Skate America day 2 impressions....
Forgive this being a bit late....I've been sick, and last night, I think my computer caught it too! It's actually working this morning, so it's in better condition than me!
Oh and random rant....Nazi rink dorks disallowed my camera yesterday becuase it has video/audio capabilities....and would NOT check it, so you have to go back to your room or check it at a nearby casino bell desk (which Trumps DIDN'T appreciate if you aren't a guest there...You're FIRED!!) Yes, nazi rink police not allowing certain cameras, outside food or drink...but can not open half the concessions because they have no cashiers, and do not even chase you fully out of the arena after practice....so you could just walk around for an hour, then go to the events without a ticket. Losers!
Oh, random comment number two. A Japanese Daisuke Takahashi fan that I met on a site sent me a banner for him, that has apparantly made appearances at multiple events. So it got here in time, Thursday night, and I hung up "Go Daisuke!" for her before events started last night.
Ok, so semi-no teknik reports!
1. Steigler/Magerovsky (Merengue/Rhumba/Merengue) She has good attitude for dance...definitely puts the "face" into it. Nice flexibility on lifts, smooth entry/exit to lifts. Not bad speed on the spin. Their straightline footwork was ok, I think they were off timing on twizzles, and on the twizzles to opposite direction, she looked better than him. Also, they were quite far apart still. Rotation lift good. 43.52
2. Munana/Munana (Samba/Rhumba/Salsa) Really good choreography! Nice moves without overdoing. He had a slip on the straightline footwork, they were a little slow and off (both). Spins a bit slower, general speed a bit slower than the first couple, but some really nice moments. 35.85
3. Karan/McGrath (Rhumba/Salsa) They had better choreo and presentation I thnk in the salsa portion...came more to life, and showed more flow and speed. He looked to be a bit off in the straightline. Nice "one arm" rotational life at the end. 39.55
4. Rubleva/Shefer (Chacha/Samba) Ok, so did all the Russian ladies in dance change their hair color from last year? I'm thinking she was redhead last year (or maybe thinking someone else)...now she's blonde. Both footwork sections nice, good choreography, although the costume choice (fluourescent green!) is a little questionable to me for Latin combo! Some interesting spin positions, and mostly good speed. 40.51 (personal best)
5. Golokoviza (?)/Voiko (Samba/Rhumba/Samba) Straightline footwork nice, but off timing on the last bit of twizzles. Smooth in and out of lifts, nice rotational lift. Dance spin slower than most the others. Circular step sequence slower, and he has a small step out. 39.67
6. Senft/partner (don't know the name right now) (Rhumba/Merengue) Step sequences nice, nice lifts and flow. She has good positions in the dance spin, his position in that a little weak in extension. The end of the straightline sequence, again like others, looked "off" to me on timing (But the end of the step sequence is at the far end of the rink from me). Nice, but not overly memorable. 40.21
7. Belbin/Agosto (Samba/Rhumba/Chacha) Immediately you see speed you haven't seen yet with the other teams. Very nice lifts, very good dance spin. It looked like they may have been a little bit off timing on the first set of twizzles? Just something looked off-balance to me. I have never been a real Belgosto fan, but now I could become one, and that's because of BEN! It's nice to see the male dance partner just as expressive and selling the program as the girl. They had the "wow factor". 58.37
8. Domnina/Shabalin (Rhumba/Salsa) some really nice choreography to the rhumba section, and very good footwork. One of the few teams that didn't look like they were a little off on the twizzles to me. Nice dance spin with her in the supporting position, kind of interesting....a little slower, maybe a bit reserved? I wrote "introverted"....not the "wow", but still very good. 51.50
9. Beier/Beier (Mambo/Rhumba/Salsa) Just a personal opinion, brother/sister teams are screwed by the Latin rhythms, because Latin dancing is sensual, and sensual siblings is just icky! But anyway, nice footwork, off just a little at the end of the straight line...very nice spin, lifts good with nice flow and speed. Very nice, other than the underlying "Ick" factor with the choreography! 47.89 (personal best)
