Wednesday, December 22, 2010

'Skating With the Stars' Finale Week, Part 2 - A Champion Is Crowned

Added December 27, 2010:
Bates: Another season of "SWTS" please
Moseley was robbed; Budig deserved top honors (By Evan Bates, special to

'Skating With the Stars' Finale Week, Part One - Recap and Standings

The opening number on the final night of 'Skating With the Stars' literally left me speechless and breathless.  It was barely two minutes long and skated on that tiny, tiny ice surface, but it was amazing in my eyes!  I can only hope we may see this program again sometime, with additional time and choreography as well as on a larger ice surface.  If this stunning program is in any way an example of what we can expect to see when Johnny finally does his own Skating Spectacular, I now have even more reason to look forward to that day!  He has said he wants something different, something spectacular, something with a limited number of skaters, along with elements like Cirque de Soleil, Elton John, Lady Gaga...

The program was choreographed by judge Laurieann Gibson, and skated by Johnny Weir, Denis Petukhov, Keauna McLaughlin and Jennifer Wester.  The musical piece used for the program was 'Try Sleeping With a Broken Heart' by Alicia Keys

The program began with Johnny in a cage. He skated as a bird who escaped his cage and Denis, Keauna and Jennifer tried to force him back into the cage.  However he won't be re-confined, and we are treated to a stunning visual interpretation of his struggle to not be caged any longer.  Due to the small ice surface moves such as Johnny's trademark knee slide 'zamboni' had to be shortened, as did Denis Petukhov's similar move.  Johnny's beautiful 'cannonball' spin was centered and blurred; an example for aspiring skaters to aspire to!  The four skaters received a spontaneous, well deserved standing ovation!  If only this wonderful program could have lasted longer!

Without further input from Laurieann Gibson and Johnny Weir I can not speak to what their caged bird is a metaphor for.  However, I can speak to my own interpretation of what it all meant.  I saw the bird in the cage as a metaphor for how the United States Figure Skating Association and the International Skating Union have tried to put Johnny Weir in a box and force him to conform.  However, he escaped from the box/cage and is now free to give us stunning visual artistic endeavours such as this performance.  Even if he chooses to return to eligible competition he will never be forced into the box/cage as he once was.  Johnny Weir is skating, he is creating, he is amazing, he is passionate, he is athletic, he is artistic, he is free, he is as my friend Judith says 'Nureyev on ice', and we are so lucky to have had him come into our lives!    

SWTS Finale: Scorching. Wicked. Totally. Speechless.  (My friend Misfit Mimes' Blog, includes video of Johnny, Denis, Jennifer and Keauna's performance)

Week Five - The Finals, Night One (My Blog covering night one of Week Five)

Week Five - Night Two - The Finale

Less than three months ago, six stars met their pro partners for the first time. Since then, we've seen our share of tension, drama, pain, and fear, including three trips to the emergency room. Judges scores, online and phone viewer votes, and even illness all pared down the battlefield to the two celebrities in the spotlight tonight. "The underdog" — Bethenny Frankel, and "The natural" — Rebecca Budig.

Tonight they were each required to re-skate a performance from earlier in the season, with the chance to step it up a notch and wow the judges with their improvement.

The night started off with a sensational performance from judge Johnny Weir, along with pros Denis Petukhov, Jennifer Wester, and Keauna McLaughlin.

The previously eliminated pairs returned to the ice once more, giving us an encore of their best performances. Great to see Sean & Denis and Vince & Jennifer skating together again, and it seemed that Jonny & Brooke seriously stepped up their repeat of their week 3 love story performance (although Jonny did stumble during a difficult lift... scary stuff for a moment).

Unfortunately, Brandon Mychal Smith still wasn't well enough to skate — but he was there in the audience to enthusiastically cheering on the pairs.

Bethenny and Rebecca both skated better than they have all season. Bethenny's 28 for Artistic Impression included her first 10 of the season. But the judges couldn't have been more impressed with Rebecca, giving her perfect 30s (three 10s) for both the Technical and Artistic scores for her reprise of their performance to "Hot & Cold" from week 3.

Bethenny really proved tonight that she had the dedication to make it to the finals, and the judges and audience were proud. But when the Golden Skates trophy was awarded to the team with the highest combined judges' scores and viewer votes, Rebecca Budig & Fred Palascak were named the champions of Season One of Skating with the Stars!

The Scores:

Bethenny & Ethan

Technical score: 23 points (8/7/8)
Artistic Impression: 28 points (10/9/9)
Total: 51 points

Rebecca & Fred
Technical score: 30 (10/10/10)
Artistic Impression: 30 (10/10/10)
Tonight's Total: 60 points


The Teams:

Bethenny Frankel & Ethan Burgess
Brandon Mychal Smith & Keauna McLaughlin
Jonny Moseley & Brooke Castile
Rebecca Budig & Fred Palascak
Sean Young & Denis Petukhov
Vince Neil & Jennifer Wester

The Judges:

Johnny Weir
Dick Button

The Hosts:

Tanith Belbin


'Skating With the Stars' Official Photos

Articles and Blogs:

'Skating With the Stars' Week 5: Bethenny Frankel skates past Jonny Moseley to finale

'Skating With the Stars': A Surprising Semi-Finals

Skating With the Stars: A shocking elimination (spoiler alert)

"Skating With The Stars" Final Part 1 Recap: Call the cops, Jonny's been robbed! (Reality Zen With Jenn Blog)

Prayers Answered: Skating With The Stars is Over and Bethenny Lost! (Ilana Angel's 'Keeping the Faith' Blog)

OMGWTFBBQSWTS (Misfit Mimes Blog about Episode Five and other things)

Johnny Weir performs on 'Skating with the Stars' in a beautiful display (Video) (Article by Jodi Jill - National Celebrity Headlines Examiner)

"Skating With The Stars" Final Recap: Greenlee Takes All! (Reality Zen With Jenn Blog about the finale)

'Skating With The Stars - Week Four Recap and Standings (contains links to my previous weeks Blogs)

Week Five Finale - Video from ABC.Com

Week Five Finale - Video from secondary source

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