From Sacramento show:
I thought Alexei was maybe a little tired or hurting for this show. He doubled a jump in the opening number (or one of the group ones, but I think it was the opening), I think doubled another in "Winter" (who cares!), and seemed a little off on the over-the-back flip with Anton (but maybe the off centeredness of that was intentional). But his speed, footwork, etc, was fantastic as always. "Sway"...hmmm. I found it not as offensive live as on the video clips I had seen, because you can better sense the playful attitude of it....but I still prefer it greatly once it gets on the ice, as I still think "Candeloro" with any such audience interaction. Shoot me.
Steven Cousins. Have always been bored by him on television, and always very entertained by him live....same now. He comes across much better to me live than "Memorex".
Yuka looks like she has to be THE nicest, sweetest person on earth...that beautiful joyous smile with everything she does. "Beanfields" went over quite well, which was nice. And I can't imagine any other skater performing during the tribute videos...no one. To see her and Jason skate together, true beauty and love on ice.
Jennifer...Never realized what a great spinner she is! I am glad to see her getting such wonderful reactions from crowds that probably 85% don't know who she is....she's really come into her own. Her skating, the softer aspects of it, reminds me of Caren Kadavy.
Todd is BACK! Who'da thunk he'd had ankle surgery, and then was injured just a few days ago? I liked both of his programs, but really think the quiet power of "Bolero" suits him very well. Wonderful performances, both of them.
Jamie and David....I don't care for them much, based on what I personally inferred of their personalities during the whole SLC thing. But I'll never deny they are great skaters, and they truly put it out there for us. They both do comedy numbers well, and are so much fun to watch. "I want to know what love is" didn't impact me as much as some of their other romantic programs have, but was nicely done. And Jamie sells the whole "hat" number well, and was fun watching her in that one.
Kyoko and John....The usual, high energy number that has audiences going "WHOOO" and "AHHHH" all the time. The "false start" skits were cute....but I don't understand why, all these years on the tour now, they STILL only get one program per show...[color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color] is up with that??
Elena and Anton...major highlights for me, and PLEASE come back on SOI next year....I would SO miss seeing them. Not a perfect evening in terms of technical (the throws get a little away from Elena at times), but so much passion and pure, beautiful elegant skating. Not sure why they added the hip hop to the "Chaplain" number, but I didn't mind, because it kept them on the ice a little longer!
Other misc. thoughts:
I enjoyed the video clips during the intermission, as it gave you more skating during the Zamboni time! (but bad if you have to go to the bathroom and still want to see the clips!)
Scattered applause, and certainly some tears, when Sergei Grinkov is seen on the memorial video clips, not to slight the other SOI members lost through the years, but I am sure many remember Sergei best because it was most recent.
Great job as usual with the costumes!
Went to San Jose and will be at Anaheim as well, but this is enough of my impressions I think!