10. Delobel/Schoenfelder (Mambo/Rhumba/Mambo) The reason I was most excited about dance here! Wow, they are as smooth and wonderful in person! Very fast, gorgeous edges, very good speed in the spin and lifts... I wrote "Best" next to their lift, and "wow" next to another one. In spite of that, and that I felt they were the best technically, they were a little lacking in the "wow" factor (and he looks more like a Ninja with the headband than a Latin dancer!) 55.77
11. Wing/Lowe (Mambo/Rhumba/Salsa) She sells them nicely with her face and movements, but they just do not excite me at all. Overall much slower than the top groups, although they have nice choreography. Some nice moves, lifts and transitional moves, but she has less extension than the top ladies, and just are rather slow. 48.12
12. Silverstein/OMeara (Salsa/Rhumba/Chacha) Nice, fast footwork, unique looking moves and lift positions. She has very good flexibility. Spin was good, twizzle timing was a bit off in the straight line sequence, but everything else looks very nice for a newer team. 48.28
1. Hegal (Blues for Klook) I like this music very much, and she has some nice "Voidy" choreography (And yes, the level 4 mascara gets a +3 GOE from me!) 3lutz (two footed)-2toe, 3flip (?or toe) 2footed, layback ok, almost falls in the spiral sequence, 2 axel right to camel spin is nice, but slow. Footwork ok, combo spin is good, but poor extension. 36.92
2. Onda (Madame Bovary) 3lutz-2toe with big smile on the landing, 3 flip, nice variations of the layback, spirals ok but poor flexibility/extension, fly sit spin with variation positions, 2axel and she's happy, circular footwork a little slow, camel to combo spin. Nice program overall, clean, doesn't knock your socks off, but she's pleased. 53.90
3. Hughes (Allegro by Gershwin) Nice speed, 3flip is good, then totally misses doing the lutz...the guy behind me said she seemed to hit the toepick of her free leg...whatever, she didn't even try the lutz jump, then falls on the double toe, serpentine footwork is good, fast, fly sit with nice variations, spirals GREAT, with back Charlotte going right into her layback, 2axel fall, camel to combo spin good. Too bad the jumps weren't there, she has a lot of positive stuff. 38.74
4. Leung (Freedom) 3flip good, 3 lutz-2toe really good also, layback to Beillmann (does Beillmann fairly well), 2 axel landed with almost NO entry to it...wow, she needs to work with Mikey Weiss! Spirals nice, camel to donut spin, circular footwork a bit slow, nice combo spin to Beillmann to Ispin. Not a lot of choreo/transitions, but well performed. 47.48
5. Paulinus (A la Folie) Layback ok, 3 lutz-fall-2 toe, camel combo spin nice posture and speed, 3 salchow (?)clean, circ footwork, 2axel clean, spirals with weak extension, camel spin. Nice enough program, and she's happy. 40.52 (personal best)
6. Czisny (missed the music) Flying sit very fast, nice positions, 3 lutz-2 toe nice, 2 axel good, very nice in-betweens, great posture. Spirals have "!!" next to them, wow....then to 3flip with fall. SIGH. Layback combo spin to Beillmann great positions, interesting footwork, final combo spin good. I wrote "Wow except the fall" and that pretty much sums it up. Great posture/positions, good speed. 52.82
7. Sebestyn (Esperanza) nice choreography, 3 flip nice, 3 lutz falls, doesn't try the other jump for combo, camel-donut spin nice. Spirals are very nice in assisted positions, a little weaker extension on her own. 2 axel clean. Layback with nice variation, Beillmann position just ok. Nice footwork with the music, combo spin is good. Footwork and choreo is nice, but not great in spirals and the one fall. 42.46
8. Sokolova (Turandot) 3 lutz-2 toe great, very nice speed and soft flow, 3 loop very good. Camel-donut spin, spirals with weak extension but big smile. 2 axel good, layback, circular footwork nice, end combo spin good. Not a really memorable program, but she has very nice presentation, and that sparks it up quite a bit. 57.94
9. Fan (Bohemian Rhapsody) 2 axel great, then 3 flip with fall, 3 lutz popped to single. Oh my. Nice, interesting choreography with the music, footwork goes well, spirals are nice, presents herself nice. Layback to beillmann very nicely done, back camel to combo spin. Very nice speed and positions, too bad for the jumps. 36.90
10. Liang (Firedance) Fly sit spin FAST, 3lutz-2 toe great, then falls on 3 flip. nice transitions, layback spin good, spirals are good, 2axel great with nice spring, great footwork and final spin combo. Everything she does is fast, but it seems she has gotten better at holding her spiral positions. All great except the fall. 47.54
Men LP: After practice, I wrote on my notepad "Podium: Joubert, Lysacek, Takahashi". Based on the practice, and their positions after short. Hmmmm....
