When it was first announced that Dancing on Ice was coming back, everyone wondered out loud why ITV ever cancelled it in the first place. But just two months down the line, we've all suddenly remembered.
Let's face it, the Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield-fronted series isn't exactly the post-Christmas Strictly Come Dancing we were all hoping for. And that's reflected in the ratings. While the 7.7 million of the launch episode on January 7 fell well short of the 10 million TV bosses were hoping for, by week seven it had plummeted to just 4.7 million.
Where did everybody go?
With another series already commissioned for next year, producers are going to have to start asking themselves what they are doing wrong. What was so bad that 3 million fans decided to just switch off? We have a few suggestions...
1. Put Torvill and Dean back where they belong
One of the major complaints this series has been the quality of the choreography. Let's be honest, standards have slipped and the celebs aren't being pushed as far as they could. Why is that?
Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean may be back dancing for the final, but all fingers seem to be pointing at the fact that the head judges are no longer actually training the celebs, giving them advice or overseeing routines.
If you ask us, these two should leave the judging panel and get back on the ice permanently where they belong.
2. Rethink the entire line-up
He might be a fan favourite on Corrie but Antony Cotton isn't such a hit with Dancing on Ice viewers. A few weeks back, he was criticised for rude comments he made to Jayne Torvill, then caused another Twitter storm when he recently snapped at Jason Gardiner.
Meanwhile, Brooke Vincent has been accused of looking bored on the ice, Cheryl Baker was petrified and Monty Panesar dropped out before the series even started.
The ITV casting team should probably have a big think about who they pay to take part.
3. Cut it WAY down
The show is on for TWO hours every Sunday. Erm... This is a reality show, not a feature-length film, ITV! You're supposed to leave the viewer wanting more at the end of the show, not counting down the minutes.
Seriously, more than half of the celebs have been eliminated now. Why does it still go on for so long? Sorry, you're boring everyone now.
4. Invest in the wardrobe department
Why when we go to the training rink are we seeing cast in dressing gowns? The show used to be about the costumes, looking glamorous and now it’s like we are watching people that have just got out of bed. If I wanted to watch that I’d tune into 5 celebs on a barge! #dancingonice- Sam Attwater (@samattwater) February 4, 2018
Dancing on Ice was billed as a rival to Strictly Come Dancing, so inevitably, producers should have expected fans to draw comparisons. With that in mind, why didn't they invest more in the wardrobe department?
If your competitor is Strictly, glitter is everything – but DoI has not delivered on that front. Even former winner Sam Attwater has taken to Twitter to complain about the show's disappointing costumes this year. Must try harder.
5. Keep the voting rules consistent
Sure, there was a shocking double elimination this past weekend, but what was more shocking was how the voting went down. At the start of Sunday's episode (February 18), Phil and Holly announced that the voting lines had opened BEFORE the celebs had even taken to the ice.
Now, this raises two issues: one, the show has now been turned into a popularity contest. If you're allowed to vote before watching everyone's performance, then your decision will not be based on their skating ability, will it?
Two: a huge show like this needs consistency. Unless you're Big Brother, you can't just change the rules halfway through the series.
6. Upgrade the judging panel
We've already explained why Torvill and Dean need to go – but that's not our only concern with the judges. There just doesn't seem to be much chemistry between them.
Take a look at Strictly's Craig Revel Horwood or Bruno Tonioli – their feedback and banter is almost as entertaining (and as animated) as the dancing itself. We just don't get that with Dancing on Ice, with the exception of Jason Gardiner of course. It's time ITV brought in someone the Australian judge can bounce off.
7. We need deadlock
Remember when Stephanie Waring was eliminated instead of Lemar despite the fact that he actually fell over during the skate-off? Fans were totally confused by the decision. Although two judges voted to save Stephanie and two voted to save Lemar, she was sent home because joint head judges Torvill and Dean had the final say.
Awkwardly, their decision was a very unpopular one and resulted in a lot of fix claims. To avoid this happening again, ITV should hand the power over to the public by introducing a deadlock. Then NO-ONE can complain…
Dancing on Ice is on ITV, Sundays at 6pm.
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