Friday, October 22, 2010

ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating: NHK Pairs Short Program

1) Vera Bazarova & Yuri Larionov (Russia)
     Music: Adagio by Secret Garden
  •  I love this piece of music, I hope I love the program as much
  • Side by side opening jump, slight bobble on landing but basically clean
  • Twist was lovely and I usually hate that element
  • His costume looks too feminine for me, I'd prefer it in all black
  • I don't know how she pulled out a landing on that throw but she did
  • Nice interesting exit out of the death spiral
  • Russia could use some good pair teams to continue the dynasty after the recent slump
  • Positions could have been  held longer in the lift
  • She broke character before the music ended which ruined a beautiful moment for me
  • I missed this the first time, but they actually changed hands during the death spiral, very interesting choreographically
  • SP Score: 34.36 (Technical) + 25.80 (Presentation) = 60.16
2) Maylin Hausch & Daniel Wende (Germany)
    Music: Tango de Roxanne from Moulin Rouge
  • I personally feel that tango is overused in figure skating, and Spanish music in general, but we shall see
  • Very clean side by side jumps
  • The catch on the triple twist was a bit clunky for me
  • The throw was pretty clean but lacked the power to match the music
  • A few bobbles on the mirroring step sequence
  • She seems to have much more attack than he does
  • Was her head on the ground in that death spiral?
  • The position was barely held in the overhead lift, I'm wondering if he may have started to lose her and decided just to set her down prematurely
  • She was quite fierce and I'd like to see him bring the performanc up to her level
  • SP Score: 28.40 (Technical) +22.09 (Presentation) = 50.49
3) Caitlin Yankowskas & John Coughlin (USA)
     Music: Oblivion by Astor Piazzolla
  • This is my pick from group B in Fantasy Skating and so far I like my chances
  • I've never seen this pair before but from the oening pose, I can already tell that she is quite a performer
  • Double twist was pretty good, fairly seamless landing
  • A lovely throw with an easy landing
  • They have good speed over the ice
  • Nice side by side jump with a clean landing
  • The overhead lift looked a bit unsteady in the position changes
  • Synchronization was off in the side by side spin sequence
  • Mirroring in the footwork sequence must be the theme of this season in both pairs and ice dance
  • A lovely death spiral to end a very solid program
  • This young pair could be great for the US pairs program if they improve from here throughout the season
  • SP Score: 29.93 (Technical) + 24.26 (Presentation) = 54.19
4) Yue Zhang & Lei Wang (China)
      Music: Tango de los Exilados by Walter Taiob
  • This is my C group fantasy team so I'm hoping they can pull a big upset
  • It looks like we have a new Bin Yao team, China really has become the world's new pairs dynasty
  • Another tango?
  • That double twist demonstrated everything I hate about the element, clunky catches and open legs
  • Landings on the side by side jumps were a bit wonky but decent
  • Throw was pretty good
  • They seem very young in the way that they land everything, but lack polish
  • Spins are very slow and slightly out of synch
  • This team definately has the makings of a good pair, but needs to work on their choreography, transitions, and overall presentation to truly make a complete program
  • That death spiral was so slow she looked dead
  • SP Score: 27.63 (Technical) + 22.09 (Presentation) = 49.72
5) Mylene Brodeur & John Mattatall (Canada)
    Music: My Way by C. Francois
  • His costume is not doing it for me but hers is gorgous, very Joannie Rochette
  • That double twist was a clunker
  • Nice solid side by side jump
  • The throw was decent, but lacked a lot of power
  • The combination spin sequence started out nicely but ended out of synch
  • They are definately hitting some awkward positions that need to be ironed out before the next competition
  • This choreography really lacks flair, in my opinion
  • She seemed very hunched and gripped in the overhead lift, as if she were trying not to fall
  • A bit of a wobble on the ending pose
  • This program was sloppy today, but has good potential to grow this season
  • SP Score: 31.00 (Technical) + 23.28 (Presentation) = 54.28
6) Caydee Denney & Jeremy Barrett (USA)
     Music: Love Theme from Cousins (Soundtrack)
  • It still astounds me how young Caydee is
  • Five seconds in and I already A) like the choreography and B) notice a new maturity level
  • Double twist was clunky, but maybe I just have a vendetta against that element
  • Pretty solid side by side jumps and it came at a nice climax in the music
  • That throw was quite powerful and again, well placed in the music
  • I wasn't crazy about the upside down death spiral
  • Spin sequence was in and out for me, out of synch at times yet lovely at others
  • And another mirrored footwork sequence
  • They are coached by John Zimmerman who I've always loved and if he choreographed this routine, I now love him even more
  • Their musicality has improved tremendously from last season and they seem very calm and collected
  • SP Score: 30.22 (Technical) + 24.81 (Presentation) = 55.03
7) Narumi Takahashi & Mervin Tran (Japan)
     Music: Feeling Good by Michael Buble
  • How tall is this girl? 4'8"?
  • The side by side jumps were very out of synch
  • A nice synchronized spin sequence, thank you very much for that
  • This girl has legs for days for somebody so petite
  • Her flexibility is insane, especially that leg catch overhead lift
  • Their performance style is very North American in terms of theatricality
  • Their lift positions are very strong
  •  I was pleasantly suprised by this team actually
  • SP Score: 31.70 (Technical) + 25.53 (Presentation) = 57.23
8) Qing Pang & Jian Tong (China)
     Music: Nocturne in C Sharp Minor by Chopin
  • This is my pick from group A on my fantasy team  and I have no doubt they'll pull through
  • So lyrical and elegant
  • Choreography, grace, and presentatio has always been their forte
  • With Shen & Zhao retired, they are the top Chinese team, and probably the top team in the world
  • Gorgeous side by side jumps and an exquisite throw
  • This is what I mean by holding positions in the over head lifts
  • I am a big fan of this choreography, especially their coverage of ice in the mirrored footwork sequence
  • SP Score: 34.23 (Technical) +  32.87(Presentation) = 67.10
How did my picks in Fantasy Skating Fare?
A) Pang/Tong in 1st
B) Yankowskas/Coughlin in 6th
C) Zhang/Wang in 8th

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