Glad everyone is enjoying these. Cheers!
Notes on the top 12 after the CD
rot = rotational
1. Navka/Kostomarov - opening moves tight and crisp, diag ftw a bit far apart but fast with many turns and twisting, spread eagle carry lift with her draped around him a bit slow, low spin not too difficult pos and slow, SBS ftw good unison he looked a bit out of control in twizzles but hung on and stayed with it - smiled with relief when it was over, rot lift her in spilt in between him inoovative but the entry a bit awkward.
2. Grushina/Goncharov - open with charleston, very true to the character of the dance, SBS steps 1st half one foot with quick turns & good unison end-to-end very in character to the music, one foot carry lift trans to reverse rot lift, good diagonal ftw, change to Cabaraet very fast steps and very quick, rot lift her in split, finished with him throwing her down to a split on the ice lots of fun. Very enjoyable and well presented.
3. Chait/Sakhnovsky - Happy, jumpy quickstep to open, SBS ftw stayed in unison entire way with many many steps though sequence seemed a tad slow, fairly simple dance spin positions, highlight move her in a split him low hydroblade, diag ftw could have moved out a bit more but lots of steps, final rot lift her in split and very fast rot. Gave lots of energy to the entire performance, especially the quickstep.
4. Delobel/Schoenfelder - fun charleston choreography, he pulls her by the foot through his legs, diag ftw, rot lift to upside down split carry, rot lift with inventive pos, smooth dance spin, SBS ftw with great unison though it nearly ground to a halt at one point. Very good technically and good choreography in character but needs to project more to the audience and "sell" the program. `
5. Denkova/Stavisky - SBS ftw a bit off unison she a bit labored but he was fantastic, rot lift her wrapped around him a bit slow, spin first half her in good catchfoot position and fast, diag ftw really dragging towards the end, final rot lift her in a split. She seemed really out of breath towards the end and he did all he could to keep them moving and move her along. Not sure if competing here was a wise decision for them with her so sick...
6. Faiella/Scvali - whole dance very very true to the ballroom style, opening with long smooth edging great unison and wonderful hydroblade highlight, crossovers right into SBS ftw (most couples begin from a stop) gave them lots of speed though 1foot section sequence slowed down towards the end on the twizzles. Carry lift in spread eagle pos w/chg of position, spin w/her in Y position on 2nd half nice, rot lift with her in an "o" shape wrapped around him.
7. Dominina/Shabalin - Very fast dance spin inventive position good entry, good flow soft knees, SBS ftw 1st half on one foot slower than other couples but good unison, rot - rev rot lift good positions different from the basic split positions all the other couples have been doing. Diag ftw good steps she's really selling it and projecting outward to audience, final rot lift spectacular entry with her flipping up and swinging her leg around his neck very fast and difficult position on the lift swinging around for dismount pretty dramatic and inventive. Really seem improved from last year, showing great confidence in presentation, they're doing a lot to highlight her pretty lines and flexible back.
8. Kulikova/Novikov - good unison on SBS ftw if a bit slow, spin, low carry lift trans to rot lift with her in a split w/leg on his shoulder nice, labored diag ftw where they looked like they'd take turns - one would turn or twizzle while the other waited and vice versa. Spilt rot lift with interesting exit.
9. Kerr/Kerr - very grad style long edges soft knees, diag ftw beautful wide stepping, lovely rot lift three chg of pos w/good transitions, SBS ftw 1st half on one foot twizzles toward end a bit dicey. Sinead lept up into carry lift him in a spread eagle - crowd loved it. Final spin slow, not terribly inventive.
10. Frazer/Lukanin - Soft deep knees throughout the dance helped them keep speed and pretty seamless flow. Have improved significantly this year with Zhulin. Slow dance spin, SBS ftw faster than other couples but a bit easier turns and stayed in unison (despite a few dicey moments from him). Diagonal ftw good deep edges and body lean on soft turns, one foot carry lift transitions to rot lift, rot lift with inventive position but a bit labored.
11. Hoffman/Elek - opening foxtrot to singin' in the Rain, very soft and flowing, beautiful hydroblade highlight at opening, diagonal footwork into change foot spin - all transitions and connections moved flawlessly from one to the other. Quickstep to Puttin' on the Ritz, she made a small error in the SBS footwork and he struggled a bit with the reverse twizzles, final rotational lift with her in a spilt very fast and crowd loved it. Well choreographed and presented dance.
17. Gudina/Beletski - opened with a frenetic charleston, easy rt lift, transition to foxtrot which needs to move out more, she made a major error in the SBS steps plus minor errors later - whole sequence was pretty disasterous. Easy dance spins, final rt-reverse rt lift labored, whole dance labored and seemed at war with each other. Dropped a few places after CD and deservedly so.
