My thoughts as the Original Dance unfolds....feel free to add your thoughts in the comments!
Emily Samuelson and Evan Bates (USA, American folk, the Dixie Chicks): Two of our University of Michigan athletes. This is a fun dance, but nowhere near the level of technique that we'll see later. Aw, Evan is so cute here. They are very together in their dancing, which I appreciate. Nice twizzles. I think they just need to build up more speed and some more exciting content. Some more good twizzles. Oh, dear, Evan looks quite fancy free here. The part with her on his back is just absolutely adorable, her personality comes out more! Good job. 53.99 in OD, 85.36 overall. They are in first place for now (but are only the 7th pair to to!).
So I guess the big news going into the final groups are that Russia's Domnina and Shabalin are apparently still wearing their atrocious costumes that offended so many for their Aboriginal dance. Well, at least they didn't paint their faces. I guess they really had no idea what else to wear?
Isabelle Delobel and Olivier Schoenfelder (France, can-can): OMG cute little newborn baby photo. Apparently Delobel's son was born in 1973 based on the quality of the photo. I'm excited for this dance. Olivier is creepy with that hat. Not loving the start of the program. Twizzles here are suuuuper slow and kind of ugly. Her skirt is craziness! They don't appear to be skating together at all...augh! Some more twizzles...eh. As the program speeds up I am liking it more and they are getting more in sync. Tracey Wilson loooves this, I thought it looked like...they were debuting a program. And they were. 58.68 for OD. 96.67 overall.
Sinead Kerr and John Kerr (Great Britain, American folk music): I always give them points for skating to Johnny Cash. And to her for wearing Daisy Dukes. I know their dances aren't up to par with some of the top contenders here but I think they are so fun. This is fast and cute. Ugh, John botched a twizzle big-time. A little better on the later twizzles. The audience loves when he jumps off of her and the ending when...I believe they are supposed to be a truck or something? hee! Very fun, too bad about the error. 56.76 for the OD, 93.78 overall.
Federica Faiella and Massimo Scali (Italy, Italian folk dance): Oh gosh, they are showing all the falls from Torino, augh, what a terrible night for ice dancing. And the requisite stare OF DEATH. Anyway, here we go...castinets ready. They have a lot of unison so far, it's good. Pretty good job on the twizzles. The music speeds up...This is a good program for me. I don't think it's great, I don't think it's particularly memorable. But they performed it well. 60.18 for OD, 100.06 overall.
Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin (Russia, Australian Aboriginal folk dance): Well, my eyes are bleeding. You know what that means. Time for the fashion disaster of the year, Domnina and Shabalin. Apparently they have modified these costumes. Even if they're not offensive, they are out of control, as is her ponytail. Let's see if this looks any better than it did at Europeans. Look at how much I've written and they haven't started yet. Twizzles are looking very good. This is ridiculous. It's some terrible choreography and it's not very impressive. And now it's committed an even greater sin by being boring and as slow as molasses. Some more twizzles, not as nice as the first ones. He pushes her head a lot...is that an aboriginal thing? Tracey Wilson says that they are skating far apart which lessens the difficulty. She just had her feet on his pectoral muscles, which he...flexed. Someone please erase that from my brain. I hate this dance, and I hate how it's performed. Shocking score to me. 62.84, 106.60. Have the powers that be decided ice dancing is Russia's figure skating consolation prize? Well, at least we got this ridiculous dance out of the way before the real quality comes on, starting with Meryl Davis and Charlie White next.
Meryl Davis and Charlie White (USA, Indian dance): This could be my favorite dance of the year. I am soooo nervous, augh I hope they are clean! This dance is difficult, unique, and has personality to spare. Let's see how they do here...I'm kind of discouraged after the Domnina and Shabalin score. This event just seems to obviously already be scored. But, whatever. We can still enjoy the performance!! YAY MERYL I HEART YOU. YAYYY everything looks so good so far! The first footwork section is fabulous. And this all looks very difficult as well. Good speed across the ice. AHH Perfect twizzlees to my naked eye!!! Oh my gosh, that was great. WOW what a score?!!! 67.08 for the OD, 108.55, IN FIRST PLACE. (BTW I guess my cynicism about Domnina and Shabalin was premature. Although I still think their score was too high).
Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat (France, American folk): This is another cute program to another country song. I just get so much more out of some of the other dances, for some reason. These two are doing very well though, I really do like the footwork in this dance. Not really sure what happened at the end, but I agree with Wilson that that's the best I've seen them do that. They are getting ready for their close up. 59.99 OD, 96.12
Alexandra Zaretsky and Roman Zaretsky (Israel, Hava Nagila): Twizzles off to start the program. I don't love this program. Nothing too exciting about their steps here. Even their faster section kind of putters out a bit. Oh, Tracey is reading my mind on the commentary. 55.24 for the OD, 89.62 overall.
Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir (Canada, Flamenco): Maybe my second favorite OD of the season. Tessa is rooming with Joannie Rochette here. Rochette's mother passed away unexpectedly this morning, what a horrific tragedy. NBC is telling the story now, so sad. Now they are dancing, and I love this dance. She has a new skirt...a red one. I liked the black ones better. They are right on with this dance and the twizzles are great. Another ridiculously impressive lift for Virtue and Moir. She is working the skirt now. Such amazing unison. This is SOO GOOD. I personally give the edge to Davis and White but I assume either way it will be close. Wow - looks like Canada is poised for gold tomorrow night! 68.41 OD, 111.15 overall. That's too much ground for Davis and White to make up, I'm assuming.
Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto (USA, Moldavian folk dance): I think this is a good dance...but as I'm watching, it's just not at all as good as Virtue and Moir and Davis and White. A little bit slower, a lot less exciting. I also thought their older costumes were better...62.50 for OD, 103.33 overall. Very far behind. I think the score is fine for what they did but I don't think Domnina and Shabalin's score makes any sense, still.
Well, the set up is ready for tomorrow. I think it's too much ground for Davis and White to make up and Virtue and Moir have a gorgeous free dance. Still, there will be many gorgeous dances to watch tomorrow, and who knows, perhaps Belbin and Agosto will be able to get onto that podium? HA, an all-North America podium will not happen. Not a chance!