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Thread: COI San Jose Review

  1. #1
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    COI San Jose Review

    This is a long post. I am not sure this is the right forum for it. If not, can a moderator move it to the right forum? Thanks.

    The opening sequence was good, as always. I like it that each skater has his/her own music that fits the skating.

    This is the order I saw the show in.

    The show started with Amber Corwin in a pink dress, to a light hearted number. They announced her as a USN bronze medallist. I don’t recall Amber being on a USN podium and making it to worlds. It was not her fault, of course. She skated well.

    Orscher Lucash: Skated to Bach’s Air on a G-string, with some rhythm added to it. I did not care for the add ons. They had many tricks – big throw triple, Detroiter, etc. Their throws are really good but overall they seemed slow. Still a nice skate, and well received.

    Rudy Galindo: Announced as “San Jose’s very own”. Who can forget his 1996 USN performance in that arena? He sat in a chair with a ‘fur’ coat on, then threw the coat into the audience. He moved the chair across the ice and even did a headstand on it. Then some skating. Removed the black outfit to reveal a silver one. As always, he had great presence. He looked directly at the audience. His skating is not good as I remember from the past, but he has had a hip-replacement surgery (ceramic hip, to allow flexibility). He did a double axel, a triple toe and doubled another one. His stroking, spins and lines are still good. The audience gave him a very nice reception.

    Surya Bonaly: I have missed seeing her skate. She did 3 back flips in the 3 segments (opening, her solo, and closing). The last one was landed on one foot, which is always amazing to watch. The audience predictably went wild on those. Rest of the program was respectable with some triples (loop, salchow), a double axel, split, shoot the duck (always my favorite), etc. She is a better skater now than she was as an amateur. I thought the choice of music may not have been the best. The program lacked excitement, until she did the back flip.

    Dan Hollander: He is such a talented skater, but I really don’t enjoy his humor. This one was an ‘exercise’ routine. He started with sitting in a recliner, then slowly getting up to do exercises. He had ‘bags’ into his costume to make him look out of shape. Later he took off the pants and was in shorts. This was not my favorite number. He has done better ones in the past. I would prefer to just see him skate a normal routine. He really is a good skater and he needs to allow himself some serious routines. May be the producers want him to skate a humorous routine every time.

    Pang & Tong: Skated to the Prayer- last year’s program. It is very good and they had their wow moments- big throw, nice pairs sit spin at the end, etc. Pang looks much better in black pants. In the competitions I find her thin legs rather painful to watch. Everytime I am struck by how good Tong is. I wish Pang could improve her posture and lines. They deservedly received a very nice applause.

    Viktor Petrenko: I know he has had injuries, and he does not have the power he once had in his jumps. He skated to Mac the Knife, with a prop (looked like a sword, or may be a stick?) which he used throughout. He did his trademark 3 turns entrance into a triple toe, which was nice. It seemed like he was having a little difficulty with the jumps. As an ‘old’ Olympic champion, he skated in the first half. It was a good skate, but not the Viktor of the past. That was sad.

    Anissina-Peizerat: Nice surprise to see them with COI this year. Their performance to Star wars was the highlight of the show for me and my two young nephews. They started with robes and lightsabers (red and blue), in a battle. Then they took the robes off- very smoothly, while skating, and switched to the Episode II music, and finally skated to the flag parade from Episode I. Marina lifted Gwendal a few times which drew wow’s from the audience. They had great speed, difficulty, and they were everything I expected of an Olympic champion ice dance team.

    After the intermission, Jenny Kirk started off with Evita. The slow section was nice, skated to “You must love me”. The fast section skated to the train station music seemed a bit fast for her. She does not have a lot of power and speed in her skating. Overall a nice performance though, with a few triples and a double axel.

    Tim Goebel: Skated to Albinone’s music. His outfit was half black, half red. He did an easy triple salchow at the start. He should be able to do a quad salchow in the year. He did 3lutz, 3flip, and a 3t-3t combo! The spins looked OK. Could be faster during a competition.. He had a lot of facial expression throughout and seemed to be feeling the music. He skated very very well. I hope he can get back on top next season.

