Photo by Andrea "Hoo" Chempinski

Champions On Ice Summer Tour - 1998

Part 2, E. Rutherford NJ to Oakland CA

Part 1, Baltimore, MD to Hartford CT
Part 3, San Jose, CA to Chicago, IL

Now that the 1998 Champions on Ice Summer Tour is into its final leg in the western part of the U.S., it's clear that Rudy and his Village People medley are a terrific hit in every section of the country. Spectator reviews from everywhere mention great audience reaction to this number and to Rudy's fine skating. We're proud of him for being at the top of his game at every tour stop and giving an energetic, humorous, and singularly entertaining performance night after night.

East Rutherford, NJ, May 16

Rudy Galindo stole the show and got the best response of the whole night. The Village People routine had people literally dancing in their seats, cheering him on. Nailed all his jumps. Had a huge crowd of skaters watching from the entrance-way, highlighted by Nicole dancing along, doing all the arm movements. (Toeloopy)

New York, NY, May 19

"Rudy didn't close the first half, Phillipe did, but Rudy still brought the house down with his Village People program. The more I see this one, the more brilliant I think it is. Rudy skated clean except for one overrotated 2axel right in front of me. He saved it but rolled his eyes which brought laughter first from the crowd and then he joined in."

"Surya and Rudy stole the show with their programs. Surya did a 3 toe 3 toe combo and 3 layout back flips. One with a 3 sal in combination! I love Rudy's Village People number especially with the pirouettes during "macho man".


"I believe Rudy Galindo received the loudest crowd approval of the entire night for his campy In The Navy/Macho Man/YMCA medley!"


"Galindo was unbelievably popular--this is New York after all. Fun to watch Lipinski perform his choreography off the ice while he skated."


Tampa, May 21 and Orlando, May 23

"...Alexei Yagudin, strong as ever. Todd Eldredge, with ever present grace and power. Tonia Kwiatkowski, with grace and dignity as natural as her breathing. Candeloro, thrilling the crowd. Tobel, amusing them. Rudy, wowing them."

"Rudy Galindo, however, was the first person to TOTALLY bring down the house (again, LOL). His outfit caused a sensation in Orlando, where we have a Navy base that is on its way out. The crowd responded incredibly favorably, however. And Rudy was great. I think there was a jump problem or two in Orlando, but again, as I've said, I'm convinced there is an ice problem in Orlando. First time the majority of the crowd stood up in both cities. LOL I wonder if he's getting tired of being the sensation on the tour? Naaaaa...."

"Rudy Galindo (looking happy and relaxed--and much better in person! He's shaved the goatee and Stacy and I agree that we like him better clean shaven)..."

---Julie K

"Rudy skated in his sailor suit. He skated to a medley of, In the Navy, Macho Man, and YMCA. I noticed that Rudy had a tattoo on his right shoulder. The crowd really loved this number! They gave Rudy a very LARGE standing ovation!"

---MK1CAK1 (Carol Kneece)

"Rudy has definitely found his spot as an entertainer. Last time I saw Rudy skate live I wasn't very impressed, but he definitely grows on you!" ---Liz

Nashville, TN, May 27

"...then Galindo's Village People medley. The crowd loved him, too. (He was the favorite of the guy I took to the show; wonder if I should be worried?"

---Heather Fritz

Houston, TX, May 29

"Opening:(some highlights)...Rudy skated to "Hot Hot Hot" and did a great back scratch. It was nice and fast!...Rudy was next and as usual the audience got into the Village People number. He did 2 double axels, a couple of 3 toes, and did "his" spin well. Rudy sells this number like no one else can. He definitely got one of the largest receptions of the night!... Closing number highlights: Rudy did Macho Man and the audience ate it up again." (Virginia Blalock)

"Rudy Galindo--THE hit of the night. He looks so cute in that sailor's outfit!...My brother, on the other hand, was like, "Oh. My. God." when Rudy started stripping. He isn't a big fan of Rudy, as you can tell. It was funny coz he did it right in front of a group of women, and just when his skin was nice and showing, they literally reached out and touched him! I couldn't stop laughing! He really pumped up the crowd and throwed in some triples and doubles with that. Another of my brother's ramblings: when he saw Rudy's final costume in this program, he said, "Wheeeeere's Waldo?" Get it? Red and white stripes? Oh never mind."


