Definitely in the top 10 at the end of the day are Rippon, Contesti, Van der Perren, and Schultheiss. Assuming no one has an Oda-type meltdown in the final group, Kazakhstan is down to 1 spot in next years Worlds, losing out by 1 point. Belgium and Sweden are back to 2, and Italy maintains 2. Russia also is down to 1.
During the ice make, Lipinski and Weir talk about Van der Perren and how he's been able to do crazy combinations in practice for years and years. Weir says Rippon is his favorite for carrying on skating in the United States.. feels he might have been a tad overscored in the short, but bit his tongue in the free skate. Talk of his Lutzes with hands over the head and how they don't think they'd be able to do it. Weir says as far as 13 and 3 spots for next year goes, it's also an individual sport and if you have one of those spots, however it may be, you don't worry about it.
Carruthers says they are chillaxing and Weir and Lipinski laugh at him. Joubert talk.. they say it's his personality to be macho and fist-pumping, Weir says he's very influenced by Alexei Yagudin. Interview with Joubert after the short, his goal isn't to win just to do his best after the Olympic experience. Talk of Jeremy.. punished a bit according to Weir for not doing well at Olympics.. he says you will be judged on a different scale when you perform bad in the prior competition.. politics. He says this program is slow and a bit drawn out with the music, but he can make it work. More talk with Johnny and Tara about skate order.. they both like skating first.
In the actual warm-up, Takahashi two-foots and cheats a quad toe loop. Clip of his quadruple flip attempt, two-footed as well but it looked rotated!
Jeremy Abbott skates first. Symphony No. 3 but Saint-Saens. Taking his time to get to the opening pose. Quad toe loop and he goes down -3.. triple flip hunched forward but landed.. 0.. slow skating in general throughout this.. triple Axel/triple toe is nice +1.. flying sit with change positions and edge.. really well done +2.. circular footwork flows and has difficulty.. level 3.. +2.. double Axel fell -3.. triple Axel/double toe again nicely done +1.. nice choreography throughout.. and carries himself very well.. triple Lutz/triple toe/double loop with somewhat of a standstill.. 0.. triple loop had to fight for the edge.. 0.. sit/change sit edge.. +1.. triple Salchow is nice with little set-up +1.. serpentine footwork level 3.. nice edges +2.. he's not really selling this program, no intensity.. camel change edge for a second/sit/change/sit/upright is good. +1.. His eyes are always so red, like he never sleeps. I think he's generally just uptight and it comes through in his skating. The program has great choreography and transitions, but I guess his interpretation was okay in the sense that he used his whole body, but it should be lower as should his performance and execution. It was really just hit or miss.
Score: 77.15/75.90 -2.00= 151.05 and 232.10 overall. Into first. USA has 3 spots next year.
Takahiko Kozuka up next. My favorite if you didn't know already. Skating to Guitar Concerto by Michael Kamen. Already just effortless with using his entire body. Quad toe loop, fell -3.. close on the rotation I'd say.. single Axel/double toe loop -1.. triple Lutz/double toe/double loop 0.. flying sit low/change/camel/sandhu.. +1.. circular footwork level 3.. +1.. he isn't looking as smooth as usual.. spread eagle into a triple Salchow/double toe.. +1.. sit low/change/sit and variation +1.. nice transitions.. Axel came out in the air.. double with a downgrade I think it'll be called -3.. triple flip is just okay... 0.. triple loop nice +1.. triple Lutz nice as well +1.. serpentine footwork with gorgeous movement.. level 3.. +2.. camel/sit/something out of camera/change/camel/sit change edge/upright scratch +1. Off performance for him, for sure. He will drop with that, no triple Axel, no quad. Components aside from performance and execution should be among the highest so far, but again not much technically. Really just needs to break out of his shell and sell the skating, and he'd have it made.
Score: 59.83/73.70 -1.00= 132.53.. 216.73 overall and all the way down to 6th.
Brian Joubert.. quadruple toe loop/double toe loop done well and kept the flow.. +1.. quadruple toe loop.. kinda wide swinging free leg but done.. 0.. triple Axel held on to it as well.. 0.. fall on triple Lutz.. -3.. flying sit spin with variations.. +1.. again his spins look better here than I remember them being before. Slow section, time to get it back together, Brian. I'm not a huge fan of his but I find myself really rooting for him again this year. triple flip pitched forward a bit -1.. not much in terms of anything but stalking the jumps though.. triple Lutz/double toe.. 0.. triple loop turned out.. -1.. really disjointed and all the jumps come so close together. Circular step sequence.. level 2.. not much difficulty but more flashy than anything. 0.. triple Salchow/double toe/double toe nice +1.. sit/change/sit upright.. 0.. straight line footwork and the music doesn't really get you into it but the audience is trying.. level 2.. +1. sit variation change edge/change sit nice donut +1. He looks upset but it wasn't a complete disaster. Still strong technically, but the choreography and transitions mark should be down. I know they won't be, though. Skating skill also really shouldn't be as high as Abbott, Kozuka, or Rippon. Too much to ask.
