Opining on NHK Trophy: Asada gets a gift, Miner steals the show by Jackie Wong
Performance/Execution - Asada 7.95 vs. Suzuki 7.96
For me, this is the mark that was the biggest culprit. Note that this is the closest of the five marks between the two skaters. The performance and execution of a program has a lot to do with how invested the skater is and how well all of the moves and elements that were choreographed were performed on the day of the performance. If you take a look at the criteria for the mark - intellectual involvement, carriage, clarity of movement, projection - Suzuki was strong in all areas throughout. In fact, she was getting stronger as the program went on. Asada, on the other hand, had lapses, understandably, as the mistakes piled on. All credit to Asada for not letting the program get away from her even with the mistakes, but there were very distinct moments of deflation in that program. Suzuki should have taken this mark by at least half a point.Interpretation - Asada 8.14 vs. Suzuki 7.82
Much like the Performance/Execution mark, this is one that can fluctuate wildly for the same skater depending on the day and the circumstances. And while Asada's interpretation and finesse of the music didn't let up as much as her body language did, she was still not stronger than Suzuki, whose interpretation and finesse were spot on throughout. The difference should have been much less, if not the reverse, than what the judges scored.
And again, from Tonny Wheeler
Program components, to me, were where the total joke happened. Asada's program, for the first three or so minutes, has no life at all and she really could be skating to any music. Much like the jumps in this performance, it's just so on-and-off until the footwork starts to gain energy. Also, her fifth jump element comes two seconds before the half-way point. That's poor program planning in my opinion. She has nice basics and beautiful edges, but she really crawls through everything and doesn't do too much in terms of transitions. I've always felt that way about her, honestly.
Suzuki has a nice program and was much more engaged. She has some nice transitional highlights and a great tension and build with the music. I do think she's not as strong as Asada skating skill-wise, but everything else should have been higher in my opinion. Asada pulled off scores mostly in the 8's for performance/execution (huh?), choreography, and interpretation. I just don't feel like she was into this program at all.
From Phil Hersh
The only good thing about Mao’s program was she stayed upright. Eurosport was polite in saying, “It did look a bit ragged.”
Eurosport on Mao winning : “That’s ridiculous. That’s horrible. That’s a travesty of justice. That does the sport no favors”
Mirai Nagasu got hosed. This was as egregiously bad judging as I ever have seen.