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August 20, 2014

battle of the blades

'Battle of the Blades' Season 3 Winners: David Pelletier and Tessa Bonhomme Revel in Victory

by Bryan Cairns, posted Nov 15th 2011 5:00PM
Van Halen's 'Jump' blares from the speakers as I enter the Mastercard Centre for the 'Battle of the Blades' season 3 finale. It's actually appropriate considering all the twirls, spins and yes, jumps, the hockey players and figure skaters have showcased during the third season. The catchy tune is also whipping the crowd into a hand-clapping frenzy, and why not?



The finale's three remaining pairs -- Tessa Bonhomme and David Pelletier, Marie-France Dubreuil and Bryan Berard, and Tanith Belbin and Boyd Devereaux -- put everything out there with two spectacular performances. The first is a brand-new routine while the second has them repeating their favourite routine from earlier in the season.

With a $100,000 grand prize for charity on the line, not to mention bragging rights, the participants bring their A-games. Snazzy dresser Don Cherry joins resident judges Sandra Bezic and Jeremy Roenick and for the only time this year, the panel gives no scores. Instead, the winners are solely determined by Canada's votes.

Finale results and interviews with the pairs after the jump!

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Is This the Last Season of 'Battle of the Blades'?

by Stephanie Earp, posted Nov 8th 2011 2:40PM


It would be really unfair to say that CBC's skating-with-the-stars show 'Battle of the Blades' is failing -- yet that's the word I'm hearing about the show from fellow critics. Unfair because the show is still one the highest-rated on the network, and it's not the CBC show in the worst shape (almost every returning CBC show has fewer viewers this season). But 'BoB's diminishing returns most Sunday nights is worrying, and it's not like the CBC is having an easy time in other quarters: massive budget cuts, vaguely threatening remarks from Conservative politicians and ominous 'Save the CBC' petitions give one the impression the network is under siege.

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7 Things You Need to Know for 'Battle of the Blades' Season 3

by Bryan Cairns, posted Aug 22nd 2011 3:10PM
'Battle of the Blades' is the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup of reality competitions. It takes athletes from two sports, figure skating and hockey, and combines them into one surprisingly addictive treat. Premiering Sunday, September 18 on CBC, the series will once again find former NHL players paired with prominent figure skaters to perform choreographed skating routines, with one couple being eliminated every week.

At Etobicoke's Mastercard Centre, recruited hockey stars Cale Hulse, Wade Belak, Curtis Leschyshyn and Brad May, along with figure skating pros Marie-France Dubreuil, Marcy Hinzmann-Harris and Anabelle Langlois, are participating in some on-ice boot camp. It's the first time the hockey players have slipped into figure skates, so it's with mixed (and often hilarious) results. Poor May landed flat on his butt multiple times and Belak took a sudden dive, face first, during a lap around the rink.

Laughing it off, the professionals' humor and determination warmed the chilly building. AOL TV Canada was on-hand to discover seven things 'Blades' fans should know for the third season of 'Battle of the Blades.'

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The Battle of the Skating Shows

by Stephanie Earp, posted Nov 22nd 2010 7:10PM
Tonight at 8PM, the second season of 'Battle of the Blades' will conclude on CBC after naming a winner from among the three remaining teams. Mere seconds after Bryan Adams claims in song that there will never be another tonight, ABC and CTV will attempt to prove him wrong, debuting 'Skating with the Stars' at 9PM ET/PT. I have a number of problems with this -- so many in fact, that I'm going to resort to a bulleted list format.

1. Why not franchise 'Battle of the Blades' instead of 'Skating With the Stars'?

If the U.S. had come up with a successful skating competition show, you'd better believe we'd be watching some Canadianized version of it, the rights bought and paid for. Call this hypothetical show 'So You Think You Can Battle with Celebrity Blades of Canada' or whatever, but if the success had been developed south of the border, and if Canucks had decided to go ahead with our own version without buying the rights, there'd be a lawsuit.

