The 2012 series of Dancing On Ice kicked off on Sunday night with the first seven celebrity couples taking to the rink – and some early contenders establishing themselves.
Among those who showed promise on the ice was Hollyoaks star Jorgie Porter, who marked herself as one to watch in the competition after her debut routine with partner Matt Evers – which landed her top of the scoreboard with 18 out of 30 and impressed new judges Louie Spence and Katarina Witt.
“It was a beautiful performance, absolutely stunning,” Louie told the actress, while Katarina added, “You’re like a feather…for me you added the first spark of magic to the night.”
Returning judge Robin Cousins, meanwhile, described the routine as “absolutely exquisite” and added, “Probably one of, if not the, strongest opening routines we have ever had on any series.”
Also doing well in the opening week was skiier Chemmy Allcott, whose pacy routine with partner Sean Rice saw her finish in second place with 16 points.
“It was so exciting to watch, it did make my heart stop for a moment,” Louie said, while Katarina described her as “an explosion of excitement”.
Blue Peter’s Andy Akinwolere and Dallas star Charlene Tilton also turned in decent performances, with the former notching up 14 points for his routine to Moves Like Jagger, and the latter scoring 13 for her graceful performance to Barbra Streisand’s Guilty.
“I think you are a natural, you look like you were born with skates,” Katarina said of Andy, while Robin told Charlene, “You will be quite a few people’s guilty pleasure over the next few weeks.”
However it wasn’t such a good start for Sugababes star Heidi Range, Coronation Street’s Andy Whyment and CBBC’s Mark Rhodes, who found themselves propping up the scoreboard.
Heidi and partner Andrei Lipanov, who opened the show, scored 12.5 for their efforts, while Andy Whyment and show newcomer Vicky Ogden clocked up 12.0 for their comedic turn to Run DMC’s Walk This Way.
Louie described Heidi’s routine as “a good safe opening performance”, and Robin told Andy, “Underneath that comedy exterior is a competitive skater waiting to get out, so please let him out!”
Mark, meanwhile, scored just eight points for his routine to I’m Still Standing – with the panel praising him for his personality but not quite so sure about his skating.
“You need to get your body and your feet to work as hard as your face did,” Robin told him. Louie added, “You’ve got a winning smile and a winning partner, but choreographically, it was remedial dad dancing.”
The show also introduced the eight celebrities who will make their debut next week, as well as new co-host Christine Bleakley.