Battle of the Blades
The first two seasons of Battle of the Blades have carried on with male hockey players teamed with female figure skaters. For the third season, Tessa Bonhomme from the 2010 gold medal winning women’s hockey team for Canada was teamed with 2002 pairs figure skating gold medalist David Pelletier and lo and behold, they were the winning team for the third season.
Bryan Berard and Marie-France Dubreuil finished second. And Fang’s Bites fave Tanith Belbin and Boyd Devereaux were in third.
Overall, the season was a success and I do hope that this show will be aired somewhere in the States. From what I’ve heard, the ratings for CBC are quite good and most likely a 4th season will be aired.
The season was sent to a tragic start with the death of Wade Belak who was supposed to take part in this season’s series, but the show went on and paid tribute to him in the first two episodes.
The press release from CBC.
TORONTO – November 14, 2011 – CBC’s BATTLE OF THE BLADES’ first female hockey player, Tessa Bonhomme and David Pelletier, one of the best pair skaters in history, have skated into the hearts of Canadians with their powerful, gravity-defying performances featuring a variety of amazing tricks. These two Olympic Gold Medalists have been crowned as the champions of BATTLE OF THE BLADES Season 3 and they have won the $100,000 first place prize donation that will be divided between their chosen charities – the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure (Sudbury Run Site) and Ronald McDonald House Southern Alberta.
As a fierce hockey player who put on figure skates for the first time at BATTLE OF THE BLADES’ bootcamp in July 2011, Tessa has transformed herself into a graceful figure skater who has impressed judges with her technical ability and aesthetic presentation.
“I expected you to be good, but I did not expect that level of performance,” Head Judge Sandra Bezic commented on Tessa’s figure skating skills in the first week of live performances. “What this is about is the courage to put yourself in a vulnerable place and that is inspirational.”
Tessa Bonhomme was part of Canada’s Gold Medal-winning women’s hockey team at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver and has been a member of the Canadian National Women’s Hockey Team since 2004. She has been skating with David Pelletier, a three-time Canadian Pairs Champion, World Champion, Grand-Prix Final Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist, who in 2002, captured Canada’s first Olympic Gold medal in pairs skating in 42 years.
Marie-France Dubreuil and Bryan Berard have claimed the second place prize of $35,000 donation to Do It For Daron with the Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health. Returning from Season 1, five-time Canadian Ice Dance Champion Marie-France has been skating with Bryan, who played for six NHL teams including the Toronto Maple Leafs and battled back from a severe eye injury in one of the greatest comeback stories in hockey history.
Five-time U.S. Ice Dance Champion, four-time World Medalist and 2006 Olympic Ice Dance Silver Medalist Tanith Belbin has been paired with former Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers player Boyd Devereaux, an Ontario native, who won the Stanley Cup with Detroit in 2002. They have claimed the third place prize of $30,000 that will be divided between the Montreal Neurological Institute and Epilepsy Huron-Perth-Bruce.
Over the course of the third season of CBC’s BATTLE OF THE BLADES, the program has donated $290,000 to various Canadian charities, resulting in nearly $1,000,000 in charitable donations since the start of the series in 2009.
That will do it.
Let’s do some links now. I have to write my recap of Blogs with Balls 4 while everything is still fresh in my mind. It really was a great event to attend and wonderful to meet so many good people. I hope to have the BwB recap up tonight.
Here are some links for you.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand says Bill Parcells’ prediction on the Patriots-Bills game during ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown was off.
Ryan Chittum of the Columbia Journalism Review says ESPN has a massive conflict of interest with the Longhorn Network and conference realignment.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News writes that NBC/Golf Channel will combine for extensive live and repackaged coverage of the Presidents Cup in November.
Daniel Kaplan of Sports Business Journal reports that the NFL plans to continue playing regular season games in London.
The perpetually lovely Rachel Cohen of the Associated Press writes that some NFL coaches challenges sometimes aren’t made due to the lack of replays from the networks.
Andrew McCains at Adweek tells us that Mercedes-Benz won’t advertise in Super Bowl XLVI, but that doesn’t mean it’s giving up on the Big Game altogether.
Mark Walsh at MediaPost writes that Verizon’s NFL mobile app has grown by leaps and bounds from last year.
