2015 Grand Prix Final- Junior/Senior Men and Ladies’

All the action begins today in Barcelona… and thanks to God-only-knows-what, the broadcasts of the free skates aren’t until the 20th. A FULL WEEK after the event finishes in real time.
So I’m either going to stumble across the results on social media before I see it unfold “live,” I’m going to have to judge social media all together (and I don’t think I can give up Facebook AND Twitter for a whole week) or I’ll have to mute/turn off notifications to everyone I follow in the figure skating community until then.

So the only way I’ll find out if Yuzuru wins or Patrick Chan beats him in another ridiculous scoring controversy… is if Evgeni Plushenko tweets about it himself.

After my feeling about Plushenko after the Vancouver Olympics wound up being construed by the media, I swore to myself that I wasn’t going to turn against any skater or waste time attacking them because they’re doing well and my favorites aren’t.
But following a Yuzuru Hanyu fan group on Facebook has pretty much ruined any chance of me liking Patrick Chan because they’ve posted about the occasions he’s been scored higher than other skaters who did better than him. I watched a GPF I had saved on YouTube yesterday and I flipped out when he not only scored higher than Jeremy Abbott (who made fewer mistakes), but he won the whole competition. I started with his free skate and couldn’t watch anymore after finding he won. So I don’t know for sure if the other skaters all had bad showings or the judges favored him.

I’m the kind of fan in this sport where I support my favorites very fiercely. With everyone else, I’m passive. I don’t want to be super critical or negative because this is such a fun sport to watch and I don’t want that to be ruined.

Considering that this event takes place in Barcelona, the home country of Javier Fernandez, it’s less likely that we’ll have another scoring controversy of those proportions.
It’s a very strong men’s field where pretty much everyone can take it all. Especially since everyone has the quad (and all three kinds are being represented, which is a HUGE plus).

But first, the junior men…
I’ve been looking forward to seeing people like Nathan Chen and Dmitiri Aliev skate again for three months. But for whatever reason, the YouTube channel that streamed/uploaded all the 2015 JGP events in full… didn’t for the Grand Prix Final. So the results have already been spoiled for me thanks to Twitter.
It really is better to see the results unfold live- otherwise, it sucks a lot of the fun and anticipation about it.

The field is super strong and all the right people are there.
Sota Yamamoto
Daniel Samohin
Vincent Zhou
Nathan Chen
Dmitri Aliev
Roman Sadovsky

[This is off the top of my head- not the starting order]

Vincent Zhou really was a strong start 😀 He nailed all of his jumps. the triple axel, flip, and his lutz combination (in the last 30 seconds of his program, no less). “Crystallize” by Lindsey Stirling is such great music to skate to. Sometimes, I felt like he lacked speed and intricacy in his step sequences, but he’s also at the junior level. That’ll come with experience. Great spins, though. Especially that first combination spin with all of those different positions.
It’ll be really interesting to see what he’s like at the senior level because he already has a lot going for him.

Daniel Samohin is definitely a rock star in this short program (complete with his music from The Scorpions). He was one of the few juniors in the series I saw with the quad. The ride-out on his landing could be better, but very solid. His triple axel- his ankle went wrong in the landing, so there was an extra rotation. His step sequence was strong, but a little erratic and less composed in spots. Overall, though, he’s definitely ready for the next level.
2nd place

I believe Roman Sadovsky won Bratislava and got third at his 2nd grand prix event to qualify. I remember him being a very sensitive skater that really felt his music and skated to it well.
But he had a bad day today that might be a case of the nerves. 😦
He popped his first two jumps, did his combination well, although the 2nd jump of it wasn’t as strong a landing as the first. He gave a lot to his performance (“The Prophet” by Gary Moore… I discovered a month ago that I’d seen Plushenko skate to that music before and it was a video I’d commented on… I guess that’s a sign I’ve seen way too many, lol), so it’s 5 points higher than his technical.

Sota Yamamoto, he got bronze and gold between his two grand prix events. I remember when he won gold being REALLY good. This felt a lot like that. The only mistake he had was the landing on his first jump where the ride-out wasn’t strong. Other than that, he’s the best so far. The most composed in his step sequences and the strongest spins. His music sounded like Flamenco with a lot of Spanish flair, really cool.

