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Thread: 2019 Skate America: Day 2 - Thoughts and Highlights

  1. #21
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    Only watched the men so far:

    Jason’s program was perfectly executed, as I expected, very precise and on point.

    I do prefer the concept of Satoko’s Schindler’s List program, so in direct comparison Jason’s approach didn’t catch me as much. I think if I had to describe what I like about Satoko’s version, it’s the impression that she’s not afraid to look ugly when skating such a theme, and her program seems to be more about expressing emotions, I guess? Whereas Jason’s program is more about trying to create what’s considered classically beautiful images and about putting out a perfectly composed performance.

    Another difference to me is the fact, that Jason is skating big and more directed to the outwards with grand moves (there’s that performance aspect), whereas Satoko is more delicate and introverted in her expression, which I find more fitting for this theme. I guess I was hoping for something else from Jason at this point of his career, showing us something that we haven’t seen from him yet, because this feels like an upgraded version of his The Piano program.

    Oh and I know people love to complain about costumes so much and also, I distinctly remember many people being bothered by a certain skater’s pit stains in the past… and I guess we should hold Jason to the same standards, fair’s fair, right? So Jason, get rid of those pit stains and please, please get better fitting trousers! I get that this is supposed to be the look, form-fitting on the top, loose on the bottom, possibly reminiscent of work trousers (?), but the way the fabric stretches on his legs in certain positions (his camel spin for instance) creates really unattractive shapes and lines.


    I don’t like that version of ‚the sound of silence’ that Dima uses in his FS, and to be honest, I also didn’t think his performance of it was of the same quality and intensity as his SP skate. Add to that the fact that he visibly ran out of steam in the end and his final spins lacked impact, then I don’t think his PCS was unjustifiably low.

    I also don’t get the controversy about his popped 4Lz being rated as a triple instead of a double, which led to the invalidation of one of his +3Ts. Yes, he tried to open up after two revolutions, but he did so too late and when he landed, he had completed another half turn in the air and landed forwards. Now do you really expect the panel to treat this as an overrotated 2Lz??

    But I have to say, his 4Ts, when he lands them, look so easy, it’s like he’s doing triples.

    I wish he’d pick a different style and use different music for his programs, so maybe I could get behind his skating more, because the way he moves and his lines are nice (although I still prefer Kolyada). But if that’s the style he enjoys and feels comfortable with, I can’t argue with that of course.


    Not too fond of Nathan’s music selection in this program either, especially Rocket Man, it’s all a bit too ‚pop‘ for my taste, and by that I mean that it sounds a bit too radio-friendly, and so is the choreo, which I find a bit too generic. I do think MFD really succeeded at incorporating the jumps in a way where they highlight points in the music, which makes it much more exciting to watch, especially since compared to his SP performance here, Nathan was really on the music this time.

    And the third act is fire of course and you gotta give it to him, he always ramps it up in the end of his programs, after all those strenuous jumping passes before that, and he knows how to end a program with a bang.

    I especially enjoy the contrast between how soft and fluid his movements (especially his arms) look in the main part of the program, and then he manages to completely change the way he moves during the breakdance/hip hop sequence to this much more powerful and totally different dance style.
    I honestly think he doesn’t get enough credit for how versatile he is.

  2. #22
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    Ah, I think Jin Boyang took the one for the team with his Day 1 top where the costumes are concerned. After that one, everything else is a marvel. In fact, I think he might have cleared the way for the whole season for everyone to dress however they want now.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by lariko View Post
    Ah, I think Jin Boyang took the one for the team with his Day 1 top where the costumes are concerned. After that one, everything else is a marvel. In fact, I think he might have cleared the way for the whole season for everyone to dress however they want now.
    Please don't remind me of the men's fashion disasters. It was traumatic enough.

    Boyang's SP shirt and Michal's LP shirts were just nauseating to look at.

    Nathan (LP) and Alexei (SP and LP too to a degree) seem to be borrowing their grandma's blouses to skate in.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsk8 View Post
    And we are off! The first GP of the season!

