale, but someone forgot to open them. This week (episode 4) he and Christina got their highest score ever, which still put them right at the bottom of the scoreboard. But like I said, the guy has gotten up a bit of a following, and viewer votes (which are combined with the judges scores) kept him in the show another week.