Skate Canada 2011 – Chan wins another medal he doesn’t deserve (aka men’s LP)

A new development has come into my life and I find myself horrendously busy again. However, the development is so stressful that after a few hours of being productive, I’ve decided to take a break and watch some figure skating I’d say I’d watch. So here goes… the hot mess that was Skate Canada this year. I seriously miss Skate Canada 2009 when Chan didn’t get rewarded for shit skates. Sigh. Those were the days.

So Patrick Chan skated to Concierto de Aranjuez for his LP. Damn him, I really like that piece of music for personal reasons. He fell AGAIN on his quad toe but I’m sure the judges thought that it was what a reader smartly recognized as a “butt bounce” which is actually a transition element. His second quad was successful (he also tacked a 3T to the end of it) as was his 3A. I’m disappointed that he didn’t implode on it. It’s one of those things you can count on with Chan. That, an inflated score and consequently, medals he doesn’t deserve. The first combination spin was admittedly gorgeous (especially the flying camel). However, then came a random stumble in his footwork. I’m sure the judges thought that he was just expressing the anguish in the music but I thought that it was more funny than emo. Some commentor on youtube said: “that’s freaking incredible though that Patrick could nearly fall on his face and 2 seconds later be able to collect himself, maintain his speed to land a triple lutz.” Um, first of all, the landing on the lutz wasn’t that great and you should ACTUALLY be surprised at how he won the gold. Actually, no, no one is surprised at his marks and undeserved wins anymore. Chan skated the rest of his program clean, though his landings on some of his jumps were less than perfect. At least the choreography to this program was pretty good. But that’s all that Chan can boat about right now. According to PJ Kwong, Chan was wiping blood off his knee after the performance. You know there’s something wrong with that gold medal when…

Anyways, let’s move onto less depressing things. Depressing stuff is the last thing I need right now.

Well, I would say that Javier Fernandez’s story is not depressing. Here’s a talented skater who saw that his coach was neglecting him (and I mean, that weird purple/green/pink thing from last year?) and so he took matters into his own hands. He went to a renowned coach who no longer had superstar or up and coming pupils and connections with an awesome choreographer. Javier’s improved tons and I’m so excited to see his finally blooming on the world stage. I knew I made the right choice when I put him on the podium (albeit in the wrong position) in my predictions. In any case, Javier started his dramatic program with a 4T (hand down) followed by a luscious 4S. He did fall on a 3A, only to do a 3A-3T in the second half of his program. Good recovery! Unfortunately, his landings in the second half of the program were less than satisfactory and he doubled a loop (work on your stamina, Javi!) but at least he didn’t fall. He was clearly losing steam in the second half of his program but it was still a good first performance. Admittedly, he’s not as polished as Chan (so maybe Chan did deserve to win the LP) but the margin between Chan and Javier (along with Daisuke) in the SP should’ve been larger and from that, and Javi should’ve been able to take the gold.

Daisuke skated to a jazz piece that I’ve only associated with ice dancers. He tried his quad flip again but it was underrotated and two-footed. He was a bit forward on the landing of his 3A and had a hand down on his 3S. Daisuke definitely didn’t start his program well. His spins are often slow at the beginning of the season and this season was no exception. Performance-wise, though, Daisuke is impeccable as usual. Please note that unlike Chan, people actually cheered after he did his footwork. He 2-footed his second 3A though completed a clean and lovely combination jump. I’m not fond of the music (though I loved Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje’s FD to it in 2008), but Daisuke really has the potential to make it work. He unfortunately deserved the bronze (rather than gold or silver here) but Daisuke gets better as the season goes along and I hope that we’ll see a much better version of this soon.

Here are the results of the LP.

Here are the overall standings.

I’ll be blogging Cup of China predictions tomorrow.

~The Rinkside Cafe

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Seriously Canada?

For a country that prides itself on being fair and nice and all, they sure know how to go insane and inflate figure skating scores for Patrick Chan. Videos of his LP have yet to surface appeared and here are his scores:

SP – 88.78
LP – 197.07
Total – 285.85

Now, let’s stop for a bit and take a look at a few CoP records:

Men – highest score in an ISU-sanctioned competition:

SP – 91.30 (Evgeni Plushenko 2010 Euros)
LP – 175.84 (Daisuke Takahashi 2008 Four Continents)

Let’s just say that one skater got those scores for a competition, the total would be: 267.14
The actual world record for the highest total is 264.41 (Daisuke Takahashi 2008 Four Continents)

His scores have become more and more unreasonable. Next thing you know, he’ll be the first to get a score of 300+ or something. *knocks on wood*

I’ll try not to complain in my next post.

