Sunday night started and let's just say, there was a fair numbers of unexpected changes. Ron MacLean was in Winnipeg for the Jets first game. So the job of MC fell to Kurt Brown. With his first blurb he seemed out of breath and uncomfortable, which is incredibly surprising, he's usually quite charismatic and sure of himself. Then, it was announced that Jeremy Roenick's plane was grounded and that he would be unable to judge. Paul Martini, a World Champion figure skater, stepped into his seat. The guest judge this week was Mark Napier the NHL Alumni Association president.
This week's theme is "The Beat", with a focus on footwork. I've seen some very awkward skates in the past when it came to this theme, so I was prepared, but that preparation wasn't really needed.
Brad May was first up, he preformed to Scissor Sisters' "I Don't Feel Like Dancin". During his skate he threw his partner in the air, Langlois landed a double, slightly wobbly, and as such they were the first pair of the season to land a throw. They were caught in a three-way tie for first with 16.7 points.
Marie-France and Bryan Berard were absolutely fantastic. Seriously. As of this moment, I wouldn't be shocked if they won the whole thing. The big man can move, isn't afraid to actually emote either. They skated to Robin Thicke's "Elevatas". They also scored 16.7 points.
The man who stepped-in for Wade Belak was the other man to share the leaderboard. Russ Courtnall and Kim preformed to "Dancing Fool" by Barry Manilow, and anyone else this probably would have crashed and burned. Byt he seemed to have fun out there, and the judges really liked it. One thing that stands out with me is that, especially compared to Curtis and Bryan, he struggles with the lifts. His upper-strength just isn't to the level that the other guys have.
Violetta and Cale Husle skated to the song "Mr. Saxobeat" by Alexandra Stan. They had a pretty interesting move, Cale basically flipped Violetta over him (think an assisted back flip) while skating backwards. The most impressive thing about this skate is that Violetta had landed painfully the last time they were practicing it, so she was skating with bruised ribs and a deep bruise on her heel. The pair earned 16.6 points.
Tanith and Boyd Deveraux skated to N.E.R.D.'s "She Wants To Move" and it featured some nifty footwork. They did it "out of hold" meaning without physical contact between the two of them, apparently that is incredibly difficult, and they were able to do that flawlessly. They earned a 16.5.
In a surprising fall from grace Tessa Bonhomme and her partner David were the second-lowest pair. They skated to "Return of the Mack" By Mark Morrison, it started out a bit awkwardly and then there was a slip. She recovered, but the damage was done and as such they got a score of 16.4.
In last place was Curtis Leschyshyn and Elena. They skated to "Hello" by Martin Solveig & Dragonette. Curtis had a bit of an issue with the footwork early on, but his lifts were crazy. He even invented one! In fact, if you watch it he did it twice, at the begining. They scored a 16.3.
Monday night finally came and in a surprising twist, one of the top pairs was in the bottom two. Russ and Boyd were the bottom two pairs, and had to have a skate-off. Neither of the performances were as good as the previous nights'. The judges mentioned numerous times that neither of these two should have been in the bottom, but they had to chose between these two. Russ was voted off, but then the judges talked to see if they would use their "save". Unfortunately for Russ, they chose to save it for later in the competition. The Battle goes on for six more hockey stars.