Dancing on Ice 2023: Leeds gymnast Nile Wilson wows judges with 'unbelievable' first performance on ITV show
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The former Team GB athlete, 26, was one of six celebrities to open the ITV reality competition’s 15th series, partnered with a new addition to the 2023 line-up, ice dancer Olivia Smart. Another five celebrities will brave the ice next Sunday.
The six celebrities were judged by Olympian skaters Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, Diversity dance troupe founder Ashley Banjo and former Strictly Come Dancing professional Oti Mabuse, and their scores will be combined with a public vote.
Nile was the last celebrity to perform during the first episode and delivered an emotional ice dance to Harry Styles’ Sign Of The Times. He had the highest total score of the night – 29.5.
Christopher said Nile was like a “dog with a bone” when he tries to get a performance right, while Ashley said: “Sometimes you see a performance and have to remind yourself you’re in week one.”
Oti added: “You are special. What you did had so much quality, it was so easy to watch and so enjoyable to watch you. That was unbelievable.”
Joey Essex and his professional skating partner Vanessa Bauer were the first couple to perform on Dancing On Ice 2023. The former The Only Way Is Essex cast member, 32, delivered a sophisticated performance which featured a lunge and a lift. He scored 27, and the judges gave him widespread praise.
Former EastEnders actress Patsy Palmer, 50, scored 21 points for her performance, while The Wanted’s Siva Kaneswaran, 34, was given a total score of 24. Love Island star Ekin-Su Culculoglu and her partner Brendyn Hatfield then took to the ice for a “hot” performance of Britney Spears’ Toxic, scoring a total score of 21.5.
Former Liberty X member Michelle Heaton, 43, was lifted out of a hot air balloon by her partner Lukasz Rozycki onto the ice for her first performance of the series. She finished the high-energy routine with a lift and received at total score of 19 points.
Next week will welcome to the ice ex-footballer John Fashanu and professional Alexandra Schauman; Coronation Street actress Mollie Gallagher and professional Sylvain Longchambon and comedian Darren Harriott and professional Tippy Packard.
Drag queen The Vivienne, who won the first series of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, will skate with professional Colin Grafton, while soap star and West End musicals performer Carley Stenson completes the line-up with professional Mark Hanretty.
At the end of the second premiere episode, the couples with the lowest combined score from each show will compete in a skate-off to see who leaves the competition. This Morning’s Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby are hosting the reality show again.