We’d been waiting and waiting for the carnage to begin on “Skating With the Stars,” and when it finally did… it left us feeling empty inside.
Other people’s misfortunes normally give us such pleasure, but there was no laughing at Sean Young or Vince Neil when they came crashing down on their famous behinds in this second round of “SWTS.”
So what did we learn this week aside from the fact that we just might have a soul? Well, for one, this show is markedly more entertaining now that they’ve ripped off the broadcast band-aid. Once it became clear that collective skepticism couldn’t cause the studio to burst into flames, everyone seemed a lot more comfortable the second time around — including Mr. Dick Button, whose mixed metaphors make us wish we could adopt him from the grandpa orphanage.
Oh, and the skating was better and more difficult. This week’s routines required both synchronized footwork and a very scary lift. Here’s how the six pairs stacked up against each other:
Jonny Moseley and Brooke Castile (44 out of 60)
Starting the night with some of the highest scores, Jonny is clearly one to watch in this competition. His impressive dancing and obvious athleticism are buoyed by the fact that he didn’t kill Brooke. That awkward, upside-down lift was one of the more nerve-wracking moves of the night. The judges all liked it, especially Dick Button, who loved it so much he said “8” while holding up a “7.” (And so begins our season-long obsession…)
Vince Neil and Jennifer Wester (30)
This fall, though hardly the worst of the night (foreshadowing alert!) gave us our first twinge of regret over rooting for anyone to wipe out. Vince looked completely defeated after his spill, and though the judges gave him a surprisingly warm and encouraging reception, they also slapped him with some seriously low scores. Johnny Weir even whipped out a 3!
Bethenny Frankel and Ethan Burgess (33)
Maybe its our unabashed love for the Frankel, but the judges’ continued displeasure with her is sort of shocking to us. When asked backstage what she thought Bethenny needed to do, judge Laurie Ann Gibson had this to say: “I think if she could really understand the significance of the constructive criticism, she would even surprise herself… and then spend 24-hours in the club and pray for rhythm.” Oh. Snap.
Brandon Mychal Smith and Keauna McLaughlin (49)
You feel that? It’s us loosening our grip on any semblance of journalistic integrity because Brandon is so clearly our new favorite. We didn’t know there was such a thing as moon-skating, but there is, and it’s apparently the quickest way to our heart.
Sean Young and Denis Petukhov (30)
Any delight of watching a middle-aged Red Baron and U.S.O girl skate to the Andrews Sisters quickly evaporated when poor Sean spent the second half of her routine ass over teakettle. She smiled through it all, though, while everyone else just cringed. What a brave lady.
Rebecca Budig and Fred Palascak (44)
In an apparent effort to keep them humble, the judges weren’t overly kind to Rebecca. That’s the only way to explain how she actually earned a lower combined score than she did last week. She looked fantastic out there, and for the first time this season, we almost forgot that we were watching amateur hour at the C-list ice carnival.
Because “SWTS” is extra-punishing on this poor band of celebs, they’re actually given the boot immediately after performing. And the star not returning next week is — sadly, if not entirely surprisingly — Sean Young.
The combination of votes and falls did her in. And though she didn’t look entirely unhappy by the news, she did have some regret. “Mostly I’m disappointed because I felt like maybe I disappointed my partner because he worked really hard with me,” she tells Zap2it backstage, “but he’s assured me that just trying your best and doing your best is a valuable thing.”
“There’s a little bit of relief,” she adds. “It’ll get more and more challenging as the competitors continue.”
Indeed it will. ABC remains mum about what next week’s challenge will be, but color commentator Tanith Belbin tells us that it will involve getting a bit of air. Sounds like a higher place to fall from…
Photo credit: ABC