Wednesday, November 28, 2012

2012 Grand Prix Final Schedule EST

Thursday December 6th:
8:45-9:35am Junior Mens Short Program
9:55-10:50am Junior Short Dance
11:10am-12pm Junior Ladies Short Program
12:20-1:15pm Junior Pairs Short Program

Friday December 7th:
4:45-5:50am Junior Mens Free Skate
6:00-6:50 Senior Ladies Short Program
7:15-8:15am Junior Free Dance
9:15-10:10am Senior Short Dance
10:35-11:25am Senior Mens Short Program
11:50am-12:45pm Senior Pairs Short Program

Saturday December 8th:
3:30-4:20am Junior Ladies Free Skate
4:45-5:50am Junior Pairs Free Skate
6:15-7:10am Senior Ladies Free Skate
8:15-9:15am Senior Free Skate
9:40-10:40am Senior Mens Free Skate
11:05am-12:10pm Senior Pairs Free Skate

Local Ice Dance Team, Rachel & Michael Parsons, to Perform Live in the Rockville Holiday Ice Show and Tree-Lighting on Nov. 29th

Rachel & Michael Parsons, 2011 U.S. Novice Ice Dance Champions and 2012 Youth Olympians, who train right here in the Washington area in Rockville and Wheaton, will perform in this year's Holiday Ice Show at the outdoor ice rink in the new Rockville Town Center, on Thursday, November 29th, at 7:45 pm.  The show starts at 6:30 pm with an appearance by Santa, music and dancing, and then the skating show and photo opportunity. 

Rachel & Michael, ages 15 and 17 respectively, now skate at the Junior Ice Dance level, and just returned from the US Figure Skating Association’s (USFSA) Eastern Sectional Championships, where they took home the Silver Medal.  This qualifies them, for the 3rd consecutive year, to compete in the 2013 U.S. National Figure Skating Championships, which will be held in Omaha, NE, in January. 

Earlier this year, Rachel & Michael skated for Team USA at the inaugural 2012 Youth Olympic Winter Games in Innsbruck, Austria (where they finished 4th); at the 2012 Junior World Championships in Minsk, Belarus (where they finished 15th); and at two international Grand Prix events in Linz, Austria, and Zagreb, Croatia (where they finished 6th and 3rd respectively).  They also performed earlier this year with former Olympians Michael Weiss, Mirai Nagasu, Brian Boitano and others at the Ice Champions Live ice show in Reston to benefit the Michael Weiss Foundation.  

Michael & Rachel will be debuting a new program just for this performance, their last performance in the DC area this year.  The skaters both attend Magruder High School in Montgomery County.  For more information on the skaters, visit:    Here is the link to the event page as well.

GOLDEN BOY on Broadway

The American Dream hangs in the balance in Clifford Odets' GOLDEN BOY directed by Bartlett Sher and produced by Lincoln Center Theater. If The Great Gatsby and Rocky met up in New York during the Depression, that is this story of Joe Bonaparte, affectionally referred to as Napoleon. He is torn between prizefighting and music, with family members and managers pushing and pulling him back and forth. Seth Numrich is a standout in the role of Joe. He has the sensitivity and nuance of a violin player, but all the rage and aggression of bull. For a smaller guy, his physicality in the fight scenes is very natural-it's all heart.

This 3-act epic isn't flashy. There aren't many bells and whistles. Show up ready to focus and concentrate, or you will be lost. Act I, which is much too long, introduces the characters, but it's all surface. We don't really get to know any of our characters until Act II, which opens in a boxing gym. When the curtain opens on those sparring fighters, that's when you know what this play is really about. It's not about the businessmen or the managers, it's about the soul of a fighter. Act III depicts Joe's rise to fame and his demise. It again forces us to question the American Dream. Sure, Joe has become famous, successful, and rich, but at what cost?

Tony Shalhoub is a brilliant foil to Joe in the role of his father. Every time Joe pulls closer to fighting, his father tries to pull him back toward music. A simple, happy life is all this immigrant wants for his son. He grows more fragile and downtrodden throughout the play as pride and greed rear their ugly heads within Joe. One of the most poignant scenes in the show unfolds as Mr. Bonaparte asks a seasoned fighter about his hands. He sees that they are permanently clenched and crippled and, without saying anything, understands that if his son fights his hands will no longer be able to bring music to the family. The single most heartbreaking image in the show is Joe removing his gloves after his final fight, only to realize that he cannot straighten his fingers.

Catherine Zuber's costumes are very appropriate for the Depression era and the muted shades suit the solemn, melancholy tone of the piece. Michael Yeargan's sets certainly fit the time and the themes, but a more minimalist design would have sufficed. We didn't need an overhead traffic light to understand that Joe was on the streets of New York and we didn't need lockers and showers to realize that we were in a locker room. The bulky set pieces created too much lag time in between scenes and the lengthy transitions ruin the mood.

GOLDEN BOY is A Chorus Line for fighters. It sheds light on a world that many are unfamiliar with and strips it down to bare bones. When you take away the lights and the audience, what are you really left with? This thing that was supposed to bring Joe fame and fortunate ripped him apart in the end. After proving himself time and time again, our Golden Boy is left with nothing but blood on his hands.

Catch this glimpse of prizefighting's past at the Belasco Theater through January 20th. For a chance to win a fantastic ticket package including dinner for two at Saju Bistro, enter our Pinterest contest here

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

ELF on Broadway!

From the moment the scrim morphs from icy blue to Christmas tree green, you are transported to Santa's Workshop. Santa (Wayne Knight) tells us the story of ELF while cracking a few jokes about turning off cellphones and opening candy.

As Buddy, Jordan Gelber gives 150% in every scene and though his joy for the role shoots into the mezzanine, his vocal inflections become a little grating near the end of Act I. He redeems himself in Act II with a handful of sensational one-liners and some dashing dance steps. His "Carol of the Bells" rendition is one of the highlights of the show.

