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Ice Dancing Free Dance: As it Happens

The ice dancing event concludes tonight with the free dance.  Here is what I thought...

Crone and Poirier (Canada, Music:Nocturne and Bohemian Rhapsody):  Major lifts here at the top.  Don't look easy but not bad.  Twizzles are pretty good.  A lot of set up for that lift but good payoff.  The crowd is excited.  They do have a lot of power.  I am liking the second half of the program more than the beginning but that's mostly because it's faster.  Pair spin.  Interesting changes.  Tracy Wilson is talking about how this team has a rivalry with Samuelson and Bates.  Is it really a rivalry when they are competing for 11th place?  Give both teams a few more years.  Nice performance for the home team.  85.29 for the free skate, 164.60, first overall.

Now they are doing a ladies preview.

Emily Samuelson and Evan Bates (USA, Music:  Canto della Terra):  They look very smooth in this program.  Tracy Wilson is talking about their lines and their toe points again.  Twizzles are good.  They aren't quite at the point where they have as much expression or even the gravitas that they need to pull this type of program off.  I'm tired of Tracy comparing footwork to quads.  If that were the case, then less than half the couples would have footwork.  Maybe compare it to jumps in general, Tracy.  Great lift with her leg extension towards the end here.  This is a really great performance for them...only Evan just keeps the same smile on his face the whole time, which takes away from the emotion for me, a bit.  But overall, very good job for them!  I wonder if they'll move up a little more in the standings.  88.94 for free dance, 174.30 overall.  They are in first!  This obliterated their season best, and it really was the best they've performed the skate all year.  I'm impressed with their effort here.

Sinead Kerr and John Kerr (Great Britain, Krwlng by Linkin Park):  Pair spin.  More twizzle problems. Ugh.  Nice lift here with her on his leg.  Another cool lift where he holds her right off the ice.  A lot of posing at the beginning of the program....here comes the dancing.  Footwork is good here.  Awesome handstand on his knee, and spinning lift here.  Many interesting spots in the program.  Almost look to be running out of something here.  And Sinead lifts him hardcore here, which is out of control.  Not just a fakey lift, like a for-real lift.  She is great.  He's not so bad, either, heh.  Despite the issues, still a good performance for them.  92.23 in the free skate (woohoo!) and a 186.01 overall.  First place for now.

Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat (France, Music:  Requiem for a Dream):  Ugh, no more Requiem!  Is this the last one?  Their theme is time. Tracy mentions every spot you can tell that other than the most obvious, which is his clockwork shirt.  The spin is nice, like the positions.  This lift just doesn't do anything for me..or the crowd, I guess.  It's more of a flinging than a lifting.  Twizzles are good and I do like the footwork sequence.  I keep seeing more to like about this pair.  Some cool moves in the footwork here.  Don't love this lift either, but nice job.  And here is where they do the Spartan cheerleader moves.  weird!  Some more twizzles.  Not scary but I wa snervous just the same!!!  Last lift looked like they messed up a bit.  And the ending is kind of weird.  Tracy says the theme is contrived.  I will agree with that.  Not the best they have performed that but I think they'll do ok with the score.  94.37 for the free dance, 190.49 for first place.

Shot of Virtue and Moir hugging each other.  For like...forever.  Emotional night already!

Delobel and Schoenfelder (France, Music:  La Quet by J. Brel):  This is sad for me.  I thought they would be in a better position here and that did not happen at all, for so many reasons.  They should have competed at Europeans, although I'm not sure it would have helped them.  They are just not quite prepared.  But I'm going to enjoy the emotional performance.  AND THE QUICK CHANGE COSTUME - what's up, now, Isabelle?!  Beautiful performance for them, beautiful careers.  Just not quite up to par.  97.06 for the free dance, 193.73.

Khokhlova and Novitski (Russia, Music:  Firebird):  Wow.  I say fire, you say bird.  This is quite a statement with these costumes.  They are crazy in this pair spin.  But I am liking it a lot more than I remember.  The costumes add to the spin.  Twizzles are not bad here.  So slow on the footwork, though.  It's a bit off-putting when the music is so much faster.  I think they may have a made a teensy error there, too.  Oh, they are flying now. And now she is lifted and really flying, bam!  haha I love when a person is regarded as the couple's weakness (in this case, Sergei).  Not twizzles, not speed...it's actually 50 percent of the team.  haha.  Apocolypse remix!  Loving all the bird poses here.  Wait, just kidding, they are finally getting old.  Gymnastics here, very impressive.  I thought that was actually a mess in a good way.  Tracy does not seem to agree.  And the judges have made them PAY for their crazy bird moves.  93.11 for the free dance, 185.86 overall.

