For many years Ice Skating was the most watched sport on TV. It’s popularity has dried up a bit since the days of Tanya Harding and, later, Kristi Yamaguchi. Yamaguchi later went on to be crowned champion of the sixth season of ABCs Dancing With the Stars. You have to wonder if that didn’t spark an idea in the back of some TV producers mind. Because this year we have “Skating with the Stars” premiereing November 22nd on ABC.
Six couples will take to the ice with their professional partners for the first time in front of a live audience, with couples performing high-paced ice dancing moves and dazzling figure skating routines. Couples will need to be perfectly in sync, since the ice is unforgiving of even the smallest mistake. The couple with the lowest ranking following the judges’ scores and the public’s votes will be sent home the following week.
The six celebrities hitting the stunning ice rink this season, as announced tonight by “Dancing with the Stars” hosts Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke during the live “Dancing with the Stars the Results Show,” are:
REBECCA BUDIG – Daytime Emmy Award nominee and fan favorite Rebecca Budig returned to the role of Greenlee Smythe in December 2009 on “All My Children.” Budig has also made many guest appearances and served as co-host for ABC’s “The View.” Other credits include hosting for WE’s “Full Frontal Fashion,” hosting for ABC Family’s “The Bachelor” after-show round ups, as well as ABC’s “Hope & Faith.” Most recently Budig starred in “The Perfect Child,” “The Beast,” “Out of Practice” and “CSI.”
BETHENNY FRANKEL – Bethenny Frankel has a knack for making healthy food taste delicious, a talent that has elevated her to national prominence as a celebrated natural food chef, the creator of the sought-after Skinnygirl Margarita, The New York Times best-selling author of Naturally Thin and The Skinnygirl Dish, and a spokesperson for Pepperidge Farm. Frankel attended the National Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts. Her wit, wisdom and humor first came to national attention when she was named first runner-up on NBC’s “The Apprentice: Martha Stewart.” Network executives next put her center stage on Bravo’s hit series “The Real Housewives of New York” for three seasons. Her next series, the spin-off “Bethenny Getting Married?,” premiered to the highest ratings ever in Bravo history. Frankel currently resides in New York City with her husband, daughter and dog Cookie.
JONNY MOSELEY– Jonny Moseley has amassed an impressive list of titles and medals as a skier, but it is his ability to bring a crowd to its feet that defines his career. In his quest to deliver the ultimate performance, Moseley has combined the discipline required of an Olympic athlete, the ability to thrill required of an X-Games athlete, and the creativity and imagination required of a free-skier. Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1975, he hit snow for the first time when his family relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1978. In 1993 Moseley was selected to the U.S. Ski Team and, after narrowly missing a spot on the 1994 Olympic team, he began preparing for the 1998 Olympic Games. In 1997 he put school on hold and became a full time skier. He won the first two World Cup events of the 1997/1998 season, and secured a spot on the U.S. Olympic team. Moseley arrived in Nagano, Japan in February of 1998 and, one week later, won the first American gold medal of the Games with what had become his signature move, the 360 mute-grab. In 2006 he achieved another of his goals and graduated from UC Berkeley. In 2007 he was inducted into the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame and became the narrator of the Warren Miller films. Moseley continues to do his weekly radio show on Sirius Satellite Radio and also TV work, and he is proud to represent Sprint and act as Chief Mountain Host at Squaw Valley, USA.
VINCE NEIL – International superstar, accomplished businessman and heartfelt philanthropist Vince Neil exemplifies all things rock and roll. Neil’s unmistakable voice leads some of the greatest rock songs of this generation, including “Shout at the Devil,” “Home Sweet Home,” “Girls, Girls, Girls,”
“Dr. Feelgood,” “Kickstart My Heart,” “Same Ol’ Situation,” and the recent “Saints of Los Angeles,” which was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2009 for Best Hard Rock Performance. With 15 years since his last solo album, Neil released his solo CD, Tattoos & Tequila, followed by his New York Times best-selling book of the same name. He continues to expand his entrepreneurial efforts, which include Feelgoods Rock Bar and Grill in West Palm Beach and Las Vegas; Vince Neil Ink, a Las Vegas based tattoo parlor and apparel shop with two locations; Tres Rios tequila; The Skylar Neil Memorial Foundation (www.skylarneil.org) — a tribute to Neil’s daughter, whom he lost to cancer in 1995 — which has raised over $2 million to help combat childhood cancer; and his latest venture, Vince Neil Aviation. In addition to selling 80 million records around the world as the frontman for Mötley Crüe, he began a career as a solo artist in 1993. With one loafer in the world of business and a steel-toe boot heavily planted in rock n’ roll, Neil is the epitome of a modern rock star, living a life of luxury, continuing to create current music, writing, finding new businesses that interest him, and giving back through his foundation.
BRANDON MYCHAL SMITH – Brandon Mychal Smith plays super-suave Nico Harris in the Disney Channel sitcom “Sonny With A Chance.” Smith also recently starred as Stubby in the Disney Channel Original Movie, “StarStruck.” In 2006 he won a Family Television Award and a Young Artist Award for his portrayal as Tayshawn in the Emmy Award-nominated television movie, “The Ron Clark Story,” opposite Matthew Perry. His other film credits include “Gridiron Gang,” opposite Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and “Weapons” with Nick Cannon. Smith landed a role in the 2002 season finale of “The District,” and has since guest-starred on several other television shows, including ABC’s “The Forgotten,” Disney Channel’s “That’s So Raven” and “Phil of the Future,” “The Shield,” “Bones” and “Without a Trace.” Born May 29, 1989, Smith is an avid roller skater. He makes his home in Los Angeles and is very close with his parents and younger sister, Kimberly.
SEAN YOUNG – Sean Young has starred in some of the most iconic movies of all time, from “Blade Runner” with Harrison Ford to “No Way Out” with Kevin Costner and “Ace Ventura” with Jim Carrey. She has brought her passion for acting and creating characters to the small screen as well, where she is currently starring as the devious Meggie McLaine in “The Young and The Restless.” While no stranger to splashy headlines and a perennial mainstay of the gossip mills over the years, Young takes it all in stride. She has recently starred in a number of independent movies: “The Republic,” “Random Encounters” and, most recently, “The Black Dove,” which she just finished shooting in Cincinnati.
A trained dancer in her youth studying at the American Ballet in New York, Young hopes to bring the love she has for dancing and incorporate it into her new adventure, “Skating with the Stars.”
Frankly, putting celebrities on the ice seems like a recipe for disaster to me. But if I had to pick a winner, I’d go with Jonny Mosely, who, at least, has some familiarity with putting on a show in the cold. Anybody plan to watch this?
“Skating with the Stars” is produced by BBC Worldwide Productions. Izzie Pick (“Dancing with the Stars” and the UK’s “Strictly Come Dancing”) and Phil Edgar Jones (“Big Brother” and “Celebrity Big Brother”) serve as executive producers. Paul Osborne (“I’m a Celebrity…Get me Out of Here!” and “Secret Millionaire”) will serve as co-executive producer. Alex Rudzinski (“Dancing with the Stars”) will direct.