1. Berntsson (Bombay Dreams) Purple velvet? No complaints here! 3axel with turn out, 3 flip (2ft?) to 3 toe with hand down, 3 lutz (2ft?), flying camel nice, circular footwork nice but a bit slow, nice spin combo, nice choreography with slower music, 3 axel at 2:30 falls, 3 flip with a very low but saved landing, 3 loop, spin comnbo, 3 sal with hand down, straightline footwork ok but a bit slow again, 2 axel with shaky landing, nice spin combo. Overall, pleasant presentation, lot of errors, and not a lot of speed in general. 92.20
2. Phan (National Treasure soundtrack) Blue velvet...hmmm. 3 axel fall, 3 lutz/3 toe great and has a look of determination now. Camel to sit combo spin really quite cool positions, 3 flip out early (2 1/2 flip?), sit spins, ina bauer to 3 loop good, spiral to 3 lutz, spin combo, nice spread eagle positions, tries 3 axel at 3:10 falls, circular footwork good, fast with music, popped 3 toe, straitline footwork ok, 3 salchow at 4:20! sit spin. Overall, he kept trying, kept fighting. He needs more "face", needs to present the program more...but could be quite good. 97.98
3. Smalun (Handel #4 in D Minor) 3axel stumble 2 toe, 3 flip fallout, single axel, very cool choreography! Very different and unique. 2 lutz, 3 salchow, sit spin with variations of speed, which I find cool. Tres voidy. 3 flip-3 toe with step out, 3 loop, camel-sit combo, camel leap over combo, Circular footwork cool, 2 axel, straight footwork cool, deathdrop to sit spin. Definite jump issues, but very cool choreography and presentation! 94.64
4. Song (Day after tomorrow soundtrack) doubles the 3 lutz and steps out, 3 axel with really HARD fall near the board
2 walleys into 3 flip is good, sit spin, nice moves with the slower music, 3 loop with hand down, 3 flip-3 toe with step out, sit spin but not great position, flying camel ok, circular footwork with music ok, 3 lutz-3 toe fall, straightline footwork fast, nice variety, 2 loop, 3 salchow-2 toe, camel to combo spin a little wobbly in position change. Really great potential, but awww shucks on the jumps. 94.42
5. Mabee (Big band music, but he's dressed as Farmer Brown?) 2 loop, very nice choreography that fits the music style, 3 axel popped to single, very smooth, 3 flip turnout to 2 toe, sit change spin, flying sit, 3 lutz-3 toe (2ft), 3 toe, 3 lutz, straightline footwork good with the music, 3 salchow, 3 axel with NO preparation at all, just popped it right up there! sit spin combo fast with nice positions, circular footwork, combo spin with "Great" written by it as comment. Nice style, great spins...needs those jumps darnit! 104.60 (personal best)
6. Davydov (Pirates of Caribbean/Pearl Harbor soundtracks) 3 axel stumble, 3 lutz-3 toe, serpentine footwork really matches music well, 3loop good, flying camel, doubles the 3 flip, 3 lutz (hand down) 2 toe, 2 axel, combo spin with nice positions, straightline footwork nice but looks like he started a little behind his music? 3 salchow step out, 2 axel to 3 toe step out (maybe a 3 axel, but I doubt it), spin combo, sit spin. Really looked to be lacking some energy, even from earlier in practice. Rough program for him. 94.42
7. Lysacek (Grease soundtrack) 3 lutz-3 toe good, 3 axel WAYYYY leaning to 2 toe clean! 3 loop, fly sit to combo spin. Has good character and presenting program well. 3 axel again WAYYY leaning in the air, but lands it clean! (HOW??) back spiral to 3-2-2 combo (I think toes, but missed the first one, maybe a flip), 3 salchow, circular footwork good, with energy, but not totally "on"? Camel to nice sit spin combo, good variation of positions, does slow some, reverse walley jump to a 3 lutz popped to single, 2 axel, fly sit, straight footwork better than circular, good speed, spin combo at end good. He sells the program well, even though my opinion is that it's kind of cheezy...but I seem to be in the minority, as most of the crowd loved it. 125.96
