2013 Skate America
Men – Free Skating

Detailed Classification
Judges Scores
Final Result

Links to other Reports:
Ice Dance – Short Dance
Ice Dance – Free Dance
Ladies – Short Program
Ladies - Free Skating
Men – Short Program
Pairs – Short Program
Pairs – Free Skating

Disclaimer: The GOE values listed next to the elements are ones I would award if I was a judge and they’re intended to give you a general impression of how each element was executed. I try to describe each of the elements but there's not always time to be as detailed as I would like and a numbers can sometimes say a thousand words.

I am generally very nitpicky, try to pay a lot of attention to detail and attempt to notice various errors that judges might have missed. I realise that I’m being very harsh but I try my best to apply the same high standard to all of the skaters.

Any questions, comments, criticisms and discussion are all very welcome.

Anna Karenina (soundtrack) by Dario Marianelli

4toe [0]
3axel(high)/2toe [1] – solid
2lip [0] – quite a short entry but outside edge on take-off
3axel [0] – slightly off-axis in the air but a clean landing
scratch butterflies to flying camel upward twist to catch(poorly extended position) coe [0]
circular step sequence [1]
3lutz/2toe [0] – some hesitation before the toe-loop
3loop [-3] – step out with hands down (near fall)
3lutz [0]
2axel into 2axel(weak landing) [-1]
flying sit pancake/change sit/jump to sit(slow) [-1]
choreographic straight line sequence [0]
camel sideways twist/sit broken leg/up/change up pancake to Y [0]

Sharper on the jumps then in the SP but the presentation left a lot to be desired again. Posture and lines were a little messy. The music lacked light and shade and the choreography lacked variety (a lot of arms being moved up and down and not much else). Spins were quite weak.

2. Alexander MAJOROV /SWE/
Life Begins Again by Afro Celt Sound System

4toe [-3] – fall
3lutz(high)/3toe(had to fight for the landing a little) [0]
three-turns into 3loop [1] – good flow out
flying camel coe(weak extension)/jump to sit/up var/change scratch [0]
straight line step sequence [0]
3lutz/2toe/2toe [0]
3axel [-3] – off-axis in the air, hand down, step out
3flip(over the toe)/2toe [-1]
camel/sit cannonball/up butt out/change camel/jump to sit(off-centred slightly on landing)/up [0]
2salchow [-3] – opened up early (it was meant to be a triple) and landed on two feet
2axel [0]
circular choreographic sequence [1] – ending with an awesome hydroblade and a charlotte
flying sit broken leg to forward bend [0] – could use more speed

He seemed to move in time to the music, more or less, but the choreography was quite generic, element layout in particular. Spins need work.

3. Max AARON /USA/
The Fortune Teller by Georges Bizet, Rodion Shchedrin
Bluerias by C. Surinach
Adagio by Georges Bizet, Rodion Shchedrin
Torero by Georges Bizet, Rodion Shchedrin

4toe [-3] – slightly underrotated (under 1/4), fall
4salchow [-2] – leaning forwards in the air, slightly underrotated (under 1/4), hand down
3loop [1] – solid, short entry
flying camel sideways twist/jump to sit cannonball/up cross-foot [-1] – travelled on the last position
circular step sequence [0]
into flying sit var/change sit broken leg [0]
4salchow/2toe [0] – tight landing on the quad, initially I thought he’d fall, it was very close
3axel/2toe [0]
3lutz/half-loop/2salchow [1] – solid on both jumps, maintained good flow throughout
3axel [-1] – skiddy landing
choreographic straight line step sequence [1] – good energy and expression
3lip [-2] – solid but off a clear outside edge (at first I thought it was actually a lutz)
camel/up pancake/change up butt out/sit forward bend [1] – good rotation speed

An understated, contemporary Carmen. Just like in the SP, his upright posture (his shoulders seemed slightly less rounded than usual as well – or maybe the black costume made it less visible) and aggressive movement suited the character of the music quite well. Having said that, whilst there were some nice choreographic touches at the start, the program quickly fizzled out and there wasn’t much between the jumps other than him occasionally raising his arms.

It’s not something you’d say often but the program was also very backloaded. It gave him a really high TES (5 out of 8 jumping passes received the ‘done after half-time bonus’) and obviously it’s something that is very hard to do stamina-wise. But given the bonus was supposed to reward ‘balanced element layout,’ it’s not something that was intended.

Still, a definite improvement over his previous programs. He’s moving in the right direction, as far as improving his presentation goes.

He is much better packaged this season up from the choreography, down to the simple and elegant costumes (also: great haircut and he’s sorted his eyebrows as well ). It might sound very superficial but at the end of the day both in skating and in life in general, how you present yourself is going to be a part of your success.

