Photo by Kelly Behning

The Grand Slam - 2000

The Grand Slam of Skating, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Xcel Center, October 5-6, 2000

 Scoring controversy

There was a controversy about the judging of the final round (see Karen Frank's and Kelly Behning's posts below and on FSW, Skatefans, and rssif). Boitano skated the same program he had used the night before in his technical program. Reusing a program in the Final Round is specifically prohibited in the printed program for the event.

"The artistic number for the Final Round MUST be different than the two programs performed in the Initial Round."

In addition, many felt Rudy was much underscored and Brian overscored. Rudy again landed a triple axel, triple loop, triple sal, triple toe/double toe, and double axel, plus a long Charlotte, and some apparently fast and difficult spins. Brian reportedly two-footed a lutz, and did land a triple toe/triple toe, triple sal, double axel, etc.

Someone pointed out that there were six triple axels attempted at this competition. Ilia fell, Candeloro stepped out of his, and Rudy landed four, as well as everything else he tried. (The additional two may have been in warm-ups???) In addition, Rudy was the only skater to bring three completely new programs to this competition.

October 5

The following is from commentary by Karen Frank on FSW, Skatefans, and rssif:

 "Sixteen skaters divided into teams of 2. These were further divided into "Group A" and "Group B". The teams that win each group will skate a third program (while everyone else, plus Hamill & Hamilton will do an exhibition). Tonight, Group A skated their first program, then Group B skated their first program, and then Group A skated their second program. Basically about 4 hours of skating.... Tomorrow will be Group B's second program plus the finals, and the exhibitions. Lots of nice stuff in this competition, unfortunately, lots of great footwork sections seemed undermarked. Each skater was given a tech mark (worth 40%) and an artistic mark (worth 60%).

"Rudy Galindo -- Hey Big Spender/Rag timish clown music 3x(!), 3f-3t; 3lo. Lots of dancing and footwork. Great number for him. Standing ovation.

T: 9.9 9.9 9.9 9.9 9.9
A: 9.9 9.9 9.9 9.9 9.9

"Rudy Galindo -- Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries/Sing Sing Sing He did something interesting here... began the program with the last 20 seconds of the program he did in round one, then went into the new stuff.

 3lo, 3s, split jumps (3); 2x-3t

T: 9.8 9.9 9.9 9.8 9.8
A: 9.9 9.9 9.9 9.8 9.9

"Current Standings:
Group A (after 2 rounds)

4. Bauil/Urmanov 386.8
3. Witt/Orser 389.8
2. Chen/Petrenko 390.8
1. Galindo/Bonaly 394.3

"Group B (after 1 round)

4. Gordeeva/ Kulik 194.5
3. Kadavy/Cousins 194.6
2. Bobek/ Candeloro 195.6
1. Sato/ Boitano 196.5

"Galindo & Bonaly qualify for finals; round 2 for Group B will be skated tomorrow.

 "Other notes -- although I think there was a bit of undermarking and overmarking in some cases (it really looked like they were just counting jumps, because some neat footwork looked like it was not being rewarded), Galindo clearly had the best programs of the night. He was very much on, and his jumps looked beautiful. Also, he did a nice long Charlotte Spiral in the warm up, but it's not in the programs he did tonight. Maybe tomorrow. Sato was the class of the field in the ladies, but it was nice to see Lu Chen looking happier than she has in a long time."

End of Karen's commentary


 "Rudy - the BEST OF THE NIGHT!!! - Big Spender and stuff from All that Jazz (aka Baiul) triple axel!!!!!! 3f, 3t, 3s Right in front of the judges. Just Great!!!

9.9 9.9 9.9 9.9 9.9
9.9 9.9 9.9 9.9 9.9
should have had a few 10's IMHO team total 197.2

 "After 1 program each the rankings are
1. Bonaly-Galindo
2. Sato-Boitano
3. Chen-Petrenko
4. Bobek-Candeloro
5. Witt-Orser
6. Kadavy-Cousins
7. Gordeeva-Kulik
8. Baiul-Urmanov

"Rudy - wearing a black tux with bright pink vest, etc. - Bowl of cherries? took off jacket, then later took off shirt to reveal a "RUDY" shirt - shirt sleeve flesh colored with lots of sequins. 3l 3s jump sequence!! 2a 2t combo, great back scratch ended in a back sliding split (aka Bonaly)
9.8 9.9 9.9 9.8 9.8
9.9 9.9 9.9 9.8 9.9
great but not quite as great as his first program team total 394.3"


"Rudy really was the hit of the night - I don't know if I've ever seen him look so happy (especially with having to skate his second program at 11:10 PM!!)."

---Kelly Behning

"I'm so thrilled about Rudy. A triple axel?! He must be feeling so much better these days and I'm sure he's going to be an inspiration to so many people."


"Congrats to Rudy for landing the Triple Axel. I'm so happy for him."


"I'm happy for Rudy, Laura, and anyone who has cared about Rudy for his success even so far at the Grand Slam. Skating as ill as he was much of last season had to be even more difficult than getting into his best shape to skate well this season. I'm so grateful he had the opportunity and the motivation. Other than the Lutz, and he's always been accused of "flutzing," he's doing all the major triples."


"I'm not a Rudy fan, but his big spender number was excellent!...Rudy was Awesome!! I'm not a fan, but he blew me away... His big spender number is great... He pulled the whole thing off so well.. He was incredible!!! I watched his sister jumping, everytime he nailed landing.. He was Great... Skated with the music... Broadway on ice, he captured it."


"Galindo/Bonaly will move on to finals tomorrow. BTW, Rudy rocked! Best scores of the night."

