From a media release:
LET THE BATTLE BEGIN! CBC TELEVISON’S BATTLE OF THE BLADES DEBUTS OCT. 4
- Sandra Bezic and Dick Button headline judging panel
Canadian figure skating and hockey icons take to the ice in a live competition of artistry and athleticism as CBC Television’s BATTLE OF THE BLADES premieres on Sunday, October 4, at 8 p.m. ET.
Ten charities chosen by the competitors will be the beneficiaries of donations, announced weekly, as pairs are eliminated from the competition on the Monday night result show. At the completion of the seven week series, the winning pair will make a combined donation of $100,000 to their chosen charities. The benefactors include Make-A-Wish Canada, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Alberta Cancer Foundation, MA Foundation, The Foundation Fighting Blindness, Diabetes Hope Foundation, Wounded Warriors, The Spinal Cord Injury Treatment Centre Society, Bloorview Kids Rehab and World Vision Canada.
Bringing together a top-notch group of judges, choreographers and coaches, CBC Television’s BATTLE OF THE BLADES has assembled an all-star cast to ensure that the athletes and viewers are treated to the very best in this ground breaking competition. Each Sunday night, the pairs perform a routine to a specific musical theme and viewers will cast their votes by mobile phone text message, internet (www.cbc.ca/battle) or telephone. The two pairs with the fewest votes return for the Monday night live results show to perform their routines again. The judges will determine which pair goes home and which advances to the next round. Throughout the series a special guest judge, announced each week, will join Sandra Bezic and Dick Button.
Sandra Bezic is widely regarded as one of the most influential people in skating. She is an Olympian and has been a coach, choreographer, producer, on-air analyst, and author in her storied career. Her award winning choreographic work has guided numerous Olympic and World Champions. Bezic has been the driving creative force behind ground breaking live skating tours and more than 30 television specials, winning an Emmy for outstanding choreography and two Gemini’s as a producer. She has also served as a figure skating analyst for NBC for more than 20 years.
Widely considered one of the premier figure skaters of all time, Dick Button steps into his role as judge on BATTLE OF THE BLADES armed with his signature tough, but thoughtful, commentary. During a seven year period he dominated the sport like no other, winning two Olympic gold medals (1948, 1952), five consecutive World Championships (1948-52) and seven U.S. National titles. Button’s career as a figure skating analyst is equally remarkable and has earned him legendary status. He made his television debut with CBS at the 1960 Olympic Winter Games. In 1981 Button became the first winner of an Emmy Award for Ã¢â‚¬Å“Outstanding Sports Personality Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Analyst.Ã¢â‚¬Â Button is a member of the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame and Olympic Hall of Fame.
Internationally renowned choreographers for the cast of BATTLE OF THE BLADES include: Renee Roca a three-time U.S. Champion ice dancer and respected choreographer who’s worked with Olympic Champions, Skating With Celebrities and Katarina Witt’s German production of Stars Auf Eis ; former U.S. National Ice Dance Champion, three-time World Bronze dance medallist and Emmy Award-winning Michael Seibert; Torontonian David Wilson who is widely sought after choreographer by Olympic and World competitors; and Evgeny Platov, who is a two-time Olympic Champion and four-time World Ice Dance Champion skating first for the U.S.S.R, then for the Unified Team and Russia.
The coaches include former Olympians; Doug Ladret who along with his skating partner, Christine Hough-Sweeney, was a Canadian Pair Champion and World and Olympic team member; Patrice Lauzon, a five-time Canadian Ice Dance Champion and two-time World Silver medallist with his partner and now wife, Marie-France Dubreuil; Paul Martini, Canadian Sports Hall of Famer and seven-time World Professional Skating Champion with partner Barbara Underhill; Olympic and World Champion David Pelletier who with his partner Jamie SalÃƒÂ© were recently inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame; rounding out the coaches are Rockey Marval, married to Brasseur and former U.S. National Champion and lastly, Sean Rice, who with his wife/partner Jodeyne Higgins has performed around the world.