Rudy- Villiage People number. Crowd got a kick out of it. He did about 3 2axels and I *think* a 3flip (like I said, obstructed viewing)"

---Amy L

"Rudy! Rudy! Rudy! This man should be a closer, that's all there is to it. Like last year, his was the best-performed, and best received, program of the night. He did so many triples I lost count, and had a whole lot of fun with his Village People medley. I just love this number! First standing ovation of the night, although no skater got everyone to stand. He may have gotten even more applause than Todd, Tara, and Michelle, he was so great!"

---Icefantx (Robin)

San Antonio, TX, May 30

"Rudy Galindo was a crowd pleaser. Macho man fits him and he and the audience had fun with it."

---"Juli P. Briggs" mom

"I went to the COI show in San Antonio, and a lot of my favorite skaters weren't there, including Michelle Kwan. Overall it was an enjoyable show thanks to great performances by Todd Eldredge, Rudy Galindo, and a few others..."


Dallas, TX, June 2

"Rudy was a hit, and I think it's a toss up whether he or Surya got the loudest ovation. But they were both crowd favorites."


"Of the men, Rudy and Todd were the highlites. Both had good performances and great crowd response."


Fort Worth, TX, June 3

"Rudy camped it out with this Village People number. The big hick cowboy sitting next to me asked me if he was making fun of gay people. I told him that Rudy *is* gay and the cowboy's response was something like, "He's having a good time making fun of himself!" I thought the roof was gonna come off the TCCC -- people were yelling and screaming. He skated very well, too. His spins were a bit faster than I remember in the past. But, more importantly, he seemed to really jazz up the choreography compared to when I've seen him do with this number before on television...

One other note about Rudy: in the blackout just before the lights go up for the opening, I noticed that Rudy and Tara were in the middle of the ice clowning around doing some attempts at some pair spins, etc. They were laughing and joking. During his number, she was next to the ice cheering him on and he was doing the same for her during her number. Nice to see that they are both developing some relationships/friendships on the road...

Outside of Tara and Todd, Phillipe was the only skater to challenge Rudy in the noise-meter department."

---Amy Rork

Colorado Springs, June 5-6

"Several men carried the night, starting with world champ Alexei Yagudin of Russia, then the charismatic Philippe Candeloro of France, followed by 1996 U.S. champion Rudy Galindo."

---Ralph Routon: "Skating all-stars come to Springs," Colorado Springs Gazette, Sports, June 9

Denver, CO, June 7

"Rudy was definitely the ultimate highlight of the day. He was HILARIOUS. He brought the house down. His performace alone was worth my ticket price. He once again skated to the Sailors/macho man/YMCA program. I loved it!... Rudy's program was the one that really stole the show."

---MrsKeanuR (Alexa)

"Rudy: He did his Village People medley. Great crowd pleaser. Rudy can do any type of music effectively it seems. He was just a tad off on some of his jumps. It actually looked like the barriers in the corners were shorter than the skaters were used to. His spins are so great and the lightness and fleetness of his movement on the ice are so impressive. Not to mention his fabulous extension. Can you tell I love Rudy's skating?"


Anchorage, AK, June 16

"Rudy did The Village People number. I love it. It's even more entertaining in person. Especially when he took his shirt off right front of me. Looking at me and gyrating the whole time. He's so much fun! And, I must say he is still doing a fine job landing his triples and combinations."


