Here we go- 2016 Worlds!

A Yuzuru fangirl I follow on Twitter just posted the starting order for the men’s short program so I thought this would be a good starting point.
For whatever reason, NBC is being a jerk to me again by not showing their broadcast at a time where I can watch it. I love my job and I don’t mind getting up at 5:30 in the morning to make my commute… but it isn’t fair that they’re showing the men at midnight.
I’ll probably be yelling at the TV anyway because they’re not showing EVERYONE I want to see… but it’s the principle of the thing.

I have 21 people I’m interested in on the guy’s side. And thanks to her post, I’ve put them in the order they’re performing so when the videos appear on YouTube, I can go in that order. That’s the closest I’ll come to watching them live. Just need to remind myself to stay off Twitter [even though I’ve muted most of the figure skating related people I’m following] until then.
Most I’d been watching since Sochi. The others have caught my attention this year’s junior grand prix series and Euros.
In fact, four of them are juniors that have really impressed me this year.

Ivan Pavlov from Ukraine has his moments of dramatic flair and his eyes are like daggers when he’s on his game.
Denis Margalik from Argentina won bronze in the Bratislava JGP. I wrote that he had some magical moments in a free skate he did. Was originally from Canada but returned to his home land to help build the program out there.
Julian Zhi Jie Yee from Malaysia was also interviewed at one point and that was when I really started to like him. The one thing he felt was holding him back was his performance- getting his personality to come out when he performs on the ice. But his personality does really shine. I commented once that he could have made the podium if he hadn’t made some mistakes.
Deniss Vasiljevs from Latvia had gotten a couple second place finishes. He’s still coming into his own and still young, so he might get a little lost in the shuffle. But he could also do really well and rise to the occasion.

Except for Grant, all the Americans are in the 2nd to last group. I hope Adam Rippon skates clean and Max Aaron gets some of those demons out of his head- the ones stalking him during his Four Continents performances.
Then there’s the final group with all the heavy weights- Yuzuru, Javi, Patrick Chan. Also Shoma Uno (like Boyang Jin, a junior recently turned senior that’s really made an impact), Denis Ten (who had an off season this year so I’m hoping that time off helped him), and Maxim Kovtun is the last skater to go. Somehow I get the feeling he might have a rough time- especially since he’s following Yuzuru.

Also looking forward to seeing Misha. He was only in one Grand Prix competition this year and he’d been dealing with injuries. Hopefully he has a good showing here.

Seriously, you’d think that since Boston is in my time zone that they would be able to broadcast the men’s SP at a responsible hour….

3.30.16

They already started posting the performances on YouTube

Ivan Pavlov

He doesn’t like the Ivan Pavlov I’d seen a couple times in the junior circuit… maybe I had him confused with someone else. He made a good effort for sure. His only mistakes was not rotating fully on the 2nd jump on his combination and he fell. The music was very dramatic and he brought that to his performance.
65.20

Mikhail Kolyada
Wow, this guy is kind of a goofball… I’d only seen him skate once and it was his Nightmare Before Christmas free skate. That being said, he really embraced the character he played and that deserves a lot of credit.
As does the fact he skated 2nd, very early in the line-up, and he had a quad-triple combination! The ride-out looked a little shaky like he had to fight for the landing, but otherwise kudos.
Looked he had the time of his life out there and his reaction to his score- so good 😀
Also nice to see a guy in the senior ranks from Russia doing the Biellmann spin 😉
89.66

Denis Margalik
Didn’t get fully rotated on his triple axel and fell. The rest of his jumps he had to fight to land and likely weren’t fully rotated either. But he didn’t sacrifice technique or let the rest of his program suffer because of that, which is commendable. Unfortunately, he might not get enough points to make the cut for the free skate. But this is also his first worlds. There’s always next time.
52.31

Grant Hochenstein
Such a beautiful quality to his skating… really great spins. Not so great jumps. He fell on his quad, fought to land his triple axel and might have doubled the 2nd jump in his combination.
He definitely did enough to qualify for the free skate. I don’t doubt that.
His scores were pretty close, but I thought for sure his presentation would be better than technical. Although his technical is only around 38. There are people coming up capable of much higher.
74.81

Now time for the waiting game… waiting for the next heat of skaters to be uploaded.
I definitely won’t be seeing the final two groups tonight- and that’s where the majority of my favorite skaters are.
The most I’ll see is 6.
Misha and everyone who goes after him, I’ll have to wait a while to see… after work tomorrow and also after the broadcast of the women’s SP

Julian’s video just got uploaded 😀 :fingers crossed:

Julian Zhi Jie Yee
Already, I have a feeling he’s going to be one of those skaters I’m really going to be passionate about and I’ll be looking for him to do well and improve.
I notice the little things with him. He looked very tight and nervous to start off. He fought to land all his jumps, but he did land them all fully rotated. Then he gave a really passionate performance after the halfway point with the steps, really playing to the music. Lots of complicated steps. Then at the end when it was over, I was just waiting for him to exhale and crack a smile because he got through it and he skated a clean program.
67.60
a season’s best for him. again, I thought his presentation score would have been a little higher, but only 3 points behind his technical mark. I hope that’s enough to get him into the free skate so he’ll get enough chance to loosen him and shine the way I know he’s capable of.

