October 11, 2011
In the second elimination show of season three, Battle of the Blades said goodbye to Kim Navarro and Russ Courtnall, the pair that had come together after the sudden passing of Wade Belak(notes) only weeks before the season was to begin.
It was yet another in a series of bizarre moves for a show that doesn't quite seem to understand that, because it's on television, it should be entertaining and full of compelling characters. Last week, BotB said goodbye to Marcy and Todd, the couple with the most personality. How do you top such a bone-headed decision? You oust the couple whose story is far and away the most inspirational. Next week, one assumes, BotB will replace its cast with Easter Island heads and begin instituting regional blackouts.
So how did it come to this? The evening began promisingly enough, as Ron Maclean -- he of the world's most expressive eyebrows -- returned from his gig welcoming the Jets back to Winnipeg so that he could expertly drag out the reveal of the couples in the bottom two, getting us all the way to the halfway point of the show before informing Kim & Russ and Boyd & Tanith that they'd have to reprise their performances from the night prior. I didn't quite appreciate Maclean until Sunday night's show without him, when things ran smoothly and I found myself more bored than usual. Now, I realize that he's pivotal to this show's impeccably awkward vibe. Judd Apatow wishes he did awkward like Ron Maclean.
Anyway. Both couples skated poorly, with Russ looking more out of synch than usual and Boyd having an unfortunate stumble. Then, the judges claimed it was unfair for either of them to be in the bottom two (despite the ugliness we had just witnessed), and reluctantly sent Russ and Kim home by a score of 2-1, with Sandra casting the deciding vote.
Further proof this show doesn't realize it's on television: the way they murder the natural emotion of an elimination by giving the judges time to consider reversing their own decision, then letting Sandra prattle on for far too long explaining why they don't. Any drama the show could hope to wring out of the couple's goodbye is long gone by the time she finally stops yammering.
Stay tuned next week as BotB dances to the Canadian songbook. I hope you like Bryan Adams.