Okay, very late post, but I was gone all last weekend and am just getting caught up on my DVR. So, from what I saw on NBC, here are my thoughts about the men's competition:
Evan Lysacek (interview) - I don't really blame Evan for wanting to come back, because if he did have one more shot, it's now, and he might regret it if he doesn't take it. However, I would be highly surprised if he had any success. His time is passed, and I doubt Chan and Takahashi were exactly quaking in their boots at the news of his comeback. I like Evan and I'm glad that he won in 2010, but seriously, man, quit while you're on top. He said he wants to try and defend his Olympic title? I'd be impressed if he won another National title. And I have to wonder how much of what he said in that interview he actually believes.
Philip Warren - He was a new face to me. I thought his short program was very good, but his long program wasn't what he would've wanted. The fall on the triple axel looked painful and probably took away some of his energy. He just needs to get his triple axel more consistent and he'll be more of a contender. No offense to Philip, but I'm surprised they showed his free skate instead of Alexander Johnson's.
Brandon Mroz - My first thought was that his free skate costume was terrible. But moving on from fashion, Brandon used to be one of America's top men, he almost made the GPF once, and I'm still wondering what has happened with him. When he changed his jump layout, I got nervous, but at least he had the presence of mind not to do too many combinations. The neding of his program was kind of strange for me, and for a second I was like, "Is that the end?" Overall it wasn't a bad skate, but just sort of forgettable for me.
Adam Rippon - I am loving the new Adam! Love the haircut, love the costume, love the program! I've never been a fan of Adam's, but he just won me over at this competition. I always thought he had mediocre jumps and his skating was somewhat boring - no personality, there was nothing that said "star". During this free skate, he had personality by the bucketloads. I've never seen Adam have fun out there like that. And he hit his triple axels! It wasn't perfect, but overall I was very impressed by him.
Jonathan Cassar - I had heard his name before, but I'd never actually seen him skate. With no quad and no triple axel, he had no chance at winning, and he likely never will - he's 26, after all. Yet I enjoyed watching him. There were mistakes on his jumps and it wasn't the best he could've done, but he should be proud of that skate. And he got to skate on national television! His spread eagles were definitely the highlight for me - I 've never seen anyone do them like that. I literally backed up the recording and watched his spread eagles two more times. You can tell he loves to skate, and that made him enjoyable to watch.
Jason Brown - Jason had a decent skate, and I like that he skates to the music and not over it, like some guys do. "Liebestraum" is great for him. And he landed his first triple axel, so that was a great moment for him! He's yet to win me over enough to be considered one of my favorites in the U.S., but give it a little time - it's possible.
Max Aaron - Never ever would I have guessed that Max would win this thing. He was just off my radar as far as contenders for the title went. There were at least five or six other guys I would've predicted as champion before I would have predicted Aaron as champion. That being said, Aaron skated lights out and he deserved to win. Also, he managed to win me over as a fan of his. His skating style is cool. Itend to prefer the more masculine skaters, not always, but usually, and this guy skates like a dude. No, he's not artistic, but he can still be entertaining. His techno short program was awesome and different. In his free skate, the quad salchows were crazy! He's very athletic and I like that. I'm still in a little bit of shock that he won, but I am actually pleased. Seeing him sitting backstage in his T-shirt, I realized he is a good looking dude, also. I'm really liking this guy, his free skate was incredible, and he's a worthy champion.
Richard Dornbush - Richard wasn't at his best at this competition. He didn't have that spark or that "star quality" that he normally has. I don't know, maybe this isn't the best program for him, because I've seen him skate with much more personality than he did. Aslo, when you're known for your big jumps and you miss said jumps, it's never good. I mean, his skate wasn't a meltdown, but just underwhelming.
Ross Miner - I always find myself rooting for Ross. He's the definition of consistent, and I would trust him with the World spots. No, maybe he doesn't have that "it" factor, but I'd much rather have someone reliable than someone who might be brilliant but who could also have a meltdown on any given day. His quad salchow in his free skate was beautiful, and besides that one mistake on the axel, a great skate. Ross is a very strong U.S. #2.
Jeremy Abbott - While Ross is consistent, Jeremy is... not. You can always rely on Jeremy to crumble under the pressure, and it's unfortunate. At least he has enough creds to skate in shows, because he is a beautiful skater and will be good in shows. He should've left off the quad at this competition, in my opinion, and just tried to skate clean. Maybe then he would've been able to sell the program more, because for me, it was borderline boring. I felt the same at this competition as I have everytime I've seen him skate this year - so much talent, but he needs to hit the jumps. He hasn't even had one clean skate this year, and the U.S. can't keep putting their money on him. This wasn't a total meltdown for Jeremy, but too many mistakes to win again. I'm glad the judges didn't really hold him up like the did with Ashley, because Jeremy has had many, many chances to deliver on the world stage, and he never does.
Joshua Farris - If this guy is our future, our future looks pretty bright. His first triple axel was gorgeous; his quad was not, but I know he can work on it. If he's still thinking 2018, he should start considering 2014! His technique is pure and clean, and I hope he will continue to improve and not collapse in a few years like so many beofre him. All in all, he had a great competition, he impressed me, and he can build on this.
Scott Hamilton (commentary) - I'm not sure why everyone hated Scott's commentary so much - I thought he did a pretty good job! He seemed pretty informative, and I liked that you could tell that he actually cared about what he was talking about. I'd rather listen to Scott's commentary than certain other people's. I love how he gets so excited when a skater lands a big jump or something, too - it's funny
Overall, I thought it was a good competition. I was kind of expecting it to be pretty dismal, but it exceeded my expectations. Ross and Max will make a good World team for the U.S. I'm actually more confident with those two than I would've been with Jeremy. No, Max will not get those same program component scores on the international stage, but if he skates like he did at Nationals, he'll do better than anything else the U.S. has to offer at the moment. They won't be getting three spots back, but they shouldn't have any trouble retaining two. My guess is that they will finish 7th and 10th, but who knows.
So that's what I thought of the competition - do you agree? I can't wait for 4CC and Worlds to see how Max and Ross do!