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Thread: Senior Ladies Free Skate at 7:00 pm EST.

  1. #481
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    Anyone notice that USFS chose Nagasu over Flatt as the 3rd worlds alternate (they skipped Gao but chose to send her to JR worlds instead)? Flatt was 6th so technically she'd be next, but skipped to Nagasu.

    However, Flatt is listed as the FIRST alternate to 4CC...very odd ordering as far as alternates are concerned.

  2. #482
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    I think they threw Rachael a bone there (with the 1st alternate to 4CC) because it's only a few weeks after nationals and because she's got such strong ties to the area. Plus there is the little matter of that 45 foot mural!

    Mirai's alternate to worlds spot was probably 1/2 respect for Frank's history and Mirai's talent, and 1/2 concern about Rachael's poor form in the GP + competing priorities. I think they trust her to acquit herself well if an event is close in time to Nationals, where she peaked, but not so much at the end of March, which is right before her Winter quarter finals.

  3. #483
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    I also think Mirai's world spot was, in some sense, a message to her- 'we haven't totally given up on you IF you can pull it together again'.

    Regarding Ashley's personality I've met her three times. All three times she was really (and I do mean really) kind and funny. I do not 'know' her so I can't comment too strongly but those were my strong impressions. I met Rachael once too, at O'Hare airport in Chicago. She was defintely polite but kind of chilly. I do grant that she was at an airport, absolutely, but overall I though Ashley was kinder. Those are only my limited impressions though.

  4. #484
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    I was at the Shark Tank Saturday and Sunday, and my friend and I managed to upgrade our seats to the fifth row for the entire weekend. It was our first Nationals and I had such a great time! I will post more later but I've hardly slept and had a long train and bus trip this morning. But before I fall down I wanted to share just a little...

    If it's any comfort to the Mirai fans, let's look back to where Caroline Zhang was just a couple seasons ago. It's possible that Mirai could come back in a similar fashion and I hope she does. I agree that more lively music might be helpful for her, because at times she looked like she was sleepwalking through her program. She looked so dejected as she took the ice - as if she'd given up before she began. I hope she can get past whatever is holding her back, because when she's on, she's delightful.

    Alissa bored me a little, apart from those gorgeous spins. I don't have much else to say about her skate, and I'd hoped that it would be otherwise. My friend is a hobbyist costumer and went into great detail about what was wrong with her dress (and everyone else's, which was quite fun). Alissa apparently has too long a torso to wear a dress with that long corset-style construction and that makes her look "like a giraffe".

    Her favorite costume was Rachael's (it feels odd to be typing that, I must admit), which was absolutely stunning from rinkside. She looked beautiful and just lit up the arena. Hers was my favorite skate of the night, despite the errors. The ovation was louder and longer for her than any of the other ladies. She cried, and so did I. I chucked my Smucker's plushy strawberry to the ice in appreciation. If she does go out now, she'll have that memory for the rest of her life. Way to go!

    Caroline was also wonderful and I was thrilled that she made the podium. Ashley was on fire, and for those of you who didn't see the medal ceremony (I was to the left of the K&C and watched it from behind), Michelle Kwan presented her with the trophy, then hugged all the ladies. It was very sweet.

    More later....off to sleep now.

  5. #485
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlattFan View Post
    Saw Ashley walking around with her friend. From listening to her talking, I find her very unlikable. Such a turn off. She's pretty, so it helps a bit.
    although i've only "heard" ashley talk in interviews and the nats press conference, there was just something that i didn't like. although i know she has the right attitude and says she doesn't want to sound cocky, she does. but other times she seems pleasant. what did you hear her saying?

  6. #486
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ravyn Rant View Post
    Her favorite costume was Rachael's (it feels odd to be typing that, I must admit), which was absolutely stunning from rinkside. She looked beautiful and just lit up the arena. Hers was my favorite skate of the night, despite the errors. The ovation was louder and longer for her than any of the other ladies. She cried, and so did I. I chucked my Smucker's plushy strawberry to the ice in appreciation. If she does go out now, she'll have that memory for the rest of her life. Way to go!
    Yup, I said it before, her ovation was longer and louder than even the winner. Something about Flatt that you just have to be there to really enjoy her skating. She really lit up the arena. On TV, she seemed just average (I went home and watched it again.) TV doesn't show how long and how loud people were cheering her on after the performance was over. It was a really really sweet moment.
    I'm really glad I get to see that. No wonder why audience always seem to appreciate her more than people at home. She's one of those skaters you need to see live to appreciate.

