ISU, stop promoting 2-foot skating!
Men Short Program Report - 2013 Skate Canada
2013 Skate Canada
Men – Short Program
Links to Other Reports:
Ice Dance - Short Dance
Ice Dance - Free Dance
Ladies – Short Program
Ladies - Free Skating
Men - Free Skating
Pairs – Short Program
Pairs - Free Skating
Disclaimer: The GOE values listed next to the elements are ones I would award if I was a judge and they’re intended to give you a general impression of how each element was executed. I try to describe each of the elements but there's not always time to be as detailed as I would like and a numbers can sometimes say a thousand words.
I am generally very nitpicky, try to pay a lot of attention to detail and attempt to notice various errors that judges might have missed. I realise that I’m being very harsh but I try my best to apply the same high standard to all of the skaters.
Any questions, comments, criticisms and discussion are all very welcome.
1. Elladj BALDE /CAN/
BoBom by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
4toe(hand down)/2toe [-1]
3axel  – landing not very strong
camel to catch/change camel to donut to coe  – positions not extended very well
3lutz [-1] – solid but quite a large gap after steps (+1-2)
to flying sit/jump to sit side twist/sit tuck 
straight line step sequence [-1] – edges quite shallow and scratchy
steps to camel to upward twist/change sit cannonball/up cannonball to cross-foot  – quite good rotation speed
Weak basics. Quite shallow edges, wooden movement, clearly rounded shoulders.
The music increased in intensity slightly as the program went on but it didn’t have a lot of light and shade or strong highlights to accentuate so it all fell a little flat.
2. Andrei ROGOZINE /CAN/
Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi - arranged by Max Richter
3flip/3toe(cheated over 1/4) [-3] – not much flow out, cheated and two-footed (with the toe-pick) on the toe
spread eagle into 3axel  – solid landing with decent flow out
flying camel to donut to forward camel  – positions not extended very well
lots of steps into 3lutz  – solid
sit broken leg into tuck/change sit side twist 
straight line step sequence  – quite fast footwork but edges quite shallow, messy upper body movement
steps to camel to upward twist/jump to change sit/up cannonball to up  – quite good rotation speed
His basics are also quite weak. Quite shallow edges, slightly rounded shoulders and messy, unextended upper body movement. The gentle music at the start only accentuated his lack of balletic training and he seemed to have skated mostly through the music until the stap sequence. A fair amount of connecting footwork in the program, though.
3. ODA Nobunari /JPN/
Cotton Club by John Barry
4toe [-3] – fall
3axel  – solid, soft landing, entry a little telegraphed though (+2-1)
camel to coe/jump to change camel to upward twist to donut [-1] – the difficult positions were not extended very well, off-centred after change of foot
steps into 3lutz/3toe  – very solid, good flow out
flying sit/jump to broke leg(poorly extended)/forward tuck(a little slow) [-1]
straight line step sequence  – quite fast footwork, decent flow, good use of upper body movement
camel/sit side twist/change sit cannonball/up butt out to up  – quite good rotation speed
Soft and smooth basic skating. This kind of music demands more character and expression, however.
4. Jeremy ABBOTT /USA/
Lilies of the Valley (from "Pina" sountrack) by Jun Miyake
4toe [-3] – landed but very slightly cheated, no preceding footwork (0-1-3)
steps into 2lutz(weak landing, hesitation before the second jump)/2toe [-3]
flying upright L to cross-foot to scratch  – quite good rotation speed
3axel [-1] – hand down
turns to sit holding foot to broken leg/change sit/jump to sit forward bend(travelled quite a lot) [-1]
camel sideways twist/sit/jump to change sit/up var to up  – a little slow after change of foot
circular step sequence  – stumbled at one point, didn’t attack it very well, good edges though
The program lacked highlights. There was quite a lot of upper body movement throughout but it wasn’t delivered with a lot of conviction and was a little sluggish. There weren’t many transitions. He’s capable of much better than that.
5. Joshua FARRIS /USA/
Libertango by Astor Piazzolla
steps into 3axel  – very slightly over the toe but clean
flying sit to cannonball to broken leg to forward bend  – good rotation speed
3lutz  – solid
camel to catch(off-centred)/change camel catch [-1] – decent rotation speed, the positions weren’t well extended though
straight line step sequence 
camel coe/sit/up butt out/change sit cannonball/up L 
Quite a good posture and a lot of well extended upper body movement throughout. It was a bit too soft for a tango however. His movements should have been sharper and more aggressive.
6. MURA Takahito /JPN/
Jumpin' Jack by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Minnie the Moocher by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
4toe [-3] – underrotated over 1/4, step out with hand down
3axel  – high and solid
camel/up cross-foot/change up butt out/sit forward tuck 
camel coe/change camel upward twist to catch  – positions not extended well
circular step sequence  – quite fast and well defined footwork
flying sit holding foot to broken leg [-1] – positions poorly extended
Whoever thought that this music and choreography was a good idea for him should take a big frying pan and club themselves in the head very hard. This music requires performance skills, playfulness and a lot of attack. Mura was mechanically going through the motions but he lacked those qualities and the program was only highlighting his weaknesses. He’s an impressive jumper but a SAW (Stone-Faced Asian Warrior). Bombastic Macho Movie Soundtracks (tm) like last year’s “Shogun” work well for him but not this.
Spins were a little weak.
