Love Islander Maura Higgins has said it was "nerve-wracking" to be the first skater out on Sunday night's Dancing on Ice but she was praised for her "sassy" performance.

Half of the ITV show's contestants performed last week, and the remainder will perform this week.

Longford native Higgins went first and scored 22 out of a possible 40.

She admitted she was "shaking" after her routine with professional partner Alexander Demetriou.

But judge Christopher Dean told her: "You were sassy on Love Island and I think you brought that sass here tonight."

Also on Sunday's show, former football star Kevin Kilbane and professional partner Brianne Delcourt laughed as the hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield commented on them being a couple in real life.

The pair recently confirmed they are an item.

Asked how they juggle their romance and their skating partnership on the ITV show, Delcourt said: "I'm definitely the boss on the ice.

"I allow him to be the boss at home."

Maura Higgins at practice 

The couple scored 18.5 for their football-themed routine

Contestant Trisha Goddard is already in the skate-off after coming bottom last week.

The TV star, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008, said she wanted tonight's routine to "be about my recovery and continued recovery from breast cancer".

Goddard said she would be skating for all the people going through cancer.

"I wear my scars as a badge," she said.

Lucrezia Millarini and her partner Brendyn Hatfield only managed a score of 18 despite pulling off some dramatic lifts and a complicated Helicopter move.

The tricky skill saw the newsreader being spun around on Hatfield's shoulders.

Dean said although there were some big lifts he thought the routine was "unbalanced", and fellow judge John Barrowman said he would have liked to have seen Millarini's skates on the ice a little more often.

Dancing on Ice airs on Virgin Media One.