December 22nd, 2010
11:15 AM ET
Last night's season (or series) finale of "Skating with the Stars" began with judge Johnny Weir in a giant bird cage. Never in my life did I think I would ever write a sentence like that.
Johnny joined some of the "Skating" pros in performing a bizarre routine choreographed by the judge no one has heard of. That routine pretty much personified the show in its brief run: you never knew what to expect.
Finalists Rebecca Budig and Bethenny Frankel were set to perform one final skate before they announced a winner, but first the eliminated contestants came back for one more lap around the rink.
Sean Young, Vince Neil and Jonny Moseley performed to the delight of the crowd (Brandon Mychal Smith sat out due to the health woes that knocked him out of the competition), though Moseley managed to stumble and fall during his routine.
After 30 minutes of recaps, reminders and rehash, we moved on to the final skate. Bethenny was out first with a routine set to Flo Rida's "Right Round." For once, the judges seemed pleased with Bethenny's patented dizziness, as Dick Button complimented her for showing America that figure skating can be fun.
Bethenny got 51 points for her effort, including a 10 in artistic from one judge. Host Vernon Kay seemed quite giddy about that 10 - he must have won a bet with crew members that Bethenny could do it.
Rebecca was next, and she wowed the audience with a routine set to Katy Perry's "Hot and Cold." The judge no one's heard of described Rebecca's routine as "balletic." Is that even a word? Meanwhile, Johnny said he would "take his hat off" to Rebecca, even though he wasn't wearing one.
Rebecca got a 60 for her routine, the first (and likely last) perfect score in show history. And let's give it up for Dick Button, who mocked his previous paddle errors with a drawn-out reveal of Rebecca's artistic score. Dick may have driven viewers batty all season, but it was nice to see him show a sense of humor.
In the end, Rebecca won the title and the "Golden Skates" trophy, which resembled Bigfoot's bronzed baby shoes.
So after six episodes, "Skating with the Stars" has come to an end, probably for good. In January 2006, Fox launched a similar series called "Skating with Celebrities." It lasted just seven episodes and was canceled after the first competition.
On the flip side, Canada's CBC has seen success with "Battle of the Blades," a celebrity show that pairs former pro hockey players with female figure skaters. That show finished its second season last month.
Would it take a U.S. version of "Battle of the Blades" to make a celebrity figure skating show succeed here, or is the format dead and buried?
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