Battle of the Blades

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Battle of the Blades
Battle of the Blades Logo.JPG
Created bySandra Bezic
Kevin Albrecht
Presented byRon MacLean
Kurt Browning (2009-2011)
Maura Grierson (2011)
JudgesKurt Browning (2013)
Jamie Salé (2013)
P.J. Stock (2013)
Sandra Bezic (2009-2011)
Jeremy Roenick (2010-2011)
Dick Button (2009)
Opening theme"There Will Never Be Another Tonight"
performed by Bryan Adams
Country of originCanada
No. of seasons4
No. of episodes57
Production location(s)Maple Leaf Gardens
Toronto, Ontario (season 1)
Pinewood Toronto Studios
Toronto, Ontario (season 2)
MasterCard Centre
Etobicoke, Ontario (season 3-4)
Running time60-120 minutes
(performance shows)
30-60 minutes
(results show)
(times include commercials)
Original networkCBC
Original releaseOctober 4, 2009 (2009-10-04) – November 17, 2013 (2013-11-17)
External links

Battle of the Blades (or BOTB for short) was a Canadian figure skating reality show and competition that aired on CBC Television. It was first broadcast before a live audience at the historic Maple Leaf Gardens. With Maple Leaf Gardens under renovation however, the show was filmed at Pinewood Toronto Studios in season two. The venue moved again in season three to MasterCard Centre located in Etobicoke, Ontario.[1]

Description and history[edit]

The series resembles the international reality show Dancing with the Stars and is similar in concept to Dancing On Ice from the UK. The biggest difference, and the show's main "hook", is that Battle of the Blades brings two very different styles of skaters together: hockey players are paired with prominent figure skaters to perform figure skating routines. During the first two seasons, contestants were strictly male hockey players from the NHL, paired with female figure skaters. In Season Three, Tessa Bonhomme was cast as the first female hockey player contestant,[2] making her partner, David Pelletier the show's first male professional figure skating competitor.

In 2010, the French-language CBC's counterpart, Télévision de Radio-Canada, was planning to air a Quebec version, but did not decide if it would be an adaptation or a French-dubbed version.[3] The show's executive producer thinks that it may also interest other countries like Russia.[4]

On April 19, 2012, CBC announced that due to recent budget cuts by the Canadian federal government, Battle of the Blades has been put on "hiatus" and would not appear on the 2012 fall schedule, stating that the network could not afford the high production costs of the show. Although not technically cancelled by CBC, executive producer John Brunton mentioned that the show may search for other network alternatives to produce future seasons.[5]

On April 3, 2013, CBC announced that Battle of the Blades would return in Fall 2013 after a two-year hiatus.[6]

With the loss of Hockey Night in Canada rights to Rogers Media,[7] Battle of the Blades was officially cancelled by CBC on April 10, 2014 once again due to federal budget cuts, declining advertising revenues and television ratings. [8] In addition, CBC subsequently announced it will no longer compete for any professional sporting rights of any kind.[9]

Scoring and elimination structure[edit]


Each judge can award a score of up to 6.0, as in official figure skating competitions. The top score a couple can achieve in a performance is 18.0.


In the first season, the couples were scored on their Sunday night performance, but only as a reference guide for the viewers to vote on. The bottom two couples were ranked based solely on the lowest number of viewer votes. Viewers can either text, call or log onto the show's official website to cast their votes. On Monday, the bottom two couples are revealed and they skate their Sunday night program once more in the Skate-Off and are then scored by the judges. The couple with the lower judges score from their Monday night performance is then eliminated.

The rules of elimination were slightly altered in the second season. The scores from the couples' Sunday night performance are now added to the viewers' voting to determine the bottom two couples. Also, instead of scoring the bottom two couples on their Skate-Off performance, the judges are now just asked to vote on the couple of their choice. The couple with the lesser number of judges' votes is then eliminated.

