Hosts Phillip Scofield and Holly Willoughby announced a controversial rule change at the beginning of Sunday evening’s Dancing on Ice.
The duo confirmed that two couples would be leaving the competition instead of one, and that, as a result, the phone lines would be open from the beginning of the broadcast – before any performances had actually taken place – to give viewers more time to save their favourites.
Many viewers took to social media to critique the decision, complaining that it had turned the series into a “popularity contest”, as it meant skaters would not be judged on the merits of their dancing, but on who had been favoured over the course of the series.
“Well done #DancingOnIce. Way to lose some more credibility,” user @TellyLad wrote on Twitter. “Open vote before they have even done any performances. Proves my point that it’s a popularity contest not an ice dancing contest.”
So we can vote before we've even seen them do anything? Officially making it a popularity contest. This programme is a joke. #DancingOnIce
As a result, Anthony Cotton and Donna Air were given the boot, leaving Max Evans, Kem Cetinay, Brooke Vincent, Alex Beresford and Jake Quickenden to battle it out next week.
Last night’s episode also featured an appearance from pop star Camilla Cabello, who rolled out a stunning performance of her song “never be the same” on the ice with the professionals skating around her. Check it out below.