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Olympics recap: Ice Dancing With the Stars

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By the power of high-speed lifts, a close hold, love from their moms, and quite possibly Disney movie mind-control, Princess Jasmine and Wiladdin Wonka a.k.a. Meryl Davis and Charlie White have become the first U.S. Olympic champions in Ice Dancing. Their training companions, the Vancouver gold medalists and non-Disney characters Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada, settled for silver. And Russian youth sorcerers Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov took the bronze after Monday’s finals in the Iceberg Skating Palace — indisputably the Planet Mirrorballus of Sochi, Russia.

Davis and White earned a score so high, it hadn’t even been invented yet. Never before could Ice Dancing have conceived of a 195.52. It’s a totally new number. Was the competition fixed? Sure, maybe. I am no ice dancing expert. But I do know Tessa Virtue could have easily fixed her damn bun:

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SILVER. Perhaps those raggedy spare tendrils explain everything.

Of course we got to see both of the other U.S. teams, who didn’t make the finals, perform in the free skate. Here’s Madison Chock and Evan Bates:

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I will forever be in shock as to how we’ve never lost a leg — or head — to Olympic pairs skating. Oh, or a hand! Any body part routinely threatened by a SHARP BLADE. Dancing on ice = Viennese waltzing with death.

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I kept imagining how Dancing With the Stars judge Bruno Tonioli would have reacted to the Shibutani siblings‘ energetic dazzler set to a Michael Jackson medley. “The EXPLOSIVE thrust of a Thriller night!” he might cry, while gyrating. “The lines! Your loins.” I need not go on.

The five-part Ice Dancing finals took up most of NBC’s primetime telecast. Fine by me! Better than fine. Super-chouette. First up: France. I don’t remember The Little Prince having to do any twizzles in his quest to protect the rose…. but maybe it’s just been too long since I read the book. (As we know, all grown-ups are children… but only few of them remember it.)

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Fabian Bourzat and Natalie Pechalat (fourth place) went the extra mile with his patchwork pants and her green-tinted “stem” tights. I’m suddenly compelled to read The Little Prince cover-to-cover (in English) instead of finishing this recap, but I am way too professional for that. I’ll do it at three in the morning like a responsible adult.

It’s fun to imagine Tessa Virtue as Amy Adams in American Hustle (she just needs to cut out the center of her shirt):

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Blast from the ’90s: I got strong Tia Carrere and Ian Ziering vibes from Chock and Bates:

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And speaking of ice dancing doppelgangers, I recalled this deep cut from our 2010 Vancouver coverage, back when I was an even meaner girl and everyone was still crazy about Avatar.

Sorry! They’re both beautiful.

Anyway. Virtue and Moir skated a seemingly flawless free dance that was “vintage Virtue and Moir” and had them “moving through the ice like a knife through butter,” according to NBC commentator Tracy Wilson. They earned the highest free dance score EVER, but I still thought Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov might have edged them out, that’s how electrifying their free skate was.

And then there were the other Russians.

Who let these strung-out Gap models onto the ice, and why does he have bra straps?

Fifth-place finishers Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev of Russia inexplicably went with a year-old routine — some sort of Warm Bodies zombie romp — right after their teammates Ilinykh and Katsalapov had captivated the audience with Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. What were they thinking?!

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Forced hugs! Been there. Dmitri retaliated on Ekaterina later in the routine, once she had fallen limp.

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I got very caught up in the WTF-ness of their concept and their costumes instead of focusing on their routine (a typical Dancing With the Stars habit!).

Best Gap ad ever, though:

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And then he died. Blade to the gut.

Virtue and Moir had the lead with only Davis and White left to skate.

But Katy Perry knew it wouldn’t last. As she does.

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After all, Davis and White had come to win, by doing what they do best:

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YIKES. Not just this prostate exam. Their long program deftly told “the story of the legendary Persian queen who captivates the king with her storytelling, and in turn he spares her her life” through beautiful choreography, ferocious yet controlled directional changes (theirs are just better than everyone else’s, right?!) and incredible spinning lifts. At one point he was just holding her straight up in the air in a vertical line!

I know even less about ice dancing than I do about ballroom dancing, and the gold medalists did seem like the sharpest and tightest couple to me. Meryl Davis and Charlie White are like perfectly functioning… well, robots isn’t the right word. Dolls come to life? No. Disney characters animated to perfection. They really are. And they make it look easy. Congrats to them!

Tonight’s Olympic Nightmare is brought to you by the bunchy armpit of an ice dancing costume:

Carrie Underwood, American Idol

What is essential is invisible to the eye.


2-Men Bobsled: Steven Holcomb and Steve Langton ended a 62-year medal drought for the U.S. (61 would have been fine, but 62 was pushing it!), picking up bronze despite Holcomb’s shredded calf muscle. Elder statesman Alexander Zubkov, 39, drove Russia to gold with Alexey Voevoda, and the Swiss (driver Beat Hefti and brakeman Alex Baumann) snapped up silver.

The Bitter Truth About Gold Medal Success, Russian-Style:

Take it from Alexander Zubkov.

‘Over It’: Here’s Nancy Kerrigan showing gentle disdain for the clamoring press following her 1994 attack.

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This ice princess would NEVER TOLERATE the crazy, bloodthirsty TMZ circus of today. And she doesn’t have to! Mary Carillo scored a special sit-down with Kerrigan that’ll offer another perspective to the special Tonya Harding Pretends For Hours documentary NBC is holding until next Sunday. It’ll air prior to the Closing Ceremonies — unless weather intervenes and they can show it to us beforehand, Bob Costas joked. Actually, I don’t think that was a joke. He said it would be called “rain delay theater.” So no. Definitely not a joke.

And finally….

The Night’s Top 5 Supporting Characters

5. Super-fun Russian guy in a hat — every event needs just the one.

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4. Aerials silver medalist David Morris’ Australian flag grill (and women’s ski uniform — he’s the only male Australian competing!)

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3. Meryl Davis’ “champ stamp” of back jewels:

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2. Steve Langton, the mysterious other rider on the bronze American bobsled (even Steve Holcomb seemed to be encouraging more Langton screen time right at this moment)

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1. Belarus coach Nikolai Kozeko flinging snow into the air after gold medalist Anton Kushnir landed.

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Belarus took women’s and men’s gold in aerial freestyle skiing in Sochi.

Snarkiest Bob Costas comment: “I’m Bob Costas, in for Matt Lauer and Meredith Viera.” He has his inessential eyes back!

Your thoughts on tonight’s primetime telecast? Do you agree that it’s a shame Twizzlers (the candy) don’t get anything out of this whole ice dancing thing? Seems like a built-in fan base of at least a few dozen people.