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Thread: skate canada for dummies, day 1

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    Skating Freak Barbie
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    skate canada for dummies, day 1

    Ok, so no real notes today, because along with a broken camera (ARGH), I left my notebook in my room. Plus, I was sitting in freaking skater central....the skater sightings/voids would take up a whole report. Had Jamal Othman and Stephane Lambiel sitting right behind me for the compulsory dance event, cheering wildly for Faeilla/Scali and commenting to each other in French. I caught a touch of it....something "fromage" about one of the teams, and I wasn't sure what was so cheesy....maybe the color of her dress? Stephane made a comment of Maximishin's nose resembling Plushenko's, and the name "Maximishin" itself must have been quite funny, because both were laughing hysterically. They were also laughing at some of the mispronounciations of some of the other teams (mostly Hajkova/Vincour I think). Lambiel was singing along to the waltz music a few times, and then laughed at himself. He accidentally hit my ponytail with his program and begged my pardon...I told him he didn't have to beg, and he could do it again if he wanted....he laughed. Jamal is a gorgeous young man. During the event, Davis and white both fell (she tripped and fell, he splatted on top of her)....otherwise, no majorly glaring errors. Oh, and when Mikhalova/Sergeev were skating, the swiss boys were having commentary regarding Zhulin...not sure what, but there were laughing and snickers again. The Swiss contingent moved off after the dance event, and Scott Davis, Vaughn Chiper and friends took over....so then we got commentary in English, which I told Scott we greatly appreciated! (Davis is almost as snarky as me when watching, I enjoyed him) They were back there for pairs and ladies.

    Pairs SP:

    Miller/Moram (Black Magic Woman) She fell on the SBS jumps....otherwise an ok program, not overly memorable. It was instructive to have Davis and Co. behind us, because one of the ladies knew her stuff, was either a caller or coach or something, she was commenting on what levels the spins and lifts would be...I never knew really what would constitute levels in pairs, so was cool.

    Putnam/Wirtz (Sing sing sing) She had a turnout on the throw jump....they had a really nice and high twist, and overall a clean program except the throw. yellow and red silky outfits, and she is wearing what looks like matching boxer shorts under her dress...cute.

    Inoue/Baldwin (Soul of Spain) John's outfit looks like a lion tamer's...and I think he has less hair than last week. She has a turnout on the throw 3A, but they did go for it, and she almost hit it clean...He actually made the SBS 2A, then lost it on the freaking spiral! Ok program, and the best timing on the spins of the event

    Moyle/Seitz (Piano concerto in A by Grieg) She looks like Katy Taylor, he looks like Opie Taylor. She put a hand down on the throw jump, and they were quite off on the timing of their spins....they were a bit of the U.S. version of Miller/Moram, kind of forgettable.

    Zhang/Zhang (Spanish Caravan, Hello I love you) During warmup, Davis was saying "Yep, she looks hungry, throw her a hamburger"...I agree. No wonder they get the throws so high, how hard is it to throw a leaf? anyway, perfect program, all level four stuff apparantly, I don't know how much expressiveness they have, but heck, do they really need any after all the technical? Their technical score higher than 2 or 3 pairs total scores...Insane.

    Pylinka/Hogner (Sozu/Peacock) Some techno new agey stuff, and purple outfits....although I kind of liked them, and I don't usually care for grapes on ice. She had a fall on the throw, otherwise pretty clean...just lower levels than the others. After their skate, Niklas Hogner sat up behind me with Davis and Chiper and helped with the amusing commentary.

    Spassova/Todorov (Sentenced Souls) In costumes with crosses on the front...she looks about 12, he looks 40...odd combo. Rough program. She falls on the throw jump....then they get quite off on their SBS spins, although I think they managed to pull it back together right at the end....she doubled the SBS jumps. Davis was asking his friend, did she double it? Or did he? He said he can't watch both of them at once...I was thinking, hmmm, I hope you never are tech specialist for pairs!

    Marcoux/Buntin (Cherry Pink and apple blossom white) Nice enough program, and the highest twist other than the Chinese in this competition....on the SBS jumps he goes down on his Butt-in....but otherwise, clean program. I like that they use their spiral time to also have some choreo in there....not many do. They do slow down quite a bit with the spirals though. Comment from Chiper...what is the bonus? What does it take to get a bonus, and what is it? He thinks there should be a bonus from corporate sponsors....not PCS or GOE....do something good, get five minutes free tanning....he expounded on this idea for a while...was quite amusing.

    Vise/Trent (Shall we dance, Dance with me) She wins awards for best Highlighter marker colored dress here....awesome fluourescent green. Unfortunately, that was the best part of the program....he singles their SBS jumps, they get a bit off on the SBS spins, and they totally fall off of the pair spin. Nice throw, though, and hopefully they will try and land the throw quad in the LP.

