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Thread: Battle of the Blades Guest Judge is None Other Than...

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    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    Battle of the Blades Guest Judge is None Other Than...

    Speaking of Toller Cranston. Guess Who is coming to Judge at tonight's Battle of the Blades? None other than Toller Cranston himself!! It should prove interesting for the skaters as Toller says in the following interview:

    http://www.cbc.ca/battle/2010/11/sta...-cranston.html

    Toller a judge; this will be fun!!!


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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Do tell us what happens! Toller is a long time favorite of mine, both as a skater, and a color commentator.

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    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Two Toller threads going at the same time

    Is this Toller Cranston week at GS?
    Is the most innovative skater of all time coming back in vogue?

    Thanks to "Battle of The Blades" for inviting Toller to judge. I hope the show survives him

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    Spending too much time at the arena CdnSkateWatcher's Avatar
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    It was not a good fit ... the audience kept booing him, he was quite vicious about what is really supposed to be an upbeat, positive effort - and the other judges and the commentators were quite taken aback by how hypercritical it was.

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    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CdnSkateWatcher View Post
    It was not a good fit ... the audience kept booing him, he was quite vicious about what is really supposed to be an upbeat, positive effort - and the other judges and the commentators were quite taken aback by how hypercritical it was.
    Are you suggesting that Toller would have been the perfect replacement for Simon on AI?

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    Actually, I thought he was surprisingly nice. He had nice things to say about each pair, and kept his criticisms to a minimum. IIRC, two pairs each had one improvement suggestion (Ina/Chase and Brasseur/Warriner). The other three had only positive comments from Toller. I am not sure we can call that mean. While it is supposed to be a fun event, you can't grow if you don't know what to work on. I think he was a class act last night.

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    Thought I would add this article since it's a Blades thread. The Canoe website always does a weekly round-up of the show. I thought yesterday's was quite funny, particularly the writer's descriptions of Sale & Fleury's moves.

    http://jam.canoe.ca/Television/2010/11/08/16023786.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Antilles View Post
    Actually, I thought he was surprisingly nice. He had nice things to say about each pair, and kept his criticisms to a minimum. IIRC, two pairs each had one improvement suggestion (Ina/Chase and Brasseur/Warriner). The other three had only positive comments from Toller. I am not sure we can call that mean. While it is supposed to be a fun event, you can't grow if you don't know what to work on. I think he was a class act last night.
    I completely agree--I was expecting much more, er, colourful comments from Toller, but he was disappointingly rather tame. I know that we Canadians are supposed to be *nice,* but some classic Toller snark would've been much more fun!

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    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by evangeline View Post
    I completely agree--I was expecting much more, er, colourful comments from Toller, but he was disappointingly rather tame. I know that we Canadians are supposed to be *nice,* but some classic Toller snark would've been much more fun!
    What does Toller have to do or say to catch a break?
    If he is snarky we hear he is a bitter old man - and when he makes an effort to be "human" (he will always be a skating God to me) we hear he has gotten dull.

    I guess an artist like Toller can never be what all of us want him to be.

    My dream is that Johnny will get in touch with Toller and have him take charge of his comeback. Not just coach him - but also do the choreo.

    I have a vision - think of Ryan's send up of classical music/skating from last season - and would like to see Toller/Johnny come up with a program that would playfully satirize the CoP.

    Yes, I am talking about more arm flapping than we have ever seen before, with a possible tumbling sequence thrown into the footwork - and the most outrageous POSING ever seen on the ice. I see Johnny going beyond the pelvic thrust into a mock mooning of the judges and lots of fingers too.

    My, my, if they pulled it off right it would be a riot and possibly very effective.

    I always thought Johnny had "Toller potential" but alas, he got more hung up on his image and forgot about the "artist" part as it relates to skating.

    Anyway - I did not see any of the "Blades" coz I am down here in the USA - but glad Toller did not create a firestorm for such a popular Canadian TV show that is so closely linked with two things Canadians love - hockey and figure skating.

    I am curious - two posters I respect - Pogue and Joesitz - never seem to have anything to say about Toller Cranston the skater.

    They both seem to value artistry highly and yet never seem to post about such a legendary skater. I am pretty sure if not for Janet and Toller I would never have become a lifetime skating fan.
    Last edited by janetfan; 11-09-2010 at 11:48 AM.

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    Definitely Toller was one of the gateway skaters of my lifelong fandom! The other one was John Curry. I just missed Janet's competitive career. It was actually Toller who pointed the way to Janet for me, in a warmly enthusiastic comment he wrote about her skating. (He also praised Laurence Owen, which caused me to seek her out in the public library's microfilm collection. No Google in those days!) I'd love to hear remarks from Joesitz and Pogue on Toller's work...and anyone else who cares to check in.

    Looking at his work on YouTube now, I see that I remembered him correctly, as not just an artist (with strong Bohemian leanings, as evidenced by his trademark broken-leg sit spin) but as a hard-working technician as well. Like Curry, Toller strove to keep up with the technical demands of the era. There may have been other skaters who did this or that jump more successfully than he at particular competitions, but he was an excellent jumper who didn't hold back. His other skating skills were both strong and exquisite. He and Curry were both mature artists (only about a year apart in age, they were in their mid-twenties for the landmark 1976 Olympics in which they both made the podium), and both of them plainly thought of skating as a means of personal expression, not just as a sports competition. Toller's limitation was in school figures, which in those days counted for--was it 60 percent or 40 percent? Anyway, a lot--of the score. In fact, he often won the free skating section of world competitions, though he never won an international gold. He did Canada proud as its champion. If he wants to be snarky now, I can disagree with him on particulars, but he's earned the right to hold forth.

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    I have not watched the show, but I just saw what he had to say about Katia Gordeeva / Val Bure, who i think are by far the frontrunners this season and he was very appreciative, but I guess his marks were lower across the board for all of the teams:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiQaBbs30Js

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    Quote Originally Posted by herios View Post
    I have not watched the show, but I just saw what he had to say about Katia Gordeeva / Val Bure, who i think are by far the frontrunners this season and he was very appreciative, but I guess his marks were lower across the board for all of the teams:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiQaBbs30Js
    Thanks for the link. I enjoyed the program and agree with the judges. Toller marked a bit lower - but still seemed appreciative of the performance. I share his thoughts about Katia too.

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    What fun! I loved his commentary to Katia--a heartfelt tribute to her contributions to skating. (Aside: Candace Cameron has become quite glamorous herself! I remember her as a pleasant but undistinguished youngster from Full House, the show that famously gave us the Olsen twins.) It's so great to have the opportunity, via YouTube, to watch this show. I fear the upcoming American equivalent will not be nearly as classy.

    Postscript: I just watched the actual skate again (I had given it a quick look earlier on a slow computer). Much as I admire YuNa, there are ways in which Katia's Bond Girl exceeds Kim's in my estimation. Of course YuNa has the jumps, but Katia just radiates charisma, and she builds a character so masterfully.
    Last edited by Olympia; 11-11-2010 at 11:48 PM.

  14. #14
    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    My take on Toller as a judge at Battle of the Blades:

    I think Toller probably had a hard time holding back his usual comments as he knew this show was all in fun and not to be taken too seriously. Still it was great to see Toller back in the skating world and I always enjoy his banter.

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