I just realized the overall mark difference between silvel and bronze
Medal ceremony starts soon. I usually skip - but can't pass up the chance to see Alissa presented with the Gold medal
Just got back from a very long day at the arena, had to pack it in just before the pairs started. Haven't seen the detailed protocols and haven't read 11 pages of this thread, but here's some thoughts from my notes, jotted down in real time:
Warm-Up: Rachael looks tight and slow--I assume she is in pain. Akiko and Alyssa nearly collide. All of them (even Kanako) look deadly serious.
Flatt: Slower even than usual and not skating with much conviction. This program is really not working at all--and I doubt it would even if she was 100%. Disaster begins, lots of doubles now. She didn't belong skating in this competition at all. I don't know when her injury happened, but if it was early enough that she could have withdrawn and allowed the next GPF substitute to have skated, Team Flatt should have done that. This was an embarrassment for Team USA, but even worse, she's risking aggravating the injury she does have and putting rest of season at risk.
Ando: Skating cautiously and for her, a little slow and controlled. Solid technical content though, and it will score well on TES. Redemption after her SP, but unless there are a lot of splats from her competitors, she probably won't make it to the front of the pack. She gets lots of crowd love at the conclusion. I find myself thinking "Oh...what Mao could have done with this music..." Shame on me.
Suzuki: I have a soft spot for this lady, she is perpetually the underdog and I figure she could part the Red Sea and walk on water, and still get dissed by the judges on PCS. She puts together a really nice performance, though I agree with another GS poster who wrote in some thread somewhere that they liked last year's West Side Story better. Me too. I think her skating skills are as good or better than Ando's, and her performance ability. Score comes up and as I predicted, PCS is underscored. If Miki got 58+, Akiko deserved 60+ for hers. Grrrrr.
Murakami: Surprisingly put-together and mature compared to her SP. OK, it's about time. Lots of speed, even more than Ando. And better spins tonight than Ando and Suzuki. Couldn't tell but maybe a slight UR or two somewhere in there? It's an OK program, but one isn't drawn into it, it's just watching an elite skater skate. Perhaps with non-bubbly music, Kanako just hasn't matured enough to broaden her expression. Something to work on. Another thing to work on are those MULE KICKS and BENT PICKING LEG KNEE. If I was a Skate Goddess Judge, I'd dock her -1.0 off her score every time she did it. Fix it girl! Score comes up and with good overall technical content, she's going to be on the podium somewhere.
Kostner: Headcase #1 up next. She is working this program gorgeously, it's really good music for her and showcases her basic skating skills well. She is skating with speed, but it's controlled speed rather than her sometimes nearly out-of-control speed. And she keeps it that way throughout the program. Nice jumps, even though she can't/doesn't do the flip and lutz of course. Good landings and nice flow-outs. Better spins than previous skaters. She deserves good PCS for this, but the TES is of course not up with the Japanese ladies. Score: How does she score that high with relatively little tech content?!? Protocols on this will be interesting... It was a lovely program and good on her for that, but no way this FS should be placed above Suzuki's.
Alyssa: Headcase #2 now. I am nervous for her. My Lord, she is holding it together and putting out an exquisite program! Crap, flip out on the 2A and I hope she isn't going to lose it when she is so close. She lands her next and final jump. Throughout the program, the crowd is noticeably quiet and focused on her, and go wild at all of her spins and spirals--great response. She is mesmerizing. At conclusion, I see people here and there standing and applauding for her, even though it wasn't quite a 100% clean program. This is going to be on the podium somewhere. Score comes up and it's GOLD. She is overjoyed. So is crowd. Two good programs back to back, finally!
Overall: Except for Flatt who is just not able to skate anywhere close to her potential, it was a generally well-skated event with a nice variety of styles and programs. Though I thought the podium should have been Czisny, Murakami, Suzuki with Kostner in 4th. I have a fleeting unpleasant thought that perhaps Kostner will keep watered-down tech programs if she sees she can make podiums without the tougher jumps. Is a Ladies' medalist with no flip and/or lutz the equivalent of a Mens' medalist with no quad? I dunno...