    What were your highlights? Surprises? Disappointments?
    Loved Jason's program, loved Nathan's program, loved Elizaveta Tuktamysheva's program. These three programs seemed to suit their skaters perfectly. Like Elizaveta ddoes this thing with her hands before jumps where they look like weird broken bird wings, but it totally worked for this program! And the pants suit her so well! And she just seemed to really FEEL the music.

    Surprised when it seemed like Keegan ran out of steam. Watching him I thought he got hurt but later talking with others we thought maybe he didn't build up enough endurance or maybe he was having issues of grief and couldn't connect. Also, someone threw a stuffie out for Michal Brezina but it didn't make it to the ice and instead it hit Keegan in the head! Maybe it had glass eyes and gave him a welt? who knows...

    Thought Bradie's program was good but boring. I liked her short program so much better!

    Loved Kaori Sakamoto's choreo but the I found the white skates distracting with her black/green costume. I wanted black boot covers.

    Poor Karen Chen she was sick, coughing after practice and then it looked like she had a bloody nose after her skate. She even wiped her nose mid-skate.
    And there was other blood in the Ladies too - Veronik Mallet cut her hand.

    Was sad to see Junhwan Cha's skate because he's so talented and can do so much better.

    I was there watching live so I don't know what the commentators said during the broadcast versions. Maybe they addressed some of these things.

  5. #25
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    As amazing Annas quad lutzes are, I´m a bit sad the area of quads arrived in ladies. Like in men skaters without them (or at least 3A) won´t stand a chance no matter how good they are in other aspects and no matter how good they were in the short.
    So sad for Kaori being fourth again. While I agree with others the matrix program is great (and the costume is perfect), I´m not sure if it´s the right vehicle for Kaori. For me it doesn´t match her personality. Of course she has lots of time to improve her interpretation.

    In men Keegans short and Jasons fs were my highlights (standing ovations well deserved).

    In ice dance the season so far is underwhelming for me. I expected a lot more of the rd broadway theme. But the finstep pattern obviously limits choices, so we can´t get any "darker" or more "dramatic" stuff mixed in.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colonel Green View Post
    Men

    - Alexei's free skate is quite a showcase for his particular brand of aggressive performance.
    I love the way you put that. Aggressive performance.

    I really like this kid. He goes all out. He reminds me of Max Aaron, and that's a good thing. Because I always liked Max.

    Working with Johnson is a smart move. I suspect he'll help harness the energy and power and maximize his assets.

  7. #27
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    Kaori's Matrix Program is my favorite of the season so far and I can't wait to see her skate it without the errors. Regardless, I would have placed her above Empress Tut in a heartbeat.

    And Bradie Tennel's skates were amazing. Love how she has grown.

  8. #28
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    Hmmm I only watched ladies and I’ve never ever been a fan of Bradie but she did impress me here. She seems much more grown up, and while I still can’t say I’m a fan, I appreciate that her programs actually have some nuance and maturity to them now. Anna makes me...uncomfortable. Knowing she’s an Eteri student I don’t see how she can sustain being able to do quads.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by evasorange View Post
    Hmmm I only watched ladies and I’ve never ever been a fan of Bradie but she did impress me here. She seems much more grown up, and while I still can’t say I’m a fan, I appreciate that her programs actually have some nuance and maturity to them now. Anna makes me...uncomfortable. Knowing she’s an Eteri student I don’t see how she can sustain being able to do quads.
    She is so tiny and fragile looking compared to the other senior ladies, even Alyona and Sasha who moved up with her. It really makes her delicacy stand out in a way it did not in Juniors. She is stronger than she looks though, and I can't see her filling out/growing much, she seems to be naturally a very tiny girl.
    Who knows...I suppose we will see what happens with her over the next season or two.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by evasorange View Post
    Hmmm I only watched ladies and I’ve never ever been a fan of Bradie but she did impress me here. She seems much more grown up, and while I still can’t say I’m a fan, I appreciate that her programs actually have some nuance and maturity to them now. Anna makes me...uncomfortable. Knowing she’s an Eteri student I don’t see how she can sustain being able to do quads.
    What does being an Eteri student have to do with anything?

