Stars on Ice
Kurt in SOI
Creative Team

Canadian Stars on Ice Review - Hamilton & Toronto, ON - May 8 & 9, 2015

Written by Tina

There were a lot of things different about the Canadian Stars on Ice tour this year. This was the first time in the history of the tour that the Canadian show was completely different than the US tour - not just a different cast, but different choreography, different group numbers, different everything. There was a particular reason for that - the 2015 tour is the 25th anniversary tour of Canadian Stars on Ice, and co-director/choreographer Kurt Browning has been in every single show of every single one of those 25 years. He was determined to make something special of the anniversary tour, to "throw himself a party" and to set the stage for the show to continue for years to come. Along the way, he wanted to pay tribute to the history of the show, while looking forward to what the future of the show could be. That's a lot of ambition for one 2.5 hour long show.

Typically, the Canadian tour only gets about 3-4 days of rehearsal, partly because it inherits so much from the US tour, and partly because of budget limitations. The US show, back in the 90s, used to get weeks and weeks of rehearsals, time during which the choreographers and skaters could create the show together, tweak it, perfect it, and get it down cold before opening night. Nowadays, both tours get a fraction of that rehearsal time. Kurt strove to overcome as many of the budgetary limitations he could, petitioning the town of Minden, ON for ice time to bring the skaters together, putting the skaters up in his own cottage, and getting them to donate their time for an additional 4 or 5 days of rehearsal so they could have more time to put the show together and really bond as a cast. He also built a lot of the props himself, so he could put on the show that he had envisioned. Basically, he poured his heart and soul into this anniversary show for the tour he calls home.


Go Figure - Kurt Browning as Rag-GIDON

The show opened with Kurt wandering out onto the ice as the beloved clown Raggy (Rag-GIDON), a character who was originally created for the 1999 Canadian Stars on Ice tour. He waved to the crowd as he glided around the ice, and then stopped and examined the ice, getting excited when he realized that he was tracing shapes on the pristine surface of the freshly zambonied ice. He began setting to work with Raggy-esque diligence, gliding on one foot, and carefully stepping up onto his heel or hopping quickly across the ice to get to other parts of the pattern without disrupting the overall shape. Eventually, it started to become clear (at least to the people sitting on the sides closer to the tunnel end of the ice) that he was tracing a flower into the ice. He ended with a flourish, making two leaves and then doing one long dragging edge to connect everything with a stem. It was a cute application of character to classic figures.

A Sky Full of Stars - Cast

As Raggy left the ice, the rest of the cast came onto the ice and began tracing patterns of their own as the opening notes of Coldplay's "A Sky Full of Stars" began to play. I actually could not tell in two shows what they were tracing on the ice. It kind of looked like a very specific symbol in Hamilton, but I have no idea what it was. Then, doing the first of several ridiculously quick costume changes in the show, Kurt came out with a flourish as the announcer said "In his 25th year with Stars on Ice, Kurt Browning!". The song, aside from being very suitable for the show given its title, had a great build to it. The choreography for this number was fairly intricate and non-typical - instead of just the whole group doing arm movements of steps together, the different lines of skaters sometimes had staggered choreography or movements that contracted and then expanded the group. Or half the skaters would go to do jumps while the others did steps, etc. I liked how this moved around the ice. As it wound down, it turned into an introduction of each skater, along with how long that skater had been with Stars on Ice. Ashley Wagner, Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford, Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje, and Patrick Chan were all in their 3rd year. Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir were in their 5th year on tour, Shawn Sawyer was in his 7th year, and Joannie Rochette was in her 11th year. As each skater was introduced, Kurt skated to them and did something with each. I don't recall if he did anything in particular beyond dance with/skate around Ashley or Joannie. He was dipped by Andrew and Kaitlyn, did an elaborate handshake/cheek pat with Patrick, started dancing with Tessa before a laughing Scott pushed him away, waved at Meagan and Eric as they did a lift, took snow off of Shawn's skate as the latter did a headstand on the ice and flicked it into the audience, and basically did a quick handslap with Jeffrey as he skated off and Jeff (11th year) skated on for his solo.

