Saturday, March 27

Formspring.me: if you could combine two skaters to make a superskater, which two would you combine, and why?

Wow, another tough question. Takahiko Kozuka for just about everything besides the charisma and ability to really sell a program, and Stephane Lambiel for that very reason, plus the spins wouldn't hurt. I think that would sure be interesting!

As far as ladies go.. there's honestly none of them that move so quick and freely with their entire bodies like we find with the men, so i can't really think of anyone. It's funny, I find the men so much more interesting all the way down the standings now, and I used to think the ladies were the most exciting. Oh, how times have changed.

Formspring.me: besides the olympics and worlds, where would you rank the other competitions in terms of importance?

Hmm. Interesting question. I think that the Grand Prix series is really hit or miss depending on which skaters actually compete. Usually all the singles skaters and pairs teams do, but there always seems to be a dance team or two that doesn't showcase their stuff internationally until Europeans. So, I'd say after the Olympics/Worlds comes Europeans, the Grand Prix Final, Four Continents (which has the potential to honestly be amazing, and it's getting there but not quite yet), the Grand Prix events, and then all the other minor international competitions. National Championships are important but let's be honest, the way the judges score in most countries makes it somewhat obvious that they already have their teams for the internationals picked out, so I don't always take them so serious. (100 point Plushenko short program, anyone? :-) )

Formspring.me: if kim yuna does retire this year (i hope she doesnt), will she go down in history as one of the best ladies figure skaters?

I definitely think so. She's been on the Worlds podium every year she's competed (the last four), and has an Olympic gold medal to her name. That's a better result sheet than Arakawa, Hughes, Lipinski, Baiul, or Yagauchi had. And of course, an Olympic champion doesn't mean you were one of the best ladies figure skaters (Hughes...), but that's just as a comparison. I'd put her behind Kwan and Slutskaya for now, the latter because of the way she was really able to stay or near the top of the sport for 10 years, in both 6.0 and IJS. If Yu-Na sticks around another four years and continues to push the envelope as well as stay at the top of the sport, she may very well be the best ever. She's not far from it, and definitely capable.

WTF Judging from the World Championships: Fleur Maxwell

I'm watching the ladies short programs from the earlier session that I missed early in the morning yesterday, and I have to say that Fleur Maxwell was totally screwed by her skating order. Three of her program components scores-- the performance/execution, choreograpy, and interpretation, should have easily been head and shoulders above the field to that point. I even thought 6's on them weren't out of the question. But what does she receive? 4.35, 4.10, 4.25. She was in the second warm-up group of ten, and here's yet another case of the judges marking based on starting order. I wish there was a clip of her short program up on YouTube so you could compare it with other programs that were scoring similar. Unbelievable.

Formspring.me: You've mentioned that Joannie Rochette has really good basics. Can you explain what it mean? I'm not at all familiar with the mechanics of skating. Also, among the current top men and ladies, who have the best skating skills apart from Joannie?

For me, the thing about Joannie is her ability to do crossovers and not move her arms in the slightest, which shows me that she's exactly where she needs to be on her blades. She gains speed very easily, and she has nice deep edges throughout everything she does. She doesn't really do as many crossovers, obviously, since the new system started up, but you can still get an idea of how effortless it all looks. Well, at least to me.

Carolina Kostner's ability to gain speed is great too, and she obviously has the best speed of any of the ladies, but her long arms and legs are sometimes distracting to me. Still, she's also very good in that aspect. Yu-Na and Mao are also very good, but I have little problems with each of their basics. Mao really doesn't lift her free foot up too much within the pushes of her crossovers, she more just drags it just above the ice. Yu-Na hides her somewhat not perfect basic skating by adding transitions and turns, but they both move effortlessly. Mao can improve her speed, though.

As far as the men go, Patrick Chan, Takahiko Kozuka, and Jeremy Abbott are probably at the very top of the list, with Daisuke Takahashi just a bit behind.

Formspring.me: How can I be notified when you post new articles?

I actually am not aware how that works. If you are a member of Blogger and subscribe to me at the bottom right-hand corner of the page, I think that it will notify you via e-mail or on your Blogger page itself whenever I write something new.. but again I'm not 100% sure. Sorry, I guess I should really know the answer to that if I want people coming back!

Word on the Street RE: Yu-na Kim in Torino

I've heard from a few competitors in Torino that Yu-na Kim did not want to skate in these World Championships, but her federation told her that she had to take part. Of course, the short program problems she attributes to her left foot shaking, but may it actually be that she wasn't fully prepared and planned on just ending her season in Vancouver? Not that a silver medal is a bad thing (nor is winning the long program, obviously), but I'd imagine that if she just really got back into training seriously a week ago as she mentioned in an interview, that there might be some truth behind the gossip.

Yu-na has had a long year, and I'm sure it got even crazier after her Olympic gold medal. If she needed a break, she should have been allowed to have one. Not earning the World title in an Olympic year isn't the end of the world.

The Rest of the Ladies..

My summaries for them will come later. It's the weekend, I hope most of you that have been reading are not working and able to watch somewhere on TV or online :-)

2010 World Championships - Ladies Long Program Group One Live Blogging

Setting up shop for the final portion of the World Championships!

TC: Katarina Henricksson; TS: Shin Amano; AST: Annet Poetzach-Rauschenbach- 1980 Olympic champ.

Judge 1: Daniel Delfa; 2: Eddy Wu; 3: Catherine Taylor; 4: Igor Obraztov; 5: Chihee Rhee; 6: Antica Grubisic; 7: Ingrid Charlotte Wolter; 8: Tamie Campbell; 9: Neil Garrard.

Warm-up includes Anastasia Gimazetdinova from Uzbekistan, Sonia Lafuente from Spain; Min-Jung Kwan from Korea; Manouk Gijsman from the Netherlands; Elena Glebova from Estonia; Akiko Suzuki from Japan.

Gimazetdinova with that bright red hair.. it actually looks okay on her, better than the black she had previously at least. She's had this purple dress for a while now. Pans away as she sets up a jump. Lafuente.. spread eagle into a double Axel, turned out but I think it's because there was traffic.. double Axel/double toe at the other corner. Kwak.. she's so tiny.. single Lutz deliberate.. double Lutz.. American Woman, by the way, is playing.. there's no American woman in this group.. Gijsman.. high triple flip but she falls.. I went back and watched her short program from the earlier session yesterday and she did a gorgeous flip.. Glebova.. Missed her first jump but it was in combo with a double toe.. three turns and the camera pans to Suzuki.. something in sequence with double Axel.. she gets loud cheers from the audience.. I expect her to start the trend of wild movement throughout the event. Really nice triple flip.. why couldn't she do that in the short?!

First up, Anastasia Gimazetdinova.. Butyrskaya's made-famous Otonal by Raul di Blasio. I would THINK this is her final event, but you never know.. gains nice speed pretty easily.. triple Lutz short on rotation and fell -3.. triple toe/double toe with nice distance but not much height.. 0.. triple Salchow she falls out -2.. doube Axel/double Axel sequence step out in the second.. also maybe a bit short of the full rotation -1.. flying camel with a twist variation and a catchfoot.. 0.. not much going on besides the stroking, but at least she does it nicely.. double toe way forward as soon as she took off and a hand down.. -2.. double Salchow.. 0.. single Axel.. 0.. she's losing it. I didn't like how close all the jump elements were in the program, at all. Spiral catchfoot change edge lets go, y spiral in front.. same as well will see with the next 23 ladies... okay speed.. 0.. circular step sequence.. she's keeping the speed alright but hasn't done much of anything but stroking prior.. that may be why.. 0.. camel/sit low/upright/change/catchfoot is okay.. 0.. the change foot saved the spin.. layback travel and the position is just okay throughout.. variation and catchfoot.. -1. Well, obviously a disaster. Where did her triple Lutz go? She used to have such a nice one. I'm pretty sure she had a flip and a loop, too. She kept skating clean short programs at the World Championships from 2006-2008, and the 2008 one in particular was really really nice-- much better than what this program showed off. Little interpretation, almost no transitions, but decent basic skating skills. The mistakes took the air out of the end of the program, but she's not one that particularly really sells it, anyways. If she does retire after this, I wish her the best.

Score: 29.47/36.32 -1.00 = 64.79. Yeah, that's pretty bad.

Sonia Lafuente up next.. she's in 21st place right now and skating to Orobroy and Poeta- a piece Stephane Lambiel used just slightly successfully in the past. triple flip fell but I think rotated -3.. we will see on replay.. triple loop is alright.. 0.. spread eagle into a double Axel is nice.. +1.. double Axel/double toe is ookay 0.. camel/upright/upright with layback catchfoot.. 0.. straight line footwork.. 0.. music developed a strong beat and she didn't really follow it, slow into triple toe/double toe/double loop.. the loop was the best jump in that.. 0.. posing and selling the choreograophy.. some transitional moves.. stroking is okay, somewhat pumping.. triple loop/double toe.. her toe jumps are TINY.. 0.. spiral sequence is shockingly the same exact thing Anastasia just did but much smoother, and a nice last position.. +1.. sit variation.. simple spin for the long program I'd think.. 0.. double toe.. 0.. camel/sit/holds it/upright y-spin/upright variation.. that kept the speed and little traveling.. nice one +1.. moments of listening to the music but again not much in the beginning with all of the jump elements in a row. Decent speed.. skating is average. Nice job though.. hopefully she gets the flip for next year.

Score: 45.39/41.20 -1.00= 85.59.. seasons best 133.31 overall and first.

Min-Jung Kwan from Korea now coached by Brian Orser as her teammate Yu-na is. Les Miserables. Triple Lutz/double toe.. 0.. Lutz was a little swingy on the landing but just fine.. triple flip two-footed on a deep outside edge -2.. back to the other end for a triple loop.. 0.. camel/sit/sasha really good/change/sit low/upright +1.. she looks 12. Slow section begins.. she carries herself well, and actually has speed for as tiny as she is.. single Lutz.. 0.. all the jumps have a long set-up.. spiral catchfoot nice position, leg in front to a back outside spiral.. that was different.. +1.. triple Salchow.. 0.. layback sideways to regular drops the leg and catchfoot/Biellmann.. nicely done +2.. circular footwork.. music is fun, she has a stone face.. focusing too much.. 0.. double Axel with no set-up 0.. Ina Bauer slightly.. double Axel/double toe.. 0.. flying sit change edge and position twice.. nice again but slowed +1. Good skate aside from the pop.. but she really makes it obvious when the jumps are coming, especially the flip and Lutz. Flip is on a really deep outside edge. Spins are great, though, maybe second best to Nagasu in the field. Orser says that it wasn't bad.

Score: smiles this time, no crying. 34.69/38.32 = 73.01. Jumps obviously downgraded. I didn't think any were that obvious.. so I'll keep my GOE's.

Manouk Gijsman.. the last qualifier to the free skate.. Phantom of the Opera.. triple flip fell -3.. double Axel fall out -2.. triple loop big but stepped out -2.. posture and stroking below average but not bad.. triple Salchow/double toe big again.. 0.. flying sit with variation and donut-type.. 0.. spiral.. blade held and dropped on the change edge.. first edge was not held thee seconds.. y-spin in front... -3.. she should have a level 1. triple loop not rotated and came out after 2.5 -3.. double Axel fell out -2.. this is a mess for her.. triple Salchow had turns after as she tried to hold it -1.. straight line step actually nicely done +1.. camel/donut/upright/change/sit/layback all okay positions throughout 0.. layback sideways to traditional to catchfoot to dropping the leg.. 0. again positions all just okay. Nothing really clean in the program aside from the first combo she did. Short program she related to the music more, she really skated through most of this and didn't have any transitions. Choreography wasn't really there either, so the interpretation wasn't either. Should have the lowest components so far. Still, she has big air on all of her jumps and I think she has a future once she can add some content in-between everything.

