Stars on Ice
Kurt in SOI
Creative Team

Chrysler Stars On Ice Review - Toronto, ON - Apr. 17 & 18, 1999

written by Denise

Well.....It's taken me a couple of days to come down from Cloud Nine after such a wonderful weekend, but here's the review!!! I'm doing a detailed review of the Saturday show and highlights of the Sunday show. WARNING: This is a very Kurt centred review, so you've been warned!!!! :o)

Muse: Steven Cousins

Steven was wonderful as the ice repairman/comic relief. He was so cute trying to sneak up on the hat, picking it up and putting back down as the warning about taking flash photos and throwing of flowers on the ice was done. Very unique idea of announcing the warning to the audience. Too bad there's still some people who ignore it and use a flash anyway.

Rock This Town: Cast/except Kurt Browning and Tara Lipinski

I thought this was a great opening number. Liked the way the intros were done this year in time w/the beats of the music. Jenni and Todd did their flying spin for the opening right in front of my cousin and me. Brian came out and did his backflip. After the end of the group number, he introduced Kurt.

Jumpin Jack: Kurt Browning

I know some people didn't like this number, but I did. I had my mouth open to the floor during his footwork sequence in sheer amazement. Especially during the part when he did all of the footwork on his toepicks. Just when I think Kurt can't stun me anymore w/what he could possibly do, he does!! Add in the two double axels in a row and Wow!!! :o)

Sleepwalk:Brian Orser, Lu Chen, Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz, Jenni Meno and Todd Sand

This was a very effective seque from Kurt's number into Tara's. Either Shae or Lulu (Sorry, can't remember which one) come over and seductively dance off w/Kurt. Then starting w/Brian, each skater/team did their own thing. Then Brian introduced Tara.

Jump, Jive and Wail: Tara Lipinski

This number was okay. The audience was a little little lukewarm to Tara. I'm still not a fan of her perky numbers, but Tara was on and landed all of her jumps. I was really impressed w/the Salchow in particular. No hesitation going into it at all, which tells me she's completely over the hip injury. Very clean skate.

Muse: Steven Cousins

Steven was born for Pro Skating!!! He was so effective as the Muse throughout the entire show. Shae and Lulu are wonderful in this piece. They match one another really well when they do their side by side spins and footwork.

A Rose In The Wind: Josee Chouinard

Wonderful number for Josee, but she was having fits w/the Salchow both nights. She does have one of the most beautiful double axels I've ever seen. She went for everything jumpwise though and even w/the problems, it didn't look like she's hesitating as much as she used to when going into a jump. Nice to see. I loved the number and the dress!!!

You're Still The One: Isabelle Brasseur and Lloyd Eisler

Not their usual tricks filled number and it's about time!!! As much as I love their tricks, it was wonderful to see them do a softer piece. There was a moment in the lyrics when I felt they were sending a message about their partnership over the years. Sorry I can't remember the lyrics exactly. It was so incredably wonderful to see them do a death spiral again. They do have a nice one and we should see it more often. Plus, their pair spiral into spin. I love that move and it's been too long since I've seen it. A wonderful program for them and I can't wait to see it again!!!!

Rootbeer and Licorice: Brian Orser

Brian is skating incredably, incredably well and it is so awesome to see!!!! Loved the pants!! The only way they could have gotten any brighter is if he had gone from canary yellow to neon!!! ;o) He was very, very on and landed everything cleanly. Like I said, the man is skating incredably right now. Great to see!!!! :o)

I Could Have Danced All Night: Tara Lipinski

First we heard Tara talking about how one night a year ago changed everything, then the spotlights came on and Tara was at centre ice. I *really* don't like this number. It is way too cute for me and Tara is capable of so much better (as she was to prove later on in Second Element). She was clean and she did sell the number well. It just isn't my cup of tea. Very well received by the audience.

Muse: Steven Cousins, Jenni Meno and Todd Sand

Jenni and Todd did an amazing lift during this part of the show. I love watching these two!!!!

