Saturday, March 27, 2010

Final Day, Final Flight, Final "Free Skate". And it Showed.

All that's left are the ladies, so let's get to it (in order of appearance today)

Suzuki (in 20th): 3Flip/2toe/2loop good… 3 toe to 2ax good…3lutz good…3 flip in slow part popped…3lutz double 3’s out… 3loop to 2ax good… then 3salchow good too…looks pretty happy during her awesome straightline sequence; is she in character or happy for real because she’ll pull way up after this?? Great comeback; too bad it was so early it missed the Universal telecast. 111.68/160.04… FINISHED 11th

Hecken (in 13th): 3Toe/3toe good (seems to be the hot triple combo now; remember when it was rare?)… 3lutz big fall… 3salchow good… 2axel good… 3 salchow/2 toe good…2ax/2toe/2toe good… then another 2axel… when will the ISU decide to start limiting those, I wonder? Footwork, combo spin, done. She’s not as delighted as I’ve seen her in the past, but I think this was just fine for her. 98.74, a new SB/151.94 Total. FINISHED 12th.

Leonova (in 14th): 3flip/3toe fell on 2nd one…3 lutz double 3’s out/hands down… 3 loop ok…3 loop looked maybe 2-footed… 3 flip OK to 2axel…footwork feels pretty deliberate today… 3 sal/2toe/2loop w/hand up ok; slow going out…3 flip might have been 2 footed as well…another exhausted one, but at least she held that closing pose this time.
98.50/152.86 Total. FINISHED 13th.

Mrs. VanDerPerren (aka Jenna McCorkell, in 15th): 2axel good…3lutz good… 3flip/2toe good…long break before 2ax/2toe/2toe…3flip nice…3toe was 2’d…2ax OK but not as good as earlier… fatigue? But she finishes out the rest of the program well.
98.78, SB/150.90 Total. FINISHED 14th.

Ando (in 11th): 3 lutz/2loop (was she at least considering the triple loop this time?)… 3salchow to 2axel good… 3loop OK… 3lutz… then 3salchow, but where are combos?…3toe … 2ax/2loop/2loop (last one was downgraded)…it was clean but I think she dumbed it down a lot by taking out all but one combo (and one w/a 2ax sequence; I never feel right calling that a combo…) 122.04/177.82… she was only 2 points off her season’s best, so maybe the combo-lite skate was a good strategy. 122.04/177.82 Total. FINISHED 4th.

(Note on Ando: only a level 2 on her straight line steps, and her flying spin was also a level 2. That couldn’t have helped either.)

Kim (in 7th): 3lutz/3toe great…3flip great…2axel/2toe/2loop good… spirals OK today… spreadeagle to 2ax/3toe…3sal FALL…3lutz fine…Tara thinks the sparkle is missing… and then a 2axel at the end became a waltz jump? Not even a pop? Ai-yi-yi. (no credit for that, by the way)130.49/190.79 Total. WON SILVER.

Helgesson (in 9th) : 3flip/2toe/2loop good…2toe??... 3loop/2toe… she skates counterclockwise…3toe?... 3loop… Tara thinks she’s kinda slow…spirals…2 2axels in sequence…3salchow saved… flying sit… footwork… combo spin… wow, pretty good all things considered! No lutz and only one flip, but it was clean. I won’t even fault her for skating to a Whitney Houston song… but if she moves on to “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” next year, I’m abandoning her :-) 105.47/161.79 Total. FINISHED 10th.

Phaneuf (in 8th): 3 toe to 2ax good…3 lutz nice!...3loop/2toe… 3loop good…3salchow good… 2axel good… 3toe/2toe/2loop… wow! I don’t think I’ve ever seen her skate that cleanly. She’s ditched the 3flip and only had the one lutz; those are the only things that’ll hold back her tech score… 118.04/177.54 and the big news is that she’ll be no lower than 10th, which qualifies 2 ladies for Canada at Worlds 2011. Nice. FINISHED 5th!

(Note: Phaneuf also had spins and footwork at a level 2).

Sebestyen (in 10th): 2ax good…3lutz doubled…3flip popped—weird, she doesn’t do this often. 3salchow OK…3lutz good…2 2axels in sequence good… 2toe/2toe I think to close it out. Gee, did she only do 2 triples? 91.56/147.66 Total. FINISHED 15th.

Chatter during the resurfacing. Johnny’s got a swiss cheese thing going with the sleeves on his sweater. Peter drops a Brian Orser impression (telling Yu-Na “Well… you got it done” as she got off the ice) that I find hilarious because I’ve thought Brian sounded just like Pokey the Horse (from the Gumby shows of the ‘50s/’60s) for YEARS, and Peter pretty much nailed it. Apparently no one else in “the loft” thought so.

Peter tosses to break… he needs to lay off the “we’re just chillaxing” vibe… we get it. If you have to keep telling us how relaxed everyone is, I don’t believe it anymore.

