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Skating with Celebrities
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that skaters are seen slipping and falling in the footage of their practices leading up to the performance. Later episodes feature footage of bad falls, bloody scrapes, and large bruises. Occasionally, in the practice tapes, a skater mutters a mild curse in frustration. Some of the costumes are a little skimpy. After each performance the skaters are critiqued, sometimes severely, and scored by panel of judges.
What's the story?
SKATING WITH CELEBRITIES is very similar in concept to Dancing With the Stars, celebrities are paired with professional skaters but this time judged solely by the panel of skating experts over seven weeks. They are judged on technical and artistic merit, and starting with week two, the pair with the lowest score is eliminated. Celebrities range from former child stars to past Olympic medalists to sportscasters. Serving as judges are 1976 Olympic gold medalist Dorothy Hamill, John Nicks (the current coach to U.S. skating sensation Sasha Cohen), and skating journalist Mark Lund. The show is hosted by Scott Hamilton and Summer Sanders.
Is it any good?
This is a great show to share with kids, especially those still trying to find their own extracurricular niche. Kids will learn about sticking with a challenge, cooperatively working with a partner, and the benefits of practice, practice, practice. In the first go-around, Bruce Jenner at age 55 has stepped up to be paired with another 1976 Olympian, Tai Babilonia. With chronically injured knees and no skating background, Jenner is a striking example of why this show sends a good message to kids. He demonstrates that you never know what you're capable of doing unless you try.
Though skating may not be everyone's sport -- even as a spectator -- Skating with Celebrities sends a healthy message to kids about trying something new, learning from critiques, and the importance of having a good time.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the amount of practice, discipline, and perseverance it takes to be able to participate in this sport. Does the show accurately portray the amount of hard work that's required to succeed? Also, families can talk about how it might feel to receive a low score and then how to bounce back for the next performance. In addition, there's not much diversity in the group of skaters, hosts, and judges, so families can discuss whether or not they think this is a fair picture of professional ice skating.