    I thought Anna was phenomenal, the quads were gorgeous but she's also a great performer and the program really suits her.
    Bradie improved a lot artistically but not surprisingly, she was very overscored. If Anna's 3lz-3lo was called under, I don't see why her 3lz-3t wasn't.
    Liza's textbook jumps are really the only thing going for her and the judges don't seem to want to give her high GOEs. Her 3a is super consistent but the rest of her jump layout confuses me.

  11. #31
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    Thoughts/Highlights for me (for both days, had to catch up on it all today):

    Pairs (my favourite!):
    • Nice to see Peng and Jin finally win a GP event, even if they weren't clean. I really like their new short and look forward to seeing the free improve over the season. I also really hope she wasn't hurt on the fall, she looked a bit in pain at the end.
    • Daria and Denis were great! So pleased to see them have the Silver here, they've improved since last season and their programs seem to suit them better. Their 3Flips were gorgeous, lifts were good, especially the nifty drop exit to one of them.
    • Good on Haven and Brandon for grabbing the bronze, I really enjoyed their Lion King free, and they landed their jumps! I love their acrobatic lifts and fun opening/ending positions.
    • Sad for Ashley and Tim, they looked really disappointed after the free and that was a nasty fall she took. However, they've proved they can bounce back before and I'm sure they will this time.


    Dance:
    Personally, I thought Alexandra and Ivan should've beaten Madi and Zach in the rhythm dance, but I equally thought they should've been behind them in the free. Overall, I think they ended up in the correct positions though.
    • I liked Alexandra and Ivan's rhythm dance a lot, even if the arrangement of 'Your Song' is a bit quirky, not really sure why they kiss at the end, but it certainly seemed to go down well with the crowd. I enjoyed their free too, and enjoyed Madi and Zach's much more than I expected too, they definitely know how to sell a program well.
    • Laurence and Nikolaj won their first GP medal! They are certainly on the rise this season, and I really enjoyed their rhythm dance, the narration over the twizzles is really clever. I think it's possible they might manage to snatch the Canadian title this season, if they keep going on their upward trend.
    • They may not have made the podium but I also really enjoyed Sofia and Igor's performances, they were unique and their curve lift in their free was definitely a highlight.
    • I also liked Hong and Zhuoming's free dance, they were selling it well, even if their skating skills don't quite match the rest of the field.
    • I thought Tiffani and Jonathan's free was a huge improvement on their rhythm dance (which I didn't enjoy, weird music cuts, even weirder dress) and they also looked like they were selling the theme well.
    • I wasn't totally convinced by Caroline and Michael here (by which I mean, I preferred the performances of several other couples) but I hope they grow on me over the season, as they are certainly talented.


    Ladies:
    • Anna. Wow! What a fantastic free skate, good for her after placing 4th in the free, also although it's a bit of a gimmick, I do enjoy the costume change, as it's executed very effectively.
    • I was really impressed with Bradie here, two clean programs and a silver medal. Really happy for her, even if she isn't one of my favourites.
    • Liza skated well to grab the bronze, although I think if Kaori had had more triples she would've got it. She nailed her 3As but definitely needs to work on her transitions/performance. I liked Kaori's free, hopefully she can up her tech content and challenge for medals later in the season.


    Men:
    Disclaimer: This was my first time watching the men's event as I find it the least enjoyable discipline, and I only watched the free skates of the top two.
    • I liked Nathan a lot more than I thought I would, and didn't enjoy Jason as much as I thought I would. From what I've read, I was expecting Nathan to skate from jump to jump and that basically be it, while Jason would be so emotive and expressive. But Nathan was so much more entertaining than I expected, while I wasn't totally sold on Jason's free.
      Just my opinion based on my first viewing, please don't be mad!
    Last edited by GoneWithTheWind; 10-20-2019 at 02:52 PM. Reason: Overenthusiastic typing resulted in spelling errors!

