Photo by Michelle Wojdyla

Champions On Ice Summer Tour - 1999

At Tom Collins request, Rudy is again doing the Village People Medley program on the Summer Tour. Some of us have seen it a dozen times and it always makes us happy, and most of those who are seeing it for the first few times enjoy it as much as ever. However, there are also those who wish Rudy would do a new program--or the Violin program--so for them we offer the above explanation!

Now that it's late May and Rudy and the Village People program are as popular as ever with COI audiences, there's no doubt that Tom Collins did the right thing!

Baltimore, MD, April 9

 "Overall, the show was a bit ragged as you would expect on opening night -- I'd almost call it a "splatfest" -- several falls, ugly touchdowns and step outs (not to mention 2-footed jumps). Cleanest skaters with good elements included Rudy, Usova & Platov(!), Todd(!), Viktor, K&D(!!), Philippe (1 fall), Michelle(!!) and Brian (but not as steady as usual).

 "A highlight was Sarah Kawahara's closing number -- nearly 10 minutes in length -- all to jive and swing music (the 2nd music selection was "Sing Sing Sing"). While the execution was rough in spots (Oksana fell 2-3 times to continue her weird evening), I think it's a massive improvement and kind of SOI-like; as each skater is announced to do "solos", EVERY other skater remains on the ice and does group moves!"


 "I'm disappointed that Rudy and Philippe seem to be using old numbers, though..."


 [Yuri's promised full review from FSW. Thanks to him. Complete summaries of opening and closing numbers included, with review of Rudy's Village People program only from the rest of the show.]

"Here is the order the skaters came out in the opening (with the music if I could identify it)

 Michael Weiss "Gimme Some Lovin'"
Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze "Dancing Cheek to Cheek"
Punsalan & Swallow "Jump, Jive & Wail" (think Gap ads -- LOL!)
Liz Manley unidentified GFB (Generic Female Ballad)
Evgeny Plushenko unidentified guy group (maybe Backstreet Boys or Boyz2men?)
Maria Butyrskaya "Still The One" (Shania Twain)
Viktor Petrenko When I'm 64 (Beatles) -- LOL because first line is "When I get older, losing my hair..."
Nicole Bobek "Lady Marmalade" (AKA "Voulez-vous couchez avec moi?" or "Do you want to sleep with me" in English)
Usova & Platov couldn't ID selection
Surya Bonaly Venus (Bananarama)
Rudy REALLY dressed for the part and played it up, too!!!
Klimova & Ponomarenko "Tie a Yellow Ribbon around the Old Oak Tree"
Todd Eldredge another recent "guy group" pop song
Oksana Baiul "Ray of Light" (Madonna) -- no competition from Pasha this year -- LOL!
Brian Boitano can't read my writing!
Kazakova & Dmitriev "If You Believe in Love"
Michelle Kwan "Simply Irresistable" (Robert Palmer) -- loudest ovation of all the skaters
Philippe Candeloro "My Sharona" (The Knack)

 "Rudy Galindo AGAIN with the "Village People" medley -- AAAAAAAGH! But of course, by far the most popular act of the first half (I understand that Tommy requested Rudy to keep this number so don't blame Rudy if you're as sick of the number as I am). Technically dumbed-down, Rudy alternated 2a, 3t, 2a, 3t, 2a. But he CAN work a crowd and earned the first partial SO of the evening.

 "This was the order that the skaters entered at the end (1st selection) P&S, Rudy, Liz, B&S, Todd, U&P, Maria, Michael W, Nicole (ending with the cast lifting her overhead); (Sing Sing Sing) Philippe, Viktor, Oksana, Evgeny P, K&D, K&P, Michelle, Brian, and Surya. The audience really got into it -- the number lasted 8-9 minutes --
there was nearly a total SO at the end. In only 3 days, everyone didn't have the unison that you would get in a polished SOI number, but the closing should get better and better throughout the year. My question is how the skaters who come into and leave the tour (unlike SOI) will be integrated into the number.

 "With the cast on the ice, the traditional "We Are The Champions" came on and all of the skaters came to the barriers and shook hands with the crowd (a new touch). Then, they took the traditional victory lap and the show was over."


 "And although I know that Rudy's Village People medley is a great show piece, I do wish he would do something else. Oh well. I'd like to see his violin piece myself."


Washington, DC, April 10

 "Rudy Galindo closed the first half with YMCA-crowd pleasing oldie."


 "Rudy did the Village People and got great reactions from the audience. I wish that he had done something else though because I had seen this program so many times already."


 Rudy Galindo.
Well, folks, don't groan here but.....drum was Village Peopleagain!!   I have a friend who told me that Tom Collins wanted Rudy to keep the Village People for one more tour!!  So that's it.  This is Tom Collins wish; not Rudy's, but as usual, the crowd liked it and it was the last number before intermission.  As popular as this is with the audience, the reaction was not as boisterous as last year at COI.  I'm sure a lot of the same people in the Wash area attend these events; and he did it here, at December pros... and at last year's COI.

 ---Kathryn Yeates

 "Rudy Galindo--He skated his Village People medley again. I was disappointed when I heard that he didn't have a new program, however I still enjoyed his program. It defies all logic that I'm not dreadfully tired of this program by now, but there it is. BTW, Rudy's hair is no longer frosted. Elements 2 axel, 3 toe, 2 axel, 3 toe, 2 toe, 2 axel. When Rudy took his sailor shirt off he wore a different muscle shirt than usual. This one was white w/blue stars on the back and red/white striped on the front. He also wore a white band w/blue stars around each bicep."


 "Rudy Galindo Village People medley.  I used to love this, but after seeing it a hundred times, it's impossible not to think of times when he's skated it better. I wish he'd get a new number, I really like him but am sick of this program."


Philadelphia, PA, April 11

 "There was a full standing ovation at the end. I'd say some of the loudest ovations of the day went to MK, Elvis, Philippe, Rudy, Brian, and, actually, Surya."


 Rudy Galindo AGAIN with the "Village People" medley -- AAAAAAAGH!


 In response to...
Galindo looked distinctly tired of this program [Village People]. ...he was a good sport...and got the crowd clapping...

 "I'm not sure he looked tired of it; he seemed as enthusiastic as ever.  The crowd loved it.  Again."

 Kawahara's SOI-style finale was a big hit with me.

 "And with me.  Philadelphia was the third city on the tour; looks like they worked out any ensemble problems. Excellent show; don't miss it."

 ---Barbara Hoffman

 "I think Rudy must have gotten a new muscle shirt, because the other one is probably all faded and worn out from over-use."


 "Rudy wore the muscle shirt with the stars in January when COI was in N.H. I suspect he has more than one and switches."


 "Rudy-I was very disappointed to see YMCA again. Doesn't he think the COI audience is sophisticated enough for the Violin program?

 "The closing number was a blast...very exciting, with both an ensemble look and a lot of great individual jumps, spins, and lifts. I liked it better than this year's SOI opener or closer. IMO, Sarah Kawahara is a genius of maintaining high difficulty and complexity with lots of bodies on the ice."


 Opening number (following Surya Bonaly)

 "12.Rudy Galindo The two Will and Grace subjects back to back. -) Skated to Time Warp from Rocky Horror Picture Show Had a black jacket on, with something written on the back of it in sequins. I didn't see exactly what it said, though. Another big ovation.

 "Rudy Galindo- Village People medley. OK, I've seen this three times in person now, and countless times on TV. I should hate it by now, right? Yet, I still found myself smiling at the end. It's such a crowd pleasing number, I don't know how you could NOT smile! I'm sure a lot of people there were at the show last year, and they still loved it. Loudest ovation so far, maybe of the night.

