Tripping on the Podium
Wagner's Black Swan. I'm worried she can't top it or even equal it next year.
Mirai's Spartacus LP.
Rachael's Firebird (although it doesn't seem as bad if you think back to last year's LP)
Chan's Take Five SP (for the love of all that is good about skating and music, get a new SP, Patrick!)
Gold's SP (that music makes my ears bleed)
Worst? Can there be multiple worsts?
Best? Can there be multiple bests?
On the Ice
Best: Die Fledermaus (but P/B's SD and Dai's LP are very close)
Worst: I'm going to go with Dornbush's cowboy thing.
On the Ice
Carolina Kostner's SP and LP
Ksenia Makarova's SP (Jump content is heavily front-loaded, but I can't get over how flowy and smooth she is skating to this program. Her edging is put to good use here.)
Viktoria Helgesson's LP (great ice coverage, in-betweens and footwork that she does justice with her strong fundamentals--even if her PCS doesn't show it.)
Mao Asada's LP (The footwork sequence is just )
Patrick Chan's SP (This program is a lot of fun for me to watch. It's spectacular how easy he makes the one-foot footwork seem.)
Jeremy Abbott's SP (Another fun program that I always looked forward to throughout the season)
Patrick Chan's LP (Aranjuez was love at first sight for me. Favorite program of the season and my favorite program by Chan, period.)
Daisuke Takahashi's LP (Depends on the performance.)
Jeremy Abbott's LP (I can see why it's been called pretentious by some, but I still think it's a beautiful program that accentuates all his lovely qualities.)
Takahiko Kozuka's LP (I've got some issues with his long--mainly the music cut, but I'm biased and I can't get over how he floats during the footwork.)
Yuzuru Hanyu's LP (I've got some issues with his skating, but the program itself is well put together, and he has a genuine aura performing it that I find endearing.)
Florent Amodio's programs (Dude, you are so much better than this...)
Alena Leonova's LP
Ksenia Makarova's LP
Best LP: I don't know which one to pick but it would be from one of these three (D&W, Caro, Dai) D&W and Dai skated their LP to their potential while Caro did not so it make the decision harder. Maybe Dai because he was just a better performer than the others.
Best SP: Would be one of these (T/T, C/L, Dai, Caro) T/T have never skated that SP perfectly. Would have been my pick for the best SP. Caro for the SP for me based on what they have done.
Worst: Marakova LP. Can't think of another worse program in recent memory.
For me Ashley's LP was my favorite in a long time, probably since YuNa's Olympics.
Worst was Mirai's LP. The choreography sucked the spark out of her, and Michelle and Yuka's success with the music makes me think she could have done some magical with the right choreography. Or maybe it's a piece better suited for a SP. Either way that program was a fail.
Best LP/FD— The duo of "Die Fledermaus." One classic waltz, two amazing programs. Go Akiko and Meryl and Charlie!
Honorable mention: Daisuke's LP (I don't think anyone else could do Blues for Kook as well as he did) and Carolina's Mozart piece.
Worst LP — Ksenia's Marilyn program. Just tacky and using the introduction to 20th Century Fox as skating music? Ick!
Honorable dismention: Mirai's lifeless Spartacus (especially in wake of hearing the song recently and realizing it's a pretty amazing piece) Alissa's too slow rendition to Valse Triste. (Which became unbearably slow at Worlds).
Best SP/SD — Carolina's staccato steps to Shostakovich! Whee.
Honorable mention — Capellini and Lanotte's SD. Latin sizzle! Also, Daisuke's "In the Garden of Souls."
Worst SP — Alena's rendition of Pirates in the Caribbean. Posing does not make great choreography.
Honorable dismention — B/S's SD. The witch outfit on Bobrova did the dance no favors.
I've got your program components right here.
I'd say Jeremy Abbott's LP was the best program of the season, short or long, all disciplines. Its beauty is in the Kwan-range, IMO. Hope he keeps it for next year.
Last edited by Pepe Nero; 04-23-2012 at 09:28 PM.
Like subtlety in ice dancing
P/B's The Mummy. Clichéd choreography, unimaginative theme, awful music cuts and outright racist to boot. The worst program of the season by far.
