Monday, November 16, 2009

Notes From The Drawing Board (Skate America 2009 Recap)

Did you notice I didn’t make any Magic 8-Ball predictions for Skate America?

It occurred to me sometime after I posted my guesses that I’d the big black plastic orb behind… but then I had the nerve to think Hey, I’ve been doing pretty good this year… who needs help from a childhood toy, anyway?

But looking at this week’s results… a paltry 5 for12 (guessed winners in all disciplines and Rachael Flatt for silver), it would appear I dismissed it too soon.

(Do you agree, 8-Ball? It is certain, it says… wiseguy.)

Anyway—if you watched any of the men’s SP coverage on Universal Sports Friday night, you may have heard Sandra Bezic make frequent use of the phrase “back to the drawing board”… in honor of all the competitors who either left their best jumps in the warm-up, on the practice ice, or never brought them in the first place. So that got me thinking… what might that illustrious “drawing board” really have on it—at least as far as Skate America developments go?

+ Lysacek’s Firebird costume. I know Vera Wang designed it, and she’s awesome… but all the black and all the feathers and all his pre-existing wingspan don’t equal a firebird. They equal a freaking CONDOR. (See above illustration) Caw-CAW!

+ Dan Zhang’s oomph. Must she suffer through Sing Sing Sing for her pairs SP if she’s not feeling it? Must we? Maybe we can sneak her some vitamin B12 next time…

+ The fine line between Adrian Schultheiss’ creativity and sensibility. I could go with the Swede’s free skate including Insane in the Brain as well as the theme from House M.D. (a.k.a. Teardrop by Massive Attack)… but to throw in a few lines from what sounded very much like… a PAC MAN game? Ya lost me.


+ My own sensibility… considering Susanna Poykio a dark horse for bronze? She finished second to last, for crying out loud. Nice going, Kelli.

+ A picture of “Canadian Quad King” Clay Aiken—who knew? (Whoops, guess I was looking at Kevin Reynolds…)

+ Navarro and Bommentre’s free dance music choice. Don’t get me wrong; I like U2 and “One” as much as anyone. I just don’t know that a mid-tempo rock piece is going to do much for them, especially internationally. Do any of my dance experts have an opinion on this?

+ Ryan Bradley’s “For Sale” sign for his program. Now this was what I expected at his last event and never got… an Amadeus free skate that he could really sell to the audience.

+ Duhamel/Buntin’s luck. First they had to contend with a badly cut hand at last year’s Trophee Eric Bompard… but at least that time they were able to finish. This time Meagan Duhamel fell on a throw triple salchow and banged her head in the process, forcing a withdrawal. Daaaang. Oh, Canada indeed!

+ Florent Amodio’s anonymity. After re-watching his short program (today’s Clip of the Day) , I’m not certain if I liked as much about his skating as I thought, or if he simply stood out because he was relatively error-free. But I AM certain that I will no longer confuse Amodio with Samuel Contesti. (what?? Yeah, don’t ask.)

+ Elena Glebova’s last name. I doubt she’d be delighted to know this, but when my kids first heard her name read on TV, they thought it was “Elena Bla-bla-bla.” Unfortunately that one’s bound to stick with me for a while.

And of course, the most notable thing left on that drawing board was Yu-Na Kim’s stunning consistency. On the one hand, I felt bad that NBC was hyping her to the nth degree only to see her fizzle for the first time in ages… but on the other hand, they showed a seemingly perfect athlete from overseas falter while an American girl (Flatt) put down her best skate of the season to date—not winning overall, but certainly making a statement with her free skate victory. How lucky could NBC get… after all the negative press about the USA’s lack of a current female skating star, they get to show on live TV how our ladies can still make it a ball game come Vancouver time!

Of course, we don’t even know if Flatt will make the Olympic team yet, but I’m just saying…


Aaron said...

Your notes on Evan Lysacek's costunme...I laughed explosively for several minutes!

jumping clapping man said...

LOVE bradley's amadeus program...pure genius, and what a study in comparisons to see it next to Sawyer's amadeus program. that is the breadth of skating and styles...and i wouldn't want to give either up.

nav/bomm's "one" program" will surely be divisive. i LOVE them, and respect their choice. HOWEVER, i actually feel that because the music is SO dynamic and a "live" recording that it makes their skating feel LESS dynamic and fast. there is just no way to deliver on the level of mary blige and sting...that being said, i hope they do very well, and make the olympic team (although unlikely).

amodio's passion and attention to detail (in his SP) were VERY real...that was not just in contrast. how many men show that kind of commitment to a program? only about 1/10 of the current batch do! it was virile, sexy, tender, etc.

i happen to favor evan's condor get-up! i am so pleased he embraced something more artistic and feels a bit like a tasteful superhero costume to me, which is totally appropriate.

the aiken/reynolds comparison is HILARIOUS, and spot on. kevin won't get by with his looks...but his skating, when it evolves further could be a stunner.

Anonymous said...

Evan already said that he was getting new costumes on his Facebook. He did an interview with last week where he talked about it.

Kelli Lawrence said...

Aha... wonder if Evan will have new costumes in time for the GP Final? Seems like a better place to break in new stuff than, say, Nationals...