On Saturday night’s episode of ITV’s diving show, Splash! it was Dan Osborne, Anna Williamson and Richard Whitehead who each had to dive twice during the second semi-final. Rugby legend Austin Healey had to withdraw after injuring himself during rehearsals just prior to the show going live and being taken to hospital. In the end it was Paralympian Richard who impressed both the judges and the viewers at home with his diving prowess, while in the Splash!-off between Dan and Anna it was Anna with ‘helicopter legs’ who was sent out of the pool and then sent home.
The show kicked off with a power diving showcase of men in red trunks plunging into the deep water below before the stars were brought on then continued with a spot of synchronised swimming for good measure in the pool.
Vernon Kay and Gabby Logan welcomed viewers to the last sem-finals live from Luton.
Show mentor Tom Daley then appeared, having just won gold at the National Cup finals only last Sunday, to give a tremendous triple spiral dive.
The hosts then handed him his newest gold medal when he came out of the pool.
‘It really is the night where the fight is on,’ he pointed out.
‘This semi-final has been one of the most competitive things I’ve ever seen,’ Tom told the hosts.
Rugby player Austin Healey was missing from the the opening line-up of the show having suffered an injury during rehearsals on Saturday.
During rehearsal he injured himself during his second dive and is now in hospital with doctors looking after him. Attempting one of the hardest dives ever on the show he landed awkwardly and Tom noted that Austin’s situation, at that point in the show, was still not known.
‘Diving is really a dangerous sport,’ Tom pointed out. ‘It’s really tough and so many people have hurt themselves on the board and accidents do happen.’
Judge Jo Brand said the three remaining contestants tonight needed ‘to push the boat out a little further and go out of their comfort zone and produce something that is more exciting than they have done before – big it out’.
First to take the board was Dan ‘the man’ Osbourne from TOWIE in a pair of glittery black and red spotted trunks.
‘A couple of injuries have stopped me from doing these head first dives,’ he told Gabby. ‘I hope the judges will be impressed.’
‘We didn’t even know they made lycra like that,’ An impressed Gabby pointed out.
‘They were already mine!’ Dan replied with a big grin.
Dan’s stunt dive was accomplished, if a little thrown together, perhaps.
Afterwards the judges said he looked a bit like a rag doll being thrown off, but he still managed a somersault with a twist.
‘The only way is epic,’ Jo told him with a laugh. ‘Nice work and nice trunks!’
His score total was 22.5.
Dan set a high benchmark for the show with the next contestant being Paralympic athlete Richard Whitehead and the only diver to attempt a dive from the 10 metre board.
Richard’s dive began with an impressive handstand before a plunge into the deep below.
‘That was awesome,’ he said when he came out of the water. ‘That was definitely a good dive.’
The judges were really impressed with Richard’s upper body strength with Jo saying it was a privilege to be a judge and to judge what he is doing.
‘I’m saying that because normally I’m not a judge I am a defendant,’ she quipped.
Richard’s dive total from the judges was 25, putting him in the lead, which he was very happy about.
With two down, it was time for children’s TV presenter Anna Williamson to take to the board as the final first dive, in lieu of Austin’s absence.
Wearing a flattering gold and pink swim suit Anna decided to do the technically difficult swan dive.
As the only girl in her semi-final, her head was throbbing after all the pounding she suffered during training.
‘I am so privileged to be the only girl left in Splash!,’ she pointed out. ‘I have taken some battering this week and never been in so many tears. I am sick of being in tears and crying and tonight I am going to do it for the girls.’
Anna’s dive began with her getting into the zone and then giving the crowd a thumbs up.
She leapt off and executed a great dive without anymore horrendous battering.
‘Girl power – that was brilliant,’ Gaby told her.
‘Thanks and I am so chuffed I got off the board,’ Anna replied, ‘and I did the swan dive – finally,’
Jo thought the dive looked very elegant and was very impressed. ‘You went for it – look at your poor legs, put some trousers on,’ she told her.
The other judges thought her dive was ‘on the money’, with Anna’s total tally being 24 which then put her in second place.
‘All the tears were worth it,’ Anna said with a thrilled smile.
With the three semi-finalists all having dived at this point, Dan was at the bottom and Richard at the top, with a second dive still to add to their tallies. The viewer lines were then opened for voting.
Dan was then up for his second dive.
‘The handstand was inspired by Richard and I wanted to do something more technical,’ Dan explained. ‘I hope it goes well and impresses the judges.’
Wearing his same red and black sparkly swimming trunks, Dan put his hands up to do the handstand before executing a great dive into the water – without any wardrobe malfunction like happened last week with Keith Duffy.
‘All I wanted to do was hold the handstand and not do the rest of it,’ Dan said.
The judges gave him credit for a great dive with Tom as his mentor very impressed.
The tattooed-TOWIE hunk’s total came to 24.5.
Paralympian Richard went down to the 7.5 metre board to do ‘a bad ass dive – this is what Splash is all about – believe and achieve’.
The owner of an MBE performed the handstand backwards dive in a pair of golden and purple glittery trunks.
The judges thought it a great job – Joe said he had his lucky trunks on ‘like superhero trunks’.
His score from the judges came to 25.5 which put him in first place on the leaderboard.
Anna went for technique for her second dive – ‘there has to be a girl going through to the finals surely!’
She went off the three metre springboard doing a tight one-and–half somersault.
Anna psyched herself up for the dive and although her legs were not totally together she accomplished the dive.
‘I know we shouldn’t have make excuses but I have so much fake tan on that I slipped,’ she declared.
The judges liked the fact that she was being so brave and Jo said Anna looked ‘like a little pixie going off a flower’.
Her judges total was 24 out of 30, which put her in second place on the leaderboard, with Dan on the bottom.
After a spectacular circus-themed performance by the show’s dive team, it was time to see who was going through to the final and who would have to compete in this week’s Splash-off!
The celebrity going through instantly to the final with the highest score was Paralympic athlete Richard.
That meant Dan and Anna had to do the splash-off and repeat one of their earlier dives.
Dan took to the board first to repeat his handstand dive, which was executed well, although a little bendy-legged at the close.
Anna was next with her springboard dive somersault, which also better than her original version, albeit with ‘helicopter legs’ as the judges call it.
The judges then had to decide who they wanted to go through. Leon chose Dan, while Jo said they both upped their game, but chose Anna. It was up to Andy and he chose Dan, who then went through.
The show’s finals, which will also feature Keith Duffy and Perri Kiely, will take place on February 15 on ITV at 7:20pm.