2017 U.S. Stars on Ice (April 13 & May 4-21): publicity articles, fan reports & more

overedge

G.O.A.T.
Messages
30,408
I don't think there needs to be pro competitions for shows like SOI to be successful. What there does need to be is adequate rehearsal and choreography time so that the skaters have the time to develop something original and interesting.

I'll admit that I haven't been to SOI in a couple of years, but part of the reason (apart from the bad music choices) is that I got tired of too many exhibition programs that I'd seen already and group numbers that were really messy. Not that the skaters weren't capable of doing them - it looked like they just hadn't had enough time to practice them.

I know that ice time is expensive and that the skaters have to be paid more $$$ for more rehearsals. So the "drop in and do your exhibition number" model is probably more profitable. But maybe it's time to do things differently and invest more money to make a better show.
 

SkateFanBerlin

Well-Known Member
Messages
870
This is a message board about a sport. Fans here are going to make comments and analysis based on that. Is she a beautiful woman in a normal sense? Of course. Can she be considered fit in terms of what is required for elite figure skating? No, she's nowhere close.

Fans of all sports can be brutally honest with their opinions. I don't see why you think commentary should be all rainbows and butterflies. It simply comes with the territory.

She was probably contractually obligated to be there. Doesn't sound like she's doing her job, disappointing fans who paid real money to see her. Expressing disappointment is one thing but being "brutal" is really about the brutalizer. "Fans" spewing vitriol about something that's supposed to be fun seem pathetic.
 

ilovepaydays

Well-Known Member
Messages
11,388
She was probably contractually obligated to be there. Doesn't sound like she's doing her job, disappointing fans who paid real money to see her.

If SOI ends up unhappy with her performances on this tour (and we don't know how they feel and being that they are the employer, it's their opinion that counts), it could be a real problem for Gracie. If, hypothetically, Gracie doesn't make the Olympic team, they may decide that may be the final straw that it's not worth it to have her on next year's tour. And if they are planning more shows in an Olympic year tour, she will miss out on that $$$$$. That could be brutal financially.
 

Simka

Active Member
Messages
152
I was at Anaheim last night. Nathan Chen and Karen Chen were both very charismatic, impressive, and fun. Vincent Zhou was good, but not as riveting as Nathan and Karen. Meryl and Charlie were fabulous as always, and Madison Chock and Evan Bates were superb. Gracie Gold only smiled and looked happy in a couple of the group numbers, but she and Adam Rippon did a transition duet to "City of Stars" from La La Land that was lovely. I thought that it was nice to see an unrestricted forum where Jeremy and Adam could really stretch their creative wings; I loved all four of their programs, and the bits where they skated together. Ashley was fierce. There were a lot of empty seats in the audience, but I sure thought what audience was there was very supportive of the show - I didn't notice anyone leaving early.

I personally prefer a show with some of the old-timers and international skaters in the cast (I would LOVE to see that Katia and David Pelletier number from the SOI show in December), but seeing an all-American show every once in a while is not too bad. I would have liked to see Jason Brown and/or Josh Farris in the cast.
 

SkateFanBerlin

Well-Known Member
Messages
870
If SOI ends up unhappy with her performances on this tour (and we don't know how they feel and being that they are the employer, it's their opinion that counts), it could be a real problem for Gracie. If, hypothetically, Gracie doesn't make the Olympic team, they may decide that may be the final straw that it's not worth it to have her on next year's tour. And if they are planning more shows in an Olympic year tour, she will miss out on that $$$$$. That could be brutal financially.

If Gracie wants out of the whole scene it will be complicated. She has so many endorsements, contracts, etc. One tactic would be to screw up a few times, run her mouth in the press, etc. making it more attractive to let her out than fight to keep her in. (Anyway, I hope it's just a slump and she finishes out here career in a good place.)
 

Spun Silver

Well-Known Member
Messages
11,811
She was probably contractually obligated to be there. Doesn't sound like she's doing her job, disappointing fans who paid real money to see her. Expressing disappointment is one thing but being "brutal" is really about the brutalizer. "Fans" spewing vitriol about something that's supposed to be fun seem pathetic.
I dont think anyone commenting here is being brutal or spewing vitriol. It is more a matter of shock that a skater widely considered to be America's top Olympic contender for the past four years is in serious decline only 9 months before the Games. It makes her chances of even making the team seem slim. It is natural for fans to be vocally surprised, distressed and concerned, even (or especially) fans who only wish her well.
 

misskarne

Handy Emergency Backup Mode
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20,991
I dont think anyone commenting here is being brutal or spewing vitriol.