Deniss Vasiljevs
wow! That has to be a season’s best for him, easily. Had to fight for a couple landings on his jumps, but what a performance. He looked very relaxed, really gave his all and the crowd loves him.
Crazy he was able to do this and the junior worlds and still look this good. The real test is the free skate, but also there’s the fact he doesn’t have a quad yet. If he has a top 10 finish, who knows? Could be a star on the rise.
81.07
…he cracked 80 points and his toughest jump was a triple axel?! wait, maybe he had a quad salchow in the 2nd half. I’m having trouble counting the rotations, even at half speed. that would explain why the landing on that was the hardest to nail, which he did.

Ivan Righini
I’d only seen Ivan one other time and it was Europeans. I said he had a lot of potential, great performer. He’s just missing a quad. [And shortly after his Euros performance, he joined Plushenko for Kings on Ice… makes me wonder how that came about- had Plushenko been watching him for years? or did he see him at Euros and invite him?]
Now onto the actual performance…
it was amazing! omg! his strongest jump is the triple axel, but he was very strong throughout. he has a huge presence on the ice, big tall guy, but it’s amazing how he moves so well to Josh Groban of all things.
81.17
still has a chance for a medal along with Mikhail

I’m looking at the right side of my YouTube window- Adam Rippon had already performed, so I might get to see most of the performances tonight. Only have maybe 50 minutes left to do so, though.

Alexei Bychenko
He fought for every jump and fell on his quadruple toe loop :/ but he brushed it off and gave another great performance with this music. I hope he’s able to pull off another great free skate, skating clean like he did at Europeans. Definitely very talented.
69.86
yikes, the scores were not kind to him :/ he’ll be lucky if he gets the chance to go the free skate.
Gotta remember this music: “All Alone” by Geir Ronning

Han Yan
Speaking of having a rough time… this was really hard to watch. he tried to play it off with smiles (with “Sing Sing Sing” as your music, you definitely have that ability), but he knew that he’d lost his shot. He fully rotated his quad but he slipped off the edge of his skate as he landed it. fought to land his 2nd jump and popped the third.
62.56
that’s really unfortunate because he has the talent. it’s just the question of whether you can bring your A-game at the day of competition.

Michal Brezina
He presents himself really well. “The Way You look tonight”- he used to his advantage for sure.
He fell once and his jumps he had to fight to land. Maybe not the most composed skater with the elements, but I liked the way he carried himself out there.
It’s just compared to some other people I’m bigger fans of, he tends to fall off my radar.
79.29

ah, Misha is next 😀 !!!

Misha Ge
and he was amazing, omg! I’ve missed him so much and he performed in a way to remind me (as if I could forget) why I love watching him. he has a great sensitivity about his skating when he performs to pieces to like this (a slow ballad from Rachmaninoff). nailed all his jumps, but he really impressed me with his gorgeous spins and the complex steps he had.
77.43
season’s best- which isn’t saying a lot because he didn’t have a lot of competitions this season. but 6th place as of this point. that’s more than respectable 😉

Nam Nguyen
He came as an alternate (another Canadian pulled out due to injury) and it looked like he was out of practice because there were a lot of mistakes. after falling on the first jump and popping the second, even though he landed his combination in the 2nd half, it was too late. it’s sad. he’s just coming into his own and maturing as a skater and he hasn’t been able to get it together.
61.61

I think I’ll have enough time just to see the Americans 😛
I need another hour, lol

Adam Rippon
he made that first jumping pass look so easy… almost too easy.
a nice clean program with all the flourishes and emoting that he does so well. especially with this music from Queen.
and of course the crowd was on their feet, thrilled.
he’ll definitely beat Mikhail’s presentation mark- and he did by 2 points.
85.72
he’s in 2nd place right now!! America has a chance for a medal- provided that he lands his quad lutz in his free skate.