4. TAKAHASHI Daisuke /JPN/
Yesterday by John Lennon, Paul McCartney
Come Together by John Lennon, Paul McCartney
Friends and Lovers by George Martin
In My Life by by John Lennon, Paul McCartney
Presto (The Long and Winding Road) by John Lennon, Paul McCartney

4toe [-3] – slightly cheated, overrotated
3lutz [2] – high and solid, good speed and flow out
3axel [-1] – over the toe on the landing, no speed out
circular step sequence [2] – sharp footwork, very good use of upper body movement
flying sit (camel position in the air) holding foot/jump to change sit/forward bend [0] – could use some more speed
3axel/turn/2toe [-1]
3lutz(not much flow out)/3toe [0]
1loop [0]
3flip [0]
2salchow [0]
flying camel(shaky landing and travelled considerably) to upward twist/sit/change up sideways to layback [-1]
choreographic step sequence [2] – great speed and flow
camel/up cross-foot/change sit/up layback [1] – quite good rotation speed

Smooth edges and good speed. The program flowed really well from start to finish. Very good use of his upper body throughout.

The choreography didn’t have a lot of character, however. It lacked highlights and wasn’t particularly creative (when I heard that Lori Nichol was choreographing this program, this was exactly what I was afraid of).

His spins could use some work.

5. KOZUKA Takahiko /JPN/
Introduction et Rondo Capriccioso Op. 28 by Camille Saint-Saens

2toe [0]
3axel [0] – high and covered a lot of distance but entry telegraphed and landing edge a little scratchy
3lutz/2toe/2loop [0]
camel to upward twist/jump to sit/up cross-foot(off-centred slightly) [-1]
circular step sequence [1]
3axel(high and solid)/2toe [1]
flying sit holding foot to forward bend(a little slow) [0]
3flip [-1] – over the toe, no speed out
2axel [1] – out of nowhere
choreographic step sequence [1]
3lutz/3toe(cheated over 1/2) [-2]
3salchow [0]
flying camel/jump to sit/up L/change up butt out/sit broken leg/change sit/up scratch(very fast) [1]

Strong and powerful basic skating. Quite elegant upper body movement. He’s a very introverted performer but he did seem to move to the music most of the time. Choreography wasn’t very varied of creative, however.

6. Adam RIPPON /USA/
L'après-midi d'un faune (Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun) by Claude Debussy

4lutz [-3] – underrotated over a quarter, fall, crashed into the boards
3axel/2toe [0]
coe spread eagle into 3loop [1] – solid
flying camel/change sit cannonball/up cross-foot [1] – quite good rotation speed
camel coe upward twist/jump to change camel to catch [0]
1axel [0]
3flip/3toe [0] – no flow out
circular step sequence [1] – decent flow
3lutz with arms above/2toe/2loop [1] – solid on all the jumps, flow maintained throughout but could use some more speed out
3lutz with arms above [0] – cheated slightly
choreographic straight line step sequence [1]
cantilever to 3salchow [1]
camel/sit catch/change sit broken leg/up layback catch [2] – very fast rotation speed, well extended positions

Quite good flow throughout. His soft upper body movement and sweeping edgy mitf-like moves reflected the character of the music very well. However, just like in his SP, whilst parts of the program were interesting and featured difficult entries into the elements, other parts seemed a little empty and overall the program seemed slightly disjointed.

7. Jason BROWN /USA/
Reel Around the Sun by Bill Whelan

a beautifully extended spiral towards 2axel [1]
3axel [-3] – underrotated over 1/2, two-footed, fall
camel coe upward twist/change camel to upward catch [2] – good positions and rotation speed
3axel(two-footed)/1toe(barely eeked out) [-3]
layback catch/change camel/jump to sit broken leg [2] – very fast rotation, well extended positions
straight line step sequence [1]
steps to 3lutz(landing a little tight)/half-loop/3salchow(two-footed, foot down quick) [-2]
3flip/2toe [0]
hydroblade into 2axel [1]
Y spiral into 3lutz with arm above [2]
choreographic step sequence [1]
3loop [1] – short entry, could use a little more speed coming out though
scratch butterflies into flying camel/sit leg behind/up cross-foot/change camel/sit cannonball/up L/illusion to scratch [-1] – fast rotation at the start but lost some speed after the change of foot and was off-centred until then

A lot of transitions throughout. The program seemed a little lukewarm otherwise but maybe that’s because he was quite tense on the jumps and didn’t skate as well as he’s capable of.

I felt that both of the step sequences lacked the ‘explosive factor’ given the music was racing at that point.

8. MACHIDA Tatsuki /JPN/
Firebird by Igor Stravinski

4toe [1] – high and solid, very slightly cheated though
4toe [-1] – almost hand down, foot down quick and he didn’t do the combination
3axel/3toe [1] – high and solid, could use some more flow out at the end, however
to flying sit var/jump to sit cannonball/jump to sit to forward tuck [1] – quite good rotation speed
straight line step sequence [1]
3axel [2] – high and very solid
camel coe/change camel [0]
3loop [0]
3lutz [-1] – short entry but a shaky landing, lacking flow out
3lip/2toe/2loop [-1] – landed ok but the (f)lip was off an outside edge
3salchow [1] – solid
choreographic circular step sequence [1]
to scratch butterflies to camel/sit broken leg/up butt out/change camel/sit/up pancake/scratch [1] – quite good rotation speed

Another confident and powerful performance from him. Good speed from start to finish. There was a fair amount of upper body movement throughout and a few transitions as well but the program could use some more character and some fleshing out. The element layout seemed quite generic.

All in all, same impression as after the SP. He’s very skilled and just needs some ‘polishing.’