Stars on Ice
Kurt in SOI
Creative Team

Stars on Ice Review - Salt Lake City, UT - Jan. 3, 2001

written by Katrina

First things first; Kurt was amazing Wednesday night. I absolutely LOVE Nyah! The things he does with his feet are completely amazing, and the energy level in the arena rose about 20 notches during this program. It got the second loudest applause of the night (after Scott's My Way); apparently everybody loved it as much as I did. This is one I must have on tape! I hadn't fallen in love with Don't Fence Me In before I saw it live, but now I relly like it. Kurt obviously has fun with this number, and that helps the audience get into it--lots of whistles during the butt-wiggling :) What made it especially wonderful was the huge triple axel he landed; the audience erupted (smart audience), and Kurt was very excited as well. In fact, maybe he was too excited because he doubled his triple salchow, but then he came back with a triple toe-triple toe. This was just a really fun Kurt number. BTW, I was three rows up from the woman who got lassoed at the end--I knew there was another reason I wanted on-ice seats!

This year's SOI is great because the group numbers are excellent, much better than last year, and Kurt is in so many of them. New Moon in the Old Moon's Arms was just pure skating, and I loved it. Chairmen was another high-energy number that everyone including me really enjoyed. This looks like it would be a lot of fun to perform every night. Sin Wagon is another fun number; not anything really exciting, but very enjoyable to watch. Tunnel Vision is hilarious, the best group number since Fun & Games. There is so much going on and I tend to miss a lot because Kurt is so entertaining, so I hope we get at lest some of it on A&E's broadcast.

Okay, now that I'm done talking about Kurt, I can go on the the rest of the cast. First, Scott was excellent, although throughout the first half of the night he doubled most of his jumps. Also, his golf bag didn't work, so the club didn't shoot out at him and it didn't tip over, so we got a very nice back flip right next to the bag instead of over the top of it. All of his problems left when it was time for My Way, however, and he nailed everything: triple lutz, triple salchow, triple toe, and all the double axels at the end. It was perfect and he got an instant standing ovation that went on for quite a while. The first live skating competition I ever saw was 1984 Nationals (I was 6) when Scott did a perfect long program on his way to the Olympics, so it was wonderful that the last time I saw him skate it was another perfect performance.

Kristi was a little shaky on some of her landings, and while I'm not a fan of her Desert Rose, her program to the Dixie Chicks was fun and she was great in the group numbers, especially the one with Denis and Jenni. That was another of my favorites. She left me longing for last year's Bridge Over Troubled Water. I never liked Ilia when he was an eligible skater, but I find myself liking him more and more. This year he has two very good programs with great footwork, and I can't dislike somebody who has great footwork!

The only downfall for Ilia this year was his duet with Tara; they just don't work well together. All of the energy that had built up during Chairmen completely left the building during their number and they got a very lukewarm response from the otherwise very loud crowd. I've never been a fan of Tara's, and this SOI didn't do much to change that. Her Dance With Me program was good, but I think it would have worked better if it had come before Nyah instead of right after. Kurt had so much energy and enthusiasm and Tara, while she is getting better, just can't match it. I decided that if the management of SOI decides to make Tara the headliner next year, I'm going to skip the US tour and take my long-awaited trip to a Canadian SOI stop, preferably Edmonton, then I could make a side trip to Caroline while I'm there. :)

Yuka was very good; I love her skating, and she is a great addition to the cast. Gorsha and Renee's program is really beautiful, and they are excellent in the group numbers, especially Chairmen and Gorsha in Tunnel Vision. Watching SOI has made me a fan of Steven, and Higher did not disappoint me at all--very energetic. Jenni and Todd are skating everything again, so I guess Todd's back feels better. They were good, but I miss Bechke & Petrov. At least Denis is still here, although I wish they could find a way to use him more because he is wonderful.

A few other comments not having to do with the actual show: The programs are very nicely put together this year, and Kurt's pages have a lot of great pictures. Unfortunately, all the pictures they were selling were from last year's show, so the only one of Kurt was Raggy. Too bad, because if there had been one of Kurt in his Nyah costume like the one in the program I would not have been able to get to my money fast enough. Let's just say that it is not too bad on the eyes. ;)

Okay, enough of my jabbering. Let me just say that this year's SOI was excellent, right up there with my personal favorite year of 1997-98. Everyone who hasn't yet seen it definitely has something to look forward to. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.