    Too many voids during the break....like I said, skater central....had multiple dancers bopping around the area, other pairs, Voronov and Maximishin (got a nice little smile and wave from Voronov), Tcherneychev (which is proof that I was hallucinating when I thought I saw him at SA last week....that guy was no where near as good looking as the real thing!), Urmanov (who was not close enough for me to smell this time, sigh), Takeshi Honda, Sale and Pelletier, Brian Orser all over the place, etc. Saw Yoshie Onda in the ladies room and wished her luck, she seemed a bit confused and I hope she wasn't thinking I was wishing her luck in the bathroom....

    Ladies:

    YuNa Kim (Tango De Roxanne) What can I say? First time seeing her, and she's perfect. Totally knocked it out of the park...of course, so did Mao at SA, in the SP....

    Hawker (Destiny) Popped the triple jump...landed the combo. Everything not greatly extended, and kind of blah.

    Drei (Variations on a theme of paganini) My first time seeing Drei...she went for a 3-3 combo, but fell on the second jump. Then popped the single 3-jump. Rather slow, and lacking expression....looked like her dog just died.

    Rochette (Little wing, by Jimi Hendrix) Not sure of the pink dress costume for the program...it's Hendrix, I would have gone for something more psychadelic. That said, it's a nice enough program, I like the little choreographical touches. She popped out of her triple flip, it was a double, and she landed forward. Otherwise ok.

    Xu (Lee Loos theme) She looks about 10 years old....very cute...could just put her up on a shelf. She was awesome, perfect program, just assuming that her levels were not up there enough...she, along with Kim, got partial SO.

    Onda (Haro No Umi) Very nice program in terms of choreography...unfortunately, Yoshie's strength is her jumps which weren't there. Sigh. Best colored costume of the night though (beautiful dark teal color) Put hand down on her combo, and bellyflopped on her 3F...total splat. poor thing.

    Karademir (Coers de Conde) Not sure if that's spelled right. Ended up doing a 2-2 combo, and fell out of the 3loop. Definitely lower starting level than many of the other ladies, but nice style and choreography. She looked unthrilled.

    Czisny (Prelude and Quaddaka by jesse cook) The announcer kept calling her Aleeesa Cheezney. Oh my. Well, typical Alissa. Great footwork, great spirals, and spins that even got a "Wow" out of scott Davis. But popped her 3lutz. If she could just get the jumps consistant, she'd be unbeatable. Still was smiling when coming out into the stands to watch.

    Taylor (Happy Feet) Katy's feet still aren't too happy...jumps are still MIA....footwork kind of makes me wish Kurt would do this program himself....it's his kind of music, but she is kind of slow with it. Awesome spins though.

    Leung (Freedom) Definitely was more on this week than last week at Skate America. Shows a bit more spark, the jumps were all there (although her technique is still lunging and freaky). Something about her, I sense I am never going to "enjoy" her skating. But I could appreciate her happiness with being clean.

    Suguri (Bolero) I am just at this point realizing that we got through a ladies SP with NO CARMEN!! Wheeeee! Fumie was rocky in practice and warmup, but wow, dead solid here. Maybe doesn't have the height or difficulty in some of her moves, maybe not the levels, but wow, every thing she did was right on. Nice to see.

    Stayed for a while and watched some of men's practice....Shawn Sawyer has massive stretch...Chiper has a cute grin on his face each time he lands a good jump and comes back over to coach Davis....Urmanov and Voronov laughing at something together....Othman doing such an awesome practice it looks like he could be a spoiler at Swiss Nationals...then Lambiel being himself and realizing he is indeed still the Swiss king (but still struggling for the 3a)....and what looked like a quad-triple combo for Johnny!! Wheeee!

  2. #2
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Kasey - Thanks for the commentary and I love your sidebits of humour. As for the two Swiss guys, I was laughing because they appear so staid in person., yet you caught them off guard. Nicely done. I think you should write a gossip column.

    Jamal, first seen in Russian Worlds was being chased by so many gals. He is quite good looking, and different. At the Airport in Russia he was with this gorgeous blonde who was not a skater.

    Joe

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    Custom Title dwiggin3's Avatar
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    Sounds like Katy is struggling. Any indication if its due to her boots/blades and the lack of training? Or perhaps she's not ready for the presure of the position her 4C's win put her in....

    Funny sidebits. Thanks
    Darby

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    Tripping on the Podium
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    Great report, but I'm confused... Is Scott Davis just there to watch? (He's not competing for the US, unless there's been a last minute replacement for Varner, who is still listed in the SP).

