TX 2 – They Came, They Skated, But Did They Conquer?

We’ve now seen all the 2019 teams skate their first programs and a group program. How do they all stack up? Do you agree with the team eliminated in the Skate-Off?

Read on for my opinions on the skating. Next time, I’ll give some detail on how I’d judge and adjust the judging system. In future weeks, I’ll compare the skated programs based on that concepts and system. We’ll see how that approach ends up comparing to the Dancing On Ice judges’ scores and results. In the meantime, maybe I’m just in a critical mood, but - I’m with Jason on about 90% of his scores and comments for the evening. “Sorry, Not Sorry.”

GOAL for Next Week: Bend Your Knees & Don’t just glide on 2 Feet! ⛸❤

In the order they skated:

Week 2 Teams

Brian McFadden & Alex Murphy

Brian has clear discomfort over the ball of his foot. Too much of his weight is behind his heels, and he hasn’t found a knee bend that produces a transition between left and right. Much like Chris, my first reaction was bend your knees. As to choreography, I agree with Jason, and it is admittedly nice to see him picking on someone’s work besides mine. I’m also not clear on why they gave Brian a long cape. I really like this team, and Brian’s fun attitude. I know they can do much more!

Ryan Sidebottom & Brandee Malto

Ryan has the potential to have great knee bend, but in his standard skating he is keeping his weight behind the heels much like everyone else. While some of the programs LOOK like the skaters are doing more this season, if you look more carefully, you will see - across the board - there is a LOT of two-foot skating, hockey glides and so on. When it comes to this program, a lot of Ryan’s skating was just gliding along on two feet. And, with the assisted hops, landing on two feet is not too difficult with assistance of a partner. From a choreographic point, it was playing in fun, but it felt a bit forced to me. I love that this team likes to have fun on the ice, but it will take more focused work to advance. 

And, in this week’s Who Wore It Better?

Sorry, I couldn’t resist - and I’m sure you can guess my Vote 🤣🤣 What’s your vote?

Ryan Sidebottom & Brandee Malto,  Dancing On Ice  2019

Ryan Sidebottom & Brandee Malto, Dancing On Ice 2019

Brooke Vincent &  Matej Silecky  (yours truly),  Dancing On Ice  2018

Brooke Vincent & Matej Silecky (yours truly), Dancing On Ice 2018



Melody Thornton & Alex Demetriou

Expected nothing less from someone who has a performing and dance background, but was very disappointed in the choreography until the last lift. If she can skate, show her skating ability and don’t have her on two feet the entire time. Two three-turns doesn’t mean she’s a professional. No question she knows how to play the reality show game - but look at their training and my original comment: a lot is going to depend on how they gel as a partnership and whether she learns to believe that Alex knows what he is doing. There’s only so much he can do without that trust.

Richard Blackwood & Carlotta Edwards

Richard’s general comfort on the ice from his childhood skating is obvious (see my prior comments about why that makes a big difference for an adult learning to skate). But, again, he is lacking proper knee bend. Too much of the motion is being produced from the thighs and not from the strength of the knee bend and ankle. I feel like I'm repeating myself over and over again. I’d rather see proper knee bend and control, than attempting tricks that look sloppy and worrisome. I do think this team has potential, but right now, they’re a good example of my comments about how the time needs to be put in up front - some parts of learning skating just take time and miles on the ice. You really can’t shortcut it and get the result you’re hoping for - but a good pro can hide a lot!

TX 1 Teams - Group Number

I’ll only say that this number clearly defined those who can skate versus those who cant. I do think the attention could have been more balanced, thereby expressing encouragement and showing individual journeys rather than predetermined favorites. Admittedly, I probably feel that way because, to me, the most meaningful part of this show is showing journeys of growth that provide encouragement to viewers to get out and try new things.

Saira Khan & Mark Hanretty

Mark is working hard! What a wonderful job from Mark teaching Saira extension through the legs. She has the best extension and positions out of the show so far. As for comfort on the skates, she needs to build on the knee bend and one foot glides. She has a lot to work on, but is capable of it and has a great teacher. As for Asian culture... hmmmm, I’m thinking she may have meant south Asian culture as Asians (Japan, China, Korea) excel in figure skating!😉Unlike some of the judge comments, I actually felt the performance was a bit flat, but that’s OK because there was actual skating. While perhaps a bit too much lifting, there is still a base of solid skating skill to build on going forward. As Saira develops confidence there, the performance element will shine more.

Wes Nelson & Vanessa Bauer

I found this VT and program a bit frustrating. Why focus on comments about not knowing what others were doing when they just talked about a group chat everyone posted on? Doesn’t make sense, and seems a forced effort to tie into the idea that Wes’ training time was limited. (Well, so was Richard’s and Brian’s and…) Then, so much love for a program that basically went in one direction - circles around the rink just like a public session, and much of it on 2 feet, doing hockey glides. Watch it again to see what I mean. And, I mean no disrespect to this team, but the throw double Salchow - that was basically Vanessa doing her own double jump, not a true throw jump as it was so small. (And, even a real pairs throw requires the girl to do her own jump…) I do not see how this earned 7s when others doing similar 2-foot skating earned 4.5s and 5.5s - and some of them even skated in more than one direction. I feel that 2-3 “tricks,” clean and well-executed, with solid basic skating would have had more impact. Yes, I guess I have the Jason vibe tonight - I would have put this in the 4.5 range!

The Dreaded Skate-Off

Mark Little & Brianne DelCourt

I just watched Wes’ and Vanessa's program all over again. OK, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but watch them back-to-back to see what I mean. Not as different as it seems at first watch! Both pros did excellent death spiral exercises! I am going to miss this team - I would have liked to see Mark have a bit more time to develop and show his fun side.

Ryan Sidebottom & Brandee Malto

Clearly a better performance than the initial skate. Better knee bend and more control. More comfort and happiness. I said it first, Jason. 😉

If you have any questions or comments, please comment below. I’ll do my best to reply. However, nasty comments, spam and such will be deleted – my discretion. I’m happy to engage in dialogue, but you won’t find me trash talking Dancing On Ice, the celebrities or skating professionals here, and I won’t have that on my website.

Thanks for reading!!

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