Stars on Ice
Kurt in SOI
Creative Team

Stars on Ice Review - Portland, OR - Jan. 5, 2003

written by Laurie

I've never been to a skating event in Portland before so I don't know what the crowds are normally like, but this was a fairly decent size audience - the sides were mostly full - I'd say 3/4 to almost completey full, and probably 1/2 to 3/4 full on the ends. And they seemed fairly enthusiastic about all the skaters, but were not big on standing ovations. I was kind of surprised to see the finale didn't get a standing ovation although the crowd seemed very happy with the show. I had bought what I thought was a front row, close to center ice ticket, but was very surprised to find out that my seat was actually on ice although closer to the end than what the ticket seemed to show. I did notice the best seats for close up views of hip shakin' in the "A Little Less Conversation" cowboy number is at the skaters' entrance end, LOL. I definitely wanna get at least one seat at that end at a future show. Kris saw me and came over to talk to me for a bit before the show. She was with her husband so didn't come to the board meeting before the show or meet us back at the hotel after the show. It also turned out that the lady sitting in the seat next to mine, Yuki, was from Japan and reads the board - recognized me from my photos and asked me if I was Laurie, LOL.

Opening number - Ozzy

The guys are all wearing jeans and different colored T-shirts, ladies in sparkly tops. Todd comes out first with a triple axel, Ina & Zimmerman are next with the Besti squat move with Kyoko standing on John's thighs, Meno & Sand do a forward death spiral, Roca & Sur do a dance lift, Meno & Sand do a stag lift with swing dismount, Elena and Anton and Jamie and David come out - star lift for Jamie & David - press lift for Anton and Elena, Alexei does a triple toe and a combo spin with a hop and change foot, Katarina does a butterfly, Kurt does a bit of footwork with little twisty turns in it, Todd and Kurt do double axels in unison, Kurt does a triple toe or triple sal, didn't quite catch it, Todd does a scratch spin. They all leave, Alexei stays for "Born to be Wild."

Alexei - "Born to be Wild" - Steppenwolf

Alexei puts on black leather gloves and Kurt brings him out a black leather jacket. He seemed to wear the leather jacket for much more of the program that I remember originally from Lake Placid. I don't know whether to be happy because it's more suited to the program (leather jacket being a tough guy look, as befits this song) or whine that I don't get to see his arms more, LOL. I know, I'm never happy, huh, LOL? Knee slide, some kind of slide that in my notes looks like "kres" slide - that can't be right, LOL. I have no idea what I meant by that. Butterfly, Russian splits, triple toe, slide moves, knee slide with turns, backwards slide on stomach, shoot-the-duck circular hydroblade move, butterfly. Skated with speed, and he seems more secure with it since Lake Placid. It's a fun number, but not particularly special, and I wouldn't mind if he tinkered with it a bit more, LOL...

Ina & Zimmerman - "Bed of Roses" - Bon Jovi

I seem to have spaced out during some numbers here and there so I might have missed some preliminary moves here. My first notes show SBS single axels, I think. Lift with Kyoko laying on top of John's boot - we need to name these things, LOL. Back death spiral, nicely done, as always, typical Moskvina signature pairs spin, upside down or candle lift, lift I have no name for, dance lift, cool closing pose with Kyoko lying down on top of John. Nice program showcasing their unique lifts.

Sale & Pelletier - "Come Fly With Me" - not Sinatra, but don't remember who does this

Think I spaced out some opening moves here, too, but my notes show platter lift, throw triple jump I didn't catch, but it was very good, pairs Ina Bauers, excellent back death spiral, pairs combo spin. Elegant, sophisticated number I think they pull off well.

Todd Eldredge - Buddy Rich number - "Channel Suite," something like that?

Nice triple axel, triple sal, I think, footwork with lots of speed, triple toe, camel/sit/back sit spin combo, double axel, music changes tempo and Todd starts into his slinky moves, knee turns, flying camel, bent knee barrel rolls, serpentine footwork, barrel rolls, camel/sit/stretch/back sit/scratch spin to finish. The usual polished and smooth program from Todd, fluid and lyrical. I think this program suits him very well and showcases a side to him you don't normally see.

Don't have music list in front of me so I can't remember what this next number is called, but it has Katarina in a lime green dress and John and Gorsha. Lots of flirty moves, the men pulling Kat from each other, skating with her together. Hilarious moment when Kat gets her blade caught on John's shirt or jacket and they try and get it loose - very funny for the audience and the skaters, LOL. Sophisticated ensemble program of the type SOI does so well.

Alexei - "Overcome"

Yay! We got "Overcome" tonight. Familiar heartbeat moves beginning, triple flip, something I can't read, Besti squat, 3T/3T/2LP with an extra turn on the loop, sit/back sit spin combo, down on the ice moves - no push ups but the pulling slowly forward moves and reaching to the sky moves, side-to-side leg moves, looking up, jumps up, pulling noose off neck moves, backwards moonwalk, giant steps, double lutz, straightline footwork crowd claps along with, final combo spin with Mazurka and pancake spin. My pen drops halfway through the program so I try and find it without taking my eyes off Alexei, LOL. Skated with expression, down on the ice moves particularly moving, wonderful footwork always great to see, of course. Jenni skates in and tries to give Alexei her rose - he refuses and leaves.

"I'm Your Man" - Meno & Sand

Love this program for them - I think it's my favorite of theirs. Todd Sand is hilarious and has a definite flair for this type of comical program. He takes the rose from Jenni with his teeth. Platter lift variation, throw double axel, sloppy landing, great death spiral, Jenni wraps herself around Todd's leg, stag lift with swing dismount. Lots of comical and cute moves in this program.

