Saturday, October 22, 2011

2011 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating: Skate America Free Dance [LIVE BLOG}

1) Alexandra Paul & Mitchell Islam (CAN)
     Music: Tonight by Bernie Taupin & Elton John
  • If they can get over what plagued them in the short dance, this could bring home a huge score
  • Beautiful rotational lift
  • I love the colors of the costumes, very serene
  • Gorgeous twizzle sequence
  • This team is so elegant and it's a pity they couldn't show it in the short
  • This circular step sequence doesn't have the speed of the top teams, but they have a gorgeous, well-matached leg line
  • They've been called Virtue/Moir 2.0 and I can see it
  • They have good variety in the lifts
  • She looks like a bird floating in that dance spin
  • There is always a pause when the couples shift spinning directions and I appreciate that she took the time to make a gesture with her arm to fill the space
  • Their entries/exits to the lifts are flawless
  • They have a very expressive quality about them, without pulling their faces
  • They were born to do lyrical free skates, don't expect anything jazzy from them anytime soon
  • He makes her look as light as a feather and shows her off well while still drawing attention to himself which I appreciate
  • Gorgeous skate!
FD Score: 40.21 (TES) + 34.99 (PCS) - 1.00 (DED) = 74.20
Total Score: 37.50 (SD) + 74.20 (FD) = 111.70

2) Isabella Cannuscio & Ian Lorello (USA)
     Music: Les Miserables
  • Fast paced opening to this program
  • She loses the 1st twizzle and the 3rd for that matter
  • This is an odd selection of pieces from Les Miserables
  • They look like they aren't over their legs for some reason
  • That curve lift was a nice position
  • They're carrying great speed in this program
  • I'm not as big a fan of their programs this season
  • And her lipstick is too pink
FD Score: 38.36 (TES) + 34.81 (PCS)  = 73.17
Total Score: 42.05 (SD) + 73.17 (FD) = 115.22

3) Madison Hubbell & Zachary Donohue (USA)
     Music: I Put a Spell on You by Joe Cocker
  • This is a great Free Dance, I like it now and it has growing potential as well
  • They are a very well matched team
  • They are similar in height and they kind of put me in mind of Lang & Tschernyshev
  • This is a very solid program, it's seamless and you don't see the elements
  • The twizzles are great, I love that they take a risk with the a la seconde position
  • Their holds are very close and they have a great connection to one another
  • I'm so glad that Madison is not skating with her brother anymore
  • That final moment was just so great
  • They are so happy, Zachary is just thrilled with that
FD Score: 43.11 (TES) + 39.22 (PCS) - 1.00 (DED) = 81.33
Total Score: 49.71 (SD) + 81.33 (FD) = 131.04

4) Isabella Tobias & Deividas Stagniunas (LTU)
     Music: Let's Twist Again, Only You, Tutti Frutti
  • I love that Isabella Tobias trained at SAB
  • They are so cute together!
  • Love this program!
  • Those music transitions are kind of awkward
  • This music is great because it has a recognizable beat
  • They have great lifts in signature Zoueva & Shpilband
  • They need to carry more speed with this fast-paced music
  • That was such a cute program!
FD Score: 41.99 (TES) + 38.76 (PCS) = 80.75
Total Score: 51.83 (SD) + 80.75 (FD) = 132.85

5) Kharis Ralph & Asher Hill (CAN)
     Music: Le Cosa Pequena, El Chulio
  • They never have professional looking costumes
  • I love watching Asher, but Kharis is a little clunky
  • He is so much more expressive than she is and has much nicer body lines
  • That was a gorgeous rotational lift that had great speed
  • Interesting low spin position with her handing off of his leg
  • They are running out of gas about halfway through and lack the speed of top teams
  • Their leg lines do not match very well, he has much better extension
  • That ending pose was very cool
FD Score: 40.22 (TES) + 38.39 (PCS) = 78.61
Total Score: 52.68 (SD) + 78.61 (FD) =131.29

6) Nelli Zhiganshina & Alexander Gazsi (GER)
     Music: Romeo & Juliet
  • This is a beautiful program at times and painfully awkward at other times
  • I hate that heartbeat undertone, but it was added after O Nepela when they received a music violation for not having a clear dance beat
  • That "did they kiss or didn't they" life moment is awkward
  • The upside down lift is lovely but the exit is strange
  • This music transitions is awkward and they seem to be flailing, like they don't have their feet under them
  • They normally have very nice lines, but today they seem off
  • This is a very odd program for me
  • I could also see another music violation in that the free skates are supposed to be uplifting in nature, but I don't see that at all when she stabs herself with his hand at the end and dies
FD Score: 37.43 (TES) + 38.53 (PCS) = 75.95
Total Score: 55.66 (SD) + 75.95 (FD) = 131.61

7) Nathalie Pechalat & Fabian Bourzat (FRA)
     Music: Passion, In the Garden of Souls, Le Retour de Punt, Alf Wayla Wa Layla
  • That opening lift was a stunner!
  • I hate the costumes, but I get how they work for the program
  • I hope Fabian can make it, he is really sick
  • He is a pharaoh and she is the mummy of his deceased wife coming back fro one last dance
  • Very cool twizzle sequence, a bit of unison lost in the 3rd set
  • They are keeping the theme of the piece even in the lifts, which is not always the case
  • I love this jazzy section in the middle!
  • I can't tell if I love it or hate it
  • The ending pose was pretty cool
FD Score: 46.42 (TES) + 50.80 (PCS) - 1.00 (DED) = 96.22
Total Score: 60.07 (SD) + 96.22 (FD) = 156.29

8) Meryl Davis & Charlie White (USA)
     Music: Die Fledermaus by Strauss
  • I am loving this classical program on them, they really look World Class
  • This is what happens when you stay together for 13 years kids, you dance as one
  • Dance spins must be the hardest place to get creative
  • They are very good at waltz
  • Meryl's arms were a little bent in that rotational lift and the exit was slightly abrupt
  • Spot on twizzles today, the crowd loved it!
  • I love the whimsical quality of this piece, they have two very light programs this season, both very watchable
  • A little ragged and wild at the very end, but lovely and solid overall
  • That piece fits them perfectly
FD Score: 51.21 (TES) + 56.53 (PCS) = 107.74
Total Score: 70.33 (SD) + 107.74 (FD) = 178.07

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