Ain't No Sunshine: Kurt Browning

Oh Wow!! Oh Wow!! Oh Wow!!! Oh Wow!! Oh Wow!!! Oh Wow!!!! Oh Wow!!! Oh Wow!!! :o) :o) Can't you tell I *loved* this thing!?! Well worth the wait!!! Chris Dean did an amazing job w/number for Kurt and it suits him to a tee!!! What can I say? The edgework, footwork and spins were so crisp and clean. Landed all of his jumps cleanly, including a delayed triple salchow. Nice difference in mood between this and Raggy. Ain't No Sunshine shows Kurt's moody side and he pulls it off so well!!!! I loved it!!! Didn't love it when my cousin broke the spell just before the end of it by saying, "He doesn't look happy during this number. What's wrong w/him?". As I told her.....That was the point!!!! Then he did a great bit of footwork leading into Shae and Victor's first number.

Hotel California: Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz

Fellow Bladers....Please don't kill me here, but I didn't like it. I was *so* looking forward to seeing it after all of the reviews and was so disappointed in the end. This number was a rehash of the best moves of Seachran and Heart Attack put to different music. I kept thinking to myself during the program, "Oh, there's Seachran. There's Heart Attack. There's Seachran again.". Because of that, I really couldn't get into the number as much as I would have liked to. They did do a gorgeous Shae Crusher right in front of us though.

Nosing Around: Tara Lipinski, Brian Orser, Isabelle Brasseur and Lloyd Eisler, Josee Chouinard, Lu Chen, Steven Cousins, Jenni Meno and Todd Sand and Kurt Browning

At the beginning, Steven comes out to fix the ice, then is given a metal bar by Tara to bring out. Steven hams it up that it's too heavy and drags it out to the ice. He eventually gets it between his legs, picks it up too quickly and...well...you get the picture!! :o) By this point, two clowns are down by our end and we think it was Isabelle and Lloyd. They do this somersault thing together. Kurt then, literally, pops out from behind the seats on the ice right across from us. After this point to when Brian and Tara do their mirroring bit....Don't ask me what happens during the clown number because I had my eyes on Kurt.

He really stole the show during this thing just by hamming it up w/the people on the ice. When Kurt was in front of our section, he threw a temper tantrum. Kurt was jumping up and down w/a pout and yelling, "I want to go skating!!! I want to go skating!!!". Picture a five year old little boy not getting what he wants and you've got the idea!!! At one point all of the clowns skate by Kurt in single file and he tries to hitch a ride w/them. Didn't work!!!

Brian and Tara's mirroring part is very good. Tara was off by just a smidgen in a couple of parts, but not by much. Don't know how the two of them were able to get that much in sync after only two weeks. It was really a great piece for them and I don't remember ever hearing Brian yell so much. :o)

Then it was time for whatever happened during the drum solo bit because...once again...I wasn't watching the rest of the group, I was watching Kurt. He had a pail and was using it to do his own little drum solo on it. He was hilarious and ended it up by collapsing spread out flat on the ice. :o)

Tara's little bit of wanting to become part of the Clowns was okay. The part where she almost goes to the roof w/the balloons was cute and Kurt pulling her down was priceless. When she was finally accepted to the clown family, Kurt walked out on the ice like he was a proud father. So near, yet so far....Tara was accepted, but Kurt wasn't!!!

I *think* this was the time when Steven was drenched w/the water, but not sure. I (again) was watching Kurt. He literally hit the ice laughing, the crowd roared and by the time I glanced up the ice......Steven was stalking off dripping wet!!! By this point, a bunch of other stuff happened, but too much to try and mention. Then Steven came out w/the Zamaguchi and chased everyone off the ice. Kurt ran off towards our corner and jumped over the SOI sign yelling his head off. That signaled the end of the first act.

Second Act

Kurt came out from the corner across from us carrying his skates onto the ice. he had this look on his face of a little boy who had finally been freed from the corner he'd been banished to by the big kids. He got out to just in front of us, sat his skates down on the ice and realized he was the only one out there on the ice. He started to yell and throw a temper tantrum that once again was worthy of a five year old. Kurt was yelling, "I want to go skating!!! I want to go skating!!!". He then started to wail and I mean *wail*!!!!! While he was doing this, he started pulling his skates behind him by the laces. They turned out to be bright red and came out at least half a foot behind him. I really couldn't hear what he was saying entirely, partly because of the laughter and partly because of people hurrying back to their seats.

Oh and side note here........During intermisson, my cousin bought herself some fries because she had just made it to the ACC and the show w/five minutes to spare and hadn't had anything to eat since lunch. If you truely want to know what Styrofoam really tastes like....the next time you're at the ACC, buy the fries!! Ewwww and Yuck!!! :oP

Muse: Tara Lipinski, Brian Orser, Lu Chen, Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz

This was amazing and very cool!!! All you could see of the skaters was their white outfits highlighted by purple light. It looked like it was just the clothes skating on the ice. Like I said....Very cool!!!

