I attended the 2pm show in Philadelphia. Make that the 2:40 show. The show started at least a half hour late, and then they said they were waiting because it was raining out. Please! They do this every year, and it was only drizzling at that time! The advanced order form for next year is really nice...it has a little picture of each of the skaters listed in the program. Also, I really liked the program this year. The background isnít black, and there is a picture of the skater in the background on the page (hard to explain.) Same price as last year ($15). There werenít any cast photos like last year, but they might later on the tour.

Oksana and Michael Weiss were on a local morning show at 8am today. Michael looked half asleep. Oksana said that she wanted another Olympic gold medal. They kept saying that the show was at night! I was worried they wouldnít get there in time (they were still in Maryland). Oksana said she was going to drive to Philly herself (the host said something like ďthey make you drive?Ē LOL) because she was going to stop in Delaware first. I donít know if this rush hurt them, or they were just tired, or the ice was bad, or what, but it seemed to be an off night for all the skaters. I didnít take detailed notes (didnít write all jumps down), but I think just about everyone had at least one mistake. I donít think there were many falls though, just little things like touch downs, falling out of a jump, etc.

My seats this year were 3rd row, directly across from where I sat last year. The only problem was, if a skater did something in the corner on the side we were sitting (which happened a lot), you couldnít see it. That corner happened to be where I sat at Nationals last year. :-) And there always seemed to be a head in my way when a skater was doing a jump! One final thing...I wish I had read a review so I would have known the skating order. Some of the order completely threw me off. Everything listed is in order of appearance. Now, onto the show!!

Opening:

  1. Michael Weiss don't remember the music. Did a triple lutz
  2. Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze Dancing Cheek to Cheek
  3. Punsalan & Swallow Jump, Jive, 'n Wail
  4. Elizabeth Manley ...Baby One More Time
  5. Evgeny Plushenko Everybody
  6. Maria Butyrskaya Still the One
  7. Viktor Petrenko When I'm 64. Skated hunched over holding his back, like an old man. ;-)
  8. Nicole Bobek Voulez-vous couchez avec moi. She cut her hair. Not short like Michelle, but shorter than it was. She wore it down the whole show. She did a double jump
  9. Elvis Stojko I Feel My Temperature Rising. (I'm not sure if that's the name of the song, but I'm sure you know what I mean.) Audience screams.
  10. Usova & Platov Never Gonna Let You Down. (Again, probably isn't the name of the song. But it's something like "never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down." Can't think of the name!)
  11. Surya Bonaly She's got it. She did a few jumps (I think the sal), but no backflip. I thought about the Will and Grace episode ("she wouldn't come all the way from France and not backflip!" LOL)
  12. Rudy Galindo The two Will and Grace subjects back to back. :-) Skated to Time Warp from Rocky Horror Picture Show Had a black jacket on, with something written on the back of it in sequins. I didn't see exactly what it said, though. Another big ovation.
  13. Klimova & Ponomarenko don't remember the song.
  14. Todd Eldredge One Week
  15. Oksana Baiul Ray of Light. She loves Madonna! :-) Wore what almost looked like the shirt she wore on the morning show, but it wasn't. She singled her axel.
  16. Brian Boitano Route 66. SO happy to see him in person again! And the crowd agreed with me :-)
  17. Kazakova & Dmitriev Believe
  18. Michelle Kwan Simply Irresistible. Wore a costume like this one she wore in her Disney Special. HUGE ovation, I think the loudest of the introductions. She stayed on the ice a little while Philippe started.
  19. Philippe Candeloro My Sharona

The Show:

Elizabeth Manley- I don't know what she skated to. I was excited to see her since this is the first time I've seen her skate in person. She had on a black costume with glow in the dark parts. That was the best part of the program. There wasn't much to it. She fell on a 3x sal.

Evgeny Plushenko- He skated to his long program with the same costume. Did lots of jumps, but had at least 2 mistakes (he fell out of a triple at the other end of the rink, so I didn't see which one).

