Hello, Paulina Porizkova here, adding onto Gaysian Attorney's review of SkatersCare. This will be less a review and more a recollection of all the judging I did between 3:30 and 6 pm yesterday.
The Citizens Bank Arena is located in Ontario, California, which is part of the Inland Empire. As someone whose family lives in the southern part of the San Gabriel Valley, the drive was not bad. As someone who is a Westsider during the week, I'd cringe at the idea of driving that far.
Anyway, onto the skaters. From my seat on the opposite side of the skaters' tunnel, I recognised Caroline Zhang immediately. She was the most visible of the group of skaters waiting to take the ice. Take that how you will. And more on Ms. Zhang in a bit. Besides taking note of the very "Oriental" music during the opening number, as soon as Jeremy Abbott skated out and did a spin, I paused. Jeremy is looking good. He appeared to be in great shape for someone whose season is essentially over.
The Theatre on Ice group were…interesting. There was a lot of sparkle and wig action going on. I kept hoping that the girls would do double axels in their panniers, but oh well. According to the announcer, the group are going onto the World Championships next week or sommat. As for the speed skaters, while they were setting up, I was STILL wondering "do speed skaters do exhibitions/shows?" They don't. But they do "demonstrations" and relays.
Runa Maeda will be one of Aunt Joyce's adopted daughters in the future. I am calling it now. Runa may be tiny, but she is a STAR already. I'm not sure if she and Spencer Howe are officially a team, but if so, this very well may turn into a case of Belgosto, where all eyes are on the lady.
The ladies were outperformed by the men yesterday, to say the least. I give Ellie Kawamura an A+ for effort and skating to my latest jam, JLo's euro dance track "On the Floor." To be honest I was more concerned with singing "Brazil, Morocco, London to Ibiza, straight to LA, New York to Africa," but Ellie gets credit for her effort, which is more than what Alexe Gilles did for Single Ladies. Alexe's effort was boring, the choreography was boring, her costume was boring. She needs to learn how to perform. A girl named Clair Senda also performed, and the only thing I could think of while she was on the ice was how much her costume looked like Mao's Bells of Moscow. Ruffles and all. Vanessa Lam's performance to Time To Say Goodbye was lovely and clean, the cleanest of the ladies, and the most digestible. Courtney Hicks' program? her costume? The only good thing I have to say about that performance is that her dress looks pretty when she spins… Back to Caroline Zhang. When she stepped onto the ice, I said to my sister "five bucks says she falls. at least twice." Oh, Caroline. She fell on a loop, and then out of a spin. Ms. Zhang seems to have lost weight, but not from her posterior.
Bebe Liang and Braden Overett skated to Lady Is A Tramp, and I loved it. One of the better performances of the night, they had energy and seemed to spend more than an afternoon on the choreography.
The men. Derrick Delmore was looking fierce and mighty, and had a lovely performance. A little girl behind me commented to her mother that "he scares me!" and I about whipped around and gaped at her. I would like Derrick to never stop smiling. Douglas Razzano's performance to Fix You had me wishing he were Jeff Buttle and daydreaming the whole time. Maybe it's the blonde hair, maybe it's the song, maybe it's just my undying love for Mr. Buttle. Who knows… Parker Pennington gets an A for effort. That's about it at this point in the game for him. Sean Rabbitt did his MJ thing in a latex-like costume and sequined glove, and the crowd ate that shit up.
Adam Rippon was looking very pretty. He kind of stepped out of his tano lutz and ran into the boards, but his prettiness did well to diminish any flaws during his performance. Jeremy Abbott's performance to Rhythm of Love (a song I usually can't stand, but love when he skates to it) was endearing to say the least. Jeremy himself is very endearing and was kind enough to take a photo with me. As for his performance, only good things can be said. Any mishap was disguised and taken in stride with a charming shrug. Ricky Dornbush is Ricky Dornbush, and laid it down. The crowd went wild, but my applause was only out of feelings of obligation and in hopes that the US will maintain 3 spots for the men.
I'd like to point out the absence of Khokhlova/Andreev. Where was Fedor?! We were promised Fedor!
I went to SkatersCare at urging of Aunt Joyce*, and I am glad I did. Though I went in with the mindset that it was going to be a major hot mess, it was only a minor hot mess, and at least the money was going to a good cause. And at the end of the day, the point of the show was to raise money.
Some random bits:
- Rena Inoue stating that the next winter games in Sochi are in 2012. Um, Rena has competed at the Winter Games, shouldn't she know they're every 4 years?
- Karen Kwan in the tunnel. I was tempted to yell out "You're my second favorite Kwan!"
- *Aunt Joyce urged me to go, and the conversation went something like this:
me: What is this Skaters Care thing and is it something I should not miss?
AJ: Yes, it is to help Japan. I know you're supposed to hate the Japanese as a Chinese goddess, but you should go.
AJ: You need to go and be a supportive Asian. Ignorant white people will think you're Japanese and give you their condolences. Just pretend you're Fumie Suguri.