The crime is that I am pretty sure the judges were planning on placing Kwan's amazing Red Violin program only 3rd had Maria and Irina not messed up (or possibly just Irina since Maria could have lost the LP to Michelle and beaten her overall, in fairness to Maria she did deserve her SP win and lead IMO). The judges also gave her nearly as many 5.6s as 5.9s for that amazing performance (two 5.6s and four 5.9s). Maria's Swan Lake LP that year was ghastly, it showcased all her worst traits. Even if she had skated it cleanly I would have hated it. Her stiff disjointed interpretation of that music did make me appreciate how wonderful Baiul's Swan Lake SP was however. Irina's bland and uninspiring interpretation of Carmen this year likewise also made me appreciate Witt's flirtatious and dramatic interpretation of Carmen that much more, even with all the posing.
I'm surprised that Tonya Harding is listed so high on several of these lists. Her Skate America performance is definitely her best, but I always found the program a bit tacky.
It's all just for fun, people. Sure, let's add Shizuka, Lu Chen, Maria, Yuka, etc.!
When I watched all these programs back-to-back, I was so surprised at my personal reaction. I thought for sure Midori would top the list for me but, despite the great jumps, her presentation lacked much more than I'd remembered.
I also figured Michelle would wipe out a lot of skaters artistically, but for me, I saw a wonderful carriage and nice lines without much actual musical interpretation. (I know, I know, kwaniacs. JMO...) Kristi surprised me. I've always liked her as a persona, but her skating never really excited me. But this was a beautifully delivered program.
Tonya: I was really surprised at how expressive and interpretive she actually was. Her jump quality may have been even better than Midori's--personally, I think it was.
Katarina: of course her jump content can't compete with the others, but I did feel it was a gorgeous program and she (and Sasha) had that natural "it" quality that none of the other ladies can match. Speaking of Sasha, so nice to see a CLEAN program! She really was a special skater.
When Kristi was an amateur I didnt like her at all. I found she was the most boring American skater since Rosalynn Sumners. I appreciate her much more in retrospect than I did back then.
Of course. Must have been very exciting watching Yamaguchi rise through the ranks of single skating while you were being conceived and then in your mothers tummy. And you popping out and her winning Worlds and Olympics.
I agree she was not an exciting skater as eligible skater, and she was competing against Midori who would bring the audience to the edge of their seats. In 1989 I thought she was a nice 17 year old skater with potential. One year later she had developed but still not interesting enough. In 1991 things seemed to come together for her, with more balance between her jumps and artistry. Still, my favorite was always Midori Ito.
Although Kristi deserved her 1992 OGM- even with a so so performance- I did not become her fan until after she turned pro. That's when she really developed into a complete skater. She developed artistically without losing the consistency of her jumps, for several years. That was impressive, and her programs were much more interesting too.
[Q]A clean Sasha never had a chance against a clean Kwan so I guess the judges felt that way too.[Q]
I'm not so sure about that. In any event, we never got to find that out.
[Q]I dont think there is anything Sasha does better than Michelle except spins personally.[Q]
To each their own, indeed!
So I watched Cohen's 'Robin Lake' program. Why oh why could she not do a solid performance like this ever again? You watch it and think this is a skater who has her technique down pat. Then she falls all over the place the rest of her career.
Like JJ, I didn't appreciate Yamaguchi. Everything was so computerized and robotic, and I always felt she emulated Jill Trenary's mannerisms too much. I disagree with the comparison with Roz. Roz did have "It" in spades, it was only when she was doubling and singling everything that she became ho-hum. Yamaguchi just never had a personality, even if it would have been ice bitch I'd say thank god there is a personality there. Yamaguchi doing color commentary was just as bad. You think Kwan has her Kwanesque non-answers? Yama was even worse because she effused it with a big nervous smile and absolutely no return. Very uncomfortable.
I will go out on a limb and say that I really liked Butyrskaya's Swan Lake. Hey, even swans have clumsy long legs sometimes, right? I liked that she choreographed it herself and was committed to the performance.
In terms of technical (at that time) and choreo, I still think that Ito's 1990 LP is tops. The jumps were amazing, and Ito REALLY worked on her presentation. She's built like a fire hydrant, so she's never going to be Kwan, but she used her music and had interesting choreo and transitions.
Team Ito here.
Last edited by Louise; 09-23-2011 at 04:41 AM.
BTW, I thought Kwan's 2001 Worlds performance was better than her 2000 one, but I can see an argument one way or the other.
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