Invisible: Steven Cousins

This was also a really cool number. Steven came out wearing a top w/neon horizontal stripes in orange, green, yellow and pink over black. He did some of the number w/spotlight on him and w/the purple light on him showing only the costume. He was really on and did a beautiful triple lutz in front of us. And for the one millionth time, I noticed what an electic smile Steven has!!! :o)

Who Wants To Be A Prima Donna: Josee Chouinard

This is just that much better live!!! She is such a flirt during this number and I think it's a perfect fit for her. Josee once again had her jump problems, but it really didn't affect the program that much. I think part of the reason I enjoyed this number just that much more in the ACC was because I could hear the lyrics clearly for the first time. The program really centred around the lyrics and it makes all of the difference in the world when you can hear them. I also loved all of the footwork where it looks like Josee's skimming across the ice. I don't know how on earth she doesn't trip herself up during that part of the program. I hope I have the chance to see Josee do it again someday!!

Black Magic

Oye Como Va: Lu Chen, Jenni Meno and Todd Sand

Not the greates bit of skating I've ever seen. Just wish Lulu could do something more than wiggle her hips and try to look sexy. Maybe next year....

Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen: Lu Chen

This is not a program I like. It isn't Lulu. I know a skater has to try new and different things, but this is not it for Lulu!!! She had problems w/the jumps and took one heck of a nasty fall on her triple loop right in front of us. She fell w/her legs still crossed for the rotation of the jump and I was scared she'd really hurt herself, but Lulu popped right back up and continued the program. I just wish she had more than this one solo. I love watching her skate and I sincerely hope Lulu has a program more suited to her next year!!!

Europa: Jenni Meno and Todd Sand

Very nice number for them. There were a couple of times when Jenni did some moves that weren't too fluid. Very stiff, but that'll change in time. Gorgeous death spiral right in front of us. They also did their signature lift, the one w/the death drop dismount. Like Lulu though...Wish they had more than just one solo.

Muse: Steven Cousins

I think this was the one where he was told by the voiceover to keep going to the left till he went off the ice.


Malaguena: Kurt Browning and Tara Lipinski

I missed half of this during Tara's special, so this was the first time I saw the entire thing. It was okay. I still think Tara's not mature enough to *really* pull this off, it wasn't as bad as some people made it out to be. The lifts they did would have put some of the best ice dancers in the world to shame. They hit the side by side triple toes, but Kurt stumbled and sort of fell out of his triple salchow. My cousin told me she had seen Kurt get flashed full in the face by someone ignoring the no flash photography rule before when he was going into the jump, so that might have been the reason why he had a problem. Other than that, I enjoyed seeing the two of them skate. I didn't love it because it seemed to be lacking a little bit of chemistry, but I did enjoy it.

Dear Father: Brian Orser

There is something about this man skating to Neil Diamond that is just *so* right!!!! I swear I was grinning like a Cheshire Cat the entire way through Brian's number and had chills going down my spine at the same time. He was so on too. Nailed everything, including a gorgeous backflip. Loved it, loved it, loved it!!!! So wonderful to see Brian skating happy again!!!

Jackson Medley: Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz

Oh my!!!! This number is simply amazing and I loved it!!! It was fast paced, entertaining, electic and so much fun to watch!!! Shae and Victor looked like they were having a blast our there. I know we were. You just want to get out there and dance w/them. They literally rocked the house!!! :o) Oh and Victor's leather pants didn't hurt him one little bit!!! ;o)

Let's Shout (Baby Work Out): Isabelle Brasseur and Lloyd Eisler

This was Isabelle and Lloyd at their best. Fast paced action, skyhigh Say Hi and Fly lift, great fast platter lift. Classic B&E program w/a headbanger at the end. Terrific number for them!!!

Second Element: Tara Lipinski

I love this thing and I hope this is the direction Tara keeps going in for the future. Beautiful edges and footwork. She was very on w/the jumps. Not even a hint of a skiffer of snow on the landings of the jumps. I didn't realize how tightly she rotates her jumps until this weekend. Great number for Tara and I hope to see more like this for her as she continues to develop as a Pro!!

