Monday, December 13, 2010

SWTS: The Real Dick Button

It has taken four weeks, but Dick Button has emerged as the standout judge on Skating With The Stars.  Previously, Dick appeared slightly scripted and senile.  Nothing is farther from the truth.  Uncle Dick was in his element, rusty hooting and living for a theatricality of the drama.  He proved that he is the judge who belongs in the center chair.  Johnny Weir was always great for a sound byte as a competitor, but he just hasn't hit his stride as a judge or commentator.  Uncle Dick has had years of experience.  Johnny was cast as a combination of Simon Cowell and Bruno Tonioli, but he hasn't delivered anything memorable aside from his uncomfortable cat fights with Bethenny Frankel.  Laurie Ann Gibson remains utterly irrelevant.

Tanith Belbin was an absolute vision yet again.  Her one shoulder sparkly blue dress provided utter thinspiration for these frigid temperatures.  I wasn't living for the pony tail, but the rest was flawless.  Johnny had this Olivia Newton John vibe that was working for him, but his hair was yet another disaster.  He needs to get away from anyone involved with Danielle Staub.  A coworker of mine goes to his "beauty bear" and I openly judge her for it and send her examples why.

This week, Parkettes On Ice required the contestants to master 'thrills.'  They had their choice of death spirals, throws and overhead lifts.  I was already smiling and thinking about the fights Brooke Castile must've been having with Jonny Moseley.  Oh the sexual tension!

Keauna McLaughlin skated out by her lonesome during the introductions.  Perhaps the producers were trying to create some drama?  It became very clear that Brandon would not be performing when they kept showing him M.I.A. over a stomach flu.  Clearly this mysterious ailment is something that TMZ or the E! True Hollywood Stories or yore should investigate (before they became PR puff pieces.)  Keauna didn't cry this week, but it became clear why: she got to work with John Zimmerman.  I'd be smiling too if he came dressed in that tight shirt to join me on the ice.  While Keauna likely knew Brandon wasn't coming, the producers had her come to the rink and skate around looking like a lost puppy for the cameras.

Later, we got to see Keauna skate her program with Denis Pethukov.  I will miss seeing Cheryl Burke's doppelganger.  Maybe the DWTS producers can use Keauna for some spoofy segment during a results show next season?  Black Swan anyone?  Keauna is one of the few entertaining pros on this show and will be missed.

The producers decided to show us a highlights reel of Brandon's storied two-week ice career.  It was all very touching and saccharine.  (Eyeroll)

The idiot of a host then spoiled the drama of the show by announcing that no one would be voted off this week.  Sorry Bethenny and sorry viewers who have to endure the rest of the show.  The SWTS don't even try to keep us in suspense like the American Idol and DWTS producers.  Ryan Seacrest lives for creating false suspense.  It became just a bit tougher to see if the Bethenny-Johnny cat fight would come to an end.

Bethenny appeared to take a cue from Jody from Center Stage and skate for fun.  She wound up looking like she was enjoying herself and her costume didn't make her look like a complete fool this week.  We didn't have to listen to her use the baby voice and she even made a pleasant wisecrack about being placed behind someone who didn't even skate last week.  Her knees were still stiff as hell.  She clearly was busy this week, but it was oddly her best week yet.

Things got good when Dick Button declared himself "the Betty White of figure skating.  We've been around so long, we don't give a rusty hoot what anyone thinks."  Rusty hoot.  Oh Dick, how I've missed you!  Bethenny openly declared herself the Bristol Palin of Skating With The Stars.   Laurie Ann kissed some ass and then it was time for some hair pulling: fame whore #1 vs. fame whore #2.  It was delicious.  Bethenny was on her best behavior, but Johnny decided to let her have it.  "It is clear that you don't care what we have to say, so I had no interest in your performance."  It was something along those lines.  Not particularly clever, but it was like watching two caged beauty queens fight over the same tiara.  Bethenny utterly ignored the comment when interviewed and declared that she was having an amazing time.  Oh how we can't wait for her first Post Show Interview.  The Johnnybots of Misfit Mimes will be declaring it a complete victory until someone informs them the Bethenny is the NY Times Best Selling author and the much bigger star.  They will then all pretend to never have heard of her.

Brooke Castile was next and told Jonny to go marry John Zimmerman if he loves him so much.  Oh, wouldn't we all just LOVE to?!  Brooke was rather fierce about schooling her partner about their lifts.

Laurie Ann was so inspired by the performance that she told Mr. Moguls to 'Mount Her.'  It was a total Wendy Williams moment.

Things came to a pleasant snooze with the final performance by Rebecca and Fred.  Both are so pretty and yet so dull.  Johnny Weir claims that she relies too much on Fred (though she is the strongest skater of the bunch.)  Dick busted out a classic catchphrase by labeling her lifts as being 'Spiffy!'  Most importantly, he informed the soap opera actress that she has the 'nicest bottom in this whole competition!"

