Now that most of us have seen the ESPN2 broadcast of the Ladies SP, what do folks think?
Now that most of us have seen the ESPN2 broadcast of the Ladies SP, what do folks think?
Last edited by Rgirl; 01-15-2005 at 02:49 AM. Reason: completion of post
I'm waiting for your opinion old wise one. Seriously though, I'm gonna type these up.Originally Posted by Rgirl
Michelle and Sasha were gorgeous as always (did anyone think that Michelle was slightly up from her natural "fighting weight"?).....Or maybe it was her dress.
The surprise for me was Emily Hughes. What a dynamic skater, reminded me very much of a young Tanya Harding (I mean that in a good way).
Wasn't too impressed with Kimmie. I thought BeBe should have had higher tech scores........don't understand the scores int e 4.0 range at all. (I guess that's why I'm not a judge).........
Again, get rid of that annoying "sky cam"..........42
Emily Hughes...her jumps were a bit messy, but I already think she's a better skater than Sarah. Her posture is better and she has an excitement about her.
Bebe Liang....I absolutely loved this program. She has definitely grown up and she is very exciting. I think I'll be rooting for her to make the team because she's a crowd pleaser, and I can see her being very COP friendly. Harry Potter music and voidy choreography, who could ask for anything more?
Amber Corwin...DARN that double Lutz! She would have been in the final group, IMO if it wasn't for that. Well, that's a bit of a stretch because her 3/3 wasn't the best either. I thought this program was great otherwise. She really entertained with the music and intepreted the character very well.
Jenny Kirk...Chicago was much better last season, but it's good to see her comeback. Easily can see why she's third. Her lutz is still badly flutzed and her double axel has a horrendous entrance. I would hope the Tara Lipinski style set ups would go away as soon as possible.
Kimmie Meissner...Many people said she was underwhelming live, but I think her quiet subtleness is very tv-friendly. She has a very delicate style and I think she has subtle musicality that I like. She's still very juniorish and needs to improve aspects of her skating, but I think she is a big threat for the World team. I loved her artsy dress and it really did seem to fit the music that seemed a bit out of the ordinary.
Sasha Cohen...Her jumps were a bit off, and she was hesitant. But I think this program would kick butt if she's on. I really didn't like the Dark Eyes music when my favorite pair of all time (Berezhnaya and Sikharulidze) used it, but wow did Sasha make me like it. I think the music was great for her skating and her skating really does sell it.
Katy Taylor...talk about a gift. I'm sorry, but her skating was really bad. I really thought she was given the biggest gift by placing in the top 6. All of her elements seemed weak and her presentation is mediocre at best. Meissner and Bebe were way better. Even Emily Hughes should have placed ahead and a part of me would put Corwin ahead.
Michelle Kwan...I will kill anyone who said this program is choreographically empty. I do agree that she has stuff to work on (i.e. fw before the flip and her spins to a higher grade) but it is definitely not empty compared to the other ladies SPs this season with Shizuka Arakawa being the exception. IMO, with more speed and better spins, this could be one of Michelle Kwan's masterpieces. It already has the right ingredients and she obviously knows what this music is about and how to present it. Definitely and easily the best tonight.
Last edited by VIETgrlTerifa; 01-15-2005 at 01:32 AM.
I haven't watched it yet, but I taped it. Tonight we were at "Stars On Ice" (!!!) and met up with dlkk. I'll write up a report either tonight or tomorrow. (Great show with the exception of Sarah Hughes, who was mediocre at best.)
Can't wait to see the tape and read your opinions!
Still breathless for Michelle's program...
LOL,VIETgrlTerifa! OLD wise (yeah, right, LOL) one wanted to get the thread started and then write up her thoughts. I haven't read any others yet, so these responses are my virgin reactions -- the last virgin thing in my life, no doubt.
1. Michelle Kwan
IMO, this is the best SP I have ever seen, certainly in ladies singles and possibly in both mens and ladies singles. Pairs and ice dance compared to singles is apples and oranges, at least for me. But even there, MK's SP definitely rivals the best in any discipline for me. Her "Rach" SP may have had sections of more interesting choreography, but I felt MK's "Spartacus" (if I have the music correct) was amazing on every level:
(a) Overall choreography. Artunian, Morozov (I'm assuming he worked on it), and Michelle (I'm assuming she had some input) created a beautifully balanced program; superb musical editing; use of new moves and elements; and a build in excitement that was just stunning.
(b) Strength of skating. Yet another new level of power to Kwan's technique and the best amplitude in her skating I've ever seen.