Uptown Funk - Jeffrey Buttle

Jeff Buttle impresses me more and more each year that I've seen him as a professional. He's always been musical, and an enthusiastic performer, but I feel like he's really honed his art while keeping his technical skills, is just an amazingly polished, musical, fun professional skater who has beautiful effortless jumps out of nowhere. Uptown Funk was awesome. IMO very few skaters can move like Jeff (though some of them are in this cast!), and very very few skaters could do Uptown Funk like he can. He basically blew my socks off with this number, and the energy doesn't let up for one second.

Rather Be - Ashley Wagner

With the exception of Jeff's number straight out of the opening, each skater's number in the first act was preceded by a video intro in which the skater more or less talked about what Stars on Ice meant to them and introducing their own program. Ashley more or less said that Stars on Ice was an opportunity for her to let her hair down and enjoy performing for the audience rather than worrying about the marks and competing. Her number, to Rather Be, was definitely a let your hair down fun program, with the exception of a somewhat puzzling dramatic pained bit in the middle. It was choreographed by Shawn Sawyer and there were definitely Sawyer-esque touches and moves. Ashley always looks like she has fun performing, and brought great sass and energy to this number, as well as some beautifully clean jumps.

I'm Kissing You - Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje

Kaitlyn and Andrew's video introduction talked about the great Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz, and how excited they were that Shae was part of their team. Appropriately, Shae-Lynn choreographed this number, to I'm Kissing You from Baz Luhrmann's Romeo & Juliet. This was a dramatic change of pace from the previous numbers but any disconnect was quickly forgotten. I've always remarked on Weaver & Poje's ability to bring the drama and passion, but I'm Kissing You seems a step above. For me, it struck a near-perfect balance of drama and emotion without going over the top or over-emoting. They really brought the Romeo and Juliet story to life, from the first meeting to their respective deaths. I was also struck by the seamless transitions into and out of their lifts. Everything just flowed. It was just gorgeous.

Take Me To Church - Shawn Saywer

Shawn's video opened with an 11 year old Shawn meeting Toller Cranston for the first time, at Toller's special where Shawn played a young Toller. In it, Toller tells him not to ever be afraid of looking stupid. Shawn's response was "how could I ever feel stupid? You taught me everything I know". This program really was a beautiful tribute to Toller. I think the usual opening for this song is just a few notes before the vocal starts but in Shawn's program, there is an extended slow dramatic piano opening. In this section, he really evokes Toller, doing some of Toller's signature moves. Then, as the vocals start, I feel like he transitioned more to his own signature moves, sort of showing how Toller's influence had helped shape the skater Shawn became. It was a beautiful program.

One - Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford

Meagan and Eric's video paid tribute to past great Canadian pairs champions like Barb Underhill & Paul Martini, Isabelle Brasseur & Lloyd Eisler, and Jamie Sale & David Pelletier. As the video showed a signature move from each pair, Eric's voice invited us to try to identify as they incorporated these great champions' moves into their program. I love the song One, and Meagan and Eric did a lovely job skating to it. It helps that the video showed the moves before the program, but it made it that much more fun spotting the move (such as the leap of faith, or Lloyd spinning Isabelle upside down) and knowing that it was meant as a tribute. I was particularly impressed by how Meagan and Eric got out of that spinning move, with Eric basically tossing Meagan by the hands, feet first, and her landing all cat-like on the ice.

One For My Baby - Kurt Browning

Kurt's intro was a bit different, in that he came out on the ice and skated around a bit pensively, to Kenny G's saxophone, before the video started. In it, he talked about how Scott Hamilton had done a program years ago that he had loved. A program without Scott's typical humor, or fast footwork, but that was instead about pure skating. He always wanted to do a program like that someday, when he'd earned it. Sandra Bezic did Scott's original choreography and now she'd reset that exact same choreography for Kurt to do it, all these years later. The thing about this program for me is that it feels a *lot* like a goodbye program. The funny thing is, I don't think it was Scott's goodbye, and I really don't think it's Kurt's either. But it just has that vibe to it, which is a bit disconcerting. I also find it ironic that Kurt paid tribute to Scott, a skater he's often credited with teaching him how to be a show skater, and a skater he's often mistaken for in the US, with a number that doesn't really reflect what either of them is known for. It's a lovely program, and a really sweet tribute to the founder of Stars on Ice. Kurt does a nice job with it, and all power to him for bringing back the backflip, something he hasn't done in 20 years, so he could do that Scott signature move.

