Stars on Ice
Kurt in SOI
Creative Team

Stars on Ice Review - Portland, ME - April 7, 2001

Scott Hamilton's last US show

written by Tina

Before I start this review, I just have to say that this show was simply amazing. Or rather, the finale was... seeing all those skaters out there paying tribute to Scott was just awesome/amazing/wonderful... Scott Hamilton was the first skater I ever watched on TV, the only reason why I ever stopped to watch figure skating, and actually part of the reason I discovered Kurt. It hasn't quite sunk in yet that this really is his last show with SOI EVER, but it was something to see the end of such a long legacy...I'll definitely miss him, though I admire him for knowing when to stop. So, I'd like to thank Scott for so many years of great skating, for bringing such an amazing show onto the ice and into the lives of so many people, and for being the great ambassador for skating that you are.

And on to the review... I find that the more I see this show, the more I love it. The first show I see, I compare to the year before and find lacking. The later shows, I start seeing the subtleties and really appreciating the show. Forgive me if this review sounds a bit "lovefest"-y, but that's just the mood I'm in!

The show started a bit late because there were tons of skaters there sitting in the on-ice seats, and they were chatting with each other and being mobbed by fans. I was sitting in a good position to watch this, and in one section alone I saw Katarina Witt, Ros Sumners, Bob Kain, Caryn Kadavy (and husband), Paul Wylie (and wife, I think), David Baden, Jef Billings, Michael Seibert, Doug Ladret, Christine Hough (?? brown hair and glasses), Lea Ann Miller, and in the second half, Katia Gordeeva. Finally, the security guy had to come over and tell the skaters to sit down, because they were waiting for them to start the show.


Opening number:
I really love this now. The music, the poses, the choreography just gives me this little thrill. Probably partly because I know that it signals the opening of a wonderful evening. The skaters really seemed to be giving it their all. I notice something new each time I see this, because there's so much going on at once. This time, I noticed that Kurt was lifting Renee Roca for a while - holding onto her arms over his head behind his back, if that makes any sense at all. They've really perfected the mood of this number.

From here, transition into Scott's I Feel Good number, and boy did he play it to the hilt. High energy, big smile, jumps...almost there (doubled a few intended triples, I think), the whole thing just came together well. The skaters in the audience really cheered and clapped and whooped through the number.

Then, little boy comes out for A Song For You - he was adorable. Came out and did some half-flips, waltz, crossovers, and did a little spin. Then he stopped in the center and bowed to all four sides of the arena to the immense cheering of the crowd... finally skated over to Scott who held his hand out for him.

New Moon in the Old Moon's Arms:
I really like this group number now. It's such a gorgeous, flowing number, and I love how smooth the transitions are as they flow from one skater to the other. It's a pretty good sign of how mesmerized I am by this number that in the previous two shows I kept not noticing when a new skater hit the ice. I didn't even notice Kurt! This time I made a concerted effort to look when I realized Kurt should be coming on, and actually saw him make his entrance. The unison and flow are just lovely, and Kurt landed a beautiful double axel and triple salchow.

Steven's really connecting with the audience now in this number. He's got the Scott/Kurt flair of being able to really look into the audience and just draw you in. I think he's found the right balance of intensity and connection. I also love the music, and while I still would have loved to see Kurt skate to this number, I think Steven did a great job with it. Only blip was that he doubled a few jumps.

Desert Rose:
From what I understand, the choreography of the program is supposed to be based on an Indian dance where every arm/hand movement is supposed to tell a story. This makes it a lot easier to understand the program, though my main conclusion was that I probably wouldn't like that dance much. I think Kristi does a beautiful job with the number, the choreography is unusual and interesting, I love the music, and her costume is quite gorgeous as well. I just can't get into the arm movements, still. Personal preference, I guess.

These days I watch Ilia with my mouth open. I just love the unusualness of his choreography and I'm awed by the height and hang time he achieves in his jumps, as well as by his utter flexibility and strength. Although Rockit is a better example of the latter than Drive/Driven, I really like Drive/Driven. Wish they had shown this one on TV. And a note about his hair - takes a little getting used to, but still looks pretty good on him. And he had a great smile on his face during several of his numbers.

