Saturday, November 13, 2010

ISU Grand Prix: Skate America Mens Free Skate

1) Viktor Pfeifer (Austria)
    Music: The Elephant Man
  • This music starts with a bang for sure
  • That vest is a little loud for me
  • Triple-triple instead of a planned quad, but he looked solid
  • Double axel instead of a triple axel
  • This music sounds like a creepy circus, which I think is the desired effect
  • Jumps have solid landings, but entrances look slow and tentative
  • This footwork is painfully slow for the speed of the music
  • I hate those mid-performance musical transitions where the skater stops, poses, and waits
  • He does not seem "present" to me out there on the ice
  • He saved that triple salchow when other skaters would have fell
  • I feel like he is "muscling" things
  • Wow he took a hard fall on that double axel, I hope he didn't hurt his arms
  • He wanted to skate for the USA but didn't qualify for nationals
  • FS Score: 53.02 (technical) + 55.44 (presentation) -1.00 (deduction) = 107.46 
  • 55.01 (SP) + (FS) = 162.47
2) Shawn Sawyer (Canada)
    Music: Alice in Wonderland
  • Shawn is playing the role of the Mad Hatter in this free skate
  • Does anybody remember Emanuel Sandhu of Canada? Shawn reminds me on him
  • Landing of triple axel looked wonky, but landed nonetheless
  • Triple-triple was very clean
  • So far this is a relatively clean skater for Shawn
  • I haven't commented on the artistry yet, but it is obviously phenomenal
  • That spread eagle leaning back is amazing
  • He has a ton of energy even into the final footwork season, but I'm afraid that he is looking a little reckless
  • That ending heel stretch spin position shows amazing flexibility but I hate how his hip is hiked up so much
  • FS Score: 63.10 (technical) + 66.58 (presentation) = 129.68
  • 56.94 (SP) + 129.68 (FS) = 186.62
3) Stephen Carriere (USA) **
    Music: West Side Story
  • Here is another of Priscilla Hill's kids
  • This is completely different, tonally, from the last performance we just saw
  • Triple axel, and its doubled
  • Tried for a quad toe, under-rotated, and took a huge fall
  • This is an interesting interpretation of West Side Story
  • Solid triple-triple
  • This "Somewhere" segment is so beautiful musically, but I want more musical interpretation from him
  • He had a rough start, but definitely got better as he went along
  • FS Score: 62.28 (technical) + 63.78 (presentation) - 1.00 (deduction) = 125.06
  • 59.14 (SP) + 125.06 (FS) = 184.20
4) Nan Song (China) **
    Music: Yellow River Concierto
  • Alright kids get ready for some big jumps, but it may be a bumpy ride
  • He popped his quad and that may have been a double, a confidence and timing issue
  • That triple axel got some insane height
  • One fall so far
  • He has had wonky landings on almost all of his jumps
  • He needs to bend his knees a lot more and get into the ice rather than skating on top of it
  • This guy has amazingly high jumps when he is on, but inconsistent doesn't even begin to describe him
  • Everything here looks like he is muscling it
  • FS Score: 60.55 (technical) + 58.34 (presentation) - 1.00 (deduction) = 117.89
  • 62.21 (SP) + 117.89 (FS) = 180.10
5) Kevin Van Der Perren (Belgium) **
    Music: Robin Hood
  • Apparently he wanted to retire last season but his federation wouldn't hear of it
  • Watch him go for a quad, he is definitely a jumper
  • Awesome quad there, almost a hand down, but maybe not
  • Huge triple axel there
  • Yet another very masculine piece of music from Kevin
  • Big triple flip-triple toe
  • This is amazing music
  • Triple lutz was doubled
  • Another huge triple-triple
  • Notice how I"m only commenting on jumps; well nothing else in this program is really of much interest to me
  • He is looking tired now with almost a minute left
  • His footwork isn't doing much for me
  • He looks very happy with that program
  • "I want to go on record as saying I've never seen anybody skate so well when running out of gas," -Peter Carruthers
  • FS Score: 69.87 (technical) + 62.54 (presentation) = 132.41
  • 62.22 (SP) + 132.41 (FS) = 194.63
6) Adrian Schultheiss (Sweden)
    Music: Romeo and Juliet
  • This poor guy, his coach didn't show up for his short program when he was in the hospital
  • I am obsessed with this music, it makes me think of Sasha Cohen
  • Huge triple axel there
  • This is a very introspective program and so far he is doing beautifully
  • He is losing some speed here in the middle section
  • I think that issue with his coach greatly affected him and he apparently is not speaking to anyone
  • Popped a jump, and then followed it with a step out
  • His later jumps look like they are landed very low and with little speed out of them
  • I like the music editing and how it switches back and forth from the lyrical section to the driving section
  • FS Score: 60.21 (technical) + 64.28 (presentation) = 124.49
  • 63.71 (SP) + 124.49 (FS) = 188.20
**The big guys are coming out onto the ice for their 6 minute warm-up!
**Scott Hamilton  just joined us for the final group, I love his commentary and he is just a fabulous commentator, such energy and love for the sport. 

