Skate Canada 2016

John coughlin is the other commentator. He replied to me once on Twitter or at least liked one of my tweets. He was guest commentating at a junior grand prix event and he made an interesting point about something I had to point out.

Rika Hongo is first. An interesting version of Carmina Burana. 65.75. Sounds almost like Enya but also operatic. The jumps looked so easy for her. She’s gotten even better since I last saw her. People are looking for the heir to Mao Asada and I think she could be her. Satoko also. She’s competing here as well.

Elizaveta- I’ve missed her so much. This was so gorgeous to watch. Very classical. Like French or tango music with a little sass 66.79 in her footwork. Said she wants to do clean programs this season so she’s leaving out the triple axel. I really hope she can get medals. She’s too good not to.

Mirai Nagasu- so sad that she has such beautiful artistry with her spins and steps. But her jumps weren’t there. It also looked like the ice condition wasn’t good. It was coming apart under her
53.19

Katelyn Osmond- local. Whoa… Except a small stumble on footwork that was flawless… Wow. The crowd really got behind her which was nice. She is one to watch if 74.33 she keeps going like this. And I think she spins and jumps in the opposite direction which is a cool difference

74.58 is Evgenia’s personal best- that’s kinda important to remember just in case she tops that. They went through all the girls in the warm up. I barely but did recognize Alaine Chartrand from Canada. She’s going for the smokey eye look that worked for Ashley Wagner. The sequined costume as well. But the ones to watch look like Evgenia and Satoko.

Nahyun Kim from Korea – her debut. 60.46 “I will always love you” 4th place. That was a flawless program and I must say a great job editing that song into those 2 minutes and 40 seconds. She’d be in first if her face played to the music more.

Alaine is next. It was a tough act to follow. She stumbled on her combination on the 2nd jump. 62.15 4th. And that seemed to affect the rest of the program. She hit the music right in a couple spots which was cool. But playing this type of skater with the sex appeal and that glamour she’s got nothing on Ashley.

Satoko can still charm the pants off everyone who watches. Gorgeous!!! throughout

65.24 4th?! What the heck? Looks like Rika Hongo and Elizaveta are holding their strong positions in 2nd and 3rd. But there’s a very good chance Evgenia will shake everything up when she performs. I wonder if she’s going to do the three jumps after the half point mark again or if them shortening the short program will prevent that. It’d certainly keep the playing field fair and even. No one really has a huge advantage over anyone without a triple axel.

76.24 with a two point lead. Used the same strategy again- she’s so good it’s almost boring now. There’s no suspense at all.

Now the men. And it seems like the headline is Yuzuru vs Patrick Chan. I also see Daniel Samohin from Israel.

Han Yan kicks things off. I feel bad that his jumps are so inconsistent because there was so much passion in his choreography. They were saying he let his errors affect him.
72.56

Wow Daniel’s first senior Grand Prix assignment. He has a while to go in some areas like his spins but wow a great start for his senior career. He went into his jumps with reckless abandon and had to fight to stay on his feet. But the highlight was the difficult footwork and the passion with him playing to the music. Delilah by Tom Jones. 74.62- a seasons best and currently first

Patrick Chan is next. Considering his recent drama with changing coaches 2 months before the season this will be interesting to see. 90.56. Really? With a fall on a triple axel. And how’d he get 16 points for a quad triple. Plushenko gets 13-14 points for that. I was impressed from the first jump. Then I remembered we were in Canada and how there’s this rumor his scores are higher than they should be. All that came back and I stopped having fun. I don’t like anyone who has an unfair advantage and affects the other scores from just being there.

Yuzuru!!!