Of course, I nearly DIED when Dick name dropped the life spiral and the Protopopovs.  Rebecca gave him the same confused stare that Peggy did for 30 years.

Next week will be the two-part finale.  Are you on the edge of your seat, or should we just arm Bethenny and Johnny with pepper spray?


  1. I, too, laughed at the host spoiling the fact that nobody was getting voted off in the first minute of the show. You would think the producers would have him wait til the end to create drama, just like they try to create drama throughout the show.

    It was a little ironic watching Keauna's partner drop out on her...I don't want to call it karma, because I don't think anyone deserves wrath for quitting. But now she probably has a little better of idea how Rockne was feeling when she quit. Maybe they can use this mutual experience to actually reconcile. ;/

    Brooke and Jonny made me nervous. Why they would ever let a guy who can barely skate do overhead lifts, I have no idea. But he pulled it off in the show, and overall, I find them most interesting.

    The Johnny vs Bethenney thing was too uncomfortable to even watch, much like the show overall. Why must the ice be so small? It's so limiting.

  2. Johnny is such a child. I just laughed at him.

    In other news, I am totally in love with Brooke, despite my being a straight female.

  3. I want a reel of only Dick Button. With maybe some Tanith for eye candy.

    In unrelated pop skating, I wonder if anybody worth noticing was the double for SNL's "Meryl Streep On Ice." I doubt Abby Elliot can actually jump and spin.

  4. Oh, wow, Bethenny really played it well.

    I think Johnny is too honest and too serious for this show when throwing mud throwing is required.

    1:0 for Bethenny this time, not because she is good...more because she played the audience better. People want to be played. They won´t see the truth and go more for entertainment.

    Still love Johnny and applaud him for his remark today.

  5. Honestly speaking, I only saw Bethenny's name a couple of times around a gossip blog before learning she was on SWTS. She has on the NY Times bestseller list? I'm surprised. Good for her. Too bad she sucks at skating, although I'm happy not caring about her

  6. Did ya catch Disney guy thanking everyone for "letting him bless everyone with a good time". lol. Arrogant little Disney star he is. I won't miss him. I feel sad for Keauna though. She did whip Disney guy into a decent skater. I think she secretly wanted to roll her eyes at him while he thanked her for "pushing him to never stop".

    I'm surprised Ethan kept his composure during that Johnny Weir-Bethenney attack. Bethenney kept her composure too, but she was being fake happy. She could have been more honest while still keeping it classy. And I fastforwarded through all of Laurieann.

    This was the first night the skaters didn't have bizarrely effed up hairstyles. And the skater number increased the quality of the show.

  7. "She could have been more honest while still keeping it classy."

    Bethenny? Classy? Foreign word for her! LMAO!

  8. Since show one Ethan always looks stunned during judges' comments as if he doesn't understand what the judges are trying to say to Bethenny such as bend the knees or work on the basics. Does he understand what's not right with her skating? Is he that thick? He's the pro here.

  9. "Not particularly clever, but it was like watching two caged beauty queens fight over the same tiara."

    LOL. Missed the show last night and am kind of enjoying the different perspectives on Johnny's comments. I said in another thread that Johnny and Bethenny seem to have a few similar-minded fans: obsessed and blinded by their "love" and not seeing their idol's obvious faults. Kind of scary, actually.

  10. Only moments after the show Bethany's "fans" were hate tweeting Johnny. What did Bethany expect Johnny to say after she announced last week she didn't care what the judges said?

  11. I don't see how calling figure skating idiotic in front of a person, who dedicated her whole life to it, is classy.

  12. If she really is a NY Times Best Selling author then I feel a little bit sorry for America.

  13. I actually appreciate what Johnny is trying to do with his judging in this show. I think he is making a serious effort to judge, to analyze and get a message through, and I understand his affronted feelings when a competitor wouldn't accept his work. It made me want to ask him what he thinks of being judged in ISU competition and if this experience has made him see judges differently.

    I was glad to see some of Dick Button's color coming through. He's such a brilliant, odd man in real life that I've always felt the strain of his having to transform himself into someone telegenic for mainstream America.

  14. "Only moments after the show Bethany's "fans" were hate tweeting Johnny. What did Bethany expect Johnny to say after she announced last week she didn't care what the judges said?

    Johnny's fans were hate tweeting Bethenny and acting like Johnny is the most clever, brave person to ever walk the earth. They're all lame, if you ask me.