    Belbin-Agosto: Skated their FD, and they were such fun! They were fast, energetic, entertaining, with a lot of difficulty. Ben is such a good skater, and he and Tanith are so well matched on the ice! Everybody LOVED this performance.

    Besedin-Polishchuk: This Ukrainian team has been drew WOW’s from everyone. They received the second highest applause of the evening (the highest of course went to Michelle). They dressed like speed skater first, then they were swimming with ‘fins’ attached to their skates, and finally playing basketball (in shorts). They do such amazing things on ice that are hard to imagine. Their performances have great entertainment value. (Irina Grigorian was not in the show; I don’t know if they alternate as entertainers).

    Elvis Stojko: Huge reception. He skated to 1-2-3 fire (I am not familiar with this song/music). Fast music, fast skating, particularly his footwork and spins. The jumps are not what they used to be, but still very respectable. Nice applause at the end of his high energy routine. He has his own style and vision of his skating and he never compromises that.

    Sasha Cohen: Looked stunning in a turquoise blue dress (when does she not look stunning?). She did her usual tricks- the gorgeous spiral, Charlotte, I-spin, great splits, etc. She landed a couple of clean triples- not the strongest but they were clean. Great applause at the end.

    Johnny Weir: One of my most favorite skaters, and it was easy to see why. He moves so lightly across the ice! It is effortless. The jumps are so light, he reminds me of Ilia Kulik. He skated to Unchained Melody (last year’s program?). He had his fantastic spins of course. It was a real treat to watch him skate.

    Irinan Slutskaya: This is another skater that absolutely commands the ice. She was very fast across the ice, with lots of difficult moves. Her ebullient personality really comes across in a live performance. She wore a black pants dress with a red trim. She did a triple toe in the beginning, then 3turns into a triple loop, and later she did a 3-2-2 jump combination. Of course she did the Biellman spin (she also did one in the opening number) and other spins. She was fabulous and well received by the audience.

    Totmianina-Marinin: They wore their 2004 worlds LP costumes and skated to a Russian song. I was happy that they used something from their culture. I always appreciate their great basics- lines, extension, speed, etc. They did a throw triple loop which was gorgeous, sbs triple toes (wow!), and a split triple twist toward the end. They had a lot of difficulty, including the carry lift where Tatiana gets into a difficult position and continues to change into other split positions. They looked very secure, even during the most demanding tricks. Hard to believe they had that horrific fall at Skate America last year. They were TERRIFIC, and I was surprised that they received only a polite applause from the audience.

    Michelle Kwan: She was the last skater of the evening, as expected. I did not know the song but she had a dynamite performance, with a double axel, 3toe, 3lutz-2toe-2loop combination, 3flip, and her trademark change of edge spiral which she held for a long time. The spins looked good and she had 3 different positions on the spin (preparation for next year?), but it is easy to see why she would receive less marks than Irina and Sasha in the spins. As good as she is, others have faster spins with more power. Her flow across the ice is always so good- so light and effortless. It was a real treat to watch her. The only thing I did not like was her costume- it was too plain and black, and did not really add to the performance, but who cares? She is queen of the ice in the USA at least, and she has that aura about her.

    The finale had a cowboy theme. They brought some real fences on the ice, and men dressed as cowboys with hats, and the women in long frilly dresses (but later they took them off for more skating friendly costumes). The finale was fairly long and again gave us the opportunity to see the highlights of each skater. The audience seemed to love it, based on the applause and I was happy that I made the trip to San Jose to see the show. It was one of the better COI shows, if not the best. They do need more recent Olympic champions, IMO. Viktor and Marina-Gwendal were the only Olympic gold medallists in the show and they both skated in the first half. It seems SOI has grabbed all the Olympic champs. Still, the current world champs and medallists seem to be belong to COI. Their schedule allows them to prepare for the eligible competitions.

    Missing in action were: Irina Grigorian, who was listed but was not there. Stephane Lambiel was not there either; I had read on some reviews that he was in the show. The program had a full page picture of Evgeni Plushenko, and he was listed right after Michelle Kwan in the program. I knew he would not be there, and it was good to at least see his picture. As much as I missed seeing him skate, I am happy that he is taking care of his health.
    I was surprised that none of the mens medallists was in the show (Lambiel, Buttle, Lysacek). Also the omission of Navka-Kostomarov, the ice dance world champs was a surprise. Not surprisingly, the other P&T -Petrova &Tikhonov were missing. As much as I like them, it seems the shows don't care about them.