Score: 32.70/32.80 -1.00 = 64.50. Into 4th with 111.94.

Elena Glebova skating to Cappricio Espagnol.. 22nd place. Pushes up and down on crossovers.. Triple loop/double toe.. very twisty with the landing but done.. 0.. double Axel missed in the short program but done here with not the best tecnhnique -.. triple Salchow step out/double toe/double toe.. sequence now and -1.. blade held spiral change edge let go.. y-spiral in front... 0.. triple toe/double toe flowed well +1.. upright spin change layback and rotates the other way for 2 revolutions and really travels in the short time 0.. triple Salchow.. 0.. triple toe.. 0.. double Axel 0.. flying sit with donut/variation 0.. straight line footwork.. it's okay, not too complex.. 0.. camel is not a good position/sit... fell! level 1 and -3 for that.. and just does a turn or two to wait for the end of the program. Well that just killed it. All of these programs in the first group feature jump jump jump within maybe 10 or 15 seconds.. I don't like it. there's not many in betweens and with all of the jumps being done so close together, you would think there would be plenty of time for choreography and interpreting the music.. not the case. Levandi as always smiling. Glebova used to have a triple Lutz and I think a flip, too. Wonder where they went. Her best performance was at the Trophee Bompard a few years ago in the short program, I think 2007. They really scored her high for it, too, but now it's turning into a one-error short for her almost every time, and if not, then she's getting downgraded.. Ordinary all around.

Score: 43.65/42.48 -1.00 = 85.13.. 132.85 and 2nd by a slim margin to Lafuente.

Akiko Suzuki who obviously had a nightmare of a short program to end up in this group.. music is West Side Story. 20th place coming in. Loud response as she takes her position. Time to move way up, Akiko. triple flip/double toe/double loop.. long entry but okay.. 0.. triple toe/double Axel sequence is done well +1.. triple loop is also well done +1.. camel/variation/sit/y-spin/sit variation/upright is all nicely done +1.. why can't she ever deliver in the short? blade spiral to change edge and let go.. nice positions but slow.. y-spiral in front is okay.. 0.. keeping up the speed.. single flip 0.. triple Lutz maybe take off on the flat.. turns out -1.. triple loop/double Axel sequence again well done +1.. triple Salchow is okay too 0.. flying camel change edge and then the variation and catchfoot.. all good except the speed at the end +1.. now she gets into the energy with the straight line footwork and a smile... she's selling this and it's well done +2.. flying camel change edge/sit low/change/sideways to layback.. +1 again all good positions. That was a very typical long program for her.. I wish she wouldn't always have the mistakes in the short program, but this time was obviously a lot more severe than usual. I think she feels really comfortable with the program, everything is always so solid. Only the one mistakes on her single flip but it should score relatively high, depending on how high the judges want to go with her components for being in the first group. Interpretation and the performance marks should be highest. Still, not too many transitions.

Score: 58.96/52.72 = 111.68. 160.04 and into 1st. Decent score for the first group.

Formspring.me: I have a question about Kevin Van Der Perren. On eurosport they said that Van Der Perren is the first to do the 4-3-3 combo The Belgian press picked up this story and turned it into "the best performance ever considering jumps" But is he really the first?

Evgeny Plushenko has done a quad toe/triple toe/triple loop before, but I think that Kevin is the first to do a quad toe/triple toe/triple TOE. As far as the best performance ever considering the jumos, I don't know about that/ I'd imagine skates like Takahashi's record-holding Four Continents Chamoionship free skate and Joubert's three-quad Cup of Russia were also great performances jump-wise, but then again I don't particularly know what the Belgian press meant when they said that..

Friday, March 26

Formspring.me: did kim yuna get a fair score for her short program?

Without having seen the levels I can't really give a complete 100% sure answer, but I think so. I don't think she was undermarked if that's what you mean. She had problems on three of the eight elements, not even getting credit for one of them, and barely any credit for the other two. The middle half of the program really suffered from it, too.

Formspring.me: This is no sure thing is it...?? what a great skate.

Meryl and Charlie had the tension that they needed tonight, and Virtue and Moir were just a bit too subtle to the same feeling as they gave in Vancouver. But seriously with these two teams, what else can you ask for? I hope they both stick around for a while.

Formspring.me: Ok Tony is it me or has there been a there a huge power shift in the world of figure skating?? with the Russian fed at the wrong end of it. 10 even 5 years ago you could look at the Europeans and at least 3 of the 4 world champs were there. Not now.

That started to happen for the ladies in 2004, but Slutskaya came back for a few years to keep the spots. Sokolova was becoming too hit-or-miss to keep the team strong on her own. But just recently has that strength built up again. Long gone are the days where Russia would sweep the podium at Europeans (1999-2002), that's for sure. Give it a few years, though, and I think that they will be right near the top again. Obviously they'd like to be with Sochi coming up.

As far as the men go, I think the biggest thing is that the Russian style of skating, as far as the choppy and bouncy crossovers go, just doesn't fit in with the judging system. In 6.0 it was okay, but now it just isn't working. The presentation with really flamboyant arm movements and all that doesn't work for the components. Besides Plushenko, none of the men are really well-rounded and the only time they place in the top 10 (Voronov) is when they are completely spot-on. I actually find Voronov to be one of the most overmarked men. I saw the junior worlds bronze medalist, who is from Russia, and saw much of the same in his skating that I think is holding them back.

Pairs are in pretty good shape now and for 2014, where they will definitely want to get back on the podium, or even win gold.

Dance.. with Domnina/Shabalin out, I think we are going to see pushing of teams up the standings, especially with the team that just won the Junior World Championships. They are down to two spots next year, and I suspect they will easily get one of them and already find themselves in the top 10 at senior Worlds.

So yeah, they got off track a bit but I think in all disciplines except men they have a lot of potential for top skaters. But if Plushenko comes back in 2014 like he did this year, then I'm sure that's all Russia is really worried about.

Formspring.me: Is it just me or does it seem like the ISU set a compulsory piece of music this year.. 'cos the last 3 couples have all used it. What do you think?

I was talking to my friend about that. When you have all the choices in the world, I really want to know how any team would choose that. It's not original, and while it might be a "safe" choice, the versions they used weren't anything special in my opinion. Between that and the attempt at the Pussycat Dolls.. I don't know what was worse.

Formspring.me: There's some folks out there that believe that Yu-na can still win it all with a fantastic FS. In the Olympics she won the FS by 18 points (and 23 overall), so the math could work. What's your take?

Definitely possible. It'll be harder to do as she skates in the second to last group. We see how skate order has affected other skaters in the competition, and while I don't think it'll hurt her too much, I think the scores will be in such a way that it still gives a clean Asada or maybe even Nagasu with her 10-point lead a chance if they can really deliver the skate of their lives. That is, if Yu-Na is completely on. A mistake or two and she's going to probably be fighting to even be on the podium.

This is exactly what ladies skating needs right now, though, especially in the United States. Even if Nagasu doesn't stay first, it's going to create a lot of news in the next 24 hours before the free skate, and then on top of that I suspect there will be huge movement throughout the long program, starting in the very first group. Should be exciting!

2010 World Championships - Free Dance

No commentary from me on the free dance. The first two portions were fun, but it's really hard to describe ice dancing in writing and on top of that in real-time, so maybe just some thoughts about the final group when it comes time.

I once again enjoyed the Czechs, their free dance really seemed to fly by, and I really like her personality. Yu/Wang also were also pleasant surprises, she's very pretty. The Austrians I find somewhat sloppy in everything they do, and I was bored by the first half of their dance but I'm liking the second half when the music picks up. It's different..

I haven't followed dance all year. Are Carron/Jones' free dance costumes the same as Delobel and Schoenfelder's from 2001 and 2002?

I really didn't care for Hoffmann/Zavozin. At first, I thought that it would be a nice change from the previous two teams, but that was just not good all-around in my opinion.

I was just going to blog about this piece that Rubleva/Shefer are skating to, Une Vie d'Amour and how Belbin/Agosto used it in 2000, I think? And she just mentioned it. Rubleva got her dress stuck in her blade and very subtly pulled it out.. Belbin/Agosto also ran into that problem one of the first times I saw them, at the 2000 World Junior Championships. Funny how some things stick with you, and unbelievable that it was 10 years ago already.

Cappellini and LaNotte with the big error.. I thought she was too dramatic about it at the end but I understand that she probably feels terrible about having bad skates in the original and free dance in their home country, and now they will probably JUST miss helping qualify three teams for next year.. Crone and Poirier looked a bit frantic to me at times but they did well. Zaretskis, I liked the dance more than I thought I was going to but I still don't really understand their scores.

Really enjoyed Pechalat and Bourzat. Good decision to go back to the other dance. This seasons dance was creative but it just didn't get the point across or flow as well. Davis/White, I love this program, and I don't think I'll get sick of it. It might be the best I've seen it performed. Even though the very end, the intensity was still there and they really went all-out. Pressure is on for sure. Virtue and Moir didn't have the impact for me that they had in Vancouver, but it was still pretty good aside from the slight balance check on his twizzle. As far as who should have won, I can't decide that unless I actually scored it.

HAHAHAHAHAHAH

Johnny says after he's off the air,

"We're doing this for dancing? We don't know shit about ice dancing!!"

Universal Sports needs to get their microphones under control.

Formspring.me: Do you think Mirai will implode under the pressure or will Frank keep her calm? Why did they put her over Mao--that's a pretty huge political dig at Mao in my view.

I was surprised at Mirai's score because I thought the triple toe should have been downgraded. With the score, I'm assuming she got credit. But her spins were the best in the field, easily, and everything about the rest of her program was solid. Asada had to have received the downgrade on the triple Axel, which again I thought was close.. but she didn't skate with the speed or energy that Mirai did. However, she looks so much more relaxed and happy in this competition as I noted, and I really enjoyed her a lot more today.

Until I see the levels called and the rest of the protocols, I can't say much else. I am quite surprised by Nagasu's sudden boost in program components, though. It's all about that skate order; the judges are proving that over and over again.

I forgot to answer whether she would implode or not. Honestly, I don't think so. She seems really in control of her nerves, but then again, she's never been in this position before.

2010 World Championships - Ladies Short Program Group Ten Live Blogging

Ice resurfacing. Weir promotes Makarova some more, not that I mind. She did well. He doesn't understand why she's behind Lepisto and Kostner..

Mirai Nagasu from USA, Yu-na Kim from Korea, Akiko Suzuki from Japan, Rachael Flatt from the USA, Julia Sebestyen from Hungary, and Alena Leonova from Russia in the final group.. talk about Nagasu and how it will be telling to see how she does and she can follow up a great Nationals and Olympics here.. Weir says most important thing is to skate clean, not necessarily triple/triple. Flatt.. they talk about her quick rotation in the air. Not really listening to them chatter on, but now talking about whether they think Kim is beatable.. and they don't think so.

Asada interviewed.. needs to ask what the word for sad is, but they laugh that she knows the word downgrade. She looks so relaxed to me.

Flatt pops a flip into a single in the warm-up, Julia Sebestyen.. 28 years old now as they mention.. Lipinski mentions that she skated with her, and they did in the 1998 Olympics! Did a jump while I typed that, missed it. Alena Leonova does a triple Lutz (or maybe it was a flip, I'm not paying complete attention) with a fall out.. Lipinski loves her, reminds her of Slutskaya. Ugly dress. Triple flip and she falls.