I think labelling a girl as "a big girl" and dropping nasty implications about her weight when she is clearly not "a big girl" or overweight is rather vitriolic.
 

Spun Silver

Well-Known Member
Messages
11,811
@misskarne - Those are both very elastic and subjective terms and neither one is brutal. No one here is talking about clinical definitions. In this context what is being talked about is a visible weight gain that is not typical of a skater who is laser-focused on the Olympics. It would not be worth mentioning in a second tier skater, but this is Gracie Gold:
https://www.instagram.com/p/BQRY_LPg7zq/
who on not making the Worlds team changed coaches and informed the skating world that she would spend the time getting ready for the Olympic season. It does not look like that is going at all well. Hence the concerns about her physical condition.
 

twizzlesizzle

Active Member
Messages
254
@misskarne - Those are both very elastic and subjective terms and neither one is brutal. No one here is talking about clinical definitions. In this context what is being talked about is a visible weight gain that is not typical of a skater who is laser-focused on the Olympics. It would not be worth mentioning in a second tier skater, but this is Gracie Gold:
https://www.instagram.com/p/BQRY_LPg7zq/
who on not making the Worlds team changed coaches and informed the skating world that she would spend the time getting ready for the Olympic season. It does not look like that is going at all well. Hence the concerns about her physical condition.

You could see her literally counting her way through her choreo. Not the group choreo, HER single program choreo. I looked at pictures from the last few seasons and she is not the girl she was when she was winning. The Taylor Swift, Hollywood, SoCal girl that GG became took a toll on her. Is she at a point where her body is changing? Maybe. She's grown a lot since she came into the top tier. Some of it may be in her control, some of it not. What we can say without a doubt is that she's not in the same competitive shape as those around her. She also isn't a happy person on the ice. There's more than likely more problems than just the skating aspect.
 

Wyliefan

Trying to appease the skategods
Messages
31,667
I don't give a crap about her weight. But if she can't even come up with a show program that has a little content, I'm worried about her commitment and her chances next year. She's not my favorite, but I would have liked to see her come back strong next season, if only to go out on a high note. It's a pity to see all that talent go to waste, not to mention her mental and emotional struggles. I hope she can find some joy and purpose in skating again if she's going to keep on.
 

love skating

Clueless American
Messages
2,705
I saw the Anaheim show on Saturday. I LOVED Davis and White - Adagio For Strings was gorgeous and Sax was so fun - I thought Charlie got a lot of the spotlight in that number. Was super impressed with Karen - she did pop a toe loop in the second number, but hit everything else .. including the 3 lutz 1/2 loop 3 sal combo in the first number. Butterfly Lovers was so beautiful! You can tell Nathan is already a big star as he got big applause when announced. Nice to see an easy quad and he looked to be having lots of fun in his two programs. I actually saw lots of smiles from him! haha Loved Chock & Bates - Tango brought to mind the old Chairmen number and Jenni and Todd's own chair tango number, but they had many new moves and it was such a great program. The lady next to me said "awesome" when it ended. I liked seeing Under Pressure too - was wondering if they'd do the twizzles and they did perfect ones. Was nice to see Vincent - I believe it was the same program he did for Nationals ex. He did a Rippon 3 lutz and a cantilever into a 3 flip. Speaking of Rippon - was nice to see Adam back... he performed his heart out. I'd describe his second number as "a cat burglar who stops off at a dance club" lol. Ashley was great - hit all her jumps and looks right at you in the crowd. Handclap was so infectious! Gracie - well, as a big Gracie fan it is difficult to see her not in peak form. From the applause at her name the fans still love her and I hope she can somehow comeback stronger. Was happy to see her beautiful gold dress in person. It was the first time I saw Hubbell and Donohue live - gosh they look 7 feet tall! Very statuesque. I liked their first number better than their second. Didn't quite understand Jeremy's black and white ninja programs but always appreciate his commitment to his programs and he still moves like no one else - he always has had his own style which I admire. I think I liked black ninja better than white - but he also had some jump issues in the second one which might be why I was more drawn to the first. Some people have said there wasn't really a theme to the show - I think the theme was "masks and hoods" - just kidding haha, but there were so many of them - plus a lot of laying on the ice! I still love going to SOI every year and this year was no exception... always enjoyable.