(c) Performance. For me, she hit just the right notes in terms of emotion, neither too cool nor too overdone. Also, she seemed sincere in a deeper way for this performance. Perhaps it has something to do with the connection she said she felt to Maribel Vincent Owen. I don't know, but I loved it.
(d) Her connection with the audience. This is always strong, but again, here I felt it was not too "sell it" and not too inwardly focused. She seemed to be skating equally for herself, for the audience, and for skating itself, which is a truly rare and wonderful thing.
(e) Total look. Even the costume was spot on! Although I felt it was reminiscent of the Vera Wang costume she wore for "Rach" at the '02 Olympics, in this case I felt the style and color of the dress suited the program to a T.
Congratulations, Michelle! Now THIS is the program I would have awarded 6.0s across the board for both technical and presentation! What a way to tie Owen's record.
2. Sasha Cohen
In high school we had a chant for games, which I'm sure many of you will recognize: "We are proud of you! I say we are proud of YOU! Hey! Hey! Hey!" Corny as he!!, but that's how I felt about Sasha's performance.
The SP choreography was nothing particularly memorable and the music was another traditional Russian warhorse, but she looked comfortable in it, as if the program fit her like her own skin. Speaking of skin, my big complaint is that I would have rather she skated naked than in that awful costume. How ironic that she mentioned her "beautiful costume" in her post-skate interview, LOL. The bodice and sequin pattern was nice, but the brass buttons and red-light district lampshade skirt, i.e, the black fringe have GOT to go.
But back to the performance. In the past, Sasha seems to have gone all out in the SP, really fired up, skating on the razor's edge, which, granted, was very exciting. This time she seemed to hold back on her energy early on but her skating still flowed. That is, she didn't explode with her skating but kept it under control without going all stiff and flat as we've seen in her LPs at every Nats and Worlds since '03. The holding back may have contributed to the hand down on the flutz (gotta fix that, Sasha; long time too much flutz!), but it didn't faze her. Her performance got better after that early mistake instead of worse, which has been her usual response in the past. From there on her performance seemed to get more confident instead of less and her movement seemed to become more connected between choreography and technical elements. I saw no lapses in energy and she gracefully moved through any slight problems, such as coming out of the camel spin, I loved what she did with her spiral sequence and the energy of the program definitely built, though nowhere near as much as Michelle's.
Of course we'll have to see how Sasha does during NEMESIS, the LP, but -- and of course I'm only speculating -- perhaps she is finally approaching the event as one connected performance instead of two (or three at Worlds) separate things. It always seemed as if she had an attitude of "Just do the SP with everything you've got and think about the LP later." Perhaps she is strategizing so that she doesn't blow all her physical and emotional energy on the short, leaving her no alternative, at least in her mind, but to match her SP performance in the long. With that approach, she seemed to put so much pressure on herself to live up to her SP performance that her mind wasn't fully engaged with the LP. Just a theory.
With a slightly more subdued SP, hopefully she will have enough left to do a strong long. However, I am concerned about her endurance, her back, and her jumps. Her jumps didn't look as technically solid as they did at '04 Nats and Worlds, but then there's nothing like an old injury to one side of your back and a new injury to the other side to weaken one's center, which is crucial to strong jumps. We'll see.
Best wishes for a good LP, Sasha! Perhaps she has looked in the mirror rather than at her coach, as Dick Button suggested. Or if she hasn't, if things don't improve the way she wants them to with Nicks, she may be forced to look in the mirror, and look long and hard. We'll just have to wait and see.
3. Jenny Kirk
How thrilling it was to see Jenny back healthy, skating well, and good gosh, that girl gets more beautiful every year! This is a great SP for her and given the problems she's had over the past two years, I didn't mind her re-using it. I think for her it was good strategy. Although this performance lacked the crispness and amplitude "Broadway Baby" has had at its best, it was still technically solid (solid enough), winsome, and entertaining.
Great job, Jenny! Keep it up for the long!
4. Kimmie Meisner
I hate to talk about what a skater may become, but with Meissner's body still so young, I can't help but think, "Boy! She could really become something!" Of course she already is, it's just that her body is still at that coltish stage. For me she seemed to alternate between looking rather awkward and skating with gorgeous line, flow, and beauty to rival the best. For the most part, I felt she used those great long arms and legs very well. I didn't notice any flailing or excessive stiffness. She seems to have a very strong technical base. Though coming up is that critical time when it's up to the skate gods as to how her body matures, hopefully the gods will be kind and if not, Meissner will be strong enough in her basics to adapt. I really like this girl!
Good luck, Kimmie! You're already doing great -- two 3Axels in practice! ZOWIE! Enjoy every moment of it!
