Welcome to the latest episode of Skating With Celebrities! Last week, we saw Todd and Jenni go home after Todd took an inevitable spill on the ice. This week, the remaining five pairs are back for more punishment. We know from last week’s previews that Kristy smacks her chin on the ice this week. We also know (from watching lots and lots of reality TV), that it’s probably a lot less dramatic than they want us to believe. How sick is it that they’re trying to lure in viewers with promises of bloodshed? How sick is it that it worked? (speaking hypothetically of course *ahem*)
With only five pairs performing tonight, you know what that means. FILLER! It’s a time tested tradition in reality TV, even though it annoys almost everyone. Let’s hope the skaters don’t have to film some hokey commercial for Coke or Ford. As the show starts, it’s obvious that the one way the producers are filling the time is by recapping every little thing that happened last week. Since you, of course, read last week’s recap, we don’t need to rehash all of that.
This week, all of the teams are starting from scratch. None of the previous scores are carrying over to this week. Once again, here are Scott Hamilton and Summer Sanders aka Mutt and Jeff (you can decide which is which). Scott tells us that, even though the competition is becoming more difficult and intense, the most important part of this competition is about delivering an entertaining performance. Summer reminds us that “fan favorites” Todd and Jenni were eliminated last week. Um….. I like Jenni as much as the next person but were she and Todd anyone’s favorite? This is just like Little League when everyone gets a trophy, even if they lose every game and really suck quite a lot.
Scott tells us that we’ll be shocked at the progress the teams have made. He also tells us that this week, the new element they will have to perform – in addition to last week’s skill of synchronized footwork – will be an unassisted, traveling, one-legged lunge. When Scott says this, it sounds like the most exciting and difficult maneuver ever. Scott needs to switch to decaf. I love him, but he’s so excited he’s practically hovering above the ice.
Jillian and John
Jillian and John’s great chemistry on the ice has resulted in high expectations: from the judges and from themselves. Now they’re trying to up the technical difficulty of their programs. The concern is that the focus on tricks will cause their program to suffer artistically. At the rink, we see lots of footage of John lifting Jillian….. and dropping her too. Choreographer Michael Siebert looks both impatient and nervous about this week’s program. He reminds them that they don’t have a lot of time. John admits that it might not be a good idea to keep adding elements to their program. We’ll have to see if the focus on technical content will affect their on ice chemistry.
In the spirit of Motown (this week’s theme), John and Jillian skate to “Get Ready.” Jill is in a nearly backless gold sparkly skating dress and John is in all black. They do a sequence of lifts and a spiral, moving into a spin where John swings Jillian around, holding her ankle and arm. They do side-by-side sit spins and it’s all going so well….until John actually falls down while doing what looked like a death drop. Even with the fall, they both look pretty happy about the performance. Scott is, of course, excited. John says that they’re working really hard.
The judges say:
Mark Lund: Mark says he’s not quite sure the audience will like what he has to say. He liked the footwork and the spin. He felt the routine had moments that were good and bad. They need to work more on collective timing. Score: 8.4 / 8.3
John Nicks: An ambitious program – maybe foolishly so. Many parts of the program felt out of control. That was obvious by the fact that John fell at the end.
Score: 8.3 / 8.2
Dorothy Hamill: John, you’re lucky we were mostly watching Jill when you fell. You looked more at ease this week. Balance was better between the technical and artistic. You’re the team to beat in this competition. Score: 8.4/ 8.2
Total score: 49.8
Bruce and Tai
Bruce is having to fill some pretty big skates: he’s had a hard time replacing Randy Garner, Tai’s only partner for 38 years. Now Randy’s their choreographer. Bruce is feeling confident and wants to be lifting and throwing Tai around – Randy and Tai are worried that he is too ambitious. I don’t blame them. After all, one wrong move by Bruce and Tai and Randy won’t be skating any more of those lucrative ice shows anymore. It looks like they’ve settled on trying a death spiral, even though Tai still seems a little apprehensive. Bruce keeps saying “No guts, no glory.” Tai doesn’t seem to be on board with that idea.
