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Olympic Ladies Free Skate: As it Happens...

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Here it is!  The marquee event in figure skating.  Please add your thoughts in comments!!

Here we go.....

Tugba Karademir (Turkey, Music:  Tango de los Exilados):  Yay, love the parents story.  Fine triple salchow.  She did a triple toe loop and then fell on the double axel.  Popped the lutz.  This is a nice catchfoot spin, a bit different than the others.  Scott says she's lost her timing.  Tango section here...not much to it, unfortunately.  Another triple salchow - someone likes salchows!  And double axels.  I admire Karademir for paving the way for Turkish skating, but apparently she skates in Canada, so who knows.  Scott says she is a blast at parties.  She's lovely, some nice spiral positions.  Just not much to the program and not much jump variety.  78.80 for the free skate, 129.54 overall.

Cynthia Phaneuf (Canada, Music:  Mission Cleopatra):  Another Cleopatra.  Well, I think I like the costume better than Miki Ando's...but I'm not sure what Miki's wearing tonight.  Nice triple toe into double axel.  Triple lutz...terrible.  Totally tilted in the air. Plushenko is the only one who would have landed that.  Strong triple loop/double toe.  Cleopatra programs seem to lend themselves to a lot of arm-waving. That is what Egyptians do..maybe.  Like aborigines apparently drag people around by ponytails and do head pushes.  See what skating taught me this week?  Doubled the loop.  Spiral is a bit shaky.  Screwed up the double axel...too bad.  I like what she's doing here with the footwork...I feel bad about the growth spurt.  They keep talking about it.  Triple toe/double toe, not beautiful but she got it.  Good sit spin, nice combination spin at the end, except the very end of it.  OOH CYNTHIA I LOVE YOUR EYE MAKEUP!!!!  Augh there is a lot to like about her but too many mistakes.  Wow - 99.46 for the free skate, 156.62 overall.

Cheltzie Lee (Australia, Elizabeth the Golden Age):  How do they pick which lower level skaters to show?  Lee has some nice outfits...this is beautiful, dark purple with gold embellishments and sequins and crystals.  Opening combination good.  Triple toe, double toe is solid.  Double axel is good too.  Spins are pretty but slow.  Triple salchow, good.  Scott says that Cheltzie only has two triples, salchow and toe loop.  It's so interesting that the top skater for Australia has only two triples.  Lee is just very slow in the footwork.  Argh - she just fell, but her program has been successful so far.  Double axel, nice comeback.  Some more spinning.  Good effort.  86 for the free, 138.16 overall. 

NBC, if you don't show the last two groups, I am really going to be ticked off.  I cannot believe you. 

Update:  Word on the street is the entire final two groups will be shown.  Yay![UPDATED:<----that was wrong.]

Well.  They are definitely not showing Alena Leonova live. 

Alena Leonova (Russian, Music:  Chicago soundtrack):  Alena, I don't know what you did to NBC.  They obviously hate you and want to pretend you do not exist.  I won't forget you, Alena.  I won't forget you.  Maybe we'll catch you on tape delay.

Nordic Combined (Music:  *More* Cowbell):  Ski, ski, ski, swoosh.  Ski, ski, ski, swoosh.  slam, slam, slam, laptop into the television.

Elene Gedevanishvili (Georgia, Music:  Carmen):   Ouch, fell on the triple lutz.  I kind of like the costume.  Triple/triple/double.  Nice, not perfect, but great try.  Argh, triple sal fell apart midway.  Spiral entry into the double axel/double toe.  Those spin positions were all quite different from what we usually see but I cannot tell if I liked them.  Bezic says she is off-balance.  She screwed up the next triple sal.  Double axel double toe is fine, but she is not really into the program like she needs to be, and like she can be.  Footwork is not too great.  She looks tired as she goes into this spiral, but nice position.  The second position is not as good and it takes her twenty minutes to pull up the leg.  Another double axel.  I am kind of tired of the programs loaded up with double axels, but I guess that's what happens these days. 

FINAL GROUP WARMING UP!  OMG!  Rachael is not sporting the bump, but her hair is combed sideways with a side part into a bun.  That is all I know.

ACK so excited.  Everyone is so pretty and adorable.  Miki has YET ANOTHER Cleo costume (I think it's still kind of ugly) but more importantly, new hairstyle!!!  Half-up, half-down sort of.  My boyfriend just said about Kim "look at her.  She is so much better than everyone."  That is the first time he has ever said anything about a skater other than "she's ugly."  So...big night in our house.

They are talking about the U.S. ladies medal streak.  Which may (likely will) end tonight.  Kind of depressing.

OMG Scott.  You stole my Nagasu line about the "coming out party." 

Andrea Joyce is now talking about Rachael Flatt doing homework today.  I AM GROANING. GROANING.

Rachael Flatt (USA, Music: Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini ):  I wish they would stop talking about college.  We really, really get it.  Anyway, I like her costume for this program.  And her hair.  Double axel, solid.  Solid triple/triple.  Triple lutz - she is great at holding those landings.  spin here.  Not a great catch-foot position.  She is smiling.  The spins are a bit slow and the positions are not like what we'll see later, but she is cute here.  Spread eagle, nice.  Great triple loop, Rachael is ON, as is expected.  triple lutz, double toe.  Awesome!  Spiral sequence...she is AMAZING, just did a triple/double/double combo.  Triple salchow, RACHAEL FLATT IS A MACHINE!!!  It is just no problem to her.  Footwork here, fast.  I agree with Bezic, this is her best free skate so far.  Nice last combination spin.  Wow, great job!!!!   Personal best 117.85.  Total 182.49.  She got downgraded on the triple flips - two downgrades.  This doesn't bode well for Mirai.

