Kurt Browning (2009-2011)
Maura Grierson (2011)
|Kurt Browning (2013)|
Jamie Sale (2013)
P.J. Stock (2013)
Sandra Bezic (2009-2011)
Jeremy Roenick (2010-2011)
Dick Button (2009)
|Bell Broadcast and New Media Fund (produced with the participation of)|
Insight Production Company
Battle of the Blades was a Canadian figure-skating reality show and competition that aired on CBC Television. It was first broadcast before a live audience at the historic Maple Lea Gardens with Maple Leaf Gardens under renovation however, the show was filmed at Pinewood Toronto Studios in season two. The venue moved again in season three to MasterCard Centre located in Etobicoke, Ontario.
The series resembles the international reality show Skating with the Stars and is similar in concept to Dancing On Ice from the UK. The biggest difference and the show's main "hook", is that Battle of the Blades brings two very different styles of skaters together: hockey players are paired up with prominent figure skaters to performing figure skating routines. During the first two seasons, contestants were strictly male hockey players from the NHL paired up with female figure skaters. In season three, Tessa Bonhomme was cast as the first female hockey player contestant making her partner (David Pelletier) the show's first male professional figure skater competitor.
In 2010, the French-Language CBC's counterpart, Television de Radio-Canada was planning to air a Quebec version, but did not decide if it world be an adaptation or a French-dubbed version. The show's executive producer thinks that it may also interest other countries like Russia.
On April 19, 2012, CBCA announced that due to recent budget cuts by the Canadian federal government, Battle of the Blades has been put on "hiatus" and would not appear on the 2012 fall schedule, stating that the network could not afford the high production cost of the show. Although not technically cancelled by CBC, executive producer John Brunton mentioned that the show may search for other networks alternates to produce future seasons.
On April 3, 2013, CBC announced that Battle of the Blades would return in Fall 2013 after a two-year hiatus.
On April 10, 2014, Battle of the Blades as officially cancelled by CBC once again due to budget cuts, declining advertising revenues and television ratings.
Scoring & elimination structureEdit
Each judge can award a score up to 6.0 as in official figure skating competition. The top score a couple can achieve in a performance is 18.0.
In the first season, the couples were scored on their Sunday Night performance, but only as a reference guide for the viewers to vote on. The bottom two couples were ranked based solely on the lowest amount of viewers votes. Viewers can either text, call or log onto the show's official website to cast their votes. On Monday, the two bottom couples were revealed and they skate their Sunday night program once more in the Skate-Off and are then scored by the judges. The couple with the lowest judges scored from their Monday night performances is then eliminated.
The rules of elimination were slightly altered in the second season. The scores from the couples' Sunday night performance are now added to the viewers' voting to determine the bottom two couples. Also, instead of scoring the bottom two couples on their Skate-Off performance, the judges are now just asked to vote on the couples of their choice. The couple with the lesser amount on judges' votes is then eliminated.
Midway during the second season, it was announced that Week Five would be a "Second Chance" competition for the couples eliminated thus far in the season. The couple with the highest combined total of viewer's votes and judges score would be reinstated as of Week Six, re-joining the top four couples in the competition.
Season three introduced the Judge's Save, which is a one-time user per season tool that needed the consensus of all judges that would reinstate that same episode back into the competition.
The Monday night result show was cancelled in season four, and therefour elimination takes place at the end of each Sunday Night performance show from week 2 onwards. The judges score and viewer votes from the previous weeks determine the bottom two couples on the current week's show. The bottom two couples skate-off at the end of the episode, performing their new routines. The judges would then score their performances and the couple with the lower score is then eliminated. Also, viewer voting starting this season is solely done on the show's official website where each unregistered visitor gets one vote. Registered visitors can earn additional votes by completing their profile and other activities and challenges on their website.
The show is hosted by Hockey Night in Canada's Ron MacLean and four-time World Figure Skating Champion Kurt Browning. Virgin Radio 999 DJ Maura Gibson was added in season three as the Battle correspondent, providing viewers with a look backstage. Grierson did not return for Season Four and Browning assumed judging duties instead of co-hosting the same season.
In season one, the head judge was Emmy Award winning choreographer and figure skater Sandra Bezic, with Olympic champion Dick Button being the other regular judge. There was also one rotating guest judge each week from the world of hockey or figure skating. Season Two saw the departure of Button and the addition of retired NHL player Jeremy Roenick as the second regular judge. Season Four featured a completely new judging panel with Browning switching from hosting to judging, Olympic figure skating gold medalist and season one champion Jamie Sale and former NHL player and season two competitor P.J. Stock (with no rotating guest judges).
- Additional Note: Navarro's original partner for season three was Belak. However, Belak died before that start of season and Courtnall was brought in as a replacement partner for Navarro
Each couple represented one of two charities of their choice. Depending on their placement in the competition, an increasing amount of money is then donated to their charity. The winners of season one (Jamie Sale and Craig Simpson) had CAD 100,000 donated to Spinal Cord Research. In season two, all competitors were guaranteed $25,000 donated to the charity of their choice and $100,000 for the winners Ekaterina Gordeeva and Valeri Bure. In season three, the winners' charity will receive $100,000, second place will receive $35,000, third place will receive $30,000 and the other five charities will receive $25,000.
- In season one, Marie-France Dubreuil suffered two injuries. Before the season opener, she was accidentally dropped by her partner Stephane Richer while performing a lift during rehearsals and landed headfirst onto the ice. On the morning of the Week Six result show, she suffered from severe back pain and as unable to perform in the Skate-Off that night. She fully recovered from both injuries and was fit to perform the rest of the season
- In season two, Anabelle Langlois tripped and fell with her partner, Georges Laraque while practicing an on-ice twist during rehearsals on October 27, 2010. Langlois who was more than six feet in the air when she fell, complained of severe pain in her knees. She was rushed to the hospital for hospital for X-Rays and required three stitches. However, She still performed on October 31 for her Week Five performance.
- In season two, Georges Laraque was hit near the left eyebrow by his partner Anabelle Langolis' skate when they both fell while performing a lift during rehearsals one day before the season premiere. Laraque required twelve stitches but was fit to perform the next night.
Sandra Bezic & Kevin Albrecht
There Will Never Be Another Tonight performed by Bryan Adams