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Top Ten Ugliest Olympic Ice Dancing Costumes

Wednesday, March 3, 2010, 22:07 EDT Leave a comment Go to comments

Before I wrap up the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, I wanted to make good on my promise to write about the awful figure skating costumes. OK, most of them weren’t awful, at least not where the pairs and individuals were concerned (Johnny Weir aside). Ice dancing, however, was another story. Is there some kind of hideous-costume requirement I don’t know about, or do ice dancers just feel the need to make up for the lack of jumps and lifts by making spectators’ eyes bleed?

Whatever the reason, there were so many bad costumes that I found it impossible to whittle it down to my originally intended top three. In fact, I was lucky to get it down to ten.

To understand the reasoning behind ice dancing costumes, you have to know a couple basic things about the sport. Ice dancers must complete three distinct kinds of programs. In the first kind, called the compulsory dance, each pair skates the same dance, the same sequence of steps, to music provided for them in advance by the International Skating Union. Most pairs chose costumes that go with the music they must skate to, which in this Olympics was the Tango Romantica. The second program of the competition is the original dance, which used to be called the original set pattern dance. The ISU chooses the general theme, which this year was folk dance, and stipulates certain steps that must be performed. Within the established theme, selection of music and choreography are up to each pair. As with the compulsories, the skaters often choose costumes that fit the established theme of the original dance. The third program is the free dance, which as the name implies gives each pair maximum freedom in choosing the theme, music, and choreography of their dance.

This year it was the original dance produced the most hideous costuming, but that particular program didn’t have a monopoly on ugliness.

For the brave of heart and those not prone to seizures brought on by harsh colors and gaudy ornamentation, here is the gallery of…

The Den Mother’s Top Ten Ugliest Costumes Seen in the 2010 Winter Olympic Ice Dancing Competition

10. Sinead and John Kerr, Great Britain, original dance. Brits (or, like the Kerrs, Scots) can almost get away with the country hoedown theme. But that hat has to go. So do the short-shorts. You aren’t skating at Hooters.

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9. Cathy and Chris Reed, Japan, original dance. They are Japanese on their mother’s side, so they are entitled to go with the Japanese theme. But a kimono-as-skating-dress just looks like a summer bathrobe.

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8. Federica Faiella and Massimo Scali, Italy, original dance. I can’t be the only person who thought they looked exactly like Hodel and Perchik dancing in the field in Fiddler on the Roof. And dear God, I hope Federica’s face doesn’t freeze that way.

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7. Jana Khokhlova and Sergei Novitski, Russia, original dance. OK, the really shiny boots are cool. I’ll even let the ruffled skirt slide. But green and teal don’t belong together, ever. And Sergei? Get a hair cut.

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6. Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat, France, original dance. Whatever made two French people think that dressing as cowboys was a good idea? Here’s a hint for next time: if you aren’t from Texas, Calgary, or the Australian outback, it won’t work.

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5. Christina and William Beier, Germany, original dance. Besides the fact that the leis look like something from Oriental Trading Company, Germans skating a Hawaiian dance makes as much sense as Polynesians wearing lederhosen.

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4. Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev, Russia, original dance. I think I had dolls like this when I was six. But seriously, are you identical twins? No? Then you have no business dressing alike. Please stop.

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3. Tanith Belbin and Agosto Benjamin, United States, original dance. Their theme was a Moldavian folk dance. I doubt very much that Moldavians are really this tacky, or that the women wear bright red suede boots.

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2. Jana Khokhlova and Sergei Novitski, Russia, free dance. There should be a special place in hell for anyone who makes this list twice. What’s Jana supposed to be, some kind of schizophrenic parrot?

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And the number one ugliest costumes seen at the 2010 Winter Olympic ice dancing competition:

1. Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin, Russia, original dance. This was supposed to be an aboriginal dance, but I was too busy trying to gouge out my eyes to hear from where. All I could think of was Adam and Eve on crack.

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