Here we go.. well not quite. Abbott and Bradley's short programs are being shown on NBC and that means no Grant Hochstein, who just moved into second overall behind Jonathan Cassar with 117.61 points in the free skate. Also not being aired is Jason Brown, who was in 11th after the short. 144.44 points in the free skate and into first by 20 points. See, NBC, you should have just showed the entire flight rather than airing short programs that happened two days ago. Jason Wong goes down into sixth overall.
So we start with Adam Rippon, down in 9th. 3A/stepout/2T. Not his jump this week. Spread eagles into 2A. I like this program much more than his short. Pumping his back up and down on the crossovers still, he really needs to work on that. 3Lz with both arms above his head, this time he gets it back. Circular footwork and a flying sit low position into twist. 3A beauty this time. 3F/3T and another good one. Another 3Lz/2T with both having a hand above the head. No three-jump combo here as he was too close to the wall. 3Lo-- he's increasing the energy now. Camel//y-spin/change/sit/variation. Straight line step and now he has the audience into it. I was worried in the first half, as I felt like it was going the same as the short-- somewhat boring. 3S and a combo spin to end. Well, he really redeemed himself after that first jump. It seems he's almost surprised that he was able to hold it together. Good for him. 76.36/77.42 = 153.78 and 220.40. Into first for now.
Richard Dornbush- 3F to start nice. 3A/3T and that was SIMPLE. 3Lz another simple jump. Remember his score last month at the Junior Grand Prix Final would have been competitive in the senior competition, and this first minute has shown why. Choreography has been complete and fun throughout so far, much better than the short program. Another EASY triple Axel. Wow. By Nationals scoring standards, they deserve +3's. 3S. 3F/2T/2Lo with a difficult edgework entry.. again simple. 2A/2A sequence. He reminds me of the Russians and how sometimes they choreograph arm movements or flashiness out of jumps to show control, but here there isn't flashiness-- there's just absolute perfect quality and control out of everything. Wow. This was amazing and you know I don't get that blown away by skating anymore. Absolutely amazing. 83.27/74.58 = 225.56 and first. I didn't know if the judges would go for it, but they did. I love Adam Rippon, but this was better.
Armin Mahbanoozadeh in 8th. Another one of my favorites. Walley and steps into 3Lz great. 3A crooked a bit but the landing is just fine. 3F/3T again great. What a group so far. 3Lo again nice and controlled. What I like about this Avatar is the variety of movements. It's not a classical straight-forward program, it's a more modern and abstract-y type soundtrack and his movements fit that. 3A/2T and he's fighting. Spread eagle into a 3F and again a fight. Camel with the cool position/sit/change/sit. He's still looking strong and 3S is good. Spirals into 2A/2T/2Lo and he's happy. Here comes all the energy for the choreographed step, and the crowd is getting behind him. This has been one of the most amazing back-to-back-to-back performances I've ever seen from these three. End combo spin with donut position and a scratch. Well, he couldn't have done anything more. Now he's probably asking himself what happened in the short. 215.05 and into third. What a strong third place though.