Easily, he got into first place at this point. I can only wonder how much better it got after that 😛
About to find out now with Dmitri and Nathan.

Dmitri is as brilliant as I remember 😀 He skated to Gary Moore also- “Nothing’s the Same”- and he brought the right amount of sensitivity and emotion to it. With the skill to match.
What gives him an advantage is that two of his jumps (including the combination) were in the 2nd half of his program, so he’ll get extra point. The best one was when he was at the end of a step sequence. He had one knee down, spinning across the ice, and two steps later, he did a strong jump afterwards. Even more difficult than when Yuzuru goes into a triple axel after a spread eagle.
He and Nathan will definitely be duking it out for the gold medal… but really, it’s anyone’s game. They’re all so good 😀 (well, maybe not Roman Sadovksy after his performance)

The only thing that can make Nathan’s SP better than THAT… a clean quadruple jump. All-around, that was really well skated and it’s hard to find deductions anywhere. If this was the old scoring system, it’d have be to all 5.9’s and 6.0’s. Like Dmitri, two of his jumping passes (one being the combination) were in the 2nd half of his program.
Technically, he was better than Dmitri, but his presentation is only slightly higher. Two of them are separated by 1.81 points. So whoever skates clean in the free skate between those two will definitely be the winner.

Knowing beforehand that Nathan is leading took away from the excitement of his performance. But with everyone else, I enjoyed what they brought to the ice, so it hasn’t been all bad 😉
A great start to this competition… at least for me, anyway (seeing as I’m only interested in three groups of athletes).


I am so stoked 😀 the men’s competition just started… and I’ve been off Facebook and Twitter for the last 5 hours 😛

and the commentators are starting with the talk about quadruple jumps… and still mispronouncing Javier’s name :facepalm: he’s from Spain, not France, you idiots!
the early comments regarding him are that he’s the most consistent this season, but in this field, it might not be enough. then they bring up Yuzuru’s amazing performance in Japan a couple weeks ago… oh, I hope Yuzuru will be able to stand up to this new pressure that people are putting on him to succeed, just because he proved it once.
I mean, he wowed the crowd at Sochi, but when it came time for the individual events, he wasn’t as strong. And the season that followed, he had a tough time. Although some of it could be chalked up to injury- that collision with Yan Han at Cup of China.
But then… Nathan Chen performed well despite the expectations on him (not just going from a record-breaking short program to the free skate at Colorado Springs, but also the competitions that followed).
It’s all up to fate now.

And we literally wasted the first 10 minutes of this hour on commercials and pre-game discussion…
assuming that everyone has a three-minute long short program plus a couple minutes of replays and scoring, that’s 30 minutes for the skaters. And this channel has a lot of commercials on it…

Daisuke Murakami
-I was so nervous for him for those first two jumps, but they were flawless. The quad salchow and triple axel. But then in the 2nd half of the program, he had the hand down on his triple lutz and could only do a double in combination with it. He was great moving with the music, but it was hard for me to connect with him throughout. I saw him crack a smile a couple of times and that brought me back.
He gave a little away with his performance, but with all his elements since then, he gave away no points.
83.47 is a solid effort

Patrick Chan
-honest to God, I spent the first part of this getting a piece of dog hair out of my eye, so through most of it, I was distracted and seeing it with one eye while getting it out. But I saw enough to know it wasn’t his greatest performance. He popped his quad, his triple axel wasn’t perfect. His only good skill was his triple-triple combination. But according to the judges, there’s a rule where he can’t add a triple toe at the end of that combination if you already used it in another jumping pass. Which he did since he popped his quad.
His technical score was 28 something, so obviously things aren’t looking good for him.
they gave 44.89 to his performance (which I admit was good, whatever parts of the performance I saw) 25.72 for technical (which is really bad at the senior level).
He kept his composure with the music well. I’ll give him that, but his skills weren’t on point as they should be.

Boyang Jin
He had a rocky start. The first time I saw his quad lutz not be perfect. He still got a triple toe after it, but it might be under rotated. His triple axel could be stronger. But he really did get better as the program progressed. His step sequence worked well with the music and I was starting to buy into it coming from him (“Tango Amore” is an iconic Edvin Marton/Evgeni Plushenko collaboration). And according to the commentators, apparently he did a quad toe in the 2nd half of his program and it was his best jump.
86.95- really good score, but he’d gotten higher in earlier grand prix events.

