Day 2, long-a$$ report here.....
I will apologize for some of the missed jumps or elements from tonight. Not only do I have my annual "Lets travel to Skate America" cold, but also we got word that Novikov was present...and, well, ya know....
Original dance: Missing Navka, because almost all of the OD dresses were tasteful! (Although I thought Denkova looked more like a Can-Can girl than Tango)
Mikhalova/Sergeev (Tango Adios Nonino) Overall, I am really, more "no teknik" in dance than other disciplines. I thought their lifts were nice enough, their dance spin was good. She's gorgeous, but stands a little "just say no" warning from maybe Savchenko about self-tanner. Overall, I thought it was a nice senior debut OD for them. 41.90
Lefebrve/Markov (Primavera Porteno) Chantal gets the "Most tiffed" award for the most stunning OD dress...WOW! http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q...antaldress.jpg And of course, Arseny would look hot in anything...or nothing probably. Anyway, they did a nice job, were a little off in I think the third twizzle set in the straighline footwork, but otherwise I didn't notice any glaring errors (and they would have to be glaring probably for me to see them). Nice character throughout. 43.34
Hann-McCurdy/Coreno (Por Una Cabeza) Strange kind of music...it starts out sounding like an old scratchy record...by intention I am sure. It is kind of cool, kind of off-putting. They are really nice to watch, smooth, but kind of "shallow" on the ice if you know what I mean (and after the margaritas, probably I don't either!) They do not sell the program really well, but what they have that is quality is very nice. Quite slow throughout. 39.57
Gregory/Petukhov (La cumparsita/Tanguera) During warmup for this group, Denis took a REALLY hard fall and smacked hard into the wall....scared us a bit, but he got right up and shook it off. Hope he's ok. Right from the bat, they get into a real Tango character I think, very good passion and emotion. Very nice choreography and lifts, and their spin had the best dance spin speed I think of everyone. What I wrote as "great WOW lift at the end of program"...guess I didn't know what to call it. Partial standing O, well-deserved. 55.61, personal best.
Denkova/Staviski (Libertango) They have a really nice, subtle change of tempo during their footwork sequence, really working with the music well. Nice "WOW" straightline lift, good dance spin. Something I named the "Cling for life" rotational spin at the end. Cream of the crop, of course. 62.27
Kerrs (Tango Verano Portano/Libertango) There is still some "ick factor" here with them for me, just with brother and sister looking at each other seductively. A little too "Flowers in the Attic" for my taste. But, to each their own. Technically, it was a nice enough program....their dance spin, when they changed position seemed a bit off and awkward, and they were a bit slow at times. Their last set of twizzles I think were off timing in the footwork sequence, and they got a 1.00 deduction, I think for extended lift. 50.06
Pechalat/Bourzat (Mi Bueanos Aires Escuelo) At one point, I thought he had put his hand down on the straightline lift, but I don't think so, based on their score. It was very fast paced, and apparantly what most hit in my head was nice positions, and something that I called in my notes the "Hump and twist lift" (I guess you'll just have to see it! ) 52.88 is personal best for them.
Watanabe/Kido (no clue) apologies to any fans of theirs. But at this point in time, I was having a Novikov moment. Oh yeah, and Ilia Kulik was there too. hehehehehe. Score, for W/K, was 44.37, with some kind of deduction. Score for me, 2 cuties at once!
Ahem. Moving on. Nope, not yet, taking a moment here!
Now, moving on.
Zaretskis (Assassins Tango) For some reason, they don't squick me out as a brother/sister team as much as the Kerrs. Less seductive glances at each other I guess. My notes include "Platov is paying off" and "Nice 'look ma, no hands leg/neck lift". I really should learn the names of these damn things. 46.02
Navarro/Bommentre (Assassins Tango, Little drop of Poison) Nice lifts, especially her leg position on the last lift, nice like "double stag" position. They didn't leave much impression on me, I think because I was still Novikov stalking, ahem, spying. But they left an impression on the judges, 47.63 a personal best for them. During the ladies SP, Bommentre came down and sat in our section next to someone I assume was family for a while.