How Will I Know - Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir

IIRC, Tessa and Scott's video intro talked about Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon, but I have to confess that the actual content of the video has slipped my mind. The program, however, hasn't. Choreographed by Jeff Buttle to Sam Smith's cover of Whitney Houston's "How Will I Know", this program was quiet, poignant, lyrical, and full of aching desire. Jeff's choreography and Tessa and Scott's performance really brought out every drop of longing and emotion from Sam Smith's interpretation of the song, but in an understated way that was beautiful to watch.

Mess is Mine - Patrick Chan

Patrick Chan's video intro was the oddest to me in that it seemed quite disconnected from the program that followed - he said that he remembered starting to go to Stars on Ice when Elvis Stojko was in the cast, and thinking that Elvis was like a superhero. And that it was cool that the rest of the cast could put on costumes and play characters. As far as I can tell, his program to Mess is Mine was light, joyful, and showed off Patrick's incredibly bouncy knees and flow, but there was nothing character based or superhero-ish about it. Or Elvis-like, for that matter. All that aside, though, there was no denying the joy with which Patrick was skating, or his beautiful high jumps.

La Vie en Rose - Joannie Rochette

Joannie Rochette spoke in her video about being inspired by the great Canadian women in the tour in the past, particularly Josee Chouinard and her Sweater program, and Jennifer Robinson's humor and characters, and how they inspired her to become more versatile and a better performer. Joannie certainly showcased her versatility with her two programs in the tour. I loved La Vie en Rose - it's a soft, slow number but there's nothing generic or simple about it, IMO. Joannie and Marie-France Dubreuil's choreography really interpreted the music with her whole body, with changes of pace and direction that made it more than just a slow ballad. And Joannie's jumps are so incredibly clean and effortless.

My Funny Valentine - Nam Nguyen

In Toronto, special guest and Canadian champion Nam Nguyen took to the ice to perform. Despite taking a hard fall on an initial jump (IIRC, might have been a 3-axel attempt), he picked himself right up and delivered a nice performance for the crowd. I'm a little surprised the music wasn't more upbeat, like the exhibitions he did at the Skate Niagara show a few months ago, but it was a good skate. It's really hard to believe that kid is only 16 - he is so self-possessed on the ice, has such great jumps, and while he looks young, does not look amateurish at all. It was nice to have him as a guest skater!

Brick House - Kurt Browning, Jeffrey Buttle. Patrick Chan, Scott Moir, Andrew Poje, Eric Radford, Shawn Sawyer

As the opening notes and beats of Brick House came over the speakers, the lights came up on Kurt in his very familiar and beloved blue shiny pants and white shirt, and the crowd went nuts. The first part of this number was exactly Brick House as we know it from the 1995 version - choreography, music, flirtatious looks into the audience...but then the music shifted, and Kurt was joined on the ice by all the men of Stars on Ice, each in his own shiny blue pants and long-sleeved white shirt. Kaitlyn Weaver strutted onto the ice in her own blue skirt and off-shoulder white top, and ripped Kurt's shiny white shirt off, revealing a long sleeve shirt under it that matched the rest of the men. And they took off down the ice to a remixed version of the song. This boys' number was both a fun callback to one of Kurt's most famous numbers, and an awesome boys' number on its own. The guys got to show off their moves, with choreography that both evoked and echoed the choreography from Kurt's original number, but which was not an exact replica of the original choreography. A rousing and excellent way to end the first act!

Of course, the first act didn't exactly end right then - a video came on the screens of Jeff Buttle's visit to Peru to visit his sponsor child with World Vision, and then Jeff himself came out on the ice to give his annual pitch for World Vision, encouraging people to go to the World Vision booths on the concourse and sponsor a child. While the general script of his plea hasn't changed that much (credit to his family for their support), he's definitely gotten more polished at delivering it. And he threw in a tribute and joke on Kurt's behalf as well, saying how incredible it was that Kurt had been doing this for 25 years, how he had never dreamed that he'd be able to tour for 11 years with Kurt, and that if the age Kurt told him was accurate, Kurt's been doing Stars on Ice since he was 4.

Act II

The intermission ended with Tessa and Scott's bit for Lindt. I have to confess that I didn't make it back to my seat in time for either show for this, so I actually don't know what they said. I did manage to get one of the Lindt truffles they were handing out, though!

