Saturday, November 13, 2010

ISU Grand Prix: Skate America Ladies Short Program

1) Mae Berenice Meite (France)
    Music: Forest Gump Soundtrack
  • Triple lutz-double toe are clean, a nice start
  • I forgot how much I loved this soundtrack
  • Triple loop looked clean, she needs to watch that high wrapped free leg
  • Could stretch out more in that donut spin, but her donut spin was great
  • Ladies skating is wide-open now in the post-olympic year and its great seeing these new, young faces
  • I would like to see her standing leg straightened in that front leg catch spin
  • This is a lovely, clean start to her senior grand prix season
  • SP Score: 28.29 (technical) + 19.98 (presentation) = 48.27
2) Min-Jeong Kwak (Korea) 
    Music: Pachabel's cannon in D minor
  • This girl has to draw a lot of strength from the success of her fellow Korean Yu Na Kim
  • Her feet were so wrapped on her triple lutz and she takes a fall
  • She is a gorgeous skater with great flow across the ice
  • She added the combination onto her second jump after falling on the first jump
  • This music seems to suit her well, she is a balletic skater
  • I really want her to point her foot harder in that front extension spiral
  • She seems to really be losing speed here at the end
  • I want to see her standing leg completely straight on that front leg catch spin
  • Apparently she followed Yu Na Kim to Canada to train with Orser and then proceeded to follow Kim back to South Korea
  • Its okay Brian Orser, you still have Adam Rippon and Christina Gao
  • Finished after the music a bit
  • SP Score: 24.58 (technical) + 20.83 (presentation) = 44.41
 3) Alexe Gilles (USA)
     Music: Aschenbroedel by Strauss
  • I would love to see a clean skate out of Alexei to make up for her poor performance at Skate Canada
  • She is gorgeous and her dress with the tiara really create a nice look on the ice
  • Awesome triple toe-triple toe to start off, good for you Alexei!
  • Takes a tough fall on the triple lutz out of footwork
  • She definitely has some issues with the mental side of skating, not the physical aspects
  • Nice double axel with a clean beautiful flow out of it
  • Nice low positions on her sit spins
  • She has some nice performance quality in this footwork
  • I believe her Skate America short program was light pink, but as much as I love pink, I think this suits her and the program better
  • Despite the fall, this was better than Skate Canada by leaps and bounds
  • I love that she is best friends with Rachael Flatt who is also her training partner; they are quite the trio of blondes along with Agnes Zawadzki
  • Looks like a slight under-rotation on the second jump of the combination
  • SP Score: 24.72 (technical) + 21.14 (presentation) - 1.00 (deductions) = 44.86
  • Looks like lutz was only scored as a double with a fall
4) Viktoria Helgesson (Sweden)   
    Music: Lost Years
  • She is competing here against her sister and they are coached by their mother, what a family affair
  • She has great flow across the ice
  • Triple flip had a high leg wrap, and she clearly bobbled out of that double toe
  • I looked down for a moment but I believe that was a fall on the second jumps
  • Her double axel was clean
  • She has a mazing facial expression, a true performer
  • I really love this music and the dress and the whole package
  • The program seemed somehow incomplete to me, but I think it will smooth out throughout the rest of the season
  • She seemed to finish a bit before the music
  • SP Score: 19.86 (technical) + 23.05 (presentation) - 1.00 (deduction) = 41.91
5) Amelie Lacoste (Canada) **
    Music: Ojos Negros
  • A surprise bronze medalist at Skate Canada, lets see if she can do it again here
  • She is an athlete for sure
  • I love her attack and her intensity
  • A little sputter on the double axel, but otherwise clean
  • Planned a triple loop-triple loop but turned it into a triple-double
  • Solo triple was turned into a double after a botched takeoff
  • I think she is rushing her jumps too much because she is fighting so hard for them
  • She has a nice position in her layback, but travels at the end
  • Straight line sequence could be faster and more aggressive, especially with this musical selection
  • She looks visibly upset
  • I think she is trying to take the top Canadian ladies' spot after Joannie Rochette sat this year out and I think she is a bit too aggressive
  • SP Score: 25.16 (technical) + 25.19 (presentation) = 50.35
6) Jenna McCorkell (Great Britain)
    Music: Totentanz
  • Wow is that costume pleather?
  • She is married to Belgian skater Kevin Van Der Perren and this totally looks like a female version of one of his costumes
  • Nice speed into a nice double axel
  • Doubled her next jump and stepped out
  • Almost lost her last jump
  • Was it just me, or did she not do a jump in combination?
  • This music is electric and I just want her to bring up the intensity to match it, and no I'm not talking about simply swinging your arms
  • For some reason her choreography reminds me a lot of Kevin's
  • I agree with Tracy Wilson, this music was much too driving for the short program
  • SP Score: 20.64 (technical) + 22.63 (presentation) = 42.87
**Scott Hamilton is again joining us for the second group in the Ladies Short Program
**Judges agree that Ladies Skating has been a disappointing discipline this Grand Prix season with    nobody really standing out or lighting the roof on fire
**Elena is coached by Robin Wagner, I am obsessed with Robin Wagner, the ex-coach of Sarah Hughes, I'm so happy to see Robin Wagner back in figure skating
**Apparently Rachael Flatt is fighting a right ankle injury, we'll have to see how that affects her
**This is setting up for a nice rematch of the NHK Trophy with Kostner, Flatt, and Murakami

