Saturday, October 22, 2011

2011 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating: Skate America Ladies Short Program [LIVE BLOG}

Here we go, what is always called the headlining event, the ladies short! Zhang looks happy, let's hope that continues over into the skating.

1) Joelle Forte (USA)
     Music: O from "Cirque do Soleil"
  • This is going to be touch and go to see how she does in her debut
  • Her arms and hands are very stiff, I'd like to see them loosen up
  • Stumble out of the lutz
  • Triple salchow-double toe is an interesting combination, many of the top skaters will have flip or lutz in the combo
  • She needs to pick up the speed a lot in this foot works sequence
  • Would love more stretch in that Ina Bauer
  • Very pleasant skater, she seems so happy just to be out there in her Grand Prix debut
  • She'll be happy with that relatively clean skate, she's like the Douglas Razzano of the ladies event
SP Score: 26.61 (TES) + 22.25 (PCS) = 48.86

2) Caroline Zhang (USA)
    Music: Rushing Wings of Dawn by Tim Janis
  • Gorgeous fluidity in her upper body from the beginnin
  • Gorgeous triple flip-triple toe, and no big donkey kick
  • Lovely spread eagle
  • Nice triple loop, one of her favorite jumps
  • She has great flow out of those triples tonight
  • Her spiral even looks better too and it's so good to see her smile
  • Step out on that double axel
  • She's always been a good spinner and she looks solid here
  • She just looks so happy in this step sequence, I"m beaming for her from my chair
  • And the pearl spin is back
  • Just a glorious program for her
SP Score: 29.36 (TES) + 25.69 (PCS) = 55.06

3) Joshi Helgesson (SWE)
    Music: The Man with the Golden Arm
  • Family affair again at Skate America with both Helgesson sisters and their mom the coach
  • I prefer Joshi to Viktoria, I just like her on-ice personality more
  • Was that 3lutz two-footed?
  • Popped the toe-loop and missed the combination
  • I like the jazzy accents
  • She could work on her posture
  • I wish she would've added a jump onto the end of the double axel
  • She kind of ran out of gas toward the end
SP Score: 22.15 (TES) + 22.88 (PCS) = 45.03

4) Haruka Imai (JPN)
    Music: Song Without Words opus 109 by Felix Mendelssohn
  • I love the dress, but the eyeshadow I'm not feeling so much
  • Triple lutz-double toe
  • Very elegant, I love the fluidity of her arms
  • She has nice spin positions, but really needs to straighten out that standing leg
  • Great use of the whole body in this step sequence
  • Nice to actually see a scratch spin after all the ugly, I mean innovative positions we usually see
SP Score: 28.75 (TES) + 25.92 (PCS) = 54.67

5) Valentina Marchei (ITA)
   Music: Johnny's Mambo, Ronny's Mambo
  • Fall on an under-rotated triple lutz is not a good way to start out
  • That braid in her hair is driving me nuts, I don't know why
  • I like her attempt at hip action, and that she is committed to the performance
  • That won't be a score she'll be too happy with
SP Score: 20.30 (TES) + 23.89 (PCS) - 1.00 (DED) = 43.19

So far I'm so proud of Caroline Zhang and loving the beauty and elegance of Haruka Ima. This will be an exciting group. Czisny looks fantastic and Gedevanishvili looks to have her game face on!

6) Viktoria Helgesson (SWE)
     Music: My Funny Valentine
  • I love this song, hoping for a good performance
  • Triple toe-double toe, not as difficult as the other skaters' combinations
  • So I'm not loving this Latina version of this song, Rogers and Hart would not be pleased
  • I love headless spins, but that transition to layback was not so great
  • Her arms are very stiff, she needs to work on her fluidity
  • Very tight rotation in the double axel
  • Trouble in the flying sit, the foot touched the ice, that will cost her points
  • Nice camel into heel stretch position
  • I can't tell how she feels by her facial expession
SP Score: 26.10 (TES) + 25.03 (PCS) = 51.13

7) Elene Gedevanishvili (GEO)
    Music: Tango Jalousie
  • Girl has a fire in her eyes like I've never seen from her
  • She looks to be in amazing shape
  • Doubled the lutz, added on a double toe
  • Doubled the salchow as well
  • She needs to get a grip before she throws this away
  • Death drop into a great sit spin
  • Wow, eeked out the landing of that double axel
  • She has the right technique and timing on all these jumps, something inside her head is just telling her to bail early
  • That layback has great speed
  • That fire in her eye is rapidly turning to disappointment
  • I like this choreography a lot but it requires 100% attack and commitment
  • Very ugly flexed foot on that sit spin
  • I love that knee slide at the end!
SP Score: 17.78 (TES) + 24.73 (PCS) = 42.51

8) Ksenia Makarova (RUS)
    Music: Selections by Yann Tiersen
  • Is it me, or does she look slimmer than last season
  • I love her flow across the ice in this opening
  • That was a really hard fall on the triple toe, no way to save that
  • Triple loop-single toe
  • She is not even attempting the harder jumps
  • Step out of the double axel
  • She looks like she is on very wobbly legs
  • What a shame, because she seems to have grown oh so much artistically, but her jumps are just not happening today
  • Her spin positions are looking lovely today
  • I love that music so much, I'd love to listen to it in yoga class or during meditition
SP Score: 20.84 (TES) + 26.11 (PCS) - 1.00 (DED) = 45.95

9) Alissa Czisny (USA)
    Music: La Vie En Rose
  • Come on Alissa, we need a hit program to salvage this event
  • That is the most gorgeous figure skating costume I've ever seen
  • Loving the Balanchine bun by the way
  • Beautiful selection of music
  • The posture, the carriage, its all delightful
  • Triple lutz, double toe with great flow out of it
  • Triple flip, she's hitting all the difficult triples
  • Nice double axel
  • She looks so confident going into the program, like she knows she is going to land them
  • No uncertainty
  • I want to watch this program everyday of my life
  • Everything about this looks easy
  • With this program you see the performance, not the effort behind it
  • Those spins look like they are in fast forward
  • Btw she has such perfect teeth
  • Jason Dungjen looks like a proud dad!
SP Score: 33.03 (TES) + 31.17  (PCS) = 64.20

10) Carolina Kostner (ITA)
      Music: Allegretto from Trio No.2 by Shostakovich
  • This costume is heinous, she always goes overboard on the fake skin
  • Triple toe-triple toe, the only 3-3 of the night
  • Really low landing on the triple loop
  • Slow entry into some pretty ugly spin positions
  • She has such long limbs and I always wish she'd use them gracefully instead of flailing about 
  • This musical choice merely accents how choppy her natural movements are
  • That program did nothing for me, but she is clearly happy
SP Score: 30.66 (TES) + 29.57 (PCS) = 60.23

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