ARD Gala On Ice 2001
(To watch the pictures, just click on the links!)


Well, where shall I start? I and some friends arrived at the Donauarena (or „Middle of Nowhere“) at around noon. We walked around the building and where able, with the help of a nice guy, to get into the icerink and to watch some skaters doing their training: Evgeny Plushenko, Margarita Drobiazko & Povilas Vanagas and Kati Winkler & René Lohse.
Evgeny was doing a runthrough of his short program but he stumbled during the step sequence.
When the training was over, we went to pick up some more friends of mine and, after that, went back to the arena where we met more friends. We were about 10 people by that time who were able to watch almost all skaters arriving: for example Alexei Yagudin, Elena Berezhanya & Anton Sikharulidze, Susanne Stadlmüller, Kati Winkler & René Lohse and some more. Elena & Anton  and Kati & René were as  sweet as ever and signed autographs before they went into the building. I was also able to give René his belated birthday present about which he was quite surprised and happy.
Later Anton came outside the building and was jogging around and was, after a few minutes, joined by Elena.

The Show

It was funny to hear Daniel Weiss talking about Christmas when it wasn’t even Christmas time (this year in the beginning of October).
Then it was about time to start the show!

Deborah Sasson performed the song „Music was my first love“ live and every skater came out onto the ice and did some solo choreography. To be honest, nothing special or interesting for me except the final group: Alexei Yagudin, Maria Butyrskaya and Evgeny Plushenko. It finished with Alexei and Evgeny standing on the ice, a few meters distance between them, facing each other and holding up their right arms for quite a minute. Kind of symbolical, don’t you think so?

Mariana Kautz & Norman Jeschke (GER)
They performed their new long program to the soundtrack of „Blues Brothers“.
Mariana and Norman looked to me as if they were a little bit nervos. No good choreography and not much presentation. Also Mariana fell on the throw jump. If there isn’t going to be any progress in that program they won’t have a chance.

Margarita Drobiazko & Povilas Vanagas(LIT)
Not just myself but also many other people were surprised that they were on the ice so early in the show! They showed their new exhibition program „Sang pour sang“ by, I think it’s Johnny, Hallyday.
A very nice program with interesting lifts. Margarita & Povilas are one of my favorite pairs and they were really good!!!

Maria Butyrskaya(RUS)
She did her new short program. It has her well-known style and reminds me a bit of her short program of last year „Scenes d’Amour“. Her jumps were flawless, just a little shaky landing on her double axel. Her presentation was always.
Jumps: triple flip, triple lutz, double axel

Laurent Tobel(FRA)
Well........I didn’t like the program that much. The music was a solo guitar music peace by Beck. I think he did a triple lutz somewhere in that program.

Mandy Wötzel & Ingo Steuer(GER)
That was something really new. No jumps at all. Many interesting lifts and spins. The black dress suits her very comment about his suit.
They  had to retake a spin and one could easily see the change of positions which was very interesting!

Kati Winkler & René Lohse(GER)
They did their new long program. For me, it was a little bit disappointing. It reminded me a lot of last year’s original dance „Cabaret“. Many moves were taken from  „Carbaret“. Luckily the dress was not the real dress because it looked almost similar to her OD-dress from last year.

Evgeny Plushenko(RUS)
He did his new short program, the Michael Jackson medley., comment about the costume. What I don’t like that much are the music cuts. Slow-fast(„Billy Jean“)-slow-fast(„They don’t care about us“). The program only contains two amazing!!! stepsequences in the fast parts of the program and three jumps. There’s nothing in the slow parts.
Jumps: quadruple toe loop on which he fell (he later did a triple-triple toe loop – double-double loop combination in the retake), triple axel, double lutz (he corrected it in the retake).

