Stars on Ice
Kurt in SOI
Creative Team

Stars on Ice Review - Baltimore & Landover, MD - Dec. 28 & 29, 2001

written by Hoo

Standard disclaimer: Below you'll find my latest skating event review. At events I am concentrating on photography and take no notes, so this review is from memory. As a result there may be some errors, but I'm trying my best! I am also largely a mens fan, so they'll often be the most detailed parts. This review may be posted to other lists so long as this disclaimer is included and you let me know where you sent it. Questions/comments can be sent to me at hoo@hooloovoo.com

My advance apologies here - I just reread the review and I'm heavily Steven-centric - what can I say - he was the highlight of the show for me this year!

This is a combined review of both the Baltimore and Landover tour stops. And now, while Sandra and Co. may be expecting everyone to be watching the ladies, but personally my eyes were on the men for most of the group numbers - especially Steven and Kurt. So if there was some lady who did something amazing during one of the group numbers, I most likely missed it ;) Merchandise was pretty much the standard fare - my gripe is that I was all set to purchase a Steven photo and of course they didn't have any :( And I figured out the trick to going to SOI, after seeing the broadcast and thinking I was going to be disappointed by the show, I ended up being suprised that I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would, so that was nice :)

Ruh - "Superstar"
Nice opening bit from Lucinda. Her spins are just really something. The first night she didn't have the boa or the feathered headpiece but did for the second. My only negative is I'm not really fond of the beige costume.

Cast - "Back Betty" / "Lady Marmalade"
And since I'm on a mens kick in my review, let me take a moment to especially note that those red leather pants were really nice ;) I'm not sure what Jeff had in mind for the ladies, but really only Anjelika looked good in her version of the costume. I did like the number overall - "Black Betty" is a great tune for skating. I thought that the combo of Steven and Kat was really a smart move - they definitely had the audience's attention! For the opening intros, the most applause was received by Yamaguchi, Witt and Browning.

Cast - "Tango"
Nice use of tango music and humor. Again I was riveted by the combo of Steven and Kat - they had some incredible heat out there! Oddly I thought they had the tango concept down better than Krylova & Ovsiannikov which suprised me. I'd recommend Meno & Sand spend a little time with a dance instructor - they just come across too "nice" for the passion required for the tango.

Browning - "Guitar"
Having seen this program live at Gotta Dance, it's hard to watch the 'serious' version of this program and not miss the banter between a mic'd Kurt and Ed. Besides that though, the program really is amazing. Once again Kurt displays his ability to use every note of the music to do something. He had a few bobbles on his axels each night but he covered them up well by dropping into a lunge or twirling out into some footwork - if you hadn't seen that the jump was off axis in the air you might have thought it was planned that way. Great program!

Lipinski - "Color of Roses"
For once, neither of Tara's programs bothered me or bored me. I wasn't blown away by this program, but it was a nice overall effort. I did like the camel spin with her leg up holding the rose - very pretty.

Browning, Cousins, Petrov - "Vanity Tango"
Ok, Chris must have some weird obsession with props going, we're betting that next year we see sofas or four-poster beds! The vanitys are a bit awkward and not really that attractive and the programs not as "oooh new and different" like Chairmen was, but it was kind of cool. The continuing Tango theme of course was wonderful - those three men really had the sex appeal showing. The leaps and rolls through and over the stands were cool - I just worried a little that one was going to catch a blade! The three man spin was also very effective.

Kulik - "Rendezvous"
Dear Ilia - please get thee to a choreographer! It's not that he doesn't have good ideas or sequences, but that all of Ilia's programs are beginning to look pretty much like one another. Beautiful costume! The problem in Landover was that he had two beautiful 3axels and then doubled or singled every other jump in the program :(

Krylova & Ovsiannikov - "Last of the Mohicans"
I was never a big fan of this team as eligibles, but they're really growing me on pros. I still don't like her costume, but the program is rather innovative and I like the way they integrate the stick throughout their moves - nice to see a prop used effectively throughout a program instead of just ditching it after one or two tricks.