Double Bogey Blues:
Pure Scott, purely cute. Though not one of my favorites of his, I think he really captured the spirit of the music. A lot of the skaters in the audience laughed rather hard at his golf posture when the music was at the "straighten that left elbow, slightly bend your knees" part. Small mishap with his club where he dropped it, but the club shot out as expected, and the golf bag fell over at the right time as well. Got the crowd roaring with his backflip over the golf bag. As with all of his numbers today, he got extra long applause and instead of just trundling off with his bag, he goofed off on the ice in the middle for a while, jumping up and clicking his skates together and waving at the audience.

Everything Must Change:
Another jaw-dropper of a program. These two continually astonish me with their lifts and holds, and that spin where Gorsha is holding his arm out, supporting Renee only with his forearm under her back still gets me every time. Their choreography and feel for the music is also just great. I'm glad that SOI introduced me to this pair's skating.

Wow. Can I say that again? Wow. Everytime I see this program it just gets better and better. The precision of the movements, the intensity, the choreography, the music... Kurt is absolutely mesmerizing in this program, from the very first claps in the dark to the final moment where he throws his arms up and the spotlight goes out. I love the footwork in that final sequence as the clapping gets increasingly frenzied. The utter control he has over his every move is astonishing, and the way he just doesn't break that intense mood from beginning to end is simply captivating. Such a great program. *So* glad I have it on tape.

Dance With Me:
I like this program of Tara's quite a lot, actually, but I find the transition an unfortunate break in mood... I would have preferred to stay in that intense mood that Kurt created a bit longer, but instead it's broken by this contemporary dance-club music. Tara does a great job to this song though, and she simply sparkles, both literally and figuratively. That dress just shimmers (I heard Jef Billings tell a fan with pride that there were, what was it, 8000 rhinestones? sewn onto that dress) and her smile just beams. I was also impressed that after having to stay off the ice due to injury or whatever it was, she came back and was landing those triples and doing the spins and moves, and didn't seem to take anything any easier.

Tunnel Vision:
You'd think that after seeing the same comedy routine a few times, you'd get bored of it or not find it funny the third time through. However, I found myself laughing just as hard this time around as I did the first time I saw it. For one thing, it helps that they do add in some jokes. The main thing, though, is in the delivery. The skaters really get into it and they are unfailingly charming and amusing. The music cuts are also perfect. Favorite moments:

  • when Scott freezes the cast, he really milked it this time - Steven's arms must have been falling off! He did say "If I knew this 14 years ago"...I don't know if that slipup was intentional or not. This time when he says how stupid everyone looks, he stops extra long in front of Kurt and seems to be trying to make him crack up - unfortunately, Kurt was facing away from me so I couldn't tell if he had succeeded. He moves onto Steven, who even from a distance you could tell can't keep a straight face, and does the "I am not a crook" thing (doing his Nixon impression).
  • this time when Kurt said "where does it go?" about the karma, Renee said "Lewiston"...took the audience a little while, and then everyone cracked up. I don't get the joke though, since I'm not a native...
  • Kurt did his little "she's a brickhouse" thing in front of that big group of skaters on-ice..it was really cute.
  • When Ilia came strutting out, Kurt said "Hey what's his deal?" (or something like that, I forgot)...Scott does his whole Olympic gold medal, movie star spiel... Kurt says "It looks like he shaved his head!" and Scott says "Now he is perfect." I decided to watch these two instead of Ilia (as fun as it is to watch Ilia) and they were really cute, strolling down the ice and chatting, and then high fiving. And then Scott and...Todd? I forget...did a bit of chest bumping.
  • When Todd rips off his shirt and then his tearaway pants, Kurt picks them up, and he's looking around at the on-ice people looking for a place to put them... then he goes over to Jef Billings, gives them to him and says "here, a souvenir!" before skating away with a grin on his face.
  • I just love the "Shaft" and "Mini-Me" (or Danny Devito and Arnold Schwarzenagger in "Twins" or Pinky and the Brain) segment.

