Once again, I tried the whole live quick thoughts on Twitter for the final group of ladies today. If you aren't following me, please do so! Here is my summary..
1 Miki Ando - Much like with Patrick Chan, I like Miki, but I just don't really warm up to her programs very often. She skated an excellent short program, and aside from a step-out of a double toe, she delivered a strong free skate technically. What I don't care for is the relatively simplistic choreography and no real relation to the music. I'd say she's never been an "artist", but I also wish that one day she'd wake up and really connect to the programs she is given. Some of the jumps in the free skate looked questionable as to whether an under-rotation should have been called, but overall she was good. She has a great personality and always seems to doubt herself, so I hope she lets this second World title really sink in.
2 Yu-Na Kim - I loved Yu-Na's free skate music and choreography, but I wish she would have gotten more mileage out of it before Worlds, because it looked like she had to really focus on the program rather than sell it. The singling of the flip obviously cost her the gold medal (and technically a double flip would have probably been just enough for her to win, as in by 0.01), but I have a feeling if I score this myself, she'd be the winner. At least she'd win the free skate... I think. That might be a post for another day. I'm glad she is still around, and I think she has a lot more to offer in the sport in the next few seasons.
3 Carolina Kostner - Absolutely gorgeous, perfect jumps to start the free skate, but then it started to go downhill with a popped triple loop and then another that didn't seem to be all the way around (but still received full credit). I like Carolina and I like that she's had a decent season after a few poor seasons, but she used to be known for her amazing speed. Not anymore.. she crawls. The program is nice, but I think I would have had her behind 4th-place Leonova.
4 Alena Leonova - I've been so meh about her all season, but she was a very welcome change to the otherwise somewhat boring free skate. Her program was dynamic, she moved in interesting (if not quite the most refined) ways, and she skated extremely well aside from a doubled flip. The edge call on the triple Lutz was probably enough of a difference to keep her from bronze as less than a point separated Alena and Carolina. I used to be bothered by the over-the-top dramatics she would provide after every single skate, but it was really genuine here, and it was nice to see.
5 Alissa Czisny - Nice program, nice recovery after a nasty fall on the very first jump, a triple Lutz. She's made great improvements to her consistency this year, but I wish that she, too, would work on her speed. No downgrades or under-rotations here!
I haven't watched 6th-place Mao Asada yet but I sense that she's probably just relieved that this long season is over. 7th-place Ksenia Makarova started out strong and had a shot for the bronze medal, but a hard fall on a triple loop and being called for four combinations/sequences killed her score.
Rachael Flatt had a stress fracture that she didn't tell anyone about until after she finished 12th place (14th in the long program). I like Rachael and it's clear the judges were more than ready to boost her up into the top 3 in the short program if not for the doubled jump, but I think she's going to get a lot of scrutiny for her choice to go to Worlds now. She probably should have just said she had a bad day rather than reveal any details.
The Canadian ladies finished in 13th and 16th, and miss retaining two ladies for 2012 Worlds by one spot. Japan and Russia are the only countries that will have three ladies next year. The USA, for the fourth straight Worlds, will send two.
I'm so glad this season is over. My interest in ladies skating took a total nosedive as the year went on, and I'm hoping for a lot of fresh, dynamic and exciting programs in 2012.