8. Goebel (Night on Bald mountain) 3 flip clean, 4 toe fall, spread eagle to 3 axel popped to single, 3 axel, fly sit spin ok, circular footwork ok, needs more energy to it, but he got better at the end, 3 salchow, some nice choreography, he does have improved artistry, popped 3 loop, spread eagle to hydroblade move to camel-sit spin combo nice, popped something (3 toe maybe), sit spin, straight line footwork very nice and intricate, reverse walley to 3sal-2 toe, combo spin at end ok. The "quad king" has better presentation than jumps this time. 95.96
9. VanDerPerren (Pirates of Caribbean) choreo into a popped 4 toe (single), 3 axel-3toe good, 3flip-3toe-3loop GREAT! sit spin a bit slow, circular footwork again, a bit slow. Popped 3 axel to single, 3 lutz nice, 2 axel nice. Fly cam to spin combo good. 3 Salchow, barely hangs on but clean, combo spin, straightline footwork with good energy and presentation, but still seems a little slower than the music, arabian to combo spin good. Buckled under pressure of being second? He had a really rough practice, falling on almost every quad and 3 axel attempt...finally landed one and clasped his hands together and shook them at the ceiling like "FINALLY!". 116.30
10. Takahashi (Rach piano #2) 4 toe comes out early, two footed but no fall. 3Axel-3 toe perfect, 3 lutz-3toe also perfect, flying sit combo spin, really nice choreography, layback spin!!! 3 axel again great! 3 loop, 3 flip perfect and a huge smile at that, circular footwork very good, 3 toe perfect, 3 salchow again perfect, wow, camel to sit spin combo, straightline footwork great, combo spin great. WOW, what a program! Good for him, and standing "O" rightly earned. 149.44 (Personal best and ahead of Lysacek by 25 points)
11. Ponsero (music is something French I think, didn't catch the full title) He's my little buddy since we bonded in practice. As he was doing a warmdown lap at the end of practice, he was looking directly at people in the front row. So I smiled and clapped a little for him, and he smiled back and nodded. Yup, buds. Anyway, nice choreography right off the bat, then 3 axel with stumble, 3 salchow fall, camelspin, 3 lutz popped to 2, 3 toe, camel spin combo with nice positions, very nice spread eagle positions, 3 loop good, sit spin combo good, 2 flip in sequence to 3 loop, 3 salchow 2 loop, circular footwork really good, 2 axel fall, flying sit spin and he stumbles coming out of the spin, looks REALLY miserable, and the crowd starts clapping to the music for his straightline footwork, very good, final spin ok, looks totally devastated at the end. poor little guy. 98.58
12. Joubert (Lord of the Dance) After watching him in practice, I thought he was going to win this. He had "the look". He still had "the look" in warmup. But.....4 toe, falls. Drat! 3 axel held, has some nice choreography, simplistic, doesn't overdo the program, 3 lutz, flying sit spin fast and tight (thanks Lucinda!) 3 flip-2 toe clean, 3 axel (I think, I don't think it was 2) good, circular footwork is quite good, limited toesteps, 3 loop with hand down, spread eagle to 3 toe nice, 3 flip, camel to spin combo good, a little less speed. Straightline footwork is great, pulls in the audience. I can see if he hits this program, it's going to be fantastic. Very fan friendly. 127.40
After the medal ceremony, Daisuke, Evan and Brian went around some for photos/autographs, but didn't have much time before they were pulled away for a press conference. Said they would sign more at exhibition on Sunday.