I say? Today was probably one of the worst days of my life (other
than watching COI), but Iíll only fill you in on the things important
to this review, sparing you the complete details of my day. Letís
start from the beginning. Iíve gone to COI every year since Ď93,
but this year I didnít think I was going to be able to make it.
I had to be in Montreal for a family function this weekend... of
course, I had probably the best seats we ever had (center ice, 2nd
row), and backstage passes. Iíve been trying to figure out
a way to get back in time for months. A few days before we left,
I decided to fly back Sunday at 7:30am, meaning Iíd get back 9:15,
with plenty of time to spare for the 3pm show. Well, what I did
not expect, was snow in April...April (and I donít want to hear
anyone complain about the snow in Philly, cause it was snowing
in Montreal)! Well, long story short, we boarded the plane around
7:30....plane did not take off until after 1, didnít get off the
plane until about 2:40...show starts at 3. My mom was supposed to
pick me up at the airport, then we'd go home for a while, then drive
to the arena. Obviously, we didnít have time for that (it would
be 40 minutes each way at least), so we went right to the arena
(luckily my mom took the tickets with her), arriving a little after
3 (show always starts late, so at that point I wasnít worried about
missing the show.) BUT, we didnít have our cameras OR backstage
passes....that whining, groaning, noises you hear are me. Obviously
I was really upset about this, plus being upset about my earlier
experiences (details not important unless you want to hear me really
complain). So, I really didnít get into the show until right before
intermission (so sorry if Iím not too enthusiastic at some skaters/programs
which I should be excited about.) Also, I didnít have my notepad
to take notes, and the only paper I had was the back of a receipt,
so I could only write one word or so about each person (not even
able to write what each skater did at the beginning!) I had the
seat numbers of everyone in that notepad, so thatís why I wasnít
able to meet up with anyone (sorry!)
Two things about my
mom waiting at the airport...she bought a disposable camera, so
at least we had that (though what could we possibly get with that...and
we had such good seats...argh, never mind.) I doubt any of them
will come out, but we tried only taking the pictures when they were
near us...Iíll let you know when they come back if any were good
enough to scan in (cross your fingers...I need some luck).
The other thing is probably
more exciting...probably most to my mom, and less to me, since it
was another thing I missed. Well (Iíve said that a lot lately,
havenít I?), weíre walking through the airport to the car, when
my mom says to me, ďYouíll never believe who was here.Ē She was
looking in one of the stores or something when she heard someone
say ďoh, I donít know. Maybe thereís an ice show or something today?Ē
She turned and looked, and there they were...the whole cast of COI
walking through the airport! My mom (and one of the things I was
thinking about while waiting for the plane to take off for 5 hours)
was even worried that the show would be canceled because they wouldnít
make it, since flights all along the east coast were canceled. She
said that she was just stunned, watching them all walk in front
of her, she didnít know what to do. This was around 11am (their
flight from Boston was delayed...I donít know what time it was supposed
to come in.) She said that they all looked exhausted and upset.
Some were carrying a tote bag (Michelle was), while others had nothing
with them. She saw skater after skater walk in front of her. She
spotted Nicole when she passed right away, and then saw that Michelle
was walking in the same row as her. I tried to pump her for as much
information as I could (what were they wearing, who was with who,
LOL...stupid little things that probably only I care about), but
she really couldnít remember everything, and take it all in. My
mom finally got out of her state of shock, and started smiling at
the skaters. She didnít want to say anything since they all looked
so tired (I told her she could have at least said good luck tonight
or something, LOL). But, she did finally say something like ďAre
you still going to skate tonight?Ē And Philippe actually stopped
and spoke with her for a little bit. She said he was very
nice. My mom has always liked him, but now heís one of her favorites.