D/W's Someone Like You exhibition number. Once again, Davis/White manage to have two immensely energetic and crowd-pleasing competitive programs, only to go the opposite direction with the dreariness when they should be entertaining. Adele's dour and creepy little song is a chore to sit through, and D/W's choreography to it has no coherent narrative, nor do they have the chemistry or gestalt performance ability to portray the emotions (which is a blessing, really, considering how wretched the song is). They'd have been better off doing an encore of their FD at every gala.
Denney/Coughlin's East of Eden SP. Awful music cuts. It's like the record skipped multiple times! Thematically and stylistically totally wrong and impossible for the new team to pull off.
Gracie Gold's two competitive programs. Awful music, listless choreography. I refrain from putting them in the worst list because she is a junior.
Julia Lipnitskaia's Je t'aime, an incredibly, melodramatically and forcefully mature song that is completely beyond young Julia to skate to. Not that I really want to see anybody skate to it, but it's especially wrong for Julia.
Davis/White's Die Fledermaus free dance. One of the greatest, happiest marriages of technical intricacy and musicality ever in the sport. I'm still not over how their best performance of it at Nice lost to V/M's cautious and fumbled go at charades on ice. If I was there, I'd have pulled a Kanyé and stormed the judges' table.
Savchenko/Szolkowy's Autumn Moon on a Calm Lake exhibition number. It was modern dance on ice, with first class pair skating thrown in. Storytelling that was so effective you don't even notice it's a narrative, and just feel the emotions instead.
Daisuke's SP, FS and Exhibition numbers. Each piece is astounding, interesting, unique and performed to the hilt every time Daisuke did them. The minimalism in his exhibition number is a nice counterpoint to his more ornamental competitive programs. Three glorious works of art.
Patrick Chan's Mannish Boy exhibition number. Dirty, gritty blues music to go with some very unusual choreography. Lots of shoulder moves that you don't see often from skaters. Patrick digs into the groove and stays there. It's the best program from him ever.
Takahiko Kozuka's Cello Song exhibition number. Effortlessly intricate blade work that wove with the music. Prompted me to download Nick Drake's discography.
Mao Asada's I Vow to Thee My Country exhibition number. Who'd thunk a British patriotic song sung by a boys choir would make for the perfect program for Mao Asada? From the stunning developpé spiral to kick things off, you know you're in for something special. The entire piece unfolds like a spiritual experience.
Karen Chen's Butterly Fan Dance exhibition number. I have never seen a skater skate a program that complete and intricate while fully making use of props that large. I mean, those two fans are nearly as big as her! And she's twelve! She effortlessly goes through a triple lutz, triple flip (lipped, alas, the only triple jump she hasn't mastered yet), a double axel, her combination spin and footwork all while manipulating the fans. Did I mention she's just twelve? By the way, she already has a ratified 2axel/3toe combination jump.
Nathan Chen's Stereo Hearts exhibition number. I wish there was a good Youtube vid of it, since most people wouldn't have seen this. But you may just have to imagine: Another skater who is also just twelve, who does one of the most effective hip hop programs I have ever seen on ice. With a mischievous glint in his eyes, Nathan brings that ever elusive swag to the number while executing the perfect choreography to the song.
Javier Fernandez's The Lazy Song exhibition number. Now I don't love the entire number, which is why it's only in the honorable section (why bring out a chair if you're not going to use it?). That said, the laid back, humorous pop-dancing style of the piece suits him better than any competitive program I've seen. And then there's one moment in the piece that is possibly the most impressive thing I've ever seen in a gala performance: Javier flops on the ice, fully prone, in a body slide, then gets right back up into a triple axel!
Ashley Wagner's On the Floor exhibition number. I can't tell you what a lifesaver this number has been. There were so many skating galas that got bogged down by bleak and serious numbers (usually sung by that funereal siren Adele), then Ashley pops in and makes things fun again with an energetic program. Sure, it's not particularly deep or intricate, but it is entertaining. And the club dancing she does in it is a damn sight better than what the actual JLo pulls off in the video to the song.
If you notice there's a serious bias/preference towards gala numbers, it's not a coincidence. It is incredibly hard to put together something that's musically, artistically and choreographically coherent under the COP. Which is not to say that I don't enjoy many performances under the COP. But since this is a pick for best/worst programs, I'm looking at the choreography more than anything else. The only skater, I find, who consistently allows choreographers to create complete artistic statements under the COP is Daisuke Takahashi.
Last edited by Serious Business; 04-24-2012 at 01:44 AM.
Makarova's LP - wins the Award of the decade