2016 Euros- maybe a little too predictable?

They showed the top 7 short programs of the men and women on Universal and I typed up notes on my iPhone.
I didn’t bother with last names to save myself some extra typing.

Women’s SP

Nathalie- good start and composure but had some stumbles. Black swan costume but skates to Buble “feeling good.”

Joshi-great sass on the ice, good skate though not excellent.

Elena-Really good!!!! Little stumble in step sequence but otherwise perfect.

Nicole-stepped out of one jump but beautiful presentation to Romeo & Juliet

Evgenia-stepped out on double axel but still first with all jumps in second half. But just a 2 point lead.

Angelina- skated to Tosca, had all jumps in the first half, well done program but she didn’t capitalize on the emotion of the piece- that was only thing missing!

Anna- did better than her usual.

Roberta-lost out on 3rd with presentation but did really well.

Men’s SP

Jorik-no quad but clean. Good performance to u raise me up.

Ivan [Italy]- no quad either. Same music [the text underneath said he’d be skating to Puccini so when I heard the same song twice, I thought they’d made a mistake- mistake was on Universal’s part… it’s already bad enough these commentators never say anyone’s name right] but AMAZING performance. Hands over head on jumps and a lot of passion!! Really hope he has a quad in his free skate.

Looking at the final group, I’m getting really excited. Lots of talent. Javi’s the favorite but a lot of potential for 2nd and 3rd. Depending on who lands the quads and stays clean.

Michal Brezina [Czech Republic]- perfect triple axel but fell on his quad salchow. Maintained good performance throughout. Really great job

Alexander Petrov [Russia]- solid performance, really well done but his score was skewed lower cuz he’s just becoming a senior skater. but also had no quad. Javi will take care of that 😉

Javier Fernandez-landings weren’t perfect but seasons best. Again did amazing.

Alexei Bychenko- clean program with really well done jumps, really good musicality. Had at least one quad-solid. “All Alone” by Geir Ronning was his music. He skated to it really well.
[2 years ago when I was looking up Russian skaters in the grand prix series, he was the first one I looked up because his name looked Russian. Then I found he was with Israel and he wasn’t as strong as I’d hoped. Looking at his Wikipedia page, I actually wasn’t too far off. He skated for Ukraine until 2010. Interestingly, he trains in Hackensack, New Jersey, which is only 40 minutes away from me].

Daniel Samohin- it was perfect until that triple axel. Did so well, could easily get a medal. Great performance!

Maxim Kovtun [Russia]- fell on triple axel but did a really good job overall

It’s tough looking at this with these scores. Daniel deserved higher than 5th place but also was probably downgraded due to him just coming up as a senior. Still would have put him in 3rd, maybe 2nd for his presentation alone.

Free Skates

…of course with this being a couple days after the event, I already came across the results.
Although the results matched my predictions for the gold medalists, I’m still not happy about it. Taking away from all the suspense.
I would have given up social media entirely for the rest of the week if I knew Johnny Weir would be the one spoiling the results for me.

My gut feeling right now… looking ahead to Worlds, it’s going to be hard to beat Russians Volozhar and Trankov in the pairs competition… At least after their performance at Nationals, my eye is on the Shibutani sibs to win Ice Dance for the US.
Which just leaves the door open for men and women.
Yuzuru and Javi are the favorites easily for the men, but the door is certainly open for Max Aaron and Patrick Chan.
The women, it’s Russia’s gold medal to lose and right now it looks like it’ll be hard to beat Evgenia Medvedeva. Especially since her short program gives her, what almost feels like, an unfair advantage.

My dad asked me if “my guy” was competing when I was watching the short programs on Wednesday. It was tough having to admit that Plushenko would not be there- and explain he injured his back and didn’t compete this year.
Yet the past few times I’ve seen him, he’s looked so strong. Even being flexible, incorporating a spiral in his “Grand Amore” program.
He might not be able to compete with Javi technically, but he has more personality and finesse in his performance than most of the other male skaters. That at least has to count for something, right?
The ultimate goal is the next Olympics, of course, but yeah… I could go on and on about this, but that’ll be for a entry I post in two weeks

Now onto the show… I hope the women go first because there really isn’t a lot of suspense with their results 🙄
…nope, showing the guys first… and it kinda sucks that they’re showing a different crowd from the short program so I don’t get to see how some of the people I liked finish the competition.

Florent Amodio
There was a lot of talk about him online, about him doing a great final performance and being cheated out of a medal.
He was 8th going into this and finished in 4th.
I remember him when I was watching through the Vancouver Olympics. He played a great character in his short program and had beautiful spins.
Couldn’t help but feel a little emotional about this being his last performance of his career. He’s leaving because he can’t compete with the level of skating now. Where you’re expected to do 3 quads in a free skate. And he’s only 25.
It makes me worry if Plushenko will be able to compete without 3 quads in a free skate. In Sochi, he was only able to do one. In his SP, he had two. But he’s very determined to continue in the sport.
And it also got me thinking what a mess I’ll be when some skaters I REALLY care for do the final skates of their careers.

