I enjoy a good figure-skating special as much as the next person, but I can’t decide how I feel about ABC’s Thin Ice, which will air over two nights this March. The View‘s Elisabeth Hasselbeck and four-time world champion Kurt Browning will host the competition, which will pair up 12 of “the world’s greatest pro figure skaters” to perform two-minute routines. To add drama, skaters will come from all four disciplines — ladies, men, pairs, and dance — but no pairs or dance veteran will be coupled with his or her current partner. The only rule is they must entertain us. Judging will be split 50-50, between a panel of experts (including Kristi Yamaguchi and Dick Button) and audience votes on abc.com. Confirmed competitors so far include Japan’s Shizuka Arakawa, 2006 Olympic gold medalist, and Canada’s Shae-Lynn Bourne, 2003 World Champion.
In the plus column, you have Kurt Browning, who I adored back in the day when I you had to look up someone’s hometown in an encyclopedia if you wanted to learn about him, and a longstanding love-to-hate-him relationship with Dick Button. In the minus column, you have Hasselbeck and the sneaking suspicion that these will not in fact be “the world’s greatest pro figure skaters” (I don’t picture Michelle Kwan doing this). Which skaters need to be added to the roster for you to tune in? More importantly, who else is ready for a rematch of 1994’s inaugural Ice Wars? The U.S.A. (Yamaguchi, Brian Boitano, Paul Wylie and Nancy Kerrigan) vs. the World (Oksana Baiul, Viktor Petrenko, Kurt Browning and Katarina Witt)? So wrong, but so right.