  12. #32
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    Jason is sublime there's no denying that, but in all honesty, his FS didn't grab me, I was slightly bored even.
    Nathan was fun to watch, especially his step sequence.

    I suppose it all comes down to personal preference, as usual.

  13. #33
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    Anna Shcherbakova landing two quad lutzes was absolutely thrilling. This season is going to be really exciting (and unpredictable, if this competition is any barometer) for the ladies.

    Bradie was on fire in both programs. I really did not expect her to look this good at Skate America given the off-season injuries. She has improved significantly, so good for her. However, I can't believe there is a blatant error in the judging of her FS that is still uncorrected this afternoon. Is it too late? I seem to remember some obscure rule that results can't be revised after the medal ceremony? It's ridiculous -- you can easily imagine a world where Bradie is, say, 3rd next week and then has to rely on her total points for a GPF tiebreaker. She deserves the extra points she would have gotten for the under-rotated triple.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by ec00834 View Post
    What does being an Eteri student have to do with anything?
    Because she’s not training in a healthy environment. Two of Eteri’s biggest students have come out saying they didn’t eat enough so their bodies were weak. One even had to seek treatment for it. Eteri herself has made many disconcerting remarks over the years. Anna already has that concerning fragile look. Connect the dots.

  15. #35
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    Anna gave a really nice interview in English with Andrea Joyce after the LP.

    I appreciated Veronik Mallet's LP. She was fully committed to her performance.

    Bradie was superb.

    I don't care what anybody says about her, Liza Tuktamysheva is still my lady.

    Edit: Karen Chen looked like she was sick as a dog in the kiss and cry. I hope she has a couple of days off before back to classes at Cornell.
    Last edited by Mathman; 10-20-2019 at 03:19 PM.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by evasorange View Post
    Because she’s not training in a healthy environment. Two of Eteri’s biggest students have come out saying they didn’t eat enough so their bodies were weak. One even had to seek treatment for it. Eteri herself has made many disconcerting remarks over the years. Anna already has that concerning fragile look. Connect the dots.
    That has nothing to do with Eteri, Gracie gold had an eating disorder as well as other skaters from various countries.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mishaminion View Post
    Jason is sublime there's no denying that, but in all honesty, his FS didn't grab me, I was slightly bored even.
    Nathan was fun to watch, especially his step sequence.

    I suppose it all comes down to personal preference, as usual.
    Agreed on Jason, hated the music and sequins for Schindler’s list is.... a choice. Loved the short though

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mishaminion View Post
    She is so tiny and fragile looking compared to the other senior ladies, even Alyona and Sasha who moved up with her. It really makes her delicacy stand out in a way it did not in Juniors. She is stronger than she looks though, and I can't see her filling out/growing much, she seems to be naturally a very tiny girl.
    Who knows...I suppose we will see what happens with her over the next season or two.
    People said the same thing about Yulia that she would never grow much but in a matter of a year she went from tiny to filling out and her dodgy jumps basically disappeared.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by evasorange View Post
    Because she’s not training in a healthy environment. Two of Eteri’s biggest students have come out saying they didn’t eat enough so their bodies were weak. One even had to seek treatment for it. Eteri herself has made many disconcerting remarks over the years. Anna already has that concerning fragile look. Connect the dots.
    Maybe it is a little unfair to blame Eteri entirely for those body/eating issues, skaters that have had nothing to do with her have gone through similar issues, Gracie Gold and Akiko Suzuki for example.

    Alina Zagitova looks to be in fine shape, as does Alena Kostornaia. Sasha Trusova is compact but muscular. Perhaps Anna Shcherbakova is just genetically fragile looking.

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jammers View Post
    People said the same thing about Yulia that she would never grow much but in a matter of a year she went from tiny to filling out and her dodgy jumps basically disappeared.
    Well that doesn't mean the same will happen to Anna. Everyone was saying puberty would ruin Alina and yet she has survived it well, jumps looking better than ever in fact.

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