Mikhail Kolyada
This is the first time I’m really seeing this Russian. He has really high triple axels, highest I’ve seen, I think. He had Biellmann spin (Plushenko’s the only other male skater from Russia I’ve seen use it) And he was skating to music from “Nightmare Before Christmas”- so it seems like all of that fits together.
But the editing of the music made really hard for me to connect. So this left a lot to desired, at least for me.
But if Plushenko has his eye on him to “inherit his throne” as the top male skater in Russia, of course I’m going to have to keep my eye on him.
The only thing I’m missing from him… I just want a better free skate than that. The choreography and the music really didn’t work for me. Not in this case. But it looks like I will have to check out his Russian Nationals performance on YouTube.

It’s funny that my mom asked if I’m following him because I’ve been following a lot of Russian men since Plushenko. And I felt kinda bad about admitting I haven’t 😛 I need to pick my game.

Alexei Bychenko
Skating to “Les Mis.” It took me a couple minutes to really get involved in his program. Mostly because he got off to a rough start. He had a good quad toe, but tacked on only a single jump. Then he fell on his other quad toe. Then when the music changed over from “Look Down” to “I Dreamed a Dream,” I started to feel something. I felt invested in his performance and stuck with him for the rest of the skate. The one thing kinda distracting me was his costume 😛 looked like a puffy strait-jacket, but with the arms obviously free.

Javier Fernandez
He fell twice- not his cleanest performance. But this was just SO FUN to watch 😀 I had a smile on my face the entire time. I think I’m just running out of things to say at this point. I picked Javi to win this, just like so many other people have, and I trusted him to go out and kill it. And he did just that 😉
I feel lucky to be a fan and that I decided to keep an eye on him after Sochi… where I knew he was good, but I was hoping he wouldn’t do well because I really wanted Yuzuru to win after he gave such a great performance in the team event.
…also gotta add I love seeing Brian Orser, his coach, on the sidelines watching him. He’s so excited.

Maxim Kovtun
That was REALLY hard to watch :/
I mean, there’s controversy about Florent Amodio not getting bronze and the one thing that kept him off the podium was the short program.
After he fell on his first quad, it unraveled and it was hard for me to really connect. Of course I want Russia to skate well in the men’s competition, but Maxim makes it hard sometimes to support him. Especially when so much about him goes against what typically impresses me in this event. He doesn’t engage me when he performs, he always looks like kind of a mess. There’s no spark in his eyes.
Johnny made a good point that his choreography demands too much acting this year. I like Max’s short program to “I Can’t Dance” by Genesis. But his Beethoven free skate… not as much. It’s hard to take it seriously. Johnny said it was because his style looks junior-ish.

Now they’re showing Volosozhar and Trankov.
And they were AMAZING… phew… that chemistry is amazing. Nobody can match that.

Then they showed Ice Dancing- a pair from Italy and another from France.

Onto the women and the suspense will pretty much be gone now.
I hope at least see some impressive performances, though.

Elena’s got a different costume now. So I’ll see how that visual looks 😉
Looks great. A few small hiccups, but no falls or under rotations.
Johnny and Tara were kinda harsh, though, saying that her music exposes her weaknesses and she needs to look smoother in order to keep up with Evgenia who just looks like a natural.
But of course I’m trying my best to hold together here 😛 I love this Titanic program and I really love how much she emotes on the ice. I wasn’t a believer last year because she looked immature in the performance aspect of her skating. Now I’m such a huge fan.

I wonder if it’s always going to be like this- I’m really supporting one skater from Russia and the other is getting all the support. Although Elizaveta Tuktamysheva did rally in the 2nd half of last season when she won all her competitions easily… I miss seeing her skate 😦 my favorite female skater from Russia, hands down.

Now onto Evgenia Medvedeva…
she had a fall, but still won by quite a bit over Elena.
But it’s kind of hard not to fall in love with her.
I saw her SP and was actually anticipating the choreography from her free skate. It starts with her hands over her ears and then she just comes to life. This has become one of the iconic programs of this season.
and seeing her reaction when she won- she was so surprised 😛 loved that reaction.

Anna Pogorilaya, again, had a rough time. She fell twice and listening to Johnny and Tara’s commentary, I started to wonder if Russia is going to replace her on the Worlds team after this performance. It wasn’t perfect by any means. The wind goes out of her sails after a couple falls and her falls are tough to watch.
None of the other Russian girls are super consistent, though. But I want to keep hoping that Elizaveta gets her place. At least she’d won a bunch of these competitions- including Worlds last year. :fingers crossed:

Angelina from Latvia was last. Her music was “Tango Roxanne” so of course I got exicted. I saw a skating show where one of the women used it and made it so memorable for me. Then of course Plushenko’s program- which I will watch after I finish writing this post.
She did very well, gave a solid performance with no falls. The only thing really missing is performing out to the audience. She’s very inward skater and performer. But after Anna’s performance, I thought Angelina should have gotten the bronze medal. And clearly the crowd felt the same way.

Now I have a bit of a gap between now and the next competition… but come February 13th, I’ll post again.

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