I was pleasantly surprised at how sharp US pairs looked!
- In the long term, SK/F will probably outscore SK/K due to higher probabilities on the SBS jumps and also their SBS spins are little stronger if anyone noticed
Yes, I noticed! I don't know how Alexa and Brandon could have better unison after 4 months than A/C had after many years, but it is so. Maybe it's more of a priority. Alexa and Chris often seemed to me to depend on their better elements to make up for deficiencies elsewhere. Maybe being new together gave A&B motivation to pay attention to each element; or maybe their SBS spins just came together fortuitously. Alexa and Brandon look so happy and relieved to be skating together. (Side note: In Alexa's IG photos, Chris looks noticeably happier and more like himself! I really hope that Haven is getting fresh inspiration, love for skating & competing, and her possibilities in fs.)
Ashley and Timothy - Not only did she land the Throw 3Z twice, but she added a beautiful long ride-out on the landing in the FS. In both programs, I noticed that they returned to more steps and movements that show off their unison and beautiful lines. Doing steps in parallel and side-by-side )), rather than in opposition to each other like this )(. I'm so happy to see more of this in-synch movement, because it's really one of their strengths and very unusual to see these days in pairs, to that degree. I think they've worked hard to incorporate new moves and steps, and for that reason their FS isn't as dramatic as usual; their musical awareness and commitment to every movement really make them stand out usually and give their skating a quality of strength, power, and something intangible no other US pair has. I think those qualities will be more evident as the season progresses.
I love Jessica and Brian's new FS; and I also love their GoT repeat SP from last year. I've always enjoyed Jessica's artistry, and I think skating with Brian frees her up a bit. Their quiet confidence in each other is just beautiful.
I agree that Tarah and Danny's 'Carmen' is very watchable. A little camp IMO in the beginning, but they do it well and it creates a surprise moment. Someone said last year that Danny pulls Tarah around the rink ... and since I heard that comment, I can't 'Not See' it when they skate. Shae-Lynne's choreo for Swan Lake made it less obvious, I think. And oh yes, shout-out to Charlie White for his choreo of their SP Claire de Lune. He observes first, 'what makes this pair unique?' and highlights that.
I'm going to have to wait and see if Audrey Lu/Misha Mitrofanov's new FS grows on me. Olivia and Mervin look much the same as last year to me, but they may develop as the season goes.
Kate Finster and Balazs Nagy skated their SP, and they looked very good. Such a promising pair, and there's something special about their relationship on the ice. I don't know why their SP was taken out of the video, but I'm glad I got to see it and will look forward to watching both their programs next time.
It's really amazing how US pairs have developed in the past several years. Amazing, exciting and thrilling, to me