According to Kurt, the first act was supposed to be a look back and tribute to Stars on Ice past, while the second act was a look to the future of Stars on Ice. I think he primarily meant the long group number, which I will get to later. However, in Toronto, the second act started with a wonderful look back, as Kurt took the mic to welcome a cavalcade of past Stars on Ice cast members who were in the audience watching the 25th anniversary show. Tracy Wilson, Michael Slipchuk, Jeremy Abbott (stolen from the US, according to Kurt), Shae-Lynn Bourne, Elvis Stojko ("where are you, Elvis? Are you driving a car somewhere super fast? You still scare me"), Barb Underhill and Paul Martini ("pick her up, Paul! Throw her down to me!"), Josee Chouinard (who was not in the audience when Kurt called her out, so he sent her boys after her, and who he said Michael Slipchuk used to call their Mexican French woman), and Sandra Bezic were all called out by Kurt. As he spoke, the other skaters took the ice and Kurt remarked that he was dressed the same as them and they seemed to expect him to skate, so he'd better go.

Bezic/Seibert Ice Dance System "Hip Hip Chin Chin" - Cast

The Act II opener was a cute group number to "Hip Hip Chin Chin". Kurt and Tessa played dance instructors, apparently in the 50's (judging by the costumes), with Kurt showing the guys what to do, while Tessa demonstrated to the girls. The guys and girls were then paired off (seemingly almost by circumstance of whoever happened to be in front of them), and danced and flirted together. As this was happening, though, there were some oddities going on. In particular, the cast consisted of 5 girls and 7 guys, but somehow there were 6 girls and 6 guys in this number. And one of those girls seemed *very* enthusiastic, chasing after Scott Moir in particular with a vengeance, who reacted with great comical expressions. Later, after Tessa and Kurt had to pull the girl in green off of Scott, Kurt found himself magnetically drawn to this strange girl, while Tessa and Scott locked eyes with some sparks flying (oddly, these parts of the action were often out of the spotlights, so you had to be watching for them to catch these crucial developments). However, ever the good instructor, she pulled herself away to hand out diplomas with Kurt to the graduating couples from the class, and Scott found himself arm in arm with the girl in green again. At the end, while Scott and Tessa lock eyes again, Kurt notices something odd...reaches forward...and pulls off the mystery girl's wig, revealing Shawn Sawyer. Shawn immediately gathers his dignity (while Kurt tries on the wig), haughtily grabs the diploma out of Scott's inattentive hand, and struts into the tunnel, pulling a confused Kurt along with him. Tessa and Scott are left peering in confused surprise after them. Tessa then indicates Scott should wait, and leaves the ice, pulling the two chalkboards that had served as props together after her, while Scott waits impatiently. This number was good fun, and the skaters looked like they were having fun performing it and dancing together.

Good Kisser - Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir

Scott's impatient patience paid off when Tessa burst out onto the ice, having shed her conservative dance instructor's sweater and glasses for a sexy outfit and even sexier moves. It's a tad bit odd that Scott boggles at her but then goes off ice instead of joining her (necessary for him to change out of *his* 50's costume) but you almost don't notice because Tessa is so captivating. I absolutely love this number. Tessa and Scott are among the select few, along with Jeff, who can *really* move to music like this. They bring an intensity and commitment to the choreography that pulls you right in and keeps you hooked. Awesome number.

Dear Prudence/Blackbird - Patrick Chan

One of my complaints about the second act of the show is the lack of transitions between numbers, but honestly I have no idea how you'd do a transition from Usher to the Beatles anyway. While I did enjoy the first part of the program to "Dear Prudence", I felt the program really took flight (pardon the pun) with "Blackbird". Patrick's edges and flow are legendary and "Blackbird" really suited the soaring, gliding sweep of his edges. Cheesy as it sounds, you really do get the sense of flying as he skates to this song. I'm usually a bigger fan of footwork than edges, but there were moments that made me sit up and go "wow" at the sheer quality of the glide. Lovely program!

