My ranking and breakdown of the performances:
#1 - Elvis Stojko
The strongest technical performance of the night. He is the only man who does the Triple Axel-Triple Toe and the only man to skate a clean program with all of the different Triple jumps. It's a good program too, although his skating skills and performance ability leave something to be desired. He doesn't have deep or fluid edges and he doesn't move across the ice with enough speed, unless he has already been pumping with back crossovers to gain speed. He doesn't skate with overwhelming emotion or nuance.
Grade: 5.8 Technical, 5.7 Presentation
#2 - Kurt Browning
This is a glorious, masterful program and his skating skills are divine. He skates with heart and clearly understands the music. A few bobbles do detract a bit from the overall effect, so it's not perfect, but for me he still displays the best artistic effort out of anyone in the competition. On the tech side I have to be very critical. First of all, he doesn't have a Triple Lutz in the program. He partially makes up for this with a difficult 3Sal-3Loop combination but, really, without a 3Lutz or a Quad, the most I could possibly give him for technical merit is a 5.8. With that as the base mark, I then have to look at the mistakes he made - a major error on the second crucial Triple Axel (he turns it into an underrotated, double-footed Double Axel), a botched spin, and a couple other small imperfections at the end of the program (just a little shaky on the landing of the toeloop and the first part of the combination spin). Given these problems, my final marking is:
Grade: 5.5 Technical, 5.9 Presentation
#3 - Philippe Candeloro
Interesting, unique choreography and a real sense of showmanship. Not quite as emotional as Browning's program and the skating skills aren't perfect either, but still very good artistry on display. Technically he has some great highlights. His opening Triple Axel is one of the biggest ever, just massive. The Lutz, Loop, and Salchow are all superb as well. He completely fails on his second attempt at the Triple Axel (very difficult trying it so late in the program, though) and the Flip is flawed, but definitely good enough overall technically.
Grade: 5.6 Technical, 5.8 Presentation
#4 - Alexei Urmanov
On a base level, this good program and Urmanov has a boyish charm that reflects the music. There are so many distracting moments, though. A little bit of it is the choreography - a couple of the moves are cheesy or even stupid (that fake movement of him picking up a telephone...ugh, so trite). The main distracting moments, though? His spins! Dear lord, they are a mess. He does a flying spin that never gets into position and drastically travels across the ice and follows it up with an upright catch-foot spin that also travels bit and has a completely ugly position. Later in the program he tries another flying sit that never really gets into position (although this one at least stays centered) and then follows it with a combination spin that has that same ugly catch-foot position from before and ends with a back scratch that has barely any speed. These distractions, aside from taking some energy out of the program, also deserve a .1 deduction in the technical score. Spins weren't a big deal back then but Urmanov's were a blatant shortcoming in this performance. The other mistakes on the tech side are the obvious messy landing on the Triple Flip and also a small problem with the landing of the Triple Loop (he lands on the inside edge).
Grade: 5.6 Technical, 5.7 Presentation
#5 - Viktor Petrenko
Is this a better performance than the ridiculous one he won a Gold Medal with in 1992? Yes, it is. Or at least, he executed the elements better here. I actually think the program itself in 1992 was stronger. Petrenko has always tended to be less interesting in his Long Programs and this is no exception. I find it to be a very dull program with a lot of crossovers and little excitement. Petrenko has great posture and body line and pretty good skating skills, but I don't feel he is truly connected to the music and the program simply never comes together to create a specific mood or any kind of special moment. Technically he does a good job, his only actual mistake is doubling out on a Triple Loop, although he doesn't have a 3-3 combination either.
Grade: 5.7 Technical, 5.6 Presentation
Last edited by Blades of Passion; 06-17-2010 at 08:40 PM.
What fun to contemplate this Olympics again. I love your analysis, and I'll use it to help me as I re-watch these programs. Interesting about Urmanov's spins. I don't recall that at all. I'm glad you ranked Stojko so high, despite shortcomings in his actual skating skills. And how nice to contemplate Candeloro again. The guy simply radiated charisma, and what a jumper. My favorite of the night was Browning. I was so sad that he didn't win, or even medal, but his pro career more than made up for this disappointment.
I would need to think on this one a bit. I honestly do think Stojko deserved to win but now given his horrible attitude to the sport and huge chip on the shoulder he has no business having, I am glad the sport never made him an Olympic Champion, regardless that he probably deserved it that night. I dont think a skater with spins as weak as Urmanov's should be an ultimate Champion unless they skate lights out which he didnt quite that night. There were too many posing spots, and his footwork wasnt exactly stellar either. Candelero has huge jumps but overall technically is lacking in many respects- positions and precision of jumps, spins. His program was by far the most original, best choreographed, and entertaining though I thought.
Petrenko I actually think had the best overall LP probably, him or Browning. The only reason neither won the LP is they werent in the final flight and werent really in contention at that point. If either were amongst the leaders after the SP I am pretty sure they would have finished 1-2 with the same performances.