Intermission...the skaters in the audience are mobbed...many of them go away.


The skaters all come out and take their poses before Kristi and Jenni take down their hair (I still don't get that) and get up to skate to Both Sides Now.

Both Sides Now:
This is really lovely. It's kind of neat how Kristi and Jenni will often do mirror moves where one is going backwards and the other is forward. And all I can say is, Denis is incredibly strong. I'm really glad they were able to find a place for him in the show this year. Oh and I have to mention - Kristi's extension in the spiral position when Denis is lifting her is wonderful.

Just the coolest. I get such a kick out of this number. I love the impassive faces behind dark glasses - it's funny when Steven turns his head and looks into the audience with that blank look on his face. He looks almost robotic. Christopher Dean is just incredibly inventive - the different things they do with the chairs throughout this number is amazing. I especially like the part where Kurt (and Ilia?) do Besti squats (?) on the outside edge and then flip over to the inside edge and change the direction of the curve - I don't know how they bend like that! And the speed they get when they're spinning across the ice on those chairs - at one point Kurt sent himself on a fast spin down the ice and I thought he was going to tip into the audience, but he got his feet down and stopped himself dead right at the edge of the ice. Very, very neat.

They're still not matching in movements, but this number has really grown on me. I have sort of adopted the attitude, it's jazz, it doesn't have to be symmetric anyway. Both Ilia and Tara seem to be getting a kick out of performing it (big grin on Ilia's face, and you know Tara is always smiling). I kind of like the look of the bright pink dress next to the white shirt and grey pants on Ilia. Just a neat, fun number overall.

Take My Hand:
I've said it before, and I'll say it again - Yuka Sato was a great addition to this cast. She's just such a charming, sweet, beautiful skater. Her jumps are light and dead-on, her spins are perfectly centered, her footwork very precise... not my favorite song or choreography in the world, but she really sells the program. And she's got a beautiful smile.

Don't Fence Me In:
I love how totally into the whole cowboy persona Kurt gets when he's doing this program. From the moment he steps onto the ice and strolls down it while Scott is narrating, to that last moment when he slides across the ice on the side, he just has that character down pat. Excuse the cowboy metaphors, but he completely ropes the audience into the performance, and his personality fills the place up - no fencing in happening here! It was a bit of an off night for Kurt's jumps - he went up into a gorgeous looking triple axel but fell on the landing. The toe-loop combo was downgraded to a single triple when the landing got a bit shaky, and he did only three double axels at the end, which were also a bit shaky. But he never let go of the character for a moment. And the ending - where he ropes someone in? He went for Jef Billings, and was outrageously shaking his hips and "coming on" to him - it was really funny to see =). At the end, after he comes to a stop in the middle of the ice, he threw his hat into the air before getting up for his bows.

Let 'er Rip:
I felt like I was at a ping pong match here. My head just kept whipping back and forth between watching Kristi and seeing what Kurt was up to. Since the angle I was at wasn't the best for seeing Kurt, I figured I should watch Kristi, but I couldn't help but check to see if I was missing anything with Kurt. However, I did see more of Kristi's program this time than I have in the past. She really gets into this one, and I like this program for her - very fast, light, and upbeat. Just a lot of fun. And her jumps were just really solid.

Sin Wagon:
This has really come together. I love Kurt's choreography - feels a bit like a country line or square dance. Lots of fun, colorful cowboys, just having a great time... It's funny, though. I feel like you can sort of see Kurt leading the choreography, from his first whistle to get them to come...even when he's like second in line when they're doing footwork, I just feel like he's leading the way. I wonder what it's like to skate with your choreographer? =)

I Can't Make You Love Me:
I think this is a lovely program but the absolute worst mood change in the show. You suddenly go from this happy upbeat cowboy number to a slow love song. Ah well, still, a pretty program. Todd and Jenni have some nice moments in this program, some pretty lifts and spins. Would love to see them do something high-energy next year though.

I love this program. It's so absolutely cool. Ilia's got the whole loose-bodied, blank robot/doll thing down perfectly. I love how the choreography takes advantage of the transitions in music to "wind-up" or deflate the Ilia "robot" or whatever he's supposed to be. And Ilia's ability to get up off the ice from a split or half-split position just amazes me.

