TORONTO — Hockey hero Claude Lemieux drew swoons for a cheeky butt wiggle while NHL bruiser Tie Domi got the crowd cheering with his best Mick Jagger impression Sunday as beefy athletes traded their hockey sticks for sequined outfits and sexy female partners on the CBC TV elimination-style series, Battle of the Blades.
The new reality show debuted with Domi, Simpson and six of their former hockey cohorts managing to avoid any ugly spills while flinging their seasoned partners across the rink, over their shoulders and between their legs in pursuit of viewer votes that could crown them coolest on ice.
The unconventional contest also cast the NHL’rs in a whole new light, with Domi sashaying in a satiny black shirt to the Rolling Stones’ Satisfaction and former Canadiens player Stephane Richer offering up a stiff attempt at air guitar to Queen’s We Will Rock You for the classic rock-themed episode.
“I was really impressed by the guys and their figure skates, the guys who tried the toe picks, I thought that was really impressive,” said skating fan Marie Sawa, one of 3,000 fans who managed to score tickets to the live taping.
“They made us laugh, but they were good,” added her friend, Amy Ouellette, a former figure skater.
“They were pretty impressive, they had a bunch of different elements, the speed and lifts and technical skills, I thought it was really good.”
Lemieux and Olympic skater Shae-Lynn Bourne set the stage with a campy tour of the ice that saw the four-time Stanley Cup winner wiggle his butt for the audience and sway his hips to Bad To the Bone, drawing early laughs from an enthusiastic audience.