Cousins - "Tom Hones Medley"
*sigh* I'd complain about how Sandra only seems to use Steven as eye-candy and won't let him have a serious program like "Belfast Child" in the show, but it's hard to complain when I really like this program. It suits his personality so well and he really gives 200% effort that it just draws you in. He's added a great big sparkly belt buckle to the first half to "What's New Pussycat" but loses it for the "Thunderball" part. Kudos to Steven for having a lutz in one of his show programs - and landing them too! This was the highlight program for me this weekend :)

Yamaguchi - "Gold"
Nice program, though Kristi fell on her lutz both times. It sort of marred the impact of the program, but she kept selling it none-the-less. The spiral positions are really pretty.

Meno & Sand" - "It Takes Chair To Tango"
Cute program, but a little too short to really be that effective. I think if Jeni really isn't going to skate that it would be a lot more amusing if she didn't even have skates on at all. Very impressive lifts and death spiral with the chair!

Kulik - "Pick Up The Pieces"
Whatever it is about this music or program that works for Ilia, he should focus on finding it for the rest of his programs - for the first time ever with this program he seems to really look up and smile and connect with the audience. I noticed it at Hallmark Pros and saw it again here tonight - but only with this program.

Lipinski, Witt, Yamaguchi - "G-O-L-D"
OMG - this was more awful than I can possibly even describe. Please someone tell these ladies to never, ever, rap again! *shudder* *cringe*

The Men - "Because We Can"
OK, I'm of mixed feelings about this bit. The skating fan in me cringes at the rather bizarre/embarrassing role the men have to play, but the other part of me likes it as after all the guys do look really nice in those bike shorts ;) And they do seem to be having a lot of fun doing it.

Ruh - "No One In The World"
Not really a program, but more just a bunch of spins with music on. Thumbs down as a program, but thumbs up for some cool spins.

Browning, Lipinski - "Rainy Days"
Pointless. Enough said.

Meno & Sand - "The First Time"
I normally don't go for the sappy love story programs these two do, but I really do like this program. It's just *the* perfect vehicle for them and combined with those beautiful teal costumes is a real winner.

Yamaguchi - "Trust A Try"
Kristi does manage to pull off funky kind of numbers rather well, but this isn't one of my favorites from her. She fell again in Landover and it killed the momentum of the program which was a shame.

Cast - "Oh Yeah"
Cool, but really only the first time. The flashlight was pretty effective, but I'd like to see it done with colored lights instead.

Kulik - "Rubberband Man"
basically a clone of "Rockit" last year - very cool canteleever though!

Witt - "Case Continues"
ahhh! The second program highlight for me. I really wanted to see this program live so I'm thrilled she chose to use it on tour. The choreography is really effective to this powerful song and you get the feeling that kat is really putting her whole heart into the program. Incredibly stunning!

Yamaguchi & Petrov - "One Day I'll Fly Away"
It's so nice that they've kept Denis in the show, and this program with Kristi was really the highlight program for Kristi. She did a wonderful job on the lifts and had some beautiful positions. I think I, and most of the audience too, was completely spellbound for the entire program both nights! *wow*

Browning - "Elevation"
This program has grown on me more and more each time I've seen it. Lots of great high energy footwork that is really integrated with the jumps! It's hard not to like this program :)

Lipinski - "American Tribute"
Hmmm, not sure what to review about this program. I'm not fond of overly patriotic programs to begin with, but there was some nice skating in it.

Cast - "The Carpenters"
I wish they'd gone with the original versions of these songs, but the finale was still really good. Of course I loved the "Close To You" bit with Kat and Steven - just adorable! And Kurt's closing to "Solitaire" was breathtaking - simply stunning combinations of spirals, skid spiral, ina bauer and spread eagle - just breathtaking!

The amusing part was that in Baltimore when they went to line up for the final bows, Ilia forgot the plan and went over to shake hands instead. When he realized what he'd done he just kept going around slapping hands around the rink and the rest of the cast was trying not to laugh. They kidded him about it after the very last bow. Then in Landover when that time came, they all came to center ice (with Ilia this time) and then suddenly broke out like they'd go shake hands while Ilia bowed, which cracked him up - too funny!

Misc comments: Ilia wins my "does not work well with others" award as it seemed that he was behind or off in every group number. In the Landover finale, he was so far behind in those cross passes - he almost collided with a few people - very scary! Also while I really like Lucinda her real weakness shows in he group numbers where her skating skills are less than the others - she fell in the Landover finale and I thought Oleg was going to trample right on top of her.