Saturday, November 13

2010 Skate America Live Blogging: Ladies Short Program

Starting at 5:00 PM EST! Right now, the IceNetwork links to the live video actually are forwarded to a Cup of China article. Hopefully they get that sorted out..

Alright. Now we are good!

Introduction of the judges-- ALL nine are ladies!

Meite (FRA) does a double Axel. I see she's lost the long ponytail that resembled Bonaly circa early-90's. Kwak (KOR) does a double Axel as well. Double Salchow. Gilles (USA) lands a triple Lutz-- alluded her at Skate Canada. Helgesson (SWE) lands a triple flip/double toe. Lacoste (CAN) talks to her coaches and then doesn't do much while the camera is on her. McCorkell (GBR) prepares the Lutz but doesn't jump, and then prepares for the jump again as the camera goes to the whole ice. Back to Lacoste who does a double loop and back to talk to her coaches. The camera likes her, staying on her for a while-- triple loop/double loop is nice and she smiles.

Mae Bernice Meite
Music is from Forrest Gump. Triple Lutz/double toe loop is well done, nice power to her skating. Triple loop is also done but NO steps into it. Flying camel change edge and a donut variation up to a catchfoot Biellmann. The end was wobbly but the donut position was beautiful and well-stretched. Fan spiral into a double Axel-- fights to make a solid running edge but no problems with the jump. One-foot circular footwork to start and it's matching the piano music. A little slow and shallow, but also not bad. Camel/sit/y-spin/ change/ broken leg sit-- average speed and well centered. Arms are kind of lost in some of the positions though. Sideways leaning to catchfoot layback-- strong position there and up to a Biellmann that she also holds-- good stretch but not much speed. She's pleasant! The next step would be increasing the speed and covering more of the ice surface. The arms were somewhat oddly placed not only in the spins but throughout her stroking, but I definitely enjoyed her. Silly to not have any steps into the loop...

48.27. Her components average just below a 5.00. Personal best.

Min-Jeong Kwak
Triple Lutz-- looked all the way around and fell again just as in China. I saw this program at Kim's show in the summer and liked it a lot more than her programs last season. Triple Salchow/double toe is nice. Flying sit with a pancake position that slows down, centering alright. Footwork is a straight line and looks a little bit slow and average in content and flow. Fan spiral into her double Axel as well. Layback in a traditional position and then legs the leg drop, up to catchfoot and Biellmann- very well done. Camel/Sasha-spin/ change/sit cannonball.. nice centering, good speed. Same issues here as with Meite. She's so tiny and she has very little power, so her ice coverage isn't great. Her basics look improved from last year and she has nice arms in particular. Last year I thought she was way over-hyped but I like her this season. Lutz doesn't seem to be there yet. In the replay, it came down about 1/2 rotation should so it should be downgraded.

44.41. She laughs about it and goes into second.

Alexe Gilles
Had a disaster short program at Skate Canada with two falls-- let's hope for much better here. I don't really like the beginning choreography where she glides and comes to a stop right away. It's like a false start in a sense, although I suppose it's "pretty". Triple toe/triple toe-- more or less there. I think the second one was just a bit short. Triple Lutz again with a fall here and probably a downgrade. Camel/donut/ change/sit/twist/upright-- nice center, decent speed and strong positions. Nice double Axel. Flying sit with the blade held on the variation-- average. Cute choreography throughout the straight line (serpentine really) footwork and some nice content, into a layback with the arms held to her back and then a catchfoot-- good. I think her shoulders are shrugged a lot of the time but she didn't look as slow here as I usually find her to be (although the previous two were slow, which might have helped). I'd have her choreography and interpretation marks a bit higher than her skating skills. Transitions were decent. Toe/toe should get full credit... Zakrajsek says it was "close" in terms of rotation. The Lutz wasn't, though.

44.86. Looks like they are being tough on the jump calls (Well, Amano usually is. No surprise.)

Viktoria Helgesson
I really like this girl. I don't really love the Jeff Beck rendition of Turandot in this program, though. Well I take it back. She got rid of the Turandot program! Triple flip a bit forward/double toe-- real fight on the landing there and a struggle to get the free leg back. Triple loop-- bad lean and she fell forwards. Layback average to dropped leg that travels moderately. Not too much lay there. This is her last seasons short. Nice double Axel with little preparation. Straight line footwork-- I actually think she's consistently one of the stronger ladies with this element.. she flows extremely well. Kwiatkowski mentions the use of the upper body. Flying sit with the blade grab variation.. that really slowed down.. right into catchfoot/sit/y-spin/change/ sit that is average. She finished before the music did and just held the ending pose as the music finished-- I wonder why they can't just add a step or two to the end to make it look like it was planned, but I guess it's hard to think that quickly and avoid going over the time and a deduction. Much better idea to go back to this program in my opinion. Marks are taking a while.