Kurt's Tony Bennett number

Kurt is on tonight. Double axel light as a feather, triple toe, butterfly, triple sal, Ina Bauer, camel spin with nice extension, forward spiral, knee turns, triple toe, triple toe, spread eagle, nifty footwork down the middle. Beautiful program from Kurt and perfectly skated.

Todd's narrated number with Jamie & David and Anton & Elena

Okay, I'm still not nuts about the voice over narration, but it looks like they are keeping the program so I will quit whining. I tried to pay more attention to the pairs this time, LOL. Since I didn't have Todd standing directly in front of me and looking right at me with the "I'm standing naked in the spotlight" line, I was able to manage that this time, LOL. Triple toe from Todd, throw triple jump from Jamie & David - gotta pay more attention to the take offs (sigh), dance lift from Jamie & David, star lift variation from Jame & David, press lift variation from Elena and Anton, move from Anton and Elena where Elena is doing a spread eagle and Anton is doing a spiral, Anton & Elena do what I would call a swing lift or death spiral type lift but off the ice, with Elena holding her foot. Anton & Elena do a split lift with a swing dismount, Todd does a split jump of some type - maybe Russian splits, and barrel rolls, stars into butterfly, back death spiral from Jamie & David, forward death spiral from Anton & Elena, Todd does a double axel, I think, split double twists from both pairs. I still like this number for the skating.


"A Little Less Conversation" JXL does Elvis

The ladies come out from various parts of the venue - we get Elena in front of us on the boards. They dance a bit together, then leave. The guys in the tight jeans and the cowboy hats come out, LOL. We get Todd Sand and John Zimmerman on our side - Alexei is on the other side - sob! The guys do fun moves together - Alexei is lifted by Kurt and Todd Sand, they all do push ups on the ice and rolling on the ice moves, to the delight of the crowd, LOL. Alexei and Kurt pull each other around in a move I would call facing Besti squats, maybe. I have no idea what to call it, LOL. Alexei does a cartwheel over somebody's back - didn't catch who the other skater was. Fun, fun number - two of the guys lose their hats at the end - not Alexei.

Kat's Barbra Streisand ballad

Katarina wearing her Victoria's Secret dress, LOL. Double axel from her, I think, double flip, nice layback and sit combo spin variation, scratch spin variation, spread eagle, camel spin. Very nicely skated program, whisper soft blades, sophisticated and elegant.

"Miserere" - Todd

Knee turn slide, forward spiral, double loop, triple toe or triple flip, flying camel, camel/back camel/sit spin combo, two Russian splits, double axel, triple toe or flip (gotta pay more attention - sigh), camel/sit/stretch/back sit/short scratch spin combo, butterfly, I think, sit/scratch spin to finish - can't really read my notes here so I might have missed part of the combo. Beautifully skated program, but he's probably not happy with the double jumps.

Roca & Sur - "The Prayer"

As in Lake Placid, one of the highlights of the evening. Lovely, beautiful program full of interesting dance lifts and connecting moves. I especially like the cool lift where Gorsha holds Renee with one arm around her waist.

Katia Gordeeva's Russian folk dance program

Skating with her trademark speed, spread eagle, great footwork down the middle, triple toe, double lutz, more dancey footwork, flying camel/stretch/short scratch spin, double sal, circular footwork, butterfly/sit/scratch spin to finish. Charming and perfectly skated program from Katia.

Kurt's comical harmonica program

He starts off of the ice near our corner, fools around cutely on his skate blades, they shine the spotlight across the rink so he comically tries to get over to the other side, sits on some people over there, hands off his skate guards, then they shine the spotlight back to our side, so he comes over to us again and fools around in front of us, then heads off across the ice to another section when they shine the spotlight elsewhere. He does lots of flashy and cool footwork in the program when he's on the ice. Comes back to our section and kisses the ice in front of us, goes to the middle of the ice and does a butterfly and starts to fall down a lot, then he's pulled off the ice with a rope. As typical with these types of comical programs I see early in the season from Kurt, they grow on me later - or maybe he just develops them more, LOL - anyway, I had more fun watching it here this time.

Music I can't remember the name of, but it's the ensemble program with Meno & Sand, Ina & Zimmerman, and Roca & Sur.

Cute program with the girls pretending not be interested in the boys. Again, the type of ensemble program SOI does so well.

Anton & Elena's Elvis & Marilyn program

I liked this program right off the bat in Lake Placid and still like it here. Anton does a great job as Elvis and I think Elena is fine as Marilyn. Lots of dance moves from Anton, upright lift, back death spiral, split lift with Elena in front of Anton, pairs spiral, throw triple loop, split lift over Anton's back, stag lift variation, what I call a swing lift death spiral off the ice, something I can't read but it involves a lift, LOL. Cool, fun number.

"Lovin' Squeezin' Touchin'" or whatever it is from Bon Jovi - Jamie & David

Sassy, sexy, dancey number from these two. Upside down star lift, throw triple sal, hand down, forward death spiral, pairs spin, upside down lift where Jamie is balanced on David's arm, Detroiter.

"Racing" - Alexei

Wheel turning moves, triple flip, triple toe, butterfly/sit spin combo, circular footwork with driving moves, triple toe, sit/back sit combo, straightline footwork section with the crowd clapping along, camel/sit/Mazurka/back sit/martini glass spin combo, and he's done. Perfectly skated, and he's happy with this one, LOL.

Finale - "I Can't Stop" (um, I think that's what it's called, LOL) - Will Smith

Special treat for us this time - I swear Alexei has more buttons unbuttoned on that leather shirt than I saw in Lake Placid, LOL. And I'm sure we saw a lot more skin when his shirt would go flying up. We're happy, LOL. Best part is when Alexei leads the others on his "Winter" straightline footwork they all do in unison - cool to see! Fun closing number - great costumes...

And the hug from Alexei after the finale was, of course, the icing on the cake.