;) She said she saw the ďred headed dancer,Ē and I got really excited
thinking Marina Anissina & Gwendal Peizerat would be skating at
the show, since I had never seen them in person....but it was Klimova
(whose hair is really red now) she meant. Oh! Speaking of A&P, when
I was at the Montreal airport, I passed by a store that had magazines
in the window, and stopped in my tracks when I saw a huge display
of magazines that had A&P in the cover! It was a magazine in French
(ďMatchĒ or something? I know Iíve heard of the magazine online
before.) I should have gotten it, at least to look through it (not
that I would be able to read it or anything, but I did have a lot
of Canadian money I received as change, so I should have used it.)
I figured the trip was only an hour and a half....*sigh*.
LOL...OK, enough about
the pre-show hysterics. Letís get to the actual show. Iíll try not
to complain too much during this review about the way my luck went.
This is a skating review, Iíll spare you my pain and misery. ;)
I canít really say what I thought about the show in general, since
I didnít really get into it until a few skaters before intermission.
Most of the skaters were off on their jumps. I donít want to make
excuses for anyone, but I assumed it was because they got in so
late, and all seemed so tired. As usual, the crowd here didnít seem
to know who most of the non-famous skaters were. There were no standing
ovations until the end (Iím not exactly sure anyone deserved it
though), and, as always is the case with me, I sat around people
who never seemed to clap at anything. It was really weird to think
that just a week ago, most of these skaters were at Worlds. I wonder
how they gear up for a relaxed show (though Iím sure grueling tour),
after all that pressure for Worlds just a few days earlier.
Show started about 15
minutes late, as always, but it was just enough time for us to get
in there, buy a program, and get to our seats. As always, the show
started with everyone skating out, and then each being individually
introduced. I really tried to pay attention, but I was still pretty
wired from earlier. Unlike past years, there was sort of a theme...all
the skaters wore costumes that had gold Olympic rings them. Most
of the costumes were black or white I think. Now, usually I know
from previous online reviews on who will be at the show, the skate
order, etc. But I wasnít online since Thursday, so I didnít know
anything about who would be there. I was pleasantly surprised that
Sarah was there (her hair cut looks so much better to me in person,
unless it was cut since.) Iím trying to remember if Irina was announced
in the beginning, but I was happy to see she was there too. Dan
was a nice surprise. I knew Sasha was going to be at some stops,
but she wasnít in the beginning, so I figured that Philly wasnít
one of them. The only disappointment was that Dorothy wasnít there.
I thought she was only not doing the Colorado show. Evgeny Plushenko
did a combination with 3 jumps. Rudy got a HUGE ovation. Michelle
came out second to last, I think. She wore had a white costume.
She did her spiral, which probably won the flash-o-meter of the
first half. I donít think she did a spin, but I canít be positive
that she didnít. The music for her was ďThatís the Way it isĒ by
Celine Dion. Unless someone refreshes my memory, I canít remember
any of the other music played. Probably the biggest ovations in
the beginning went to Michelle, Brian, and Rudy. Onto the rest of
the show, in order of appearance, with their music in italics:
The Prayer. Like I said earlier, her hair looked really nice,
and her costume was gorgeous (Iím pretty sure it was one of the
ones she wore at Worlds.) I was really impressed with her speed.
Iíve always liked her, but thought she still looked kind of gawky
when she skated. But I didnít during this program...very nice. She
smiled almost though out the whole program. She landed several jumps,
and then fell on her loop right near me. But, she still had that
smile while she was getting up. Nice applause. I heard someone around
me say ďSarah Hughes! How could you not know her?Ē
Free skate. A lot of jumps, including a triple axel. Looking
into the audience (at least when he passed by us) a lot.
South Park and Dude Looks Like a Lady. The audience
loved it. Had to explain to my mom it was South Park, while I heard
someone else say ďOh! South Place!Ē I had never seen this before.
He came out dressed like Cartman from South Park, and then took
it off to show he was wearing a Mrs. Doubtfire like costume, with
a gray wig. Huge ovation after.
