Warm-Up: Haruka Imai with a double Axel right away. Amelie Lacoste with a nice double Axel. Alissa Czisny with a double Axel (I see the trend). She looks skinnier than last year, if that's possible. Agnes Zawadzki does a triple Salchow as she goes out of focus. Ina Bauer into a triple toe/double toe/double loop. Cynthia Phaneuf did a jump that I missed. Czisny does a triple flip that looks good. Triples all over the place as the ladies keep going out of the camera view. Ksenia Makarova does a double flip. Phaneuf pops a Lutz. Double Axel/triple toe from Imai. Jump technique looks similar to Asada's.
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6 Haruka Imai JPN Polovetsian Dances
Double Axel/triple toe loop just as in the warm-up. Triple Lutz with not much power but the rotation looked alright. Triple flip is a nice one. Flying camel that isn't all the way extended, into a bent knee variation. Right into a sit spin/catch-foot layback. Triple loop that she sits down on. Biellmann-spiral. Scratchy. Recovered with a triple Salchow/double toe/double loop. She's fast but not refined. This triple loop she gets, in combination with double toe. Triple Salchow. Flying camel again with a change edge and donut position, up to catch-foot. The donut position was nice. No excitement and taking everything very seriously but the technical effort, aside from the loop, has been a good one. Straight-line footwork is lifeless and the final combination spin is alright. She has a big smile, looks worn out! Lutz is replay might have been short, but the flip looked good.
55.71/47.31 -1.00= 102.02. 154.54. 1st in both the long and overall.
7 Amelie Lacoste CAN
My claim to fame with Amelie is that I picked out part of her short program music a few seasons ago. Music here is Sheherezade. Double Axel/double Axel sequence. Both jumps a bit forward, but both big and had perfectly fine running edges. Steps into a triple loop with a hand down, no combination today. Triple Lutz is good here-- seems her problems are over with that jump. Flying sit with variation is low and centered, average speed. Skid spiral and some nice choreography so far, just as in the short program (I think we can thank Jeff Buttle in part). Slow approach into the triple flip and she goes down. Layback in a traditional position to a sideway leaning spin to a catchfoot spiral. All very nice and fast. Triple toe/double toe. No flow on the end. Forward outside spiral is a really nice position and she hold it. Walley into another triple toe that she has to go low to fight for but holds it. Music builds back up for the straight line footwork. Not a tremendous amount of content in the first part ad somewhat slow at the end. The music is really picking up, she's getting slower. Double Salchow. Camel with illusions/ change/ low sit/forward y-spin. Fell flat at the end, but I really like both of her programs this season. Too bad about the hand down on the loop, because I'm sure she would have went for the loop/loop again.
49.43/53.53 -1.00 101.96. 157.26. Stays in first overall, second on the free.
8 Alissa Czisny USA Winter and Spring
Nice dress. George Winston medley, I should like this. Triple Lutz/double toe-- no flow on either jump but it was rotated. Triple flip/double toe. That one might have been a little short. Triple toe loop nice. Flying camel into a donut. Beautiful spinning, and then up into a catch-foot all while maintaining the speed. This is going well so far. Triple loop leaned but landed. Y-spiral and then she lets go into a forward outside spiral. Great extension. Triple flip again! Double Axel leaning but again landed fine. Triple toe and she goes down. Camel with a change of edge/sit/change/ sit/ y-spin. Fast, and perfect. Should honestly be a +3. This program is going by quickly. Circular footwork is slow but the music is also slowing down. Layback with a deep lay to sideways spin/catchfoot/Biellmann. Another great spin. The question whether both flips were clean, but the rest of the jumps looked just fine. The spins were brilliant, and the program was nice. I think she sacrificed a lot of in-betweens and choreography to focus on the jumps, but the "improved technique" story actually seems to be true this year. Lutz was majorly cheated on replay, about half of a turn. Flip actually looked okay. Oops on my part.
55.95/61.47 -1.00= 116.42. 172.37. First by fifteen points.
9 Agnes Zawadzki USA Zigeunerweisen
Double Axel and a fall right off the bat. Triple flip/double toe. Back to the Axel, it was tentative going in and it looked like she started rotating too late. Cutesy choreography after a flying sit. Double Lutz/double toe. Layback traditional nice position, catchfoot, Biellmann. Okay speed, good positions. Another Lutz is doubled. Mistakes really starting to show up now. Gets it back with a big triple loop, and then a nice triple Salchow. Stroking, like I mentioned in the short program, is still rough and she gets no power out of it. Triple toe with a big step-out. Music picks up for the straight-line step. Nice choreography and good movement in both directions. Camel/change edge/layback-- beautiful/ change/ sit/Sasha I-split spin. Really nice spin there. Eh. The nerves definitely seem to have gotten to her. Three triples, two doubled (usually effortless) Lutzes, a fall, and a step-out. I think her choreography was good here, and her lowest mark really should be her skating skills.
46.26/52.80 -1.00 = 98.06. 154.35. Fourth overall. Dropping behind Czisny, Lacoste, and Imai.
10 Ksenia Makarova RUS Evita
Another popular music choice for this year after it seemed to disappear for a long while. So much more command right off the bat compared to last year. Triple toe/triple toe, not the flow on the second jump but she did it. Triple flip was two-footed. Triple Lutz maybe a bit short on rotation and stepped out. Layback has great speed and a nice Biellmann to end. Triple loop might have been a little short too-- had to really fight the landing edge and took a while to get her free foot back. Triple Salchow/double toe/double loop. Triple Salchow/double toe. Double Axel. Lots of jumps there. Camel/change edge-- very nice/sit/variation/change/ y-spin. Great. Now she gets into it as the music changes for the footwork. Very slightly off balance in the middle and then the second part looked like she was pushing a bit hard to get the edges to flow. Flying sit to end. I am much more a fan this year! Really decent skate. I'd think it goes into second behind Czisny, as they were close in the short program. Second triple toe in combo short on rotation in replay. Lutz was less than a quarter short. Loop looked just a bit short, too.
55.33/51.77 = 107.10. 165.10. Into second, she'll medal.
11 Cynthia Phaneuf CAN Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
Triple toe/double toe/double loop-- all three nicely done. Nice speed into the Lutz and she goes straight down. Triple loop/double toe cautious but done. Sideways leaning/layback/catch foot/ change/ layback spin with not much arch in the back. Different spin, but I could have done without the position on the latter half. Double Salchow. Triple Lutz again and another fall. Could Lacoste sneak in for the bronze here? Single loop. Completely going wrong for her. Double Axel that she really has to fight for to grab the toe pick on the landing. Flying sit and straight line footwork. She's still going for it and the audience is trying to get behind her. Traveling threes into a combination spin with a nice y-spin position and then a low sit spin on the change foot. It'll be interesting. She lost plenty of points on four of the seven jump elements, but her components might save her the bronze. As far as the program, we've all seen this style from Cynthia before. I preferred her short program new look by a mile.
Czisny backstage smiling, she knows she won this by a mile.
42.86/57.04 -2.00 = 98.00 156.24
AND AMELIE LACOSTE of all people wins the bronze medal! Wow.