It’s Week 3 of Skating with Celebrities, and we know someone gets hurt this week because they played it up in the previews. Did they leave any surprises? Let’s find out.
Scott skips out onto the stage while Summer boxes her way out. Somebody take their caffeine away, please. I don’t have the energy for that tonight.
Scott tells us that the tricks will be bigger and the pressure more intense. Please stop calling the elements “tricks.” This is not a circus (okay, maybe this is a circus, but regardless), so let’s stop trivializing a sport that gets enough criticism in the sport/not a sport debate, okay? He explains to us that the current standings don’t matter. Everyone is starting over with a clean slate. The pair with the lowest score will go home tonight.
Tonight’s Element: In addition to synchronized footwork, skaters must to an “unassisted traveling one-legged lunge.” I’m not sure how one would perform a two-legged lunge…I thought the one-legged part was self explanatory, but I guess not. Also, generally skaters learn lunges before spins, but everything is backwards in this show anyway.
Tonight’s Musical Theme: Motown
First up: Jillian/John
Practice: John and Jillian spend too much time turningworking on tricks. They want a trick-filled routine, but they have no program and too many tricks. John keeps dropping Jillian. The announcer questions whether they’ve spent too much time working on technique and not enough time working on chemistry. I have yet to see any evidence of technique, so I’m guessing that the answer to that question would be something along the lines of “no, they’ve spent too much time working on random hard stuff that Jillian can’t do and too little time working on random easy stuff that Jillian can’t do.”
Tonight: She’s in a little gold dress; he’s in black pants and a black shirt. They’re skating to Get Ready.
They dance. They dance some more. They start to skate, and the camera zooms out so I can’t see what they’re doing. Typical. They do backward crossovers that show that Jillian’s skating has gone way downhill in the past week. She didn’t check her shoulders before, but at least once in a while she sort of led with the right one. This week they just shift back and forth. She’s on her toepicks and not bending her knees.
They do two lift/somersault things that look funny. He pulls her into a spin. Her legs are about a foot apart, which makes it a lot more difficult than it should be.
Their footwork includes mohawks, and that’s about it. Jillian’s still struggling with the shoulder and free leg issues from the previous weeks.
They do side-by-side sit spins that were synchronized really well, but Jillian has poor hip turnout and doesn’t point her toes. When she comes out of it, she hits a horrible position. I mean awful.
One more lift, a couple of pull-throughs, and Jillian’s lunge, and they’re done. Oh, wait. During Jillian’s lunge, John was supposed to do a death drop, but he fell.
The judges’ comments:
Mark Lund: Mark warns the audience that they may not be happy when he’s done. The footwork was nice, and the spin was nice, but there were moments when the program wasn’t together, so he suggests that they work more on collective timing.
John Nicks: They were ambitious…foolishly ambitious. Many parts of the program were out of control, and John messed up badly at the end, and he has to take that into consideration.
Dorothy Hamill: She loves Scott. Yes, Scott. Luckily they weren’t really watching John at the end when he fell. They looked very comfortable (Really? I thought they looked worse…), and they’re the strongest team in the competition.
Jillian hasn’t improved. In fact, she may be getting worse. Overconfidence may be their downfall. I’m terribly sick of seeing Jillian skate by (no pun intended since she doesn’t really skate that well) on John’s abilities as a partner. I’m happy to see that the judges noticed that.
Scores – (Scale of 1 to 10):
Technical Merit: John Nicks: 8.3 Dorothy Hamill: 8.4 Mark Lund: 8.4 Total Technical Merit= 25.1
Artistry: John Nicks: 8.2 Dorothy Hamill: 8.2 Mark Lund: 8.3 Total Artistic Impression= 24.7
Combined Score (Tonight): 49.8/60.0
Next up: Tai/Bruce
Practice: Bruce wants to learn a lift. Tai’s kind of scared of that, as am I. They’re going to learn death spirals instead. Randy Gardner is Tai’s old partner and Bruce and Tai’s choreographer, so he’s going to teach Bruce exercises for death spirals. Bruce is excited. Tai is not. Randy is making sure that Bruce doesn’t get too ambitious and sacrifice Tai’s safety.
Tonight She’s in gold; he’s in black. I sense a theme. They’re skating to Endless Love.
They start with some little turns, then a low lift. They do some three turns, then a really nice set of lunges. More three turns, then backward crossovers into a waltz jump. Next up is a pretty nice set of spirals. More backward crossovers, then a really nice death spiral. It’s pretty slow, which makes it harder for Tai, but Bruce stays centered and has a nice position. At no point does he look like he’s going to fall over, which is impressive.
And that’s it. They get a standing ovation from Kris Jenner, Sugar Ray Leonard, Mark Lund, and Dorothy Hamill.
The judges’ comments:
Dorothy Hamill: She admires Bruce so much. It was entertaining. His skating skills have improved so much; he’s on one foot; he uses edges; he doesn’t need to throw the girl around. Next time she wants to see him smile because they can see him concentrating.
Mark Lund: Pairs skating is two skating as one, and they did that tonight.
John Nicks: He doesn’t know what his two friends are seeing. They do well together, but Bruce is awkward. He has a style, but it’s not a good style. He stays on his feet, though, and determination is oozing out of him. He’s very competitive and he really enjoys him .
Wow. I’m really impressed. Sure, Bruce still looks stiff and needs some confidence, but he does the more difficult elements really well. Also, it’s far harder for a guy to learn to do lifts and paired spins than for a girl, so I give Bruce extra points for that. I’m glad to see the judges reward them.
Scores – (Scale of 1 to 10):
Technical Merit: John Nicks: 8.2 Dorothy Hamill: 8.2 Mark Lund: 8.5
Total Technical Merit= 24.9
Artistry: John Nicks: 8.5 Dorothy Hamill: 8.3 Mark Lund: 8.4