During Karen's 2nd number I kept hearing these big bangs/booms - thought it was her music at first but when it continued into Jeremy's number I figured out it had to be fireworks from Angel Stadium just across the freeway. Saw my brother the next day and turns out he was at the game! And yep it was the fireworks we heard exploding!
 

Sylvia

So happy the JGP season is back!
Messages
66,810
Thanks very much for your report, @love skating!
I saw the Anaheim show on Saturday. <snip> Was nice to see Vincent - I believe it was the same program he did for Nationals ex. He did a Rippon 3 lutz and a cantilever into a 3 flip.
Vincent's Rippon Lutz is at 2:05 in this excited young fan's vlog (SOI show music is not included with any of the skating clips): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mf1VaDk-9c
I think the theme was "masks and hoods" - just kidding haha, but there were so many of them - plus a lot of laying on the ice!
Case in point ;): https://www.instagram.com/p/BUC7ZY8jL26/?taken-by=karebearsk8&hl=en

Hubbell & Donohue's "Stand By Me" (San Jose?): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsHUY4ldCJU

Fan vlog of clips from the Hershey show, including the beginning voiceovers in the dark leading into the opening number: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27cg63PZDpU
 
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mollymgr

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,053
I'm still curious what the ice dance group number with the masks and hoodies was about. I saw it appear briefly in one of the recap videos from youtube and it was intriguing. I was also trying to figure out the meaning to Jeremy's ninja themes.:lol:
 

AxelAnnie

Like a small boat on the ocean...
Messages
13,486
I'm still curious what the ice dance group number with the masks and hoodies was about. I saw it appear briefly in one of the recap videos from youtube and it was intriguing. I was also trying to figure out the meaning to Jeremy's ninja themes.:lol:
I was there, and I have no clue what it was about!
 

AxelAnnie

Like a small boat on the ocean...
Messages
13,486
You could see her literally counting her way through her choreo. Not the group choreo, HER single program choreo. I looked at pictures from the last few seasons and she is not the girl she was when she was winning. The Taylor Swift, Hollywood, SoCal girl that GG became took a toll on her. Is she at a point where her body is changing? Maybe. She's grown a lot since she came into the top tier. Some of it may be in her control, some of it not. What we can say without a doubt is that she's not in the same competitive shape as those around her. She also isn't a happy person on the ice. There's more than likely more problems than just the skating aspect.
Her body is certainly changing, but it is not her maturing. She had little love handles hanging over her costume in the last group number. She just looked awful. It was really, really sad. And her heart and energy were not there. It was especially evident in the group numbers where the others were all out skating, and Gracie was either behind or ahead of the choreo. Never on it.
At the weight she is, it will be very difficult for her to do a 3/3.
I have a friend who is an OGM winner from Nagano. He and his family were at my grandson's birthday party over the weekend. It is so interesting speaking with him about sport. In the off season, sure, you might put on a FEW lbs. But when it is moving into competition season, there best not be an extra ounce......especially for fast revolutions.

Saddest part for me is there was no joy there. Ashley...........you knew she wanted to be there.
The Chens, Adam, everyone else really put themselves out there. I don't know what she did in other shows, but in San Jose, she had one double jump in each number. That's it. Not so great for someone who is (was) arguably one of the best jumpers in the world.
 

