On the afternoon of Sunday, Dec. 26, NBC gives holiday-weary viewers a chance to relax and watch somebody else deal with ice with "Brian Boitano Skating Spectacular," an entertainment special taped Dec. 16 in Sioux City, Iowa.
The musical guest is the sister act Heart, who recently made an appearance on a results show for ABC's "Dancing With the Stars." Along with Olympic gold medalist Boitano, other stars on the ice are Michael Weiss, Steven Cousins, Yuka Sato, pairs skaters Elena Leonova and Andrei Khvalko, ice dancers Sinead and John Kerr, and skating specialty act Irina Grigorian and Mikhail Panin.
Boitano has a personal reason for performing in Iowa.
"My sister is an hour and a half away," he says, speaking a couple of weeks before the performance. "Her name's Jill, and she and her seven kids will all be at the show."
Although Boitano won't skate to Heart live until the night of the performance, he's already got the whole routine planned out.
"I have finished it," he says. "I'm doing 'Crazy on You.' That's my solo. I'm rehearsing to one of their live CDs, so I'm choreographing all my stuff to that. Then I'll wait for their live performance, and hopefully, it's the same thing."
Of course, this means that the Heart musicians shouldn't go off on any riffs.
"Yeah, no," says Boitano. "We always tell them, 'We are choreographed down to the minuscule second.' "
Asked what he loves about the skaters working with him, Boitano says, "With Sato, she is the consummate professional and elegant skater. She is a skater's skater.
"With Michael Weiss, he is really consistent. He does a lot of great tricks. He's just always on an even keel, real hard worker. He's the best to be around.
"With Steven Cousins, he's a total jokester. He makes everybody loosen up a little bit. He's very focused, but he's also one of the funniest guys.
"Ryan Bradley, he's got this young-puppy energy. He's competing still, so he does all of these incredible tricks and incredible triples."
Brian Boitano presents an ice show with lots of Heart
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