Photo by Tracy Marks

The Improv - 1999

The Improv's second year again proved to be a popular format with fans. Tightened up this year to fit (almost) within the three hours scheduled for it, it did seem to move along more efficiently. Also, Robin Cousins had the opportunity to skate this year, reportedly his final public skating. The exhibition performances were eliminated, and two team numbers (different skaters on each team) were added at the conclusion of the show. General opinions repeated most often were that the music choices were relatively uninspiring, Roz Sumners needs to refrain from talking so much during programs, and the team performances were very successful and entertaining.

 Unlike most of the skaters, Rudy "drew" a rock number ("Put Your Hands On") which was in a similar genre to the "Studio 54" program he has been doing this season. His "costume" was blue jeans and a shiny "camp" style shirt--maybe the one he wore in the Rockefeller Center opening--and he looked fabulous and skated very well throwing in a 3T/3T combination! The fan reaction that appears below reflects issues some of  them had with "Studio 54." The Improv program and costume were certainly not over the top, but taken with "Studio 54," fan reaction reflected both programs.

 Rudy and Tyler and Michael Weiss and Annie Mae were apparently the hits of the pre-show activities as the guys took to the ice with them. Comments on that are included, too!

"I was unhappy with Rudy's music as I am seeing him skate to way too much of this kind of music lately. He has been one of my favorites in the past, but he seems to be going the way of Phillipe and I am starting to feel very uncomfortable watching him."


 "Dwight Yoakum did the remake of the jazz piece that Mike Weiss skated to (I got a kick out of him and Rudi skating with the babies at the end of their practise session. The two ladies beside me nearly had a heart attack at the men on skates tossing tiny children in the air and catching them. The babies loved it! One was definitely Mike's daughter, but was the other Rudi's sister's child? It looked to big to be Mike's second one.)"


 "Robin Cousins had a great idea but he ruined it by poor selection of music, esp. for Katarina, Nicole and Rudy. Improv is hard enough, he doesn't need to make these skaters look any worse by picking music that is totally unskateable! "


 "Okay, since many of you asked for details - here's what the skaters landed
Michael - 3 lutz, 3 flip, 3 sal.
Rudy - 3 toe 3 toe combo, 3 sal (stepout), 1 axel.
Kurt - lots of footwork, footwork into 2 axel, 3 toe (stepout).
Philippe - 3 toe, 2 axel, 3 lutz (fall), back flip.
Alexei - 3 axel (fall), 3 toe (stepout)
Elvis - 3 axel (hand down stepout), 3 lutz, 3 toe.

 Team 1 roster - Nicole, Lu, Kat, Michael, Philippe, Kurt, Anita Hartshorn,
Kazakova & Dmitriev, Klocke & Jenkins.
Team 2 roster - Katia, Surya, Caryn, Elvis, Alexei, Rudy, Frank Sweiding,
Brasseur & Eisler, Leonova & Khvalko.


 "I loved the show....although some of the musical selections were a bit iffy and none of the skaters really had to stretch from their normal skating style. I mean, Phillipe got into the audience, Rudy did some bump 'n grind, Nicole flirted, Kurt was funny, Lulu went the Bezic route, Surya did a backflip....we've seen this stuff before."


 "Well, as long as the female in the audience continue to go man-crazy when Phillipe perfoms his "sexy" moves, he'll continue to do it. I just prefer to change the channel when Phillipe is on. The same goes for Rudy. The guy has beautiful jumps and spins. Why ruin those qualities by acting some diva-wannabe ?"


 "Best Buns Award Rudy Galindo"


 "Sorry but Rudy and Philippe were their classic selves."


 "Rudy and Phillipe disappoint me yet I wasn't surprised that they resorted to the easy way out. I was disappointed in Kurt too. Yeah, at least he did have a fun program and I smiled too, I would have liked to have seen him "stretch" a bit and do a classic program."


 "And of course, we all knew that Rudy would have a blast with his get-up."


 Here's a beef I have about Rudy.  Lately, in every program he's done, he grabs his buns.  This is getting to be like Phillipe taking off his shirt."


 "I also am not enamored of Rudy's programs this year, including last night ... I love Rudy but he doesn't need to stick his behind into the camera lens, please!  (and of course the tv network doesn't have to show repeats of it either ...)"


 [Before the show] "Anyhew......things seen during the warmup Annie Mae Weiss was present and accounted for, of course, but in a cute moment, Michael took her for a spin on the ice accompanied by Rudy and his nephew. They seemed to be having a great ol' time. Then Rudy skated across the ice *throwing* the kid up in the air and catching him. The lady sitting behind me gasped "Oh, Lord, I hope he doesn't drop him." I turned to her and said, "Nah. He used to be a pairs skater. Kid's gotta be easier to catch than Kristi Yamaguchi." [The show] "Rudi was Rudi."


 "At one point, Mike Weiss was skating around carrying AnnieMae, and Rudy was skating around carrying his nephew. We noticed Alexei skate over to Kurt and tap him on the shoulder, then they went to the end and sat down for a minute. The next thing we see, Alexei skates onto the ice carrying Kurt in his arms! Course, that didn't last long, but it was tooooooo funny! "


 "I used to like Phillipe before he decided he HAD to get undressed at every show (just about), and I LOVED Rudy's great lines, and energy...until he started using his skating programs to make a sexual statement. We KNOW you are gay Rudy....Ok? Just show us your talent, not your butt. Same goes for Phillipe...we KNOW you are heterosexual....Ok? Just show us your talent, not your nipples."


 "The funny part (odd, not haha) is that skating is _inherently_ sexual...There may be some people...who'd like all sex to be offlimits (which I consider a fantasy), but these are almost all very fit people at the time of life when the hormones run the strongest. They don't have to WORK at sex at all!"


 "Oh, call me low-brow, but I find Galindo's camp numbers a major hoot.  Why I find him amusing and Candeloro's numbers repulsive, I  can't explain. I particularly enjoyed the reaction of the group of elderly spectators at the far end of the ice when Galindo was shaking his booty in front of them during his Studio 54 number -- the women were laughing and clapping; the men looked as though they were in the process of realizing they had eaten bad clams."


-- the women were laughing and clapping; the men looked as though they were in the process of realizing they had eaten bad clams.

"Heheh...they did at that.  But then again, they probably looked that way when their wives told them they were going to attend a skating show in the first place!  Rudy just tipped them right over the edge.  LOL!"


 "A standard orchestral version of the "Meditation", played straight, with the group of men who were contracted for this event -- *maybe* Rudy in a serious mood could have dome something with it."


 "I also liked Rudy and Weiss (not normally a favorite), but Kurt just blew everyone else away."


 "4th - Galindo  good program and great 3t-3t.  Hate the butt wiggling, but he in some nice positions and has such a beautiful line."


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Last updated October 13, 2001