They are showing the adorable Davis and White tapes now.  Showing the University of Michigan angle a bit.

They are clapping something.  I have no idea what they are clapping. USA??

Meryl Davis and Charlie White (USA, Music:  Phantom of the Opera):  I am nervous for them but I think I know what will happen in the standings unless they mess up.  Still, I want them to let loose more than they did yesterday.  Just skate the heck out of it!!!  Difficult entry into their pair spin.  Great spin.  Very passionate of the start.  This lift is difficult.  Charlie's hair looking extra awesome right now.   That lift looks so painful and frightening.  WOW.  These twizzles are sooo amazing!  Here we go, bring it home strong here.  Another crazy lift.  I don't get the music cut at the end, but this program is just so superb to me.  Beautiful performance, but I'm not sure if that will do it against a very strong home team.  ugh, we'll see!!!  Another aaaamazing score!!!  107.19 for the free dance, 215.74 overall.  In first for now.  OH Dear, they received a 1.00 deduction for a lift going too long.  PLEASE don't let that be the difference.  I wonder if it's the lift where she was on his leg?  That looked different than I remembered.

Federica Faiella and Massimo Scali (Italy, Music: The Emigrants by N. Rota):  Pair spin not nearly as difficult as Davis and White's...nor as beautiful.  Very slow.  I don't love her expressions throughout these programs.  They're distracting to me. This is a soft program...Some creative lift positions here.  Very slow going here.  Twizzles are fine.  She lifts him for a bit there, the crowd goes wild.  Good, but not a candle to Davis and White.  I think Virtue and Moir are the only ones who can touch the Phantom program.  99.11 for the free, 199.17 total, second place overall.

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir (Canada, Music:  Mahler's Symphony no. 5):  She is wearing a flashier dress than she used to for such a simple program.  Of course, it wouldn't matter because she is just beautiful.  Oh, gosh, I have a feeling about this right off the bat.  They are just so into each other.  In the skating way.  Beautiful clean lines off the top.  A bit cheesy here where they stop and look at the imaginary tree or whatever.  This first lift is quite the crowd pleaser! Very fast footwork. Slowing down a bit here but that's ok.  Twizzles are good but I don't think they were as good as Davis and White's.  Another extremely difficult lift.  I like it better when they look at each other rather than out into the distance.  Augh I LOVE THIS LIFT towards the end.  This is a lovely program.  Pair spin not as difficult as Davis and White but the whole thing is beautiful.  Looked like a weird move at the end there, but I probably think that every time I see this program.  I guess I do still prefer Meryl and Charlie, I cannot help it.  But I wouldn't be sad to see this win.  110.42.  Wow.  That is really huge. 221.57 overall.  I really don't see this team being 6 points better than Davis and White, although I can see the argument for them winning this.  Gold to Canada??  Quite a breakthrough!

Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto (USA, Music:  Ave Maria):  And thank you guys, for bringing these gross costumes back.  FAT ELVIS, Ben, not a good look!  Twizzles right off the bat, and he is faster than she is, and the next ones aren't particularly impressive either.  AUGH.  Come on!!!  I think they know they don't have a shot.  No way would there ever be a fully North American podium.  I appreciate this program - it has grown on me the most out of the major couples' free dances But it had the farthest to go.  Great lift.  Her dramatic faces I like better than everyone else's but Tessa's.  Oh, Ben.  Never do that weeny-leap again.  Some nice footwork here.  Lifts aren't as creative as the other teams'.  Nice spin positions.  Passion here at the end.  I don't know if this will make the podium, but these two are awesome and they always have been.  99.74 for free dance (wow, very low), 203.07.  That will be hard to hold up against the Russians.

Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin (Russia, Music: The Double Life of Veronique):  I am confuzzled that this team is literally allowed to use "ropes" to help in their skating.  I mean...how is that even possible?  They are not together on the footwork at all here.  Terrible.  This program looks liike it needs a couple more months of practice for them.  I'm so distracted.  I have to give Maxim credit for all this lifting, though.  The man must be in pain but fighting through.  Although you can kind of tell at the end.  I don't think that should beat Belbin and Agosto, but it will.  101.04 free dance, 207.64 overall. 

Well.  I'm happy for the gold medalists, happy for the silver medalists. I think those are two of the best free dances I've ever seen. But that bronze is such a joke.  I can't even believe it!  But a lot of beautiful skating tonight.We all knew there was no way this would be a totally North American podium - sorry Belbin and Agosto were sacrificed.  But congrats to all the skaters and WOW, history was just made, breaking the European stranglehold on ice dancing!  It's a new day in figure skating, that's for sure.