Sunday, November 15, 2009 Skate America Free Skate Flash

Kemp and King (Great Britain) - This felt like a really complete program, charming young team. Needs a technical upgrade.

Castile and Okolski (USA) - This such a lovely program. It's a shame every jumping element was flawed keeping the program from shining. I really hope this team can get it together and more importantly I hope they continue skating after this season because they have all the makings of great skaters.

Evora and Ladwig (USA) - Really nice. Despite the side-by-side issues (she two footed her toe-loop and fell on double axel). They are trying different triples in the short vs. free. I say pick one and train the hell out of it! Throw lutz was a beauty!

Zhang and Zhang (China) - Can't even believe they are in the first group! It just lacked life of any kind. What little life it did have came from Hao, Dan just seems to be going through the motions. What's going on with them? The stamina? The camel spins? The iffy lifts? Weird.

McLaughlin and Brubaker (USA) - Well...they stood up on their salchows which was nice. Still, the program lacks any semblance of India. Slumdog Millionaire is an amazing piece of music and a brilliant choice but they are using the wrong music selections from the Soundtrack. Instrumentals to O Saya and Jai Ho would give this program so much more energy. Still...STILL needs more Mumbai.

Duhamel and Buntin (Canada) - Oh my. That was a spectacular fall on Megan's part. That throw jump was huge and she was already on a tweeked ankle. Unfortunate that they had to withdraw but health is most important.

Volosozhar and Morozov (Ukraine) - I always feel like Stanislav is huffing and puffing to keep up with Tatiana. Ho hum but I suppose it was the best so far.

Shen and Zhao (China) - Certainly not the dominating performance they had in China. Struggles on the axels and throw loop. Still, clearly the best. That they were only a point or so off their score from Beijing is suspect?

Tomas Verner (Czech Republic) - After the fall on the quad it was decent. Kind of slow and lacked energy but apparently had the flu. He should move up with that but I think the podium is well out of reach.

Kevin Reynolds (Canada) - Kind of put on a jumping clinic including a gorgeous quad salchow. Needs more artistic work though but improvement nonetheless.

Jialiang Wu (China) - I feel like i've seen every men's competitor from China skate this exact same program. Really slow at the end. Needs a better choreographer.

Ryan Bradley (USA) - The first half he found the lightness in his feet that was missing in Paris along with the jumps, it was amazing. Then the second half it was back to the slow heaviness. He's figured out the first half now he just needs to get the second half!

Yasuharu Nanri (Japan) - Slow and labored performance. Again, nothing special.

Andrei Lutai (Russia) - Meh.

Shawn Sawyer (Canada) - I want him so badly to fix those little technical glitches in his skating. If he could do that, wow!

Adrian Schultheiss (Sweden) - Kind of careful. Love the little part with Pac-Man.

Brandon Mroz (USA) - Really came undone. Past Lysacek and Weir, U.S. mens skating is not looking so hot right now. Double jumps wont get it done.

Florent Amodio (France) - Kind of let the excitement of being in second go to his head and had lots of little jump mistakes. He's quite a character on the ice and has the ability to be great. Wow...Sawyer and Bradley are medaling!

Evan Lysacek (USA) - Solid. He looks so ready for this season. I think he's right on track to be a serious contender in Vancouver.

*Before the final group of ladies begin me and my friend Debbie are trying to guess how much Kim Yu-Na will win by!

Emily Hughes (USA) - I thought she looked great! Some work yet to do but that opening lutz combo and the triple flip combo was great. Awesome speed and gorgeous choreography. Gone with the Wind is totally one of my faves!

Elene Gedevanishvili (Georgia) - Kind of heavy...but then again Carmen is kind of heavy. She did all the easy jumps but not the hard ones.

Elena Glebova (Estonia) - Same as Gedevanishvili. Lots of easy jumps, lacked lightness.

Fumie Suguri (Japan) - Not good enough. I think she put the nail in the coffin on her Olympic chances here. On the upside is her choreography was much better here vs Beijing.

Julia Sebestyen (Hungary) - She improved from Moscow but still not stunning by any means. She needs to get her head around landing those tough triple jumps in the back half of the program...or do them all in the top and back load with easier triples later in the program.

Rachael Flatt (USA) - She looked great! Her programs are growing on me. Every competition she looks stronger and when she hits all those difficult jumps it just makes the program sing more.

Kim Yu-Na (S. Korea) - OMG! All of a sudden the Asada's, Rochette's, Ando's, and even Flatt's are thinking...I have a shot! Kind of disastrous, missing the back half of the lutz combo, the flip, and the second lutz. She'll still win but she gave something for the rest of the world to chew on.

Chock and Zuerlein (USA) - Twizzles were a dream! Solid solid solid.

Navarro and Bommentre (USA) - Have I mentioned how much I love this program. It looked even better here than it did in Paris. That "Thank You" at the end was cute.

Zaretski and Zaretski (Israel) - I thought they turned it up a notch here. The looked comfortable and well paced. Schindler's List is a gorgeous piece of music. Nice work!

Cappellini and Lanotte (Italy) - Powerful. This is a piece of music I hate but I love it for them (weird I know). I love their lifts. However, they were behind the Israeli team in the Free Dance. The silver they won in fact locked them for Grand Prix Final.

Khoklova and Novitski (Russia) - For me it's just rough around the edges. I don't know ever what to think about them. They must have done something wrong...slipped behind Italian's and Israli's.

Belbin and Agosto (USA) - Amazing intensity and tension in the back half of the program. For me...still...I'm not as big a fan of this free as much as I am Davis and White's. However, I still feel Tanith and Ben were brilliant here (save the unison issues on the twizzles at the top). They are still trailing Davis and White and Virtue and Moir on the final score.


evilapprentice said...

I agree with you on most everything that you've said so far, except for not liking Capellini/Lanotte's music in general. And that's somewhere where we'll just have to disagree, though at least we can agree that the program works for them.

Maybe it's the big, fat Jew in me, but I'm really, REALLY pulling for the Zaretskis. Between their Hava Nagila original dance and their Schindler's List free program, well, they've won my heart with their choice of music before ever stepping onto the ice. I always get a bit defensive of the Schindler's List music because of what it represents, but I feel like they really brought the emotion and class required of that piece of music to their program at Skate America.

The mess without the hot. I'd be shocked that they made it onto the podium if it weren't for the fact that the skating was, in general, just not good at this competition.

Heartbreaker for Duhamel/Buntin. I'm wondering why she went out on the ice at all...

Shen/Zhao's mistakes were bizarre, and I honestly hope that they don't make those mistakes when it REALLY counts. Even with mistakes, though, there's something in their skating that makes it obvious that they deserved to win. They really, truly ARE pairs skating.

jumping clapping man said...

i can't seem to find out anywhere online how much a camel or scratch spin count in the cop (can anyone point me to a link that details all the points?)...if rachael had been scored for her final two spins, would she have beat kim? i'm dying to know. and, hope it is NOT the case!

Aaron said...

I think she still would have been a wee bit short. However, had she not had that little fall in the short...

We'll never know...