Muse: Steven Cousins

He's back!!!! This time while Steven was doing his bit as a Muse, Kurt came out onto the ice w/his skates on and w/his pail. He was sitting on it by the end of Steven's final muse piece.

Rag-GIDON-time: Kurt Browning

Raggy is *so* much funnier live!!! It starts w/Kurt sitting in the corner on his pail and the spotlight on in the middle of the ice. Kurt starts towards it, but then realizes if he does.....the pail has to stay where it is. He finally decides to leave his pail behind and heads to the spotlight, but misses and goes past it. Kurt makes an Oooops face, heads back to the middle of the spotlight and Raggy begins.

He nailed everything in this number, but had to double the second triple in the triple toe-triple toe combination. His facial expressions are hilarious and he played it to the hilt. For those who haven't seen it an awhile, he's changed the flying sit spin part. Instead of holding on to his boot and going up and down to the music, Kurt picks up his foot....then lets it go...then picks it up again and lets it go. Very effective and funny!!! In the end, he did his spread eagle hop right into Doug Ladret's arms. Then after he did his bows, Kurt did a happy little hop skip jump around. That's when he got his roses dropped from the ceiling and the lights went out.

Face The Face: Cast

This was not the best closing number I've ever seen at a SOI show. Last year's was much better. It starts w/Brian and Lulu out on the ice and gradually everyone joins them. They skate around a bit and end up all holding hands and going up and down the ice, then ending up in a circle. Kurt takes a mike, thanks the crowd and tells us, "See you next year!!". The cast takes their bows and does the meet and greet. Then starting w/Steven and ending w/Kurt, the cast does separate bows and curtsies. They then line up at the end of the ice, do the leg kick thing and on the last beat of music, bring their heads down.

And that's the end of the show.

Here's the highlights from Sunday......

I headed to the ACC the afternoon of the show to see if I could get better seats and ended up w/a seat *on the ice*!!! When the ticket agent told me I was on the floor, I looked at her in shock and asked her to repeat what she'd just said. Just couldn't believe my ears!!! Then it turned out I was in the same section I had been the night before. When the usher sat me down, I started freaking out inside because I knew from the night before Kurt was going to end up right in front of me during the clown number!!! :o)

During Kurt's Jumpin Jack number, Isabelle and Lloyd stepped off the ice and stood beside me. It was so neat to hear Lloyd cheer Kurt on under his breath and the both of them clapping like you wouldn't believe for him!!

This is the first time I've ever seen Isabelle and Lloyd from an on ice vantage point and she *really* does fly high!!! :o) I also saw them do something that I still can't believe. Lloyd dropped Isabelle on the dismount of their lift during their Colin James number. Everyone was in shock, none more than the two of them. They skated around a minute or so and then picked up the program. They got a standing ovation at the end of it.

During Prima Donna, I happened to get Josee in my camera just as she was turning the corner. She gave me the cutest expression, right in character w/the music and I clicked at just the right moment. Now I just hope the picture turns out.

During Second Element, Tara did something right in our end of the ice I haven't seen from her all year........A triple lutz and it was a beauty too. The look on her face was priceless!!! I think she gave a little shriek after landing it too, but not certain because of the noise in the building. At first, I didn't think she was going to be able to do it or not because she seemed to lose speed on the way into the jump, but she pulled it off!!!!

During the closing number there's a part where the girls are all lined up and the guys are supposed to skate in behind them and skid to a stop. Well...Kurt did a little bit of a stumble there. After the number was over, he took the mike and told everyone he didn't know if we had noticed or not, but he had stumbled and he thought they should do the whole thing over again. After the rest of the cast had left the ice, Kurt came back and said, "I didn't explain that very well did I?". He then told those who were there for the first time about the fact the show was being taped for the CBC and since everything in TV land is perfect.....He also said on TV, he has lots of hair....Lots and lots of hair!!! :o) Kurt also told us they were going to redo the entire thing anyway to give the cameras lots of angles to choose from when they edit the show together.

When Kurt didn't stumble the second time around, the entire crowd cheered and when they went around the rink in single file near the end...the roar was deafening. They didn't do the meet and greet until the second go round of the closing number. Our section got to meet Todd Sand. Wow...That man has a firm handshake!!! And tall....Yes, I know skate blades and boots add height to a skater, but since I'm only 5"2 even Kurt towers over me!!!!! Todd has very nice blue eyes too BTW!!

