Monday, 9 November 2009

NHK Trophy 2009

Not one of the most interesting of the Grand Prix events dance wise - all was a bit predictable in terms of results.

For the Kerrs its a nailbiting wait now to see if their Bronze and Silver medals will get them into the final. Best chance will be if P/B the French can beat the Italians F/S which will be tight, and then they will need to have better points than Italian no 2's C/L. reeeaaallly want to see them make the final however I cant say their performances have inspired me so far...

So the competition itself! Yay for Meryl Davis & Charlie White, shall not be moaning so much about their secondhand free dance this time because their skating amazes me, and just so glad its not another 'black and white' free dance as with many. Now rooting for them to overtake Virtue and Moir ... and possibly take Gold in Vancouver. In love with their Bollywood free dance - the music the Kerrs ckicked out of using out of fear it would be over used - just as well I dont think any other team would have pulled it off so well! The intricate choreography is really impressive. Possibly Im failing here as have managed nothing but praise for this team ... but I needed someone to be excited about. But looking back I dont think their basic skating was as smooth as normal ...

Onto John and Sinead. OD: Apparently the ice resurfacer person wasnt too amused about Johns means of stopping at the end of the program - messing up the ice for the Americans etc - well how else were they going to beat them other than with 'other' tactics!?!? Think a few more sequins have been added to the costumes. Its still coming across as too much like an exhibition and not like a routine from a team who had once been discussing Olympic medals - noticed that such words have not been mentioned recently. The elements themselves were not pushing boudaries either.

The Free Dance was well .. black and white, both in terms of costume and emotion. Happy that they are putting something original out there but couldnt they have found something else. It is one of the most modern and current routine ... but I just cant get any real excitement from it other than that. Sinead lifting John might be impressive if the Italians (F/S) hadnt been doing it for years even if not recently. It makes me sad that this free dance will probably be their last.

Afraid not a lot to say at this time on Crone/POirer as havent found a youtube vid of free dance with the soundtrack on it :-( Their OD didnt excite me ... but if I was offered my pick of a male ice dance to marry it would be Mr Paul Poirer ... hes gourgeous, and has a lot of strength. Atm I think as a team they dont have a great deal of originality and blend into the mix ... sitting and waiting I think for a big future ahead!

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Cup Of China 09

The black and white theme continues ... comebacks stun ... the excitement continues!

Delighted to see Shen & Zhao back in such amazing form, the most mature and complete pairs team out there and Im already starting to bite my lip in anticipation of the battle between S/Z and the Germans S/S both of whom really deserve to take Olympic Gold, but there can only be one winner ...

On with the dance. Had been expecting an almost default gold to go to K/N of Russia owing to them being the top Russian dance team, well I suppose the russian fed are saving their bribery monies for the Olympics - they'll need them to get K/N on the podium. But very happy to see Belbin/Agosto rising to the challenge and taking the gold with consistently high scores across all sections.

T.B./B.A. USA (1): This team is also in on the group order for free dance outfits I see ... why dont they all just share 1 set of costumes with all teams wearing black and white and make a real financial saving! Music choice pretty but also in keeping with other free dances list year and not very exciting but a bit dull and almost sombre. But thats the extent of my criticisms and this is one of if not my favourite free dance yet! The lifts are great with those of twists and turns from her whilst in the air and unlike some of the teams they keep them all looking elegant. Choreography was brilliant within the constraints of the music. Really nice deep knees - this could be a good year for these two.

J.K./S.N.(2): Arrrgggghhh! I really hated this free dance. Costumes looked like what I've seen in club pantos! They dont fit and they look awful! I mistook them for a bog standard russian junior pairs team - J.K. looked so young and ungainly, him too not helped by the huge height gap. Would guess that their deduction was for her doing a handstand on his boot as Im pretty sure thats an illegal move. Honestly you would think the Russians would know better. In complete contrast to B/A the lifts were ugly, loads of bent legs and not at all orginal. I feel this team should struggle this year but something tells me that they wont. Normal rules seem to be overlooked when it comes to the Russians.