Mirai Nagasu skates first in this final warm-up. I've only seen half of the competition and I'm glad this is the final group. Oh, the days when the ladies were my favorites. She takes her time after her name is announced. Nice smile to begin.. if you didn't know, that's not a part of the marks. Smooth stroking into triple Lutz/triple toe.. looked way short to me.. -2.. triple flip is nice though, +1.. jumps are getting higher and higher.. spiral from inside to outside with a high catchfoot.. y-spiral.. all solid positions.. +2.. Ina Bauer into a double Axel perfectly done +2.. flying sit spin with variations.. really low to the ice +2.. layback spin defines a +3.. very little traveling with all of the changes of position +3.. circular footwork has attitude and she's confident.. +1.. camel/change edge gorgeous/sit great position/change sit/change edge/sasha spin.. +2.. almost another +3. Best spins by far in the competition, and nice and big jumps. Good for her to try the triple/triple, but it wasn't rotated. Still should score high enough to be in 2nd. Skating isn't as effortless as Kostner or Lepisto, but certainly very good. No close enough camera replay on the triple/triple.. actually, I'd probably have her really close to 1st.

Score: 40.20/30.20 = 70.40. Into 1st! "I beat Mao" she says. Sounds like her triple toe got ratified.. hmph. Better camera angle anyone? Components way up from the Olympics, too.

Yu-Na Kim goes next.. triple Lutz/triple toe easy as usual for her but again not the most flow out of it keeping it a +1.. triple flip looked cheated to me -2.. and she falls out of her layback. Oh boy.. Restarts it but it's off the entire time. Won't receive credit for it. Spiral and SHE MISSED THAT  too.. only did the inside edge and dropped the foot.. level 1 on the sequence and -3.. you need three positions.. double Axel is good +1.. flying sit spin also good.. +1.. straight line footwork with no energy.. +1 for difficulty.. camel/sit/change/sit/sasha spin.. +1.. nothing was great about that aside from the first element. Everything else was level playing-field with the rest of the competition.  I have a feeling this turns into Irina Slutskaya in the 2005 Worlds short program where a bunch of small mistakes still kept her first. Close on the flip, even if it's called a triple, it should have at least a -1, probably -2 grade of execution.

She laughs it off in the kiss and cry.. 30.02/30.28 = 60.30. 6th. Yeah, no favors there.

Akiko Suzuki turns around and smiles, she probably realizes her chance right here. I love this program.. and down she goes on the triple flip. What a disaster this whole event for the big names has been.. -3.. triple loop turn-out/double toe.. -2.. flying camel changes edge and nice curled position to a catch-foot.. needs better speed but lots of variety +1.. catchfoot spiral to change edge and she bobbles it too when she lets go, another one down to level 1.. -1.. maybe a -3 if she didn't get a full three positions, I'm not sure... into a forward y-spiral.. double Axel with a stepout -2.. layback with almost a catchfoot to normal position, to catchfoot.. +1.. straight line footwork a definite highlight +2.. camel/change edge/inverted/sit/y-spin/change/sit variation/scratch spin.. well done there +2. That was a mess too. What is going on today? One of the weirdest short programs I have ever seen as a whole, and I've only been watching half of it!

Score: she's crying. 23.32/26.04 -1.00= 48.36 and she's in SEVENTEENTH.

Rachael Flatt now. I'm not saying anything about anyone taking advantage now. Sing Sing Sing is the music. triple flip/double toe after the first jump wasn't perfect.. 0.. triple Lutz on the wrong edge.. swingy per usual -1.. flying sit into variation and catchfoot is nice.. +1.. she sells this program, much better than most of her stuff that falls... flat. Spiral catchfoot and change edge.. y-spiral.. same as everyone else. +1.. layback to sideways spin.. slow but nice positions +1.. double Axel looked just slightly cheated enough for me to give 0.. straight line footwork has personality and she's going for it now.. nice choreography through this.. +1.. camel change edge/sit low/change/upright variation/scratch.. that was well done, too. +2. I like this program, I just don't care for her jump technique. Mirai is going to be the leader going into the free skate. Who would have guessed?

Score: 33.80/27.08 = 60.88 and she's now 6th. Yu-Na is out of the final group.

Julia Sebestyen.. I'd take it this is her last Worlds, long career and moments of brilliance. triple Lutz/double toe was huge and delayed.. +1.. triple flip on the wrong edge and looked cheated.. -2.. flying camel with twisted variation and donut.. nice but slow.. +1.. spiral change edge catchfoot.. nice position, better than I remember from her.. y-spiral is average but solid edges +1.. double Axel is nice +1.. sideways spin to layback drops foot and up to catchfoot.. +1.. circular footwork changes the music to something completely unrelated but the excitement picks up.. footwork is just okay.. 0.. camel/sit low/change/camel donut Biellmann/upright and the second half is awkward.. 0. I'm pretty sure the flip gets downgraded.. what would have been had she landed it clean. She probably would have moved up to the top group.

Score: 30.06/26.04 = 56.10.. she looks surprised. But she has to know that she cheated that flip.. 10th place.

Alena Leonova.. this program is fun. Posture again typically Russian. Triple flip with a big fall-out. This event has sucked. -3.. triple Lutz/double toe and hopped around on the toe.. -2.. flying sit travels a bit and variation.. 0.. still keeps that smile throughout.. catchfoot spiral with the other hand holding the leg to a change edge drops the leg.. y-spiral.. clucks like a chicken.. 0.. spread eagle into a nice double Axel.. +1.. sideways spin into layback catchfoot Biellmann that slows +1.. straight line footwork is really shaky in the beginning and she doesn't have the smile right now.. too focused.. Lipinski says she's sloppy as I'm typing this.. footwork ends up with nice energy but 0 for the beginning shakes.. camel/change edge/sit/change/upright catchfoot.. all decent. +1.. Makarova looks on..

Score: 29.40/25.96 -1.00 = 54.36.. and she's in 14th.

All I can say is I can't wait for the protocols and to score this event myself. It makes the free skate exciting in the sense that there should be a ton of crazy movement.. I have NO idea how my results would look.

Nasagu says in her interview that after the Olympics she was tired and didn't want to train her programs. LOL.

Weir mentions when making his prediction for winner he was told to be very pro-American when he took the job and Carruthers gets pissy. He picks Asada.

2010 World Championships - Ladies Short Program Group Nine Live Blogging

In the group Carolina Kostner from Italy, home crowd, does a nice triple toe.. Mao Asada from Japan does steps into a nice triple flip.. Kiira Korpi from Finland.. popped Lutz.. Miki Ando from Japan.. Joyce says it seems to her like she's outdated.. not the same fire-power.. triple Lutz/triple loop looks clean. Lipinski says she was great in practice in Vancouver but loses it in competition.. Laura Lepisto from Finland is also in the group as they go to commercial, as is Elene Gedevanishvili from Georgia.

Carolina Kostner starts it off, with new coach at the boards. Looks focused to the point of nervous to me. Great speed into triple flip/double toe.. nice coverage +1.. played it safe but just land the jumps please.. triple loop is doubled.. -3.. shoulders outside the circle.. inside to outside spiral and grabs the blade.. nice stretch, into a y-spiral. +1.. carries herself very well.. nice double Axel.. +1.. layback spin is basic and she drops the foot and then back up into a catch-foot.. slow and ordinary. 0.. flying sit with a change of edge and twist variation.. 0.. slow. Lipinski says spins are usually better. I think they are always mediocre. Circular steps with personality +1.. camel with variation/change/sit/catchfoot.. 0. Ordinary spins, ordinary program. I've definitely liked some prior stuff much more than this, and her speed that she is capable of doesn't show at all in the program. Still, not a complete disaster but probably enough to keep her out of the final free skate group.

Score: 33.20/29.00 = 62.20.. 1st place. Definitely deserved much higher components than Makarova.. I'd have to score it myself to decide who I'd put first. Only in first by .14.

Mao Asada.. Masquerade Waltz.. triple Axel/double toe looks nice +1, no hand over the head but again always have to check the replay with her.. triple flip is done well +1.. sideways to layback spin drops the leg and then up into a Biellmann.. ends well but slow in the middle.. +1. Now she gets going into catchfoot spiral change edge and lets go to hold on by the leg.. into a sideways type spiral.. nice positions.. +2.. spread eagle turns the other way to double Axel.. +1.. flying sit with change of edge and position. again lacking some speed +1.. straight line footwork the most complex buy far that we've seen.. she's having fun, too. +2.. camel change edge/catchfoot/sit/layback... messy and slow. 0. I guarantee the judges give it in the + but I don't think it's deserved. She came to life with this.. it was a good performance, just still doesn't really move me aside from the intensity leading into the triple Axel. She says "I think it's okay", probably about the Axel. I'm waiting for the replay, too. I don't know.. it's awfully close, per usual.

Score: 37.12/30.96 = 68.08.. Axel had to get downgraded. She still looks a lot more relaxed and happy. Maybe it's because she doesn't have Tarasova's constant stress and intensity. I'm keeping my +1 for the jump, because the judges don't know whether it's called a triple or double, either.

Kiira Korpi.. triple Lutz not rotated and big fall just like in Vancouver.. -3.. steps into a beautiful triple loop +2.. sideways spin into layback with catchfoot.. fast and decent centering.. +1.. double Axel pitched forward and at a stand-still -1.. at least the loop was really good, I guess. spiral with held blade change edge into outside spiral.. average. y-spiral.. better than the first but 0. flying sit out of a transition with variation.. kinda fought for it and didn't hold it long at the end, still +1. straight line footwork. Lipinski says all the footwork sequences are really slow because of all the content. average footwork 0.. camel/sit variation/sit change edge/sasha spin.. centers them well and they are fast, but just okay positions. +1 anyways. So-so program for me. I think she can do a lot more than this but she will probably still score well-- enough to go into 4th place would be my guess. Nice fast spins and they are well-centered, basic skating is a bit above average but not yet great, and she had some nice transitions in the program.

Score: 26.68/26.04 -1.00 = 51.72.. okay 8th place. They really didn't care for her this time. Probably fine by my scorecard.

Miki Ando.. I don't always care for her skating but I think this program is pretty decent.. WOW. cheated triple Lutz and a fall, no combo. -3.. keeps it together on the triple flip.. 0. y-spiral around a circle to a change edge spiral with a catchfoot on the outside change edge. 0.. double Axel is squeaked out.. 0.. flying sit spin travels and then changes position.. 0.. this is falling flat big-time. layback spin increases the speed and adds a one handed catch foot at the end but not strong positions. 0 Standing in place for a good 5 seconds before the footwork.. this is one of her better elements and now we see some facial expressions at least. +1.. not the usually intensity though, still. camel/sit low and nice/change/sasha spin and that was a good spin, finally. +2. Joyce says she didn't sell it. I completely agree. This did nothing for me. Her basics and all of her components are always overscored in my opinion, and with the mistake and lack of fire, I wonder if they will be forced to bring them down. Morozov is smiling. He's probably relieved she got it back together after the first jump. She doesn't look too mad about the mistake, honestly. Triple flip might even be downgraded as I see in replay.

Score: 28.70/28.08 -1.00 = 55.78.. 6th place right now. Components 7 average.. hmm. Don't know. But she really didn't receive any gifts.