79.56

He’s in 2nd place… I’m devastated.. I want so bad for him to do a clean program with this music and it just isn’t happening. Unless Patrick Chan has a meltdown he has no chance at all to win. I made remarks on Twitter that I almost don’t want to watch anymore. Feels like my night was ruined by it

Ross Miner- one of 2 Americans in the field. He had a lot of mistakes with the jumps. Popped a triple axel and his combination had a bobble

63.92 8th place

Grant Hochstein had his own problems. He had a quad that he fell on had snow on his triple axel and popped a lutz. Unlike with Ross he didn’t have that gusto with other elements. 60.20

Seriously Patrick Chan won’t need any help winning because everyone following him has been terrible. Yuzuru had great spins and footwork and moments with the music but the jumps HAVE to be there. I think he had enough to get a high score in his free skate to win. But he has to be perfect.

Takahito Mura- haven’t seen him in a while. He even grew his hair out and has it in a top knot. Wow- just as I was lamenting something like this happens. 81.24 which puts him in 2nd. His only error was a step out on his quad which he wasn’t happy about. He had flamenco music and his choreography was timed with it so well. That was cool to watch

Kevin Reynolds- haven’t seen him in ages. Like Sochi. 80.57

He was doing so well. The only person to have 2 clean quads but his spins really cost him. They looked slow and he made a mistake on one where he was changing edges and the transitioning was off.

Because I’ve seen Yaroslav, Vincent Zhou and even Dmitri lose huge leads that should be reason enough not to give up on Yuzuru catching up to him. But right now I don’t see that happening.

Man I wish these competitions weren’t on so late.

Moving onto the men’s free skate… man, I hope this competition ends better than it started.
It seems like the thing I hate most in figure skating is predictability. I don’t like a lack of suspense about who’s going to win. Unless something uncharacteristic, extraordinary or catastrophic happens, Patrick Chan will win because he’s constantly overscored and Evgenia will win all because she does all her jumps in the second half of her short program. It just doesn’t seem fair.

It also makes me think that I gave Jason Brown a hard time because he didn’t do quads but was still winning competitions. And I don’t like Patrick Chan even with one quad because he’s overscored even when he falls. Also because he doesn’t have more than one quad 😛 I’m way too fickle about this sport.

That also kinda shows to me that if I was watching men’s figure skating during Plushenko’s reign, I would have hated him because he won ALL THE TIME. So it’s a blessing I found about him at the end of his career at a moment where I could appreciate and respect him and also would see him through a difficult tiring time.

Han Yan is first in the free skate. Skating to “Romeo & Juliet”- the music was familiar,, but then I heard the dialogue from the version Leo DiCaprio was in.
He had a rough time of it. He had one good quad combination, but he fell out of a lot of jumps. He has some great artistry and works well with his music, but when the mistakes pile up, he loses that.

Yuzuru is up next and I am PRAYING so hard right now that he did enough to make the podium. He needs to get back into contention for the grand prix final and the competitions that follow.
Just remembering now how the two of them collided in the Cup of China warm-up in 2014.

I’m also getting a bad feeling that Misha was part of the competition and they didn’t show him at all… which means he didn’t earn any medals. He got 2nd or 3rd at the Autumn Classic a few weeks ago, so he is capable, but maybe the field isn’t as strong there as in these major competitions.

Han Yan scored 209.11 overall and is only in 6th with 5 skaters left… I think.

C’mon Yuzuru!
263.06
I can’t say he completely redeemed himself, but that’s the best comeback any regular skater could ask for. My gut feeling is that he should forget about the quad loop because that jump just isn’t working for him. His quad salchow was perfect, his quadruple toe loop could have been a little better with the ride out and it looks like he popped a quad that he put in combination. But he fought through the whole program and had amazing shows of artistry. His technical was 96 and his component score was 88, which is great for anybody.

But right now, my feeling is that he needs other skaters to fail really badly to have even a chance at the podium. I wouldn’t count out Kevin Reynolds or Takahito Mura. And clearly, unless Patrick Chan falls on his quad and triple axel, he’s going to win no matter what.
Daniel Samohin from Israel is a wild card. He could be amazing and potentially win or he could finish off the podium.

I prayed last night that Yuzuru would skate a good enough program to redeem himself. I don’t care so much if he wins because I don’t really see that happening. It’s a tall order, so I want to work up to that.