Leslie Kritzer is an introverted Jovie who simply blends in until you see her beaming smile in "A Christmas Song," the ice skating scene. This show gives us more background on Jovie than the original film, as we learn that she moved from LA and she's spent nearly two years alone until she met Buddy. Oh yeah, and she absolutely sings her face off in her darling red party dress in her Act II solo "Never Fall in Love".

Beth Leavel goes above and beyond the call of duty in the relatively small role of Emily. The character who was simply 'there' in the film becomes a force to be reckoned with under Leavel's command. She's clearly trying to pull focus, but it works just the same. Her sarcastic expressions and quick delivery stand out in Act I, but by Act II you'll think she's your drunk Aunt who shows up for the holidays to share a bottle of chardonnay with herself. She has fantastic chemistry with Mitchell Sink who plays her son Michael. The song "I'll Believe in You" where their blending voices plead to Santa to give them Christmas Day with Walter is a particularly heartfelt moment.

Michael Mandell, in the role of the Macy's manager, simply steals the show. Talk about doing a lot with a tiny role! His physical humor and his sassy, snappy attitude contrast perfectly with Buddy's overwhelming joy as they argue about Santa's arrival at "The North Pole".

The scenery is colorful and sparkly, just as you would expect. The use of projection is particularly effective in showing movement as Buddy travels from the North Pole to New York City. The whirling desks in office scenes are a little "9 to 5" for my taste but they get the job done. And a Rockefeller Center scene will leave you wondering "how did they do that" as the characters skate across the ice rink.

Act I is very similar to the film you know and love, but as I sipped my diet coke out of my ELF souvenir mug after intermission, I couldn't help but feel that I was watching a different story. Act II takes a few liberties with the story, though it still achieves the same result. Every show has that one number that you just want to end and in this show it is "Nobody Cares About Santa" where a Chinese restaurant full of part-time mall Santas lament the lack of Christmas spirit in New York. Otherwise, the score is memorable and endearing. You'll definitely leave the theatre humming a few of the tunes.

Fans of ELF will not be disappointed. You get all of the things you loved with a few updated references. Instead of cramming cookies into the VCR, this Buddy pours a bottle of syrup into the DVD player. It's like a venti peppermint mocha-it's so sweet that it makes you sick-but you love it anyway.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Rostelecom Cup: Ladies Free Skate LIVE BLOG

1Kiira KORPI
2Gracie GOLD
9Valentina MARCHEI
10Caroline ZHANG

  Pl.  NameNationTSS
1Kiira KORPIFIN115.6456.12 60.527.687.077.617.717.751.00#9
2Gracie GOLDUSA112.8754.77 58.107.546.937.327.397.140.00#10
3Kanako MURAKAMIJPN109.5653.22 56.347.326.466.967.297.180.00#5
4Agnes ZAWADZKIUSA106.4351.10 55.336.936.617.047.186.820.00#8
5Valentina MARCHEIITA102.4250.88 51.546.295.826.716.716.680.00#2
6Polina KOROBEYNIKOVARUS101.8752.45 50.426.685.866.296.616.071.00#3
7Adelina SOTNIKOVARUS100.8748.28 55.597.146.506.797.257.073.00#6
8Alena LEONOVARUS98.4241.17 57.257.396.716.867.507.320.00#7
9Viktoria HELGESSONSWE97.3843.60 53.786.756.466.796.936.680.00#4
10Caroline ZHANGUSA92.0648.57 43.495.934.935.295.715.320.00#1

1) Caroline Zhang (USA)
  Music: Nessun Dorma
  • I love that deep color on her
  • What I'd really like to see on her jumps is a nice, long glide out of the jump
  • The jumps are looking especially small today
  • I feel like she normally has more extension in the spiral than she does today
  • I love that ending-how she just comes straight out of the spin and finishes, nothing fancy about it
  • 48.57 (TES) + 43.49 (PCS) = 92.06
  • 46.15 (SP) + 92.06 (FS) = 138.21
2) Valentina Marchei (ITA)
  Music: The Artist
  • I'm sorry I didn't get to watch you Valentina, i was switching feeds
  • But you look happy coming off the ice!
  • 50.88 (TES) + 51.54 (PCS) = 102.42
  • 46.25 (SP) + 102.42 (FS) = 148.67
3) Polina Korobeynikova (RUS)
  Music: Swan Lake
  • Very clean jumping, fast rotation
  • This costume is a choice
  • This program looks very calculated
  • She is ticking off the elements, but where is the performance?
  • Girl-Please give us some face!
  • Oh no, a fall on the final jump on the most dramatic piece of the music, not a good picture ot leave in the judges' minds
  • This program is looking very labored, there's just no fire in her belly
  • 52.45 (TES) + 50/42 (PCS) -1.00 (DED) = 101.87
  • 51.45 (SP) + 101.87 (FS) = 153.32
4) Viktoria Helgesson (SWE)
  Music: Spellbound Concerto
  • This costume is perfection, I love how white goes into ice blue
  • This is how a woman skates, not a little pixie girl
  • I feel like there is a lot of fluff in this program-too many simple crossovers and long approaches to jumps
  • A lot of these jumps look UR and a lot of turns out of the landings
  • This program was easy on the eyes, but there also was no excitement either
  • 43.60(TES) + 53.78 (PCS) = 97.38
  • 54.10 (SP) + 97.38 (FS) = 151.48
5) Kanako Murakami (JPN)
  Music: Oblivion & Fuego Lento
  • Aww look at our little girl, she's growing up!
  • There's not a lot of drama in this music
  • This music might still be a little sophisticated for her, it's subdued and you really need to work to bring out the accents
  • She'll be hit with some underrotations on her TES mark
  • Something was off with that 2A combo
  • 53.22 (TES) + 56.34 (PCS) = 109.56
  • 56.78 (SP) + 109.56 (FS) = 166.34
6) Adelina Sotnikova (RUS)
  Music: Burlesque
  • For a girl who has the potential to be a World Champion, this is not a World Champ program
  • I do like the skirt of this costume
  • I love her jumping, nice quick rotation
  • Why did Tarasova choreograph this mess?
  • Oh no, 2 falls in a row; this piece is going nowhere fast
  • I hate when good skaters sell themselves short with garbage programs
  • I've heard enough riffing for the day now
  • 48.28(TES) + 55.59 (PCS) -3.00 (DED) = 100.87
  • 57.11 (SP) + 157.98 (FS) = 157.98
7) Alena Leonova (RUS)
  Music: Poeta en la Mar
  • This feed keeps sticking, so who knows what happened in the 1st minute
  • This step sequence is strange, it's like she's trying to give us sassy face, but she's looking down toward the ice-it's odd
  • This is a poor choice of music for her style
  • This is so flat for me, she doesn't look like she wants to be there
  • This piece of music sounds frantic, but the skating is slow; it's been an odd 4 minutes for me
  • 41.17 (TES) + 57.25 (PCS) = 98.42
  • 58.85 (SP) + 98.42 (FS) = 157.27
8) Agnes Zawadzki (USA)
 Music: Rhapsody in Blue
  • Leaned way to the side, but clean 1st jump
  • She looks so strong; she is in such good shape
  • I love how expressive her upper body is
  • She has interesting choreography out of the jumps, she doesn't just hang out and wait to get back into the piece
  • I love her zippy, tight rotation
  • She is having an "on day" I can see that right now
  • This is a very mature program and well composed, I am happy she hung onto it
  • This is a wonderful program, but this is the best execution I've seen from her in so long
  • What a breath of fresh air to see somebody who wants to be on the podium
  • 51.10 (TES) + 55.33 (PCS) = 106.43
  • 60.18 (SP) + 106.43 (FS) = 166.61
9) Kiira Korpi (FIN)
  Music: Once Upon a Time in America
  • She is flawless
  • Some of these jumps are really telegraphed
  • Just when I was about to say that her jumps are crisp and clean today, she falls
  • 56.12 (TES) + 60.52 (PCS) -1.00 (DED) = 115.64
  • 61.55 (SP) + 155.64 (FS) = 177.19
10) Gracie Gold (USA)
  Music: Life is Beautiful
  • Gracie, please excite me because nobody else has today
  • Clean through the 1st minute, thank you feed for freezing
  • I have nothing else to say because me feed went out on me unfortunately
  • 54.77 (TES) + 58.10 (PCS) = 112.87
  • 62.16 (SP) + 112.87 (FS) = 175.03

