I guess it’s that time again… and with the comings and goings of this year’s competition, it’s sure to be interesting. Although it’s still going to be VERY likely that Alina Zagitova is going to win gold… but after seeing her short program, perhaps some fatigue between the competitions is beginning to show.
I took the day off because we were expecting another snowstorm, but I think I also needed some time off as well. It’s been a rough couple of days for me just from a mental standpoint. Hopefully springtime weather won’t be far behind and it’ll stick around for more than a week.
I looked ahead to see who would be competing and the starting order. Evgenia Medvedeva, I read a headline saying she withdrew from worlds and I was really feeling bad, thinking that she still wasn’t over her loss at the Olympics. It turns out that her foot is still bothering her and she needs time off the ice to physically recover. Karen Chen withdrew for some reason (probably fatigue between competitions- she did have a poor showing at the Olympics) and Ashley didn’t take advantage of her spot as the first alternate. On Twitter, she said she needed to take a break from international competition to regroup. I can get behind that. That doesn’t mean I’m not disappointed to not see my favorite skater attempt to redeem what’s been a disappointing season. I know she’s been taking it pretty hard, so I wish her well and hope she has her best season ever come next time.
By the time I tuned it, I had missed Gabrielle Daleman, but she was in first place for a while. Probably was a good thing because I hated her Carmen music with that annoying woman singing it. I know it’s an opera, but her vocal was way too elaborate for my tastes and it was like nails on a chalkboard.
I also missed Bradie Tennell… I didn’t even see her name when I looked through the entries, but I don’t think I was even looking for it. She was in 2nd place.
Mirai Nagasu did not attempt the triple axel and settled for a double, but overall she did well, but not her personal best.
Mariah Bell, who took the alternate spot, had some dodgy landings, so it didn’t come off as well as it had in the past.
Wakaba Higuichi from Japan, she started well, but had issues later in the program.
Carolina Kostner had, what I believe to be, her personal best ever. She broke 80 points (which had been known exclusively as Medvedeva-ville until Alina Zagitova came along… now Johnny & Tara just call it “Russian”). I think Carolina got a good boost from having home ice advantage (it takes place in Milan, Italy this year and she had a lot of support in the audience). But she was also flawless. I hadn’t seen her skate that way in ages.
Alina Zagitova… I started to see how her program with all the jumps in the 2nd half worked… it’s like there were two halves of the program and you could see both parts individually- the components and the technical. But on components, I think she isn’t quite there yet. She’s very composed and poised, but she also needs to engage the audience, skating through her fingertips (as Scott Hamilton had once said about Plushenko after he came back from winning Olympic gold and he learned more about engaging the crowd from doing shows) so her energy reaches the rafters. But the one thing that made a difference- she had to fit to land the second jump in her combination. It was the smallest of details that have her in 2nd place at the moment. And my belief… the only reason she is dominating other skaters who skate clean is the 10% bonus for all her jumps. If her programs were set up in a fair, conventional way, her margin of victory wouldn’t be nearly as large.
Maria Sotskava has done better than she showed, but she was still good. The interesting thing of this competition was how every skater seemed to be getting 3rd place, but none could touch the top 2.
Kaetlyn Osmond oddly had an off day. I don’t know if it’s fatigue between the Olympics and now, but she wasn’t as clean as she had been. And I was actually counting on her to do well.
Satoko Miyahara skated last and she had those under rotation issues, but as always, she was delicate and poised and beautiful to watch. I freaking love her and I hope with the standings as they are that she can fight her way back to the podium.
The guys will be tomorrow. I already knew Adam Rippon opted out and it sounds like Jason Brown and Ross Miner had as well. So the next alternate was Max Aaron. I really hope he’ll bring out his best so he could get some personal redemption for himself.
Interestingly, Javier Fernandez opted out as well. Not sure why. He didn’t say anything on Twitter. But with him not here and Yuzuru not going because he’s still dealing with injury… it’s an open field.
If I had to put my money on anyone, it would be Shoma Uno for the gold medal. He has the most experience of the Quad Revolution. Boyang Jin doesn’t have strong components, but he could finally get better than third place, which would be nice. I’m sure the two Russians will be hungry to do better than they did at the Olympics. Dmitri, I wouldn’t count out. And Alexei Bychenko could do well also.
Which leaves Nathan Chen. He was the junior world champion in 2015, but his appearances at worlds at the senior level hasn’t been particularly good. However, if he skates his best, I think he could win. But nothing is guaranteed. And you also can’t rule anything out. After these Olympics, ANYTHING can happen and with the men involved this year (and Patrick Chan isn’t among them- another notable absence)… and I am excited to see how it plays out. It’ll give an opportunity for someone who hadn’t had that degree of success simply because of the biggest names that won’t be there.