Boyang Jin
we officially have a competition!! wow.
I feel like he improves his presentation every time he performs. it’s never the exact same program twice.
[of course I spent half the time telling the voice in the back of my head saying “I miss seeing Plushenko skate to Tango Amore” to shut up, lol].
then the commentators went nuts in his final jumping pace- I know enough Russian to know he did a [haha, they just mentioned him- I have the video going as I’m writing this] quadruple toe loop in the 2nd half of the program.
89.86- he just eked into first place!! just because of that

yeah, we have real competition now.
and we have people able to do 90-100+ points in their short programs.

Max Aaron
it wasn’t perfect, but he got through it. he put a hand down on his quad and had to fight to land other jumps, but no major mistakes. he did really well. maybe not enough to keep up with the other skaters, but anything’s possible. especially he brings the right amount of emotion for his free skate.
81.28

Shoma Uno
Shoma didn’t make it look easy this time- snow came up when he landed a couple of his jumps. this usually means under rotation, but I think it’s because he had to fight to land the jumps. he’s usually so self-possessed and confident, but this time around, not quite as much.
but he gave a great performance overall. I might have to watch this again- preferably without distraction.
90.71
I guess this was because he did two of his jumping passes in the 2nd half… one of the best presentation marks tonight.

3.31.16

FINALLY!!
I’d been dying all day to finally see the rest of this competition.
I’ve got to fan some flames (some fanatical, some fuming) about the women’s competition, but first things first…

Javier Fernandez

Javi started out so strong- quad salchow, triple combination was flawless. then he did a 2nd quad and it flipped out from underneath him after getting the 4 rotations. but the rest of his program was flawless and he did what he always does- entertain 😉
so I’m hoping he can still be in the conversation for top medals. but this definitely opens the door for Patrick Chan if he skates a clean program later on.
98.52
phew… that’s a huge gap between him and Shoma. Even with that fall, he put together the best technical score of the night so far and easiy the best presentation score so far.
Patrick Chan and Yuzuru are definitely capable of topping that score. So this should be interesting…

Denis Ten

with all the heavy hitters, it seems like this program (and Maxim Kovtun’s) will be inconsequential.
Denis Ten got bronze at Sochi because he was one of the few to skate clean in the free and he made up a lot of ground from the short. But it’s unfortunate how he can’t seem to get himself together. I think injuries have hindered him this year and he did well considering that. Put a hand down on his opening quad and later on he fell on the 2nd jump on his combination as if he lost energy at the end of it. He still gave his all, but he seems to know that he doesn’t have a chance.
78.55
they gave him a bit more for presentation. Misha skated a lot stronger than he did. The only main difference is that Denis attempted a quad and Misha hasn’t brought that to competition yet. I know he’s trying to, but it seems like that has led to injuries, which is why he hasn’t skated much this season.

Patrick Chan
Going by technical value along, Javi had the stronger program because he had two quads with one in combination. Patrick Chan has Plushenko’s typical short program set-up: quadruple toe loop- triple toe loop, triple axel and triple lutz. Patrick Chan fell on his triple axel, slipping off the edge. What’s going to set him apart from Javi was that Javi fell on a more difficult jump.
And just going by personal performance- Patrick Chan skated well and did so with a smile, but his program didn’t fell like anything special. Maybe a little too laid back whereas Javi plays a character and holds onto throughout his program.
94.84
I agree with the score, definitely… although I have to ask how with the same set-up as Plushenko- how does he get 94 points when Plushenko was only able to get as high as 91? C’mon, going by the presentation mark alone, clearly Plushenko wins hands down.

…but sadly I am not here to talk about him and I’m just making an excuse to do so 😛 I miss him so much.

now the moment of truth…
Yuzuru had two clean practices according to the fangirl I follow on Twitter, but in his third practice, he missed one of his jumps. I hope he isn’t thinking about now and is able to skate perfectly.

I have been waiting all day for this…

Yuruzu Hanyu
omg, I was so nervous during this entire thing… I’m hoping that they show this again as an encore before the free skates tomorrow night…
he had a clean program and he is ahead of Javi by just over 12 points.
two quads, one in combination, triple axel…
Why his presentation score didn’t break 50, I have no idea. Nobody has been able to do so, but that’s not a huge criticism.
110.56
He didn’t beat his personal best, but that’s definitely really close to it. How the judges could deduct anything, I don’t know… perfection. I loved his reaction at the end and how he applauded all the fans from the kiss & cry before his scores came out. On the ice he looks like a champion, but off it, amazing humility.

If he skates perfectly tomorrow tonight, omg, just look out! Boston will have to spend most of the next day repairing the room on the arena because the applause is going to blow it off.

