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