After much ado (the gymnastics competition airing beforehand ran long), the mens competition started.
Daniel Samohin skated first in this broadcast. He had a killer quad to start, but his triple axel and second quad didn’t come out well.
Vincent Zhou FINALLY had a clean short program, nailing all his jumps. They might nail him on under rotation in a spot or two and had a little stumble in his step sequence. But he landed on his feet on each jump. I was so thrilled after that last jump, I can’t even say 😛 #HappyDance
96.78- 57 and 39… they took a while to get his scores, so they were definitely reviewing some things. But definitely in first by far. I was just thinking how he nailed everything technically, but he was a little nervous so he won’t get huge points on his components. but he looked much more comfortable here than he had at the Olympics, I think because he had been to a couple junior world championships before this.
all of his jumps had little issues with them, they didn’t get positive grades of execution, but he was on his feet on all of them. He’s the kind of skater who needs the technical to work out in order to stay in contention and I’m not sure if he’ll make a dent. Certainly isn’t going to beat Vincent, but it’s a respectable skate for anyone at this level. It’s just not at the extraordinary extra level where Javi and Yuzuru and Shoma live. I noticed that some spins only got level 2’s and his step sequence only got level 3… it’s kinda nice having that on the screen so I can compare. He definitely isn’t the best at components, but he always fights for excellence in what he’s good at.
79.78- 40 and 38
no quad, but a perfect program. really nice jumps with great GOE’s. Each time I see him, he’s even more mature and it’s hard to believe that I first saw him as a junior skater. Stephane Lambiel has done so great with him and I hope that partnership continues to have great results like I’m sure this is going to be.
84.25- 43 and 41
I don’t often write about him because he’s not one of those skaters I actively watch and he’s also been very inconsistent. He popped his triple axel into a double, but otherwise, this was the best I’d seen him. His music “memories” by Gary Moore is really powerful with the guitar work and such and I don’t know if he fully gave into the emotion of that… but he carried himself with confidence and that’s all I can really ask.
80.17- 40 x 2
his landing on the triple axel was a little rough, but he was on his feet. otherwise, a flawless BEAUTIFUL program with so much emotion. And the commentators were really giving him props for all the success he’s had this year doing things on his own terms and focusing on what he’s good at: artistry and emotion
86.01- 43 and 42- 3rd place
Keegan Messing from Canada, they didn’t show, but he’s currently 2nd with 93 points even.
One group left and I think I have all the names already written down from just looking at the list of competitors… it’s just about the order.
Mikhail Kolyada is first to go in this final group.
And he is out for redemption. He took out his quad lutz and opted for the toeloop combination instead. Every jump was solid and everything just came out right. At the end, he looked very satisfied with himself. I was just thinking how great it’d be for a Russian to win this competition… they haven’t done that since Plushenko competed… not to get too far ahead of myself, but if he nails his free skate just like this, he could be in the conversation for that and I’d be over the moon for it. Even if it’s at the expense of Nathan Chen 😛 these competitions are so much fun because I have many different skaters in the game and I never know which one is going to deliver the goods at the end of the day.
100.08- 54 and 45… whew! that’s incredible!
Another really good program from him. great jumps and energy with this really fast Jewish Folk dance music.
He’s one of those skaters you can never count out, especially when he’s performing at this high a level. And he’s 30… he doesn’t have Plushenko’s history of injuries and that’s probably what’s given him the advantage in this age. And it’s almost as if he’s gotten even better as he’s gotten older. That’s just crazy to me.
90.99- 48 and 42- currently in 4th place and I think this is the first time he’s broken 90 points.
whew, he had a great short program to start this competition off. not perfect landings on his jumps, but he fought for each one and sold this program. Definitely putting himself in good position for the free skate here.
101.94- 57 and 44… ok, he’s in 1st place, but not by a whole lot
there’s this stupid rule I keep hearing about… something about not being able to repeat a jump… I thought you were able to do a jump twice, once alone and one in a combination. supposedly the rule now is that you can’t repeat any jump in the short program… so he lost 9-10 points on an invalid element (a toe loop he meant to be a quad, but only got a triple). The triple axel was a little scratchy, but he landed it. A solid program except for that jump that got zero points… grr… so unfair!