~The Rinkside Cafe

Further Proof that PCS = Patrick Chan Score

I knew that Patrick Chan was going to take a nauseating lead at Canadian Nationals but being the optimist that I am, I thought that his triple axel implosions would limit his ridiculous scores. I am ridiculously wrong, unfortunately. Patrick Chan can double a triple axel and still get a score only 3 points away from the world record short program score. Disgusting.

PJ Kwong states in her commentary: “He sets the bar for footwork for this generation of men’s skaters.” I’ve never been afraid of calling her delusional before and I stand by my word that this opinion is part of her nationalistic delusion. Patrick Chan’s footwork is good but it’s not that good. His footwork especially in this program seems to have no connection to the music and neither does he. It sickens me that this short program (88.78) score would beat Daisuke Takahashi’s masterpiece of a performance and program at 2008 Four Continents (88.57) by a hair. I know that scores at national competitions are always inflated but with Chan, you never know how much his scores will be inflated. In any case, whatever PCS Chan may be getting, I will stand by my opinion in the face of nationalistic Canadian figure skating fans and tell them: “THIS is good interpretation, choreography and footwork.” Chan just doesn’t compare with this performance, quad or no quad:

The expression! The musicality! His relation to the audience! Sheer perfection.

Not everyone can perform like Daisuke but Shawn Sawyer was pretty good in that respect at Canadian Nationals. This was a solid performance and his triple axel was better than Chan’s attempt at one.

Without Tessa and Scott to make Canadian Nationals worth watching, I’ll place my hopes on U.S. Nationals, which will definitely be more exciting, regardless of my nationality and the ire incurred from me saying this: the Americans have a better National figure skating competition than the Canadians, hands down. If you have an issue with my lack of nationalism, read Benedict Anderson’s “Imagined Communities”. It’s a brilliant book.

Wishing for Tessa and Scott…

~The Rinkside Cafe

Cup of Russia: I love you Tomas <3

I know I said that I don’t have much time to blog this weekend but I just had to blog about this.

Tomas Verner beat Patrick Chan by a mile in the free skate and won gold~! ❤ ❤ ❤ *huggles Tomas*

I was dreading checking the standings but I should’ve had more faith that Patrick would have at least one triple axel implosion. Then again, this guy gets rewarded for shitty skates all the time. In or out of Canada. Anyways, P-overinflated head-Chiddy also had a quad splat and a fall on a lutz.

Seriously, I think CBC needs to stop making excuses for this kid. He has consistency issues. Let me repeat that. Patrick Chan has consistency issues. I mean, I attribute Canada’s loss of the inaugural World Team Trophy to Patrick Chan and his crazy splatfest in the short. If he weren’t so overmarked in the long, it would’ve been a huge embarrassment. He always has some sort of issue with his triple axel and despite what anyone says, it’s clear that he doesn’t have the quad down pat like Plushenko, Yagudin and Joubert. CBC commentators can gush about the fact that no one does step sequences like Patrick does, but let’s face it: his step sequences are nothing to Daisuke Takahashi’s. As for performance, again the Canadian commentators can say whatever they want but there are quite a few internet skating fans who are unbiased in that they are un-nationalistic/patriotic in their choice of favourites and say that he doesn’t really perform and act. Want to see people who do act? Try Daisuke Takahashi, Florent Amodio and Javier Fernandez. Those guys give it their all in their performances.

Here are the overall results and the LP protocols.

Sadly, Jeremy Abbott bombed the free skate and probably lost his spot to the final. P-stupid Chiddy definitely has a spot while it’s probable that Tomas and Oda will get a spot as well. I’ll modify my list in the near future.

Cup of Russia: Predictions

I’m running on very little sleep and I have very little free time so I apologize if this week’s predictions are a bit rushed.

Men

Patrick Chan (overinflated) Score will be present at the Cup of Russia and his only real competition at this point would be Jeremy Abbott, which makes me afraid. Very afraid. Jeremy can either do very very well or bomb his little ass off. Tomas Verner is still too weak this season (but should be able to make the podium) to make a run for the gold. I only wish I could put my faith in my darling Czech and hope that he will win me gold and prevent stupid Chan from winning.

Ladies

Miki Ando should probably win against a relatively weak field. Ksenia Makarova and Akiko Suzuki will probably be embroiled in a battle for silver unless Miki goes batshit crazy like in her pre-2009 years.

Pairs

I though Yuko Kavaguti & Alexander Smirnov were off the GP because of injury but if they are competing, then they should probably win. They’re not fabulous but they’re a head and shoulders above Narumi Takahashi & Melvin Tran and Amanda Evora & Mark Ladwig. Being Russian also helps Kavaguti/Smirnov.

