I watched Skate Canada, and now I know:
- that Canada did really well. The only surprise for me there was Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford winning the silver medal in the pairs event. What an important victory for them. Their Coldplay free skate was really nicely done and full of difficulty, and though not perfect, they pulled it off really well and deserved that silver medal.
-that Sui and Han are still mainlining Red Bull before taking the ice. They may be slightly more sedate than they were last season but that's still pretty hyper. They don't look much older and they are still sloppy throughout, but they are also still extremely fun to watch.
-that Volosozhar and Trankov are trying some really interesting lifts. But they kind of scare me...they just seem so manic! Also, I should just point out that I'm one of the few people in the world who viewed Black Swan as a comedy, so these Black Swan programs aren't going to resonate with me as well as they might for others. Especially when they are played for the psychological terror angle that V&T are trying out.
-that Virtue and Moir's free dance is still ridiculously delightful. If I ever have to sit through their "Funny Face" and Davis and White's new program back to back, my brain might explode with happiness.
-that Akiko Suzuki's free skate to Die Fledermaus is typical adorable Akiko. I was also very impressed that she had a higher base technical value than Elizaveta Tuktamisheva. Although Tuktamisheva was cleaner and earned higher grade of execution, it's important for Suzuki to start at an advantage there.
-that Elizaveta Tuktamisheva is not quite the full package just yet, but she probably will be (barring body change issues). I thought she was better packaged in her short program than her free skate, but wow, those jumps were glorious. I didn't like the dance breaks in the free skate...she looked sloppy and young and just not very fluid. But it was fun watching her Grand Prix debut and I'm not surprised that she won.
-that Rachael Flatt was underconditioned, underprepared, unfocused, and irrelevant. She may start getting the Caroline Zhang treatment until she proves that she's ready for these competitions.
-that Ashley Wagner looked good out there but her base value was so much lower than the other top ladies...how can you expect to be competitive like that? I also didn't like that she didn't attempt a triple/triple. Who would ever have thought that Alissa Czisny would become the most daring of the American ladies? I also was confused about some of Wagner's choreography...some pretty big moments in the music were as good as ignored during the program.
-that Daisuke Takahashi is still too sloppy to truly contend for a gold medal these days. I liked his free skate more than his short program, but as others have pointed out, it's definitely a departure from his normal style and it will take some getting used to for me, because I do like his normal look so much, and I think the spectators must as well. This is quieter and subtler but no less difficult. I will possibly write a post on this.
-that the quad toe no longer rules the roost. Adam Rippon (poorly) attempted his quad lutz, Javier Fernandez landed his quad salchow, and Daisuke Takahashi once again whiffed on his quad flip. And quad toes were landed as well, but it's fun to see the variety.
-that yes, Patrick Chan did fall (and stumble), but I did think he deserved to win. I kind of liked his free skate...I will have to watch it again to know for sure. I do think he was the best there in the free skate.
-that what worked in the short program for Javier Fernandez did not work in the free. The whimsical look in the short just seemed unpolished and immature with different music. That said, this was a great showing for Fernandez. Though he had some mistakes in the free skate, he did land that quad salchow and he did make a name for himself at this competition.
7/12 podium spots correct. Not that bad...although the ice dancing was pretty easy to predict.