Matthews/Zavosin (Autumn in Buenos Aires) God help me, the only notes I have are "She's too thin, otherwise just ok". They are missing spark, and I know they have it, from watching them from last year. I hope they reignite. 51.05
Leung (Freedom) Is this the same music from last year? It sounded familiar, but I wasn't sure. She is showing a little more facial expression, and I noticed her spiral is better than last year. 3F ok, 3lutz to 1 toe...looked like the lutz was 2-footed. Layback was ok, not spectacular. 2A was ok. She still does some kind of lunge/bob thing before jumps. Camel to donut spin is ok. I will say this here, and it applies to many others also....if you can't go from a camel spin to donut spin without dropping your hip, don't DO IT!!! (Sorry, pet peeve, it's ugly). Her footwork was nice and clean and worked well with the music. She didn't have much speed, and that she only scored 44.54 without any major major errors, I think doesn't bode well for her, score-wise. But she seems to like the underdog role.
Meier (Arujunez) Sorry, margarita spelling I think. Anyway, I will say it, I have such girl-crush on Sarah Meier. She rocks. Period. I could go through it all one by one, but everything was perfectly clean, and the stylized landing on the 3F was beautiful. My one pick at her is that her unassisted position spiral is kind of weak, not very extended...but when she can hold her leg, she obviously can stretch. She's a gorgeous skater, and I hope she can medal here. 57.60
Mai Asada (Tango) Wow, after all those OD tangos, and now another one??? Not a prob when it's someone like Mai. 3lutz I think was two footed, into a 2toe clean. 3F was great. Fly sit spin, change sit, nice. Seemed a little wobbly at one point in the spiral, but other positions were just fine. 2A fine, layback to B-mann spin was VERY nice. Footwork was nice, although it looked like she was slowing down just a touch. But she has beautiful expression and polish that I think isn't rewarded enough. 48.66
Meissner (Snow Storm) Already, at the beginning of the program, I can see better arm/hand extension...I think someone told her to soften her wrists and flow more. You can still see her stiff a bit, but she's much gentler and uses her hands better I think. 3lutz, hand down, 2toe. 3F good. Layback beautiful, very good speed. A little back to the stiff arm/hand in the first spiral position, but really uses her upper body to accentuate the other positions, although no extension really on the "hydrant" spiral (yea, fan spiral, whatever). 2A good, very nice footwork and spins. My big note is "new program, will be better". Overall, though, right now, I think she already looks different from last year, in a good way. 58.82
Hughes (Carmen) Sarah was shown on the jumbotron watching her sister. 3F was good, then 3lutz with 1T step out....as usual, a bit of overkill on the lutz and couldn't get the toe up. My note here is "Spiral-WOW"...and takes that into the charlotte into combo spin, absolutely beautiful. The girl can spin. Very high 2axel, layback into B-mann the best in the event, bar none. Combo spin good, very cool position that I got a nice pic of in practice. http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q.../EMILYSPIN.jpg She really actually had the crowd more than Kimmie I think, and had a lot of attack and positive stuff. She's GOOD folks. 57.42 is a personal best.
