Just finished watching the Final on ABC...
Some thoughts on both the SP (watched earlier today) & the FS:
Irina Slutskaya - heart of a champion.....courageous first step in her comeback from a debilitating disease......nice job! (:^)
Elena Sokolova - charming personality.......good job with the jumps.......nice comeback from a disastrous start to the season due to surgery & weight gain (neither evident here). (:^)
Julia Sebestyen - just love to watch her jump ......best jumps in the competition (as Button said during the men's competition when Lindemann skated, "now that's what you call a JUMP"!).......and IMHO she has the best presentation of ALL the European women (bar none). Fast, powerful, nice quick footwork, unique beautiful spins, complete package. Great job! (:^D
Fumie Suguri - missed a little bit of the beginning b/c wasn't quick enough to tape.........but what I did see was vintage Fumie.........wonderful quick intricate footwork (light as a bird), pleasing presentation, nice spins, and strong jumps. Good job! (:^)
Michelle Kwan - vintage Kwan.......not a bobble or a hair out of place........everything done correctly, as always. Great presentation, secure jumps with nice runout, nice spins, wonderful spirals, pleasing footwork, solid & strong performance. Great job! (:^)
Shizuka Arakawa - nice & strong opening with the 3Z/3T (BRAVO)! And everything else was done just as well.......finally.......she has always always had it in her to do GREAT, as evidenced by her landing of several 3/3s in the past (aka 3/3 @ 2001 SA, 3/3/2 @ 2002 4CC, TWO 3/3s @ 2002 Japan Nationals, etc.). And I reiterate once again, she's a combo. of her countrywomen Fumie & Yoshie - the complete package - not one or the other. Superb Job! (:^D
Miki Ando - ah, what a magnificent start to her debut as an international Sr. skater......3Z/3R (hardest combo. done by a woman; not been done since Irina Slutskaya's @ 2001 Sr. Worlds) was superb.......and everything else was just as strong & secure. Great Job! (:^)
***Note: btw her dress reminded me exactly of Sarah Hughes SP dress from the 2002 Olympics; beautiful, but unless one has a back like Sasha Cohen's I don't suggest baring the back, JMHO. This coming from a diehard Miki Fan btw - she's an all-time favorite of mine - no lie.***
Sasha Cohen - simply thee BEST.......everything done exceptionally........goes above & beyond. And IMHO nobody can touch her presentation, spirals, or spins when she's on - haven't ever seen a skater like her in f.s. - when it comes to finishing off all the moves to the nth degree! And when in a close race, these things will be taken into consideration (aka best toepoint, posture, back, extension, spins, splits, spirals, et al). BRAVO! BRAVO! BRAVO!
Jennifer Kirk - too bad.......just seemed deflated out there........no fight nor spark. Wonder what happened between the beginning of the season, particularly @ 2003 SA where she was OUTSTANDING, to now???
Irina Slutskaya - beautiful piece on Irina......made me misty eyed........once again, the heart of a champion. Great to see you back, Irina, no lie! (:^)
Elena Sokolova - too bad about the mistakes & falls, but I noticed she was back to her fighting form from last year. Better luck next time, Elena. (:^)
Shizuka Arakawa - ah, the one that has always reminded me of Sarah Hughes since the first time I saw her skate (or noticed her, no lie) at 2001 Skate America when she first debuted "Turandot" (one season after Sarah's btw). Her 5'5" tall & elegant build looks so lovely out there on the ice, especially noticeable during her exceptional Ina Bauer, spins, & spirals. Once again, I repeat, always knew that she had it in her to skate GREAT. And remember saying back in the Fall of 2001 that she had me worried b/c if she landed all the jumps she was attempting back then (3/3 & 3/3/2), she would beat Sarah (no lie). It took her a while, but she has finally mastered them to the point that she can consistently land them in competition. BRAVO! BRAVO! BRAVO! Well-deserved win! (:^)
Julia Sebestyen - lovely performance.........once again, best jumper of the entire competition.........and her presentation is right up there with the rest IMHO. Total package. Great Job! (:^)
***Note: would have had her ahead of Carolina Kostner btw. JMHO.***
Michelle Kwan - overall toughest mental competitor I've ever seen in my life as regards skating (and I mean everybody, including Katarina Witt).......that crazy streaker didn't even distract her, lol ........came back from that & skated great! (:^) Only thing kept her from gold was Shizuka Arakawa (she's no Elena Sokolova; Shizuka's the total & complete package, and TWO 3/3s from her along with lovely presentation will win gold).
Sasha Cohen - OMG! @#*& [color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color] happened to that exceptional choreographed program from TT......this one looked disjointed & thrown together (even the dress).......Robin, please allow TT to choreograph Sasha's programs (no lie). The programs that Sasha had with TT were simply thee BEST, especially "Romeo & Juliet". Luckily, Sasha has superb presentational skills & made the most of it out there.....but IMHO the program, music, & choreography were not a winning one......not to mention the awkward jumps (btw she also doesn't need to keep changing her program around from competiton to competition; this does not lead to consistent programs). That said, my only wish was for Sasha to make the podium (no lie) & she did! YEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSS! Only disappointed in the execution of the performance, but at least she didn't give up & kept on fighting. (:^)
Miki Ando - GREAT debut! YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSS! My wish for you was to make Top 10, with Top 5 being a possibility, but you far exceeded this by placing second in your QR, third in the SP, and 4th in the FS! (:^D In comparison to my other three all-time favorites, you rank second (aka Sonja Henie 5th in 1994, Oksana Baiul 1st in 1993, Sarah Hughes 7th in 1999, Miki Ando 4th in 2004).
Now comes the constructive criticism from a huge fan of Miki. First off, the good stuff (aka 3Z/3R, 3T/3T, six triples in total). (:^) Now for the bad, was really really disappointed in the fact that Miki "doubled" the 4S! (8^O Heck, I'd rather she'd fallen while attempting this monster jump, than given a half-hearted/no conviction attempt - this will NOT win in the big time competition (aka Worlds & Olympics). Not only that, neither will that presentation - hohum, simplistic, needs more stretch, more posture, more animation, more personality, more charm, more conviction - gorgeous choreography & music, but the interpretation was mediocre (no lie). Simple spins (just like anyone else's, nothing stands out) & simple spirals (please see Shizuka's, ditto for Shizuka's creative & innovative spins). Where's that beautiful one-foot footwork that was evident in the SP??? Finally, my gosh Miki, you were "blessed" with a tall & elegant & powerful build along with nice long limbs. However, you wouldn't know it by the way you've been outfitted - get a professional costumer, designer, hairdresser, make-up artist, etc. IMHO you look like a school marm out there, with your hair pulled back so tight it looks like its painful. Hasn't anybody around you noticed that you look like the legendary actress Audrey Hepburn!? Because you do, from your exquisite elfin face right down to your elegant body - please do some research on her & emulate her style (no lie). Would love to see the new/improved/reinvented Miki Ando next season! (:^D
Carolina Kostner - YES, my wish for you was to improve on last year's placement, and you did (from 10th to 5th)! (:^D Love your speed, fully rotated 3/3s, charm, and personality. Keep up the GREAT work! (:^) ***Note: your 2A needs work though, will keep you back in the SP, no matter the 3/3 IMHO***
Peace & Love, Nadine
P.S. Will be back to post some pics of Audrey Hepburn for Miki Ando.
***NOTE: Miki, please cut your hair into an elfin style, like Audrey's, in the above pics. You look just like her IMHO. Not only that, you're now in the Seniors, and need to present yourself as such. Cut off the hair & style it - it's needs more thickness/fluff. JMHO. (:^0