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LIVE BLOG: Ice dancing original dance

Can Moir & Virtue edge into first?


 

6:30 p.m.
Live blogging the original dance begins in 42 minutes. It’s going to be, like, so much better than hockey. Trust me.

7:30 p.m.
Turns out this event actually starts at 7:45 p.m. But speed skating (which is on now) is pretty cool. Wonder how they’d feel if we made them wear sequins, too?

7:36 p.m.
Okay, so I know I’m supposed to be focusing on ice dancing, and all those lovely pairs, but I just came across this from resident sore loser Evegeni Plushenko (the Russian figure skater who emerged from retirement to compete in the Olympics, but failed to clinch top spot). Apparently he’s not done quite yet. As he told media: “I want to continue to compete, I want to skate in Sochi in Russia in 2014.” Won’t he be, like, 40 years old by then?

7:43 p.m.
I take it back. The Internet tells me that Plushenko will only be 31 by then. But still…

7:57 p.m.
Oh no! Apparently this event is already underway. CTV says “don’t worry, we’ll get it all to you later,” but I’m worried. They say they’re going live to the Pacific Coliseum now. Sorry for the delay!

8:00 p.m.
Hungary’s Nora Hoffmann and and Maxim Zavozin are on the ice. They’re dressed like Hansel and Gretel. But unlike many of the other competitors, they’re not actually brother and sister.

8:01 p.m.
Apparently this year’s theme is folk and country. Which explains the costumes.

8:03 p.m.
The announcers just said that those gathered at the stadium tonight are a “dance crowd.” As opposed to the people who normally watch figure skating?

8:05 p.m.
The Hungarians are behind the Italians (Anna Cappellinni and Lanotte Luca) who skated before CTV started coverage on this channel.

8:07 p.m.
Americans Emily Bates and Evan Samuelson are skating to the Dixie Chicks. He’s dressed like a cowboy, and she’s dressed like…are cowboy groupie?

8:09 p.m.
Wait-a keep that cowboy hat on for the whole routine.

8:11 p.m.
Emily and Evan are all smiles. Their cowboy number was good enough for first.

8:13 p.m.
Russians Ekaterina Obrova and Dmitri Soloviev are cute, little twizzling sailors. The identical costumes help with that whole unison thing. Or at least the illusion of it.

8:15 p.m.
Ooooh. Exciting lift! And she finishes by whipping off her sailor cap to reveal her long, blond mane. Hot!

8:17 p.m.
Okay, commercial break. I’ll take this opportunity to admit that I know very little about ice dancing. To be honest, I have a few burning questions. For one, are they jealous of the figure skaters? Or are the figure skaters jealous of them?

8:18 p.m.
The Russians take fourth. (For now.)

8:22 p.m.
Bad things are happening with Olympic coverage. Seems ice dancing is not popular enough to be shown live. I now seem to be watching something from “earlier today,” which I imagine means during the speed skating medal presentation. Please bear with me.

8:28 p.m.
It was Canadians Vanessa Crone and Paul Poirier. They were cute. He’s so young sounding! (Now being interviewed by CTV.) Apparently that happened earlier. But now the network is doing some kind of Olympic roundup. I’m confused.

8:32 p.m.
I fear we may have to take what we can get in terms of coverage…checking to see if it’s streaming online.

8:35 p.m.
They’re about to start another “flight,” which means I think we’ve gone live again. So sorry for the pairs we missed. It was nothing personal.

8:40 p.m.
I’m annoyed that this whole thing wasn’t shown live. I feel marginalized.

8:43 p.m.
Germans Christine Beier and William Beier (yes, sister and brother) are skating to a Hawaiian dance. This should come as a shock: they’re dressed the part.

8:44 p.m.
The announcer just said “It might be a little difficult to see this at home, but they’re not perfectly parallel.” To me, they look like they’re so parallel that it’s almost as if they have the same DNA. Ooooh, snap!

8:46 p.m.
And they’re in sixth spot. Not great Hawaiian wannabes. Not great.

8:48 p.m.
Next up, Americans-turned-Japanese, Cathy and Chris Reed. Yes, another incestuous pair. Seriously, what’s the deal?

8:49 p.m.
Apparently, it’s tough to twizzle with a Japanese fan.

8:50 p.m.
Family dinners must be really awkward when the screw up.

8:53 p.m.
That’s some crazy make up on lady Reed. They look happy, despite their fifth place ranking.

8:55 p.m.
Chinese pair Xintong Huang and Zheng Xun are, in the words of the announcers “a Chinese couple skating a Greek folk dance.” Need I say more? I can’t stop giggling. And their bright turquoise, white and sequin costumes aren’t helping.

