Stars on Ice
Kurt in SOI
Creative Team

Stars on Ice Review - Phoenix, AZ - Jan. 18, 2001

written by Paula

Let's Get It On

Nice opening number...it was so good to see Kurt. The cast number had nice energy and the choreography was enjoyable and moved across the ice nicely. I liked the colors. I did notice the lighting change this year compared to years past. I am not sure if I like this year's as much, Ilia's Rockit lighting WAS very cool (but I jump ahead of myself). Let me just say, it is definitely more subtle, which isn't all bad...I mean the whole show is subtle, in fact.

Scott's number...the little boy fell on his flip jump, but he quickly got up and then did a nice sit spin combo. I have seen him skate at the rinks here in the valley, but I do not know him personally.

By the way, I heard the boy in Tucson, I told you guys about him earlier this week, he did GREAT and did not fall. I will get more details this weekend from him and from his Mom.

Scott's other number...calm and soothing. Introspective.

New Moon in the Old Moon's Arms

I REALLY enjoyed the group number Reaching for the Stars...with Tara, Kurt, Jenni, Todd, Renee, and Gorsha...but I love pure skating...

I didn't get moved by Steven's Higher program...last year's program was much more demonstrative of his wonderful personality and his costume last year was MUCH more attractive to me. He did a wonderful job with the skating and the interpretation, but it didn't SIZZLE.

Kristi's Desert Rose...definitely is presented much better in person than on TV. The hand movements in the beginning are fine. It is the ones in the middle of the piece to the end of the music that are awkward. I was seated in the corner at the far end of the arena from where they enter the ice and the hand movements done down at that end of the rink are just "blah".

Ilia's Drive/Driven...WOW! He is so much better than he EVER was in the Olympics. He is growing into his skating style! He landed his triple axel, easily!

Scott's Double Bogey Blues...I liked his old costume better, but the program was cute, typical Scott.

Oh, on the radio right now.....Neil Diamond's music The Story of my Life....Brian Orser's music....NOW THAT WAS THE BEST YEAR OF STARS ON ICE IN MY OPINION!!! Led Zepplin, Katarina's last full year, Paul Wylie was there, KURT'S ANTARES? ( I do get the years mixed up), Brian.... Oh well it was the year of black leather pants and the red shirts....strobe lights and flood lights to start out the show....JUST FABULOUS But, again I digress.

Roca and Sur's Everything Must Change...I am such a fan of these two. I esteem ice dance like this so much more than the tricks of pairs. (Although Sale and Pellitier are definitely a joy to watch.) I just watch these two perform in awe!

Kurt's Nyah...HE fell twice!!! The first time he was SHOCKED! It was a fluke fall, he just caught a funky edge and did a split thing in the air and landed on his bum. The audience almost seemed to not "get" the piece...at least those around me...I was just amazed!!!! I was sitting on the edge of my sit awaiting his beginning claps. I whistled loud when I heard the first one...WOW he is looking good!!! What feet, what style. Sonia sure is rubbing off on him. The other fall was right near the end when he was at the far end of the rink near me, he seemed so angry, he literally hung his head as he fell, then got really determined to sell the rest of the piece...his straightline footwork to our clapping was amazing...the crowd did get into this. I was the only one in my proximity to stand for him afterward. :(

Tara's Dance With Me....What a dress. The color is FABULOUS! I really enjoyed this one as did the crowd. She seemed to not be the "little girl" anymore. Nice change.

Kristi and Tara had trouble with some of their jumps tonight...they popped several triples into doubles, Kristi even had some hand touches....But they both did land more and more triples as the evening progressed. Oh, Scott's first double axel of the night, he popped into a single and then his very next jump was another double axel and you could see him REALLY go for that one. He landed it. The crowd ROARED. He also landed ALL of his triple Lutz's and his triple toes.

Tunnel Vision....apparently Tara didn't do to well in Tucson on Tues....on the part where she is cleaning her Karma they joked about her Bad Karma or evil Karma that Kurt looks for under his chair being left in Tucson, the skaters and the crowd laughed loud on this one....This number and the group interaction was VERY pleasurable to watch...Kurt was down on our side :) He is so funny! Are those purple leather pants???? Probably pleathera or something, but mmmmmmmm. His bum is SO cute...

Merchandise tables....The things I liked were these sweatshirt things....not the typical sweatshirt cut...I liked it, bought one for 40 dollars, OUCH, but it is cool and I will use it tomorrow (today) while I am skating....they didn't have the gloves, I was going to get some of those....and NO calendars....boo hoo. I did buy a cast Tshirt they have nice colors, a bit blurry on the photo quality though. I didn't like the magnets at all.

The merchandise sellers booths seemed hastily put up. I mean they were in Tucson then LA and then back to Phoenix so it is understandable, but it was so hard to see what they had for sale.

The PROGRAMS are to die for. The photography! WOW. These are a definite MUST buy. And yes, they are still $15. They did distribute the advance ticket sale forms on the arena seats, so take advantage of it. I have heard a handwritten note (beg) for good seats DOES work. I am going to try it!

Okay, back to the seats....gossip was flying around me about Katia. We all missed her SO MUCH.

Both Sides

Kristi, Denis, and Jenni....This was nice, lovely costumes, sensuous skating.