Tiny Dancer:
Definitely not my favorite of Tara's two programs. Still, it's a sweet, cute program. I like how the lighting pattern (pink and blue) match Tara's outfit almost perfectly - it's the first time I ever noticed that.

My Way:
Scott's last performance of this number in the US and boy was it a good one! I think it really helped that all those skaters from past SOI's were there who had seen the programs that he included snippets of when he performed them for the tour. There was a lot of appreciation for each of those snippets, especially when he did the monkey walk, or whatever, for "Walk this Way". And Scott really seemed to be having the time of his life. Scott's really good at transitioning from humor to sentiment and back, and that program is full of such transitions. I don't know if I thought this when I saw it before, but there, at his last show, with all those people from Stars on Ice's history watching, it felt like a very fitting last program for him, and really seemed to capture his spirit. The standing ovation at the end was overwhelming - it just went on and on and on... as you remember, Scott doesn't leave the ice at the end so it just didn't stop... and he seemed incredibly appreciative and honored and happy at all the support he was getting. Finally, he sort of waved people down and indicated the tunnel to sort of say - there's more to come!

If It's Magic:
This is just a gorgeous tribute by Kristi to Scott. She skates so beautifully and it's so heartfelt... Scott was definitely crying in the middle of the ice as he watched her, and they shared an extra long hug at the end before Kurt, Renee, and Gorsha joined them.

I really like this finale - I love the music, and I love how each small group of skaters comes in and has time to really skate with Scott. I think it would have been nice if they had done it like the transition of generations, from the skaters who had been there the longest to the newest ones..and in some ways they did. Kurt and Kristi got to skate with Scott first, while the last to skate with him was Tara... But I love the interactions here - the smiles they have for each other, and just the simple choreography to the music and how it all flows together. At the end, when everyone forms into that circle and Scott is supposed to skate around each of them, suddenly all these skaters appeared from all around the rink (including the cluster who had been sitting where I could see them) and stepped onto the ice. Scott looked surprised at first to see people rushing onto the ice, and then happy when he saw who they were... he took it in stride, and continued on skating, but to me it looked even more heartfelt now that he had seen all these skaters coming out to pay tribute to him. He skated around and finally went to Kurt first, who gave him a hug (Kurt looked very sad), then on to Steven, Kristi, and each of the rest of the current cast. Then he went around hugging the SOI alum. At some point, Kurt snuck over to the side and got two mics. When Scott finished skating (and the clapping finally started to die down), he went back over to Kurt, who gave him a microphone... Kurt was clutching his for a while, waiting for the clapping to end while Scott stood in the middle, just beaming and looking around... finally, (I think), Kurt said, "Ladies and gentlemen, I give you...Scott Hamilton". (I have to warn you that my memory of the order of things is messed up - I especially don't remember where Scott talked - if he talked before the skaters or not and if his speech was broken up or in one long continuous stream at the end)

Scott Hamilton then spoke to the audience, telling us how he had been trying to keep an open mind all tour long, and then all night long about how he'd feel tonight. He said he didn't know how it'd be. Then that day, he said that people had been telling him to go out and skate for himself, that he should really enjoy himself and savor the moment. He said when he went out there and skated, he realized, he couldn't do that. He couldn't just skate for himself. He realized that in every show so far, he'd been skating for us, for the audience. That he couldn't not skate for us. That it was because of the audience that he got so much from skating. Then he said something like "What I'm feeling now is pure, unadulterated love".

Then, I think he talked about the beginning of the show, how he was in Ice Capades and they said that a man couldn't sell the show and they basically kicked him out. And how it was his worst day then, but now looking back on it, it really was the best day since that's how he got started with the idea of doing Stars on Ice. He talked some more about that, and then wanted to thank some people without whom the show could not have taken place. First he thanked Sandra Bezic, who he found working with a headset on, directing the show from by the tunnel. He yelled "stop working!" and then thanked her. Then he thanked Lea Ann Miller, Michael Seibert, and Christopher Dean for their work. Thanked the crew who slept on the bus and took the equipment up and down for every show and made sure everything was there and working for every show. Without them, the show couldn't happen.

