Dancing On Ice 2023: The only way is… up! Joey Essex and Vanessa Bauer bring their off-screen chemistry to the rink as former TOWIE star opens the new series with an impressive 27 points
Dancing On Ice returned for another year on Sunday evening with an ultra-glamorous launch – as Joey Essex kicked off the show with his dance partner Vanessa Bauer.
The former TOWIE star certainly started things off with a bang as he took to the ice in a suave two-piece suit and even swung his partner in an airplane lift as they bagged 27 points out of a possible 40.
After months of romance rumours between the pair, they took the chemistry to the ice as Joey could be seen dubbing his partner ‘Easy on the eye’ and admitting that there would be ‘some flirting’.
It came after the show began with an show-stopped opening performance from the professional skaters as they stormed the ice in neon ensembles while dancing to Whitney Houston’s I Wanna Dance With Somebody – before being joined by the 11 new celebrities for a grand finish.
Hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby returned to the rink too as the show’s hosts, as the latter looked sensational in a black diamanté embellished gown.
Joey’s opening performance impressed the judges, as judges Jayne Torvil and Chris Dean both scored him 6.5 points, with the latter saying: ‘Tonight I think you stole some hearts, that was a great performance. A few things to be careful of, be careful that you have got to skate up to Vanessa, don’t let her pull you around.’
While he scored a 7 from both Oti Mabuse and Ashley Banjo, with Oti dubbing the reality star: ‘Charming’.
Before the performance, the show gave viewers a glimpse into Joey and Vanessa’s prep towards the first week and showed the moment they began training.
But the reality star didn’t just have his eye on the prize, as he also liked the look of his partner.
Upon meeting, he said of Vanessa: ‘She’s easy on the eye, ain’t she? Vanessa is single, I’m single. There’s gonna be a bit of flirting going on.’
The show features former EastEnders actress Patsy Palmer, Love Island’s Ekin-Su Culculoglu, 28, and Liberty X’s Michelle Heaton, 43, who all hope to be crowned champion.
Other celebs competing in this year’s series include football legend John Fashanu, olympic gymnast Nile Wilson, Coronation Street’s Mollie Gallagher, Drag Queen and TV personality The Vivienne, comedian Darren Harriott, actress and West End star Carley Stenson and The Wanted’s Siva Kaneswaran.
DANCING ON ICE 2023: MEET THE CONTESTANTS
PROFESSION: Actress and DJ
WHAT DID THEY SAY?: ‘I’ve turned it down before because I was terrified, but when I turned 50 I made a pact to get out of my confront zone. ‘
PROFESSION: Love Island star
WHAT DID THEY SAY?: ‘I’ve got some amazing news to tell you. I’m so excited, I can’t wait to get myself on the ice and skate. Stay tuned and see you on the ice.’
WHAT DID THEY SAY?: ‘I’ve not got the best coordination so when people find out they will laugh, but I don’t want to spend my life saying “I can’t do this, I can’t do that.”
PROFESSION: Ex TOWIE star
WHAT DID THEY SAY?: ‘I’m so excited. I wanted something in my life with structure and it’s more serious than what I usually do.’
PROFESSION: Actress and West End star
WHAT DID THEY SAY?: ‘I’m so excited that I get to learn how to dance…on ice! I’m terrified but can’t wait – I just want to make the most of this whole experience.’
WHAT DID THEY SAY?: ‘I want to learn how to skate and make my family proud of me and put on a show for everyone to see.’
PROFESSION: Former footballer and pundit
WHAT DID THEY SAY?: ‘I am definitely in it to win it.And this may be one of the scariest things I’ve ever signed up for but I couldn’t be more ready for the challenge!’
PROFESSION: Olympic gymnast
WHAT DID THEY SAY?: ‘I’ve not done much ice-skating but I am so excited for the opportunity. I’m so excited to get into that routine and to feel like an athlete again.’
JAMES LEE WILLIAM AKA THE VIVIENNE
PROFESSION: Drag queen
WHAT DID THEY SAY?: ‘To be the first drag artist to take part in one of the big UK reality competition shows is an honour and a big step forward for queer representation on TV.’
WHAT DID THEY SAY?: ‘I’ve got giant feet, I don’t skate and I can’t dance. My family has already made bets – they’re making bets that I’ll fall on the first episode!’
WHAT DID THEY SAY?: ‘I’ve always wanted to do it but I know I would never have been able to complete anything because of the way I was 18 months ago, so I’m really truly grateful that I’ve got it this year when I’m a lot stronger.’
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