  15. I'm a Johnny fan, but am very disappointed with him on this show. Bethenny is not capable of applying the judges criticism to her skating because frankly she can't skate. Johnny has misinterpreted her lack of skating talent as a disregard for the judge's critique. He appeared childish, rude, and immature last night. His 15 minutes is ticking faster than Bethenny's. Sad to see him like this.

  16. When someone starts with "I'm a Johnny fan, but...", you know it's not a fan.

    "Johnny has misinterpreted her lack of skating talent as a disregard for the judge's critique"

    Nope, she's always said that she doesn't care what the judges say.

    "childish, rude and immature"? So must be uncle Dick because he shares Johnny's view about Bethenny. She is the one these adjectives should be applied to.

    "His 15 minutes is ticking faster..."

    LMAO at you! It's an old argument since the olympics. Yawn! He's still here...

  17. The "stars" signed on to do this show, they knew they would be expected to ice skate and they knew they would be judged on their ability to do so. The judges never told Bethenny to do triples and quads, all they told her was to bend her knees when she skated and to practice her basic strokes. She responded like they asked her to give up her first and last born.

  18. So basically I started watching this show loving Bethenny Frankel and hating Johnny Weir. Four weeks into it my opinions have almost completely reversed. Go Johnny go!!!! Love him.

  19. I love Dick Button. You can be sure the producers didn't tell him to come up with that "rusty hoot" line. That is pure Dick--no one else even knows what it means! And it always reminds of 2003 Worlds when Dick was recapping Michelle's long program--she skated through the water on the ice (or something like that) but it didn't mean a rusty hoot!


    This article basically sums up the deal. I agree that Johnny kept it about skating still and didn't get personal while Bethenny has with her "woman" comments. A lot of press has picked up on how much Bethenny sucks and the people whining the most about Johnny are those who were big Bethenny fans and not seeing past that. Most neutral people are siding with Johnny and agree he's the best part of this whole show. (and Dick Button)

  21. Nobody is watching this show no matter how hard anyone tries on the ice. Johnny and Dick are the ONLY REASONS I'm still watching. They seem to get on great with each other too. Bethenny wanted her cheesy housewife drama from day one and all Johnny did was bring it the way she asked. I was losing a little bit of my Johnny interest lately but it spiked right up again after last night.

  22. People who claim to be Johnny Weir fans but agree with EVERYTHING he says and does are just blind supporters, not fans.

    With that said, I don't think Johnny has been any more over the top than Bethenney... He could act a little more classy, but at least he's not as media whore as her.

  23. I agree with most of what you say AJ except Johnny not hitting his stride. With 3 snaps he hit and far exceeded his stride last night. Awesome stuff!

    That's the Johnny I've been missing. I was sick to death of his media princess, phony "class" act and wanted the "real" Johnny back again. He's just not afraid to say what he truly feels even if it means taking on someone with 300 000+ twitter followers on primetime ABC. I actually like Beth but it's hard not to respect that. She sort of did have it coming. You may think it's stupid but his attitude and fearlessness makes me weak in the knees. He'll gladly put up with getting slaughtered by Bethany fans if it means speaking his mind.

  24. As a long-time skating fan I was excited for this show. Also while I don't watch any RHW I was excited that Ms. Frankel seemed to be the most popular and hopefully would add some star appeal. Instead, each week I've been finding myself personally annoyed and almost defensive of her blatant disrespect of an Olympic gold medalist and a multiple time national champ and world medalist. These are respected athletes who know their craft and started out with fair, constructive criticism of her for ways to get better. From day 1 she whined about it and treated them and the show with disdain. No I don't think she's been trying. She made disparaging comments about the show to Ellen, on Twitter, and repeatedly referred to it all as "silly," and "idiotic." No I don't think it's cute or classy and if it offended me as a fan I can only imagine how the professionals on the show who have devoted their lives to the sport have taken it. It's one thing to be silly and have fun, but it's another thing to be downright disrespectful in the face of people who have dedicated themselves to this. If you won't take it seriously then you should go home.

  25. Bethenney's probably just embarrassed/mad that she's not very talented athletically speaking and is having difficulty picking up skating quickly. Her comments about "not caring about what the judges think" and that "it's all idiotic" are just a coping mechanism.

  26. Can someone remind me why we should care about this woman Betheny and why she came onto this show acting like she's God's gift to all of them? You can tell that none of the other skaters or "celebs" like her either.

    She's a bloody housewife ffs, and is famous for manufactured drama and spats with other housewives. It's obvious she was trying to bring some of that onto this show. Maybe she comes off well on her housewife show and other ventures but it certainly hasn't been reflected on this show.

    If I have to look at her sour, pulled so tight she can barely see face one more time I'll scream.

  27. Does noone else think this whole catfight business is being encouraged by the producers who are desperate to pique interest in this show? Honestly, this fuss over it is not necessary. Dick's "rusty hoot" comment was much more fun.