03/02/2013 00:37 | By Dan Owen, contributor, MSN TV

Tom Daley's Splash! on ITV: Eddie 'The Eagle' wins

TV review: Tom Daley's Splash!, ITV's celebrity diving series, crowns Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards winner.


Gabby Logan, Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards, Tom Daley and Vernon Kay in ITV's Splash! (© Gabby Logan, Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards, Tom Daley and Vernon Kay in ITV's Splash!. Image. ITV)


Summary

Tom Daley’s Splash! drew to a soggy end with three celebrity divers in its final: former-Olympic ski jumper Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards (winner), Benidorm actor Jake Canuso (runner-up), and 51-year-old interior designer Linda Barker (third place.).

The ITV celebrity diving series had the last laugh after five weeks of ridicule and dreadful reviews; surprisingly healthy overnight ratings averaging over five million viewers.

Highlight

The standard of diving was much better, befitting a final, but Eddie 'The Eagle' continued to eclipse his rivals with a perfect score of 30 for his opening dive, and a near-perfect score for his synchronised dive alongside Tom Daley.

He also came across as the only person having honest fun; entering into the spirit of the show with enthusiasm and no hint of irony.

Lowlight

The whole shebang is an unrelenting lowlight of varying degrees, but I still think Jo Brand and her hackneyed quips as "comedy judge" have been the biggest annoyance. Prolonged self-deprecation isn't very becoming after a while.

Full review

You have to give Splash! credit for maintaining an audience of over five million viewers, although it's perhaps less of a statement on the show's quality and more the lack of family-friendly entertainment in general.

In the wake of the BBC axing Total Wipeout and Harry Hill's TV Burp ending, Splash! is the only Saturday night show you can plonk an eight-year-old and 80-year-old in front of without anxiety.

"You have to give Splash! credit for maintaining an audience"

That's not quite true of crude dating gameshow Take Me Out, let's be frank.

A big concern I had for the Splash! finale was the three celebrity divers left in the competition, down from the usual five of the heats.

The show has already been struggling to fill its 90-minute timeslot with five dives (which last a few seconds), so it would have been unthinkable to reduce that number to three dives.

Thankfully Splash! managed to get around this obvious problem by having the three celebrities perform a second dive synchronised alongside Olympic mentor Tom Daley.

This actually meant we had six dives to watch; a minor but definite improvement. If ITV re-commission Splash! based purely on the ratings, a fundamental improvement will be to insist on more diving content.

Hooray for Tom Daley

It was also good to see Tom Daley physically involved more in the live show rather than be reduced to a post-judgement poolside comment.

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If Splash! returns for series two, will you watch?

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  1.  
    47 %
    Yes - it was exciting
    1,535 votes
  2.  
    53 %
    No - it was rubbish
    1,751 votes

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After five weeks, the show did get marginally better, but it never made enough changes to rise above the standard of harmless and/or brainless weekend frivolity.

The producers ensured the horrendous first episode was never repeated and smoothed some obviously rough edges in the instalments that followed.

It helped that Eddie 'The Eagle' had an infectious exuberance as a competitor; little wonder the voters quite rightly made him the winner.

Let's not forget the flesh count - most weeks provided semi-famous celebrities in their swimwear.

However, Splash! isn't something I want more of on TV.

Even if the running time was reduced to an hour and the celebs did more actual dives, there are better things to be watching or doing.

Ultimately, it was a largely dull end to a poorly-conceived show, with flashes of tension in two of the six dives. But at least the public managed to crown an appropriate winner.

  • Verdict: Yes, Splash! improved as the weeks went on, but it's still a flawed vehicle.

    Star grade

What other reviewers said

The Mirror's Kevin O'Sullivan: "What is jaunty Jo [Brand] really doing on ITV's worst programme since Mark Wright's Hollywood Nights?"

Daily Mail: "ITV's celebrity diving show Splash! remains worryingly amateurish and unwatchably bad."

What people on Twitter said

‏@timlovejoy (presenter Tim Lovejoy) - "Why has #TomDaley got clothes on?! #splash"

@louiespence (Louie Spence) - "9 for that dive @JakeCanuso he was robbed let me get hold of those judges #splash"

@Angela_Griffin (actress Angela Griffin) - "Watching Splash is making me want to eat a Cadburys Egg & Spoon, a pepperoni pizza and swim."

The views in this article are those of the author alone and not of MSN or Microsoft

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