Midway during the second season, it was announced that Week Five would be a "Second Chance" competition for the couples eliminated thus far in the season. The couple with the highest combined total of viewer's vote and judges score would be reinstated as of Week Six, re-joining the top four couples in the competition.[10]

Season three introduced the Judge's Save, which is a one-time use per season tool that needed the consensus of all judges that would reinstate a couple that was eliminated that same episode back into the competition.

The Monday night results show was cancelled in season four, and therefore elimination takes place at the end of each Sunday night performance show from Week 2 onwards. The judges score and viewer votes from the previous week determine the bottom two couples on the current week's show. The bottom two couples skate-off at the end of the episode, performing their new routines. The judges would then score their performances and the couple with the lower judges score is then eliminated. Also, viewer voting starting this season is solely done on the show's official website. Each unregistered visitor gets one vote. Registered visitors can earn additional votes by completing their profile and other activities and challenges on the website.


Hosts and judges[edit]

Personality Seasons
1 2 3 4
Ron MacLean
Kurt Browning
Jamie Salé
P. J. Stock
Sandra Bezic
Dick Button
Jeremy Roenick
Maura Grierson

The show is hosted by Hockey Night in Canada's Ron MacLean and four-time World Figure Skating Champion Kurt Browning. Virgin Radio 999 DJ Maura Grierson[11] was added in season three as the Battle Correspondent, providing viewers with a look backstage. Grierson did not return for Season Four and Browning assumed judging duties instead of co-hosting the same season.

In season one, the head judge was Emmy Award winning choreographer and figure skater Sandra Bezic, with Olympic champion Dick Button being the other regular judge. There was also one rotating guest judge each week from the world of hockey or figure skating. Season Two saw the departure of Button and the addition of retired NHL player Jeremy Roenick as the second regular judge. Season Four featured a completely new judging panel with Browning switching from hosting to judging, Olympic figure skating gold medalist and season one champion Jamie Salé, and former NHL player and season two competitor P.J. Stock, with no rotating guest judges.[12]


     Third place
     Eliminated First
Professional Average
Season 1 Season 2 Season 3 Season 4
RussiaCanada Violetta Afanasieva
P. J. Stock Cale Hulse Jason Strudwick
United States Tanith Belbin
Boyd Devereaux
Russia Elena Berezhnaya
Curtis Leschyshyn
Canada Shae-Lynn Bourne
Claude Lemieux Patrice Brisebois Anson Carter
Canada Isabelle Brasseur
Glenn Anderson Todd Warriner
Canada Jessica Dubé
Brian Savage
Canada Marie-France Dubreuil
Stéphane Richer Bryan Berard Mathieu Dandenault
United States Amanda Evora
Scott Thornton
Russia Ekaterina Gordeeva
Valeri Bure
Canada Jodeyne Higgins
Ken Daneyko
United States Marcy Hinzmann
Todd Simpson Mike Krushelnyski
Canada Christine Hough-Sweeney
Tie Domi Russ Courtnall
United States Kyoko Ina
Kelly Chase
Russia Oksana Kazakova
Vladimir Malakhov
Scotland Sinead Kerr
Grant Marshall
Canada Anabelle Langlois
Georges Laraque Brad May
Canada Kristina Lenko
Bob Probert
United States Kim Navarro
Wade Belak[a]
Russ Courtnall
Canada David Pelletier
Tessa Bonhomme
Canada Jamie Salé
Craig Simpson Theoren Fleury N/A (Judge)
Canada Barbara Underhill
Ron Duguay
  • a ^ Navarro's original partner for season three was Belak. However, Belak died before the start of the season and Courtnall was brought in as the replacement partner for Navarro.


Each couple represent one or two charities of their choice. Depending on their placement in the competition, an increasing amount of money is then donated to their charity. The winners of season one, Jamie Salé and Craig Simpson, had CAD 100,000 donated to Spinal Cord Research. In season two, all competitors were guaranteed $25,000 donated to the charity of their choice and $100,000 for the winners Ekaterina Gordeeva and Valeri Bure. In season three, the winners' charity will receive $100,000, second place will receive $35,000, third place will receive $30,000, and the other five charities will receive $25,000.