So far, it seems like everyone is a little off their game. Maybe this is just me expecting too much from them because they’re all excellent and they just happen to all be at the same venue right now.
There hasn’t been perfection as of yet.
Right now I’m just thinking- wouldn’t it be ironic if Patrick Chan got left in the dust just like Roman Sadovsky did in the junior grand prix final… and they’re both Canadian…

Shoma Uno
He’s in great contention based on the lay-out of his program. He starts with a triple axel with a spread eagle entry- a really good one! and eats up time with back-to-back spins, then he puts the rest of his jumps and the combination in the 2nd half for the extra points. He fell on his quad toe, but he did well on his triple-triple combination. On presentation, I felt like he could have surpassed Boyang Jin. He didn’t quite do that, but still a very strong skate with great composure. The best step sequence so far

Yuzuru Hanyu
OMG- I was nervous pretty much the whole time, but I allowed myself time to be awed and to go “wow” and cheer him on.
The crowd clapped along with Shoma’s program and they cheered for Yuzuru- either there are a lot of Japanese fans in the audience or lots of fans of these Japanese skaters.
Anyway, Yuzuru freaking nailed it!
His quad salchow was BEAUTIFUL, he had a quad toe-triple combination and another great triple axel
110.95 WOW!!!
49.14 for presentation? either he needs to work on it or this program really doesn’t allow for him to give a lot to that. Or the judges just suck 😛 61.81 for technical score is beyond amazing

I wonder how Javi’s gonna fare after that…

Javier Fernandez
Of everyone, he easily had the best presentation 😀 his home crowd really got behind him and clapped along with the music. Technically, he had a shaky start (Yuzuru’s triumph probably shook him up a little bit- in the replay, it looked like he was changing his mind mid-jump and he fell out of it), but he got a lot stronger as the program progressed.
I thought maybe his score was a little too high, but then, I had to give it to him on presentation. That was really good.

The commentators liked Yuzuru so much that they showed his program again and were making additional comments about how easy he made it look and how high this ceiling of the scoring system can go after 110+ points… probably not much higher.
But yeah, I’m so excited for him after that… maybe I will watch the free skates on YouTube and see them again in a week when they broadcast it.
He has a pretty sizable cushion going into the free skate, so he should have that gold medal… hopefully
:fingers crossed:

Back to the junior men.
Going in blind this time.

It was obvious Roman Sadovsky wasn’t going to make it to the podium after finishing last and being 20 points out of first place. But I was with him with this whole skate, wanting to see him succeed and have at least have some good experiences to take away from it. He opened with a quadruple toe loop that didn’t get fully rotated, so he finished that rotation on the ground. There were bobbles with some other jumps, but he had some solid ones.
What stood out to me was performance. His music was “Romeo & Juliet” (it sounded like the Leo DiCaprio version because it sounded like him speaking at one part of the recording) and he felt his music. Really beautiful to watch. Technically he wasn’t great, but his presentation score was 63.50… never mind that it’s 17 points higher than his technical score. That’s really impressive.
[One day I need to look up what would be considered good for presentation, both for junior and senior skaters]
He’s going to be around for a while, definitely. Could be Canada’s chance to finally win a gold medal in the men’s division.
I was a little worried for him afterwards because he broke out of his final pose really quickly and started pacing holding his sides. I thought maybe he injured himself on one of the jumps, but for now he seems okay.

Daniel Samohin, I recognized was going to skate to the “Sherlock Holmes” soundtrack just based on his costume. And quite a few guys had that for their music in the juniors. He started out really well with a quadruple-triple combination and had some other strong jumps. Then he just had a meltdown. All of his jumps were out of sorts. He fell once on a step sequence so it’s a total of 5 deductions. He’s a strong jumper, but he needs to learn to pace himself better or he’s too tired for the rest of the program. And again his step sequences are erratic and need more focus.
[His presentation was 61.14, so I guess Roman’s score wasn’t too extraordinary]
I heard the commentator mention something about Maxim Kovtun 😛 but I don’t know enough Russian to understand the context. Either they trained together or he’d used the same music

Yeah, at this point, 63.50 for presentation is just a benchmark because everyone’s surpassing it.