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Only in Canada: Curling and Skating Shows Take Over Prime Time

by Stephanie Earp, posted Oct 4th 2010 7:00PM

I think this could be a break-out year for 'Battle of the Blades,' the Canadian competitive reality show that takes a 'Dancing with the Stars' approach to pairs figure skating, except the celebs are all male hockey players and the pros are all medal-winning female figure skaters. The show did plenty of business in its freshman year last year, but after the first real episode last night, I woke up to find several references to Theo Fleury's eyeliner in my Facebook newsfeed. If it's on Facebook, it must be big.

CBC plans to take advantage by placing another uniquely Canadian show in the Monday night timeslot right after the results show. It's called 'Men With Brooms,' and it's loosely based on a blockbuster Canadian movie. What constitutes a Canadian blockbuster? Slightly less than $5 million at the box office (that's CAD, to boot) and the sense that most Canadians have at least heard of the film.

In case the title left you with any doubts, both film and sitcom are about curling. So, my American friends, to recap: A show about hockey players who learn to figure skate is followed by a sitcom about curling. That's right. Some critics are calling Monday night 'the hoser block.' (Which is unfair, really. A hoser is generally someone clumsy or stupid who drinks too much, and has nothing to do with enjoying winter sports.)

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CBC Upfronts: Canadian Stars and Homegrown Hits

by Chris Jancelewicz, posted May 31st 2010 4:00PM

It seems Canada's flagship channel, CBC, is sticking to its guns. Or roots. Or skates. The TV station announced its fall 2010 lineup last week, and there are a lot of familiar faces for Canadians to watch come autumn. Many fan faves are returning, and there are a few newbies showing up on the block.

Highlights include the highly-anticipated new season of 'Battle of the Blades', the debut of the as-yet-untitled Debbie Travis primetime show, and a new half-hour comedy based on the movie 'Men With Brooms'.

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'Battle of the Blades': I'm a Believer

by Stephanie Earp, posted Nov 16th 2009 11:45AM


A couple of weeks ago, I made a few minor complaints about 'Battle of the Blades.' I take it all back. Not only did the show address a few of my issues (getting more comments from the female competitors, booking judges from the world of figure skating, like Kristy Yamaguchi and Katarina Witt), but they invited me to come see the Sunday night finale.

I do like to get invited places.

But never has an invitation made me feel quite so lucky to do what I do for a living (namely make snide comments about people who are more talented and ambitious than I am). Walking up to Maple Leaf Gardens from the parking spot I found in another time zone, a huge line of people are waiting for the ticket that will become available when people like me fail to show.

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What to Watch: November 16 - 22

by Stephanie Earp, posted Nov 16th 2009 2:00AM


Melrose Place (Wednesday, November 18, 10 pm, Global/CW)

From the sweeps guest-star pool, the new 'Melrose' has reeled in a mighty big fish. Heather Locklear reprises her role as Amanda Woodward tonight, and she starts things off by walking into her agency and axing half the staff, including Caleb. I want to stand up and cheer just writing about it. Basically, Locklear is gonna come in and run a clinic. Topics include scaring the crap out of employees, how to wear a mini skirt, and how not to get trapped on a sinking ship of a show.

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Report Cards Are In: 'Glee' and 'Battle of the Blades'

by Stephanie Earp, posted Oct 28th 2009 11:37PM

I recently completed a project where my main goal was to provide viewing pleasure to others. By itself, I realize that sentence sounds rather scandalous, so I will clarify - it is a yarn calendar. Completing this project and making it public brought forth many helpful suggestions and ideas.

In some corners, these remarks would be considered criticism, but it is all phrased in a similar tone to my grade-school report cards - encouraging, reassuring and with only the mildest suggestion that improvement is necessary.

It struck me that there is not enough of this sort of advice in the world, and as I'm getting so much, I should pay it forward. And I knew exactly who needed my advice the most - two of the most promising new shows of the 2010 season. Like me, they have so much potential. Living up to it is another story.

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