Battle of the Blades Finale

14 11 2011

The final 3 skated their final performances before the nation-wide vote that would crown one pair, Battle of the Blades Winners.

Can you believe it?

A season scarred by the untimely death of Wade Belak… I almost wondered if it would still go on. But it is simply a shadow in the past now that the season is coming to a close. The performances were fantastic along the way, and seeing these final 3 skate for the last time in competition is a tribute to the hard work, dedication and heart it takes to make it this far.

I don’t know that I wouldve picked this final 3 in the first episode. I knew Tessa Bonhomme had a great story as the first female, and arguably the best partner in David Pelletier. I saw the untapped grace of Boyd Devereaux and the potential he had with his lines and skating quality. In Bryan Berard, I saw an underdog with nothing to lose and everything to gain, his popularity got him only part of the way… his attitude and steady progress got him to the finals.

So who will win it all?

It’s a tough call… and I find myself going back and forth constantly as soon as I try and reason out the ‘best winner’.

Tessa has been flawless… Boyd was always a consistent frontrunner… Bryan has the audiences heart.

THoughts?

We’ll find out tonight in the Battle of the Blades Finale… someone will finally win the Battle, the victor is crowned tonight.

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Battle of the Blades: Final 4

7 11 2011

Down to the final 4 skaters on Battle of the Blades : Curtis, Boyd, Bryan and Tessa.

They all showed off their Top 4 skills in last night’s performances – which also included brief solos.

It’s obvious that now, the stakes are higher and the bar has been raised every week, so each skater is trying desperately to stand out form the crowd and distinguish themselves as the true leader. However, I think all 4 have a shot of winning the Battle of the Blades title this season. No help from the judges who are giving high scores to all the skaters now.

I think Curtis may be the strongest male pair of them all. He has the physical strength, but also moves with such accuracy and grace. I can really see his tranformation and growth week after week.

Tessa tried a very difficult stunt, which unfortunately did not pay off. But, she had the most technically difficult routine and pulled off other elements to flawless perfection.

Boyd has become a finesse skater and can channel his performance-side better than anyone else in the competition. He’s starting to look like a figure skater now!

Bryan seems to have the audience and the judges wrapped around his every performance. He still has that oafish quality, but his passion and perseverance is inspiring to watch. I don’t know that I would’ve given them a perfect score…

So who will go home tonight?





Battle of the Blades October 31 Results

1 11 2011

The dreaded Results show. We all knew it would be difficult to send a skater home after Sunday night’s Halloween episode of Battle of the Blades.

It became even MORE difficult when two frontrunners fell into the bottom two, and were forced to skate for their continuation on this show. The bottom two this week were Cal Hulse and Boyd Devereaux.

They both skated phenomenonly well – both times. there really wasnt a reason to vote out either one of them based on performance or even growth potential. Both were considered leaders in the competition…

So the judges faced a seriously tough decision, solely based on opinion and taste.

Cal Hulse was ultimately sent home.

Tough choice. Thoughts?

 





Battle of the Blades: Halloween Episode

31 10 2011

The Halloween episode of Battle of the Blades has become a tradition, and I applaude how well placed the episode is within the span of the season (purely by accident, not design…)

The Halloween episode is usually the final 4 – which means that each pair is talented enough, and confident enough to pull off a creative piece in full costume.  *Also, Ron and Kurt have become endearing enough to pull off those ridiculous costumes. No one else Ron, no one else.

Creativity can really only flourish when the buts and bolts are mastered. Once the technique is solid, the pairs have the ability to try new things and add more flair.

Last night, was a perfect example of that!

Each couple took to the ice in FULL Goulishly delightful costume (thanks to the CBC wardrobe department) and pulled off their best dances of the season. Not only their best in terms of technicality and skill… but most free, most confident, most professional skates of the season thus far.

I was worried about Bryan Berard as just a ‘fan favourite’ – his size does not do him any favours on the ice, and at times he comes across as oafish and awkward. Last night, his size worked 100% in his favour! This dance was created especially for him and his ‘characer’. He was large and lumbering, but he pulled off some great lifts and kept in character throughout the entire performance.

I’m never worried about Tessa Bonhomme and David Pelletier. They always deliver, always surprise me, and are always confident in their routine. Tessa and David have been working on some pretty dangerous stunts, and last night… in true Halloween fashion, they scared the HECK out of me with a few of their death defying spins and lifts.

I have a ‘thing’ for Boyd Devereaux…. and I doubt I’m alone. He LOOKS liek a figure skater now, his lines are beautiful, his movement is fluid and gentle – he really stands out in his technique. He also pulled out a fantastic Halloween Wolfman routine that resulted in seriously high scores fromt he judges… and the first 6.0 of the season!

Lastly, Cale Hulse and his hair. He and his partner went the comic route and danced to Love Potion Number 9. Very cute, very charastmastic, not everone could pull that off. It looked more liek a Dancing with the Stars routine, because the performance value was so high.

Thoughts?

I can’t believe one of these skaters has to go home…in my (humble) opinion, Bryan Berard is still lacking in finesse and performance. But I can make a case for everyone, it was a great night of skating!





Battle of the Blades: Week 5

24 10 2011

Round 5, and Viewers Choice week on Battle of the Blades.

