Ah yes, the grace, the beauty, and the athleticism of Olympic figure skating. Such a joy to behold. Just one problem. It's also more choreographed and phonier than pro wrestling.
Let's start with the cosmetics. There's pancake make-up, eye liner, mascara, rouge, and probably a bunch of other goop I don't want to know about. Plus they all have perfectly capped super-white teeth. And that's just for the guys. Throw in 3-4 coats of lipstick for the girls. Both have perfectly manicured fingernails, as if that should matter when skating. Idle thought: Ever see an Olympic figure skater with a zit? Hey, a lot of them are merely adolescents, and zits happen at that age -- but evidently not to figure skaters. Or do they? Wipe off all the make-up and who knows? Some faces might have more potholes than a typical Michigan road.
And what's up with the music they skate to anyway? Nocturne in E minor by Chopin? Ave Maria by Schubert? Get outta here. What kind of crap is that? I say let some good old-fashioned rock and roll blare from the speakers by Seger, Skynyrd, the Stones, J Geils, Chuck Berry, whatever, and that would pep up their routines some.
Then there's the hair thing. What do the stylists use in the dressing rooms on the competitors' hair before they take they ice? Some sort of industrial strength gel, mousse, or epoxy to fashion the perfect coifs? These skaters could walk through a tornado, or drive the Indy 500 without a helmet, and every last hair would still be in place. I'm thinking even former Dallas Cowboy coach and current NFL talking head Jimmy Johnson would be envious.
What's REALLY phony is the outfits, particularly on the girls. Typically, they'll wear a top with a plunging V-neck that barely covers their, um, pair of private parts up top on either side. But that's an illusion. They all wear a skin tight sort of leotard underneath that is perfectly matched to their flesh color. No chance of a "wardrobe malfunction". So if they're covered up anyway, what's the point in the pseudo-revealing outfits? For that matter, it's not like most world class female figure skaters have much more to hide up top than their male counterparts. I say let them both go topless and skate to an appropriate tune like the Beatles' Strawberry Fields Forever. Now THAT would get those stodgy old judges to sit up and take notice of a new routine.
And what's with the deal of giving figure skaters a bouquet of flowers after they've finished their routines and left the ice? Is this a beauty pageant or an athletic competition? Good grief, even in a beauty pageant, it's nothing more than window dressing that will quickly be thrown away a few minutes later. Seems like a waste of perfectly good flowers to me. Yet on that note, if they're going to give figure skaters a floral arrangement after they've finished their discipline, then why not everybody else? A hockey team just got bruised, battered, and blistered to the tune of 15-0 by a vastly superior team? Give them all some flowers and they'll feel much better. Right. See how silly that is?
Besides, in figure skating, does anybody really know the difference between a triple axel, toe loop, or salchow? They get a running head start, jump up, spin three times around, and land on one foot. An impressive feat indeed, but they all look the same, and the slight differences in all these jumps and spins has become way too technical for the average fan to understand.
Bottom line? The only thing better than topless figure skating would be nude ski-jumping. Or maybe the luge. Definitely the downhill. Wouldn't that be a hoot? Bring that on, and NBC would definitely win the gold in the ratings battle.....