01-30-2011, 10:45 AM
Yeah, Seniorita, I was ready to give Rachael every chance, because I think she seems like a really nice and hardworking person, and I like on principle to support skaters with all kinds of styles. (Who wants cookie-cutter skaters?) But she was not inside the music at all. We've had talks all over the Forum about the advisability of skating to music that's strongly identified with another skater, and my conclusion is that a good skater can certainly make it work. Years ago, both Caryn Kadavy and Oksana Baiul skated to the Meditation from Massenet's Thais. The producers showed a side-by-side comparison, and it was tremendously effective. Oksana skated in her usual balletic style, with a lot of fluttery arms and stage ballet poses. Caryn, who was also ballet-trained, took a much simpler approach. You could easily admire and even love both. In this case, however, East of Eden did nothing special for Rachael. Her carriage and arm movements (especially in that lamentable footwork section) gave me no entry in the music. I'm glad she was in third place at the end of it, because her jumps were good, but she certainly deserved no higher, especially considering how good Mirai and Alissa were in their short programs.