Seattle, WA, June 20 and 21

"I don't much enjoy Rudy Galindo's Village People program on TV but I did live. Somehow I'd always missed the exaggerated limp wrist motions at the beginning of the "Macho Man" section. What an absolute riot!"


"rudy g. camped it up to the max...and left the audience laughing with him all the way...btw...does this guy wear two pair of socks??...sure looked like it!!!..."


"Rudy was in good form, audience was really pumped after Village People music. Great egg beater spin at the end, as always."


"Rudy Galindo - HUGE applause when he comes out. Did the Village People medley - the crowd loved it and him! Everyone was clapping, and many folks did the "YMCA" arm dance! He is really buff! The white pants were REALLY tight - hmmm. Lift little to the imagination. He had a great skate - landed everything, and got another HUGE response when he finished."


"Rudy Galindo---yeah, the skating content in Village People is negligible. But boy, does he know how to sell it. This comes across much more entertaining in person. Like Wendy, I didn't recall seeing the exaggerated wrist action in "Macho Man" previously. He had fun and the audience had fun, which seems to be all he's really going for."

---Ice Princess

>From a discussion on which skaters are more effective in person than on TV--inspired by comments made by the first poster after having seen Sunday's COI Seattle performance.

"Rudy: Like Phillipe he really plays to the crowd. Its like he really wants the audience to have fun watching him."


"... like Olivia, I'd agree that both Philippe and Rudy are better live. They both have a tremendous amount of energy, which I think, doesn't relate as well on TV."


"Rudy Galindo: the love he has for the audience and the fact that he is so happy to be a pro and get the chance to 'strut his stuff' really elevates his performances a higher level."


"Former U.S. men's champion Rudy Galindo, the first skater of his stature to openly discuss his homosexuality, who offered a slyly in-your-face sendup of certain stereotypes with a routine set to such Village People classics as "In the Navy," "Macho Man" and "YMCA." Along the way, he also delivered an impressive display of crisp triple jumps and innovative spins."

---Jan DeKnock, Seattle Times, June 22 (from an article in the Arts and Entertainment section titled: "Ailing Lipinski upstaged by others on ice")

"Rudy Galindo - huge response from the crowd. Great number - better in person than on TV. What a performer! Y-M-C-A...!"


"Rudy. He has improved so much and gained so much confidence! He did many jumps, a couple triples and landed them all beautifully! Very much a crowd pleaser."

"Yet some of the grandstanding is perhaps most interesting for what it reveals about the skaters’ audience. Former U.S. champion Rudy Galindo is one of the sport’s few openly gay men, and on the tour Galindo’s style dial seems set to High Camp. On this night he appears in a sailor suit, skating to The Village People’s “In the Navy”; the music changes to “Macho man” and Galindo strips off his jacket to reveal a red-and-white sequined tank top. But the crowd is with him all the way, joining in the universal arm signals for “YMCA” and giving Galindo one of the evening’s most sustained ovations."

--- from MSNBC article by John Flinn ("The Other Blades of Summer; Champions on Ice Offers Skating Spectacle")

Oakland, June 26

"Rudy of course was a huge home crowd favorite."

"Rudy -- Have to say I like the Village People number better in person than I did on tv -- the hometown crowd loved it. I wish he would put one straight skating number in his repertoire, though; I don't like seeing him relying exclusively on gimmicks and camp."

---Ruth Lafler

"I wonder if he minces as much outside the Bay Area as he does for the hometown fans. He's sort of reveling in being the new Liberace -- a gay man who can "act gay" without anyone being very put off. Good for him. The routine is hilarious." (Robert Dister)

"I was wondering the same thing -- I don't remember all the mincing and hand waving during the "macho man" segment from when I saw it on tv, but I don't know if I remember wrong, if he's added them, or if he was specifically camping it up for the Bay Area audience."

---Ruth Lafler

"The San Francisco Pride Parade was yesterday, Sunday the 28th, so maybe Rudy was warming up for all the dancing."


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Last updated October 7, 2001