41.91. Ouch.. only 19 points on the technical score, but on top as far as the components go so far. Into fourth.

Amelie Lacoste
If you read my Skate Canada reviews-- you know I really like her and her newer dynamic look this season. Dark Eyes tango-ish music. Huge double Axel with great flow out of it.. she really makes fists and flies up into the air. Triple loop/double loop-- a little wrapped in between the jumps so no triple/triple attempt. Double Lutz-- toe pick went in all wrong and she's lucky she got a double out of it. Flying sit with a twist variation isn't as fast as I'm used to seeing from her. Nice traditional spiral and in betweens leading into a traditional layback to sideways spin and catchfoot.. not strong on the last position but the first two were very good. Straight line step with the first part on one foot.. beginning looks a bit empty (still) but she packs the content in towards the end when she goes back to two feet. Camel with illusions/change/ sit/y-spin. Eh. This and the flying sit looked much slower than previously. Not as much impact here as in Canada but a decent effort. Nice choreography and strong transitions throughout, and she really attacks everything. Her basics are solid, too.

50.55. Best on the components by two points and she's into first. She's going to be a huge scorer if she skates clean.

Jenna McCorkell
Again with the Totentanz music this season. Double Axel to start. Grabbed leg into a double Lutz that she steps out of.. seems like she thought she was closer to the boards than she was. Break in steps before the triple flip that she pitches forward on but hangs on. Flying sit with a twist into a pancake position-- decent. Camel change edge--poor/change/ broken leg sit/upright that is poor and nothing special. Straight line step is average-- lots of arm movement. Layback travelling drops the leg and then up into a catchfoot that isn't particularly great. The variations on the spins kill the overall polish of them. I respect that she's went back and added some transitions to the program this year, because it was pretty bare bones in between all of the elements last season, but I wish she would have come up with something new. She's also kept her free skate.

Rachael Flatt and Carolina Kostner have a laugh at the boards as Carolina says something about being cold.

42.87.. fifth after the first group.

Okay now all of the ladies are having a laugh. Gedevanishvili is talking about something and they are all smiling-- how cute.

Group two warm-up:
Helgesson (SWE) right away with a double Axel. Murakami (JPN) with a single flip and she didn't like that-- but it's still the first minute of this warm-up. Goes right back into it and lands a triple. Zhang (USA) winds up on the triple loop-- looks a bit pre-rotated and muscled out to me. Gedevanishvili (GEO) with three turns into a single loop to get the feel of the ice. Back spiral into her double Axel. Flatt (USA) Triple flip that really digs deep on the landing to save it. I still don't care for her entry into the jump but I thought it looked improved at NHK. Kostner (ITA) does a double toe loop after avoiding a bunch of traffic down the width of the ice. Murakami does a triple toe/triple toe and then a single Axel.. back up for a clean double.

Joshi Helgesson
I thought she looked awkward last season, but I enjoyed her at Cup of China-- much smoother. Nice triple Lutz/double toe-- not much flow out, but the Lutz was big. Triple toe is done but no real steps and a big pause after the minimal step she did do. Flying camel into a catchfoot that changes edge.. alright. Layback doesn't have a deep lay, into a catchfoot and Biellmann-- better on the second two positions. She's covering the ice well. Nice double Axel. Music picks up for the footwork with Maksim's Sarabande and she has some nice content right at the beginning. One thing I do notice is that she has a lot of arm movements, not necessarily too many, but it seems like some of them throw her balance off just a bit. Camel/fly over/sit variation/upright-- quick positions on the end but she's happy with that. Much, much better than last year but again I'd expect some negative GOE's for the triple toe. Respect to her for skating "clean" after being in China last week, too!

51.17.. seasons best and she's in first

Kanako Murakami
Her smile should be enough to make you want her to do well! Nice power right off the start and triple toe/triple toe covered a huge amount of ice, well done. Triple flip out of steps is also well done. Sideways to layback spin with the leg down and then catchfoot/Biellmann-- kept the speed up throughout and centered it well. Single Axel-- just like in warm-up and again with the mouth wide open on the landing-- silly. She's still selling this program. Flying sit with a low position and then a variation.. good positions, average speed. Straight line footwork shows off some more of the personality.. she's most certainly not giving up on this. Camel/Sasha-spin strong/change/ variation sit and again all the positions were strong. She looks over at her coach and gives a "What was that?" giggle after the silly mistake. Still really enjoyable to watch..

54.75.. good enough for first at the moment.

