Friday, November 4, 2011

2011 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating: Cup of China Ladies Short Program LIVE BLOG

1) Kexin Zhang (CHN)
     Music: Piano Concerto No. 3 by Rachmaninov
  • The Chinese ladies struggled last Grand Prix season, I'd like to see them do well here at home
  • 3-3 attempt, I couldn't tell from the angle if it was rotated
  • Hand down on a very tilted triple lutz
  • She is very stiff in her upper body, some ballet would go a long way for her
  • She needs to extend the movement even through the fingertips
  • Nice donut spin position
  • Footwork into a double axel, so far clan on the jumping
  • I want to see more use of levels in this footwork, but she has begun to relax her upper body
  • She'll be happy with that skate
SP Score: 31.47 (TES) + 21.38 (PCS) = 52.85

2) Quiying Zhu (CHN)
     Music: Nutrckacker
  • She is gorgeous!
  • From that costume I was expecting the Plum pas de deux music and I was correct!
  • Fall on the first triple attempt, just not nearly enough speed and or height
  • Triple-double completed, but still lacking speed and height
  • She goes into the double axel almost at a stand-still
  • She is so tentative going into these elements
  • Her hands are really broken at the wrist which really disrupts the arm line she's creating
  • Spins are a bit wobbly, traveling a bit
  • No don't pick your skirt out of your butt on the ice! 
SP Score: 16.40 (TES) + 19.88 (PCS) - 1.00 (DED) = 35.28

3) Bingwa Geng (CHN)
     Music: The Umbrellas of Cherbourg
  • I love this costume, it's very dynamic
  • I hate this overhead camera angle, but nice 3-2
  • She has more speed and is more aggressive than the other more delicate Chinese ladies
  • That catch foot spin should be much more stretched if she's going to attempt it
  • The spins really lack speed
  • That ina bauer needs much more stretch, clean double axel
  • That fog on the ice is really distracting
  • Nice layback into final ending position
  • An easy skater to watch
SP Score: 29.66 (TES) +22.95 (PCS) = 52.61

4) Adelina Sotnikova (RUS)
     Music: Bolero
  • Very strong opening stance, drastically different from her programs of last season
  • She is coming out very aggressive
  • Fall on the triple lutz, had no speed coming out
  • I hope she's smart enough to tack on a combo to another jump
  • And she does add a 2T to the 3F
  • Very fast spinning and nice position changes
  • That lutz looked rotated, so she'll just lose the 1 point deduction and some GOE marks
  • Solid double axel
  • I'm loving her spins, that is where she is much stronger than Elizaveta
  • Her step sequence movements are a little repetitive for me, but I appreciate that she is giving it her all
  • That low sit spin variation is rally interesting
  • She is not happy with that, but should still bring in a strong score
SP Score: 29.66 (TES) + 25.08 (PCS) - 1.00 (DED) = 53.74

5) Christina Gao (USA)
     Music: To Love You More
  • I like her even more now that she's tall, is that strange?
  • She's getting the Yuna look!
  • 3F-3t, looked solid to me
  • Slow approach to the double axel, can't keep it on her feet
  • I like this program on her
  • I'd like a stronger flow out of that triple lutz
  • She has lovely spin positions but lost a lot of speed by the time she hit the Bielman
  • I'd like to see more facial expression, she's in the ballpark here on her step sequence
  • Aren't bangs really distracting for a figure skater?
SP Score: 29.34 (TES) + 23.65 (PCS) - 1.00 (DED) = 51.99

6) Valentina Marchei (ITA)
     Music: Johnny's Mambo, Ronny's Mambo
  • Yuka is here for Team Detroti, no surprise b/c of her connection with Jeremy Abbott
  • Again, I hate the braid, it's immature for her age
  • Her opening combo took off from and landed on very straight legs
  • She came out firing today, seems to really have her legs under her
  • This program doesn't do much for me, the transitions are really just crossovers with sassy facial expressions
  • She's landed all of the jumps, but none of them really have much height at all
  • Pretty quick rotation on the spins, she must be studying Alissa
SP Score: 26.46 (TES) + 25.96 (PCS) = 52.42

7) Ksenia Makarova (RUS)
     Music: Maria and the Violin's String
  • What a lovely program this is if she can just stay upright
  • The choreography is fantastic, the opening is so unique
  • Fall out of the opening 3F, I really don't know that the coaching change did her any favors
  • This audience really gasps when a skater falls
  • Step out of the triple loop,won't get full credit
  • I don't know where this girl's mind is, if I had that choreography I wouldn't be throwing away jumps
  • This poor girl, she's so lovely if she could get her mind in the game and learn to compete
SP Score: 20.44 (TES) + 26.46 (PCS) -1.00 (DED) = 45.90

8) Kanako Murakami (JPN)
     Music: Violin Muse
  • Wow she's grown up since last season!
  • 3lz-3t, 2nd jump likely underrotated and maybe two-footed
  • Triple loop, UR probably
  • This is a much more mature program for her, she's improved her sense of interpretation
  • A bit of a funny layback position; broken leg line
  • Her hands are a bit stiff for me, softening them would do wonders for her arm line
  • Double axel, good to see she's maintained her jumps even with the growth spurt
SP Score: 25.80 (TES) + 27.29 (PCS) = 53.09

9) Mirai Nagasu (USA)
     Music: Danzarin
  • Lord I don't even know what to think anymore when Mirai steps onto the ice
  • It looks like good Mirai came out to skate today, all jumps landed
  • She really does a fantastic job of not traveling at all on that layback spin
  • I like that camel variation into the donut that she does
  • Sassy Mirai is out there today, Frank is looking on as seriously as ever
  • I like this step sequence a lot
  • Mirai is one of the best spinners around in terms of speeding up rotation as she goes
SP Score: 31.75 (TES) + 29.21 (PCS) = 60.96

10) Carolina Kostner (ITA)
      Music: Alegretto from Trio No. 2 by Shostakovitch
  • The illusion mesh is still horrible but the costume as a whole has grown on me
  • The more I watch it I like this program
  • She went for the 3-3, wasn't watching closely enough for rotation
  • She really carries a lot of speed with those long legs
  • Two hands down on the triple loop
  • Nice sharp double axel
  • I appreciate the way the subtleties of the choreography mirror the music
  • Nice deep edging, she'll likely pass Mirai in PCS but not in TES after the hands down
SP Score: 31.44 (TES) + 30.44 (PCS) = 61.88

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