82.15- 39 and 42… 11th… ouch… and he’s probably going to be in 13th by the end of today. his quad lutz was also under rotated
the only issue I saw with that performance was his quadruple toe loop, which looked a little off and it was very close to the boards (I was afraid he was gonna hit them), but he had another solid performance overall and he’s going to be in contention for sure for the podium, potentially to win. He definitely has a chance to get better than 3rd place. I feel like each time I see him, I like him even more, but it also helps that some programs have allowed me to see his personality come out and he seems like a nice guy with a great sense of humor to be around.
95.85- 53 and 42… aww, I thought for sure he’d break 100, but that components score tends to let him down and supposedly his 2nd quad was a little under rotated
oh man… just one element gave him issue and it was a combination in the middle of the program- a triple salchow-toe loop… it was a little dodgy in the middle of the two jumps. But the rest of the jumps were so good. I think his artistry will keep him in the conversation, though… he should still break 100, I think.
94.26- 47 and 46… but he’s 5th place… uh, yeah… I hope he can bring things around in the free skate because he’s definitely capable of it…
with things as they are, I think Nathan, Vincent, Mikhail, Shoma and Boyang all have a shot to win. They all have the technical content to do so, it’s just a matter of who performs the best program. Dmitri could potentially still medal, but he’s going to need A LOT of help.
I’m going to predict for the medals…
I think Shoma is going to still win… Nathan will get second and Mikhail Kolyada (just based on how inconsistent he’s been this season) or Boyang will get 3rd.
Vincent isn’t as good on components yet, but if Mikhail has a bad free skate and Vincent kills it, he could get on the podium.
Ok, time for free skates from the women’s competition.
They’re going to show the top 12 from the short program.
Loena Hendrickx from Belgium is up first. Mariah Bell is the current leader.
I mean, her program was really jump-heavy in the second half. Not all of her jumps, but it felt like there were a lot in a row with very little choreography and few transitions in between. It wasn’t as nice to watch, but she hit every jump and probably will get a new personal best out of this. She had a lot of jumps with her hands aloft and it made me miss the fact Evgenia Medvedeva couldn’t be here. Nobody does the hand over head as beautifully as her.
Elizavet Tursynbaeva from Kazakhstan
oh man… she had a couple of landings that were a tad off and one axel was a single instead of a double, but she was on her feet the whole time and didn’t break form the entire time. coupled with her skating to “The Prayer,” it was a really beautiful image and I’m getting teary thinking about it.
186.85- 61 and 63- 2nd place
Nichole Schott from Germany
the first fall I’d seen all night with some struggles on landing jumps, but a nice program overall. (don’t have much more to say cuz she’s not a skater I comment on often)
174.13- 53 and 59- 4th place
whew! this is the skate she should have had at the Olympics. you can nitpick on the landings of some jumps, but she was on her feet for each one. A really nice performance and her reaction at the end was everything. She’ll place well for the moment, but she doesn’t have the components yet to make the podium. There is talk, though, that depending on our placements overall, we could still get 3 spots for the next world championships. I think they said the top skaters had to finish with placements that added up to less than 13.
199.89- 65 x 2- first place
phew, made it through. no triple axel attempt and some jumps had sketchy landings, but she was on her feet for each jump and gave this performance everything.
187.52- 57 and 64- dang it, only 3rd place. The technical panel was really critical, taking her total down by 13 points according to the commentators
wow… I hadn’t seen her much, but this is easily the best I’d seen her. She’d had a couple of issues with this Skyfall free skate. This time, she hit all her jumps, almost perfectly and really brought the fire and emotion in the final moments. And she’s breaking down now after doing so well. I mean, I’m so sick of hearing Adele on the radio, but I love when this song is done so well, done justice like this. I love when music has the perfect visual to accentuate it. Times like this.
210.90- 74 and 70… wow- 1st place… awesome job!
So it’s down to the final six:
she had a couple of rough jumps early on in the program, including a double axel-triple combination she got negative GOE’s on, but she gained a lot of steam in the second half. She’d had difficult free skates in the past, but this year, she’ll make a quick mistake and the rest of the program would be flawless.
223.23- 75 x 2… dang… ok, beat that, guys.
another nice skate until one of her last jumps. it was an awkward landing where her legs kinda split over the ice. I don’t think it’s enough to take the lead
196.41- 58 and 67- 4th
dang, that was another shaky program. no falls, but she looked off on a bunch of her jumps and she was not going to give anything up after the collapse she had in the Olympic free skate.
