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

  1. #16
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skfan View Post
    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
    I believe that Michelle's "Rush" or "Eric Clapton" program featured the songs "Tracks and Lines" (track 2 of the Rush soundtrack) and "Bad Love" from an earlier Clapton Album, Journeyman.

  2. #17
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    How about a pro competition with a COP technical program, where aristry counts for 20%, and a 6.0 interpretation program where the artistry is 50% but is the tie breaker? Problem may be with having trained COP judges.

  3. #18
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    Very brave to go for this now...not sure how successful it would be in North America though.

    I don't buy Johnny Weir's "everybody hates me" drama. Never have.
    Same here. It really gets old. I'm tired of his stuff, frankly.

    Gotta give props to Hamilton for at least trying. Pro skating is never going to return unless someone takes a chance on reviving it.

    I wonder what the format of this new competition is. Also, I'd be curious to see which of the retired skaters would participate in something like this.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I believe that Michelle's "Rush" or "Eric Clapton" program featured the songs "Tracks and Lines" (track 2 of the Rush soundtrack) and "Bad Love" from an earlier Clapton Album, Journeyman.
    ah, i see. thank you for filling in the gaps in my musical education

    how many amateurs will compete with these old pros though--aren't there enough competitions crowding the season of the 'amateurs'--now with possibly 3 GPs, the GPF, their national championship, 4cc / Euro, then worlds? are these pro-ams the reason the GP was altered so that the top ranked gets more reserved slots, and opportunties for lower ranked skaters diminish--so that these less established amateurs would end up competing against the pros? i thought that was just a cost cutting move by the ISU
    Last edited by skfan; 06-10-2011 at 10:50 AM.

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    What I see in both the new GP changes and the proposed Pro competitions is the attempt to lure viewers with skating stars, current champions and top seeds in the GP and recently retired champions in the pro circuit.

    Either they don't think there are enough young attractions or/and they try to appeal to older and previous fans to come back to watch their idols once again. I think this view is particularly pertinent to the Americans. A little nostalgia may work up the appetite for the sport again.
    Last edited by SkateFiguring; 06-10-2011 at 11:13 AM.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkateFiguring View Post
    What I see in both the new GP changes and the proposed Pro competitions is the attempt to lure viewers with skating stars, current champions and top seeds in the GP and recently retired champions in the pro circuit.

    Either they don't think there are enough young attractions or/and they try to appeal to older and previous fans to come back to watch their idols once again. I think this view is particularly pertinent to the Americans. A little nostalgia may work up the appetite for the sport again.
    which retired skaters do you think americans will tune in to see?

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by skfan View Post
    which retired skaters do you think americans will tune in to see?
    Eligeble retired American skaters for the Pro-Am:

    Michelle Kwan, Sarah Hughes, Sasha Cohen, Kimmie Meissner.

    Timothy Goebel, Evan Lysacek, Johnny Weir.

    Kyoko Ina / John Zimmerman.

    Tanith Belbin / Benjamin Agosto.

    I think Michelle and Johnny are the greatest draw, though Michelle's interest cannot be counted on.

    Of course American fans are not limited to only American skaters. There are great names like Yagudin, Plushenko, Lambiel, Buttle, Shen/Zhao, Slutskaya, Domnina / Shabalin, etc

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    I'd be happy to see a lot of retired or less active skaters, if they'd come back--people like Klimova/Ponomarenko and Kristi Yamaguchi. It depends on how motivated they are and whether they can get into shape.

    As for Scott, it's a bit disingenuous to say that "if he hadn't founded SOI, some other venue for skaters would have come along." Oddly, almost none did. Champions on Ice was great, but it mostly featured skaters performing their own routines with no connecting thread. An actual performance-based show, featuring ensemble skating and programs choreographed for that show, was far harder to find. Boitano's show lasted for a short time (and I saw one and loved it). There's an Ice Ballet company (can't remember the exact name) based in New York, but it doesn't have the visibility of SOI. Ice Capades was fading and then disappeared. In the U.S., only SOI endured and for a long time brought in audiences. I'm grateful to it for programs like that lovely duet skated by Gordeyeva and Kulik (created by the show's choreographer, Sandra Bezic), for all the Browning pieces, and for featuring less prominent medalists who were nonetheless dynamite lyrical skaters, such as Roca and Sur. It gave longevity to skaters such as Paul Wylie and Kristi Yamaguchi, who were thus able to develop artistically in a way that they never could have otherwise. And for the skaters, it created a family bond that I think has lasted to this day. Katia Gordeyeva certainly was sustained by that bond--I'm sure others were, too, though not in such extreme circumstances.

