The compulsory dance was...well...compulsory. After Jamie Sale and David Pelletier got things moving in the Opening Ceremonies it was good fun to watch 10 couples sling around the ice to the Yankee Polka. Canadian upstarts Virtue and Moir hold a small lead over Italians Capellini and Lanotte and Americans Gregory and Petukhov. What I can say about the Compulsory dance is that I have never seen so many people show up for one! Canadians will take their skating any way they can get it!
The pairs short program was a great one. Americans Vise and Trent are in last place, not because they skated bad, but because everyone skated well. Canadians Duhamel and Buntin made their international debut and skated well. Russians Kawaguchi and Smirnov are in third after a smooth performance. You could see their coach Tamara Moskvina carefully watching their every move. In second place are new favorites of mine Dube and Davison; the Canadian team stepped it up a notch and had a solid short program here in Quebec but they will have trouble with leaders after the short program, German's Savchenko and Szolkowy. The German's were near perfect.
I was very confused by the ladies judging. I'm still trying to figure out why Ashley Wagner was marked so lowly; I'm puzzled. Canadian superstar Joannie Rochette sits 5th after having some shakiness in the jumps. Japan's Yakari Nakano is 4th despite a nasty fall on triple flip. Shockingly Mao Asada is in 3rd after some jump troubles of her own. Her triple/triple didn't go as planned as she nearly fell on the second jump. Emily Hughes is in second with a great performance, far better than what she put down in Reading...nice comeback. The biggest shock of all is the leader after the short, Laura Lepisto of Finland. If you're asking who, those are my thoughts exactly. I had to look this girl up! Apparently she was 7th at last years Jr. Worlds. I felt her content wasn't as good as Emily's...but I guess that's why there are several judges.
The men all made it to easy for Joubert to whip them! But what is terribly interesting about the men's competition is the point spread between 2nd and 6th place. All three Canadian men are in the top six. Buttle sits third after a shaky short that included a fall on triple lutz. Christopher Mabee and Vaughn Chipeur sit 4th and 6th respectively, each having pretty good skates. Kevin Van Der Perren sits between them in 5th after botching his quad combo. However, it's a French affair at the top with Yannick Ponsero in 2nd and the World Champ Joubert leading. Both were good, Joubert was in fact great landing a gorgeous quad in combination. It was smooth sailing for him with no rain clouds in site, he cleared the other competitors by nearly 10 points. In contrast to the French success is the American failure. All three American men blew it in the short and are in 8th, 11th, and 12th (Smith, Abbott, Varner).
Tomorrow brings more skating. Maintenez cette adresse d'enchaînement maniable!