Highlights from Skate America 2013: Day 1 and 2

I wasn’t able to find a livestream for Day 1 of Skate America which made me really sad and an appointment with my awesome friends lead me away from the livestream for the ladies and pairs SP today. I’m catching up with the competition events as I’m writing this post while also waiting anxiously for the men’s LP event. In any case, here are what I think to be the highlights of Skate America 2013, Day 1 and the first half of Day 2.

Mao 13 SA SP

Day 1 Highlights

I thought the men’s SP competition was just ughhh. Either the programs were unmemorable or memorable in the worst ways (Jason Brown looked as if he was having a seizure on ice) and it was just not the best night of skating. The only silver lining I’ll admit to is this quad lutz from Adam Rippon. I found the rest of the program rather paltry.

I’m starting to warm up to this SD even though I’m, in general, not a fan of Marina’s SDs. I think this program will get better as the season goes on – I expect Meryl and Charlie to be faster and skating with more flow and I hope that their toe-pick moments in the Finnstep can be a little sharper. Good start to the season overall.

Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte had an adorable SD. I’m not completely sold on the program but it’s one of those programs that’s fun to watch. What’s notable is that these two had a higher TES than Meryl and Charlie because of their step sequence (D/W got a level 3 vs. C/L who got a level 4). I’d like to see a little more speed in the Finnstep sequence but in general, I like the look of their Finnstep best out of any competitors this season so far. When I first saw the Finnstep, I really liked the crisp, clean feel of the pattern and the toe-pick season and I think these two have captured it well.

I feel as if I’ve seen this program many times before from the Shibutani siblings but I’ve included this program on the list purely because I love that midline step sequence in their program. Otherwise, I’m slightly disappointed that their movements weren’t as clean and polished because this type of program is right up their alley.

Day 2 Highlights (Part I)

Mao Asada leads the ladies after the SP and right now, I am so happy that my predictions are slightly off. THIS is the Mao I’ve been looking for for the past 4 seasons. I think I still prefer her 2006 Nocturne program but I am so happy to see her skating a lot better than she did in the past couple of seasons. I think she’s finally grown into her body, found decent vehicles/programs to carry her through at the Olympics and her bravery will always be there, ever constant, always unwavering. THIS is the Mao I wanted to see for the Olympic season and I’m glad that she’s starting out the season pretty well!

Ashley Wagner had a good skate and that’s all I can really say. Figure skating is definitely subjective in its scoring and for me, I acknowledge that Wagner skates solidly but I’m just not taken with her style. She just doesn’t have that sparkle quality that I find in Midori Ito or Michelle Kwan or even Mao and Yuna. I think it’s because I find her a little clunky and that she tries a little to hard for my taste. Again, this is just a subjective thing so feel free to disagree.

My little favourite baby Russian, Elena Radionova had the second highest TES of the night! This is a great start to her senior career! There were moments where I wish she would finish her movements but overall, this is a good beginning to what I hope will be a long and successful career.

Pairs skating has become extremely depressing now that Shen & Zhao aren’t making a comeback, Takahashi & Tran are gone and the likely winners of the Olympic gold will win with a tacky-tastic program set to the music of Jesus Christ Superstar. In any case, there was only one silver lining in the pairs competition at Skate America.

The choreography is nothing to gush about but I do have to say that this program was skating impeccably by Tatiana Volosozhar & Maxim Trankov. (And I love the Masquerade Waltz.) I’m sure that once the Olympics come along, the masses who haven’t paid attention to figure skating during the non-Olympic season and have no clue what makes a good program (or great skating) will lap it up, which works to their advantage. The program’s not bad but after seeing so many programs of horror (*cough* Evanescence *cough*), anything that’s not hideously tacky is a good program for them.

I’d post the programs that came in second and third in the pairs SP but none of these programs were really highlights. Kirsten Moore-Towers & Dylan Moscovitch skated a sad program and I mean sad as in droopy plant – it was lifeless and not interesting even though the music was quite charming. As for Ksenia Stolbova & Fedor Klimov – the music was unexpectedly boring for a flamenco piece and was performed in such a slightly boring way. Two solidly skated programs, both oh so dry to watch. As for Stefania Berton & Ondrej Hotarek… I’m so disappointed that they ended up skating to elevator music which was supposedly the soundtrack to “The Mask.” Ughhhh…

What did you think were the highlights of Skate America so far?

 

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