Laura Lepisto.. moves so effortlessly although I don't always care for her arms... triple toe/triple toe was right on +1.. landed the loop nicely too and pretty quick out of footwork.. +1.. flying sit is low and changes edge and donut position.. fast and centered well.. +2.. layback drops foot and then up to a catchfoot.. +1.. double Axel and she FALLS OUT! -3.. figures. catchfoot spiral change edge and lets go... y-spin is okay.. 0. Moves well at the beginning of the footwork.. it's a straight line that wasn't really close to the boards in the beginning.. +1 if it was close enough. camel/long sit/change/sit change edge and the upright position wasn't shown, as the feet were zoomed in on, but it looked like she barely got two revolutions. 0. Started out strong and kept it together at the end, but not with the same fire. She moves like Gumby to me sometimes.. and I don't know if I am a huge lover of that, but she definitely has great basics and strong control of her edges.

Score: 34.98/29.32 = 64.30.. personal best? LOL. Second place. Should have really strong components scores, as she does, but I don't quite know about that.

Elene Gedevanishvili.. same Fever that Butyrskaya used in 1998. And yes, I'll mention her every chance I get. Crowd into it. Triple Lutz two footed and tried to hang on.. big fall -3.. triple toe/triple toe looked a bit short to me on the second -2.. layback drops and then catchfoot.. fast but just okay for me +1.. nice spiral that i can't really describe but lets go and just holds her leg up.. backwards catchfoot.. thats nice +1.. double Axel is nice too out of the spiral +1.. camel/change edge/sit/y sasha.. +1.. not fast enough.. straight line footwork.. not really selling it as she's capable of.. but it has a lot of content and done well +1.. flying sit with change of edge and a nice blade hold.. into a pancake position +1... spins are nice, if they could just be a bit faster they could probably all be +2.. I think some of the judges will even give her it now. Just fell flat for me, this whole group has really aside from Mao, and she didn't even move me that much. First triple toe was two footed and the second was cheated. This probably won't score all that well.

Score: 30.34/25.92 -1.00= 55.26.. in 8th place.

2010 World Championships - Ladies Short Program Group Eight Live Blogging

An ice resurfacing and then back for the eighth group, when Universal Sports goes live I think and hopefully that means back to the live feed. in this group: Ivana Reitmayerova from Slovakia, Viktoria Helgesson from Sweden, Tamar Katz from Israel, Tugba Karademir from Turkey, Ksenia Makarova from Russia, and Myriane Samson from Canada.

OK, I have the feed back now. Stories to look out for in this group. Sarah Meier, 9th in the world last year, most likely needs 5 ladies out of the 6 in this group to score lower than her to even make the free skate. First in line to qualify are Lafuente, Glebova, and Kwak. Phaneuf, Hecken, McCorkell, Lee, Liu, and Gimazetdinova are already in.

Reitmayerova with a single Axel at the beginning of the warm-up.. into a double Axel with a turn out.. Helgesson with a turn out of her triple loop.. double flip with a big lean in the air.. Katz with a double Lutz.. probably wants to have a good showing here after her Olympic committee removed her spot from the Games after her Europeans showing.. nice triple Lutz/double toe on the second try.. Karademir.. triple flip/double toe with a hand over the head.. always with the curving edge on her landing.. Makarova did a jump that I missed.. Samson into a nice triple flip. Ottavio Cinquanta gets his 5 seconds of air-time. Polite applause, but naturally nothing special!

Ivana Reitmayerova starts the group. After her great season last year, she's really struggled throughout this year. Music is called Memories of a Lover.. triple toe/double toe is fine.. as is the double Axel.. camel change edge/sit low slows/change layback catchfoot.. slow. 0.. catchfoot upright spiral changing edge dipping down and letting go of the blade.. y-spiral.. all the girls with the same thing.. that was nice though.. +1.. double Salchow.. -3.. right into a layback with a Biellmann.. +1.. straight line footwork.. the whole program is moving slow and the footwork is no exception but she has some nice edgework.. +1.. flying camel change edge again and she holds it and brings in the blade to a catchfoot that ends up with no speed at all, the beginning was really nice though. 0.. judges probably give it in the +. She smacks her head. Silly mistake on the Salchow. If you didn't know, the jump out of footwork needs to be a triple. Nice skating but much like Liu I don't think she really does anything to stand out.. her jumps are big when she lands them, but she's still stuck with just the toe and Salchow as far as triples go.

Score: 25.60/20.36 = 45.96.. in 11th place. Lafuente is in.

Viktoria Helgesson next.. always goes for the pretty music in her short programs even though her skating is strong.. nice triple flip/double toe.. +1.. she's moving well, posture and carriage can be better though, triple loop with no real steps right into it but gorgeous jump.. 0.. judges might be generous. double Axel was really pretty +1.. flying sit is low and changes to a variation with her leg wrapped.. slow though.. 0.. sideways spin to layback and drops the free leg.. centered but okay positions.. 0.. this is a really great skate for her.. the footwork is straight line flowing well and she's giving it some emotion.. +1.. again those arms in the crossovers not the best.. spiral inside to outside and dips down on the change.. grabs the blade.. and a y-spiral with arm movements to show control.. 0.. camel/sit low/change/sit variation again/upright with the very minimum two revolutions.. I think she'll get credit but that last part traveled.. -1. She looks happy but not jumping up and down as I expected she would. I really liked it, good for her!

Score: 32.68/23.64 = 56.32 and she's into 2nd behind Phaneuf. Now she's excited, but the coaches (one being her mom) are even more excited.

Tamar Katz now. Gone With the Wind. triple Lutz forward and fell forward -3.. her movements have always been somewhat frantic and not finished to me. steps into triple flip with a step-out.. -2.. flying sit with change edge right away to a variation.. nice.. +1.. Ina Bauer into double Axel with another step-out.. -2.. camel/sit change edge/variation/change/catchfoot.. again a good spin.. +1.. selling the choreography through the straight line footwork which is decent as well.. +1.. really nice inside spiral to outside with a high catchfoot.. another great position in the y-spiral.. +2.. layback with a change edge!, catchfoot, and a Biellmann.. great spinner! +2. She's not going to qualify after missing all three jump elements, but the spins were great and her spirals were also great. She's not happy at all after the performance, but nice that it didn't interfere during the actual skate. Mentioned sloppy in the beginning, it wasn't as noticeable in the second half. Lutz probably not rotated to receive credit for a triple, flip was on two-feet..

Score: 25.20/20.76 -1.00= 44.96 and she goes into 14th. Elena Glebova qualifies.

And right away into Universal Sports TV coverage with Weir and Carruthers. Karademir, the American media darling, is not going to be shown because they are chattering through it! Lipinski and Joyce will be doing the commentary today. Talk about Mao and Yu-Na, as usual. Blah blah.

Karademir, by the way, wasn't shown at all and 44.52, into 15th. Kwak is in. Bad skate for Karademir.

Ksenia Makarova next. Talk about how she considers Johnny family. Don't hate, but I find her somewhat sloppy still and agree with her marks most of the time while others find her undermarked. triple toe/triple toe was okay.. 0.. barely any footwork into  triple flip, but she did it.. -1.. double Axel is nice.. 0.. flying sit spin low position and changes the edge.. travels slightly but fast.. +1.. stroking sloppy.. catchfoot spiral changed edge and dipped down to a nice outside spiral.. y-spiral.. okay position but strong sequence.. +1.. camel with change edge.. gorgeous/sit low/change/y-spin strong positions.. +2.. straight line footwork.. relatively simple but kept the speed.. +1.. layback is gorgeous into catchfoot and a Biellmann.. again really nice +2. Of course, really happy with that. Needs to go back to the basics with her stroking, it's very typically unfinished Russian (not that it's horrible, but you know what I mean.. I hope?!). Components though should be a bit above average, especially on the choreography and performance marks. Still a bit reserved, but that will come. Okay, I became more of a fan with this performance.

Score: 36.90/25.16 = 62.06 and into first. Well done!

Myriane Samson. Mentioning of the skating instead of Joannie Rochette. Warsaw Concerto is her music. Average posture. Down on the triple Lutz, no combo. -3.. double Axel is a good recovery.. 0. Lipinski says she crunches her body on the way down.. hard fall on triple flip and down Phaneuf needs a top 10 because this won't qualify. -3.. camel/sit/upright/change/catchfoot is nice, average speed +1.. catchfoot spiral to let go on the change edge.. y-spin.. 0.. Lipinski says she skates on top of the ice rather than it helping her. sideways spin to layback with a catchfoot that slows down.. 0. straight line footwork.. Lipinski says she needs to dig into her edges and fill out ice more. 0.. flying sit spin with a nice variation to a donut spin.. nice, but slow. 0. Messy and average skating all-around. She was third in Canada earning her trip here, but Amelie Lacoste placed higher at the Four Continents and also is a consistent short program skater. I'm a bit surprised they didn't send her, but I think the federation has been really trying to push Samson these last few years.

Manouk Gijsman from the Netherlands! almost certainly qualifies now. Reitmayerova and Meier are next in line if any of the final 12 want to pull an Oda.

Score: 44.20 and 17th place. That's even a bit generous I'd say.

Formspring.me: Once again, Tony, great job. Your blogging is fair and even-handed and I respect your opinions, even when I disagree, because you're so reasonable in how your present your thoughts. Anyway, I'd love to hear your thoughts on what Jeremy Abbott needs to do

Thanks, I'm glad you think so!

As far as Abbott, I do think he was a bit screwed over here EVEN IF he was really flat throughout his free skate and through the first part of his short program. He let loose a bit towards the end of it, but it still wasn't as flowing and free as I know he's capable of.

To me, his problem is that he always looks SO intense. He's never relaxed, and it's almost like it's a shock when he skates well. It shouldn't be like that. While his programs have great choreography and he has skating skills among the best of them, his reserved nature makes it really hard for him to stand out unless he puts at least some effort into the energy of the program. His eyes at the end of the free skate maybe it look like he had no sleep the night before, and honestly I wouldn't be surprised if that was partially true due to his nerves.

2010 World Championships - Ladies Short Program Group Seven Live Blogging

Okay, now I'm in the swing of things again. Didn't take too long. In this group.. Sarah Hecken from Germany, Sonia Lafuente from Spain, Yan Liu from China, Teodora Postic from Slovenia, and Jenna McCorkell from Great Britain. Hecken looks cute in this dress, I think it's new. Nice double Axel. Lafuente with a nice spread eagle into a double Axel.. and a nice triple toe.. double loop for practice.. Liu comes close to McCorkell but then goes into a spiral turns triple Salchow/double toe.. double loop.. Postic looks like Maria Butyrskaya with more severe eye shadow and brighter lipstick.. she goes into a high triple Salchow. All of the jumps so far have been spot on from all of the ladies that they've shown. Gold blades for Teodora. McCorkell whose husband Kevin Van der Perren did well last night strokes down the ice into a big popped single Lutz.. as soon as I say something about the jumps that happens. Again sets up the same pattern and is going for it again, but the camera cuts away as soon as she takes off. That's happened all week.

Current standings are Phaneuf far out in front, Lee in second, and Gimazetdinova in third. Sarah Meier is down in 7th. Not a good skate for her clearly, and I'm pretty sure this is her final event.

Sarah Hecken is up first.. Romeo and Juliet the Prokofiev edition.. triple toe/tripe toe from her as well and another good one! +1.. triple Salchow nicely done too with the slightest of pauses +1.. double Axel also clean and nice +1.. flying sit with a little twist of the upper body into a variation.. okay speed but nice positions and centering.. +1.. Spiral with held blade behind, change edge and lets go, same spiral with blade held in front as Glebova.. same pattern.. 0.. layback is okay into a catchfoot almost to the head.. speed okay.. 0.. music picks up.. straight line step not done with much speed.. she's excited but slowing down through it.. 0.. camel/change edge/change/sit low/upright.. sloppy position at the end and slow throughout but she could care less.. 0.. she's thrilled! Great skate, she has a lot of potential at 15 or maybe 16 now? And she looks very pretty. Stroking and posture can improve but every single one of her jump elements were gorgeous! Judges will probably go for a 0 GOE on her Salchow, it wasn't very high but she landed it perfectly. I think she's doing her make-up a lot different than prior here, because she looks much different.

