I attended the 2pm show
in Philadelphia, the site of the 1998 US Nationals. :) As usual,
the show started about a half hour late. There is one thing I have
to say that isn’t about the skating. I never liked the souvenirs
at the show (SOI has pins, magnets, everything. COI only had shirts
and programs.) This year, at $15, I heard many people complaining
that it was too expensive, and that they weren’t going to buy them.
However, there was one thing that I really liked. They sold a cast
picture, just like SOI does! It was only $5, and I was about to
buy it when we spotted some friends from Nationals. By the time
we were done, the pictures were gone, and we were running around
trying to find another (which we did...the last one!) So, if you
want one when it comes to your arena, get it right away!
Anyway, onto the show.
Our seats were great...front row, almost center ice, right next
to one of the tunnels. The people sitting next (who have had those
seats for 5 years) said to me said that it was near the mens dressing
room, and sometimes the skaters come out, so keep an eye on it.
I did, and none of the skaters showed. However, Michelle Kwan’s
mother was there during the opening, closing, and the end of Tara’s
number. I watched her at different times, and her facial expression
never changed, she was always smiling.
The show was pretty
much mistake free from what I can remember. One year I went, everyone
fell...but I digress. I tried to remember as much as possible, but
then I realized by the end I didn’t even remember most of the opening!
One more thing, no one got a standing ovation...I think that’s the
first time I went to COI (TOC, whatever) where no one stood (until
the end, of course.) Oh well. Here’s what I remember (they may or
may not be in order):
Kazakova & Dmitriev
to “Barbie Girl.” I almost didn’t recognize her...her hair looked
different (it’s curled...in the cast picture, my mom didn’t even
know who she was!)
Brassuer & Eisler
skated to “Fly.” They also skated to it for their number...did they
run out of music for them to skate to? ;-)
I can’t remember what
Phillippe skated to, but at the end, he did his sword footwork
from the Olympics. The crowd loved it. :-)
skated to Chumbawumba. Perfect for him if you ask me (“I get knocked
down, but I get up again.”)
to "Takes a Little Time" by Amy Grant. She was wonderful.
She wore a blue dress that had some red in it. I watched her mom
at one point, and she was smiling just a little more than she was
for the others. Onto the rest of the show...
The first skater was
Evgeny Plushenko. He skated to the thing he did in the Worlds
exhibition. Lots of jumps. Got kind of boring after a while.
Punsalan & Swallow
were very nice. I know they skated this before (Frank Sinatra music:
“Love is a Many Splendored Thing” and “That's Life.”) A few years
ago, I think. He takes off his jacket. I think they changed it a
Maria B was next
(she wasn’t announced at the beginning, so some people were surprised.)
She did her short program. She fell on her combination, but landed
her triple loop and double axel nicely.
skated next. He wore he short program outfit from this year. Skated
to “When a Man Loves a Woman.” Very different for him, but I think
he pulled it off. Did a backflip, and the crowd went wild.
skated to some Spanish music (?) Didn’t really like the program,
but I liked her a little more. She never stopped smiling. Very cute.
She did 4 Beillmann spins, but she slowed down a lot by the last
one. The program just kind of ends...I don’t think many people liked
Jenni Meno & Todd
Sand made me bigger fans by skating to Boyz II Men music (and,
coincidentally, one of my all time favs...“End of the Road.” The
other song was “I’ll Make Love to You.”) A beautiful program. They
had purple costumes on which I really liked. When she landed the
throw 2x axel, she got the most wonderful expression on her face...she
was *very* happy!! She must have been missing it a lot lately.
was next. She also got a big ovation from the crowd. Very cute number.
Skated to “I Will Survive” and other ‘70s music. Really good for
her! She landed her double axel and a triple, but fell on 2 of her
triples. The audience didn’t care, though.
Usova & Zhulin
skated to the French Sting thing. I didn’t see much of it since
I was putting more film in my camera.
Surya had the
nicest outfit I have seen from her. Gold on top, white on the bottom.