All of a sudden, after Brian took his bows, Rudy and P&S were there, and they went right into the finale. Wow! I heard that the ending this year was an ensemble number (like SOI), but I was really surprised. For having only 2 days to work on it, and this only being the 3rd show, they seemed to have the choreography down. It was so hard to watch everyone (and try to decide what to take pictures of!) at the same time. I think this alone was worth the price of admission! It was great. I'll try to explain the best I can. It was skated to swing music. The skaters would come out announced, but they didn't leave the ice (like they did in the opening). Instead, they skated around, and eventually went into a group of other skaters, and danced to the music. They all had coordinating costumes (like they do in SOI.) Sometimes, in the group of skaters, all of a sudden, another skater would just appear. It's hard to explain! The order was

 1.P&S 2.Rudy 3.Elizabeth 4.B&S 5.Todd 6.U&P 7.Maria (who was the only one to have an old costume on--her short program one from this year.) 8.Michael 9.Nicole. The first song ended here, and she was lifted in the air by the other skaters. 10.Philippe. Was in the middle of a circle made by the other skaters. Did his trademark spin where he sits on the ice. 11.Viktor 12.Oksana. Interacted with Viktor when she came on the ice. 13.Evgeny 14.K&D 15.K&P 16.Michelle 17.Elvis 18.Brian 19.Surya"

Then, all the skaters did different things. B&S and K&D did a double death spiral. Michelle, Nicole, and another lady (couldn't see, it was too dark), did spirals. A couple of the men did synchronized jumps, etc. It was so cool! I really hope they continue doing this type of number. If they have it down this fast, I can't imagine how good it will be later on tour! Then, they made a formation on the ice, and posed there for a while. At this point, the audience was on their feet. They then skated around to "We are the Champions," like always, and bowed in line. I seriously would have paid just to have seen that ending! It seemed like there was less this year than last year, but there were several skaters listed in the program that weren't there. Even with the mistakes, a great show!


 "I have discovered the anti-Ottavio Cinquanta and it is Tom Collins.  While Cinquanta wants skaters to have multiple freedances per season, Tom Collins won't let Galindo skate to anything but the Village People medley!  Galindo looked distinctly tired of this program.  I don't see why we couldn't have gotten "Rondo Capriccioso" instead.  But anyway, he was a good sport and did his double axels and triple toes and got the crowd clapping until the Zamboni came and chased him away.  He has added stars to the back of his red and white striped tank top, and also wears glittery armbands around each bicep...

 "Kawahara's SOI-style finale was a big hit with me.  It is less busy than SOI's finales; I can follow what's happening better.  I think she is better than Bezic at populous group numbers, no slam on Bezic -- of course Kawahara has a lot more experience with them.  There were more interesting combinations of skaters than Bezic's boy-girl, boy-girl (okay, that is a slam), like when Galindo, Eldredge and Manley made a small circle and swung their way from center to boards."

---Lorrie Kim

New Haven, CT, April 15

 "I think at this show I saw more big burly men going wild for Rudy's Village People than I have ever seen before! It was hysterical. A guy next to my friend gave her a $20 bill and asked her to send anything from his program. [These women were taking photos.] His girlfriend was horrified and said "Make that anything from any program BUT that one." I see trouble for the future of that relationship."


New York, April 16

 "Rudy Galindo did his Village People Medley. Even though it's old, it still got the crowd going. I as laughing the whold time so don't ask me about the elements. Still the best Martini glass spin in the business. Most of us were dancing along with him and did the YMCA arm thing. It's an infectious program."


 "Rudy ended the first half with a rousing performance of the Village People medley.  He is really coming into his own as a performer.  The boyish look of delight every time he lands a jump is truly endearing.  I do think he needs a new program though."

 "She [Nicole] did have some good spins but I really wonder why people insist on doing the "shotgun" spin if they can't keep both legs straight a la Rudy."


 "Rudy Galindo Need I say anything? LOL. He performed the Villiage People Medley, and boy did the crowd LOVE IT. He landed a couple of triple toes, and several double axels (one of which he fell out of... but it was in a sequence of them, so nobody really minded). The whole crowd was singing YMCA with him, and I could see half the audience doing the motions with him. LOUD LOUDapplause."


 "Rudy's program, although I'm sick of it on TV, was a lot of fun live and the crowd really does get into it. "


Hartford, CT, April 17

 (From the Hartford Courant, April 18, 1999. Review. Title "Skaters add style to creative routines," by Maureen Morrison)

 "Other performers who connected with the crowd included world bronze medalist Michael Weiss, who performed a funky routine to songs from KC And The Sunshine Band, and world bronze medalist Rudy Galindo, who led the audience in forming the letters to the Village People's 'YMCA'.''

---Maureen Morrison

Boston, April 19 - afternoon

 "Rudy did his Village People number.  I know it's probably getting old, but it is such a fun program to see live.  Rudy really got everyone up and dancing in their seats!  He did a great job."


 "Galindo--I was right up there with Yuri's thread about needing a new routine. That said, it really is a lot of fun in person (again!), and the audience clearly loves it. I was with my husband (who "has" to watch skating with me often), and another couple who are very casual fans, and this was one of the highlights for them. So...I guess it's okay. But please do something different (but as much fun!) next year, Rudy!"


 "Last up in the first half was Rudy, and since it was his Village People medley I knew it would get a great reaction from the crowd. Definitely the biggest ovation so far, real entertaining number. I wasn't sure if I could sit for it again, after seeing it so many times on TV, but in person it's so much fun, he really works the audience. He had a little trouble with his 2 axel tonight, but he did some good 3 toes.


 "Rudy Galindo--Rudy's Rudy. He made the crowd go nuts with his Village People medley and it's so obvious he loves doing it. He landed everything."

 "My overall thought on COI this year was that the men completely overshadowed the women."


 "Rudy was as fab as ever."


 Boston - evening

 "I was in the 3rd row, about halfway between center ice and the corner, right across from where the skaters come out...Rudy undressed in front of us!"


Buffalo, April 20

 This was the taped for television show, and Dick, Peggy, and Terry Gannon were all there. (We actually saw Terry Gannon come into the Arena. Good looking guy, and I refrained from reminding him how much we North Carolinians visiting Buffalo still remember him as a fine basketball player at NC State.)

 The opening production number features each skater for long enough to be introduced and complete two or three moves/elements. Rudy performed to "Time Warp" from "The Rocky Horror Show," something I'd LOVE to see him expand on! The cast's costumes are special to this number. Rudy's satin jacket with his name (I think) on the back in gold sparkles was great, but even better was his high-heeled look! Don't know what he did to his skates--again with something sparkly--but they looked remarkably like they had high heels!

We are all pretty foolish for second guessing Tom Collins. Knowing what audiences want and like has made him a success in this business. Rudy performed his Village People number as well as ever , and the crowd loved it as much as ever. It was truly the highlight of the first half of the program, and was exceeded later only by Elvis Stojko, who was entertaining lots of Canadians in Buffalo, and equaled by Petrenko's Michael Jackson number, Michelle Kwan, and Brian Boitano. Reviews from New York and Boston indicate the Village People Medley is just as popular there, too.

The Russian pairs (Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze) and Kazakova & Dmitriev were also highlights for me and possibly not sufficiently appreciated by the crowd. Todd Eldredge and Michael Weiss received loud applause. Ironically, the retakes were those one might least expect Yagudin, Eldredge, Kwan, Butyrskaya, and not too surprisingly, Bobek, who good-naturedly persisted until she got it.

 The closing production number is well worth the whole show. And Rudy comes out in the beginning and stays "on ice" throughout it. The early skaters form dance choruses for those who follow. Rudy was constantly in action. Lots of fun to watch, but hard to focus!


 "Rudy Galindo Did the Village People Medley with a 2axel, 3toe, 2axel, 3toe-2toe, 2axel, and a y spin.  One of those 3toes may have been a 3flip, Rudy got the most applause up to this point of the show."

 ---Wayne Joy

 "As usual the crowd did all the actions. I feel like I've seen this program one too many times now, but I understand Tom Collins asked him to do it. Let's hope he can retire it after the tour."

