Can't find a place to put this- if the mods find a better place, go for it.
Just came back from the DC show. Good turnout...the Olympic year made things a bit more hectic than usual but it worked out nice.
Once again I got to attend the pre-show reception hosted by the Capitol Skating Fund. This time I'll keep it short and to the point (last year I rambled on- I was overtaken by my own excitement in meeting skaters for the first time...now I'm almost a veteran ). There was an auction where cool prizes from the Olympics were on display. Didn't bid on anything though. First skaters to come were Meryl Davis and Charlie White. Meryl said at the beginning that their schedule was tight and they may not be able to get to everyone, but they were very nice about it. I was successful in getting an autograph and picture. After more festivities, Jeremy Abbot came out- then Todd Eldredge, Mirai Nagasu and Alissa Czisny. They did not spend long, though- there were more people than they could get to. As a result I was able to catch Abbot and Eldredge but not Czisny or Nagasu- they left before I could reach them :(
I felt differently about this year's show than I have about the previous two shows I've been to...I felt that this time, I was enjoying more "individual performances" than the show as a whole, whereas last year and the year before, it was the other way around.
It started out a bit rough. Four falls in just the first two performances. (I think there were that many TOTAL at the previous three shows I've been to!) Nagasu fell on two jumps, Abbot fell on his first and stumbled badly on a second. After that, though, it smoothed out. I was trying to like Nagasu but I think the falls took her out of the performance (she did her SP)- it didn't have any of the fire and spunk it had at Nats (or the Olympics). Next was Czisny with "You'll Never Walk Alone"- this surprised me a little as I was expecting to like her more than I actually did. She wasn't bad or anything, but I guess I didn't feel a very strong connection music-wise. She's a visually appealing skater though.
Other highlights- Davis & White- Not a fan of ice dancing but they rocked the Indian folk dance. I also enjoyed Ben Agosto on the guitar, and Tanith/Ben's playful performance to "If It Kills Me". Weiss and Eldredge were the usual- solid, they know how to perform- and make the girls scream, lol. Weiss's backflips were a hit with the audience- big applause each time. And they're great!
Yuka Sato really is made for this. If I HAD to pick a favorite performer this time around, I think she would eek it out over Belbin/Agosto...I'd have the two tied for 1st, actually. She had me the whole time she was out there. It was great. And weird thing is, I didn't even take huge notice of her in previous years, although she was still a great performer. But this time I felt that she chose the right pieces that really show off her style.
Oh yeah- the Czisny/Cohen duet was nice too. Better than the video indicated. They actually did do one set of jumps in unison (it occurred after the video ended). And yes, in case you were wondering, both skaters were successful in landing them.
Czisny's second piece showed off her playful side. Now THIS is the Alyssa I wanted to see. Great second performance from her.
That's about it. The group numbers were cool too. I think after the initial rough start I was beginning to get concerned it would be a disaster but especially in the second half it turned out to be a really entertaining show. Lots of fun numbers, as I've now come to expect from SOI. As some of you know, those are the performances I enjoy the most, and especially Belbin/Agosto and Sato, and Davis/White- they were my faves this time around. Followed by Czisny's second performance and her duet with S. Cohen.
I was a member of the Fan Club and was lucky enough to score one of their "Meet & Greet" passes after the show. It was a little chaotic initially but they got things in order. There were actually two groups- the "Aftershow" folks and the "Fan Club" folks, of which I was in the latter group, of course. After waiting a few minutes in the stands, they let us back into the press room. Now, having already met Davis/White, Abbot and Eldredge at the Pre-Show Reception, I was hoping for different skaters. I especially wanted a second chance to see Nagasu and Czisny in particular. I was so disappointed when I missed them before, especially Czisny. So we're in the room waiting, talking about who might show up and in comes Olympic champ Evan Lysacek. (Taller than I expected, wow.) Nice guy- we were seated at tables and he came to each one, one at a time to sign programs and take photos. When he (finally) got to our table I got an autograph and pic. At that moment Ben Agosto walks in. I was also hoping Tanith was with him but she wasn't :( Still, another very nice guy. Told him he rocked it on the guitar He appreciated us coming out. and of course, got the usual autograph and pic. Once Ben was about a couple of tables away from ours, look who walks in other than Alyssa Czisny. Yes, so the second time IS the charm!! She is also very friendly. I do admit to being just a TAD "giddy" once I shook her hand and she was signing my program- it was just for a second, though. Then I got the courage to tell her I enjoyed her out there. I then asked the host if that was all, because I had to run to catch my return train. Seemed like it was- so I was out of there...
So glad I got a second chance with Alyssa. (She was worth it!) Sucks that I missed Mirai completely though :(
Before I Go...
I have pics, taken with my P&S but actually I had overall better luck this year getting pics to come out because getting my new camera has forced me to learn some photography basics- and that has in turn allowed me to discover some "tricks" I didn't know before. I'm undecided as to whether I will post them or not. If I do it may be tomorrow...this weekend...or maybe a few weeks from now. We'll see.
Hope this post was worth your time. - RD
P.S. I didn't post this at the time but I did have an encounter with Kimmie Meissner a few months ago. I don't think I've ever been more nervous meeting someone in my life. But I did a good job not showing it. And don't even ask me why I was. Surprised me, too.
Tally of skaters I've encountered so far: Sasha Cohen - Shen & Zhao - John Zimmerman - Todd Eldredge - Michael Weiss - Kimmie Meissner - Ben Agosto - Davis & White - Alissa Czisny - Evan Lysacek - Jeremy Abbot. I think that's everybody. All encounters except Meissner took place at an SOI show, either pre- or post-performance. And to think just two years ago I was marveling at all the folks that have gotten to meet skaters (how'd they do it??) when I have met exactly zero.