Friday, November 9, 2012

Rostelecom Cup: Pairs Free Skate LIVE BLOG

1) Tiffany Vise & Don Baldwin (USA)
  Music: Legends of the Fall & Time to Say Goodbye
  • I love to see them jump in opposite directions, when it goes well that is
  • Seeing that death spiral from overhead made me dizzy
  • This choreography seems so old fashioned to me
  • Hard slip on the 2nd throw
  • Even aside from that, this is light years better than their first GP outing
  • I do like the positions on that final spin
  • Ended after the music
  • I wish he would shave, he looks scruffy
  • 50.22 (TES) + 48.02 (PCS) -1.00 (DED) = 97.24
  • 45.91 (SP) + 97.24 (FS) = 143.16
2) Nicole Della Monica & Matteo Guarise (ITA)
  Music: The Phantom of the Opera
  • What do these costumes have to do with Phantom?
  • Her upper body is very expressive
  • She is clearly the better skater, he needs  lot of work on jumping and artistry
  • Oh geez, he tripped and fell on a crossover
  • He is clearly just there because he's strong enough to lift and throw her
  • He looks so unsure and shaky out there that I'm concerned for her safety in those lifts
  • They are just skating through this music, no connection to it at all
  • This music may be overdone, but it's very emotionally charged and I don't understand how you can skate to it without feeling something
  • (TES) + (PCS) =
  • 50.25 (SP) + (FS) =
3) Anastasia Martiusheva & Alexei Rogonov (RUS)
  Music: The Mission
  • (TES) + (PCS) =
  • 50.90 (SP) + (FS) =
4) Paige Lawrence & Rudi Swiegers (CAN)
  Music: War Horse
  • (TES) + (PCS) =
  • 51.86 (SP) + (FS) =
5) Caydee Denney & John Coughlin (USA)
  Music: Phantom of the Opera
  • (TES) + (PCS) =
  • 59.02 (SP) + (FS) =
6) Vera Bazarova & Yuri Larionov (RUS)
  Music: Spartacus
  • (TES) + (PCS) =
  • 66.02 (SP) + (FS) =
7) Tatiana Volosozhar & Maxim Trankov (RUS)
  Music: Violin Muse
  • (TES) + (PCS) =
  • 74.74 (SP) + (FS) =

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Rostelecom Cup: Ladies short program LIVE blog