    I can't imagine that Scott is really homophobic, or he wouldn't have lasted in skating. Remember that SOI featured Rob McCall, and that McCall was a good friend of Scott's. There have been others as well. Whatever went on between SOI and Johnny Weir, I don't think it demonstrates a pattern of behavior on Scott's part.

    As for Scott's one-sidedness, that's a different issue, related to his commentating. If he is, that's a shortcoming, but it doesn't change what he's done for skating in other areas, in my opinion.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    I'd be happy to see a lot of retired or less active skaters, if they'd come back--people like Klimova/Ponomarenko and Kristi Yamaguchi. It depends on how motivated they are and whether they can get into shape.

    As for Scott, it's a bit disingenuous to say that "if he hadn't founded SOI, some other venue for skaters would have come along." Oddly, almost none did. Champions on Ice was great, but it mostly featured skaters performing their own routines with no connecting thread. An actual performance-based show, featuring ensemble skating and programs choreographed for that show, was far harder to find. Boitano's show lasted for a short time (and I saw one and loved it). There's an Ice Ballet company (can't remember the exact name) based in New York, but it doesn't have the visibility of SOI. Ice Capades was fading and then disappeared. In the U.S., only SOI endured and for a long time brought in audiences. I'm grateful to it for programs like that lovely duet skated by Gordeyeva and Kulik (created by the show's choreographer, Sandra Bezic), for all the Browning pieces, and for featuring less prominent medalists who were nonetheless dynamite lyrical skaters, such as Roca and Sur. It gave longevity to skaters such as Paul Wylie and Kristi Yamaguchi, who were thus able to develop artistically in a way that they never could have otherwise. And for the skaters, it created a family bond that I think has lasted to this day. Katia Gordeyeva certainly was sustained by that bond--I'm sure others were, too, though not in such extreme circumstances.

    I can't imagine that Scott is really homophobic, or he wouldn't have lasted in skating. Remember that SOI featured Rob McCall, and that McCall was a good friend of Scott's. There have been others as well. Whatever went on between SOI and Johnny Weir, I don't think it demonstrates a pattern of behavior on Scott's part.

    As for Scott's one-sidedness, that's a different issue, related to his commentating. If he is, that's a shortcoming, but it doesn't change what he's done for skating in other areas, in my opinion.

    how did skating manage to survive in japan without scott hamilton? maybe it was because he founded SOI that they had the idea--maybe without scott IMG japan wouldn't have known what to do with all of their ice skating stars once skating became popular in japan. or do we have to credit scott with making skating popular in japan as well?

    i never said one could say FOR CERTAIN that another professional ice show would have happened--i said you cannot hold as some sort of holy truth in the universe that were it not for scott, there would be NO pro skating in america, that the skating landscape would be so very much worse. i still do not think SOI is all that, but you're certainly welcome to hold the popular opinion that it is.

    scott's crony-ism provides support for some skaters but i feel he excludes others--i have no proof, of course, you are again welcome to hold the popular opinion.

  10. #25
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    I think ICE is a very promising idea. I think it is a serious effort to promote figure skating to a wider audience. I don't know where the negativity towards Scotty come from, it seems VERY misplaced to me. Scotty is one of the most active people trying to keep figure skating in the public eye, he has overcome cancer in his own life, he seems very supportive of all skaters regardless of skill level or nationality or personal preferences. I have nothing but the highest regard for him as a person and as a skater. I hope this latest project of his meets with success and that it promotes more visibility for the sport of figure skating.

    I don't read the ICE proposal as "banning" classical music, just that it wants to promote the use of modern music more. That makes a lot of sense if you want to attract a broader audience to figure skating. I think that having cash prizes is absolutely the right thing to do - you can't get the best tennis players in the world to play without cash, why should figure skaters be any different. Figure skating is just as much a sport as tennis, and the top figure skaters deserve to be paid for their time and effort. THIS IS A MUST! IT IS A SIGN OF RESPECT!

  11. #26
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    In my humble opinion it is not really worth arguing about whether other people could have done what Scott Hamilton did for figure skating in the U.S. As Olympia says, he did and they didn't.