Score: 33.64/21.56 = 55.20 seasons best and she's shocked.. 2nd place!

Sonia Lafuente up next. Music is Libertango. She's very feisty. I can tell. Opening moves to set the character. Triple loop and she goes down.. -3.. posture leaves a lot to be desired still.. triple toe/double toe.. added the combo there and it was solid.. 0.. double Axel with a spread eagle is okay too.. 0.. layback into a Biellmann that slows down.. camera was on the feet so I'm not sure about the GOE but it looked average.. 0.. Spiral held blade into change edge let go of the blade... familiar.. y-spiral which is nice but held very minimally 0.. she might lose her levels there.. flying camel with change edge and then donut spin.. first position was unique but kinda ugly.. 0.. straight line step.. has some nice intensity +1.. camel/sit low/y-upright/upright change edge.. that was her best spin by far +1.. To her credit, the program got stronger as she went and she didn't let the fall ruin it.. she kept up the speed, too. I think she might go above Glebova and into 5th.. depends on the components, which should be average.

Score: 27.08/21.64 -1.00 = 47.72.. yeah, I got that right. 5th. They actually tied in scores but Lafuente wins on technical elements!

Yan Liu.. I've heard this Impossible Dream music you speak of somewhere before :-).. spiral into triple Salchow/double toe.. jump was okay, entrance was nice +1.. triple loop with steps.. a bit wound up in the take-off but landed... 0.. spiral outside to inside with catch-foot.. y-spiral with blade held low insitead of typical high.. 0.. clean double Axel right out of the spiral.. +1.. flying camel with change edge.. into a catchfoot above a donut.. slow but the positions were nice.. 0.. right into a layback with another.. catchfoot.. slow.. 0.. straight line footwork is just okay.. 0.. camel/sit/change edge/sasha spin/change/sit/upright.. just okay again.. 0. Everything was soft and lyrical, and I suppose it suits her skating which is very slow, but she just doesn't do anything to the point of making it stand out. It's the type of skate you say good job and forget about a few minutes later, and I feel like she's always been stuck that way. Everything was completed though, and that's the point. I'm going to say third, but I didn't see Cheltzie Lee so I don't know for sure.

Score: By the way, to her credit, she really got herself back together this year. Remember she was 11th in the 2006 Olympics in this arena but then really fell apart the last few years.. 28.52/21.44 = 49.96.. well, into 4th. Again I didn't see Lee so I have no opinion.

Teodora Postic skating to a beautiful piece of music called Coeur a Cordes.. Tugba Karademir used it for two seasons a while back and I really enjoyed it then.. and the feed is lost right before she starts. Well, this would have been enjoyable music to listen to for 3 minutes..

40.20 overall and into 15th. That won't qualify.

Still no feed for Jenna McCorkell. Clean skate from her, though. Maybe Kevin told her the secret after last nights performance. I have a feeling this is her last competition, too. 52.12 for her and she's into 3rd.

Ladies Short Program Live Blogging Sixth Group - Joined in Progress

Well, there's snow on the ground here in Ohio so my presence on the patio at my place of employment most certainly isn't needed. Which means I'm here for part of the sixth warm-up group and throughout the end of the day. You know you love it. I joined with Kwak on the ice, so the first skater I'll be commenting on is Glebova.

Kwak is crying so I suspect that she didn't do too well. Brian Orser with her. I missed the replays, too. Wow, I'm off to a good start today. She's still crying.

27.30/21.16 -1.00 = 47.46.. 4th place. That's not even a completely disastrous score!

Elena Glebova from Estonia, at the boards with coach Anna Levandi, a skater with complete programs back in the day of completely mismatched music. East of Eden is the music. Hello, Michelle Kwan. Her stroking is very deliberate and sometimes bouncy... triple toe/triple toe.. took her time and the result was gorgeous jumping +1.. change edge held spiral and lets go and holds it around the corner, spiral with foot held in front of her... well done.. +1.. triple Salchow again good but with a small pause after the steps.. 0.. and OF COURSE a single Axel.. -3.. flying sit travels at the start into a donut and twist variation that slows, but it was fast... 0.. she senses the music through the footwork.. I think it's one of tthe greatest pieces ever.. footwork is okay.. 0.. camel/sit with variation/upright/change/layback not the greatest on any position.. 0.. sideways to layback and catchfoot.. again just okay with the final position.. 0. She looks happy but come on, do a triple/triple and no double Axel? There's always just that one thing with her. Takes a while to bow. The double Axel, by the way, doesn't have good technique at all. Very Lipinski in the way she just throws herself right off the ice with her arms rather than lifting and swinging the free leg forward. But she presents herself well. No question in the replay about the triple/triple-- nice rotation.

Score: Levandi always looks happy with her. Maybe she needs to be more stern. 26.32/21.40 = 47.72.. hmm.. that seems low. She's in 4th. I wonder if they downgraded something. All of the elements she did were basically average besides the combo, though.

Formspring.me: Hi Tony, any comments before the Ladies short program tonight? With as much detail if possible, thanks Tony!

I'm going to watch the entire thing later on today as I ended up having to work today. It happens. But general thoughts.. I think it'll end up really similar to the Vancouver short program with Kim, Asada, Ando, Nagasu, Flatt making the final group and then if the good Kostner wants to show up, she's definitely in. If Lepisto can land her 3/3, then I also suspect she might be ahead of the Americans and in it for a medal. I expect Sebestyen and Suzuki to make their typical one error and finding themselves still in or right outside the top 10. If Korpi skates clean she can also be near the final group, or in it with mistakes by others. Leonova would probably end up about 9th or 10th with a completely clean skate in a well-skated event, so she would be hoping for errors from several others. Gedevanishvili is the wildcard. She'll probably either go clean or completely bomb.

To me, ladies skating, at least the top group of ladies, has been clearly established all season long. There's room for a surprise or two such as Meier or Makarova, but there's no real shock for me anymore with any of them. And I used to like the ladies discipline the best, by far!

Formspring.me: How can the ISU make Pairs watchable again?

I don't think pairs skating is horrible, but I understand what you mean. To me, the short programs in ladies and pairs are so boring because everyone is attempting the same exact things. For the ladies, it's the spiral sequence and a lot of the spins. For the pairs, it's the death spiral with the ugly holding of the blade, etc. The originality and the time that they used to have for in-betweens and presentation is really almost gone due to the time it takes to do all of the elements. Footwork sequences went from maybe 10 max in most cases to about 30 seconds because of all of the content you have to put in them to score higher levels.

Okay, I got a bit off topic. I honestly have no idea how to make it watchable again. Maybe remove the rotating between the footwork and spirals and keep it at 7 elements for the short.. the footwork is used to show each skaters strength as an individual, but with the time they save from not doing it, they can pack their programs with more transitions and choreography-- maybe making them stand about a bit.

Formspring.me: Well I'm wondering if there wasn't an element of "thank you and goodbye" in Jouberts marks.. sort of like an honourary Oscar... it would explain the daft component scores. Any thoughts ??

I thought he could have gone even lower on the components marks. It's tough, because I like him and respect that he did two quads, but there were plenty of other men at least attempting quads that had more to their programs in terms of transitions and choreography than Joubert did. It's possible to have both. Still, his marks weren't THAT low. I would have been the harsh judge whose marks were thrown out for not being somewhere in the middle, I guess :-)

2010 World Championships - Ladies Short Program

If you're here for reviews of the ladies short, unfortunately they will come later.

Link to My Mens Free Skate Scores

Here's the link

Let me know if you can open this.

Then you can compare it to the judges scores by going here.

I forgot to add an element for Samuel Contesti in my original post, and with the element it puts him in front of Takahiko Kozuka. I have also edited the original post to reflect my corrected scores.

As always, feel free to share your thoughts!

Formspring.me: Yes.. I did .. in fact the programme cut off half my question..

What was the rest of the question?

Thursday, March 25

Formspring.me: I think you've probably got it about right.. Although I think I would have put Rippon 3rd... I find Abbott a bit.. oh I don't know, sort of lifeless. Interesting that you agreed almost EXACTLY with the judges on Chan. What would you have done with Kevi

I take it you mean Kevin Reynolds.. no ides yet. I ended up with much different results than I thought I was going to.. I'll add Kevin and some of the others in soon :-) And Abbott was really lifeless today, unfortunately.

How I Scored the Men in the Free Skate

Oh, how I can feel the hate mail coming with this one. I plugged in all of my GOE's that I did throughout the mens free skate for the top 10 overall, and then added my own grades of execution from having viewed the programs just the one time. I had no idea how it was going to end up, and I even surprised myself honestly.

1. Daisuke Takahashi 160.10
2. Patrick Chan 159.30
3. Jeremy Abbott 154.95
4. Adam Rippon 153.96
5. Michal Brezina 150.91
6. Brian Joubert 143.04
7. Adrian Schultheiss 141.41
8. Samuel Contesti 135.54
9. Takahiko Kozuka 134.03
10. Kevin Van der Perren 131.48

More later including the specifics. But ask away or complain away or praise away for these results I came up with. :-) Also, while coming up with these results, I came up with a theory about why some skaters components stay high even though they clearly don't excel in one or two areas.. I'll get into more of that later, as well. But this system just isn't working.

Worlds Next Year for the Men

Japan maintains three spots, Canada earns three by the slimmest of margins with Chan's 2nd and Reynolds' 11th, France maintains two, the Czech Republic maintains two, the United States maintains three, Italy maintains two, Belgium is up to two, Sweden is up to two, and Kazakhstan falls to one with 13th and 16th, one point more than needed to maintain two spots. Russia also drops down to one spot with a 14th place finish here.

2010 World Championships - Mens Long Program Group Four Live Blogging

 Definitely in the top 10 at the end of the day are Rippon, Contesti, Van der Perren, and Schultheiss. Assuming no one has an Oda-type meltdown in the final group, Kazakhstan is down to 1 spot in next years Worlds, losing out by 1 point. Belgium and Sweden are back to 2, and Italy maintains 2. Russia also is down to 1.

During the ice make, Lipinski and Weir talk about Van der Perren and how he's been able to do crazy combinations in practice for years and years. Weir says Rippon is his favorite for carrying on skating in the United States.. feels he might have been a tad overscored in the short, but bit his tongue in the free skate. Talk of his Lutzes with hands over the head and how they don't think they'd be able to do it. Weir says as far as 13 and 3 spots for next year goes, it's also an individual sport and if you have one of those spots, however it may be, you don't worry about it.

Carruthers says they are chillaxing and Weir and Lipinski laugh at him. Joubert talk.. they say it's his personality to be macho and fist-pumping, Weir says he's very influenced by Alexei Yagudin. Interview with Joubert after the short, his goal isn't to win just to do his best after the Olympic experience. Talk of Jeremy.. punished a bit according to Weir for not doing well at Olympics.. he says you will be judged on a different scale when you perform bad in the prior competition.. politics. He says this program is slow and a bit drawn out with the music, but he can make it work. More talk with Johnny and Tara about skate order.. they both like skating first.

In the actual warm-up, Takahashi two-foots and cheats a quad toe loop. Clip of his quadruple flip attempt, two-footed as well but it looked rotated!

