r = loop (rittberger)
z = lutz
1. Joubert - 4t2t (4t not a ton of height, but complete), 3a touch of a skid on landing but really ok, nice 3f, new positions in the spins - especially new variations in the sit spins. Seemed a bit nervous, but got the job done and the crowd got into the techno beat and helped him along, especially in the footwork.
2. Plushenko - 4t(step out)-3t, 3a (tight, landed on deep edge that took strength to hold), 3z great. Overall pretty standard Plushenko performance in level and style. Spins and steps competent and typical for him in quality.
3. Lambiel - 1a, but then nailed the 4t3t and 3z and went on to delight the crowd with his trademark spins and floatly steps. He gave 110% in the straightline steps with amazingly crisp turns and sharp movement and changes of direction. The headless scratch spin at the end of his combination spin drew huge cheers and the final move of the program - the change sit spin - drew a shout of "Bravo!" from someone in the audience right in the middle of it.
4. Griazev - Lots of character to Carmen; many Yagudinesque mannerisms throughout. 3f3t ok, tight 3a, 3z leaning in the air/fell out, change sit with cannonball position each foot, interesting positions in the combination spin inc. a layback, really sold the final straightline step - audience started clapping and really got into it.
5. Lindemann - Fell out of the 4t and had to take a step before taking on the 2t. 3a and 3z out of steps fine. Huge death drop and another back-to-front change sit.
6. Van Der Perren - 3a (been struggling with it in practices, so great for him), 3z3t, spun out of the 3f. Good steps to the music and really well choreographed program; he performs it well but the overall effect is still a bit perfunctory - he needs to be more free and giving more emotion/passion from within.
7. Chiper - 70s disco king program, lots of Travolta-esque finger pointing, and dancy steps that the crowd really enjoyed. 3f3t, fell out of 3a, very messy 3z with hands down and stumbling around. Also did a back-to-front change sit trying to up his CoP level.
8. Contesti - Very inventive and playful choreography to circus-like music with heavy accordion. Beautiful 3a, clean on the 3z2t and 3f out of steps. Change of edges on all three spins, change sit transitioned back-to-front and was very fast. Lost a bit of steam on the final straightline steps.
9. Davydov - 3a (fall out), 3z3t, 3f (wild/hand down), spins and steps not too difficult. He's capable of more. No presentation; pretty dull performance.
10. Berntsson - Crowd favorite to a clever, robot-like techno routine. 3a with no speed but totally clean. 3z(2ft poss)2t. Spin combo traveled a bit.
11. Smalun - 3a, 3f landed on inside edge and fell out/no combo, 3z clean (if a bit tight) out of tricky steps. Spins and steps really interesting with difficult variations and changes of edge in the spins and significant changes of level in steps. Cool program to a unique arrangement of Metallica's Nothing Else Matters for four cellos.
12. Dambier - 4s(hand down)-2t, bad fall on 3a (leaning in air, may not have even completed the rotation), another bad fall on the 3f (he had been strugging on this jump in practices too). Death drop was very weak and hardly "flew". Looked stunned afterwards and pretty devastated in the kiss and cry.
13. Othman - big time crowd favorite. Very very elegant skater: long-limbed with wonderful stretch, extension and posture. Sensisitive program to My Sweet and Tender Beast waltz. Not the best technically but takes his time and stays within his ability. 3z2t, cautious 3f, 2a out of steps. Could be lower on his sit spin positions, but gorgeous combination spin with layback and a superbly stretched catchfoot back spiral position (almost-but-not-quite a Biellmann position).
14. Murvanidze - 3a, 3s2t (a bit wonky), 1z, very inventive positions in the spins - lots of variations and changes of edge. Circular footwork went clockwise - his non-dominant direction. Audience favorite with his offbeat, comical movements and mugging them at the start of his footwork.
15. Serov - opened with a good 3f3t but then crashed on the 3a. Still hit the 3z out of steps but the program was pretty uninspired and slow after the miss on the axel. Looked disappointed and shrugged like "I don't know what happened" at the end.
