Saturday, October 22, 2011

2011 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating: Skate America Mens Free Skate [LIVE BLOG]

Here we are, our first free skate of the season! After some uncharacteristically rough free skates, some of the top skaters will be in the first group. Some nice shots of of the Ricky Dornbush fan club in the crowd. I'm loving Florent's costume! I'm just obsessed with him, I just love him to pieces! PS...can Tonia please shut her mouth already? This event is all about the deep V-neck.

1) Samuel Contesti (ITA)
     Music: La Vie En Rose
  • Come on Samuel, let's see a solid program
  • Looks like this will be a character piece, hello Edith Piaf
  • Very nice Triple axel, great posture
  • Good triple flip, he seems very settled unlike last night
  • Very wild exit from that triple lutz, not sure if it's because he was close to the wall or not
  • His spins are very slow compared to other top men
  • I like this program, very well choreographed to the theme, I'm feeling the Parisian street performer vibe
  • Huge height on that triple axel, it looked like it may may have been landed a little short
  • He is so tall and has lovely posture, but I'd like to see him get deeper into his knees and use the upper body more
  • He saves a lot of his jumps, including the 3-jump sequence for the second half
  • Solid effort for his first major event of the season, this program will surely grow all season
  • I want him to work with Lambiel on his spinning
FS Score: 68.32 (TES) + 66.36 (PCS)  = 134.68
Total Score: 55.52 (SP) + 134.68 (FS) = 190.20

2) Douglass Razzano (USA)
     Music: Adios Noninos, Oblivion, Obertura
  • This was a great free skate for him at Finlandia Tropy
  • Huge triple axel with great flow out of it, that's what I like to see
  • He seems much more invested in the performance today than last night
  • Second triple axel, a bit tilted in the air but landed well, tacks on a 2T
  • He is a very nice spinner, his positions are not only intricate, but beautiful
  • I love the low sit and twist variations
  • He uses his upper body and his head quite well
  • He is rapidly losing speed through this step sequence, that will be an improvement he can make going toward Nationals
  • No triple-triples so far, perhaps later in the program?
  • This is a very well choreographed piece, none of the elements stick out, they just grow from the program
  • I love this music, even though we've heard it a thousand times
  • He should be happy with this clean free skate; it's a good piece for him because it's already good but it has a lot of room to grow
  • He is a rather reserved kind of guy, but I can tell he's pleased
FS Score: 69.84 (TES) + 62.42 (PCS) = 132.26
Total Score: 60.69 (SP) + 132.26 (FS) = 192.95

3) Florent Amodio (FRA)
     Music: Besame Mucho, Mambo No. 5, Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White
  • This is certain to be a wild program
  • Triple salchow, it was planned to be a Quad
  • He rotates very fast on that 3A
  • Big death drop, but loses a lot of speed on the sit spin
  • Do these syllables count as lyrics?
  • And now I'm watching the 2nd half of the program on NBC, with the Scott Hamilton commentary
  • Florent Amodio basically just directed the audience to clap along with him in the footwork
  • He is really running out of gas; the program is so fast paced and it has to be a struggle early in the season to carry through
FS Score: 56.86 (TES) + 68.28 (PCS) - (DED) = 125.14
Total Score: 62.46 (SP) + 125.14 (FS) = 187.60

4) Armin Mahbanoozadeh (USA)
     Music: Kill Bill

  • Quad toe was short on the landing and he takes a fall
  • Nice triple axel, with a double toe
  • He looks tentative, I want him to really go after it
  • Popped his triple lutz
  • Armin you are no good for my fantasy team right now
  • I like this music, but it requires more aggression and he seems like he can't get his feet under him
  • Fall on triple axel, super tilted in the air
  • Hand down, he just does not seem like himself today at all
  • Another fallout, this is a Johnny Weir-esque meltdown that is happening here

FS Score: 56.87 (TES) + 59.86 (PCS) - 2.00 (DED) = 114.53
Total Score: 64.54 (SP) + 114.53 (FS) = 179.07

