Skate America 2011 – Ladies: The Battle of the Headcases

Since I’m just a lone blogger, I don’t really have to sugarcoat anything but last weekend at Skate America, there were only 2 ladies worth watching, both perennial headcases. And they are Alissa Czisny and Carolina Kostner. So let’s take a look at what went on last week shall we?

Alissa won the short program with a score of 64.20

I must say, for someone who’s perennially well-dressed, this costume was a bit disappointing. The belt would’ve looked a lot nicer if it were higher on the body. At least the back was nice. Skating to “La Vie en Rose” (LOVE this song), Alissa started off with an almost Kwan-esque triple lutz-double toe. I saw *almost* Kwanesque because the Kween would’ve been less tentative and more confident doing that jump. The combination was followed by a beautiful 3F and a decent 2A (it was a little shaky in the landing).  The rest of the program was performed with ease and elegance. Maybe it’s the way Alissa is wearing her hair or the way she held her arms but there were quite a few “Kwanesque” moments in that program. Well done! I’m looking forward to seeing a polished version of this program later on in the season.

Carolina Kostner got a 60.23 for her short program, which put her second behind Alissa. Since I discussed Alissa’s skating costume, I must say, baby yellow is nice cute and decent for Carolina’s skin tone but she should find a better dress. Looking at the youtube comments, I’m not the only one complaining about it. Caro opened with a big triple-toe, triple-toe – though I wish she opened with her ginormous 3F-3T instead – followed by a shaky 3Lp. After watching Alissa – known as a great spinner – Carolina’s spins looked a bit slow but the speed going in and out of her double axel was unbelievable. Choreography-wise, this is a vast improvement from previous seasons. The elements are well-woven together (I had to rewatch the last half of the program to realize that her step sequence came at the end) and although this wasn’t her best performance, I really liked Carolina’s commitment to the program. There was drama and flirtation. Maybe opera on ice has really improved her presentation skills because I was not expecting that from Carolina. A program (and hopefully a skater) with good potential this season.

Now onto the long program…

Carolina actually won the long program with a score of 117.12. Her costume reminded me of the one from her 2007 Worlds SP to Canon in D. She opened with a huge 3Lp followed by a huge 3F. Carolina’s jumps became a little weaker in the second half of her program – she singled a 2Lp at the end of her 3S-2T-2Lp combination but like in her SP, she skated with commitment to the choreography. Admittedly, her choreography was less risky than Alissa’s but I thought that she was a little undermarked in the long and that she should’ve won the competition by a very small margin.

Alissa skated to “Valse Triste” (another beloved piece of music of mine) and received a score of 113.28. Although the choreography was a lot more intricate and elegant than Carolina’s Alissa fell on her 3F and had numerous shaky landings and possible underrotations (though some of them might not have been severe enough to merit a downgrade). She also doubled a salchow in the 2nd half of her program. Alissa’s program may have more potential than Carolina’s but I didn’t feel that she should’ve won the competition (even the at times annoying patriots at FSOnline thought that she wasn’t going to win at one point.) I think Carolina should’ve won by the same margin as Alissa did but my opinion doesn’t really matter at this point, does it?

Here are the overall rankings in the ladies’ competition.

What did you think of the ladies’ competition at Skate America? I’m a bit drowsy now from my cold but I think I’ll write about the pairs/dance competition next.

~The Rinkside Cafe

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