Caroline Zhang
Triple flip/double toe-- looked good to me this week. Back spiral/Charlotte into a triple loop where she fights for the landing-- again I don't know about that take-off, it looks SEVERELY pre-rotated and this panel is picky. Flying sit with a low tuck into variation.. good. Still moves relatively slow throughout the program. Double Axel again with a skid on the take-off.. Layback/sideways/catchfoot/Biellmann-- still not the speed she once had but all of the positions were excellent. Straight line footwork and she opts to do the one foot edgework towards the end-- slightly on the slow side but not bad. Catchfoot into her combi spin camel/change edge/catchfoot change edge/change / I-spin-- spins are looking better than at NHK. Still not the spark to her skating that was once there, but I like that she's working hard on improving the skating. I really wonder about the pre-rotation of both the loop and Axel, though. A little history-- Amano (Japan) is one that consistently called Asada's Axel cheated last year. Flip even takes off more towards the side than picking straight back and drawing herself up.

50.66. She moves into third.

Elene Gedevanishvili
Still just 20 years old.. Cell Block Tango. Triple Lutz with the difficult one foot step into the entry and she falls. Double Salchow-- extremely tentative on the take-off. Flying camel change edge with a bent leg into a donut-- beautiful. Her short programs are always so character driven and full of energy. Straight line step also looks a bit on the tentative and heavy side-- checking some of her edges rather than flowing effortlessly but good amount of difficulty. Back spiral held into a nice double Axel, she got that one. Camel/sit/change/ sit/I-spin and she holds that one.. comes out a bit awkwardly. Layback with the leg down and the speed is amazing. up into a catchfoot. Nice. Eh.. she's going to lose a ton of points for those two jump elements. I like this program, but my favorite short of hers is still probably her Cabaret program from a few seasons ago.

45.27 and it's good enough for her seasons best.. she's 6th, and says she wants to go home.

Rachael Flatt
Her hair looking all fluffy today. Kwiatkowski says it has nice flow on the ice. Ha. Double Lutz/triple toe-- second jump looked short and the first had that annoying swinging entry that I hate so much. Nice triple flip, though. Much more solid than in the warm-up. Layback traditional position but not much lay in it, into a catch-foot.. alright. Flying camel with a layover into a catchfoot with a change edge.. the catch-foot wasn't the strongest position but there was nice centering. Double Axel. Nice footwork with most of the content coming towards the end. I don't know, I want to like her so much because she seems to have a great personality but I wish she'd get out of these jazzy cheesy programs. Camel/low sit/change/ y-spin that she holds.. that one was nice. Fun, but I want her to skate to something more modern or mature. Triple toe should for sure be downgraded to a double.

51.02. She's third. Joshi Helgesson will be in the top three after the short. Good for her! There's not even a point between the current second through fifth- exciting.

Carolina Kostner
Galicia Flamenca. Triple toe/double toe-- simple, but nicely done. The double toe was big. Nice double Axel with good flow out. Flying camel with very little fly into a change edge and catchfoot.. the change edge position wasn't particularly great, but as a whole the spin was alright. Triple loop with a pause in the steps.. looks like it landed on the flat a bit but landed. Layback into a poor and slow catchfoot. Everything is looking a little labored here. Circular steps and this is her best element so far. Nice content, nice choreography throughout and nice use of her upper body. Camel again not a great position/change/ sit broken leg that's traveling and upright that just barely got the two rotations. Hmm. The speed wasn't there, I know she's still injured and doesn't have the jump content, but none of her spins were that great either. I think this will be a great program when she's completely healthy, but it was flat here.

60.28. Eh.. whatever. Too high for weak spins and easy jump content. She has the strongest program here, but she didn't really showcase exceptional skating skills or a high performance quality this time around.


Anonymous said...

Tony! Where can I watch this online for free??

Anonymous said...

I'm not Tony, but here:
It's 10-15 min delayed.

Anonymous said...

OMGOSH you're my savior. thank you so much!

physics girl said...

Where are you finding the live detailed scores?

Tony said...

I don't have detailed scores, just this:

physics girl said...

Thanks, nice to see the component scores. Do they post the detailed technical scores later?

Tony said...

No, not until the competition is over. It's easy to figure out the components score average by looking at the overall total, though :-)

Anonymous said...

I hate hate hate the ladies competition and its weakness!!

Anonymous said...

Do you think Zhang should have been scored higher? I think perhaps her loop came down short. I was surprised by the lack of hometown bonus to Flatt and Zhang...

Tony said...

I have issues with the way Zhang does her jumps. I haven't slow-mo'd her loop but I really wouldn't be surprised if they downgraded it just for the way she took off.

I thought the judges were pretty good about their scores, but Kostner's 60 points, even if she was clean, just doesn't make much sense.