Laura Hamilton has triumphed once again in Dancing on Ice 2011, landing the highest score from the judges so far this series.
The children’s TV presenter notched up an impressive 28.5 from the judges for a fast-paced routine to the 80s hit I’m So Excited which wowed both the panel and the audience.
And she further cemented her position at the top of the leader board with 57.0 after the first ever team challenge in show history.
Laura, Jeff Brazier and Denise Welch took on a team consisting of Sam Attwater, Chloe Madeley and Johnson Beharry VC in two group routines – with the winning team having their points from the judges doubled.
After both had performed Laura’s team was judged the winner – which extended her lead but spelt bad news for Chloe and Sam, both of whom had been near the top of the scoreboard before the group performances.
As a result Chloe – who had scored her own series best of 26.5 for her routine – found herself in fourth place and Sam in fifth, while Laura’s team members Denise and Jeff benefitted from the results.
In the main show, the judges could not praise Laura enough – and pleaded with the viewers to keep her out of the bottom two this week.
“You two are unbelievable to watch, I just want to urge people at home, you did not deserve to be in the bottom two and you do not deserve to be in the bottom two tonight,” Jason Gardiner told her and partner Colin Ratushniak.
“I want people to vote for you because you’re absolutely brilliant.”
Chloe also won praise for a complicated routine to the Jay-Z hit Empire State Of Mind which saw her performing handstands on the legs of her partner Michael Zenezini.
“You’ve come out and amazed me, that has to be one of the most difficult routines in six years,” Robin Cousins said.
Sam, meanwhile, found himself slipping to third place on the scoreboard before the results of the team challenge – with Robin suggesting that the former EastEnders star was trying too hard.
“I could see you trying to make it right rather than letting it happen and that made a difference,” he said.
And Jeff’s routine to Hit The Road Jack received a mixed response from the judges. While Emma Bunton described his performance as “passionate”, Jason was not so sure. “You needed more groove in your move,” he complained.
Johnson and Denise finished bottom of the heap, prior to the team challenge, although the former’s score of 17.5 – for a routine in which he lifted partner Jodeyne Higgins above his head for the first time – showed some improvement on previous weeks.
“It was lovely to see you so relaxed from the very beginning,” Robin told him, while Emma added, “What I love is that you are pushing through your comfort zone ever week.”
Denise, meanwhile, came in for a rough ride from Jason who compared her routine to the 80s rock hit Alone to “watching two people play Twister”.
However things took an unexpected turn when her husband, Benidorm star Tim Healy left the audience and confronted Jason.
“She’s 52 and she’s got four jobs!” he told the notoriously catty judge after he slated her skating. “How many jobs have you got, eh?”
Denise held her head in her hands during the incident before remarking afterwards, “It’s only the transvestite off Benidorm.”