Ladies free skate...will Asada get credit for her triple axels today? Will Mirai Nagasu hold on for a medal? Will Kim overcome her deficit with an amazing Kim skate? Let's find out...
Elena Gedevanishvili is wearing her crazy outfit from last season! WAHOO! And Miki Ando went back to the Cleopatra outfit that draws attention to her chest, booo. I liked the Olympic outfit better. And the Olympic hairstyle.
In the loft: Carruthers and Weir. Talking about Kim again. I can't get the first skater (Gedevanishvili) on my feed or on tv.
Andrea Joyce and Tara Lipinski are discussing Kim's ability to make up the points. She can definitely make up the point. They are talking about her psyche. Lipinski is saying she would be really mad and want to show everyone who she is. Lipinski thinks Mirai can hold Mao off...I feel like Asada's really got to take advantage of this today.
Miki Ando (Japan, Music: Misson Cleopatra): Triple lutz/double toe is good. Jumps are on. Good sit spin. Not particularly energetic program. She is making a lot of faces at the judges. Spirals are ok. Gets the second triple lutz. This sit spin is a bit out of control at one point but not major enough for the commentators to mention. Ando is really trying to use odd facial expressions as a way of appearing artistic tonight. It is not working. Good job on the footwork but it's just not coming across as very exciting. That was a solid performance. But so much was missing. I don't think that will be enough to get her down to the podium (she came in in 11th place). Score: 122.04 for the free, overall 177.82; first place for now.
Yu-na Kim (South Korea, Music: Concerto in F by G. Gershwin): Ok, we get it. She's never been in the second to last group. Let the girl skate. Lots of speed going into triple/triple. Very good combination. Triple flip - YES, great. Double axel three jump combo, also perfect. Nice spins here. Obviously, Kim is just fine! Spirals - pretty good, she gets it right today. second double axel into a triple toe, awesome! UGH fall on a triple salchow. Triple lutz. Very good. Performance wise this is pretty, not up to par with Vancouver or some of her other skates, but that would have been very hard to do at this point. She must be so relieved to have it over. She just popped an axel. Looks deflated. Her spins are good at the end. Not a great skate, but she will still score very high. I don't think she'll win, but wouldn't rule out a medal just yet. Lipinski says she's not sure Kim had the motivation she needs here, having just won the Olympic gold medal. Score: 130.49 for free, 190.79 overall, first place for now. See that - two major mistakes and still that much higher than a clean Miki Ando...that is the strength of Kim and her triple/triple and her amazing program components.
Viktoria Helgesson (Sweden, Muisc: One Moment in Time): Kind of amazing to see her in this position, good for her. As they just stated, she didn't qualify for worlds free skate last season. Triple flip three jump combo - good, not spectacular but very solid. She just doubled her next jump. Another nice combo. Her style is not very defined, it seems. She is doing very well on the jumps, but Lipinski says she doesn't have the speed or power of Asada and Nagasu. Not particularly impressed with the spiral sequence. I hope they change the scoring rules so either fewer people do them or they don't all look exactly the same in the future, because much as I love them, they are usually not fabulous. But now I am on a tangent. Held onto her triple salchow. This is fine but just doesn't seem competitive with the others we are watching. I'm so impressed she was able to skate this way, though. Score: 105.47, 161.79 overall. Third place.
Cynthia Phaneuf (Canada, Music: Cleopatra): Our other Cleopatra. They are talking about her growth spurt again. She already captures me more than Miki did. Triple toe sequence. Good. Pulls off the triple lutz today. Doesn't look particularly fast on the ice but she is really holding onto the jumps. Fast spin, nice sit spin position when she gets down in it. LIpinski says she has a nice presence but could be a bit more expressive. Nice sirals. Phaneuf apparently needs to finish in the top ten to get Canada two worlds spots next year. Double axel tilted in the air but lands it well. I think she is skating very well and definitely has a shot at the top ten so far. Lipinski says she's not filling out the music. I think she looks ok from the tv screen but I am comparing her to Ando who I think was so flat. I think that was a great job! Good for her...let's see what happens. Score: 118.04, personal best. Overall...177.54. She's third for now, and she will be in the top ten and qualify two spots for Canada next year. Congrats, Cynthia!
Julia Sebestyen (Hungary, Music: Raul de Blasio selection): Solid start with the double axel but doubles her lutz and leaves off the combo. Pops her triple flip. Hangs onto the triple salchow. Lipinski says the long program sets apart the overall skater. I assume she means that Sebestyen is not a great overall skater. Gets the second triple lutz. They are now talking about how old she is. Not fab footwork. Another couple of double axels in sequence. Lipinski says she struggles in spins and spirals under the new scoring system. She is just very slow out there. But no disasters. Score: 91.56, overall score 147.66. She is in 9th place for now.
