U.S. Championships, and we've nearly recovered. We're thrilled to tell you that our blog will be a regular feature here from now on; look for posts every two weeks during the season and once a month in the summer." />

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Sarah and Drew's blog with guest Johnny Weir

Sarah Brannen and Drew Meekins dish with Johnny Weir

Banners supporting Yu-Na Kim littered the STAPLES Center on Saturday night.
Banners supporting Yu-Na Kim littered the STAPLES Center on Saturday night. (Drew Meekins)

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By Sarah Brannen and Drew Meekins
(02/05/2008) - Hello again!

It has been a week since U.S. Championships, and we've nearly recovered. We're thrilled to tell you that our blog will be a regular feature here from now on; look for posts every two weeks during the season and once a month in the summer. We'll be covering events and shows, visiting with skaters, and of course reporting all the craziness and hot gossip along the way! In addition, we also will be following the ongoing saga of Drew's search for a partner, in a 'reality show' type blog. We hope you enjoy it!

First of all, we're serving up a few leftovers from Championships. Remember the story about Dalilah Sappenfield's bet to shave her head? Turns out there's a little more to it. The deal is, if her students Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker are in the top six after the short program at the Olympics, she will shave her head before the free skate. When we asked her what she would do for the rest of the competition, she said she will be sporting a blonde wig! However, after Keauna and Rockne's stellar senior debut this season, Dalilah is reportedly re-negotiating the deal.

Fashion Awards

And finally, no behind-the-scenes talk from Championships would be complete without a fashion review. Guest-blogger Johnny Weir adds his thoughts (in quotes) and nominations to our best-dressed list:

Best-dressed coach, female (tie): Angela Nikodinov. "She was sporting Balenciaga and Chopard all week." And, Karen Kwan Oppegard for "best bangs."

Best-dressed coach, male: Mark Mitchell, looking svelte in Dolce and Gabbana during the ladies free skate.

The official coach's 'Casual Corner' look: Burberry scarf, Prada loafers and a black pea coat. They all wear it!"

Best-dressed member of the media: Elegant Today Show host Natalie Morales, who brought the style quotient of the media room up significantly.

Best-dressed former Olympic champion (this was a very competitive category): Female: Kristi Yamaguchi.

Male: Viktor Petrenko: "Best use of pink and purple on a male."

Best use of body-net on a male (also a very competitive category): Geoff Varner, "He even topped me."

Best long program dress (tie): Megan Williams-Stewart and Alexe Gilles.

Best hair on ice: Alexe Gilles: "For her amazing braid."

Best hair off ice: Todd Sand.

Best hair transformation: Adam Rippon: "What did he do to his curly locks?"

Best use of a tank top: Rockne Brubaker: "Why is it so popular to practice in a tank top?"

Furriest (tie): Marina Zoueva and Johnny Weir (For his full-length 'blue' mink coat).

Best tan (tie): Evan Lysacek and Nikolai Morosov.

Check out Sarah's photos from Saint Paul on her web site, SarahBrannen.com

But enough Championships talk. It's time for the show! Ice Network is pleased to present: "The Pair Skater"

Episode I

Pair skater and former world junior champion Drew Meekins is looking for a girl to spend the rest of his life with, his skating life that is. Journey with him as he travels the country, picking up tiny women, and trying to make sense of it all. Join us as he finally presents a rose to the perfect partner and asks for her "hand."

Seriously - sort of - this is what went down. At the beginning of November, Drew's six-year partnership with Julia Vlassov ended. Usually, the search for a partner would be shepherded by a coach, but since Drew and Julia's coaches were her parents, Drew is on his own. Since this is his story, we'll let him continue: here's Drew.

My situation is unique because I lost my coach at the same time as I lost my partner. I'm really lucky that I know a lot of pair coaches from my international competitive experience, and I have a friendly relationship with many of them. I started off by getting the word out. I called several different coaches and told them I was looking for a partner. I asked whether they had any ideas, or if they had any girls who would be good for me, and asked them to keep me in mind. I also listed myself on Ice Partner Search. This is kind of like online dating, and it's a valuable resource for pair skaters and ice dancers. I'm not sure it's the best way for me to make a relationship happen, but it was worth a shot. When I first became partner-less (and coach-less) I switched to training at the Skating Club of Boston. It was there that I met the love of my life, former Canadian champion and Olympian Christine "Tuffy" Hough. Tuffy coaches at the skating club, and she also does choreography for a number of teams throughout the country. She doesn't get much of a chance to skate pairs any more, so she offered to help keep my pairs skills in shape. We've been practicing a few times a week together since then, and I must say, we (especially Tuffy) are pretty fierce! Check out the photos, and bear in mind that this woman has children!

Seriously though, Tuffy has taught me a lot about pair skating and partnering. She has also become a kind of mentor/coach/agent, and my respect and admiration for her grows every day. I'll be sending further reports about my partner search, from Delaware to Colorado to Los Angeles, and everything in between. See you in two weeks!

We'd love to hear from you: email us at sarahanddrewblog@gmail.com.