Like I said, this will probably be inconsequential, lol… sucks to be Maxim Kovtun right now

Also, loving all the fanfare for Yuzuru in the comments section 😉 everyone loves him

Maxim Kovtun

I can’t help myself- I get into this program just because of the music 😛 I love me some Genesis and Phil Collins.
he started strong with a quad-triple combination. then he popped his stand-alone quad and I’m willing to bet he got no credit for that jump at all because he already had a triple toe loop as part of his first combination. then his triple axel wasn’t perfect either.
Yeah, he isn’t the best skater, but I always enjoy this program… I’m a sucker for some good music.
78.46
at least they gave him a little extra for presentation, but still… yikes.
His fellow countryman beat him by 11 points.
But as of this point, he’s in 6th place and quite a few points out of contention for medals.

So let’s see which of my guys qualified:
Yuzuru
Javi
Patrick Chan
Shoma Uno
Boyang Jin
Mikhail Kolyada
Adam Rippon
Max Aaron
Ivan Righini
Deniss
Michal Brezina
Denis Ten
Maxim Kovtun
Misha [yeah!!]
Grant Hochenstein
Alexei Bychenko
Julian
Ivan Pavlov

all except 3- one is Denis from Argentina, Nam Nguyen from Canada and Han Yan… really? Han didn’t make it? That sucks…
Most likely I am not going to have time to see everyone perform before the broadcast tomorrow night… but I’m going to try. I guarantee they aren’t showing Misha :/ NBC is jerks like that. They most likely will only focus on the top 10 skaters. And at least have Adam and Max because they’re American.
Adam did so well, but it seems like he doesn’t have much chance for a medal with other guys scoring in the 90’s. But if Patrick Chan has an off day, then maybe Adam can sneak in and take the bronze. It’ll be interesting to say the least.
But of course I’m really hoping Yuzuru can pull off another amazing program AND win.

Now with the women…
geesh, at this point, it almost seems not worth talking about.

But I’ll have to…

first off, I’m kinda pissed, actually.
Gracie Gold is in first place by 3 points. She nailed all of her jumps, of course, but they weren’t perfect. They weren’t as tight, at least her double axel wasn’t.
Why is there such a huge gap between her and [at that point] Evgenia Medveveda?

Ashley had her season’s best and I had so much fun watching her enjoy herself. The crowd loved her.
It was also kinda funny at the end where she was so excited that she accidentally fell on her butt. My dad predicted that’ll be all over the Internet.
But after skating the way she did, why not?
I just don’t get the gap between her and Gracie. Is it because they put Gracie in the last group?

By this point, Ashley is in the pile of skaters at the 73 point mark.
All deserving of their scores, of course.
But I can’t help being a little skeptical…

Yeah, I’m not going to let this go, but I’m going to keep moving so I don’t make this post all about that.

We started with Angelina from Lativa skating to Tosca. She fell on her opening combination, came too close to the boards. She kept it together for the rest of it, but the magic was kinda gone by that point.

First time I’m seeing Gabrielle from Canada and she made a great first impression. clean skate with great personality with her music.

Mao Asada missed on her triple axel, so her score wasn’t as high as it could have been. She didn’t let it get to her, though. She performed with her music.

Mirai Nagasu, I wanted to see do well because she came as an alternate and had been out of the spotlight ever since the whole Gracie-Ashley rivalry began.
And she did really well. She skated to a different version of “Demons” by Imagine Dragons and she gave a lot of emotion that the crowd really responded to.

Roberta from Italy did well, but after Ashley killed it, she was like a footnote at the end of this heat of skaters. She had a few bobbles, but no falls.

Evgenia Medvedeva had her usual great performance. Although she did run into a little trouble with her first jump- couldn’t do it cleanly enough where she was able to do it in combination. So her combination came at the last jump. The only way she beat Ashley was putting all the jumps in the 2nd half of the program. Clearly, it isn’t an unbeatable strategy- something I was a little concerned about.
Unlike having more difficult jumps, it almost feels like it’s cheating to put all the jumps later.
But then, putting all the jumps early in the program isn’t good either- it worked maybe 10 years ago, but now… it doesn’t have the same impact.

Elena Radionova wasn’t as smooth in her skating as she usually is. Like she had nerves or was off her game a little bit. But emotionally, she was very much present in the performance.

At the end of it, Anna Pogorilaya.
Like Maxim Kovtun, she has her inconsistencies. And I was skeptical about her getting the ticket to Worlds when Russia has better more consistent skaters.

But she went out and proved me wrong with maybe her best performance EVER… she attacked with no fear, nailed all her jumps and put herself in 2nd place.
I hope she can bring that energy into her free skate because it could made things very interesting…

At this point, I think I’m just hoping for Gracie to have a meltdown so Ashley and the others have a chance to catch up…
:grumble: three points…

Johnny Weir tweeted something that reminded me of two people I forgot… and another bit of a controversy.

