Lysacek vs. Plushenko: Reexamining 2010 in Vancouver

Since beginning on this latest trek on this platform, this was something I’d wanted to examine further and perhaps devote an entire entry to.

I plan on examining their short programs one after the other, taking notes on what worked and what didn’t. Do the same for the long and really determine if I stand by my previous position (which gets more doubtful every day) or I flat-out say what so many other skating fans have said.

Beforehand, I figured I’d check an interview Evan did with Bob Costas after winning gold and his reaction to the criticism that came from Plushenko.
Evan chalked most of it up for him being under a lot of pressure, going last and such, and couldn’t fault him for it. Pretty much all of the comments ran off his back. He was very modest about his expectations, believing that he had a personal victory if he outdid his previous personal best and this was just the way it came out. Also pretty interesting to hear how they congratulated each other afterwards and they seemed to be on good terms. Who’s to say, really, though?

So without further ado:

Evan Lysachek- short program
“Firebird” by Stravinsky
technical- 48.30; component- 42.00- 90.30

From what I’ve gathered in the past few weeks, the short program usually consists of 3 jumps, one of which is a combination with a second jump, and at least 2 spins.
I’ll admit, it’s hard going into this trying to be objective. All the jumps Evan did were crisp and clean, but other than some arm movements that coincided with the title of the track, there wasn’t a lot to the rest of his routine. He nailed the jumps, but everything in between… it felt like fluff. In other words, it looked safe and it didn’t hold my attention.

Kinda goes to prove what kind of skater I prefer to watch, doesn’t it? something more artistic with more performance value

Evgeni Plushenko- short program
“Concierto de Aranjuez”
technical- 51.10; component-39.75- 90.85

Obviously, his technical score is going to be higher because he has the quad in his routine. I’m not sure if it gets a bonus for being used in combination with a triple jump, but what a dynamic way to begin this program. As for the second jump, the landing looked like he did a balance check. There was a bit of a bobble that made it look not all there.
As I mentioned before, the choreography and step sequences carried more of an “oomph” than Evan’s.

For whatever reason, I wasn’t as emotionally impacted when I watched it today as I did the other night where I’d about teared up. But I have other routines of his that I enjoy a lot more.

On the grounds of difficulty and performance, I give the edge to Plushenko after the short program.
Afterwards, Evan looked beside himself and Plushenko just looked exhausted. Maybe it’s just because he was under more pressure to be at the peak of his excellence.

Evan Lysacek- long program
“Scheherazade”
technical- 84.57; component-82.80- 167.37
=257.67

hmm… maybe I shouldn’t have watched that interview beforehand because that might be impairing my judgement a bit…
Everything that I felt was out of sorts in his short program, that’s all gone.
The choreography was stronger and more dynamic. Up until maybe the last 2 minutes when I felt it was starting to run a little long and I was starting to lose interest, I was invested.
As for the jumps… quite honestly, I lost count of how many there were. I distinctly remember two combinations with two three jumps and one of three jumps. All of the landings were crisp except for one where he almost over rotated and lost control.

It definitely looked like a seasons’ best for him because he practically nailed it.
But what I felt kinda separated the two was that Plushenko skates like its his oxygen. He lives for it. With Evan, to me, it feels more like a hobby rather than something you shed blood, sweat and tears over

[and with him, when he steps onto the ice, he changes the air in the room… that’s huge]
Evgeni Plushenko- long program
“Tango Amore” by Edvin Marton
technical- 82.71 ; component- 82.80- 165.51
=256.36

It seems that one way or the other, my newly established bias for Plushenko will prevail.
I actually enjoyed his free skate a lot more this time around than the previous time.
Maybe it’s because I recognize the piece of music and the musician behind it, Plushenko’s frequent collaborator Edvin Marton. Or maybe it’s just because he changed the entire chemistry in the room for me.

Regarding his jumps, again, I lost track of how many there were… there was one landing that was iffy, about as iffy as the one bobble Evan had. And there were two others that looked somewhat out of sorts, but the landings were perfectly fine.

Wow, they had the same component score and it came down to the technical… whatever that inks out to.
and the difference in the total scores was of 1.31.
Apparently, component score is about artistry… both were very artistic, so any judgement in that comes down to bias. Unless you want to consider performance value, playing to the audience, part of that deal. :shrug: I probably could.
So technical was all about execution of the various elements.

If you want to get down to the bits and pieces, Evan’s execution was better, but would you rather break it down to who skated the cleanest or should you take into account the greater difficulty?

Yes, it is a very tough call… but ultimately, I think I still have to give it to Plushenko for the win… or what should have been a win, anyway. Better to have attempted the quadruple and not done it well than to not have it all.
Wikipedia goes on to say that the short program was mis-scored and kinda sealed the deal of what went down.

But it’s late and my mind’s just about made up.

This time, I won’t share the link on social media. Just to see if anyone stumbles across it because they know I’d been writing a lot about Plushenko as of lately.

And why refer to him by his last name when I use Evan’s first name?
It’s a matter of respect. Unless I use his full name, I don’t feel up to addressing Plushenko by his first name. That’s something better reserved for people who actually know him 😉

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