Who will/did you vote for after night one?
Okay, let's get something out there right away. I HATE show skating! I try to watch it and I feel like most of what I see is cheesy and so contrived that it drives me insane. However, I was very, very surprised with how decent tonights premiere of Skating With the Stars was.
First things first.. the commentator, Vernon Kay, gives me a Dylan Moscovitch vibe. Anyone else see that? I have no idea where Kay came from, but he did an alright job. Unfortunately, they stuck Tanith Belbin up in a room all by herself, only to show a side view of her face during the replays of the highlight moves after the performances. I bet she feels a little bit silly. All of her wording is a little too stressed and rehearsed for my liking, and I wish they'd have her doing the interviews with the skaters afterwards. Oh well.
Now, the skating. I predicted that Brandon Mychal Smith and partner Keauna McLaughlin would be the early favorites. They sit in third place after their performance, and I was really surprised at how comfortable he looked on the ice-- he held his own rather than being dragged around like many of the others. His spiral really wasn't that bad either.. definitely better than mine!
Denis Petukhov is paired with Sean Young. They skated slow and didn't really have any content, but it's nice to see that she already understands the more delicate aspects of skating. All of her positions were strong.
Jonny Moseley is paired with Brooke Castile, and I think it's pretty obvious they have a really strong connection. Just as in the Thin Ice show earlier this year, I thought they skated more individual than trying to relate to each other during the performance, but he's also doing a really decent job for just having five weeks of training.
Johnny Weir skated in the intermission. Before anyone complains how he's still just doing triple toes, I remind you to take a look at the size of the ice. Nothing new here, but he was still entertaining (although I would have ditched that heart accessory that was around his neck at first). He was much tamer as a judge than I thought he'd be, but he seemed to get a kick out of giving Jennifer and Vince such low scores, who I'll highlight in a second.
Rebecca Budig and Fred Palascak were next. Oh hey, Fred! Never noticed him before, and he's from the same area that I'm from. They had great connection and her spiral was gorgeous. She said in her pre-skate fluff that she and her sister used to play pairs when they were little, which was cute. They are a very, very good looking couple if you didn't figure out I already thought that ;-) They are the leaders after the judges vote.
Vince Neil and Jennifer Wester are in last place. Vince skated when he was little, but unfortunately he looked really out of his element compared to the other five celebrities here. A lot of standing in place and not much difficulty, but honestly I expected more of this from everyone else. They've just advanced much quicker than usual.
I thought I was going to be so annoyed by Bethenny Frankel, and I wasn't at all. She really did look like she was enjoying every minute of being there, and she took the judges' criticisms well. She and partner Ethan Burgess had the best lifts of any of the skaters, but she also looked a bit awkward at times when she was skating on her own. Still, not nearly as bad as I envisioned. Funny moment (which I titled this post) in the pre-skate fluff where she meets Ethan and says, "The fact that you're not gay might be alarming to my husband, so we might have to pretend you are." Ha. Oh, figure skating.
No falls, only a few slight stumbles from Vince. Pretty enjoyable, honestly. Dick Button stumbled much less over his words than he did in his last few years of competition commentating, and I thought he had some really quick-witted and funny comments. "Remove the girdle", anyone?