---Judy Lindeman

 "Rudy Galindo did once again ... EVERYONE SING WITH ME Y M C A!!! Yupers. Ok as much as I loved RUDY I could watch this number over and over again. I know some people would disagree with me but it is DEFINITLY a crowd pleaser and gets the crowd going all the time. Seeing for the 5th time I knew the program so well I was bound to get a few good pictures this time around - lol...

 [production number at end of show]
"Everyone was in all cool and colourful costumes as well. All having a great time on the ice. It was VERY hard to watch though since the ice was so busy and so many skaters skating.
Rudy makes me laugh though. I mean really he is filled with SOOOO much energy and looks like he has a BALL everytime he is on the ice. Just can tell by the expression on his face actually. I just enjoy watching his so much!"


 "Rudy Galindo skated to "Time Warp" and did a 2axel and a scratch spin. While wearing a sort of bustier and black nylons with seams in them! -)"

 ---Wayne Joy

Pittsburgh, April 21

 From American Skating World, vol. 19, no. 2, p. 11, May, 1999

 "Rudy Galindo closed the first half with his Village People medley. Is the number overly familiar? Yes. But when I looked around at an arena full of people singing along, clapping along, and spelling out YMCA with their arms in unison, I understood that sometimes too much of a good thing is just about right. As the saying goes, "If it ain't broke, why fix it?"

 "Even though no one in the Pittsburgh arena gave standing ovations for individual skaters, everyone received a standing ovation at the end of the show.  Michelle, along with Brian B., Phillippe C. and Rudy, clearly received the most enthusiastic applause."

---Cariane (Dee)

Detroit, April 24 (2:00 PM show)

 "As someone else mentioned earlier, most of the rock & roll numbers in this show were from the 1970s, which gave the whole thing a sort of groovy/retro feel. All of these programs went over well with the audience, especially Punsalan & Swallow's Sonny and Cher number and Rudy Galindo's Village People program."


 [Some unexpected highlights at Detroit COI were Jason Dungeon and Yuka Sato skating pairs, as well as the Hartsells and Sargeant & Wirtz. Dan Hollander also was very well received.]

Cincinnati, April 25

 "As a representative of the more casual skating viewer, my husband Gary loved Rudy (I was surprised by this! But he thought the Village People routine was fun), Punsallen and Swallow, Brian Boitano and U/P. He loathed Elvis and thought Phillipe ruined a terrific routine by overdoing the hamminess. He was most impressed with the tricks of balance that Punsallen and Swallow did that, as someone who has skated (albeit on hockey skates) he could tell were very challenging."


 "Rudy Galindo- Village People medley- I don't know why Rudy is doing this for the 2nd year in a row, but it is still a crowd favorite. Wait, maybe I just answered my question. Anyway, the crowd went crazy when they announced his name and the music started. Elements 2axel, 3toe, 2axel, 3toe-2toe, 2axel, eggbeater. Great crowd applause."


 "Rudy Galindo - Village People medley - need I say anymore?  He closed the 1st half and it was the first time that the crowd actually really got super wild over any skater."

"Rudy Galindo - Mom made a point of talking to Rudy (and I was hoping she wouldn't embarrass me here, LOL!!) He seems to just bask in what he does!"

 ---Skatecatkey (Paula)

Kansas City, MO, April 27

 "Rudy Galindo- Village People. Ok I admit I got into it, Ok I admit i really got into it. Ok I admit I even did the YMCA! So kill me. It was so much fun again. Rudy has created a classic with this! My mom doesn't really like it, but she is a little nuts. She thinks he flaunts his gayness too much. HUGE crowd reaction."

 ---Kelly the Kwanatic

 "Rudy, even though this is the 3rd time I've seen the Village People number. It seems to be a sort of "cult classic" on the skating circuit these days."

 ---Sara Schott

 "Rudy Galindo Village People Medly This is the third time since Dec. that I have seen Rudy live. This      number is a lot of fun, but getting old. Once again the audience seemed to have more fun singing along then watching him skate. He landed some nice jumps. The audience was appreciative."


 "Rudy Galindo had the crowd going. They love this number! I even have fun with it although I have seen it a thousand times! Some people stood up for him at the end.

 [After the show]
"When Rudy came out he also came over and signed for us. He was very sweet and his handwriting is lovely! As he boarded the bus I said “Thanks again Rudy”. He looked right at me and said, 'You’re welcome'."


Ames, IA, April 28

 "Appealing Canadian dynamo Liz Manley was fighting her jumps this evening, as were Nicole, Surya, Rudy and Todd Eldredge. We gave 'em warm receptions anyway. Surya was also staggered by an ice rut."

"No one groaned at Rudy's Village People reprise."


Minneapolis, MN, April 28

 "Rudy and Macho Man were a riot to experience live--thoroughly enjoyed it."


 "The reception before the show was okay but not exciting. You really didn't miss much     and they sat at a table the whole time. Michelle, Rudy, and Viktor came in first to sign autographs, pose for pictures, yada yada yada...

 "On to the show. The opening was fun. The highlights for me were Urmy skating to Backstreet Boys and Rudy doing the time warp with his Rocky Horror black leather jacket. That was too funny...

 "The finale was wonderful and I pray that they will decide to do this each year. It was so neat to see all the skaters out there in an ensemble, doing their own thing off to the side to the big band music while they brought out each skater."


 [From the reception before the show]
"But I was able to give some of my Worlds pics to Michelle and Michael. Michelle thanked me and sifted throught the first couple, and Rudy, who was sitting next to her, commented that he liked the one of her and Tim Goebel. I asked her for a pic and I meant just her, but she leaned over towards Rudy so I got the two of them together. Should be cute."

 ---Kelly B

 From a fan who "hung out" near the hotel where the skaters are staying in Minneapolis...promises to review the show tomorrow!

 "Tonight is the COI show in Minneapolis and I can hardly wait. The skaters are staying at the hotel across the street from where I work. While strolling along at lunch trying to find something to eat, I spotted Rudy sniffing colognes at Saks Fifth Avenue.

 "Rudy - First on the bus, looked good"


Chicago, IL, May 1 (afternoon show)

 From Blades on Ice Newsbriefs, May 5...

 "Rudy Galindo had a more subdued costume for the matinee, but wore sheer black nylons with seams, and skates resembling high heels with his Black Kimono for the evening show for his Rocky Horror show number intro.

 "Rudy Galindo closed the first half of ths show with his Village People medley. Steped out of a 2axel in the beginning, but hit a couple more good ones, plus a couple of 3toes. Of course, many in the crowd joined him for the YMCA portion of the program. )

 "The swing-themed closing group number was definitely a cut above the mish-mash closing of previous seasons. The group interaction was fun, and well-choreographed. Highlights included a 4-person death spiral (!) with K&D and B&S, two sets of simulataneous 2axels by Galindo, Eldredge, Urmanov, and Boitano, and side-by-side backflips by Bonaly and Candeloro. Neat way to close the show. Hats off to Sarah Kawahara for doing a great job with the number."

 ---Ronald Narcisco

 "Village people -Galindo - What a good number for him.  This was my mother's favorite of the night."


 Chicago (evening show)

 Rudy Galindo closed out the first set with his Village People program. This was the third (and fourth) time I'd seen this program live, and it's lost its charm for me. The crowd loved it, as usual, and roared at Rudy's antics..

. [backstage]
"Rudy - Rudy is....Rudy. Nice, good-natured, friendly."


 "Rudy Galindo was a show stopper!  He performed his Village People routine, and no matter how often I see it, I get into it every time! What an amazing performer!  Do you know the part where he takes off his shirt and starts the YMCA routine?  He was *right* in front of us!  My mom and I both flipped out!  He was great!"


 From the Chicago Sun-Times, "Champions on Ice," by Jae-Ha Kim (May 3, 1999)

"With their elaborate costumes, choreography and ``acting,'' there is a certain camp element to most ice shows. Champions on Ice has a different premise Gather a couple dozen top-notch skaters and let their art speak for itself.

 "Saturday's roster at the United Center included everyone from Michelle Kwan, arguably the finest female figure skater ever, to 1988 Olympic gold medalist Brian Boitano, and Rudy Galindo, a 1996 U.S. national champion who truly came into his own after turning professional...

