We are getting the feed of PJ Kwong and David Pelletier talking about the quad, and while it is important, it only takes one second to complete. This leaves 4 minutes and 29 seconds for other skating-- they say that Patrick Chan's in-betweens are the best example (shocker). Also mentioning that Kevin Reynolds will attempt two quad jumps in the short program. Pelletier hopes he won't sacrifice the rest of the program for the jumps. Landed his first quad loop after he missed the team for the Olympic Games. Finally, they discuss Jeremy Ten and his lack of confidence after last season, but recovered well for the long program in NHK. PJ goes with Chan/Rippon/Oda for the podium. David picks Chan/Oda/Rippon.
Vice President of the ISU David Dore is in attendance. Judging panel announced, and I guess we are still getting PJ and David's commentary rather than the no commentary. I don't mind her, so it'll be okay. :-)
WALTER TOIGO is on this panel. If you don't remember why this is significant, do a search on my blog for videos that suggest he copied off judges sitting next to him at a Junior Grand Prix event earlier this season.
Pelletier goes over the required elements. He makes a few mistakes, though. He forgets that a flying upright spin is possible (Joubert, Takahashi), and he thought that a spiral sequence was part of the mens short program until this year. Hmm.
Warm-Up: Jeremy Ten starts off with a triple loop. Paolo Bacchini lands a double just as the camera pans to him. The audience is much more energetic about the men than they were this afternoon. The PA announcer mentions he was off the ice for two months after his injury right before Worlds. Double Lutz. Grant Hochstein is getting loud cheers, and lands a nice triple! Axel. Yasuharu Nanri does a triple Lutz with a lean outside the circle and steps out. Kristoffer Berntsson gets some screams from the audience. He's in dress pants and a silver-ish button down, pretty simple. Javier Fernandez lands a triple Axel with his deep knees.. his costume is a blue tux with green undershirt and a bright pink big bow tie.
1 Jeremy Ten CAN
First to go, was also in Japan last week. Nice, deep edges are shown right from the beginning. Triple Axel was leaning and he did a three-turn and stepped out. Not a disaster. Nice speed into a triple Lutz/triple toe. Run-out wasn't great, but the jumps were high and the Lutz had next to no preparation. Camel nice/change/ camel with layover position. Slower, but strong positions on both. Steps 3/4 of the ice into a single flip on two feet-- picked wrong. Flying sit in a low position into a variation-- fast and well-centered. Music builds into the circular step sequence and the steps go with the music, but they aren't as engaging as they could be. Camel/sit with arms over head/change/ sit/y spin with one hand-- all strong, but basic positions. I like the quality to his skating a lot, but I think his free skate is more packed with in-betweens. He's not happy about the flip mistake-- grabs his head as to say "Why??" Coach Joanne McLeod says, "You were on it, it was there.."
30.39/30.31 = 60.70, seasons best.
2 Paolo Bacchini ITA
I have always liked his performance quality, but I really hated his Axel technique last year. Let's see if that has improved. Double Axel still with a big skid on the take-off, it's even more severe when he goes for a triple. Triple Lutz/triple toe.. the toe loop was huge. Triple flip was all over the place in the air but he landed that, too. Flying camel with a donut variation. Basic position could have been better. Steps right into a sit/change/sit with an ugly position on the latter, holding his free leg out oddly and traveling. Footwork is circular and it shows off the personality I mentioned in the beginning. Everything is a little flat today, though. Camel/layover/sit fast/variation/ change/ sit arms above head/scratch-- that whole spin was really nice. He's happy with that. Coach Grutter is the long-time coach of Lambiel. The Lutz and the flip in replay show how loose he was in the air, but he managed both. The flip may have been on an outside edge, but he does the jump on a curve so it's difficult to tell.
30.21/29.57= 59.78. Second by a point.
3 Grant Hochstein USA
Orange sparkly top with black trim and a deep, deep V. Triple Lutz/double toe with nice steps in, but shaky on the toe loop. Went for the triple Axel and fell, too bad as it was gorgeous in warm-up. Flying sit is nice and fast, even through the variation. Camel/change/camel with catch foot. Eh, the first position was okay, and the second was okay but slow. Basics are gorgeous, though. Just need to be faster. Triple flip is successful. Straight line steps have nice highlights and use of his entire body.. lots of content in that and it fit the music. Very nice. Camel/sit/variation/change/ sit twisted/upright-- another really fast and centered spin with strong positions. He's one that I have my eye on in the future. Lutz was probably a flutz and his Axel looked to be all the way around.
27.80/30.18 -1.00 = 56.98.. third.
4 Yasuharu Nanri JPN
I picked him at the last minute on my fantasy team.. don't let me down. Rondo Capriccioso. He's in purple and black with sequins on the top, and it looks like blue pants. Triple Axel. Slow and not much power from his pushes. Triple flip/double toe. Triple Lutz is alright. Flying camel to an inside edge, that part slows drastically but the positions were alright. Camel hop over/sit/upright-- well that was quite basic and not very good. Footwork has a lot of turning action going on but most of it in his dominant direction. Sit/variation/sit-- nice centering on the spins but nothing spectacular. His ice coverage was far less than the previous three men. Average all around.
31.60/29.40 = 61.00. And just barely into first. I don't know about those components scores.
5 Kristoffer Berntsson SWE
Amelie again this year, but not the Valse that he used the last two years. Triple Axel with no speed and a hand down. The music is Comptine d'un Autre Ete, and it sounds like he's throwing flames as if he's in the middle of a video game every few seconds. Down on the triple flip. I always admire his creativeness. Camel with layover position/change/camel and that wobbles. Both spins were slow and not great. I don't know that I get the concept behind this, but at least it's different... I guess? Triple loop. Flying sit travels to start and then the variation is a mess. Straight line steps are on one foot for the first half. Everything is looking a little rough and heavy today. Camel/sit in an upright position/change/ sit/scratch with the hands by his neck. That traveled a bit too. Eh, it was all a mess unfortunately. He could have added a combination to the loop to salvage some points back-- the jump looked fine so I'm not sure why he didn't.
26.32/32.17 -1.00 = 57.49. Now I don't know about that either. I'd have to score it but I thought many of his elements were messy. In any event, into fourth.
6 Javier Fernandez ESP
Historia d'un Amour. The triple Axel was gorgeous. Triple Lutz/double toe. Not much flow after the first jump so no triple/triple, and no quad. Triple flip is done but not with a long running edge. Flying sit is low and he's doing the same ugly sit position that Jeremy Abbott did last week. Still looks more like a bad upright spin to me. Camel/sit/Emanuel/change sit/hop/sit/crossfoot... slow and nothing spectacular. Music changes into more comical music for the circular step and includes a lot of stopping to sell the choreography. It's not bad, but it's not very effortlessly done, either. Camel/bent leg/change/camel and I doubt that had enough rotations. Fun, but messy. Not much with the skates going on in-between the elements, just silly choreography. However, seriously one of the best triple Axels I have ever seen. Patrick Chan gets shown on the big screen and the audience goes crazy.
34.32/32.42 = 66.74. I really need to go back and look at the protocols. The program was fun, but others had plenty more content. He's first for now.