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Thursday, November 10, 2011

2011 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating: NHK Trophy Pairs Short Program LIVE BLOG

1) Caydee Denney & John Coughlin (USA)
     Music: East of Eden
  • I've been trying hard not to like them but they're growing on me
  • Basically all they have to do is establish consistency and they'll be #1 in the US
  • Huge split 3 twist
  • This is a horrible arrangement of this music
  • Caydee doubles the SBS toe, just as she did in the warm-up, not the way to win favor with International judges
  • I like the weaving footwork, it complements the swell of the music quite well
  • I like the entrance into the lift, but she really needs to stretch out that position and milk it for all it's worthy
  • I feel like everytime she lands a throw I say she "saved the landing", not quite sure why I'm always surprised to see her land it
  • They need more time together to develop the "two shall skate as one" quality, but they've really come along quickly
SP Score: 30.42 (TES) + 25.06 (PCS) = 55.48

2) Natasha Purich & Raymond Schultz (CAN)
     Music: Night-Train
  • Major issues on those SBS jumps
  • Really low catch on the split triple twist
  • Good landing on the throw, but she hardly traveled away from him at all
  • Everything in this program looks so simple, but I'm glad to see they're taking things slowly until they really master their pair elements; difficult will come later
  • I like this music for them, its age appropriate
  • Very cute program from them, it won't get a competitive score, but what a great way for them to get onto the International Senior scene
SP Score: 23.99 (TES) + 21.57 (PCS) = 45.56

3) Marissa Castelli & Simon Shnapir (USA)
     Music: Phantom of the Opera
  • I like this opening, Marissa always brings the drama and it's good to see Simon getting involved
  • Weird timing on the split triple twist
  • She was off on the jump in the air, I'm surprised she saved it from really splatting
  • Nice steps in this softer section of the music
  • Simon has beautiful posture, but Marissa is a little hunched which makes the height difference even more noticeable
  • Fantastic throw on a great musical crescendo
  • I love that they do their signature catch foot position in the lift
  • Great program for them, if only she could have landed the jump
  • I really like this choreography for them, it brings a new level of maturity
SP Score: 26.56 (TES) + 24.37 (PCS) -1.00 (DED) = 49.93

4) Lubov Iliushechkina & Nodari Maisuradze (RUS)
     Music: Figaro
  • First clean SBS jumps I've seen from them in a while
  • She really cuts off that throw landing, I'd love to see a longer edge
  • Slow exit out of the split triple twist
  • Really slow death spiral
  • They zoom so quickly around the ice but get in and out of the elements so slowly, it's confusifying
  • For soem reason this program seemed so explosive to me last season, but now it seems like a string of mediocre elements frantically thrown together
  • They have very cool entrances and exits for their lifts, but that was a botched exit today, they nearly finished after the music
SP Score: 27.68 (TES) + 26.44 (PCS) -1.00 (DED) = 53.12

5) Stefania Berton & Ondrej Hotarek (ITA)
     Music: Harlem Nocturne
  • They have such an air of professionalism and theatrics about them
  • They are owning this ice
  • She landed very low, but held onto the SBS 3T
  • He totally missed her body in that split twist and she landed on his shoulder
  • Whoa scary moment, he caught an edge with her over his head upside down and tripped in the rotational lift, awkward exit, but safe exit
  • Nice clean throw
  • I like their spin positions, but they need some more speed
  • I like the intricacies of the footwork and how they it plays into the small musical nuances
  • This pair has really burst onto the scene in the last year, I like their style a lot
SP Score: 30.06 (TES) + 26.17 (PCS) = 56.23

6) Narumi Takahashi & Mervin Tran (JPN)
     Music: Imagine
  • I loved this program when I first saw it at Skate Canada
  • Narumi falls on the SBS toes; her jumping inconsistencies have been a major hindrance for them 
  • Huge height on the split 3twist, but not a clean catch
  • Not a lot of height on the throw, but a good clean landing
  • What a fantastic pair spin this is
  • This is my favorite pairs short program of the season, its so beautiful and well composed
  • Mervin outskates her everytime, I'd love to see her rise to his level
SP Score: 31.18 (TES) + 27.71 (PCS) -1.00 (DED) = 57.89

7) Yuko Kavaguti & Alexander Smirnov (RUS)
     Music: All Alone
  • Scary moment there, Yuko falls and Alexander almost trips over her
  • Messy start, botched landing on the split twist
  • Decent throw there
  • I liked this program a lot at Cup of China, but it seems they're fighting so hard for the elements here that they can't really focus on the character of the piece
  • I like the choreography and Alexander really dances it, whereas Yuko does not
  • That is really an amazing position on that lift
  • I dont' know what it is about her that always seems "off" to me, she looks so frail which is part of it
  • She also rarely straightens her legs the whole way
SP Score: 26.85 (TES) + 29.16 (PCS) -1.00 (DED) = 55.02

8) Aliona Savchenko & Robin Szolkowy (GER)
     Music: Angels & Demons
  • Their costumes are always heinous and this is no exception, but I'll give them a pass because I love them
  • They go after the throw triple axel and she lands on her side short of rotation
  • Good split twist
  • Something looked off in the SBS jumps, I didn't catch what happened but somebody doubled I think
  • This is such a complete program that you hardly even see the elements
  • They have the best spins and the most unique positions
  • I love that every second of the choreography reflects the character of the piece, even down to her hand gesture and arm position in the death spiral
  • They are upset about the fall on that axel, but kudos to them fro trying it early in the season; I bet they have it by worlds
SP Score: 29.00 (TES) + 31.23 (PCS) -1.00 (DED) = 59.23


Pl.  NameNationTSS
=
TES
+
 PCS
+
SSTRPECHINDed.
-
StN.
1Aliona SAVCHENKO / Robin SZOLKOWYGER59.2329.00 31.238.047.687.717.827.791.00#8
2Narumi TAKAHASHI / Mervin TRANJPN57.8931.18 27.716.896.966.937.076.791.00#6
3Stefania BERTON / Ondrej HOTAREKITA56.2330.06 26.176.576.216.716.546.680.00#5
4Caydee DENNEY / John COUGHLINUSA55.4830.42 25.066.435.966.366.366.210.00#1
5Yuko KAVAGUTI / Alexander SMIRNOVRUS55.0226.86 29.167.507.217.147.467.141.00#7
6Lubov ILIUSHECHKINA / Nodari MAISURADZERUS53.1227.68 26.446.576.466.616.796.611.00#4
7Marissa CASTELLI / Simon SHNAPIRUSA49.9326.56 24.376.185.796.046.296.181.00#3
8Natasha PURICH / Raymond SCHULTZCAN45.5623.99 21.575.505.145.465.545.320.00#2

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