Elena Berezhnaya & Anton Sikharulidze(RUS)
First I didn’t like the program that much. It is slow and classical. But then, it reminds me of Sentimental Waltz (a little bit) and the more I watch it the more I like it!! It is a beautiful program, soft the title sais:“Meditation“. Although Elena and Anton looked quite confident during the program, they fell three(!!) times.
Jumps: Side-by-side double toe loop, side-by-side double axel (Elena falls) double toe loop combination, throw triple lutz, side-by-side triple toe loop (Anton falls), throw triple salchow (Elena falls).
In the retake it seemed to me that doing all the elements (that went wrong) in a row was quite exhausting for Anton. The audience laughed after his „HU!“. lol

Alexei Yagudin(RUS)
I have never seen such an incredible short program (called „Winter“). The step sequences are amazing, the costume is wonderful and the music is great, too. The audience loved it and the people were cheering and clapping during the step sequences. WOW!!
Jumps: triple toe loop, huge triple axel, triple lutz (a little bit overrotated)

Second part of the show

Susanne Stadlmüller(GER)
Susanne skated to a song called „Over the rainbow“ live performed by Deborah Sasson. It is a beautiful song and Susanne skated pretty well except for the triple lutz on which she fell. She had to repeat it quite a few times at the retake but she had problems with it. Daniel and the audience tried to encourage her but it seemed that she was pretty nervous. Once she „just“ stumbled at the jump and they finished the retake.

Margarita Drobiazko & Povilas Vanagas
They skated to „Flamenco“, their original dance. That is a great one!! Skated with fire and passion and the music fits them. Personally I didn’t like Margarita’s pink dress that much but I don’t care. The program has a fantastic choreography.

Maria Butyrskaya
She performed her new and old long program to the soundtrack of the movie „17 moments in spring“. Maria was very confident. Again a flawless program with a wonderful choreography and her great style of skating. And I love her dress.
Jumps: 3 toe loop, triple lutz, double axel

Laurent Tobel
Laurent did his funny Carmen program. It was hilarious to watch Laurent flirting with the TV-camera.

Mandy Wötzel & Ingo Steuer
I don’t remember which music they skated to but they contributed their second new program.

Andrejs Vlashenko(GER)
He showed his new short program to Paganini by Andrew Lloyd Webber. That program is great!! It fits him very well. He did a great tiple axel and even a triple axel-triple toe loop combination but the landing was pretty shaky.

Kati Winkler & René Lohse
They skated to the song „Wenn das Liebe ist“ (If this is love) live performed by Glashaus, a german band. Kati’s dress was beautiful!!! The program itself was wonderful, too, beautifully smooth!!

Sarah Jentgens & Mirko Müller(GER)
Glashaus live again, doing the song „Trost“ (comfort). Mirko is definetely the experienced skater. But Sarah has such a wonderful elegant style!! I liked them better than Mariana & Norman. Sarah was, of course, nervous and is not-experienced but her style of skating is simply great! If they get more experienced they will easily get close to the top pairs in Europe!

Elena Berezhnaya & Anton Sikharulidze
Ohhhhhh, I LOVE „The Kid“ and was so happy to see this program live now!!!
Right before they wanted to start the program they had to wait a few minutes and Anton was standing around on the ice already acting like Charlie Chaplin. We were cheering and clapping which ended up in Anton waving at us.
The program is wonderful, amazing, beautiful and entertaining. And they did an excellent throw triple salchow.

Alexei Yagudin
It was amazing how many jumps he did if one remembers that he had still jet lag!! The only pity was that he didn’t show much choreography (but that’s okay since Plushenko keeps his program totally secret).
Jumps: triple axel, triple toe loop, quadruple toeloop (a little bit overrotated), triple axel-triple salchow combination, triple flip (hand down), double loop, triple loop (stepout), triple lutz

Evgeny Plushenko
He did, of course, his "Sexbomb" program. It was hilarious. Less then four metres away from us he climbed over the boards and jumped into the audience.
Jumps: double toe loop, triple axel, triple toe loop

Hmm...I first thought...hey...that’s going to be interesting. But the choreography was boring. It seemed like the skaters had practiced for the final just on one day. Anyway, it was something new.
After the show a friend and I went to the skaters hotel for about an hour where we had a nice conversation with Andrejs Vlashenko and a question (from him) and answer (from me) with Alexei Yagudin. I also was able to ask Tamara Moscvina, coach of Elena Berezhanya and Anton Sikharulidze for a picture!
All in all it was a wonderful show and a wonderful evening. It was worth driving 340 kilometres/230 miles for it to Regensburg.