Stars on Ice
Kurt List

Kristi Yamaguchi's A Golden Moment 2000 Review

written by Wendy

Sigh, I don't have my own computer at home so I wasn't able to write a review last night after the show..and then I rush into work to write the review tonight only to discover that plenty of people have beat me to it!! I guess then you all know that the big highlight was Kurt skating to Bring Him Home..darn...and i was going to only mention it buried in the middle of the email too so it would be a big surprise! heehee :P

Anyways, since I promised Tina that I would write a review and because I was diligent enough to take notes during the show, I'm going to write one anyways and hope that it hasn't all been said already.

So I tried to pay attention to the jumps but I am sure I missed some and probably got a few wrong, so don't get mad if they show something other than what I said on TV! Also, as Tina puts it, I've been hiding behind her all this time and so I've never written a review. Please forgive me if I don't give much detail - I'm not really good at artistic descriptions (being an engineer...)

So here are the skating parts (i won't include the intro stuff and solo musical performances because i think mike already did that?)

Here we go:

"In the Mood" - Scott Hamilton performing to Bobby Caldwell and his Big Band
For this program, Scott was wearing what looked like the outfit he wore in the opening number of SOI 98-99. He was pretty energetic and did lotsa footwork and a back flip right in front of us (sorry this is before i started taking notes).

"Crush" - Rosalynn Sumners performing to Jennifer Paige.
So this was also before I started taking notes... :P

"I'll Be Seeing you" - Renee Roca and Gorsha Sur performing to Ann Hampton Callaway.
I thought this was a beautiful program. It was filled with a bunch of their innovative lifts and edges. They were both wearing royal blue outfits.

"Beyond the Sea" - Kurt Browning performing to Bobby Caldwell and his Big Band.
Just a note here...he's actually listed before Renee and Gorsha in the program, but he skated after them. I nearly had a heart attack when they annouced Renee and Gorsha because i was like "oh no! he's not going to be here after all!" but my aunt remember that he was annouced - phew! As was mentioned, he wore his Hey Pachuco outfit. This was a really wonderful program and I hope they air this because i never remember anything about a program only after one viewing. I just remember really liking it. He did a Russian split, a spread eagle into a 3-sal, 2-axel, 3-toe, and tons of spread eagles including one of those bent knees kind. Kurt looked pretty relaxed throughout the program. I think he bobbled a landing and motioned to the audience nearby like "oops! shh!" and another time he smiled and pointed at the audience.

"Can You Stop the Rain" - Brian Boitano performing to Peabo Bryson.
This was a terrific program. I'm not a huge Brian fan, but I am much more so after seeing this performance. It's hard for me to tell on TV, but he really has a strong presence on the ice when he skates. It's too bad he doesn't skate with SOI too..For this number he wore a blue shirt with purple pants. He did a 3-toe, 3-toe combination, 2-axel, and a 3-loop (? i think..not sure). He also did this incredibly long outside edge spread eagle - he must have made like 3 circles with it! He uses his edges really well! There was a strange part to this program where in the middle he just stood in the same spot while the music played. It was definitely planned that was because the spotlight shone on him in such a way that he was basically a shadow on the ice. Pauses in programs are nothing terribly new, but this one was extremely long - it felt like it was at least 1 minute!

"First Time Ever I saw Your Face" - Kristi Yamaguchi performing to Roberta Flack
Kristi looked beautiful as always in a turquoise dress with silver sequins. She did a 2-axel, and I think a 3-sal and 3-toe.

"My Valentine" - Rosalynn Sumners performing to Martina McBride.
Ros was wearing a light blue kind of long billowy dress with shoulder pads. (okay, so i don't know if there were really pads, but it looked like it). She started with a single axel, and then i don't really remember.

"Beautiful" - Ekaterina Gordeeva performing to Jennifer Paige.
Katia wore a deep red dress. She did a 1-axel, and a 2-flip (or maybe it was a lutz). It never fails to amaze me how fast she skates and how clean her skating looks.

"Bring Him Home" - Kurt Browning performing to Gary Morris.
I was soooo excited when i read this on the program. To have seen it on TV and to know how excited he was by it way back when and to be lucky enough to see him skate to it live with a live singer!! And then to listen to Gary Morris (who's terrific) sing half the song while scanning the ice waiting for Kurt to make an appearance - hmph!! Not quite living up to the anticipation. Anyways, he made his entrance from the opposite side of the ice and did this long flat spiral all the way down to the stage where Gary Morris was singing. He was wearing this light blue shirt with kind of puffy sleeves and a bow at the collar (one of the types of bows you tie, not a bow tie - make sense?) and gray pants. I was sort of hoping it would be the outfit he wore before, but this was nice too. In this program he did a 3-toe, 3 2-axels, and a bunch of camel spins (one was an outside edge one i think..i haven't a clue what an outside edge spin should look like, but i remember a commentator saying before when he did one of the camel spins where he bends his knee pretty deeply that it was an outside edge and that it was hard :P) This program was incredibly moving and I have to agree one of the best of the night! Kurt did a wonderful job of expressing the emotions you hear in the song. I think the combined effect of Kurt skating and Gary Morris singing made the program one of the most moving i have seen. I even stood up to clap, but too bad i was like the only one except the guy behind me (though maybe he wanted to see around me). This one really deserved a standing ovation IMO.

