Some thoughts on the ladies I managed to watch this morning, which is not too many, sadly.
Kanako Murakami (Japan): I joined about halfway through Murakami's short. She has a new look - a sweetheart neckline and a frilly skirt...and bangs! I am loving the look. From what I saw, she lost a bit of control on her double axel landing. Oddly, she seemed to almost look serious while doing all of these really crazy and carefree choreography, so that was a bit weird, but I love this program so I didn't care. She only got a 54.86 so I assume she made some other sort of mistake. That puts her in first for now, which means I haven't missed much.
Cynthia Phaneuf (Canada): Phaneuf looks so rock solid when she comes out and starts her program but maybe she was too relaxed because she doubled her triple lutz. Then her other triple is a toe, so this is a no-go. She looked great throughout the program, though. 52.62 for Phaneuf, fourth for now.
Alena Leonova (Russia): A shot of Slutskaya commentating. I don't think she will ever age. She will always be 15. Ohmygod, you guys, little orphan Annie grew up...and got slimed...and became Alena Leonova. Yikes! But, she lands a triple/triple, and everything else. So she should score well, despite the factthat this is not the most fab program. It's kind a lot of energy. The old Leonova is back today! 59.75, season's best, first by several points. I really underestimated these Russians!
Caroline Kostner (Italy): Sad story for her...she tries the flip (I believe she only started doing that for Euros?) and falls. And that's after she landed her triple toe/triple toe and her double axel. I don't like any of the positions she hits in the top of this program but it was going well. She sells the footwork at the end. 59.75 for Kostner, wow.
Ksenia Makarova (Russia): Wow, the Russian ladies mean business! Makarova completes her triple toe/triple toe and triple loop, and double axel. She does a nice job with the footwork but her choreography needs improvement overall. This is a great showing for her. I would think she has to go into first since the alternative is Kostner, but who knows. 61.62, first place.
Elene Gedanisvili (Georgia): If you've got it, flaunt it, is all I have to say for this look. Two-foots a jump...her choreography does not live up to some of the other ladies we are seeing. I had to leave the room so I missed whatever else she did to get this score...51.61.
Miki Ando (Japan): She gets her jumps all out of hte way early, triple lutz/double loop, triple loop and double axel. Lovely performance for Ando. Not particularly fast at the beginning. She used what she had, and I thought it was very successful. She even seemed to be...emoting??? 65.58..easily into first.
Alissa Czisny (USA): Ack, she started out great and then she almost put her hand down on the triple flip. She was still great for the rest of the program on the whole. 61.47 puts her into third for now....I think the flip was rotated but she probably got killed on GOE there. Not loving how close she is to Kostner...
Kiira Korpi (Finland): Falls on her opening triple...was supposed to be her triple/triple combo. Nice program but that opening fall really seemed to suck the life out of everything. 55.09
Rachael Flatt (USA): wow, did she just double her triple flip? Not good - very surprising move there. Otherwise, the jumps are solid and it's a nice performance. The arm flailing doesn't bother me as much as usual. 57.22, sixth place with two skaters left.
Mao Asada (Japan): Here comes Mao in her bondage outfit. Triple axel..looks quite two-footed and she appears to almost stop in place for a moment on the landing. Not great flow. Triple loop is good (not loving the prevalance of triple loops today!) and then she does a triple flip/double loop. Gorgeous spins. she is good on the footwork, but this program has never been performed as fast and with as much energy as I would like it. Not the best she could have done. 58.66...uh oh...judges not happy, I guess. Sixth for now.
Yu-na Kim (South Korea): Hmm. I can't say I'm clamoring to see this program ever again, but I set the bar high for Kim...still, this is better than most of the programs out there. But way too much clutching of the stomach for me..we get it. She stumbles out of lutz, puts a double toe on the triple flip. Nice footwork. Has an Oksana Baiul moment on the toepicks.... Not a good nitial layback position, but it gets better when she Oksana Baiuls that, too. 65.91, she is in first, as expected by anyone who's actually watched skating in the past few years.