Korpii (Eye patch and Yo te quiero) 3lutz and I think 3toe with 2ft landing and step out. It may have been a 2T, but it was HUGE. Then popped her solo jump to double. Oh well. She is still gorgeous. Nice layback position, ok spiral (not much stretch). Really nice footwork with good energy and expression. Good 2A, nice flying combo spin, final camel/combo spin with a little lacking stretch in the last position. Still as the programs that I most enjoy for the beauty and entertainment of the program, she's up there with Mai and Meier. 42.98
Marchei (L'artesienne and Carmen) Yes folks, another Carmen. Let me bludgen myself now. Ok, back. well....3lutz 2footed and fell....2a ok. Camel spin combo was ok, but leg position only "fair" in my notes. 3F fall. Spirals were nice. Flying sit spin rather slow....I wrote a note of "polite applause"...aka pity clapping. Overall tho, without the deductions, she would have been up there. 42.92
Ando (Sheherazade) OK folks. Miki is BACK! WOW! 3lutz-3loop AWESOME!! 3F good. Layback to b-mann spin was NICE. Great expression, nice to see her smiling on the ice. 2A solid. Spiral, well, still her weakest point, but tolerable. Flying sit spin with nice position changes and maintaining speed. Straightline footwork had the audience clapping, not with the music, but in appreciation, halfway through...final camel-combo spin very good. Partial standing O, and I'm surprised it wasn't total...she was rock solid ON. 66.74 beat her personal best by about 6 points. WOWOWOWOW! (Emphatic enough??)
Cantu (Satin Doll) well, I pity anyone having to follow a performance like Miki's. 3Loop, fall. 3S fallout of the landing. She has nice smooth choreography, and nice expression. Camel to donut spin (lowered hip, argh) Spiral better than Ando's, but a wobble in the hydrant part of it. 2A good. Layback surprisingly nice, with good speed and positions, including a bmann (I don't mean surprisingly in, "oh she sucks", but that it stood out as really good with all the problems happening in the program) Footwork good, but kind of start/stop, not a lot of speed. Final spin ok. 37.38, and Michelle is unfortunately the Nanri at this point of the ladies field.
Taylor (Happy Feet) Did Kurt Browning truly choreo this program? I thought I'd read that somewhere, and tried to find him in it....kinda hard. Layback is nice to start the program differently, good position and speed...unfortunately, it went downhill from there. Fall on 3F, pop the 3lutz...landed 2A, and had ok spins, and some good footwork. Just not enough. 34.66 for the chartreuse hummer award.
Mao Asada (Nocturne) Well, I was sitting there resenting Mao a bit on behalf of her sister, who I thought was the sister with the poise, polish and carriage. And then came Mao. Mao=WOW. All the jumps were huge, finished, and if they were cheated I couldn't see it. Very fluid footwork, twizzles right to the music, spins good to wonderful, and EXPRESSIVE, very nice gentle and fluid hands and arms, really working with and presenting the music beautifully! Full standing ovation and fully deserved. If there is any criticism from me, it's that she sometimes holds her head quite stiff while the rest of her is flowing....it's just a little jarring....but a minor detail. She was brilliant, wonderful, mature and absolutely beautiful. personal best of 68.84, and I think that could have been too low.
Zalenka (Alexander) Didn't he use this music last year? Or similar? Can't remember. It works ok for him, he interprets it well, and has nice emotion and expression. I just realized the reason why he (physically) resembles sabovcik a bit for me...um, he's a Czech, not Italian. Blonde moment. Anyway. 2A good, 3F with a lean. 3lutz-3Toe a little shakey on the landing. 3S-2T-2L very good. Camel-combo spin nice. circular footwork very good. 3Loop ok. flying sit, wow, he get's height on that deathdrop into the sit! WOW! 3Lutz very high and clean. 3F with lean, hand down and couldn't get the combo. Slower straightline footwork with the music. 2A-2T, sit spin combo good, final combo spin good, but finishes about 3 seconds behind the music. had 1.00 deduction. 108.64/161.95
Voronev (Pearl Harbor) My little buddy from yesterday, with his good smelling coach. How old is this kid, 12? He's adorable. AND, the best of this group as well. WOw, what a nice Skate America debut for him. 3F solid, 3A with no runout. That was his only error I think, although I couldn't catch if he did a 3S or 2S. Footwork, he has very nice positions and posture, and very good expressiveness, nice edges and nice spread eagle positions (I'm a sucker for those). I wrote in my notes "SMOOTH" underlined several times....very nice. 3L solid, flying sit combo spin good, maybe could use a little more stretch in some positions. Camel spin ok, and then he drops his hip to go into the donut....GGGGRRRR!!! Someone smack him...or Urmanov. Oh, never mind, I'll take them and spank them later (Urmanov at least!) Nice spread eagle into 2A, 3S, then 3F-2T, final camel-combo spin. Very nice, and 116.63 is a personal best for him. Competition total 173.03. Welcome to Senior GP Sergei!