196.72- 57 and 67- 4th place
it was the typical beautiful skate. But in the second half, something started to feel a little bit off and I was suspecting she was going to have a fall. And she did have one. Oh man, I hope she doesn’t lose that bronze medal again over this…
210.08- 64 and 72… 3rd place with 2 skaters left 😦
and I had a feeling that Alina coming off the Olympics was potentially going to cause a problem, doing this competition so soon after that.. she fell three times, more than any of us had seen her. Between that and not having Evgenia at the competition to push her to be her best, I think all that contributed. After a while, I think this technique of doing all the jumps in the second half is going to take its toll and skaters just can’t maintain it.
207.72- 62 and 69… whoa… off the podium… 4th place with one skater left…
Carolina Kostner… this is hers to lose, I think.
Not sure how this is gonna go… she got tired in the second half of that and had a couple of falls, one would have been a three jump combination… I kept thinking how this was fated, for her to win the title on home ice… now I’m not so sure. Earlier when Alina was having difficulties, the crowd was clapping and willing her to go on and I was thinking “you guys do realize you have your own skater to support, right?” although that is great that the crowd is so supportive of all skaters when they’re having issues during a performance.
Alexei Mishin is there with her at the kiss & cry, hadn’t seen him in a while, not since she returned to her home country to train.
208.88- 54 and 74- oh wow… 4th place…
so Satoko does get a medal, just not the way I would have imagined. But really good for her and Wakaba Higuchi. And wow, Kaetlyn Osmond having all kinds of issues, but others better than her usually made more mistakes.
Wow, this has been one crazy competition and it’s probably going to get crazier tomorrow.
As of the broadcast, Dmitri is in first place with 252.30 and Max Aaron is 3rd.
This means Dmitri got 170.15 in his free skate, which could break down to 85 on both marks… it’s a decent score, but it could be better. If not for that stupid role where you can’t repeat a jump outside a combination, he’d have had at least 10 more points in his total.
This is an impressive score, though. But it’d be better 10 years ago 😛 now we’re at the level where 300+ totals are a thing. Oh, 86.29 is Dmitri’s technical score that everyone will be chasing… 83.86 for artistry, so his jumps really served him well today. That makes me happy 😉
Alexander Majorov from Sweden, they’re showing first. Some really strong jumps. Supposedly he’s Russian, but he and his family moved to Sweden. I can definitely see that Russian technique on his jumps. Wow, the crowd’s really getting into this program towards the end. The music was mostly serious James Bond type music and then at the end, there was this burst of enthusiasm with a change in music. He’s in 4th place
Kazuki Tomono is skating for Yuzuru with West Side Story as his music.
If I had seen him as a junior, he was just one of many names that I have trouble keeping track of. I certainly don’t remember anything like this. His technique was flawless and he did the jumps with as much ease as Yuzuru, but he looks like a younger Shoma. Oh man, the men’s field in Japanese skating is STACKED- they’re going to be dominating for a long time. That was brilliant and the crowd really got behind him.
256.11- 94 and 79- wow- season’s best and the new #1 in the field… I looked through previous entries and I have seen him before. He’s a skater I keep forgetting about. I said he was a showman and his jumps needs some polishing (no problem with that now… yeah, I said he was a future star and I’m really seeing that now. Won’t be forgetting him again)
Paul Fentz from Germany doing his Game of Thrones program.
He started to get tired towards the end of the program, but he did well overall. Some strong jumps and he fit the character of the music well, but he didn’t quite maintain that all the way through.
Gotta say, though, Ryan Bradley kinda sucks as a commentator. All he really does is name all of the jumps and talking about how important it is to get the free leg back on jumps. I’m not really learning anything new or being entertained. It’s just meh… WHERE ARE JOHNNY & TARA?
a clean program and extremely entertaining. This is a really appreciative crowd anyway, but there were some great roars when he really opened up at the end of it. Hit all the jumps nicely and didn’t miss a beat. The only thing he’s missing is a quad- he opted not to use it to do a clean program. Brilliant, though. Even if it’s unacknowledged I should tweet Stephane Lambiel just to applaud him for taking this already talented skater to the next level. He was great as a junior, but he’s even better in this new coaching situation. Just wow…
254.86- 2nd place- with a season’s best too
He had a slightly sloppy ending on his final jump- a double axel, but another brilliant performance with such ease and poise. Beautiful to watch, amazing artist… I’d pretty much said everything about him I could say. He’s one of my favorites to watch and I’m going to miss seeing him on the ice. He was very happy and kissed the ice and bowed to it at the end, his way of saying goodbye.
249.57- 4th place
he was starting to show a little wear and tear towards the end, probably from the Olympics… his triple axels were a bit of a mess in the second half of the program, but lots of great moments in between. Very strong skating.
258.28- 86 and 81… but still in first place… brilliant.
