Went to watch Beth at the weekend, LIVE!
She was SO GOOD.
The best she's ever been, absolutely gorgeous and emotional routine!
Here's a photo from Sunday's dance-
Cheeky accidental dress lift from Dan!
And here's what actually happened:
Hannah and I met on the train and chatted for ages which was really nice, to catch up about everything :)
We had to get to the studios by 3:45PM so that we were allowed in, because they have to set up loads. The trains were delayed/not running and we weren't having a lot of luck, so after waiting for a replacement bus for half an hour we gave up and decided to get a taxi. BAD IDEA. Taxi? In London?! £50. BOOM. We didn't even go that far! But we had to get a taxi in order to get there on time
Waaaah. I still owe Han £25 for it actually.
Anyway, we managed to get there and walked into a nice room with a bar where all the guests of the stars were sat in tables. We were given silver wristbands with a 'B' on them, which I assumed was for 'Beth' but actually was for the section of the audience we were to sit in. We chatted for a bit and I had a pint of orange juice and lemonade kindly bought for me by Beth's dad. Suzanne was also there, Beth's flatmate, along with her parents. After a bit, the audience for 'C' and 'D' were called through and we sat there for a bit longer until 'A' and 'B' were called and we were lead through another bar, outside, towards the actual film studio.
We walked past the Big Brother House, which is in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by warehouses and caravans and absolutely nothing showbiz or impressive. If they were to escape they'd just end up in, like, an abandoned grey area of buildings and parked cars. I cannot describe well enough how unimpressive it was. Just a tiny stage and some stairs and a door that you see on TV and everything else is a load of boring rubbish and nothingness off a small roundabout, nowhere special, in semi-London.
ANYWAY, past the portaloos and that, we walked into a BIGGER warehouse (although not as big as it seems on TV!) and we greeted by all the lights and cameras inside the Dancing On Ice studio. Again, unimpressive outside, but maybe that's how they keep the secret of it's whereabouts or something?
But inside it was very pretty, with icicle fairy lights hanging down everywhere as you can see on TV. Most of the space is taken up by an ice rink and then there are a few of us guests (very few people in the audience!) watching on one side, then on the other side there are cameras.
The judges and presenters have a big gap in between them and camera tricks make it look like they are closer together. Around the ice rink is a very narrow space really, just about enough room for everything to squeeze in. The ice skaters do well to do their routines on the fairly small ice rink as well, in comparison to a public sized one that they train on.
After we'd all sat down, there is a comedian who warms us up and gets us to dance and sing and picks on some people and encourages us to cheer! (Hannah and I showed everyone the true meaning of cheering though. The other had clearly never been to a gymnastics competition, and don't know the meaning of cheering).
WARNING: THIS BIT MAY RUIN SOME OF THE MAGIC:
Then they pre-recorded the first section of the show, the first half before the AD break isn't live, and the second half is. So they did the 'introducing' the couples and the initial dance with the pro skaters and FIRE with lots of CUTS in between, and then got all the skaters together and cut, and then poured some petrol in a line and set it alight and recorded a few seconds of that and cut and the presenters did a bit of recording as if they were about to introduce Samia, who was up first, and then they cut and there was a long break. Lots of gaps and adjustments, and some retakes, and nothing was a smooth and connected as it seems! Sorry TV viewers. Knowing that doesn't take away the entertainment value however.
Then the skaters came back on and did some warming up (Beth and Dan just do basic skating, none of their routine. Samia was SO SO nervous and kept on repeating her solo bit over and over and over bless her, I could have done it by the time she went on!)
THIS BIT WON'T RUIN ANY MAGIC:
Then they started recording LIVE! There's a countdown to when we're ON AIR and we have to start screaming and cheering just before then. The presenters do their bit and the first couple came on (Samia) and warm up while their training clip is ON (we see it on a big screen, what viewers see on TV) and then they kinda... present... to the side where the cameras are but no-one else is! It's weird, because it's not to the judges and it's not to us, it's like they are turning their back on us and showing the black wall what they can do! But it makes sense when you are the viewer at home, because your eyes are the black walled cameras, with the red lights on, showing they are the LIVE ones (you can also tell which one to look at then).
The judges do their bit, we boo or cheer if it's over or under 5 score, there's a short reaction by the skaters and then the show continues as you see it on TV until the AD breaks where it's different for us.
In the breaks we get sweets thrown at us in the crowd! Hannah and I managed to simultaneously each catch a Maoam bar and happily chewed on those in one part and when all the skating was done (including the BRIIIILLLIANT BETH) Family Fortunes comes on your TV but we just get a 30 min break to stretch, go outside if we like, go to the loo, and eat doughnuts.
Doughnuts? Oh yeaaaah. They give out free jam doughnuts at the entrance/exit! Very tasty :D I took advantage of it and had three :P
And then it's the RESULTS show. The skaters get into their positions with the spotlights on and one by one skate off when they are announced to be saved. I shouted 'BETH AND DAN!' just before they actually announced Beth and Dan, so felt very psychic and pleased Beth was through. My other favourites were Gavin, Matt, Samia and Shayne, so then I was rooting for them to get through after that. Gavin went through, and Luke Campbell who is friends with Hannah so that was good. But when it got down to the final three, it was Samia, Matt and Shayne! I was SHOCKED that one of them would go home, because Samia is so likeable, Matt was fantastic and Shayne is SO lovely and likeable too, AND he skated really well.
Samia was the weakest skater on that night so it would be less shocking if she went home.
THEN, Samia was announced to be saved, and we knew that either Shayne or Matt would be going home. There were gasps and a stunned silence of the audience in the studio and bless Samia, she looked so guilty that it wasn't her going home, like didn't feel worthy of being saved over them. I think the group is so close now though, as it gets smaller and smaller, each time someone goes home there will be distress in them all. Especially Samia, who wears her heart on her sleeve.
Shayne and Matt did a skate off, but because the judges like Matt's better techinical skating, it seemed inevitable that Shayne was going home, before the skate off. Then Matt tripped over in the Save-Me-Skate and it was another turnaround shocker! The judges looked at one another, as if now unsure whether to save Shayne instead because he had performed better in the Save-Me-Skate, and I don't know whether the head judge Robin was told by the TV in his ear that he had to keep in Matt for audience ratings, or all the judges just decided of their own accord that he was still a better skater in general, but Shayne went home.
Everyone was still surprised that Shayne was gone, including the presenter and Phillip mentioned that he did not expect to see a Skate Off like that, but the show ended and credits rolled on your screens (I assume) and that was the end of it. All the skaters came out on to the ice to comfort each other and chat and see Shayne with his partner and their flowers who had done the leaving laps of the rink.
We all stood up and went down and milled/left the arena, and I saw that the first thing Beth did was skate up to Shayne's fiance and talk to her (she had been given the flowers by Shayne also).
Apparently Beth got along really well with Shayne and his family and so she was gutted too, but tried to cheer up everyone. We had a pic with Beth while she was still in her skating costume. (She is yet to send it to me so I can insert it here but I will) and then went out to the bar we started off in.
All the skaters came there eventually, after they'd changed and left their dressings rooms. We hung out with everyone and had pictures with quite a few people.
ALL OF THE SKATING STARS are just NORMAL PEOPLE. Like their families, or you, or me. There is nothing different about them, they are just on TV because they're good at their jobs- acting, or singing, or gymnastics! I know it's common to get star-struck but honestly, they are just down-to-earth human beings at the end of the day. They were all lovely people to meet and the whole show was really cool.
And that was the trip to DOI!
Hope you enjoyed reading about it.