Dancing On Ice judges Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean have addressed the "fix" claims surrounding this series of the ITV ice skating show.
Speculation arose among viewers of the 2022 season after fan favourites Coronation Street's Sally Dynevor and Happy Monday’s Bez survived the competition for weeks while "better" competitors were sent home.
However, the Olympic skating duo were quick to deny the claims in a recent interview, with Jayne announcing they are “used to” the accusations and are both “bored” of hearing them.
Christopher told The Sun: “There’s a sort of fascination for entertainment factor characters like Bez, who every show has, and it’s just about how long they sustain. Eventually the audience decides how long it’s going to last."
He added: “Bez did really well, he wanted to do his best and there was a lot of production and a lot of entertainment value."
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Viewers' votes contribute to half of the skating pair’s overall scores, while the verdict from the Dancing on Ice panel — which this year includes Oti Mabuse, who takes over from John Barrowman — makes up the other half of the score.
Reminding fans that it’s largely their decision who is voted through each week, Christopher added: “We’re just judging what we see, but the majority of the time, it’s the viewers at home that are voting to keep people in.”
Torvill and Dean went on to discuss another reason the 2022 season has been met with controversy, addressing claims that contestants with dance experience have an unfair advantage over their fellow competitors.
This year, the contestants that have come under fire include former Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt and professional dancer Brendan Cole, who is a former Strictly Come Dancing star and ballroom professional and has remained at the top of the leaderboard this series.
Torvill and Dean offered up 2019’s winner James Jordan in response to this, noting that “his actual skating skills at the beginning were really very weak, very poor” and that it was only thanks to his “really hard work” that he made it into the final.
Last weekend saw Sally Dynevor exit, with Bez bowing out the week before.
The remaining seven Dancing on Ice 2022 contestants will be taking to the ice for Torvill and Dean on Sunday 6th March.
Wyatt and Cole appear to be the two favourites to win so far, but anybody could still skate away the champion by the time the final arrives.