Alright, it's been a month. What are your impressions?
Alright, it's been a month. What are your impressions?
Closeups of skate blades during spins are heinous and should be banished.
I know you can't compare across events, but damn, it's either impressive or sad that no one managed to beat Adelina Sotnikova's JGP score. As for Mao, just no words
I would love to see the Japanese men sweep the GPF podium. Wow, what a depth they have, and all the men are such unique skaters. In any other country, Hanyu would be a lock for the World team, but in Japan he barely has a chance.
I can't deny that Chan is a fantastic skater, but I hate seeing a 4 fall skater win over others who had far less mistakes.
D/W win at the GPF is far from a foregone conclusion like it seemed after V/M withdrew. IMO, their programs are boring (SD) or don't suit them well (FD), and they seem to lack the fire they had last year. I'd love to see P/B win, but they'll probably fall five times
P/T look weak. S/S look far, far superior than anyone else.
The Russian pairs are regaining their depth in a big way. I'm impressed by B/L's improvements this year and I/M's short is fantastic. Shame that one or both of these teams could miss the Euro and World teams. I think B/L stand a big chance at finishing third or even second at the GPF, given how the Chinese have skated so far this season.
ok I'll be serious
All the noise over the summer about ladiez needing a 3A and men needing quads again? er...not quite. There are more men doing quads and I do expect we'll get back to Yags/Plushy era quad programs again, but I'm happy that the well rounded programs and other skating still has priority (even if it results in Chanflation ). I think we're still a while off from the 3A being a must have for ladiezzzz though. Hell, it seems like half the top guys don't even have a reliable 3A!
Surprises all around this GP season. Major thoughts:
- Joubert seems to be fizzling out, Amodio is on the upswing and seems to have taken over as France's alpha male skater
- The 3 top Japanese men are skating well, but in the case of Takahashi and Oda, somewhat typically (Takahashi with his mistakes, Oda with his Zayak-ing). Kozuka is on a roll so far, but will he be able to maintain his form all season? Hanyu is amazing for a 15 year old and his gumby moves and Johnny Weir-ness set him apart from the rest of his teammates - give him a year or two and he will dominate.
- Verner is back and seems to have finally found some confidence and consistency. With Brezina not competing due to injury, he's getting some more attention and seems to be happy about how his skating is going so far and relaxed about future competitions.
- The American men were overall a bit lackluster - Rippon was so great at Japan Open and his performances went downhill at his GP events (SC he was good but he fought through his programs, the jumps didn't seem effortless like they did at JO), Abbott has a gorgeous LP but hasn't skated it clean yet and showed at COR that things like boot problems and nerves still psych him out and cause him to lose focus... Mroz is a good technician but too boring for my taste. Carriere was fun and Armin was a nice surprise!
- The European ladies are playing more of a factor this season. Although Lepisto did not compete, Kostner, Korpi, and Makarova showed that when they skate well (albeit with lesser technical content) they can contend among the World's best, and even when they don't skate their best, they still do pretty well. Leonova , however, seems to be on her way out.
- Japan has a deep field this season and there's an interesting dynamic between the newbies and the veterans. Akiko's PCS are improving but she is still mistake prone, Miki's PCS are declining slightly but her jumps are as solid as ever and have allowed her to win both her GP events although her SP seems to be holding her back at this point, I wouldn't be surprised if she changed it. Mao is struggling, sort of like she was last season on the GP but this season she has taken it to a whole new level. Will she be able to bounce back later like she did last season or does she need more time to make such major changes to her skating? Kanako is having no trouble adjusting to the senior circuit and is getting very strong PCS marks for flawed performances, which is encouraging. Haruka Imai has also made a splash this season but is more juniorish than Kanako at this point and is an introverted performer, so she's trailing Kanako for now. Fumie is a non-factor at this point. The fight for the 3 spots on the ladies world team should be intense!
- The American ladies have been good but have not blown the field away. Mirai is coming off an injury and started off shaky but is growing stronger, much like last season. Alissa skated really well at SC and then pulled her usual at TEB - this time around, it was enough to make the GPF, but will she ever reign in her nerve demons? Ashley and Rachael have been attempting some ambitious content and have done well for themselves, but haven't done enough to win events yet.
- Lots of fresh young faces on the GP this season - Meite, J. Helgesson, Kwak, Hecken, Marrocco to name a few. Most seem to have potential as well, which is exciting, but still have a long way to go at this point. Come Worlds we should have a better idea of which ones are bound to go places and which ones are not.
Main thought: I could care less who wins the dayum thang. I am just happy to see skaters skating.
Let's just say for me...
Men: Honestly, the best of the disciplines, it has seemed like a normal GP season for them, TONS more quads being attempted and don't take the "inflated" scores for some skaters as absolute as they will all change by worlds.
