Here is my stream of consciousness for the pairs short programs on NBC tonight.
Shen and Zhao (China): Augh Sandra already overexplaining the meaning of the program. YES TRIPLE TOES, perfect. Nice triple twist. I got scared just before the throw triple loop but there was obviously no reason for that. She seemed a tad behind on the spin ending but that is very much a nitpick. Great lift, great energy and speed. Such passion, I love this. Now to just sell it and hold on...AWESOME!!!! The did what they had to do!!!! 76.66, RECORD, WAHHOOO.
Denney and Barrett (USA): I fully expect awesomeness from these two. Let's see how they handle the pressure...Caydee's rocking the red streaks in her hair again. Good triple twist to start. She doubled her planned triple toe, so they'll lose credit on that. Beautiful throw triple lutz. Great spin unison and speed. Not a perfect performance, but a good start for them. First of many Olympic games says Bezic...I mean...my guess is two at the most. Ugh, no, doggy talk, so sad!!! 53.26. Wow. They are in second so far but that just shows you the gap in how this pair is viewed compared with the other top pairs.
Bazarova and Lariyonov: Wow, those jumps were so out of wack. I'm glad they landed it but....not exactly two skating as one. I like that triple twist though. She is so teeny tiny. Great throw. Spins out of unison a bit and then back on...then off. I guess we'll have to watch these two as they get a bit older.
Evora and Ladwig: Aw, Jeremy Barrett watching his GF Amanda Evora. Barrett looks so young right there! Good twist. She just hung onto that side by side triple toe. Throw triple loop, wow. Spins are a bit out of unison. Such a nice light quality to their skating. Nice lift, the crowd approves. Not the best pair spin you'll ever see. But that was definitely a solid performance - great job for them!! OMG Amanda is so adorable I might cry. 57.86 - sends them into second place, and they are beyond happy with that!!! Personal best - can't ask for more than that.
Langlois and Hay: Representing the home team! So nice to see this pair make it to the Olympics. Great triple toes! Double twist, so that will keep them lower in the points, but as Bezic points out they are going for a grade of execution. Great throw triple lutz, my goodness we are seeing some amazing skating tonight - we are lucky. Also I just noticed how super cute her hair is. 64.20 - WOW. That is quite high - don't know that I expected them to score that much higher than Evora and Ladwig, but that's a nice score.
Mukhortova and Trankov: Well you never know what to expect, but I'm hoping for some good stuff from these two. Bezic is telling us about how much they hate each other. Hopefully no stares of death from Maria after the skate. Great triple twist. Oh wow, that was a nasty fall on the side by side jumps. We'll be able to judge the sanity of the judges with this score. Great throw though. A little slow and tired looking at the end of the death spiral, and still a lot of the program to go. Spin out of unison. Good lift. They are a very good pair, but they did not skate nearly up to potential tonight, and I really hope the scoring reflects that. So sad. oh, dear, such devasation. Oh, she looks like she's going to comfort him, that is nice to see. Hmm, Scott, actually you can miss and still win a medal at the Olympic games, especially if you are Russian in the pairs competition, but I digress. 63.44. I suppose they paid for the fall, a bit. But, they scored pretty high anyway. In third for now.
Volosozhar and Morozov: YES THEY DID WEAR THESE OUTFITS AGAIN, thank you. Argh, he screwed up the landing on that triple toe loop. And now I have no audio. But whatever. The costumes are singing on their own. Nice triple twist (audio back!). Good lift. BEAUTIFUL throw. I don't really like this program, but they are recovering nicely. Spins are not perfect unison but close enough. Footwork is not fast as Bezic points out...and Hamilton says he holds the pair back. What, like, his existence? HAHA Scott is just jealous because he does not get to wear that outfit. WOW, they are in fourth place? It sounds like they were maybe judged fairly but Mukhortova and Trankov were not or something.
Kavaguti and Smirnov: This team is apparently having some great practices. I am sure they are skating with confidence...this will be very interesting. Aw, that is sad that she is considered a traitor because she gave up her Japanese citizenship. You will always be Kawaguchi to me. Also sad is her head piece. Those triple toes were great! This is going to be good. Triple twist ok, but now it's nitpick time, not the best we'll see tonight. Throw triple loop, right on. Good lift. Wow. Moskvina strikes again, this is going to score high. Kind of lurched to the end of that death spiral. Good spins. This is an amazing job - I hope Shen and Zhao still have the lead but it's going to be close. 74.16. Personal best - very high. She is quite disappointed, but less than three points difference, she should be happy.
Dube and Davison: And listen to that home crowd. Nice triple twist. Good lift. She is concentrating very hard. Ohh, sad fall on the side by side triples for her, augh. Bezic said the throw triple loop was shaky but they landed it just fine in the end. I agree with Bezic that it just hasn't been a great performance for them. What a disappointment, but hopefully they can come back and perform the heck out of their beautiful free skate. 65.36?? say what? UM NO THAT IS CRAP, way too high of a score. Sorry. that score is effed up.
Pang and Tong: Um...I'm still recovering from that ridiculous score for Dube and Davison. Ok, shake it off. Great triple toes! Great triple twist, SO HIGH from this camera angle, these two will not be ignored!!! Spins seem not exactly perfect but very good. And look at the difficulty of all aspects of the lift. They are looking looser than Kavaguti and Smirnov, which I find attractive. She is so happy, yay!! Wow. I would have them in second maybe but I think that they'll be in third. And I'm right - but they got a deduction, oy they skated too long. 71.50 for them, third place.
Zhang and Zhang: Such a good call going with this short program over their newer one.. I don't love it but at least they don't look like they hate it. Twist, throw triple loop both solid. Triple salchows landed! Wow, such confidence they have rarely displayed this season. And a very difficult lift entrance from his spread eagle. Side by side spins had some moments when they were not together. I would not place them as high as Pang and Tong, but definitely higher than Dube and Davison, who received the home team bonus. 71.28. That's fine, I guess.
Savchenko and Szolkowy: Throw triple flip - no problem!!! Wow, she seemed a bit over eager on that side by side triple toe, but LANDED perfectly, this is great. Triple twist not as good as they can do - more of a collision. Spins are so fast but not perfectly on. I think this is great. They really delivered...just have to hold on tomorrow for a medal. I am really not sure how I would score them...I thought they were pretty equal to Kavaguti and Smirnov if not a little bit behind. Definitely should not be ahead of Shen and Zhao in my book. 75.96, personal best, JUST BEHIND Shen and Zhao. WOW, look at how close those top three are.
I guess the much-predicted podium of Shen and Zhao, Savchenko and Szolkowy, and Kavaguti and Smirnov is on target right now. I cannot believe how great the skating was tonight from some of the top pairs. I can also not believe some of the scores, I'll be taking a look at the protocols to see what the heck was behind that. Be sure to watch the free skate tomorrow night!!!