Satoko Miyahara skated a clean program, great triple-triple and really played up to the audience. They loved her. The judges put her in 6th with roughly 70 points. I would have scored her above Elena Radionova easily just for overall clean program.
Although it is tough because none of the girls in the top percentile fell or had under rotations.

Rika Hongo had a great performance as well. She’s one of my favorites from Japan yet I always seem to forget about her when it’s time to do my recaps. A lot of names to remember. She made a show of her Cirque de Soleil music, had that character throughout and didn’t put a foot wrong. She’s just behind Satoko.

And I just got word meanwhile that the Shibutanis did NOT win 😦 I’m assuming everyone skated cleanly and it was just a difference of difficulty. I really had them pegged to win yet this ice dancing couple from France did…
I shouldn’t complain because I didn’t see it unfold personally.
But I thought for sure they had this and dammit, they deserved it! Nobody’s convincing me otherwise.

It’s the end of the season… and I don’t want to go out like this… I hope that I get the results I want so I’ll have no reason to complain 😛 it’ll sure save me a lot of trouble.

***
4.01.16

The men’s competition was one of the best I’d seen… lots of personal bests and memorable performances.
But it wasn’t without its disappointments.

Denis Ten

That was really hard to watch :/ he missed his quads fell and popped some jumps. Like he was really struggling to get through it. Johnny called it as he saw it and Tara felt for him, trying to be optimistic but it was hard.

230.13

And he’s second behind whoever went for him. [It was Grant Hochstein]

Deniss vasiljevis

He trains in Sochi? Cool! [Also shares a coach with Yulia: Alexei Urmanov]

The crowd loved him. It’s so cool that he got an opportunity to show what he can do on prime time tv… People who haven’t seen him in the junior Grand Prix like I have. He under rotated some jumps- as Johnny said, leaving points on the table. But a really good performance overall.

224.54

Putting him in 4th. Wow over 76 for presentation.

Max Aaron

Ok, here we go… Hope he can make a good impact here.

What a program! He hit all but maybe one jump amazingly- final double axel. Tara said he is usually on or off and didn’t want to jinx him. I knocked on wood just in case. I wanted so badly for him to just perform well and he did.

254.14

Personal best?! Awesome job, Max.
Max just beat Grant with his performance.

Michal Brezina

Johnny and Tara talked about him once being dubbed the chosen one to push the technical envelope.. He didn’t quite deliver. He missed some jumps and the performance went for me. Hard to get invested. Although the crowd was supportive.

237.99

Ivan Righini

They said he used to compete in Russia until 2013- that explains a bit…

He fell on two jumps- one near the beginning and one near the end. Tara thought he oversold his sp- to a degree I can agree. Amazing performer and he had great moments. But at the end, clearly he wasn’t entirely happy with himself.

228.52

5th place overall. Considering he ended 25th at worlds last year- Huge improvement.

Adam Rippon

Maybe his best performance ever-wow!!

His quad lutz might be under rotated slightly but… Wow… And the crowd Roared… Still cheering

264.44

Personal best too

… Again wow…

And so cool to see Max come out of the green room to congratulate him.

I hope he can get bronze with that… It’s the best he can hope since Yuzuru and Javi can break 300 points easily.

Mikhail Kolyada

Probably gave his best performance just now. The technique on his jumps was incredible- made them look so easy. Got maybe a little tired towards the end. He is very close to being brilliant and me calling him for sure the next great male skater from Russia. Maybe if he can get more consistent…

267.97

Great debut- hope he can do more performances like this…

Yuzuru

Already?! I don’t think I can take waiting it out to see if he wins…
Was literally on the edge of my seat the entire time

295.17

I am going to be on pins and needles for the rest of this because he did not have a perfect skate. Fell twice and doubled some triples but he got great score on presentation. I really hope that’s enough,…

Boyang Jin

I was so stressed out about Yuzuru that it was hard to stay focused during that. He didn’t have all perfect jumps but no falls… I think he has a score in the 80s and with his presentation score he probably won’t catch up…

Not bad for his first senior worlds though

270.99

Huge technical but 76 for presentation mark.

Javier Fernandez

If anyone can catch Yuzuru it’s him but I also don’t want him to mess up too bad…

Apparently he is dealing with an injury on his landing foot…

But absolutely no sign of that- pretty damn near perfect. I couldn’t help but smile through that entire thing. The crowd was on their feet cheering long before the music ended.

