CBC Battle of the Blades Week 3: Brian McGrattan Stays in Hamilton

Jerred Bapty
BarnBurner Sports Writer


Thursday, October 3, 2019

HAMILTON, ON – The hometown boy will remain in Hamilton.


Local ‘cowboy’ Brian McGrattan and his partner, 2019 European Champion Vanessa James were eliminated Thursday evening after 3 weeks on Battle of the Blades. They skated to Carrie Underwood’s ‘Cowboy Casanova’ and completed thrilling lifts and throws but, it was the footwork that ultimately spelled their demise. 


McGrattan and James were up against the birthday boy Bruno Gervais and Ekaterina Gordeeva, who were surprisingly announced in the bottom two, despite being 2nd after last week’s skate. They skated an elegantly passionate program to Ed Sheeran’s ‘Thinking Out Loud’, emphasizing Gervais’ romantic side.


Marie-France Dubreuil was the guest judge tonight, a 2-time World silver-medalist for Canada with her husband Patrice Lauzon. Dubreuil was a competitor on the show in seasons one, three, and four, and returned to the show with her insight for the skaters. She was particularly impressed with Gervais and Gordeeva, saying she was “mesmerised” as she gave them a score of 5.9. 


The Scores


Brian McGrattan & Vanessa James

Armstrong: 5.7

Dubreuil: 5.7

Browning: 5.6


Total: 17.0


Bruno Gervais & Ekaterina Gordeeva

Armstrong: 5.8

Dubreuil: 5.9

Browning: 5.8


Total: 17.5


It was Country Night on Battle of the Blades. Not a twangy sort of country but, more of an emotive and sultry type of country. 


Colton Orr and Amanda Evora, who were last after last week’s scores, were catapulted out of the bottom two by the audience voters, kicked off the program with an upbeat dance to the song Orr requested from day one; Lil Nas X’s ‘Old Town Road’. 


Fan favourites Sheldon Kennedy and Kaitlyn Weaver were next, with a smooth and moving routine to Dolly Parton’s ‘Jolene’. Despite their graceful dance that brought the audience to their feet once again, the judges gave them their lowest marks yet.


PJ Stock and Violetta Afanasieva came out with a cute routine to ‘Crazy’ by Patsy Cline, that appealed to the natural performers that both Stock and Afanasieva are. Marks came down for them as well however, which seemed to be a theme for the show. 


Until the next performance.


“This [program] is a little bit of a departure from last week’s program,” said Andrew Poje in an exclusive interview with Barnburner.ca. “A departure from what I know Natalie is accustom and maybe comfortable with.”


And a departure it was. 


Natalie Spooner and Andrew Poje turned up the heat at FirstOntario Centre with a sensual and gripping skate to ‘You Make It Easy’ by Jason Aldean. Head Judge Kurt Browning commented how he thought a slow routine might cause Spooner some difficulty, but it did not at all.


The skate-off saw higher scores than some pairs who were safe, despite them being in the bottom two. Perhaps the judges are trying to send a message to the audience voters?


Complete Standings (Week 2 Finish)


1.     Bruno Gervais & Ekaterina Gordeeva: 17.5 (2nd)

2.     Natalie Spooner & Andrew Poje: 17.4 (3rd)

3.     Sheldon Kennedy & Kaitlyn Weaver: 17.3 (1st)

4.     PJ Stock & Violetta Afanasieva: 16.9 (3rd)

5.     Colton Orr & Amanda Evora: 16.7 (5th)


Eliminated: Brian McGrattan & Vanessa James: 17.0 (4th), Amanda Kessel & Eric Radford.


Interview to come.


Let me know what you think!

Twitter: @CaptainBapty

Email: jerred@barnburner.ca

Photo: @CBC