Friday, November 5, 2010

ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating: Cup of China Ladies Short Program

1) Bingwa Geng (China)
   Music: Just for You by Marradi
  • I hate the camerawork at this event
  • Opening combination jumps were clean
  • She looks tentative, I'd like to see more attack
  • A little balance check on the landing of the last jump, but pretty clean
  • Last jump is clean
  • Her spins show some flexibility, but they lack speed
  • Her footwork also looks a little slow, which I think all goes back to her being tentative
  • Very nice Beilman spin to end
  • SP Score: 29.81 (technical) + 21.28 (presentation) = 51.09
2) Qiuying Zhu (China)
    Music: Nutcracker Pas du Deux
  • This is a beautiful lyrical opening to the piece
  • This costume looks very Swan Lake to me which I don't love, and the arm flutters looked very Swan Lake as well
  • Opening combination is clean
  • Second jump was popped I believe
  • She has a very balletic look and hits nice positions on her spins
  • Took a very hard fall on her double and lost some momentum going into the footwork
  • She is the training partner of Bingwa Geng; I wonder if all the top Chinese females train together like the top Chinese pair teams?
  • SP Score: 18.17 (technical) + 18.44 (presentation) -1.00 (deduction) = 35.61
3) Min-Jeong Kwak (Korea)
    Music: Pachebel's Cannon in D major
  • Wow this girl has a strong resemblance to Quiying Zhu and they are both in white costumes which is weird
  • Takes a hard fall on her first jump
  • I bet Yu Na Kim's success has opened the door for a lot of young women in South Korea
  • Another tough fall, she seems unfocused, and probably inexperienced
  • SP Score: 21.12 (technical) + 19.71 (presentation) - 2.00 (deduction) = 38.83
4) Kristine Musademba (USA)
    Music: Claire de Lune
  • I am not a fan of this costume at all
  • Opening combination is clean and strong
  • Step out of second jump
  • Fall on the third jump
  • Spiral looks weak, I would not include it if I were her since it is no longer required
  • Feet could be more pointed, especially in the sit spin
  • She is really slowing down here toward the end, which really doesn't bode well for the footwork
  • I didn't realize the back of her dress came open during the program
  • A tough program for Kristine, she does not look pleased with that performance
  • SP Score: 21.57 (technical) + 20.23 (presentation) - 1.00 (deduction) = 40.80
5) Diane Szmiett (Canada)
   Music: Pannonia Boundless
  • Hand down on first jump of the combination
  • It seems that ladies has historically been the least successful discipline for Canada, other than Joannie Rochette of course
  • I would like to see some more excitement out of Diane here in this program, I feel like she is phoning it in
  • That was a decent program, but not at the level of competing with the world's best
  • SP Score: 19.05 (technical) + 19.12 (presentation) = 38.17
6) Amanda Dobbs (USA) **
   Music: Moon River
  • What a gorgeous selection of music, costume, hair jewelry, etc; all work together to create a clean elegant look
  • This is a really gorgeous layback position with the knee parallel to the ice and a beautiful arch in the back
  • This is a beautifully choreographed routine
  • That Ina Bauer into the double axel was beautiful and fell on such a nice musical crescendo
  • This choreographer found the perfect musical segment for footwork and monopolized on it
  • I think Amanda could give even more of a performance here, but overall very gorgeous, elegant, and clean
  • SP Score: 22.85 (technical) + 23.88 (presentation) = 46.73
7) Joshi Helgesson (Sweden) **
    Music: Magaya
  •  Joshi is very tall for a figure skater
  • I don't think the costume fits the music, I think this music calls for something darker and more mysterious
  • I almost think long limbs are a disadvantage in Figure Skating as they tend to get in the way and inhibit jumping and other quick movements
  • The footwork seems to really drag, especially in comparison to the quick pace of the music
  • SP Score: 26.14 (technical) + 22.69 (presentation) = 48.83
8) Mira Nagasu (USA) **
    Music: Witches of Eastwick
  • Mirai looks like she has matured a lot in the off season
  • That triple lutz combination looked solid to me
  • Her second jump was a bit under-rotated I believe
  • She looks solid technically, but seems to be lacking in the performance
  • Oh wait, nevermind, she just kicked the performance into high gear 
  • An amazing Ina Bauer into a very solid double axel
  • She is really showing personality here at the end as the music intensifies
  • Remember what I said about ending poses, this one was perfect, just a nice little button on the end of the program that hit right at the end of the music
  • PS how great is it to see Frank Carrol still coaching, i'm still so happy for him that he finally coached a skater to Olympic Gold with Evan Lysacek in Vancouver
  • I think that for Mirai that program was about assuring herself she can do a solid program at the top of the season and building her confidence
  • SP Score: 31.73 (technical) + 27.03 (presentation) = 58.76
9) Alena Leonova (Russia)
    Music: Polka, La Strada
  • Holy costume and hair
  • I get that it works with the theme of the piece, but the whole look is just distasteful
  • I think that jump was under-rotated
  • It seems to me that in general, Europeans have had trouble adapting to the new system of judging
  • They used to own figure skating, Russians and Soviets in particular, but they seem to have fallen by the wayside now with the North Americans and Asians surging forward
  • Her spins really seem to lose speed 
  • I do like the music here for the footwork, especially the way it builds
  • I think she is either nervous or under-rehearsed because she looks shaky and a bit sloppy
  • SP Score: 25.57 (technical) + 25.22 (presentation) = 50.79
10) Akiko Suzuki (Japan)
      Music: Tango Jalousie
  • She definitely looks ready to attack
  • PS another Tango? Really?
  • First jump was solid, second she stumbled out of, and maybe a hand down
  • I love how expressive she is with her upper body in the back camel spin, I know its a small detail, but it stood out to me
  • I like the variations in her spin positions
  • This footwork really utilizes the musical nuances well, I am enjoying the choreography
  • Without the stumble, I feel she had a better program than Mirai, but I think Mirai will hold onto the lead as her program was cleaner
  • SP Score: 30.46 (technical) + 27.51 (presentation) = 57.97
11) Miki Ando (Japan)**
    Music: Broken Sorrow, Egyptian in the Night
  • That was a huge triple-triple to open
  • I can definitely tell this is a Nikolai Morozov program
  • I used to criticize the Japanese ladies for being too stone-faced and lacking expression, but I think they are definitely improving in this area
  • Mao Asada and Akiko Suzuki are great performers, as was Shizuka Arakawa
  • I think Miki still could work on the expression though
  • A stumble out of her third jump may have cost her in terms of rankings after the free skate
  • She looks exhausted after the program, but I suspect it will improve a lot throughout the season and she can really bring up the intensity level
  • SP Score: 27.99 (technical) + 28.12 (presentation) = 56.11
1) Mirai Nagasu               58.76
2) Akiko Suzuki               57.97
3) Miki Ando                    56.11
4) Bingwa Geng                51.09
5) Alena Leonova              50.79 
6) Joshi Helgesson            48.83
7) Amanda Dobbs             46.73
8) Kristine Musademba     40.80
9) Min-Jeong Kwak           38.83
10) Diane Szmiett             38.17
11) Quiying Zhu                35.61

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