“Best First Dance” in 14 seasons of Dancing on Ice

Brendan Cole and Kimberly Wyatt dominated the ice dancing standings while Happy Mondays dancer Bez finished bottom after descending to the rink on giant maracas.

The new series of ice dancing began with six of the 12 pairs in the competition making their ITV skating competition debuts on Sunday night.

Opening the ITV programme, co-host Phillip Schofield, 59, said: “Welcome to the greatest show on ice, it’s so good to have a returning audience.”

The expert judging panel includes former Olympic ice dance champions Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, alongside Diversity choreographer Ashley Banjo and professional dancer Oti Mabuse, who is the newest addition.

After all the celebs performed, it was revealed that broadcaster Ria Hebden will return next week to fight at the skate-off.

Professional dancer Cole was the first celebrity to hit the ice, scoring 30.5 with the “best first dance” the series has seen with skating partner Vanessa Bauer.

The 45-year-old was on the verge of tears after finishing the show for black betty by Ram Jam, adding, “There was a lot of pressure opening the show, I could feel my heart…I thought you could hear it through my microphone.”

Chief Judge Dean, 63, said: “This is the best first dance I’ve seen from a contestant in 14 rounds.”

Happy Mondays dancer Bez, who teamed up with defending skating champion Angela Egan, also performed in the first week, and coronation street star Sally Dynevor, who is partnered with Matt Evers.

Bez took to the rink on a pair of giant maracas, scoring 12.5 for his performance.

The maraca-shaking dancer, real name Mark Berry, is the first contestant on the show to wear a helmet for his own protection.

The 57-year-old, famous for his onstage antics in Madchester-era band Happy Mondays, told judges he wore head-to-toe protective gear.

Bez and defending champion Angela Egan

Olympic skating champion Dean added: “You get one point for showing up, one point for standing up and one point for that jump.

“It’s not about how you fall, it’s about how you get up and get back up every time.”

Actress Dynevor, who plays Sally Metcalfe in the long-running ITV soap, scored 23, skating for She is still a woman by Billy Joel.

The 58-year-old said: “I’ve been in fight or flight mode for two days.”

Panelist Dean explained that he had his finger on the 6 button before his tripping on the ice caused his overall score to drop.

Torvill added: “Your technique is really, really good, exactly on point.”

Sally Dynevor and Matt Evers

Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt and professional Mark Hanretty, Olympian Kye Whyte with new professional Tippy Packard and TV presenter Ria Hebden with skater Lukasz Rozycki also performed live.

Wyatt scored 30 in his first routine on ice dancing, playing for Pink’s what about us with his partner Mark Hanretty.

After her performance, the American singer and dancer said the experience was amazing and it was nice to “stretch your limbs and dance”.

New judge Mabuse, 31, said the routine was “stunning” while Banjo added: “They’re the dream couple, I’m most excited about you guys and what you can choreographically create. “

Kimberly Wyatt and professional Mark Hanretty

Olympic silver medalist Whyte exploded onto the ice on a BMX bike and scored 24 for his routine against Dizzee Rascal Bonkers.

The 22-year-old is linked with a new ice dancing professional figure skater Tippy Packard, three-time Hong Kong champion.

Whyte, who won Britain’s first Olympic BMX medal at the 2020 Tokyo Games this summer, said: “I was very scared, I’ve come a long way.”

Banjo said he did “a great job for a week”.

Hebden, 39, a regular presenter of the entertainment slot on ITV Lorraine, skated at Harry Styles Treat people with kindness, scoring 24.5.

Ria Hebden and Lukasz Rozycki

Mabuse told the TV presenter she had an “infectious energy” while Torvill added: “I love that you smiled throughout, you gave a great performance.”

The TV presenter said she was “gutted” when co-host Holly Willoughby, 40, revealed she will have to perform at the skate-off next week.

ice dancing continues on Sundays on Virgin Media One and ITV.

Source: Press Association

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