7) Denis Ten (Kazakhstan)
    Music: Totentanz
  • Frank is trying to build up Denis' confidence, which is similar to the issue he is having with Mirai
  • Takes a hard fall on the first triple axel and the second triple axel
  • He has wonderful technique but gets tight up in the air
  • Stumbles out of the second jump of his combination and puts his hand down
  • Took a very hard fall and landed on his stomach on that last jump
  • He is so strong in the air but then he loses it on the landing
  • He needs to work through the mental aspect of skating
  • Another hand down, which at this point is fairly clean
  • Wow another fall on a jump out of footwork
  • I think Frank has his hands full with this kid in terms of focus and confidence
  • He is definitely staying in the performance aspect of the sport at least
  • Even takes a small stumble in footwork
  • FS Score: 54.69 (technical) + 61.92 (presentation) - 4.00 (deduction) = 111.61
  • 64.50  (SP) + (FS) = 176.11
8) Daisuke Murakami (Japan)
    Music: Lawrence of Arabia
  • Is he related to Kanako?
  • Hello costume
  • Triple lutz-triple toe was nice and clean
  • This music takes off like a rocket
  • Nice 3A-2T combination, very solid
  • Trains with Frank Carrol
  • Is Frank training everybody these days?
  • He seems very strong, and may find himself at the top pretty soon with Takahashi and Oda
  • Nice strong 3A after the halfway point for extra points
  • Big stumble there with a hand down, but otherwise his jumps should get fairly high GOE's
  • This program is very strong, but he needs to beef up the spins and footwork to really compete with the top men, especially at home in Japan
  • Almost ran out of steam, but I really like the ending pose!
  • The score will be huge I'm sure
  • FS Score: 68.83 (technical) + 68.16 (presentation) = -1.00 (deduction) 135.99
  • 67.01 (SP) + 135.99 (FS) = 203.00
9) Armin Mahbanoozadeh (USA)
    Music: Avatar
  • Here is the last of Priscilla's Hill kids for the night
  • I already like the choreography 
  • Gorgeous triple loop
  • Gorgeous triple axel
  • He is quickly climbing the ranks of favorite skaters in my book
  • He seems quite tall
  • So far so good in terms of jumping, and he is a terrific artist
  • He is very understated which I love
  • He is apparently a very talented pianist, which explains why his musicality is so excellent in performance
  • Second triple axel is almost as gorgeous as the first
  • Its looking like we will have a fight for the US National podium between Abbott, Rippon, Mroz, and Mahbanoozadeh
  • Amazing triple flip from difficult footwork
  • Singled his triple lutz, but did two more double jumps out of it in combination
  • His expression is wonderful and this music just suits him so perfectly
  • That donut spin is gorgeous and nice and fast
  • He looks so happy as he should be
  • I don't know if he has a quad or not, but its time for him to start working because he has great jumping technique
  • I love that his spin positions are not only intricate, but beautiful
  • FS Score: 73.62 (technical) + 69.94 (presentation) = 142.56
  • 67.61 (SP) + 142.56 (FS) = 211.17
10) Adam Rippon (USA)
      Music: Piano Concerto No. 2 by Rachmaninoff
  • Come on Rippon, do it up big
  • Singled the triple axel attempt and eliminated the combination, hopefully he tacks on a combo later
  • He is very consistent, much like Rachael Flatt, but they both are making uncharacteristic errors here