 "Music played a crucial role in Galindo's routine as well. Skating to the Village People's ``Macho Man,'' the openly gay skater stripped off his shirt, revealing a cute tank top. During the chorus, ``I want to be a macho man,'' he teased the audience with flirtatious moves that drew huge cheers from appreciative fans."

 "As for Rudy -- I saw his performance just 6 days earlier in Cincinnati, and then again in Chicago on Saturday night... Wild!!!  In Cincinnati, he is wearing a short black satin "robe" - which on the back is silver sequins spells out "Rocky Horror."  Now, in Cincinnati, Rudy wore black leggings with this robe; however, in Chicago, it was all-out "drag" -- he was wearing fishnet stockings and bootcovers which make his skates look like "high heels", LOL!!!"


 "The performances that seemed to be the best received were the ones that really seemed to get the audience involved... like Rudy's YMCA, and Michael Weiss' Kool and the Gang, as well as Elvis, and Phillipe, Punsalan and Swallow, etc.  I think that people like seeing both types of programs... competition-worthy programs, as well as the exhibition style programs.... but for folks who go to a skating show perhaps once a year, it seems that the exhibition style format suits that audience best.  Most folks don't follow skating as we do, so it's difficult for them to understand a really "serious" competition-style program.  Most of these folks are paying $60-$75 to be entertained, and they probably could care hooey if someone does a "quad"... the backflip is just as impressive to them.


 "I still can't get over the difference between Boitano's burly look on tv and his fragility in person.  And I don't think Rudy is quite human.  I kept expecting him to levitate in the moments he stood with us.  Tiny, tiny, tiny and delicate, he was.  Anyone know if he has wings? Unbelievable."


 "He skated to Time Warp for the opening, right? I would LOVE for him to have a program from Rocky Horror complete in Franken Furter get-up. That would be such a hoot!"

 ---Virginia's Visions

 "Rudy!  Crazy guy.  I'll let Paula describe his opening costume.  Later, backstage, I was shocked at just how tiny and fragile he looks.  Talk about floating - I think this guy defies gravity every time he walks.  It was like a butterfly landed by us to sign programs.  I've seldom seen anyone like this."


"Rudy Galindo- Village People program.  Landed all his jumps!  2 double axels and 2 triple toes I believe, very nice.  The crowd got into his program, especially during the YMCA part of the song where the crowd joined in!  =)"


Milwaukee, WI, May 2

 I saw the Champions on Ice Summer Tour on May 2 in Milwaukee.  It was GREAT.   Rudy was excellent, as always.  (I saw the tour in '96 and '98, as well.)  He really got the crowd going and I got some really great pictures -- I was sitting in the sixth row in the corner opposite of where Rudy stripped.  (He did his YMCA program...again.)  During the closing number when all of the skaters were on the ice, Rudy was standing in my corner.  The spotlight was on someone else (Laurent Tobel, I think, but I'm not positive), but of COURSE I was watching Rudy...he was right in front of me.  My best friend, sister, and I all stood up and yelled "WE LOVE YOU RUDY!" because it was somewhat quiet and he was so close to us.  He must have heard, because he turned and smiled at us!  It was a great experience.  My orchestra teacher was also with us, and she was somewhat frightened by that.  -)  During the opening program where all the skaters are on the ice, Rudy did hisportion of the program to "Time Warp" from THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW.  It was great...a very bold thing to do, I thought. He was wearing one of the tiniest little black outfits I've ever reminded me of a Nicole Bobek outfit, sort of.  I liked it.  My sister swears he was wearing black nylons too, and that his skates looked like heels...but I'm not sure.  I was too hyper to notice.  In any case, it was really cool.   Viktor did his Michael Jackson program, which was really great.  He must have studied REALLY hard to get that down...because you'd swear that he IS Michael when he's spinning and kicking and moonwalking.  Phillipe and Michelle were great too.  So was Elvis.  OK...EVERYONE was awesome.  We were disappointed because we didn't get to see Brian or Naomi, but we saw Rudy, so we were happy.  There weren't too many falls/touchdowns/two-footed landings, (Rudy skated cleanly) and no stupid mistakes.  Overall, it was an afternoon of excellent skating.  If you can, GO SEE THE COI SUMMER TOUR BECAUSE IT'S AWESOME.

 ___________Signe Jorgenson, Wisconsin Rapids, WI____________

 "Rudy Galindo He did the YMCA. The crowd was in it and he did his usual 2 axels and 3 toes along with his great spins!"


 "Best of performances of the afternoon Rudy - this is fun number no matter how many times you see it."


 From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal article/review by Lori Nickel titled Galindo gives fans an eyeful

 "Galindo, meanwhile, teased this crowd with the naughty black stockings and "Rocky Horror Picture Show" anthem in the introduction. Fans howled as he peeled off his sailor suit for a revealing tank top to the tune of "Macho Man" in his routine.

"Galindo's ever-present smile and showmanship set the tone for the 21st annual Champions on Ice show.        Featuring 25 past Olympic, world and United States national champions (individual skaters, pairs and ice dancers), this was, for many fans, their one shot to see their favorite skaters kick up shavings of ice before their very own eyes."

Under the heading, "The Good"

 "Most crowd-pleasing  Phillipe Candeloro/Rudy Galindo -A tie.  Tom Collins knows what he's doing when he asks Rudy to skate YMCA.  The crowd was "there" the whole time.  Phillipe *is* D'Artanan.  He scared the living daylights out of the woman he was standing by when doing his "yell."  Viktor Petrenko gets a mention here also for his Michael Jackson."


St. Louis, May 5

 "Rudy - the first moment came when he skated to "Time Warp" in the introductions. He was dressed in the Transylvania Transvestite garb, which was absolutely hilarious. Then he did the Village People medley for solo number. Say what you will, but this program works & it got the best response from the audience. If I recall correctly, he was one of the only skaters who attempted a combination, but I don't remember what jumps!!

 "Surya Bonaly - I am liking her more & more these days. Aside from Rudy, she got one of the best responses from the crowd. It was almost like she won them over. She was greeted with lukewarm applause whe she took her opening pose, but by the time she was finished, the audience was going wild."


 "Rudy was awesome and got the loudest cheers of the night. My mom was so excited when he did his Village People program. She had been scared that he was going to do the violin number. I personally like both numbers, but I must say that I was excited for the Village People too."


Indianapolis, IN, May 6

 "*Rudy Galindo He closed the first half. He really got the crowd going. He is such an entertainer. I think he land at least two triple toes. He had one of the loudest crowd responses.


 "Big hits as always - Rudy and Victor. Their numbers are more fun in person than they are on TV."


"The closing number was a lot of fun.  Liz and Rudy were standing right in front of me at one point when K&D were taking their turn in the spotlight. Artur did some flying camle-ish move and he came so close to kicking Liz in the face. Everyone in my section gasped, and she turned to Ruday and said, "Holy s**t!". It was scary, but totally hilarious after you saw that she didn't get hit."


E. Rutherford, NJ, May 8

(2:00 PM show)

 "Rudy Galindo-Even though this is the second time I’ve seen his YMCA number, I loved it again!!! I don’t really remember if he made any mistakes…I think he might have stepped out of one jump. He definitely had the loudest ovation of the first half!"


 (Evening show)

 "I think Rudi may have been feeling out the crowd with his "Rocky Horror" intro - and they loved it so maybe he'll develop it into a show routine for next year!!! He and Phillipe sure know how to work a crowd and they are true blue showmen!! I wish Michelle and Todd would take some hints from them as even thought their skating was beautiful (even with the generic tunes) they have so little interaction with a crowd!!!! Michelle - and I think she is a great skater - needs to smile at the crowd a tad more IMHO - she just looked so distant to me!!!"


 "Show opens with the usual skater coming out to do signature moves...Rudy's costume is interesting, as he is Rocky Horror, complete with fishnet stockings and satin (?) jacket and high heel boot covers..

