Congratulation to Liza, Akiko and Ashley. They have the best programs so far... Akiko program was simply divine and love the footworks. Ashley by far improved the most of the US ladies. She doesn't rush into her jumps as much as before and def improved her notorious two footing habit. I still dont know why she is still doing two Lutz. thats going to ding her with 'e' call. Her Flip was great and got huge +GOE and simply sub for second Flip gonna give her at least 2 points advantage. I got to say I love her Black Swan program, although there are a few minor moments that need to refine.
As for Rachael, I think she is done, if she can't get her jumps back soon. Without jumps her program is just blarr ... I feel like im gonna doze off... and whats with the hair??? When I thought her hair style last year was bad, she managed to make it worse this year.
As for Marai, if she can't get her act together soon...her chances is running out. This should be the wake up call for her really... think of what is her chances to compete with three Russian dynamos by 2013 and Sochi. If she doesn't win a world title or at least a medal this year, i'm gonna give up on her especially when she only has to compete with Alissa, 50% Mao and 75% Calrolina.
It's crazy how in 2010, Mirai and Rachael were the hope for the future of US ladies, but strangely that seemed to be the apex of both of their careers. Mirai doesn't skate as badly as Rachael, but both have severely dwindled in their performances.
I am excited for Ashley and surprised that she pulled it out judging from her summer competition. But she has always been one of my favorites and I hope nationals this year are 1- Alissa and 2- Ashley. I would love for Ashley to win because she never has, but I like Alissa better.
I really hope that Alissa and Ashley bring back the "lady" into ladies skating.
It remains to be seen if/when Czisny can make that loaded FS come to life. If she can, then I have to say she will be TOUGH to beat and that's based on her FS score at SA- where even with errors she was able to sneak past a clean Kostner (!)
As for Wagner, well...like I said during off-season, she was falling behind very quickly, but was not yet out of it (as opposed to Zhang, for instance). So far it looks like the coaching change did her good, although it's likely too soon to tell and analyze based on just one competition. Let's see how she does in Japan and whether she can qualify for the GPF. In an IN interview I think she mentioned her goals for the season were to 1) medal at her GP events (so far, so good) 2) qualify for GPF 3) win Natls and 4) top 5 at worlds.
Last edited by museksk8r; 10-31-2011 at 02:15 PM.
About RF's Firebird program - the skating was obviously bad, but this is how I feel about the aesthetics. It is probably one of her most mature programs ever. I'm so glad she ditched the "Americana" music. Even though it was a splatfest, I didn't cringe while watching it like every other program she's done. And the dress, also one of her best ever. RF actually doesn't look as "heavy" as she has as of late, and I think it's due to the arms of her dress being flesh-colored - it makes her whole torso look longer, and this is the style she should have worn all along.
The hair, though - yikes! Ok, it's shorter, but it does have sort of an ok Hayden Panettiere thing going on, instead of it being floppy all over the place. Still though - she looks her best while wearing a bun. It's going to be a LONG time before that grows out, though!
I think the dress is lovely, but it doesn't help her appearance on the ice. She needs something with sleeves and a rounded or square neckline...not a dress that highlights the widest part of her body. And I get that it's "Firebird" which tends to demand a fiery looking dress, but she could have gone with a black dress, with red, orange and yellow elements instead of all red...again. Black and darker colors are slimming...she doesn't seem to get that. And all of that flesh colored material does nothing to help the appearance of her short neck and rounded face; it just looks like too much skin which works on a someone with a smaller chest and shoulders, but not for Rachael...at least IMO.
I'm glad she slicked her hair back; I was not a fan of the windswept look. It does make her rounded face stand out more but I think some small earrings or something might help a bit...oh and lose the extended eyeliner look. I think a bun or something is her best look. I actually didn't mind the bump-it look; it added more dimension to her face. But like you said, there's nothing she can do about that until her hair grows out. I would think it would have grown out more than that since she cut it. I'm assuming she's continuing to cut it to keep the style...
Last edited by kwanatic; 11-01-2011 at 08:54 AM.
Thanks kwanatic, for the review and the link!
Elisaveta has everything except grace. Her hands/wrists look terrible when she skates.
Rachael needs to quit skating tomorrow. Why does she keep accepting US spots in competitions when she is clearly not ready? That seems extraordinarily selfish.
Ashley and Akiko both did wonderful. It's nice to see them finally getting some of the credit they deserve internationally.
I have never understood the hype about Nagasu and Flatt, and after this I probably never will.
Great improvements by Ashley. Maybe John Nicks is the right coach for her, we'll have to wait and see.
I wish Suzuki and Leonova could challenge themselves more with harder choreography. They both have the potential to do so, and I don't think they will get to the top spot if they don't.
Congratulations to Elizaveta! Solid jumps, and she seems to have nerves of steel. I cannot believe she is just 14 years old!
And I must comment on the judging, as I think the judges did a great job in this competiton. =)
I finally got to see the ladies' long program on TV. Oh, dear, Rachael. She looks so slow and unpracticed. I remember when Debi Thomas was dividing her time between studying and skating, and she was never that unprepared. What gives?
I know that Rachael's body type works against her, but if her skating were up to par, we wouldn't notice. Midori Ito was stocky and short-limbed, and we couldn't take our eyes off her nonetheless. Come to that, Jayne Torvill had short limbs and an "everyday" sort of face and figure, not glamorous in the least, and she remains one of history's great ice dancers. I feel terrible about Rachael; it's tough watching someone just not measure up.
Ashley--looking good! She did a solid job, though as the commentators (I think they were Lipinski and Michael Weiss, doing very well indeed) pointed out that she needs a higher difficulty level to compete with the world.
Akiko Suzuki--what a charmer! I'm so delighted with the good season she's having.
Liza T.--my first viewing of her, and she certainly is impressive. Though I'm rooting for Mao Asada for the next Olympics, if this girl fulfills her potential, I would watch with a thrill.
Watching the senior of E. Tuk. reminded me of many other times where brilliant jumpers burst onto the scene. In my own time, it was Elaine Zayak. While they are very different obviously, there are certain parallels that make sense to me. The whole disproportionately developed technical aspect. There is great potential for style to come with time in the case of Tuk in my opinion. Will see whether this is attended to as deliberately as her training of such brilliant and facile jumps.
Nerves of steel? If I recall, she has had her moments, such as her JGP debut short programs which tended to put her oddly behind weaker technical skaters, though this did not tend to matter much since she could triple-triple them all away and subsequently blow past them in the Free skate/final results. Now as a senior, skating well from a lead position is impressive. Will be many more tests of her mental strength in the 24 months ahead for sure.