Here is what I thought about how the men skated today.
The coverage started with Peter Carruthers in a studio with Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski. I would like to say I love Johnny's sweater. I respect Weir deciding not to skate in the world championships when he isn't prepared but can we can the stuff about how he wanted to reevaluate what he was doing (he is saying the time between Olympics and worlds was too short for him to redo his skating)...all of a sudden he is skating for the judges again instead of the people? I'm so confused. He also is saying he has to redo his skating so that he doesn't skate the best he could possibly skate and get sixth again. Ok...he skated extremely well at the Olympics (and was underscored), but let's not confuse his skates there with the best he can possibly skate. We've all seen him skate even better! Siiiighh. Carruthers asks if Weir is going to compete anymore. The answer is maybe.
Takahiko Kozuka (Japan, Music: Bold as Love): This program has grown on me...he is just such a great skater. Triple lutz/triple toe combo is gorgeous and each jump is very high. Paul Wylie cites the beautiful knees. Great triple axel. Kozuka is really on. Triple flip is good - looked like he was going into the wall or something! But he did not. I like the step sequence...Wylie is now citing his great edges. I really like Kozuka's spins, as well. The music is coming in so low...it just seems so weird. But that's Universal or wherever they are getting their feeds from, I assume. Score: 84.20.
Nobunari Oda (Japan, Music: Totentanz): Ugh, I know what is coming and I want to hide my eyes. Pops the triple axel....pops the triple lutz...pops the triple flip. Done...does not qualify for the free skate.
Patrick Chan (Canada, Music: Tango de los Exilados): Chan lands the triple axel...not a great landing (lots of snow) but I'm sure he won't get docked for that. Triple flip/triple toe, much better landings there and great jumps. Odd bobble before triple lutz but nice lutz! Now he can just be Patrick Chan. W ylie talks about Chan's edges...they are amazing. Very good job with his difficult footwork. Wonderful spins, as well. Score: 87.80.
Daisuke Takahashi (Japan, Music: Eye by Coba): I love Takahashi from the moment he snaps his head up. I just love this program. Good triple flip/triple toe, but the triple toe landing is not perfection. Very good triple axel...Triple lutz is very good. YAY, now he can play. Good spinning here...Amazing footwork. Wylie misses the edges of Chan, but I find this footwork so entertaining. He does seem slower here than he did at the Olympics. But he brings back the energy to close it out on the second batch of footwork. Such a great job...Score: 89.30...!!!
Samuel Contesti (Italy, Music: Wish me Well): Triple lutz/triple toe...kind of erratic but he saved the landings. Similar with the triple axel. Yikes the triple flip was also craziness, but he landed them all. I HATE THE PRODUCER OF THESE CHAMPIONSHIPS. NO more spinning boot shots. I kind of want to see the entire spin. Here is the cutesy section of Contesti's program. This is cute, but looks so bad compared to Chan, Kozuka and Takahashi. Contesti is running out of steam. I'm glad he was able to land all of his jumps...that's an improvement over how he has been skating lately. Finally, a boot shot that makes sense because the announcer is actually discussing the edge on the spin. Score: 78.40.
Brian Joubert (France, Rise): Appparently Joubert had a test skate to re-earn his spot here....by choice! Kind of respect that. Joubert will of course do a quad combo. WOW he did it...great start! Triple axel DONE. Triple lutz was SIMPLE. I am loving his energy in this program. I don't love the program but he is working it as much as he can. Lots of speed and power for the footwork. It's nice to see him come out and do this after the disaster of Vancouver. hahaha he is so happy now. Score: 87.70...he is in third. Another piece of evidence for those that would have the quad's point value upped when the decisions are made by the powers that be this summer.
Kevin van der Perren (Belgium, Music: Night on Bald Mountain): He will be trying a quad as well. Wylie calls him a designated jumper. I can see that. wow, got the quad toe/triple toe! ugh, he falls on the triple axel. There goes that. Lands the triple flip, though. 73.55...
Michal Brezina (Czech Republich, Music: Puttin on the Ritz): He remains adorable. HOlds onto the triple axel. Gorgeous triple lutz...the commentators are discussing his quad, but he may not try it here. His triple/triple combo is great. Wylie says they had been talking about Tomas Verner as Czech Republic's best skater, but it really is Brezina these days. He is just so much more consistent. His footwork is good but obviously not as hard as some of the others'. I like Brezina...looking forward to see his style come out a bit more. Score: 81.75
Adam Rippon (USA, Music: Jonathan Livingstone Seagull): I can't believe RIppon is 20!! I still think of him as so young. Just a gorgeous program all the way through. Nice triple flip/triple toe loop. Turn out on the triple axel...too bad. Pretty donut. 80.11...not bad!!! Personal best. He just misses the final group!
Denis Ten (Kazakhstan, Music: Sing, Sing, Sing): Nice smooth triple axel. Triple lutz/triple toe loop, great. Triple flip is great too. Nice job for Ten...Biellman spin. The problem is that the other areas of the program don't have the same focus or effort that the jumps do...but he is still so young! He will get there.
Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski with Peter Carruthers again.
Weir thinks Takahashi was the best and he brings something extra to the ice. WOw, can't believe we are actually talking about Takahashi, for once. I suppose they are forced to since he is at the top and there are no Americans in the top three. Weir says that "for a Japanese skater, he's very warm on the ice." Weir thinks that Japanese skaters have historically been cold and technical. He notes Takahashi's knees and says he's deserving of first place. YAY Johnny, you have won me back from my earlier annoyance.
Weir wins me further by kind of dissing Patrick Chan. I think Patrick Chan is so amazing but he's got such a 'tude that I have let that influence my perception of him so much by now! Anyway..Weir says Chan gets the job done but he feels that it's a little "put on." That his character is not from within - the character and faces are similar in the short and long. Lipinski points out that his edge work is amazing. Weir says there's nothing that feels that it comes from within like Takahashi or "even, today, Joubert."
Lipinski is not happy that Joubert was scored the way he was. She thinks he was on and he did the quad. Weir agrees...even though Joubert is not as artistic and lyrical. Lipinski points out that the quad isn't everything, but she says Joubert had the whole thing going today.
Both Weir and Lipinski think the quad should be worth more points.
Carruthers says Plushenko thinks he should have won the Olympics because of the quad...Lipinski says the rest of his jumps were shaky. Weir says he "heard" that as well. He adds that, in general, going into a competition you know who the clear favorite is.
And then...Weir "fist pounded" Peter Carruthers. Wowee.
Now they are showing Ryan Bradley, who recently broke his foot (!?!?!! AUGH). He said in interviews that the injury didn't affect him in the short. But...he fell on the quad. He doubles his axel jump, which he often does. Sad for him. Weir says he's one of the nicest people in skating. He seems like a nice, normal guy...and he obviously doesn't take himself too seriously, which I appreciate.
Jeremy Abbott: Weir says he is very quiet and very personal. He thinks it's good for him to go under the radar. Beautiful triple/triple combination. Triple axel landing is forward...Nice final triple. I have mentioned 50 times how much I love this program. It's still good, but it isn't performed as well as he has done it in the past. I'm kind of surprised by his score...I guess he lost points on the axel and in other spots...and the judges just don't like the program as much as I do! Oh, well.