Sorry if I'm starting a new thread but over here, in Seattle, this competition ended over 2+ hrs. ago...
***Note: btw I missed the first 1/2 hr., which must have been ice dancing, but I'm lucky I stumbled upon it in the first place - thought it was supposed to air in the afternoon.***
LADIES (initial impressions; haven't rewatched any of them)
Viktoria Volchkova - whoa, can this lady jump (that 3lutz was the best one I've seen since Julia Sebestian's at 2003 Euros - no lie! Too bad she only landed 3 triple jumps, but if she were to land 7 triples (which I don't think she ever has) I could just see those points tallying up. However, even with those magnificent jumps, she definitely needs to work on spins, spirals, choreography, projection, et al (especially w/COP) - can't even remember what she skated to - that was how unmemorable it was to me.
Galina Maniachenko - more exciting skate than Viktoria's. However, other than that, I can't remember much else except that she splatted A LOT.
Sasha Cohen - loved the new bun, went well w/her costume & the music. Also, this skate seemed to me better than the one she did at Campbell's in terms of being more seamless. And she skated pretty darn good, only two-footed one of her 3jumps (five landed in total; not including the 2footed one).
***Note: grateful to ABC for showing us Sasha's SP (only minor flaw was the wonky landing on her 3L/2T combo.), but very disappointed that they didn't show Jennifer Kirk's . ***
Jennifer Kirk - wow, it was a true joy to see Jennifer skate her personal best since, she said, her winning 1999 Jr. Worlds FS! However, I recall her 2000 Trophee Lalique FS, where she won bronze by landing 7 triples along with a 3T/3T combo. (this is the first time she has done so since that time)! It was her first time out as a Senior and by winning the bronze she joined a rare group of female singles skaters that captured a medal their first time out on the Senior circuit, including Sarah Hughes. Anyhow, back to this competition, overall it was a pleasant & delightful FS - loved the joy that radiated from Jennifer, along with the crowd - had tears in my eyes (reminded me of Sarah Hughes winning FS at the 2002 Olympics). And to add to that image was the roar of the crowd, the well-deserved standing ovation, and how it was raining flowers & stuffed animals!
***Note: easy to see that Jennifer has gained height on her jumps & has definitely improved overall (even scored a perfect 10 on her 3T/3T combo.)! The only thing I think that is holding her back is her spins (slow & not as innovative as Sasha's) and spirals (need more stretch & more speed). JMHO***
Amber Corwin - gooooooooo warhorses! What a delight it was to see Amber still trying her hardest & giving it her all, not to mention that perfect 3T/3T (looked just as great as Jennifer's)! Too bad about that one fall, otherwise it would have been closer between her & Shizuka. JMHO. WTG, Amber. (:^D
Shizuka Arakawa - ah, she has always reminded me of Sarah Hughes in terms of body build, jumps, combos., and just overall. However, Sarah's spins are a tad better than Shizuka's, but Shizuka's jumps are a tad better than Sarah's in terms of execution. Anyhow, it was great to see her skating to Turandot - remembered when she skated to it in the Fall of 2001 at Skate America. And, once again, it reminded me of Sarah's 2000 Turandot. She has definitely got the goods - just too bad it wasn't seen here. But regardless, I can see Shizuka giving those above her a run for their money, including Michelle, Irina, Sasha, & Fumie. Mayhap even skating her personal best one day (just like Jennifer Kirk did here).
As regards the new judging system (COP), the verdict is still out for me.....still not sure if I did the right thing by watching Campbell's, SA, & the others coming up.....or whether I should have just waited for the competitions that really count, IMHO, and where one will see the skaters at their best; the best of the best (aka Worlds & Olympics; also possibly Nationals).
***Note: one thing that I definitely DO NOT like about COP is the fact that the SP counts as much as the LP. To me, personally, this is outrageous - the SP only lasts half as long as the LP - also one does 3times more stuff in the LP. Thus, IMHO, the SP should only count for 1/3 of the score. JMHO.***
Peace & Love, Nadine
P.S. My hope is that we'll see more clean 7-triple programs (along with one 3/3 combo.) in the Grand Prix. Hard to believe that Michelle Kwan started this trend a decade ago and that there are only a handful of ladies that can do it as consistently as she (Sarah Hughes being one). Ah, the old days....
"if only we could bring back the hour of splendor in the grass, glory in the flower...but we shall grieve not...rather, find strength in what remains behind. - William Wordsworth