1) Gracie Gold (USA)
  Music: Hernando's Hideaway
  • Who doesn't love Hernando's Hideaway?
  • Nice 3-3 Gracie, I love the speed
  • So far so good, but I feel like she's speeding through the choreography and just ticking off the elements
  • Now that's she's put down a clean short on the GP, that's a huge step
  • Our girl looks thrilled
  • 34.92 (TES) + 27.24 (PCS) = 62.16
2) Caroline Zhang (USA)
  Music: Rushing Wings of Dawn
  • I love everything that she does with her face at the beginning of this piece
  • I love this music so much
  • Uh on, pupped the first jump, not a good sign
  • That stretched out camel is wonderful, but the bent leg position looks rough
  • The step sequence is lovely in this piece, it perfectly fits the tone of the music
  • 21.84 (TES) + 324.31 (PCS) = 46.15
3) Polina Korobeynikova (RUS)
  Music: Romeo & Juliet
  • I'm loving this braid into the bun
  • I actually really love this dress
  • Her body type reminds me of Alissa Czisny
  • She seems like a very introspective skater to me, which is coming back to me now from the Junior GP
  • 26.42 (TES) + 25.03 (PCS) = 51.45
4) Agnes Zawadzki (USA)
  Music: Sex and the City
  • Agnes honey, what is this odd costume situation we've got going here?
  • So, are you Carrie Bradshaw in Abu Dahbi?
  • Well  I guess you can be whomever you want to be when you are jumping like this
  • She is looking so slick today, so in a zone
  • This is a great piece for a short program, it suits her energy
  • I love all these arm variations in the combination spin
  • 33.01 (TES) + 27.17 (PCS) = 60.18
5) Valentina Marchei (ITA)
  Music: Esperanza
  • This program suits her fiery personality
  • I feel like her spins and body positions are so improved this year
  • Those swing programs last year didn't show of any of these wonderful things we are seeing from her this season
  • The technical content is not at the level of the youngsters, but this is still a very solid program that will receive a good score
  • 20.48 (TES) + 25.77 (PCS) = 46.25
6) Adelina Sotnikova (RUS)
  Music: Capriccio Espagnoi
  • Nice 3-3
  • Uh oh, baby popped her flip
  • She is killing it in this footwork, you can tell that being at home helps her energy
  • 29.11 (TES) + 18.00 (PCS) = 57.11
7) Kanako Murakami (JPN)
  Music: Prayer for Taylor
  • Baby girl is killing it today
  • I love that she reinvented herself into an artist, this is a beautiful piece
  • Darn that fall, but still she's becoming quite the lovely skater
  • 29.01 (TES) + 28.77 (PCS) -1.00 (DED) = 56.78
8) Viktoria Helgesson (SWE)
  Music: Poinciana
  • I remember when it used to flip back and forth-who was better-between Viktoria & Joshi, but honestly it's not even close anymore
  • That was just okay, iffy technique
  • I like the short hair much better that last year's poofy up-dos
  • Wait, doesn't her mom coach her anymore?
  •  26.67 (TES) + 27.43 (PCS) = 54.10
9) Kiira Korpi (FIN)
  Music: The Girl with the Flaxen Hair
  • This is my favorite costume of the season
  • This is so delicate and soft
  • That was pure enjoyment to watch
  • 31.51 (TES) + 30.04 (PCS) = 61.55
10) Alena Leonova (RUS)
  Music: Slumdog Millionaire
  • I never quite know what's going to happen when this one steps out onto the ice

  • (TES) + (PCS) =

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Rostelecom Cup: Ladies Preview

This event is going to come down to who wants it the most. I can see this going so many different ways it's making my head spin. There are about 6 ladies that could win this thing, so let's get started. I'll be live blogging the short on Friday AM and all the free programs on Saturday AM. Here is a link to the schedule

Adelina Sotnikova (RUS) is our favorite Russian baby. She is a more complete skater than Tuktamisheva and Lipnitskaia and I hope she can win here and make it to the Grand Prix Final in Sochi. She won bronze at Skate America so let's hope that she keeps escalating!

Kiira Korpi (FIN) is looking divine this season. Her costumes are gorgeous and I appreciate how calm she looks on the ice. I love that every time she steps out, we know that we are going to get something beautiful. I love her elegance. We know she will always receive high PCS marks so that helps give her the edge over many other skaters.

Kanako Murakami (JPN) looks to factor into the medal scene this season after already securing a bronze at Skate Canada. She is finally growing into her body and she's held onto her jumps while developing a new sense of artistry. I expect to see her in the top 6 at Worlds this year with her lovely programs.

Gracie Gold (USA) could easily hit the podium if she goes clean. We all expected her to medal at Skate Canada, but she is a rookie senior and we shouldn't put so much pressure on her. She is brand new on the scene and we need to be patient while she develops.

My Podium Predictions:
Gold: Adelina Sotnikova (RUS)
Silver: Kiira Korpi (FIN)
Bronze: Kanako Murakami (JPN)

The Rest of the Field:
Valentina Marchei (ITA)
Polina Korobeynikova (RUS)
Alena Leonova (RUS)
Viktoria Helgesson (SWE)
Agnes Zawadzki (USA)
Caroline Zhang (USA)

Rostelecom Cup: Mens Preview

Can P-Chiddy-Chan bounce back from the upset of Silver at Skate Canada? Are Kozuka and Oda really back or were the medals at Skate America and Skate Canada just a fluke? What on earth will Johnny Weir look like in a legitimate competition? Is Brezina over, or will he get it in gear? And what on earth is up with Artur Gachinski? There are so many questions surrounding this event, so let's get started!

Here is the event schedule. I'll be covering the ladies short on Friday morning and all of the free skates on Saturday.

How do we feel about this season's programs from Patrick Chan (CAN)? I mean, it's great that he decided to grace us with two new ones. I am sensing more actual expression from him, particularly in the free, but the execution was a little bit of a hot mess at Skate Canada. Even home cooking couldn't put him atop the podium, so he'll need to up the ante in Russia, which I suspect he'll do. For all I complain about him, I really do appreciate the attempt to create a sense of artistry that is not so manufactured this season.

Takahiko Kozuka (JPN) surprised us all by coming back from a disastrous (by his standards) 2011-2012 season to win Skate America. We love his programs this year and wish him the best in Mother Russia.

Nobunari Oda (JPN) is another curious case. It seemed last season that he was phasing out, but he came back and won a bronze at Skate Canada. He is one of those skaters that is more likely to do well now that later in the season as it will take a killer set of programs at Nationals to make the World team with the success of Takahashi, Kozuka, Machida, and Hanyu this season.

Oh lord, who is ready for Johnny Weir (USA) to come back? Wherever he goes, drama ensues. Whether this comeback is for real and he actually makes it to Sochi or not, he has a huge fanbase and it's good for the sport. We all know that he doesn't play by IJS rules and he skates the way he wants to, so I'm not expecting much out of him at this competition. We don't know what his technical elements will look like and how well his program will fit the code of points, but regardless, I love him and I'm so happy he's coming back!

