Stars on Ice
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Kurt Browning Mornings on 2 Interview Transcript

KTVU 2 San Francisco, Jan. 10, 2002, 7AM-9AM

Interviewer: Mark Pitta

Kurt Browning appeared on Mornings on 2, a Bay Area Fox morning talk show, on Jan. 10, 2002. They actually did quite a bit with him - kept coming back to him at several times during the first hour, and talked to him for several minutes each time. Lucinda was also there. Apparently the interview was done at the Yerba Buena Ice Rink up in San Francisco (I've skated there once) this morning (Jan. 10). The interviewer seems to have been a standup comic who does entertainment reviews and reports for the show - Mark Pitta. It was a cute series of interviews - lots of fun! Kurt was wearing a blue Stars on Ice 2001 sweatshirt and those black Stars gloves, as well as a black Stars jacket (before he got on the ice). Lucinda was wearing a black and white horizontally striped top and black pants. BTW - my own side note - they had Kurt improv to some songs, and as usual, his timing to the music was impeccable..it was quite cool. of course, he'd probably heard the songs before since they were very well known.

Mark Pitta: Good morning, Ross. Today, four time world-championship ice skater Kurt Browning, and Benjamin Bratt. All that, coming up next, on Mornings on 2.

[break for more news]

[some talk about Mark Pitta remembering getting stuck inside a concept car at the San Jose Auto show the day before...was kind of funny]

[Mark talking to camera...Kurt sitting on a bench behind him looking at the ice]

Mark: Well, glad I'm out, and warming up here at the rink at the Yerba Buena Ice Center. Kurt Browning, four time world champion figure skater. Kurt, hey thanks for being with us. [walks back towards Kurt and shakes his hand]. You're lacing up. You know, a lot of, you're such a great skater, people don't know what you do before you skate. [Kurt putting on his skate, laughs] And you were doing this. He was doing this, he was like stomping. Why were you stomping? [as he stomps on the ground].

Kurt: It's a secret, don't tell everybody. If everyone knows...you stomp your feet, get the blood going, gets the energy out. [does a quick shhh motion at the camera with wide eyes]

Mark: Oh ok. So when you're here at the ice rink, and you're looking at people...

Kurt: I am!

Mark: ..um your competition. Do you ever do that pro, uh, athlete, boxing thing, where you just, you know, stare 'em down [staring intently at Kurt and leaning towards him]...

Kurt: ha, ha...in figure skating?

Mark: yeah

Kurt: it's more like we look at each other and go "you're wearing that?" [eyeing Mark's clothes sidelong] "you're going down!"

[Mark laughs]

Kurt: no, I don't know. Uhh..figure skating, it's not very combative. But uh, you can psych yourself out more than you can your opponent.

Mark: Well this is the man who claims he can improvise to any song. We're going to put you to the test...

Kurt: [looking earnestly at the camera] *they* said that.

Mark: yes, and we picked some good songs for you...

Kurt: but we're going to try it.

Mark: we're going to do like...he's lacing up, so he'll be out there when we come back...to Mornings on 2....[pointing out to the ice] *they're* out there.

Kurt: we're going to improv...ahhh!

[music to "Dream On" over graphic of Golden Gate Bridge...were they trying to say something? =)]

[commercial and news breaks]

[cut back to rink. Mark is standing on the ice with Lucinda and Kurt]

Mark: Well, I've got World Championship figure skaters here. We met Kurt Browning here earlier...this is Lucinda Ruh. Lucinda, thanks for being with us.

Lucinda: Thank you.

Mark: Lucinda, and Kurt will attest to this...best spinner in the world?

Kurt: Best spinner in the world. Right here! [pointing with both hands to Lucinda and grinning enthusiastically at the camera]

Lucinda: And the best person in the world, that's for sure. [pointing at Kurt over her shoulder, and then turning and smiling/laughing at him]

[Kurt looks slightly abashed...does a kind of awww thing and then that thing where he indicates a dimple by pointing his index finger into his cheek and twisting his hand while smiling...ok that was a bad description =)]

Mark: 270 spins per minute..is that correct?

Lucinda: yes

Mark: Who counted?

Lucinda: uhh...it was actually just a team of us. a group of people got together and taped it.

Mark: Ok. You're going to do it for us now, though...

Lucinda: All right, I'll try..

Mark: You're never going to see this (??). This is so..they're getting ready for the Target Stars on Ice show this Friday. Lucinda, do your thing...

Lucinda: Not as good as Kurt! [Kurt kind of laughs skeptically (oh-ho!) as Lucinda skates past him and around]

Mark: And uh..get...over here Lucinda!

Kurt: Over here!

Mark: Oh there you go...

Kurt: When you're, uh, when you're talking about...you know, engine speed? (Mark: yeah) And you're talking about revs per minute? (Mark: uh huh...) um, there's this certain spin she does that you know, you can't...she just becomes a blur. (Mark: wow...! )But Lucinda is not only a great spinner, she's an artist with her work. It's like she's crafting something. She shapes her body into positions and shapes that other skaters just can't do.