First, the loft with Weir and Lipinski. Carruthers asked the thoughts on Kim. Lipinski is surprised by the mistake on the salchow and then the popped axel. I think Kim has a tendency to get rattled at times when she makes a mistake and that explains some of the more egregious errors over the two programs. Weir thought it was uninspired. Lipinski thinks the movements were not filled out the normal way she would. Lipinski and Weir are saying you train for the Olympics, not the worlds after. Lipinski says that she was done when she won the Olympics. She is wondering what Yu-na is feeling...she says you have to have that motivation. She is wondering where the motivation is, but maybe it's fatigue. Weir thinks it's fatigue. Lipinski says if you're going to skate, you should have that fire. She says Kim is defending a world title so she should have that fire. Weir says something was missing from her eyes and her carriage and she just wanted to get this done. Lipinski says...you don't get a world championships done. You win a world championships.
They are previewing the last group. Tara and Johnny think Mao can overtake Nagasu and Weir thinks her triple axels are underrotated. They are saying Rachael Flatt didn't appear to have downgrades at the Olympics, despite her scores. Weir thinks her character can come out more in this program. I completely disagree...I think she's fun in the short but the free skate is kind of dull for me and I don't see her soul at all. He says her personality doesn't come out in the short. Huh? She seems like a fun, sweet girl, and that comes out in the short...but maybe I'm the only one who likes it, hah. Who knew? But Lipinski says her Skate America free skate was very special, so maybe she can recreate that.
They are showing the warm-up. I am confused why Weir doesn't advise Ksenia Makarova to nix the scrunchies. He is supposed to be her friend.
Carolina Kostner (Italy, Music: Air by Bach, Cello Concerto by Vivaldi): Wow, her season's best is like 20 points lower than what she'll need to beat Kim, and Kim came into the event lower than her. Reigning European champ. Triple flip/triple toe - nice job adding the triple toe. Those points may come in handy. Turns out of triple loop. Double axel is good. These are very nice camel and sit spins. And I think Carolina has nice spirals. Second triple flip - looked two footed but I thought her first ones were maybe two footed too. Combo, solid. She is having a very nice performance. Three jump combo is good. She haaangs onto the triple salchow. Lipinski thinks her jumps might be underrotated - which will be very bad in the scoring. But I think she's at least hanging on. And she's not really losing the performance aspect. Good footwork - Lipinski points out her changing edges and why the judges like the footwork. Pretty spins. Wow, I like her so much better when she's not falling all over the place! Good for her - she may get downgrades or grade of execution deductions, but how nice to see her skate at least a good free skate, if not perfect. Score: 115.11, yeah, I think there were probably some downgrades there. Overall 177.31, fourth place. She'll finish in the top ten.
Interview with Yu-na Kim, who just wants to relax and go to Korea. This poor girl needs a vacation!
Mao Asada (Japan, Music: Bells of Moscow): She says she was inspired by Daisuke. YAY! Ok, Triple axel number one: ok! Looked rotated. Second triple axel in combo: YEAH, beautiful Mao! Now keep the focus! Triple/double loop, yes. Lovely sit spin. Great extension on her spirals. Mao needs to start emoting and connecting...she is obviously thinking very hard. Triple loop is solid. Triple flip three jump combo, so easy for her! Triple toe. Wow, she is really on. Double axel, simple. Another great spin. And now she is putting some more passion in for the footwork. Very good...it's definitely working today. Gorgeous combination spin, not as faast as Nagasu's will be. AMAZING!!! Great job...so happy. That should really seal the deal, not sure if anyone can beat that. Score: 129.50, ARE YOU KIDDING ME THAT SHE DIDN'T BEAT KIM IN THE FREE? That's ridiculous. I don't blame Mao for looking mad - she must have gotten downgraded, right?? I don't understand what is going on. overall: 197.58, she's in first. UPDATE: Second triple axel was downgraded, so she only had five triples, like Kim. But come on, she sold that performance more than Kim did tonight, and it was a great skate. Weird.
Rachael Flatt (USA, Music: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini): Have you heard that Rachael has gotten into college? Just making sure. Solid start for Flatt, double axel. She had a cruddy landing on the triple flip so she only does a double toe. Triple lutz is good. Lipinski says Flatt doesn't seem like herself. Spins are just not that pretty. Good triple loop. Pops her second triple lutz - that was odd. Solid spiral sequence. Lipinski says Flatt looks a little slow al around. I don't think there's a chance for Flatt to medal at this point. Good triple salchow in combination. Not a great performance, very tired. I think Flatt may be over the international judges and is mentally fatigued from getting score low for clean performances. I hope she makes some changes in the offseason. Score: 106.56, overall 167.44. She is in sixth place for now. So this was a disappointing competition, because she'll finish lower than her standing last year of fifth.
