Men (the ones I feel strongly about):
- Plushenko: Extremely versatile range of performances and the most compelling to watch. Can be dramatic and serious in one program, and fun and lighthearted in the next. (Favourite performance: Tribute to Nijinsky at the Russian Nationals will forever be an all-time great in my heart).
- Takahashi: No one has his attention to detail. Every single gesture, every position, is just perfect. (Favourite performance: Luv Letter at the Vancouver Olympics gala is the best example of his attention to detail).
- Yagudin: His performances are a bit like the skating equivalent of big diva ballads (the good ones). Bombastic, serious, dramatic as hell but always impressive. (Favourite performance: The Man in the Iron Mask at the Salt Lake City Olympics. I know everyone else likes Winter, but this is the performance that embodies what I personally like about Yagudin).
Ladies (In flux. I stopped following the discipline closely after Michelle retired, and am just catching up now):
Michelle Kwan: The eternal queen of ice. If I must describe her in one word, I would use "inspiring." (Favourite performance: Tosca at the US Nationals. I find it actually holds up better than her well-known earlier routines. Will need to refresh my memory for a lot of them though).
Mao Asada: I love how she combines attack and grace. (Favourite performance: LP at Sochi, when she knew she had no chance of a medal, she went and delivered that).
Yuna Kim: Pure elegance, with her feathery-light landings and expressive but subtle performances. (Favourite performance: no single one stands out. Kiss of the Vampire, Send in the Clowns, Concerto in F, and the James Bond Medley are all wonderful in their own ways).
I follow pairs/dance even less so this is more of a "liked what I saw" list.
- Gordeeva & Grinkov
- Volosozhar & Trankov
- Pang & Tong
- Shen & Zhao
- Torvill & Dean
- Virtue & Moir
I think it has to do with Ekaterina herself a bit. I admired G/G, but I think Ekaterina overspent the popularity she inherited from G/G. Just my humble opinion I don't expect to be shared or disputed. For me she made some decision I don't necessarily agree with, but it's just me...
I'm not interested in pairs and ice dance.