5. Beatrisa Liang
Oh, I love how BB is maturing! I was worried for a while there when she kept having hip problems, but perhaps the coaching change and perhaps the changes in her body -- she seems to have more muscle -- and technique have enabled her to overcome them. I've always enjoyed watching her, but this year she seems to have made a big leap forward. She looks really INTO the ice now, and I am exceedingly impressed by her edging and power. I don't like to focus on the future since, as they say, Que sera sera, plus there's so much these top young skaters have already achieved. And I think Liang is absolutely delightful and very strong now. In many, many countries, she'd be the National champ as she is. But I will concede that, with cooperation from the skate gods, their competitive futures do bode well for skaters such as Meissner and Liang.
Go, BB, go! The coaching change seems to have been a wise one and your natural effervescence lights up the rink!
6. Katy Taylor
Not in the same league as Liang and Miessner at all, but still some good strong points, though her marks seemed too high based on what I saw. One advantage for her is she's small and compact, which, if weight doesn't become a problem, tends to be an asset for skaters, especially with jumps. Haven't seen enough of her to have a strong opinion other than I wasn't especially impressed with her based on this SP. Perhaps will be able to say more after the long.
Good luck, Katy! Don't let the LP and skating in the same group as -- GULP! THE Michelle Kwan! overwhelm you.
7. Amber Corwin
The young woman is tenacious, I've got to give her props for that absolutely. Haven't rewatched the tape to check the 3/3 for underrotation, but on first look, it seemed clean. But as she so often does, Amber wows us with a 3/3 and then doubles her 3flip. Frustrating. Overall, however, I've never found Amber a pleasant skater to watch. She seems like a delightful person, but her movements are very stiff. She reminds me of a dancer I knew who was always extremely frustrated that she would always get to the last round of an audition but never get hired. She could do all the moves, but they were always lacking in either flow, amplitude, or extension and had a tight, hurky-jerky quality to them. I saw people work with her on her movement quality and she worked both hard and intelligently. But she never improved. Apparently it was just something about the structure of her joints and perhaps the way her neuromuscular system was wired. Anyway, that's the frustration I have watching Amber, which is too bad because I certainly admire her tenacity. I hope she loves skating for itself, because I don't think she's ever going to make the World team.
You still have a lot to offer, Amber! Best of luck in the long!
8. Emily Hughes (10th after SP)
Emily is quite the athletic powerhouse, yet graceful too! Very different in overall style from the lyrical Sarah. Someone on another thread wondered why Emily wasn't coached by Wagner. Whatever the reason, I think it was a wise choice by the Hughes family and Emily. There's the potential for enough competition between the sisters as it is being in the same sport and, heck, just being sisters, that to have them trained by the same coach would seem only to exacerbate that and only to Emily's detriment. Even if Wagner never said so, it's only human to compare siblings, and when the elder had this magical Olympic gold medal win -- forgive the cliche, but that's a he!! of a hard act to follow.
Although there is a fundamental difference in style between Emily and Sarah, I do enjoy some of the similarities. They both have an uncomplicated style, very clean and direct, which I like. Their personalities seem that way too, which I also like. Emily's layback is a dead ringer for Sarah's, which is a great one to be a ringer for. Both Emily and Sarah also seem to have cat-feet landings on their jumps, which is another great thing to inherit. And ironically, Emily too has a slightly bent knee on the free leg in her spiral arabesque position, which answers the question as to whether it was coaching or genetics. Someone who posted here several years ago -- whose name shall not be mentioned, ahem -- went absolutely ballistic over Sarah's bent knee on her spiral. Now I see it as a Hughes trademark. Their coat of arms should definitely have a spiral free leg with a slightly bent knee.
Loved watching you, Emily! You're certainly you're own girl and you seem to adore being on the ice. Have a great time in the long and enjoy the journey!
PS Off-topic: Anybody know what happened with AP McDonough?
Last edited by Rgirl; 01-15-2005 at 03:38 AM.
Unfortunetly, AP has quit skating. Who knows though, she might find herself motivated enough to come back in a few years and do a Shizuka on a larger extent.Originally Posted by Rgirl
Good postings everyone. I'll try to contribute with my part
I felt the short was a great competition where most of the ladies did their best, which was refreshing.
The first one off the bat was led by Emily Hughes. I can definitely see a lot of potential in this skater and I agree with Peggy's sentiment that she has more power than Sarah did. I was amazed by it and the speed that she had in her program, especially in her spins. She didn't seem intimidated at all and was actually quite poised for a 15 year old.