F.F./M.S.(3): Improvement on their previous performances, but they look like the grandparents in the competition! Did their Nan make their costumes out of some spare material? But they get a gold sticker for not choosing black and white outfits. And I thought they've done pretty well with their free dance and I think it will be their strength rather than their weakness. No amazing lifts and dont see it threatening for the medals but I think theirs will be a welcome break from the dreary black and white free dances which we are seeing from most.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Rostelecom Cup Dance Review

A few one liners to sum up the OD ...
Davis and Whites od is bollybrilliant (sorry cheap shot), completely unique and my favourite of all the OD's I have seen so far.

Cappelini and Lanotte was a pretty bog standard OD with some nice easy transitions which all looks nice.

Rubleva/Shefer aka Barbie and Ken looked like they had just skated out the packaging in a toy shop at Christmas. But its a bit different so pleasing enough, prefer it to their free dance.

Free Dance
Ok so Chock and Zuerlin oh wait ... its Davis and White. I complained about the French P/B using the clock theme which was done by the Germans previously but at least it wasnt done in the same olympic cycle Davis and White have a got a second hand free dance, after they were done with it obviously Madison/Greg were looking to sell it off cheaply.

Aside from the complete lack of originality (I actually cant believe they had the nerve Im just going back to check i was watching the right team), the skating was really good. Costumes pretty old fashioned, but I love their lifts .. esp when she does the little rotational twists in the middle of the lifts (the Kerrs do this too :D). Twizzles remain some of (if not) the best in the world. Their edge work and basic skating wasnt as great as at worlds 09, however I guess this is partly an early season issue and will be gone soon enough. I like the collapsing on their knees in the middle to catch their breath back made to look intentional ;-) But to summarise a well deserved first place. But someone PM me when they have got their own free dance sorted im sure that will be great - understand we are in a recession and all.

Onto Cappelini/Lanotte, I did not predict these to finish as high as they did, owing to how could anything live up to their Love Story free dance and the change of coaches can take a while to adjust to. Reqium for a dream was a bit of a let down after love story, and is an over used peice of music in skating of late, whilst love story has been used a lot I never tire of it. Didnt feel they really connected with the music, and like P/B transitions were not great - the French coaching team must have decided this is the route to more points, faster skating in place of better transitions. Loved the lift where he is in a teapot I have been waiting and willing a team to do this! So kudos for that. All their lifts were pretty good, and despite the bland music there was some innovative choreography. Skating skills however well down on Davis and White. And they too have joined the black and white FD costume gang - maybe you get a discount on the costume if they are black and white.

And a wobbler of a performance from Rubleva/Shefer. There was something resembling Chemistry between them. costumes were not bad although russians have strange concept of what colours go together. No elements which stood out for me, it was all a bit bland. THey didnt pull of the music I didnt feel, but then I didnt get the music at all didnt mean much to me was a bit nothingless. Choreography was pretty multi purpose and in no way unique to the program. Few places where if they had slowed any more they would have stopped. Dont see this team as any threat to the big guns.

Crone/Poirer's video on youtube had had the soundtrack removed so wont review them.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Plushenko is back

Hope to be able to give some reports on the actual skating when/if the youtube videos appear! But for now, its day 1 of the Rostelecom Cup, and Mr Plushenko is back! In first place after the short, which makes me happy as I predicted he would win this event ;-) After that was surprised Florent Amodio was not higher.

In the Dance expected Crone/Poirer to be higher, and impressed to see Cappelini/Lanotte in second place with their fairly recent coaching change, but all in all apart from Davis/White the scores for the CD were pretty low, but plenty of time for things to change.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Grand Prix of Russia Preview

See below for my predictions but this is potentially one of the most interesting, and difficult to predict events. At first glance it may lack the top competitors seen at TEB especially for any observer that only joined the sport last year, but Russia have thrown in some 'dark horses' returning after some time who may amaze, disappoint or not turn up at all - Evgeni Plushenko, Sinead Kerr says hes jumping skills are certainly not lacking but skating has evolved a lot since he left ... I predict him first, after all hes reigning olympic champion so he deserves such pressure! Other contenders Jonny Weir ...

In Pairs Vera BAZAROVA / Yuri LARIONOV havent been out long and were stunning skaters when they left - cant remember where I predicted these to come but they could upset the field.

In Dance and Ladies its the event to be in for an easy route to the final at first glance. However competitions are rarely predictable, but my moneys on Mao Asada, and Davis/White.

