Jenna Kirby looks at the latest rink dramas in ITV1's 'cool'-est competition
As we near the end of this series of the popular ITV show Dancing on Ice, there is plenty to reflect upon. The show returned in early January with a new line up of judges and a new presenter in the form of Christine Bleakley, alongside the ever present Philip Schofield.
Former Olympic gold winning figure skater Katarina Witt and Louis Spence, artistic director at London's Pineapple Dance Studios, replaced Emma Bunton and Jason Gardiner, joining the only original judge, Robin Cousins, on the ice panel.
The list of contestants was released a week before the show commenced; however injuries during rehearsals led to two contestants and one professional partner pulling out before the show even began. Emmerdale's Matthew Wolfenden and Hollyoaks' Jorgie Porter emerged as forerunners early on in the series and have managed to hold onto their uncertain lead.
65-year-old diet and fitness guru Rosemary Conley was booted out in week six, despite being the oldest person in the show's history to reach that stage. Week seven of the show introduced a new element of competition where the bottom three contestants were challenged to the Ultimate Skills Test, a skate-off in which they had to perform 23 professional skills without the aid of their partners.
This challenge saw athlete Sébastien Foucan and singer Heidi Range leave the show in floods of tears after they failed to impress Robin Cousins. The show's presenters were left stunned; Schofield only managing to say in reaction: 'we had no idea [the challenge] was going to be this cruel'.
This season of dancing and drama has kept its reputation for being one of the most talked about ITV programmes.