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Olympic Ladies Short Program: As it Happens...

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My thoughts on the short program.  Feel free to add your thoughts in comments!

Cheltzie Lee (Australia, Music:  Feeling Good, Tribute to M.Buble):  Lee owes her Olympic spot to Israel declining its chance to use its spot.  Sad for Tamar Katz (who got Israel the bid) but happy for Cheltzie Lee.  Spiral, not great, but nice choice to put it at the beginning.  Triple salchow, double toe.  Easy compared to other combos but looked good to me.  Triple toe loop, also easy but nice!  Spin is only ok.  Double axel was forward.  Footwork not complicated and slow.  Bezic says the goal is to place in the top 24 so sh can make it to the long program.  Layback is ok.  Clean program, good experience.  52.16. 

Yu-na Kim took a bad fall this morning, but hopefully she can leave it in practice!

Tugba Kurademir (Turkey, Music:  Bazaar Istanbul):  Nice to honor her country with this music.  Also nice to hear something we haven't heard a million times already!  Triple flip/double toe was all over the place.  I like to watch her, though.  Triple salchow, also easier than what we'll see later.  Layback is ok.  Pretty nice spiral here.  Argh, she botched the landing on the double axel.  SHe's a pretty skater and it's too bad her jumps are not there tonight - not sure if she'll make the free skate.  Nice job on the spin.  Finishing up with footwork and pretty spinning at the end.  Not a great performance, but it was nice to see that her parents were here.  50.74.

Mirai Nagasu is skating at 6:12 Pacific, 9:12 Eastern...!  Also, Evan Lysacek is on Larry King Live in the 9pm hour.

Mirai Nagasu (USA, Music:  Pirates of the Caribbean):  Will Mirai try the triple lutz/triple toe in the short?  Her list of elements on the Vancouver Olympics site says not.  And no scuttlebutt on Twitter as to her element sheet being different.  Mirai is such a sweet girl talking about her mother's cancer fight this week.  Let's go,  Mirai!!!  Carroll is worried she'll be overly scrutinized due to her underrotation history.  There is that adorable smile.  Triple lutz but just double toe.  But clean.  Triple flip - YES..looking good.  Spiral sequence, and Nagasu has a good one.  Beautiful extension.  And here comes the ina into the double axel )_ YES!!!!  Jumps done.  Great spin - shades of Lambiel with the hand in the air.  And now she gets to just perform.  Another gorgeous layback from Nagasu, and a Biellmann.  Footwork, fast, and fun.  She's making some ridic faces.  Nice camel spin, sit spin.  Amazng final spin - who else has that much speed on that position.  CRAP a nosebleed - what the heck?  Poor Nagasu.  I have never seen that but I'm sure the skaters know more about it than I do.  AWW MIRAI!!!  Hope she isn't hurt or anything.  Score is 63.76 - but she got a very negative grade of execution on that opening combination.  What the heck???  She is in first for now but that score won't likely hold up.  Anyway, it was an absolutely terrific performance, could not ask for more from Nagasu.  Word on the street is she got an edge call on the lutz.  Ugh!

Tracy is explaining downgrades.  She is explaining that sometimes the skaters needs to complete the rotation on the ice.  Under a quarter-rotation on the ice, you get full credit.  Nagasu didn't get any downgrades in the short but maybe we need them to explain edge calls now.

NOTE:  This is not a transcript.  These are notes I took as I watched the show.  It's not verbatim.  Evan Lysacek on Larry King Live:  He is wearing a tie, a sporty USA hoody, and has the hair combed down.  Not spiking out in the back.  He is discussing not doing the quad - how he had a stress fracture last year due to the quad training.  He started to train it before the Olympics and it hurt again.  So he stopped doing it.  So now, Lysacek has told everyone he has a quad (although it was never quite consistent...he does not mention that).  He doesn't think it's only about the quad, it's about accumulating the points and he put in the work to figure it out.  Larry King says Lysacek won the technical side.  Asks if Lysacek is surprised Plushenko keeps complaining.  A little surprised.  Lysacek says it stings a bit because he looks up to Plushenko and respects him, and he has tried hard not to feel like it's a personal attack but it's starting to feel that way.  And it's worse for Lysacek coming from someone he looks up to.  But he adds that it is what it is and it's hard to lose. 

He says his coaches pick his music and his BFF Vera Wang does his costumes. 

