Thursday, November 19, 2009

Battle of the Blades

I nearly missed catching on to this show because of my ongoing love affair with Dancing with the Stars, but in one of my endless channel surfing sessions I stumbled on it. Since then my Monday nights have been fraught with tension as flipped back and forth between channels, trying not to miss any key moments in either show. Thank God, Battle of the Blades is finished now--I couldn't take the stress much longer! But I'm going to miss the show. There's something just so wonderfully Canadian about Battle of the Blades. Is it the Maple Leaf Gardens? The hockey players? The French accents? The politeness?

Whatever it was, it worked.

But mostly I LOVED the juxtaposition between these big, tough hockey players and their figure skating counterparts. Seeing the hockey players so far out of their comfort zone, but still giving it their all, just killed me. God, I love that stuff! I was developing crushes right left and center. Googling hockey stats on players I'd never heard of, quizzing husband on every detail of these players' careers, dodging his, "Ummmm...since when do you care about hockey?" comments with a, "Have you been working out? Because your arms look HUGE. "

All good heroes in books and movies have that perfect blend of tough but tender. Stephane Richer and Claude Lemieux in particular caught my attention. Stephane lifted his partner over his head and basically bench pressed her, then he'd flip her around his body and cradle her in his arms. Sigh.

Claude even sang--but he didn't just sing, he sang Leonard Cohen. OMG. By all accounts he was one of the roughest, toughest players out there in his day. Then Kurt Browning shared an anecdote about the first time Claude met his skating partner, Shae Lynne Bourne. She came over to give him a hug, then held his hand and Claude just froze because he couldn't believe a girl did that! But by the end of this process he was wearing satin shirts and gazing at his partner with a near-poetic smoldering passion as they gracefully spun around the rink. When he was performing his routines, I believed!

There are rumours going around that the show may get picked up for another season. If they do, I'll be singing, " Hallelujah."


  1. I only saw one episode of this, but wished I'd seen more. You're right, there was really something about those huge men bench pressing the tiny flexible graceful girls that was pretty hot...

    That celebrity skating show fiasco a few years ago in the states didn't work for me because a) most of the figure skaters were bigger stars to me than the so-called stars, b) skating is difficult and dangerous, and if you can barely skate, then it's pretty hard to look convincing or entertaining while figure skating.

    Using hockey players was brilliant. Would've loved to see some of the earlier episodes when the boys were learning to deal with figure skates... by the time I watched they had it totally down.

  2. Oh, TOTALLY agree with you about that other show. I think it was called Skating with the Stars. I didn't like it at all, and for pretty much the same reasons as you mentioned, the quality just wasn't there. I was discussing it with hubbie just the other day. The hockey players already had some skill on the ice, so they were better equipped to transition.