ABC announces 'Skating with the Stars' hosts and pro partners
By Reality TV World staff, 11/12/2010
ABC has announced the hosts and professional partners of Skating with the Stars, the new Dancing with the Stars-like celebrity competition the network will premiere on November 22.
Skating with the Stars will be hosted by Vernon Kay, a popular British television host, and feature color commentary from Tanith Belbin, the most decorated American ice dancer in Olympic history.
Similar to Dancing with the Stars, Skating with the Stars -- which is being produced by the same production company as Dancing with the Stars -- will pair a celebrity and world-class ice skater who will perform live and receive scores from a panel of expert judges. Like Dancing with the Stars, the judges' scores will then be combined with home viewer votes and one couple will be eliminated each week during the show's six-episode run.
Earlier this month, ABC announced the cast will featureAll My Children star Rebecca Budig, The Real Housewives of New York City and Bethenny's Getting Married? star Bethenny Frankel, Olympic gold-medal skier Jonny Moseley, rocker Vince Neil, Disney Channel star Brandon Mychal Smith, and film actress Sean Young.
Budig will be partnered with Fred Palascak, who competed at the United States Figure Skating Championships with his wife Melanie Lambert in 1995 and has served as a professional partner for the last four seasons of Dancing on Ice, a similar British celebrity ice skating competition which debuted in the U.K. in 2006.
Frankel will be paired with Ethan Burgess, who won third and fourth place medals with Keauna McLaughlin at the United States Figure Skating Championships in 2004 and 2005, while McLaughlin -- who also won the event's pair competition with Rockne Brubaker in both 2008 and 2009 -- will be partnered with Smith.
Brooke Castile will compete with Moseley. In addition to winning the 2007 U.S. National Championships, Castile and partner Ben Okolski also placed third, fifth and fourth at the event in 2008, 2009 and 2010, respectively, before announcing their retirement earlier this year.
Neil will be partnered with Jennifer Wester, who won the prestigious Nebelhorn Trophy with her husband Daniil Barantsev in 2007, while Young will be paired with Denis Petukhov -- who represented the United States in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy and was a U.S. National silver medalist with his wife Melissa Gregory in 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007.