Punsalan & Swallow- Sonny and Cher medley. Songs included "And the Beat Goes On" and "I've Got You Babe." Great number for them. The crowd loved it. She lifts him at one point.

Nicole Bobek- Blondie medley. The first song was "One Way Or Another." I liked her program from last year better, but this one suits her, too. I think she only did doubles.

Michael Weiss- KC & the Sunshine Band medley. I think he was more awake now! Wearing a huge afro wig, he did a perfect triple lutz. He took off the wig in the middle of the program, and it looked funny just sitting there. ;-) Did a backflip, but he put his hands down. Biggest ovation so far.

Maria Butyrskaya- I don't know what she skated to, but I know I've heard that music before. Wore a black costume with fringe.

Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze- Impossible Dream. I didn't really like this program the first time I saw it live (though I think it was different at Skaters Tribute to Broadway), or when I saw it on TV, but I loved it here. Just beautiful. Did their trademark moves, and I still can't understand why I never see her smile. They wore their long program costumes. Their throw 3x sal had a shaky landing.

Surya Bonaly- Again, don't know the music, but it was typical Surya music. Costume looked familiar. I didn't really like her as an eligible skater, but am starting to like her as a pro. She seems to have more...I don't know. I didn't really like this program though. She did her one footed backflip here. She put her hand down on a jump, though.

Rudy Galindo- Village People medley. OK, I've seen this three times in person now, and countless times on TV. I should hate it by now, right? Yet, I still found myself smiling at the end. It's such a crowd pleasing number, I don't know how you could NOT smile! I'm sure a lot of people there were at the show last year, and they still loved it. Loudest ovation so far, maybe of the night.

Intermission

Usova & Platov- When You Came Into My Life. If it's possible, she looked happier than at World Pros! The crowd really cheered for them.

Todd Eldredge- I couldn't believe he was so soon! I only had a few pictures left on that roll. :-( I don't know what he skated to, but it sounded like a Broadway song. I know I've heard the singer's voice before. I love Todd (he's my 2nd favorite skater), but this wasn't his night. I think he doubled everything. Not his best program (didn't compare to last year's program!) Got a big ovation though (we all love Todd!)

Klimova & Ponomarenko- Skated to a Luther Vandross song. She had a pretty white costume on. On a side note, there is an adorable picture of them with their son in the program.

Elvis Stojko- What I Like About You. Typical Elvis program. Pointing, hugging people. A HUGE crowd response throughout the program. Took forever to go into a triple lutz (which he landed perfectly).

Oksana Baiul- First, let me say that the ovation for Oksana is always huge. Even last year. But this year, it was just sort of tepid when she was announced. I was surprised. About her program... umm...I'm an Oksana fan, but this was...it was strange. It was classical music, but there were some lyrics like "pain." She started it sitting on the boards (which I had to watch on the jumbotron since I couldn't see from my seat.) She landed two clean triples. She singled her axel twice (that jump must be giving her problems...she singled it 3 times tonight.) Then, half way through the program, when there was laughing in the music, she stopped and skated to the boards, turned towards the audience, and took off her shirt and shorts. Now, from our angle, it looked like she didn't have any clothes on! She had on a skin-toned color costume, and we knew they wouldn't let her skate without anything on, but from our angle...It was just a different program. The reception at the end was equally as tepid. Then, she didn't bow like they all do. She stood there, and was kind of bent over. She stood there for a while, and then they finally announced Viktor. She was still on the ice when his program skated. It took her a long time to skate off the ice. I started to get worried that something was wrong, but she was OK at the end. Strange...

Viktor Petrenko- Michael Jackson medley. When I first heard about this program, I didn't think I would like it, but it's grown on me. His jumps weren't there tonight (touch downs, I think), but he really sold this program. The crowd loved it.