Daniel Samohin is skating to music from “The Illusionist”- I think he said it was one of his favorite movies.
John Coughlin and Tanith White was talking about comparing him to Plushenko and Alexei Yagudin and my brain got scrambled for the second half of the program 😛 both of them picked a different Russian and I can see pieces of both of them in his skating.
The first quad had a bad fall where it looks like his one leg got caught underneath him. But he shook it off and was able to do a solid program with few other problems. I wished that I could see him do this without the stress of there being a competition so I could enjoy it more. I thought how I was relaxed (before they were name-dropping) here compared to the previous skate. But I have so much more time invested in Yuzuru and I want more badly to see him do well.
But already, Daniel Samohin is making a great impression in his senior debut.
5th place overall- 226.53 with 75-76 for both marks. That’s a great start for anybody. Can’t wait to see how he develops. He could be a world champion within the next 2-3 years, although it depends on the rest of the field 😛

Kevin Reynolds
he had 4 quads- although one won’t count because it was a repeat without there being one in combination. He also had one fall. Overall, though, he made a really good effort. It looked like he was trying to make up for being away from the sport for a couple years due to injury and equipment issues.
245.06- he’s in 2nd… so Yuzuru will get a medal. It’s just figuring out which color.
I was just thinking how Kevin Reynolds, with his music, he seems to marry traditional figure skating with the future. Very traditional piano music and the artistry feels very old school. But he’s forward thinking with the quads. I mean, he was the first to do two quads in a short program, according to the commentators.

Patrick Chan is up next and in all likelihood he will win. I’ve already said this. I’d hate to say it, but Takahito Mura has had issues with being consistent, so he could just as easily make a mistake or two and Yuzuru could earn silver by default.
Yikes, his personal best is over 295. So if he skates well… I’ve already said it enough, let’s get it over with.
“A Journey” by Eric Ranford… interesting title… maybe it’s got personal meaning
It looks like he had three quad attempts… a flawless (yet overscored) quad toe-triple combination. He tried a quad salchow for the first time in competition and fell. and it looked like a stand alone quadruple toe loop. So I can respect him at least for trying. But he started to make mistakes. He was popping a couple jumps and triples became doubles. In the end, his technical score was 10 points behind Yuzuru. I also know that he gets a huge buff on his component score even when he doesn’t skate cleanly. There were a few moments where I did connect and I liked how the choreography fit the music, but I couldn’t stay with him the whole time. It looked too much like he was fighting to get through the program and finishing it rather than it coming easy.
266.95
I got excited when it said 2nd… but then it changed to first… I guess because he got 2nd in the free skate… dang it! he beat him by 3 points all thanks to getting 91 in his component score

Takahito Mura
sadly, his free skate kinda became inconsequential after all this emphasis on the rivalry between Yuzuru and Patrick Chan. he started making mistakes and he fell off the podium. he had to fight through his program to land his jumps and not all of them worked as well as he’d hoped
222.13- wow- he fell from 2nd all the way to 8th… that’s unfortunate.
And I feel bad for “sacrificing” other skaters just to support my favorites. But I’m very passionate about my favorites- they’re a big reason I invest so much in this sport, getting to know them and staying with them in the good and bad.

All things considered, I shouldn’t be too mad about the results. Yuzuru made an amazing comeback and taking all the facts into account, he deserved silver.
Happy for Kevin Reynolds to get bronze as well- all those quad attempts and he did well with most, he deserves that recognition.

But I guess I learned that I really shouldn’t be so easy to give up when things look bad. Of course I want Yuzuru to nail “Let’s go crazy” just once so I can talk about how amazing it is and share the video and so on. But I shouldn’t have counted him out entirely from getting a medal.
I don’t know the other skaters as well, but I know that they don’t really have the points in their arsenal to challenge him and Patrick Chan simply because they have amazing quads and are fairly consistent.
And with Yuzuru, he has amazing fight and coming back from 4th is impressive.

