Skate Canada, day 2
First, a couple tidbits. Elena Vodorezova is with Griazev here. A friend and I wished to give him a "Good luck" card for tomorrow night. So towards the end of practice, I went over there, to give it to her for him. She very nicely said, well, he'll be right over here in a minute (there was about 3 minutes left of practice). I thanked her, and told her good luck for tomorrow also, and after standing there for a minute or so, she looked back up at me and said "really, he will be right over here!" I told her that was fine, I was just wishing to leave it with her, and she said "Oh no, he should get it from you". So waited another minute or so, he came over and bowed to her, then accepted it with a smile and a thank you, and allowed a nice picture. That was the first of multiple Griazev sightings during the day (no, I'm not at all complaining! My boy!!
Also, spoke with Jamal Othman's coach for a moment (brain farting her name). I told her that myself and the friend I was with were very glad to see Jamal finally, and that he was delightful, even if the program wasn't perfect. She was darling, saying thank you a lot, and said he is coming off a leg injury (she indicated her shin area), and so is not at his best. Not sure if that is news, but it was to me.
After the pairs competition was over, as we were leaving we ran into Ladwig and Evora, who also seem quite delightful. We told them thank you for performing so beautifully, even though the programs were not what they would wish (results-wise), they are completely charming. I told them that now I have a pair team to cheer for, and they both were absolutely adorable and gracious.
Weir sighting in the restaurant, with slow service, so he ended up helping himself to some menus for him, mom and Priscilla....heard him chatting a little with the restaurant staff, he's adorable! And I really don't know of the staff knew who he is or not......
On to skating....
Yan Liu (Valley of the red river) Music from a Chinese movie soundtrack....delicate and flowing. Very nice presence, she has great grace, although a little slow. 3lutz-2 toe nicely done, maybe slight 2ft? 3loop good, camel with very nice positions. Possible slt 2ft on 2A, serpentine footwork is very nice, although a little slow. Combo spin with good Bman position, but travels a bit in the Yspin. Spiral nice, beautiful layback. Good for her. 47.46, personal best.
Fumie Seguri (Cancio triste, Tosca...didn't get it all) 3 lutz-2footed, to 2 toe. 3 flip also looked a little two footed. Very nice choreography, quite nice layback. Spiral positions (unassisted) a little weak, but very nice edges. 2 axel with a wobbly landing, but held clean. Flying sit with position changes, nice fast footwork works with the music well. Camel-combo spin fast, although the sit position not very low. Looks maybe to still be struggling with injury? 52.12
Mira Leung (Freedom) Very good speed, 3 flip is good. 3 lutz-2 loop a little shaky looking on landing, but clean. Layback to Bman spin ok, her held leg in the Bman is not very nicely stretched. Pops her 2 axel and then stumbles out on it, spirals are quite good. Camel-donut spin very fast. Footwork is nice, but lags behind the music, which is faster here...speeds up a bit at the end. Combo spin with a better Bman position and nice I-spin. Rare choreography (and I don't use "rare" as synonym for "unique", but not often found). 44.94
Alissa Czisny (Prelude and Qudukka?) Starts with fly sit, great positions and speed. 3 lutz-2 toe great, 2 axel with lean on landing but held clean. Spirals get a "WOW!" from me in my notes...need not say more. 3 flip clean! Great great performing, combo spin great speed and positions, fast effective footwork, and layback to die for. YAY ALISSA, for putting it all together! 58.54, personal best by far...
Joanne Carter (Russian Gypsy fire) 3 lutz, two footed and turned out, to 2 toe, 3 toe good. Layback is very nice, spiral has very low positions unassisted, not much stretch. Nice Ina Bauer into 2 axel with good landing. Camel-combo spin nice, footwork is fast and works well with the music. Very nice camel position in final spin. Good job for her, except the combo error. 43.04
Nakano (forget her first name) (Moulin Rouge, Takeshi part 2!) 3 lutz, hand down, to 2 toe. Note: She has MAJOR leg wrap on all jumps...now, I think it looks kind of nicely stylized, lol, but I know it is poor technique. 3 flip is good. Fly camel with nice position, to donut spin. VERY nice edge on spiral, great extension and stretch. 2 axel. Layback only ok, I expected better with what looks like good flexibility she has in the back....footwork is kind of start/stop, awkward looking. Combo spin with nice positions, slow tho. 49.84 is a personal best.