 "Rudy closed out the first act with Village People. Typical Rudy. Crowd was dancing...

 "Finale is the highlight of the show. Everybody (except Victor Kraatz, who still looked in pain) was very into it, dancing, laughing, playing with the audience..."


Long Island, NY, May 9

 (From an article in Newsday, May 7, "Contrasts on Ice," by Jeanne Lieberman)

 "Sandwiched between the show's spectacular, newly choreographed opening and closing ensemble numbers, the cast of famous skaters, singles, pairs, and ice-dancers, will showcase their individual styles...

 "The men's division offers similarly dramatic contrasts like the martial arts-trained Elvis Stojko versus the sassy, spangled, self-parodying Rudy Galindo..."

 "Rudy, the Village People number is very entertaining, and the audience loved you, but could you please put together something new for next year?  Thank you!"


Miami, FL, May 13

 From the Miami Herald review article, "No Judges, No Holds Barred on Ice," by Linda Robertson

 "The skater who revels most in the freedom of skating shows is former national champion Rudy Galindo, the only active prominent male athlete who is openly gay. Galindo wore fishnet stockings for his portrayal of Dr. Frank N. Furter in a tribute to "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," then changed into his sailor suit for his signature solo to a medley of Village People songs.

 OK, so there was a lot more attitude than athleticism on display, but fans could not resist following Galindo's lead and forming the letters YMCA. It was like a big sing-along."

Ft. Lauderdale , FL, May 14

 "Rudy-I lmao when he came out in those black fishnet panty hose to the "Time Warp" OMG what a hoot..I was rotfl..YMCA just brought the whole house down..I love it every time he does it. I cant help it. YMCA will always be a program to remember Rudy by just like "Walk this Way" was to Scott Hamilton. Us FSW'ers might be tired of the Rudy program but I sat next to alot of new skating fans who had never been to a ice show and they just went nuts over him.. Go Rudy.."


COI on TV (Buffalo), May 15

 "Greatest moment in COI telecast..."

 "Definitely Rudy Galindo at the end  'I was FABulous!  The Oscar goes to ME!'"


 "Rudy's comment at the end was adorable!"


 In answer to a question about who did the double axels in the finale

 "The 4 men doing the 2 axels were Todd & Rudy-both jump to the right, and Brian & Viktor-both jump to the left."


 On Surya Bonaly's being "chacked" from the telecast...

 "I saw her in person in February and she is still doing the same number.  Of course, she isn't the only culprit.  It's one thing to have a bonafide hit routine like Rudy's Village People number because it gets the audience involved, but most of them are just boring and mundane."

 ---Kathy Burke

 Definitely Rudy Galindo at the end  "I was FABulous!  The Oscar goes to ME!"

 Wasn't that hysterical?!!!   What a character...


Tampa, FL, May 16

 "Rudy, captured the crowd and didn't let them go until the music stopped.  Rudy is quickly becoming a favorite of mine."


 "Rudy!--Oh, man! Total pandemonium when they announced him! He did YMCA of course and was fabulous..had a couple of great 2 ax and had that crowd in the palm of his hand...they clapped in rhythm throughout the performance. He's like Mike Weiss, in that he seems to contact everyone in the crowd."


Orlando, FL, May 17

 "I think this show had fewer skaters than before.  But, I have to say, I really enjoyed this one the best, so far.  I really enjoyed every number and it was fun watching Rudy do his Village People program, because my friend had never seen it before."


Nashville, TN, May 19

 "Rudy G The large audience must be somewhat knowledgeable re FS. He received loud, loud cheers during all his time on the ice. I truly enjoyed this in person. I love to watch on tv, but in person, I felt so honored. Though this is an old program, it was truly entertainment at its best. Loud screams for him...Also, loved being part of the Rudy crowd participation of the YMCA gestures. Really fun!!"


   "With the Brady Brunch, Ricky ricardo and YMCA, Rudy's found a niche in pro skating that appears to work for him...not a lot differing in concept fromPaul Wylie and his dramatic movie theme programs."


 "Further, Rudy's Village People medley is great theater. People remember and relate to the music and he obviously has a lot of fun with it. From all the COI reports as well as the one I attended, audiences are eating up this routine...My husband picked P&S and Rudy's routines as his favorites. I asked him more about liking Rudy's because I made an assumption that straight men would be the most uncomfortable with Rudy being "out there." Certainly annecdotal; I can't claim my husband can speak for heterosexual American husbands, but he really just found it very entertaining. He felt that Rudy really engaged the crowd and that there was more good skating in the program, too, than in Elvis' (he loathed Elvis' program, though, so that could be just a bias on his part).

"I think accessibility has a lot to do with the popularity of this particular Rudy camp number. Brady Bunch and I Love Lucy didn't go over quite as big in my experience. It's a shame, too, because I really detest the disco era music.

"I also agree with Suzanne's thinking. I mean, if large numbers of the spouses and dates who get dragged to the skating shows are presuming all male skaters are gay anyway, Rudy's being "out there" in his performances, especially in a way that invites the audience to laugh along, serve more as a "tension breaker" than a shocker.

Personally, I'd like to see more work from Rudy, too, like Send in the Clowns (I know a lot of people didn't like this number, but I loved it), the violin concerto from this year and of course his famous national title winning long program. But I think he is doing that. Rudy seems to do one serious and one camp number each year. I have no problem with that. I thought that the Village People was far more successful (and well put together) than its predecessors. But most successful pros improve over time. I wouldn't mind seeing a season where Rudy *didn't* choose to have a camp number in his repertoire, but it won't bother me if he always does either. Seems to me that the one serious, one fun formula has worked for Scott Hamilton for several years."


 "I think Rudy's gay campiness is exactly what skating needed. The best way to break down negative stereotypes is to confront them. Just as Chris Rockcan use the N word in his comedy acts, Rudy can play up the gay stereotype. Better he make fun of the image than for everyone to whisper about gays in skating.

 "My favorite characters on "Will and Grace" are Jack and Grace's secretary (don't remember her names). They are both outrageous and I love them. And, you know, I've never taken the secretary's behavior as a slap against women (but then again, she is the smartest one on the show)."


 "Rudy is someone who can pull this off. I don't think that say Brian Orser could. It is really just differences in individual people. However, I agree with your overall point. I would love for the whispering about gays in skating to stop and try some education and truth for a change."

 ---Virginia's Visions

 "Rudy - Village People number (what else?).  Well, the audience knew what was coming, that's for sure!  Massive cheering and applause when he came out, and he just had a GREAT TIME out there.  Boy, you can see him loving it the whole time.  Everyone got into the YMCA thing and he got enormous applause, second only to Michelle."

 ---Elizabeth, Grateful fan

 "The surprise was, I enjoyed the show more than I have in recent years! I really liked the ending -- and the fact that Tom Collins is trying something different.

"Rudy -- what can I say? I liked YMCA even after seeing it about 20 times. I have often thought "The Time Warp" would be good on ice, but I was completely unprepared for the sight of Rudy in fishnet stockings and a dress. I can't help cringing and wondering what other gay men think of him ..."


 "I really like YMCA too! Wow, I was just telling someone a few months ago that I thought it would be fabulous if Rudy did a transvestite routine...and glory be he does one and I don't even get to see it! LOL, I imagine one might be unprepared for the site of Rudy dressed in drag, although the sight of Lloyd Eisler in drag must have been far more shocking.

 "I am not gay but both my brother and father are. My dad was very conservative and would never have been caught dead dressed in drag, but he still got a kick out of those who did. My brother probably wouldn't be seriously bothered by the whole Rudy thing. In fact, he probably would have enjoyed the performance. I mean how one gay men expresses himself in a *dramatic/musical performance/role* hardly represents a whole gay population. Besides, Rudy was portraying a transvestite not a gay man, and they are not one and the same. Just for interest sake, most cross-dressers, for example, are heterosexual males not gay males. Gay men who dress in drag are just that gay men dressed in drag. Not all gay men dress in drag and not all men who wear woman's clothing are gay. I am not sure why you cringed, but I am guessing that it might be because you are uncomfortable with those kinds of cultural expressions. And hey fair enough. Just out of curiosity, how was Rudy's performance to "The Time Warp'?? I would sure love some details!! His dress, his expression, the elements, etc. etc."