Bruce and Tai skate to “Endless Love,” which I really do not need to hear again. Is this really what they meant when they said “Motown?” Just like with James Brown last week (as “Disco”), I think we’re reaching here. Tai is dressed in a champagne colored, sequined skating dress, while Bruce is in what is, so far, the uniform for the evening: black. Inexplicably, he has a pink bow tie, untied, around his neck. They start the program with a little lift and it goes fine. Bruce is looking a little more graceful…. or at least a little less like a lummox. Tai still looks lovely. The lunge goes pretty well and they throw in another waltz jump. They do a two-handed death spiral and Bruce doesn’t drop her. It’s not the best routine ever, but I can’t help smiling. Old guy’s hanging in there! Bruce’s wife is in the audience and is clearly proud. Scott, the master of the ass kissy over-statement, says Bruce might have given him a run for his money had he taken up skating in 1976. Yeah. Aaaaanyway.
The judges say:
Dorothy Hamill: Bruce I admire you so much. You are really getting better. Next time, I want to see a smile! Tai, you are still so beautiful. Score: 8.2 / 8.3
Mark Lund: This is your third performance and now you’re now skating as one. Score: 8.5 / 8.4
John Nicks: He’s not seeing what the other two judges are seeing (Dorothy tries to put his glasses on his face again). Tai, you’re as beautiful as ever and it’s obvious that you and Bruce get on well together. Bruce, you are awkward and don’t have a good style. BUT – you stay on your feet and have lots of determination. He enjoyed the performance. Here’s where I rewound the tape to make sure that he actually complimented them. I’m shocked. Score: 8.2 / 8.5
Total score: 50.1
Bruce tells Summer that he’s having so much fun. He also gives props to Randy for his work with them.
Dave and Nancy
Dave and Nancy had a bit of a let down after their performance last week wasn’t so well received. Their strategy this week: work hard, but laugh more. Dave and Nancy yuk it up on the ice and choreographer Randy is concerned they might be laughing too much and working too little. Dave threatens to wear a tutu and a tube top for the next performance and I pray he’s kidding. If anyone’s wearing that ensemble, it needs to be John. Dave and Nancy laugh some more and she actually looks like she’s having fun. It’s a whole new side we’ve never seen.
As Dave and Nancy take the ice to the tune of “I Just Want to Celebrate,” it’s immediately clear that something’s up. Looking like a cross between Wilma Flintstone and Divine, Dave is dressed in drag. His dress is covered in gold sequins up the front, and back with black arms and sides. He is wearing a gigantic, red, bouffant wig. That is one uuuugly woman. Nancy is in a black shirt and vest, a white shirt and black newsboy cap. She also has on a huge fake moustache. She looks like an extra from Fiddler on the Roof. If she starts singing "Sunrise, Sunset," I'm outta here. With his legs unrestrained by pants, Dave is skating with more confidence. He does a respectable lunge and is skating more on one foot. Nancy puts a hand down after a throw jump, but stays on her feet. Dave still isn’t the most graceful gal on the ice, but it’s better than last week. Dave says that they’re really having fun.
The judges say:
John Nicks: David, David, David…. I think at last you’re showing signs of becoming a figure skater. Throw away the hockey skates and come over to the other side!
Score: 8.0 / 8.4
Dorothy Hamill: She’s a big boned girl. Fantastic! Your skating skills are improving. Fun! Score: 8.2 / 8.4
Mark Lund: Agrees with Dorothy. Score: 8.2 / 8.5
Total score: 49.7
John and Jill are out of the Hot Seat. They’re safe this week. Now Dave and Nancy have to wait and see if they will be eliminated.
Kristy and Lloyd
Scott used a passel of cheesy boxing analogies when introducing Kristy and Lloyd’s clip. I am not repeating them here. Even I have my standards. Seriously though, I thought Bruce Villanch was busy getting skinny (or at least less portly) on Celebrity Fit Club…..how’d he find time to write this dialogue? Ah well, on we go.
Kristy and Lloyd worked hard to rise up the leader board last week. This week, Lloyd wants to take their routines to a higher level. Lloyd says that he’s known for doing dangerous tricks on the ice and now he’s itching to endanger Kristy’s noggin a bit. We see them working on some lifts and then see Kristy whining about the amount of abuse she’s taking. She’s having to learn these tricks really quickly and getting beaten up in the process, as evidenced by the scratch on her chin from hitting the ice. We’ll see if their risk-taking will pay off. Working on high-risk moves and Kristy is nervous. I’m nervous too…. I’ve seen the previews. It’s been like the Olympics when Greg Louganis smacked the diving board. They reran that shot 8 million times and I winced every time I saw it. Kristy’s about the bleed all over her silver costume.
