'Skating With the Stars': Brian Boitano calls it 'uncomfortable,' a 'misjudge'
"I was able to watch a little bit of it, but it was very uncomfortable," the Olympic figure skating gold medalist tells Zap2it.
On Monday (Dec. 6), ABC premieres the third episode of "Skating With the Stars," in which six celebrities -- now five, since "Blade Runner" star Sean Young was the first celebrity eliminated -- are teamed with pro skating partners to do ice-dance routines in what amounts to an ice-rink version of ABC's hit ballroom-dancing competition "Dancing With the Stars."
"Skating With the Stars" premiered after the blockbuster final performance night of "DWTS" on Nov. 22. But, it has not come close to the ballroom show in the ratings and may not fare any better in the future than its FOX predecessor, "Skating With Celebrities," which had a short run in 2006.
Professional figure skater Boitano has transitioned to starring on TV-skating shows of his own. The next one, "Brian Boitano Skating Spectacular," airs Sunday, Dec. 26, on NBC. It tapes on Dec. 16 in Sioux City, Iowa, and features a performance by Heart (which, coincidentally, also performed on a "Dancing With the Stars" results show).
Asked about "Skating With the Stars," he says, "Oh, my God. But Jonny Moseley [an Olympic gold-medal skier who's competing on the show] was skating in the same rink as me. He was pretty good.
"But I think there's a misjudge there. Skating is just too hard. You can't learn how to do that in five weeks. You can't learn how to do the basics in five weeks.
"I think that people think they're going to be jumping and spinning and stuff like that, and that takes you years to do that. I was able to watch a little bit of it, but it was very uncomfortable, because I didn't want to see people struggling to stand up.
"If you fall on the ice, it's really hard. So I was like, 'All right, this is even a step worse than "Dancing With the Stars."' At least the judges were nicer than they are in 'Dancing With the Stars.'"
Steve Disson of Disson Skating, which produces many skating-oriented TV specials -- including Boitano's upcoming show -- decries the lack of big-name celebrities and big-name skaters as competitors on "SWTS."
"Truthfully," he says, "it would be more interesting to see [U.S. Olympic skater] Johnny Weir ( pictured right) skating in the show than judging it. But it's interesting because it gets people talking about skating."
Although Olympic gold-medal skaters Kristi Yamaguchi and Evan Lysacek have competed on "Dancing With the Stars" -- with Yamaguchi winning, and Lysacek making the finals -- don't expect to see Boitano in the ballroom.
"Me?" he says. "No, I wouldn't do 'Dancing With the Stars.' .... People would expect me to go be good, and I wouldn't be as good as people would want, so I'd be disappointing to them."