Stars on Ice
Kurt in SOI
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Stars on Ice Japan Review - Tokyo, JP - Jan. 8-16, 2011

written by Sachi

Stars On Ice Japan Tour this year had 6 shows total, 3 in Osaka on Jan/8-9 and 3 in Tokyo on Jan/15-16. I was crazy enough to attend all of them and I will number them and call them as #1..#6.

Disclaimer: Following contents are almost nothing about real skating, because I picked up Kurt-related parts from my six looooong blog entries, especially the parts which did not get broadcasted.

[the opening video]
In Osaka there was nothing but in Tokyo they showed the dream fulfilled video before the opening.

[the first talk]
After Honda's solo, in #1 it just went on to Hanyu's solo. Then in #2 and later shows, Kurt came out and told Honda not to leave the ice, saying, "Come off here," "Pssssssst," or "Young man!!." When Takeshi finally, but very hesitantly, went near him, Kurt handed him a microphone and asked him to translate him to Japanese.

The first time (#2) it did not go very well. Apparently Takeshi was not feeling for translating because it was the first time for him to perform the program and during it he forgot a part of choreography. He said so in English and Kurt pressed him for saying that again in Japanese. Takeshi was not really a best translater and tend to speak in English twice more than in Japanese while he was supposed to translate TO Japanese ;) When Kurt's talk finally started, he talked too long and Takeshi rephrased to very short, or Takeshi went too far so when Kurt said the next sentence it was already said by Takeshi in Japanese. That was very funny if you understand both languages ;)

The talk was about asking the audience to get loud because it is a party.

Kurt said that it is 25th anniversary of SOI, and he has been on the tour for 21 years. He said it is amazing because he is still 27 years old. Then Takeshi's translation was like "He's lying, saying he's 27!!" LOL

In #3 and later shows it went smoother. Kurt talked in short sentences and put pauses between them for Takeshi to translate.

In #5 Kurt again said that he is 27 yo, and this time Takeshi simply ignored that :)

In #6 Takeshi was fixing the shoelace when he came back to the ice. He said it was undone while he was skating. Then Kurt said "yeah it happens sometimes. So did my hair" with gestures of pulling hair out from the head by the fingers. Takeshi's translation to it was like "he said that his hair came out while/because he was skating."

In Tokyo, the next skater after the talk was Kanako. Before introducing her, they peeked into the curtain and Kurt got excited and said "she's cute!!" in a high-pitched voice.

The act I in Osaka was very short.In Tokyo it was better because they added the opening video and one more program. Plus they did DVD give out in Tokyo.

[boys group number]
The first program after the intermission was a boys group number, to a random Japanese song, called "Hey Minna Genki Kai".

It reminds me of the Studz prorgam in 2003 SOI in many ways, except for the music. They were wearing cowboy costumes, and many moves were similar to the program. However later I learned that most of the moves were copied from the first part of Knock-Knock program this year than to Studz.

During this number Kurt and Jeff were doing gun-fight with their index fingers. In one show Kurt fell down and the boys came to shower him with snow. Then in other shows the boys gave snow not only to the loser but to the winner. By each show either Kurt or Jeffrey wins in turn, but in the final show they both fell down.

In some shows during the bow, only Kurt hang the hat on the belt like they did in Studz, and in one show he pretended to get embarrassed about that.

[the second talk]
After this boys number finished, Kurt stayed on the ice and took a mike from the floor on the side. He talked a bit without translation then introduced the next skater.

During this talk, in one show he pulled up his shirt and said "Japanese food is gooooood." In another show he went very close to a woman in the front row and said "you're cute!" then got back to the center, saying "she's cute" again. In the final show he played a harmonica(!), for about 2-4 bars. I am not an expert but thought it was pretty good. Then he said: "forget about jumps, I will become a harmonican."

Sometimes Kurt was watching other skater's program by the tunnel. I noticed that when Kozuka's program which he choreographed, Kanako's, and Michael's. In #6 when Michael was about to start his beatbox program, Kurt whistled through his fingers. It fitted well and and sounded like a part of recorded music.

Kurt's programs were Downstream in four shows, and Steppin Out in the other two, including the show to TV shoot. In Steppin Out it was Tanith who gave him the props. I think there were some differences in the voiceover from HFOI. Downstream was simply beautiful. It's something you should watch live, preferably from a seat close to the ice.

Finale was the same piece as the finale in the latest US tour, "the Best". During the program there is a part Kurt and three others go back behind curtain. In #1 when trying heading for the curtain, Kyoko and Kurt got almost collided. Then in the next show in the same place Kurt suddenly dance-holded Kyoko and disappeared behind the curtain together like dancing on.

In Tokyo, after the finale when most skaters went off the ice, Evan Lysacek, Evgeny Plushenko, and Daisuke Takahashi stayed on the ice and gave the audience a final salute, as they are the three medalists of Vancouver Olympics. In #4, during their bow, Kurt sneaked out from the curtain, ruffled Dai's hair, and quickly disappeared.

It was very interesting to witness the show keep improving by each show. The biggest gap was there between Osaka and Tokyo (about a week in between), and between #1 and #2 (only a night in between).