Looking at the standings so far, Dmitri is in 4th… so the latest he can finish is 10th overall. Which certainly isn’t terrible. Depending on where Mikhail finishes, Russia could potentially get 3 spots for next year. But at the very least, they’ll secure two. It’s taking a while, but they’re finally starting to rebound after that long drought after Plushenko retired.
the two Americans will be skating last… Vincent has 5 quads planned, 3 in a row.
Nathan has 5 planned with 2 in a row, 3 in the 2nd half.
Oh man, I’m getting so excited already 😀
Keegan Messing from Canada is up first. skating to Charlie Chaplin.
He was the one person I didn’t want to crack the podium just because he’s not in the Revolution and he’s not one of the skaters I actively watch. He had issues with a lot of jumps. Mostly his quads. He had three planned, doubled two of them and he slipped off the edge of the last one. He looked a little tired towards the end.
Shoma Uno is up next… oh boy, I hope this is good… I want the final placements to be decided because of everyone doing well and it’s just down to their technical merit at the end.
That wasn’t an easy skate for Shoma. He looked like he was really off his game, tired from doing the Olympics… he fell on his two opening quad attempts and he slipped off his 3rd quad. However, after that point, he just fought through all the jumps and gave it everything. Ryan Bradley was saying after the 3rd failed quad that it was a heartbreaking skate to watch… I didn’t find that at all. I know Shoma has so much fight and resilience in him that he’s not going to quit until after he takes the final position. He is just that good.
He’ll for sure get the lead here, but keeping it is going to be another matter entirely. Especially when 3 of the final skaters are in the Revolution with 4-5 quads in their arsenal.
273.77- 94 and 88- yeah, first place… man, he looks exhausted… give that guy a bed to get as much rest as he needs
geesh, what the frick is going on?! Now it’s getting to the point where the medals will be given to the people who suck the least… that’s the last thing I wanted for this competition…
he fell on all of his quads, almost hitting the wall each time. The mistakes just kept piling up… there’s no way he’ll get on the podium
223.41- 63 and 73- whoa, 9 points in deductions and only 16th place… OUCH! That’s freaking terrible… especially since he relies so much on that technical score.
Another rough program… but he didn’t give it up entirely… he fell on all his quad attempts, but had some strong moments sprinkled in between. I think it should be enough to give him first place, but it’s not going to be a safe placement.
272.32- 86 and 88… oh man, he’s in 2nd… well, Russia will get 2 spots for next year’s competition for sure… yikes… I hope Nathan and Vincent don’t have any of these issues and have the best skates of their lives.
several jumps were falls… I’m getting really annoyed with the commentators at this point, talking about all the bad things happening, how “heartbreaking” it is… just shut up!
235.24- 66 and 76… 13th place… wow… and we’re only getting 2 spots for the men because of that…
Nathan Chen… c’mon, Nathan! You got this!
he had 6 quads attempts with 5 of them being clean… phew… that was incredible. There were no nerves at all, he just went out there and killed it and he’s going to have one of the top all-time scores.
321.40- 127.62 and 91.84… oh man, he won and in epic fashion…
yeah, Max Aaron is in 11th so that secures us 3 spots…
looking at the rules… it depends on how many skaters you have. If you have 2 or 3 skaters, you get 3 spots if you have the top 2 finish with placements that are less than or equal to 13. Meaning that Russia will get 3 spots next year because Mikhail and Dmitri finished in 3rd and 7th… that’s pretty awesome.
Still… I can’t argue with these results, but it doesn’t mean I’m entirely happy with how things went.
It could work in my favor where they could potentially make a rule to not allow programs with all the jumps in the 2nd half. Unfortunately, the Quad Revolution isn’t going to be seen as a good thing because so many falls have happened on quads this year. That really sucks…
I got curious about score totals and where Nathan will wind up in the top scores of all time.
He’s 8th all time with his win at Four Continents last year. Yuzuru has the top 3 scores with 321 and higher.
Whoa, Nathan’s score will put him 4th place all time, just slightly behind Yuzuru’s score at last year’s World Championships. So Yuzuru’s score will still remain the top score at the World championships. Javier Fernandez has 2 in the top 10 around 314 and 305… Patrick Chan is completely out of the top 10 because he never broke 300.
So… I guess I’ll post this and be done with it… what a season this has been, so many ups and downs. I think all of us need a break to recover our strength and stamina 😛
also, Mikhail Kolyada is the first Russian to make the podium since 2011… this guy Artur Garchnski got 3rd then… I would have said that Plushenko was the last time a Russian was on the world podium, but it’s just atop the world podium. Nathan is also the youngest world champion since Plushenko.