Ice wars heat up as Blades bows and Skating begins

Tonight at 8 p.m. on CBC, the winners on season two of Battle of the Blades will be chosen from among the three final pairs of contestants. Based on Sunday’s near flawless skate-offs, it’s a pick ’em finale between Shae-Lynn Bourne and Patrice Brisebois; Isabelle Brasseur and Todd Warriner (right); and Ekaterina Gordeeva and Valeri Bure.
The Russians have had an edge all season, but I’m not ruling out ex-Leaf Warriner and Brasseur who have been the most daring of the three remaining pairs. Brasseur is one trusting soul, allowing Warriner to swing her around by her feet, hold her upside down and high over head and just generally do all sorts of things people who have only skated together for eight weeks should not do.
I set up tonight’s finale in a piece for The Canadian Press last week, you can read the full story here.
CTV has lucked out by picking up ABC’s copy cat celebrity ice show–Skating with the Stars–which premieres Monday night at 9, immediately following the conclusion of CBC’s ice drama. You could not schedule this any better if you actually made the damn show yourself.
Even better for CTV, one of the original Blades judges, bullet-headed oldtimer Dick Button, is a judge on the new series. Clearly he chose the ABC gig for the money, because he’ll have to sit through some brutal pairs skating. The U.S. effort does not feature ex-NHLers, but B-list celebrities such as forgotten film actress Sean Young, Motley Crue frontman Vince Neil and Olympic skier (and obvious front runner) Jonny Moseley. One of the Real Housewives stars is also putting her implants to the test.
The teaser from ABC is straight out of an SCTV parody. “Watch out, the Blade Runner is here,” says Young, identified as a “film icon” instead of “That crazy bitch who  wanted to play Catwoman.” Later they all declare, “It’s time to kick some serious ice!” You can check it out here.
Skating with the Stars is from the people behind Dancing with the Stars and will follow that series Monday night, which should give it a push onto the ice. An earlier U.S. skating series, Skating with Celebrities, aired in 2006 on Fox. It was abysmal, with Todd “What chu talkin’ ’bout, Willis?” Bridges hobbling around on skates and Bruce Jenner grabbing some rebuild face time before the whole Kardasian thing took off. The series is remembered, if at all, for contributing to the break up of the marriage of Brasseur’s old pairs partner, Lloyd Eisler, who left his wife and newborn child to hook up with his TV partner Kirsty Swanson.
Eisler and Swanson won that competition, so go Sean Young. If it is real fake pairs skating you’re after, however, stick with Battle of the Blades.

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