Skating Highlights of the Week: More Stars on Ice
Virtue & Moir and other Canadian homevids flood YouTube as the rest of the recorded Japanese show finally broadcasts.
For American fans of figure skating, the biggest news of the week isn’t what we’re watching right now; it’s what we’re going to watch in the future, or rather, how. For ten years those of us willing to do so have shelled out a steadily rising but still manage yearly fee to IceNetwork, which stream all the big events, as well as all the significant ones taking place within the U.S. The stream has often malfunctioned and caused us headaches, but at least when it worked, we got plenty for our money.
But on Friday we all got emails announcing that’s all over. Most of the competitions will now instead stream on NBC Sports Gold, with a “Figure Skating Pass” to buy. Which will probably cost more, but just might not act up as much. It’ll also work on more platforms, which makes for one huge improvement.
While we wait to hear how much they’re going to make us pay next year, and for full confirmation about Evgenia Medvedeva’s headline-making coaching change, we saw this week’s viewing also dictated to us by when the TV stations are willing to air things. This was another week of Stars on Ice videos, but half of them were actually done a month ago, and are only being aired now. The other half of are performances that will be held for broadcast for half a year, leaving those of us that couldn’t go in person dependent on people in the audience to film and provide us with footage.
Canadian Stars on Ice
A week into the Canadian edition of Stars on Ice, and everyone’s filmed it. Including the professionals, who taped last night’s show in Hamilton, even having the cast do retakes for a cleaner broadcast. That, unfortunately, usually doesn’t air until the winter. But meanwhile, fans across Canada have also gotten their cameras out to provide us with plenty to watch until it does. Mostly involving Tessa Virtue and/or Scott Moir.
Virtue, Moir and Michael Jackson will always be a winning combination.
Any of those athletes on Dancing with the Stars paso dobling to Lady Gaga should look to Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Pojé to see how it’s done.
Virtue & Moir, and Weaver & Pojé are another combination that are always worth it, even if they’re doing this number that’s been foisted on both North America editions of the tour.
Virtué & Pojé made a pretty good team as well.
As do Virtue & Weaver. And the three other best ladies in Canada.
This number may be in all three editions of the tour, but they definitely had the most fun with it in Hamilton.
Had this one, tailored for all of Canada’s other top names from last season, just included Weaver & Pojé, it would’ve truly been perfect.
This trio may not have had Virtue or Moir in it, but it did have Patrick Chan, Meagan Duhamel, and Eric Radford working well with each other.
If there isn’t a better video of this number by Kaetlyn Osmond available so far, that’s probably because she made the entire arena Too Darn Hot for proper filming.
Since CSOI’s previous elder, Kurt Browning, has now retired from the tour, Elvis Stokjo stepped in instead. This meant a lot of fun, although it also meant Nickelback, because Elvis Stokjo.
More Japanese Stars on Ice
When Stars on Ice toured in Japan, TBS, which had the broadcast rights, broadcast an hour an half’s worth of a much longer show. But what we didn’t get to see didn’t remain unaired forever. This weekend, TBS aired the four-hour version, including everyone. But there were no retakes, leaving a multiple programs with falls and other errors to air, though not everyone made them.
There was no such trouble for Wakaba Higuchi, for instance. With this notable piece from the Japanese movie Byakuyakō, she approached a level of perfection.
Nathan Chen has proved immune to worse splatfests recently.
Shoma Uno brings out the best in a Niall Horn song.
Nobunari Oda is not the first skater you’d think of for “To Build a Home,” but he shows his softer side with it.
The Japanese tour finished before the Canadian one started, so some skaters did both. Osmond has been doing multiple fun numbers for them. This one included the more impressive slide.
Virtue & Moir, meanwhile, have stuck with what won them their second Olympic gold, much to delight of both countries.
Mai Mihara once again made herself Cinderella, one season after doing so made her the breakout success of 2017.
Kana Muramoto & Chris Reed, too, are doing in shows what has become their most loved program.
Keiji Tanaka went back further, to the La Traviata free he used for the first half of the last quadrennium. He’s grown a bit as a skater since then.
Once the final Canadian shows are done, that’ll be it for Stars on Ice for the summer. But there are multiple other short Japanese tours to go.