Kazakova & Dmitriev- Fly Me to the Moon. The first throw landing was shaky. I've seen this program so many times that I know it backwards and forwards, but it's still a good program. They did their trademark Moskvina spin right in front of me, and I have never been so impressed by it!

Philippe Candeloro- When he came on the ice, before he even skated, he went around the rink and bowed. Then someone screamed "Take off your shirt!" Guess they were disappointed...probably his only number where he doesn't! he then pretended like he was going to. Finally, he started his D'Artagnan program. I don't think I've seen so many old programs on COI. Still, great program, and another crowd favorite. He went to a woman in the crowd (shock!) and gave her his hand to kiss! LOL

Michelle Kwan- HUGE ovation. A crowd favorite (yea, and mine too!) Wore the beautiful costume that she wore during "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" during her second Disney special. I didn't recognize the song, though. Some of the lyrics were "No one in my life to answer to but me," "I've memorized your face," and "To hold you one more time." That last one was repeated at least twice, so maybe it has something to do with the title? I didn't even recognize the singer. I like the program, though. She did a 3x lutz, 3x sal, and 3x toe. She fell out of her last jump, another 3x toe. It was still a beautiful number. Different from her other programs (definitely more "commercial".) I didn't really fall in love with Red Violin, so I liked seeing a new number (though I was hoping to enjoy it more after seeing it in person), but my friend wanted to see Red Violin. I don't think she was disappointed though. Michelle also did several spirals, including one where she looks up (like in East of Eden) and her change edge spiral. Did two falling leaf jumps. Ended with a charlotte (which seems to be more effective in her exhibition programs than in Araine) into a split on the ice. Again, a different program for her, and I think people will enjoy it. She got one of the biggest ovations of the night, and received the only partial standing ovation of the night.

Brian Boitano- Frank Sinatra medley. Like I said earlier, I really missed him last year! Did a beautiful 'Tano lutz (at the other end of the rink.)

Finale:

All of a sudden, after Brian took his bows, Rudy and P&S were there, and they went right into the finale. Wow! I heard that the ending this year was an ensemble number (like SOI), but I was really surprised. For having only 2 days to work on it, and this only being the 3rd show, they seemed to have the choreography down. It was so hard to watch everyone (and try to decide what to take pictures of!) at the same time. I think this alone was worth the price of admission! It was great. I'll try to explain the best I can. It was skated to swing music. The skaters would come out announced, but they didn't leave the ice (like they did in the opening). Instead, they skated around, and eventually went into a group of other skaters, and danced to the music. They all had coordinating costumes (like they do in SOI.) Sometimes, in the group of skaters, all of a sudden, another skater would just appear. It's hard to explain! The order was:

  1. P&S
  2. Rudy
  3. Elizabeth
  4. B&S
  5. Todd
  6. U&P
  7. Maria (who was the only one to have an old costume on--her short program one from this year.)
  8. Michael
  9. Nicole. The first song ended here, and she was lifted in the air by the other skaters.
  10. Philippe. Was in the middle of a circle made by the other skaters. Did his trademark spin where he sits on the ice.
  11. Viktor
  12. Oksana. Interacted with Viktor when she came on the ice.
  13. Evgeny
  14. K&D
  15. K&P
  16. Michelle
  17. Elvis
  18. Brian
  19. Surya

Then, all the skaters did different things. B&S and K&D did a double death spiral. Michelle, Nicole, and another lady (couldn't see, it was too dark), did spirals. A couple of the men did synchronized jumps, etc. It was so cool! I really hope they continue doing this type of number. If they have it down this fast, I can't imagine how good it will be later on tour! Then, they made a formation on the ice, and posed there for a while. At this point, the audience was on their feet. They then skated around to "We are the Champions," like always, and bowed in line. I seriously would have paid just to have seen that ending! It seemed like there was less this year than last year, but there were several skaters listed in the program that weren't there. Even with the mistakes, a great show!

Check out my pictures from the show


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Photo © Heather Winfield