Ice Dance

After all their costuming problems in their last GP assignment, Faiella & Scali will probably get their costumes in order and take the title. The costume mishaps were really costly and at this point, I think it’s still a bit unclear as to who the top European team will be. We’ll have to wait until the GPF to find out. The two young Russian teams (Ilynkh & Katsalapov and Bobrova & Sloviev) will probably do very well and probably round out the podium with a fight for the silver.

The Cafe’s Picks:

Men: Jeremy Abbott (for the love of God and all that is holy)
Ladies: Miki Ando
Pairs: Yuko Kavaguti & Alexander Smirnoff (and if they aren’t competing, Takahashi & Tran)
Ice Dance: Federica Faiella & Massimo Scali

Miscellaneous

Also, just an amusing observation, PJ Kwong wrote an article entitled, “What to make of Skate America.” I wanted to demand an article entitled, “What to make of Skate Canada: how Patrick Chan won against a field that was better and cleaner than he was after falling 3 times in the short and being sloppy in the free” in the comments but the nationalistic crazies that roam the CBC website will probably be after my blood. If I had the money, I would buy them all a copy of Benedict Anderson’s “Imagined Communities” but I don’t wipe my ass with a hundred dollar bills so I will just blog about it sometime in the future. Even if I don’t, re-reading Anderson would not be a detriment in any way anyways.

Enjoy~!

~The Rinkside Cafe

Skate America: Predictions

I have a small break before I have to work myself to a state of collapse. In any case, let’s just look forward to what seems to be an exciting weekend this week at Skate America! The stakes are getting high as we enter into the second half of the grand prix series since being on the podium might now be a guarantee for a spot at the finals. In any case, here are the predictions…

Men

This week we’ll see a clash of the Japanese men with Nobunari Oda vs. Daisuke Takahashi. Oda’s programs don’t quite have the flair this season and Daisuke, being awesome and World champion should win this handily unless he goes insane and falls a whole bunch of times during his programs. Somehow he doesn’t have the power of the Patrick Chan score so if he does fall *knock on wood* he won’t have P-stupid-Chiddy’s overinflated scores. In any case, I wish Daisuke well. Adam Rippon should also be in hunt for a medal. I’ll be rather excited to see his programs again.

Ladies

I looked at this list and got really, really scared. Carolina Kostner has to be consistent or else Rachael Flatt will end being the front runner for gold. Despite her consistency, Rachael is useful for bathroom or food breaks… ‘Nuff said. Kanako Murakami will be skating again and I wish she had the jumps and the political force behind her to beat the entire competition but alas, that has yet to come. Sigh. In any case, I’m still a bit scared of putting too much faith in Carolina because it’s heartbreaking when a favourite lets you down. I had given up on her for awhile and then she shocks me. I hope she can shock me again so I can get rid of my cynical opinions on her skating.

Pairs

My baby Chinese pair is competing again! It’s only been a week since their silver medal from the Cup of China but I want them on that podium again. Because they are good enough, throw quad salchow or not. The gold however, will probably belong to Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy. They had a rough season last year with the return of Shen and Zhao but I don’t blame them. Who wouldn’t be nervous? Shen and Zhao’s “Turandot” LP from 2003 Worlds still makes me emotional and I bawl my eyes out almost every time I watch it. In any case, Savchenko and Szolkowy want Olympic gold and they want to stick around to get it. As a result, they have to maintain their A-game and winning this competition in a field with relatively weak competitors is crucial to getting their confidence back up. These two are a fabulous team and they have to start believing in it. Their “Out of Africa” LP is actually one of my all-time favourites. I hope that their programs this year can live up to it…

Ice Dance

Meryl and Charlie will probably win even if… well… Meryl and Charlie will only lose if they get injured and have to withdraw is the way I see it. There will be an interesting match-up between the #2 and #3 Canadian ice dance teams of Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje and Vanessa Crone & Paul Poirier. Weaver/Poje are so much more fun to watch and these two have become pretty evenly matched. I wonder what dress Kaitlyn will wear for the SD this time… The Shibutanis will also make another run for the podium and I’m awfully curious as to what will happen. It will be a tight race for silver and gold. I hope the Shibushibus and Weaver/Poje triumph over the mediocre, face contorting, juniorish pair.

The Cafe’s Picks:

Men: Daisuke Takahashi
Ladies: Carolina Kostner (For the love of God and all that is holy!!! Unless Kanako can miraculously take the gold.)
Pairs: Savchenko & Szolkowy
Ice Dance: Davis & White