 "First, ITA(well I guess it should be thanks for the facts) on the gay/crossdress/transvestite thing. Because of people's ignorance(obviously you are not ignorant though) homophobia exists and the gay stereotypes in skating an elsewhere continue to flourish.

 "I believe this was just like 30 seconds in the opening number. I would love to see Rudy make a whole routine to this or another Rocky Horror song, though! I can see him as Frankenfurter."

 ---Virginia's Visions

 " So I think the interesting thought here is that Rudy's routines may cause him to lose credibility as a good skater....does anyone else think that?"

 ---Susan Heil

"I don't *think* so, any more than Petrenko's schtick makes him lose credibility as a skater.  And so long as Galindo (and Petrenko) has some "meaty" programs as well, then the Village People, and the Michael Jackson numbers just fall into the "light exhibition" category, and are viewed like *other* people's light exhibitions."


 "The Time Warp was just played for his intro at the beginning and I don't  remember the elements. But he had on what looked like really, really short shorts and some kind of kimono-like top with fishnet stockings, with glitter in his hair. (he kept the glitter for YMCA). There were lots of hoots and surprised sounds from the audience -- we're in the Bible belt -- but lots of applause, too. The top he wore said Rocky Horror on the back, or I don't think many people would have gotten it."


 "I like Rudy's over the top *tacky and effeminate* behavior. I find it quite refreshing and somewhat reminiscent of the flamboyant Toller Cranston. Color me warped! (I love Gary Beacom too). Hmmmmmmm, is it obvious that I love the subversive type? LOL. I do prefer to use the term campy rather than tacky or embarassingly effeminate, but to each his/her own I guess. I don't understand why it is so difficult to take his work seriously. I sure do."


Houston, TX, May 21

 "The opening number was like it has been for years with COI...The largest crowd responce probably went to Viktor Petrenko and Rudy Galindo.

"Rudy Galindo - He had a section of fans just below us who were crazy over him. Everytime he skated by they all stood up and screamed!  He made it a point to make eye-contact with them every time he skated by that section.  He did 2 axel, 3 toe, and 3 toe I think.  It was very smart to put him up just before intermission!

 "Finale - I liked the way each skater still got to take the spotlight but it was also a group number.  The highlight were the side-by-side double axels that were mirrored with Rudy and Todd doing them with Viktor and Michael (or was it someone besides Michael?)"


 I like Rudy's over the top *tacky and effeminate* behavior. I find it quite refreshing and somewhat reminiscent of the flamboyant Toller Cranston. Color me warped! (I love Gary Beacom too).

 "I guess the audience at COI in Houston tonight were warped, too. They loved Rudy totally.

 "Rudy looked fine in those fishnets! :) The audience loved it...

 "Rudy Rudy was Rudy and the audience adored him. He had some sparkle things in his hair that I could not tell from watching the program on TV. He did a couple of 3 toes and al the usual stuff. He had just about everyone in the audience rolling with him--except the girl sitting beside me. She was on the verge of falling asleep. Must have been past her bedtime. Rudy is a lot of things but a skater who puts one to sleep is not one of those things."

 "The swing finale was very good. I like that they did this and I hope it continues next year. Oksana landed yet another triple toe solidally. The fours with B&S and K&D were way cool. I wish I could see a whole fours number. Todd, Rudy, Viktor and Yags did synchronized double axels."

 ---Virginia's Visions

Dallas, TX, May 23

 "Michelle got the most applause, but Rudy in his fishnets, Victor (tons of people couldn't wait for his Michael Jackson medley), and Todd also all got humongous responses...

 "Rudy was very entertaining, and I'm glad I got to see the Village People medley live before popular discontent forces him to retire it *g*  Whereas it had started to get a bit boring on TV, it was very energetic and had nice jumps etc., and the crowd just rocked - it was kind of like a block party *g*. My parents also greatly appreciated all of the energy he put into this, and his performance was my mom's favorite for the night."


Denver, CO, May 27

 "When the Avalanche beat the Red Wings, the hockey playoff game took precedence over COI.  Fortunately for all concerned, the COI folks had a free day and so did the arena, so the Denver COI was held one day earlier than planned.  McNichols Arena staff called EVERYONE who held tickets to nofity them of the change, and offer a refund.  It appears that lots of people took them up on the refund, because I haven't ever seen such a small crowd.  I'd call it "respectable", with the bottom level about 2/3 full, and the upper tier no more than about 1/6 full.

 "-- Who'd a thunk Galindo had such shapely legs?  (as revealed by fishnet stockings)

 "-- And isn't it neat to see, in the closing number, four men crossing to do 2Xs, and two of them are CW jumpers, and 2 are CW?"


Las Vegas, NV, May 30

 "We had the pleasure of seeing Rudy in the Summer COI tour for the first time Sunday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.  When he hit the ice in his "Rocky Horror" costume, the audience was somewhat taken aback - they weren't expecting to see a male skater in shorts, nylons and high heels.  But soon they got into it and saw the humor.  Later, when he performed his "Village People" number, they roared with delight and approval.  That number continues to get one of the more active responses from audiences everywhere.

 The real suprise of the show was the great ending.  Poor Rudy is the second skater to hit the ice, and thus ends up skating for the entire twelve or fifteen minutes it takes to get everyone else announced and on the ice.  Imagine doing three back to back to back long programs with no break!  He was huffing and puffing at the end, with cause!  While hard on Rudy and the other "early" skaters, I think the finale was great.  Special kudos to Ms. Kwan for a very quick costume change.

 While in Vegas, Rudy was treated to the Cirque du Soliel show "O" at Bellagio and a concert by the Artist formerly known as Prince at Studio 54 in the MGM Grand.  Next it was off to Scottsdale, Arizona for a couple of days of rest."

 ---Wayne Leonard

Phoenix, AZ, May 31

 " As for the "repeat" numbers by the skaters I also think that is very disappointing. I don't know how many years Viktor did "I'm Too Sexy" or some variation in the same costume.  As much as I enjoy Rudy's Village People number I can't think how the people who see both the winter and summer tour felt-didn't he use that number for all four (last year's and this years) of  those tours?  Yes it's entertaining but I think TC will end up losing a lot of his repeat audience members if this sort of thing continues."


        "Rudy was asked by Tom Collins to repeat his YMCA number because of its enormous popularity with the audiences (I marvel at seeing people still actually doing those arm motions to this day), and while this program is far from a favorite of mine, I have to admit that Tom was absolutely right, as usual, about his audiences.  Rudy said he is going to do Prince next - sigh!"


 "Rudy, for example, was asked by Tom Collins to keep the Village People program. He may have asked other skaters to do the same. Oksana had a new program but apparently it was not going over with audiences, so she switched. Laurent did not use the baby program when he was in Houston last year so it was new to me."

 ---Virginia's Visions

San Diego, CA, June 3

 "I was lucky enough to go backstage at the Champions on Ice tour.  Rudy was one of the autographs I was able to get!  He is so sweet!  I wanted him to sign my program, but I couldn't find his page, so I handed it to him so he could sign the cover.  He asked me if I wanted him to sign on his page, and then he found the page for me.  These little extra things show what a great guy he is.  He also posed for several pictures for my friends and I.  Rudy is awesome!!!

 "He skated great, and everyone loved his YMCA routine.  I have seen him do YMCA live twice, and still have not been at the part of the arena where he does the ballet (my favorite part).  I also thought the Rocky Horror Picture Show part was hilarious---I only wish he would have skated a whole program to that music/theme!  Oh well, Rudy was and is  awesome!!!!"