Toni Fitzgerald from Media Life Magazine says ad buyers know that NBC’s Sunday Night Football is a sure ratings winner.
Barry Janoff at The Big Lead writes that the US may submit a bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Robert Seidman of TVbytheNumbers has the ratings for MLB Network’s worst show by far, Intentional Talk.
The Sports Biz Miss, Kristi Dosh explains what Texas A&M stands to gain from its move to the SEC.
Dan Fogarty at SportsGrid has Red Sox pitcher John Lackey angry over a text from TMZ.com before he was about to pitch before yesterday’s game against the Yankees.
From Broadcast Engineering, Michael Grotticelli says ESPN’s new deal for Monday Night Football allows for 3-D productions.
Yahoo’s Shutdown Corner says NFL Network’s Deion Sanders is refuting reports that he’s divorcing his wife, Pilar over her reality show fame.
Over to Phil Mushnick of the New York Post where he wants networks to embarrass athletes when they showboat.
Laura Nachman has the winners of the Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards including those in the sports categories.
David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun feels NFL coaches don’t give CBS announcers much to go on in their pregame discussions.
From the DC Sports Bog in the Washington Post, Dan Steinberg writes that DC NFL team QB Rex Grossman doesn’t seem to pay attention to the sports media.
Brendan Brown of the Martinsburg (WV) Journal writes that West Virginia showed off its best features on ESPN’s College GameDay.
Tom Jones from the St. Petersburg Times goes over the weekend that was in sports television.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes that Joe Buck’s voice while better, is still not all the way back yet.
Dusty Saunders at the Denver Post says Broncos fans wanted to talk about Tim Tebow after yesterday’s loss to Tennessee.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News has your sports calendar for this week.
Raju Mudhar of the Toronto Star looks at the media coverage of last week’s racist banana tossing incident involving Wayne Simmonds and Hazel Mae’s return to Canada.
The Toronto Globe and Mail has Canadian Press video of CBC’s Battle of the Blades cast remembering the late Wade Belak.
Bruce Dowbiggin from the Globe and Mail feels the NHL grew by leaps and bounds with Brendan Shanahan using video to explain disciplinary action by the league.
Joe Favorito explains why Blogs with Balls is important not just for bloggers, but for sports leagues.
The Days of Y’Orr blog busts Captain Blowhard for his lack of hockey knowledge. Again.
Ryan Durling of BostInnovation says Captain Blowhard got Twitter bombed.
And we’ll end the posts there for today. Keep it here for various updates throughout the day.
When former Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Wade Belak was found dead of an apparent suicide, there was speculation whether CBC would move forward with this season of Battle of the Blades. Belak was scheduled to take part in the CBC reality show that pairs former NHL stars with figure skaters. In its two previous seasons, the show has become quite popular in Canada and has been licensed to air worldwide including the United States.
A week before the third season of Battle of the Blades premieres on CBC on September 25, the network will air a special tribute to Belak during a one hour preview of the show. We have this announcement from CBC.
Season Premiere Special “GAME ON” on September 18 will feature special tribute to Wade Belak
CBC’s BATTLE OF THE BLADES will go forward with its third season, premiering on Sunday, September 18 at 8 p.m. as planned. BATTLE OF THE BLADES: GAME ON is a one-hour special featuring footage of the cast members when they first met in July and began to train for the show. The Blades cast and crew are deeply saddened by the death of former NHLer Wade Belak, however, they believe that he would want the show to go on.
“GAME ON,” the series opener, documents the cast’s career accomplishments, personal stories and how far they must come to prepare for their first live performance. This show reveals why these great athletes are taking on this challenge for their chosen charities. The show will also include a heartfelt memorial tribute to Belak by Ron MacLean, incorporating footage showing the infectious enthusiasm and humour he brought to the training sessions.
“Wade’s death has been devastating for our entire BATTLE OF THE BLADES family, and our thoughts are with all members of his own family at this time. But we believe he would want us to move ahead, and we are looking forward to season three of BATTLE OF THE BLADES,” said Kirstine Stewart, executive vice president of CBC English Services.