Godfather arrangement. Nailed 4t3t2r, 3a2t good, 3a, 3z, 3f2t all good, 3s a bit iffy but clean. First spin came at 2:30 in program - flying camel to upright. Circ ftw punctuated by 2a at end like an exclamation point. 2r, butterfly to catchfoot spin, str steps giving 100%, final comb. spin not as good as SP but still brought down the house with the great, passionate performance.
4t3t, 3a (skiddy takeoff, low jump, but clean), great 3f, spin, 3f3t (double threes out), 3r, 3s, death drop to fast sit, circ steps to techno beat, 3z fall out, comb. spin, sit w/edge change to scratch spin to end. In general spins were very fast if not as inventive or original as other skaters. Overall a strong and confident skate, but lacked the same emotion and passion as Plushenko.
Very good 4t3t big, 3a, change sit spin with change of edge, edgy offbeat section of connections, 3r, 3f, comb. spin with changes of edge but basic positions, 3z fall, 3a hands down and step out, flying camel with catchfoot, 3s, fun interesting str step, 3t, death drop to end. Strong performance, fought through the mistakes to finish strong.
3a, 4t tight, running threes into 3r, 3f3t, stars to death drop sit upright spin awesome so fast, incredible change sit with all sorts of variations on the sit position, 2t whole arena saw him setting up the quad and exhaled a collective "ahhhh" groan, 1z, flying camel with layover position, str steps to music, 2f, 3s, cir steps to final comb. spin with headless scratch that brought down the house. Too bad 4th again, crowed whistled and jeered at the tech score but just too many popped jumps and lost points there.
Feeling Begins and Cirque Quidam mish-mash. Time showed 4:41 may have had deduction. 4t easy, 3a a bit wild but totally clean, 2z, 3a3t but put down free foot really quickly. flying camel layover pos to catchfoot, 1f, Sandhu bent over spin to catchfoot layback, circ step, 3s3t, nice 2a, 3r, change sit in cannonball pos. Seems more Yagudin-like now that Joubert whose been more accused of this problem. Good skate for him though - six triples and a quad is probably close to a personal best.
3a, another 3a attempt very messy and stumbled all over, death drop, 2a, LFO spiral and other MIF into a layback, 3s3t3r to big cheers, 2a, 3f messy with hand down, soft edgy section, 3flutz hand down like flip, sit-upright spin, str steps, clean 3t. Back to his Robin Hood program and he seemed comfortable with it, but he always seems to struggle with jumps when they are after the 2 min. mark in his programs and again tonight same story.
Messy. 3a3t no speed but clean, hard fall on second 3a, flying camel, 3z fall out, deep edges on str step, 3f fall out, 3s, standard comb. spin, 3r 2footed to 2t sequence, serp step but a lot on two feet, 3t2t, 2a2t makes one too many combinations/sequences and shouldn't have counted.
Very soft knees and quiet skater. 3a low but clean, 4t very very messy and stumbling all around but didn't actually fall, flying camel, 2z3t, circ step with nice touches to music (Polovetsian Dances), CCW upright spin to CW upright spin sequence, 3f fall, str step with many turns in both dir, 3s2?, 3t, comb. spin.
More interesting choreography from this young man. Opening moves highlighted every note ofthe music perfectly. 3a fall out, 3z landed right on music highlight, death drop fast sit, 3f, creative combination spin, slower circ steps in char of music with interesting edge changes, 3a3t gutsy, 3r hopped around, final section on music Hava Nigila 3t stumbled and tried to cover with sequence into 2s, interesting change sit, 2s no check, 2a, final comb. spin. Lots of potential with this guy.
Gypsy music suited him. 3t, 3a3t just, 3f2t, running threes into sit with change of edge, 3a, circ step with lots of playing to judges, 3s2t, 3r poss two foot, 2z, comb spin, 2a, folky dancing to start str step, death drop.
4s, 3f3t poss two foot on flip, 3a2t, circ step, 2r, 3z, 3s2t, sit spin, starting to run out of steam, 3t, butterfiles to sit to scratch. Respectable but not his best program - not very notable.
Again a crowd favorite for his posture and sensitive style. Really takes his time. Music called "Night Bird" opens with lovely bird-like movement to soft solo piano accents into a diag ftw sequence that was light and airy to LFO spiral with super extension, back sprial on flat to 3z2t2t, 2a 2a sequence, 3f wonky landing, back camel into near Biellmann spiral position, 3r, camel to layback, edgy part, 3s to 3t sequence, more quick spiral positions, 3z fall, comb spin with edge changes, 3s with big smile, diag steps perfect to music, 2a, stars to change sit to scratch. Really wonderful and good use of CoP to maximize points with jumping.
Got the crowd really going with techno program to Sandstorm and Children. 3z, 3a3t breathtaking quality, 3a pumped his fists, 3f, change sit, circ ftw with small one foot section, comb spin, 2z 3r sequence poss two foot of loop, 3s, change sit, slow str ftw stopped to dance a lot with butterfly at end, another butterfly to upright scratch.