Vincent Zhou had some hiccups too. Two of his jumps, he fell on them. But he got that behind him and started making up ground. He already does the jumps with the hands over the head, but it seemed like he was adding those in an attempt to get more points to make up for mistakes in the second half. So far, he’s the most composed and poised of the skaters, but he needs to work on presentation versus technical. There’s a 6 point gap between the two.
His music was “The Godfather”- the original version from the music.

With a lot of these skaters, I’ve come to know them so well that I remember their music before they even take the ice.
But it does look like the top three are going to be set unless there’s some kind of mishap. Vincent has a good chance at bronze if Sota Yamamoto has an off-day.

…he had an off-day, but he still was 20 points ahead of Vincent Zhou’s score.
For a second there, I was afraid I’d jinxed him with my comments.
He had hiccups throughout his program, but he kept his composure and I even saw him smile a couple times. His music was by Tchikavoski and he was dressed for the part with a lot of purple and a ruffled collar.
It’ll be interesting to see him when he’s with the senior skatings, how he’ll fit in and how much better he’ll get.

I’d been excited to see Dmitri’s free skate ever since his 2nd grand prix win. I REALLY hope my expectations are met again.
…sadly, Dmitri struggled. He still managed to get into first place, which is good for right now. Unless Nathan is also struggling, he’ll be in 2nd. Like Sota, he popped some of his jumps (a couple in the 2nd half of the program, so maybe he got spooked and lost his confidence along the way). I stayed with him the whole time, felt his performance and his presentation was really good. The score for that was 69.52 and that’s probably what saved him from falling down to 3rd place.
Everyone can have an off day- and Dmitri had struggled previously in the short programs, but his free skates always made up for that. The reverse happened this time and it made me sad that it wasn’t another ! of a program like the last time was.

Yeah, Nathan Chen still won… but he wasn’t perfect either.
It seems like everyone struggled at the event, which proves that everyone is prone to nerves and also making mistakes in times where it counts.
I didn’t connect with Nathan as much as Dmitri simply because of the music. For me, classical pieces are hit and miss. Sometimes I feel something and sometimes I don’t. I felt like he was more in his head trying to get the elements done. He fell twice, but unlike Dmitri, he rotated all of his jumps. Dmitri popped at least 3-4 of his jumps, which is probably why he didn’t get as high a score as he could have.

Technically he was stronger because of this [and supposedly there were a few extra quad attempts, Dmitri had a quad-triple combination that was really good but might be his only good quad today], but presentation was only 2 points higher than Dmitri’s. The two of them had a very close range of scores, so I thought either of them could have won. But it’s all about what you bring on game day.
It’s too bad I might have to wait until worlds to see these guys again. I have no doubt the top 3 will be there, but since the others are the best from Canada and Israel, Roman and Daniel will probably be there.

Onto the ladies now…
hopefully there’ll be some excitement here 😛 I’ve become so avid and excited for the guys that I don’t get as excited about the women.

I’d spent the past couple hours trying to remember who the 6th girl was. I remembered there was 2 Russians and 2 from the US and Mao Asada…
it was Satoko Miyahara I kept forgetting 😛

I just kept remembering that Elizaveta and Rika Hongo didn’t make the cut 😦 and I’m huge fans of both of them.
And I’m going to miss them- at least until Europeans and the 4 Continents championships happen.
The commentators just brought up how Elizaveta didn’t make the cut and she could have been helped if the competition in Bordaeux wasn’t cancelled.
So I’m hoping that missing this cut will help people like her and Yulia Lipnitskaya regroup so they can be 10x better for the rest of the season.

And these commentators aren’t even trying to say anyone’s name right. I know Russian names are hard. I’m still working on that myself 😛 but they’re just rushing through the names just to get to the stuff they really want to talk about… it’s not just annoying, but it also feels disrespect. Like they don’t care about the athletes competing enough to say their names right.
They raise one good point, though. When you’re skating with the best, you have to be at your best and you don’t have the luxury of making too many mistakes. Because if you don’t rebound after making one, you’re not going to make it.

