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Thread: 'ICE' ISU Open Pro-Am series planned for 2012 (Scott Hamilton's brainchild)

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    'ICE' ISU Open Pro-Am series planned for 2012 (Scott Hamilton's brainchild)

    From ISU Communication no. 1671 (dated April 19, 2011):
    The ISU Council gave its agreement in principle to create a series of annual Open International Competitions which shall be skated over a period of three separate television competitions, to be held on three separate weeks in three different geographical locations, in principle one in Asia, one in Europe and one in North America. The participants in this series may be among eligible and ineligible skaters and should be a medallist of either a ISU World Championships or Olympic Winter Games in their respective discipline within the previous ten years.

    The initiative was presented by a United States based organization called ICE - International Cup of Skating Excellence, LLC (hereafter called "ICE"), who includes as its Chief Creative Officer the 1984 Olympic Figure Skating Champion, Mr. Scott Hamilton.

    Subject to receiving a satisfactory detailed proposal of ICE (location, dates, confirmed cooperation/understanding with the concerned ISU host Members, invited skaters, event format and technical package (free skating only), prize money etc), the ISU is available to sanction three competitions during the season 2011/12 that cannot be in conflict with any ISU Event and/or national championships of the concerned host Members.

    Further details and the Announcement shall be released as soon as the specific ICE proposal has been received and approved.
    I just came across what looks like an official site for this project: http://icechampionship.com/
    http://icechampionships.blogspot.com/p/about-us.html
    ICE CONCEPT
    Select group of skaters invited from all four disciplines: Ladies, Men’s Pairs and Ice Dance.
    Three-week competition: Two rounds on consecutive weeks, then the finals.
    International series: A different country hosting each week of competition.
    Nine hours of compelling TV programming: Three, three-hour programming blocks.
    Fresh and unpredictable: Skaters perform new routines in first two rounds.
    Head-to-head finals: The top two in each discipline qualify for their championship.
    Exciting, fan-friendly performances featuring contemporary music.
    Innovative and interactive presentation of elements and scores for television and live audience.
    Cash bonuses for landing technically difficult jumps.

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    What a nice idea! It will have to take place after Worlds and before GPs.

    I would imagine Unisport to carry it in NAmerica but will they also show it in Europe and Asia?
    (Lots of logistics to consider for this undertaking.)

    What are Exciting Fan Friendly performances to contemporary music mean? I presume that means Hamilton's Golf Program but
    not to any music written by Debussy. Maybe a rock and roll number.

    Cash bonuses for landing difficult jumps. I can hear an announcer saying that Quad Axel deserves a $100 bonus.

    Will the judges be showbiz celebs looking for innovative and interactive presentation and scores?

    I guess I'm being facetious but I will look at the first comp and if it is not silly, I will look at the others.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    I am feeling the same misgivings as Joe about this. Bob Dustin was the producer of many of the cheesiest cheesefests in the 1990s and early 2000s (Too Hot to Skate, etc.) Bobby Goldwater is a big name in sports facilities and venue management. He was part of the management team for Madison Square Gardens for a long time (maybe still is?)

    This company is an "LLC" (Limited Liability Company), meaning that investors can buy into the company without assuming liability for its losses. 2012 is not far away. They must have some sponsorships and television deals lined up already.

    To me, too, the part about "exciting fan friendly performances to contemporary music" sounds a lot like those shows that hire a rock and roll band to try to attract ...(actually, I am not sure whom.) A cash prize for doing a hard jump seems like a gimmick.Isn't this a competition? Do we have to pay them to put a jump in their competitive programs?

    Now here is where Joe and I don't agree. I think the old Marshall's and Campbell's competitions were great. In the fall Campbell's we got the first showing of the skater's new competitive programs for the year, and by the December Marshall's we could see how they were coming along.

    There were also some very worthwhile pro-am competitions in the "Masters of Figure Skating" series in 2000, 2001 and 2002 (called the Hallmark Championship in 2002.)

    Here are the results from 2000:

    Men
    1. Todd Eldredge, Exotica, The 13th Warrior
    2. Alexei Yagudin, Etude of Revolution, The Gladiator
    3. Ilia Kulik, Devil's Trill, Rockit
    4. Stephen Cousins, Cool Jazz, It's About That Walk

    Ladies
    1. Michelle Kwan, Tracks and Lines/Bad Love, Beautiful World
    2. Irina Slutskaya, Culture, Schindler's List
    3. Yuka Sato, The Islay Maiden, Take My Hand
    4. Maria Butyrskaya, Scene D'Amour, Possession
    5. Chen Lu, Take Five, Within You, Without You

    Pairs
    1. Elena Berezhnaya & Anton Sikharulidze, Polyushke Poyle (Meadowlands), Smooth
    2. Kyoko Ina & John Zimmerman, Truman Show, My Baby You
    3. Xue Shen & Hongbo Zhao, Allegretto, Beethoven's Last Night

