2014 NHK Trophy- Osaka Japan

I’ve got a YouTube channel with 45+ figure skating videos ready to go… at midnight, it’ll officially be December 😛
And I couldn’t be more excited…

so for now, I’m going to try not to think about the skater I’m getting back to and focusing on those who are actively competing.

I was able to catch the short programs of several skaters for this Grand Prix competition on YouTube the day after they happened.

Jeremy Abbott never looked so good. I’m not the biggest Sam Smith fan (do not get me started on “Stay with me”), but he looked so good skating to his song “Lay me down.” His skating was flawless and gorgeous. Made me so happy to see him do so well.

Sergei Vonorov, my favorite male Russian skater of this “new” generation, fell once but he reminded me why I hold him so highly. That artistic prowess he has… I value that more highly than Maxim Kovtun’s tightly executed jumps. But then I am still figuring Maxim out, how I feel about him.

Yuzuru Hanyu returned for the first time since his Cup of China collision during warm-up. He fell once or twice, but still held together well.

Then of course there was Takihito Mura, who skated to “Carmen” (again, hard for me to see another skater go to that music, even female skaters, since I know it so well by someone else’s program)… his program was the cleanest, sure, but he didn’t pull me into his skating. Not the way the other three men had before.

Whenever it comes to figure skating, apparently, I am extremely loyal to my favorites. I’m going to kinda hope someone else will screw up just so they have a better chance at winning. A little sadistic, I know, but apparently that’s how I roll :shrug:
I also tend to go by what I see previously. Like if someone does so well, I’m still going to be thinking about them during the next skater’s program. And unless they do something to knock my socks off, it’s hard for me to focus on who’s on the ice.

So I guess you could say I show favoritism and have short-term memory… or favoritism and ADD… I’m still figuring it out.

Thanks to Twitter, I accidentally uncovered the results of this competition before today. :/ sometimes I really hate my Twitter addiction. But then sometimes it helps me relax around my favorites.

The only surprise was that Yuzuru got 4th instead of 3rd because I read otherwise. He popped out of one of his quads so it was a triple and fell on another. Terry Gannon and Tara Lipinski (no Johnny Weir this week… I know for a fact he spent this weekend in Russia 😉 helping some other pros teach a master class in Moscow) were talking about his injuries.
7 stitches in his chin, 3 staples in his head (OUCH!! that had me cringing), and injuries to leg and abdomen. Thanks to @IcePrinceYuzuru on Twitter, I already heard that his other injuries (the ones not treated with stitches and staples) were the toughest for him to overcome. And he also looked like he hadn’t slept much (another thing they mentioned in commentary). He had dark circles under his eyes, so he didn’t look quite himself. But when he landed some of his other jumps, particularly his combinations, he looked just as amazing the first time I saw him.

Tara called him a “hot and cold” skater. Sometimes he’s not as good as he’d led us to believe but just as quick to prove us wrong by excelling.
Either way, I am happy to see him back and I hope he continues to stay strong throughout this 😛 love watching him skate.
Unfortunately that kinda makes it hard for other Japanese skaters to have an impact on me… I told you, I have favoritism issues.

Sergei Vonorov did really well, again. Very artistic and dynamic. Enjoy him so much, so of course it annoys me that Tara doesn’t believe he’s a contender for the next Olympics.
Yeah, I’m aware that Plushenko wants badly to compete in 2018. So here’s hoping that Russia learned from Sochi and allows more than ONE male skater to compete for their team…
But I really do want that other skater (assuming Plushenko stays healthy and as determined as ever) to be Sergei instead of Maxim.

That’s my opinion at this point. 4 years is a long way away, but I’m still going to spend one moment every day thinking about it.

Anyway, loved Sergei’s program yet again. They’re talking about how old he is (27 is not old compared to 31!!!) but how young he looks as a skater. Such great energy.

The guy who won was also from Japan, but it wasn’t Takihito Mura. It was someone who hadn’t competed for a number of years due to injury. Daisuke Murakami had the cleanest program. I was thinking at points it was almost too good 😛 I had expected Takihito to win and Yuzuru to be in 3rd. Instead, this new Daisuke (the old Daisuke in Japanese skating was Daisuke Takahashi, who recently retired and was 3rd place at the Vancouver Olympics) got first place.
Loved his reaction back stage when he discovered he won.

It’s also kinda nice that he and Gracie Gold are besties (Frank Carroll coaches them both) and they both won gold in their divisions.

…but before I get ahead of myself, Jeremy Abbott got 5th as he did at Skate Canada. Disappointing since he was 2nd going into the free skate 😦 It’s not that he did badly. His Adagio program was beautiful. In fact, the stadium was so quiet that I could hear his skates hitting the ice on his jumps. I was so moved watching him. Too bad he didn’t have that quad, otherwise he could have won this thing.

But then, if he had, Yuzuru might not have qualified for the Grand Prix Final
(he’s there with Maxim, Javier Fernandez, Takihito Mura and Tatsuki Machida… Jason Brown missed this cut being in 7th place overall).
I heard that there are still chances for people to get into the final, but I haven’t heard what those chances. According to NBC’s schedule, the GPF IS the next skating competition being broadcast.

Thank God for YouTube 😛 otherwise I’d be going through withdrawals… 3 Sundays without figure skating after I’d gotten so used to it over the past month or so.

On the women’s side, Grace Gold was the girl to beat. Her program wasn’t flawless. She fell once. But she looked much better than she did at Skate America. Maybe I just needed to get used to her music. Sarah Brightman showing off on this recording from “Phantom of the Opera”… maybe I’m getting used to the lyrics 😛 or it just depends on the skater.

Polina Edmunds did well. Christian Gao (also from America) did not.
Kanako Murakami did really well with her Phantom program, better than the last time I saw her, I think.
Satoko Miyahara looked so tiny and didn’t compete all of her jumps, but she pulled me back in by the 2nd half of her program 😀 put a nice smile on my face

Gracie Gold might have had a little help in her top placing… seeing as she wasn’t up against any Russian teenagers this week 😛 although I’m sure some people might protest that Alena Leonova should have won because she had the cleaner program (Gracie fell while she didn’t). I liked that she smiled and appeared to enjoy her program. So many people are so serious during their programs.

But then again, when it comes to Plushenko, I PREFER him being serious because him doing anything remotely goofy doesn’t feel right. 😛 it took me a while to get used to him being flirtatious in “Tango Amore” so, yeah…
I have problems with favoritism, ADD and wanting my favorite skaters to be serious opposed to goofy.

Yet with some of them, I’d rather they smile than not :shrug: it’s a give or take.

So with the women, Ashley Wagner made the cut at 6th place overall for the Grand Prix Finale (phew, I was so worried about her! my favorite female skater on Team USA)
Then along with Gracie Gold, we have 4 Russian women…. Elena Radionova, (my favorite) Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (finally spelled it right without looking it up, yeah!), Anna Pogorilaya and (Olympic sweetheart) Yulia Lipnitskaya.

December 21st is the big day… which feels like forever from now. But then, these past 4 months waiting to get to my YouTube “watch later” list… compared to that, this is nothing.

Congrats to everyone involved and I’ll see you in 3 weeks!

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