Young withdrew from the event for some reason. He was in his costume, did warmup, and then came out and went straight to the ref's table. No reason was given. I hope he's ok, I love his voidy stuff.
Nanri (Carmen) I think we need to petition to put 100 year's moratorium on Carmen. Seriously. Ack. Well, Nanri had another rough outing. 3A turnout. By the way, he's dressed in Weir-lite, with an orange glove....not Camille, but Ca-rmen I guess. Pops the 3F, then manages a 3loop and 3S-2T. 3A attempt again, step out again. Circular footwork to tapping noise....it's Carmen meets Savion Glover. 3L with a lean, and maybe 2footed. 3S ok. Flying sit. Footwork very nice...he has nice expression and artistry...Takahashi Jr for now, but I think he'll improve nicely. And later, he seemed to enjoy the rest of the event. 101.16/150.36 http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q...acey/Nanri.jpg
Smith (Romeo and Juliet) I had big hopes for him, after watching practices. Of course, we know what that means. Me having big hopes for someone is kind of akin to Peggy Fleming saying "He/She's skating really beautifully" right before they plant a$$ to ice. Uck. 3A-2T clean, then fall on the 3S. Sigh. Butterfly to sit spin combo, and then another combo spin that is kind of slow, but I think it is intended to be with the music...nice positions though. Spread eagle (this boy has BEAUTIFUL spread eagles!) to make me droop, then to a 3L that was maybe a bit 2footed. #F good, then 3F-3T, good for him. Spread eagle again (I love you Scott!) to sit spin. Very good musical footwork and choreo throughout, and he gets the crowd with him. Besti squat type thing to 3L-2T and a big smile. Combo spin really nice. Oh well....I think this program can work for him, let's hope for better at nats. 114.83/173.08
Mabee (Tango medley) after practices, I had high hopes for him too. Yeah, yeah, shoot me now. Dangit. 3F was scratchy, but held. 3A I think two footed? then 3lutz with fallout on landing. 3S with hand down. Spins and footwork really good, then down on the 3A...gets up and hits another jump a few seconds later, not sure what it was. 3lutz-2toe big smile (worked for Scott) Combo spin nice, footwork and expression good. One final jump, I think 3t, combo spin at end very good. Nice skater, lost jumps. 104.81/163.16
Oda (Symphony 4 by Tchaikovsky) Ok, what can I say? This kid is great. I still prefer Takahashi's style, but Oda is adorable (odorable?) and is growing on me. Rock solid throughout, hit allllllll jumps, including 3A-3T-2L that was beautiful. Footowk is very good, and really matches the music, he is really artistic and expressive. All spins, all jumps, right on. Partial standing O at the end, and if he had skated later in the final group, probably even bigger one. 149.59 is personal best, and 231.39 total competition.