Typical music for her though, some opera thing? She landed all her
jumps (I think.) She did 2 back flips...the first one she didn’t
land too good, the second one was perfect.
got the biggest ovation at that time. The crowd loved the number.
It puts a smile on your face. :-) The guy sitting next to us (who
didn’t know anything about skating) said, “What is he going to skate
to, “In the Navy?” He was just joking, but I was LOL, he was right!
Klimova & Ponomarenko
weren’t as depressing as usual (although I don’t know what their
theme is...so it could be after I find that out!) She had a purple
scarf attached to her arms. Don’t know what the significance of
that is, either. She has her hair short, and looks great for just
having a baby.
I finally got to see
Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze (although they were called “Elena
and Anton” most of the night) live! And one word...speed! I know
that’s what they are known for, but you can’t appreciate it until
you see it in person. I don’t really like their program though (then
again, I don’t like John Tess too much.) Also, there was one thing
I couldn’t stop noticing. She looked very uncomfortable out there.
She never smiled...and he didn’t smile much either. Is it they don’t
like the attention, or performing?
The act concluded with
Phillippe. My friends joked that he would jump into the audience
by us (I would have a heart attack!) But, he skated over to a pretty
lady (big shock) with a huge hat. He was wearing the hat for a little
while (LOL.) He also brought a smile to your face.
First up in the act
was Laurent Tobel. Skated as a ballerina. It was supposed
to be a joke, but he had *such* a serious look on his face.
Krylova & Ovsiannikov
skated to Carmen. Her back was to me most of the time, so I really
didn’t see her famous facial expressions. The program was OK.
Are you sitting down?
Elvis skated to...Beetoven! I’m serious! He wore a white
wig, and pretended like he was conducting. Now, this would be cute
for about a minute, but it went one forever! It got kind of old
fast. I understand that he can’t do any jumps, but I wish he at
least made it shorter. When he came out, he got a *huge* ovation.
When he was done, the crowd was kind of disappointed, and he seemed
a little upset.
My second favorite skater of the night, and he did NOT disappoint!
He got one of the top 3 ovations of the night. He spins were wonderful,
and he did one combination right in front of us! When he skated
past us once, my mom said that you couldn’t even hear him when he
skated, “what is that, edging or something.” ;-) He saved his triple
axel, and landed everything else. He skated with such feeling. From
his expression on his face, you could tell that he just *felt* it.
He just glided...he seemed so at peace. I think it was the best
performance I have seem from him this year. The people in the next
row had a sign for him. I don’t know if he saw it, though.
I finally got to see
Brasseur & Eisler! They never come to Philly! I was so happy
when I found out they were here. As I said earlier, they skated
to “Fly.” Lots of tricks as usual. But, I have to say something
about her costume. She had a coat on that reminded me of what Harry
wears on 3rd Rock from the Sun, but in gray (if you know what I
mean.) I didn’t get the coat at all! It was distracting. Also, I
think they messed up the “say hi and goodbye” thing (is that what
it is called?) She fell instead of her being in the position she
is supposed to be in.
to the thing where he sits on a chair and pretends to play a piano.
Then, he takes off his jacket to reveal a multi colored top. I didn’t
really like this program...kind of boring.
Kazakova & Dmitriev
did really good. She smiled a lot more than I have seen in the past.
the Chicago number. I really like this program, it is perfect for
her. She landed a 3x sal, and was extremely happy about it! But,
as she was going into a 2x axel, she had this look of terror on
her face, and, you guessed it, fell. I think she fell on another
jump. Oh well, she looked like she was having fun. Also, she is
growing her hair out.
