Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Battle of the Blades 3 - week 1

Not sure if this is really week 1 or 2. Since last week's episode was the "pre-competitive" stage it doesn't really count. The competition was spread over two evenings. Guest judge was Darcy Tucker who just grinned and tried to be polite, at least until the end of the second evening when he knocked the Leafs. Ron MacLean and Kurt Browning still look stiff and awkward together despite working together for 3 seasons. The judges are trying to be so nice they are annoying. Bring on Simon Cowell.

Annabelle Langlois & Brad May

Their first performance was a little lame with some air guitar work that had Brad smirking. He really needs to work on his air guitar. The pair performed some impressive lifts which is indication of where their strengh will be in this competition. The other being that this is Annabelle's second run at Battle of the Blades. Brad was more mobile that i thought he would be. Sandra called the pair "equal parts physicality and charisma," and marveled that Brad was surprisingly quick-footed. Darcy suggested "Maybe a couple knee bends to loosen up the hips and the corners," and Jeremy just shouted "Mayday!" Total score: 16.2.

Violetta Afanasieva & Cale Hulse

They skated to terrible Katy Perry song that I don't believe fit into the rock and roll theme. The performance was awkward. Cale looked like a pylon. Violetta is no Shae-Lynn Bourne and as much as she tried could not compensate for her partner's stiffness. Jeremy thought it was "fantastic", how would he know. Darcy liked it probably because the pair are attractive. Sandra provided some incomprehensible comment about she saw "smiling and a lot of thinking." I saw a train wreck and clearly I can't figure out the scores. Total score: 16.6.

Tanith Belbin & Boyd Devereux

The pair at least dressed like figure skaters. Boyd wore a grey dress shirt with jeans. Tanith wore a sequins black dress. Some of the female skaters looked like they were dressed for pole dancing. Everyone talked about how fast of a skater Boyd was. Man did he look slow out there. He obviously is not yet comfortable in figure skates. Sandra couldn't help but advise the pair to work on their speed and presentation. It was a nice way of saying they stunk. Darcy said the pair was "smooth, silky, and technically sound," proving that he is a Jeremy wannnabe Jeremy made a sound contribution by stating Tanith was "very easy on the eyes." Total score: 16.2

Marie-France Dubreuil & Bryan Berard

CBC keeps trying to sell Bryan's eye injury and his return to the NHL as some sort of incredible superhuman feat. Far from it. It was nice to see Bryan recover although he was just a journeyman the rest of his career. Like the other three performances, it was stiff, slow, and uncomfortable. Marie-France moved around a lot to compensate for the over sized pylon she was skating with. It wasn't pretty. Jeremy said "it was nice of Hell's Angels let Bryan come do the show for us (a reference to hs many tattoos)," then he also hit on Marie-France. Darcy said "you look great out there" because he couldn't think of anything different to say. Sandra said this was Bryan's best performance. So I guess next week might be his last. Total score: 16.5

Kim Navarro & Russ Courtnall

Last season Russ looked awful so I wasn't expected much. Obviously the experience of being back a second season is an advantage. They didn't look so bad. I was pleasantly surprised to see how well their lifts went and how much they were in synch with the music. So instead of giving Russ some credit for his skating the judges rambled on about what a great human being he was. Sandra was close to tears telling him "You're a role model as a father, a son, and as a friend. On behalf of all Canadians, from the bottom of my heart, thank you." Darcy mumbled something about the choice of music. followed this up with the stunningly unhelpful and somewhat contentious statement, Jeremy said something almost as deep. Total score: 16.7

Elena Breezhnaya and Curtis Leschyshyn

Curtis was as stiff as a rusty gate buried in snow. I thought Elena would look much better but perhaps she is still trying to figure out how to skate with rain barrel. The first part of the video below is painful to watch. Naturally the judges gushed over the performance. Sandra called the pair "the purists of the competition," proving that this program needs to find some honest judging. Bring back Toller Cranston. Total score: 16.4

Marcy Hinzmann-Harris & Todd Simpson

Todd is a big goof which actually provided some comic relief. As it turns out Todd fit in well with his fellow hockey players turned skaters - the man can't dance. Surprising he can lift his partner just fine though the mount and dismounts looked very awkward. Marcy word the skimpiest outfit. More suitable for pole dancing than ice dancing. The judges gave their standard "great performance," "loved it top to bottom," and "I liked it." Jeremy just ogled Marcy. Total score: 16.5

Tessa Bonhomme & David Pelletier

The breakthrough pair was left to the end and of curse everyone was wondering the first pairing of a male figure skater and a female hockey player would do. They did not disappoint. It was a surprisingly strong performance, Mainly because she looked more graceful than Curtis Leschyshyn or Russ Courtnall. Jeremy was consistent at least by also hitting on Tessa. She was at least treated as a peer to the other females. "I'm glad I didn't play against you, because I'd have a lot of holding penalties in my time," he said. Darcy made a better joke, poking fun at Tessa's outfit. "With that shirt on, I don't know if you could get away with a Stanley Cup lift," he said. Hey finally Tucker is admitting the Maple Leafs suck. The Toronto crowd booed. Sandra tried to bring in some political correctness by call Tessa "the epitome of the modern woman." Total score: 17.0

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