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'Skating With the Stars' Season 1, Episode1 (Series Premiere) Recap

by Sharon Knolle, posted Nov 23rd 2010 6:15AM
'Skating With the Stars'['Skating With the Stars' - 'Series Premiere']

"You might like watching stars fall over -- and let's face it, who doesn't? -- then you've come to the right place," began over-the-top 'Skating With the Stars' host Vernon Kay. Hey, he's got us there.

Sadly, the premiere denied us a really good celebrity face plant on live TV, although there were plenty of practice falls. Given that no one actually wiped out, the judges were mostly kind to the new skaters.

The stars skating for your votes: 'All My Children' star Rebecca Budig, 'Real Housewives' reality star Bethenny Frankel, Olympic skier Jonny Moseley, former Mötley Crüe frontman Vince Neil, Disney star Brandon Mychal Smith, and 'Blade Runner' actress Sean Young.

Judging the stars: Skating and reality star Johnny Weir, choreographer-to-the-stars Laurie Ann Gibson, and five-time world champion skater Dick Button (who's shaping up to be the stickler of the panel, à la Len Goodman).


Brandon Mychal Smith and partner Keauna McLaughlin
For someone who's never ice-skated before, the 'Sonny With a Chance' star was very smooth on the ice and the routine was far more advanced than I expected on the first night. Dick told him it was a "very impressive start" and that he has a "spiffy" personality. (Yes, Dick's heyday was in the '40s and '50s.) Laurie Ann said, "That was magical, fantastical. I can't believe you've only been dancing for five weeks. Are you serious?" Johnny praised his focus and Keauna for "reel[ing] his butt in." He called the performance "really solid."

Technical score: 16 (6, 5, 5)
Artistic score: 20 (7, 7, 6)

Sean Young and partner Denis Petukhov
Their routine was far more sedate than Brandon and Keauna's, but they did manage to stay upright. Johnny noted there's room for improvement, but raved, "That was so elegant. I totally got you channeling bunnies frolicking across a beautiful meadow." Laurie Ann trotted out "magical" again to describe being in Sean's presence. She also pronounced her "dreamy, beautiful, beyond" and praised Denis for "carrying her" on the ice. Dick told her, "I fell in love with you a long time ago when I saw that movie you were in," underlining the fact that he's probably never seen any of her movies. He urged her to be less tentative and to "take off your girdle and let 'er fly."

Technical score: 16 (6, 5, 5)
Artistic score: 18 (7, 5, 6)

Jonny Moseley and partner Brooke Castile
Jonny took several tumbles in practice and even (we were told, but didn't get to see) a "skate-kick to the groin" in an ambitiously paced program. Jonny looked completely comfortable on the ice, easily outskating the first two celebs. "Dynamic, amazing," Laurie Ann raved, but asked for "more funk in your trunk." Dick said, "I know you're not an Olympic champion for nothing, but please, work on your posture a little bit." "You just terrorized the ice like a bull in a china shop and I loved it!" raved Johnny (easily this show's Bruno Tonioli, although far more restrained).

Technical score: 21 (7, 7, 7)
Artistic score: 19 (6, 6, 7)

Just in case we were impressed by the level of skating so far, Johnny Weir took to the ice at half-time, skating to Lady Gaga and wearing an outfit she would definitely approve of.

Rebecca Budig and partner Fred Palascak
The soap star's had a lot of experience on the ice, but had trouble with crossovers. They looked very in sync and their lifts smoothly executed. Dick told her, "Absolutely elegant and very beautiful." Johnny proclaimed, "That was so hot, I almost sweated out my weave." He thought she looked like a real skater and Laurie Ann echoed that she was "like a beautiful ballerina."

Technical score: 21 (7, 7, 7)
Artistic score: 24 (8, 8, 8)

Vince Neil and partner Jennifer Wester
Vince took fall after fall during practice (more than any of the other stars combined) and struggled to keep his balance. He didn't wipe out on live TV, but he did spend a lot of time kneeling on the ice, rather than skating. Johnny weighed in: "I wanted the rock star performance. I felt like you were following your partner around." Laurie Ann disagreed, saying, "What you did on the stage, you did on the ice. You were great." Dick urged him to "be fearless" next week.

Technical score: 14 (6, 4, 4)
Artistic score: 14 (6, 4, 4)

Bethenny Frankel and partner Ethan Burgess
In practice, Bethenny, who gave birth just six months ago, was steady on the ice, but got dizzy in the spins. During the performance, she left the heavy lifting to Ethan but didn't disgrace herself. Laurie Ann encouraged her, "Relax the shoulders." Dick told her she has the perfect figure for dancing: "You are one skinny babe." Johnny gushed, "Your body is sick. I can't believe you just had a baby." He urged her to really put herself into it and not treat it as just another side project.

Technical score: 15 (5, 5, 5)
Artistic score: 14 (5, 4, 5)

The leaderboard so far:

Rebecca & Fred: 45
Jonny & Brooke: 40
Brandon & Keauna: 36
Sean & Denis: 34
Bethenny & Ethan: 29
Vince & Jennifer: 28

'Skating With the Stars' airs Mondays, 8PM ET on ABC.

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This was a really fun first show, I loved the opening number by the pro skaters and the whole show was well put together. I agree that the host was weak starting with his mic gaffe at the beginning, but he warmed up as the show went on. I'd still rather see an American with a real sense of humor hosting. Johnny Weir was a fabulous judge and it was great to see his skate! That must have been a real challenge on such a small rink for somebody used to the larger rink as he is. For me, the shows where people are learning and striving to do something out of their normal realms are enjoyable, and I am curious to see how the stars will progress through the weeks ahead. I will watch and enjoy.

November 23 2010 at 7:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
C. Brown

Skating with the Stars is a replacement for Dancing With the Stars. Tonight will be the last show for DWTS if Bristol Palin wins.

November 23 2010 at 10:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

forget about it. Its not going to last. Its BORING.

November 23 2010 at 10:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Not something that is going to draw me in. I like to watch skating once in a while, but it's not like my love for dance that catches me with all the dance shows no matter who is on it, even if it is someone I don't care for. DWTS has lost me for the furture after this season, even though I know I will miss some good dancers. I don't like how the show has become, including the judges that I used to so like. They haven't been setting the same standards across the board for all contestants and chances are the skating show will become the same since it is ABC, but then again, I rather doubt it is going to last at all.

November 23 2010 at 10:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to lynn's comment

dancing with the stars was my favorite until this season, it was totally stiled. We all know why the one person made to the finals while other better dancers were eliminated.

December 06 2010 at 8:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I watched the first couple of minutes to see if it would attract my interest. When they showed the "stars" there was not one name or one face that I recognised. Nothing there for me. If I want to watch amateurs I'll go to my local rink.

November 23 2010 at 9:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You forgot to mention how the host began the show backstage. He went down the hall looking for hi-fives and no one hit him till the last person in line. THEN he said 'welcome to skating with the stars' but moved the mic away from his face to hold out his arms and you could here 'welcome to skating with the---. Bahah, the hosts were terrible.

November 23 2010 at 9:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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