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Skate Canada: I laughed and I cried

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I laughed and I laughed and I laughed

Because the judging...kind of a joke, right? Home field advantage has not been this pronounced in recent memory. It was most evident in the program components scores. *I should also note that there was some other questionable judging, like the dinging of Mirai Nagasu in the short, but we'll focus on the Canadian bias here.

Exhibit A: Joannie Rochette did not do a triple/triple combination in her (very nice) short program here at Skate Canada. But her final score was a 70, only about six points off the all-time record set two weeks ago by Yu-na Kim of Korea for a program that included a triple/triple combination, and was one of the most fabulous short programs I have seen. That program also included the skating of Yu-na Kim, which I think in the many ways that are judged in program components, is superior to Rochette's. Kim's short is one for the ages. Rochette's is a good program for this season. If Rochette received a 31.60 on components in Canada, Kim should have received at least a 35 on components in Lake Placid. But she received a 32.28. Different judges, different events. But COME ON! Rochette's scores were way high.

Exhibit B: Patrick (PChiddy) Chan. Patrick Chan is an amazing skater and normally does rack up very high program components scores. But I would not say he performed the heck out of either his short or free skate. Yet he consistently received 8s and higher from the judges on performance and execution. And (keeping in mind that I am completely biased because I am in love with Jeremy Abbott's short program) I do not think Chan's deserved higher marks in program components here than Abbott in the short. Not for this performance.

Exhibit C: Virtue and Moir's Original Dance

Am I missing something, or did Tessa Virtue nearly faceplant twice in that OD? Not only that, but she seemed scared of faceplanting and had to recover from nearly faceplanting. All these things might have had a noticeable effect on program components scores, one would assume. One would be wrong.

I laughed, but this time from joy and not sarcasm

Jeremy Abbott landing that quad in his free skate was one of the best moments of the competition! Unfortunately I don't think the rest of the skate lived up to that opening, but hopefully he'll get it there. And what a win! Not sure about how he's replaced his second triple axel with another high scoring jump pass, but hey, you do what you gotta do.

Daisuke Takahashi, YES! Not perfect, and he didn't go for the quad like he did at NHK. But he is obviously building strength week by week. I was very happy to see him skate better here.

Savchenko and Szolkowy are not only back, but they may have my favorite (or one of my top) pairs free skates of the season! What a magnificent performance from them - proof that their meltdown was a one-time thing, hopefully. But boy, did they ditch that other free skate quickly. I'm not complaining, Out of Africa suited them to a tee.

...and I cried

Alissa Czisny had such a lovely short program. And the first half of her free skate, I just wanted to steal it and put it up on my shelf and look at it forever. And then...the falls. She just falls apart. And breaks my heart every time! I have no idea how the judges are going to treat her at nationals. They have the ability to prop her up on components and hope that the Olympic judges do the same - but will that be fair? Has she landed more than three credited triples in the free skate in recent memory?

Mirai Nagasu's free skate was joyless, which is weird because she received good technical scores - one of her strengths is her personality and the fun she has out there, I just want to see it! But I'm sure she was trying to eak every point out since her short was scored the way it was.

Caroline Zhang makes me want to cry all the time. She looks so sad, and skates that way, too.

Laura Lepisto makes me want to cry because I feel like I am missing what everyone likes about her. Also, with her oddly stiff arm movements, she reminds me of old-school Barbie dolls. If we are going with the dark horse medalists, I will take Alena Leonova over Lepisto any day.

Joannie Rochette has not been skating spectacularly this season, despite the amazing scores she keeps getting. I have a feeling though, with the ladies field and the judging, that skating less than spectacularly will be enough for her to win an Olympic medal next year.

Weaver and Poje also made me cry, pretty much the same reason as Laura Lepisto - I don't see them on par with some of the other teams. They just seem very slow to me. Maybe they look different in person.

Samuelson and Bates - uh oh, did the race for the third US ice dancing slot in the Olympics just become a competition? Unclear.