“Our hearts go out to Wade’s family and friends and he is greatly missed by our cast and crew,” says John Brunton, Executive Producer and CEO of Insight Productions. “Our cast came together and told us that they felt strongly about doing the show as a tribute to Wade. BATTLE OF THE BLADES Season 3 has taken on a whole new meaning for them.”
New to the BATTLE OF THE BLADES cast competitor lineup is former NHL defenseman Todd Simpson. Hailing from North Vancouver, British Columbia and then Edmonton and Lethbridge, Alberta, Todd has a special connection with Wade Belak as he played his junior hockey for the Saskatoon Blades where Wade was his defensive partner. He began his NHL career with the Calgary Flames in 1994. He played with the Flames for four years and was named team captain in 1997. Todd went on to play for six other NHL team throughout the course of his 10 year career. An eighth NHL player is hoped to be cast this week who will partner with US World Team Member, Kim Navarro, who was paired with Wade Belak.
BATTLE OF THE BLADES partners stars of hockey and figure skating to battle it out in a weekly live skating competition for a $100,000 first prize donation to the charity of their choice. Broadcast from the MasterCard Centre in Toronto, the live elimination competition series. A total of $290,000 will be donated to charities throughout the 8-week series.
The first BATTLE OF THE BLADES live performance will be comprised of one-hour competitions on Sunday, September 25 and on Monday, September 26 at 8 p.m. (8:30 p.m. NT). Fans have asked for no elimination in the first week, but these performances will still count towards the first elimination held in week two. Subsequent weeks will feature performance shows on Sunday evenings followed by the dramatic, live “skate-off” results shows on Monday nights.
That is it.
The third season of CBC’s Battle of the Blades premieres next month and this time, it will have a female hockey player taking part. Tessa Bonhomme of Canada’s gold medal-winning Olympic team will be teamed with 2002 Olympics pairs figure skating gold medalist David Pelletier (who won with Jaime Salé and she took part in seasons 1 and 2 of BOTB). Rhode Islander Bryan Berard will be among the male former hockey players participating along with former Buffalo Sabres star Brad May, goon Wade Belak and Curtis Leschyshyn.
The first two seasons of Battle of the Blades were very popular for CBC. It teams former hockey stars with figure skating partners. While Jaime Salé will not be in this season, Olympic silver medal-winning Ice Dancer Tanith Belbin will be doing her first BOTB for CBC this year.
We have the cast and I hope to be able to post some videos for this season. I said that last season, but I never got around to it. I hope to this year.
First female hockey player joins the anticipated third season premiering Sept. 18 at 8pm
August 22, 2011 – For the first time ever, a female hockey player will join the ranks of the NHL veterans and world-class figure skaters to compete in CBC’s smash-hit live series, BATTLE OF THE BLADES. Olympic Gold Medalist and member of the Canadian National Women’s Hockey Team, Tessa Bonhomme, will swap her hockey blades for figure skates when the hotly-anticipated third season kicks-off on Sunday, September 18 at 8pm with BATTLE OF THE BLADES: GAME ON.
“I can’t wait to take on the NHL players and show them that Women’s hockey has come a long way,” said an excited Tessa Bonhomme. “I am honoured to be the first woman representing all those who play our great game and with a partner like David Pelletier, we will try to take it easy on the NHL guys.”
Since Season 1, the fans have been asking for a female hockey player to be part of the competition and this season BATTLE OF THE BLADES producers were able to pair two Olympic Gold Medalists with Tessa Bonhomme and David Pelletier.
BATTLE OF THE BLADES partners stars of hockey and figure skating to battle it out in a weekly live skating competition for a $100,000 first prize donation to the charity of their choice. Broadcast from the MasterCard Centre in Toronto, the live elimination competition series airs Sunday nights at 8pm. The live results show follows every Monday night at 8pm where, week after week, a pair will be eliminated until the new Champions are crowned. A total of $290,000 will be donated to charities throughout the 8-week series.
The line-up of hockey players for BATTLE OF THE BLADES Season 3 include:
- Tessa Bonhomme was part of Canada’s Gold Medal-winning women’s hockey team at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. A member of the Canadian National Women’s Hockey Team since 2004, she has won Gold and Silver medals in world championship competitions, along with numerous awards and records in college hockey during her time with the Ohio State Buckeyes.