Ashley Wagner
She gave a great performance and she was rewarded for it with her presentation mark being 5 points higher than her technical score. Unfortunately, she had a lot of rough patches 😦 she fell out of her triple flip so she had to put her combination later in the program and it wasn’t successful. the double-axel was her only good jump. But unlike NHK, she didn’t let it affect her performance. She did well with the music and the crowd was very supportive throughout.
It’s just too bad she might not even get at the podium after this.

Elena Radionova
Really beautiful music (“Je T’aime” by Lara Fabian) that gets me emotional, but some of that emotion was being sad about Ashley. Elena had her own difficulties. She had to put her combination later in the program because her first jump didn’t go as she hoped. There might be an under rotation in another jump and she had to fight to land the triple in her triple-triple combination, but she showed a lot of grace and poise. Which is a definite plus.
Technical was 3 points higher than presentation, but great score to start.

Mao Asada
She started out REALLY well. To the point where I was thinking it was a replay of her Cup of China performance… then she didn’t get her toe pick in the ice for her lutz and popped it. That’s why she’s in 2nd place right now. Other than that, her footwork was amazing. Lots of energy and the crowd… well, it sounds like the crowd’s supportive of everybody at this point. Which says to me “they should host more competitions here.” Even though this ice has hurt a lot of people- but it just might be nerves because this is like a championship.

Right now I’m thinking that if Mao has a solid free skate, she can still win this. But she might need a little help from some of the other skaters.
Crazy to think that her first Grand Prix Final was when she was 15… WOW

Satoko Miyahara
She had the first clean program of the night and she made it look easy. There came a point where she stopped on the ice and the music kicked on- *snap* I was there and with her for every step. I really enjoyed this program and how she moved with this music (“Firedance” by Brian Whelen).
I wanted to boo because her score wasn’t as high as I thought it’d be. I thought for sure that her presentation would be a few tics higher than it was with that great performance
68.76 3rd place

Evgenia Medvedeva
When I first saw her at Skate America, it was boggling my mind how she took so long before she started doing jumps. So much beauty in this performance. It felt like what skating was supposed to be with the smoothness and the gorgeous spins. Then you remember that you need jumps for this to be competitive. All of her jumps were in the 2nd half of the program and all were very well done. Not a single mistake. She didn’t just make it look easy… but it felt like a dream…
74.58 6 points higher for technical

Gracie Gold
I just kept thinking about Ashley and how sad I am about her not doing well today… all kinds of negative thoughts about that and the fact it look me a while to come around with Gracie Gold in general. her short program in Bordeaux was the first time I really liked her.
But maybe I wasn’t connecting this time because she was dealing with what she had to follow. That’s really difficult, to follow someone who did really well and try to top that.
She opened with her triple-triple combination. I was worried she was going to hit the boards because she did her second jump really close to them and it wasn’t fully rotated. Her next jump was a double and the third jump was good.
But the damage had already been done… more so by some the girls that went before her and she couldn’t keep up with them

so yeah… we (as Team USA) suck right now 😦 it’s very close between place 2-4 and unless something catastrophic happens, none of the American girls will make it to the podium.
which overall would suck for us because there are no guys from the US in the grand prix final… except Nathan Chen and the ones on teams.

It’s Saturday afternoon and time to play the waiting game.
Because I’m all about seeing the results as they come in, I’m going to spend this time hovering over YouTube search results for the “2015 grand prix final”

It’s ladies first at 1:45 and the men’s competition will be at 3pm.
At this point, it feels like all of the results are set in stone and the people who are ahead already are going to win hands down.
But it’ll be interesting for the other medals.

Who knows? Maybe Evgenia will make mistakes and Elena will take the gold from her… but considering the layout of the programs, it’s unlikely.
It’s more likely that Mao will get a silver medal because she has that triple axel point advantage. But in either case, both girls need to be flawless to get that silver medal.
Everyone else… it’s less likely they’ll affect the standings. If Mao and Elena have programs, Satoko could sneak in and get a medal.
[even with the results as they are, hypothesizing different outcomes makes it interesting- everyone deserves something at this point because they’ve all had great seasons with a fair mix of mistakes]

Ashley Wagner
-I cannot wait to cheer for her next week when I see this again. SHE DID IT! 😀
The only weakness I saw was her three jump combination where her half loop before the salchow looked like it could have gone wrong if she hadn’t gotten control over it.
But that was REALLY good. The performance I was hoping to see. Too bad it might be too late for it to impact the standings.
199.81- a new season’s best. 3 points higher for presentation, of course. With Ashley, I wouldn’t expect anything less.