Season summaries[edit]

Season No. of
No. of
Season Premiere Date Season Finale Date Winner Runner-Up
1 – Fall 2009 8 7 October 4, 2009 November 16, 2009 Craig Simpson &
Jamie Salé
Claude Lemieux &
Shae-Lynn Bourne
2 – Fall 2010 8 8 September 26, 2010 November 22, 2010 Valeri Bure &
Ekaterina Gordeeva
Patrice Brisebois &
Shae-Lynn Bourne
3 – Fall 2011 8 8 September 18, 2011 November 14, 2011 Tessa Bonhomme &
David Pelletier
Bryan Berard &
Marie-France Dubreuil
4 – Fall 2013 8 7 September 22, 2013[13] November 17, 2013 Scott Thornton &
Amanda Evora
Jason Strudwick &
Violetta Afanasieva



  • In season one, Marie-France Dubreuil suffered two injuries. Before the season opener, she was accidentally dropped by her partner Stéphane Richer while performing a lift during rehearsals and landed headfirst onto the ice. On the morning of the Week Six result show, she suffered from severe back pain and was unable to perform in the Skate-Off that night. She fully recovered from both injuries and was fit to perform the rest of the season.
  • In season two, Anabelle Langlois tripped and fell with her partner, Georges Laraque while practising an on-ice twist during rehearsals on October 27, 2010. Langlois, who was more than six feet in the air when she fell, complained of severe pain in her knees. She was rushed to the hospital for X-rays and required three stitches. She still performed on October 31 for her Week Five performance.[14]

Hockey players[edit]

  • In season two, Georges Laraque was hit near the left eyebrow by his partner Anabelle Langlois' skate when they both fell while performing a lift during rehearsals one day before the season premiere. Laraque required twelve stitches but was fit to perform the next night.[15]

Television ratings[edit]

Season Premiered Ended TV Season Rank
(Performance shows)
(in millions)
(Results shows)
(in millions)
Date Preview Show
(in millions)
Premiere Performance
(in millions)
Date Final Performance
(in millions)
(in millions)
1st October 4, 2009 N/A 1.959[16] November 15–16, 2009 1.878[17] 1.736[18] 2009-10 #18[19] 1.737 #28[20] 1.270
2nd September 26, 2010 1.511[21] 1.662[22] November 21–22, 2010 1.505[23] 1.333[24] 2010-11 TBA 1.534 TBA 1.113
3rd September 18, 2011 1.195[25] 1.307[26] November 13–14, 2011 1.341[27] 0.897[28] 2011-12 TBA 1.147 TBA 0.823
4th September 22, 2013 0.771[29] 1.004[30] November 10–17, 2013 1.078[31] TBD 2013-14 TBA TBA N/A N/A

