It's safe to say this series of Dancing on Ice has had its share of ups and downs, and last weekend was no different. The semi-final of the skating show revealed the lucky celebs heading to the grand finale next week, while also waving goodbye to Lady Leshurr who just missed out on a spot in the final three.
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Kicking off their thoughts on the semi-final for their weekly column, James and Ola Jordan both stated they were big fans of the rapper's performances. "I love Lady Leshurr," began James. "I think, out of all the one's left, she brings the performance side to each of her routines. I believe it - I feel she gets into the performance and I always like her for that. I'm gutted she went. Each week she came out and gave me what I'm looking for.
"[But] on skating she was probably the weakest in the show, so the right person went but I'm going to miss her in the mix because I actually enjoyed watching her performances more than some of the better skaters. For me it's just not about skating, it's about the performance, and she always brought the performance."
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And it was this aspect that they felt there could have been more of in the semi-final. It seems that while the couple enjoyed the show, James and Ola were hoping for more 'wow' factor. "This week I felt it was a bit flat," admitted James.
"There were so many emotive performances in the second part of the show and stories which you listen to and they break your heart, but I did overall I felt the semi-final was flat, I hate to say it. I feel it's mainly down to the music and the choreography from the professionals. I didn't feel like they were pushing the boundaries.
"If you take, for example, the first performance which was Matt and Faye, she's great but the lift they did – I could do on the ice and I'm not a professional ice-skater. I want to go 'Wow that's brilliant!'"
Ola agreed, adding: "I think that everyone is doing the same thing that everyone did in previous routines. So for me, as a watcher, I didn't see anything new. I remember thinking 'They already did that lift'."
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James and Ola were gutted to see Lady Leshurr go
James then added: "I didn't see any perfect scores yesterday, that's just my feeling. Most of the time I see them just doing steps. Where's the emotion? Where's the connection? I'm not seeing that on the ice and, ironically, it leaves you a bit cold!" Ola adds: "People at home want to see them perform."
But on the other hand, the former Strictly Come Dancing stars admitted that, on the ice, sometimes things are limited. "There are only so many lifts you can do and there are only so many steps that you're going to be able to get your celebrity to do."
James continued: "They're putting this on in the middle of a pandemic and kudos to them. It's much more difficult than any other year for all of them. Maybe also [it was] because they had two routines and maybe they struggled with that. I found it difficult and I'm a professional dancer but on ice, it is really difficult."
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The couple had high praise for Sonny Jay
It's clear the couple were impressed by one skater in particular, Sonny Jay, who skated into the final alongside his partner Angela Egan. "He was doing some things with that table that I wouldn't be able to do, I would have gone under and got stuck!", James joked.
This weekend marks the final, and it seems the ballroom champs are keen for the pros to bring their A-Game to make it the best yet. James said: "I feel choreographically, the professionals need to lift their game and I don't normally say too much about the pros, but some of them are letting their celebs down."
James also shared his pearls of wisdom for the celebrities as they prep for what will be no doubt a nerve-wracking show. "For me when I was performing on the show, I wanted it to be about me and Alex. The masculinity, the femininity, the lead, the follow and the connection between you. But I'm not seeing that I'm just seeing steps.
James and Ola are also big fans of Colin Jackson
"So in the final I'd like to see them get into character and make sure they partner - because otherwise you could go out and skate on your own. Let's see the partnering. That's why Strictly works so well because it's the beauty of the man dancing with the woman, the way the masculine and the feminine work together. It makes you believe it more. That's what you want to feel when you're watching at home."
On who could tip it to become 2021 champion next week, all three have the potential according to the couple, as they all have their own strengths. "For me, Sonny is the easiest-looking skater on the ice," stated Ola."I don't know if his performance this week wowed me, but he could be amazing." James interjected: "With the right piece of music, the right choreography he would be the stand-out."
He continued: "Faye is obviously amazing and Colin is Mr. Cool, for me. I'm the oldest winner ever to win Dancing on Ice, and I take my hat off to him because I know how hard I found it. I believe they need to make a thing out of that, I think he's doing amazing considering his age. And it will never come across on TV how nice that man actually is. He's one of the nicest people we've had the pleasure of spending time with and working with."
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