1998 Skate TV Review
Review written by Kirsten (TV review)
To be 100% honest, I wasn't particularily enthusiastic about this competition
(well, except for seeing Kurt again!!) First of all, apart from Kurt, I'm
not a huge fan of any of the other skaters in the event. Second of all, I
was afraid it would be extremely cheesy--the rumors floating around about
retakes and "Pop-Up Skating" didn't help either!
But I'd be willing to sit through 2 hours of the Home Shopping Channel if
Kurt was on it, so I watched and taped the competition anyway--and I
certainly *wasn't* disappointed!
First of all, the commentary: I was pleasantly surprised that Roz left Peter
Carruthers at home this time around. :-) Unfortunately, Peter's absence
apparently made Roz feel the need to talk twice as much as usual--not good.
At least she looked great in her new haircut, though!
Plus, the other commentators (I forget their names, but none of them
obviously knew a thing about figure skating!) were even more annoying.
Especially the "Poochie-guy" (as he was referred to by someone on another
skating newsgroup) who announced the skaters just before they took the ice.
(For those of you who don't watch the Simpsons, Poochie was a temporary
addition to the Itchy and Scratchy cartoon show. He was "outrageous, in-your
face," didn't make much sense and was voiced by Homer Simpson. Picture
Homer trying to rap "I'm a kung-fu hippie from Gangsta City. I'm a rapping
surfer. You the fool I pity." in a *dog voice* and you'll understand the
Now on to the skating:
The first skater on the ice was Vlacheslav Zagorudniuk (I *know* I spelled
that wrong!) performing to "Men in Black." In the past, I've always been
bored to death by his skating, but I was shocked at how much I enjoyed both
his programs. I could hardly believe this was the same skater! Judging from
what I saw at Skate TV, I think he'll have a great pro career--something I
never thought I'd say just four days ago! :-)
Next was Scott Williams, another skater who I wasn't a big fan of in the past
(probably because I haven't seen that much of him before!) but really enjoyed
watching. I wished he would have performed his "Smells Like Teen Spirit"
program, but he was really fun to watch anyway! My only complaint is that
he should get a haircut--and donate the locks to his less follically-
fortunate fellow skaters! ;-)
Then came Viktor Petrenko doing I'm Too Sexy--yet again! I think everybody
here knows my opinion on this program by now! :-) If I *never* have to see
this particular number again, it'll be too soon! I think the live crowd was
sick of seeing it again, too...the applause wasn't as huge as it had been in
the past. BTW, what happened to the rule about not being allowed to perform
the same number 2 years in a row? :-)
Finally...Kurt! I *still* can't believe we *finally* got to see Radar Love!
And believe me, it was well worth the wait...I'm still breathless from seeing
those *four* triple-toe loops in a row! BTW, Roz, this is *not* a brand-new
program for Kurt--he performed it at Skate the Nation last year. And
although Doug Ladret might have smoothed the choreography out a bit, Kurt
actually created this number by himself! I think this will become one of my
all-time favorite Kurt programs--and I hope he'll continue performing it for
many years to come! :-) Even though Kurt was in first place, I still think
his marks were too low. 9.7??? Hello!! What was that one judge *thinking*
Now on to the women:
Surya Bonaly and the Spice Girls--now *there's* a combination I'd never
thought I'd see! :-) Surya obviously had a lot of fun performing this
program and I'm happy that she's now *finally* allowed to skate as a
professional. I only wish she'd pick better music--out of all the Spice
Girls songs, "Spice Up Your Life" has got to be the *worst*, IMO! Yes,
worse even than "Wannabe!" The lyrics make absolutely no sense: "Hi, see
ya, hold tight!" Uh huh. ;-)
When I saw Katarina Witt come out in those leopard pants, I thought, "Oh
great, I get to sit through that stupid Cher program again!" But I was happy
to see a brand-new program which I really liked...and I am usually *not* a
big fan of Katarina's skating! This new program and "Lemon Tree" are the
only two Katarina programs that I truly enjoy watching.
Then came Oksana Baiul skating to Posession. I love this song, but Oksana
had another rough night. The curly hair is an improvement, even if it does
look like Pasha's hairstyle from a year ago...who's copying who now? ;-)
BTW, Roz, Oksana isn't 21 years old yet--considering how close she is to
many of these skaters, I'm amazed at all the mistakes Roz made in her
Finally, Tara Lipinski made her pro debut. It was great to see her skating
to music that is young and fun without being too cheesy like her exhibition
at that pro-am thing a few weeks ago. She seemed to really enjoy herself,
And now the men's second programs:
Zaggy came back with "Chumbawumba" and again, I really enjoyed it even if
the music *was* a bit repetitive! :-)
Scott Williams' second program was great, too; I can't believe it was only
8 hours old (unless that was another one of Roz's commentary mistakes!)
Very revealing costume, too! :-)
Viktor did that same Beatles program with the wig and the funny pants. At
least it's better than "Red Rooster!" And at least he actually *skates*
during this one! Plus, I have to give him credit for keeping the wig on
during his jumps. :-) Still, I think he should go to Zaggy's wife (who
choreographed both of his programs at this event) for help with his next
rock and roll program!
Finally, Kurt came out with Antares. Another awesome program and the scores
were more like it this time--straight perfect 10's from all the judges. Kurt
won that gold record, of course!
Then the women returned and skated *their* second programs:
Yup, I had to sit through Katarina's "Man's World" program after all! At
least the costume was better than the first one! I wonder if Katarina plans
to do any triples again in the future--I haven't seen her land one since her
ankle surgery last summer.
Then Oksana came out and skated to Massive Attack...and I actually *liked*
it! I usually don't like Oksana's skating at all, for the same reasons I
don't like most of Katarina's programs--too much posing and wiggling, not
enough actual *skating!* Plus, I'm one of the people who thought Nancy
should have won at Lillehammer. :-) But I was surprised by how much I
enjoyed this program, even if the jumps were off again.
Next came Surya and her new Tina Turner program. She and Urmanov should do
a pairs number sometime--they have matching costumes, anyway! (See Urmanov's
"Michael Jackson" short program outfit.) Again, she looked like she was
having lots of fun and the music was better than the Spice Girls,
Finally, Tara came out with the final program of the night. I didn't know
the Knack ever performed other songs besides "My Sharona!" ;-) Again,
another great program which really suited Tara. I can't get over how much
older she looks as a professional; she finally looks like a normal 15-year
old. That bun she wore *really* made her look like a little kid, IMO! BTW,
did anyone else notice Kurt didn't tower over Tara *that* much when they
stood together to receive their gold records! Maybe she's grown taller, too!
Oh yeah, apparently everybody was referring to the skater's printed
introductions as "pop-ups." I didn't think the producers of Pop-Up Video
would give Skate TV permission to use their format after how angry they were
at Bell Atlantic and Sabrina the Teenage Witch! (See Pop-Up's homepage for
more details about *that!*)
All and all, I enjoyed this competition *much* more than I expected.
Kirsten (still thrilled over *finally* getting to see Radar