Saturday, November 14, 2009 Skate America Short Program Flash

*Apparently U.S. Figure Skating didn't get the Friday/Saturday memo and thus the shorts and frees have been spread over three days instead of two...I'll update as I watch.

*A quick note on the CD, Tanith and Ben ripped it! That's how you do Ice Dancing!

Ryan Bradley (USA) - I don't know...kind of a hot mess (again!). He just throws himself into those jumps with reckless abandon and hopes and prays he lands...unfortunately he didn't pray hard enough.

Shawn Sawyer (Canada) - I just get tingly when he's on the ice. Even with the mistakes a decent score, and nice to see him commit to both rotating the jumps and landing them on one foot.

Florent Amodio (France) - This is why I have been raving about this kid all season long. He finally proved me right! Awesome...needs a tougher combo in the short though.

Adrian Schultheiss (Sweden) - This program kind of freaks me out. I like my Schultheiss with hard edged techno, not pretty Christmas.

Kevin Reynolds (Canada) - He lost the Bump It in his hair...lost his jumps too.

Brandon Mroz (USA) - Meh. This music doesn't work for him. Don't take it from me...Sandra Bezic said the same thing.

Evan Lysacek (USA) - I love this SP! The part where, right on the music, he extends his arms and throws his head back directly in front of the judges gets my blood pumping. Needs to get that axel around though, that was a clear cheat. Leaps ahead of the pack though, nice job. He looks so comfortable this season.

Tomas Verner (Czech Republic) - I thought Ryan Bradley was going to win the hot mess award but then Tomas skated. Oh papa...

Shen and Zhao (China) - Wow. I mean, they are so solid. I'm starting to equate them to Kim Yu-Na...unbeatable? Program ends abruptly though?

Castile and Okolski (USA) - Rusty I think. Their coach is the mean one who just yells at his students in the Kiss and Cry.

Evora and Ladwig (USA) - Pretty, little scary on those salchows with Amanda ending up sitting on Mark's foot.

Kemp and King (Great Britain) - Needs an upgrade.

McLaughlin and Brubaker (USA) - Lovely, but they need to solve the problem with side-by-side jumps, frustrating.

Duhamel and Buntin (Canada) - Nice work, throw lutz was scary though. Can't believe she didn't fall on that. This program had more life than it did in China.

Volosozhar and Morozov (Ukraine) - So boring. Strength on the elements alone have them in second place.

Zhang and Zhang (China) - Meltdown kind of. It must be frustrating to have been working so hard for all these years towards Olympic Gold to be completely waltzed over by your own countrymen in one fell swoop. I think their mistakes are coming from their self-applied pressure from Shen and Zhao.

Emily Hughes (USA) - Nice to see her back out there. Popping that lutz will hurt the score though. Triple flip under rotated too...some work to do yet.

Tugba Karademir (Turkey) - She always pleasant to watch. I wish she would upgrade her technical difficulty so she could really compete with the top ladies. Footwork is great...thank you Kurt Browning.

Alexe Gilles (USA) - She has lovely arms. The mistakes here in the short means she has a clean free? Reverse of Paris? I love that she always smiles.

Elena Glebova (Estonia) - Lovely save that spin whoops. Every time I hear this music I'm transported back to the 2001 Nationals where we all gushed over Michelle Kwan...the lady sitting in front of me goes "She's pretty good." And I looked at her funny. Good times in Boston.

Sarah Hecken (Germany) - Seems kind of green. Not a lot of Juliet in that Romeo and Juliet.

*Enjoying Tara's commentary on Ice Network.

Susanna Poykio (Finland) - Meh. Kind of boring, lacks spark.

*First group was really not up to par!

Joshi Helgesson (Sweden) - Wasn't she just here in Lake Placid at the Junior Grand Prix? She seemed excited about her performance. Seems like Sweden is up and coming with their ladies competitors.

Fumie Suguri (Japan) - She upped her game from Beijing. I think a last ditch effort to impress the Japanese Federation and perhaps get another shot at the Olympics. Needs to polish the program a bit.

Elene Gedevanishvili (Georgia) - Lacked the spark she had in Paris. Not her best...not her worst. Just so so.

Julia Sebestyen (Hungary) - She did it again! One of these days she is going to connect a clean free with these shorts and be a contender again. Is Cancer.Net her comeback competition? Time will tell. Nice job in the short.

Rachael Flatt (USA) - Unfortunate fall on the triple toe. Otherwise a lot better than Beijing. Gave that footwork a lot more zest!

