Warm-Up: Kevin Reynolds right away with a triple loop. Artur Gachinski gets a bunch of screams from the crowd. Adam Rippon also warms up a triple loop. Triple flip/triple toe on two feet. Alban Preaubert with steps into a triple flip. Patrick Chan is one of the few skaters that I've seen who actually acknowledges the audience when the camera is on him or his name is announced. Nobunari Oda with a simple triple flip/triple toe. Oda has medaled at every single GP event he has been in, says the PA announcer. Rippon with a double Axel. Oda again with a gorgeous triple Axel. His knee bend and run-out is just absolutely perfect. Reynolds stands at the boards as he is first to go. Gachinski has a pink neck line and pink gloves on. Interesting. Rippon with an effortless triple flip. Chan works on his camel. Oda does another jump and then works on the entry to his Axel.
7 Kevin Reynolds CAN
Alright, a chance to see history here as he plans two quads in the short program alone. Seems like he's been around forever, but he's still just 20 years old! His improvement last year was spectacular-- now commands the ice well. Quad Salchow/triple toe loop with maybe a slight, slight cheat on the Sal. There's one! Triple Axel with a turn-out, it leaned. Quad toe from steps and he pumps the fists. Flying upright spin-- eh. I don't like them. I wish they would just clarify it has to be either a sit or camel. Sit/change/ sit with leg held on the latter. Basic, average speed. Straight-line footwork with a lot of personality and finally gets the crowd going at the end. Camel/sit with high donut/change/ sit/crossfoot. More fist pumping. Need to see both quads in replay, but they looked good. Neil Wilson is part of his coaching team, and I seem to remember him being a great spinner.. Kevin can improve a lot there. Toe loop looked good enough for full credit in replay.
46.03/34.06 = 80.09. Well that's definitely a HUGE score. Better than Takahashi had last week.
8 Artur Gachinski RUS
Sick before the event, seemed to be day-to-day even after he arrived. Good start to the season so far. Money by Pink Floyd yet again. Quad toe loop right away with a big step out, so no combo. He has the arm movements but he looks down rather than to the crowd. The triple Axel was big though, but then to show off he curled the edge rather than letting it extend and flow. Same with the triple loop. Sit/twist/ change/sit. Great Gig In the Sky now. Circular footwork has some nice movements in it but it again looks a bit heavy and there's a lot of arm movements that would come across much better if he'd look up rather than into space/at the ice. Flying camel and then a catchfoot almost donut is centered but on the slow side. Camel/change edge/ sit with variation/change / sit/y spin and thats a strong position. I want to like the Russians, but I feel like all of the skaters that come from Mishin all try to emulate Plushenko and with that comes little as far as the in-betweens and none of them have anywhere near the command Evgeny has, and that's a big part of what makes him successful.
34.14/32.43 = 66.57. Into third. Components too high.
9 Adam Rippon USA
Clean triple Axel.. it looked like it might be a problem in warm-up, so good for him. Took his time on the triple flip/triple toe and it was gorgeous. Flying camel into a nice donut spin. The rule changes haven't affected him, as he already did camels last year. That was very, very nice. Triple Lutz with both hands above the head is clean, too. Good for him. Sit/change/sit with a change edge and just barely held for two rotations. The spin was nice though. This is like the best of Romeo & Juliet-- lots of music changes. Footwork could be more intense and captivating but it's easily done. Camel/sit held leg variation/ change/ sit/crossfoot. Nice spins, good program, great performance. I love his skating. Orser says something about maybe being short-- the sit change sit last variation I'm guessing. Or maybe the Lutz.
41.10/36.43 = 77.53. Into second.
10 Alban Preaubert FRA
Always the character. Triple flip/triple toe-- nice. Not the basics of the others, but the choreography and performance ability to make up for it. Triple Axel is done. Sit/change/sit with a variation at the end that slows him, but the positions were all nice. Steps into a triple loop. Camel/sit with leg grab/change/ sit variation/scratch with arms raised to over the head. Circular footwork-- he's so goofy.. in a good way :-) Footwork however is slow and not done as effortlessly as some others. Another upright spin that looks to start in a flying sit position. Joubert did one at the French Masters, and I question this one too. A picky technical panel is going to call that an unsuccessful flying sit one day, I bet. The program didn't have the spark or energy that he is usually capable of.
35.57/34.14 = 69.71. Third place right now.
11 Patrick Chan CAN
Alright, he's talked the talk about the quad in the short program, now he needs to deliver. Right off the bat you see how he has effortless basics and such speed out of nowhere. And steps with a pause into the quad toe, and he falls. Triple Axel and he falls again. Camel/sit/upright sit/change/crossfoot with strong positions and centering. Steps into the triple flip/triple toe-- good for him to get some points back. Flying sit with a twist variation. Camel/change/ camel-- those are strong positions but the spin could be faster. Straight line footwork and it's fun, but this program doesn't have near the personality, even in Canada, And just as I say that he falls over on the footwork and it really disrupts everything. I like him, but maybe this will get him to quiet down a bit when it comes to sharing his thoughts. His skating, when good, already tells the story well enough. I wouldn't have the performance/execution or interpretation very high. I get the sense that he wasn't into it after the two jumps falls. Reynolds watches backstage and smiles.. he knows he's going to have a big advantage going into the long.
36.73/39.47 -3.00 = 73.20. Ridiculous. They were going to give that 90 points if it was clean, even with one less element than last year. Third.
12 Nobunari Oda JPN
His pants seem to be a little loose and flailing as he gains speed. Ridiculously difficult entry into the triple Axel and he nails it. Triple flip/triple toe again both jumps perfect. Flying camel/variation bent leg and layover into a donut.. slowish. Triple Lutz from steps and he's gotten through the jumps. Camel/sit/Emanuel/ change/ sit/variation. Straight line steps. He's kept a serious face this entire time. He used to be so fun (Mario short program) and now that's gone. Sit with a wild travel/change/ sit. Not too much going on in-between, and not an engaging program. I'd definitely have it behind Rippon, but that means he will probably be scored close to Chan-- which shouldn't be the case. A woman in the crowd is giving all of the skaters stuffed animals. He's back training in Barrie with Robert Tebby.. now he needs to loosen up.
43.37/38.00 = 81.37. Well, into first by a point. Eh.
Oda, Reynolds, Rippon, Chan, Preaubert, and Fernandez are the top six. This should have been one of those competitions that I mock judged.