  7. #487
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlattFan View Post
    Yup, I said it before, her ovation was longer and louder than even the winner. Something about Flatt that you just have to be there to really enjoy her skating. She really lit up the arena. On TV, she seemed just average (I went home and watched it again.) TV doesn't show how long and how loud people were cheering her on after the performance was over. It was a really really sweet moment.
    I'm really glad I get to see that. No wonder why audience always seem to appreciate her more than people at home. She's one of those skaters you need to see live to appreciate.
    OK, just a minute longer. I haven't had the opportunity to see any of the current crop skate live, and I'm so glad that I was there that night. Rachael's programs never came through the TV for me, but that skate was joyous and spirited and The Moment of the evening.

    Where were you seated, FlattFan? I was in section 120, row 5, seat 5.

  8. #488
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    In section 107 row 8 or something for the ladies and 128 row 10 or something for the men.

  9. #489
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ravyn Rant View Post
    OK, just a minute longer. I haven't had the opportunity to see any of the current crop skate live, and I'm so glad that I was there that night. Rachael's programs never came through the TV for me, but that skate was joyous and spirited and The Moment of the evening.

    Where were you seated, FlattFan? I was in section 120, row 5, seat 5.
    When you said that your friend was a costumer, I wondered whether the subject of Rachael's costume would come up, and a sentence or so later, you mentioned that she said it was her favorite. I completely agree. It's one of the most beautiful skating costumes I've ever seen on anyone--gracefully cut, gorgeously colored, and evocative of the music without being completely literal. (Alas, I agree about Alissa's costume as well--pallid and unflattering, though I'm not a fan of white costumes to begin with, so that might be influencing my reaction.)

    I remember how strongly Nadine reacted to seeing Rachael skate live last year, which underlines the point you and FlattFan make about her coming across more strongly when seen in person. I'm glad she had such a satisfying performance during the finals, and that her Stanford friends could be there to cheer her on. Whatever she decides to do in the future in terms of skating, she'll know that she set the audience alight at this event. That, and she made it to the Olympics. Pretty good for someone who is still a teenager! Seen from the distance of the TV screen, I noticed that she has an especially glowing, genuine smile, and I was so happy to see it at the end of her program.

    It's great to get more details about Caroline and Ashley, who each seem to have had a rousing success. It was exhilarating enough just to watch it on TV. It must have been awesome to be there.

    How nice to hear that Michelle presented the trophy!

  10. #490
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    Quote Originally Posted by WeakAnkles View Post
    I'm the person who originally pointed out that Frank is trying to turn Mirai into MK2.0 and the reason why I said that is a bit complicated to explain, but it goes back to a fundamental question of style.

    Think back to the signature pieces of Kwan’s. Salome. Rachmaninoff Piano Concertos. East of Eden. Lyra Angelica. Song of the Black Swan. Tosca. Just about the only piece of music Kwan skated to in her amateur career that wasn’t either classical or classically-inspired was Peter Gabriel’s “The Feeling Begins,” which is hardly anyone’s idea of a frothy pop song.

    Now think of Mirai’s most successful pieces, which are undoubtedly her short programs. Pirates of the Caribbean. The Witches of Eastwick. Fun. Effervescent. Mischievous. Flirty. Spunky. Michelle’s competitive programs could be described many ways, but I doubt the words “spunky” and “mischievous” would appear high on the list, if at all. And Mirai’s off-ice personality can be equally fun and bubbly (there’s a reason why she was just recognized as one of the funniest people in sport—she has a delightful sense of humor).

    So what does Frank have her skating to this year? A tango and a ballet suite. Now tango can be flirty—and should be—but it is a dangerous flirtation, not a bubbly one. And the classically-inspired ballet suites would fit right in—with Michelle’s repertoire. But they do nothing to highlight the special qualities that Mirai can bring to the ice. She’s an imp, not a diva. And imps have their own particular charm.