Kim Yu-Na (S. Korea) - She pulls you in with seductive precision and right when you meet her face to face she sly slips her gun out and takes care of business...then walks away with confidence and class. She's a perfect Bong Girl. She's a vision on the ice, I love this short program, awesome.

Chock and Zuerlein (USA) - I love this OD. I'm a sucker for Cuban music. Twizzles looked better than they did in Beijing but the straight line sequence had issues.

Navarro and Bommentre (USA) - Nice work. They totally commit to the music and the feel of the dance. One place they could work on to move up in the standings would be their transitions in and out of elements and difficulty of the lifts.

Cappellini and Lanotte (Italy) - Trying to squeeze out more points. Very smooth.

Khoklova and Novitski (Russia) - More vodka please. Again the outfits...? Twizzle issues. Took a hit in the OD...Italians have a chance!

Belbin and Agosto (USA) - Well done. They are doing a better job of keeping up with Virtue and Moir/Davis and White here. Big lead.

*Intersting these folk OD's are bringing out everyones culture but the American teams have chosen to not take on American folk themes...just an observation.


jumping clapping man said...

it is truly astounding how utterly expressionless dan zhang is. she gets the skate america / caroline zhang (no relation that we know of) award for facial comatose.

it is so sad to see how far castile and okolski have fallen.

craig buntin is total yum-yum!!!

mroz has REALLY increased his raised the bar on his movement...he's MUCH more physically engaged throughout his whole body now, in footwork, etc. i'm impressed by that big improvement, despite the program itself.

and, YES, AH-M-OOOOOHHHHH-DIO!!!!!!! he's amazing. SO "fleet"!!!

and, yes, shawn sawyer has the goods, but has never delivered, has he? he always seems VERY rushy to me.

""? although i am they really think that name is going to bring in viewers? i suppose if they paid the check, that is all that matters. and, better that than "Afflac" or ""Snuggie"
-Skate America!

evilapprentice said...

Going off of what jumping clapping man said about this being the Skate America now...

Not only does it not sound appealing to bring in voters, someone needs to explain to me how what's supposed to be a resource/info center about cancer has the money to throw around to BECOME a sponsor of Skate America.

As far as the programs go, Shen and Zhao were the easily the highlight of the whole competition for me yesterday. The runner up for the highlight award definitely went to Amodio who was just such a wonderful surprise.

Hot mess award times 10 went to the Ukranians' costumes. YUCK.

I never cared for the Zhangs, notably because of their lack of expression--Dan's in particular. If they melt down because the TRUE leaders of Chinese pairs skating have returned, then pardon me if I don't weep.

And Evan...I don't care that Vera Wang designed your costume, it's a mess. Feathers, really?

Anonymous said...

wow, kim has a total meltdown and still won by 13 points. What can I say! Numbers don't lie. That's how superior her skating to rest of the field is! Amazing. Flatt is back. At least there is a slim hope for Bronze at the Olympic (no matter how slim that hope is).

Evan was nice and steady. Good for him. I like the conviction that Sawyer puts in his skate. Just wish he skates cleaner. Mroz was a bit of a hot mess. I don't see him on the Olympic team if he can't pull the jumps together. I was very impressed with Bradley. I see the Olympic team as: evan, bradley, and weir. Too bad at Grand Prix final, we will not see all the top men going head to head.

Stella216 said...

evil apprentice - thank you so much for mentioning the Ukrainian team's costumes. Blue lame unitards? Why? (my boyfriend even recognizes them now - he says they look like they're going to shoot a low-budget soft-core alien porno).
I notice that they train with the German team (who are sporting their own hideous costumes this season as they have in the past). Maybe it's their coach's asthetic?

Speaking of shiny fabrics - Zhang's gold bikini top for his long program was also sort of weird. Men can show their nipples -- for example, the whole front of Evan's long program costume was sheer. And ok, a little upsetting.

evilapprentice said...

Stella216--Soft-core alien know, that's the best description of those costumes that I've heard yet! If it's the coach that is torturing these teams by making them wear such hideous costumes, I say fire the coach!

Stella216 said...

I feel like at some point last year - one of the announcers mentioned that Aliona Savchenko designs some of the costumes that she and Robin wear. Maybe she designs her training mates' outfits too? There's been a distinct consistency with the fabric and level of hideousness.

Anyway - I wish I knew more about figure skating costume design and what motivates teams to choose certain outfits.

Maybe Aaron could do an investigative reporting piece?