8:57 p.m.
They say dancing to another country’s music shows “great acting.”

8:59 p.m.
Eighth place. They look crestfallen.

9:01 p.m.
Ukraine’s Anna Zadorozhniuk and Sergei Verbillo are skating to a Ukrainian folk dance. That seems to make a bit more sense.  

9:02 p.m.
I like her red bootie things. They’re fabulous.

9:03 p.m.
My personal peanut gallery is marveling at the fact that “they don’t kick each other in the shins by accident.”

9:05 p.m.
They’re from Odessa. I want to go there.

9:06 p.m.
They’re not looking so happy with their third place ranking.

9:07 p.m.
British skater Emily Coomes and Nicholas Buckland wave funny. Maybe it’s because of the Queen. She waves REALLY funny. They’re doing an Irish folk dance.

9:09 p.m.
Oooh, I like their Riverdance stuff. I’m such a sucker for Michael Flatley, and all things Flatley-like.

9:10 p.m.
They look happy with their performance.

9:11 p.m.
Okay…hold the phones…they just showed the Russians getting ready for their “aboriginal” dance. She’s attaching a crown of leaves to his head. This promises to be even more offensive to First Nations than Avatar.

9:13 p.m.
Oh, the British only rack up enough points for 10th. Too bad.

9:15 p.m.
Whoa! Those aboriginal costumes (to be worn by Russians Oksana Dominina and Maxim Shabalin) are CRAZY. Apparently the outfits and dance are meant as a tribute to Australian aboriginals, but they’re totally cringe-worthy.  The announcers are not impressed.

9:19 p.m.
But first we have another pair of Russians, Jana Khokhlova and Sergei Novitski, doing far less offensive things.

9:20 p.m.
She’s got amazing bright orange/red hair, and is wearing a cute green dress. He has on traditional pants that billow at the thighs. Their antics are getting some laughs and cheers from the crowd.

9:24 p.m.
I like it when they talk to the camera in the “kiss and cry” area. It’s endearing. And the Russians edge into first.

9:26 p.m.
French pair Isabelle Delobel and Oliver Schoenfelder are skating to a French can-can. 

9:27 p.m.
They’re former world champions who, if I heard the announcers right, are making a comeback after having a baby. That’s amazing.

9:28 p.m.
That was pretty awesome. The insane amount of pink fabric under her black skirt made it way more fun to watch.

9:30 p.m.
He just mimed that he was hanging himself with his scarf when he saw the marks. Eek.

9:32 p.m.
British pair (and siblings) Sinead and John Kerr are doing American country. Dancing to Johnny Cash, who is currently rolling over in his grave.

9:34 p.m.
My peanut gallery observes that Sinead, who has tied up her plaid shirt to expose her midriff, has a “tramp stamp.” We’re wondering if it’s part of the costume?

9:35 p.m.
That was a lot of touching for brother and sister.

9:36 p.m.
The country siblings are in currently in second. Next up: Italians Federica Faiella and Massimo Scali.  

9:38 p.m.
Apparently they’re one of the only pairs that are doing a “level four” in difficulty (whatever that means). I appreciate that their dance and costumes have a lower degree of cultural appropriation.

9:40 p.m.
Their coach has the most orange hair I have ever seen. It’s incredible. They’re now sitting in first, and smiling ever so slightly.

9:45 p.m.
Russians Oksana Dominina and Maxim Shabalin are on the ice, doing their aboriginal thing, and it’s just as offensive as promised. She’s even coloured in her eyebrows, and just mimed a stereotypical yell, by repeatedly bringing her hand to her mouth.

9:47 p.m.
What’s worse: the announcer says they haven’t met with Australian aboriginals to talk about their “interpretation.” The audience is SO not impressed. You could hear a pin drop.  The announcers are taking issue with the fact that they appear to be “semi-nude.”

9:49 p.m.
It was good enough for first, despite their tasteless appearance. Well, in their defense, the original dance is supposed to be original, right?

10:02 p.m.
Virtue and Moir are coming up in the next flight. During the break, we’re watching Canadian skeleton racer Melissa Hollingsworth bawl her eyes out while apologizing to us for coming in fifth. Relax! It’s not like you pulled a Tiger Woods. We forgive you!

10:10 p.m.
Here’s another thing I’ve always wondered about ice dancing: at which point do skaters get siphoned off into the jumpers and the dancers? Is it like hockey and ringette? Or skeleton and luge?

10:13 p.m.
Here come Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White. Looks like they’re going to attempt something East Indian.

10:15 p.m.
Totally Bollywood.

10:15 p.m.
To the untrained eye, their steps seem really clean and in unison.

10:16 p.m.
Wicked spin! (Yes, that’s a technical term.)

