Saturday, November 12, 2011

2011 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating: NHK Trophy Ladies Free Skate Commentary

1) Shoko Ishikawa (JPN)
     Music: Miss Saigon
  • She clearly does not have the jumping content of the other Japanese ladies, but I like her overall flow across the ice
  • This is very dynamic music, I'd like to see more interpretation and facial expression
  • She needs to straighten the leg on the sit spin
  • I feel like she is not committing to this program, she doesn't seem like she's giving it 100%
  • There is not nearly enough energy in this step sequence
  • She is almost crying, I don't know if that's because she's happy she didn't fall or if she's upset about something
FS Score: 34.14 (TES) + 42.93 (PCS) = 77.07
Total Score: 45.07 (SP) + 77.07 (FS) = 122.14

2) Cynthia Phaneuf (CAN)
     Music: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
  • She is such a hard skater to watch because you know she is stuck inside her own head
  • If she could get herself straightened out mentally and just perform it would be amazing
  • And we start with a popped jump
  • One of the few skaters brave enough to go backless without illusion fabric
  • And another pop
  • She clearly has no self-confidence as these jumps are fine in the air but but she second guesses herself and opens up out of them
  • I don't love this classical piece on her, I'd rather see something more modern and aggressive
  • I'd rather see a skater fall 5 times than pop jumps because at least then you know they are really going for it
  • She is starting to look like herself here in the step sequence
  • It's a shame she wasn't able to take over where Joannie Rochette left off 
  • She is not happy with that at all
FS Score: 38.71 (TES) + 48.69 (PCS) -1.00 (DED) = 86.40
Total Score: 45.42 (SP) + 86.40 (FS) = 131.82

3) Mae Berenice Meite (FRA)
     Music: Fever, Hey Pachuko, Who Framed Roger Rabbit
  • I am not a fan of this costume on her, it would be perfect for a Latin short dance, but not a singles program
  • When the back is cut so low that you can see the top of your tights, you know it's a problem
  • She has a very high wrap on her jump rotations which is a technical issue
  • The jumps are her strength and when she under-rotates and puts hands down, that really hurts her
  • She has pretty good speed, at least what I can see on my screen
  • Her jump entries are very long, she could earn more points by changing the entries with some steps
  • This is a very weak spiral positions, she'd do well to actually hold the leg up as Nancy Kerrigan did
  • This is an odd mixture of music for me
  • The ending was strange, I felt she was just standing and posing
FS Score: 47.68 (TES) + 43.96 (PCS) = 91.64
Total Score: 52.05 (SP) + 91.64 (FS) = 143.69

4) Kiira Korpi (FIN)
     Music: I Got Rhythm
  • This is a very interesting costume, I'm not sure how I feel about the shoulder details, but it looks very high fashion to me
  • This is very playful and theatrical choreography
  • Very good speed so far
  • I love that she is perfectly in the period of this music, down to her hairstyle
  • Great fly into the sit spin
  • I love her commitment to the performance
  • She has such fantastic posture and body carriage
  • She's having a hard time finding the jumps today, a lot of doubling and singling
  • I'm liking this program on her, it's a departure from what she usually does and I appreciate the risk
  • She needs to stretch out through her fingertips, breaking at the wrists disrupts the arm line
  • Abrupt ending of the final spin trying to catch the last beat of the music on time
FS Score: 46.23 (TES) + 57.60 (PCS) = 103.83
Total Score: 53.70 (SP) + 103.83 (FS) = 157.53

5) Agnes Zawadzki (USA)
     Music: Rhapsody in Blue
  • It's strange seeing a new coach her with her
  • I don't like the dark hair, it doesn't work for her at all
  • I like this costume, it's a step in the right direction after what she wore last season
  • She is skating very slowly starting out
  • She rotates very quickly with a nice straight body position and very tightly wrapped legs
  • Her spins have improved greatly
  • She doesn't look over her legs in these jumps
  • Her spiral position has improved as well
  • Though she's not proving it today, I think that switching coaches will prove to be a positive in the long run
  • That leg overhead sit spin variation is very cool
  • I don't know that this music suits her so well, it is very big and broad and she needs to have the personality to live up to it
  • After the second fall, she is really struggling to get back up and keep going
  • She still looks very fit, but she looks undertrained stamina-wise
  • I appreciate the toe point on the I-spin, most skaters have an ugly flexed foot in that spin
FS Score: 36.52 (TES) + 49.82 (PCS) -2.00 (DED) = 84.35
Total Score: 53.84 (SP) + 84.35 (FS) =138.19

