Monday, January 30, 2012

Christmas Came Late (or a little early!)

Sorry, crazy schedule so this is a little late.

OMG...Nationals could not have gone any better if I was to have scripted it myself! You should have seen me screaming during all the free skates! I was a hot mess...turns out I win the San Jose 2012 'Queen Out' Award!

As far as dance, I found it kind of boring and all so predictable. My heart really got pumping however in the free dance. First, huge props to Lynn Kriengkrairut and Logan Giulietti-Schmitt! What amazing strides they have made in just a year! For a second there I thought they were going to hit the podium and make the world team. What an effort! I think I tweeted after Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue's dance I needed a cigarette. That was hot. For Maia and Alex, their Free Dance is still leaving a little bit to be feels safe and I want them to take big risks. The improved short dance I think puts them back in the running for a possible bronze at worlds but they are going to have to find a way to be more exciting in the free. and Meryl and Charlie...what can I say...Virtue and Moir can 'fuhgetaboutit!'

Pairs couldn't have gone more perfect. I'm a huge Rockne Brubaker fan...huge! I didn't expect him and MaryBeth to win, so I was really shocked when they won the short! While the free didn't pan out as expected (it was odd to see him make the mistakes) I was please as punch when they placed second and punched their ticket to Nice! My goal is to find them in Nice and get a picture with them because I'm a fan! I also don't care what people say...Denney and Coughlin's free skate is beautiful...I smell what they are cooking! Evora and Ladwig...I love them too but they can't continue to get a pass on the poor technical elements. They've got to figure that's a must! I'll be rooting for them in Colorado a sbs jump!

The ladies event was very exciting. Can I just gush for a few moments about Caroline Zhang! This girl has transformed...I was shocked at how well she competed here...shocked I say! Still some work to do but the difference is magnificent! I'm uber excited I get to see her at 4CC...I'm going to make lots of noise! I've never been so happy to see someone place 4th in my life. Agnes...oy! You know, I partly blame NBC for tinkering with the skate orders (had it been a true open draw and not simply a draw amongst the top three she might not have drawn last); Agnes is notorious for skating poorly last and stated she hates it. Even still, I think she's come far since the disaster that was the Grand Prix series and I think she now has a place to grow from. Alissa, again, was fragile not fierce. I wonder if she's still not extra healthy (as she isn't competing at 4CC). I love her but I still doubt her...and that's not a good thing. And Ashley Wagner...she's the one I was rooting for and she didn't all! Love her free skate...LOVE HER FREE SKATE. I wanted to pinch her for messing up the salchow but I guess I'll forgive her. Add a triple triple, put that triple toe behind the double axel on one foot, and pray for world medal. I'll be a mess in Nice should that happen.

And I was screaming during the men's free skate. Forget the rest, Jer Bear! I was pacing around skating his free with him. That quad off the top was the most swish thing I've ever seen. I love what Scott Hanilton said when he was worried that Jeremy might skate perfect like he did in 2010 and peak to soon. He was relieved it was a good skate but not a perfect one so he has room to grow. That is so true. Each time Jeremy has hit the ice it has been steadily better. He's building towards Worlds which is perfect. I'm gonna say it...if both Patrick and Jeremy are completely clean at Worlds, I think Jeremy is better because he feels his music better and is less robotic. There it's out there...take it or leave it. Happy that Rippon was second with a good skate. Johnny Weir was correct in stating we need to send the two guys with the most experience and that is definitely Abbott and Rippon (perhaps because he needs them to earn him a berth next season?).


Robin Agnew said...

Agree with you about Chan/Abbott. Chan is often over marked as far as I'm concerned. I LOVED Jeremy's LP last year and was disappointed he had an off season with it. When he's on he's just the best.

SanJoseSkateFan said...

Hi Aaron, long time listener 1st time caller here. I live near San Jose, and was in the audience at nationals this past weekend. I really enjoy your blog, and wanted to share some first-person details from the event with you and your readers.