Lulu, Steven, Josee, Isabelle and Lloyd and Jenni and Todd all had to do retakes and while they were changing into their respective costumes, we were entertained by Kurt!!! :o) First he told he'd be back after a quick costume change. When he came back on the ice, he was wearing a Wayne Gretzky LA Kings jersey. That got a few cheers!!! Kurt skated to center ice and asked, "How many husbands stopped watching Wayne's final game to come to Stars On Ice tonight?". :o) He talked a little about Wayne and how they all have to face that final skate someday. (In Kurt's case, I sincerely hope that's still a few years down the road!!) He also mentioned that Doug Ladret was there and he had skated in the Clown number. Didn't know who was who in the Clown number w/the exception of Kurt, Tara and Brian so.....I'll have to take Kurt's word on that one!! He also said we all wished Wayne a good life. I completely agree w/Kurt on that life!!!!

He then told us he'd be right back and came back wearing his Toronto Maple Leafs jersey w/Browning 00 on the back he wore during the number he did for the opening of the ACC. Even more cheers for that costume change!!! :o) Kurt asked us what we thought of the new building. By that time, he was starting to run out of things to talk about, but Lulu was ready for her retake and Kurt thanked us for staying and helping them out.

Now I kept the best highlight of Sunday night for last!!! What happened during Nosing Around!!

Once again....I missed most of the Clown number because I was watching Kurt. It's not a hard thing to do.....He simply steals the show!!! Anyway, as I said...I knew from the night before Kurt was going to end up in front of me at one point and sure enough.....

I saw him coming up from the other end, but before Kurt got to where I was, he stopped to try and hitch a ride w/the rest of the Clowns. Didn't work!!! :o) He headed down to our area and just beside me....did this huge pratfall ending up on his back. At the time, I didn't know what to think. I knew it was a very good possiblity it was just a pratfall, but at the saem time, there was such a loud noise when he landed I thought, "Oh Dear God...Please let that have been made by his shoes and not by his head!!". Then he just laid there, w/his eyes closed and not moving a muscle. Kurt even looked like he wasn't breathing. After a couple of minutes, Kurt sat up, made a pouting face to the people beside me and headed around the corner to side of the ice facing me.

Now there I am....W/camera and zoom lens all set to go, w/Kurt right in front of me doing all of this and did I take a picture of him? Nooooooo!!!!! What I think happened was, I was so worried he'd actually knocked himself out and then when he got up......I went through the emotions of shock, worry, then relief, then why oh why didn't I take a picture!?! Knowing Kurt, if I had when he sat up, he probally would have made a face at me. Grrrrrrrrr!!! :o( Oh well.....What's done is done!!

He got halfway down the side facing me before seeing Christie in PA and DebiDDS sitting there w/their own clown noses on. Kurt did a double take when he saw them, then delighted them by clowning around w/them. Then he headed down to the other corner to get his pail for his drum solo. He did the whole drum solo right in front of me and this time I did get my camera up. I hope like you wouldn't believe the pictures turn out!!! Then when the Zamaguchi came out to chase everyone off the ice, Kurt came off and went over the sign beside me to get away. Did I think to get a picture of him then!?! Noooooo!!!! My poor brain just wasn't thinking too terribly straight during that part of the show was it? ;o)

When Kurt came out for the start of the second act w/his skates....I thought I was going to fall off my seat laughing at him. He was so happy he was finally going to get to go skating w/the rest of them.....His temper tantrum was even funnier when you were close enough to really see him and hear him. When Kurt noticed the rest of the Clowns weren't there...The face he pulled!!! I thought the only other person who could pull a pout like that was my four year old cousin!!!! Then he started yelling, "I want to go skating!! I want to go skating!!", in exactly the same type of voice a four/five year old would use when they didn't get their own way and was about to throw the Mother of All Temper Tantrums!!! The wailing he did as he was pulling his skates off the ice behind him was priceless!!!! All you could hear was Kurt going, "WAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!! WAAAAAHHHHHAAAAHHHHH!!!!". I would have loved to have seen his face as he was heading off. I can just imagine the face he was pulling!!!

Well.......I *think* that's it!!! I hope I didn't forget anything, but I think I covered it all!!! To those who are going to the rest of the shows...Enjoy. This year's show is good. Not as good as in previous years, but still very good. Can't wait for next year!!! Hope you enjoyed reading this little epic as much as I enjoyed writing and reliving what was two wonderful nights of skating. Here's to next year!!! :o)