    Overall, an excellent show. Everyone landed nearly everything they had planned. There were hardly any spills or any half hearted efforts. The skaters gave it their all and the crowd appreciated it.

    I am already making plans to go to COI in San Jose next year (there will be the new Olympic champions in it, hopefully), unless they decide to make a stop in Phoenix.

    Vash
    Last edited by Vash01; 05-01-2005 at 05:27 PM.

  2. #2
    Custom Title brad640's Avatar
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    That was a great review. Thanks for describing all the San Jose performances. I agree with you about Dan Hollander. I enjoyed his eligible programs, but the humor is not good. I guess he did not have the credentials to get a COI offer without being the comic relief, but I would much rather see him skate regular exhibitions than those he does for COI.

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    My take....

    I was there, too. I had been debating whether or not to go, but a friend who had an extra ticket called me on Friday

    I enjoyed the show and there were some nice surprises. I felt everyone skated well and was blown away that most everyone did multiple triples.

    Adding to Vash01s post:

    Amber skated to Big Fine Daday by Lavay Smith. She looked nice and landed a couple of triples. Compared to the other ladies, she was a bit slow. Admittedly, I've never been a fan of hers as I feel she has a strange posture when she skates.

    Jenny looked beautiful in her dress, but what bothered me about her music were the abrupt cuts. There were 3 or 4 different songs from Evita (movie version), but to me it seemed the cuts were not long enough and it seemed choppy.

    Irina skated to Oops I Did It Again by Britney Spears. She was a lot of fun to watch and she was having a great time on the ice.

    I love Sasha's number to Don't Rain On My Parade.

    Pang and Tong's The Prayer was beautiful. They did a great throw triple (can't remember if it was loop or salchow). They also had a great move similar to Ina/Zimmerman's liberty lift (John in spread eagle with Kyoko standing on in thighs) but Pang was facing away from Tong.

    Totmianina and Marinin actually skated to an Italian song by (I think) Andrea Bocelli. I was blown away by their speed (as well as P/T).

    I also enjoyed Tim and Johnny. I was impressed that Tim landed 5 triples and it was nice to see him skating to Albioni's Adagio.

    Michelle skated to Madonna's This Used To Be My Playground. She wore a smple black dress with spaghetti straps.

    The final group number was lots of fun. I was impressed that O/L did their throw triple flip. Tanith Belbin has got to have the longest legs!!!

    The show made me hungry for next year - I can't wait!!!

    Herm (sk8ngnutt)

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    Quote Originally Posted by hrmsk8ngnutt
    I was there, too. I had been debating whether or not to go, but a friend who had an extra ticket called me on Friday

    I enjoyed the show and there were some nice surprises. I felt everyone skated well and was blown away that most everyone did multiple triples.

    Adding to Vash01s post:

    Amber skated to Big Fine Daday by Lavay Smith. She looked nice and landed a couple of triples. Compared to the other ladies, she was a bit slow. Admittedly, I've never been a fan of hers as I feel she has a strange posture when she skates.

    Jenny looked beautiful in her dress, but what bothered me about her music were the abrupt cuts. There were 3 or 4 different songs from Evita (movie version), but to me it seemed the cuts were not long enough and it seemed choppy.

    Irina skated to Oops I Did It Again by Britney Spears. She was a lot of fun to watch and she was having a great time on the ice.

    I love Sasha's number to Don't Rain On My Parade.

    Pang and Tong's The Prayer was beautiful. They did a great throw triple (can't remember if it was loop or salchow). They also had a great move similar to Ina/Zimmerman's liberty lift (John in spread eagle with Kyoko standing on in thighs) but Pang was facing away from Tong.

    Totmianina and Marinin actually skated to an Italian song by (I think) Andrea Bocelli. I was blown away by their speed (as well as P/T).

    I also enjoyed Tim and Johnny. I was impressed that Tim landed 5 triples and it was nice to see him skating to Albioni's Adagio.

    Michelle skated to Madonna's This Used To Be My Playground. She wore a smple black dress with spaghetti straps.