I'm soooo disappointed with Akiko's low marks, why is she so underscored?! That's totally beyond me! I think her performance was one of the best, I really enjoy watching her.
And I don't understand why Carolina's so overmarked either. The judges seem to love her, I don't understand why....she's certainly improved from last year, but she has no charisma and she still does the arm flailing thing, like Ando.
Oh I'm so glad Miki didn't win! She's so boring to watch, she could be skating to classical music or rap or pop or whatever, it would make no difference at all.
I'm sorry about Rachael, everyone says she's boring, but I actually find her really entertaining, at least she feels the music, unlike Ando.
Kanako's performance was really good, I really love her, although sometimes she looks a bit childish, but that's normal for her age, I suppose.
I'm really glad Alissa won, it was so unexpected!!! I was afraid she would have a meltdown in the LP, but she did a great job! Happy for her, even though I still don't find her programme that interesting (but the dress is gorgeous).
So I can't say I'm perfectly satisfied with the results; Akiko's marks seem too low to me, and Carolina's skating is overrated, in my opinion.
But congratulations to Alissa!
Thanks so much again for the eyewitness duty! I'm over the moon about Alissa, not just because she won but because she skated so well. I can't wait until I get to see the performance on YouTube. Now I won't have to watch it through my fingers!
I don't know what this means for the future of American skating. I'm just going to savor the moment.
I totally agree with you!!! I would have had Czisny, Murakami and Suzuki too. Suzuki's always undermarked, I'm starting to find it unfair, because she really did two good programmes. I still don't know how Kostner got the silver....mystery.
Alissa made me cry happy tears. Beautiful skater, beautiful music, and beautiful program. I love to see skaters who have been down and out and written off be able to rise to the occasion and deliver a proud moment of personal victory. Czisny is so lovely when she skates this well!
Good for you Pogue and since I agreed with you I can resist saying I told you so to the doubters too. Ha!
Hurray!!! Alissa won!
Good lord. Amazing that Alissa and Carolina both won GP golds and then came 1-2 at the GP final. Who would have thought? But it is not an Olympic year and both those skaters are in it to prove to themselves they still have something to offer to skating - and they did it! Yey!!!
I'm sure for Alissa the best part was putting together two good programs in a row. Finally!
I haven't gotten to watch - but sorry I hear some think Akiko got shafted on PCS. I don't doubt. I knew if Carolina skated well the judges would go gaga and that's fine but I'm one of those who wishes they would do the same for Akiko.
Good to her Miki came back with a good free skate- I thought she would - and she sill has japanese nats and probably worlds to look forward to. If she medals at worlds nobody will remember this.
With Rachael, I think the week off from practicing because of her foot had to affect her. I expect her to be better at nationals.
Alissa she did it! 2 clean programs!! I'm so happpy for her, I hope she can find herself very confident now to continue competing like she did this week. Confratulations to all the ladies, this as an amazing competition.
Well, Alissa will be on home turf and skating in competiton with a lot of familiar faces. And all those American judges who have their own mind about the Team for Worlds.
That wont scare her and nobody but nobody can spin like Alissa who racks up points even when she down in the dumps with jumping.
But just in case you do not have a mind of your own and have to rely on the American judges to select the Team, well that's ok. I know enough about what I saw today from the international judges who imo, could have picked Carolina had they wanted to. They didn't.
Yes, Alissa had only 6 medals to garner at a series of competitions against the leading Women Skaters of the World, and now she has to face her American rivals who haven't won a medal at any competition except last years' US Nationals, and maybe a Sectional this year. Do you really think that wil be harder? About Mirai, it's just a hopeful opinion. And Mirai will beat out Yuna and a reconditioned Mao not to mention Carolina. Indeed US Nats is harder to win than Worlds even.