2016 Trophee Eric Bompard

I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t wait to see how Cup of Russia shook out… the showing for the free skates was pre-empted for formula 1 racing.
I mean, seriously, which sport has the more devoted following?
The US having a girl winning bronze is not excuse enough to skip showing it here. Just saying…

Anyway, I find myself pressed for time to see the short programs for this particular tournament. I have a three-day weekend, but I’d been enjoying the relaxation too much to get bogged down in keeping up with this.

It’s funny… I don’t mind getting lost in figure skating for hours at a time, but only when I have nothing else to preoccupy myself. Or if nothing else makes me happy.

Anyway: I’ll give myself a few comments here and there for every skater I see, but I won’t exhaust myself too much with too much detail. I’ll lead in with emotion, especially with my favorites.

I started with Misha Ge. He’s the type of skater where I almost wish skating didn’t have jumps. Because he could win easily if it was just based on artistry. His own choreography works so well with his music. But he had to work to stand on his feet and he fell on his quad attempt.

Adam Rippon- omg- his confidence is so fun to watch. But without the quad, he isn’t quite strong enough to win. Especially with people like Nathan Chen and Javier Fernandez competing. Yeah.

Chafik Besseghier from France- I wonder how far from his hometown he’s competing… I don’t know if it’s the leather vest or his music. But something about him just says “rock star” to me. I love the attitude he has on the ice where he’s just free to enjoy without overdoing it. His quad combination was a little sloppy, but at least he had it in there.

Takahito Mura- if he had a solid skate, he’d be what I saw Daisuke Takahashi as in his Vancouver short program- a ladies’ man. He’s skating to a flamenco type piece and the footage fits the music so well. The crowd really got into that. But his lacking for jumps (fell on his quad, but picked it up afterwards) will hold him back.

Denis Ten- the first time I’ve seen him in a year. He’d dealt with injuries and has been juggling college, I think.
maybe the best I’d seen him since his clean free skate at Sochi. He fought for his quad, but the rest of his program came so easy to him. It was refreshing to see.
89- he’s in 2nd place so he has to be behind either Nathan Chen or Javi.

But first, Ivan Righini from Italy. He had moments of brilliance at last year’s Europeans. He also toured with Plushenko in Israel and some other places this year.
Same music as last year. “You raise me up” by Josh Groban
He has a lot of the same artistic sensibilities with the music… but not as consistent with the jumps. He fell once and had turn-outs on others.
68- not quite the same caliber as some of the others. But with time, he could be. He has a lot of talent for artistry.

Nathan Chen- first time I’ve seen him since the US championships where he injured himself at an exhibition of all things…
he is still as good as he was last year. maybe better… I think I heard the Russian commentators say “goodbye everybody” after he jumped a quadruple LUTZ triple toe loop combination and got 19 points on it… that’s insane. He has 40 combined points on his jumps and it just went up from there.
92- and he’s in 2nd… which can only mean Javi is in first with an even higher score… wow… and the comments says he did a quad flip also… I have no words anymore… I’m going to watch Javi.

Javier Fernandez
he had one bad quad and one amazing one. Clearly he wins on artistry alone because he is such a natural performer these days.
96… huh… his artistry is 6 points less than technical and his technical was over 50 even with a fall… but looking at the two scores, Javi won on artistry by 4 points.
So between the two of them, it’ll be a tight race for the win.

according to the pdf I got at the start of the season, Adian Pitkeev was supposed to compete as well but I can’t find him… maybe he had an injury and had to withdraw. Oh yikes… back injury… he’s such a great young talent. I hope he’ll be able to come back to the sport at some point.

I had to see the other Russian competing- Artur Dmitriev- he looks so much like Kevin Aymoz from France, a very talented junior skater. He had a strong quad opening, but he had to put the combination on a later jump that went all wrong. He popped it and did a single on the end of it.
So sad… he has the ability and just couldn’t get it together.
Interesting to hear the British commentators talk about him- how he has Alexei Mishin as a coach and they talked about Plushenko skating to “Adagio” and having so much success with it, but Artur isn’t in the same league.