Jeremy Abbott skates first. Symphony No. 3 but Saint-Saens. Taking his time to get to the opening pose. Quad toe loop and he goes down -3.. triple flip hunched forward but landed.. 0.. slow skating in general throughout this.. triple Axel/triple toe is nice +1.. flying sit with change positions and edge.. really well done +2.. circular footwork flows and has difficulty.. level 3.. +2.. double Axel fell -3.. triple Axel/double toe again nicely done +1.. nice choreography throughout.. and carries himself very well.. triple Lutz/triple toe/double loop with somewhat of a standstill.. 0.. triple loop had to fight for the edge.. 0.. sit/change sit edge.. +1.. triple Salchow is nice with little set-up +1.. serpentine footwork level 3.. nice edges +2.. he's not really selling this program, no intensity.. camel change edge for a second/sit/change/sit/upright is good. +1.. His eyes are always so red, like he never sleeps. I think he's generally just uptight and it comes through in his skating. The program has great choreography and transitions, but I guess his interpretation was okay in the sense that he used his whole body, but it should be lower as should his performance and execution. It was really just hit or miss.

Score: 77.15/75.90 -2.00= 151.05 and 232.10 overall. Into first. USA has 3 spots next year.

Takahiko Kozuka up next. My favorite if you didn't know already. Skating to Guitar Concerto by Michael Kamen. Already just effortless with using his entire body. Quad toe loop, fell -3.. close on the rotation I'd say.. single Axel/double toe loop -1.. triple Lutz/double toe/double loop 0.. flying sit low/change/camel/sandhu.. +1.. circular footwork level 3.. +1.. he isn't looking as smooth as usual.. spread eagle into a triple Salchow/double toe.. +1.. sit low/change/sit and variation +1.. nice transitions.. Axel came out in the air.. double with a downgrade I think it'll be called -3.. triple flip is just okay... 0.. triple loop nice +1.. triple Lutz nice as well +1.. serpentine footwork with gorgeous movement.. level 3.. +2.. camel/sit/something out of camera/change/camel/sit change edge/upright scratch +1. Off performance for him, for sure. He will drop with that, no triple Axel, no quad. Components aside from performance and execution should be among the highest so far, but again not much technically. Really just needs to break out of his shell and sell the skating, and he'd have it made.

Score: 59.83/73.70 -1.00= 132.53.. 216.73 overall and all the way down to 6th.

Brian Joubert.. quadruple toe loop/double toe loop done well and kept the flow.. +1.. quadruple toe loop.. kinda wide swinging free leg but done.. 0.. triple Axel held on to it as well.. 0.. fall on triple Lutz.. -3.. flying sit spin with variations.. +1.. again his spins look better here than I remember them being before. Slow section, time to get it back together, Brian. I'm not a huge fan of his but I find myself really rooting for him again this year. triple flip pitched forward a bit -1.. not much in terms of anything but stalking the jumps though.. triple Lutz/double toe.. 0.. triple loop turned out.. -1.. really disjointed and all the jumps come so close together. Circular step sequence.. level 2.. not much difficulty but more flashy than anything. 0.. triple Salchow/double toe/double toe nice  +1.. sit/change/sit upright.. 0.. straight line footwork and the music doesn't really get you into it but the audience is trying.. level 2.. +1. sit variation change edge/change sit nice donut +1. He looks upset but it wasn't a complete disaster. Still strong technically, but the choreography and transitions mark should be down. I know they won't be, though. Skating skill also really shouldn't be as high as Abbott, Kozuka, or Rippon. Too much to ask.

Score: He looks more relieved to me than anything. 73.84/81.20 -1.00 = 154.04.. too high on the components, first. Expect complaining from me about the components again after the event is over.

Patrick Chan.. Phanton of the Opera. Triple Axel/double toe with a foot down in between.. does that make it a sequence? -1. Triple flip/triple toe is okay.. back on track.. +1.. triple Lutz again a bit backwards.. 0. Circular footwork is effortless as always with him.. +2.. flying sit changes edge and it's a really nice donut position.. +2.. Effortless on the in-betweens as well.. triple Axel a bit forward but just fine.. 0.. footwork down the rink to a triple Lutz/double toe/double loop is good +1.. sit/change sit is good, nothing great +1.. more transitions. spread eagle into a triple loop fell -3.. triple Salchow and he can't hold on to the landing edge, puts a foot down -1.. recovers with a double Axel +1.. this performance is also falling flat to me with all the tiny mistakes he is making, he's not really attacking everything.. straight line step sequence.. level 3 and well done again +2.. no spark really.. camel/sit/variation/change/sit change edge/upright.. all great positions +2.. This might honestly end up close. The audience reaction isn't great at all, and seeing how the judges marked Joubert's components, I don't know if he will have much of a cushion, if at all there. Should be higher on skating skills, transitions, and choreography by far but then his performance and execution should probably be similar. Who am I kidding? The scores won't reflect that at all.

Score: 159.42.. 247.22 he goes into first. I didn't see what his components mark was. 82.40.. not very much higher.

Michal Brezina.. BEAUTIFUL triple Axel.. +2.. good posture and speed into huge triple flip, maybe done on the flat but still huge +1.. another huge triple Salchow +1.. flying sit change edge and position.. that was acceptable. 0.. Moves really easily across the ice.. straight line footwork has personality and difficulty.. level 3 +1.. sit travels/change/sit travels again on change edge -1.. he really needs to work on the spins ASAP.. triple Axel/double toe loop again very good +1.. triple flip on flat hand down in combo with double toe -1.. nice double Axel +1.. nice triple Lutz again! +1 double Axel/double toe/double loop +1.. If he had transitions into these jumps he'd get all +3's, seriously.. circular footwork gets a bit slower than the rest of the program has been but he's stil in character and moving nicely.. level 3.. 0.. camel/sit/change edge/change/camel edge/sit/scratch.. 0. Well he was very very good! All of his jumps except the triple flip with the hand down should receive positive GOE, the spins aside from one looked acceptable enough for 0's today.. hope he works real hard on them all summer. And the footwork was okay, too. All comes down to components. Has a chance for 2nd in the free skate, I'd think..

Score: 77.21/77.10 = 154.21 and 236.06 overall.  He did sneak in for 2nd best in the free skate, but just barely. Into 3rd.

Daisuke Takahashi with La Strada.. love this program. Predicted Chan to win but I'd love for him to win. Opening choreography already in character. Quad flip.. two-footed and maybe underrotated.. -2.. hard to tell but seriously?!. triple Axel/double toe done easily.. +1.. nice pacing.. triple loop +1.. flying sit with change of edge and variations.. all nice, just a bit slow.. 0.. he's having fun too, looks semi relaxed somehow! circular footwork and the crowd gets into it.. moves so easily and really deep into his skates.. level 3 +1.. more choreography.. triple flip/triple toe.. couldn't hold the landing on the toe and put the foot down -1.. triple Salchow is okay 0.. GORGEOUS triple Axel.. +2.. triple Lutz slight inside edge maybe.. 0.. he got called for them at Olympics.. double Axel/double toe.. 0.. combo spin ending in upright with change edge that slows down.. +1.. straight line footwork.. level 3.. +1.. the crowd is ready to give him this title, and good for him.. I really thought he wasn't going to be able to keep it together.. camel/sit/change/sit/scratch.. 0. He's laughing.. I think he has no idea how anyone else has skated so far. Standing ovation.. Oleg Vasiliev tears in his eyes in the crowd says Wylie?! Quad flip definitely will be called a triple with - GOE. I think he's going to win this on the components mark.

Score: 81.90/86.50 = 168.40 and easily the winner.. he looks very relaxed about all of it! Components of course seemed high, but I'm not complaining about him winning.

Formspring.me: Hi Tony, just dropping by to let you know how much I appreciate your blogging of the World's event! (I live in Canada and CBC only shows the final flights and the Canadian skaters.) Any predictions on the podium placement for the men's event?

I'm gonna go for Chan, Joubert, and Takahashi. Just a feeling.

2010 World Championships - Mens Long Program Group Three Live Blogging

Reynolds leads, Fernandez second, Amodio third.

In this group.. Denis Ten from Kazakhstan in 9th place.. warms up a triple loop right away.. he's been on the ice for 20 seconds.. Sergei Voronov from Russia in 11th place.. spiral into triple flip on the outside edge.. Samuel Contesti from Italy in 8th place.. obvious loud cheers and some cowbells for him.. triple flip.. Van der Perren with a triple flip and Schultheiss with a popped Axel.. Adam Rippon from the USA in 7th place.. triple Lutz tano/double toe/double loop.. nice response from the crowd when he's announced.. Adrian Schultheiss from Sweden in 12th place.. beautiful quad toe loop.. Kevin Van der Perren from Belgium in 10th place..Contesti in view and does a nice triple Axel/triple toe.. Van der Perren with a quad toe/triple toe.. corrects himself always to get the second jump and it ends up nice.

Denis Ten starts the group, skating to Concierto d'Aranjuez as well with oriental sound to it. triple Axel/triple toe with a long set-up and toe loop on the pick.. 0.. nice triple Axel +1.. nice triple Lutz as well.. +1.. triple flip on the outside edge and he collapses on it.. -3.. double Axel.. +1.. upright spin with change of edge/change/upright that starts to travel.. quick rotations.. 0.. spread eagle into single loop -1.. triple Lutz/double toe.. first jump had a delay, second landed on two feet and maybe downgraded -2.. circular footwork level 3 is done nicely.. +1.. good choreography but not much interpretation or performance quality yet with him.. triple Salchow/double Axel sequence 0.. flying camel change edge to catchfoot.. slow and not the best positions -1.. straight line footwork.. not the intensity the music asks for.. level 3 again.. and good but with no passion.. +1.. slowing down towards the end.. camel/illusion/Biellmann/change/sit low donut/y-spin/upright headless.. kinda sloppy.. 0. A few mistakes, and he looks worn out at the end. Spins are average, skating is maybe slightly above average but sometimes his arms and hands look strange on the crossovers, transitions decent but again no real feeling yet. It's choreographed well though. This should drop him behind Reynolds and Fernandez..

Score: 59.16/66.90 -1.00 = 125.06.. 202.46 and yes, into 3rd place.

Sergei Voronov needs a top 10 placement here, again, to keep two spots for Russia in 2011. I know I probably mention that too much. Schindlers List.. quad toe, held on.. 0.. I don't like his basic skating at all, hunched over a bit.. triple flip on the wrong edge.. -1.. more pumping the crossovers around for a big single Axel -1.. flying sit with variation.. +1.. now the music is Palladio. triple Axel with a hard fall -3.. no two spots for Russia it seems.. circular footwork with typical Russian choreography if that makes sense.. level 2.. and nothing special.. 0.. spread eagle into a triple loop.. 0.. sit/change/sit with change edge and variation.. pretty basic.. 0.. oh, music is back to Schinder's.. disjointed. triple toe/triple toe.. 0.. spread eagle into triple Salchow/double toe/double loop.. rough on the end.. 0.. straight line footwork new dramatic music.. level 2.. messy towards the end.. 0.. camel/sit/emanuel/change/sit/variation.. 0. double Axel.. 0.  Jumps weren't all there, don't care for his posture at all, and the choreography of the program and the music choices were strange. Had some nice transitions but he didn't go for selling it like he needed to. I guess I'm just not a huge fan of his. Now this should move into 3rd, maybe 4th.. I suppose he has a chance to move into the top 10 depending on the rest of this group.. with Urmanov in the kiss and cry.

Score: 59.08/69.10 -1.00 = 127.18.. 200.60 overall and goes into 4th. And even that is lucky, his components scores almost averaged 7! I don't think so.