    And 2001

    Men
    1. Alexei Yagudin, Winter, Man in the Iron Mask
    2. Todd Eldredge, Jumpin' Jack, 1492
    3. Ilia Kulik, Pick up the Pieces, Rubber Band Man
    4. Steven Cousins, Shine on You Crazy Diamond, Belfast Child

    Ladies
    1. Irina Slutskaya, Serenade, Samson and Delilah
    2. Michelle Kwan, East of Eden, Fields of Gold
    3. Yuka Sato, Color of Roses, The Colour Of Roses
    4. Sasha Cohen, My Sweet and Tender Beast, To Love You More
    5. Maria Butyrskaya, Melody of the White Nights, All that Jazz/Cabaret

    Pairs
    1. Kyoko Ina & John Zimmerman, Shine on You Crazy Diamond, Battle Hymn of The Republic
    2. Xue Shen & Hongbo Zhao, Kismet, Pink Panther
    3. Mandy Wötzel & Ingo Steuer, No Holly for Miss Quinn, The Greatest Gift Of All

    http://www.goldenskate.com/competiti...2.shtml#hc2002

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    leave no stone unturned seniorita's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Do we have to pay them to put a jump in their competitive programs?
    If it wasn't for Chan that brought the quad in fashion again this season, I was worried we might have to

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    Rooting for the divas with Kwanford Spun Silver's Avatar
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    This concept sounds workable to me... although I'm sure I'll dislike most of the music. :sheesh: (I'm frozen in the past musically.) I think the cash for hard jumps is to make sure this isn't just a show-skating contest where jumps are considered dispensable or done at a minimal level. It will also attract the best skaters and deter those who aren't staying in great shape.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spun Silver View Post
    This concept sounds workable to me... although I'm sure I'll dislike most of the music. :sheesh: (I'm frozen in the past musically.) I think the cash for hard jumps is to make sure this isn't just a show-skating contest where jumps are considered dispensable or done at a minimal level. It will also attract the best skaters and deter those who aren't staying in great shape.
    Like you, I worry about the music. But i'm thrilled at the possibility of substantial skating on TV! I agree with Mathman that some of the so-called cheesefests gave a lot of good skaters a chance to try out new programs, and I have similar hopes for this series. Hey, we're starving out here! Let's hope this is nourishing food for skate fans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    Like you, I worry about the music. But i'm thrilled at the possibility of substantial skating on TV! I agree with Mathman that some of the so-called cheesefests gave a lot of good skaters a chance to try out new programs, and I have similar hopes for this series. Hey, we're starving out here! Let's hope this is nourishing food for skate fans.
    will the camera be on the musical act half the time? if the musical act has to be guaranteed 50% face time, how about having the camera on them uninterrupted for the first half of the song, and then the skater comes out for the 2nd half of the song, with the camera on the skater for that portion of the show?

    olympia, lang lang is the musical artist for shanghai art on ice, if i didn't misconstrue a post on one of the other boards. would you prefer the camera on lang lang or the skater?

    mathman, i don't recall that 'bad love' program--i thought MK skated 'rush' and 'beautiful world' at 2000 masters. i could be remembering it wrong
    Last edited by skfan; 06-09-2011 at 10:13 PM.

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    Constable , Costume Police colleen o'neill's Avatar
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    When the first references were made to this idea , I feared more cheesefests. Then when I heard Scotty was behind it , I felt a bit better because , by and large , SOI has tried to keep a high standard over the years. Now I'm back to feeling ambivalent..I don't know about the jump bonuses..I'm leery of the specifying contemporary music..( I don't watch DWTS , in part because of the contemporary homogenization..if that's a word..of the music.)..I particularly hope they avoid the live music thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by colleen o'neill View Post
    When the first references were made to this idea , I feared more cheesefests. Then when I heard Scotty was behind it , I felt a bit better because , by and large , SOI has tried to keep a high standard over the years. Now I'm back to feeling ambivalent..I don't know about the jump bonuses..I'm leery of the specifying contemporary music..( I don't watch DWTS , in part because of the contemporary homogenization..if that's a word..of the music.)..I particularly hope they avoid the live music thing.

    i didn't mind the cheesefests. for one thing, i liked lisa marie allen and dorothy hamill and rory flack and the other skaters who came out of the mothballs to grace these cheesefests. heck, most of my favorite caryn kadavy programs came from the cheesefest era. even cindy stuart showed me something rarely seen among the wonder-jumper generation (MK and her contemporaries). thing is, those skaters had the artistic control over which cheesy music to use--i don't welcome 'contemporary music' robbing them of that freedom.

    i find the inclusion of hamilton anything but encouraging. i don't find SOI to be any bastion worth preserving. for some people any skating is better than none, but the disson shows had the camera man cut away from the skater before the skater even completed a move (a spin, an ina bauer, a spiral)--it just was too disruptive for me, aside from the fact that HD tv is not kind to the 'contemporary' bands disson's camera zoomed in on. if i'm watching skating for the aesthetics, this was the antithesis of it.

    we'll see soon enough. i actually liked too hot to skate, although i could have done without the long fluff on tiffany stiegler and her brother johnny one of those years

