Ladies Free Skate
Rachael Flatt started things off. Firebird retained from last season. Nice triple flip this time around! The obnoxious swinging into it is gone now. She definitely doesn't have the speed she previously had, and she wasn't ever really a fast skater to begin with. Jumps are gone into with hardly any energy, but she's pulling them off. The spins, to me, look like they have REALLY regressed and some of the positions are just 'half' there. Second flip maybe was doubled intentionally, as she repeated the loop and the Salchow later. Points left on the table and only two combinations, but five triples.
Alena Leonova's triples this week don't look to have the spring she's always had. The Lutz and flip almost have a delay to the beginning and I think that might be the problem with those. Her speed also doesn't look to be at the level it usually is. Tonia mentions that she doesn't have connection to the music, and I agree. When things don't go her way, she is totally checked out from the performance, and the PCS should reflect that. She's just been out of it both days.
Sarah Hecken looks really pretty with the simplistic makeup. I think her posture problems are magnified by her arms, that sometimes look like she is balance-checking herself rather than actually having arm movements as choreography. Some standing around too, but she really gets excited when she lands her jumps and I like that she has some emotion towards her skating. Oksana Baiul moment at the end with a 2Axel/2toe right as the music finishes. One fall, but everything else was decent and she's happy.
Haruka Imai has an upbeat classical piece for her free skate, and I like it more for her than the short program. She doesn't have much height on the jumps but she's landing most of them. There was one point in the choreography where I thought she was stopping to look at her laces or boot, but it must have just been the actual choreography. Odd. Good performance, but not blown away, and I think she has the capability of doing that.
Viktoria Helgesson had a false start, I think, and then the music started to play again. Her spins look faster and have better positions than I remember from last season. Aside from the crash on the triple toe and the doubled Salchow, she's landed everything, but it's all been a little shaky. She should get strong PCS, but I'd have it behind Imai.