Agree completely about Rino. Her progression in the last year reminds me of Kwan between 1995 and 1996. She is fast and has gorgeous edges and great ice coverage. The footwork is interesting and so musical, i forgot it was a judged element. It doesnt look like "rulebook" footwork like most ladies. If she keeps progressing like this, she will easily become my favorite skater to watch repeatedly. As someone else mentioned, watching her and the other top 3 was like watching 1980s and 90s skating with today's scoring system - fast deep-edged skating, jumps with height and distance, disciplined posture and control with thoughtful arm and body placement versus unattractive flailing. Rino has the elegance of an ice dancer. Im a big new fan.Watched most JO programs, plus Carnival on Ice, thanks to Epic Skating Live channel. I was quite impressed by Wakaba’s huuuuuge Ito-style 3-ax and the way that her Lion King program built. However, as a total skater (for elegance, line, musicality PLUS high tech, w/ 3-ax), I was most impressed by Rino Matsuike’s Moonlight Sonata LP! Wow, has she become quite the beauty in every sense! She almost beat Wakaba...about 2 points difference.
I totally agree that Uno’s Bolero LP is a real clunker. However his SP (to Bach...I think...or Vivaldi? Oboe tune),skated at today’s COI, is exquisite.
Rika, Yuzu & Yuma not at this event. We’ll have to wait a bit more to see their new programs in full.