He says that the gold medals are all different because of the way they are made.  He seems very happy about that.

Lysacek says that his good friend Yu-na Kim can handle the pressure.  He is picking her to win.  He says Joannie Rochette is nice to watch. 

Kind of boring now.  He is scared to fall and break his foot again.  Skating is not always fun, but he has to remember that he is so fortunate to be able to do something he loves on a daily basis.  His love and his passion and appreciation for the sport keeps him motivated.  He will be in Stars on Ice.  Nice job.  I would rather be watching the ladies skate but the feeds are doing weird things to my computer so I am waiting it out for NBC.

Yu-na Kim Up Close:  She is a super celeb, if you haven't heard.  Brian Orser is saying nice things about here.  Lots of talk about the pressure.  He income is about $8 or $9 million a year.  Wow.  She just donated about $100,000 to Haiti earthquake relief.

Moments of Truth...Mao, Kim, et al are on the ice for the warmup!!!


Laura Lepisto (Finland, Music:  Imagined Oceans by K. Jenkins):  Her arms are so distracting to me!!  I'm sorry, Laura.  Your name is lovely, though. Veeery fast.  Triple toe/double toe - very easy combo (comparatively).  Triple loop, also an easy choice compared with the other skaters going later.  Nice spins, I like the variation on the sit spin.  Lots of travel on the layback.  Scott Hamilton notices that Lepisto tucks her chin down.  I don't know why she does that.  Spiral is not special.  I think Scott just made a really weird noise.  Good footwork here, arms still killing me.  Bezic says she is not strong enough for this competition, although she came in sixth last year at worlds.  I don't think this should score as high as Mirai but it was a very good performance, just not difficult enough.  61.36 - news flash, Nagasu remains on top!

Ok, here's what the crowd wants!!!!

Mao Asada (Japan, Music:  Waltz Masquerade by Katchaturian):  She'll be doing a triple axel.  I am very excited.  Her costume is suuuuper busy.  She loves collars or chokers or whatever.  Come on....YEAH Triple axel, and a double toe.  That's the way to do it!!!  Lands triple flip, nice!  FIne layback, not amazing.  But here comes the Biellmann.  Alright, more jump!  But first, the spiral sequence.  This is a good.  Wow, the best she's performed this short all year!!  Double axel, simple.  She is even smiling.  Oh my gosh, fast footwork, great great great.  I couldn't be happier for her to do this here.  Wow.  The competitor in her comes out and looks confident.  Finally!  No triple/triple but that triple axel can't hurt.  yay!!!  Let's see if that triple axel was rotated - Scott thinks she made it.  73.78. YEAH!!!!!!!  Season's best, woooo!

Yu-na Kim (South Korea, Music:  007):  This will be a tough act to follow but you know Kim's program is awesome.  HOpefully she will be spurred on by Asada's awesome performance.  Here we go!!!  Triple lutz, triple toe - PERFECT.  Triple flip here....let's go Kim you can do this....YES!!!!  No problemo.  Nice layback here, Biellmann.  Now she starts to sell it.  Spiral..a bit shaky...double axel, as if there was any doubt.  Beautiful sit spin positions.  Footwork, so much fun here.  She did it!!! Ugh, I don't know who I would pick.  You have to think Kim gets a higher score maybe because of the triple/triple.  I am so GLAD to see these two do this.  Scott thinks she worked the performance more than Mao but I was really impressed with Asada as well.  But Kim was just perfect.  WOW 78.50, all-time record, like there was ever any doubt.  She is on another planet.

Akiko Suzuki (Japan, Music: Andalucia, Fire Dance):  I love Suzuki.  She has such personality on the ice.  triple flip, hand down, no combo.  AWWW Suzuki, come on, come back.  YES, she put the combo on the end of hte triple loop.  Suzuki apparently almost quit skating for good due to her anorexia battle.  I'm glad she's healthy and back.  Nice spiral.  Good double axel.  Now Suzuki can just make me happy with the rest of her program.  This snazzy section of footwork is a good start.  61.02.  Sixth place.  Mirai Nagasu is still in third, by the way!  WOO!

Kind of annoyed that they did not show Alena Leonova.  She skated well - 62.14, just behind Mirai Nagasu.