Kecasyl

Well-Known Member
Messages
948
I saw the Anaheim show on Saturday. I LOVED Davis and White - Adagio For Strings was gorgeous and Sax was so fun - I thought Charlie got a lot of the spotlight in that number. Was super impressed with Karen - she did pop a toe loop in the second number, but hit everything else .. including the 3 lutz 1/2 loop 3 sal combo in the first number. Butterfly Lovers was so beautiful! You can tell Nathan is already a big star as he got big applause when announced. Nice to see an easy quad and he looked to be having lots of fun in his two programs. I actually saw lots of smiles from him! haha Loved Chock & Bates - Tango brought to mind the old Chairmen number and Jenni and Todd's own chair tango number, but they had many new moves and it was such a great program. The lady next to me said "awesome" when it ended. I liked seeing Under Pressure too - was wondering if they'd do the twizzles and they did perfect ones. Was nice to see Vincent - I believe it was the same program he did for Nationals ex. He did a Rippon 3 lutz and a cantilever into a 3 flip. Speaking of Rippon - was nice to see Adam back... he performed his heart out. I'd describe his second number as "a cat burglar who stops off at a dance club" lol. Ashley was great - hit all her jumps and looks right at you in the crowd. Handclap was so infectious! Gracie - well, as a big Gracie fan it is difficult to see her not in peak form. From the applause at her name the fans still love her and I hope she can somehow comeback stronger. Was happy to see her beautiful gold dress in person. It was the first time I saw Hubbell and Donohue live - gosh they look 7 feet tall! Very statuesque. I liked their first number better than their second. Didn't quite understand Jeremy's black and white ninja programs but always appreciate his commitment to his programs and he still moves like no one else - he always has had his own style which I admire. I think I liked black ninja better than white - but he also had some jump issues in the second one which might be why I was more drawn to the first. Some people have said there wasn't really a theme to the show - I think the theme was "masks and hoods" - just kidding haha, but there were so many of them - plus a lot of laying on the ice! I still love going to SOI every year and this year was no exception... always enjoyable.

During Karen's 2nd number I kept hearing these big bangs/booms - thought it was her music at first but when it continued into Jeremy's number I figured out it had to be fireworks from Angel Stadium just across the freeway. Saw my brother the next day and turns out he was at the game! And yep it was the fireworks we heard exploding!


I'm still curious what the ice dance group number with the masks and hoodies was about. I saw it appear briefly in one of the recap videos from youtube and it was intriguing. I was also trying to figure out the meaning to Jeremy's ninja themes.:lol:

It was to a cover of "Black Hole Sun" by Nouela, it was very different and I loved it, the choreography could have been more creative though.
I was there, and I have no clue what it was about!

Jeremy's first number (in the black)to "Land of All" by WoodKid from Desierto (it's a film) he's not a ninja per se in this program. If you pay enough attention to the lyrics of this (and the 2nd program to "In This Shirt" by the Irrepressibles) and realize that the lyrics talk about missing a father (his dad passed in 2015) it may make more sense to you more so the second program than the first.

In this shirt
I can be you
To be near you
For a while
In this shirt
I can be you
To be near you
For a while

To the depths
Of the soil
Buried deep
In the ground
On the wind
I could hear you
Call my name
Held the sounds

I am lost
I am lost
In our rainbow
Now our rainbow
Has gone
I am lost
In our rainbow
Now our rainbow
has gone
-----------------------

I miss the friends I had to leave behind
My dad saying: "I'm proud of you, son"
It makes me want to go home
Could I ever call this place home?

I came to break the wall that rose around you
To see the land of all
I will fall for you
I will fall for you

There's more than likely more than that behind it because he changes his mind on interpretation of things a lot, and it also has to do with Benoît R.'s vision for the choreography too.
 
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misskarne

Handy Emergency Backup Mode
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20,991
I could be wrong, but I read "big girl" as being a comment on her being a grown adult and thus she should be responsible for her music choices and her quality of performance.

Looking at who posted it I thought it was obvious it was a remark about weight.

Her body is certainly changing, but it is not her maturing. She had little love handles hanging over her costume in the last group number. She just looked awful.

Just...disgusting. Do you even hear yourself?
 

aka_gerbil

Rooting for the Underdogs
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3,050
I was also at the San Jose show, and in regards to Gracie, I don't think anyone is trying to be mean or hurtful. A certain degree of physical fitness is necessary in order to successfully perform the elements required to compete at the highest levels. That is just the reality of it. Skating, especially at the elite level, is an incredibly physically demanding sport in terms of it what it requires in order to execute elements and maintain stamina. She does not have that degree of fitness right now. Yes it is the off-season, but almost all of the skaters in the show are current competitors and will be competing next season and they're all in fighting shape right now. Even the other skaters who haven't been competing and aren't going to be are fit. Weight is part of it, but it's not the only part. I don't think she's physically capable right now of doing an sp much less an lp. I felt sad for her and I hope that she is able to find what makes her happy and brings her peace, whether that's somehow regaining a love for skating or finding a passion for one of the many other things this great big world has to offer.