"Tonight, I Celebrate My Love" - Jenni Meno & Todd Sand performing to Peabo Bryson and Roberta Flack.
Jenni wore a pretty all-white dress while Todd wore black pants and a black and white shirt (i think it was all black except this fat stripe down the front). Their skating just gets better and better. They are much more fluid in their movements. In this program they did a bunch of lifts including the one where she has one leg bent and near his head and one leg straight behind him - but they didn't do their trademark dismount from it. This program is pretty similar to a lot of their programs which seem to be about how much they love each other. Don't get me wrong, i liked it a lot, but it was pretty in line with their usual style.

"Come Fly With Me" - Brian Boitano performing to Bobby Caldwell and his Big Band
This was another program where the music started way before the skating except this was much worse. I think Brain skated for about one minute in this one. He sort of flew out of the curtains and did this really tight 2-axel (it was so fast, i wasn't sure if it was a double or a triple, but considering how little he set it up, it must have been a double). Then he did a Russian split, 3-sal, 3-toe and a huge deathdrop in front of the stage. This program was not as impressive as the first one, partly maybe because the music didn't suit him as well IMO and because it all happened so fast. It was like listening-listening-listening-listening-listening, then bam! out he comes, jump, jump, spread eagle, jump, jump, deathdrop, done!

"With One More Look" - Scott Hamilton performing to Gary Morris.
I was also terribly excited to see this on the program because it is one of my favorites by anyone. I love the part where the lights come up in the audience at the beginning and he looks around. It just brings back all those memories of seeing him skate in SOI after recovering from cancer. It's such a moving program! It's one of those where i sort of unconsciously move forward in my seat and lean in with my hands clasped. Again, Gary Morris has an incredible voice and seeing this program live to a taped Gary Morris and then seeing it live with a live Gary Morris..wow! In terms of jumps, Scott did a 1-axel and then 2 2-axels.

"I Love You" - Kristi Yamaguchi performing to Martina McBride.
Kristi wore a hot pink dress. The song is really energetic so Kristi did a bunch of those half dancing half skating moves. She did a 2-axel and attempted a 3-flip but fell, and landed a 3-toe.

"You've Got a Friend" - Golden Moment Cast.
Pretty generic group routine but also expected considering this is a one time only exhibition. It starts off with Kristi still on the ice and then Brian comes out and does a few spread eagle circles around her. Then Renee and Gorsha come out and do lifts while Brian sort of half lifts Kristi. Then Katia and Ros skate out and then Jenni and Todd. They sort of make a line with Kristi in the middle when Kurt comes out and zig zags around each of the skaters until he gets to Kristi and does something - hugs? I couldn't tellbecause they lined up so that i could only see the front person. I think he actually tripped a little before he got to Kristi. Then they do some stuff and get into a circle which breaks up into two lnes for Scott to come out and do a backflip. Then they skate around in various formations before ending. Quite a lot of the choreography came from last years (and probably other previous years') SOI group numbers. The women's outfits were the white ones from Face the Face two years ago too. So after some pictures were taken, the cast skated around the rink with Kurt last. At the end when they all filed into the curtains, Kurt sort of slalomed his way over to the other corner and looked at the Honda sign, then waved to the people in the stand before disappearing into the curtains too.

All in all the evening was thoroughly enjoyable. Before last night, I never really thought that having a singer live was anything special. I figured it was probably really cool for the skaters, but as a spectator, i didn't find those programs anymore impressive. That said, I must admit that i think the only time i have seen a program live witha live singer was at Improv with Joey McIntyre (sp?). But this night was so much more impressive just because of the singers. Gary Morris in particular has this booming voice and you really do feel so much more listening to him live (maybe it is just the psychology of it?) with the skating.

I am so happy I was able to go. I hope next year they hold it again (hopefully here :P). The tickets are a little pricey, but when you think about the cause, it's all worth it. i think they also mentioned an auction on Kristi's site (kristi.yahoo.com) to help raise money for breast cancer research. Also, they said that they will match up to $250,000 in donations.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, I bought a program. Most of the pictures in it are from SOI. The one of Kurt is him in his Antares costume (i think this was in the SOI program that year). His caption reads

"Kurt Browning romped into the sophisticated world of figure skating from the rough-and-tumble existence of Alberta, Canada. And while Kurt isn't exactly the cowboy on ice, his contagious exuberance and energy translates brilliantly in his routines. Four-time Canadian and four-time World Champion, Browning was the first athlete in the history of figure skating to successfully complete a quadruple jump in competition."

Oh one other thing, I was wondering if they were going to retape the mistakes in the programs because there were a few, but then when they didn't so i figure maybe they will just cut to the singer instead. So next time they air something like this and they show only the singer for a while, maybe it is because the skater fell and they are just cutting out that part. Haha, and to think of how annoyed i got. Actually, I'm still annoyed, but i guess there is a probably a reason they do it.