    Part of the problem is the unspoken rule that balletic programs will always win over other types of programs (the same way that dramas almost always win Best Picture Oscars over comedies), but that’s another, and far more complicated, issue. But Frank is not doing Mirai any favors by having her skate to music that creates a weird kind of disconnect to her particular strengths as a performer. Mirai is not Michelle.

    thank you for taking the time elaborate.

    i can see some elements you point out, however i'm at odds with the assertion that frank and lori foisted the short on mirai. mirai chose this tango music herself--sneaked it onto a CD that represented potential options, and got those lynchpins, frank and lori, to go along with her wish. perhaps frank and lori saw promise in mirai's taking ownership of her skating, and had confidence that she could make it work. perhaps they saw that she too was trying to break free of 'mischievous'. i don't know, i can't read minds, and i'm not going to hunt down the quotes where mirai said she's had this music in mind for some time, and finally felt the time was right to bring it forth, bring forth this new mirai to show frank, lori, the american public.

    which is why her later saying it's too sexy to be something she's fully comfortable with seems a little bit like ... *shrugs* i'm not saying she can't feel uncomfortable with it--of course she can--even the same choreography can feel more natural, or more awkward depending on the occasion. but, one could say if she wanted to be the captain of the ship, BE the captain--if the ship is now heading for a reef, steer in a different direction.

    i just don't want it all laid at lori and frank's door, because it seemed to me mirai herself wanted to push the boundaries, at least in the SP. and she could suggest the the option of shelving it and going back to an old program that she knew would be better received if she came to realize this wasn't going to fly.

    if mirai didn't like something, she had the option of speaking up--just like she did when she got the tango 'ratified' as this season's short. other skaters dump and revise programs drastically --witness davis/white, the shibutanis, even christina gao dumping the 'love you more' program (tho not costume). mirai could have done that too. somehow i think if mirai wanted to, frank would have said yes.

    also, ballet music is far more sasha than mirai to me. your mileage may vary. the emotions in the adagio of spartacus maybe MK but ballet, any ballet, make me think of sasha far more than MK, even knowing that this was a piece MK herself skated to, i thought mirai had the opportunity to put her own stamp on it. lori deliberately avoided placing the spiral at the MK spiral point. and again, if they thought it wasn't coming along right, they could--they here meaning--either mirai or frank, or the two of them after talking together--they could have gone back to carmen, a sure fire hit.

    maybe mirai and her parents came to frank wanting frank to turn mirai into not michelle, but a different mirai. maybe they saw cute as not sustainable into her 20's. maybe mirai herself wanted to show the world that mirai too can arrest audiences with a fierce stare--that she is no longer too young, too immature, too naive to perform more mature chreography. maybe mirai was sick of being trapped into the perky, mischievous role. just because you're the class clown doesn't mean you don't ever want to star in a drama, make people see you in a new light.


    of course i don't know what mirai and her parents envisioned, how much input mirai had--the one part i know is mirai chose this music and it's close to her heart, it was something she believed was _hers_. so i want to at least play devil's advocate and say, don't say it's all frank trying to turn her into MK 2.0. frank, who knew first hand who MK was from what was it, twelve years to twenty years old, would see no resemblance between MK and mirai.

    i have no undying loyalty to frank--i have my issues with him, too, but i think for some of us, including me, it's tempting to say it's the outsiders' doing, and not our beloved mirai--someone robbed mirai of that vitality, that spark we all fell in love with. we're too far diametrically opposite from sandra bezic, who seems to lay the blame squarely at mirai's feet.

  11. #491
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    I think the Shibutani example is especially noteworthy given that they were, by nature of the short dance, forced in a style that was completely not ideal for them.

    I was impressed with the new fun and sassy vibe of their new SD, which highlighted their youth but yet was not "childish." I also think it managed to avoid any creepy sibling feelings, which you run the risk of doing so in a Latin style dance.

    Hence, I think it's totally possible for Mirai to have a fun and playful program that doesn't make her look immature. That tango SP certainly could have been done in a flirty and mischievous, yet mature, manner. Surely they could've worked with a ballroom dancer who could have possibly helped provide that aspect of choreography....

