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Dancing on Ice: Cool facts and figures on what it takes to become champion

| 15.01.2022

When does Dancing on Ice start?

The 14th series of Dancing on Ice is set to launch on Sunday, January 16th, and will see 12 celebrities partner up with professional ice skaters to perform live routines in front of a panel of judges. A combination of judges’ scores and a public vote will see couples eliminated until just three remain to contest the final. Here we’ve analysed the data from previous series to predict what might happen in 2022.

Do male or female celebrities perform better in Dancing on Ice?

In the 13 series to date there have been only four female winners, with the other nine years – including all of the last five – seeing a male contestant triumph. In fact there has only been one female winner in the last eight series – Beth Tweddle back in 2013 – and eight of the last 12 finalists have been men.

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Therefore Kimberly Wyatt and Liberty Poole – the shortest-priced female contestants at the time of writing – will have to work hard to impress both the judges and the voting public if they are to succeed.

Does age matter in Dancing on Ice?

Ice skating is physically demanding so it’s no surprise to learn that youth beats experience on the rink. More than 60% of the contestants who were under the age of 25 when they performed their first routine – 10 out of 17 – went on to reach the series final. In fact almost half of all celebrities who had yet to celebrate their 30th birthday – 24 out of 49 – got this far, compared to around one in every eight whose twenties were already behind them.

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Last year former Olympic athlete Colin Jackson became the first contestant in the history of the show to reach the final after turning 50. Nobody else in this age bracket has even reached the final five before, so we shouldn’t expect much from outsiders Bez or Sally Dynevor this time around.

We can dig into the numbers further by combining age and gender together. Being the youngest male contestant in a series has provided the biggest edge in the show to date, with an average finishing position just shy of third.

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For both male and female contestants there is a clear pattern of “the younger, the better”, so if two men or two women are going head-to-head then history suggests that the junior celebrity is the more likely to prevail.

What type of celebrity succeeds at Dancing on Ice?

There are six different celebrity careers represented in series 14. We have four known primarily for making music, three for their sporting achievements, two dancers, and one each from the worlds of acting, presenting and reality TV.

With three of the four former contestants with a dance background having reached the final, it is no surprise to see this year’s dancers – Brendan Cole and Regan Gascoigne – among the favourites. As Regan is the younger of the two by almost 20 years, he may have the edge.

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While both of the two most recent winners – Joe Swash and Sonny Jay – are known for being presenters, they are the exception rather than the rule. Only one of the other 39 entrants with a notable presenting background has made it as far as the final: Laura Hamilton back in 2011. Therefore it’s probably correct that presenter Ria Hebden is not among the favourites this year.

Do the judges’ scores matter in Dancing on Ice?

The judges get to have their say before the public are able to cast their vote, but their scores have often disagreed with the show’s fans. Only five series champions received the highest average scores over the series and ranked highest in the final itself.

Last year’s winner Sonny Jay became the third winner in the show’s history who ranked below first on both of these measures. Furthermore, the previous final finished in a three-way tie that the public broke in favour of Joe Swash despite the other two finalists averaging better scores from the judges over the series.

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While the judges can clearly influence which celebrities progress through the series, their favourite couple is by no means guaranteed to lift the trophy in 2022.

View the latest Dancing on Ice odds



Warren Barner