If you have followed Tom Daley’s career with any amount of interest one thing you couldn’t have missed is that there was always a media tint to it, so no surprise when the program ‘Splash’ was announced and he was a major part of it.
Tom is an Olympic ‘hero’ of sorts, granted it was just a Bronze medal but it far more than most of us will ever achieve sports-wise. As for the celebrities learning to dive from scratch does take a considerable amount of effort and dedication, so there are positives about the venture, but is it entertaining? With some trepidation I tuned into watch this.
In a summary the programme is like a cheap version of Strictly Come Dancing hosted in a local council’s leisure centre with diving instead of dancing. Five episodes are to be shown with two celebrities each from three heats making it to the Semi-finals and after that the final.
Tonight’s heat had Benidorm’s Jack Canuso, Sugar babe Jade Ewen, Comedians Omid Djalili and Helen Lederer, and Presenter Jenni Falconer competing for a place in the semi finals.
There seemed to have bussed in millions of screaming Tom Daley fans off to the Luton Regional Sport Centre, Stopsley where it is being filmed, as every time he made an appearance the volume of high-pitched screams went up several notches. Needless to say there were endless appearances of Tom in’ the micro trunks he’s made his trade mark to keep the fans contented.
The dive order was Jade Ewen, Jack Canuso, Helen Lederer, Jenni Falconer and lastly Omid Djalili. The dive itself lasted no more than a few second which meant there was a huge amount of time to fill and a lot of it was filled by slow motion shots of the celebrity contestants boogey-ing and high-five-ing their way up onto the diving platform – all a bit weird and random.
The diving itself was mildly entertaining, Jenni was quite ambitious and seemed to have done the most technical of dives to my lay man eye’s , Omid and Jake were adventurous and Jade and Helen didn’t let themselves down as they conquered whatever fears they may have had coming into the competition.
The judging panel had Olympic silver medallist Leon Taylor, Team GB coach Andy Banks and Jo Brand, yes Jo Brand the comedienne It turns out Jo Brand has previous form as it were, she had previously fronted a programme on satellite channel Dave called Jo Brand’s Big Splash and she dived on that programme after some training with a coach of Tom Daley’s, Blake Aldrige. So there you go
The judge scores were a bit erratic, especially those from Jo. With the judge’s scores tallied up Omid emerged top of the leader board followed by Jake, Jenni, Jade and Helen in that order.
Just like strictly the judges scores are added to a public vote and out of that Omid topped the overall score and went straight into the semi-final, Jade and Helen came bottom and were voted off the show, while Jake and Jenni went into the ‘splash-off’ which jake won to also go through to the semi-finals.
The sum of what I just described could have been over and done with in 20 or some minutes how on earth this programme ran for 90 minutes is nothing short of a master class in how to pad out a TV programme, over 30 minutes of commercials also helped.
Was it quality programming? No. Was it worse than other Saturday early evening filler we have endured over the years like Total Wipe out Bring on the Wall, etc? Not really. Will I be making a point to catch up on it? No.
But if you want to judge for yourself you can watch it on ITV Player here .