Here we go with the big names. In this warm-up.. which is an amazing one... Jeremy Abbott.. warms up an Axel and again a nice double Axel.. Sergei Voronov who now has to finish in the top 10 on his own to keep two spots for Russia.. crooked but landed triple flip.. my not-so-secret skating crush Takahiko Kozuka.. really nice triple Lutz/triple toe-- he gets a nice ovation.. Nobunari Oda.. triple Lutz/triple toe and he just sinks so low into the landings of everything-- amazing.. Patrick Chan.. they don't even really show him.. but instead show Daisuke Takahashi.. now as he goes into his jump they show the Japanese flags in the crowd but pan back to him after the jump... oh cameramen..
Jeremy Abbott of the United States.. A Day in the Life a la Kwan 2000. Good song. Great program. Cheers in the audience from the beginning choreography.. triple flip/triple toe.. +1.. very secure.. crazy ridiculous entry to triple Axel and forward but he held on.. +1 for that entry.. it would have been +3 if he nailed it, easily.. sit/change/sit.. +1.. nice triple Lutz.. best jump of the program.. +2 now this will be something.. great circular footwork sequence and he comes alive too.. +2.. camel/sit/change/sit variation/upright with variation.. well done +2.. straight line footwork.. +2 very in control of every movement.. flying sit with variations and change of edge... that was nice as well.. +2.. simply, hopefully this gives him confidence for the long program because he really has everything and showed it in this program. He says ciao, Italia in the kiss and cry. Looks relieved.
Score: 44.20/36.85 = 81.05.. he says that's okay.. satisfied.
Now the pressure on Russian Sergei Voronov, who I am sure is aware of Borodulin's earlier withdrawal and now takes sole responsibility towards earning two Russian entrants to next years Worlds. quad toe/double toe.. pitched forward on the quad but held on.. -1...
And now we get Johnny Weir and Peter Carruthers private conversation.. where Johnny adds that he was "really pissed" about something. Okay, show the effing skating. I don't care about their conversation. Tara Lipinski is a part of it, too.. she won't comment until the end of the show they say. 45 seconds until we're live says Carruthers and Weir is startled. It's kinda funny but I wanted to see Voronov.
Now, what a shock. Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir sitting and talking with Peter Carruthers. I would have never guessed. Carruthers asks Weir why he isn't at Worlds-- Johnny says that he feels his placement didn't reflect how he skated at the Olympics so he needed to re-evaluate what he was doing.. the time between the events wasn't enough to change anything. He doesn't know if he's retiring or not.. says he told USFS what Grand Prix events he wants for next year, etc., but still doesn't know what he's going to do.
By the way, 73.42 for Voronov and he's into second.
Takahiko Kozuka is the first skater shown.. NO MUSIC. Fix it quick Universal Sports.. you can still hear Weir's comments, haha.. Paul Wylie steps in.. triple Lutz/triple toe... great +2.. this is my favorite program this year, by the way.. HE LANDED THE TRIPLE AXEL FINALLY.. +1.. sit/change/sit with variations.. +2.. spread eagle into triple flip on the outside edge.. but nice anyways -1.. serpentine step sequence.. uses his whole body throughout the sequence.. +2.. death drop to sit spin with variations.. +2.. straight line step sequence... seriously, he's amazing... +2.. camel/sit/emanuel/change/sit and change edge/upright scratch spin.. +2.. great final spin. I. LOVE. HIM. I try to be unbiased with everyone but I just think everything about his skating is anything and everything that any skater could want.
46.60/37.60 = 84.20 and seasons best AND HE'S FIRST!
Nobunari Oda also from Japan.. single Axel.. that's really a surprise.. -3.. single Lutz -3.. who would have ever predicted this? Single flip.. -3.. Does he even make the free skate? Circular footwork.. I didn't think he sold this presentation when he skated well so now it's gonna be even worse.. +1.. flying sit in donut with change edge.. +2.. Straight line footwork.. and you know he could care less.. stumbles even in the footwork.. -2.. camel/sit variation and edge/change/sandhu.. +1.. traveled even so.. sit/change/sit donut and edge again... +2. I dunno what to even say. No one predicted this, that's for sure. I love him but I sense the tears are coming again in a different way than usual with him.
Score: 16.90/33.35= 50.25.. in 20th place, and no he doesn't qualify. Alexandr Kazakov is in.
Patrick Chan from Canada.. triple Axel.. really nice +2.. effortless skating throughout this program.. triple flip/triple toe again extremely well done.. +2.. triple Lutz with a slip in the set-up but he did it just fine +1.. circular step sequence.. as good as it gets +3.. right into sit/change/sit is good, not great +1.. flying sit.. with change of edge.. +2.. straight line footwork.. +3 again.. camel/sit/change/sit/upright.. traveled at the end +1. Extremely complex choreography and his skating skills are also among the best. Great performance, not much more to say. Should be first on both marks..
Score: 47.40/40.40 = 87.70.. into first. Just .80 ahead on the technical mark.. I'll have to check that, but both skaters are great. (he and Kozuka)
Daisuke Takahashi from Japan.. another skater and program I love.. triple flip/triple toe.. usual short landing for him +1.. triple Axel was gorgeous.. +2.. triple Lutz maybe done on the flat.. +1 for now.. combo sit/layback/upright +1.. straight line steps and the audience is into it.. +2.. flying sit with change of edge and variation.. +1.. circular footwork.. he's really getting into the performance as usual.. +2.. sit/change edge/change sit variation.. +1. I love this program but now that Chan and Kozuka and Abbott have all stepped it up, I think it comes down to how high the components are for him. Technically I wouldn't score it above any of the three..
Score: 47.40/41.90 = 89.30.. I don't know about that, and I am a HUGE fan of his.