Both Lloyd and Kristy are clad in silver from head to toe this week. Kristy is wearing an old dress of Tina Turner’s – silver and fringy, with a platinum white bob wig. Lloyd silver jumpsuit looks like a cast-off from the live-action version of Thunderbirds. They skate to “Ain't No Mountain High Enough” and while I try to concentrate on the program, all I’m really doing is waiting for the moment where Kristy eats it. From between my fingers, I can tell that Kristy has definitely improved. They do a nice overhead lift and Lloyd’s lip synching a bit. Kristy stumbles and falls on a footwork sequence but Lloyd gets up back on her feet quickly. The chin smack comes on a spin where Lloyd is holding Kristy by one arm and both ankles as he holds her perpendicular to his body (jeez, it’s hard to describe this stuff). They recover nicely and finish the spin and the routine.
The judges say:
John Nicks: Kristy, you were really ambitious and took a lot of risks. Lloyd, what’s with all the lifts? I had a stopwatch and she was in the air for over 20 seconds: over 22% of the whole program. Because of that, it was an unbalanced program and you have to correct that. Score: 7.9 / 8.2
Mark Lund: I don’t have a stop watch tonight. Kristy, I’m sure you were thinking “toe pick” with that fall. You recovered nicely. You were both in synch and are starting to skate as a team. Score: 8.3 / 8.4
Dorothy Hamill: Are you okay, Kristy? (focus on the blood on Kristy’s chin) It seemed you started out nervous and then, after the fall, you seemed to let it go and it was great. I’m sorry for the unfortunate fall. Score: 8.2 / 8.1
Total score: 49.1
Kristy and Lloyd are into the Hot Seat. Dave and Nancy are coming back next week.
Deborah and Kurt
The crowd loved their routine last week, but the judges didn’t. Because the other teams are performing so many pairs elements – especially lifts - Deborah and Kurt being forced to another level and feeling the pressure to attempt more difficult skills. Kurt is at a disadvantage because of his size: the other two professional guys are much bigger than him. This week’s required lunge is giving Deb trouble and now she’s getting nervous. She says she’s having pain in her Sciatic nerve. We’ll have to see if she can do the lunge tonight…..
Deb and Kurt skate to “For Once in My Life” and they open their routine with a lift. Kurt actually flips Deb onto his should and back down again. Deb is wearing a bright pink halter dress. She is also covered in glitter. It’s like there was an industrial glitter accident. Kurt is in black pants and a red shirt. It’s a little Valentine’s Day theme going on. They actually make a pretty good attempt at some lifts. Hey now, Kurt has been hitting the gym. Right on, man! As with the other celebs, Deb is looking much surer on her skates.
Deb says she’ll be skating long after the show is done: she loves it.
The judges say:
John Nicks: Deborah, you’re much improved. He really enjoyed it. Kurt, I’m not sure pairs skating is for you. You’re such a wonderful solo skater and that’s how you look out there. You should probably stick to that. Score: 7.9 / 7.9
Mark Lund: He liked opening lift, but the program didn’t really excite him. Felt like he was at a kid’s dance recital. Score: 7.9 / 8.0
Dorothy Hamill: You really have improved. This was my favorite of your routines. Great lunge. You nailed it. Score: 8.1 / 8.1
Total score: 47.9
- Bruce and Tai – 50.1
- Jillian and John – 49.8
- Dave and Nancy – 49.7
- Kristy and Lloyd – 49.1
- Deborah and Kurt – 47.9
Deborah and Kurt go home! As the scores are announced, it becomes clear that some people can’t add. Kristy acts like she thinks they’re going home. She and Lloyd both thought they had been eliminated and are clearly relieved to know they’re staying.
Deborah, in a really nice exit speech, says that she’s been so inspired by everyone involved in the show. All of the celebs are out there, trying something new when they’re not exactly teenie boppers. She says she’s had a great time and made a lifelong friend in Kurt. Kurt says that Deb has turned into a skater. He thanks her for coming to Canada to practice so he could be with his family and thanks everyone else on the show as well. It’s a nice moment but really, I want to see someone throw a hissy fit. Someone had better throw a fit on this show soon. My money’s on Kristy.
Next week: We’re down to the final four teams! The routines get tougher and two celebs go to the hospital… it’ll probably turn out to be ingrown toe nails or something, but come on and watch anyway!.
Waiting for a hissy fit on ice….Critical@fansofrealitytv.com