Skating With the Stars crowned its first winner last night.  I’m sure it comes as no surprise that Rebecca Budig took home the crown, since she was the only one who could skate right from the start.  She competed in the finale against Bethenny Frankel, which also isn’t surprising.  Brandon Mychal Smith cheered on from the audience, even though he left the show early due to a “stomach virus,” which was probably just a fancy way of saying he didn’t feel like skating anymore.  And who could blame him?  The show’s ratings took a nosedive after the first episode.  Will Skating return for a second season?  Only time will tell, but I won’t hold my breath.

I admit I wasn’t expecting much of Skating With the Stars.  I was right to feel that way.  It’s basically Dancing With the Stars on ice skates, only not nearly as interesting.  What we got was more of the same, right down to the choice of judges.  Just as in Dancing, we had the flamboyant young guy, the codgy old stodger, and the token female.  Bruno, Len, and Carrie Ann anyone?  The host, Vernon Kay (who?), didn’t seem confident or even comfortable in front of the camera.  I found his constant wide-eyed stares to be distracting.

Johnny Weir's poker face

Each contestant was given 2 moves they had to perform during their routine, but that was basically the only rule.  Luckily, we had a random disembodied head, who was actually retired Ice Dancer, Tanith Belbin, pointing out the moves afterward, so people who know nothing about skating (like me), would notice it and be impressed.  Then they were each

What's with those eyes?

judged for both technical and artistic merits.  I was right about Vince Neil not being able to get out of his own way, as he received the lowest score of the night.  Rebecca Budig and Jonny Moseley received the top scores.  The others were barely mediocre.  I couldn’t bring myself to care though.  Dancing may arguably be full of “has beens,” but Skating has stars who can’t even aspire to be “has beens.”  The judging itself was fairly tame too, with no Bruno Tonioli jumping out of his seat at every given opportunity.  The highlight of the show was judge Johnny Weir performing to Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face.”

I’m hoping, as the contestants get more experience, the show will pick up speed and we’ll get to see a bit mmore excitement on the ice.  Otherwise, I probably won’t give Skating With the Stars much hope.

More photos after the jump:

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Name: Bethenny Frankel
Age: 40
Claim to Fame: The Real Housewives of New York City

If you’re anything like me, you were scraching your head when the cast was announced for the upcoming first season of Skating With the Stars.  I had to look quite a few of them up just to find out who they were.  That’s where my Meet the Contestant posts come in for this train wreck waiting to happen.

A natural foods chef, Bethenny Frankel is best known for her role in The Real Housewives of New York City, which produced the spinoff series Bethenny Getting Married?, but she got her start in television on The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, where she placed second.

An interesting tidbit: Bethenny appeared nude on a billboard in Times Square as part of a PETA campaign in 2009, because apparently you can be nude on billboards in New York City.

Skating With the Stars premieres on November 22, 2010!

More photos of Bethenny after the jump:

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