The Telefile
<I>Skating With the Stars</I>: Blades of Boring

This show tried to make me believe that it was the most dangerous competition on TV, but c'mon. I watch The Challenge on a regular basis and those people are 50 feet up in the air dangling on a string or something between buildings. Jonny Moseley used to host that program (back when it still had the Real World/Road Rules moniker), so I'm surprised he didn't call the Skating With the Stars producers out on that. Frankly, I think even Wipeout is more dangerous.

Here, the biggest danger seems to be bruised egos. Most of the stars in question seem to have some experience on ice, so none of them are really terrible enough to be entertaining. Brandon Mychal Smith is an avid roller skater, Moseley is used to competing on ice, Rebecca Budig placed fourth in an ice-skating competition when she was seven, Vince Neil won an ice-skating competition when he was younger and Bethenny Frankel likes to skate at Rockefeller Center. Sean Young was the only one without any specific experience mentioned. Even so, it really seems that they are all somewhat comfortable on the ice and though they fall when they try new stuff, there's no one clinging to the sideboard desperately trying to stand up.

And while I don't recall every minute detail of Skating with the Celebrities, I certainly remember some stars with a lot more visible bruises or cuts to their eyes because of the blades. After five weeks of training, none of that was evident here. Not saying that I need to see people injured, but the show seems hell-bent on promoting the danger aspect and talking about all the falls or near falls in rehearsals, so I was expecting a reenactment of that Jason Priestley Saturday Night Live sketch, not some passable pairs performances that went off without a hitch.

I already hate the host, Vernon Kay. He moved the mic away while introducing the show so you heard him say "Skating with the..." and "Stars" was quiet. If you can't properly introduce your show on live TV, you shouldn't be there. Can Tom Bergeron not do double duty? This guy is just cheesy and annoying and lacks Tom's sarcastic wit. I also didn't really like that co-host Tanith Belbin (a former ice dancer) was critiquing the required elements of the dance. Why bother having judges? It was weird to have her talk about it after we heard what the judges had to say.

As for the judges, well, it's hard for me to say anything bad about them. I have loved listening to Dick Button since I was a kid and I just want to hug him and hear him talk about skating all day long. Laurieann Gibson is nutty and kooky and a renowned choreographer and she uses words like "fantastical" and "magical." She's my happy medium between Paula Abdul and Mia Michaels. And then there's Johnny Weir. I personally adore him and watch every thing he does. I find him endlessly fascinating and if I keep tuning in for every episode of this overly long, tedious show, it will be because of him. His performance to "Poker Face", which I've seen on the Internet far too many times to count before last night, was still fantastic. If he does a weekly performance, I'm in for the long haul.

As for the celebs, they were fine. I felt Bethenny was underscored, as she seemed far better than Vince Neil, who was just cruising around throwing devil horns and sticking out his tongue. But that's just my humble opinion. The judges probably know far better than I do. I'm also curious about Sean Young's hat collection. It's like she has a whole rainbow of the exact same hat -- I can only imagine what colors will come out next week. I thought Rebecca was dull, and could barely concentrate on Brandon because his partner Keauna looked so much like Cheryl Burke hat I found it entirely distracting. My personal fave was Jonny Moseley as his routine actually was fun and had some energy. Here's hoping that others follow his lead next week, or I might fall into a coma from boredom.

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