    However, I am still getting more of a show vibe than a competition vibe here. Here is Sport's Illustrated's leading paragraph on the 1995 "Too Hot to Skate."

    If you've had your fill of football, an antidote is to tune in to CBS's Too Hot to Skate on Jan. 4 at 8 p.m. For this exhibition, sequined Olympic gold medalists Oksana Baiul, Scott Hamilton and Katarina Witt headline the show from Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. The four showgirls who join Kurt Browning for his number lend new meaning to the term figure skating.
    Four showgirls and Kurt Browning. OK.

    Don't get me wrong, I love these shows. I think Stars on Ice is fine. But we already have Stars on Ice. The Disson shows are still in business. Disney on Ice tours annually. You can go on a cruise and be entertained by adagio pairs.

    What I am curious about is the plans for the competitive aspects, if any. Since these events are sanctioned ISU competitions, the CoP must be used, along with certified ISU judges. Scott's announcement states that there will be segments on understanding the scoring system.

    Quote Originally Posted by jatale
    I think that having cash prizes is absolutely the right thing to do - you can't get the best tennis players in the world to play without cash, why should figure skaters be any different.
    Of course the performers will get paid. What people were making fun of was the idea of giving a special cash bonus for each "difficult jump" that they include in their programs. Like if you gave Federrer an extra $1000 bucks for each ace that he served.

  12. #27
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    My understanding is that ICE IS A COMPETITION. I thought that was very clear from the ICE web site. ICE is not an exhibition. The goal is to have the best skaters of the last 10 years battle it out competitively, using new choreography with current music, and with as much athleticism and technical content as possible in a pro-am environment. I'm not sure what the idea is behind the cash for jumps, but I think it is to encourage the use of the most demanding jumps in the competition in order to keep the technical content high.

    I'm a bit confused as to how the older skaters are supposed to compete on a level playing field with the current Olympic competitors, however. Maybe some of the "elders" can summon the technical content to do so, but I'm guessing that the judging rules will leave more room for artistic and presentation points where the "elders" might have an advantage.

  13. #28
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    Select group of skaters invited from all four disciplines: Ladies, Men’s Pairs and Ice Dance.
    As long as he has any of the dancers, I am

    Since T&D have been doing the British skating with celebrities program, I wonder whether they might come back for this?
    And K&P are teaching--I wonder whether they are in competition shape? I hope so!
    the Kerrs are a huge draw wherever they go.

    And you've got to have V&M and D&W, absolutely

    It doesn't seem quite fair that the singles and maybe the pairs will get cash for jumps and since the dancers don't jump, is there any technical feat that they can earn money with?

  14. #29
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    I'd "tune in" for just about any figure skating on TV. Problem is, there's been so little of it--and much of that on channels I don't get, even with cable. When the only skating on TV is the Christmas specials and maybe Skate America and the U. S. championships, how is skating supposed to maintain any kind of fan base? How do you show support for the U.S. world team if the world championships aren't televised? It's hard to be a fan of what you never get to see. Sure, there's YouTube, but you have to actively search skater by skater, program by program and never really get any kind of sense of the competition as a whole.

    More skating on network television would bring back old fans, rope in new ones, and encourage more skaters to be more competitive during their eligible careers and to continue skating as professionals.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    As long as he has any of the dancers, I am

    Since T&D have been doing the British skating with celebrities program, I wonder whether they might come back for this?
    And K&P are teaching--I wonder whether they are in competition shape? I hope so!
    the Kerrs are a huge draw wherever they go.

    And you've got to have V&M and D&W, absolutely

    It doesn't seem quite fair that the singles and maybe the pairs will get cash for jumps and since the dancers don't jump, is there any technical feat that they can earn money with?

    IIRC you have to have won a world or olympic medal within the last 10 years to be invited, so torville and dean wouldn't fit this criteria. on the other hand i can hardly think of a bigger name in dance for drawing audiences. my suspicion is if the organizers don't get enough takers, enough marquee-name retired participants, that they will relax their criteria--and soon it will be within 15 years, any GP medal, doesn't have to be world or olympics. the goal is to draw people, right? the people watching will hardly care exactly how long ago skater X or couple Y&Z won their medal, only how interesting, entertaining the TV program is.

    i think what's most important to me is that there be no live band that the camera will be cutting away from the skaters to show, and that they relax this 'contemporary' music constraint, so that the skaters have more artistic freedom. of course if torville and dean were to participate they could skate to bach and nobody would have the nerve to object

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