I watched, videotaped, and thoroughly enjoyed the two-hour broadcast of Kristi Yamaguchi's "Salute to American Music" on Sunday afternoon. Great show!
Kristi Yamaguchi looked absolutely beautiful, and she is still skating at top level, with several clean triple jumps, fast spins, and interesting choregraphy.
My favorite program was Paul Wylie's performance to the soundtrack from the motion picture "JKF". Great skating, Paul. Although he skated "only" double jumps - his perfect double axels, flips, toes, and lutzs were beautifully executed and well placed in his program. He had a furious, quick-footed sequence to the drum taps that were part of the "JFK" prologue. If I remember this correctly, the drum taps were heard as background over footage of President and Mrs. Kennedy's motorcade through Dallas prior to his assassination.
Paul is still a fabulous showman. His routine was at least four minutes long, possibly longer, and he was pouring perspiration when he finished. The audience loved his routine, with many of them on their feet, and they gave him a long, prolonged ovation. Wylie seemed thrilled to be back on the ice again.
Immediately after this segment, a short "conversational" segment with Paul was aired, in which he said he had skated practically non-stop from the age of three to thirty-three, at which time he returned to school and got a "real" job.
Even when he was working in corporate America, he frequently skated during his lunch hour, just for the fun of it. Paul laughed and said, "It's incredibly hard for me to stay in shape now. Skating feels almost like an out of body experience, and I feel as though I'm almost arthritic. But I love it, and I continue to skate."
Paul turned 40 earlier this year, yet he continues to skate with great skill, artistry, and a lot of heart.
Kurt Browning paid tribute to American composer Jim Croce, and skated a terrific number to "Time in a Bottle".
Brian Orser said his favorite singer, to skate to, was Neil Diamond, and he skated to one of his many great songs. Orser is 43, and he still looks great on the ice.
Roz Sumners skated several numbers. She also turned 40 this year, and she still looks "young" out there - very energetic, and (forgive me) "perky".
Ilia Kulik skated several great numbers, as did Renee Roca and Gorsha Sur. I was delighted to see Art Garfunkel sing two "live" numbers, one of which, "Bridge Over Troubled Waters", was skated by Kristi.
There were several ensemble numbers. IMHO, this was one of the best skating shows "made for television" that I've seen in a long time. It was short on schmaltz and long on excellent music and skating.
Great job, guys! IMHO, of course!