You can’t really touch legendary status, but I just want a consistently strong Russian male skater. and still haven’t quite found him yet. But there are plenty of good candidates for sure.

Now for the ladies…

I’ll start with Gracie Gold. Let’s see if she can bounce back from a rough Skate America appearance.
It doesn’t appear that way, unfortunately. She had bobbles with her jumps and popped her axel. This tango music works for her style so well and I want to enjoy it. Unfortunately the jumps and technical merit isn’t there to make that happen.

I’m starting to wonder if I should bother watching Evgenia Medvedeva anymore 😛 there is no suspense when she competes because she always wins. She just makes it look way too easy and that makes it boring after the umpteenth time.
I will have to see her free skate again so I can get into it without having additional commentary from my folks. they were annoyed that they had to make it political by noting the 9/11 message.
I just hate that she has that gimmick of having all the jumps in the 2nd half of the program. Nobody else has that so nobody can catch her…

Mao Asada
I love this new look for her. The black swan look with her hair in a ponytail instead of a tight bun. It’s a break from routine and it shows more raw power instead of just her just being pretty to look at. I like artistry in women’s figure skating, but I’d like a little variation. A little feistiness goes a long way with me 😉 that’s why I like Ashley so much.
I think Mao might have under-rotated some jumps and that could hurt her changes of making the podium.

I know who’s going to win easily, but I don’t know about 2nd and 3rd.
But I don’t really feel up to watching anymore of the women because I don’t know any of them as well as these three. And chances are the other two won’t make the podium

Free Skates

…once again, I completely miss the free skates on TV. Apparently they changed the time of the competition… needless to say, I was pissed.
I’m just glad that a Johnny Weir blogger didn’t get too annoyed with me when they answered back at me. They liked my response back so we’re all good.
Apparently when it comes to anyone in figure skating [not just Plushenko], I am prone to overreact.
At least it saved me a rant about how this sport is so underappreciated. But it’s just annoying that the scheduling can’t be consistent and it’s on at really bad hours.

Anyway, I’ll start with Evgenia Medvedeva. She’s going to win anyway, so might as well. Not to mention I’ve got less distractions right now so I can absorb her performance.

I lucked into a YouTube channel that has British commentary. Her music has proved controversial, but somehow she makes it work for me. There were moments where I felt a different type of skating from her. Elegant, but with an air of seriousness and maturity to it.
But I literally gasped out loud because she fell. I’d seen her fall only once ever. And this fall on the triple lutz looked harder, like she lost her balance somewhere on the take-off. I got nervous for her and hoped that she would be able to get back on that horse. She nailed her next jump and pumped her fists in the air in response. I thought I saw some small under rotations and a little tentativeness. I think she’ll be able to shake this off and kill it for the rest of the season.

Mao Asada
It looks like she has different music today… nope, same music… it’s not the same title(s) as the other day so that keeps messing with me.
She didn’t have a good go off it, unfortunately. LOTS of under rotations. Just couldn’t get it together.
It’s strange- I know she’s very inconsistent, but this season I keep assuming or at least hoping she’s going to be amazing, only to come up short.
According to the comments, she’s dealing with a bad knee injury. Which would explain why she isn’t doing the triple axel this year.
Just for the sake of completeness, I’ll include the score.
161.39- HUGE gap between her two scores. 39 technical but 60 for performance. I hope she still has couple more good competitions left in her before she retires for good.

And the commentators already kinda spoiled that Gracie had a bad performance, but I’ll watch anyway because she’s still one of ours. Even if I’m not a huge fan.
That was hard to watch :/ yikes… she had two falls, one was a triple-triple combination where she was off in the air and slid across the ice and couldn’t do the combination. Then she popped her 2nd attempt at the jump. She emoted well with the music (Ravel wrote it- same composer who wrote “Bolero”), which sounded like something from an old Disney movie. Technically not from one, but it gave me that vibe.

I don’t recognize the other girls in the thumbnail for the medal ceremony so I’ll post that after seeing the men’s competition.

