November 10, 2013 (ISN) – With sixteen veterans joining the live studio audience, it was definitely a night to remember as the Season Four finalists left it all on the ice with their final two performances on tonight’s CBC’s BATTLE OF THE BLADES. All three pairs – Violetta Afanasieva & Jason Strudwick, Marie-France Dubreuil & Mathieu Dandenault and Amanda Evora & Scott Thornton – skated one new routine of their own choosing and one favourite from this season.
For the first time this season the judges did not score the routines, which means only Canada’s votes will determine who is named Season Four champion and winner of $100,000 for their charities on the finale Gala next week, Sunday, Nov. 17 at 8 p.m. (8:30 p.m. NT). Second and third runners up will receive $35,000 and $30,000 respectively for their charities.
Fans have an extended window to cast their votes as the online voting system at cbc.ca/battle will remain open until Friday, Nov. 15 at 5 p.m. ET. New for Season Four, BATTLE OF THE BLADES fans have had the opportunity to earn extra votes and participate in the show like never before, with special games and challenges for supporters to help their favourite pairs get closer to the ultimate prize for charity.
The first-ever Extreme Ice Skating World Champion with Canadian partner/husband Peter Dack, Violetta Afanasieva is a veteran of two previous seasons of BATTLE OF THE BLADES, her partner Jason Strudwick is a two-time Memorial Cup Champion who played with the New York Islanders, Vancouver Canucks, New York Rangers, Chicago Blackhawks and Edmonton Oilers over his 14-year NHL career.
A veteran of Seasons One and Three, Marie-France Dubreuil is a two-time World Silver Medallist and five-time Canadian National Ice Dance Champion, her partner Mathieu Dandenault had a storied 13-year NHL career as a three-time Stanley Cup champion with the Detroit Red Wings, retiring with the Montreal Canadiens in 2010.
First time participant Amanda Evora is two-time U.S. Pairs Silver Medallist and the first ever Filipino-American to compete in the Winter Olympics, her partner Scott Thornton was drafted third overall in 1989 by the Toronto Maple Leafs and in his 18-year NHL career also played for the Edmonton Oilers, Montreal Canadiens, Dallas Stars, Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks.
The results of the inaugural Mini Blades competitions were also revealed tonight. The seven winning performances were posted on the cbc.ca/battle and open to Canada’s votes. The first ever winners of the Mini Blades are Georgia-Ann Reidl and Austin Martell of the Stayner Skating Club (Stayner, ON). CBC in partnership with Skate Canada invited select clubs to host their own Mini Blades competitions, to serve as a fundraising initiative and spotlight local skating clubs across Canada.