I don't fall for skaters. I know too much.
I can pick it apart in a second. And I hate "camera attitude."
But Kurt Browning. Oh yeah. Definitely.
Kurt Browning. Yes. Have I made my point?
Bad-ass attitude from the start. The camera-friendly kind. Oh yeah. Perfect rotations on jumps. Perfecto. And the style on the ice that holds it all together.
He telegraphs an aura without insulting the audience. Pretend the audience knows as much about skating as you do. Will catch every edge. Every turn. As they apparently do in Canada. Look at "Here I Am," his old Lyle Lovett exhibition routine. Warmed up in Canada. In the midst of an, "aw, why me?" eligible career. Star quality. Wow. Every edge, hand motion, buttflip, everything in place. And sailing for the cameras.
Compare it (as of February 1998, anyway) to Michelle Kwan's "On My Own" program. Exact same conditions. She's relying on sheer inner glow to carry her through. Fair comparison about career stages. Fair comparison about technical expectations. This routine was warmed up mostly (if not completely) in the US. Her edges are just not helping her out, and neither are her gestures. Our bodies know dance even if we don't. Funny that way.
Kurt puts it all together because he knows people are watching. I was humming Lyle Lovett for weeks. Tells you volumes about the nature of the US-Canadian border. And if you're mad at me, how about learning some edgework viewing skills so it won't be so obvious next time?
This ain't McDonald's. You get what you ask for. Even if it's a "cheeseburger," right, Kurt? (Go watch the film. You'll see what I mean.)
And don't let people tell you exhibition routines are easier. The audience is a far, far quirkier and harder-to-please judge. What a country wants is what a skater gives. It's always been that way.
I've seen kids fine before competitions and throwing up before exhibitions. Cuteness comes hard. Kurt works at it. Plus keeping those triples in shape.
By the way, speaking of exhibition performances. Terence Trent D'Arby. After Kurt's first World championship. Seems to be labeled in the skating community as "Dance, Little Sister." With the chair. What was it, jacket and sunglasses too? A landmark skating performance. Possibly greater than Chris Bowman's "Woolly Bully." I saw edges there I literally have never seen anywhere else. A-n-y-where. (Oh Lord. Now Peggy's going to start practicing. Watch it with the jump over the chair, dear. You just got out of surgery.)
And you, sir. Armchair edgemeister. You do not know how to judge edges. We tangled over this in chat one time. For several days. I was "Tonya." Yup. I'll say what I want to say on my own site.
I will maintain to my dying day that that was a triple axel going over the chair.
Kurt would have settled for nothing less. Yes, he was finishing out those rotations right until the blade hit the ice. Had to, the way that chair was set up. He'd've planted a toepick in the chair otherwise.
Besides, that black-leather slouch-ass axel looked so cool.....
My memory for form is apparently better than your VCR's tracking ability.....
Ooooh. Never. Never. Ne-ver. Mess with a Kurt fan.