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Takahiko Kozuka Scores Skate America Upset; Americans Take 2nd and 3rd

American Johnny Weir just missed taking the Skate America crown, but Japan's Takahiko Kozuka scored the upset on his technical marks.

Kozuka did great but I was actually surprised that he won. After falling on his first quad toe, he landed all the rest of his jumps, along with a three jump combination (this probably got him loads of points). But he didn't connect with the crowd as much and his footwork was not that exciting; he was also a bit too reliant on spread eagles. But it was a great performance, and he earned a 146.08, for a 226.18 total.

Weir skated after Kozuka, and I thought he might pul out the win. He two-footed and turned out of his quad toe attempt (but no fall!), and there was at least one other questionable landing, but I didn't slo-mo to see if it was really two-footed or not. But his program was elegant, very Johnny Weir, and I really liked his footwork sequence; I wonder how that looked to those in the arena? Anyway, he only received a 69.75 for technical elements, compared with Kozuka's 75.88, although his presentation score was more than three points higher than Kozuka's. It just wasn't enough tonight though, and Weir took second place. UPDATE: LA Times reports that Weir left a double off a planned combination - had he done that jump he would likely have won! Sometimes it's better to go for it..

Evan Lysacek had a fall on his quad toe attempt (but can I just say YAY that the Americans are trying the quads still? Maybe later in the season they'll actually land them). Other than that he landed all of his jumps. His footwork at the end literally made me dizzy, but it was really intricate, the best of the night I'd have to say. There must have been something else that he did wrong or something missing though because his technical score was only 66.61 (I should mention that it took the judges a VERY long time to judge Lysacek and there was lots of reviewing of the jumps, so maybe there was some underrotation going on? I'm not sure what the deal was). His presentation score was deservedly high at 76.30, but unfortunately the 141.91 (total of 223.21) left Lysacek in third place, which drew a fair amount of boos from the crowd. Not sure what this means for Weir and Lysacek, but I would say losing to Kozuka is not a good start to the season, especially when you have skaters like Joubert (though he's admittedly having problems right now) and Takahashi contend with later on, with all of their quads and fire. UPDATE: Also from the LA Times, Lysacek was graded harshly for his step sequence. Maybe they didn't like it making them dizzy as much as I did? Proof that I can never be a figure skating judge!

In the redemption department, America's World Junior Champion Adam Rippon had a much better program today. He fell on one of his triple axels, and he admittedly was not perfect on many jumps, but as he said in the kiss n' cry area, he really fought for those landings. A nice way to come back from yesterday's terrible showing.

In other news, I was temporarily blinded by Canadian Kevin Reynolds' outfit, but thankfully the sight came back in time to watch the final competitors.

Final Rankings:

1. Kozuka (226.18)

2. Weir (225.20)

3. Lysacek (223.21)

4. Reynolds (204.89)

5. Canadian Shawn Sawyer (199.98)

6. Russia's Alexander Uspenski (177.81)

7. Sweden's Adrian Schultheiss (177.26)

8. U.S.'s Adam Rippon (174.82)

9. Slovakia's Igor Macypura (169.61)

10. Canada's Ian Martinez (155.18)