Dance: Far less than expected, although V/M didn't compete, D/S are gone, a couple of the other top 10 teams out (Z/Z I believe) or C/L completely falling off the map, really nice to see some young skaters like C/P and S/S but overall, quite underwhelming. I really do like the new short dance with the golden waltz however, hopefully they will improve as the season goes on (and yes... D/W don't look as unbeatable as they did last year, and even at the beginning of the season).
Pairs: O dear... this is really getting into dangerous territory, I will say though judging from the entries, we really didn't expect too much. S/S is really the only top team from previous seasons to have stepped up, yes there are some nice teams I really liked especially MT/M and the new senior team S/H from China, but overall, it has not been an impressive season...yet still not the worst.
Ladies: Ok...not much to say about this...let's just say when you have barely 3 - 4 scores( I'm estimating) 115 pts. in the free program over ALL the GP events with many not even reaching that point and winning, that is bad. Miki is the only skater that has really skated well this season, no one can blame Carolina for winning without flips and lutzes, I believe Alissa has made the GPF?! Correct me if I'm wrong, but that is just an indication of how weak the ladies are this season, even for a post-Oly season.
Ladies: This seems to be an unpredictable group of skaters. It seems there's no way of telling who's going to win or even medal at an event. No one's really established themselves as a top contender, and the ones who are doing well are not who you'd maybe expect (Alissa, Kiira). Mao's downfall has been rather heartbreaking. I know she's reworking her technique, but maybe she also lacks motivation without Yu-Na around (and maybe Joannie).
Men: I'm quite impressed with the men this year, but not impressed with the overscoring of Patrick Chan, who IS a good skater but not as good as the judges seem to think he is. I'm glad Takahiko beat his best season score at TEB because he skated better than Chan did at his events, IMO. I'm happy to see a resurgence of Verner but unhappy to see that Joubert hasn't been able to get it quite together yet. I'm also unhappy to see the same inconsistent Abbott on the scene. There seem to be some new stars coming out: Amodio, Bessighier, Mahbanoozadeh. The French men's field is extremely deep right now with Amodio, Bessighier (coming seemingly out of nowhere), Joubert, and Preaubert.
Pairs: Pairs has been very.. eh. It seems like Savchenko and Szolkowy have started to come back, though. Kavaguti and Smirnov were also pretty good. I'm not thrilled with what's happened to Pang and Tong; they seem technically bad and artistically lackluster. I'm not gonna lie, I'm not into Takahashi and Tran either, but Sui and Han are cute. It's interesting to see Yankowskas and Coughlin make a case for being the top US team over Denney and Barrett and Evora and Ladwig, who didn't do as well on the series as I thought they would. Canadian pairs is weird too; who would have thought Moore-Towers and Moscovitch would do the best? Mylene Brodeur really needs to start landing jumps and throws if she and John want to be on the world team.
Dance: I have to say I love the short dance. I've really enjoyed dance overall this season. Russia's field is getting deep again - Riazanova and Tkachenko are really good, and Bobrova and Soloviev seem to have jumped into top-contender position. Pechalat and Bourzat seem to be ready to make a run against Davis and White for the world title, esp. with Virtue and Moir maybe out and who knows about the Kerrs, either? The Canadian dance field is very strong and I love the FD's of Crone and Poirier and Weaver and Poje. Actually, the US field is just as deep. Another highlight was the rise of Hoffman and Zavozin. I really liked this team in past years but it seems they've really hit their stride now. Disappointments: Faiella and Scali and Cappellini and Lanotte, coincidentally (or not?) both Italian.
Splat fest is how I would characterize the GP series this fall...even the ice dancers weren't immune.
Two things that really stick out to me:
1) The young ice dance teams have really stepped it up! The Shibutanis, Chock/Zuerlein, Crone/Poirier, Ilinykh/Katsalapov and Paul/Islam all had great results!
2) There are about 15 different ladies who could medal at Worlds this year. It's going to be intense and utterly impossible to predict!
Takahashi, Oda, Kozuka, Chan, Joubert, Amodio, Verner, Brezina, Abbott, Rippon all have a legitimate shot and Mroz or Mahbanoozedeh (whichever makes the World Team), Reynolds (if he keeps doing so many damn quads), Fernandez, Contesti are all longshots but could feasibly sneak up there if others falter.
Ladiezzzz ? well, ladiezzzzzzzzzzzzzz !
Can't we clone Suzuki ?
And please, can someone give her jumps back to Musademba ?
Youth is rising. They are just waiting for Messing so everyone will be there and the fight for Sochi will really begin.
Pairs : Russia - China = mortal combat.
Dance : the russians have turned their dogs loose and are on their way for Sochi. Bewaaaaaare.
I've really been enjoying this season in Dance.