I just didn’t know if he was still dealing with injury or something else was plaguing him or he just had an off night. Maybe this just chalks up to my mood as of late.
The World series in particular might be coming into account… it seems like the cubs have no chance at all to win. I thought that after game 1 and they came back in game 2. now they’ve lost two in a row…
I guess I should just stick with the sports I’m good with and not worry about the rest.

I should at least spare one tweet for Yuzuru before I pack it in for the night

really quick… Misha competed AND Alexander Petrov from Russia competed… and they showed neither of them?!
I need to YouTube them tomorrow.
And I guess maybe I should see the American guys. But considering they weren’t shown at all tonight, maybe I shouldn’t bother. They must have just fallen apart and lacked consistency.

Misha got 72.30 for his short program. That’d be excellent if he was a junior, but that can’t be helped considering he couldn’t get enough height for the 4 revolutions necessary to land a quad. But seriously, his artistry, considering he choreographs himself, he deserves better than 36. If anything, I’d give him 40 points minimum for artistry.

Gotta cut out quickly to see Satoko Miyahara skate 😛 just about to see her do the free skate
the music is called “The Planets” but it sounded like Star Wars music. Johnny said as well, but it isn’t credited to John Williams, who did the Star Wars score.
anyway, they spent a lot of the performance talking about how she struggles with under rotating her jumps. I saw maybe a couple bobbles here and there, but nothing terribly wrong. She’s one of those skaters who always perform well, but I don’t really have a lot to really say 😛 she’s pretty to look out and has great flow in her skating. That’s basically it.

Back to Misha really quickly. He had a really good skate that he was so happy with. Funny how he’s skating to “Nutcracker” music. I wonder if he made that decision knowing about Plushenko’s upcoming ice show.
Someone threw a Stitch stuffie on the ice and he noticed with a smile that it was wearing a costume identical to his. That’s from a true fan 😉
He got 226.07, with 73 for technical and 79 for components. That sounds more like it. Somewhere around 80 points for components score is very good. Great job, Misha 😉

Satoko got 192.08. So far in first place.

Alaine Chartrand is up next.
Tara was a bit harsh with her- saying how she isn’t really connecting with the program and such. I feel like this is the best I’d seen her. But she’d been inconsistent. Her demeanor and connection could be better, but I didn’t think it was nearly as bad as it was painted out to be.
She got around 185

Elizaveta Tuktamysheva had ups and downs in her program and it cost her a spot on the podium. She performed to Cleopatra, a character that really suited her. But she popped one too many jumps and her overall performance suffered for it. I hope she’ll be able to shake this off and do better the next time. She has that capability, it’s just regaining that confidence and delivering where it counts.

Kaetyln Osmond skated to “La Boheme” and had a strong showing for the most part. I didn’t feel that same connection as I did with her short program. Maybe because I’m already kind of sick of the more traditional compositions that people skate to. She broke 200 and got into first place.

Then for whatever reason, they didn’t show Rika Hongo at all and skipped right to Evgenia Medvedeva. I couldn’t even enjoy her performance because we were at dinner and my dad was bent out of shape over her program being about “all the trouble in the world.” The music was from “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”… the movie for me was kinda disappointing. It was about this kid on a quest to find something that connects back to his dad who died in 9/11, but there was no prize or item at the end of the treasure hunt. Nothing. So the whole movie felt like a waste. And the composition had a lot of sirens, alarms and screams and kinda threw me out of it.
Seriously, after the attacks in France derailed the French grand prix last year, I think it’s something important to address. Especially since it feels like it really hasn’t. They had a summit in France and it was to combat climate change. Nothing about getting revenge against the people that attacked France and Belgium and Europe. I still wish something was done to change things because clearly nothing has.

Anyway… no surprise that Evgenia won the whole thing.
It was just disappointing that the broadcast didn’t show Rika Hongo, barely touched on what happened in the men’s program (I almost wish Johnny and Tara could have commentated for Yuzuru and Patrick Chan- anything to maybe draw attention to the fact the competition was pretty much fixed from the get-go… although if Yuzuru had a competition like last year’s grand prix final, there’d be no question).