Has to be one of the best looking worlds performances ever…

314.93

I have such mixed feeling right now… Omg…

Shoma Uno

He had a tough fall in his quad in the second half and some minor things but he pushed through it. and the crowd really got behind him to push him forward. He performed really well and I hope he is pleased with as well as he did…
Right now it doesn’t seem like it 😦

264.25

There’s always time for you to improve. Tara pretty much echoed what I said.

Patrick Chan

He had a rough time of it. I don’t get his presentation score being over 90 points. Missing the jumps and lack of consistency should take away from that.

He only nailed one quad and in that combination he hit the wall at the end. And he popped a couple jumps after that. Apparently he was upset with the quality of the ice and Johnny and Tara gave him grief for that. Not his fault he was going last. Apparently he was going to base whether he’ll try for another Olympics on this competition. I want him to retire but I agree with Johnny and Tara- he should give it another competition before that decision.

Funny how Yuzuru got down and bowed to Javi when it was official that he won.
Well deserved though. I can’t argue.

Ryan Bradley commented that Javi saw the door was open and he kicked it down 😝

And Mikhail got 4th- not bad at all.

I still have a bunch of skaters I need to see that didn’t air on TV. Looking at Twitter, it sounded like Misha had a great performance, so I’ll start with him.
Only have 6 other skaters to watch- so glad that the TV broadcast lasted two hours and they gave separate time for men and women. There was too much great skating that they couldn’t not show all of this.

Misha had a rough start- a couple jumps had uncertain landings where he stepped out or had to fight to stay on his feet. But he mastered himself quickly and gave a beautiful performance. At times, maybe it was a little sleepy for me, but it’s hard to ignore the artistry he does so well.
At the end, he kissed the sky and looked emotional. On Twitter, he said he dedicated it to his grandfather. He’d be proud 😉
223.53
at that point in 2nd place.

Might as well check on Grant’s performance since he was leading before the final two groups of skaters.
Wow! too bad they didn’t have time to show this performance on TV because it was amazing as well. He really took advantage of this opportunity of coming here in place of Nathan Chen (I’ll bet he could have gotten third place with all his quads if he was here and healthy).
I just got so swept up in the emotion of it because, of course, he skates to the music from “les Miz”… he put a hand down on one jump and maybe under rotated another, but there was not a lot to take away from that.
I hope he’s able to keep improving as a skater so we’ll have another strong consistent skater with Team USA.
A couple times the Russian commentators mentioned Alexei Bychenko- I wonder why- because they train together in Hackensack, New Jersey? Or did he just beat Alexei to take first place at that current moment?
237.25- season’s best (maybe another personal best for Team USA? 😉 )

Might as well see Maxim Kovtun next.
After how well Mikhail did at this competition, I wonder if he’s considering whether or not to continue with the sport.
Especially if he keeps performing like this… I can’t get it out of my head, how Johnny was saying at his last competition that he seems “juniorish” with his programs this year. I’ll give him a pass for his Genesis short program, but this… he’s skating to Beethoven and his choreography isn’t very inspiring. He doesn’t match the majesty of this classical music.
He has quads, yes, but he doesn’t always hit his jumps. There are juniors in Russia that skate more consistently and more maturely than he does. Any of them could take his place easily and help bring Russia’s skating further. It’s in a period of stagnation mostly because he’s the one getting all the opportunity and it keeps getting squandered.
I hate to sound mean about it… I want him to do well, but I’d given him so many chances over these past couple years and I think I’d just lost my patience.
Russia needs to get completely behind Mikhail and Dmitry Aliev and Sergei Voronov. Or at the very least, Maxim needs better choreographers and he needs to make me believe he cares about this sport and really wants to fight for it. I look at this and I just see apathy.
210.14
Again- whoever was annoyed by the fact he didn’t make the Olympic and Plushenko had… they need to stop complaining and move on. Russia wouldn’t have won gold in the team event and I can guarantee having him in the individual competition wouldn’t have helped at all. He would have choked like he tends to do in all the big competitions.

Ivan Pavlov was definitely skating to music from the DaVinci Code.
Had some hiccups with his jumps, but otherwise had a good program.
178.89
considering most of the skaters have total scores of 200 and more, that’s kinda underwhelming… but he’s also a junior trying to make a mark in senior ranks, so that can always be worked on and improved.

Now for Julian- one of my favorite junior skaters.
I hope he has a good performance.
That was a lot of fun… once he started doing all that jumping… that’s just a little nit-pick. the first half of his program was all about the jumps with very little choreography in between. His jumps were great. At least they started great. Nailed them like they were nothing. Then after the first few, he had some jumps where I saw him fight for landings and the ride-out wasn’t great.
But then he just let go and really played around with his music. A mix of spy music and also they played “Fever”… all instrumental.
Very happy for him- looking forward to next season already 😉 4 months away for the juniors
202.94
although he might be so good that he could go into seniors next week… I guess we’ll see.