7) Joshi Helgesson (Sweden) **
    Music: Sarabande
  • Triple lutz-double toe loop to start, the double toe seemed to be a little under-rotated to me
  • She seems to definitely be an athlete, where her sister is more of an artist
  • Nice double axel
  • All three jumping passes are very clean
  • For some reason this event has a lot of very tall female skaters
  • I like her costume a lot, but it doesn't seem to suit this piece of music very well for me
  • Mom/Coach looks very pleased
  • She could work on the flow out of her jumps, but still very clean
  • SP Score: (technical) + (presentation) = 51.17
8) Kanako Murakami (Japan)
    Music: Jumping Jack
  • This gal is such a sprightly little 16-year old
  • She definitely has to be the future hope for Japanese Skating
  • The flashy performance style and overall expression of some of these Japanese skaters always astounds me (except for Miki Ando and Fumie Suguri who I've never liked that much)
  • Triple-triple clean
  • Triple flip clean
  • Singled her axel, but she still had a huge smile on her face out of it
  • She idolizes Mao Asada and was thrown for a loop to beat her at NHK trophy
  • She also chose her high school because her idol Mao Asada went there
  • I love her speed and energy 
  • Her energy is just infectious and I'm not ever sitting there in the arena
  • She is just precious and I just love her
  • She has the biggest smile!
  • Look for her to be at the top of the leaderboard at the the 2014 Olympics
  • Between Murakami, Asada, Suzuki, Suguri, and Ando, I cannot wait to see who makes the world team; Japanese nationals will be a fierce competition
  • She has Midori Ito's coach so she is in good hands for the future
  • I expect the triple flip to get an under-rotation call
  • SP Score: 27.55 (technical) + 27.20 (presentation) = 54.75
9) Caroline Zhang (USA)
     Music: Libertango
  • She has gorgeous artistry
  • Triple Flip combination looked very solid
  • She looks to be calm and patient in her approach to jumps
  • Does almost a full turn on the ice out of her next jump, probably under-rotated
  • Surprisingly, I don't hate this Spanish music, maybe because it is calm
  • Double axel is clean, but not nearly enough speed going into it
  • Her layback is lovely, followed by a nice Bielmann
  • She has a quiet attack, not an over-the-top intensity to her at all
  • This is a solid performance for Caroline and it shows that she is working on her jumping technique
  • She travels a bit on her final camel spin, but ends with a great front leg catch spin
  • She is one of those skaters who was a big star as a young teenager and then kind of fell off, but it looks like she may be making a come back
  • SP Score: 25.80 (technical) + 24.86 (presentation) = 50.66
10) Elene Gedevanishvili (Georgia) **
      Music: Cell Block Tango
  • Here comes my B pool fantasy pick so I'm wishing her the best
  • I would like more attack on the opening and more intricacy
  • Triple Lutz-hand down and then a fall
  • That was her combination too so lets see if she tacks it on somewhere else
  • She doubles her triple salchow
  • This doesn't look like Robin Wagner choreography to me, unless Elena is just not skating it to its full extent
  • It seems the mistakes are affecting everything else in the program and she is very tight, even in her footwork
  • She looks upset with that performance for sure
  • Oh hey Robin Wagner, I miss you
  • SP Score: 20.41 (technical) + 25.86 (presentation) -1.00 (decution) = 45.27
11) Rachel Flatt (USA) **
      Music: Summertime/Happy Feet Blues
  • Work it out Rachael Flatt, get me a big number for my fantasy team!
  • This jazzy program shows a different side of Rachel
  • Doubled the triple lutz, but still tried for the triple toe, may have under-rotated
  • Second jumping pass looked a little under-rotated to me as wellShe has a gorgeous layback spin here
  • I think her standing leg seemed a little bent on her camel spin
  • Double axel was very strong
  • Despite her doubling of the lutz, she stays in the performance and still delivers
  • I love this choreography and it really shows off her personality a lot; it was obviously a Lori Nichol program
  • Point your foot in that illusion Rachael!
  • I love that closing pose
  • Her coach says "you were thinking on your feet, but good effort though
  • Rachel suffers from under-rotation on her jumps so if she wants to make a jump on the world stage, that needs to be looked at
  • She has deferred for a year from Stamford so this is her year to really concentrate on skating and make a big jump
  • SP Score: 24.28 (technical) + 26.74 (presentation) = 51.02
  • Its okay Rachael, you'll come back in the long with your consistency when others falter and fall apart
12) Carolina Kostner (Italy)
      Music: Galicia Flamenco
  • Am I hearing this correctly, is this really another Spanish routine?
  • Triple-triple becomes a triple-double
  • Double axel is clean
  • With her long limbs she looks so great doing this camel into donut spin combination
  • A bit of a skid on the triple loop but clean nonetheless
  • The commentators like the choreography but it really isn't doing much for me
  • Even with an injury, she is clean
  • She cannot do a lutz or flip with the injury so she is lowering her difficulty which, in turn, I think is upping her consistency
  • This is a strange comment, but it always seems weird to me when I hear figure skaters not speaking English
  • SP Score: 30.48 (technical) + 29.80 (presentation) = 60.28
Current Leaderboard:
1) Carolina Kostner (Italy)               60.28
2) Kanako Murakami (Japan)           54.75
3) Joshi Helgesson (Sweden)           51.17
4) Rachael Flatt (USA)                    51.02
5) Carolize Zhang (USA)                 50.66
6) Amelie Lacoste (Canada)            50.55 
7) Mae Berenice Mette (France)      48.27
8) Elena Gedevanishvili (Georgia)     45.27
9) Alexe Gilles (USA)                      44.86
10) Min-Jeong Kwak (Korea)            44.41
11) Jenna McCorkell (Great Britain)  42.87
12) Viktoria Helgesson (Sweden)      41.91

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