Gymnasts, Skaters Honor Lucy, City
One of the most decorated female gymnasts in U.S. history, Nastia Liukin, and national champion male figure skater Ryan Bradley have paired up to perform as Lucy and Ricky Ricardo in this Sunday’s broadcast of the Progressive Skating and Gymnastics Spectacular (NBC, 1-3 p.m.).
The show, taped in Lucille Ball’s hometown of Jamestown on Dec. 14, also briefly features the two athletes getting “outfitted” at the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum.
The entire star-studded cast from the skating and gymnastics show toured the attraction, which features I Love Lucy set replicas, seven Emmy Awards and a re-creation of Ricky Ricardo’s famous Tropicana night club.
“It was very cool to see one of the most decorated American female gymnasts in history pay tribute to one of the most decorated American television actresses in history,” said museum director Journey Gunderson of the performance.
The pair performs a series of gymnastic and skating maneuvers to a recording of the “I Love Lucy” theme song sung by Desi Arnaz, and the number culminates with simultaneous back flips.
“While touring the museum Bradley called out, ‘Lucy, I’m home!’ from the iconic living room set and the accent was spot-on,” Gunderson said.
According to Kurt Silcott, CEO of the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena, the event will provide exposure for the city. “The event will impact the community as a whole,” he said. “Everyone that turns on the show will think of Jamestown.”
Silcott also mentioned that there will be a 30-second vignette running in the show that will highlight Jamestown.
“I Love Lucy” originally aired from 1951-57 and recently had 8.7 million viewers tune-in to the CBS airing of its colorized Christmas special, Dec. 20. In 2012, “I Love Lucy” was also named “Best TV Sitcom” and “Best TV Show” of all-time in a poll conducted by People magazine and ABC’s 20/20. In 2013, Lucy and Ethel’s famous conveyer-belt candy-wrapping won an NBC poll of “TV’s funniest scenes”.
The Progressive Skating and Gymnastics Spectacular includes performances by Olympic medalists, world champions, Disney Channel stars and recent American Idol winner Candice Glover.