Thursday, November 18, 2010

ISU Grand Prix: Rostelecome Cup Ladies Short Program

10:49 We are live in Moscow for the Rostelecom Cup Ladies Short Program; besides the obvious top choices, Agnes Zawadzki is the one to watch, at least in my opinion
10:55 We are just about to begin with the first group preparing to take the ice for warm up
10:58 Introduction of the judges, lets hope they are unbiased and fair
11:00 Get it Agnes!!
11:03 I love Myriane's Costume so much! Who is this coach in the fur vest? Is that Viktoria Volchkova? I'm guessing she coaches Sofia Biryukova. There is a sign with a huge picture of Miki Ando on it!
11:04 This is about the loudest group of costumes I've seen in a while; get ready for Alena Leonova's in the second group
11:06 Agnes is spending a lot of time over by the boards and doesn't seem to be warming up much, that is an interesting choice, but that girl definitely knows what she is doing.

1) Sofia Biryukova (Russia) **
   Music: Tosca
  • I haven't seen this skater yet and she is on my fantasy team so I'm excited
  • Volchkova is indeed her coach, this gal is only 16
  • Based on music and performance quality alone, I can already tell she has that signature Russian qualilty
  • Very strong opening triple-triple
  • Solo triple jump is also very strong
  • ***I need to practice my jump identification so I can call them by name
  • Solid double axel and she is safely through all of her jumps, not only were they clean, but looked fully rotated and were performed well
  • I hate to say this so soon, but Russia is looking to rebuild for Sochi and this girl may be the future
  • At 16, she will be 19 or 20 in 2014 for Sochi, which seems to be the perfect championship age these days
  • I don't love Tosca for a short program, it has too much of a build and I think it is better for a free skate
  • Volchkova has done a nice job with her; she was actually one of the last strong ladies competitors that Russia had along with Slutskaya and Butyrskaya
  • SP Score: 30.70 (TES) + 24.29 (PCS) = 54.99
  • **TES stands for Technical Elements Score, PCS stands for Program Components Score
2) Agnes Zawadzki (USA) **
   Music: Gopher Mambo
  • Get it Agnes!
  • Lets hope my Fantasy team B girl will be as good as my Fantasy C girl just was
  • Very tilted in the air on opening, but landed and turned it into a solid triple-triple
  • The solo jump was a little wonky on the landing, but she saved it, not sure if it was fully rotated or not
  • She seems to be skating slowly and doesn't have the fire she had at Skate Canada
  • Solid double axel, but not a lot of height, something about the fast rotation and long edge out of that jump reminded me of Michelle Kwan, wow doesn't that take you back
  • Coach Tom Z looks like a proud Papa
  • PS I love her hair
  • SP Score: 32.03 (TES) + 24.81 (PCS) = 56.84
  • If her components can come up, she is going to be the girl to beat in the next few seasons
3) Myriane Samson (Canada) **
   Music: The Postman
  • I really love this costume, it has sparkle but it is also very elegant
  • This music is very subdued and elegant, a very Parisian sound, suits her well
  • Opening triple-double seems to be landed cleanly
  • Double axel is also solid and has a nice flow out of it
  • Final jump is clean 
  • The first three ladies made a great start to the ladies short program
  • I think she lacks Agnes' fire so I doubt she will pass her, plus her combination was only a triple-double
  • SP Score: 28.66 (TES) + 24.60 (PCS) = 53.26
4) Elena Glebova (Estonia)
   Music: Sex and the City
  • I love the music choice, totally going out on a limb
  • Combination was all kinds of sloppy
  • Solo jump was clean
  • I don't like this costume, but I get where she was going with the musical connection
  • I missed the opening, but will catch up on the instant replay
  • Nice double axel, but traveling on the spins
  • She looks unstable on her footwork
  • This choreography I could do without
  • The ending of the music works really well for a spin sequence, but she ended slightly after the music
  • SP Score: 23.04 (TES) + 22.74 (PCS) = 45.78
5) Valentina Marchei (Italy)
   Music: Requiem for a Dream
  • I would be fine if I never heard this music again, its too heavy for a short program but too driving and repetitive for a free skate
  • Triple-double combination was clean, but the GOE will not be high
  • Her spins are fast, but I don't love the positions she hits
  • She does really attack this footwork though
  • There's Nikolai Morozov with Miki in her pleather; he always looks so slimy to me
  • SP Score: 28.44 (TES) + 25.17 (PCS) = 53.61
**Group 2 six minute warm up**
  • Akiko looks calm out there 
  • Ashley is wearing a very simple costume
  • And then there is Leonova in the loudest thing this side of Rio
  • Ksenia really impressed me at Skate Canada so we'll see if she can come through again

