And there you have it, folks. Your season 6 Battle of the Blades champions: Meagan Duhamel and Wojtek Wolski!
It’s been a weird season, and this finale was definitely weird, too. It certainly didn’t feel like past finales. Where was the group number? The awkward filler as they tried to stretch the results into an hour-long episode?
(obviously, I know they couldn’t do those things because of COVID. They did a great job. It was just different).
You know what did feel like a finale, though? Those routines! I have to say, a week ago I didn’t think these pairs were on the same level as past finalists, and it seems like they set out to prove me wrong this week. Meagan and Wojtek’s What a Wonderful World number was one of the best I’ve ever seen on this show, and every other skate was just absolutely phenomenal.
Let’s talk about the last episode of Battle of the Blades season 7.
Pair #1: Vanessa James and Akim Aliu
The pair that’s spent the most time in the skate off giving us the show’s first throw triple flip? And kicking off the finale with this season’s first perfect score? You love to see it. This routine was smooth and sensual and technically difficult and well deserving of the score they got. Wow.
I know they finished fourth (by the way, YIKES that means the voters didn’t like them), but I’m so glad they made it to the finale, just because it’s been so nice to see them improve. This was a perfect ending to their time on the show. What a performance.
Pair #2: Meagan Duhamel and Wojtek Wolski
Holy shit, that throw.
I wasn’t a huge fan of the song choice, but this number was so powerful and hit all the right beats. These two really have shown the most range of everyone in the competition. I’ve said before that they remind me of Amanda Evora and Scott Thornton, but honestly? I think they’re better. Both teams specialize in cool tricks, yes, but Meagan and Wojtek are more fun to watch. Congrats to them on a very well deserved win.
Pair #3: Carlotta Edwards and Kris Versteeg
This pair just makes me so happy. They bring so much personality to the show. Their numbers are so much fun to watch. And Kris shouting out Opokaa’sin and Treaty 7! They just seem like such delightful people, and this number was a perfect way for them to go out. Third place ain’t bad at all! It’s two places above Bryan Bickell, at least.
Also, may I just say that one of my favourite things about Battle of the Blades is that it takes quite possibly the most boring demographic of human beings – hockey players – and forces them to show personality? It’s nice to know they’re not all just robots that spit out cliches.
Pair #4: Jessica Campbell and Asher Hill
The range these two showed!
Waiting until the finale to break from tradition and slow things down is a goddamn power move, and Jessica and Asher absolutely pulled it off. This might have been their best number? Maybe? Possibly? I loved it, and that second place finish was well deserved.
The show does this reprise thing every year, and I think this is the first time it’s really worked.
The thing with bringing back an old routine is that you need to change it a bit in order for it to be really interesting. Like, did I have fun watching Natalie and Andrew reprise their Canadian Girls number last year? Sure. When I rewatch it, do I ever pick the finale version over the original? No.
And don’t get me started on all the pairs that just bring back their skate from the previous week, which is, in my opinion, the ultimate cop out. Like, come on. We know it was your best skate. I can just rewatch the Youtube video from last week if I want to watch it again.
Well, apparently the key is to make it the deciding factor in the competition, because this week, it actually worked! Both teams managed to put a new twist on an old routine, and I know Jessica and Asher messed up theirs, but it was extremely cool to see them add elements to their very first skate.
All in all, I’m pretty happy with the results. It’s been a hell of a season. Hats off to CBC for pulling this off. Let’s hope they’ll be able to put together a longer season next year!
You can watch the sixth season of Battle of the Blades on CBC Gem.