6) Ashley Wagner (USA)
     Music: Black Swan
  • I've always thought that skating 1st after warm-up must be difficult
  • This costume is exquisite
  • I love her upper body carriage
  • I wish she'd look up at the audience more rather than down at the ice
  • Very nice 3-jump combo to open, with an arm variation
  • Her rotation speed is much faster now, after the coaching change
  • She his fighting harder for the landings this season than ever before
  • I love way she uses her arms to attack the music
  • She's been getting lower PCS than I believe she deserves so it seems that the judges are holding her down until she can earn their respect again
  • With these programs and her execution of them, I hope she goes to Worlds along with Czisny
  • She'll be so happy with this skate!
FS Score: 54.45 (TES) + 55.32 (PCS)  = 109.77
Total Score: 55.88 (SP) + 109.77 (FS) = 165.65

7) Elene Gedevanishvili (GEO)
     Music: Phantom of the Opera
  • I don't like this costume, it just doesn't suit the music at all
  • That was a very long approach to that triple lutz, hand down
  • She is getting better at fighting for landings, Orser has clearly helped her mental game
  • I'm so over Phantom!
  • She is an athlete, but she really does nothing to try to interpret the music
  • What an ugly heel stretch spiral, she needs to point the foot and drop the hip
  • She looks a little disappointed in that skate
FS Score: 47.74 (TES) + 56.33 (PCS) -1.00 (DED) = 103.07
Total Score: 57.37 (SP) + 103.07 (FS) = 160.44

8) Mao Asada (JPN)
     Music: Liebestraum
  • Mao is getting huge applause here at home
  • Opens with a 3A, likely short of rotation
  • I'm glad she's having another go at this program after the rough last season
  • That toe point on the catch foot spin is gorgeous
  • Another triple axel! 
  • This is a piece of art and the jumps are just part of it
  • Aside from a few jump exits that could be held out a bit longer, this was a fantastic program
  • She's made a comeback! And at home!
FS Score: 61.20 (TES) + 64.57 (PCS) = 125.77
Total Score: 58.42 (SP) + 125.77 (FS) = 184.19

9) Alena Leonova (RUS)
     Music: Adagio for Strings, Requiem for a Tower
  • She is a very clean jumper with fast rotation
  • This is actually a fairly elegant program compared to what she normally puts out there
  • She looks very calm, she's not giving away the easy point that she normally gives
  • Toe jumps are much stronger for her than edge jumps
  • She has rather long, boring entrances to her jumps
  • And she just opened up a jump, so much for not making small mistakes
  • She needs to concentrate on pointing her feet
  • That was a very abrupt ending
  • Very wild footwork, she needs to control it
  • PS what is up with her hair?
FS Score: 50.50 (TES) + 58.42 (PCS) = 108.92
Total Score: 61.76 (SP) + 108.92 (FS) = 170.68

10) Akiko Suzuki (JPN)
      Music: Die Fledermaus
  • Akiko is so teeny tiny!
  • Would be great to see Japan go 1, 2 in this event
  • Nice triple lutz, great extension on the free leg
  • I've never seen someone continue improving technically in their later years as she is
  • She has such an elegance in her body carriage
  • I love that "sleeping position" on the sit spin variation
  • That upside down broken camel is just ugly, though I know it increases the level
  • Popped a jump, but still able to add on two doubles to make a 3-jump combo, now that's a veteran move
  • Another pop, she is opening the door for Mao
  • She'll hold on to win, but this is not the perfect free skate she wanted for her first Grand Prix victory
FS Score: 57.04 (TES) + 62.39 (PCS) = 119.43
Total Score: 66.55 (SP) + 119.43 (FS) = 185.98

4Ashley WAGNER
6Kiira KORPI
7Mae Berenice MEITE
9Cynthia PHANEUF

  Pl.  NameNationTSS
1Mao ASADAJPN125.7761.2064.578.117.758.
2Akiko SUZUKIJPN119.4357.0462.398.077.507.717.757.960.00#10
3Ashley WAGNERUSA109.7754.4555.327.046.617.047.006.890.00#6
4Alena LEONOVARUS108.9250.5058.427.546.867.437.327.360.00#9
5Kiira KORPIFIN103.8346.2357.607.
6Elene GEDEVANISHVILIGEO103.0747.7456.337.326.757.
7Mae Berenice MEITEFRA91.6447.6843.965.685.185.545.545.540.00#3
8Cynthia PHANEUFCAN86.4038.7148.696.365.715.966.186.211.00#2
9Agnes ZAWADZKIUSA84.3536.5349.826.506.
10Shoko ISHIKAWAJPN77.0734.1442.935.615.185.295.545.210.00#1

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