Sabrina, did you not get the memo that you cannot mention both Plushenko and Yagudin on the same list? Just kidding. Loved one immediately; came to appreciate the other eventually. You can decide which. (And does it matter? Them together is classic "bitter rivals/countrymen"--one with tragically shortened career, the other who competed till very end (well, almost, anyway)
Originally Posted by Sabrina
Also loved Berezhnaya and Sikharudlidze and Daisuke Takahashi and Lambiel and Weir and Abbott, and many more, but not obsessively watching their YouTubes at the moment. All-time is no doubt Kurt Browning, esp. pro career when he really peaked in artistry and interpretation, no matter the sometimes cheese factor of the competitions themselves. Ice Wars, anyone? Also loved Abt (long-time board members, can I mention him with Yagudin, or are they mutually exclusive too b/c of 2002 Euros? All-time fave is prolly Browning, but I find myself watching the early 2000s Russians at the moment as a kind of palette cleanser after Men's Olys!
Many, many more I rooted for over the years, but these are ones that have stayed with me.
Yulia Lipnitskaya (I love her skating, she just takes all these special little moments of quality and weaves them together in a graceful flow that mesmerizes.)
Sasha Cohen (I have to admit after watching enough of her skating, I was just waiting for the fall, but I still love some of her performances. At the Olympics I just skip the first jumping passes and then the rest is gold-medal worthy.)
Gracie Gold (only some of the time, it depends on her particular performance)
Patrick Chan (same as Gracie, depends)
Jason Brown (when he's on, but any errors will throw me out of the program)
Stéphane Lambiel (only found him due to mentions of Johnny Weir on here that led me me to the video where they did the pair throw. J'adore his Ne Me Quitte Pas Ex, I could watch it all day. Also March of the Toreadors. He follows every possible nuance of the music, something I've really never seen another skater do, except for Sasha Cohen and G&G to some extent. For all that some skaters are lauded for their musicality, sometimes it really just comes down to whether you like the skater or not because I son't see the wonderful artistry in a lot of skaters known for it. Also he's incredibly good-looking, but more than that, he's compelling.
Johnny Weir (I like Johnny's Fallen Angel LP at the Olympics and his Ave Maria program, despite the truly horrible fur he was wearing for Fashion on Ice, and his Schindler's List Program.)
G&G=Magic (their skating their romance, and then watching the family skating together despite the fact that it's heart-breaking that Sergei died. It's incredibly inspirational how Katya drew the strength from her past with him to first be strong alone and then to find new happiness.)
Cody Hay & Anabelle Langlois (every pairs team I watched could not measure up to G&G but something about their skating just drew me in. Maybe it was realizing subconsciously that they have the same connection as GG, seeing as how they're married now. Maybe it's the fact that they're Canadian. Maybe it's because they're the first and only elite skaters I've met. Cody started skating at my club, but had moved on long before I ever started. He was invited back to skate in our ice shows first with Daylan and then twice with Anabelle, actually that's a big part of the reason he and Anabelle started skating together. Cody had agreed to come the following year but split up with his patner and needed someone to skate with. I don't remember the full story but apparently he already knew Anabelle a bit at the time and his mother? suggested he ask her. He did and then they became a team. When they visited for the weekend of the ice show, we were practicing a ending number that we were going to skate, and at some point we were going towards the black curtain at the side of the arena. I ended up skating backwards for whatever reason and ended up skating right into them. No one landed on the ice, but it's something I'll never forget. Also his baby sister was adorable.)
Tessa & Scott=Heart (I never watched ice dance, but in the dean's office of the dorm in high school the Olympic FD happened to be playing so I watched it. I was given strong reason to dislike it because of the absolute horrible costumes all the teams seemed to be wearing. Then, D/W skated, which I thought was so cool at the time because their costumes were fabulous and they skated to POTO, which is much that I love. At the end of their skate I thought, "Who could top that?". Tessa & Scott came out and, skating to the type of music I would never listen to by choice, skated a spell-binding performance, all of a sudden it didn't matter that they're were no jump/throws. Since then I have always loved their skating, whereas I only like D/W when they're skating to music I know, My Fair Lady is the only one I came close to liking, in the last four years.
Weaver & Poje (It could be their backstory from last year or the fact that they're Canadian but I really like their skating)