After five weeks of competition, three major injuries (one not ice-related) and more bruises than anyone cares to count, it came down to front-runner Rebecca Budig and underdog Bethenny Frankel battling it out for the golden skate trophy on last night’s Skating With the Stars finale. And despite receiving some of his highest scores to date during Monday’s show, Jonny Moseley was eliminated in the show’s most shocking moment.
With the entire cast returning to skate again — with the exception of Brandon Mychal Smith, who was still battling the stomach bug that caused him to withdraw from the competition — the two finalists gave their all on the ice, each re-performing their favorite routine of the season. Bethenny (and partner Ethan Burgess) decided to revisit their first routine in an effort to highlight her improvement. It worked, as they were awarded a total of 51 (28 for artistic impression and 23 for technical merit), which was a vast improvement from the 29 out of 60 they received the first time around. Rebecca (and partner Fred Palascak) chose their routine from week three, which was also the week she badly injured her wrist. Following a near flawless performance, the couple received outstanding comments from the judges and scores to match — 30 for artistic impression and 30 for technical merit, overshadowing the 50 out of 60 awarded the first time, and getting the first perfect score of the season.
Sadly for Bethenny, her vast improvement was not enough to take the title. After viewer votes from Monday were combined with their final scores, it was announced Rebecca and Fred were taking home the gold. “I was surprised,” Rebecca tells In Touch with regard to Jonny not skating against her in the finals. “But Bethenny has a lot of fans and a great personality.”
For more with Rebecca, click here.
Is there a little relief associated with this win?
Rebecca: There is a little, but I am going to really miss it as I really enjoyed doing it. And it felt good to win as the only other thing I’ve won is a Soap Opera Digest Award, so…
As a kid you and your sister Christy would play ice-skating pairs. Is she taking any of the credit for your win?
Rebecca: She’s not taking credit, but she would always mess with me, sending texts saying you are my favorite skater — besides myself. She’s really funny. As kids we would play like we were pair’s skaters and swing me around, we had so much fun doing that. Christy is jealous, though, and wants to skate.
How is your wrist, will there be any residual problems?
Rebecca: It’s going to take rest. It’s a really bad sprain so it’s still swollen and hurts, but it will go away, I just need to rest it and not use it. But it’s in a place that I use regularly so that makes it hard. And it was the one Fred used to swing me with in the routine! He didn’t want to hurt it anymore, but I did it anyway on the night.
Did you lose a lot of weight doing the show?
Rebecca: I just toned up. I didn’t really drop any weight, as I ate a lot throughout, so, no, I didn’t lose too much weight.
Have you hung up your skates now for good?
Rebecca: I’ll go back into a rink occasionally. I am having a bone spur I’ve been dealing with for like 10 years removed tomorrow so I will be bed-ridden for a couple of weeks, so no skates for another month or two. And the wrist will get a rest, too.
What do you think of when you reflect on this experience?
Rebecca: I have such respect for athletes, and in particular these athletes; it’s brutal and a lot of hard work. I never really understood what it took to be an athlete and make that your career and compete… It was a great learning and growing experience and I walked away with a confidence I didn’t have before. It was one of the best experiences of my life.
Where are you going to keep the golden skates?
Rebecca: They are so huge! And don’t exactly go with my décor, so I am not sure where they’ll end up – somewhere appropriate – but they are awesome and I’m excited to have them.