    Chiper has a cute grin on his face each time he lands a good jump and comes back over to coach Davis
    Or is Davis there as Chipeur's coach?

  5. #5
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kasey View Post
    ...I told him he didn't have to beg, and he could do it again if he wanted....
    Hey, that's the very thing I said to Katarina Witt the time...
    He thinks there should be a bonus from corporate sponsors....not PCS or GOE....do something good, get five minutes free tanning....he expounded on this idea for a while...was quite amusing.
    That is a super idea. And an even better one -- give the fans a bonus if their favorite skater does something spectacular. Like if the Detroit Pistons score over 100 points you can bring your ticket to Hungry Howie's and get a free pizza.
    YuNa Kim (Tango De Roxanne) What can I say? First time seeing her, and she's perfect. Totally knocked it out of the park...of course, so did Mao at SA, in the SP....
    These contests are really demonstrating how the role of the short program has changed under the new judging system. For the top skaters, under the ordinal system the purpose of the SP was pretty much just to decide which three competitors would skate for the championship on Saturday.

    Now, you can get an "insurmountable" lead in the SP and coast home. Or can you? As Kasey notes, Mao Asada had an insurmountable lead at Skate America but ended up surmounted, none the less.

    Anyway, Yu-na Kim is 4 points in the lead, with Suguri, Poikyo and Czisny all right there for second. Very exciting. Go Joannie!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ElFuego View Post
    Great report, but I'm confused... Is Scott Davis just there to watch? (He's not competing for the US, unless there's been a last minute replacement for Varner, who is still listed in the SP).



    Or is Davis there as Chipeur's coach?
    Scott Davis has been coaching Vaughn Chipeur since June 2006. Big improvement in Vaughn's skating since he quit working. Now he's not so tired to train.

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    Check Chipeurs arm 13 stitches above the elbow thursday of last week.

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    Just wanted to say how much I'm enjoying these reports - they really are fantastic and make me feel like i'm right there!

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    Go NJ Devils
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post

    Now, you can get an "insurmountable" lead in the SP and coast home. Or can you? As Kasey notes, Mao Asada had an insurmountable lead at Skate America but ended up surmounted, none the less.
    Kim and Suguri are about even going into the LP, because the weighting for PCS is doubled in the LP, and Suguri has the advantage there.

    "insurmountable" lead is Zhang/Zhang's in the SP. They just need to show up for the LP.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Hi, Dance4u, thanks for joining in. Post often, post long!

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    That was not bad.

    Yu-na Kim is lovely, but still does not feel her music. Perhaps this part will get better as the season progresses.

    Alissa Czisny was by far the best spinner and had the best spiral and it saved her with the missed jump. If she could jump consistently, she could be a serious factor.

    Loved Joannie Rochette's new program. Way better than last year's elevator Madonna. Love the bluesy rock feel - makes her look way more mature than most of the skaters. Too bad about the popped jump, but I'm not panicking this early in the season and she's still well within range of the podium.

    Suguri did much better than she usually does this early in the season. I feel as if she's kind of plateaued, though, in terms of how much better she can get, and I don't really love Bolero.

    Pairs was interesting, if nothing else. Still feel like the Zhangs have no musical sense and no expression. The technical content, obviously, is dead on. But I need that second part to absolutely fall in love with them. Clearly they will win this competition, however.

    On the whole, most teams had appallingly bad twists. Marcoux and Buntin and the Zhangs were the only ones that were more than adequate. Felt much the same about the death spirals. The spiral sections were largely painful to watch - on the whole very slow and ponderous with lots of grasping. Felt the same disappointment with the messy and slow pairs spins.

  12. #12
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hockeyfan228 View Post
    Kim and Suguri are about even going into the LP, because the weighting for PCS is doubled in the LP, and Suguri has the advantage there.
    That is an interesting point. I see that not only Suguri, but also Poykio, Czisny and Rochette got higher program component scores that Kim.

    But the point behind the point seems to be this. That the mature skaters like Suguri are pretty much guarenteed PCSs in a certain range no matter how well or poorly they skate. But a less well established skater -- one whose presentation skills are regarded as "juniorish," however lovely -- had better hit all of her technical elements because she goes into the contest an automatic 4 points behind. How will it play out tomorrow? (Go Alissa! ).

  13. #13
    In my heart, I'm actually Canadian....
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    Is Scott Davis as cute in person as he was on TV?

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    Skating Freak Barbie
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonnyCoop View Post
    Is Scott Davis as cute in person as he was on TV?
    YES! Also very very friendly, and a very nice speaking voice that would be nice in commentating.

  15. #15
    I should be studying!
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    Great! We need new faces and fresh approaches in commentating, anyway! Thanks for the reports!

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