I love to watch live competitions no matter the out come. the following is my critic:
MEN - in order of appearance
Tim - Music was good (QUEEN), the choreography was okay, no big improvement. Did not do any quads, however did do a triple axel, double toe, triple loop combination step out. Did the rest of the standard triples. The crowd was ready for him to do well.
Ryan- Skated to some jungle music. Very good Choreography. His body moves great. He landed twoooo beautiful triple axels in warm-up, but failed to do any in the program(he has a definite mental block on that jump). He tried a quad toe but two footed. he popped some other jumps. He missed a great chance to steal the thunder from the favorites.
Michael - skated to soldier music and amazing grace, so-so choreography. tried the quad but fell. first triple axel attempt failed, hit the second one and several other triples. looks to be about as strong as last year. consistancy needs building
Honda - new costume( ala Yagudin) I forgot the name of the music but it was the same as the one that Midori Ito use for her short program the year she flew out of the rink. quads were a mistery to him too. the program was kind of flat.
Plushenko - sorry nothing new in the music department, same as last year, however he blew the house down with a nearly perfect program. He had no reason to do any quads, but he did them anyway. the audience was very very happy they got their money's worth out of him. He treated this comp. like it was the worlds. THe rest of the Fellas should take note of that.
Smith - skated to some Jazzie/blues number, it was kind of slow, bad costume, too plain for this level. He nailed a great triple axel, triple toe combo. fell on the quad salcow. overall a good tried for a replacement.
AP - costume was awful( my taste) too many feathers under the arm, and of course too much sequence. She was leaning way too much to her right side on her jumps. landed 5 out of seven triples, code of points will kill her on this flaw. Choreography could have been better. Spins were good.
Jennifer - Skated to the same program as the year before. In warm up she looked very strong and faster than years before. She fell twice but landed 5 strong triples, spins were slow
Michelle - pretty lavendar dress by none other than vera wang. landed 4 of the easier triples, pop one lutz at the end and two footed the first one. That was too bad, as she was nailing them in warm up. Music was Tosca, not my favorite and looked too much like her old slow programs. any one of the following ladies could have taken her now.
Fumie - had a nice teal dress, skated to Mozart music but her jumps failed her. I think she complete about two triple flips. she let an excellent opportunity go by. Oh well
Sokolova - this girl couldn't be her. she looked about 30 pounds heavier, i am not lying, and couldn't land a triple. I think someone was playing a trick on us. When the marks came up the crowd was booing, which made me wonder, how many were really educated in the art of skating
Sasha - creative dress, some liked it , some didn't, I did. nailed 5 triples, two in combos. I held my breath to see where she would screw up. her axel was a little scratchy and she two footed a second flip I think towards the end. She however skated the strongest and won. finally beating Kwan ( her lifelong dream). She was very happy. She looked like she had won worlds.
Overall thought- the arena should have played the music a little louder, it was kind of hard to get into the programs when the music was so low. I am kind of mad with these skaters because they weren't taking this event seriously(with the exception of Plushenko). We all know it's not worlds, but when you want to sell your sport and create new events for it you should treat it serioulsy. People pay serious money for this event and they want to see strong performances. Otherwise they won't show up next year. It's sad that the skaters are not taking advantage of these kind of opportunities. If you were there you know the crowd was ready for excitement, you could feel it. If you don't take your sport seriously no one else will. one positive note was that the pair team came out and did a great short program without any warm-up.