Sasha Cohen- Anytime,
Anywhere. As I said earlier, I didnít think she was going to
be here, so I was happy when she was. She stepped out of a few of
her jumps. As she was going into another jump, she skated right
by us, and you could see she had this look of determination on her
face....and she landed a triple salchow. Nice spins, and I especially
liked her cannonball sit spin. Lots of flashes when she did her
spiral (holding her leg straight up next to her, if you know what
I mean.) People around me seemed to be impressed, and I heard someone
say ďWow, sheís only 13?Ē LOL, I agree with the wow, but sheís not
Usova & Platov-
Skated to that song that just about every dance team skated to.
Little did I know that another team would use it later that day.
Lots of lifts.
SuperfreakandYou Can't Touch This. With his shiny
gold pants. Looked tired. Fell face first during footwork towards
the end of the program (looked like he picked something up from
the ice later.) After that he seemed a lot slower.
I Need to KnowandLet's Get Loud. Wearing a bright
pink costume, hair high in a pony tail. Her right ankle looked like
it was wrapped up. It was a typical Nicole program I guess, and
after seeing Sarah and Sasha earlier, I was wondering what she thinks
about staying eligible with all the young skaters.
Punsalan & Swallow-
Woman. Skating with a broom. Sorry I donít have too much
to say about them.
Send in the Clowns. Wow. Well, a week ago I probably would
have just been happy that he didnít do the Village People program
again, but this program was very moving. It was probably about the
time I started to get into the show. He received a wonderful ovation.
Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze-
Smooth. Started off skating to some sultry music, which then
went into Smooth (which I think is a great skating song.) There
was something I wanted to say about the lift where she does a split
on his back, but I forget now!
Mambo Number 5. The program that he skates with the doll.
My favorite part is when he spins...it looks like the doll is doing
laybacks and such...really cool. Crowd loved it.
Besedin & Polishuk
Acrobatic skaters. Did a lot of things that I would not be able
to explain on a family oriented website. ;) I guess I didnít love
it as much as everyone else did, as there were tons of flashes going
off, and a huge ovation after, bigger than some of the skaters people
were paying to see.
Wore a purple costume, new program to music I donít know. Did her
three turns into a triple loop, which I just love. I did have a
small piece of paper to write a little more notes down after intermission
(thanks Louis!), but at this point, I donít know what I was thinking
of, since some of my notes make no sense. I wrote down ďcell.Ē Does
anyone have any clue what that means? LOL Didnít get much of an
applause, which I thought was ashame, especially after the season
she had, youíd think people would know who she was.
Right About Now.. Not sure if thatís the name of the song,
but hopefully you know what I mean. He came really close to the
boards (at least by us) a lot. Iíve noticed that some skaters mouth
the words to the song they are skating to. Well, Elvis was actually
singing some of it, I think. I know I heard a few words when he
came by us. I thought that was really funny. Audience was screaming
for him throughout.
Klimova & Ponomarenko-
Donít know what they skated to. More of an upbeat program than they
End of the program was skated to The Phantom Menance. Landed
many jumps (7 I think), plus her one-foot backflip twice (once into
triple sal?) I think she slipped during a spin.
Glory. Beautiful program, as usual, though it seemed more
of a competition than exhibition program to me. I think he was wearing
his ID4 costume. I wish he could teach spinning to other skaters.
Kazakova & Dmitriev-
. Also skated to the-song-I-donít-know-that-everyone-skates-to.
I thought they had a rule that two skaters couldnít use the same
music. Guess not. He was mouthing the words (but not singing like
Elvis, LOL), and was really into it.
Dove' L'Amore. It was an off night jump wise for all the
skaters (trying to think if anyone was completely clean), but it
was especially not her night. Doubled two jumps, and singled her
first axel. When she was going into her second double axel attempt,
she took a deep breath, and I really thought she was going to land
it...but she only singled it, and sort of shrugged after. She did
land one in the finale, though, and was very happy about it.
