I'm going to put down my initial thoughts of the televised portion of the pairs short programs from the world championships. The full standings will be a post directly following.
Huibo Dong and Yiming Wu (China, Music: Amazonic): Fine start with the triple twist. Side by side triple toes - he doubled. Apparently these two won the world junior bronze a couple of years ago. Botched the throw triple loop. They are looking sloppy but they are still very young. Lift is basic and the landing is not great. Ugh, I wish that instead of showing teams like this live, they would just show the taped American performances or something. Score: 43.08.
Oh, yay, they say they are showing Denney and Barrett's taped skate later. They are in the lead, apparently.
Amanda Evora and Mark Ladwig (Music: Love Actually): This is their first worlds. I was so impressed with them at the Olympics. Good split triple twist. They have a lovely quality about them. Side by side triple toes...he saved his...should be a grade of execution deduction. Spread eagle into throw triple loop - great job, but she was a bit forward on the landing. Side by side spins are not great. Nice lift. Death spiral is slow and they have done the pair spin better but overall a very nice showing. Score: 57.74, this is a season best for them and they are in 3rd place for now.
Anabelle Langlois and Cody Hay (Canada, Music: Fascination): I wonder if they'll do the double or triple twist. I really can't take that double twist! Side by side triple toes...I think that was good. Um, I think they tried the triple but it was a major collision so i can see why they don't always do it. Throw triple lutz/fall. Death spiral is fine. Nice sdie by side spins...loses unison for a bit but ends well. I really like their style as well. Difficult lift entry and different position. Nice pair spin, a lot of speed. I assume they'll be scored lower than Evora and Ladwig. Score: 54.40...they are in sixth place for now.
Savchenko and Szolkowy (Germany, Music: Send in the Clowns): Right off the bat they look some much faster and more powerful than who we have seen so far. Gorgeous throw triple flip. His side by side jump looked weird, I think it was doubled. Throw triple twist, not the best, but very big. Great side by side spins at first...lose unison. Pair spin is beautiful. Ugly death spiral position of course. POINTS! Very difficult lift entry and lift. Good job - not the best they've done it by far. Score: 69.52. They are in first for now but the spread could be more. Andrea Joyce mentions how they don't look excited to be here. I was wondering what their mental state would be. Honestly, they still skated ok, but they did have a major error and no spark.
Stacey Kemp and David King (Great Britain, Music: Numb by Linkin Park): Throw double twist. side by side doubles. She falls on the throw triple loop. Not a difficult program and it's not being performed well. Very difficult lift entry. There are some nice moments but overall I would say they just don't sell any of the moves. Score: 45.14. They are in 11th place for now.
Dan Zhang and Hao Zhang (China, Music: Piano Fantasy by William Joseph): Short hair again for her. Amazing split triple twist. Big throw triple loop. Very nice side by side triple salchows. Great pairs spin. I wish they could sometimes pair their amazing abilities with more connection to each other! This is so much less engaging than it should be. Great lift. They are really doing everything they have to do here. Side by side spins are together if not the prettiest you'll ever see. Joyce is wondering if they're burnt out..but really, they have been like this all season, so what burned out? This should take first place. Score: 69.20. Wow, oops. Hhaa...I guess even though I didn't think Savchenko and Szolkowy were fabulous, they have better program components than Zhang and Zhang and skating skills, but they did double a jump, so this surprised me. Zhang and Zhang are second for now.
Vera Bazarova and Yuri Larianov (Russia, Music: Sadness): This is taped and I know they will be placed one spot ahead of Evora and Ladwig for now. They have a gentle quality to their skating...but they are not in sync really to start the program. The side by side jumps are landed, though. Throw triple twist is good. These two come off as very young to me, and they are. Great throw jump. Solid lift. I'm excited to see these two improve and get more mature, since they have the basics already. Nice traditional death spiral. Very together side by side spins...until right at the end. Fast pair spin with some intricate positions for her.
Caydee Denney and Jeremy Barrett (USA, Music: Firebird): This is also taped. Triple twist, not a great one but done fine. Side by side triples are great! Throw triple lutz, YAY. Not the best death spiral but they perform it well. These spins are awesome - very impressive. I am loving them right now. Great left - they are back to their "lights out" ways, it would appear. Just the footwork and pair spin left...done and done. Nice job for them, they were in first and are now in third. Score:
Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov (Russia, Music: The Swan): Ok, I know everyone loves this "getting into character the moment they step on the ice" thing that a lot of pairs and ice dancers do, but it reeks of like...beauty pageants and cheesiness to me. And this is ice skating so I guess that's ok. hee. CRANKY TODAY! Anyway, onto a program I actually really like! Augh she's flexible. Side by side tripels looked ok to me. His landing was not effortless but still fine. Throw triple twist is not very good. Very dificult entry to the throw triple loop, which she hangs onto. Great lift. They hav ea lot of speed for the footwork, which I really love. Good death spiral, Beauiful side by side spins, and great ending pair spin. I think this wasn't perfect, but the combo of style and substance and lack of any major errors should give them the lead. Also, dear producer: I would like to actually see the skating. Not just the skates. And the knees. Thanks. Score: 73.12. That lead is deserved, I think.
Maria Mukhortova and Maxim Trankov (Russia, Music: Appasionata by Secret Garden): Wow, Mukhortova is super tan today! She will now have to pay an additional tax on that excessive shade of orange if she gets it done in the US. That is your healthcare lesson of the day. Love their triple twist, just superb. Solid side by side triple toes. Great throw triple loop. Solid death spiral. Side by side spins are difficult and appear in sync. They have a good amount of speed at the end here. I feel they were a tad cleaner than Kavaguti and Smirnov and although I might give them a bit lower components score, I would personally put them higher. But I assume they will be lower, because I am no judge. Score: 69.48. Hmm. They are in third place. I don't get it.
Qing Pang and Jian Tong (China, Music: The Pearlfisher by Bizet): This is a lovely program. Side by side triples are landed but a bit off. Ginormous throw triple twist. Ginormous throw triple loop. There is a trend. Great death spiral. Joyce says they took three weeks off...you really would not know it. Side by side spins are ok. Difficult lift. Very fast. Nice pair spin. I really liked this performance. I would probably have them in first but I don't agree with the rankings thus far, so I guess it doesn't matter. Score: 75.28, a new personal best and first place. Good!
Jessica Dube and Bryce Davison (Canada, Music: Requiem for a Dream): Talk about Dube's nemesis, the triple salchow. We shall see what happens...And she falls. ugh, sad. Throw triple twist is not a great one. And the screen goes to someone's hand or something. hahaa. Lift is fine. She just had a stumble or something. Yikes. Pair spin is good. The producer is so weird again. Difficult throw triple loop, she holds on well. I think the death spiral is good but I am dizzy due to the camera position. I feel like they have to be a bit more passionate considering the music. Good side by side spins. I hope they are behind Evora and Ladwig but I doubt that they will be. 59.36, 8th for now. I was right.
So, a great night for the Americans - Denney and Barrett are in 6th place (!!!! YAYYYYYY) and Evora and Ladwig are in 9th, although one (and by "one," I mean "me") might argue they deserve to be ranked better.