In the beginning, there was "Dancing with the Stars", an adaptation of a
British hit. It became fruitful and multiplied elevenfold and became the monster
hit it is today. Fox won't admit it to this day, but they wanted a piece of the
action, so they took the celebrity/professional connection and put it on ice.
That... didn't work out so well.
Which brings us to today, and the second go, this time with the full force of
BBC Worldwide Productions to adapt the spinoff one-off of "Strictly Come
Dancing", "Strictly Ice Dancing", to impart upon us what may be the beginning of
a holiday classic.
Welcome... to "SKATING WITH THE STARS"!
And you can't have this show without stars... so here they are!
- Brandon Mychal Smith ("Sonny with a Chance")
- Sean Young (movie icon, "No Way Out", "Blade Runner")
- Jonny Moseley (Olympic skier)
- Rebecca Budig ("All My Children", also the former Mrs. Bob Guiney)
- Vince Neil (lead singer from Motley Crue)
- Bethenny Frankel (a "Real Housewife" from "Bethenny's Getting Married?")
And the pros...
- Keauna McLaughlin (2-time national champion pairs skater) - Brandon's
- Denis Petukhov (US Olympian) - Sean's partner
- Brooke Castile (national pairs champion) - Jonny's partner
- Fred Palascak (one-half of Lambert & Palascak) - Rebecca's partner
- Jennifer Wester ("chronically happy" 2008 Four Continents Champion) - Vince's
- Ethan Burgess (Top 10 National Championship) - Bethenny's partner
Your host for the proceedings, you may remember him from either "Hit Me Baby
One More Time" or various clips of "Family Fortunes" in the UK. Yup. Vernon Kay
(from ABC's upcoming "Million Dollar Mind Game") is back, and he's brought a few
friends with him. First, we have accomplished Canadian-American ice dancer
Tanith Belbin playing the role of "Brooke Burke", and the folks in the booth
with the paddles and the power... Olympic medalist Johnny Weir, accomplished
choreographer Laurieann Gibson, and the god of ice skating commentary... Button.
Now that you know the personnel, here's how it's going to go down. Each
panelist will give each pair two scores based on technical and performance. The
percentage of those scores (relative to the others) will count for half of their
score. The other half goes to America. Next week, one couple will hang up their
skates and leave the rink forever.
Now this week, there are two required elements that must be incorporated into
their programs. The first is the one-foot assisted glide. The second... the
pairs spin. They can perform the second two-footed separate, one-footed
together, or one-footed separate.
First up, Brandon & Keauna. Her skating style is passionate, intense, and a
little sexy. Brandon... can't be tamed. Ever try ice dancing in your boxers?
Aside from hypothermia, that's enought o bring him back into the game real
quick. They'll perform to "American Boy" by Estelle featuring Kanye West.
What they say: Dick thought it was an impressive and spiffy start, but they
need to work on the flow and the movement. Right now, it's clunky. Laurieann
says they did fantastic. Johnny wants them to keep focusing.
What we say: a little bit on the sexy side, but they didn't really do much in
the way of technical.
Sean Young thinks that she has the edge, but the question is... will she
resist the urge to say "fall"? Nope. She thought that this was going to be easy.
Yeah, no. Of all the stars tonight, Sean is the least experienced. They actually
took a tumble in dress, and she's been using a chair to train. They'll dance to
"Bubbly" by Colbie Caillat.
What they say: Johnny thought it was perfect for her skill level, but there
is room for improvement. Laurieann thought the way Denis carried around Sean was
very classy. Dick thought that the choreo was exquisite. Now he wants her to
"take off her girdle and let it fly".
What we say: It was touching, and they've really been improving, turning into
a single unit.
Next, Jonny trades his skis for skates and a couple of poles for a couple of
pins, namely the ones attached to Brooke. She... might have a bit of a crush on
him. That would be good for chemistry, but falls are bad for... well, Jonny.
He'll try to minimize the damage enough (Tanith says that Jonny even took a
skate to the groin) to survive through their dancing to "Higher Ground" by
What they say: Laurieann says to think about "dancing" and "rhythm." Dick
wants to see how the ski technique translate to skating. Johnny: "You just
terrorized the ice like a bull in a china shop and I loved it."
What we say: Not bad technically, especially given the amount of time Jonny
spent on his behind in practice. Points for best use of the entry loop. And yes,
they did electrify the rink with a quick performance.
TOTAL: 40/60, good for first place.
Half up, half home. Next up, Johnny Weir breaking us from competition and
doing his own little Lady Gaga impersonation to "Pokerface".
Now back to the reason why we're here. Rebecca took to the ice like a natural
(perhaps because she's been doing this with her sister). She struggled with
crossovers, which comprise the majority of her routine. The
notoriously-competitive Rebecca will let her blades do the talking with Fred to
What they say: Dick says that the posture was on point. Johnny called
extensions "incredible". Laurieann notes that the couple was on their center.
What we say: I smell a ringer!
TOTAL: 45/60. We have a new leader!
Trivia: when she was 7, Rebecca came in fourth in a competition. That
Vince actually also won an ice skating competition. That was back when he was
10. Now... he's a klutz. He's focused, but at the same time, he's worried about
disappointing his new partner Jen. It's only 90 seconds, dude. He's fallen
more times in practice than the rest of his competitor combined. He'll try not
to do that to "I Like the Way You Move" by the Bodyrockers.
What they say: Johnny wanted to see a rock star performance. Instead, he got
the following performance. Laurieann called it amazing. Dick wants Vince to be
more daring. "Any man who is afraid to make a mistake will never make anything."
What we say: Yes it was a rock show from beginning to end. We get that... but
it didn't really come together. A little unsteady in parts.
TOTAL: 28/60. Cellar dweller.
We're ending with New York's most famous and feared newlywed. The last time
she was on the ice, she was at Rockefeller Center. Now she's on a plain old rink
in LA with some random dude. How will Ethan function as "the go big or go home"
"ice husband" of Bethenny? We'll find out as we close the show with "Right
Round" by Flo Rida featuring Ke$ha.
What they say: Laurieann encourages them to relax their shoulders so as not
to take from the flow of the piece. Dick wanted her to be "a little less
static." Johnny agrees with everyone, adding that Bethenny's body is "sick".
What we say: For someone in as great a shape as Bethenny, I was expecting a
little more flair.
TOTAL: 29/60. "That means we suck and we have to do better next week." Vernon
thought it should've been higher. But that's why he's the host.
And that's going to do it tonight. Here's where we stand...
45 - Rebecca & Fred
40 - Jonny & Brooke
36 - Brandon & Keauna
34 - Sean & Denis
29 - Bethenny & Ethan
28 - Vince & Jennifer
Remember, these will make up half of the total. The other half comes from
you. We'll see who's skating for their life next week, and who'll be the first
person put on ice. From Television City in Hollywood.. GOOD NIGHT!
To see this episode in its entirety, go