Quick and not-really-in-teknik practice review for Wednesday. We missed pairs and the first group of dancers.
One nice thing about the ice dancers that is kind of nice in practice, they wear their costumes. One bad thing about it is....the costumes. Oy Vey. Although I think the lime green-purple things of Watanabe/Kido take the cake on this one (and actually look like cake decorations). I don't have a cast of characters here, so just writing on who caught my eye for some reason or another that I recall.
Dance: The Kerr's did their OD, and I think it was a slightly different variation of Libertango at least. (Being a Griazev fan, it didn't sound exactly like the same cuts from his 2004 SP anyway). They looked pretty good, a little off on some timing. Tango is kind of rough on the brother-sister teams I think....there were a few moments during their program that there was some "ick factor" going for me. John Kerr with a ponytail=Jerrod Swallow. (Is that a ready made porn name or what? I just noticed that, sorry, stream-of-consciousness writing at 2:30 in the am). A little less "ick" factor in the Zars program somehow, I guess because they have fewer of those "seductive look" moments. She still looks like a little girl playing dress up to me...that round little face. Very cute girl, and Roman is rather more grownup looking than I recall. Navarro/Bommentre did their OD as well...was kinda "meh" about it, although I think they will perform it well. I'm sure it will have more pizazz in competition when they are not just doing pieces of it. Gregory/Petukhov did their FD which I guess is "Adam and Eve" in concept. The costumes aren't as cheesy as I had thought from seeing pictures earlier, actually they are quite nice. They have some nice "wow" moments with lifts, and look more "mature" and emotional than even last season, I think. Matthews/Zavosin did their OD. Her dress looks like ice dancing is starting to watch "Dancing with the Stars"....the gold bra underneath is, um, interesting. They looked good enough, even with her frame looking a little fragile right now, but didn't see any "it factor" in the practice. Again, hopefully they will bring it out in the competition. Lefebvre/Markov did their FD, which is to "Memorial". Hmmm. I have mixed feelings about that music...I personally like it, but it is so monotonous (just for lack of a better word) yet powerful, similar to "Bolero", that it takes a certain person or team to really sell it well? It worked for Grishuk/Platov. It worked for Yagudin, even though it was just a pro program. Not sure if it will work for this team, as much as I enjoy them. I know we saw some other teams, but they kind of faded from me.
Men: First group included Lysacek and Oda. Japanese guy number 2 (Nanri), spend a lot of time on his back/butt on the ice...not a good practice for him. Lysacek did his new SP to "Feeling begins". I have ambiguous feelings about Lysacek. Technically he's a good enough skater (except his iffy jump entrances), and he seems like a nice enough guy, yadda yadda. His skating usually does nothing for me, in terms of emotion. I enjoy seeing him do well, and fight back from a bad SP like he's done so well in the past. But never has his skating really touched me emotionally. So after saying all that? It still doesn't. All the same holds true, and even this program with music I really like, does nothing for me. Other than a few hand gestures, I don't see much interpretation. But most of the men did very little of their program with their music time, so we'll see. Oda...well, he does look more mature, he landed I think almost all of his jumps (no quad attempts that I saw), and his new program (LP) maybe will work for him. I was kind of lukewarm on it seeing it at Campbells. This practice left that feeling still for me. The one most memorable from this group was Scott Smith. He did more of his program than most of the men, and I've never really noticed before how well he sells his program. Hit most of his jumps, has very nice use of his arms and hands, and a beautiful spread eagle. Next group, not sure of any real standouts. Voidy moment when Nicholas Young and Alban Preaubert skated back to back using some of the same music in their programs. What I saw of it, I think I prefer Preaubert's version of it, although I liked Young a lot from SA 2 years ago. Chris Mabee looks like a human version of Howdy Doody meets a Chuckie doll...not in an evil way, he just has a ten year old's face. His program had some interesting music combinations, a lot of tango, including I think some from Sandhu's tango SP last year. We'll see how it comes together in competition, I liked Mabee's expression and musicality last year, I think maybe this will work for him. Ryan Bradley was quite hot and cold with the jumps, and has a similar build to Joubert. After seeing Joubert here before, I was thinking I was seeing him each time Ryan was turned going into a jump. Different carriage in the non-jump elements though. VanDerPerren was another one hot and cold on jumps. Didn't see any quad attempts from him that I recall, and a couple of splats. I think it was his new long program he did pieces of....the music style I think is too similar to Pirates for me. But I have never "Gotten" him anyway. Sergei Davydov and Sergei Voronev were also "there" but not overly notable to me, although Voronev seemed to be the Sergei more consistant on the jumps.
Ladies: Leung and Meissner were no-shows. First group included Cantu from Mexico and the three Japanese ladies. Cantu was pleasant enough, but definitely outclassed. Miki Ando is the only Japanese lady here blessed with breasts. Someone near me said "Mao has filled out"...I'm like, where? She does look a bit taller and stronger looking this year. Got a few 3axels from Mao in the practice, including one or two (maybe) 3A-2? combos (couldn't see if it was loop or a toe) She didn't show us any emotional connection to her music or great expressiveness. We'll see if she brings it in the event, although she was pretty flat emotionally at Campbells as well. Maybe Arturian is using "Blank expression" as a means of artistic expression. Not working for me. Mai was a beautiful one to watch, and I really think so much more of a complete skater than her sister. Jumps were hit or miss, but she hit more than she missed. Ando was really quite solid with all of her jumps in the practice, I think she popped maybe one or two, and I don't recall any falls. She really has a lot of good things this year....the spiral not being one of them, but the rest of the program and the spins are great. Next group was Meier, Korpii, Marchei, Hughes and Taylor. Most of what I have read about Kira Korpii focuses more on how beautiful she is rather than her actual skating. She is indeed a beautiful girl. Skating, well, I think it's pretty good for an OES skater, but not sure if it would be top-10 at worlds kind of skating. But I've never seen her before, and it's hard to judge just from a practice. She was pleasant enough to watch. Marchei looked outclassed, even by Korpii. Wearing the Italian flag for a dress and skating to some country's national anthem (or at least that's what it sounded like). Don't remember much about her. I have a personal aversion to Taylor because she looks too much like a Barbie girl, and I was annoyed by all the pink hummer crap from Nationals. She had a very near miss collision with Marchei while Marchei's music was on which seemed, well, maybe innocent, maybe overly aggressive? Hard to tell. I just thought that the skater who's music is playing has the "right of way". Anyway, she did her short program...it didn't really excite me much (although the personal aversion may have something to do with it)...her spin positions could be better. Toward the end of practice, she had 3 or 4 jump splats in a row and I'm thinking, honey, a sign that practice is over. Hughes had good attack, and looks to be in good shape. Best layback spin of the bunch I thought, and I liked her semi-Charlotte into spin (short program). Oh yeah, and her SP is to "Carmen". Oy vey. I saw Sarah Meier at Skate Canada last year and fell in love with her grace, and her arms are the most expressive since Yukina Ota. She is just as beautiful this year, and I really hope she can do well. Best expression during her run-through of anyone aside from Mai, and was hitting 3Lutz-2 toe pretty consistantly, and trying a 3-3 a few times also(didn't catch the jumps).
Got some pictures that actually resemble human form (I am a camera-idiot and can take 300 digital photos to get 30 to work with). But it would probably take 8 hours to load on dial up, so I'll post any/all photos I get on Tuesday, my day at home between the two events.