The World Championships are over but hey, the season’s not over yet! We still have the World Team Trophy. I’ll put up predictions closer to the date, as well as some other end of season posts but for now, let’s think about the positive and put the spotlight on some amazing skates at Worlds this year.
Kanako Murakami – Prayer for Taylor, Tango
Ok, ok, can we please talk about Kanako Murakami first? This girl was struggling last season after a great debut the year before. She had so-so Grand Prix results and honestly, I didn’t expect much from her. But then Worlds came and she wasn’t going to get on the podium but seriously, 4th place is awesome for her. That SP? Absolutely stunning. The choreography, the execution, the performance. In my mind, Kanako was the cutesy Jumpin’ Jack girl from 2010/2011 but not anymore. I did not expect such elegance from her in her SP and a sophistication in her tango LP. She also had the two best choreographed programs (Carolina Kostner is a very close second), in my opinion, this season. Stunning. Just stunning. I think I watched the “Prayer for Taylor” program five times a few days ago. I think I’m going to re-watch it now. Excuse me for a moment.
Carolina Kostner – Bolero
Despite the fall on the last salchow, Carolina gave it her all in this performance. Her musicality and interpretation was a head above the rest. I think that if Yuna had messed up somehow and Carolina skated clean, I think the world champion would have been Italian. I do agree that she might have been a little overmarked in the short, but there’s no reason for the flaming and the hate that’s on youtube.
Yuna Kim – Les Miserables
I still think that David Wilson failed Yuna on the choreography for both programs this year so I’m still rather lukewarm to this performance but hey, what do I know? You could barely hear the music at the end.
Katelyn Osmond – Mambo No. 8, Gwendoline
And that, my friends, IS COMPETING! I think Morozombie summed it up pretty well when she said that Katelyn Osmond, unlike many Canadian ladies, is refreshing in that she is not afraid to compete. (As brave as Joannie Rochette was, when I think of Canadian ladies figure skating, I go straight to the disappointing Jennifer Robinson, Cynthia Phaneuf, Amelie Lacoste and a long string of boring ladies.) I think her style is still very junior-ish but she’ll grow out of that with time. I think this girl has the potential to make a huge splash.
Zijun Li – Sleeping Beauty
The long program of the night for me belonged to Zijun on potential alone. I think there was probably a wrong edge somewhere but wow. Li’s jumps were smooth as butter and she carried that floaty feeling throughout the program. Great flow and great lines – I’m really looking forward to her future.
Denis Ten – Charlie Chaplain
I think this guy came as a huge surprise for a lot of people. I know that I had written him off ages and ages ago and was expecting him to implode off the podium in the long program. I’m glad you proved me wrong, Denis. As well, other than this, the men’s competition felt like a hot mess anyways. Hence the lack of highlights here.
Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford – Angel
What impressed me here was the intensity and the determination these two had. It’s been a great season for them and they’re setting themselves quite well for the Olympics.
Meryl Davis & Charlie White – Giselle
I know that some fans of Tessa and Scott say that Meryl and Charlie are boring or they do the same thing every year – but I disagree. Meryl and Charlie have been challenging themselves as much as their rivals in trying programs with stories or themes that they have difficulty with. (Just think of the sexless tango and this year’s FD which was supposed to highlight their passionate and romantic side.) No, I don’t think they’ll have that connection or elegance Tessa and Scott have but they have a drama and fury that Tessa and Scott may never have either and I think it really comes down to a preference of style. All in all, I really adore this SD to Giselle. I have yet to see an SD that completely blows my mind the way some of the ODs did (Tessa and Scott’s Farrucas, Meryl and Charlie’s Bollywood and Happy Feet, Grishuk and Platov’s street tango) but this is the closest thing so far, I think.
Ekaterina Bobrova & Dmitri Soloviev – Man with a Harmonica/Tosca
I admit to being very creeped out by this program at the beginning of the season but in the end, I actually find it quite compelling. Yes, these two need to go to twizzle school a little bit and add some speed and power but they’ve grown since the days they did that sailor OD. Yes, I had to see that live. It was really strange.
Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje – Humanity in Motion
I already liked this FD even before the changes but I agree that the changes make it so much better. There was a more coherent story and the choreography just built up bit by bit. I think the fact the silence of these usually garrulous commentators says it all.
What did you enjoy most at Worlds this year? Let me know in the comments!
~The Rinkside Cafe