The SD turned out better than I was expecting. I still think the concept needs refining, but I've seen many programs that I really like [mostly with a single rhythm though - those mixed rhythm dances just dont work as well]. I probably like more SDs this year than ODs last year.
In general, I think the FDs are much better and more interesting this year than last - and the music choices are a lot better too. So altogether, this season is looking up for me.
I have a concern about Chan winning too easily with so many falls. Don't know who and/or what to blame, the COP, the TES not counting enough... ? It's just that I hope not to see that too often. It will kill the audience interest for the sport if we see freestyle skaters doing ice dance more often.
The balance is hard to find between technical skills and skating skills, but Chan really pushed it to the limit.
Addicted to FSU
I really like the Short dance but it's been interesting to see how the techs are calling the levels. I think they've been having a bit of trouble! Hopefully the GP series has helped them to work out the kinks.
For the most part the single rhythm short dances have been more effective but some of the mixed ones have worked...the waltz and the quickstep wasn't bad. I think the worst was the wangos! They should have left the tango out of the mix. How they ever thought that would work with the Golden Waltz, I don't know.
"He's so approachable and if she were anymore beautiful, she wouldn't look real." - Scott Hamilton on Meryl and Charlie
Meryl Davis and Charlie White - 2011 World Ice Dance Champions and 2013 World Ice Dance Champions!
I love the fact we have so many fresh faces. Ilinykh/Katsalapov are amazing, I like also senior debut of Sofia Biryukova and Kanako, but I wish Kanako's SP was less childish.
I'm impressed with the men this season!! They are absolutely gorgeous. I'm only affraid there is no place for Joubert anymore...
And I have no words for Chan's score in Canada..
Well, this GP has been a weirdo but even though, I'm kind of enjoying it
Maaaany people got medals, who wouldn't have a slight shot for one if everyone was healthy and fit. I think I have never seen so many injuries and withdrawals in the GP series before. That's sad. On the other hand, it gave us a possibility to see some new faces, have some more unexpected results.
At this point, S/S are about to win, which I wouldn't mind at all. P/T will probably win some medals as well, because the judges somehow decided to give them riddiculously high scores, no matter how bad they do, not to mention zero artistic side of their programs and terrible lifts. I just wish they would retire already and bring me some salvation However, once K/S are fit and ready to go and once the new Russian pairs are finally eligible to compete international, the pairs field might get as interesting as never. Yes, I know V/T and M/B are just at the beginning of their roads to glory, but really, you never know how great they will be by the time of Worlds. Sui/Han are cute and entertaining, but really, do you think they both are gonna stay so tiny? it's kind of disturbing...
I think the ever falling Chan and his scores have been the men's main topic this far, I really hope we'll live to a day he's properly penalized for those. His SS may be great, his edges deep, but even aside from his falls, the guy is just boring. I'm really glad to see Verner slowly finding his way back, I'm sure the quad is just a matter of time in his case. Wouldn't mind to see him on all GPF, Euros and Worlds podiums. I guess he's the only man skater with a shot for medals who I really care about.
Joubert seems totally out for now. Is this how his career is gonna end? I really wouldn't like to see this. I would love him to work a new LP and get his jumps back so we can have a proper French-Czech medal fight at Europeans. But I'm really afraid this might be the first season in years with him off the world podium (cannot even imagine European podium without him).
I think the field with the most of the top contenders out. V/M, F/S, K/K, S/B and some others. Meryl and Charlie should have no problems winning the final (I really don't see how P/B suddenly got equal to them in technique or skating skills. It's still another level of skating, even if they're struggling a bit). The fight I see interesting will be between P/B, C/P and B/S. I'm loving the Shibs so far, we'll see how they develop in the senior field. I/K, who everyone was so crazy about, were a huge disappointment for me. Nothing special, really. P/B finally decided to ditch the circus and Mr Clock ideas, but their dances don't blow me away anyway. D/W have a wonderful SD and they really seem to have grown up (something many people take as losing their power) and I'm starting to enjoy their new selves. They still have so much to show us in the future! I love the Kerrs' dances, as always, so cannot wait to see them fit. F/S are a huge disappointment. C/P are still cold and stiff for me. Missing S/B here. If it comes to US vs Canada, you can sign me up for team USA! (however, I liked Ralph/Hill A LOT)
Poor Mao, I hope she'll overcome this and continue to shine. After seing her live for the first time, I must say her SS are she makes it all look so easy (well, not the jumps, but everything else). I'm all for Alissa, she's a cutie. Loving her and Mirai's spins. Kiira, on the other hand, skates like a block of wood, very much like her teammate Laura.
there's going to be a dramatic fight for worlds spots in Japan. I would like both Mao and Miki make it, perhaps with Murakami instead of Suzuki.
Last edited by mia joy; 12-01-2010 at 05:04 PM.