First celebrity contestant eliminated from Dancing On Ice after skate-off

John Fashanu has said his time on Dancing On Ice has been “wonderful” as he became the first celebrity to be eliminated from the new series.

Following the public vote on Sunday, the former footballer, 60, found himself in the dreaded skate-off against Love Island winner Ekin-Su Culculoglu, 28, who performed last weekend with the first batch of celebrities.

Fashanu and his professional partner Alexandra Schauman performed once again, this time to Norman Greenbaum’s Spirit In The Sky while Culculoglu and her partner Brendyn Hatfield skated to No Tears Left To Cry by Ariana Grande.

After the couples went head to head, the judges voted unanimously to save Culculoglu, sending Fashanu packing.

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Fashanu, who was part of the Wimbledon team that won the FA Cup final against Liverpool in 1988, said: “Whatever happens it has been wonderful. FA Cup final again.”

He also confirmed he will carry on skating and said he might even start teaching others.

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Earlier in the episode, with his first routine, he paid tribute to his sporting background as he performed to Eat My Goal by Collapsed Lung.

Fashanu and Schauman dressed in football jerseys as they glided across the ice and were accompanied by people dressed as footballs who danced around them.

They received a score of 19 for their efforts, with judge and former Olympic skater Christopher Dean describing him as the most improved skater since boot camp.

He added there was “a lot of smoke and mirrors” and “not a lot of skating” but that overall Fashanu remained steady on his feet which he commended him for.

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Elsewhere, RuPaul’s Drag Race star The Vivienne also said they were “honoured” to make history as they became the first drag queen to compete on the ITV1 skating competition.

For their opening routine, The Vivienne, 30, and their dance partner Colin Grafton, delivered an energetic performance to Strong Enough by Cher.

Dressed in a black curly wig and sparkly black outfit in homage to the US singer, the drag queen performed twists and a dramatic lift to score 28.5 points.

Judge Jayne Torvill felt their skating was “so solid and smooth” and that she loved how much the drag queen appeared to enjoy the routine.

Dean added: “A star was born on the ice tonight,” adding: “We’ve had a few divas, but you’re our best skating by far.”

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However, it was former Hollyoaks star Carley Stenson who topped the leaderboard during the episode with a score of 32.

Dressed in a pale blue sparkly dress, the actress, 40, glided her way through the routine to Say You Love Me by Jessie Ware alongside her partner Mark Hanretty

Torvill said: “I mean it was absolutely seamless and it had everything, it had beautiful lifts, beautiful skating, matching lines – wonderful.”

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Coronation Street’s Mollie Gallagher gave an elegant performance to Angel Eyes by Abba as she took to the ice for the first time.

The actress, 25, and her skating partner Sylvain Longchambon kicked and dipped their way to a score of 26.5.

Judge Oti Mabuse praised Gallagher for incorporating her acting ability into the routine and just encouraged her to concentrate on her leg work.

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Comedian Darren Harriott gave an energetic routine to Fireball by Pitbull with his skating partner Tippy Packard which secured them a score of 26.5.

They dressed in fiery outfits in red, orange and black, finishing the routine in comedic fashion with Packard throwing a cup of water in Harriott’s face.

Judge Ashley Banjo said he was “so impressed” with how many moves they packed into the routine and said he would have scored him higher but there were a few moments where he was wobbly.

To open the show, the professional ice skaters performed a dazzling routine to a rendition of Dancin’ Fool by Barry Manilow while dressed in tuxedo-style outfits.

Dean and Torvill also showed off their skating prowess with a fast tango-style routine to Canadian singer Michael Buble’s Higher.

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Best known for winning a gold medal at the 1984 Winter Olympics, they previously said they have been skating five times a week from September to perform for the first time in front of a full live audience since the pandemic.

Last week six celebrities performed in the first episode, with former Olympic gymnast Nile Wilson receiving the highest score of the night from the judges of 29.5.

Dancing On Ice continues on Sundays on ITV1 and ITVX