Samuel Contesti with loud cheers from the audience. Music is Panpipes of the Andes. triple Axel with a step out.. -2.. triple flip on the flat.. 0.. triple Lutz is nice.. +1.. some choreography into camel/sit/change edge/variation/change/sit low/upright.. +1.. better than usual for his spin.. circular footwork has content but it's moving somewhat slow.. level 3.. 0.. sit travels/change/sit with edge and variation change.. 0. triple Axel hand down/triple toe loop -1.. nice triple loop +1.. double Axel is okay.. 0.. sets up the crowd for the serpentine footwork which moves slowly again.. maybe this is straight line with a lot of use of the ice.. really no speed by the end of the footwork.. level 2.. 0.. triple Salchow/triple toe loop on the pick a bit.. 0.. triple Salchow/double toe/double toe and completely went crooked and fell hard -3.. flying sit edge change and variation.. 0. I like that he always goes for something different, but I liked his free skate better last year and he doesn't have the speed to keep up with the music at the end. Footwork is done slow, spins are okay, and he does a lot of two foot skating. Components shouldn't be high for skating skills or choreography even, but they should go up for performance and interpretation. I think they will hold him up on components and that'll go into 3rd..

Score: 70.96/70.30 -1.00 = 140.26 total = 218.66 into 1st. Definitely don't know about that one, and I'm somewhat of a fan. Top 10 for sure at the end.

Adam Rippon.. nice fast smooth skating into a triple flip/triple toe.. +1.. triple Axel fallout/double toe.. -2.. becomes a sequence.. circular footwork level 3.. nice use of his whole body throughout +1.. camel/catchfoot//change/sit/upright.. +1.. spiral into a really nice triple loop +1.. has a strong artistic sense and another one who naturally just feels the music.. nice triple Axel! +1.. nice triple Lutz with a hand over the head.. +1.. triple Lutz/double toe/double loop.. 2 hands over the head +1.. easy double Axel.. +1.. sit/change/sit change edge.. +1.. straight line footwork.. still looks tense in his face but he's skating well! level 3.. +1.. flows so well even if he's starting to pump on the crossovers.. beautiful split jump into triple Salchow +1.. flying camel into donut/change/sit/upright variation into scratch.. great spin +2.. I really, really like his skating. Everything he does has quality to it and he builds up the grade of execution so well. Just like in the short program, I had everything in +GOE except for the fall-out on the Axel. This should easily go into first based on how Contesti was just scored.

Score: 77.16/74.20 = 151.36.. 231.47 into 1st place. He's content. Nice score.

Adrian Schultheiss.. this is the definition of a unique program! quad toe loop! 0.. triple Axel/double toe loop is okay too.. 0.. he doesn't skate with much speed, triple Lutz/double toe nicely done. +1.. flying sit 0.. circular footwork to hip hop beat.. it's pretty easy and not done as effortlessly as it should be.. level 2.. 0.. nice triple Axel though with little speed into it! +1.. triple flip is nice too +1.. camel/sit variation/change sit/upright that slows but the first 3/4 were very good +1.. nice choreography that only he would do.. triple loop forward and hung on.. -1.. triple Salchow is okay.. 0.. sit/change/sit variation 0..  triple Lutz/double toe/double toe -1.. a little rough with all three jumps.. straight line footwork remains as slow as the rest of the program has been and again nothing too complex within it.. level 2.. 0.. reallllll slow at the end of the sequence.. clean skate but no triple/triple combo.. interesting to see how the judges mark it. Like Contesti, not the best skating skills or speed, but his choreography and interpretation should be high. Maybe a top 10 finish for him? That would be something.

Score: 76.61/69.30= 145.91 218.26 and 3rd. He will be in the top 10!

Kevin Van der Perren.. mentioning of his grandfather being very ill back home. Didn't know anything about that. Best wishes to him. Really taking his time to start. Quad toe loop/triple toe loop/triple toe loop really nice! +1.. triple Axel held on but wild landing.. 0.. double flip now.. 0.. flying sit low and basic.. 0.. where did Robin Hood go? He's always switching up and going back to old programs. Circular footwork is unbelievably slow and simple.. level 1.. 0.. mentioning that Kevin isn't a fan of choreography but rather the jumps.. triple Lutz is okay.. 0.. triple flip/double toe.. 0.. none of the jumps have that great of landings.. sit with leg grab/change/sit variation.. 0.. triple loop again the same okay landing.. 0.. double Axel is nice +1.. he al of a sudden gets real happy.. straight line footwork.. again not really moving and not difficult. Level 1 again.. 0. He barely does enough on the footwork sequences.. and he's worn out. triple Salchow fought for it -1.. camel/sit slow/change/upright/layback -1.. died out completely. He's shocked with his skate. No energy.. and he collapses to the ice and is thrilled. Ending his career here and in good fashion. He's crying. BUT... not to be a hater but in terms of choreography, transitions, footwork, and spins, that program was basically bare minimum. I felt the same in the short but he still pulled off okay components marks.. I have no clue where he's going to end up..

Score: 72.98/71.90 = 144.88 and seasons best. Into 3rd with 218.43. Will be no lower than 9th. Eh.. components again with an average of over 7. Guess when he pulls out the quads, the components stay high too. But honestly, I'm really happy for him.

2010 World Championships - Mens Long Program Group Two Live Blogging

In this group: Kevin Reynolds- 14th place; Min-Seok Kim- 18th place; Florent Amodio- 15th place; Viktor Pfeifer- 17th place; Anton Kovalevski- 16th place; Javier Fernandez- 13th place.

ISU montage plays in the arena while we wait. I see Maria Butyrskaya, Annie Bellemare, Anissina/Peizerat, Todd Eldredge-- plenty of skaters that have been retired for years now. All of the clips look like they are from the 2001 and 2002 seasons.. get a new montage!

Okay, warm-up group on the ice. Pan to Reynolds.. waltz jump, and another, double loop.. Kim- Axel looks easy.. double Salchow.. Amodio.. triple loop is nice.. Pfeifer.. nice triple loop as well.. the camera pans away as he picks in for a Lutz.. they are SO good at doing that.. Kovalevski- nice triple Salchow.. Fernandez- camera switches to him mid jump, lands whatever it was.. Axel of some kind that I missed..

Kevin Reynolds starts it off, from Canada.. music is a Led Zeppelin medley. Seasons best at 131. String quartet version of the songs. Quad Salchow looks like a beauty to me.. +1.. footwork into a two-footed quad toe loop.. -1.. waltz jump.. complete miss.. no points.. flying sit low fast position and changes edge and position.. that was nice.. +2.. slower section now.. he moves easily, but his posture can still improve greatly.. triple loop/triple toe with a nice entry +1.. triple Axel/triple toe, another difficult entry and he surely didn't miss this one +1.. triple loop is nice +1.. upright/emanuel/change/layback is slow but unique.. +1. circular footwork as the music picks up is slow but has a lot of content in it.. level 3.. 0.. triple Lutz with changes of edge right out of it.. nice but a bit low.. +1.. triple flip/double toe/double loop is okay.. 0.. straight line footwork is nice.. level 3.. +1 camel/sit/change position/change sit and edge/upright that is really nice.. he's a very good spinner! +2. Besides the waltz jump mistake, everything was really strong in that program except the speed. Hopefully the replays show the quads, but I think they were rotated enough. Not a bad effort at all. Salchow was good. Toe loop rotated but two-footed. I liked him.

80.68/64.70 = 145.38.. seasons best.. 216.58.. he looks like he expected that. Good for him.

Min-Seok Kim from Korea now.. dramatic music to start. triple Axel/double toe with a bit of a pre-rotation on the toe loop.. 0.. nice speed into a triple flip on the outside edge and a fall.. -3.. not much going on in the way of listening to the music so far.. skating right through it. triple Lutz he holds on.. 0.. camel/sit/y-spin really nice!/change sit/upright +1.. slowed down on change-foot but nice centering. Halfway. triple Axel fell, rotation questionable -3.. spread eagle and other movements.. triple loop hard fall into the boards and slow to get up.. -3.. double Axel/single toe/single loop.. 0.. crowd is getting behind him.. struggling a bit through the footwork.. looking down a lot.. circular but weird shape.. -1.. sit/change/sit nice variation.. +1.. triple Salchow landed on the toe pick.. -1.. slow into double Axel which ends okay.. 0.. straight line footwork.. again some struggle through it.. level 2.. 0.. flying sit with another nice position and change edge and then variation.. kinda fell off at the end to finish in time though.. 0. He was so excited after his short program, but this was a mess. Good spinner, especially that Y-Sasha spin.. choreography wasn't really there and the interpretation wasn't important to him, yet. But good for him on the first triple Axel. Still, he manages a smile in the kiss and cry, and is laughing.

Score: 43.01/49.50 -3.00 = 149.31.. 7th place.

Florent Amodio from France.. such a cool program. Cirque du Soleil, Amelie, etc. double Axel.. skidded on take-off a bit but it was fine.. 0.. triple Axel with a step-out.. -2.. triple loop with turns.. -1.. camel/sit--fast!/change/sit with broken leg and travels/upright.. 0.. change to jazzy hip hop music.. circular footwork.. he's light on his feet with the footwork.. level 3.. +1.. choreography in place. He really engages with the audience and understands the music rather than just skating to what he's given.. lands the triple Axel/double toe this time! +1.. triple Salchow/triple toe.. +1 nice again.. crowd is really getting into his every move. triple Lutz nice run-out +1. flying sit/broken leg/change/sit variation.. +1.. triple flip on a deep outside edge.. -2.. double Lutz and a step-out-- -2..shakes his head and shrugs his shoulders.. straight line footwork.. he's getting into it again.. level 2.. +1.. flying sit/variation that slows.. 0. Pumps his fists.. he's happy. He has good basic skating and maintains the speed well throughout, and his strength is definitely in his performance ability and interpretation. I'm still really impressed with him.

Break dancing in the kiss and cry to get the audience going.. haha I love his personality..

Score: 64.34/64.60= 128.94.. 197.25.. into 2nd.

Viktor Pfeifer from Austria.. Priscilla Hill at the boards with him. He has come a long way, and I really noticed it for the first time in the short program. Skates to Concierto d'Aranjuez here. Line is nice, speed average.. big popped double toe.. 0.. double Axel/triple toe is okay.. 0.. triple Salchow/triple toe is gorgeous.. +1.. not much going on except jumps so far.. triple Lutz again nice.. 0.. sit change edge and variation/change/sit which slowed.. 0.. circular footwork.. slow but solid, relatively easy.. level 2.. 0.. midway.. some moves in the field that don't really go anywhere and some time to rest.. triple loop with a fall out.. -2.. spread eagle into steps.. triple Salchow/double toe with a turn-out.. -1.. triple flip on a deep edge again and swingy.. -2.. double Axel.. 0.. flying sit change edge and pancake variation.. slow... and not great -1.. straight line step.. slow yet again and easy towards the end.. level 1.. 0.. camel change edge.. nice position/sit/change/sit variation/upright with his awkward looking catch-foot.. 0. That move, while unique, just kills the flow of the spin and it's ugly. Lots of small mistakes throughout that program, and I think his improved skating shows much more in his short program than it did here. Not much choreography, either, except when he was standing still or barely moving. Whole program moved really slow.

Score: 56.34/54.50 = 110.84.. total 170.79 and into 6th place.

