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Nile Wilson secures perfect score on DOI after mental health-inspired routine

Nile Wilson (ITV/PA)
Nile Wilson (ITV/PA)

Nile Wilson and Olivia Smart have scored the first 40 of this year’s series of Dancing On Ice.

The 27-year-old Olympian skated to In My Blood by Shawn Mendes, which he chose because the lyrics conveyed his mental health journey after retirement from gymnastics.

In the video before his performance, Wilson spoke about his feelings of “complete loneliness” after retiring from the sport and turning to drinking, gambling and painkillers – describing himself as being in a “scary place”.

Wilson scored the first 10 of the series from judge Ashley Banjo before receiving a perfect score.

He said: “The story I told took a lot of courage to do that and this process has given me some life and some light.”

Judge Christopher Dean said: “What I loved was the raw emotion. I think you surprised yourself with what you can bring out of yourself. I hope Dancing On Ice has filled that void because that Olympic flame always burns bright.”

Oti Mabuse said: “I want to thank you for being on the show, for speaking out about mental health and letting us see you for who you really are, because that was perfection.”

Jayne Torvill said: “If this was the Olympics, you’d be a winner,” while Banjo added: “I always knew you had the physicality but finding that heart – great performers are not great because of their technique, they’re great because of their heart. Tens well deserved.”

The five remaining celebrities will all skate twice during the semi-final, with the second round seeing them choose a song for their “personal skate” in a bid to avoid the night’s double elimination.

The Wanted singer Siva Kaneswaran performed an emotional tribute to late bandmate Tom Parker during the semi-final.

The 34-year-old and his partner Klabera Komini skated to the band’s track Gold Forever (For Tom), which was a version re-recorded to raise money for the Brain Tumour Charity after Parker’s death aged 33.

The song, originally released in 2012, was also played at the singer’s funeral after his death in March last year, 17 months after he was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour.

In the video before his performance, Kaneswaran said Parker was like a brother and the routine was for everyone who “knew and loved Tom”. He added: “This is for his memory.”

Dancing On Ice 2023
Klabera Komini and Siva Kaneswaran (Jonathan Brady/PA)

He and Komini received their highest score of 36 for the routine, which saw Parker’s widow Kelsey blowing kisses from the audience, who later said: “I don’t know how he did it. Tom would be so proud of him.”

Mabuse described the dance as “magical” and Dean said: “You did him proud.”

Ashley Banjo added: “To take something so personal and let that enhance the quality is a feat.”

Last week Kaneswaran survived the skate-off against actress Carley Stenson who was the sixth celebrity eliminated from the show.

Meanwhile, in a bid to avoid the double elimination, Drag queen The Vivienne performed an emotional skate with partner Colin Grafton to Over The Rainbow by Eva Cassidy – securing three out of four 10s.

The 30-year-old entertainer, who rose to fame on BBC Three’s RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, said she chose the track after watching The Wizard Of Oz as a child which made her feel like “anything was possible”.

The Vivienne said she pleased to receive their highest score of 39.5, having fallen over in the first solo group performance – which opened the show.

After falling face first on the ice, she told co-hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby: “My knees are hurting a little bit. We are dancing on ice, these things happen.”

Following her near-perfect second performance, she joked the fall would make a “brilliant Tik Tok video”, adding that being in the semi-final of the show meant a lot “especially at a time when drag is under attack”.

Reality star Joey Essex also performed a tear-jerking skate with Vanessa Bauer to High by Lighthouse Family in memory of his mother, who took her own life when he was aged 10.

The 32-year-old said in the video before his routine that he was a “mummy’s boy” and the track reminded him of a time just after her death when he was in Marbella.

After scoring 38, Essex said: “I did it for my mum, I also did it for Vanessa, she lost her dad last year. Their is light at the end of the tunnel.”

Struggling to hold back his tears, judge Dean said: “You did your mum proud.”

In a bid to make the final with her partner Sylvain Longchambon, Coronation Street actress Mollie Gallagher performed a routine to My Immortal by Evanescence.

The routine, inspired by the hate-crime storyline she portrayed on the ITV soap, secured the 25-year-old her highest score of 25.

The final of Dancing On Ice will air on March 12 at 6.30pm on ITV1 and ITVX.