- Bryan Berard, the Rhode Island native was the first overall pick in the 1995 NHL Draft and played for six NHL teams including the Toronto Maple Leafs. On March 11, 2000, while playing for the Leafs in a game against the Senators in Ottawa, the stick of Mariàn Hossa clipped Bryan in the right eye, severely injuring it. With incredible determination and after seven eye surgeries, Bryan returned to the NHL completing one of the greatest comeback stories in hockey history.
- Brad May was immortalized with broadcaster Rick Jeanneret’s famous “May Day!” call after scoring a series-clinching goal for Buffalo in the 1993 playoffs against Boston. The former Toronto Maple Leaf (2008-2009) and Vancouver Canuck (1997-2000 and 2002-2004) won the Stanley Cup in 2008 with the Anaheim Ducks.
- Boyd Devereaux, an Ontario native, won the Stanley Cup with Detroit in 2002 and a World Junior Championships where he scored the winning goals in both the semi-final and gold medial games in 1997. Boyd played for four NHL teams including the Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs.
- Wade Belak, the legendary brawler who scored memorable goals against the likes of Martin Brodeur, Robert Luongo and Chris Mason, played for the Calgary Flames (1999-2001) and the Toronto Maple Leafs (2001-2008) in addition to stints with Colorado, Nashville and the Florida Panthers.
- Defenseman Curtis Leschyshyn won a Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche in 1996, and also spent time with the Quebec Nordiques (1988-1995) and Ottawa Senators. Curtis is an avid cyclist and is known as one of the most fit NHL players.
- Ex-Calgary Flame (1996-2000, 2006) Cale Hulse also played for New Jersey, Nashville, Phoenix and Columbus. The 6’3” Alberta native is no stranger to television sets, as he is married to actress Gina Lee Nolin.
The figure skaters featured in BATTLE OF THE BLADES Season 3 include:
- David Pelletier, a three-time Canadian Pairs Champion, World Champion, Grand-Prix Final Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist, who in 2002, captured Canada’s first Olympic Gold medal in pairs skating in 42 years. David, with partner and BATTLE OF THE BLADES Season 1 and 2 star Jamie Salé, has been inducted into both the Skate Canada Hall of Fame, the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame and is a recipient of the Lou Marsh Trophy, awarded to outstanding Canadian athletes.
- From the legendary Russian pair skating dynasty, two-time World Champion and four–time Russian National Champion Elena Berezhnaya, with partner Anton Sikharulidze, shares the 2002 Olympic gold medal with Canadians Jamie Salé and David Pelletier, awarded amidst the historic judging scandal. Elena and David now face each other again in BATTLE OF THE BLADES.
- Canadian born Tanith Belbin is a five-time U.S. Ice Dance Champion, four-time World Medalist and 2006 Olympic Ice Dance Silver Medalist with her partner Ben Agosto. Together they won the first Olympic ice dance medal in 30 years for the United States.
- Returning from Season 1 after having her first baby is five-time Canadian Ice Dance Champion Marie-France Dubreuil. With her husband Patrice Lauzon, she is the 2006 and 2007 World Silver Medalist. Marie-France and BATTLE OF THE BLADES partner Stephane Richer are remembered as fan favorites.
- Returning from Season 2 is World and Olympic Team Member and 2008 Canadian Pairs Champion Anabelle Langlois. Anabelle came back from a near career-ending foot injury to compete at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver with partner Cody Hay. She skated with Georges Laraque last season.
- Also returning is Russian born Violetta Afanasieva who joined the Moscow Circus on Ice at the age of 12 and won the first-ever Extreme Ice Skating World Championship with Canadian partner/husband Peter Dack in 2006. Last season she skated with PJ Stock.
- Joining the cast for Season 3 is American Kim Navarro, a U.S. World Team Member and two-time U.S. Ice Dance Bronze Medalist with partner Brent Bommentre.
- And Marcy Hinzmann-Harris, a U.S. World and Olympic Team member and two-time U.S. Pairs Medalist with partner Aaron Parchem.
And that is all for this post. Battle of the Blades premieres on CBC, September 18 at 8 p.m. ET.