Image Credit: Bob D’Amico/ABCOkay, it’s easy to look at the roster of “pros” on ABC’s Skating With the Stars and dismiss them. But ask yourself this: How many of the pros’ names did you recognize on Dancing With the Stars that first season? It’s just because you — especially those who enjoy PopWatch on Ice coverage — can actually rattle off some famous figure skaters that you’re questioning these pros’ abilities before even seeing them in action. (That was a tougher spin than a Biellmann!) Here are the pairings. The show premieres Nov. 22.
Bethenny Frankel & Ethan Burgess: Pairs skater Burgess earned bronze and pewter medals at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships 2004 and 2005, respectively. His real claim to fame was serving as Jon Heder’s stunt double in Blades of Glory.
Brandon Mychal Smith & Keauna McLaughlin: Burgess’ former partner also has those bronze and pewter medals, along with two national titles (2008 and 2009) with her last partner, Rockne Brubaker.
Jonny Moseley & Brooke Castile: With her former partner Ben Okolski, Castile won the 2007 U.S. pairs title.
Rebecca Budig & Fred Palascak: With his partner and future wife Melanie Lambert, Palascak took fourth place in the pairs competition at the 1995 U.S. junior championships.
Sean Young & Denis Petukhov: With his wife Melissa Gregory, Petukhov earned ice dancing silver medal from 2004-2007 at the U.S. Championships. He represented the U.S. in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy, and has toured with Champions on Ice.
Vince Neil & Jennifer Wester: With her former ice dancing partner Daniil Barantsev, Wester won the prestigious Nebelhorn Trophy in 2007.
A name you may actually recognize: Tanith Belbin, the most decorated U.S. ice dancer in history who took the silver in Torino and finished fourth in Vancouver with former partner Ben Agosto, will serve as color commentator. Another one you won’t: British TV personality Vernon Kay will host. ABC is expected to announce the judges next week. Update: ABC has announced Johnny Weir, Dick Button, and Lady Gaga choreographer Laurieann Gibson will serve as judges. What do you think now?
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