(Eliminated skaters Patrice Brisebois, Shae-Lynn Bourne, Georges Laraque, Anabelle Langlois, Violetta Afanasieva, P.J. Stock, Christine Hough-Sweeney and Russ Courtnall on the Battle of the Blades set in a CBC/Insight Productions photo.)
Getting a second chance to compete on Battle of the Blades, after being eliminated on Monday, is a double-edged sword for Shae-Lynn Bourne and Patrice Brisebois.
Shae-Lynn was tired the day after the elimination, after being up early doing media interviews, and she and Patrice were looking at several more days of hard work.
"We now have to get into Halloween gear and we don’t have a whole lot of time to prepare, but we've got three or four days to make a new number for this coming week," she said.
(In fact, Patrice -- who wasn't on the phone with Shae-Lynn Tuesday morning -- was so focused on practising he begged off media interviews for the rest of the week.)
The deal is that all four eliminated couples -- Shae-Lynn and Patrice, P.J. Stock and Violetta Afanasieva, Georges Laraque and Anabelle Langlois, Russ Courtnall and Christine Hough-Sweeney -- are to skate Sunday for a chance to get back on the show in the so-called "Second Chance Week." (Anabelle had a fall during practice Thursday, so there was a chance she and Georges would have to bow out, see more at the bottom of the post.)
The two best couples face off again Monday.
Shae-Lynn noted that if she and Patrice win the second chance, "we won't have a rest. Of all the teams, we’ll be the only ones that's going to keep skating, but we're going to try our best if that does happen."
The top four teams -- Valeri Bure and Ekaterina Gordeeva, Todd Warriner and Isabelle Brasseur, Theo Fleury and Jamie Sale, Kelly Chase and Kyoko Ina -- all get a week off from the competition.
It's a well-deserved break, Shae-Lynn said.
For a couple of months, the pairs spend "usually four or five hours a day on the ice and that’s without a day off. When you don’t take a day off you're not giving your body and mind a chance to rest and you do need that, so in that sense it's a big time commitment."
Everyone's bodies are aching, Shae-Lynn said. The men, especially, are using their muscles in different ways, learning lifts and new moves every week and "it takes a toll on the body, but they’re all in good spirits, they’re all positive."
Patrice has had a bad wrist, back and shoulders, "but we’re trying our best to do treatment and to be smart in our routine so that we don’t push it ... it's trying to listen to the body but also pushing through because there isn't really a choice. We've just got to kind of push through it, basically, to stay in the competition."
Shae-Lynn said she's proud of Patrice.
She chose the romantic choreography they performed on last Sunday's country-themed episode "to show his versatility, but it didn't work for everyone."
Judge Sandra Bezic commented that the number wasn't country enough.
"Maybe we could have gone for more uptempo country, but that's skating: it's interpretation. Everybody will have a different opinion when it comes to how you interpret music."
Shae-Lynn skated on Season 1 of Battle with Claude Lemieux. They were runners-up to Jamie Sale and Craig Simpson.
Asked how the seasons compare, she said this one "definitely it started at a higher level because ...
it helped going into this year for the men because they already saw how the show works and they weren't the guinea pigs.
"Last year was tough because those guys really put themselves out there and took a chance being the first to do something like this."
The hockey players coming into boot camp this year had studied DVDs of the show and some had already started practising in their figure skates.
"There are a lot of younger players, so they're physically more ready for these moves and for the skating," Shae-Lynn said.
Rejoining the series this season took some thinking over, though, because "it was a lot of hard work" and she has her own shows and choreography to keep her busy.
"I was hoping to do it again if I could work it into the schedule and I'm so glad I did because I got to work with a great player. Patrice has been really a joy. Every day we laugh and he learns and grows, and he's really been a great person to share the ice with."
What she loves best about the show, she said, is the fact that money goes to charities no matter what happens. Shae-Lynn is supporting Make a Wish Canada and Patrice the Sainte-Justine UHC Foundation.
The Halloween skate-off is scheduled to air Sunday at 8 p.m. on CBC with results Monday at 8 p.m.
According to the show's Facebook feed, Anabelle took a hard fall during Thursday's practice when Georges tripped in the middle of a twist and was sent to hospital with pain in her knee, but Georges said she had only a few bruises and three stitches in her knee, calling it a miracle.
The pair planned to see how things went during practice on Friday but were really hoping to skate on Sunday, according to the Blades website.