Peter asks about the sleeves when they come back from break. Apparently they are in honor of the ladies… Johnny addresses the “have to be pro-American” flack that apparently dusted up yesterday… I missed most of it (had the sound turned down on their chatter parts yesterday because I’m on deadline with other non-skating work), so whatever.

Warm-up group is up…they talk about the pressure on Nagasu, and I’m reminded of when she was in 1st after the short at a GP event, and then dropped out of the medals…

Kostner’s up first (in 4th). Is this a new dress since Vancouver? Not sure. 3flip/3toe nicely done…3loop fell out…2axel ok…3flip 2-footed we think… 3toe/2toe squirrely (and downgraded)… 2axel/2toe/2toe… 3salchow low landing…Tara hints some of these might be underrated… scores should be interesting; only the first combo contained stellar triples, and I just noticed she’s ditched the lutz. Amazing to me how skaters can just toss out the jumps they don’t do well anymore, rather than fight to improve them because they HAVE to.

115.11 is her new SB/177.31 total; she’s already in 4th and the crowd goes nuts in the wrong way cuz of course she’s already off the podium. They should be pleased though… infinitely better than last year. Maybe she can start a new chapter now. FINISHED 6th.

They spoke briefly to Kim coming back… in short, she sounds like she just wants to get out of here and go home. Yeah, no doubt kiddo.

Asada (in 2nd): 3axel good…3axel/2toe… 3flip/2loop… 3loop good… (my daughter was just in here; says her music is “scary”… I’m with her!)… 3flip/2loop/2loop… 3toe (missed in Vancouver) good…2axel OK… death drop… if her triple axels are good; even if one of them is, then she’s got it I think. 129.50/197.58 Total; she’s above Kim… we’ll see about the rest. (2nd triple axel was downgraded) WON GOLD.

Flatt (in 6th): 2axel good… 3flip/2toe, no triple (leg looked wide again like in SP)… 3lutz good… Tara doesn’t think SHE looks like herself either. Lots of strangers wandering around the ice it seems. 3loop good…2nd 3lutz popped... 3toe?/2toe/2loop… 3sal/2toe good… 106.56/167.44 Total. No soup for her. FINISHED 9th.

Lepisto (in 3rd): 3toe/3toe good…3lutz good (looked underrated but no one called it as such in protocols)…3loop is 2loop/2toe…2axel good… another 3loop becomes a double…2axel good…3sal is 2sal/2toe/2toe…any more triples please? Only 3 sofar…Oookay, guess not. Decent start, ran out of steam; we’ll see if her PCS marks keep her in the medal hunt or not. 114.32/178.62 Total.

WON BRONZE. Yeah, I know.

Nagasu looked kind of worried at the boards w/Frank Carroll… hmmm. (in 1st)
3lutz steps out, no combo. Uh-oh. 2ax/3toe nice…3flip nice…killer layback spin after a while…3lutz and her feet are all twisted up coming down, hops around… 2toe anyway… 3 loop to 2ax good… spreadeagle to 2ax and she was way off axis, FALL… 3toe OK. Aww… not sure if she can stay on the podium with this. Love Carroll: she apologizes and he says “It’s fine; you’re not dead…”105.08/175.48 Total; drops to 7th. Wow. We won’t get that 3rd spot after all. Sigh. That’s rough.... especially since they HAD it, right there...

Makarova (in 5th): 3toe/3toe good…3flip good; a little wide…2axel OK… 3loop good…2axel good… nice layback position…little rough on spirals…3salchow/2loop/2toe…3salchow fall… but pretty decent debut. Could she hop up to medal with that? 107.58/169.64 Total. FINISHED 8th.

OK, well, sub-par tired skating is over.
1) Asada. Good girl. You earned it.
2) Kim. Nice comeback and the rivalry is (sort of) back on. Now go take a nap.
3) Lepisto. There, is everybody happy now?
4) Ando. Ok except for you Miki. She’s not happy. 4th and 5th placements at these events kind of blows.You’ve a right to be bummed, even if you brought it on yourself.
5) Phaneuf!!! Best surprise of the night. I wish you could have medaled with that.
6) Kostner. All things considered, this is a miracle but hard-fought & won.
7) Nagasu. Sigh. Back to school you go.
8) Makarova. Really decent debut; I’ll look for you on the circuit next year.
9) Flatt. Yep. You too, kiddo. Hit the books. And by that I don’t mean THE BOOKS.
10) Helgesson. Who?? I’m just kidding. Imagine being the first one from your country to crack the Worlds Top 10 in over 50 FREAKING YEARS. That’s amazing.

Still promise to get back to the free dance from Friday… that’ll be tomorrow, probably.

The off season for Olympic-eligible figure skaters has officially begun for ALL of them. The off season for skating bloggers is non-existent! Thanks for reading, and keep coming back… we always find something to talk about here.

P.S. I’ll probably have plenty to say about the Loft Chatter (from Carruthers and friends)… trouble is I haven’t watched much of it yet. If you have favorite exchanges for which I should keep my ears perked, let’s hear ‘em!

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