Sunday, November 14

2010 Skate America Pairs Long Thoughts

Kemp/King (GBR)-- Blah I feel bad for them. No improved jump content in years and they just keep sinking further and further down the standings. Split triple twist with a huge crash that nearly brings them both completely down, he falls out of their side by side DOUBLE flips, big fall on the throw triple Salchow, she steps out of a double toe loop... ugh. The lifts are obviously their highlight as Siudeks are their coaches, but even tonight they were slow. Posture was pretty awful by the end of the four and a half minutes.

God, I'm grumpy.

Castelli/Shnapir (USA)-- throw triple Axel with a fall-out.. definitely a good attempt. Watered down jumps with side by side 2toe/2toes and both had problems on the triple Sals early on. I've never seen Avatar but I liked Armin's program and I also find this program to be interesting-- maybe I should watch it. Not that the music or skating programs make the movie or anything... I love their split lift where she goes from vertical to horizontal.. it's a unique little spin they put on it. Mistakes at the beginning but I like them.. they have something that sets them apart from the typical American pairs. She seems particularly happy with the Axel attempt.

Looks like the scores are going to be high once again tonight.

Zhang/Toth (USA)-- Another crash on the triple twist, this one not as dramatic as the Brits. Side by side triple toe step double toes. She steps out and then falls on the double toe-- I think he had a slight issue with the first jump. I don't know how they didn't hit each other on the side by side flying camels--- she was RIGHT in his face but wisely stopped the spin. What a mess. Throw triple Salchow and she gets that one. Lift completely aborted as soon as it goes up.. throw triple loop with a hand down.. at least she fought for both throws. Side by side double Axels not at all in unison and such a big distance between them but they landed those too. Amazing that through that mess they still had two throw triples and a set of clean side by side jumps!

Stolbova/Klimov-- La Strada is the music and they seem to have took a page out of Takahashi's book in the opening choreography. Throw triple flip had a delay and she crashed forwards on the landing. Side by side 3toe/2toe/2toe is done in good unison (surprisingly). This program already has 5000 times more personality than their short program, where it was all business. I'm really liking the choreography-- their spiral sequence started out with a sideways kind of shoot the duck position from both of them. Unique moves throughout and the program stayed interesting for me. Congratulations to them for that. She's really pretty.

Sui/Han-- she's always all smiles.. are we sure they are from China? Two footed throw quad Salchow with a crazy amount of speed into the entry. Probably underrotated too but what an effort. Side by side jumps are on.. I don't know how she does it being so small. Spins are in unison, they carry themselves well, I just pray that she doesn't grow ridiculously in the next few years and ruin their potential. Huge throw triple flip, too. They always have something going on in between the elements and somehow they manage to look pretty solid rather than sloppily working their ways through everything. The end is lifts galore and they still look strong. Well, I love them! She's still smiling. That should put them in the senior Grand Prix Final, and they've already qualified to the Junior Final.

Denney/Barrett-- Really not crazy about this program at NHK.. I think it exposes a lot of their weaknesses rather than showing any improvement they have made over the summer. It's looking better here and they were skating well until she crashed on the throw triple loop-- I don't think I've seen her miss a throw jump in a LONG time.. maybe ever? He might have also singled the first Axel in their Axel/Axel sequence. As a whole, that wasn't bad. Like it better now.

Sui/Han are pretty much certain for the Final now with a silver and at least a bronze.

Moore-Towers/Moscovitch-- Attack right off the bat, but with that comes a fair amount of sloppiness. He doubles the toe in their first sequence. Throw triple loop and her hand goes down. Identical errors on the side by side Salchows-- both stepped out in unison. If you watch closely, you see that there is a lot of ice flying up throughout their stroking, and it's more of an up and down effort than a smooth consistent push. Cool lift with a balance hold and then rotating in both directions-- that's strength. I don't know how she held the throw Salchow--- WAY crooked from the start and she landed it just fine. Side by side spins off and on with unison. The lifts were definitely the highlight but I guess I'm going to be a hater and say that I think their components scores thus far this season have been quite generous.

Now that I take a second to look at the protocol, Denney/Barrett and Moore-Towers/Moscovitch definitely both got gifted on the components in my opinion.

Savchenko/Szolkowy-- HUGE throw triple flip.. did I hear they are working on a quad? triple toe/triple toe sequence, he falls out on the second. Side by side double Sals.. this middle of the program where they are supposed to be catching their breath seems like they are still having to really concentrate through everything.. it is their first competition, I have to remember. Last year they started with a weak debut at Nebelhorn and then an absolute disaster at Bompard, but pulled it together just five weeks later. This ending of the program just isn't doing it for me, however it excites me that the piece of choreography I talked about in the short program (and how I wished it led into an element) is the set-up they have for their throw Sal at the very end. Blah. I thought Out of Africa was an absolute masterpiece and I guess I have to come to terms with it being retired.

133 for that? Well Christmas is soon.

(Continued as the night goes on..)


Anonymous said...

Why so grumpy, Tony?! :))

Tony said...

I'm not really. Just reading my review of Kemp/King, I sound like a complete hater of all things figure skating. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Well, you're not alone in that. The Russian commentator on that delayed free Russian stream was having a hard time trying to say smth nice about their skate.

Tony said...

He's probably going through it again with the second Americans!

Anonymous said...

Let's see. He called their twist 'clean'.
And he liked the Sal.
He doesn't like them talking too loud in the K&C though ;)

Tony said...

I'm glad Taylor was able to laugh off almost getting slashed in the face by her blade!

Anonymous said...

You were talking about the 2nd Americans, I was translating the comment given about the 1st ones.

B/c the stream is delayed!

Now I know what you mean by 'almost getting slashed in the face'. Scary, yes.

Tony said...

Ahh, sorry. My mistake! I actually like Simon and Marissa's personalities-- they seem so laid back compared to a bunch of the other athletes that are always so focused and uptight. Not that the latter is a bad thing, but it's nice to see a relaxed and fun team :-)

Anonymous said...

No my fault, I completely forgot about the delay :(( Oops!

There's a special thread for ppl like me who watch that same steam, on _skating.

Anonymous said...

'I thought Out of Africa was an absolute masterpiece'

It was, wasn't it. Breathtaking. I loved it too, Tony.

S&S are trying to be innovative every new season, I guess. That pink cat of theirs isn't THAT bad, just needs some mileage. Prob.

Marco said...

Chinese kids are robbed of silver here. Comparable PCS last night and then suddenly 5 points behind the Canadians tonight?

And the Canadians are boring.