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Notes
2010 Rose d'Or Best Variety & Live Event Show Season 1 Nominated [32]
Gemini Awards Best Music, Variety Program or Series Nominated [33]
Best Direction in a Variety Program or Series Joan Tosoni Won
Best Photography in a Variety or Performing Arts Program or Series Alex Nadon Nominated
Best Performance or Host in a Variety Program or Series (Individual or Ensemble) Kurt Browning Nominated
2011 Gemini Awards Best Music, Variety Program or Series Season 2 Won [34]
Best Performance or Host in a Variety Program or Series (Individual or Ensemble) Ron MacLean, Kurt Browning Nominated For Episode 2-15
Shae-Lynn Bourne, Patrice Brisebois Nominated For Episode 2-09
2013 Canadian Screen Awards Best Music, Variety, Sketch Comedy or Talk Program or Series Season 3 Nominated [35]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Battle of the Blades [@CBCbattle] (9 September 2011). "@Sanibelsland Thanks! New venue this year--the MasterCard Centre in Etobicoke. Ticket details coming soon...We're working on it, I swear" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Morissette, Nathaëlle (2009-11-09). "La SRC envisage de diffuser Battle of the Blades" [The SRC plans to air Battle of the Blades]. La Presse (in French). ISSN 0317-9249. Archived from the original on 15 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-20.
  4. ^ La Presse canadienne (2009-11-12). "Battle of the Blades pourrait intéresser d'autres pays" [Battle of the Blades could interest other countries]. La Presse (in French). ISSN 0317-9249. Archived from the original on 15 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-20.
  5. ^ Szklarski, Cassandra (2012-04-19). "Producer says CBC's 'Battle of the Blade' could leap to other network". 680 News. Retrieved 2012-04-21.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "Battle of the Blades returns to CBC". CBC News.
  7. ^ "CBC business presentation on Rogers deal" (PDF). CBC. Retrieved October 31, 2014.
  8. ^ Takeuchi, Craig (2014-04-10). "CBC's Battle of the Blades cancelled". The Georgia Straight. Retrieved 2014-09-15.
  9. ^ "CBC to cut 657 jobs, will no longer compete for professional sports rights". CBC News. 10 April 2014. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
  10. ^ Battle Bombshell article. Retrieved 2010-10-29
  11. ^ Post entitled "Hey there is a new host as well... Maura Grierson" Battle of the Blades Official Facebook Page. Retrieved 2011-08-22
  12. ^ Battle of the Blades [@CBCbattle] (13 September 2013). "Excited to announce our all-new judging panel! @JamieSale @KurtBrowning & @PJStockHNIC! #BATTLEISBACK #BOTB" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  13. ^ Battle of the Blades [@CBCbattle] (23 August 2013). "Battle fans! We are delighted to finally reveal that #BattleIsBack on Sunday, September 22, at 8pm (8.30NT)... where will you be watching?" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  14. ^ Fall Sends Langlois to Hospital article. Retrieved on 2010-10-29
  15. ^ Laraque receives stitches after close call Retrieved 2010-10-06
  16. ^ Weekly Ratings for Week Ending October 4, 2009 Archived July 6, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 2010-10-05
  17. ^ Weekly Ratings for Week Ending November 15, 2009 Archived July 6, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 2010-10-05
  18. ^ Weekly Ratings for Week Ending November 22, 2009 Archived July 6, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 2010-10-05
  19. ^ Vlessing, Etan. "Battle of the Blades (season 1)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 2012-09-03.
  20. ^
  21. ^ Weekly Ratings for Week Ending September 26, 2010 Archived July 6, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 2010-10-05
  22. ^ Weekly Ratings for Week Ending October 3, 2010 Archived July 6, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 2010-10-10
  23. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-12-14. Retrieved 2010-12-07.
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^ The Brioux Report – Ratings for week ending September 25, 2011 Archived October 27, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. article Retrieved on 2011-09-23
  27. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-11-19. Retrieved 2017-01-17.
  28. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-06-15. Retrieved 2011-11-23.
  29. ^ BBM Weekly Ratings for week of Sept 16 – Sept 22, 2013 Archived 2013-09-28 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 2013-09-28
  30. ^ Bill Brioux [@BillBriouxTV] (30 September 2013). "SUN o'nites #CTV #OUAT 1285k #AmRace 2377k #Castle 1689k #Mental 1751k #GLO #Simpsons 1090k #FamGuy 762k #GoodWife 567k #CBC #BBlades 1004k" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  31. ^ Bill Brioux [@BillBriouxTV] (12 November 2013). "SUN o'nites #CBC Heartlnd 838k #Blades 1078k DDen2 672k #CTV #OUAT 955k #Race 1947k #Castle 1516k #Mental 1383k #GLO #Simps 904k #GWife 737k" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  32. ^ Rose d'Or 2010 Nominees list Archived 2010-07-30 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2010-10-13
  33. ^ 25th Annual Gemini Awards Nominees list Retrieved 2010-11-14
  34. ^ 2011 Gemini Awards Nominees list Archived 2011-10-06 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2011-08-03
  35. ^ 1st Canadian Screen Awards Nominees list Archived 2013-01-23 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 3 September 2013

External links[edit]