In the midst of a week that absolutely refuses to end, at a time when the concept of time is irrelevant and we are all stuck in suspense, waiting for one bit of news and instead being inundated with deranged tumblr drama, all I really want to do is watch hockey players attempt to figure skate.
Good god, I’m not even American.
Seriously, though, Battle of the Blades is a fantastic distraction from… *gestures vaguely at the world*.
This week’s theme was personal stories, with each team putting together a routine that reflects the personal journey of the hockey player. It forced everyone to slow down and focus on evoking emotion through their skating. While I’m personally a big fan of the more high-energy routines on this show, it was definitely interesting to watch.
It’s generally around this point in the show where I start to expect the pairs to be actually good, and I have to say I was impressed!
Pair #1: Carlotta Edwards and Kris Versteeg
Okay, fine, I’ll admit it: I’ve been rooting for these two purely because of their personalities.
I love them, and I love Kris Versteeg’s Instagram stories, but their skating hasn’t totally wowed me, and I have to say this particular routine was a bit forgettable. Sorry, man. I really do support your dream of beating Bryan Bickell. But I just don’t think it’s going to happen.
Pair #2: Jessica Campbell and Asher Hill
I love these two so much.
I was really curious to see how they’d do with this week’s theme, because they’re such a high-energy pair and this theme really does require that they deliver on emotion, but I thought this struck the perfect balance between high-energy and emotional. It was a fantastic song choice, and Jessica and Asher did a great job with it.
Jessica doesn’t quite look like a figure skater yet, but she’s getting there. The lifts weren’t perfect, but they were ambitious, and in my humble opinion, they’re improving. I love them.
Pair #3: Meghan Agosta and Andrew Poje
This pair really surprised me last week with their Billy Eilish routine, but this week’s skate just wasn’t it.
It wasn’t bad, but Meghan looked kind of awkward, and overall it wasn’t a particularly memorable skate.
Pair #4: Meagan Duhamel and Wojtek Wolski
Jesus Fucking Christ, that twist.
So the twist took years off my life, but they recovered, and it was very cool, so I hope they pull out the same move in another program with better lighting and stuff.
Anyways, this pair is very quickly becoming one of my favourites. Like Jessica and Asher’s, I thought it did a really good job of being simultaneously emotional and high-energy. It was just a really powerful skate. I loved it.
Pair #5: Kaitlyn Weaver and Bryan Bickell
Are we really doing this again?
Like, not to take away from Bryan, but this is the second year in a row that Kaitlyn Weaver has been the frontrunner from the very first episode, and kept up the momentum all the way through the season. How does she do it? How does this pair do so well every single week?
This wasn’t my favourite skate of the episode, but it was objectively good. Bryan really looked like a figure skater out there. I am very impressed.
Pair #6: Jennifer Botterill and Eric Radford
I really like this pair, and I was thrilled to find out that they’re sticking around for another week, but this wasn’t my favourite performance.
It was alright, but I think they can do better.
Pair #7: Vanessa James and Akim Aliu
This was by far Akim and Vanessa’s best performance.
I still think Akim looks too nervous, but this was a huge improvement. The routine was so dynamic. And the kiddos dancing along on the screen! It was so cute. I love this. I’m so glad they weren’t eliminated.
I forgot that the judges can do that, by the way. Just tie the teams? I assumed they wouldn’t do that this year, because COVID makes the whole operation that much more complicated, but I’m not complaining. I didn’t want to see anyone go home this week.
Battle of the Blades airs Thursdays at 8pm ET on CBC.