6) Ashley Wagner (USA)
   Music: Once Upon a Time in America
  • Ashley looks fast and strong to start
  • Triple-triple landed, second jump may have been two-footed
  • She has a fire in here eyes out there
  • Solo triple may have been two-footed also, I couldn't tell from my camera angle
  • This costume may be a bit too simple for the ice, but it may also be an interim costume while another is being made for the rest of the season
  • I am really enjoying this choreography
  • Her coach Priscilla Hill has her hands full as we saw last week at Skate America's Men's event
  • Nice Ina Bauer into the double axel, I would have like to see her maintain her speed from the Ina Bauer right into the jump
  • That was a very strong showing for Ashley who doesn't consider herself to be strong in the short program
  • I'm very happy with this Cup of Russia so far, the camera work is solid, the replays are done quickly, and we aren't waiting terribly long for scores
  • SP Score: 30.23 (TES) + 25.94 (PCS) = 56.17
7) Ksenia Makarova (Russia) **
   Music: Flamenco
  • This young lady is carrying all of Russia on her shoulders, I do not envy her
  • She was so strong at Skate Canada
  • Stumbled out of her first jump, not sure if it was fully rotated or not
  • Triple-double combination was solid, but other ladies did triple-triples
  • Double axel was solid, but she doesn't get the height of some of the other ladies
  • She doesn't have the extension of some other ladies in her front leg catch spin
  • I know I am being critical, but Russia is expecting her to be their future and after seeing her at Skate Canada, I know she has the goods
  • I think the pop on the first jump was just nerves and the pressure of skating at home
  • Ksenia is coached by Team Weir and he is obsessed with her
  • SP Score: 26.54 (TES) + 26.39 (PCS) = 52.93
  • Marks seemed low and put her in 6th; however, the ladies are very bunched up and only about 4 points separates first from seventh right now
8) Alena Leonova (Russia)
   Music: Polka/La Strada
  • This costume I cannot even handle
  • Tough fall on the first jump, she lacked speed and I don't think she was fully rotated either
  • Popped the first jump of the combo
  • I do believe she was the first lady to fall in this short program, which speaks to how solid they all were
  • Double axel was clean
  • She looks very wobbly out there, spins are traveling and she just doesn't look like she was over her legs
  • SP Score: 21.98 (TES) + 25.63 (PCS) - 1.00 (deduction) = 46.61
9) Miki Ando (Japan) **
   Music: Broken Sorrow/Egyptian in the Night
  • Miki is only 22, but I feel like she has been around forever
  • I hear she may add the quad back later this season
  • Opening jumps are clean, but lack polish on the landing, in my opinion
  • She is attacking this footwork more than Miki usually attacks anything
  • My live feed got stuck there for a minute at the beginning of her program, did she do a jump combination?
  • She looks a little bit all over the place in the foot work
  • I don't love this short program, its kind of boring to me
  • She doesn't look happy, but Nikolai does
  • She actually looks really emotional
  • The pleather and the gloves are totally unnecessary in my opinion
  • SP Score: 27.03 (TES) + 26.97 (PCS) = 54.00
  • Yes she is in 4th, but she is always so consistent in the free skate when many are not and she can easily regain the less that 3 points that she is out of 1st
10) Akiko Suzuki (Japan)
   Music: Tango Jalousie
  • Akiko has a lot of speed and she has so much more personality than Miki does
  • I didn't have a lot of commentary, but I love Akiko so thats all I can really say about her
  • I think she'll jump into first here, but I doubt she'll pass Agnes by much
  • SP Score: 30.13 (TES) + 27.30 (PCS) = 57.43
Current Leaderboard:
Akiko Suzuki (Japan)                                     57.43
Agnes Zawadzki (USA)                                   56.84 
Ashley Wagner (USA)                                     56.17
Sofia Biryukova (Russia)                                54.99 
Miki Ando (Japan)                                          54.00
Valentina Marchei (Italy)                                53.61
Myriane Samson (Canada)                             53.26 
Ksenia Makarova (Russia)                              52.93 
Alena Leonova (Russia)                                 46.61
Elena Glevova (Estonia)                                 45.78

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