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Kurt Browning Vicki Gabereau Show Interview Summary

Feb. 24, 2005 (Taped Feb. 22)
Summarized by Kirsten in PEI

Vicki introduced Kurt and Elvis as two guys who fly around the ice without helmets and wear much cuter outfits than any NHL players. Kurt leaned over from his seat and kissed Vicki on the cheek in the middle of her introduction. :-)

Vicki commented on how normal and quiet Elvis was (compared to Kurt?), but Kurt said Elvis has a very quirky, physical, animated sense of humour.

Elvis talked a bit about his acting career and stint on Grease last fall. Kurt said he's always been impressed with Elvis' organization and competitive ability. Kurt was astounded by Elvis' ability to do much more than just go to the rink and barely do his homework. Kurt says he's only now starting to reach the point of thinking about life beyond skating (he mentioned his son and his hurting knees), but he's not in a hurry to make that decision yet (fortunately!) He did say he needed a break and wanted to come home.

Kurt said he attempted the quad a couple of years ago and couldn't walk for three days. He let a younger skater convince him he could do it again and fell like a sack of potatoes.

Elvis explained why a quad fall hurts more than a triple fall (three times your body weight on one day). It may be hard to tell the difference between a quad and a triple, but there's so much more pressure with a quad.

Vicki asked Kurt to take his coat off (a black Celebration on Ice jacket), but Kurt said it was the only way he could look half as big as Elvis. ;-) He took off the jacket and talked about the tour.

Kurt said the tour was special because it's one of the few times he, Elvis and Brian Orser have appeared together on the same ice. He talked about how the three of them have followed in each others' footsteps and called himself the "tweener" between Brian and Elvis.

They talked a bit about the other cast members, particularly the Russian acrobats and their impressive tricks, and the history of the tour and how Jean-Michel Bombardier put it together. They also showed a few clips from one of last December's Christmas shows, including Kurt's "Time In A Bottle." :-)

Elvis said performing in smaller arenas creates a more intimate energy and the skaters can get in touch with the entire audience.

Vicki asked how ice shows have changed within the last few years. Kurt said there was more live singing, and Vicki said it must be almost impossible to sing and skate at the same time. ;-) Elvis said he can sing, but not skate at the same time.

After the first commercial break, Vicki asked where Brian Orser was, and Kurt and Elvis said Brian was busy choreographing the show. Kurt mentioned the group number he choreographed for himself, Elvis, Brian and Shawn Sawyer.

Elvis then talked a bit about his martial arts training, and said he's now a senior instructor at a Milton, Ont. studio and competed against the number-five ranked competitor in kung fu and wants to make it on the world team.

Kurt ticked off all of Elvis' other talents (singing, acting, race car driving) and Vicki asked Kurt if he could do anything. Kurt replied, "No," and said Elvis will write a book on self-esteem and Kurt won't be able to read it. :-)

Kurt then talked about his family and said he uses the green cup Vicki gave him during his last appearance on her show to warm up Gabriel's milk every morning. Vicki asked Kurt when Gabriel was going to try skating and Dick Button sent him some runners (I'm *guessing* those are some kind of skates--LOL!), but Kurt says he's in no hurry to take his son out on the ice and perhaps he'll do it next winter. Kurt said Sonia's still dancing and Vicki said it's nice to know at least one of them is still working. :-)

Vicki asked about the 2006 Olympics and Kurt mentioned Joannie Rochette and Cynthia Phaneuf's rivalry, which he said will only help both of them be better skaters.

Vicki asked whether competitors can talk to each other in such a situation. Kurt said the guys could, but the girls don't always, but Elvis said in Joannie and Cynthia's case, they are good friends off the ice. He used the phrase "in the hunt" at least half a dozen times. :p

Vicki asked how Emanuel Sandhu is doing and Kurt replied Emanuel appeared in Christmas shows with him and seems in a good place. Kurt said it's good Jeff Buttle beat him at Canadians because that will make Emanuel hungrier. Kurt and Elvis said Emanuel's a talented skater, and Kurt said Jeff is a good, all-around skater who's really benefiting under the new judging system.

Vicki asked whether height makes a difference in skating and Kurt said Jeff is about 5'6" (shorter than Kurt) while Jozef Sabovcik is about 5'10" and one of the best jumpers in the world. Vicki asked about Robin Cousins, who was also really tall. Elvis mentioned Alexandr Fadeev, who was small and could also do impressive jumps.

Elvis said sometimes North American skaters can be spoiled compared to skaters in other countries, and everyone at Worlds is talented and trains hard. You have to train even harder, know yourself even better, and take it one step further to win. That's the difference between 15th/10th place and first.

Kurt agreed and said that's why Elvis was so successful and competitive. Kurt called himself "the anti-Elvis" and compared himself to Brian Orser, who has always been a perfectionist, while Kurt was more like, "Wow, look over there!" ;-) Kurt said everyone has to know their own path.

After the second commercial break, Vicki asked Kurt and Elvis whether they've ever argued. Both of them replied, "Never."

Kurt said the only regret he'd ever had was not being able to win 1994 Canadians in Edmonton. Kurt said he skated poorly at that event because he was in his hometown and got nervous after the crowd gave Kurt a standing ovation before his music began. Kurt said that event was hard to lose, but he and Elvis have always been honest with each other and helped each other through hard moments.

Kurt mentioned his parents' rodeo background and said his mom never understood why other parents couldn't watch their children skate in competition when she grew up with people who watched their children compete in dangerous rodeo events.

Elvis said he was happy to win 1994 Canadians, but also felt bad for Kurt for losing in his hometown and considered Kurt one of his idols. Elvis also mentioned 1993 Canadians in Hamilton, close to Elvis' hometown, where the two of them were very close. Kurt added you want your competitors to skate well, but still beat them. Elvis pointed out Kurt was fourth place after the 1994 Canadians SP, so Elvis had to place third or lower in the LP to lose the title.

Vicki asked Kurt and Elvis whether they retired late compared to some others. Elvis said he retired late, but Kurt said eligible skating has changed so much and they can now make more money by sticking around, so why retire?

Vicki mentioned the close family atmosphere among skaters, and Kurt said he could go six months without seeing a fellow skater, but they could bump into each other at the airport and act casually to each other.

Vicki asked about Scott's health during the last question of her interview and Kurt said he had a relapse of cancer, but a couple of articles have been published about Scott this week saying his tumour is *not* cancerous, so I hope this time, Kurt was wrong. :-(

In the Vicki interview, Kurt said Scott told him he decided the reason he became a great figure skater is because he could help beat cancer and knows why things lined up in his life the way he did. It sounds like Scott's keeping his usual positive attitude throughout this whole ordeal and that's always a wonderful step towards a full recovery!