  12. #492
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlattFan View Post
    Some more tidbits

    Flatt got a longer standing O than Ashley. Also had more stuffs thrown to the ice than Ashley. It took forever to clean up the ice before Vanessa can come in.
    Poor Vanessa, skated after that rousing performance. She's a nerdy, timid girl outside. I saw her walking around with her parents and they seemed scared and out of place.

    Saw John Nicks at Arcadia, disheveled, wandering from table to table. I almost threw him a dinner roll.

    Saw Alex and Maia there as well. I guess all of them are staying at the Marriott downtown. Saw Keegan's coaches in the Marriott. They looked rough and bad***. Can't believe they coach figure skating. One of them look like Mickey Rourke in the Wrestler.

    Saw Ashley walking around with her friend. From listening to her talking, I find her very unlikable. Such a turn off. She's pretty, so it helps a bit.

    Saw Rachael running somewhere. She's so tiny. She might be chunky for a skater, but for mere mortals, she's Kate Moss.


    LOL, FlattFan, I agree about Keegan's coaches, always have, part of the fun of seeing him skate these past 3 yrs. at Nationals is seeing his coaches, you're right on the mark! And I would have to add Highlander: http://images.search.yahoo.com/image...mb=gKRe1OKtITN


    Quote Originally Posted by R.D. View Post
    Anyone notice that USFS chose Nagasu over Flatt as the 3rd worlds alternate (they skipped Gao but chose to send her to JR worlds instead)? Flatt was 6th so technically she'd be next, but skipped to Nagasu.

    However, Flatt is listed as the FIRST alternate to 4CC...very odd ordering as far as alternates are concerned.

    Yes, I noticed this too, likewise the same exact thing happened with Donlan & Speroff, though they came in 4th at Nationals, they're listed as the 3rd Alternates for Worlds, behind Castelli & Schnapir, whom finished 5th at Nationals. However, just like Rachael, they got the nod for 4CC; they're the 1st Alternates.

    My reason (aka belief) is that the USFSA wants to send the best they have to offer for Worlds, and they know that as of "right now" that's Mirai Nagasu and Castelli & Schnapir, despite their uncharacteristic implosions at Nationals. If both had been *on* they would have finished above Rachael (in Mirai's case) and Donlan & Speroff (in Castelli & Schnapir's case). That's why they're ahead of them when it comes to Alternates at Worlds. Jmho.

    That said, 4CC is a lower-ranked competition and is relatively new (began in 1999), therefore it's okay to send Rachael and D&S as 1st Alternates, should they be needed. After all both finished respectably at Nationals (6th place for Rachael; 4th for D&S), and earned their 1st place Alternate position imho.

    ps: I'm really hoping D&S get an international invite this year. *crossing fingers*

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    I think the USFSA is really sending Rachel a signal, leaving her SP out of the television broadcast and the symbolic absence from the Worlds alternates list (symbolic because the 3rd alternate will never make it to Worlds anyway). I hope she uses this as motivation because she is really one of the only American women able to, at her best, deliver a clean program under pressure. It would be great for her to prove her detractors wrong and reclaim the US title next year.

  14. #494
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    ^ But (I figure) it was NBC's decision to not show Flatt's SP, not USFS.

  15. #495
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    Quote Originally Posted by skfan View Post
    i am still a fan, as well, and i too believe mirai is the most talented skater among the US ladies. what i don't see though, is why quite a few people seem to see mirai's programs as 'michelle kwan programs.' what about them scream michelle kwan to people? i just want to understand it--is it because MK has skated to spartacus before? which MK program resembles mirai's tango short?

    a program may be unsuitable for mirai without that program necessarily being an 'MK' program, IMO.

    lori has choreographed plenty of lackluster programs for other skaters--some of whom were coached by frank. i don't recall the accusation that they were MK mold programs being thrown about quite as frequently with other skaters. or is mirai just more interesting and worth-talking-about than frank and lori's previous students/clients?
    I think because the programs were too slow for Mirai's style and basically help her back. We could tell she didn't even enjoy skating those programs. Michelle could pull off that kind of music because she's lyrical and skates with emotion. I think we all want to see Mirai's natural speed, amplitude, fun and overall, spunk!

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