Saturday, November 6

Abbott vs. Joubert: Who Is More Awkward?


Photo from daylife.com

I don't often get snarky in my posts, but this one just asks for the snark. (My thoughts on Cup of China are coming eventually for those checking the page for that.)

Jeremy Abbott and Brian Joubert both worked with dancer/choreographer Antonio Najarro on their short programs this season. Abbott is skating to a piece called Viejos Aires, while Joubert has opted for the Malaguena from Once Upon a Time in Mexico.

Thursday, November 4

Cup of China Begins Tonight-- Here's Your Preview

Hmm. To get up in the middle of the night and watch some of the first-day coverage of Cup of China or not? I do work tomorrow morning, so it's probably not a good idea. And since it's not a good idea, I'll probably do it.

DANCE
The third and fourth-placed teams in the World Championships will face off here: Italy's Federica Faiella and Massimo Scali vs. France's Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat. The French have already won two times this year, while this is the first competition for the Italians. The bronze-medal race also looks to be between two teams: Russian couple Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev, and Hungary's Nora Hoffmann and Maxim Zavozin. The teams were ranked 8th and 10th at the 2010 World Championships.

LADIES
Japanese ladies Miki Ando and Akiko Suzuki, American Mirai Nagasu, and Russian Alena Leonova hope to showcase top-level skating that has been missing from the first two Grand Prix events. Nagasu is coming off of an injury, while Suzuki bested Leonova earlier this year at the Finlandia Trophy. Aside from the Japan Open team competition, Ando has not yet competed this season.

MEN
This, once again, could be the most competitive discipline of the event. Brian Joubert of France, Tomas Verner of the Czech Republic, and Takahiko Kozuka of Japan all have their eyes on gold. Joubert comes into this season with a much different free skate than his norm-- a Beethoven Symphony choreographed by David Wilson. Verner, on the other hand, has left long-time coach Michael Huth and now trains in Canada and the United States. This is his season debut, so his consistency questions have yet to be answered. If any of the three should falter, Italy's Samuel Contesti, Japan's Tatsuki Machida, Russia's Sergei Voronov, and American Brandon Mroz all could have shots at a medal.

PAIRS
Aside from obvious favorites and current World Champions Qing Pang and Jiang Tong of China, the fight for the other two medals could get interesting here. Lubov Iliushechkina and Nodari Maisuradze of Russia won Skate Canada a week ago, but will their long-distance traveling affect them here? America's second-ranked pair Amanda Evora and Mark Ladwig start their season here, while teammates Caitlyn Yankowskas and John Coughlin look to build off of their decent NHK Trophy free skate two weeks ago. Current World Junior Champions Wenjing Sui and Cong Han of China have already skated twice on the Junior Grand Prix, but look to impress at home in their senior debut. Rounding out the medal contenders are Italians Nicole Della Monica and Yannick Kocon. They finished just outside the top 10 at the Olympic Games last season.

Predictions? Offer them up!

Finishing Up My Skate Canada Viewing: Great Free Dances

I love both of these programs. Thank God the free dance is still 'free' in terms of music choice, because the short dance concept just isn't doing it for me so far.



Wednesday, November 3

That Big Project Revealed... Kind-Of.

I'm probably one of the biggest nerds in the world when it comes to particular pieces of music that are used in skating. Back when I was younger, I used to hate looking for songs that had the wrong information supplied to the ISU (which happened often), and I didn't feel like going through 25 tracks on a movie soundtrack to find the one piece I wanted. So, I'm going to try to change that just in case there are more nerds out there just like me!

This is the database project I mentioned briefly in a few weeks ago. For now, here's all of the music used at the NHK Trophy, with details as specific as I could find them. Obviously the 2010/2011 season and just this one competition are a VERY small part of the big picture, but I wanted to give just a little tease!

2010/2011 Figure Skating Music Listings

Some notes: With the classical pieces, it's really hard to name a specific version of the recording as all are very similar. If there is a * next to a title, artist, or album listing, it means that I am somewhat confident that I've listed the correct information, but I'm not yet 100%. If there is an "unknown" in any of the listings-- well, I'm sure you can figure that one out.

If you can help out with any of the unknown areas or have corrections, feel free to e-mail me. Suggestions are always welcome, too.

By the way-- Sorry about the formatting, it's because I copied and pasted the material from my big output file. When the actual page is up and running, it will look A LOT smoother. I promise :-)

Monday, November 1

More Skate Canada: Judging the Men, The Conclusion

Moving right along with the free skates of Patrick Chan, Adam Rippon, and Nobunari Oda.. I must be extremely motivated today..

First, your own results. Out of 316 votes in the last day and a half, 76% said that Nobunari Oda should have been the winner of the event. Adam Rippon was second with 12%, and Patrick Chan (the actual gold medalist) only received 6% of the vote. My "fun" option of choosing either Kevin Reynolds or Javier Fernandez as the winner even garnered 4% of the vote!

Below the break, my detailed long program scores and final results. No, I'm not a real judge. It's still fun!

More Skate Canada: Judging the Men, Part One

Patrick Chan vs. Nobunari Oda vs. Adam Rippon. You know how I like to mock-judge competitions.

I will start by saying two things, and this is before I do my own scoring. I remember last year in the free skate at Worlds that I was really surprised with my end result for Chan's score, as I expected it to be much lower. Second, the IJS rules have been modified a bit, switching up the positive/negative grade of execution for jumps. The quad toe receives the +/-1.0 increments that the triples received last year, and now the triples start out at +/-0.7.

Am I going to shock myself and actually agree with the outcome? If that is the case, am I going to agree with the set GOEs and point values for all of the elements in the newest rules? Let's see, starting with the short program.

All of the math and fun little details, below the break

Sunday, October 31

Back Before Dylan Moscovitch Was a Grand Prix Silver Medalist..

Dylan Moscovitch and partner Kirsten Moore-Towers were the surprise pairs silver medalists (and winners of the free skate) at this weekend's Skate Canada. However, Dylan has also had his share of success in singles skating on the national level, winning the silver medal at the 2004 National Championships on the junior level behind fellow-turned pairs competitor Eric Radford, who finished 5th this weekend.

This is a program I remember watching via Facebook sharing back when it first got posted, and I loved how Dylan combined so many different signature moves from other skaters' programs into his own free skate. How many bits of the choreography can you pick up on?! By the way, this program/competition did not qualify him to Nationals that season.