Sunday, November 21, 2010

Time to "Kick Some Serious Ice"... and Hold Your Breath: Here Comes "Skating With the Stars"

Before I hit you with some Rostelecom observations… I bet you’re foaming at the mouth with anticipation over tomorrow night’s premiere of Skating with the Stars, which is set to hit the airwaves at—no, I’m not kidding—9:11 (that’s nine-eleven) PM. Because that’s apparently how long Dancing with the Stars is scheduled to run over its 8-9 PM time slot.

Sorry I’ve been lax in getting this out; it slipped through the cracks over the past couple of weeks. Here’s what else you need—and I use the term loosely—to know:

Who’s Hosting: Tanith Belbin (who’s doing a bang-up job calling ice dancing on Universal Sports, so good for ABC in getting her)… and Vernon Kay (who??), a UK guy who appears to be newly under contract to the Alphabet Network. I’ve no clue, so let’s cross fingers on that one.

Who’s Judging: Dick Button (natch; would he miss this??)… Johnny Weir (as previously mentioned)… and Laurie Ann Gibson (apparently a successful choreographer for, um, everything but skating). I guess 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.

Who Are The “Pros”: OK let’s see if I can get this right:

Actress Rebecca Budig is paired with Fred Palascak… and before you wonder “who??” again like I did… Palascak is a U.S. ice dancer who has participated in several seasons of the U.K. series on which this is based (Dancing on Ice) along with his wife (and dance partner) Melanie Lambert.

“Reality Star” Bethenny Frenkel is paired with Ethan Burgess… a former U.S. pairs skater who had some minor-league success with partners Laura Lepzinski and Keauna McLaughlin (the latter before she paired with Rockne Brubaker).

Olympic Skiier Jonny Mosely is paired with Brooke Castile… who as you might know was a U.S. Pairs Champ in 2007 with Benjamin Okolski.

Motley Crue frontman Vince Neil is paired with Jennifer Wester… you might recall her as half of the U.S. ice dance team Wester/Barantsev; their best Nationals finish was 5th in 2008.

Disney Channel star Brandon Mychal Smith is paired with Keauna McLaughlin—yep, the same McLaughlin mentioned earlier. A-ha…

And actress Sean Young is paired with 2006 Olympian Denis Petukhov, who continues to ice dance professionally with wife Melissa Gregory.

Speaking of which—Gregory is offering up a behind-the-scenes vlog for the show… I can’t find her introductory one at the moment, but will post it if I locate it in time for my SWTS review.

In the meantime, you can check out more about the show by clicking here.

Pray that this show doesn’t suck, everyone… ‘tis been a long time since non-Olympic skating was seen consistently in prime time. As I said, I'll post a review later in the week, plus ratings info if I can find it...

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