Television is all about escapism apparently. We watch Home and Away to vicariously enjoy life on the beach. We watch Hollyoaks as our own life is alas not filled with glamorous blondes. And we watch Antiques Roadshow because we know that one day we will all end up in a small pot, as a dozy great-nephew sells us to Fiona Bruce for a tenner.
With this in mind, ITV honchos must be pretty pleased that we are yet to witness the deluge of snow many were forecasting (although primarily weather forecasters.) So what better way to indulge in a bit of winter weather escapism than Dancing on Ice, which in keeping with the time of year, have also removed their holly.
Enter Christine Bleakley, who, let's be honest given her career trajectory, is probably a contestant on this within three years. Enter too a colossal number of participants - there hasn't been this much skating on thin ice since Piers Morgan gave testimony to the Leveson Inquiry.
But forget the weather. Forget the hosts. To hell with the contestants too - the only question worth asking is who will win this Zenith Data Systems Cup of reality pigswill?
For starters, over-35s simply don't win these type of shows. Young, hot people invariably do well instead (Attwater, Quinn, Shaw et al.) Hey kids - it isn't our fault. Don't hate the player, hate the game.
This ageism is dreadful news for ex-Dallas babe, now-old woman Charlene Tilton 130.0, Not-So-Little Mo from Eastenders (Laila Morse) 150.0, and the fitness-nut Rosemary Conley 75.0.
The headline story so far has been the exit of Chesney Hawkes (amazingly pulling out injured rather than due to a diary clash) and the consequent soiling of our screens with replacement Chico. Given the success of previous Popstars/X Factor inmates (Shaw and Quinn), there are those who will fancy his chances at 14.0. Yet even Chico's old "what time is it?" routine is probably a bit meh for this crowd. In a strange sort of way, reality television has tired of reality tv.
So who is left after eliminating the old, the unattractive and the used? Favourite Matthew Wolfenden 4.5 and Sam Nixon 17.5 should lead the charge for the boys, with our suspicion being that Sebastien Foucan 17.5 may be a little too French despite ticking other boxes.
But the trend in the six series to date, has been for male and female winners to alternate each year, and following Attwater in '11, it should be a female champion in 2012. Hence it could become a three way scrap between the trio of hotties; Heidi Range 13.5, Jennifer Ellison 4.9 and Jorgie Porter 9.2. Of those, Ellison has the definite advantage, in that she's dancing with Daniel Whiston, who has so far glided two of the three previous female winners to victory.
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