Every week gets better and better, but I really felt that this week was a stand out week for all of the contestants. Everyone had a GREAT performance, and the confidence level is at an all time high. It makes it more fun to watch a confident ice skater than one that feels like the toe-pick is going to get him any time.

So last night was a fun show to watch.

After last week’s ‘save’ of Brad May, unfortunately he was the bottom of the pack tonight. Not that he had a bad skate, but because others are beginning to pull away and emerge as front runners for the ultimate title.

People like Boyd Devereaux (a favourite of mine…) who attained some serious praise and highs cores form the panel this week for his ‘Fever’ dance.

Also strong, Cal Hulse. That guy’s hair must be the prettiest head in all of Canada right now. I mean honestly. It’s like Carson Kressley without the spray tan. He is so big, yet so graceful… he has a real shot at winning the whole shebang.

Then you’ve got fan favourite and judges favourite Bryan Berard. There’s a special place in everyone’s heart for the hulking bad boy turned refined and elegant (like Beauty and the Beast). He had his best overall performance last night complete with good technique and emotional quality.

Curtis L rounded out the final 5 with a more up tempo skate that I wast particularly fond of, if I must say. Maybe it was the song, maybe it was the fact that other dances were so strong and memorable… I found this piece lacked a little bit.

However, it was Brad who came out the points loser at the end of the night.

Will fans save him tonight? The judges sure can’t…

Thoughts?





Sunday Night TV

17 10 2011

When the heck did Sunday night become THE TV Watching night of the week?

seriously.

Last night, I watched Amazing Race, Battle of the Blades, Cover Me Canada, Football, Baseball and X Factor!!!!

Move over wednesday night, Thursday night has met it’s match… Sunday night TV!

I was surprised to see X factor on, I guess I missed the ‘special time’ announcement. I also did not watch alot of that show to begin with (I hear I’m not the only one…) But lately I’ve been tuning in if I run into it. Does anyone else find it an absolutely shamless display of the ‘have and have not’ of American society to have struggling singer perform like court jesters infront of the Judges… at their homes?!?! I mean really. I reminds me of when Royalty used to have musicians ‘play for them’ to satisfy their amusement. It actually enrages me, if you couldnt tell. I don’t want to see the opulent estate and the famous friends of the judges. I don’t care, and it makes me feel bad about myself. There are enough things in this world that make me feel bad about myself, I don’t need Nicole Sherzinger’s house looking down at me.

There are some great singers on that show, as expected. That’s why I find myself watching it from time to time.

How about Amazing Race…are you watching this season? Amazing Race is one of those shows, like Survivor, where the format makes it a winner, no matter what. It’s an exciting show, consistently every season.

Battle of the Blades is starting to get good too… it’s at the ripe stage where the skaters are finally getting their legs and their talent is able to shine. They also did a particularly interested retrospective on the Sale/Pelletier scandal of the 2002 Olympics (has it been 10 years?!).

Last night, there were some great performances, specifically by Cal Hulse who did a ‘shoot the duck’ the end the skate, and by Tessa Bonhomme who is really starting to look the part.

Results tonight!

So what did you watch? There was something for everyone last night





Battle of the Blades Premiere: Night 2

27 09 2011

Night 2 of The Battle of the Blades aired last night, and the final 4 skaters performed their first routines.

Remember, this is the non elimination round 1… so each skater will receive scores and votes that will be carried over into next week. I’m always in favour of this process, yes, it’s a bit of a cop out… but I feel like it really gives the audience a chance see the development of each skater. It is very difficult to ‘pick a favourite’ after one performance.

So last night, the rest of the contestants got their shot to perform, elimination free – and after last night’s debut, they had a lot to measure up to…

The night opened with a tear jerker – Russ Courtnall emotionally stepped in to ‘replace’ Wade Belak and has taken on his charity with sensitivity and empathy. Apparently last season, Russ skated to Hero by Nickelback, and decided to choose that song again for the purposes of remembering another fallen hero. Sandra Besik came absolutely unwound and overcome with emotion. A touching tribute, a fitting first skate.

Next, Curtis Lecshyshyn… skating with someone familiar to most Canadian figure skating fans, Berezhnya. If it doesnt come to you right away, remember the 2002 Olympics, when for a day or two the Russians had won Gold and it sparked a massive controversy that rocked the figure skating world? That was her, it was Berezhnya and Sigulutzi…. and the outcome had nothing to do with them. NAyways, nice to see her skating in this country, she is truly gifted, and she has a great partner in Curtis. His footwork and speed was outstaning for week 1, and he’s got loads of potential.

Next, Todd Simpson… another character guy. He is charming and funny, and he works hard… a winning combo. His ‘Blades of Glroy’ routine on and off the ice are making him ‘the one to watch’ for his charisma. He is also commercial, wearing a new ‘skating themed’ shirt for every day of practice… I smell endorsements! His first skate was very well executed, I think these skaters have put in more time and dedication to this routine than any of us are aware.

Lastly, Battle of the Blades history was made when Tessa Bonhomme (donning a Shania Twain-esque sexy sequined Leaf jersey) took to the ice as the first female hockey playing contestant. It does NOT hurt her chances that she is skating with arguably the most talented and well-loved pairs skater of all time… David Pelletier. They earned a week 1 high score for their performance. My only worry is that people will assume that David is carrying her, or doing more work… let’s see how she overcomes that assumption.

Thoughts?








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