Gracie Gold
She made a number of mistakes as she did in the short program, but overall, it was a stronger effort. There were moments where I connected and felt she moved very well with the music, using the nuances of “Firebird” to highlight her skating. I still prefer Ashley, of course, but Gracie did the best she could with this. She popped a jump and finished a couple on the ice.
Gracie got 7 points higher on presentation than on her technical, but with the mistakes, the 6 point cushion she had over Ashley was all but erased.

It’s too much to hope for more mistakes to happen so Ashley can get on the podium, but I’m so happy she got to show why she deserves to be here.
[The mens’ videos are starting to show up in the YouTube channel I’m watching]

Satoko Miyahara
A beautiful skate with no mistakes. Johnny & Tara might comment that she still need to work on reaching the farthest rows of the stands with her performance. That’s the only thing kinda missing for me, especially since she’s so tiny and her skating is as well. But it’s hard to find fault with it overall. Really well done.
I thought maybe the difficulty level of her jumps might not be enough to beat Ashley, but her technical mark was 5 points higher than her presentation. She only beat her in the free skate by a point, so she’s ahead thanks to that cushion she had from the short program. Satoko could still sneak her way to the podium if mistakes are made ahead of her. We’ll see.

Mao Asada
After she missed the triple axel at the start of her program and missed a jump after that, it was clear that she was going to have another of those performances. The performances I’ve seen from her the most- where the best version of her doesn’t show up. It could be great news for Satoko, but it was hard to watch Mao make mistakes she’s experienced enough to not be making. And while her skating was pretty, it was lacking that spark.
This gives Ashley hope for a 4th place finish, but that seemed really harsh of the judges to take that much away from her. Unless she lost points on under rotations as well. Having a 12 point gap between her two marks definitely indicates something that like could be array. Her comeback after a year off just hit a rough patch after such a great start 😦

Elena Radionova
ok, I’m crying now… but I think it was more about the music than the actual performance.
It started out a little tight. She had her game face on and was concentrating too hard on nailing her first couple jumps (some were shaky) to feel and channel the music (“Titanic”). She had one fall, but otherwise, she did have a beautiful skate and did very well overall. It just wasn’t perfect. [And this gave me another reminder why I can never see “Titanic” a second time… hearing the music and the dialogue from the movie just brought all those feelings rushing back.]
Ashley’s going to finish in 4th all because of her short program. Pretty much everyone’s free skate scores have been lower than hers. And it’s great news for Satoko because she’s getting silver out of this.

Evgenia Medvedeva
Again, she skated like a dream… omg!! that was so beautiful… I don’t think I can say much more than that. This was her competition to win. And when she got a certain number of jumps out of the way, I saw her smile and that smile never left after that 😀
WOW! and that was a season’s best too- I wonder how much she beat her previous record by.
Work on upping that presentation mark (3 points lower than technical) and she’ll be unstoppable.
[one of the comments said she’s 5 points away from the world record… Yuzuru might not be the only one making history this season]

now for the guys…
*takes a deep breath*

Patrick Chan
Dammit, the video I watched didn’t show the score. But the technical mark was 96.76 before it disappeared off the screen.
He started with a strong quad-triple combination and had a quad salchow where the ride out from the landing wasn’t perfect… I spent a lot of time doing the math in my head, figuring if there is any way he can come from behind and actually win the whole thing. Considering his short program was 60 points lower than Yuzuru’s, it’s highly unlikely. The jumps and spins were strong, but I just didn’t feel that connection with the overall performance. Even when I stopped doing calculations in my head. But I’m pretty sure he didn’t have any quads in the 2nd half of the program, so that gives that advantage to the skaters yet to perform.