---Karen Frank

 October 6

Thanks again to Karen Frank for background and commentary.

"Tonight, we got to see round two for Group B. Then 12 exhibition numbers from the skaters not making the finals, plus two bonus exhibition numbers (Scott Hamilton & Dorothy Hamill), and then the final round between the top four skaters.

 "This is what the rule book says about the final round (for those for whom rules are important): The top two teams after the Initial Round (first two programs) will advance to the Final Round and skate a third Artistic program. "The artistic number for the Final Round MUST [bold print, all caps] be different than the two programs performed in the Initial Round."

"Rudy Galindo -- something by Mariah Carey. "I Don't Care What They Say" (?)

3x; 3lo-1/2lo-3s; Charlotte Spiral; fast & long donut on a stick spin; 3t-2t; split jump-steps-split jump-steps-2x; running camels into layback-sitspin-Y spin (lost track of revolutions). I hate this music, but he nailed this program. Nice work!

9.9 9.9 9.9 9.8 9.9
9.9 9.8 9.9 9.8 9.9

"Brian Boitano -- "Blue" (again).

 I didn't think much of this program the first time I saw it, because between jumps it just looked like a lot of skating around on two feet, with some quirky hand motions. Since I had already seen it once, it was a lot easier to take notes on.

Spread eagle-3z (2foot landing), 3t-3t; rest period of dancing slowly in front of judges, and lying on ice; arabian into 1 foot spin (about 6 rotations, maybe); cantilever across ice on straight line with arm movements); spin; more two foot skating with arm motions; 3s; another cantilever with the same arm motions as before; death drop into a sit spin.

9.9 9.9 9.9 9.9 9.9
9.9 9.9 9.9 9.9 9.9

"This is what gives professional "competition" a lousy name.

 "What really bugs me is that I could easily have accepted Sato/Boitano over Bonaly/Galindo on the strength of Sato's programs. Sato, at least, deserved this victory.

 "I feel terrible for Rudy Galindo, who finally did indeed, "shut up and skate." Out of the sixteen competitors, he was the ONLY person who came to this competition with three new programs. Triple axels? There were six attempted in this competition. Kulik fell on his, Candeloro fell out of his landing, and Galindo landed two in programs and two in warm up rounds.

"Aside from the questionable scoring on Boitano, however, as a two night series of exhibitions, this was a great show. I saw 50 programs in all (well, 48, given that Pentrenko and Boitano repeated theirs), many of which I had never seen before."

---End of Karen's commentary

"Galindo - another awesome night, and another CLEAN 3axel!!! Also 3l, 3s, 3t2t, and 2a. Wow! Had on a red/faded into black bodysuit and I'm sorry but I can't remember the music - it was a slower piece, though....Marks 9.8-9.9, too low. Deserved at least one 10.

"Boitano closed out the night with "Blue" - again. I'm sure I read in the rules that skaters in the final round weren't allowed to repeat programs, but I guess they let it pass....Two-footed his 'Tano lutz (I watched the replay to be sure), did 3t3t, 3s, and 2a. Like I said last night, parts of the program are slow, and my sister said he needs to work on his dance moves. Marks all 9.9s - too high, definitely. How can a 2-footed jump beat a triple axel??? Sigh. Rudy wuz robbed.

"I don't have point totals, but the winners were Sato/Boitano, with Bonaly/Galindo as runner-ups. I don't agree with those standings at all, though (should've been the other way around)."

---Kelly Behning

"Sounds like a great comp! Can't wait to see it, even if it will be all choppped up. So happy Rudy had three great skates!!!!"


"Kudos to Rudy for doing three brand new programs and executing them so well. I'm very happy for him even if it turns out that he didn't get the scores or placement he deserved. He's got to be incredibly happy that he's healthy again and at the top of his game. I'm sure it was very important to him that he skate well at his first competition since his diagnosis. He's going to be a great inspiration to a lot of people."


"Brian Boitano is the only skater I've known Rudy to consistently express public admiration for in interviews and print, so I suspect he accepts this as one of the breaks in the skating game."

 "The important thing to emphasize is Allskate's last Kudos paragraph about Rudy. What he has experienced and done over the past several months is, to me, a series of miracles. He was very ill in January and February, and so fortunate that he could become well enough to undergo treatment that was extremely successful. >From his own will, he made the decisions and did the training that brought him back to being the best skater he can be (though don't be surprised if he raises the bar there, too). This is really as wonderful as his '96 Nationals and Worlds successes. It's what I love about Rudy--there's always the possibility of something marvelous."


"Maybe I'm being grumpy but I'm a little tired of pro skaters resting on their old laurels and doing the same programs year after year. I thought skaters were supposed to have new programs every year. Hooray for Rudy!"

From Blades On Ice, the February 2001 issue (Vol. 11, no. 3), Marge Reynolds review article on the 2000 Grand Slam:

"Team 4 gave strong performances to take the lead. Bonaly skated to Primal Fear, while Rudy Galindo had the first new program of the evening with his Bob Fosse Part I program, which drew a standing ovation and included a triple Axel. 'The crowd was very good and I am happy we did so well,' said Bonaly.

"...Bonally helped maintain team 1's overall lead with her New Age program while Galindo had the audience plus earned high marks with his Bob Fosse Part 2 program. They performed in the head-to-head final while the rest of Bracket A each performed exhibitions on Friday.

"Galindo performed to a Mariah Carey selection and blew the audience away with his strong jumps and effective presentation, garnering seven 9.9's and three 9.8's."


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Last updated October 13, 2001