And they spent the last 20 minutes on ice dance. I don’t really care about ice dance. I’d rather get a couple more women’s performances instead.
They brought back Virtue and Moir and made a big to-do about it. Then they showed Chock and Bates do an amazing program to “Under Pressure”… Chock and Bates should have won, but the Canadian bias raised its ugly head again, giving Virtue and Moir the win.

Seriously, it just isn’t fun anymore when the competition seems to be predetermined from almost the start…
I sincerely hope that I’m not going to dread Skate Canada every year because of this… maybe it’ll get better after Patrick Chan retires for good.

I don’t know even for sure how the final standings worked out.

I think behind Evgenia, Kaetyln Osmond got 2nd and Satoko third.

Just to comment on what Johnny Weir was wearing- I said he was wearing Christmas lights (they were pearls around his shoulders), a skirt and blue platform shoes. Of course my folks are shaking their heads and saying “what the heck”… it’s unorthodox, but nonetheless, I am still intrigued and I like it. I really could care less what anyone else thinks.

Going back to seeing what else they didn’t broadcast:

Ross Miner skated to a medley of Queen songs. If he skated cleanly, it could have been amazing. He popped a jump and slipped off his blade on a couple landings. But he made the most of his time and the music suited him well, so I’m glad I took time to watch. Hopefully better luck will find him next time.
He got 74 on presentation, which is really good. But his technical score only being 57 kinda puts him at a disadvantage. 196.53 was his score overall.

Grant Hochenstein was a different story. I didn’t connect with him quite as much just because he wasn’t consistent. Lots of mistakes. Missed jumps, slips and so on. His music was from Padliachi (cannot spell). But I heard “Caruso” in there as well.
I hope I get to watch something from Plushenko before the day is done. I miss him 😛
I know Grant has the capability to be amazing, but he needs to nail the elements, at least more of them.
64 technical, almost 77 components. 200.63 overall.

Now for Alexander Petrov- who will add to the grand prix tradition of Russians that don’t get screentime because they don’t win a medal… seriously, I hate that. I want to see the Russian men, but almost always have to resort to YouTube in order to do so.

He didn’t have a quad in his short program, so that already puts him at a disadvantage. He stepped out of his triple axel and his final jumping pass wasn’t clean. Overall, he was just going through the motions and doing the steps. There was no real connection with the music.
71.50… Misha even did better than him, but Misha at least attemped a quad.
Alexander’s free skate was a lot better. Maybe I’m just so sick of classical music at this point that anything contemporary or current is so refreshing comparatively. No quads that I could see, but better landing the jumps and he moved with the music a lot better. Much more enjoyable.
77 and 75 for his two scores. 224.39 overall. A really good score for sure, but without a quad, he doesn’t really have a chance at the podium.

I think I’ve yet to see a Russian man WIN a grand prix competition. Not since I started watching them in 2014. And I want to see that so bad… I know Europeans and Worlds are more important, but I’d like to see them do better.

Lastly, I’ll see Rika Hongo’s free skate to see what the heck happened. And maybe I should see Mirai Nagasu just because she’s one of ours.
Interesting… she has “Lawrence of Arabia” as her music.
47 technical, 58 components for a total of 171.19… except for maybe an under rotation or two, there was nothing wrong with that! WTF happened? Was she underscored on purpose? Or did she have no triple-triples? I don’t get it… the comments say something about a costume violation. What does that mean?

Mirai Nagasu is skating to “The winner takes it all”… that was beautiful. It wasn’t clean- some under rotations and snow flying, but she stayed on her feet the whole time and maintained the character and composure all the way through. Loved that…
42 on technical and 56 on components. 151.42 overall.

Anyway… that’s that.
At least the timing of Cup of Russia will be a little bit better for me. Not staying up super late for it.
But the free skates start Sunday night at 10 and considering they’re on NBC sports, they might get pushed back by some other event… so maybe I’ll save myself trouble by watching it online beforehand… I’ll figure that out when I get around to it.

I just want to get out of Canada… too many conspiracy theories brewing in my mind and killing my enjoyment of the sport.

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