Part 1 -
This time I decided to take public trans regardless of the rain. So I drove to the "park n ride" and discovered as I headed for the bus, I had just locked my keys in my car. A quick pause, and said to myself, " I'll worry about it later." Off I went to the show.
As I looked out the window of the bus I saw Denver was covered in rain and fog, the sky would not show it's stars tonight. But tonight the stars were going to be seen on the Ice.
I arrived at 6pm for the 7pm show and found the skaters on the Ice practicing their finale number.I started rushing toward my section but thought what for and headed for the first entrance. As I pulled back the curtain to the concourse, Evan for some reason was the first one I recognized. I believe Marty was leading the rehearsal and made the comment " Kimmie is gone now" and my heart sunk a bit, but only for a moment. I could feel the energy of them, like it was "bouncing" around the arena. Pang and Tong (first time I've seen in person) looked to be having a great time. I was still walking down when it looked like she skated up behind Surya and slapped her on the behind. Loud enough to echo slightly through the Pepsi Center and the few people (literally 10 or less spectators) giggled as did Pang. I probably don't need to say it, but it sounded much like someone slapping a rock. - for some reason I keep thinking my notes are wrong and it was Melissa slapping Pang's butt.
As they assembled on one side of the ice, Marina skated around the back and suddenly, "wap" smacked the ice face down HARD, but rose in laughter as the others stared at her in concern. She quickly regained her composure and they continued with their practice laughing it off. This all was so thrilling for me to see these skaters all on the ice practicing, and in practice clothing *swoon* And as I tied my jacket around my waist to hide my incredibly inferior butt to the boys out there. - not really but yes inferior. One of the things I noticed is that Alissa, Pang, Melissa (first time in person) and Tanith have the same issue, they are are "amazingly" more attractive in person - really I think they all are, just some are more when you couldn't believe they could be more beautiful. For example, Alissa's smile in 3D something that can not truly be seen in 2 dimensions (picture or TV) She is stunning. They all were, Shi-chan's smile as she skated around my side, I found myself biting my lip in attempts to keep my jaw from dropping. . Tanith, and just thinking "how is it possible???" LOL. Rena and John (first time in person) looked so good together, very nice couple - I think it shows how much he loves her, like blatantly obvious he adores her - and the area of her checks, nose and eyes "shimmer" in the way her face catches the light. Like they try and depict angels and ferries in movies with the lighting effects. Gwendal is so "rock star" looking to me - Naturally rock star. His hair was straighter than last year. Irina G looked younger than last year, how did that happen. Where is this "frozen fountain of ice youth?"
Marty (I think) started counting off and they practiced the end of the finale number. The 007 lights hit the ice and I realized then that they had improved lighting from last year - and later was not disappointed in that . There was some interesting pairing up but I didn't write them all down (to much happening at once to write - by the time you are 3 seconds into writing, there is something else to write down). The ones I do recall was Ben and Shae-Lynn (first time in person) - saw this a couple of times in the evening - also Ben and Shizuka "quick pairing."
Melissa, Ryan (first time in person) and Johnny were most "playful" - more so than any, although everyone seemed in "good spirits" - but Melissa was "the life of the practice" for sure. I feel like I should mention them all during this but Melissa really stood out as the motivator of this session. She seems so charming and approachable. Denis seemed to be a Butterfly himself, at least having some interaction with most of the other skaters. Can't remember for sure but it seemed he and Dan?, Victor and Plushy had some thing going on - didn't write that down so.... just memory. Ryan seemed to be enjoying himself and some of the skaters were watching him. He is captivating to watch. Rudy and Johnny were practicing having a good time laughing, practiced a throw. Sasha was notably quite / focused maybe. Looked - yah I will say it a hundred times -"Smokin Hot!" And that comment leads me to think of Shae-Lynn for she was as well. She has great cheek structure that really shows in person.
Anyhoo, it was a practice and everyone seemed to be getting it, quickly. It seemed that it was just a run thru of "not having Kimmie" and everyone broke off at the end of it and did some warm up activities and chatted. Johnny was the last off the ice. He really did a couple of great things to watch before leaving the ice - wish everyone could have been there for the first Jump, Wow! And gained speed so quickly. But he had not even put one blade guard on before everyone was in the tunnel.
The arena was silent for a while and looked at the simple blue with stars banner around the boards - think it would have had a better effect if the stars were a mirror image instead of all the stars swooping the same direction. The Cubes of ice that were going to be used in the programme at some point as two assistants moved them to block the entrance tunnel. The ice had no paint on it - YEH!!!!!! It looked simple and nice. The music started up with some nice Jazz for a few songs, played Mrs. Robinson and then Beatles greatest hits. At 6:45 it was still somewhat an empty place, then some pretty ladies from Russia sat next to me and waited for the show to start. One of the People who came in with her child was surprised there were so many empty where she "reported hearing" the show was sold out. ????? Sold what???? Nice rumor, wish it would have been true. 7:03 (19:03) the announcement came the show would be starting, at that point the arena was at around a 1/3 capacity. A few kids were still coming in with the comments of "ah, awesome, wooh" as they look out at the ice from the concourse coming down the stairs then turning to their parents with a smile. *ah how sweet*
The lights went down, the COI spotlights danced on the ice with their classic music playing, all the skaters assembled at center, and the show began.