 "Rudy Galindo   Always a crowd favorite here.  I thought it was because he was the MC for the local gay parade a few years ago, but judging from other city reviews, I guess he's still a crowd pleaser.  I think I'm the only one who's tired of his Village people routine because the crowd went wild.  Even my friend got in to his routine doing the YMCA thing with her arms.  He got one of the biggest applauses of the night."


 "Got to my seat just as they were ready to bring the skaters out. Oksana, Michelle, Rudy, and Victor got the loudest applause during introduction... Rudy Galindo and Victor by far had the crowd worked up the most, then it was our Michelle.


Anaheim, CA, June 4

 "I would have much rather seen the violin program, too.  And I don't mind the costume that much..... Oh, and I think I forgot to mention in my review that Rudy took off his little sailor suit top for his YMCA number right in front of me.  There was a huge spotlight on me!  I don't go much for that type of thing, so I found it rather embarrasing......but my friends all thought it was hilarious!"


 "Rudy show stopper! got the most crowd response aside from Michelle. couple of 3toes."


 "Rudy Galindo---Did his YMCA, again. I am really tired of this program, but the crowd loved it......"


 "My friends daughter, who is not an avid fan of skating, but went last year and this year, wanted to know why they didn't tell Rudy that he shouldn't do the same program two years in a row.'


 "Evidently, Tom Collins aka the man who pays the bills, specifically told/asked/directed Rudy to do the YMCA number on this tour.  Or so it has been reported.  So it wasn't Rudy's decision but judging from the crowd's response throughout the tour, it was the right decision.."

 ---Kaiju (who personally likes the YMCA number, notes that in all of the RSSIF reviews, the writer has hated it but the crowds loved should tell y'all sumthin'...)

 "Yeah, I told her mom to let her know it wasn't Rudy's fault.

 "I personally would have liked to see his violin number (but only if he promised to get a better skating costume)."


 "It tells me something, all right. It tells me that Tom Collins panders to the lowest common denominator."


 "Hey, brings in the bucks, so why not?  Seriously, it entertains the majority, and COI isn't about high art, anyway.  It's about balance.  Highs and lows.  Art and Entertainment...and a little bit of the outright silly in between.  So the audience gets a Michelle Kwan doing the Red Violin on one end of the spectrum...and a Laurence Tobel doing whateverindaheck he does on the other.  Something for everyone, eh?"


Los Angeles, CA, June 5

 Tonight I had the pleasure of seeing the COI show again at the LA Sports Arena. I was with 3 friends who had never been to an Ice Skating "Show".. and had only seen some competitions on TV. They all loved it as much as I did. No doubt about it.. it's a beautiful show..

 However...... the hi-light of the show for me of course was Rudy Galindo. How I love to watch this man skate no matter what program he is skating. I enjoyed his Village People program as much tonight as I did the first time I saw it. My friends had never had the chance to see it before and of course they just loved it too. My Mother was sitting across the arena with a group of friends she had come with. One of her friends leaned over before it began and said "I sure hope Rudy Galindo does his YMCA number". So there ya go..even tho it's the second year for this program... it's still loved and enjoyed by most everyone because Rudy being the professional that he is, gives it his all. Once again.. for one more performance... he has given much love, joy and fun to alot of people.
Thanks Rudy !


 Libby Slate's article, "Show-Runners Put a New Spin on Champions on Ice," which appeared in the June 3, 1999, Los Angeles Times (Calendar Live! section) featured a couple of paragraphs about Rudy.

 Another six-tour veteran is fellow Californian Galindo of San Jose, who is repeating last year's Village People medley at Collins' request. "People know what to expect," says the openly gay Galindo, 29, whose on-ice persona and sense of humor have endeared him with fans, if not judges. "I'm not conventional at all. How boring would that be? I go for the glitter and the glamour. I've been different all my life--it's also motivated me to have fun, to come up with something different."

Galindo has seen changes in the show through the years. "I think people are starting to relate more to the audience, finding numbers that the audience can participate in," he says. "And the cast seems more family-oriented this time, closer. I think it has to do with the closing number, people conversing, waiting to go on."

In stark contrast to Galindo's ebullience is the classically balletic performance of Baiul, to selections by Bach.

"Rudy everybody must have been rolling over the floor during the macho man part cause he was hella entertaining. couple of 3toes and couple of 2axels."


"I've been to COI a number of times, and I thought this was a good show, though it seemed a little light on Russians and almost devoid of Canadians, which disappointed me. I guess by the end of the tour, people kind of fall by the wayside. On the whole, though, the performers seemed "on" and the jumps and throws were solid.

 "Rudy was in fine form, and I know it's old hat but that Village People number is such fun, and he seems to have such fun with it, that you can't help but grin."


 "Rudy did the village people number. Always good to see it and the crowd loved it."


"Nice applause), Punsalan & Swallow, Elizabeth Manley, Woetzel & Steuer, Victor Petrenko (big applause), Nicole Bobek, Anissina & Peizerat (got a good response when she lifted him), Surya Bonaly (big applause), Rudy Galindo (big applause), Klimova & Ponormarenko, Todd Eldredge (big applause), Oksana Bauil (big applause), Kazakova & Dmitriev, Michelle Kwan (big applause -- lots of love all night for our hometown hero ), Philippe Candeloro

"Rudy Galindo
  This is the 3rd or 4th time I've seen this program live (not to mention the numerous times on TV), and it's still loads of fun.  Rudy is so great with this medley and the audience just eats it up.  That said, I do hope Rudy has a new program next year.  I think he can come up with another fast, fun, playful number that will please the audience just as much as this one does.  I understand him keeping this one, though, since it definitely got the most applause of the first Act, if not the whole show."


 "This year, the opening was really fun and exciting.  I especially liked seeing the skaters introduced to upbeat selections.  My favorites  Rudy Galindo and Michelle Kwan.  Rudy was hysterical in his stockings.  Brian commented that he should have kept them on for the Village People number (I think he's tired of that program).

 "Rudy Galindo.  I wasn't excited about his Village People program this year . . . and the crowd seemed to concur.  At least where I was sitting, people weren't going as crazy as last year.  The lady I was sitting next to kept muttering, "Get a new program."  Still, I do love this program . . . I bet if Rudy brought it back in a few years, everyone would appreciate it."


Reno, NV, June 6

 "On the applause meter coming out and going off...Michelle, Rudy, Todd, Phillipe & Victor were all about even up on the meter. Oksana B, Nicole & Surya were next. Most of the rest had mellow applause coming out to perform. The first couple times this happened Mr C & I are saying come up people clap for these guys also...but it turned out ok because every performer had wonderful applause after their performance. There were no individual standing ovations but a standing ovation for everybody at the end.

"Rudy Galindo - Brought the house down of course. He does get the audience going.

 " for the rest of the story! And it did turn out to be more story. First though want to tell you what a riot Rudy was in the opening number in his costume...the fish net nylons, with those pretend high heels, this short shiny gray sparkling kind of wrap around outfit and blue sparkles on the top of his head and the "moves" to go along with the costume. It was so funny!!

[After the show...]
"The El Dorado had a reception for the skaters and for fans to get autographs. So off we went to see if we could get in. Took the program with us as a possible ticket in...andlo & to the entrance and the guy standing at the door says go right on in and waves us thru. Oh what excitement!! At first I didn't think the skaters were there yet.

We get in and here is this wonderful buffet and we can help ourselves...with no cost! While we are standing here looking around deciding exactly what to do first in comes our pals...Mom & daughter. So we find four seats together...leave Mr C there because he wasn't interested in the buffet and proceed to the buffet line. Now I'm looking for a cup of coffee for Mr C when I spot Liz P and Rudy. Also at this table is Jerrod S and Michael & wife, Ingo S & Mandy W & Liz Manley. I struck gold...I found them."


