Sunday, October 23, 2011

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

I'm loving Mary Beth Marley's costume. I'm really pulling for Marley & Brubaker to have a clean free skate, regardless of placement. She's just come so far! I feel like Aliona always wears her warm-up jacket out in the warm up.

1) Maylin Hausch & Daniel Wende (GER)
     Music: Your Highness by Steve Yablonsky
  • 8th after the short was a huge surprise, I had them pegged for top 4, or 5th at the lowest
  • His costume is very similar to that of Don Baldwin in the short
  • Not enough height on the split twist, not a clean catch
  • I love Daniel's long flowing edge out of  the throw
  • Maylin puts her hand down in the first jump of the combination
  • Both struggle on the side by side triple salchows, she doubled I believe
  • I like their athleticism in this program, but they're struggling on elements
  • Even the exit from that lift seemed rough
  • They just don't look like themselves
  • The star lift with him on the inside spread eagle was great!
  • She was so tilted on that throw 3flip, steps out and puts a hand down
  • This will not be a program they're happy with
  • They have some intricate positions in their lifts, nice innovations
  • I hate that death spiral, anything other than a traditional death spiral is ugly to me
  • Good pair spin positions, but the speed was lacking
  • The final pose seemed out of the character of the piece to me
FS Score: 46.25 (TES) + 46.35 (PCS) = 92.60
Total Score: 48.94 (SP) + 92.60 (FS) = 141.54

2) Tiffany Vise & Don Baldwin (USA)
     Music: Legends of the Fall, Time To Say Goodbye
  • I think Tiffany Vise is a little to old for that hair ribbon
  • Wrong music played for them, I haven't seen that in a while
  • That has to rattle you a little bit once you're in character
  • They can't stop laughing, now they'll be announced a 3rd time
  • I love this music, I've choreographed pieces to it so it's very close to my heart
  • That double twist was very clean, and the catch was clean and high
  • I love the spread eagle entrance into the throw triple loop, gorgeous flow out
  • Triple-toe double toe from him, single toe for her
  • I really enjoy seeing them jump and spin in opposite directions
  • I really don't like these "innovative" death spiral positions at all
  • This is a very elegant piece, we're used to more athletic pieces from them so it's a nice change
  • Side by side triple salchows were lovely
  • I think the spiral requirement in pairs is silly, the men never look good doing them  and there are so many other elements
  • The counter balance on his skate is very cool
  • Hands down on the throw triple
  • Good quality spins, dangerously close at certain points
  • I think Code of Points has been great for pairs because we get higher quality choreography between the elements
  • Very solid performance for them, should easily be in first
FS Score: 53.00 (TES) + 50.87 (PCS) = 103.87
Total Score: 51.55 (SP) + 103.87 (FS) = 155.42

3) Mary-Beth Marley & Rockne Brubaker (USA)
     Music: Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor by Rachmaninov
  • I'm pulling for them, hoping for a good clean skate
  • Did she stumble a little on the opening pose
  • She fell really hard on that side by side triple toe
  • Very good speed here, I like to see that
  • Huge height on the split triple twist, catch was a little low
  • She falls again on the triple salchow, must be nerves because she is a very strong jumper
  • Their spins are greatly improved from last season when they debuted
  • Two footed throw triple lutz, but that is a harder throw than most will do
  • Her lift positions are much stronger than last season
  • Interesting spiral sequence
  • I like this program and I think they have a lot of growing room
  • I wish they had been able to compete at Nebelhorn so this wasn't their first event of the season
  • The lifts are very nice
  • Rockne is such a strong partner and I'm sure he's being very patient with her
  • Fall on the throw triple salchow
  • I really like the innovative positions of their pair spin
  • Poor girl, she has to be so upset with that program
FS Score: 44.28 (TES) + 47.36 (PCS) - 3.00 (DED) = 88.64
Total Score: 56.16 (SP) + 88.64 (FS) = 144.80

4) Aliona Savchenko & Robin Szolkowy (GER)
     Music: Pina
  • This piece is based on the German postmodern dancer & choreographer Pina Bausch, who I happen to love!
  • Gorgeous throw triple flip
  • Very strong side-by-side jump sequence
  • I really like their spiral sequence, if that's possible
  • This is unique music, and their in between choreography fits it perfectly
  • I'm loving this music!
  • These costumes are quite subdued for them!
  • I'm not a fan of even their death spiral, but at least it fits the theme of the program
  • This is great choreography, this program is going to be outrageously good by Europeans and Worlds
  • They act this very well and he lets her be the star
  • These lifts, entrances and exits included are so cool
  • Great pair spin programs
  • I'm enamored with this program!
  • The speed is one thing they can work on but the rest is brilliant
FS Score: 60.41 (TES) + 64.12 (PCS) = 124.53
Total Score: 59.45 (SP) + 124.53 (FS) = 183.98