10:17 p.m.
I wonder what Moir and Virtue (their training mates) are thinking. Probably mean thoughts.

10:18 p.m.
First place! Big smiles.

10:20 p.m.
French skaters Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat are a lot country. She’s turned her skates into cowboy(girl?) boots. 

10:22 p.m.
Not sure why she didn’t opt to have her ruffly orange skirt cover her entire bottom.

10:23 p.m.
The thought of how many times they’ve had to listen to that horrendous song makes me feel crazy.

10:24 p.m.
Fifth place for the French cowboys.

10:26 p.m.
Israelis Alexandra and Roman Zaretsky (sis and bro) and skating to a Jewish folk song. 

10:27 p.m.
And it’s not just any old folk song, it’s Hava Neglia. For those who’ve never been to a Jewish wedding or bar mitzvah, this is the one where the couple (or bar mitzvah boy) gets lifted up in chairs, and everybody else dances around in a circle.

10:29 p.m.
Canadians Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue are waiting in the wings…

10:30 p.m.
The Israelis are in eighth.

10:32 p.m.
And the crowd loses its collective mind as Moir and Virtue take to the ice.

10:33 p.m.
The announcers are not saying a word, which is really unhelpful. They…um…look pretty?

10:34 p.m.
They’re both making the same super-dramatic open-mouth face. But they seem to be doing quite well.

10:35 p.m.
The announcers just offered a rhetoric, “How good was this?” I guess that was great. Perfect, even.

10:36 p.m.
But will it be enough for first?

10:37 p.m.
YES! Three cheers for a Canadian team that’s almost actually done what the pre-Olympics commercials promised!

10:39 p.m.
I’m not sure who’s dancing now. In the meantime, I’ve looked up the definition of “twizzle.” I know this is coming a little late in the game, but according to Wikipedia (source of semi-reliable information) it’s “a multirotational one-foot turn.”

10:41 p.m.
If the announcers would…um…announce, I could tell you who this is. I think they might be American, but they’re dressed in crazy outfits, so I’m not sure.

10:41 p.m.
Okay, that was an American pair, Tanith Belbin and Benjamin Agosto. 

10:43 p.m.
Now the announcers are jinxing the crap out of Moir and Virtue. Honestly, has what happened to Patrick Chan taught you nothing?

10:44 p.m.
The American pair takes fourth.

10:45 p.m.
And that’s a wrap. Tessa and Scott are gushing to CTV about their performance. It really was a good one. Tune in tomorrow night to see if they can bring it home, at home. And don’t forget to check out our live blog.


 
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LIVE BLOG: Ice dancing original dance

  1. We can comment as we are watching, 2:15 Hawaiian Time (5-6 hrs off East Coast) Chek and Russia playing, score even.

  2. Giggle, giggle… thanks Rachel.

  3. how ridiculously sensitive the aboriginals are. i am from australia and they always complain about everything. i know that sounds very ignorant but its true. they should be glad and honoured the best skating team in the world have decided to do a dance about aboriginals. the russians even said the was not “authentic” so why are the aboriginals complaining about their culture being shown all over the world. the greek theme was done not even remotely grecian but you dont see them whinging… the outfits did look alittle tacky [like aboriginal xmas elves] but hey lighten up!

  4. Jaguaress, the point being that Virtue and Moir did an authentic flamenco, Davis & White did an authentic Bollywood piece – aka they took the time to learn the correct movements from someone who taught them correctly. The Russians basically just made up their own moves from ethnic stereotypes, which is pretty easily construed as offensive. So the aboriginals in Australia did NOT have 'their culture' shown all over the world – they had somone's ignorant and incorrect idea of their culture shown.

    Plus their costumes were insane. Great comment about Avatar, I'm stealing that for my facebook status.

    • thats a good point, thanks stewart i can see where u are coming from

    • Charlie's unruly blonde hair was anything but authentic, not to mention the dull brown of his jacket.

  5. Thanks for the great live Blog! :-)

    The British competitor was called Penny (not Emily) and I thought they were really good and should've moved above the Chinese couple dancing Greek very badly.

    Thankfully I saw all 23 couples on delayed BBC coverage (I'm in the UK) and thoroughly enjoyed the event.
    As regards the Russians, what they are doing is a very 'comical' characature of what they think is Aboriginal. Their costumes, choreography and facial expressions were so not "Folk" and they should've been penalised and not be in 3rd IMO.

    V&M have such a big lead, and the best Freedance, so I'm sure will – deservedly – win the Gold.

    BTW sorry our Amy Williams beat Melissa for the Skeleton Gold!! :P
    Don't cry dear!

  6. Thanks for sharing this timeline Rachel. I really appreciate this. Very detailed and well elaborated.

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