  • His Rippon lutz was amazing, but I've seen it better
  • I'm trying to remember who else famously skated to this music
  • First triple axel looks fully rotated, but with a hand down, should get full credit but with a lower GOE
  • Nice height on that next triple-triple
  • Seemed out of control on his next combination
  • Woww he just took a very tough fall, those early mistakes distracted him and he lost confidence in himself
  • He had about a 6 point lead over Armin after the short program so we'll see what the scores show here, I believe it may be close
  • He has a smile on his face, but you have to know he isn't happy about this
  • FS Score: 57.94 (technical) + 72.24 (presentation) - 1.00 (deduction)  = 129.18
  • 73.94 (SP) + (FS) = 203.12
11) Daisuke Takahashi (Japan) **
      Music: Invierno Portento
  • And here comes the big man, and arguably the favorite
  • He is the only person in the world that I'm  not going to fault for using Spanish music
  • Quad toe becomes a triple with a step out
  • Big powerful triple axel
  • Every second of this program is interesting, not just the jumps
  • He has a way of drawing in an audience that is reminiscent of Alexei Yagudin
  • The precision is just amazing, and he is a showman if I've ever seen one
  • He doesn't have the flow  out of his landings that I would like
  • He took a very hard fall on that triple axel and he was not fully rotated either
  • Nice triple lutz to redeem himself
  • This choreography is wonderful and makes great use of the music
  • He definitely left the door open for Oda, but Oda also is not known for consistency so we'll see
  • FS Score: 64.95 (technical) + 85.00 (presentation) - 1.00 (deduction) = 148.95
  • 78.12 (SP) + 148.95 (FS) = 227.07
12) Nobunari Oda (Japan)
      Music: Piano Concerto No. 1 and 2 by Grieg
  • I'm not a huge Nobu fan, but if he skates clean, he will and should win
  • Fall on the quad toe loop, but seemed fully rotated
  • Nice triple axel in the air, but had to eeek out the landing
  • Triple-triple seemed solid
  • The performance level, polish, and precision is nowhere near Takahashi
  • The speed is nowhere near Takahashi's
  • He threw in a fourth jumping combination that will give him no credit at all as only 3 jumping combinations are allowed in a free skate
  • He seems to be changing his program as he goes and is losing track
  • The only really clean free skate was Mahbanoozadeh
  • The scores should be fairly close, but Oda really didn't do anything for me at all in terms of performance quality
  • These scores are taking a long time, must be a lot of reviewing 
  • FS Score: 68.17 (technical) + 79.64 (presentation) -1.00 (deduction) = 146.81
  • 79.28 (SP) + 146.81 (FS) = 226.09
Final Standings:

1) Daisuke Takahashi (Japan)           227.07
2) Nobunari Oda (Japan)                   226.09
3) Armin Mahbanoozadeh  (USA       211.17
4) Adam Rippon (USA)                     203.12
5) Daisiuke Murakami (Japan)            203.00
6) Kevin Van Der Perren (Belgium)     194.63
7) Adrian Schultheiss (Sweden)         188.20
8) Shawn Sawyer (Canada)                186.62
9) Stephen Carriere (USA)                 184.20
10) Nan Song (China)                         180.10
11) Denis Ten (Kazakhstan)                176.11
12) Viktor Pfeifer (Austria)                   162.47

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