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Page last updated at 15:20 GMT, Friday, 20 March 2009
Stars braced for ice dance final

Dancing On Ice finalists
Donal MacIntyre, Jessica Taylor and Ray Quinn are the only remaining celebs

Three celebrities are competing for one of the top reality TV crowns in the finale of this year's Dancing On Ice on Sunday.

Investigative reporter Donal MacIntyre, former Liberty X singer Jessica Taylor and The X Factor's Ray Quinn are all up for the title.

A host of celebrities, including Jeremy Edwards, Melinda Messenger and Roxanne Pallett, have crashed out over the course of the series.

Taylor and Quinn, already skilled dancers, remained though alongside wild card MacIntyre, who was placed in the bottom two in the first week.

Ray Quinn reckons that's just the way it goes.

"Anything can happen," he said. "No matter where you're placed on the board or how good you're doing, or how [many] big scores you get, anything can happen, it's all down to that vote."

Occupational hazard

One of the challenges the trio have to tackle in the final alongside their skating partners is flying on wires.

"Jessica and Ray look fantastic in the air," said Donal MacIntyre.

"Jessica is like a graceful Concorde and Ray is like Top Gun, you know. I'm a cross between Budgie The Helicopter and a blimp.
I may not be the best skater or performer but happily I have won the biggest bruise competition
Donal MacIntyre

"I will get around but it's not going to be pretty."

All three finalists, especially the men, agreed that the main problem with flying was the discomfort.

"You do have to do a lot of "front seat adjustment"," said MacIntyre. "After the flying training you feel like you've been in a car crash, because you're trying to hold your balance."

"It certainly chafes, let's put it that way," laughed Jessica Taylor. "It's not comfortable at all.

"I love it though, it's like being on a fairground. But after a while of spinning around and being upside down and being in the harness and stuff it gives me a real bad headache."

Ray had another problem on top of the flying pains - his motion sickness.

"Flying was a bit of a challenge 'cause I don't like heights," he explained. "I'm scared of rollercoasters, I get seasick, I get car sick and I don't like being on boats."

A problem contestants have had to contend with throughout the series is the bruising from falls on the ice.
Zoe Salmon
Zoe Salmon was one of the more recent celebrities voted off

"I may not be the best skater or performer but happily I have won the biggest bruise competition," said Donal, "and I think when they do a sum-up of ice skating champions they'll have [my] bruise as probably the best and finest bruise in the history of Dancing On Ice!"

"I bruise easily anyway," explained Jessica, "but I'm absolutely black and blue. You feel wrecked at the end of a day, getting into a bath just hunched over.

"But you just have to crack on with it, 'cause come what may you're gonna have to perform on Sunday."

'Over the moon'

Jessica, Ray and Donal agree that the great things about taking part in the show outweigh the bruising, though.

"I'll really miss it," said Jessica."I won't miss being cold all the time or getting up early in the mornings, but I'll miss the show so much. You know, getting taught to skate by Torville and Dean is a dream come true."

Donal revealed he was certain he wouldn't win, admitting he wasn't sure why he was even in the final three.

"The thought we're in the final is just simply preposterous," he laughed, "and I think it's only because I started as a genuine beginner.

"I started with low expectations and from a very low base from which you can only really improve."

Competition between the two favourites, Jessica and Ray, looks set to be tight though, once the skates get laced on on Sunday night.

"Winning the show is obviously something that we all really, really want," said Ray, "and I am out there to win it, I am out there to fight for it, because I really, really want it.

"If I did win, what can I say? I'd be absolutely over the moon."

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