In general, I'm embarrassed to say the San Jose audience was pretty rowdy. It seemed the audience was yelling out concentration-breaking cheers immediately before each of the skaters' performances. But beyond that, there were 2 instances of audience noise that I'm pretty sure directly impacted skaters concentration during their free skates.

I was in the nosebleed section for both the ladies and men's free skate. There was a little girl near me in the nosebleed section, who was playing around and making lots of noise during the ladies free skate. She made her loudest commotion at exactly 1 second before Alyssa Ciszny took off on her 1st triple Lutz in the free skate. I'd say the odds that Alyssa heard that noise right before takeoff and was therefore distracted (causing her to miss the jump) are pretty good.

The other case of audience commotion was actually much more significant. Significant enough that you can actually notice it on a YouTube video of the event. It was during Jeremy Abbott's free skate.

This 2nd bit of commotion, originated from a portion of the stands where a row of seats were located directly above an opening for a ramp that enters onto the main rink. To see what I'm talking about check out this YouTube video at exactly the two-minute mark:

After Jeremy changed feet in his sit spin, notice how the people behind the Jiff sign on the boards all suddenly turn around as if distracted by something loud.

Unfortunately, I actually missed whatever originally caused the commotion. But a large portion of the audience had turned around and was talking and murmuring rather loudly and seemed to be concerned about something that happened above the opening of the ramp. The people in the 1st row above the ramp were actually leaned far over the edge pointing down to something down below on the ramp, and I was initially pretty sure that someone had actually fallen out of the stands to the ramp below.

However, I'm pretty sure that whatever happened wasn't quite that serious because although paramedics did come galloping down the stairs while Jeremy was still performing, and it did seem pretty serious, it didn't seem serious enough to indicate that someone had fallen that far. As to what actually happened, I'm still not sure.

Fortunately, most of Jeremy's jumps after this point were on the other end of the rink so I'm not sure he initially noticed the problem. But by the time he attempted his final triple salchow (which he doubled) he was back down directly in front of the commotion, and the commotion was *still* going on. I'm pretty sure that this caused him to get distracted and miss the triple salchow at that point.

I would love to know what actually happened there, as I missed most of Jeremy's performance since I was watching people run up and down stairs to attend to whatever was going on over there. Oh well, a great mystery.

A few final notes:

*For me, the single best element of the entire event was Caroline Zhang's final layback spin in her free skate. It was glorious, and the audience was ooo'ing and aaah'ing at that moment more than any other point in the event.

*Max Aaron took an UNBELIEVABLE amount of speed into his squad salchow attempt in the free skate. He was just FLYING. Flying, I tell you. I'm pretty sure this was accidental and he didn't mean to build up so much speed. IF he had been able to land this quad at that speed, then this would have instead been the best element of the event for me. It's a shame he fell because between one practice and two warm-ups I saw him land 6 Quad Salchows cleanly without a single fall. Maybe next year will be his year.

Anonymous said...

San Jose Skate Fan -- I can't remember where I read it (and you might have read the same thing by now) but I read that Jeremy's step-father started having convulsions during Jeremy's free skate. He was take to the hospital and was doing fine according to the interview I read. (on Jeremy said that he was not aware that anything was happening while he was on the ice.

SanJoseSkateFan said...

Wow, thanks Anonymous. I had not read that, but now that you mention it, I'm sure that's what it was. Definitely makes sense and matches what I saw. Thanks for clearing that up! Glad to hear everyone is OK! Geez, these skating events are pressure cookers.

cookie said...

The ladies was the same story with different characters: the favorite (Alissa) choked while the 2nd favorite (Ashley) skated well and got to win.

Remember when they used to re-run the nationals a few times so you could see it again and again? I can't find any reruns on t.v. Boo hoo. Any advice on reruns? Anyone?

Meryl and Charlie had me at "hello" a.k.a the Phantom of the Opera dance at the Olympics. They made my heart skip a beat and they have never disappointed since then.