Preaubert (Mike Hamer/Swingkids/Mask) Ok, so I admit it, I love voidy French skaters...Hubert, Tobel, Jeannette, Dambier. As soon as I heard Jordan Brauninger call Preaubert "a duck on skates" at the 2004 Jr. Worlds, I knew I would like this guy. So I'll admit, I was rooting for him to beat both Oda and Lysacek. Bad American fan I guess, but oh well. This program is a perfect match for the Sp....creative, innovative, great character and personality galore! I have a lot of WOW's on here. Voidy from the first seconds of the program. 3F-3T rock on, 3A-2T-2L solid, 3Lutz totally clean. Choreography out the whazoo. 3A, clean as a whistle. Flying sit spin got a "wow" beside it....footwork has another "wow" beside it. Butterfly to sit spin combo good.I put my notebook down to prepare to stand for him...he had 2 more jumps, 3S and 3L, and fell on the LAST jump! ACK! For me, it didn't matter, he rocked the house, and had a partial standing O also. Kicked butt on his Personal best at 138.87/212.67
Lysacek (Carmen) I will admit, after Alban's great skate, if I'd had an Evan voodoo doll at this point, there would be pins in it. Forgive me skategods, yadda yadda. Seriously, after that very cool program, I couldn't stomach another Carmen, which would have been made more entertaining for me only if he'd ripped his pants again (he didn't). I didn't get all his jumps down right, because somehow I have him on here doing 3 triple axels, and 2 in combination. Heck, I was still in Alban voids. What can I say, everything was dead on solid, jumps great, spins good, footwork, well, it's Carmen, we've all seen it before. Mostly standing ovation (he is American, and he was clean). 150.74/221.09 and I got the idea that skaters should be given bonus PCS for NOT using Carmen.
Davydov (Don Quixote) Dragging out another warhorse (but at least one I'm not thoroughly sick of yet)....3A-3T clean, then turnout on the landing of the second 3A. 3lutz-2toe nice. Flying to camel to donut combo (yes, ack, he drops his hip)...I'm noting this is a nice change from his SP music, which is kind of a coma-inducing, suicide pact soundtrack. 3F-2t, 3loop with wonky landing, but held. 3F. Footwork is really good, and his camel combo spin has very nice positions. 3S with turnout on landing...then I have 2A-1...1 what? Whatever. Sit spin combo, again nice footwork sequence and butterfly to sit spin combo to end. Other than the errors, a very nice program to watch, and especially the positions in his final combo spin. 114.81/175.72
Bradley (Latin Medley) Which DIDN'T include Carmen...thank you Ryan, thank you very much, I love you. Unfortunately, tonight, the ice didn't. Had the best warmup of all the men. Oh oh. 3A, down. Personality and choreo galore. 3lutz-3toe clean. Camel spin to donut spin nice. Beautiful leap to a ... popped something. Argh. then a 2 1/2 axel...landed facing the side on two feet. Flying sit spin combo nice. Very nice dancey moves, and again, he is Mr. Personality. Footwork to the music, wonderfully timed. Spiral to 3 lutz. 2S. 3F-2T. 2A-2T. Combo spin, then flying camel to combo spin good. I could watch this program and enjoy it with no jumps at all. 107.85, even with all his errors, is just too low. Sigh. 172.29 total competition score.
VanderPerren (Reflection of earth) As opposed to him, who is dressed as some kind of reflective traffic marker....black with flourescent highlighter green. Kevin Vander-day glo. Onto the program. the first looked like a 3T....COULD have been a quad, but I don't think so. If so, it would have been the only quad of this event, which seems, just, odd. Then I got him as 2 axel....flying sit combo....3F. another 2A. 3F-3T-2L. 2L 3Lutz-2T.spins somewhat slow, but positions good. Footwork is good to the music, which is a little odd to me (the music, not the footwork). He did a lunge into another jump he doubled, I didn't get what it was. Just must have been watching bradley, because he melted down somewhat as well. 115.09/178.52.
Skater sightings (other than my beloved Novikov, of course) included Mukhortova/Trankov and Menshikov watching the men's event http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q...trankmensh.jpg ; Kulik and Gordeeva with the little daughter also watching men's with Novikov http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q...ikGordeeva.jpg ; with about 4-5 skaters left, Novikov took Elizaveeta up over the seats, and he and Katia and Elizaveeta left...Kulik stayed until the end of the event. BTW, Orlova and Novikov are supposed to be doing some show in Europe next week...FYI. Wheeee! Oh yeah, and got another pic of Novikov with Staviski, who scarily looked like John Baldwin at first...yikes. http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q...ovStaviski.jpg
Funniest podium you'll see for a while probably: http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q...unnypodium.jpg