Laura Lepisto (Finland, Music: Adios Nonino): This is a bit muzaky off the top. WOW, nice triple toe/triple toe combo - did you see the height on the second jump? Great. She pulls off the triple lutz - Lipinski says it may be underrotated. She has quite an eye, this Lipinski. Pops triple loop, but completes the combo. Nice low sit spin. I don't like what she does with her hands. Another beautiful spin. Solid double axel. Pops another loop. Double axel. Pops triple salchow. this is kind of disaster considering how many triple jumps she has lost, but she is performing well. She has a lot of energy in the footwork sequence. Camel starts out wacky but she gets on target and the rest of the spin is great. The crowd loves her. Score: 114.32...great score considering I counted three jumps she doubled...overall score is 178.62, third place for now.
Mirai Nagasu (USA, Music: Carmen): Let's see how Nagasu deals with this pressure. Lipinski says these next four minutes could really change her career. Triple lutz, steps out and cannot do the rest of the three jump combo. Come on, Mirai! Beautiful double axel/triple toe combo. Great triple flip. She's not looking particularly fast tonight. Her sit spin is slower than normal. But that layback is beyond words! Gorgeous spirals, the best here, bar none. Argh totally two foots triple lutz and I believe underrotates. She is not performing this the way she can either, obviously thinking hard. Triple loop, double axel sequence. Not sure about the rotation. Falls on the double axel. Lipinski thinks she is nervous. Nagasu obviously does better when she is attacking. I don't think she can hold onto a medal with this performance. Not a lot of energy on the footwork, but the smile is there. This is so sad, because if she performed the way she did at the Olympics, she would definitely have medaled. But I guess the pressure got to her. sooo sad, she really had a chance. Haha Frank Carroll is so cute. Nagasu just apologized for her skate. Carroll said you're not dead. Nice. I will use that line on everyone from now on when they are upset. hee. Score: 105.08, overall 175.48. Seventh place. OH, GOSH the USA has lost the third spot at the worlds because of the placements of Flatt and Nagasu. Another disappointment for USA.
Ksenia Makarova (Russia, Music: 13th Warrior): Triple toe/triple toe, another combo with the bigger second jump! Nice job. Triple flip is good. Pitched forward on double axel but she lands it. Triple loop is solid. This girl is on tonight. Another double axel that she hangs onto. Nice layback spin/Biellman. I really am not a fan of the choreography but her elements are awesome. Lipinski says she has really strong technique, although she doesn't try the triple lutz yet. Nice spirals. Great triple sal/three jump combo. Ugh, falls on the salchow. Sad. I think Lepisto will get the bronze here. The patch of fuschia or whatever color on her costume reminds me of the flags they throw in football. So that is distracting. Good closing spin. Overall a very good performance. 107.58 in free, overall 169.64, 8th place overall.
So, a thorouhgly depressing competition for the American ladies, after such promise for Mirai Nagasu after the short. I love her skating but she'll have to reign in those nerves in order to take advantage of opportunities like this in the future.
Mao Asada was a very deserving winner, although I will be scouring those protocols to see how Kim could have beaten her in the free skate. Asada was really the only great skate tonight, and even she made a major error in her underrotation. Oh well. Now, everyone go on VACATION!!! hee
Back in the Loft:
Carruthers says that Lipinski said she has to get out there and show these ladies how to deal with pressure. haha, Lipinski cannot handle these ladies! heee. Anyway, I think she is thoroughly embarrassed that Carruthers quoted her on that.
Lipinski says that when you get to the point that Kim was at always winning, you don't know how to fight for it. And having that point lead makes you really relaxed in the long. But that did not happen today.
Lipinski says that Asada showed what an amazing skater she is. Weir says she attacked everything that she did and she was the clear world champion. He hasn't always been the biggest fan of the program (ME NEITHER) but it did not bother him or Tara today (yeah, I agree, she pulled it off much better today). Carruthers says he thought she had human spirit and was ready for the challenge.
Nagasu - had it right there, says Carruthers. Lipinski says it's also learning how to deal with the pressure. She says to be a great competitor and win an Olympics you have to learn to deal with the pressure. And she doesn't think Nagasu did that. Weir says that at the same time, he thought the younger skaters were judged very harshly tonight. Weeell...they didn't skate very clean, is what I have to say about the younger skaters tonight. Although neither did some of the "older" skaters. Weir said Nagasu looked like she would be able to handle it when she came back after the triple lutz. And they said she fought. I thought she was fighting, but then she fell on the double axel. Lipinski says it was nerves.
Weir says even when you're competing, the smallest thing can turn into something huge.
Now they are talking about Kim. Lipinski says it was disappointing. But she again says she just won the Olympics. Weir says there is a plus side, she now has a complete set of medals. heh. Weir says there were some mistakes. Lipinski points out that when she got up it was slow, and the performance was not inspired...and that Mao had it. Weir says after she missed the salchow it looked like all the fight went out of her and she was hating being out there. It's such a shock when she makes mistakes, he says, and it's a shock to her as well. Lipinski says she's human.