Skate America 2016 review

Impressions from Skate America 2016

Sorry for delay, I had to sleep after Skate America) Because I had  8 hour time-difference with Chicago and I spent two sleepless nights watching figure skating. But who cares about sleep when you have an on-line stream)

Now I’m ready to share my impressions.

Ladies

Ashley Wagner

Angelina Kuchvalska – it was sad. She gained weight, has no strength to skate till the end of her free program, jumps collapsed. Puberty?

Kanako Murakami is damn good in her programs to Super Classico, but her tech score makes me wanna cry.

I don’t expect already anything good from So Youn Park. Well, except nice dresses and fashionable make-up.

Americans could have counted on American pedestal in ladies event. But with such business partner as Gracie Gold it’s difficult to expect that operation “monopolizing” of the podium will be successful. Unfortunately, Gracie is not a fighter. Short program – again tango and again problems with flip. Ok, at least some consistency. Perhaps, this tango is better than last year’s, more mature. The free program is slurred. With no charisma and an effect of “no dress”. Was it intentional? Someone can’t find a nude illusion mesh to match the skin-tone and here’s a whole dress!

Gaby Daleman is gaining momentum. She has impressive abs, impressive jumps and a blinding smile.  Cool music choice for the short program – strong, powerful and not a warhorse. Cobras on the dress suit her and give a hint to others: I have an antidote to all your venom and soon I’ll be a rival to reckon with. But I’m tired of programs in blue dresses to Gershvin. Sorry, Gaby.

Japanese brought a reinforcement – a young generation. Mai Mihara as expected jumped everything cheerfully. Cute, nice, juniorish. I think junior skater should note the music from new Cinderella movie, it’s lovely. We should keep our eyes open : here they are, the first signs of new generation of Japanese ladies.

Mariah Bell was a true Cinderella of this competition. Great performance. It was a right decision to move to Rafael. And in lovely girlish programs she look way better, than in programs “Jason Brown style” which she wasn’t able to skate properly.

Yuhu! Sweeeeet dreeeaaams are made of this. Who am I to disagree! Yes, I was singing during the whole program. Yes, at 4 o’clock in the morning, Yes, my neighbours were extremely happy) Neither pressure of home audience, nor it’s expectations prevented Diva Wagner to shine like a star. Confident, mature, feminine, stylish, sexy! She lives in her programs, they are sitting on her like a glove.  Only few people now can skate like that. You can tell me about her underrotations, lack of transitions. You’ll be right. But what I’m going to say: 3-3 combinations and lots of transitions can’t increase an interest to figure skating, attract the audience, but personalities can. Ashley is a personality!

And my dear Mao……beautiful with any mistakes. Gorgeous programs, gorgeous Mao, no matter how this season will end up for her.

Pairs

Marchei Hottarek

Looking at the music choices, it seems that many pairs think they’re ice dancers…..and chose swing.

No matter what Valentina and Ondrej did or did not in their programs, it’s always a pleasure to watch them skating. Charisma is a powerful thing) My favorite momet of the FP: on the words “Put your hand in my hand. And we’ll stand” they hold their hands and on the words “Let the sky fall” they do this breathtaking lift!

I really like FP of Tarah Kayne – Daniel O’Shea! Interesting, difficult, with lots of choreo things. I wish he didn’t throw her so thoughtlessly!

In past season I quite liked theatrical programs of Astakhova Rogonov. This time they looked not interesting and even rediculous. Old costumes only worsened the impression from FP. It’s hard to have an expensive look in such programs. Such programs have to be skated confidently and clean, so you can say “It’s how I see figure skating, it’s how I feel. But they had too many mistakes.

Not for the first time I wonder, why James – Cipres need a quad throw. Guys, skate your fabulous programs clean, at least once and the result may surprise you. Tano throw was amazing, why not to concentrate on it. Such a beautiful couple, stylish, sexy, with cool programs (the song from their FP is still playing in my head). And this *censored* quad killed the program and chances for very possible medal! I’m very angry!

Something is telling me that situation in Russian pairs may be worse that in their favorite ice dance.

Trankovs are on maternity leave and it’s wonderful, family is the most important thing. Fedor probably will be godfather. We don’t know when Ksenia will recover. Kavaguti – Smirnov have too many injuries( So, Tarasova – Morozov were considered as possible current leader. At the test skates they looked promising. Good shape, great elements, eventually nice programs and not too retro costumes. But again *censored* ultra-c ruined half of the program. Of course, they need to try it on competition, to learn how to gather after a fall, but maybe they should do it at less important competitions?

Good to see Haven Denney – Brandon Frazier back to competition! Congratulation on their second silver medal at Skate America. It’s always a pleasure to see beautiful pair with lovely programs!

Revenge is a dish best served cold. I’m sure during her career Julianne Seguin got a lot of sarcastic comments on her address. And worked harder. Where is she now and where are those who laughed. It’s hard for me not to like this pair. They have such a reverent relationships in their programs! And they can show their best when it’s needed.

Men

Jason Brown

Many thanks to the guys, their free program was the brightest impression for me!

Not everyone has already skated to the Pirates of the Caribbean) Thank you Brendan Kerry for no Halloween pirate costume.

Jorik, where’s your cool lemon shirt? Why’re you wearign this something grey and boring?