I guess I’ll start with Adam Rippon.
I hope his “Birds” performance is better than the last time because this Coldplay music is so great for skating.
he’s 4th going into the free
…wow… he nailed a quad at the start and from there it was smooth sailing… really great GOE on the jumps. Loved how it matched the music. When it went into the Coldplay part of it… it was a dream… I was transported and every jump just fit. No words. I’m going to tweet him for sure over this.
He had a technical score over 90 by the time the program ended, so this will be a really good score.
267.53- 94 technical, 86 components. That’s gotta be a personal best. Definitely a season’s best. So happy for him

Denis Ten
First off I’m thinking… does he realize that Plushenko made “Tosca” famous in this sport? Of course he’s not the first person to skate to it, but it’s one of his most famous programs that he still performs to this day. It’s also my personal favorite.
and Denis Ten looked like he gave the performance of a lifetime. The jumps were immaculate, lots of great footwork and passion. I completely forgot how inconsistent a skater he’d been.
269.26- which puts him ahead of Adam Rippon as of this point of me watching through the videos. I’m tempted to skip right over to Javi because he’s probably going to win. But I think I’ll do Misha next, just to see how he performs overall.

Misha Ge
I think I prefer him skating to more modern pieces of music than the classics. I can see more individuality come out. The artistry is awesome as always, but I find myself wanting more. I guess the fall on the quad undid it all for me. He packed most of his jumps in the 2nd half, so he got a lot of bonus to make up for it. But probably won’t be enough to crack the top 5.

Yikes… and it looks like Ivan Righini injured himself during his free skate. And like a masochist, I have to check the video to see what happened.
he started out well with his jumps. had a fall, but nothing seemed wrong until halfway through. he just gave up on a jump and skated a while before resuming his program. He skated to an Elvis medley and showed so much personality. Plushenko must have given him some tips on showmanship because that’s even better than before. And for a relatively new senior, that’s a rare talent to come by.
47 on technical but a massive 71.58 for components

I have to see how Nathan Chen did so I’m doing him next.
I don’t know what to expect with this… he had two AMAZING quads to start, but then he fell on the next two. He also doubled his axel again. He had some scratchy landings on the jumps and he did his jumps out of order, apparently. I want him to medal so bad, but I don’t know if that’s going to happen. not with Adam Rippon and Denis Ten skating as well as they just did. I also remembered that he’s coming back from an injury as well, so he can’t be as spot-on as he was before. But then again- mastering those first two quads like he did here… wow…

shoot… he’s not getting a medal… the only chance is if Javi just has a complete meltdown… and the only time I’d seen that happen was at Sochi 😛 where I was hoping he wouldn’t do well because I just wanted Yuzuru to win gold without opposition
amazing that he fell twice yet got 94 for technical and 79 for components… I figured he’d have a lower technical with the fall. I guess the other score had to do with him doing the jumps out of the order he said he would.


Javier Fernandez
yeah, he still won by a healthy margin, but I don’t mind.
It’s so strange how these guys are so good with quads, yet they fall on the triple axel. Somehow is the hardest jump… must be that forward entry and having to jump really high with no assistance from that toe pick

Even with the mistakes, though, I was thinking to myself that when he skates to music like this and gets to show off this much personality… I think this might be my favorite performance of his ever and he’s my favorite skater at this current moment. I had so much fun watching it, I just forgot everything that I was bent out of shape over today.

Mostly everyone’s attitude about the election results. I’m on the winning side and I can’t even enjoy it because of all the negativity about it.

Speaking of negatives, there were fights going on in the comments section. Someone saying Javi is overscored in components, someone saying Patrick Chan is king in components “if the judges do their job”… geesh, he’s the one that’s overscored.

Anyway, everyone has their favorites and will fight tooth and nail for them.
For me, it feels like it’s everyone vs. Patrick Chan. Because when he wins, it’s never fair unless everyone else had a terrible performance.

A great final three.

Javi/Denis Ten/Adam Rippon

and for the women, we had two Russians and a Japanese girl
Evgenia Medvedeva/Maria Sotskova/Wakaba Higuchi

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