Safe to say we were very excited to start the season 3 of Battle of the Blades last night… a weeks ago, that changed with the terrible news that one of the most beloved cast members, Wade Belak died weeks before the premiere was to air.
So what were your feelings heading into last night? Mixed right?
There were alot of questions preceeding the show… would someone ‘fill in’ for the contestant, would there be a tribute to Wade, would the show even go on?
The answer is yes, yes and yes.
Taking the spot of Wade is returning contestant Russ Courtnall – one of the better stories of the past seasons.
Was there a tribute to Wade? Of course, in true classy Canadian fashion. No pomp and circumstance, just a black ‘in memoriam’ title card, and host Ron Mclean solemnly declaring before the show, ‘this ones for you Wade’. At the end of the show, some hockey colleagues shared a few thoughts in tribute. I thought it was just right, very fitting.
But how could you not choke up at the footage of Wade showing off his ‘angel’ tattoes for his wife and two young daughters. I’ll bet there is a lot of footage taht was simple unusable due to the tragic nature of his demise. But this was just heart breaking enough to really make you wonder ‘what could have been’.
Would the show go on? Absolutely! The teams were officially unveiled and introduced in the premiere, the competition begins next sunday. Let’s recap the teams shall we?
Violetta Afanasieva and Cale Hulse- Skating for the Canadian Cancer Society
Tanith Belbin and Boyd Devereaux – Montreal Neurological Institute and Epilepsy
Elena Berezhnaya and Curtis Leschyshyn- Childrens Hospital of Saskatchewan
Tessa Bonhomme and David Pelletier- Ronald McDonald House
Marie-France Dubreuil and Bryan Berard- Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health
Marcy Hinzmann-Harris and Todd Simpson– YMCA Strong Kids
Anabelle Langlois and Brad May – Autism Speaks
Kim Navarro and Russ Courtnall- Tourettes Syndrom Clinic
It was a great way to start a season, and a nice way to ease into a season overshadowed by an untimely loss.
The show has a heart. It always has, the cast really becomes a family unti, and each pair has an unbreakable bond. The charity aspect is not just a side show – it’s the passion and soul of each contestant.