Skating is art, if you let it be.
Which American Men do you want on the Olympic Team?
I want Jason Brown and Richard Dornbush. For me, they have the best programs of the American Men this year. Not only that, but these programs are all FUN too. Not just in a simplistic way either, but with a genuine and mature delivery. It would be a nice contrast to see at the Olympics, with all of the the super-serious programs that everyone else in the World is doing.
Jason Brown SP
Jason Brown LP
Richard Dornbush SP
Richard Dornbush LP (this Beatles program is better than Takahashi's this season...)
Both of these men are very capable on the technical side as well, if they skate their best. Jason Brown showed he can do a perfect LP with two 3Axels at Junior Worlds last year and his spins/footwork are among the best in the World. Dornbush has been inconsistent the past couple years, but he really does have very good technical ability. He already mastered the "perfect LP with no Quad" back in 2011 and he's just been trying to incorporate the Quads into his programs ever since then, which has tended to throw off other parts of his skating. He is the American man with the highest scoring potential if he actually puts it all together and I think this season he can make that push.
Thoughts on the rest of the American Men and why I don't think they are as good this season:
Jeremy Abbott - His LP has been watered down choreographically from what it was in 2012 and an annoying music edit has been added in. This program is no longer special. It's just run-of-the-mill CoP fare. Abbott can still be a special performer at times, but this program no longer sets him apart. The same goes for his SP, which is such an empty attempt at something "different".
Max Aaron - His programs and basic movement are the worst. He has the highest technical potential but is he actually capable of delivering 3 Quads in the LP? I highly, highly doubt it.
Adam Rippon - He still doesn't have a consistent 3Axel and his Quad is nowhere near consistent, not to mention that it should always be getting -3 GOE in the SP, since there are NO transitions going into it (required for the solo SP jump). I think his programs have some nice qualities, but they aren't particularly creative or memorable. He has really improved his basics, but ultimately it's not enough considering the jump issues.
Joshua Farris - An all-around good skater that has yet to show anything truly special.
Ross Miner - He was so good at 2011 Worlds (should have finished 5th!). I was hoping he would continue to build upon that, but unfortunately his programs and skating since then have always been less interesting. Since he has also been incredibly inconsistent on the technical side lately, this really isn't his season.
Max and Josh.
Tough... I know I'd rather not see Max, Adam and Evan go though. Jason is delightful, but I don't know if his relatively sparse technical content plus his inexperience would make him a good choice. Josh also with the inexperience. On the other hand, Richard, Ross and Jeremy are potentially great but have major bombing potential. I like a lot of these skaters, but it's so hard to pick out of them.
Richard because he's the cutest.
Jason has the most potential artistically, but I'm not a fan of his new LP at all.
I saw Ricky skate live this year and even though he has a lovely character, I think his skating was a bit blaah. He was sooo focused on getting everything together technically that he kind of forgot to present his programmes. That's why I found him a bit boring to watch. I love skaters who show their emotions on the ice. For this reason I wouldn't choose Max either. I would choose Adam, he has improved a lot, I just love his skating and the artistic side of him! Second one is tricky... probably Jeremy or Jason.
Adam and Jason (I know he doesn't have a quad, but that LP is insanely difficult anyway). I'd be fine with Max, Ricky, or Josh as well. None of them are consistent with their programs yet, so it really depends on who gets his act together by January. I'm ruling Jeremy out--he just can't handle his nerves in international competitions 95% of the time.
"Hold an edge and look sexy!"
Jason and one of max and joshua.
Lets face it no US man is going to medal at the Olympics so i think i'd like to see the future of US skating go for the experience and that is Jason and Joshua. Aaron without his quads is subpar Jeremy has lost it mentally and jump wise Adam simply doesn't skate big enough or do quads and his 3axels are still shaky and Miner seems to be done. I'd maybe pick Dornbush over Josh but he has yet to skate a clean program as a Senior i think since Nationals 2011.
Heart: Jeremy and Ross - It will be Jeremy last season and Ross wants to skate for Boston on Olympic ice.
Head: Max and Jason - Max has the most point potential off his tech. Jason can capitalize on his PCS/GOE and slip past flawed skates.
Gallbladder: Jason and Joshua - If a medal is a long shot then give the kids a valuable learning experience on Olympic ice.
Once Josh gets his quad down and skates some clean programs he will be a threat to anyone. It just seems he lacks the confidence that Jason has sometimes.
My dream US National podium in any order (I will list in age order) : Adam Rippon, Jason Brown, Joshua Farris.
I definitely want Max. He brings the most excitement & determination to competition. His season has just begun & I believe by January '14 he will once again be landing his quads. I was impressed by Adam. He's a lovely skater but his quad, triple axels are suspect. I love Jason but I don't believe he is ready for the Olympics this time around. I don't understand what is going on with Ross? Josh has potential, seems to be focused & hard working, Abbott is through, & I'm looking forward to seeing Ricky in China. I truly hope he brings his A game. I wish Stephen Carriere had a GP so I could gauge his skating/consistency this season. I'd be ok with any one of these men to make the team with Max. (except for Abbott. His confidence in himself is gone.)
Adam, Jason and max for podium.