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Thread: 2005 Nationals on ESPN last evening - Sasha Cohen's long program

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    2005 Nationals on ESPN last evening - Sasha Cohen's long program

    I turned on the television shortly after 9 last evening, did some surfing of the channels, and just happened to click onto ESPN, which was televising the ladie's long program from this year's US Nationals. As timing would have it, I saw Sasha Cohen's entire long program. I have to say that I was more impressed with her skating than I have ever been. She skated with a lot of fire and confidence - and with a beautiful smile! She seemed to really enjoy herself out there, and it showed with her performance! Sasha is a stunning young woman, and she skated a wonderful program. Great job, Sasha!

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    I didn't catch ESPN's repeat, but I remember Sasha's skating from Nationals this year and I've never seen her look so happy. I think that being injured for most of the season helped her go into Nationals with the mentality of just being happy to qualify for the team verses having to win it all. I hope that she focuses on enjoying the competition and her skating verses getting in that win or else mode.

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    I believe during that performance and during worlds she actually fought through her programs. That's a new concept for her. She is slowly learning that making one mistake does not necessarily mean the end. However, to be in contention for an OGM she needs to be mistake free- even one bobble could cost her if someone else breaks down the door she leaves open.

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    Well I was at nationals and up front during the performances, and I was not impressed with her skate, although compared to how her practices looked, she did well, as from her practices I thought she was going to fall a lot more than she did. Her jumps all week were really shaky, and she looked slow and tentative. As much as I wanted MK to win, I felt sorry for Sasha as I thought that they may just give the silver to Kimmie. Even though Sasha 's presentation was better than Kimmie's. Sasha fell on one jump, and had scratchy or two footed landings on at least two others. Her smile looked pasted on and as Dick would say "did not extend to her eyes."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kathy
    Her smile looked pasted on and as Dick would say "did not extend to her eyes."
    I don't know how you can tell whether a skater's smile extends to her eyes when you're sitting in a audience (even if you are in front row) because when I watch live skating, I'm lucky if I can see the skater's face, let alone analyze facial expressions. While you are in a better position to assess Sasha's skating compared to the others b/c you were there, I think that most people who watched the performance on TV would beg to differ on your assessment of her facial expression. I've seen Sasha skate numerous times on television and most of the time she never has a real smile on her face. This time her eyes were twinkling and she looked pleased in the Kiss and Cry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by soogar
    I've seen Sasha skate numerous times on television and most of the time she never has a real smile on her face. This time her eyes were twinkling and she looked pleased in the Kiss and Cry.
    Looking pleased in the kiss and cry has nothing to do with whether her eyes were smiling during her skate.

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    I didn't see the TV version, which is usually close up because the camera follows.

    I did see the LIVE in Portland. the SP was really special. She carried that music to the hilt and facial expression was right on. Loved it.

    The LP, as I remember, was somewhat flat. Sitting by the judges, I watched her gussy up to them especially in showing off the extensions. She was not into Nutcracker and I don't blame her. That music is extremely schmaltzy and Sasha was just not getting into the schmaltz. She was concentrating on her technical which except for the week jumps was more than adequate.

    Her LP in Moscow, however, despite the flubs was very much warmer and she did make something more out of Nutcracker. I'm looking forward to an even more warmer Sasha this year.

    Joe

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    I was at Nationals too, and I felt Sasha skated with much more freedom and expresiveness than in the SP, where she seemed very uptight until almost the very end. I was just not particularly wild about either of those programs, and wish she would have dumped both of them for this season.

    I wondered if her back was still bothering her a bit at Nationals, since her jumps seemed smaller than they have in a long while. They did seem a bit bigger in Moscow (although I am basing that solely on TV and internet coverage).

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    Quote Originally Posted by vixen62025

    I wondered if her back was still bothering her a bit at Nationals, since her jumps seemed smaller than they have in a long while. They did seem a bit bigger in Moscow (although I am basing that solely on TV and internet coverage).
    I don't know, but it could be the camera angle that "made" the jumps look bigger. I haven't been to a competition but unless you are sitting on ice level, you view the skater from above, right? And the camera views the skater from the side. So I would "think" that the camera angle makes a difference...? (could be wrong here)

    I never thought Cohen skated with a lot of expression. She's been pretty flat lately IMO. I think she HAS "lightened up" in the FS this past year, which is a good thing (for her) and could lead to more "good things" later on. I think people just are expecting too much too soon. Not surprising given the amount of attention she's gotten.

    The different eyewitness accounts of two different people who attended the competition leads me to think that the expression is very subjective. The thing is, has she improved technically or artistically from last year? Over the years?

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    I think the ISU worked "eye twinkle" into the NJS formula for next year. I gave Sasha a 6.25 in this category.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kathy
    Her smile looked pasted on and as Dick would say "did not extend to her eyes."
    The commentators talk from both sides of their mouth. On one side they say she is not smiling and has a smile pasted on and then they say that she should focus and not be distracted. When the skaters are on the ice trying to concentrate on their next move, I don't think that smiling is the number one thing on their mind. So what if they have a pasted smile on their face, I don't think that the judges gives them marks for pasted on smiles or real smiles. I'm glad that the commentators are not the judges. If she was on the ice with a grin from ear to ear all the time, then they would say that she was to confident and she fell because she wasn't focusing.

    Happy skating.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Dog
    The thing is, has she improved technically or artistically from last year? Over the years?
    In my opionion, she did not develop technically or artistically last year. Some of this I believe stems from her injury, and some of it from having programs which were not as well choreographed (even Wagner's stripped down version of "Swan Lake" had more choreography than that "Nutcracker" LP last year). Technically and artistically she has dwindled since leaving Tarasova.

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    I think Sasha is wonderful and lovely!!! I could watch her skate all day, with or without a smile. I thought she did a great job.

    Dee

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    Quote Originally Posted by millie
    The commentators talk from both sides of their mouth. On one side they say she is not smiling and has a smile pasted on and then they say that she should focus and not be distracted.
    One does not preclude the other. A skater can be concentrating very hard, be focused and confident and still be smiling. A furrowed brow or serious countenance is not the ideal. Concentration is not just on the physical but on understanding the emotion of the program. If a skater has to consciously be thinking of smiling, then I would argue that they are not focused or concentrating on delivering the program. Just as we can judge sincerity from our day-to-day dealings with people, I can believe that people who watch a competition live or on TV can intuitively sense when a skater is truly enjoying their moment on the ice or simply putting on a show of enjoyment.

    I don't remember Sasha's LP in particular, so I can't comment on her skate specifically.

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    I also thought that besides the fall, the program wasn't that bad. I had a sense that she was forcing the smile during the spiral, but at least she didn't give up and frown the rest of the program. What else was she supposed to do?

    In terms of improvement, it seems like she's not scratching on her edging so much anymore, but she will have to improve even more to challenge Slutskaya for the OGM.

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