Grishuk and Platov
skated to Frozen by Madonna. My mom turned to me and said, “what
is with that outfit?” It is this 2 piece orange thing, I can’t even
explain it. Not much of a response from the audience when they were
announced this time either. It was pretty quiet during the number,
except during a few of their tricks. At one point,they are on the
ground, and she was mouthing the words to the song. The people in
the row opposite me were trying to keep from laughing. Then, they
skated right in front of us, and she was mouthing again. It was
just too funny to explain. They got a better reception when they
Then, there was Michelle,
skating to “Dante’s Prayer.” She wore a blue costume with black
accents (if you get the cast picture, she is wearing that costume.)
The audience started screaming when they said “she is the 2 time
and current World Champion.” She was the only skater where I was
actually nervous for her first jump! After she landed it, I was
OK (if I get like this at the tour, can you imagine what I was like
at Nationals?) I didn’t watch her on the Worlds exhibitions because
I wanted to see it for the first time live. All I have to say is
“Wow!” I think it is my favorite exhibition of hers. She landed
all her jumps, although she doubled her lutz. Oh, and she landed
a beautiful 2x axel! But her jumps didn’t matter here, it was just
a beautiful number. If she didn’t have jumps in it at all, no one
would have cared. I had the chills at the end of the number. Her
spiral brought the house down. Everything was just perfect. She
just pulled us in, and made us feel like we were a part of it. It
was so moving, and it felt like she was skating for each one of
us. Just breathtaking! She got the loudest ovation of the night.
Ilia was next.
I finally got to see that black and yellow costume in person, and
it is even worse up close! ;-) He did is Olympic number. His back
seems fine now. I don’t know how he is going to keep it up the whole
tour! He just kept jumping, it will be amazing if he can do that
Tara was the
last skater. She got a big ovation too, and she won the flash-o-meter
award. I think I got blinded by all those lights! She wore her hair
down (which makes her look a little older), and had the prettiest
costume I have seen from her...a white one with gold accents. She
skated to something from the Broadway musical “Ragtime” (at least
that’s what someone told me...I didn’t recognize it.) Actually,
there were two songs together. She was landing 3 triples (I think,
I know she did the loop.) Then, she fell on the 3x lutz right in
front of me, and the crowd went silent.
“My Heart Will Go On”
was played for the first few skaters (although they chopped it up
really bad... I hate when they do that!) K&O and M&S were two of
the couples that skated to it.
Evgeny Plushenko skated
to one of the songs from Hercules, and was doing lots of jumps.
It looked like he messed up on his Beillmann spin. He could get
his leg all the way up, or something.
Surya did a backflip
with one foot landing, into a triple sal! Haven’t seen her do that
in a while.
Nicole skated to some
country thing (she must really like country...or the person that
picks the music must think she does. Isn’t this the third year that
she skated to country music?)
P&S skated to “I got
you babe”, and they wore ‘60s outfits. Pretty funny. :-)
Rudy skated to Macho
Man (they didn’t have something else for him that he had to skate
to part of his number?)
I don’t know what Todd
skated to, sorry. But, again, he got a huge ovation.
Oksana skated to “Candle
in the Wind” (the first edition, not the Princess Diana one.)
Michelle skated to “I
don’t want to wait,” by Paula Cole. Another huge ovation. They were
screaming when she was announced, when she was skating, and after
she was done. She wore the costume that she wore in the Worlds exhibition
to Dante’s Prayer.
Tara skated to “Go the
distance” from Hercules. Her costume looked like her Olympic long
program one, but is was more purple, and the embroidery was bigger.
Then, they all came
out. They were all doing different moves (K&D did a lift right in
front of me.) M&S and B&E did a double death drop...it was very
cool! I tried to get pictures of the skaters when they skated around
the rink, but they were too close (if that is possible!) Some were
slapping hands with the audience, but I had my camera in my hand!
Then, I was trying to get a picture of Michelle at the end (when
they are in a line), and, of course, she was all the way at the
other end of the rink! Oh well. It was still a very good show. I
enjoyed it a lot more than last year.
Check out my
pictures from the show
If you want to read
others reviews of the full show, go to COI
Reviews. Or, you can just read about Michelle
Kwan on the COI tour .
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Photo © Heather Winfield