Braveheart. I think it was better on in person than on TV,
though I still thought it was a little too long. At the end, instead
of having a judge put the black hood over his head, a masked man
with no shirt on skated onto the ice and did it (I wonder who it
Brasseur & Eisler-
Canít remember what they skated to, though I know itís a song I
know. A good program until they fell going into one of their lifts.
I think he sort of fell on top of her, and she seemed a little out
of it at first, though they continued on with their program, doing
all their scary moves. After this year, I am always nervous when
any pair does a lift.
Wild Elephants. I donít think I love this program, but I
love that it is different. He did a 3 jump combo at the other end
of the ice that looked like was going to go into the lights on the
ice. His tano lutz almost went into the audience.
The World is Not Enough. I had heard the rumor that she might
do a new program to James Bond, and here she comes out with a new
costume, so I was pleasantly surprised. Her costume was a one sleeved
black leotard. It was a sultry program. I think the mood would have
been even better if she wore her hair down (like in the opening)
instead of up and down (like at Worlds.) Well...I didnít really
like the program. I usually donít fall in love with a program of
hers the first time I see it (with a few exceptions), and this one
just didnít seem to do anything for me. I like the music, I like
the costume, I like that sheís trying something different, and maybe
Iíll like it when I see it on TV, but...I was more happy to be watching
Michelle, than watching Michelle do this program (if that makes
any sense.) Though, I will say that just as we saw at Worlds, her
speed was very much improved from last year, and her spins were
great (if she improved that much in a few weeks, imagine how much
she can improve before the start of next season!) When she came
out, there were tons of flashes going off. Then, as she was going
into a triple toe, there were SO many flashes, I thought I was going
to be blinded. I have no idea how she landed the jump, but she did.
Everything she did, there were flashes going off, but she only missed
by doubling a lutz. She also did a triple salchow, and I think another
triple toe. The new layback was in there (but not for a long enough
time for me, LOL), but her spiral (started just in front of us),
and charlotte was. *sigh* I really wish we had our camera...I just
know the disposable isnít going to cut it.
Well, last year I said
the best part was the ending, and I didnít think anything would
come close to it. Well! This year, the finale was to Bolero,
and was amazing! When the first notes started playing, I thought,
how can this possibly work? But it did! There was so much going
on, thereís no way I could describe it all. Like last year, I marvel
at how they only had a few days to put this together, and yet it
looks like they had months to practice it. Sarah really seemed to
be enjoying herself, and I think this is really going to help her
presentation wise. Towards the beginning of the finale, she and
maybe six other skaters were out there, and she was doing a spiral,
with the rest of them in a line around her (3 on each side), they
were rotating. It was a three ring circus, I didnít know where to
look. At some points, the skaters would go right to the boards.
One time Sarah was standing right in front of us (with a HUGE smile.)
Another time, Platov was standing near us, and was very into it...he
was very serious looking into the audience. The woman sitting in
front of him was hysterical, but it didnít throw him. Later, Todd
was standing in that same spot, and looked straight at people, and
smiling, pointing at someone once. He really had a fun time with
it. Michelle was the second to last one out. At that point, all
the skaters were at center ice, and lifted her horizontally (not
sure if she was supposed to be in the air longer or not), and then
they bunched together, moving their arms kind of clockwise in unison,
shaking their hands (canít really explain) with Michelle skating
around them. She did spiral and charlotte. I LOVED her costume.
I think it was a goldish color, maybe with black dots (kind of an
animal print?) Later, skaters were doing all sorts of patterns on
the ice...double death drops, spirals at the same time, jumps at
the same time, spins at the same time. At that point, I didnít know
where to look, and then it was over! I really hope itís shown on
TV (it wasnít last year), but even so, you wouldnít be able to get
the effect of seeing it live. I think the ending in itself is worth
the price of admission.
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pictures from the show
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Photo © Heather Winfield