Yan Liu (China) - Beautiful jumps. Shame her skating lacks real depth, attack, or excitement. If she had those things she would be a real contender. Solid performance though.
Diane Szmiett (Canada) - West Side Story....*sighs*. Who is this young lady? Need some back history on her Canadian fans.
Beatrisa Liang (USA) - No!!! She gets through the super tough stuff that she's has struggled with forever and then that pesky axel followed by the fall on the step sequence...frustrating. She had some good moments in this program though.
*Frank Carroll is going to have a couple busy days in Beijing!
Mirai Nagasu (USA) - Looked awfully good to me! Loved that circular footwork and the cute playfulness that came with it. Maybe a little cheat on the lutz...couldn't quite tell. Wait the score came...assuming no cheat!
Akiko Suzuki (Japan) - Good speed and great choreography. She attacked that program like she had nothing to lose. I loved it! Great music choice.
Fumie Suguri (Japan) - Did she get the memo that the Grand Prix is helping to determine Japan's Olympic team? Kind of bland...not good enough.
*I love those Lotte/Kose vests the Japanese girls have...I want one!
Kiira Korpi (Finland) - What is this music? Uh I love this girl and I can't even get excited for anything she is doing this season. The fact that she got ahead of Suzuki shocks me a bit.
Rachael Flatt (USA) - Madame consistency. There's nothing flashy about her, just good ole' fashioned solid, conservative, consistent skating and their ain't nothing wrong with that. Axel was kind of scary though...that combined with the swing of her free leg on the flip I think caused the lower scores.
Joannie Rochette (Canada) - Shocked to see her miss the lutz combo and the axel. Jump mistakes kept the program from singing. Way down there....my goodness!
Carolina Kostner (Italy) - Is her head back together? Played it a little safe with the triple toe but can't say I blame her. Didn't she seem relieved to get that performance under her belt. Infinitely better than Paris.
Chock and Zuerlein (USA) - I love how Madison just lights up out there (i.e. butt wiggle at the end). Thought this team would have a much stronger position in this competition. My outlook on U.S. Ice Dancing is now much clearer. Some nice complicated movements in this OD.
Weaver and Poje (Canada) - Little misses here and there killed this program...shame. When did the finger slicing happen...didn't catch that?
Zaretski and Zaretski (Israel) - Cute program. I'm a sucker for Hebrew folk music, Hava Nagila me any day. Needs more stretch.
Faiella and Scali (Italy) - I liked this dance. I don't think they missed a single snap and they looked really into it...it suits them well.
Khoklova and Novitski (Russia) - They win the outfit Hot Mess award for this competition. This whole program I just wanted to do a shot of Vodka. I guess that means the program did it's trick and got me feeling all Russian! Who is that singer?
Belbin and Agosto (USA) - What's with the (what feels like...) 20 second pause at the beginning? Once this program gets going it doesn't stop. Fun. To tell you the truth though, I preferred Davis and White's OD from Russia...
Shen and Zhao (China) - Right off the top the big return...but did they ever leave? These comebacks don't feel like comebacks but rather coronations. And I love that they are skating to Queen. Loved the Chinese crowd's reaction at the end of their program (which is slightly abrupt). Hongbo did make me nervous a couple of times but overall they look great. Cute variation on the death spiral.
Evora and Ladwig (USA) - I'm just waiting for this team to be brilliant. Beautiful music choice. Shame the jumps weren't there. I had the pleasure of chit-chatting with this team at 2007 Skate America in Reading, PA and they are the nicest people...I'm really rooting for them! Loved the death spiral twisty-thingy into the spin.
Dong and Wu (China) - Felt kind of robotic to me. Feel bad for this young team that will probably have to wait four years for their go at the Olympics...China is just stacked when it comes to pairs skating!
Duhamel and Buntin (Canada) - Iffy. I like this music but I don't know if I like it for them...or maybe I don't like the choreography...not sure. Program was missing something.
Iliusheckina and Maisuradze (Russia) - Lubov reminded me so much of Sasha Cohen. Was it possible for her to hit a bad position? This team's unison was spot on...very accomplished!
Volosozhar and Morozov (Ukraine) - Those outfits look oddly similar to Savchenko and Szolkowy's Lost in Space digs from last season? What a boring program! The music was almost non-existent and the choreography was...well...non-existent! That they were ahead of the Russians was blatant poor judging!
Zhang and Zhang (China) - Swing...I don't know if it's a good choice for them. That music never seems to work out unless a North American is skating to it. Just doesn't suit them. It's not jazzy enough and ends up coming across uneasy. Single salchow doesn't help either.
Jinlin Guan (China) - He's pretty good! Reminded me a whole bunch of Jeremy Abbott. Anyone else get that?
*In fact, all three Chinese men weren't bad at all. Something to keep an eye on for the future perhaps.
Armin Mahbanoozadeh (USA) - What a talent. Great choreography. All those little turnouts and step outs on the jumps are going to kill the score unfortunately. Overall though not a shabby senior debut.
Kevin Reynolds (Canada) - Quad didn't work but I loved the choreo! He's made big improvements since last season. There's a personality out there now. Looks like he has a Bump It in his hair.
Samuel Contesti (Italy) - This guy is so much fun you have to be in his court. Shame the Chinese audience just doesn't get the Blues and has no idea how well he skated that program. The triple axel left him here but overall he looks good. This program skated clean would bring the house down in Vancouver!
Denis Ten (Kazakhstan) - Showed his inexperience a bit here. I think he was a bit overwhelmed with the whole idea of who he was competing with. Great choreography though. He seems to understand swing just fine! You can see his qualities obviously. That final bit of footwork is fantastic.
Stephen Carriere (USA) - Seemed a bit frantic and somewhat out of control. Settle settle! Also, there has to be a better recording of Carmina Burana he can use, this version lacked something.
Nobunari Oda (Japan) - Woosh! Ditto what I said in Paris + 10% more! Yet Morozov is still reaming him for something in the K&C!
Sergei Voronov (Russia) - Wow! Powerful. I think that was a "back at ya' Borodulin and Plushenko." Quad combo and axel where just perfect. Brilliant.
Yannick Ponsero (France) - He has to get his head around landing these jumps. I like this program (even if it is a bit Lambiel cookie-cutterish) and its complete commitment to character. He needs to upgrade that salchow too...not difficult enough to compete with these guys.
*Lots of blood in this competition!
Evan Lysacek (USA) - Rock solid! The triples jumps were as clean as they come. I was huge fan of the circular footwork. Evan hit every beat of the music perfectly. The costume is a winner too! What a men's competition this is! And yes...he looks even more like Emanuel Sandhu. 3rd place...eagerly awaiting judges pdf.