After all the cheering, Kurt was about to talk, but then Scott said, hold on, I have two more people to thank. He came over to the side saying that he never would have been on the ice if it wasn't for Helen. There never would have been an Olympic medal, there never would have been Stars on Ice, and there never would have been that night without his benefactor from the very beginning, so he had to thank Helen McLoraine. She was sitting at center ice, on-ice in a wheelchair, and she stood up to receive a hug from Scott. Then he thanked Karen Kresge, who was also at center ice, who was the choreographer for the first 6-7 years of Stars on Ice, and "who made it work on nothing!".

Then he let Kurt talk. And Kurt said something about how each of the cast members wanted to say something to Scott that night, and how anyone who wanted to say something would get the microphone. So then he passed the microphone to Todd first, and they were like and here's Todd... pause while he seems to try to talk into the mic (and it's not on?) "here's Todd!" and finally Todd says "Hello. I am Todd" in a deep slow voice into the microphone. Then he was like, sorry, inside joke =). He went on to thank Scott ... I forget exactly what he said, I think it was for the show and everything he'd taught them, etc. After Todd, he passed the microphone to Tara, who rather tearfully thanked Scott for the show and the opportunity to skate on it, and said that the reason she joined the show was because he was in it, and because of the opportunity to skate with him and that she'd really miss him and the show wouldn't be the same without him. Then, Steven, who was missing his trademark grin, gave him a heartfelt thanks, saying that he was just this kid from a small town in Wales, who has no place with these champions and tremendous talent, and thanked Scott for the opportunities he had given him and for having him on the tour... he gave Scott a big hug... then Renee... I don't quite remember what she said, something about now she's going to see if waterproof mascara really worked but she also thanked him...then Gorsha, who said that he was the first Russian accent and that he'd try to keep it short, and sorry for that. But then he also thanked Scott...I've forgotten again what he said... then he passed the microphone to Ilia, who seemed quite embarrassed like he didn't want to take the microphone, skating quickly over and saying he just wanted to say thank you, and giving Scott a hug, saying "I love you". Scott was like, let's moon them! and pushed Ilia's head down and put his next to it so they were flashing their bald heads side by side at the audience =). Throughout this, Scott was keeping his sense of humor, big smile on his face, if a few tears in his eyes... Kristi was next, and she said "oh i really hate this moment, and now it's here..." she skated over with a yellow rose and said "we met for the first time 20 years ago and I gave you a flower because you were my favorite skater. now i'm giving you the flower to say thank you" and said some more... extra big hug here. Denis was next, and he started to talk sentimentally and Scott goes "you almost dropped me tonight!!" with a big grin and Denis said "sorry, sorry...I just want to lift you one more time" and hugs him and lifts him off the ground...Yuka went next, and before she could start talking, Scott yells "Yakko! I love that!" (joke from Tunnel Vision). she smiled and said that she's new, but that she really wanted to thank him for giving her this opportunity to skate with him and said "this time I really mean it, you're not old, and this makes me wish people would never get old so everyone could skate with you", bringing a big smile to Scott's face. Jenni came next, and she started to talk and Scott goes "isn't she cute??" she looked kind of embarrassed and smiled, and then kept talking and thanked him as well (forgot what she said too!). Last came Kurt who paused, looking at him, and then simply said, "All I can say is, Skate God for life", pointing at Scott, and the place erupted in cheers. "What can I say? You're my hero" - Scott seemed very touched at this, bowing his head for a while while Kurt looked/sounded very emotional. After they hugged and the place calmed down, Scott goes back to the middle