In Australia, we’ve seen ‘celebrities’ dance, cook, lose weight, enter the Big Brother house, survive in isolation on a Ni-Vanuatu island and make money for a business mogul. But we’ve never seen them dive. Until tonight.
Larry Emdur and Kylie Gilles begin the show with an introduction. Kylie is already standing on top of a 10m diving board. That has to be chilling! We are then introduced to the fourteen celebrities in their training session.
We are then treated with a performance by some professionals before the ‘divers’ come out. They are:
Nick Bracks (it only just occurred to me that Bracks and Edelsten competed on the same season of Dancing with the Stars!!)
Kylie reveals that seven celebrities will dive tonight with three progressing to the semi-finals. The bottom two will be eliminated with the middle two heading to a dive-off for a final place to progress.
We then meet the judges- Matthew Mitcham, Greg Louganis and Alisa Camplin. Matthew promises to be a hard marker. With more credibility going to her Winter Olympic career, I don’t know why Alisa is on that panel.
Laura Csortan is then asked to come out and she explains that she has hurt her lower back and can’t continue. I wish her well, but being one of the lesser-known contestants, I’m not too bothered. Replacing her is Derek Boyer. On second thoughts, I don’t really know him either.
So, the first celebrity plunging tonight is Tamsyn Lewis! She will be diving from 7.5m. She does a backwards handstand dive. I think the funniest moment of that dive was her doggy-paddle back to the edge of the pool. Matthew seems happy with it. The judges believe Tamsyn set the bar high.
The judges then score two points for technique and courage. George gives her an eight for technique and a nine for courage. Alisa gives her a nine and an eight. Matthew gives her a nine and an eight. She gets a combined score of fifty-one!
The audience will be voting for their favourites to add to their scores at the end of the night.
Josh Thomas is next to dive. He will be diving from three metres. Josh hurt himself in training, but he’s good to go. He’s doing a somersault. George notes he ‘fell off’ the board but commends his courage. Alisa loves his red-hot go but can see diving is not his forte. Matthew would have liked more height but also ‘de-masculinises’ him by pointing out his lower diving height.
George gives him a 4 and a 8 for technique and courage respectively with Alisa giving him a 6 and a 7 and Matthew giving him the same. He amasses 38 points, placing him second.
It’s now time for Andrew Symonds to get up there and he’s going from the 10m mark! He performs an inward dive. He gets a standing ovation from the judges. George hopes he gets a video of it. He is impressed. Alisa is also impressed. Matthew says it doesn’t get much braver than that.
George scores him an 8 and a 9. Alisa gives him an 8 and a 9. Matthew gives him a 7 and a 9. He gets 50. He places second, knocking Josh Thomas to third.
Next up is Renae Ayris. She will be performing a backwards dive from 3m. It was gracious. But quite bland. George congratulates her for going in backwards but notes she just fell off the board. Alisa is surprised she went backwards and thinks she is brave. Matthew calls it aesthetically stunning and realises it is still a hard dive.
George gives her a 7 and a 7. Alisa gives her an 8 and a 7. Matthew gives her an 8 and a 7. She totals 44 and places third. Josh Thomas is now in fourth.
Next up will be Derek Boyer. He’s wearing a ridiculous Flinstones-wrestling vest. He will also be diving off 10m. He is yelling at himself to give him courage I guess. I have absolutely no idea what that was, but it was the most painful entry, that’s for sure. I cannot stop laughing. George gives him credit for being a last-minute stand in but is not impressed with the dive. Alisa has the same type of critic. They talk to him as if he’s already out of the competition. Matthew acknowledges that the audience will have to vote to keep him in the competition.
Score-wise, George gives him a 3 and a 9. Alisa gives him a 3 and a 9. Matthew gives him a 2 and a 9. This gives him a 35/60 overall. He is now fifth.
Next up is Paul Fenech. He will be diving off of the 5m mark. His doctors have advised him not to dive higher than 3m due to his ear. He will be doing a dive Matthew did at the Olympics. His ear seems to be fine. George was impressed but notes it wasn’t technically sound. Alisa loves his effort despite his lack of training. Matthew is in agreement with everything.
George gives him a 6 and a 9. Alisa gives him a 7 and an 8. Matthew gives him a 6 and an 8. That’s a combined score of 44; tying with Renae. This pushes Danny to sixth and he will be hoping for a crowd boost to keep him in the competition.
Brynne Edelsten is last for the night. She will be diving off of 5m. She looks like she was going to pull out…she doesn’t want to do it… because she wants to go HIGHER! She goes to 7.5m! Her dive was the same as Renae…but forward. She does quite well though. George commends her for her courage. Alisa is also surprised at her changed her height. Matthew says she’s here to win! The first-night feedback she’s getting tonight is a farcry from the ‘bedazzled sack of potatoes’ speech she garnered for her Dancing with the Stars performance in 2011!
She scores an 8 and the first 10 of the competition from George. She gets an 8 and a 9 from Alisa. Matthew gives her an 8 and another 10. That gives her 53, the HIGHEST score of the night! Again, much better than her Dancing with the Stars performance…on ANY week!
Here’s a recap of the scores from highest to lowest:
BRYNNE EDELSTEN: 53/60
TAMSYN LEWIS: 51/60
ANDREW SYMONDS: 50/60
RENAE AYRIS: 44/60
PAUL FENECH: 44/60
JOSH THOMAS: 38/60
DANNY BOYER: 35/60
With the poolside audience vote, the three divers going through to the semi-final are…Tamsyn Lewis, Brynne Edelsten and Andrew Symonds!
The two contestants going home are…Derek Boyer and Renae Ayris! Wow! I’m surprised Renae is going considering her place on the leaderboard. But that means Paul and Josh will be going into the dive off.
First to dive again is Josh. He back flops into the pool! Paul is next. He looks more graceful there. I think Paul has this.
George votes for ‘Derek’ over Josh. I think he means Paul. Alisa gives Paul a vote as well. I actually think Matthew gave Josh his vote, but either way, Josh Thomas is going home.
Tomorrow, the other seven celebrities give it their best.