04-27-2011, 10:49 PM
The top three were terrific, and the order is correct. What a showdown we have here.
04-28-2011, 11:14 AM
What a great competition!! My impressions:
Pang/Tong: What everyone else has said! They were simply superb. Wonderful performance.
Aliona/Robin: Very solid skate, very clean technically. But I felt they lacked a bit of spark. I think they skated this program better and with more energy earlier in the season.
Volosozhar/Trankov: What a debut. This was the first time I've seen them. Great pair. Awesome elements, esp. the triple twist, and they obviously have that speed, power, and attack that all the great Russian teams have. Can't wait to see their long.
Bazarova/Larionov: Good performance for them, and they are a lovely team. However, I think they need more speed and power in their skating. I felt like they lost energy noticeably in between their crossover sections, which shouldn't really happen at this top level.
Kavaguti/Smirnov: Their placement seemed correct. In addition to the fall in footwork, Kavaguti also clearly struggled with all three of her jump landings. I actually kind of like the program. But it's high-risk: When you skate to such dramatic music, with such huge highlights, you really have to hit your elements, or the whole thing just falls completely flat.
Takahashi/Tran: Good skate for them; nice program. I really, really like watching Tran. There is a looseness to his skating, a naturalness, that I really enjoy. Bright future for this team.
Duhamel/Radford: Unfortunately they didn't show them on Universal Sports. Don't know why they showed MT-M instead of them.
Yankowskas/Coughlin: Grr . . . that fall! This team has so much potential--as evidenced by their PCS scores, almost 1.5 points higher than the rest of the second-tier pairs. I REALLY, really want to see them skate clean in the long. Come on, guys. Deep breath; no more stupid mistakes!!
Italian team: Not shown on Universal Sports. Interesting they came in top 10 here and top 5 (right?) at Europeans. With those kinds of results, and if Kostner and Contesti stay in for Sochi, the Italians might actually be able to field a competitive team for the new team event, which can be said of few European nations right now, except Russia of course.
Moore-Towers/Moskovitch: Okay skate. They definitely peaked early this season. I don't know about Moore-Towers. I kind of like her perkiness on the ice, and she definitely has a lot of spirit. However, to me, she is a little bit too much of a power skater for pairs--very athletic, but I feel like her artistry and positions need quite a bit of improvement.
Evora/Ladwig: Disappointing performance. Not only did they have the jump problem, but their PCS was also quite low--among the lowest of the second-tier (spots 6-12) teams. This only reinforces my feeling (stated in a previous thread) that E/L really need to make a change in their choreographic approach and/or artistic training. They need to significantly upgrade this area to be competitive. There's no reason they can't do so; there's a lot of quality in their skating, they just need to showcase it better. And, of course, land the jumps . . . :-)