Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Saturday in Cleveland

So...finally I made it back to my computer to post! What a day it's been. Three finals to discuss.

So the pairs final...ugh! I love Keauna and Rockne to death...I love them! However, they should not have one this one, hands down. Caydee Denney and Jeremy Barrett were sensational. They had us captivated in the arena and it was amazing. Keauna and Rockne just didn't have the spark and made lots of little technical errors. When the final scores went up, most of us in the arena were disappointed by the results. In third, and possibly off the World Team was Inoue and Baldwin after a program that lacked technical depth. Evora and Ladwig were fourth with a solid, crowd pleasing program. In the end Amanda was just crying so much because she and Mark had skated well. Rounding out the top five was Castille and Okolski who looked unprepared for this event and definitely lacking on content.

In Dance it was the Davis and White show. They skated beautifully to 'Samson and Delilah.' As expected, they won by a comfortable margin. Taking the Silver was Samuelson and Bates. They skated very well. Pulling in for the Bronze was Navarro and Bommentre. They had a solid free dance after a lack-luster OD. However, over this season they've lost ground and will probably not get to go to world's this season. Hubbell and Hubbell in their senior debut looked very good as well in placing fourth.

The ladies! Even in the earlier groups there was tremendous skating. First, I'll have to wait and see what was going on when I get home and watch the NBC telecast but just prior to Mirai Nagasu's program she was crying like crazy and we all thought she was going to withdraw. But she turned in a gutsy program, jump downgrades aside, and finished strong. How about the 8 place jump for Wagner from 12th to fourth! It's now the second year in a row she's won the free skate at National's and not won the title. I didn't like the new music cuts and choreography she developed for her "Spartacus' program...but apparently the judges did! In my opinion, Caroline Zhang had the best performance on the night. However, I'm sure the jump police were probably after her too. She seemed pleased with her bronze and I guess that's what counts. Rachael Flatt took the silver after a solid, but slow program. She seemed to be skating with caution and that might have been the difference between winning and not winning. Alissa Czisny started her program so well but after the fall on the lutz I thought that would be it. Thankfully for Alissa the two people who beat her in the free skate were behind her after the short (Wagner wayyyyyyyyyy behind her) and she was able to squeak the victory over Flatt. The crowd in Q Arena went nuts for her and it was nice for a Cleveland native to win here. If you had asked me if this was even possible last season, I would have said no way! I'm currently eating my words.

So the men are tomorrow, I'll post some pre-free thoughts tomorrow before heading to the arena. And you can keep track of my thoughts during the competition on twitter (check the right side of the blog). Till tomorrow!


Anonymous said...

Actually if you look on TV, Caydee Denney and Jeremy Barrett, while clean, do not look very sophisticated. Especially Jeremy who looked very rough around the edges in terms of styling. I understand that they skated a clean program but their component scores should be lower than Keauna McLaughlin and
Rockne Brubaker which it is thus Keauna and Rockne won instead. Not a pretty way to win but still they won fair and square.

The same can be said for ladies final. While both Rachael and Caroline skated flawlessly, Alissa won based on her component score. Her tech and component score is almost inverse of Rachael's. Again, Rachael, while technically flawless, her speed was slow and she just doesn't come off as sharp. Even judging by the crowd's reaction, you can tell Rachael just does not have the star quality. Both her and Caroline skated flawlessly but people give Caroline a standing ovation while Rachael got seated clapping. Some people are just born to command the crowd while others just don't. But perhaps people will warm up to Rachael down the line. Alissa has the package of being the perfect figure skater: pretty and elegant. Very pleasant to watch. I hope she can correct her jumps by the time Worlds comes. I can see her getting a bronze if she skated perfectly. Even if she only have one fall on the lp, she just might beat Kostner (who skates like a giraffe on ice). And if both Mao and Yuna happen to have an off day, she might even sneak in for a Gold if she skates perfectly (I guess that's a big IF).

Laura said...

I'm glad to hear your comments - I was especially interested in the reaction to Zhang because I thought she looked better on TV than a lot of the articles I've read about her.

Aaron said...

After watching it all again on NBC (thank you TiVo!) I'm gonna stick by my arena reactions and say Denney and Barrett should have won. They had a fire in the belly that was infectious. They came out and hit their program when no one else had. Component scores...fooey! One of my biggest beefs with this judging system is that it can't account for the "it" factor. The "on" factor. We can count up points all day and I know Keauna and Rockne would get more everytime...and I still think Denney and Barrett should have won. I just think having the most points does not always a winner make.

All that aside...Keauna and Rocjne are my favorite team and I know this "so so" win will put a fire in their belly too!

Anonymous said...

That's why it's a subjective sports. And some people may call that it's not a sports because it's subjective. The current system is employed to take out as much subjectiveness as possible. While there can never be a totally objective scoring to figure skating, I think this subjective scoring system is probably as good as it gets. If we went back the the old system, I believe Johnny would have ended up with a bronze this year and gold last year. Evan a silver last year and silver this year. Abbot gold this year because he had gotten gold at the grand prix final. Had he had not gotten a gold at the grand prix final, he would have gotten a bronze with Evan gold, Johnny silver. Mroz with a fourth finish because he just got into the senior circuit. you know the deal.