Sarah Meier (Finding Neverland) Right off the bat, she has nice choreography and beautiful use of her hands and arms....some of the most graceful arms since Yukina Ota. 3 lutz-2 toe is nice. Then she has some weird moment, you can see she is setting up for the jump, she doesn't do it, and does it in the other corner, 3 loop with a fall. Not sure what that was, focus error, timing, whatever. Combo spin with nice positions, spiral has limited extension, but nice assisted positions...a little shaking in one position change. Fly sit with position changes is nice. Footwork is very nice, and layback is quite good. Too bad about the fall. 47.80
Joannie Rochette (Like a prayer) Choreography starts out with her skating with hands in prayer position. Um, yeah, we get it. For some reason that annoyed me a bit (and I'm not overly religious, I just could imagine some people snarking on that move) 3 lutz-2 toe is clean, very nice split jump, 3 flip maybe 2footed? Couldn't tell. Nice layback spin, spirals ok, has a unique position which is nice. Footwork seems quite slow. 2 axel clean, sit spin ok...camel-combo spin seems a bit slower. Clean, but didn't grab me. 50.68
Leslie Hawker (Smile) 2 lutz-3 toe....then pops the single triple jump (couldn't tell what it was) Nice fluid footwork. camel-combo spin smooth, but slow. Spiral with a bit of shakiness during position changes, and not very good positions. Ina bauer to 2 axel clean. Flying camel nice, layback ok. Overall impression is pleasant, but rather sluggish. 38.36
Carolina Kostner (Gabriel's Oboe) All I had heard of Carolina's great speed...I really haven't noticed it so much here, from practices and this program. Very nice, gentle posture. 3 flip with step out on the landing. 3 loop is nice. Camel with nice position and stretch in the back. Spiral is ok, very nice inside edge, but a wobble with position change. 2 axel clean, footwork is nice and smooth, although not very fast. Camel-combo spin and layback are nice. Pleasant, but kind of bland for the world Bronze medalist...just my opinion. 49.46
Mukhortova/Trankov (Rhapsody on theme of Paganinni) They are a rather elegant looking pair, nice. SBS 3 toe to 2 toes are very nice. Split 2 twist also nice. SBS 3 sal, she stumbles out a little. Lasso lift with position changes, partly with him in spread eagle, very nice. Throw 3 sal ok, pair spirals ok. Throw 3 loop she is determined to hold and does. Lasso lift with one hand exit. Another lift with position changes and we have the first wedgie alert of the night. (Otherwise it's clean!) SBS footwork is clean, rather slow. Then SBS spins and she falls off of hers....not sure what happened. Pair spin nice positions, but a little slow. They have potential, for sure. 90.56
Borzenkova/Chuvilaev (Thus spoke Zarathusa) Ok, so is he 8 feet tall,or just 7? The man is HUGE! SBS 3 toes, he falls. Throw 3 loop is good. they do SBS 3 toe again, the timing a little off, but lands clean. Split 3 twist is nice. Nice entry to star lift with position changes. SBS spins are a little off on timing. Pair spirals are nice, he is quite flexible for such a big guy. Throw 3 sal is ok, lasso lift with position changes, he is on one foot for part of it, nice. footwork is slow. Forward inside death spiral, pair spin is rather slow. They finish off of the music by about ten seconds? Or at least 3. 91.82
Wakamatsu/Fecteau (La Revancha Quartango) Throw 3 sal, she falls. Split 3 twist is nice. SBS 3 toes all wrong, the timing is off, he steps out on the landing, then to 2 toes. SBS 2 axel, he falls. Lasso lift with nice exit. Back inside death spiral. Lasso lift with position changes, he is on one foot at part of it, nice. Pair spirals interesting, including a shoot the duck position. Back inside death spiral. Pair spin is nice, footwork is nice, but rather slow in comparison to the music. Final lift is nice. 90.80
Evora/Ladwig (Romeo and Juliet) It would seem the curse I have on skaters I like remains (but that wouldn't explain Alissa). Anyway, split 3 twist was a rough landing. Throw jump (not sure which), she falls. SBS 3 toes, his turn to fall. Star lift with position changes nice. A dance move into back inside death spiral is very nice. Pair spin is good. SBS spins are very off. SBS 2sal-2toe are ok. Pair spirals are nice, another lift. Throw 3 loop with stumble, footwork is nice, lift is nice, to forward inside death spiral x2. They have such nice choreography, interesting entrance/exits from lifts and moves. Really a team to watch. 85.02
Marcoux/Buntin (Our song) Back inside death spiral is nice, split 3 twist is clean. SBS 3 toe to 2 toe, nice and clean. Star lift with position changes. Nice spiral position to throw jump (not sure which, but landed clean) SBS 2 axel, she falls, he stumbles. Lasso lift with a nice one handed exit. Back inside death spiral. SBS spins are nice. Lasso lift with a flip out exit, nice. Pair spin is slow, footwork is nice, and then they try a throw 3 loop at about 4:28! Fall. SIGH, but kudos for the guts to try that. 105.50
Petrova/Tikhonov (Fellini soundtracks) The music makes me smile. But I think it doesn't showcase their strengths. SBS 2 axel sequence to 3 toe, I think he singled the axel, but not sure. SBS 3 sal, she doubles. Split 2 twist. throw 3 loop is nice, back inside death spiral. Lasso lift with change of positions, flip out exit. SBS spins are nice, pair spin with decent speed. Throw 3 sal, two footed. Lasso lift is nice. Spirals are clean. Pendulum type lift very nice with a twist out exit,forward inside death spiral. Nice program, but a little flat. 114.04
Langlois/Hay (Adagio from Aranjuez) Throw 3 sal not clean, but saved from a fall. 3 twist is nice. then SBS 3 sal, she steps out on the landing. Lasso lift is nice. Pair spread eagle to back inside death spiral, nice move. SBS spins are totally off on timing, nice positions. Nice footwork, stops and starts with the music. good choreography. SBS 2 axels, she falls. Throw 3 loop, fall. Lasso again is nice. Spirals are ok. Star lift with position changes is nice, and we have second wedgie alert of the evening. Forward inside death spiral is good.Pair spin very slow, rough position changes. 91.08
Savchenko/Szolkowy (Bon Voyage by Vangelais) Split 2 twist is high! SBS 3 toe, she doubles. (If they've been training a flip, it may have been that, I couldn't get the takeoff cleanly) HUGE throw 3 sal, maybe slight 2-ft landing? Forward inside death spiral. Lasso lift with position changes, partly with him in spread eagle position, nice. Pair spin good, footwork is nice. SBS 2 axels are good. Throw 3 loop good, held. Lasso lift with position changes again. SBS spins are fast and nice, but he lacks a bit of stretch for some of their positions. Star lift, spirals, back inside death spiral. Really nice program, but kind of flat. 115.06