5) Kirsten Moore-Towers & Dylan Moscovitch (CAN)
     Music: Henry V
  • Their costumes look like they were bought from a Tudors salvage sale, which is obviously quite fitting
  • I loved them last season but they fizzled, can they keep a high level for a whole season this year?
  • Triple toe-triple toe in sequence, slight loss of unison in the second set
  • Seriously lacking height on the split triple twist
  • Step out and maybe a hand down for Dylan on the triple salchow
  • I really like this music, it's a nice look for them
  • They are losing some speed after that stumble on the jump, could be running out of gas
  • Great height on the throw triple loop
  • This middle section seems slow, they are lacking in their choreography and musical interpretation
  • This is a very grandiose musical choice, in the same vein as their Les Miserables free last season
  • Her free leg seems bent in the spins and his foot seems flexed
  • That star lift out of the lunge position at the end of the program has become somewhat of a signature for them
  • I like them a lot and hope they stay together in order to grow in their maturity and musical interpretation
FS Score: 61.65 (TES) + 56.18 (PCS) = 117.83
Total Score: 59.60 (SP) + 177.43 (FS) = 177.43

6) Vera Bazarova & Yuri Larionov (RUS)
     Music: Doctor Zhivago
  • Her costume is a little much for me, it's very 1994 Lillehammer-esque
  • Can they actually land their elements today?
  • She turns out of her side by side triple toe
  • Gorgeous split triple twist with a clean catch
  • She seems to have little to no confidence in her skating
  • Nice throw triple flip, but tentative on her part
  • Side by side double axel sequence, loss of unison at the end
  • This program needs a lot more speed 
  • They are beautiful, but they need more expression
  • I hate to say it, and usually I love their grace, but this program is a little boring for me
  • Slight unison issue on the spins, and they hit some ugly positions
  • That program was just okay for me, it needs a little more oomph
FS Score: 58.72 (TES) + 55.60 (PCS)  = 114.32
Total Score: 59.62 (SP) + 114.32 (FS) = 173.94

7) Caydee Denney & John Coughlin (USA)
     Music: Nessun Dorma
  • I can't decide whether I want to like them or not
  • Clean side by side triple throws, slight unison issues
  • That split triple twist is World class, I'd like to see a quad attempt
  • Double axel-double axel sequence, Caydee singles it; not a good way to pass top teams
  • Really nice throw triple loop
  • This choreography has a lot of arms, but not much else for me
  • This arrangement of Nessun Dorma makes me want to throw up
  • I hate to admit it, but they do have some decent chemistry out there, I wonder why?
  • Throw triple flip was clean, but it lacked the height of their first throw
  • They spins are very well synchronized for a new pair
  • They've done all their difficult elements minus a lift at this point
  • Her positions are improved from when she skated with Jeremy, but could still be more stretched
  • This is a strong start for them, regardless of placement
  • Nice difficult entrance and positions in that final lift
  • They should be thrilled with that
  • I'm not sure if that is enough to pass the Canadians or not
FS Score: 59.36 (TES) +56.42  (PCS) - (DED) = 115.78
Total Score: 59.62 (SP) + 115.78 (FS) = 175.40

8) Dan Zhang & Hao Zhang (CHN)
     Music: Totentanz
  • Nice opening jump sequence
  • I hate this piece of music
  • Good height on the split twist
  • Side by side triple salchows
  • This is a nice enough program, but it's not really doing much for me
  • It's not nearly as interesting as Savchenko & Szolkowy's free skate, but they may have enough of a buffer from the short program
  • They are skating really slowly
  • Turn out of the throw triple salchow
  • They used to be such an athletic pair but now with her height, they could work toward re-establishing themselves as an elegant pair
  • Very clean skate from them, good comeback after a year off
  • They look exhausted!
FS Score: 56.96 (TES) + 58.85 (PCS)  = 115.81
Total Score: 62.85 (SP) + (FS) = 178.66

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