Lastly- Alexei Bychenko.
Maybe he was mentioned during Grant’s performance because he had “les Miz” for his music as well- different selection of songs, of course.
For me, it wasn’t as compelling. He didn’t seem as composed from start to finish. some of his jumps were great, but others he had to step out to save them.
At least he seemed happy with it 😉 and that’s what’s most important.
226.07
so maybe he was also in the conversation because Grant beat his score when he performed.

So yeah, overall, many great performances from the guys. Very happy.
I hope Yuzuru will be able to repair his confidence for next season because that was a tough way to go out.
I don’t want to say he choked because he didn’t. Half of it was the injury and half of it was the pressure he was putting on himself.
Also nerves- he said he was nervous during this performance.

***

4.02.16

They’re showing Gracie’s short program again… this time with the benefit of Johnny & Tara’s commentary 😉

I thought this piece sounded familiar the other night… but after hearing Edvin Marton’s album the other day, I recognized it… it’s the third track, “Rio Carnevale”. But of course the original classical arrangement.

They loved her… I still think Ashley was way better.
At least at this point, Ashley performs after Gracie. So hopefully that’ll work to her advantage- being the last thing the judges see.

Loving all the fringe Johnny has on his shirt today 😉 and Tara looks posh as always.
And who is this Tom Hammond guy? He’s making me miss Terry Gannon- he’d been with Johnny & Tara almost every time they’d commentated.

Oh, I’ll miss seeing these Viking River Cruise commercials. I feel like I’m home- having that with skating to follow. I looked them up to see if there were any good cruises, but there were none I really wanted to do. There is one that goes through Russia, but I’d only take that if I was comfortable enough speaking the language.
Doubtful to happen anytime soon, but I am getting a lot better at reading it 😉 I recognize a lot of words now and I’m practically achieving the goal I came in with- being able to read article about Plushenko without needing to right click and “translate with Bing”. Although I still check to make sure I’m on the right track.

Wow- tonight’s sold-out 😉 Impressive…

Mirai Nagasu is up first.
I hope she leaves Boston with a good mark- opposed to the negative one, being passed over for the Olympic team.
And the new/improved technical box is back!

She did great. One jump she fought to land and one was under rotated, maybe. For me, it felt like she was trying so hard to be consistent and do hit the jumps, but the program lacked flow. Maybe it’s just the cuts in the music. They’re abrupt at times so it’s hard to connect.

I’m wondering to myself whether I’d be as big a fan of Ashley’s if she hadn’t gone to Sochi. If she didn’t have this storyline of her career where she’s had to prove herself. Since the first time I saw her skate there, I’d been a fan. I love her style, but also her drive and fight.

Mirai got 186.65. In first place for the moment.

Mao is up next.
Hope she can put the short program behind her and nails her triple axel.
She nailed it- although maybe under rotated.
That was so beautiful, almost seamless to watch.
They were talking about her career and her age and how she still wants Olympic gold.
It’s performances like this that show me why she’s one of the best in the world. I’d seen her several times where she was inconsistent, where she had her worst performances.
I love it when she does this- showing all that she’s capable of and more.
200.30
awesome! 😀

Elizabet Tursynbaeva
she’s tiny and from Kazkastan… I’ve seen her name a bunch of times and I keep mistaking her for Elizaveta Tuktamysheva from Russia 😛 seeing her in person- it’s hard to make that mistake, haha.
Their physiques are completely different.
Gorgeous skate. She fell once, but otherwise, amazing. Her first senior worlds (she finished 5th at the junior worlds this year).
She skated to “Papa can you hear me?” by Barbra Streistand (Johnny of course commented that if you skate to her, you need to fill the arena). I never heard the original version before. I remember Lea Michele singing it on “Glee” during the iconic “Grilled Cheese-us” episode- many great and striking performances. (Chris Colfer singing a slowed down “I want to hold your hand” was my favorite).
Had to believe she’s only 16, such talent.
183.62- 3rd place
(another of Brian Orser’s students)

great interview with Ashley- she is fearless about what she has to do to win, but she’s also realistic about it. can’t wait.

Rika Hongo
phew… she got through it. she looked like she was getting a little tired towards the end and her final combination had an under rotation on the second jump. but she made it work. the crowd really got behind her with this Riverdance program- maybe it wasn’t as electrifying as Jason Brown when he did it at Nationals in 2014, but all of us (me, Johnny and Tara) loved it.
Johnny said how she isn’t the most artistic skater, but she uses music like this to support where she lacks.
I mean, she sold me on a Carmen program at a time where only Plushenko would do, so I think she does have what it takes. Definitely could be the next star of Japanese female skaters.
Unless of course Satoko gets there first 😉
199.95

Li Zhizun
it sounds like she’s skating to music from “The Artist”
Johnny and Tara pretty much echo how I feel. She’s beautiful to watch, but she is lacking in artistry, reaching the audience.

