I think this "Life is Beautiful" is my favorite Jeremy Abbott LP thus far in his career. I feel his love for this program (on his twitter he said he loves it and it shows to me). His charming, whimsical, lighthearted side of his personality gets to shine through. He stole my heart again with his skate. Beautiful!
I liked the skates from all of the top three. I thought Florent's footwork and transitions were fun, but did not show the same difficulty and quality of skating as Dai's and Jeremy's and Florent took a few pauses. IMO, both Jeremy and Dai are very musical, but Jeremy is more subtle with his musicality and expression and it works beautifully with the music. They're both great. And Florent is adorable and delivered with his jumps and spins. Jeremy's spins looked slower in both the short and long.
I do not like Takahashi's LP.
It's both monotone and hackneyed; he also does a bunch of transitions that are mostly there just to do transitions and not because they have any real meaning. His Quad was beautiful and the first 3Axel was gorgeous and timed great with the music change...but why is there a tempo change that early in the program? It isn't even a tempo change that leads anywhere because we are back to a slow section 30 seconds later...and then back to another faster section a moment later...and then back to another slow section after a footwork sequence.
Like, what?!? Jeremy Abbott skated to a version of this music 2 years ago and it was one of the best programs ever. Takahashi has taken the music and butchered it so that the repetitive accordion sound is at the forefront of the melody all the way through the program. That problem, in combination with far too many tempo changes, makes the program feel like a poorly done patchwork with a line of cranberry juice stain running through the whole thing. There aren't many individually great moments and the program as a whole doesn't build to much of anything.