British interest in Jenna - if she can put two clean skates in and there are mistakes from others a medal is not totally out of realms of possibility, Id love to see a top 5 skate from her. Wondering if she has decided which short program she'll be using yet :s

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Grand Prix Final Dance Predictions

My predictions for the dance final based on my medal guesses for each event:
TEB: 1st Virtue/Moir, 2nd Pechalat/Bourzat, 3rd Kerr/Kerr
Russia: 1st Davis/White, 2nd Cappellini/Lanotte 3rd Crone/Poirer
China: 1st Khoklova/Novitski 2nd Belbin/Agosto 3rd Faiella/Scalli
Japan: 1st Davis/White 2nd Kerr/Kerr 3rd Crone/Poirer
USA: 1st Khoklova/Novitski 2nd Belbin/Agosto 3rd Cappellini/Lanotte (Assuming D/S will not start)
Canada: 1st Virtue/Moir 2nd Faiella/Sali 3rd Pechalat/Bourzat

1. Virtue/Moir 30, 2. Davis/White 30, 3.Khoklova/Novitski 30, 4. Belbin/Agosto 26 5. Pechalat/Bourzat 24, 5. Kerr/Kerr 24, 6. Cappellini/Lanotte 24. 7. Faiella/Scalli. Ok so I have got 7 teams only 6 will make it ... but I wouldnt like to predict it any further than this! And should D/S make it back for the GP series things will get very interesting.

TEB 09

The Season Kicks off ... Im afraid my review is based purely on youtube vids and the highly entertaining reviews on FSU (figure skating universe) but nethertheless may it entertain you!

"Add Joannie and you've got a world champs" "Welcome
Sasha ... oh wait" "The over-scoring of Kim Yu-Na" "Can Jou-bert the falls
oda-wise it may be the last headcase standing" "Where its legal for siblings
touch each other up"

Entered the figure skating universe prediction competition and was first in all the events but the pairs - well it wasnt a predictable result now was it. Although in the case of the dance I had hoped I wouldnt be correct with the order of the top three.

Going on the programs alone I would have had the order 1: Virtue and Moir, 2: Kerr and Kerr 3. Pechalat and Bourzat. But I would have to agree that the elements of P/B looked harder than some of those of K/K.

Free Dance Reviews
Tessa and Scott
(V/M) If I listen to different music whilst watching it its brilliant - but sadly its another drab classical piece of music with no real beat which seems to now be an ignored requirement for dance music. But that is my only criticism of it - oh and the bland black and white costumes which are being used by a very high percentage of the dance teams this year. The skating you cant fault, Im not sure how some of the lifts are scored as there are a lot of them. But their lifts are amazing and in particular I love how she performs a little rotational jump out of one lift which incidentally has been copied by P/B.

Natalie and Fabien (P/B) Last year they copied the idea from T&D's Barnum, this year they are copying the Germans R/L Clock routine. When will they get an idea of their own? I liked the elements of this team, especially the lifts - one of which they use a little rotational lift copied from V/M. However he was not really into his knees ... didnt have much of a softness. And their transitions - well what transitions, I thought the Kerrs transitions were lacking until I saw this team. They had the odd trick in there but mainly it was very slow paced crossovers to gain maximum speed. Judges didnt seem to care so I guess this tactic worked. Disappointing to watch though. They do manage to avoid the black and white trend for free dance costumes this year one of the few positives I have for them.

Sinead and John (K/K) Its original its new its modern ... but I dont really like it. The music leaves you somewhat cold and unenthused. But you have to commend them for real originality unlike P/B. Shame the theme within it is so similar to Muse last year as it takes away from the originality. The transitions looked pretty bland, and lifts were good but not new and exciting. There long lift which was meant to I think go with the crescendo of the music was late if it was. Twizzles were back on today - had not been expecting to be more worried about Sinead than John on these but thats whats happened so far. The costumes - Im keeping my fingers crossed that these are not the final ones. Im sorry you cant wear jeans in a free dance - it looked like Johns movement was restricted as a result. If you are able to skate your free dance in jeans then its not challenging enough is my personal opinion. Hate to criticise this team but I really want to see them go out on a high if this is to be their last season. And really they would have been looking for second place at the end of this event - the technical score in particular is needing some work.