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US Nationals: Ladies Free Skate Impressions

The ladies free skate is underway in Greensboro.  Here's what I thought of the final groups as they showed them on NBC.

Alexe Gilles: I love her ponytail thing but I never can do that to my own hair.  Fall on a double axel.  Her jumps are super shaky even whe she's landing them.  Popped the loop into a double.  Just a rough night for Alexe.  Her spins are slow and she looks kind of upset which makes me so sad.  Layback is a little better than the last spin.  More popping.  She is not even attempting her jumps now...I wonder if something could be physically wrong? 76 for the segment, 123.75 overall.

Caroline Zhang:  ARGh I so want her to land these jumps and be successful.  This is so sad.  She keeps falling.  Her spiral is so much better than it was in the Grand Prix, I'm so happy to see it back.  Ouch she looks like she hurt herself on that popped jump.  Very nice three jump combination.  Scott Hamilton said she's abandoning her choreography but she's gotten back to it now.  Lands the double axel and tops it with a beautiful layback spin combination with the pearl - vintage Zhang.  So sad about the jumps and I'm sure she's going to take a lot of hits in program components too.  It was nice to see the spiral and the spins which appeared to have gone missing during the Grand Prix...but those were always her strengths, so thank goodness those are back.  92.47for the segment, 140.95 overall.

Joelle Forte:  solid start for Forte, lands her first few jumping passes.  Pretty spiral.  Late triple lutz...wow, great job.  I love the smile on her face as she just landed every single jump!  Awesome.  Hamilton calls her a breath of fresh air.  Not the performance/choreography level of some of the top ladies but she should score well with this.  102.25 for the segment, 149.28 overall.

Yasmin Siraj: oh a pop on the first jump attempt.  She regrouped for the next jumping pass though.  It's hard for a girl with braces to pull off the flirt with the audience...I think.  She falls on the triple toe that was on the double axel combo.  Nice triple salchow.  Triple lutz is nice.  She is so little!  She is landing the rest of the jumps but she just has a long way in developing her style on the ice.  But she's very young, great job for a 14-year-old.  102.56 for the segment.  152.47 overall.

Morgan Bell:  I am happy the "la"s have ended.  Ugh another fall and crashed into the boards.  Another fall.  It is just not fun to watch when things go this wrong, so sad and uncomfortable.  Odd spread eagle.  The jumps are just not there.  Some difficult spin positions here are good.  She is looking happier while she does the footwork.  A pop on the salchow.  A lot of trouble performances tonight.  Don't cry, awwww!  119.57 overall score.

Ashley Wagner:  Let's see if Wagner can make up for that short program.  First jumping pass, I can never tell if she's two-footed.  She landed though.  Double axel/triple toe - two footed.  Augh.  Lovely triple lutz.  Spins and spiral are ok...the second spinning combo I like more.  Three jump pass...looks ok, we'll see if it was all rotated.  She lands a nice triple salchow.  I thought she was going to fall on her triple loop but she did not!  BUT she pops the next jump, augh sad.  I don't think this is the performance she needed to vault onto the podium.  She also didn't do a triple/triple although she had been doing them in practice, reportedly.  110.73  for the segment, 165.36.

Vanessa Lam: She looks so serious while she talks to her coaches.  Very excited to see this after the short.  Nice start...three jump combo.  Slight turn out on triple toe and then holds onto the next jump with her toe pick.  NIce spiral.  She's got some extension.  Not really giving much of a performance tonight.  Just going out and doing her elements.  The landings are not coming easily but she is landing them.  Falls on the last jump.  Very nice senior debut for Vanessa Lam.  105.30 for the segment. 162.91 overall.  She goes into second.

Agnes Zawadzki:  Telling the backstory on her mom, wow, always unbelievable what the parents go through for these skaters!  Amazing.  Hamilton says she has it all.  I say not yet.  Double axel/triple toe, wonderful.  Will this be the night that Agnes has a great free!??  Triple flip is solid.  Doubled her next jump.  Agnes can be inadvertently adorable.  She just looks so young and does these pseudo seductive poses.  Triple lutz is great.  Fall on the triple loop, argh!  I think I jinxed.  Nice rebound on her next jump.  Hangs on for her three jump combination.  Very bouncy footwork.  Nice layback.  112.30 for the segment and 173.84 overall.

Christina Gao:  Tripleflip/triple toe.  Triple salchow.  Christina is all leg really.  Hamilton says she has soft knees!  Midori Ito/Lu Chen moment!  Three jump combo and I think she jumped into the camera.  Hilarious.  Hamilton just said Gao has beautiful posture and that I cannot agree with.  But these are some lovely jumps she is landing.  OH she fell.  Holds onto the triple toe.  She is so light.  She's improved in many ways since last year and she'll be getting better and better.  OK ANNOUNCERS, stop saying the future belongs to every single one of these young ladies.  Not everyone can win!  sigh.  108.77 for the segment. 167.20 overall.

Alissa Czisny:  SO NERVOUS.  First combination is done...three jump combo is great.  HELD On to the triple loop.  I cant' take this!  Gorgeous sprial as usual.  Lands her second triple lutz.  YAY triple toe.  Fantabulous spins.  WOW.  Ok...big smile in the footwork.  I love this program for her.  Layback.  Gorgeous gorgeous.  Oh gosh!  So happy for her!  128.74 for th segment, 191.24 overall.

Mirai Nagasu:  I like her outfit.  She keeps wearing what appear to be different variations of the same outfit for this.  I like this color...so pretty.  Powered through her first combo.  It looked like she did double axel/double toe but maybe I blinked?  Spins are amazing, of course!  She was very adorable at the start of the program but now she is all business.  The smile is back for a sec though.  Jumps are looking good now.  Three jump combo is nice.  Love that the top ladies are bringing it.  ARGH I jinxed her, she kind of fumbled a jump.  I will shut up.  ACK I think she just botched a spin.  Come on Mirai!  She looks really tired.  Cannot tell what's up.  Something seemed a little off at the end there.  I don't know!  That's not going to be enough to beat Alissa but will it be enough to keep her on the world team?  I am nervous.  113.91 for the segment, 177.26 overall.  Uh oh.  I don't know if that will beat Rachael.

Rachael Flatt:  I can't take the faces for some reason, way too cutesy or overdone.  She was a bit out of control on her double axel triple toe combo landing.  Popped a jump to a double.  Nice triple flip.  Spiral is not good.  Good combo.  Three jump combination.  Nice energetic footwork.  Steps out of the triple salchow.  I don't know.  Both she and Mirai had some errors.  I don't know who I would give the silver to if I were a judge..but I always like Nagasu's components better so maybe that'll do it.  121.06 for the segment, 183.38 overall.  So she gets silver and Nagasu must sit out.

Podium

1) Czisny

2) Flatt

3) Nagasu