Daisuke Murakami
Yikes… he had a 10 point cushion going into this and it’s probably not going to matter anymore. He missed his first two jumps, either falling or having rough landings. He had better jumps in the 2nd half, but there were more doubles in the combinations than triples. Might not have recovered in time to stay in the lead.
At least he found moments in the skate to crack a smile.
235.49- 2nd place
At the start, it said he needed 179 points to take the lead… so at this point, Patrick Chan could possibly get bronze.

my heart is racing right now… I don’t know how these guys do it actually being there and competing…

Shoma Uno
THREE FIGURES for technical score… I didn’t think anyone but Patrick Chan and Yuzuru could do that.
Once he had the first couple jumps (including a quad-double) out of the way and I saw his strategy of putting 5 of his jumping passes in the 2nd half of the program, I started to relax. I can’t wait to see this live so I can listen to that crowd again, how they were building up as he went through the Puccini portion of the program.
He was feeling the music, we were all there beside him… it was almost euphoric
276.79- a new season’s best 😀

it’s going to get REALLY interesting with these final three

Boyang Jin
his quad lutz to start had a few extra rotations on the crowd and he made some mistakes early on. But his best skating was in the 2nd half for sure. Both he and Shoma are juniors turned senior this year and it seems like Shoma is the better adjusted of the two. I didn’t get as invested in this performance, though, but technically, he did very well.
his presentation score was 14 points lower than Shoma… which means Patrick Chan is still holding onto second…

Javier Fernandez
(his video is still the last one listed on this YouTube channel… should I be worried?)
Got off to a shaky start, but really made up a lot of ground after that. Another solid performance from Javi 😀 and his technical score… phew, it’s over 100 also… this is the world we’re in now with men’s skating, I guess.
Whether or not he’ll get first or 2nd, it’s hard to be sure, but definitely getting another medal.
Love how self-assured he was and wish I’d spent more of the program not worrying about a downward spiral. I’d seen so many in this competition 😛
OMG!!! 104.65 for technical and 96.78 for performance… this is why it helps to be a quintessential skater. Shoma had a high technical score, but his presentation was at least 20 points behind.

And it looks like Yuzuru WON AGAIN!!!
The YouTube channel I was working from didn’t have his free skate and I knew then that I’d see whether or not he’d win… considering that the people uploading these videos are putting the score in the information.

That must have been one HELL of a performance… and I think I need to wait a few minutes- maybe wait until my folks leave for a Christmas party so I have time to myself to really enjoy this.
…it might have been PERFECT

219.48- if my math is right- is his free skate score… which is 18 points higher than Javier Fernandez…
this will be something to see, OMG!

and I found British commentators [the comments told me so] 😀 …it was HARD finding the freaking video, man. They had a few uploaded, but they were blocked 😡 freaking HATE THAT…
I don’t think I could survive 8 days to see this piece of awesomeness… but then the fan group I follow on Facebook is really good with providing links so everyone can be in touch with the situations as they happen.

Yuzuru Hanyu

I can’t wait to see this air on TV… with this time, I was a little complacent simply because I knew what the result was going to be (by this point, it’s been over an hour since I left off with Javi, so a lot of the adrenaline has subsided).
But as things progressed, I was really getting into it, enjoying it- I just wish the cameras angles were a little better. They were a little too far away and not as focused as I’d like them to be.
Him afterwards, though, he just looked so confident and it wasn’t until he skated to his coach Brian Orser where he cracked a smile and I saw he was only 21. Still pretty much a kid, but so ridiculously talented.
They showed a side-by-side with Shoma and Javi in the other room. Javi and Yuzuru looked at each other and bowed, and I had to laugh.
Probably the part I was excited for more- his presentation score was 9 points better than last time. I remember him being at 89 with his technical over 100… WOW.

Meanwhile in my mind I was thinking “He’s the best skater since Plushenko”… of course, there won’t be a greater performer/showman than Plushenko in my head. But as far as skill- yeah, Yuzuru has surpassed him.
Now it’s just a question of how long Yuzuru’s legacy will take him- surely his career isn’t going to be more than a decade, but I’m just glad I’m along for the ride and I’d been there since Sochi.
I knew he was great then, but didn’t think he’d push the envelope of the scoring system THIS much.

I saw in the search results an interview with him 😀 so of course I had to watch that afterwards.
His English is getting better little by little, but like one of the comments said “cuteness overload”
he doesn’t even know where his confidence comes from… never lose that humble nature, Yuzuru! that’s all I can say.

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