Luke Campbell through to final of Dancing On Ice after Gareth Thomas forced to withdraw
Luke Campbell is through to the final of Dancing On Ice.
The result is not without controversy, however, as it came about after fellow contestant Gareth Thomas was forced to withdraw due to severe motion sickness.
The rugby player had suffered throughout the week’s training for tonight’s show, which involved every act completing a “flying” routine on a high wire, and after just one performance tonight – without wires – medics advised him not to return to the ice.
Hull’s Olympic gold boxer will therefore be in the final, although he and his fellow contestant were visibly concerned and disappointed about the way the result had come about.
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Upon hearing the news he was through, Luke told Christine Bleakley: “We have been working hard and have put the time in on the ice and we will carry on doing that but I am just gutted at the way Gareth has gone out. As another sportsman that is the last thing you want to do.”
Luke, who skated to Westlife’s What About Now? and “flew” on wires to James Vincent McMorrow’s Higher Love, will now compete against actor Matt Lapinskas and fellow Olympian Beth Tweddle in next week’s final.
Luke had impressed judges last week, when he had to skate with a skipping rope, but this week his performances were criticised and his scores were significantly lower than his fellow finalists.
After the flying routine, “nasty” judge Jason Gardiner told Luke: “That is exactly why I don’t like watching boys fly because unfortunately you do not exude of express anything when you are in the air.
“It is almost like you were completely devoid of any emotional connection especially with the piece or with your partner and unfortunately with it being a semi- final performance I wanted to see you carry that all the way through and you didn’t – it was very lacklustre.”
His performance was roundly defended by Christopher Dean, however.
The Olympic Gold medallist, who choreographs and trains the stars with his dancing partner Jayne Torvill, said: “I think he has had an amazing transformation. He is a boxer and we have got him out here in this costume, skating and emoting. He has come so far and on that routine we really challenged him with a lot of new moves so I have to give [him] big congratulations.”
Follow Lucy Lyon on Twitter @lucy_lyon