SO much to talk about! And yet before I forget:
RATINGS UPDATE: The Sunday episode of Thin Ice actually did a little better than Friday’s show: 4.3 million viewers, 2.9 rating/5 share… but Sunday is traditionally the most watched night of TV all week, so this looked kind of weak compared to other offerings.
And to really put it in perspective, consider these numbers pulled down by the season premiere of Dancing with the Stars (featuring U-NO-WHO): 24 million viewers, 15 rating/22.5 share… anywhere from 4 to 5 times as many viewers for a show like that.
Meanwhile, over at Universal Sports, there was a whole lotta competing going on.
MEN’S SP HIGHLIGHTS (and lowlights):
Artem Borodulin (RUS) automatically gets the “worst luck ever” award when he has to stop his program, then withdraw completely because his blade broke. Damn… what are the odds? Hope he hasn’t affiliated himself with a particular brand back in Russia...
Adrian Schultheiss (SWE) consequently has to get out there a little early, but was given enough time to adjust… 3lz/3toe yes… 3 ax yes! I’m still in shock about this music… so different from his free skate (which includes “Insane in the Brain” and a straitjacket!). Last triple good! Ooh, and a knee slide end coming out of his flying spin at the end! Wow! After the free skate he gave at the Olympics I’d love to see him make top 10 here. Glad the broken blade thing didn’t throw him off his game; maybe it did him some good? He gets a 72.35… Season high! Good boy! (I sound like Dick Button) IN 12th.
Ryan Bradley (USA) is next… I didn’t put him as a medalist, dark horse or anything, if only because he’s got a broken bone in his foot… but here in the SP he falls on his quad, then doubles his triple axel. Last triple looked OK but…this won’t get out of the 60s, will it? That’s my guess. Let’s see… season high on this for him is 66.22, so…56.10. OUCH. IN 21st.
Skip through several guys to… Jeremy or JeremEEE? (Abbott, of USA) Let’s see if he can get it back. 3 flip/3toe good…3ax YES, a tiny bit scratchy…3lutz YES… he’s back!!! I saw a smile as he did that cool part of his FW where he’s kind of hopping modern-dance style in front of the judges!! Crowd LOVES this piece… they were cheering as soon as the music started, really. Oh so happy. High 70s maybe? Not sure it’ll go 80’s with the axel; it might get dinged a little… oh, 81.05! Jeremy so funny in K& C; smiles, shrugs, says OK… IN 6th.
Sergei Voronov (RUS)—saw a quad/double w/hand down…But then whoa! The Universal online feed cut to black and we hear what sounds like Peter Carruthers talking to people as if they are getting ready for a show… yep, it’s Carruthers, and the “people” are Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski. (These three contributed to the action all day in the “Universal loft”.) When do we see more skaters? Hmm… Voronov had 73.42. IN 11th.
OK, they’ve moved on at Universal; now we’ve got Takahiko Kozuka (JPN) getting all his jumps clean and an awesome death drop… Paul Wylie and Andrea Joyce are on the VO commentary. Ooh that was great…but dammit, Italian world video feed, how dare you get off of him too early to show his coach! That’s unacceptable.
Kozuka may have bested Jeremy with that… yep, 84.20. If I was guessing, I’d say he got better points on the axel and the spins… Jeremy’s were great, but Kozuka’s were outstanding. IN 4th.
Nobunari Oda (JPN)—Ooh, he popped the triple axel. And now popped his lutz too. You knew it would happen as soon as I called him for bronze, huh? Oh my God… a THIRD pop… yep, Paul just said he won’t make the cut with this… good Lord, what is it with this guy?? Maybe he should only skate half the season. Even his footwork was rough. This is even worse than when Lu Chen’s lovely “Take Five” program blew up at ’97 Worlds. Wow. What do you say…A 50.25! That was generous. I know it was all in PCS numbers but… doesn’t matter; he’s already in 20th. Buh-BYE. You mean we won’t even SEE his Chaplin??? Well yes… yes, that’s exactly what I mean. I need to stop trying to predict stuff. (NOTE: He ended the day in 28th; his TES (tech element score), as 16.90, was the second lowest of the entire field of 46 skaters. Give me a week or two back on the ice, and I could jump at least as well as that).
Patrick Chan (CAN) is back to form. Nice 3axel… nice 3/3… 3 lutz good… yep, he’s looking fierce. Brilliant stuff. He’ll make top 3 in this part of it for sure. 87.80. IN 2nd.
And then, Daisuke Takahashi (JPN) is up… and he’s so dang good I forgot to take notes :-)… but everything was clean, snazzy, spectacular. Take my word. 89.30. IN 1st.
Up next is Samuel Contesti (ITA); ooh, forgot he’s the “local” favorite (I use quotes because he’s actually French). 3/3 is OK but slow… 3axel okay… 3flip was “tight” according to Wylie… he did it in “winning ugly” style, but at least he did it. 78.40. IN 8th.
Oh boy, here comes Brian Joubert (FRA). Which one showed up today? Let’s see… 4/3 toe—got it! 3 axel—done! 3lutz brings a fist pump from the now humbled Joubert. I was over this SP of his a long time ago, but I’m glad he pulled it out. 87.70… IN 3rd, and I can hear the “value of a quad” debates from here!
Kevin Van derPerren (BEL)—Andrea Joyce gets off my favorite comment yet about the Bones getup: “…Van der Perren in a costume that seemed a good idea... back in October…” HA!He pulls off a 4t/3toe! No kidding! But then falls on his 3axel. 3flip is OK but as usual, his spins and footwork are very pedestrian. 73.55; IN 10th.
Michal Brezina (CZE) is squeaky clean throughout with great speed and run-out on his jumps; I suspect this could be in the point range of JeremEEE’s… yup, 81.75. IN 5th.
Adam Rippon (USA)’s here. Walley into 3 flip/3toe nice…and the axel? Eh, double-threes out. Better than a fall anyway. “Rippon Lutz” w/ arms up beeeauty and no boards crash this time. 80.11!!!!! Unexpectedly good and grand. IN 7th.
Denis Ten (KAZ)… all jumping passes are clean; oh boy; I suspect this will be his best turn all season with this program. I’m pretty impressed how many of these guys saved the best (or near best) for last, at least w/regards to the SP. Could sneak into the top 6 with that…? Nope, 77.40 and IN 10th… at age 16. Crazy.
Oh, and we’re back to hearing open mics on Carruthers & Co. online. “Where’s Abbott?” he asks while they’re in black…Sorry; it’s probably not as amusing to y’all but one of the little perks of working in TV production is sitting in a control room waiting to roll tape, and the mics are open in the studio, and you can sometimes hear all KINDS of things you never expected…
Peter, Tara and Johnny chew the fat for a while… analyze Ryan and Jeremy… talk about Worlds vs. Olympics… then they had 10 minutes to fill so we did a “director’s cut” on Johnny’s Olympic FS. He certainly sounds like someone who is talking about competing in the past tense… until we’ve got the whole “unfinished business” bit he talks about at the very end… whatever.
I know the Pairs FS was today as well, but my notes are unfinished… will post them as early as I can in the morning!