Gabrielle Daleman
The commentary this time was about Canada having trouble with their women’s program, not having a star yet.
They say Gabrielle is inconsistent and this time it showed. It was hard for me to connect, even though there were some good jumps and beautiful skating.

whoa… Gracie and Ashley are the last two to go in this group… talk about pressure…

we have Elena and Evgenia up first, then Satoko breaks up the Russian party, then Anna is after that…

Pogo-ree-lea
…I was wondering how you pronounced her name… and leave it to Johnny to show me how 😉
I mean, since I’m learning Russian, I want to get the pronunciations right.

haha, and they showed a Viking River Cruise look at Moscow 😀 thanks, guys.
I doubt I’ll be going there anytime soon (never mind the language, there’s the whole matter of getting the visa to get in. I hear it’s tricky, especially if you don’t know someone who lives there).

Japan and Russia had won the last 5 of 6 World championships in the 10 year drought they kept talking about… how it’s been that long since an American woman won Worlds.

Elena’s got a new costume. Beautiful green color.
I am going to miss this program so much… even the ugly crying afterwards. Her programs this year have been great. I love her music and her artistry and emotion. I really became a fan. She had some “sloppy” moments with her jumps as Johnny said, but for me, it didn’t take away from the overall effect of the performance.
209.81

Evgenia Medvedeva is next.
And she was BEAUTIFUL… omg… I love her show of emotion at the end, so thrilled at the job she did. That was seamless from start to finish. Gorgeous. The technical and artistry was all there.
Never mind what I said about the gimmicks of her skating- all the jumps in her SP in the 2nd half and the hand over the head with her jumps… this was just so good. She might have won with that, depending on how Ashley and Gracie do. Certainly after that, the pressure will be on Gracie. Although she does have Satoko as a buffer between them. Maybe by the time she performs, it’ll lessen.
223.86
highest ever free skate score- over 150 points… wow!
can’t believe she’s only 16.

Satoko Miyahara
I was afraid if Johnny & Tara kept saying “consistency” that they were going to jinx her…but she was perfect. so well done and beautiful.
definitely will be in 2nd place after that.
210.61 (called it!)

we’ll definitely have a Russian medal now. they said they’ve had none so far at Worlds. at least one is guaranteed.

Anna Pogorilaya
the execution of her jumps wasn’t entirely perfectly compared to Evgenia, but she had the best skate I’d ever seen. she nailed all of her jumps, had to fight for a few, but… wow… she came here to play and made the cynic and skeptic in me just shut up.
with the issues she’s had, she definitely deserved this moment.
Johnny & Tara even said they haven’t seen her skate this well- when she was going towards her last jumping pass. one she fought to land, but landed nonetheless.
213.69
behind Evgenia by 10 points. she seems disappointed, which I can understand.
I kinda hope Gracie messes up so Anna can at least get a medal- especially after the great week she had.

Gracie Gold
she might have just given it away there. she fell on her combination jump and popped her triple lutz in the 2nd half. I went through all these different emotions during this. I’d been annoyed by those 3 points. Then I wanted her to do well so I wouldn’t be mad if she won. Then she fell and I relaxed. Then I wanted another mistake in case the judges favor her.

with my negative thoughts, karma might have Ashley also lose just to spite me… because I really want her to win 😛 or at least have a chance to.

Gracie got 211.29- 3rd place.

oh boy, here we go…
215.39
I’ve never seen a happier reaction for a silver medal.

omg, so many emotions with this… I think I was nervous the entire time, wanting her just to land all her jumps and have no major mistakes. one jump was a little array on the landing, but she held on and her triple-triple combination had a downgrade on the second jump.
I just kept thinking how this was the last time I’d see her Moulin Rouge program. I love it so much and I’m going to miss it…
with all that going on, I couldn’t even enjoy myself.
Did love it when the crowd came in and cheered going into the final minute. I was right with her at the end, face in our hands crying. I’m barely holding it together over here.

That drought they kept talking about- it was a podium drought, not a gold medal.

Yeah, Evgenia was so good and deserved to win. Ashley couldn’t catch up even if she was absolutely perfect.

I could technically wait until after the exhibitions to post this… but if I’m impressed by anyone, I could easily just tweet about it 😉

Ashley made a good point- that she didn’t have two clean programs since the start of the season, so that’s definitely worth celebrating too.

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