My Podium Predictions:
Gold: Patrick Chan
Silver: Takahiko Kozuka
Bronze: Nobunari Oda

The Rest of the Field:
Michal Brezina (CZE)
Denis Ten (KAZ)
Zhan Bush (RUS)
Artur Gachinski (RUS)
Konstantin Menshov (RUS)
Richard Dornbush (USA)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

2012 Grand Prix Final Qualifiers

We are 3 events into the 2012 Grand Prix season, having just finished Cup of China, and we already have 3 Qualifiers to the Grand Prix Final.

Patrick Chan (CAN)-28 points (Skate Canada-13+Cup of Russia-15)
Takahiko Kozuka (JPN)-28 points (Skate America-15+Cup of Russia-13)
Tatsuki Machida (JPN)-26 points (Skate America-11+Cup of China-15)

Kiira Korpi (FIN)-26 points (Cup of China-11+Rostelecom Cup-15)

Tatiana Volosozhar & Maxim Trankov (RUS)-30 points (Skate America-15+Cup of Russia-15)
Qing Pang & Jian Tong (CHN)-28 points (Skate America-13+Cup of China-15)

Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir (CAN)-30 points (Skate Canada-15+Cup of Russia-15)
Ekaterina Bobrova & Dmitri Soloviev (RUS)-26 points (Skate America-13+Cup of China-13)

Cup of China: Mens Free Skate LIVE BLOG

1Tatsuki MACHIDA
7Jinlin GUAN

  Pl.  NameNationTSS
1Tatsuki MACHIDAJPN153.4476.66 77.787.757.397.897.868.001.00#8
2Daisuke TAKAHASHIJPN146.9665.30 82.668.398.048.048.328.541.00#9
3Sergei VORONOVRUS144.0373.59 70.447.326.547.
4Adam RIPPONUSA133.6761.81 71.867.296.897.117.327.320.00#6
5Yi WANGCHN131.0268.52 63.506.576.076.436.366.321.00#2
6Kevin REYNOLDSCAN128.3762.17 67.206.826.646.646.646.861.00#4
7Jinlin GUANCHN115.0755.57 60.506.255.796.
WDNan SONGCHN          #5
WDBrian JOUBERTFRA          #3

1) Jinlin Guan (CHN)
  Music: Percussion Carmen
  • Oh geez, how does this costume go with Carmen?
  • I don't understand what's happening here
  • I actually like this step sequence
  • This sounds weird but he has a sloppy head, he doesn't hold it up strong
  • That was just meh, nothing behind his skating
  • He looks gassed!
  • 55.57 (TES) + 60.50 (PCS) -1.00 (DED) = 115.07
  • 55.97 (SP) + 115.07 (FS) = 171.04
2) Yi Want (CHN)
  Music: Nothing Else Matters & One
  • Nice smooth start
  • This sounds like my Vitamin String Quartet, rock on!
  • He is a very expressive skater with his upper body, I want him to look up and out instead of down at the ice
  • This is actually a fairly interesting program, but he needs to show more on his face
  • The potential is definitely there
  • 68.52 (TES) + 63.50 (PCS) -1.00 (DED) = 131.02
  • 57.25 (SP) + 131.02 (FS) = 188.27
3) Kevin Reynolds (CAN)
  Music: Concerto No. 4 in E Minor by Mathieu
  • Yay, hit the first jump, that should be a good sign
  • Doubling jumps, not a good sign
  • I desperately want him to take some dance classes to loosen up his upper body
  • Straighten that foot in the camel
  • This kid has to way 100 pounds soaking wet
  • Why are his jumps deceiving him? This guy was the 1st to land 2 different quads in the short
  • I don't understand what has happened to his jumping technique
  • This was an odd program, I just don't feel like it went anywhere
  • 62.17 (TES) + 67.20 (PCS) -1.00 (DED) = 128.37
  • 69.87 (SP) + 128.37 (FS) = 198.24
4) Adam Rippon (USA)
  Music: The Incredibles
  • So after bumping heads with Song, I hope Adam is okay! Please be okay and please concentrate!
  • Nice opening pose, I like that he's giving us face
  • He looks so much more mature now!
  • Feed froze, but I think he doubled his planned 3A
  • I kind of like this new side to him, very jazzy and masculine
  • Decent second 3A, probably two-footed, but good approach
  • I like that 3-jump combo with the tano variation on both jumps
  • He seems very at home in this style, he seems to be enjoying himself
  • That was decent, no crashes, but he definitely gave away a lot of precious points popping jumps, not hitting 3-3 combos, etc
  • I'm so torn, I liked that, but I really miss his balletic style
  • 61.81 (TES) + 71.86 (PCS) = 133.67
  • 71.81 (SP) + 133.67 (FS) = 205.48
5) Sergei Voronov (RUS)
  Music: Romeo & Juliet
  • I don't get this meshy top for Romeo & Juliet
  • He is doing work on these jumps
  • He is Plushenko-like in that he goes up in the air and the jump looks wild, but he lands it like a cat
  • This step sequence is an utter atrocity
  • I don't understand, in what world do you wear a mesh top and gloves?
  • Wow, this is the program of a lifetime today for him
  • And we had to ruin it with the butt spin
  • Honey, if you want to do a catch foot spin, please straighten the leg
  • 73.59 (TES) + 70.44 (PCS) = 144.03
  • 73.58 (SP) + 144.03 (FS) = 217.61
6) Tatsuki Machida (JPN)
  Music: Firebird
  • This little peanut is trying to put us under his spell like Hanyu did last year
  • He reminds me of a more stylish Oda because he is so cat-like an landing the jumps
  • I love the little footwork flutters
  • And the arm flutter I like as well
  • This is a very stylish program, I'm glad to see that when Daisuke retires, we'll still have plenty of great Japanese men to watch
  • Fall on the quad, but this should still be enough to make the podium
  • 76.66 (TES) + 77.78 (PCS) -1.00 (DED) = 153.44
  • 83.48 (SP) + 153.44 (FS) = 236.92
7) Daisuke Takahashi (JPN)
  Music: I Pagliacci
  • Did we 2-foot that quad Dai?
  • I want so badly to see him come back and win Olympic gold in 2014, just hang in there!
  • He never does a program that's not interesting to watch, he is like Fred Astaire on ice
  • Oh no Dai, why did you have to fall?
  • With his PCS, he can handle one fall since Tatsu also fell
  • I like this program on him, very dramatic
  • His edge work is incredible, he would've been amazing at figures
  • He was kind of on another planet today, seemed like he was out in space
  • 65.30 (TES) + 82.66 (PCS) -1.00 (DED) = 146.96
  • 84.9 (SP) + 146.96 (FS) = 231.75

