Yes, I have suffered. I have just viewed 20, count them, 20, US pairs. And the final group of junior pairs.
And I must say, while the present is not gorgeous, the future is brighter. There appears to be something cooking with pairs development in SW Florida.
The junior pairs was won by Jordan and Barrett from FL. She is a tiny Eleven year old. He is 18, and a big hulking 18 at that. They skated to the nutcracker, starting at the point where the nutcracker becomes a live prince. The only real flaw in the routine was when she fell on a 3T. It was a nice presentation, all in all.
In seniors, Spielburg in Joeright crashed on the SBS 3t's, and the throw jump they were doing. They were slow too.
Vise and Trent are reverse rotators in both spins and jumps.
They did a nice Mike pike into their back outside death spiral. But their lift showed a lack of pair skills.
Jennifer Don showed up looking kind of like Natasha Kuchiki, kind of muscle bound. It gave some problems with the amplitude of lifts and throws. They did a throw with a toe pick in it-flip or lutz, I couldn't tell the edge, but she splatted. The side by side 3toes were great though. Their changes of position in their lifts yet are not good. Also the split double twist was low and the catch kind of awkward. They are in fourth, I think.
Handy and Allen skated a clean program, and they were thrilled with it, but it was slow. Also her position in the lift was not great.
Yuka Sato and Jason Dunjien are coaching Roth and Steve Hartsell. The music was boring and kind of monotone, and they both fell on the SBS triples.
I don't know whether it was chance, but the last flight of 4 teams
had all of last year's podium skating.
And all of them had a very good warmup. Rena landed her throw, and she and John landed both SBS 3toes and SBS 2A's.
Scott and Duhlebohn landed their SBS 3toes twice, but in an odd way that caused them to cross between takeoff and landing.
However, as usual, nobody has quite the guts to really dominate US pairs, so all the top 3 pairs (and maybe Jenny Don too?) had at least one first place ordinal.
Scott and Duhlebohn skated first, using Farandole and that costume that looks like a hairdresser's dust coat. They started with good speed, and landed a great throw 3S with a nice flowing
landing edge. And then the both had trouble with the 3toes, and crossed too, so it took them time to get up and get back together.
As usual she banged into his chest on the split 2Twist. Their speed dropped off after the fall. However, they finished first.
Orshcer and Lucash skated second, and Shishkova and Naumov have done a lot with this pair. Their positions are much improved. However Lucash still is tripping over his feet with Katie is up in a lift. They however, have a very good split twist, and she splits with both legs (great) He fell out of the 3toe. Their throw was very good too. Their f/w was not close together and it was noncomplex and slow. However, they had a good pair spin.
They finished 3rd.
Inoue and Baldwin, were the last pair to skate, skating to Murder at the Cotton Club, and their speed is absolutely the best of the field. They landed their SBS 3toes, but John had a wide swinging free leg on the landing. Then Rena splatted as flat as you can go on the 3throw. Their SBS spins were beautiful, close together, one tiny unison break on one position change, but immediately matched up again. They did a great lift, length of the rink with a scary flip out and several changes of position. Their death spiral has him flipping his leg over her on the entrance. They didn't crash on the 2 twist, which was respectably high and softly landed. And the final f/w and pair spin were fast, complex and with good unison. They have come a long way since last year.
But although they got 2 or 3 first places, and the only 5.8 in the competition, they are still in second. If Rena can get over the problems on throws, they could well beat Zagorska and Suidek at Worlds. I don't see them getting higher than that this year however.