It was a good night for Matthew Wolfenden on Sunday’s Dancing On Ice as the final nine contestants took to the rink, in a bid to avoid this weekend’s solo skate-off.

Sunday’s show saw the celebrity skaters facing the Ultimate Skills challenge – having to demonstrate certain moves during their routines, with the bottom three forced to skate solo to stay in the competition, and a double elimination looming.

The Emmerdale star – who slipped down to third place on the judges’ scoreboard during last weekend’s Valentine’s special – regained pole position with an impressive 28 points out of 30, the highest score so far this series.

And the judges couldn’t praise him highly enough for his performance to David Guetta’s Without You.

“There is very little to say because every move you made, you made us notice and you made it right,” Robin Cousins told him, while Katarina Witt described the routine as “incredible”.

Current favourite Jorgie Porter also turned in another impressive performance although failed to improve upon last weekend’s score of 26, slipping back slightly to 25.5.

Nonetheless her routine attracted plenty of attention for including the tricky ‘headbanger’ move. “You are almost unbeatable and unstoppable,” Katarina said, “and I am amazed at how fearless you are. I am blown away by your performances.”

Meanwhile Chico continued to establish himself as a serious contender for the title, scoring 24 from the judges – his highest mark to date.

Robin said that his performance was “terrific”, while Louie Spence added, “I think you could go all the way and win this.”

Chemmy Allcott and Jennifer Ellison were also among those who scored their highest marks to date – Chemmy scoring 22 and impressing the judges with a softer routine than in recent weeks, and Jennifer bouncing back from last weekend’s injury to score 20 for her nautical-themed performance.

“Now we know soft Chemmy works as well,” Robin told the skiier, while he said of Jennifer’s routine, “It was a little safe but in Jennifer style, beautifully executed.”

Sebastien Foucan also fared well, scoring 22 points for an energetic routine to the Prodigy track Omen – making full use of his acrobatic talents as he faced the skills test.

Katarina described the routine as “over-ambitious” but Louie said, “I thought the elements would detract from your performance but they totally didn’t.”

However Sam Nixon, Andy Whyment and Heidi Range found themselves at the lower end of the judges’ scoreboard – with Andy scoring 19.5, Sam scoring 19 and Heidi finishing bottom of the heap with 17.5 – despite a routine which saw her skating to Sugababes hit Push The Button.

Katarina complained that Sam was “holding back” but Robin was more optimistic. “It wasn’t the performance we saw from you last week but that will come because you will be here next week.”

Andy, meanwhile, fell foul of Katarina who said, “I felt like you were sneaking your skating skills in between the rest of the performance,” while she complained that Heidi was too reliant upon her skating partner Andrei Lipanov. However Louie was kinder, saying that her performance was a “vast improvement”.