As for the show as a whole, I definitely felt like I got my money's worth and enjoyed the evening. My favorites were Nathan Chen--who is already formidable, but I'm hoping will stick around through 2022 to fully develop overall--and Hubbell/Donohue. They are wonderful dancers and their skating is divine. I know this was just a show, but I was very impressed with the technical aspects of their skating--power, effortless stroking, very fluid and graceful, deep edges, carriage, etc. Their performance quality is more introverted than extroverted, but they certainly drew me in.

As others have commented, the arena wasn't even close to full. I think it's more complex of an issue than the programs should be different, etc. Skating on the whole isn't as popular in the US as it once was or currently is elsewhere. IMO, Stars on Ice is kind of an end point when it comes to interest in the sport. It's not the starting point. It's the skating fans that go to SOI, not the general public going to SOI and then becoming fans. I have thought for a long time that USFS tries to put the cart before the horse sometimes and make or force certain skaters into stars instead of just letting things happen naturally (such as in gymnastics where the girls become stars based on accomplishment and not because tptb picked out certain girls to make them into stars). I think growing the skating fan population rests more on USFS than SOI, but the full conversation is probably best left for a different thread.

That said, I wonder if the day of week and time of day is contributing to low attendance. Most of the people at the show seemed to be people who brought kids and older people who are probably retired. As things stand currently, increasing attendance from those pools is probably the best bet. A show that starts at 7:30 and with intermission runs until almost 10 is a pretty late night for younger kids and some seniors who are inclined to go to bed at an earlier time. With the Friday shows, you also factor in, at least with families with kids, they've worked all week, school, everyone's tired, and who wants to scramble with wrapping up the day and the week, and dinner, and probably traffic (It took me an hour to drive the last 15 miles to the arena)? If these shows were weekend afternoons, I think that would help entice more people to come.
 
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blancanieves

Well-Known Member
Messages
771
I was also at the San Jose show, and in regards to Gracie, I don't think anyone is trying to be mean or hurtful. A certain degree of physical fitness is necessary in order to successfully perform the elements required to compete at the highest levels. That is just the reality of it. Skating, especially at the elite level, is an incredibly physically demanding sport in terms of it what it requires in order to execute elements and maintain stamina. She does not have that degree of fitness right now.

I do appreciate however, your effort to approach the issue at hand, fitness readiness, with enough care so as to avoid the semblance of a "personal attack." How one communicates something either conveys or distracts from the message.

As a woman, it's virtually impossible to escape objectification of some sort in ordinary life, let alone athletics. So I choose to be particularly careful with my words regarding physical appearance, because I don't want to contribute to a culture at large that already is harmful to the general female psyche.
 

twizzlesizzle

Active Member
Messages
254
Looking at who posted it I thought it was obvious it was a remark about weight.



Just...disgusting. Do you even hear yourself?

Get over it Karne. Gracie is by far the most out of place on the tour. The videos don't lie. I was at one of the shows. She has half a clue as to what is going on. She's not happy. She doesn't look interested. Her body is not in shape for an elite skater of her stature. She's not bad looking by any means. She's got a couple extra pounds that wouldn't make a difference to anyone OUTSIDE the sport. However, with where she was and the competitive fitness needed, she's not there. Again, she's still beautiful, but she's just not Olympic level fitness ready.
 

misskarne

Handy Emergency Backup Mode
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20,991
thank you for that layered, meaningful and insightful comment.

About as layered, meaningful and insightful as you continuing to imply that a slim young woman is overweight, when she is clearly anything but. You know people like YOU are the problem with perpetuating body image issues, particularly among young athletes? You try and dress it up all pretty by claiming it's just about "competitive shape", but there's nothing pretty about it.
 

AxelAnnie

Like a small boat on the ocean...
Messages
13,486
About as layered, meaningful and insightful as you continuing to imply that a slim young woman is overweight, when she is clearly anything but. You know people like YOU are the problem with perpetuating body image issues, particularly among young athletes? You try and dress it up all pretty by claiming it's just about "competitive shape", but there's nothing pretty about it.
You may have answered this up thread, so I apologize in advance if you have.

Which of the SOI shows did you attend?
 

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