Battle of the Blades

The top moments of Battle of the Blades, according to Sandra Bezic

‘I love every pair, they're like my babies.’ Show creator’s favourite moments from Battle of the Blades Season 5

Ten weeks of intense training and fierce competition have come down to one moment on Halloween night: the Battle of the Blades season finale. 

Canadian figure skating champion, Olympian and Battle of the Blades co-creator Sandra Bezic has been there every step of the way, so it's fair to say she is THE Battle expert. We asked Bezic about her favourite moments to come out of the show, and even she knew to expect the unexpected.

Magical performance leads to perfect score

Bezic says what makes a figure skating performance exciting is that it is a moment in time that sometimes pulls every element together to become magic. She believes Kaitlyn Weaver and Sheldon Kennedy did that during their Smile program by telling a story and casting a spell on the audience — which landed 6.0s across the judging panel. 

Powerful single twist lift

What do you get when you take Brian McGrattan's height and a huge aerial split from Vanessa James? You get one of the most spectacular photos of the season.

(Insight Productions / Battle of the Blades)

"The reason why it was spectacular was because it was only a single [twist]," says Bezic. "In competition, you see doubles and you see triples … because it all happens so quickly, you don't really see how extraordinary it is in the throw and the height." 

First tie in Battle history

During Stage and Screen Week, Violetta Afanasieva and partner P.J. Stock were in the elimination skate-off with pair Ekaterina Gordeeva and Bruno Gervais. Head judge Kurt Browning said it was too close to call and made show history by making the first tie Battle has ever seen. "Back in producer's palace, we were really excited with Kurt's decision," says Bezic. 

"I want to grow up to be like Natalie."

Bezic has been impressed with hockey player Natalie Spooner's confidence and attitude throughout this season.

No doubt, the female hockey players have a different Battle of the Blades experience than their male counterparts. "The focus [in figure skating] is often on the woman, and the female hockey player has to take on that responsibility and it's a very vulnerable thing for them to go through," says Bezic about Spooner and Amanda Kessel. "I think that they've been extraordinarily brave and we certainly have learned from both of them."

Sunshine between Katia and Bruno

In R&B Week, Gordeeva and Gervais performed to Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone and in Bezic's eyes it was the perfect combination of pairs skating technique with expression, flow and fluidity. "I felt that was really almost the first time Bruno stepped up to be Katia's leading man," says Bezic. "I felt that Bruno really took that performance and made it his own. And they were very much a unit, not just technically but emotionally."

Learning to breathe under pressure

According to Bezic, Amanda Evora and Colton Orr have performed the most difficult pair elements in the competition with twists and throws constantly throughout their programs. "I know that he was especially careful about Amanda's safety and very nervous of that. When Colton gets nervous, he stops breathing," says Bezic. "He had to learn how to breathe throughout these whole performances. They certainly grew as a partnership."