Kirk skated wonderfully. I'm really proud of her especially after all the other competitions this season. I think she's well on her way to having a greater degree of success if not in the present then in the future. I enjoyed watching this program even if it was a recycled one. I could tell she was into it as she had a lot of energy throughout and I really liked it near the end when she just seemed to let it out. Plus I liked the display of joy/satisfaction on her face when she smiled. She is a beautiful skater, both on the ice and in the looks department.
I'm rooting for her to improve more hopefully.
Meissner had this quiet yet appealing grace about her in her skate. She's not up there yet with the big guns but I see a definite potential if she continues to improve. I can already tell she has the drive and the will to succeed and she didn't seem to suffer any intimidation either. I wasn't really thrilled with her program though and thought she could have used different music.
Wasn't really paying attention to Liang so can't comment there
I applaud Sasha for being able to skate a good performance even if it wasn't her usual perfect short especially with all the ups and downs she's had this year.
She seemed a little tentative though and held back that usual fire she exhibits before. Who knows? Maybe she's saving it for the long. I really liked her spin in the end, it was unique and entertaining. Now all she has to do is to focus on the long and forget about Michelle but only think about herself.
Michelle....well...I liked this program yet I wasn't really thrilled with it. The music was so so. Maybe I'll have to go look at it again but she did have the best skate of the night. I loved her spiral! Especially how the camera was angled with it. Even if I didn't like the music, she's still able to sell this program and sell it well she did. But I'm a little worried as to how it's going to fare at Worlds and how many changes she's going to do to it.
By the way, I recorded MK's program and it's saved in mpg (err I think that's the right technical term) and will send it to anyone who wants to see it. Only problem.....no sound So if anyone can tell me how to bring up the sound that would be great.
Just a quick note-- I'm guessing that you're referring to Jenny's footwork-into-a-triple-jump. I don't think it's badly flutzed. I think it's a planned flip. I noticed on the overhead monitor that they even called it footwork into a triple flip. She also had that in the program last year, a flip where most are doing a lutz- largely because she flutzes so badly, I know. But technically, she's not flutzing badly 'cause she always planned to flip... (think, worry, worry, think- it's like a vicious circle...)Originally Posted by VIETgrlTerifa
Okay, this is more than a quick note. I'm a Jenny fan, but her spirals do need some work too. It was really evident that night. (Footwork, however, was really great.) I think 3rd was definitely the correct placement.
P.S. We all (okay, me, Damon, and the lady behind me) thought Emily pulled off a SLC Sarah- we hadn't seen her skate like that in practices, but it was really nice!
Yes, what about Emily Hughes?!?! I really like her! Very firey and explosive on the ice!! I think I like her a lot better than Sarah..lol Plus, when they interviewed her I though what a bubblely and smart personality.. She handled everything quite well.. I am also very excited about Kimmie M! Lovely skater with long limbs and soft skating.. Even BeBe kinda brought the house down with her SP.. Love the Harry Potter music and it fit her well!!
You know I did really enjoy Sasha's program.. Love the new final combination spin at the end.. Where she holds/bends her leg up even with her waiste..and yes it was nice to see her smiling.
Michelle, stole the show!! If I wasn't a die hard fan before I am now.. LOVE her new SP!! At the end when she strikes her final pose..it took my breath away.. I really enjoyed the interview at the end.. Michelle, really opened her heart about why she loves to compete and keeps on skating.. She was very real.. Even if she never wins an Oly gold medal...She still is probably the best ladies figure skater of all time..
Glad to hear it. She hasn't looked happy on the ice in several years. (Can you say, "My Mommy wants me to be a figure skater and dress in the ridiculous costumes she sews for me..." ? ) I hope she finds joy in whatever she chooses to do with her life.Originally Posted by VIETgrlTerifa
Really?? I hope I get to see her when it is broadcasted over here. Which HP soundtrack did she use? I hope is from PoA, 'cause the first time I heard it I immediately thought "This would make an excellent skating music".Originally Posted by VIETgrlTerifa
That sky cam is absolutely horrible. It ruins the enjoyment of a skating program. I hope they get rid of it ASAP- may be even before today's LP's (I know that's hoping for miracles!)Originally Posted by show 42
Emily looks very much like Sarah but skates very differently. She looks bigger and more powerful than Sarah did at her age. She does not have that soft look, but rather- 'go get it' kind of look. She is going to be a force, in the years to come.
I loved Bebe Liang's SP. I did not understand her horribly low marks at all. It seems the judges are preparing to make Kimmie Meissner the future. Right now though Bebe's skating is more COP friendly and she really delivered in the SP. She should have placed 4th.
She quit after the fourth place in Regionals?Originally Posted by VIETgrlTerifa