Mark: I like the fact that she's wearing stripes.

Kurt: [half-laughing] And she's wearing stripes.

Mark: Yeah, that looks good...

Kurt: And the girl can wear horizontal stripes and make it look good.

Mark: Look at that! She's gone! Oh my God [laughing in amazement as Lucinda finishes her spin]!

Kurt: And so, if we take the camera over there, you'll notice that she doesn't move at all. Like, the whole spin happens within the size of a pie plate...and it's just absolutely amazing..*and*..

Mark: And she stops on a dime! [as Lucinda skates over to them and stops]

Kurt: And she s...[laughs]...and she doesn't fall over afterwards!

Mark: Now let's see how winded you are...

Lucinda: [breathing hard and giggling a little] I'm sorry?

Mark: Are you dizzy? [pause while Lucinda looks a little blank] You can't understand me, can you? You're a little dizzy.

Lucinda: [laughing and shaking her head a bit pretending to be dazed] A little bit...but..

Mark: I'll tell you about my car experience yesterday..that's uh...[Lucinda laughs] Well thank you for doing that! (Lucinda: yeah) That's just one of the things you'll see at the show this Friday. Kurt...

Kurt: Friday at 8 o'clock at the Arena

Mark: And Kurt, we're going to put you to the test a little later in the show.

Kurt: I won't be spinning [shaking his head]

Mark: OK. [turning to the camera] Ross, I can just do like, 8 or 7 donuts in the parking lot. That's all I've got. [Kurt and Lucinda laugh]

Ross: Yeah, I know, I know, we've seen you at work before. That is amazing and that she just kind of..skates over to you there.

Mark: Yeah that's right

Ross: All right, Thank you Mark.

[more news and commercials]

Host in studio: Back to the Yerba Buena Ice Rink, and Mark Pitta is with one of the best skaters on the *planet*.

Mark: You know, Frank, uh, Kurt Browning, who I'm standing next to...[Kurt kind of does a clicking noise and waves at the camera]...uh, Kurt, you wanted to be a hockey player when you were like 15...

Kurt: absolutely

Mark: but then something happened..you didn't grow.

Kurt: [laughs] I forgot to grow a couple summers, and that was the end of hockey! I don't know...in Canada it's kind of a prerequisite. You play hockey, or you know, you get beat up or something. [Mark laughs] uh...but figure skating was my calling. It's a...it's a way to do what you want to do, and yet make people happy at the same time. It's a .. it's an entertaining sport.

Mark: you like to...excuse me, but you like to watch hockey.

Kurt: oh I love it! yeah, I'm a big hockey fan..but uh...ok, just look at me, I would never have made it as a hockey player [Mark laughs again]. Uhh..and figure skating just gives you this chance to please people and yourself at the same time, it's really good for me.

Mark: Do you appreciate the skaters in a hockey game now?

Kurt: Yeah, well you and I were chatting about it. I went to a Toronto Maple Leafs game and I ended up watching the referee all night because he was this fantastic skater...he could spin, he could you know, do all these cool things...and uh, I think that people live vicariously a little bit through an ice skater when they watch them. Uh...you know, we build up speed and we look like we could fly...and we have a lot of fun!

Mark: When we come back, we're going to put Kurt to the test. 'Cause we picked some songs he's not used to, but he says he could improvise on them..

Kurt: I don't even know what they are yet!

Mark: Oh yeah, no you don't. That's what's going to happen when we come back, to Mornings on 2. Go practice! Go practice!

Kurt: All right, I gotta go warm up! [Kurt starts staggering stiffly down the ice, waving his arms like he doesn't quite know where he's going or how to get there]

[The song "You're as cold as ice" plays]


Mark: Welcome back to Mornings on 2, the time is 7:54, and I'm with Kurt Browning here for the Target Stars on Ice show...

Kurt: Target Stars on Ice! (as he puffs and swings his arms to warm up)

Mark: We'll tell you wh..we're going to see it in a minute, we'll tell you where it is in a minute...Kurt, you are doing this show, you've done a lot of them...

Kurt: Yup, this is my 7th year with Target Stars on Ice

Mark: Big arenas...

Kurt: Yeah

Mark: How do you play, how do you be intimate with the people in the back row. The people in the front row can see everything, but how about the back row?

Kurt: You..I think you have to trust. I mean, you know, when you have an audience that's like 18,000...sometimes we have 18,000 people, and uh you..just, you try...you go for these guys [indicating in front of him] and if your emotions are big enough and the skating..but that's what skating does, it's not all necessarily about the face...on TV it is [grinning and waving towards the camera]...but uh, but in the real, it's about the emotion, and the body, and what the body can do on the ice, and the jumps and the spins and the choreography and all that good stuff.

Mark: Who do you have in this show coming up?

Kurt: We've got Kristi Yamaguchi...a Bay native...(Mark: ah yes) and uh, Ilia Kulik, the reigning Olympic champion for a couple more weeks...and Steven Cousins, all the girls want him, I don't know why..[grins] anyway...