16. Zivanovic - Lots of character to Carmen. 3f2t, wild 3a but technically clean, 3z.
17. Pfeifer - Cirque du Soieil tango with good character. Clean but conservative technically: 3z3t, 2a, 3f
18. Lezin - 3f2t labored, fought to check the 3a in a tight circle on landing, 2a, wobbled a bit on the back half of the change sit.
Italian skater Paolo Bacchini (32nd place - next to last) nearly pulled a Midori Ito. He stumbled out of his 3z into the corner, then tried to tack on a 2t after stepping around but was so off balance he stumbled on that and started to fall towards the camera pit - grabbing onto it to prevent himself from falling in... parts of his body did start to go over into it, but his feet stayed on the ice.
1. Totmianina/Marinin - far and away the class of the field, everything clean and technically well done. 3twist maybe a bit wild but completed. Both throws - 3r and 3s - were brilliant. SBS 3s and 3t2t combinations in terrific unison with flow and speed. Lifts were good and controlled, including the infamous lasso lift on which they had the spectacular fall at Skate America. The final lift is a pull through toe lasso (he pulls her through his legs and then she turns and taps up) at the end of the program and impressive for the stamina it requires. SBS spins change foot twice - back to front to back - and they kept the unison for the most part.
2. Obertas/Sokolov - opened with a quad twist (not sure of the cleanliness, but looked complete, if a bit crashy), then 3t-3t sequence where she doubled the second one and there was little unison. On the solo 3t later on, she stepped out. First axel lasso impressive - started out rotating in one direction, then into a carry lift rotating in the opposite direction, with spectacular handstand dismount of her on his knees. But again they missed the second axel lasso lift: she almost immediately collapsed down onto his back - almost the identical mistake that they made at Skate America - and grabbed onto him, hanging on for dear life until he could bend over to set her down. Press lift at the end rolls up, she into an upside-down position, then back down and rolls up into the upside-position again - very very difficult. Interesting variation of positions on the death spirals and pair spin and a back-to-front SBS combination spin.
3. Petrova/Tikhonov - Just a few too many little mistakes and stumbles in this program. 2a-3t sequence fine, she doubled the SBS 3s later. Clean 3twist. Throw 3r stumbled, throw 3s was landed squarely on two feet. Lifts were the highlight of the program - two strong lasso lifts, with many changes of position, and flip out dismounts. Trademark hip lift begins with him swinging her down between his legs and then presses her up. Also did back-to-front SBS spins. Botched the final pair combination spin - missed their grip on their change of foot and didn't really do the back half of the spin.
4. Savchenko/Szolkowy - couple has a lot of potential but this was a sloppy performance with many mistakes. She doubled the first 3t, he fell on the second one. Throw 2a landed on two feet and then a throw 1s marred the very end of the program (she clicked blades on the entry and had to pop). SBS spins were sloppy. The highlight of the program was a mirror step sequence down the length where they crossed paths at the axis of the rink several times. Lifts were good - axel lasso with one hand set down, second axel lasso with nice variation of position with her legs together, hip lift good.
5. Volosozhar/Morozov - Flowing, soft program to Moonlight Sonata that used the music highlights well. Very interesting transitions - this performance had some world-class qualities to it for basic skating, flow and speed. 3t2t sequence, he stumbled, SBS 3s she fell. 3tw great speed and spring. Throw 3r slight two foot, but still good run out, throw 3s very nice. Most interesting were the lifts - both lasso lifts began by rotating clockwise! The toe lasso presses up *one-handed* showing great strength, rotates clockwise then changes to rotate CCW. The lasso axel later in the program featured the same CW-CCW rotation. Hip lift changed to a carry. Excellent position in all lifts on her.
6. Handke/Wende - Nondescript music really didn't go anywhere or help them. SBS 3t2t seq she stumbled around, SBS 3s clean, low 2tw, throws - 3r hand down, 1t. Lifts were fairly basic; both lassos had a one-handed set down as a highlight. Good unison on the SBS spins and footwork, demonstrated good flexibilty (especially on her part) in the spiral sequence and pair comb. spin.