Cup of China: Ladies Free Skate LIVE BLOG

3Kiira KORPI
5Zijun LI

Pl.  NameNationTSS
1Mao ASADAJPN118.8754.53 64.348.147.757.968.118.250.00#9
2Julia LIPNITSKAIARUS114.8657.43 57.437.217.007.327.257.110.00#10
3Kiira KORPIFIN110.1751.03 59.147.437.047.327.547.640.00#7
4Mirai NAGASUUSA103.7045.89 57.817.396.967.257.327.210.00#8
5Zijun LICHN100.8551.58 51.276.616.216.326.546.362.00#6
6Ying ZHANGCHN87.2746.97 42.305.614.965.365.295.212.00#2
7Joshi HELGESSONSWE84.7638.16 47.606.045.646.
8Sofia BIRYUKOVARUS82.9737.07 45.906.215.505.505.865.610.00#3
9Amelie LACOSTECAN78.0331.06 48.976.466.115.716.256.072.00#5
WDBingwa GENGCHN          #1

1) Ying Zhang (CHN)
  Music: Soul Dance
  • She is loving the blue costumes at this event
  • She needs to straighten those legs and point the feet
  • I knew that jump was going down from the minute it went up
  • 3F-2T very low to the ground
  • This program isn't doing anything for me, she is just going through the motions
  • Nice scorpion position in that spiral, but the standing leg really needs to be straight
  • 46.97 (TES) + 42.30 (PCS) -2.00 (DED) = 87.27
  • 43.38 (SP) + (FS) = 130.65
2) Sofia Biryukova (RUS)
  Music: Turandot
  • She is a beauty!
  • This costume looks Asian to me; funny we don't see that more for Turandot
  • Bad slip, hands down; I'm always surprised when hands down can actually stop a fall on slippery ice
  • 2-foot crossed landings, we aren't starting out well here
  • Very sloppy, I can't even comment on anything because it's so labored and sloppy
  • That spread eagle into 2A was nice, but the eagle could've been on a deeper edge to enhance the drama
  • She was not happy with that, looked like a mental lapse
  • 37.07 (TES) + 45.90 (PCS) = 82.97
  • 44.39 (SP) + 82.97 (FS) = 127.36
3) Joshi Helgesson (SWE)
  Music: Burlesque, Express, Blues in Night
  • That white bodice is not that flattering, a brighter color like magenta or turquoise would've been nice
  • There's absolutely nothing going on here right now
  • She is totally going through the motions, not nearly enough sass
  • Only 1 fall, but a lot of potential underrotations
  • 38.16 (TES) + 47.60 (PCS) -2.00 (DED) = 84.76
  • 49.67 (SP) + 84.76 (FS) = 134.43
4) Amelie Lacoste (CAN)
  Music: Rhapsody in Blue & Concerto in F by Gershwin
  • I love her intensity, how she attacks everything
  • Even if she's technically not sound, she's still exciting to watch
  • Starting out with a fall usually puts her on a downward spiral, let's see how that plays out
  • Of the first 4 jumps, all have had landing issues thus far
  • She cannot land a clean jump to save her life, that's not a technical issue, that's confidence
  • The program is composed beautifully and the choreography is well executed; if she had the jumps she'd be right in the thick of things
  • 31.06 (TES) + 48.97 (PCS) -2.00 (DED)= 78.03
  • 57.43 (SP) + 78.03 (FS) =
5) Zijun Li (CHN)
  Music: Sleeping Beauty
  • She is at the perfect age to skate to this music, it's light and ethereal
  • Jumping bean!
  • Nice 2a-3a combo, 2 footed
  • This is so sprightly, the program is just perfect for her
  • I didn't realize Chengjiang Li was her coach, he was such a great jumper when he competed
  • I also see that Karen Kwan choreographed this piece, it's lovely
  • Her jumps are very small, quick, but small
  • She is losing speed in the middle; as we saw at last year's 4 continents, it seems the Chinese skaters often aren't very well conditioned
  • 51.58 (TES) + 51.27 (PCS) -2.00 (DED) = 100.85
  • 59.21 (SP) + 100.85 (FS) = 160.06
6) Kiira Korpi (FIN)
  Music: Once Upon a Time in America
  • This dress is divine, as all of her dresses always are
  • I love the drama in that opening
  • 3T-3T to open, very strong
  • Feed froze in the middle of the program, missed a good chunk
  • Jumps are starting to unravel, very squirrely landings
  • A couple popped jumps, not want she wants or needs to get on the podium
  • She's left enough of a door open technically that Li will pass her
  • This is a very well composed program, once she builds up her stamina it should be lovely
  • I think we have  clean triples, lots of wonky landings, she'll get there
  • 51.03 (TES) + 59.14 (PCS) = 110.86
  • 59.69 (SP) + 110.86 (FS) = 169.86
7) Mirai Nagasu (USA)
  Music: Symphony No. 3 by Saint-Saens
  • Let's get this one Mirai
  • Nearly into the boards on the first jump
  • Clean 2a, 2-footed the combo
  • Why are all of these jumps so close to the boards
  • Feed froze, missed a good chunk of the middle
  • This dress is lovely on her, I love the neckline/haltar detail
  • I want more intensity in these steps, right now it looks like she's going through the motions
  • Clean 3-2-2 combo, all of these landings are nice too, good flowing edges and straight free legs out of them
  • This has been a great skate for Mirai, she looks really free out there
  • Much more passion on that last step sequence
  • She should be very happy and relieved right there
  • 45.89 (TES) + 57.81 (PCS) = 103.70
  • 59.76 (SP) + 103.70 (FS) = 163.46
8) Mao Asada (JPN)
  Music: Swan Lake
  • I hope we get good Mao today, she has so much speed!
  • That costume is to die for!
  • She looks so delicate out there
  • Gorgeous combination spin, every position is fantastic
  • This is so graceful and lyrical
  • I like the musical selection, she used in interesting arrangement with sections that aren't completely overdone
  • This is going to be phenomenal by Worlds
  • Very strong ending, what a beautifully composed and choreographed program
  • Tarasova choreographed that, I wonder if it is odd working with your old coach as choreographer
  • 54.53 (TES) + 64.34 (PCS) = 118.87
  • 62.89 (SP) + 118.87 (FS) = 181.76
9) Julia Lipnitskaia (RUS)
  Music: Nutcracker
  • Leaning very far over on landings of first combo
  • Fall out of 2nd combo, one more little mistake like that and she'll give it away to Mao, she needs all the TES she can get
  • There is no attempt at expression, she's just ticking the elements off the list
  • I like this step sequence a lot, it's well placed in the music
  • Best I-spin since Sasha Cohen
  • She has a lot there to work with in that program; just let it develop
  • 57.43 (TES) + 57.43 (PCS) = 114.86
  • 63.06 (SP) + 114.86 (FS) = 177.92