5) Denis Ten (KAZ)
     Music: Adios Nonino by Astor Piazolla
  • Wow, Quad toe for Denis, Frank must be jumping for joy
  • Solid triple axel, this is a different Denis than we saw last season
  • That 3-3 was gorgeous, and he has really grown artistically
  • Let's hope that Mirai has had the growth that Denis had this season
  • Being around Evan Lysacek has had quite an effect on Denis's musicality and performance quality
  • He is starting to crumble a little bit, running out of gas
  • Though it won't go down as a perfect program, this is still a huge step in the right direction for Denis
FS Score: 64.38 (TES) + 67.22 (PCS) - 1.00 (DED) = 130.60
Total Score: 67.38 (SP) + 130.60 (FS) = 197.98

6) Richard Dornbush (USA)
     Music: A Fistful of Dollars, Ecstasy of Gold, The Lone Ranger
  • Here's my boy Ricky, let's hope he can rise to the occasion
  • Very stylish right from the beginning
  • Landed the quad, in a deep squat nonetheless, but it looked rotated to me
  • Great triple lutz, that quad has to give him a lot of confidence
  • Triple axel looked good, but hand down and he'll get some negative GOEs
  • He is very good at playing the role, he reminds me of a a young Kurt Browning
  • Opened up out of that triple axel
  • Beautiful 3-3, but followed by another triple turned into a double
  • I love this program so much, but he stumbled out of his last jump right in front of the judges
  • I hope he can get full credit for that Quad Toe
  • I hope that levels in footwork and spins can hold him up
FS Score: 64.44 (TES) + 68.80 (PCS) - 1.00 (DED) = 132.24
Total Score: 70.03 (SP) + 132.24 (FS) = 202.27

7) Kevin Van Der Perren (BEL)
     Music: The Man in the Iron Mask
  • HUGE Quad toe from Kevin
  • This is a risky music choice as it's so closely tied to Alexei Yagudin
  • Stumble on the triple axel
  • Kevin is a skater who needs the jumps, he doesn't have great footwork levels or PCS to fall back on
  • I'd love to see him get more into the knees and use his head more
  • I love the speed of rotation on his jumps and the dancer in me loves to see him spot
  • He has been around so long he's been through 3 judging systems
  • This costume is a little much for me
  • He always has this tendency to run out of gas toward the end of the program
  • His spins are really what is lacking
FS Score: 74.61 (TES) + 67.78 (PCS) - (DED) = 142.39
Total Score: 70.09 (SP) + 142.39 (FS) = 212.48

8) Daisuke Murakami (JPN)
     Music: Gladiator
  • Here is another Frank Carroll skater
  • Triple lutz, doubles the toe
  • That triple axel was huge
  • We are seeing a lot of falls here
  • Double footed the second triple axel
  • He is improved in his artistry here, but he needs to keep upping up ante
FS Score: 57.35 (TES) + 66.30 (PCS) - 1.00 (DED) = 122.65
Total Score: 70.67 (SP) + 122.65 (FS) = 193.42

9) Takahiko Kozuka (JPN)
     Music: Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
  • I love you Taka, let's get this Quad
  • Fall on the Quad toe, short on the landing too and probably won't get the rotation either
  • Gorgeous triple axel
  • That high-collared blousy shirt is very Todd Eldredge circa 1998
  • Two falls so far, he hasn't seemed like himself this week and he pretty much needed to skate clean to have a hope at winning
  • I love Taka for the quality of his skating, even down to the basics
  • He really saved that triple axel
  • This is not the Taka who won two Grand Prix Gold medals, he just looks dejected at this point
  • I like this program a lot, and can't wait to see it grow
  • I wanted a better skate from him, but it was courageous to keep going after such a tough opening and a tough week in general
FS Score: 68.54 (TES) + 74.86 (PCS) - 2.00 (DED) = 141.40
Total Score: 70.69 (SP) + 141.40 (FS) = 212.09

10) Michal Brezina (CZE)
      Music: The Untouchables
  • Brezina has a pretty easy win here if he can just stay on his feet
  • That flying sit is a little weak, could use a lot more speed
  • I'm not a fan of this footwork, it needs a lot more level variation and upper body and head usage
  • Triple axel-double toe
  • I really don't understand this costume
  • He has very long lines and he looks great when he jumps cleanly
  • He is completely unraveling, he tried to water down and it's blowing up in his face
  • We've had a fall, a few pops, a few singles
  • This is going to be close, what a talented guy who seems to fall apart when it matters most
FS Score: 64.50 (TES) + 73.42 (PCS) - 1.00 (DED) = 136.92
Total Score: 79.08 (SP) + 126.92 (FS) = 216.00

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