7. Ross MINER /USA/
The Way We Were by Marvin Hamlisch
circular step sequence  – decent edges and flow
4salchow [-3] – underrotated over 1/2, two-footed, fall
3axel [-3] – underrotated over 1/4, fall
footwork to camel coe/jump to change camel to catch  – basic position extended quite well (but not the catch), decent speed and flow
two flying camels into flying sit pancake to leg behind  – quite good rotation speed
footwork into camel/up cannonball to butt out/change sit/jump to up cross-foot  – decent flow and rotation speed
lovely spread eagles and split jumps to finish the program (very impressive)
Decent flow throughout. Transitions into all three of his spins. His upper body movement could have been stronger and more pronounced, however.
8. Michal BREZINA /CZE/
In the Hall of a Mountain King performed by Epica
2salchow [-3] – high and solid but was obviously meant to be the quad
3flip/3toe  – high and solid
3axel  – slightly over the toe
camel to upward twist/change camel coe to catch  – rotation speed quite good but needed to do some wind down in upright position before the change of foot, changed rotation centre a little bit on change of foot and the catch position wasn’t extended particularly well
to flying sit cannonball/sit forward tuck 
straight line step sequence  – sharp footwork, good edges
camel/jump to sit/up pancake to raised free leg/change camel/sit/up var  – could use a little more speed
Generic choreography. A front-loaded program without much connection to the music outside of the step sequence (other than some windmill arm movements). Not a lot of transitions either. He deserves better than this. Good edges, though.
9. Patrick CHAN /CAN/
Elegie in E-Flat Minor by Sergei Rachmaninov
3toe/3toe(foot down, turn out) [-2]
almost whole length of rink of footwork
3axel  – solid landing, goot flow out
to camel/change camel to upward twist coe  – good flow, well extended position, decent rotation speed
3lutz  – solid, good flow out, break after footwork though (+1-1)
flying sit side twist to broken leg  – decent flow and rotation speed
straight line step sequence  – very good edges and flow but footwork not in time to the music (+2-1)
to camel/jump to sit/up cannonball/change sit to forward tuck/up cross-foot  – quite good flow and rotation speed
The best skating skills out there. Incredible speed and flow throughout. Elegant, gentle, thoughtful movement in character of the music. He has a great self-awareness and control of his whole body (that’s one area where Kathy Johnson probably helped a lot).
10. HANYU Yuzuru /JPN/
Parisian Walkways by Gary Moore
steps into 4toe [-1] – over the toe, turnout
scratch butterflies into flying camel to sideways twist to donut  – good rotation speed
footwork into sit/change sit broken leg to forward tuck 
steps into 3axel  – high, solid and soft landing
straight line step sequence  – decent edges
scratch butterflies into camel coe/up var/change sit/jump to sit/up cross-foot 
Quite smooth edges, a lot of power in his basic skating. There was a lot of connecting footwork in the program. His movement wasn’t as strong, confident and as well extended as I remember it, though (he used this program last season). I wish he’d finish off his movements.
Originally Posted by Ziggy
Thanks for the excellent & detailed reviews, Ziggy. I mostly concur with your observations. Just want to point out yet another person noticed Hanyu's regression compared to last season. Given he is using the same SP from the last season, it's very easy to discern any differences. His SP is not having the same wow effect which at one point even beat the highest SP score on record at the time, held by Patrick Chan from the 2011 Worlds. Eventually, Chan took the record back at the 2013 Worlds SP but for a time, many even went as far as wondering if a clean Chan can beat Hanyu in the SP. I pointed this out after Finlandia, well, suffice to say, his ubers are not taking this in a good way.
I wonder if Hanyu is illed or something, he doesn't look well at all.
ISU, stop promoting 2-foot skating!
Thanks, I was wondering whether I was just being cranky or maybe expecting too much of him (as he's a skater I have followed closely since he won Japanese Novice Nationals) so it's interesting to hear that I wasn't alone in that observation.
I thought that he wasn't fully extending his movements and he lacked some of the projection and conviction in his movements that he's shown in the past. Throughout his SP, I just wanted to 'turn the volume dial up.'
wallylutz, regression in what, posture and extension? or general 'convinction' while skating this particular program? If it is the first, I don't understand. Not because he has good posture of extension, but because he's never had those if anything, this program when well skated helps conceal these flaws, but they are there and have always been. In fact it's one of the main complaints most FS fans have against him: bad posture, unfinished movements, floppy arms etc. etc.
If we're talking about conviction and projection while skating this program, as Ziggy mentioned, then yes -- when I saw his program from Skate Canada, I was surprised and worried at just how nervous he looked. This program works when he has fun while skating it, as it did for example during last year's NHK Trophy, but if he is too nervous or has problems with his condition it is very noticeable. In Finlandia he said his condition wasn't very good, so he tried to focus on jumps; this time he said he was fine, so I think the pressure of skating last, or maybe against Patrick, got to him and he basically 'held on' as much as he could. IMO his problem right now is mental: he needs to try to relax more and think more about the performance, not let himself be distracted by other things. We'll see what happens with that as the season progresses.
One good thing though is that he got two lev4 step sequences in a row, last year IIRC he only got lev4 step sequence at the Final.
ISU, stop promoting 2-foot skating!
I think that's it. Because he seemed quite tense and lacked his usual performance quality, it highlighted his weaknesses.