Friday, November 2, 2012

Cup of China: Free Dance LIVE BLOG

1Nathalie PECHALAT / Fabian BOURZAT
2Ekaterina BOBROVA / Dmitri SOLOVIEV
3Kaitlyn WEAVER / Andrew POJE
4Madison CHOCK / Evan BATES
5Charlene GUIGNARD / Marco FABBRI
7Xintong HUANG / Xun ZHENG
8Xiaoyang YU / Chen WANG

Pl.  NameNationTSS
1Nathalie PECHALAT / Fabian BOURZATFRA100.5848.83 52.758.718.588.888.929.041.00#8
2Ekaterina BOBROVA / Dmitri SOLOVIEVRUS95.1444.50 50.648.338.138.588.718.710.00#6
3Kaitlyn WEAVER / Andrew POJECAN93.3844.25
4Madison CHOCK / Evan BATESUSA90.2845.92 44.367.257.177.547.587.630.00#5
5Victoria SINITSINA / Ruslan ZHIGANSHINRUS82.3741.45 40.926.756.586.927.007.040.00#3
6Charlene GUIGNARD / Marco FABBRIITA82.0142.42 40.596.756.586.836.926.881.00#4
7Xintong HUANG / Xun ZHENGCHN74.2536.89 37.366.216.086.426.336.210.00#2
8Xiaoyang YU / Chen WANGCHN63.4531.00 32.455.425.215.465.715.380.00#1

1) Xiaoyang Yu & Chen Wang (CHN)
  Music: The House of Dancing Water
  • This is definitely last year's program or I'm losing my mind
  • They love this fairtytale theme for sure
  • They both have wonderfully expressing upper bodies
  • I feel like this piece of music pretty much stays in one place all along; it doesn't develop a lot
  • That change of position lift was lovely
  • It is hard for them to hit an ugly position
  • I want to see more in the way of expression to add drama to the piece, it's very emotionally flat
  • 31.00 (TES) + 32.45 (PCS) = 61.45
  • 42.97 (SD) + 61.45 (FD) = 106.42
2) Xintong Huang & Xun Zheng (CHN)
  Music: LOVE, At Last, Crazy Love
  • I love these costumes
  • I like the flow over the ice in this opening sequence, the twizzles fit very will with LOVE
  • Great ice coverage on that rotational lift
  • This is a very well composed program, the best I've seen from them
  • I see Krylova & Camerlengo choreographed this program, that shows
  • I basically love everything so far that I've seen in this program, it's very sophisticated
  • That was the best I've ever seen from them; the upgrade at choreographer made such a huge difference
  • 36.89 (TES) + 37.36 (PCS) = 74.25
  • 46.76 (SD) + 74.25 (FD) = 121.01
3) Victoria Sinitsina & Ruslan Zhiganshin (RUS)
  Music: Splagge Iontane
  • Very good speed at the beginning, they are definitely comfortable with one another
  • They have a good blend of artistry and athleticism
  • They hold onto the speed throughout the program
  • I am not getting a through line in this program, I want something to carry the drama across the program for me
  • This has been a very solid senior debut for them, very nice 
  • 41.43 (TES) + 40.92 (PCS) = 82.37
  • 55.09 (SD) + 82.37 (FD) = 137.26
4) Charlene Guignard & Marco Fabbri (ITA)
  Music: Four Seasons
  • Her dress is divine
  • This choreography is ver postmodern; interesting when set to such a classical piece
  • That straight line lift was gorgeous
  • I wish I'd chosen them for my fantast team, this piece is gorgeous
  • Great ice coverage, I could tell that form the overhead shot
  • I love pretty much everything about this program
  • They are maintaining their speed throughout the program, yet it hasn't gotten frantic
  • 42.42 (TES) + 40.59 (PCS) = 82.01
  • 55.57 (SD) + 82.01 (FD) = 137.58
5) Madison Chock & Evan Bates (USA)
  Music: Dr. Zhivago
  • I'm so excited to see this piece, it was phenomenal at Nebelhorn
  • Normally white costumes look too much but these hav enough contrast that they stand out, especially with her dark hair
  • This suits them so well, much better than that elevator music last season
  • I feel like I'm in  winter dream when I watch this program
  • Igor has really taken advantage if the height difference to design some stunning lifts
  • I love that little transitional move in the dance spin, just a little abrupt in the position change today
  • Her positions on the curve lifts are great; she looks so elated to be doing this dance 
  • For all the hype that this dane has received, it does not disappoint
  • Very nice job, they should be so happy with that
  • 43.93 (TES) + 44.36 (PCS) = 90.28
  • 59.26 (SD) + 90.28 (FD) = 149.54
6) Ekaterina Bobrova & Dmitri Soloviev (RUS)
  Music: Man with a Harmonica & Tosca
  • They get so deep in the knees that they almost look hunched over; there's a fine line
  • The beginning of this program is very subtle, that's a new look for them
  • These costumes aren't doing much for me, they are drab
  • Her hair is very 1990s ice dance for me
  • I am at a loss for words really with this program, I just really can't put my finger on how I feel about it
  • 44.50 (TES) + 50.64 (PCS) = 95.14
  • 64.32 (SD) + 95.14 (FD) = 159.46
7) Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje (CAN)
  Music: Humanity in Motion
  • This piece is so unlike anything else I've ever seen in ice dance
  • I would love to know the process of how they took this from a modern dancer and put it onto the ice
  • Their upper bodies are so expressive, this is divine
  • Slight unison issue on the 1st twizzle set; never got them perfectly back together
  • This program is so aesthetically pleasing
  • The music builds and the story follows it, his looks like a world medalist program to me, I hope it happens for them this year
  • 44.25 (TES) + 49.13 (PCS) = 93.38
  • 65.59 (SD) + 93.38 (FD) = 158.97
8) Nathalie Pechalat & Fabian Bourzat (FRA)
  Music: Rolling Stones Medley
  • This reminds me of something Lobcheva & Averbukh would've done circa the late 90s
  • I'm glad they went for the hippie theme and not an all-black, punky theme
  • That curve lift was so cool, very innovative
  • The straight line lift too, I love that they hit the positions quickly and then ride them out; their lifts don't take an hour to develop
  • I thought this program would be really tacky, but I actually like it a lot
  • That was a very abrupt ending, it was like the music just cut off
  • 48.83 (TES) + 52.75 (PCS) -1.00 (DED) = 100.58
  • 69.15 (SD) + 100.58 (FD) = 169.73