    The final group number was lots of fun. I was impressed that O/L did their throw triple flip. Tanith Belbin has got to have the longest legs!!!

    The show made me hungry for next year - I can't wait!!!

    Herm (sk8ngnutt)
    Thanks for the additions. I am not very knowledgeable about the vocals they use in show routines, so I knew only a few songs. Thanks for telling us what they used.

    About Tanith's legs, I have to disagree. IMO Tatiana Navka has longer ones (she was not there, so Tanith wins the legs race at COI- Laugh)

    Vash

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    Arm Chair Skate Fan show 42's Avatar
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    Vash and nutt...........great reviews. Wish I could have been there too. Thanks for taking the time effort............42

  6. #6
    Da' Spellin' Homegirl Grgranny's Avatar
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    I really enjoyed your reviews. Thanks a bunch. I always loved Dan's mop program.

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    Thumbs up

    Well gang, I just saw the show today (01/05) at the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim. I was going to post a review as a separate thread, but in all honesty, I wouldn't have anything much different to say than what VASH just said about the show in San Jose. I was really glad I went, because I don't get cable TV, and was finally able to see what I presume were alot of the exhibition pieces from Worlds.

    This was my first C.O.I. show, and it's alot different from S.O.I, mainly because there are twice as many skaters, and they each do only one solo routine, and two ensemble pieces (at the beginning and the end). With S.O.I, the skaters all participate in numerous group pieces and solo numbers throughout the evening.

    My overall impression of the afternoon was "Psychedelic Baybay!" Not only were most of the costumes loud and colorful, but all the fancy lighting patterns all over the ice turned the whole thing into a 60s experience visually (but a 90s experience, audially). During Irina's solo, the ice actually resembled a giant Twister mat.

    The western oriented grand finalé was an eye-popping riot of orange, yellow and pink. The women were all drop-dead gorgeous, and it was great getting to see them in bare midriffs. I noticed that Jenny Kirk is now sporting some navel jewelry (glad I brought my binoculars).

    There weren't a whole lot of mistakes made, although Surya Bonaly fell during the opening ensémble, and Katie Orscher nearly slid into the wall during the closing. Seeing Pang & Tong in person leaves quite an impression. She gets thrown so high up, it's literally like he's tossing a pizza.

    Something that was also noticable was all the empty seats. I think this problem could be alieviated if they were to charge about half as much. They'd wind up making the same amount of money, because the arena would be full instead of half-full. When the cheapest seats are going for $35 each, it pretty much closes the door on alot of working class families who ordinarily would probably love to take their kids to something like this.

  8. #8
    Tripping on the Podium
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    Jeffery B. was not there because he's skating with the CSOI tour.



    Kathie

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    Figure Skating Is A Dangerous Sport Dee4707's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reviews, I enjoyed reading them. COI didn't come to Nebraska or Iowa so it was great to read your reviews.

    Dee

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    Joey Votto Fangirl KwanFan1212's Avatar
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    Thanx for the reviews. I didn't get to see COI this year either so I appreciate reading some reports on how the show went and what you thought of it. If it comes closer to me this coming season (it only came to Columbus, OH this year and I only drive that far to see SOI, not COI, LOL ) I might try to get out and see it again. I've not seen it since the 02 tour after SLC. Glad to hear its a better show this year than its been in the most recent past.

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    Idleracer, I could not agree more about ticket prices for COI and SOI. Of course, ticket prices in general are out of control these days, both for concerts and sporting events. It seems like decent seats at any event these days cost $60 and up, which seems a shame. But, while U2, Britney Spears, the NFL, and the NBA apparently have large enough fan bases to actually support these prices, I don't think figure skating does at this point. I believe many people are still interested in seeing skating shows, but not when it involves shelling out up to $300 for a family of four (for good tickets, parking, and food). Up to $300 for a 2-hour show is a lot of money. I think you'd see a big increase in attendance if they cut ticket prices in half. And also I think audiences' satisfaction level will rise (which ultimately will lead to higher attendance levels in the future.)

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    These venues can get the money for other events, so COI has to be competitive pricewise or they won't get the dates. If COI lowered the ticket prices and cut their profits, the show might cost more than it made---and it might fold. It's a two-edged sword.

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