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    I like pie. Tonichelle's Avatar
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    I hate that it's pro-am and being run by the ISU


    this explains why Scott and Speedy were so chummy at Worlds, though. (And I LOVED Too Hot To Skate... don't knock it!). I wish folks could get past their hatred of his commentary and realize he's done a great deal for the sport in the US... SOI was started because he was out of work so soon after his olympic moment, but it created a very good stage for so many wonderful skaters to have lasting careers. Would we have seen Kurt Browning do Nyah on Champions on Ice (Hmmm, no because COI had a falling out with Kurt in the early 90s). Kristi Yamaguchi, Paul Wylie... Gordeeva and Grinkov. yeah, Scott was so horrible to all of them.
    Last edited by Tonichelle; 06-09-2011 at 10:57 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle View Post
    I hate that it's pro-am and being run by the ISU


    this explains why Scott and Speedy were so chummy at Worlds, though. (And I LOVED Too Hot To Skate... don't knock it!). I wish folks could get past their hatred of his commentary and realize he's done a great deal for the sport in the US... SOI was started because he was out of work so soon after his olympic moment, but it created a very good stage for so many wonderful skaters to have lasting careers. Would we have seen Kurt Browning do Nyah on Champions on Ice (Hmmm, no because COI had a falling out with Kurt in the early 90s). Kristi Yamaguchi, Paul Wylie... Gordeeva and Grinkov. yeah, Scott was so horrible to all of them.
    he was biased, extremely unbalanced in his commentary, running on decades. his voice assaults the ears, and if johnny weir is to be believed, he discriminates against skaters who are more openly homosexual. i find him utterly, utterly distasteful.

    is stars on ice really so great? IMO it focuses too much on the differences between men and women under his and bezic's leadership.

    you can say a lot of skaters 'got work' that way, but how do you know for sure kurt wouldn't have founded something with a wider artistic vision if scott hamilton weren't already there as an institution? IMG has almost a monopoly on skaters representation--they seem quite capable of organizing shows to enrich themselves and their skaters in countries like japan where (hopefully) lord hamilton does not reign supreme.

    there's no way you can say there wouldn't have been some other vehicle in place to display the talents of gordeeva and grinkov and others. i can't say there definitely would be, you can't say there definitely wouldn't be--neither of us has the power to know that, unless you're actually g*d in disguise, spending time on a messageboard instead of patching up the ozone layer and pacifying the tectonic plates
    Last edited by skfan; 06-09-2011 at 11:09 PM.

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    I like pie. Tonichelle's Avatar
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    so Scott is now a mobster who has so much power that he's kept others from being creative (Brian Orser and Brian Boitano both had tours of their own that were semi successful before dying out. IMG backed Orser, Boitano had his own company)... AND he has so many skaters running scared they won't speak about how homophobic he is... nice, I like powerful men, no matter how short they are...

    I don't buy Johnny Weir's "everybody hates me" drama. Never have. :sheesh:

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    I was for this idea some time ago, I suggested a pro GRand Prix but like the idea of a pro-am and it will give impetus to the sport as it is falling drastically in numbers particularly in North America and Europe but quite the reverse in Asia which has grown ten fold, due to the likes of YuNa, Mao, Miki, Dai, and Nobo.

    My only concern if there will be enough pairs or Dance teams (from pro era) who would be able to participate, the only competitive ones I can think of that perform well or Shen/Zhao and from Dance Drobiazko/Vanagas.

    How will it be scored are we reverting to the old pro 10 system or will it be judged on COP which for the pros is an all new ball game (well for some).

    Will it entice the likes of Kwan, Yagudin, Hughes, Slutskaya?

    And will they be televised is the question, will the US commit themselves, I know maybe Canada would?, would we see the Euro event on Eurosport? (very much doubt it).

    How long would it last might be a flash in the pan.

    But I am all for trying new things so good for these guys to try and do something.

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    Gotta Have Music iluvtodd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle View Post
    I hate that it's pro-am and being run by the ISU


    this explains why Scott and Speedy were so chummy at Worlds, though. (And I LOVED Too Hot To Skate... don't knock it!). I wish folks could get past their hatred of his commentary and realize he's done a great deal for the sport in the US... SOI was started because he was out of work so soon after his olympic moment, but it created a very good stage for so many wonderful skaters to have lasting careers. Would we have seen Kurt Browning do Nyah on Champions on Ice (Hmmm, no because COI had a falling out with Kurt in the early 90s). Kristi Yamaguchi, Paul Wylie... Gordeeva and Grinkov. yeah, Scott was so horrible to all of them.
    While I'd like Scott to tone down his screechiness when he does commentary, thank goodness he started SOI!

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    There is really too much gimmicky included in this proposal. A straight forward contest for the summertime without the gimmicks,and with top prizes for 1 to 6 placements to encourage participation might work for a general audience. Hopefully Hamilton's raspy high pitched voice will not be heard as commentator.

    I still would prefer a Retired Skaters' Annual event with scaled top prizes for all participants.

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