Friday, October 18, 2013

2013 Skate America: Men's Short Program Recap

I'm happy to admit when I'm wrong, but I thought Tatsuki Machida (JPN) was a fluke last season, but I just look stupid now. His East of Eden short, while on my list of banned music, was exactly what you want in a short program. It was clean. In this field, a clean program won the day. That Quad Toe/Triple Toe didn't hurt either. He didn't blow me away with the performance, but he was calm, calculated, and strong. He leads after the short. Short Program Total: 91.18

The biggest surprise thus far is Jason Brown (USA) in 2nd. We knew he was good, but it's never wise to expect such a strong Senior GP debut and Jason blew us away. He is an artist and channeling Prince could be risky, but he made it work. We wish him luck in the long and hope he maintains his hold on that podium spot. Short Program Total: 83.78

How great was it to see Adam Rippon (USA) looking like himself. Perhaps the last in a long string of coaching changes finally did the trick. The Quad Lutz happened-it wasn't perfect-but it happened and that's a start to a good season that for his sake, we hope ends with a trip to Sochi. He laid the ground work for that tonight.Short Program Total: 80.26

Takahiko Kozuka (JPN) also made a nice statement after a rough 2012-2013 season. We are loving his jazzy side. Nothing about it was phenomenal, but it was a nice building block for an Olympic season. It's good to see him stay on his feet. Short Program Total: 77.75

Daisuke Takahashi (JPN), sad as it is to say, looks old. His body is failing him and those jumps just aren't happening. He makes a great case for solo ice dance because he moves on the ice better than anyone I've ever seen. One of his hip circles is worth all of Patrick Chan's PCS for the season. We hope his artistry can boost his overall total in the free. Short Program Total: 77.09

Max Aaron (USA) was certainly a disappointment for the home crowd that had such high hopes. His style has improved, but he is known as a technician and when you can't land your bread and butter jump, what is left? He best figure it out quickly or US Figure Skating will think of him as yesterday's news. Short Program Total: 75.91

Alexander Majorov (SWE) is very vanilla to me. There isn't much that stands out to me about him: no crazy hair, no garish costumes, no ugly gloves, no obvious gay vibe, nothing unique. He is just kind of there. He's a nice skater, but he needs to develop an identity if he wants to stand out. Short Program Total: 74.97

Artur Gachinski (RUS) is probably one more botched Quad away from oblivion. Mishin can't have that much more tolerance for somebody who can't land jumps. If you can't jump, Lord knows you can't move in a way that doesn't look like a shopping cart, what can you do to earn points? The answer is...not much. Short Program Total: 37.24

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