Thursday, 1 November 2012

To score or not to score?

Ok so recently I've been toying with the idea of doing my own scoring of the next few events for those who may be interested. So basically I'd do the technical calls on all the elements and then assign the GOE and PCS and come up with the score I thought would be appropriate. I would still do my usual commentary on each skater but also with my own scores on them, and an explanation on why my score differed from the judges if it does. Now I don't know whether this seems like a little bit too much or not to post on one article, so I'm going to leave the decision up to you on whether I should do it or not. Please vote in the poll to decide.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

2012 Skate America Ladies

So the Grand-Prix kicked off with a pretty decent event, with a few great surprises and some not so nice but somewhat foreseeable results.

1. Ashley Wagner(USA) 60.61+127.76=188.37

Yay for Ashley being the only prediction I got right! Still I thought her short program to "The Red Violin" was very nice with good drawn out movement and transitions throughout. I also loved the fire through the step sequence. She was given some lucky breaks, for example her triple loop in the short and the triple loop-double axel sequence in the long received some questionable G.O.E. I'm still not a fan of her long but it works and has potential. Overall she's put herself in a good position for the GPF and has kept her confidence from last year. Things are finally looking up for Ashley. 

Sunday, 7 October 2012

The Swan Queen is reborn

Mao Asada looking as ethereal as ever. 

So I will be writing a post about the Japan Open, but I felt so much irrational, spine tingling joy at watching this that I decided it was worthy of it's own post. This competition sent one very important message that should have every skater fleeing to their national level competitions (unless you're Japanese, in which case nowhere is safe) and that message is; Mao Asada is back. This time it looks like nothing is there to stop her, she has had time to get at least partly to grips with the tragic death of her mother and her jumping technique is looking better then ever. She also seems to have forgotten about the triple axel which is a good move on her part, due to large amount of time she spent on it that would have been better spent on other elements. This Swan Lake program mustn't have come as a surprise to anyone, Mao is an incredibly light, delicate and balletic skater and this reflects it beautifully. One thing I truly appreciate about how it's done is it does not use the traditional cuts of the music and not in the traditional order. It also displays how she has put the joy back into her skating, and it is radiating off her towards the end. It does need work in parts that seem rather sparse, but overall it has the Mao Asada stamp of reserved yet powerful artistry coupled with some jumps and spins that wouldn't put Midori Ito and Lucinda Ruh to shame. Now for my thoughts on the program as it goes along.

Mao started off with possibly the most exquisite triple loop I have ever seen, a adjective usually reserved for Sasha Cohen. She then followed with a double axel with a slightly shaky landing so she settled on the double toe, which was then followed by some trademark Mao Asada movements. Then there are some nice transitions into an absolutely effortless triple flip, at this point I was sure she had the gold in the bag considering how steady she looked. Next a triple lutz which receives both an edge and rotation call but she landed it nicely and it looks like it won't be giving her the problems it did last year. Then a combination spin placed very well so as each change of position matches a dramatic beat of the music, which works much better then the traditional stop and pose tactic used for this section. A spread eagle is used to highlight the black swan pas de deux, She's looking worthy of any kind of swan imagery one could conjure up at this point and lands a gorgeous salchow, once again showing the improvement in her jumping technique and her newfound confidence in it. The salchow precedes a nice triple loop-double loop combination and a second combination which although invalid (this cost her the gold) was of incredible quality. Then there was a ragged looking triple flip-double loop-double loop combination which was undoubtably going to get some rotation calls, a valiant effort though. Her flying camel after is decent and is followed by a difficult and well executed step sequence and a very nicely placed spread eagle into her spiral which is full of joy and has excellent stretch, and then the finish allows the audience to fully unleash their elation. The finish is superb for many reasons, one being it isn't a combination spin, the other being that expression on her face and the last being it's reserved power. This skate had me excited enough to write about it at 2:50 in the morning and I don't regret it. Ashley was lucky that miss Asada was called on a spin technicality, if she had have put a flying entrance on one of the combinations she would have won. She has everything necessary to win and judging by the jump content she's gunning for her third world title and honestly, judging by this skate she has everything she needs to win it and she knows it. I shall post about the full event and ramble slightly less. 

Friday, 10 August 2012

Ten best short programs of the 2011-2012. Ladies

There were a few short programs in the ladies that caught my eye, and not for being grotesque. Here are my favourite ten of them, counting down to my favourite. I picked the video based on what I thought was their best performance of the program.

10. Mao Asada "Scheherazade" Choreo. by Tatiana Tarasova

This program showed that Mao was back in contention for medals again. It had been a while since I had enjoyed a Mao Asada short program with horrors such as "Agony Tango" being born from the imagination of Tatiana Tarasova, but she finally managed to get something right. What I really love in this program is how the transitions are difficult but are woven seamlessly into the choreography and are light, which in turn adds a lightness to the element it's leading into, the flip-loop combination in particular. Yes it does border on over-doing the whole arabian theme but I think its just about within the realms of following a theme whilst still being tasteful. Over-all this program is light and airy and is very good in terms of playing to the audience. 

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Carolina Kostner withdraws from Grand-Prix

Carolina Kostner, finally having her moment
It was brought to my attention by someone on goldenskate that Carolina Kostner has withdrawn from the Grand-Prix, sorry for being out of date....
To me this seems like what Miki did last year, which honestly seems like a good idea if you have time. The problem being next year is the olympic year and it will be VERY  tough for her to come back when the women usually have all guns blazing and big numbers are flying around at every event. This does not bode well for Carolina's chances at Sochi considering her results at Olympics are traumatising even with a build-up to it. Then again maybe this will be her "Now or never" moment and she'll finally win an Olympic medal.

What do you think?

Also I will be re-doing my ladies grand-prix predictions as Carolina was a prominent skater in that article.