CHAIRMEN....what can I say, a crowd favourite...Christopher Dean is a genius! It looked SO cool. I would have had fun performing this piece. Very effective. The lighting for this piece was one of the best of the night. Just awesome! I missed the CBS SOI performance (didn't miss much from the sounds of it) so I had no idea really what this program would REALLY look like -- very pleased!

CEO...Moanin'....Jazz piece with Ilia and Tara....I WANT KATIA BACK!!!!!!!!!!! Can you just imagine how much BETTER this piece would have been with her and Ilia's connection with each other. No spark between these two though, even though they seemed to have the parts down and they were in sync. But, such a dim performance. The dress does NOT do ANYTHING for Tara, it doesn't even fit her very well.

Yuka's Take My Hand.....I LOVE THIS WOMAN....she is my skating role model....the audience was enraptured with her skating. She pulled out all of her jumps, she didn't have the flawless Yuka jumps tonight, but she is so strong in her skating that she pulled them out gracefully. Now, here are some beautiful arms. Not too much posing just graceful artistry that goes with the tone and mood of the music. She doesn't HAVE to say TA-DA "look at the jump I just did" -- we already DO look. Just wonderful.

Kurt's JB 47.....I actually hadn't seen this yet. I recorded it. But haven't actually seen it, until tonight. Very cute piece....the crowd really had fun with this one. And Kurt REALLY sold it too, he hates to fall so much....HE LANDED HIS TRIPLE AXEL!!! and the salchow and the toe? Then his consecutive double axels done differently then he usually does in a circle was a nice change. A LOT of butt wiggling on this one. ;)

Kristi's Let 'er Rip....very good look on her....she seems to have fun with this one. I liked this better than Desert Rose. I thought of her Elvis program, Heartbreak Hotel from Fox Rock and Roll, while she skated this piece. Cute program, very energetic....I did keep dragging my eyes off of Kurt to make myself watch her....he was right in front of us. :)

Sin Wagon....Kurt's choreography is light hearted and comical just like he is. What is up with the color combo though on the GREEN AND BLUE costume (Steven's or Denis's) YUCK!!! The crowd clapped with the skaters.

Meno and Sand's You Can't Make Me Love You.......nicely done....they are very calm skaters. I like this song, have even danced to it myself. So I liked this piece. One observation though not about this piece, I had throughout the night was how comfortable Jenni and Todd are getting in SOI. I mean their "dancing" and getting loose with the SOI choreography was more awkward the past two years....tonight they both seemed more at ease and even comfortable with the "dancy" movements that are so much of SOI. I liked seeing their progress.

Ilia's Rockit.......WOW!!! Very nice. He is just amazing. In a different way than Kurt, a consummate footworkman. I really enjoyed Ilia's interpretation of the music and the choreography. All done in goggles. WOW! Of course, amazing jumping from him all night.

Tara's Tiny Dancer......cute, sweet, little girlish.......old hat.....move on and grow Tara.....She did a nice job on jumps and musical timing.....but no, I want her to grow and not stay the little girl.

Scott's My Way....touching....I got sad, because I knew the night was almost over....He worked so hard tonight to make the show a success, skating wise. What a journey he must be going through. It is hard enough to say goodbye to something once, let alone 66 times. He has been and always will be a unique star.

All of my friends on the way to our car were talking about who the show would pass to. I disagreed with one of them that it seemed to her that they were grooming Tara....I don't see her as having enough Stardom so to speak....Now, if Kurt was an American.....in the states, it is such a shame that he is still sort of an unknown. In Canada, it will be NO problem for Kurt to take the reigns.....BUT in the US?

I personally think, it will be a trio of leaders....Kurt, Kristi, and Tara...Scott will definitely be a strong "behind the scenes" presence....maybe a bit on the sidelines too. At least during the transition. I also think next year's theme is VERY important to the show's success without Scott. There MUST be more energy next year compared to this and even last year's mellowness.

Just as other's have reported. The only REAL standing ovation was after Scott's MY Way program....such a shame....but the past years it has seemed to be that way. Although, last years return for Scott and his cancer scare was a crowd pleaser. Or was that two years ago....I am so bad at this....I would have to get out all of my old programs....sorry.



It it's Magic....nice movement across the ice....Kristi REALLY highlighted here....maybe she would get the reigns? The end of the AS number was awkward in a way because they all stood in an ending pose like that was the end of the show....the crowd was like going....is that the end? Then the Reprise started....which definitely ends as a show should end. The reprise was touching as Scott bids a farewell to all of his skating family....I couldn't see Kurt's face, but he seemed down. I liked the part of the choreography where they all chase after Scott like in essence saying, NO, don't leave....stay! One lady in the crowd yelled ONE MORE YEAR to Scott at the beginning of the show, the crowd ERUPTED in applause and whistles and yells. Then during the finale another one said, We Love you Scott, and then another yelled We Will Miss You, I couldn't help but cry a bit as he stood there waiting for the finale music to begin. Such, subtle emotions for the whole night. It was nice. Different from a rowdy year of SOI but, also different then the welcome Scott got when he came back from his cancer break.

Tonight, was beautiful. Simple. Touching. And yes, a bit sad. An end of an era. What a man, a skater, a friend and mentor to so many skaters. What a life he has led. From humble beginnings, to a life that has touched millions.

Thank You Scott, for all you are.