Mark: He's the younger guy..with all the...emotion

Kurt: yeah...Katarina Witt, who's the Playboy bunny and all that good stuff..

Mark: yeah, she's for the guys

Kurt: Tara Lipinski, reigning Olympic champion..uh..it's called Stars on Ice for a good reason...so, uh, Target put together a good group.

Mark: It's an excellent show...uh, but, we understand that you can improvise to songs [Kurt looks a bit wary]. You do a lot of pop dancing to pop songs..

Kurt: Ai!

Mark: You do, and you do a Casablanca thing..but we..

Kurt: Yeah

Mark: [over footage of Kurt skating to Guitar, and then some from Lady Marmalade] we've picked some music for you, that you're going to improvise to.

Kurt: And if I look nervous, it's because I am. You know, when you come to the show on Friday, which I hope you do, uh...I'm going to know what I'm doing that night but now, I'm nervous...so what are you going to give me?

Mark: People at home right now are watching you as you normally do..we're going to give that to them. Now we're going to see you with our music... we picked three songs, we'll talk to you in between. You can do whatever you want. [Kurt laughs] Whatever you want. Go out there..and..

Kurt: [to the camera] as you're out there eating your Cheerios, please be patient, because I don't know what's going to happen.

[music starts]

Mark: go..here it is..so go out there ..uh oh..

Kurt: oh! oh, what is that! [as he starts skating backwards, bopping a bit to the music]

Mark: That's Pink! I know that's a little hip hop thing we've got going there....let's see how Kurt does. [laughs at some of Kurt's choreography]

[Kurt skating skates around with a little arm flapping, spinning, more arm movements than footwork...goes into a spin]

Mark: it is playing in the background...[Lucinda starts skating out towards where Kurt's about to go into a spin - looks like they'll collide if Kurt doesn't realize it] uh oh! it looks like Lucinda has tagged Kurt!

Kurt: [sees Lucinda and stops, skating away] oh there's a sub in! That's Lucinda, she does all my spinning. When it's your seventh year of Stars on Ice, Lucinda does it....

Mark: [over the last part of Kurt] Hey that's cheating! OK we started easy [Kurt laughs]..we started easy 'cause it was a hip hop thing. OK, here's the next one.

Kurt: OK, wait a second, what was that..that was hip hop...

Mark: yeah that was Pink, hip hop...the next one is a little older!

Kurt: [at the same time] so we're going to move on to the next one? [starts skating away]

Mark: We're going to go to the 50's now with this one [Elvis Presley's Blue Suede Shoes comes on]...here we go!

[Kurt starts skating with a lot of frantic fast footwork]

Mark: A little Elvis Presley for you...hey! there's good...

[music ends]

Mark: very nice! oh! [as Kurt ends with a split] Elvis never did that! Hey, you're making me walk out there...

Kurt: [still in his split, looking around, holding his hand out] Hey..uh, hey, can you help me?

Mark: I don't have skates on! [Kurt gets up and comes over] I have wankles (??). All right, the last one has to do with...

Kurt: That was fast feet.

Mark: with a person you probably know. I'm going to give you a second to get your breath. (Kurt: All right) You know this person by name, and by skating. And it's a song about him...take it away!

[music starts, Kurt starts skating backwards, looking a bit confused]

Mark: Yes, ladies and gentlemen...it's the South Park Brian Boitano song.

[Kurt still skating a little tentatively, then as the lyrics "What would Brian Boitano do" come on, Kurt turns towards the camera, raises his arms and goes ah! with a clearly delighted look on his face, laughing]

Mark: [laughs] you're welcome!

[Kurt then breaks into Brian Boitano-like skating, doing big crossovers, with his arms held out very straight and high, turns, does a Boitano like setup to the lutz with his head high and his arms slanted into the air, one back and one front...turns and pretends to do a jump but actually spins three times across the ice with his arms pulled in, and then does a jump landing position with his mouth open delightedly, and then does some more exaggerated, half-real skating moves that Boitano does, before going into his own little slide onto his face and up again on the ice]

Kurt: [skating over with his arms upraised triumphantly and delightedly] What would Brian Boitano do!! Fantastic! [clapping]

Mark: [chuckling] All right...you won't see that at the show.

Kurt: That was my Brian Boitano impersonation (holding his arms out)... one of my heroes. [smiling and laughing]

Mark: well, if you want to see Target Stars on Ice, it is this Friday at the Arena in Oakland, number to call 510...keep it playing, I love that! 762-2277. Then, at the Compaq Center in San Jose, Sunday at 4, and that's 408-998-TIXS.

Kurt: starsonice.com, ticketmaster.com

Mark: That was the best one! Keep going! Dance to that some more, I love that! We'll have more Mornings on 2 after this... What *would* Brian Boitano do?

[Kurt skates off doing some turns, and then just running across the ice, laughing the whole time, clearly getting a kick out of it]