of the ice, looks around and goes "yay! we get to hear another British accent!" and lo and behold, Christopher Dean has the microphone. He says that he gets to speak on behalf of some of the older generation at SOI. I've actually also forgotten what he says as well but he spoke for a while. Then Rosalynn took the microphone and spoke as well and I'm once again drawing a blank - she was very emotional though. Then Barb Underhill and Paul Martini skated up and Barb started talking about how in 1984 there were a crop of skaters who retired after the Olympics, and how in those days there were only a few options so they started skating in the Ice Capades together (Scott starts doing the can-can down the ice) and skating with the Smurfs. And how she and Paul were getting discouraged and were thinking of retiring when one day, Scott said to them backstage "hey I'm starting this show next year called Stars on Ice! It's going to be all about skating!" and Barb thought, all about skating, how is that ever going to succeed? and then Scott said "no Smurfs!" and they said, sign us up! Then she said something about how Scott was an inspiration, not just for what he does on the ice or the hardships he's overcome, but as an inspiration to...I don't remember exactly but it was something like for living each day to the fullest or something to that effect. Then Paul took the mike and said that Scott came and skated at their retirement show, so now they were there...Scott said yeah you're here! and you're even on skates! this must be something! and Paul said "yeah and they hurt like hell! I had to ask Barb how they worked, I'd forgotten!" Then he spoke for a while about Scott and memories, and then said something about there being this whole class of 1984 who went pro together, and how now there's this bar with all those skaters but there's an empty seat there... he says that Roz is there, he and Barb are there, someone else (I forget who) was there, but now he suggests that Scott grabs one of those chairs (referring to the chairs from Chairmen) and bring it to the bar and join them. Scott hugged both of them, and then Katarina Witt spoke next. She said, "Scott, do you have any idea how far I flew to get here? I came from Berlin, Germany! There's not another man in the world that I'd fly from Berlin for. (Scott raises his hands in a yes! type gesture) There's also not another man in the world who has rescued me from another man. On tour I liked to be really flirtatious (she turns to Gorsha) so I can sympathize with you, Gorsha (Gorsha puts on a mock innocent/surprised look with his hand to his chest like, who, me?), but this one man took it wrong, so at 2 am in the hotel, I ran to Scott's room and knocked on his door, and he saved me. So Scott, if you ever need me, feel free to knock on my door". They hug and there's a lot of cheering and then Scott said something like "I still owe that guy $20 for chasing you to my room!" with a big grin. Then, Katia got the microphone and she said she wanted to thank him so much for being such a good friend and skater and she was lucky to have a friend like him, etc... I forgot what else she said =(. Finally, Jo Jo Starbuck came out and Scott goes "You lied to me in your email! You said you weren't going to be able to make it to any of the shows this year!" and Jo Jo was like ... well..shrug with a smile. Then she said that she had written down what she was going to say and motioned Paul Wylie over, who hustled right over and held out his hands (this was obviously pre-arranged) to hold her paper... Scott laughed and cracked some joke, I forget what it was, about Paul holding the paper. Then Jo Jo started reading this really cute, funny, long poem to Scott following him from when he started to skate all the way until the current day. There were a lot of cute moments in it and other moments where everyone started cracking up and laughing. It also went on for quite a while (I wasn't complaining) and Jo Jo was like, and to the audience, dont' worry I'm almost done... there was a lot of appreciative applause when she had finished and Scott really seemed to like the poem. Paul spoke last, and somehow I've forgotten what he said but it was along the same lines of thank you and you're a great person and friend, etc.