Hello - Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford, Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje

The video intro for this number introduced us to our new World Champions, Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford, and 2-time World medalists, Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje. The number opened with the four of them hand in hand, grinning as they took the ice together. And what a fun, joyful number this was! Kaitlyn especially seemed super happy and into it, waving at the audience and dancing with full commitment. This wasn't a Weaver & Poje and Duhamel & Radford program, but a Weaver, Poje, Duhamel, and Radford program. Kaitlyn and Meagan kept trading partners, frequently executing the same move simultaneously, and then trading and doing it again with the other partner. The four of them also danced individually, each facing a side of the audience. The highlight of the number was a double death spiral (and, as Kurt pointed out on Twitter, one of the pairs in that death spiral are a dance team, who don't even do that move!).

Addicted to You - Joannie Rochette

While Joannie's first number was a soft, slow, lyrical type of program, her second one was darker and faster, or at least had more changes of pace. The choreography was different and the moves generally crisper. I have to admit, it kind of reminded me of her "Bang Bang" program from last year in its tone and changes of pace. There's something about Joannie where even in her most outgoing dancey numbers, there's something reserved about her. It makes the programs kind of uniquely Joannie, as are those clean, neat jumps.

Here's To Life - Jeffrey Buttle

Jeff Buttle is undeniably musical, and seems to really feel every note of the music, and live every bit of emotion in the music. This song wasn't exactly to my taste, but Jeff captured the longing, the regret, the joy, and the celebration of it. He really knows how to take his time and capture the space in the music as well. This was a lovely performance.

A Super Tramp's Tale - Cast

Kurt's voice came on over the speakers telling us how he remembered listening to his sister Dena play Supertramp, and then his brother Wade took him to his first concert - Supertramp. And how for 20 years, he'd been wondering what a group number to Supertramp would look like. And now he will find out...

The lights come up on Kurt, dressed in a long brown coat, a hat, and glasses, kind of strolling along, and then stopping to play with a paper airplane. He comes across a trolley (Jeff Buttle with a handrail of straps for people to hang onto coming out of his back) full of workers, and pushes one of them (Andrew Poje) off so he can take a place at the rail. Andrew, however, seems stressed out and anxious, and pulls Kurt back so he can join the other workers. The trolley takes them to a factory, "Automated Aviation Automatic" (ie, 3A), where three sets of draftsmen and draftswomen go to work on their respective blueprint/plans. They are downtrodden under the rule of Shawn Sawyer the foreman, who comes out on stilts with a tall hat and a podium, and his snotty helper/secretary Joannie. Each pair is competing for whose plans are going to be used, and go up one by one to present their plans to the foreman. As Shawn peruses each set of plans, that pair (Meagan/Eric, Kaitlyn/Andrew, Patrick/Ashley) skates around making their case, but he rejects each of them, throwing the plan back in their faces (a helicopter, an airplane...). When it comes to the third pair, Scott Moir the pilot takes an interest, and ostensibly helps them present it, but when Shawn accepts their plan (for a rocket), Scott steals the credit (and the plan), making Patrick angry. In the meantime, Scott's flight attendant, Tessa, is clearly in love with him, and congratulates him happily. All is joyful until Patrick comes and challenges Scott. They fight over the plans, ripping them in half. Scott slaps him in the face, to everyone's shock, and then Patrick slaps him back. They almost get into a fight but are pulled apart by the other workers, and are told by the foreman to race (in their planes, I think) to decide who wins. A furious race ensues, with Scott and Patrick each launched by their teams and jockeying for position as they zoom around the rink. I found the outcome a little unclear - somehow Scott comes crashing to the ground but I don't know if Patrick did it - but it leaves Scott angry. Tessa tries to comfort him, and he cruely rejects her, throwing her to the ground. Everyone leaves, leaving her there, while Kurt, who's been observing all of this, tries to draw their attention to her. She skates off sadly, and Kurt gets on the trolley.

I should observe that throughout, Kurt's been skating around, bringing those blue paper airplanes to each individual worker, who seems to light up and get joy from them. He notices that Jeff the trolley seems unhappy or something, and that his light (on his chest) is off, so he tries to help him, turning his light on and showing him other possibilities besides his monotonous existence. This was the part of the number where I enjoyed the skating the most - Kurt and Jeff skate together down the ie, with Kurt first showing Jeff what to do as Jeff followed, then the two skating in unison, until Jeff finally breaks out and skates joyfully on his own. However, his light goes off, and reality returns, and Jeff sadly goes back to work as the trolley. Kurt skates his frustration and sadness at having lost Jeff.

