Friday, November 19, 2010

Lace up for Skating with the Stars

Photo courtesy of ABC/Skating with the Stars

We loved Skating with the Stars the first time around, when it was on FOX and went by Skating with Celebrities. That short-lived show featured famous faces like Dave Coulier from Full House and mall-tour-pop-sensation Debbie Gibson, paired with former Olympians like Nancy Kerrigan and Kurt Browning. Sadly the series was canceled after just one season.

But the producers of Dancing with the Stars have finally caught on—probably fueled by the success of the British version of the show Dancing on Ice and the popularity of DWTS figure skating contestants like Kristi Yamaguchi and Evan Lysacek. We don’t care why it’s going to be on. We’re just ecstatic that it’s back.

Now all that said, we were a little disappointed with the celebrity lineup. First of all there are only six contestants vs. DWTS’ usual robust roster of 12 competitors.

And while Skating with Celebs went D-List all the way (thank you, Todd Bridges), SWTS is going more contemporary with Bravo reality maven Bethenny Frankel, All My Children’s Rebecca Budig, and the Disney Channel’s Brandon Mychal Smith. There’s a little retro goodness in the mix with Tim Burton's Catwoman stalker Sean Young and Mötley Crüe's Vince Neil in the cast—but not names that necessarily get us gliding to our sets.

Plus you have to have a really deep knowledge of figure skating to recognize the pros. Do you remember Ethan Burgess and Keauna McLaughlin from the ’04 and ’05 U.S. Figure Skating Championship? Us either although they won bronze and pewter in the Pairs category in the respective years.

But where the producers lack in the contestant casting category, they more than make up for in picking judges. Johnny Weir and Dick Button will, no doubt, become skating’s most lovable odd couple.

So lace up your blades and get ready to play along at home. Skating with the Stars premieres on November 22 at 9:11 PM PST/ 8:11 PM Central on ABC.

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