After Paul finished speaking, there was a lot of applause and hugging, and then Scott started speaking. It's entirely possible the entire audience speech I described before went here, but I'm not sure. But he went on to talk about how he looks around at all this great talent on the ice around him and how he's realized how incredibly blessed he is, to have gotten to share the ice with all of them, the best of the best, the most talented, the greatest skaters that ever were, that are... he just feels so blessed and thankful that he had the opportunity to skate with them. He talked about the great skaters, and then said that he looked at Tracy Wilson, and he sees Rob McCall beside her... then he said and when the red spot hit the middle of the ice, that was Sergei Grinkov (his voice was cracking badly there)... He went on for a while longer, alternatively being quite emotional and other times cracking jokes... he was obviously very much soaking in the moment and didn't want it to end, and I don't think anyone else wanted it to end either... Somehow along the way though, he goes but wait, wait! We're going to do the ending to the show, we're going to take our bows! And starts herding all the skaters towards the end of the ice and shooing the alum skaters off and herding the other skaters into the tunnel... we're going to let you see the whole show you paid for, we're going to end... at this point, Kurt was standing outside the tunnel a little and Scott goes "get in there! what are you waiting for, we're going to burst, get in the tunnel!" and Kurt jumps and runs in mock fright into the tunnel... then Scott says to the technicians by the tunnel, we're going to burst! oh I get the sound cue? ok ok... then he herds the other skaters into the tunnel and he's like "get the curtain down, we have to burst we're going to do the tunnel, get ready..." (you just hear his voice now because they're in the tunnel) then he yells something...there's a pause, he yells it again and the music starts and they all burst out and finish the finale, complete with bows, and going over to the sides to shake hands - a bunch of them came over to the special guests on ice... and then back to the middle... then all the other skaters came back for a big group hug (and i mean BIG) in the middle... then Scott got the mic again and kept talking... got them to the end in a big line and he was saying something about the skating talent, got on his knees at one point and was kowtowing to the line of skaters, talked some more... "Thanks.... I hope I get a chance to skate for you again soon..I don't know when.. this is not retirement, this is moving on, maybe a little belatedly, I look around and I see these kids and I know I want to have some, I see ? and ?, Chris and Jill's kids, and I know that's where I want to be. But I can't do that and do this, so it's time to start another phase in my life..." and some more like this. then someone started a shout that was echoed throughout the arena "one last flip!"... and scott was like, huh? and kristi waves her arms like "flip!" leaning back... and he's like..oh! and starts skating around like he's tired going, i dunno.... i'm kind of stiff (shaking out his legs)...i'm not sure i can do another flip...i dunno... are you sure,..do you think i should do one? (the whole crowd yells yes!!), ok... (keeps skating)... with a mic? i'm not sure this is even possible! (starts to pick up speed, turns and does the flip and the place erupts in cheers) Then he does a bit more talking and finally is like... now it's time to... I don't think I've said this once this entire tour! I haven't said it once, but I'm going to say now... it's PARTYTIME!!!! and everyone bops around some... finally he winds up and says "Thank you all! Ah...I think...yeah sure why not, I'll come back another year! Just kidding!" Finally he's like "we're going to get lots of pictures of this, I don't want to leave before I get a lot of pictures..." turns and says to the audience "thank you so much for coming, drive safely, and remember, after you get home, it's time to PARTY!!" and that was it.... the skaters started milling around talking to each other on the ice... at one point Kurt was holding Daria..they had stuff to drink brought out...and people started leaving... and that was the end of the show. All in all, the show ran an hour longer than normally because of the ending speeches, so you can imagine how much Scott and everyone else said. It was a wonderful, amazing evening, and I think a perfect goodbye to Scott, thanks largely to him. It never got overly weepy and sentimental, he kept a light heart and a sense of humor through the whole thing, and at the end you just got this huge sense of joy from here, that he was having the absolute time of his life, and while it was very sad (he said something about leaving Stars on Ice was the hardest thing he's ever had to do) and sentimental, at the same time he was just overwhelmed by the love everyone had for him and was thrilled that everyone had come back to pay tribute to him. (he mentioned that all he felt was love several times that evening) People teared up several times that evening, but it ended on a really joyous note.

Of quick note, the alum skaters I saw that were there that night: (i might forget a few, and I heard Peter Carruthers was there, but he wasnt' standing on the ice...) Elaine Zayak, Novotny and Karakova, Katia (stood with Ilia's arm around her and holding hands most of the night), Barb Underhill and Paul Martini, Jo Jo Starbuck, Lea Ann Miller and Bill Fauver, Lisa Carey??, Paul Wylie, Ros Sumners, Katarina Witt, Doug Ladret and Christine Hough, a couple no one recognized, a blond woman whose name I didn't quite catch but Scott said was his first girlfriend when he was 12, Christopher Dean and Jill Trenary, Tracy Wilson, Elena Bechke, Michael Siebert (don't remember if his partner was there), I think there may have been a few others I didn't recognize. All in all an awe-inspiring collection of skating talent, past and present, on the ice. And all in all one incredible, unforgettable evening.