Score: He looks more relieved to me than anything. 73.84/81.20 -1.00 = 154.04.. too high on the components, first. Expect complaining from me about the components again after the event is over.
Patrick Chan.. Phanton of the Opera. Triple Axel/double toe with a foot down in between.. does that make it a sequence? -1. Triple flip/triple toe is okay.. back on track.. +1.. triple Lutz again a bit backwards.. 0. Circular footwork is effortless as always with him.. +2.. flying sit changes edge and it's a really nice donut position.. +2.. Effortless on the in-betweens as well.. triple Axel a bit forward but just fine.. 0.. footwork down the rink to a triple Lutz/double toe/double loop is good +1.. sit/change sit is good, nothing great +1.. more transitions. spread eagle into a triple loop fell -3.. triple Salchow and he can't hold on to the landing edge, puts a foot down -1.. recovers with a double Axel +1.. this performance is also falling flat to me with all the tiny mistakes he is making, he's not really attacking everything.. straight line step sequence.. level 3 and well done again +2.. no spark really.. camel/sit/variation/change/sit change edge/upright.. all great positions +2.. This might honestly end up close. The audience reaction isn't great at all, and seeing how the judges marked Joubert's components, I don't know if he will have much of a cushion, if at all there. Should be higher on skating skills, transitions, and choreography by far but then his performance and execution should probably be similar. Who am I kidding? The scores won't reflect that at all.
Score: 159.42.. 247.22 he goes into first. I didn't see what his components mark was. 82.40.. not very much higher.
Michal Brezina.. BEAUTIFUL triple Axel.. +2.. good posture and speed into huge triple flip, maybe done on the flat but still huge +1.. another huge triple Salchow +1.. flying sit change edge and position.. that was acceptable. 0.. Moves really easily across the ice.. straight line footwork has personality and difficulty.. level 3 +1.. sit travels/change/sit travels again on change edge -1.. he really needs to work on the spins ASAP.. triple Axel/double toe loop again very good +1.. triple flip on flat hand down in combo with double toe -1.. nice double Axel +1.. nice triple Lutz again! +1 double Axel/double toe/double loop +1.. If he had transitions into these jumps he'd get all +3's, seriously.. circular footwork gets a bit slower than the rest of the program has been but he's stil in character and moving nicely.. level 3.. 0.. camel/sit/change edge/change/camel edge/sit/scratch.. 0. Well he was very very good! All of his jumps except the triple flip with the hand down should receive positive GOE, the spins aside from one looked acceptable enough for 0's today.. hope he works real hard on them all summer. And the footwork was okay, too. All comes down to components. Has a chance for 2nd in the free skate, I'd think..
Score: 77.21/77.10 = 154.21 and 236.06 overall. He did sneak in for 2nd best in the free skate, but just barely. Into 3rd.
Daisuke Takahashi with La Strada.. love this program. Predicted Chan to win but I'd love for him to win. Opening choreography already in character. Quad flip.. two-footed and maybe underrotated.. -2.. hard to tell but seriously?!. triple Axel/double toe done easily.. +1.. nice pacing.. triple loop +1.. flying sit with change of edge and variations.. all nice, just a bit slow.. 0.. he's having fun too, looks semi relaxed somehow! circular footwork and the crowd gets into it.. moves so easily and really deep into his skates.. level 3 +1.. more choreography.. triple flip/triple toe.. couldn't hold the landing on the toe and put the foot down -1.. triple Salchow is okay 0.. GORGEOUS triple Axel.. +2.. triple Lutz slight inside edge maybe.. 0.. he got called for them at Olympics.. double Axel/double toe.. 0.. combo spin ending in upright with change edge that slows down.. +1.. straight line footwork.. level 3.. +1.. the crowd is ready to give him this title, and good for him.. I really thought he wasn't going to be able to keep it together.. camel/sit/change/sit/scratch.. 0. He's laughing.. I think he has no idea how anyone else has skated so far. Standing ovation.. Oleg Vasiliev tears in his eyes in the crowd says Wylie?! Quad flip definitely will be called a triple with - GOE. I think he's going to win this on the components mark.
Score: 81.90/86.50 = 168.40 and easily the winner.. he looks very relaxed about all of it! Components of course seemed high, but I'm not complaining about him winning.