Miki Ando (Japan, Music:Rome, Marco Polo, Mission Cleopatra):  I change my mind.  I like this costume the best yet for her, much better than her last ones.  I love her hair.  Triple lutz, double loop...augh that should have been a triple for the points.  Looking good for the next triple and these spins.  Spirals not the best.  Triple lutz, triple salchow - these are all ON.  I'm not sure about downgrades, but they are fairly clean.  Triple toe - she held onto it.  Double axel, double loop, double loop, good.  I like this footwork sequence usually, but I agree with Scott..she's a little slow and preoccupied more even than usual.  Bezic is backhanded complimenting her right now.  Miki is emotional now...It was a very good skate, but not special.

Yu-Na Kim (South Korea, Music: Concerto in F by Gershwin):  OMG OMG OMG.  here she is, looking gorgeous as usual.  SO NERVOUS.  Triple lutz/triple toe.  These are great.  Triple flip - --------YESSSSS.  Double axel, double toe, tano something.  Nice spins here.  Pretty Kim faces.  Spiral...not the smoothest, but I will ignore now.  Spread eagle into double axel triple toe - SOO GOOD.  I wish I was there to see her do these jumps.  Triple salchow, perfect.  Triple lutz, a little stiff on the landing but still clean.  Now just to sell it, the footwork and dancing.  Double axel.  Sit spin, good position, nice changes.  Final spin, great.  Amazing.  Now she's emotional.  She just won, there is no need for the scores.  She was a little tight in some jumps but she still did them CLEAN, because she is just sooo good.  she is like...not even trying out there.  Just so perfectly fits the music and the program. I can't even describe it.  AND THERE IS A RECORD.  Wow.  150.06 for the free, 228.56 for the total.

Mao Asada (Japan, Bells of Moscow):  How sad for Asada to have to follow that.  I hope she has the skate of her life.  Triple axel - YEAH!! YOu go, Mao.  Made history for landing two triple axels in one competition.  Here is the second one - YESSSSS, double toe.  THREE TRIPLE AXELS IN AN OLYMPIC COMPETITIOn.  Triple lutz/double loop.  Wow.  Beautiful sit spin positions.  Spiral sequence, ridiculous extension.  A bit shaky on the last spiral.  Triple loop, done.  Triple flip. double loop/double loop -she turned out in between.  Oh no...she stumbled backwards and blew a jump - I think she just hit a rut or something  That's so weird.  She landed a double axel and did another great spin.  She is working the music here with the footwork.  Distracting that the flower kids are walking around.  More amazing spins, Asada is amazing overall.  I wish those mistakes hadn't happened, but she did not have a chance anyway.  131.71, which I think they said is a personal best, but obviously not close enough.

Joannie Rochette (Canada, Music:  Samson and Delilah):  HUGE applause for Joannie.  To follow those two would be hard enough.  LET'S GO JOANNIE!!!  I love her hair thing.  And the costume is such a pretty color on her.  Three jump combo off the bat, awesome.  Triple flip, she steps out of, but no fall.  COME ON.  Triple loop, good recovery.  Difficult spin position on the sit spin...nice.  spiral...a bit shaky as well.  Catchfoot is nice.  Triple lutz - looked odd on the landing but I think it was ok, now she landed two more triples...held onto the last one.  Doulbe axel, doesn't hold the landing but she is fighting.  Crowd is clapping her through the spins here.  Footwork is great...and she is selling it.  Go Joannie!  Triple sal, saved again, but not bad.  more footwork, not too fast, another nice sit spin at the end.  YOU ARE DONE, JOANNIE.  ANd you fought.  Wow.  good for her, she is WONDERFUL.  Personal best - 131.28 - WOW, shocked it's that close to Asada.  202.64, third place.  Third place is right.

Mirai Nagasu (USA, Music:  Carmen by Bizet):  Hope Nagasu rocks.  Triple lutz, double toe, double toe. Done.  She is too cute for me to even watch.  Double axel, triple toe - YES, she got it.  That really does seem so hard.  Triple flip, clean.  Beautiful spins.  I love these so much.  She is not totally into the program right now, and she has to get there.  Gorgeous layback.  Where is Uncle Dick to laud our buttercup's layback?  Spirals are beautiful.  She looks a little stressed.  Come on Mirai!!!  Triple lutz, beautiful.  In the bonus! hee.  Ina Bauer into triple loop, very difficult.  Somewhat shaky landing, into another jump that I missed while typing.  Spread eagle into double axel.  She is doing SO WELL.  Triple toe loop.  YEs, now she is finally getting into it, flirting with the crowd during the adorable footwork. Not as fast as usual.  Great closing combination spin.  I love her.  I think I would put her fourth.  She did not have the presentation tonight that she had at Nationals, but I still think she did better than Ando. 126.39, adorable face.  Fourth place, YOU GO MIRAI!!! She is SOO HAPPY.  I love her to pieces.

The podium

1) Yu-na Kim

2) Mao Asada

3) Joannie Rochette

I would not argue with that platform.  What an amazing bunch of skating!!!!  I don't think Nagasu was quite up to snuff with Rochette's components tonight.  But great job by both American ladies, as well as the rest of the ladies I was able to watch. heh.