"The audience went wild for Surya, Rudy and of course, michelle. They also seemed to really enjoy laurent tobel and michael weiss. they liked candeloro but i really can't stand him. he took 2 to 3 minutes revving up the crowd before his music started. kind of annoying. I really enjoyed Kazakova & Dmitriev who skated to fly me to the moon. I don't have other comments about the show. Afterwards i went outside to wait for the skaters. there were a handful of other fans there waiting. Only 3 skaters came over to sign autographs, Liz Manley, Todd, and Rudy. I got Todd's autograph."


Fresno, CA, June 9

 "Rudy--"YMCA"-I've seen this number several times and always love it; had heard before hand not to hope for something new so I wasn't disappointed and just enjoyed.  Not quite the energy of his usual performance, but still fun.  I actually liked his "Time Warp" intro number better--talk about campy and riotously funny and I love that song!! As I think someone suggested before, he should make that into a full-length exhibition."


Sacramento, CA, June 11

 From an entire account by a person who had the opportunity to be present from early morning, when the preparations for the COI performance began through the entire show. To read the whole account, go to

 http: //

Early in the day

 "We didn't have much to do for the next couple of hours and the skaters were running late (they were being bussed in from San Francisco) so we took a walk around the arena and walked past Laura Galindo Black (Rudy Galindo's sister, if you didn't know ) ) and her husband and baby. The baby is adorable! I would have loved to stop but by the time I realized who it was we were past her."

The writer mentioned that some skaters were less motivated than others to be there...This is what she said when pressed about it

 "cn skate~I know they were all tired and probably didn't really want to be out there but nobody outright was having a temper tantrum so to speak about having to skate. Everyone for the most part was pretty nice  Rudy was great, the crowd absolutely loved him and it was neat to see his sister and her husband and baby there."


San Jose, CA, June 12

 "I am sick of Rudy Galindo's Village People Medley, although the crowd reaction proves that it was a good move for him to do it again this year."

 ---Kevin C. Rushforth

Oakland, CA, June 13

 "This 2h show seemed to have lasted only a few minutes b/c skaters came out cascading---as soon as one finished, the next starts immediately. No dull moment. Simply non-stop entertainment. Thumbs up to all, especially to our local flame Rudy, Mr Ham Philippe, AND Ms THWHSL (Thank Heavens We Have Someone Like) Michelle Kwan!!!"


Salt Lake City, UT, June 15

 "Rudy brought the house down. I don't care how often he does this number. He sells it! My row and the two rows behind me were the most loud obnoxious group in the arena. So of course we did the YMCA. We also did our version of Macho Man."


 What with the Salt Lake City Olympics approaching and skating of primary interest, both newspapers in Salt Lake covered the June 15 COI performance.

 From the Deseret News (June 16, 1999) "Sizzling ice skaters blaze into S.L.," by Ivan M. Lincoln

"Not merely content to swirl around the ice to a Viennese waltz like the old "Ice Follies" revues of 40 or 50 years go, this new generation of skaters constantly pushes the envelope with bold, daring moves and even bolder choices of music.

 "On Tuesday night, a less-than-packed, but appreciative audience witnessed nearly two hours of world class skating by medalists who really delivered the goods...

 "But it was the long list of well-known names that drew the crowd — stars such as Michelle Kwan, feisty Rudy Galindo (who skated to "Time Warp" from "The Rocky Horror Show" for his part in the show's opening number and a Village People medley for his spotlight routine), and heroic "Musketeer" Philippe Candeloro, whose flashing

 sword was no match for his flashing blades in a routine which featured original music composed by his stepbrother...

 "While almost the entire evening was devoted to spotlighting the skaters' world class individual and pairs talent, the entire ensemble book-ended the show with a big introduction routine and a rink-filling finale. Producer Tom Collins has also spared no expense on bringing the latest in lighting technology, using the rink as a canvas for creating a kaleidoscope of fantastic designs."

 From the Salt Lake Tribune (June 16, 1999) "Champions Tour helps skaters hone skills, by Lori Buttars

 "Judging by the tone of most of the programs, disco is big among the skaters. Whether it was Weiss in an afro wig or Rudy Galindo in fishnet, a la the "Rocky Horror Picture Show," the show had a distinctive light-hearted tone."

Spokane, WA, June 17

 "There was a momentary stunned silence when Rudy came out in  the fishnet stockings, etc.  -  -before people started laughing and clapping.  I loved the black highheel pump skates.    I think he could market those. I want some.

 I love Rudy but I am tired  of Village People ( I really  wanted to see Rudy's violin number.)"

 ---Sylvia Gobel

 From the Spokane Spokesman-Review article, "There's No Doubt They're Champions," by Susan English (June 19, 1999)

 "Figure-skating exhibitions just might be the quintessential mixture of sport and entertainment. The skaters must be top-notch athletes and they need to know how to play to a crowd. Some skaters pull this off better than others...

 "Veteran skater Rudy Galindo performed a Navy-boy routine to music by the Village People that he's done here before, but seeing it again didn't make it any less fun."

 "I liked the introduction, particularly when Woetzel and Steuer and Nam were announced (because I hadn't expected them to be there) and when Rudy came out with his fishnet stockings...

 "Galindo - Fun, fun, fun.  I can see why Collins requested him to use this program, but once live would be enough for me.  He really has nice jumps spins (although they were slower than I expected) and line...

 "The finale was good, with its two pairs doing spirals and the four men doing jumps in unison (also indicated who was expected to do the whole tour  Galindo, Petrenko, Weiss, and Eldredge).  Reminded me of the SOI finale this year (but this year's SOI finale wasn't all that special)."

 ---E. Kittell

Portland, OR, June 18

Rudy is dressed in a sort of black sequin trimmed skating dress and sheer black stockings he acts overly feminine as a sort of parody its pretty funny...

 Rudy Galindo- YMCA  great crowsd appeal we went wild hit his 2 double axels and 2 3toes, closed 1st half of show biggest ovation of the 1st half.  i''l post the 2nd half later...

 Ending- Michelle bows and then snaps her fingers and swing music comes on and the other skaters comeon and she exits to change.  skaters names are reintroduced and everyone does something, nicole does a spiral, oksana lands a clean 3toe, victore dance moves, michael, victor, elvis, todd land 3toes at the same time K/D and B/S do a doucle paris Death spiral, very nice, Jared Swallow and Rudy galind lift Liz Manley and Liz Pusalen very cute, Michelle does a 3toe, NNN does a nice 2axel, Laurent Tobel does his Kick axel, Rudy does a huge 2axel, lots of swing dancing very enjoyable number Phillipe and Surya do back flips together,.  The show got a standing ovation, Excellent.


 "Rudy Galindo Village People. I've seen this live before, and about a million times on TV. He delivers it so well, I didn't mind seeing it again. This program is just a classic for him. He seemed a little tired in this performance. He was still selling it, but toned down the jumps quite a bit. He did a couple of good 2 Axels and 3 Toes, but no 3/3 Toe combination as I had seen him do before. His combination spin also looked a little slower than normal."


"-Rudy Galindo Rudy came out in a leather jacket and fishnet stockings.  Very funny, nice triple toe...

 "Rudy Galindo, "Village People"
His spins are so wonderful! He had a nice triple toe, triple salchow, and double axel.  Rudy had red glitter in his hair that looked awesome!

"The closing was great! Laurent, Michael, Rudy, and Viktor did double axels together.  Surya and Philippe did backflips in unison.  Kazakova/Dmitriev and Berezhnaya/Sikharulidze did their double death spiral, which was great!"


Seattle, WA, June 19

 "Lucky for me the press conference was on Saturday, not Friday like I had originally thought. Only Rudy Galindo and Tom Collins were there that I recognized. I heard there was another press thing later in the afternoon, but I didn't get to go to that one. Rudy said the standard stuff like how his village people medley was a crowd favorite (which it was)."


"-Rudy (wearing a dress thing, funny- good applause)"
"*Rudy Galindo- He’s done this so many times, the people clapped before the program started, because they already knew it! Either way, it was a program, and the crowd was clapping—especially during his Y-spin"


 "Rudy needs a new routine, Village People is gettng old, but his opening costume cracked me up !"


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Last updated Oct 8, 2001