Final skaters are warming up.  Talk about Joannie Rochette with Dan Jansen - saying that he knew when his sister died that she wanted him to skate.   I can't even say how brave this must be for Joannie Rochette, whose mother died on Sunday of a heart attack.  This woman is amazing and I'm sure everyone in that arena and those of us at home are with her tonight. 

Joannie Rochette (Canada, Music:  La Cumparsita):  Come on, Joannie.  I can't even imagine how this is for her.  Massive amounts of applause, Rochette appears to be blinking back tears.  me too.  But she's got her competition face on now.  Perfect triple lutz/double toe!!!  Crowd clapping to her music.  Triple flip, also perfect.  She is skating the best she's done in the short all season.  Last jump, double axel, perfect.  Now just to put the finishing touches.  Spiral sequence.  Tiny bit of shakiness but good positions here.  Nice layback, variety.  And here comes the footwok, good job.  Nice final spin.  Wow.  WOW.  Oh my god, JOannie!!!  I can't believe that.  She is an absolute inspiration.  Good for her.  Her dad is in the stands.  This is just...I have no words.  71.36, WOW.  That is a very high score.  I mean...that is really a score.  Amazing to see this for Joannie.  She is in third place.

Julia Sebestyen (Hungary, Music: Songs from a Secret Garden, Libertango):  Triple lutz, very big, double toe.  Screwy triple flip, there will be a downgrade or something there.  Spiral, not great, too bouncy at the beginning.   Good double axel.  This program is not up to snuff with some of the others.  Neither are her spins, but they are ok.  Joannie Rochette was a tough skate to follow, but this should not score particularly high.

Rachael Flatt (USA, Music:  Sing, Sing, Sing):  Get ready to have some fun!!  OMG ADORABLE BABY FLATT.  How cute.  This is crazy, I cannot take how cute this is.  This is a very fun short program.  I don't love this outfit, however.  Cutesy right away.  Triple flip/triple toe - that was clean. Good start!!  Triple lutz...bit of a wacky landing but I'm not sure how much it should get downgraded.  Spiral not the best positions in the business.  Layback is fine, and the steps after are so adorable.  Good double axel.  Now here it is Rachael - hard steps and sooo great!!!  She really performs the heck out of it here.  Camel spin started a little crazy but she fixed it.  Good job!  Not perfect...not sure whether I would place her ahead of Nagasu but maybe I would considering Nagasu's lutz edge call.  That was a very fun skate.  Uh oh...she may have a downgrade on the triple/triple combo.  WOW, 64.64 - don't know if she got downgraded, after all.  Great score for her.

Carolina Kostner (Italy, Music: Nocturne No.20, Violin Concerto):  Bezic said her recent troubles were due to not doing run throughs.  She went to Frank Carroll and now is with Christa Fassi.  She did the first combo well, but she just just put a hand down on the triple lutz.  Spirals are good.  She surely looks even better in person.  You can tell that she flies across the ice.  NOt a great landing on the double axel, but probably clean.  Spins are fine, but not as good as Nagasu's and others we've seen tonight.  She is smiling though and and really trying to sell the ending here.  That was an ugly final spin all around.  63.02 for Kostner.  Rightfully behind Mirai, but not by enough.

Miki Ando (Japan:  Requiem by Mozart):  Poor MIki Ando.  So much to live up to right here!  I like Miki's costume here better than some of the others she has been wearing.  Wow, that was such a backhanded compliment.  I will shut up now.  Triple lutz/triple loop - YA good for her!  That landing was terrible but she went for it.  Although she might have been smarter not to, I guess.  Triple flip seemed ok.  Here are the spirals.  Not steady.  Great double axel....nice spins. Wow, I really have no idea where she'll end up tonight.  Dramatic footwork here.  Ando is not much of an artist and you can tell, but she is performing it as well as she can.  Ok I have to go to sleep.  I appreciate Ando, I really do.  These ladies really showed up tonight, I am impressed. 64.76, she is in fourth place.

So Yu-na Kim is definitely set up to win on Thursday when the competition concludes with the ladies free skate.  I think she received too high grades of execution on her spirals.  She should be maybe three points ahead of Asada, not five.  But hopefully that won't matter to the way they skate on Thursday.  I also cannot say enough about Joannie Rochette's effort tonight - and she is right in the medal mix.  Also - how about those American ladies!  Both in the top six.  They might not be likely to medal, but these were very good efforts tonight all around.  A great night of skating with some of the best ladies short programs I've ever seen.  I am so excited for Thursday.