I posted this same post on a COI thread on FSU, and I thought I'd post it here, too. The show was really wonderful, best COI I've seen in years.
The show was lightly attended, not great for COI, but nice for the audience. Because of the light attendance, the show had a more intimate feel to it. The quality of skating was incredible overall--I recall only one fall, Amber, and that was not during her solo. The Ladies, especially, were all spot on. Michelle's program was jumped packed, and she did four double axels in a row as her "star turn" in the cowboy/cowgirl closing.
One of the nicest things about the small audience was that they really seemed to appreciate ALL of the skaters, not just a couple of favorites. Even those not well known to the general audience (Pang and Tong being the best example) got very enthusiastic responses for their performances based upon the high quality of the skating. Michelle got the loudest applause, but there were no standing ovations (aside from a few people) or shrieking uber responses to any one performance or skater. The audience simply enjoyed the whole show, and that was really nice to experience.
Highlights for me were Michelle, whose performance makes me believe she's deliberately keeping up the tech on her best jumps throughout the tour to allow her to work on other things this summer--this simply wasn't the skate of someone looking to retire. Her program was beautiful, fluid and very elegant. Sasha's program was a perfect fit for her--I've never enjoyed her in exhibition as much as I did yesterday. Her Charlotte was breathtaking and she used it in the closing number to set up a gorgeous transition from her "star turn" to Jenny's. Jenny skated beautifully with a huge smile on her face. As she came around our end even my hubby stopped snapping photos and commented on how great she looked. Amber did a great program that suited her style. Irina was strong and looked wonderful, even if she did skate to Brittney Spears!! Interestingly, all these ladies and their flow and presentation showed just how juniorish Kimmie Meisner still is. Don't get me wrong, Kimmie skated great, but the arm movements, style and ability to relate to an audience just isn't there yet.
Pang and Tong were amazing, and the audience responded in kind. T and M did a beautiful program, and O and L showed the promise of a great future. I did like A and P's "Star Wars" -- it was different, skated well, and I thought the light saber section was choreographed very well considering the speed they kept throughout. Their costumes were perfect for the program. B and O and "Shadritsa" were amazing in person. Johny Weir didn't jump much, but the quality of the skating was glorious. My only real "ho-hums" were Timmy and Elvis. Tim looked tense out there (my husband asked if he was injured) and Elvis, well, his techno shtick is getting old, he's gained some weight, and he skated slow for Elvis, which IMO took away from the program. The acrobats did something fresh, not just same old-same old, and Dan Hollander's program was worth it just for the "Single-double-single" quick jumps to Richard Simmon's instructions.
I also felt the cowboy closing was the best closing number the tour has had in YEARS. Just the two full lines of skaters doing step dance footwork together was worth the cost of the ticket.
Overall, based upon the quality of skating and the audience enjoyment factor, this was the best COI we've seen in years. I would really encourage everyone to go--you won't be disappointed.