I drove up from Denver last night to Loveland with two friends to see Improv Ice. Overall it was a very nice show....though not nearly as professional or well-done as say Stars on Ice. It was also fairly short. It started after 7 pm and with a 30 minute intermission, it was done by shortly after 9 pm. It was a fantastic cast of skaters. Foreigner was the musical talent and still sounded the same as they did years ago.
Kristi Yamaguchi and Brian Boitano hosted and did fairly well. Their comments were obviously scripted and kind of cheesy but both were warm and engaging and got a loud cheer from the audience to start the show. They had to do a retake (actually two tries) of the opening monologue after the show because Kristi made some errors. They didn't allow any skater retakes so all the falls will be in the broadcast unless they pan away to the band during it.
This is supposed to be a competition where the viewers can log onto Universal Sports and vote for the winner. I think it will be hard to tell on TV because they won't be showing the entire routine of each skater for the 2nd round since they always cut to the band alot. Each skater did two improv numbers that they choreographed that day. The first one was to a popular piece of music and the second one was to a live song by Foreigner. I didn't keep notes so I'm going from my impressions and recollections....also don't know which song each skater did.
Alissa Czisny started it off and the skaters remained in the same order both halves. She had a number from Glee the first round and skated beautifully but I think only did a 2 axel. Her Foreigner routine was fine too. She fell on the only triple she tried (3 loop) and to me rock and peppy numbers don't suit her like the beautiful classical numbers she is so good at. She looked beautiful but super thin. I love her skating...especially spins.
Ryan Bradley. One of my friends went gaga over him...thought he was adorable. He really entertained. Not alot in the jump department but some fantastic original moves and his cool crooked back flip in both numbers.
Rachel Flatt came out with a darling new haircut. Chin length and sassy. It really really suits her. She had a rock/hip hop number for the first one and it didn't look quite right on her. But good try. However her triples were rock solid the whole night. Although her first number didn't impress, her Foreigner number she did was quite amazing. She filled it with choreography, moves, four solid triples including the flip. It was a soft number, not big rock. You can tell she has really been working on her artistry, though she is no Sasha or Alissa yet. Good for Rachel.
Jeff Buttle. He did great....great energy and really got the crowd going both numbers. Solid on all his elements. think he did 3 lutzes in both plus a couple other triples combines with great skating technique.
Sasha Cohen. First number was Katy Perry upbeat. She really did a fantastic job and I didn't see a wobble all night. Her 2 axels were gorgeous and she did a triple toe and triple salchow absolutely perfect. When you combine that with her line, energy, incredible positions and artistry...to me she had my vote. She is really trained and at the top of her game.
Jeremy Abbot. He was just so so. Seemed a bit uncomfortable and had falls in both programs including a 2 axel in the second one. but the quality of his skating and footwork is to die for so even if Improv isn't his strength he is still great.
Joannie Rochette: Great job....rock solid in both numbers. She had a sort of country number for the first round and skated in legging jeans. She hit some great triple toes and salchows in both programs. Crowd definitely knew her from Vancouver.
Evan Lysacek. He did really well with his choregraphy and energy. He looked super fit. I remember his Foreigner number was Cold as Ice. Cant' recall his first number but he had a bad crash on the triple lutz. Otherwise, he looked rock solid on all the jumps just like the old Evan. crowd really roared for him when he came out and it's neat to hear him announced as the OGM, though kristi started to announce him as the U.S. national Champion and stopped herself.
At the end they paired up a guy and a gal and each pair did a short number on the ice. Bradley did a small pair lift with Flatt onto his shoulder. the crowd love it. My one friend said she enjoyed Sasha and Jeffrey the most and she has never been to a live skating show in her life. My vote goes to Sasha. Evan had the crash on the lutz but otherwise might have won...still might, we'll see.
All in all I enjoyed the show. The negatives were that it was not nearly as good as Stars on Ice but the ticket prices were about the same and we had a long drive from Denver up to Loveland. Most of the Disson shows manage to make all the broadcasts pretty much the same as all the others....kind of formulaic. The cuts to the musical talent always kind of kill it for me. However, I'm glad I get to see these skaters any where now given that skating seems to be fairly invisible in the U.S. these days.