December 7th, 2010
12:13 PM ET
This week's edition of "Skating with the Stars" began with a medical update from co-hosts Vernon Kay and Tanith Belbin. Brandon Mychal Smith was in the hospital with an apparent case of food poisoning (complete with censored footage later in the show of Brandon losing his lunch), while pro skater Brooke Castile just returned from having stitches put in her hand due to it being run over by Jonny Moseley's skate. Brooke is ready to skate, but is Brandon?
Rebecca Budig is our first skater, and she also spent time in the hospital after falling on her wrist during a practice skate. Vernon said the doctors advised her not to skate, but he laughs at that idea. Who needs doctors when there's a bad TV talent show to win? Rebecca gave it her all in a routine that won her praise from Johnny Weir, who came to judge dressed like he fronts a Prince tribute band in his spare time.
Rebecca earned 50 points, as well as compliment from Tanith that she "set the bar high." On this show, it doesn't take much.
Bethenny Frankel is next, and she's had it up to here with what the judges think, saying she only cares what the fans say. Given the dwindling ratings for this show, perhaps it would be wise for Bethenny to put the judges back on her holiday card list.
Bethenny got 36 points for a routine that included, from my vantage point, the world's shortest jump. Nevertheless, Vernon noted that Bethenny got a standing ovation, proving my theory that this audience should never serve on a jury.
Vince Neil, who went to his partner's kids skating class to spruce up on his technique, made it through his routine without tumbling, and got 36 points for his troubles. Dick Button declared himself the "TSA of figure skating" while judging Vince. For the last time, Mr. Button, if you want to ask Sean Young out on a date, just call and ask her.
Jonny Moseley and Brooke Castile are next, and the two prepared by going skiing. Jonny wanted to see whether skiing or skating was harder, but only proved that both of them were wasting our time.
Brooke's busted hand notwithstanding, the two dazzled with a routine that actually used that silly ramp way. Jonny earned 51 points and the lead.
But where's Brandon? Skating partner Keaunu McLaughlin took to the microphone to express concern about Brandon's absence. Vernon reminded people throughout the night that the show was eagerly awaiting whether Brandon would return. I'm surprised the show didn't take a page from the Tinkerbell's Treasures store at Disney World and just have the audience wave their swords and wands to "wake up" Brandon.
Alas, Brandon was not able to compete, so, according to the show's rules (yes, there are rules), the judges would review Brandon's last rehearsal footage. Nothing says excitement like canned applause in a dark, empty rink, and nothing says awkward like the judges reviewing an absent contestant while the pro is made to look like the homecoming queen shortly after being dumped by her date. Brandon received 39 points for his troubles.
In the end, Vince Neil got the boot, leaving four couples left.
We never did find out what would happen next week, as the show abruptly ended without even a credit roll. Guess ABC really needed to air that year-old episode of "Modern Family" for the 14th time.
What did you think of last night's "Skating with the Stars" episode?
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