Cup of China: Men's Short Program LIVE BLOG

1) Yi Wang (CHN)
  Music: Peer Gynt Suite
  • My feed started a little late
  • He looks a little reckless, flailing a lot
  • I don't think he's conditioned enough to keep up with the music
  • Very good effort though in trying to keep up with the music
  • That was a pretty rough program, not going to even lie at all
  • 29.40 (TES) + 28.85 (PCS) -1.00 (DED) = 57.25
2) Sergei Voronov (RUS)
  Music: Yablochko
  • These Russian guys are all over the place, this should be interesting
  • This music is much more intense and heavy than I though; I was expecting something whimsical
  • Ooo we have our first Quad combo!
  • 3a wild in the air, but catlike on the landing
  • This music in the footwork section is wild and his movements match...but not in a good way I'm afraid
  • Very bent leg on that last spin, don't do the catch foot if you can't straighten the knee 
  • 39.44 (TES) + 34.14 (PCS) = 73.58
3) Jinlin Guan (CHN)
  Music: Danse Macabre
  • I already like how theatrical this is from the start
  • I love his asymmetrical hair cut already
  • Unfortunate fall right away, I was getting interested in this program
  • Big time 3A, he really uses the music well
  • I like the choreography and composition of the program
  • He has some nice qualities to his skating, but the jumps aren't happening today for him
  • He seems to be concentrating really hard, he needs to let himself go
  • Some of these movements are very Weir-esque
  • 25.86 (TES) + 31.11 (PCS) -1.00 (DED) = 55.97
4) Nan Song (CHN)
  Music: The Middle East Side
  • I like this choice of music for him, very nuanced
  • Unfortunate fall from such a skilled jumper
  • Huge 3A to recover, very tight rotation
  • His spins have improved, still on the wild side, but better
  • He's losing me in the footwork, I liked the music at the beginning, but now it's not holding my interest
  • 39.53 (TES) + 32.22 (PCS) -1.00 (DED) = 70.86
5) Kevin Reynolds (CAN)
  Music: Chambermaid Swing
  • He fell hard on that opening jump
  • For somebody so skilled at landing Quads, he's struggled a lot the last 2 seasons
  • Very wobbly 3A
  • I still don't like this choreography, even after a 2nd year
  • Advertisements came up in the middle of my feed, so I missed the 2nd half 
  • 36.48 (TES) + 34.39 (PCS) -1.00 (DED) = 68.87
6) Brian Joubert (FRA)
  Music: Genesis & Aerodynamic
  • Yay, please do great!
  • He looks stunning in that all black number with the sheer and metallic accents
  • He makes it look so easy, he's been doing this for so long
  • I love this program, it's classic Brian
  • The speed and smoothness is wonderful
  • He reminds me so much of Yagudin, even more so now that he's older
  • This program has too many throw away moments for IJS, but the step sequence is thrilling 
  • 27.20 (TES) + 36.07 (PCS) = 63.27
7) Adam Rippon (USA)
  Music: Nessun Dorma
  • Yay Adam, please be awesome!
  • This costume is very simple, let's see if it works
  • That is a very Todd Eldredge opening pose
  • I love that we start with that beautiful laid out camel
  • I see we borrowed the Denney/Coughlin Nessun Dorma remix
  • Oh man, rough splayed out fall on the 3A, and it looked so solid going up!
  • Very tight combo, good air positions
  • He excels at the in-between moments
  • His strength is in putting a full, complete program out there for us
  • Very hard lean on the landing of the Rippon lutz, but he held it up
  • This version works for him because he keeps it simple so it doesn't go to the Punk Rock Prom Queen place that Caydee Denney took it too
  • Regardless of that fall on the 3A this should still score well due to the program composition, steps, and spins
  • Not sure I love that ending, it was a little abrupt and could stand to be smoothed out
  •  (TES) + (PCS) =
8) Tatsuki Machida (JPN)
  Music: F. U. Y. A.
  •  (TES) + (PCS) =
9) Daisuke Takahashi (JPN)
  Music: Rock n' Roll Medley
  •  (TES) + (PCS) =