Last week, we had the luck of the Irish as Keith Duffy won the second heat of this year’s Splash!. This week marks heat three where we find out who will be joining Duffy, Anna Williamson, Michaela Strachan and Perri Kiely in the semi-final.
The show starts with the usual spectacle from the Splash! dive crew, during which we are introduced to this week’s competitors. Comedian, Patrick Monahan; 80s pop star, Paul Young; MP for Portsmouth North, Penny Mordaunt; star of TOWIE and wearer of pants, Dan Osbourne and finally Model and WAG, Danielle Lloyd are the celebrities willing to throw themselves into a pool for Saturday night television this week.
We then meet the star of our show who makes his entry with a reverse 1 1/2 somersaults with half a twist dive off the top board.
Tom Daley emerges from the pool in a manner which would put Daniel Craig in Casino Royale to shame. Gabby Logan, dressed as a pack of highlighter pens, comments on his stroke action! After a short chat about how this might be the best week yet, which seems to be a weekly occurrence, Daley unfortunately goes to put some clothes on, meaning that the competition is ready to begin.
As usual, Andy Banks, Jo Brand and Leon Taylor make up the judges.
This week’s first diver is Patrick Monahan. In his training VT we see his willingness to give everything a try. He is seen throwing himself off each board, sometimes landing face first or back first but always with a smile on his face.
In his pre-dive chat from the 10m board he won’t shut up, leaving us wondering if he might be the first competitor to be shoved into the pool by Logan. After a bit more chatting and some rehearsing, Monahan eventually performs a front 1 1/2 somersaults with tuck, landing almost on his back with a huge splash. It’s the most difficult dive we’ve seen so far this series but that is applauded by the judges who score him 23 (7.5/8.0/7.5).
80s pop star Paul Young, best known for ‘Love Of The Common People’, spends most of his training video complaining about how old he is compared to tonight’s other celebrities. Daley says: ‘He can’t let his age hold him back. That’s not a valid excuse in my books’.
We return from the VT to see Young with Vernon Kay on the 7.5m board. There is a look of terror on his face as he chats with Kay and then Daley shows us how to perform the dive, a simple piked fall. The dive itself isn’t that bad but, as Taylor pointed out, compared to Monahan, it is a very simple dive and is unlikely to see him through to the semi-finals. The judges award him 20.5 (7.0/7.5/6.0)
Third up on tonight’s show is Penny Mordaunt MP who has been causing waves of another kind with her appearance on the show. Following in the footsteps of Nadine Dorries by featuring in a reality show as a sitting MP, Mordaunt has donated her £10,000 fee for appearing to Hilsea Lido.
In the VT, we see Mordaunt attempting dives from all heights of board as well as the springboard and we are told that she will be performing the hardest dive ever performed on Splash!. Kay informs us that Mordaunt is performing a back dive which, from Daley’s demonstration, actually looks rather simple but due to only being able to see the water at the last moment, it is much more difficult than it seems.
It seems that not being able to see where she is going proves to be a stumbling block for Mordaunt as she overcooks the dive, producing an impressive wave upon impact. We can’t help but wince as the replays are shown and the ‘ooh’s and ‘ouch’s from the crowd tell the same story. Despite the huge bellyflop, she scores an impressive 22.5 points (7.5/8.0/7.0).
Dan Osborne takes to the boards next and well… umm… we’d give him a 10 just for how he looks with his kit off! In a skimpy pair of leopard skin trunks, his rippling abs look incredible.
Performing the same dive as Diversity’s Perri Kiely did in week one, Osborne puts in a reasonable effort at the back somersault from the 10m but his legs are bent and apart. Banks comments on how it was the most controlled dive of the evening but Taylor says it was a stunt dive and he would need to do a head first entry if he was going to get top scores. He does take the lead with his dive scoring 23.5 (8.0/8.5/7.0).
By the way, he looks even better when he’s wet!
Danielle Lloyd is our final competitor of the night and she has had a rather difficult week in training. We see in her training footage how – just two days before the show – she had a nasty impact off the 7.5m board, landing on her back and folding in two. Visibly shaken and in tears, Lloyd says that she was concerned that she had broken her back as the landing caused her legs to go tingly.
Lloyd has to be commended for getting back onto the boards so soon after her accident and she performs a front pike fall. Although it was the simplest dive of the night, both Taylor and Banks describe it as ‘beautiful’ but she only scores 20 points from the judges (6.5/7.5/6.0).
Once the lines have opened, there is a short video in which Daley explains, with the help of a sports psychologist, how fear can affect the diving. Daley says that the risk of injury creates an element of fear and describes his numerous injuries including hitting his head twice on the board leaving two scars, tearing his triceps three times and bone bruising in his back.
After another commercial break, we are treated to an office-themed display from the Aquabatix and the Splash! dive crew with Daley once again finishing the routine but this time letting loose with a manic leap from the top board rather than his usual graceful dive.
Osborne is the first celebrity to make it through to the semi-final and we are very happy about that.
There is a shock result; Monahan is the first celebrity to leave the show this evening despite scoring well in what was arguably the most challenging dive we’ve seen all series.
Young is the next to leave, meaning we get to see Mordaunt and Lloyd dive again in the splash-off.
Penny almost empties the pool on her second attempt as she over rotates even more this time. She will be returning to the House of Commons with a lot of bruising which seems to be developing in front of our eyes as we wait to see who will make it through to the semi-final.
The judges are unanimous in sending Danielle through as they all say that she improved on her first dive as Penny faltered.
Next week we find out who will join them and before the credits roll, we get to see who will be taking part. They include Jenny Eclair, Richard Whitehead MBE, Austin Healy, Una Foden and Pollyanna Woodward. We can’t wait!
All images courtesy of ITV.