I love Ilia Kulik, his 1995 Euros LP, his fabulous choreography to Romeo&Juliet in 1997, and his very powerful 1998 SP. But compared to the others, he didn't have the same career.
Voted for Plushy.
I respect his consistency and the fact that he collected a bunch of medals becuase of it, but the quality of overall skating is the weakest of everyone left, and he's been skating essentially the same horribly constructed programs for years with minimal development of his style. If anything, he become more rigid in his skating compared to when he first came on the scene in 97/98.
Went for Kulik, wonderful skills but short eligible career and olympic gold is not such a big thing for me.
My end game (subject to change)
Kulik (would have had him off before Lysacek and Stojko)
Chan (don't get the hate for him....) / Takahashi (don't get the love for him...)
Lambiel (just looking for an excuse to link to his cat exhbition number)
Plushenko (I'm not a fan, but there's no denying his accomplishments)
Yagudin (if there can be only one, he's it)
Things are starting to get really difficult...
I guess it's obvious that I would never vote off Takahashi at the moment. Voting off Yagudin or Plushenko, for me, is out of question.
That leaves me with 3 choices: Lambiel, Kulik and Chan.
Stephane: amazing natural talent with lots of style and charisma. His musicality was amazing. He was able to provoke excitement in the audience even when he had mistakes in landing the jumps. The most incredible man spinner that I've ever seen. Off course that I cannot forget about his issues with the triple axel. In terms of results, he got the silver in the Olympics and two deserved world titles. More than an athlete, Lambiel was a true artist.
Ilya: Incredible jumping technique. Powerful skater. There was something really cool about him that made him impress both women and men. I think he was an all round skater since he had the jumps, the spins, the steps and the artistry. A great thing about him was the versitility cause he could skate to Liebestraume or to "Mortal Kombat" soundtrack in a convincing way. He was perfect during the OG in 98 and won fair and square.
Patrick: Great skating skills. When he does the quad it looks just so awesome. His soft knee bend and pointed toes are admirable. In 2011, he won the world title in fashion. But... to me there's nothing emotional about his skating. I only watch him during the competitions and that's it. He doesn't give that will of rewatching his programes. To me that's the main problem with Chan. Hopefully he will mature more from an artistic point of view. He is really good but he hasn't conquered my heart (at least not yet).
Patrick's not my favorite skater, but voting him off now over all the others? Really??
"I hit him with my shoes... if he had given me the medal like I told him to, I wouldn't have had to hit him!" -- 8-year-old Rhoda Penmark in "The Bad Seed"
I voted Kulik because really the only thing he had going was a OGM. Otherwise not a really outstanding record.
When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.
I've never really given two sh*ts about audience connection and emotion and it's nice to finally see someone besides an ice dancer actually pointing their toes, so I am not voting out Chan just yet.
I'm a Chan uber through and through, but I would have a hard time voting Yagudin, Plushenko, Takahashi or Lambiel out before him.