BEST: Both of Stephanie Rosenthal's programs were definitely two of the best programs for me and I think for a lot of other people. So great to see that kind of enthusiasm and exhilaration in both the short and long programs of a skater. Stephanie's love of skating seemed to fill the entire arena. Definitely the hightlight I'll remember from these Nationals.
Kimmie Meissner: Although her SP wasn't so good, I was impressed with the improvements Kimmie's made in her LP. Now if she could just drop the Kimmie and start going by Kim or Kimberly.
Sasha Cohen: Despite the mistakes and the cautious approach, she was still exquisite. As Peggy said, she has the best choreography she's ever had, the best costumes, and she's in the best condition, her flu not withstanding. I think sometimes we focus so much on Sasha's relatively minor mistakes, though she can't make those at the Olympics, she's still one of the most gorgeous skaters I've ever seen. Her musicality just impresses the bejeezus out of me. If, at the Olympics, she can skate with the fire I've seen her skate with before, she really will be a contender.
BeBe Liang and Emily Hughes's short programs. Full of energy and power and each skater's own unique style. I loved them both in the SP.
ESPN and ABC's coverage. Big kudos for covering Nationals live and showing so many skaters we'd never see if things were taped. Dick and Peggy were Dick and Peggy, but I'm glad they pointed out Sasha's problems and it wasn't just Peggy gushing over her.
Matt Savoie's LP. Such a smooth, natural skater. He gives me chills. Wish we could have seen his SP.
Inoue & Baldwin's throw 3Axel. Nothing like watching history being made.
Tanith getting her citizenship so they can deservedly go to Turino.
Jamie Silverstein's return to health and ice dancing. She looks great and was very lucky to find a partner as good as Ryan O'Meara.
Johnny Weir's "The Swan" short program. I thought this was really a transcendant skate.
WORST: Perhaps especially because his SP was so amazing, Weir's LP was unfortunately one of the worst programs for me. I still love his skating style and the way he moves on the ice, but this program just seemed completely disconnected both from the music and within itself. Frankly, although it would be risky, I hope he dumps this music before the Olympics and either changes it or goes back to "Otonal."
Tim Goebel: Just sad. Sad, sad, sad.
Alissa Czisny: So disappointing. You know she can do it, but whatever she had at SA and SC was not at Nationals, not to mention the GPF. I really hope she and her coaches can figure out her jump problems and rectify them, because in her spins and her spirals, IMO, she's the best in the world.
Kurt and Kat: They just annoyed me no end. I love Kurt but he just seemed like he was trying too hard to be upbeat and fun as a commentator. I really wish they had continued to us Paul as the "young" commentator. Throughout the GPS and GPF, I thought Paul was great. And Kat, once she described Sasha Cohen as "the feather in 'Forrest Gump'" I knew she was going to gag me.
No Michelle. I very much hope she heals, is in top form for Turino, and brings home that elusive OGM. Third time's the charm, right?
BEST & WORST COMBINATION: Rohene Ward. Loved seeing the potential talent he has. Was so bummed that both his SP and LP tanked. I hope some of the potential offers to help him financially come through and that he can realize his talent. Great that State Farm flew his mother in. What an emotional moment seeing that hug. Rohene had been keeping it all in and he finally got to let it out, forget the camera.åç
OVERALL: Not the best or most memorable Nationals, but a lot of great skating nonetheless.
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