Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What Not to Watch: Skating with the Stars is a Train Wreck

I love figure skating. Loved hitting the local rink when I was younger. I wasn't half bad once I got used to gliding on the skinny blades. I still watch skating championships on television (when there isn't a good football game available). And never miss Olympic figure skating... But when the idea behind Skating with the Stars was first announced... I thought it was nuts! Similar to Dancing With The Stars, celebrities are paired with professional skaters to learn how to perform ice dancing and figure skating routines. Sorry, but teaching a non-dancer to navigate the dance floor is entirely different than teaching a non-skater to figure skate and ice dance. Having now seen the debut episode... I think that Skating with the Stars just might possibly be the very worst show I have ever seen. It was painful to watch and as hard as I tried, I just could not manage to stick it out for the entire first episode.

First... British host Vernon Kay... who is no Tom Bergeron... droned on and on about this being the most dangerous live competition on TV: "The performances will be just as explosive, the costumes even tinier, but there is an added element of danger — razor-sharp blades of steel strapped to the feet of six very nervous stars!" And then after all that, nobody even fell. Which I guess is a good thing. At least there were some good falls in the training montages... As Kay says, "If you like watching celebrities fall over, and let’s face it who doesn’t, then you’ve come to the right place." (He did have a point on the watching celebrities fall over thing!)

The judges are an "interesting" mix. Dick Button is a legend, the voice of television figure skating for as long as I can remember, and it's sad to see him here on this horrible show. Johnny Weir is pure entertainment in a Bruno Tonioli kind of way... he makes for good television but stands out in a way that begs to be made fun of. Laurieann Gibson is a wonderful choreographer, but does not do well on television. She comes across pretty flat.

I've never heard of any of the professional skaters. And barely heard of any of the celebs... OK... Sean Young from an old Kevin Costner movie... On the plus side... since there are only six celebs, my guess is that the show will do a test run for 6 weeks and fade into oblivion? One can only hope!

And Sean Young proves just why it is she is so annoying!

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