Wow. Um, I think I need to take some lessons on the Code of Points, because Korean two-time defending Grand Prix Champ Yu-Na Kim is so far ahead of the rest of the field (with a 69.50), despite having a flawed program, that I just do not understand how it goes. But she had the best program by far, and it was obviously jam-packed with goodies to get those scores up. Japan's Miki Ando sits far, far away in second place with a 57.80.
Like I said, Kim's program is great. It lost some speed at the end, and she touched down after her double axel, but the entrance to the double axel was from a very difficult spiral element so she barely had any speed going in. Her triple/triple was great and her footwork was heads and tails more difficult than anyone else's. I really liked the choreography. Still, I didn't think she would be leading by that much after she finished. I should also mention that Kim is soooo popular - she got more cheers than the American ladies.
Ando was actually great as well, but she had a crazy fall between footwork elements and that cost her a 1.00 deduction. Her combination was more difficult than Kim's, with a triple lutz/triple loop. And I'd like to let NBC know it's actually called "Memoirs of a Geisha," not "Memories of a Geisha." Sheesh.
Yukari Nakano of Japan sits in third with a 57.46 I didn't love her program but there were no major errors, and a nice entrance into the double axel. Her knee is a little bent on the spiral extension, and that really gets to me, but other than that it was a pleasant performance. P.S. - way to rock the gold blades, Yukari!
Mirai Nagasu is in fourth, and I actually don't understand this one either, I thought Rachael Flatt should have been marked higher. Nagasu's triple lutz didn't seem perfectly clean and then she almost crashed into the wall. Then she had what I think was a triple flip/double toe combination (correct me if I missed something). I also didn't think she quite sold the footwork - but that is probably just because it's early in the seasonand she was trying to remember what she was doing. When she's had more experience with this program (to the "Chaplin" soundtrack), it's going to be very cute. Her score was a 56.42.
I guess the judges weren't as impressed by Junior World Champion Flatt as I was. Her form definitely needs work - the posture, like last year, is a bit slopy shouldered, and she doesn't hold herself like the other ladies. But she hit a triple lutz/triple loop, and was clean on the rest of the program, to register a 54.92.
Unfortunately, the newfound confidence that we have been reading about ad nauseum regarding Kimmie Meissner did not materialize in a clean program. Meissner, despite looking mature and elegant and having a lovely program, fell on her triple flip, and is in sixth place, just a hair behind Rachael Flatt, with a 54.90.
By the Numbers:
Number of crazy inexplicable Miki Ando falls: 2 (one coming off the practice session, and one during her footwork)
Number of Biellmann spins: 5