First of all, I had no idea this competition existed. I thought it might have just been another name for Worlds… but in fact, it’s the American/Asian equivalent of the Euros. According to Wikipedia, it began in 1999.
I’d only been back from vacation for a week, but thanks to work (and very grateful for it), I have yet to see any coverage from this year’s Euros on YouTube. I just know that Elizaveta Tuktamysheva and Javier Fernandez won in their given categories… very happy for both of them too 😉 they’re among my favorite skaters right now.
I guess, ultimately, being on vacation was a good thing because I’d been away from Twitter updates for two weeks. I caught up on a few people I was following to be up to date with things because there was no way I was going through all that feed… just wasn’t going to happen.
My point: I had no idea who’d be competing or how everyone would figured into the standings.
Having spoilers all over the US Figure Skating handle is pretty annoying, but I do want to keep up to date on all these things.
For each group of skaters, there were only 5-6 that they were showing.
Jason Brown went first for the guys. Rumor is that he tried his first quad in the short program… he didn’t nail it, but the fact he tried it, I’m happy to hear…
By this point, I’m kinda over his “Tristan and Isolde” program… but there were a few points where his acting with the music was really spot-on. I just didn’t enjoy it overall because, again, it’s kinda repetitive and part of me feels he shouldn’t really be heralded as one of the best in the world without the quad. It just can’t be done. But I say keep on trying it and it’ll come to you eventually.
Yan Han, who was in that dramatic warm-up crash with Yuzuru, had a really good showing. I enjoyed his “Fly me to the moon” program a lot. He was a good performer that made me smile throughout. My one nitpick (Johnny & Tara touched on this too) was that his spins were very lacking. Supposedly, he doesn’t like doing spins, but I say that’s the one component he’s really missing. The jumps and performance are there, but the spins are just as important.
I’m not exactly an expert in figure skating yet, but watching as much of it as I’ve had… I’ve noticed some things that I never really did before. With the jumps, I keep an eye on them throughout. Watch their feet to determine how clean the landing is going to be. With the spins, I’d say Yan Han didn’t have the different levels to his spins. Everyone else changes position, going high and low on their skates, to bring different levels. So in his case, he did level one spins, which should be level 3.
He eventually finished 3rd.
Joshua Farris, again, impressed me to no idea. I think I spent his whole program holding my breath because I just wanted him to skate clean. But he was really good throughout, emoting on the ice, nailing the jumps and spins. His expression when he sprung into first place was priceless. He was so excited! 😀 and I was excited for him.
Denis Ten came out next. Supposedly he posted one of the highest SP scores ever and did really well. I vaguely remember seeing him one other time where he was first after the short and lost it completely in the free skate… it might have been last year’s Worlds, but I can’t be sure. [According to his Wikipedia page, it was the Trophee Eric Bompard]. So of course all of us (me, Johnny and Tara) were nervous about him being able to deliver for this.
Denis Ten was freaking amazing! Nailing the first quad was one thing, but when he did that quad toe-triple toe combination, I started to swoon… I mean, Daisuke Murakami did a quad salchow and did so in combination. And it’s considered a harder jump.
But I’m having trouble remembering if anyone this season even did a quad in combination with another jump. Certainly not a quad toe. I mean, that’s Plushenko’s signature opening move (assuming it’s clean), and I can’t remember seeing anyone doing it this current season. Denis Ten did it and he had me for the rest of the program. He was really good. The crowd really got into it halfway through (his grandfather fought in the Korean war, so he considers Korea a second home). He loosened up and played to the crowd and made it such a good time.
If that didn’t already blow me away, he put a total score of 289.46… the third highest ever recording. Terry Gannon (in the booth with Johnny & Tara) talked about how the guys have been eyeing the 300 point mark.
I’m wondering if that would put the fire in Plushenko to get him competing again. I know his body is not as strong as it used to be 😛 but c’mon, part of him has to be wanting to pursue this.
His highest total score is only in 255 point range… and that was 3 years ago at Euros in Sheffield. I’m just saying…
One thing I noticed and Johnny & Tara clearly noticed… almost all the guys collapsed on the ice when they figured. Johnny’s asking why everyone’s so tired. I’m thinking
For the girls… I don’t know why Ashley didn’t show up for this competition, but for multiple reason, I missed seeing her. Firstly because she’s my favorite female skater that could compete in this particular competition. And secondly… I was just tired through most of it. There wasn’t a lot of excitement for me.
Polina Edumunds easily did the best program, probably the best showing she’s had in competition.
Gracie Gold, I don’t know what happened with her. She just had a break. She barely got off the ground for her triple combination, doing only a single and double. Then for another, she missed the take-off on one jump and nailed the second.
It was kinda funny afterwards where she picked up a big-ass bear off the ice. Then in the kiss & cry, she disappeared behind it and reappeared with a big-ass bag of Reese’s cups. At first I thought she was performing magic. But then I remember the bear had a pink backbag and the Reese’s were likely in it.
Then we had two Japanese girls and one from China.
Zijun Li went “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” with her costume and “Moon River” with her music. Something about her jumps wasn’t quite all there. She nailed them, but they were very stinted landings, certainly not enough to get any of the +4 possible bonus points for grades of execution. But I did enjoy it. She was a beautiful skater. She just needs a little polish.
Satoko Miyahara was first going into the free skate and she just didn’t have it completely together. She messed up one of her jumps and was a little too much in her head. Her expression when she got her scores was definitely angry. Like she still has some unfinished business to take care of.
Rika Hongo did her “Carmen” program and I enjoyed bits and pieces of it. I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I had the last time I saw her. I didn’t want to admit something wasn’t quite right, but Johnny & Tara voiced my fears near the end of the program.
So now I guess I have a month to wait until Worlds… March 28th… ugh, that’s such a long time away from now. Rumor is that Yuzuru injured his ankle in practice, so hopefully he’ll be okay to compete by then. I’m not saying he has to defend last year’s title, but I just want him to be there to get more experience under his belt and do well.
In the meantime, I will try to get around to seeing at least the medal winners from Euros do their programs on YouTube…