Anton Kovalevski from Ukraine.. Palmero Station is the English title, I guess. Fixes his hair before he starts. Always important. Godfather sounding.. triple Axel pre-rotated way off and fall out/double toe.. -3.. will be a sequence.. triple Axel again crooked with hands down.. -2.. some choreography now.. triple Lutz.. 0.. everything is looking really unfinished.. double Axel is nice though.. +1.. triple loop looks short on rotation .. -1.. sit low position/change sit change edge.. nothing too special.. 0.. straight line footwork.. level 2.. flashy and lots of arm movements in the second part.. 0.. scratchy with the blades.. again a segment for some choreography and the character comes out a bit.. halfway.. triple toe/triple toe.. it was okay 0.. triple Salchow was kinda ugly on the landing.. 0.. flying sit again low position/change edge.. 0.. circular footwork.. level 3.. some personality in this one.. +1.. spread eagle.. double Axel/double toe/single toe.. 0.. camel slow/sit/y-spin/change/low sit/upright.. cut it close on the last position with the end of the music.. 0.. The program was a mess.. he always lands the same way on his triple Axels and when he DOES land a jump he does this movement where he puts both hands straight up, much like training mate Tomas Verner.. I don't care for it. All of the jumps were landed a bit forward today.. some nice in-betweens but posture is average and speed is also average.

Score: 57.33/62.10 -1.00 = 118.43.. 186.03 and 3rd place. Components maybe a bit high, but it is a decent program.

Javier Fernandez from Spain.. Pirates of the Caribbean.. one of Morozov's better programs lately.. quad toe with a lot of distance but stepped out of the landing, it was close.. -2.. beautiful triple Axel with not much preparation.. +2.. triple Lutz came to a hault.. maybe wrong edge.. -1.. flying sit/donut/hands up... +1.. drunken footwork sequence meant to look off balance.. creative.. level 3.. +1.. gets the audience going with that. Change the music and cue the dramatic movements in place.. halfway.. gorgeous triple Axel and combined with double toe.. +1.. triple flip was nice.. +1.. spread eagle.. triple loop soft landing +1.. triple Salchow/double toe/double toe.. 0.. the double toes for him don't look very nice. triple toe/double Axel sequence with a hop-out.. -1.. he's obviously not a fan of the toe jump. straight line footwork.. still keeping up the speed.. level 2.. +1.. camel/sit/change edge variation/change/sit low/upright that travels.. 0.. sit low/change/sit change edge and low.. again travels. 0. He's happy, Morozov is applauding maybe because he didn't want another Oda-type disaster today and is relieved.. audience liked it. Spins are good until the change-foot and then he starts traveling, jumps are all really nice except for the toe loops (doubles..) Axels are among the best in the competition, both of them were beautiful. Good program, good skating and kept up the speed. He definitely has a ton of flair and is well on his way up the rankings!

Score: 75.31/68.70 = 144.01.. seasons best.. 215.66 and in 2nd place by less than a point. If he skates clean.. wow.

2010 World Championships - Mens Long Program Group One Live Blogging

Waiting for the feed to go live. Took forever, but here we go...

We join the first warm-up group, already in progress. Abzal Rakimgaliev with a single flip/double toe combination, Ryan Bradley with a quad toe loop right at the end of warm-up and it's clean!

First to skate, Jinlin Guan from China. 19th place in the short.. he skates to Turandot, the Vanessa-Mae overused a thousand times version. Triple Lutz, turnout.. -1.. Has some artistic sense already in the opening of the program and generally nice line. Triple flip with possible edge call.. 0.. but nicely done. Nice triple Salchow +1.. into flying camel changes edge and variation, ends in a donut.. that was nice, okay speed. +1.. Double Axel nice again +1.. set-up was a bit long.. flying sit/change/sit with variation.. 0.. Straight line step.. or maybe this is serpentine. It's okay but nothing special, probably level 2.. 0.. triple flip/double toe again edge call maybe.. 0.. nice triple loop.. +1.. he has quality to every single one of his jump landings, just doesn't do much of anything going into them.. Nice choreography section, he senses the music.. should be second half now.. back spiral and some steps to triple Lutz/triple toe.. +1.. again, solid.. double Axel/double toe/double toe.. 0.. circular footwork.. again not bad, but nothing special. I'd say level 2 again.. 0.. camel/same variation/change/sit variation/upright.. which isn't held long but as a whole the spin had nice positions and centered well..  +1. Definitely a talent. No triple Axel here though... like I said, could have transitions into his jumps or more choreography, but the slow sections did show he can listen to interpret the music well. Not bad! Flips look to be on outside edge, so my 0's for the jumps might actually belong as -1's. Good run out on everything, though.

Score: 66.03/57.20 = 123.23.. 8 points below his seasons best. 182.68.. first for now.

Ari-Pekka Nurmenkari from Finland.. Always 25th through 30th in the short program at Worlds, he finally makes the free skate. Good for him. In 23rd now, music is called The Fall. Sounds interesting from the beginning. Nice high double Axel, probably wanted a triple.. +1.. triple Lutz/triple toe.. first jump was really nice, second was okay.. 0.. steps into single flip maybe another edge call.. -1.. triple loop was okay.. 0.. nothing but jumps so far.. flying sit with pancake to basic position that slowed as it went.. 0.. I like the music at least.. circular footwork and it's awfully slow to get going.. stays that way. 0.. level 2 I'd say. Doesn't move fast enough for it. Slow section of the music and his half-way point is now. Double Salchow.. 0.. nice posture, but slow as he carries himself around the rink.. double Lutz.. triple Salchow with a dip on the landing.. -1.. sit spin/change/sit and donut-type to change edge.. slow again.. 0.. straight-line footwork.. going through the motions but not really selling this or really listening to the music.. level 2 again.. and 0.. he's out of energy.. slow into double Axel/double toe 0.. camel/sit/edge slowss/change/sit/upright variation.. so slow. -1. Well I wanted to see a lot more with that music, because I really liked it. Everything average all-around and his slow skating holds true into his footwork sequences and spins.. he really had nothing left in the last 30 seconds or so.

Score: 43.59/50.30 = 93.89 seasons best. Ouch. 148.34 overall, into second.

Abzal Rakimgaliev from Kazakhstan.. I like this kid.. in 22nd place right now. I think I mentioned in the short program that he made the free skate in 2008, when he was 15. Hasn't done much since then, though. Takes a while to find a starting spot. Sounds like I'll like this music too. double Axel/double toe/double loop.. all jumps nice and high.. +1.. triple flip/triple toe.. I don't know if it was all the way around.. close.. and flip probably on an outside edge -1.. triple Lutz was nice but it was somewhat telegraphed, still I'll give +1.. getting into the program now.. sit spin with twist variation/change sit... quick rotations and he kept it in one place.. +1.. telepgraphed into triple flip.. nicely done but maybe outside edge.. triple Salchow is crooked but landed okay 0.. I think the halfway point is now and some simple steps and posing on the ice for the slow section.. double Axel okay.. 0.. circular footwork goes to the music at the beginning but is slow throughout and probably receives a level 1.. 0.. another double Axel.. 0.. flying sit with same twisted variation.. I like it.. +1.. gets going with the straight line footwork and the energy.. speed is still a bit slow.. has a lot of toe pick tapping in his sequences.. thank you Alexei Yagudin.. again nothing special and level 1.. 0.. Music picking up a lot and he's not.. triple toe nice.. +1 ... camel/sit variation/emanuel/change/camel/sit/upright scratch.. his spins are good except for a slight travel on the last position +1.. So overall not bad.. he landed everything, didn't try a triple Axel this time. Good spins, footwork is really simple and slow.. posture is okay. In replay the triple toe looks two-footed in the combo, but rotated enough for credit. I still like him, hope he improves.

Score: 59.00/52.60 = 111.60. seasons best.. overall 166.20, 2nd place.

Alexandr Kazakov held by coach Alexei Urmanov's hand.. from Belarus.. in 24th and final qualifying position after the short. Oksana Kazakova is also listed as one of his coaches.. relation? Requiem for a Dream, the piece EVERYONE chooses these days. Posture is a bit hunched forward. triple Axel was nice! +1.. again triple Axel/double toe.. 0.. toe with not the best run out.. triple Lutz/double toe.. not much flow out.. 0.. circular footwork.. goes to the music.. somewhat careful with some of the movements.. level 2?.. 0.. double Axel and fought to hold the edge solidly.. 0..  camel/sit/variation donut/change/sit with some travel/upright.. 0.. spiral into triple loop.. nice but telegraphed.. 0.. triple Lutz.. 0.. straight line footwork with some personality in the beginning and then gets to focusing on it just like in the first sequence.. level 2.. 0.. triple Salchow/double toe.. 0.. double Axel 0.. flying sit change edge and into donut again.. 0.. sit/ with cool variation change sit change edge and variation. Travelled, but nice uniqueness.. 0. He's beyond thrilled with that! Jumps are all nice but when he does combinations he never gets any flow out of the second jump, so it makes his grade of execution just average. Some cool spins but he needs to not travel to get good points on them. Died down a bit at the end and the music cuts were a bit different.. overall I enjoyed him though. Glad he made the free skate and had a clean skate with TWO triple Axels!

Score: 66.23/55.10 = 121.33.. 175.57 overall, 2nd place. He'll move up.

Ryan Bradley from the USA.. bad skate in the short and in 21st place. Already in character as he skates to his opening pose. Mozart medley. He knows how to hide his weaknesses with this program when it's on. quad toe loop pitched forward but he held on, good for him.. -1.. slow stroking as he will keep throughout.. second quad toe fell, but it looked all the way around. will be counted as a sequence.. -3.. circular footwork goes to the music but isn't difficult at all and it's incredibly slow.. level 1.. 0.. big double Axel.. 0.. triple Lutz was okay.. 0.. flying sit up against the board with change edge and variation.. again okay.. 0.. change music to something the audience can clap with.. straight line footwork with lots of toe pick action.. again not much going on there.. level 1.. 0. He makes the sequences work in the sense of the program, but not in the sense of scoring. Probably halfway through for bonus now. triple flip is okay.. 0.. spiral into triple loop that delayed on the take-off.. rough landing but on one foot.. -1.. triple Salchow is whippy/triple toe.. did it.. 0.. triple Lutz/double toe/double toe again whippy on the Lutz..0.. flying camel change edge and donut type spin into a catchfoot.. slow... 0.. camel/sit variation/change emanuelish/upright change edge.. 0. No grade of execution with anything he does, really. He is saved on the spins by having some unique positions, but the speed through them, the footwork, and in general is really poor. I like that he's different, at least, but he's meant for show skating.

Score: 65.24/58.90 -1.00 = 123.14.. 179.24 overall, second place. I never know how to feel about his components, especially skating skills.

Jamal Othman from Switzerland.. 20th coming in.. Spanish.. I like his skating, wish he'd get the triple Axel.. single Axel/double toe loop.. 0.. posture is nice but pumping the crossovers.. triple Lutz/double toe.. 0.. swinging free leg in between much like Bradley just did.. triple flip on the outside edge and two-footed.. -2.. time to sell the program now, which he's decent at. back spiral into a nice double Axel.. +1.. layback/upright change edge/chane/sit emanuel spin.. 0.. cool positions sacrificed the speed.. Circular footwork.. slow.. level 1? looked pretty basic.. 0.. Maybe I'm just tough on the footwork levels. Should be halfway point now. triple flip underrotated and hard fall.. wrong edge, like that matters with that.. haha.. -3.. triple Lutz landed.. 0.. triple Salchow is okay.. 0.. camel with catchfoot and up/change sit with variation and edge change slows and rough positions.. -1.. straight line footwork is slow again and I'd go with level 1 again.. 0.. he's tired.. another double Axel with a big stepout.. -2.. flying sit.. with twist variation to upright headless spin.. traveled a bit.. 0. Very quiet audience reaction. He's a lot better than this. Needs more speed, better footwork, and more difficult jumps (still). Always has trouble with the triple flip that he takes off with on the wrong edge, wonder why he attempts two. Program was okay.

Score:  43.66/56.40 -1.00 = 99.06.. 156.41, 5th place overall.

Now the pointless break for 30 minutes.