In the meantime, the trolley brings three men in black coats and white masks onto the ice, and they are soon joined by Tessa. Tessa seems to be sad and lonely and looking for love (in all the wrong places?), approaching each man, but being coldly, and eventually violently, rejected. I think this part is supposed to symbolize her being rejected by the cold, faceless world. Kurt comes to her, however, and comforts her, and then brings her hope and the strength to stand up for herself with a paper airplane of her own. She returns to the factory, stronger and happier, rejecting Scott with a glass of water to the face, and inspiring the other workers to revolt against their tall overseer. They all throw their paper airplanes at him, and joyfully claim their freedom. In the meantime, Kurt the tramp decides it's time for him to depart, despite Tessa's invitation for him to stay. The group decides together to build the airplane instead of the rocket, and assemble the pieces by taking apart their draftsmen tables, the podium, Shawn's stilt legs, and the AAA banners. Eventually, they all (including Scott and Joannie, who have seen the wickedness of their ways and been embraced by the rest) put the airplane together triumphantly and skate off.

There is a lot going on in this number and I have to admit that I was extremely confused during the first show as to what exactly was going on, and why. In Hamilton, it may have been the second viewing, or me watching more carefully with a better idea of what to watch for, or the fact that they made some tweaks that clarified things, but I suddenly found the story much clearer and was able to follow it to the extent described above. I realized that it was rather important for me to adjust my expectations going in - I had heard there was a 20 minute long Supertramp number, and despite my lack of familiarity with Supertramp's music, expected more of a collection of songs with individual bits for each skater, like in the mid-90s. Instead, this was a cohesive story that used the music to help tell the story, with skating to help express things, more than it was a skating group number. Knowing what to expect made me pay attention to the right things from the beginning and helped a lot. And I enjoyed the number, I really did. It's very different for Stars on Ice, much more theatrical and story-driven than they usually do, and the story is a bit dark. But while it wasn't perfect, it was definitely ambitious and something special. I will be seeing this number one more time in Vancouver, and I am very curious to see how it looks then.

Let Me Entertain You - Kurt Browning and cast

While the Supertramp number ended on an uplifting note, the next number (and actual finale) took it to the next level. Kurt's voice came on thanking us for letting them entertain us for the last 25 years. And then he burst onto the ice to Robbie William's "Let Me Entertain You", a very fitting number for possibly the best entertainer to ever take the ice. This song was a great fit for some of the best footwork in the business as well. Kurt's feet never stopped as he danced all over the ice with grins into the audience. After this extended solo segment, the other skaters joined him on the ice, and they all took off into a fun, upbeat finale. It ended with each skater getting a spotlight moment on the ice, and after the group bow, Kurt went out for his - a second backflip. To be clear, Kurt hasn't done a backflip in 20 years, after injuring himself one too many times on one, so it's quite incredible he's brought it back now, at the age of (almost) 49. The cast went nuts, and gave him a big group hug afterwards. After some more dancing and final bows, the cast left the ice (no handshakes?) and the show ended.


In Hamilton, which is taped for TV, there were the inevitable retakes. Kurt came back out on the ice with a microphone, panting hard, thanking the audience again and asking those who could to please stay while the skaters tried to make the show as perfect as they could. He then said he was going to go catch the breath he lost back in 1984, but someone would be back out soon. It was actually a rather extended break before the first skaters took the ice, but the retakes then went quickly. The foursome redid the last part of their number, since Kaitlyn had slipped right at the final pose. Shawn threw a triple-triple to replace a doubled jump, as well as retaking another jump after that. Patrick also had a retake, but quickly nailed it, and then took the microphone (also panting), saying he looks all cool and then basically collapses in the tunnel panting, and then thanking everyone and wishing us a safe trip home. And that was a wrap for Hamilton!

Overall, I would say the 25th anniversary Canadian Stars on Ice tour was a really good show, and I enjoyed it. It was ambitious, it was different, it had great skating, an amazing cast, and some interesting storytelling. It definitely wasn't your mom's Stars on Ice. It wasn't perfect, and there were things that needed tweaking, and things that were obviously still being tweaked. That Supertramp number has proven to be quite polarizing among fans, but one thing it isn't is bland and safe. If this is the future of Stars on Ice, I say bring it on.