Tim Dolensky – another handsome American skater with beautiful skating and no quad.

Classic Kovtun. Can it be fixed? I start to think that no( Can he skate SP clean? Yes, he can. Is he in a good shape? Yes, he is. So, what’s the problem? Maybe, they should try an easier jumps content, so he can feel more relaxed? It worked for the FP. I liked his FP this time, the light shade of doom suits it. But it doesn’t matter that he need to fail his SP for such an effect)

After last season I didn’t expect anything from Nam Nguyen, but apparently change of coach and ladylove near helped. Nice costumes, cool bouffant, choreography still not impressive. But we can see some positive changes. Will see whether presence of ladylove is as good motivator as presence of Javi and Yuzuru with their quads.

Both times it seemed to me that Boyang Jin will jump his lutz right into the gap on the board. That was scary. I think he grew up, he doesn’t look so slim as last year. I liked his Spiderman SP, it’s a charming program and funny. In the FP bright and famous music helps a lot. I’d like to say “Boyang, you have to win the home GP!’ but my heart doesn’t allow)

Repeatedly writed off Sergei Voronov continues to work for the whole Russian team) Respect.

Adam Rippon in sexy T-shirt……Oh….I don’t know what people found so provocative in his SP…..disco as disco. But it suits them. Actually I have an idea for Ashley. She should skate in show SP with Adam and FP with Voronov) And I liked Adam’s FP – heartfelt.

Simple, laconic costumes suit Jason so much! I’m so happy that costumes from grandma’s wardrobe were burned. You can say what you want, but it was fabulous! Both programs! And wow quad! Brown’s shares rushed up……and risk index too.

Jason proved that hope isn’t stupid feeling, so I hope that one day something will happen with Uno‘s plushy costumes) I don’t know, maybe someone will steal them) Shoma has beautiful programs, but in the free program I have a dissonance: cute boy is skating to scary women’s shouting)

Ice dance

Situation in Russian ice dance in one photo:

Bobrova Soloviev

I really liked Guignard – Fabbri! Great dances, they’re in a great shape! Neither lack of height difference, nor status of the second pair prevented them to show what they’re capable of. Because people work hard and know that no one will give them high marks just because they’re so nice and talented.

Even silver medal at Skate America won’t change the fact that Hubbell – Donohue‘s sp is a disaster. Why they didn’t change it before GP?! Don’t they see that dance doesn’t work and judges don’t like it? I feel robbed of possibility to see so sexy and so sensual Madison and Zach in blues! I liked the FD, yes it’s still the same Lounge FM style, but this style looks a bit different on them, mostly because they’re such a sensual pair.

Shibutani unexpectedly have a cool short dance! Alex looks hot, as I expected. Their dance looks like one thing, not like two pieces and hip-hop was unexpectedly cool. FD is ambiguous…….I was charmed, I was waiting for the culmination…..but culmination was to short. This style suits them….but I think that they can’t beat Papadakis Cizeron with their style, if they want to win they need something different and new.

That’s all, see you after Skate Canada) I’m preparing alcohol….because of Mr. P.Chan)

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13 Comments on Skate America 2016 review

  1. Stolbova Obsessed // 26/10/2016 at 19:02 // Reply

    Gracie is in a really tough boat, and it’s not going to be an overnight success. She was in a major depression after Worlds, and after a bad skate at Japan Open, some rough skating is to be expected. In an interview she said she was not in proper shape for the event. I think that by Nationals, she may be ready to skate better, but until then, we just have to wait and don’t be too harsh.

    I love Gabby Daleman, she’s got tons of talent and is definitely sending a message that she’s a contender. I like the cobra dress!

    Japan has a new generation of girls coming up – the ones who started skating after they saw Shizuka Arakawa win the Olympics back in 2006. They were little children then, but now they’re 14, 15, and 16 years old, taking over the top spots.

    I’m so happy for Mariah Bell, I’ve loved her for years, and have been waiting for her big breakout. This is so awesome for her. And you’re right, her programs are lovely for a young lady.

    Ashley was awesome. I’ve always been a fan of ladies on ice who look like grown women, not little girls, and she is perfect for that. She’s showing us that you can be 25 and still fighting.

    Mao…even without jumps, she’s stunning.

    I’ve always been a fan of Kayne/O’Shea. Danny does have to be careful when he throws her, Tarah is a small girl and if you throw her too hard, she’ll fall flat on the ice. But they are a strong couple, I’ll keep my eye on them.

    I’m smiling at the thought of Fedor as a godfather. I have faith that Ksenia will recover soon and come back swinging. A fierce girl like that doesn’t just fall down and stay there, she springs right back up to swing the next punch :)

    I’ve liked Tarasova and Morozov since I saw them at 2014 COR, but they’re letting their chance slip away. This should’ve been an easy gold or silver for them.

    Haven/Brandon and Julianne/Charlie slayed. I love to see young pairs in the sport.

    Boyang’s programs are really funny, but he’s a talented guy. His lutz is always on the boards, he has a Patrick Chan/Gracie Gold problem :( Hope they can sort that out.

    Adam is making progress. I really like his free skate this year.

    Jason…I can only say good things. He has such a softness and gentleness on the ice. And I agree that he looks best in simple costumes.

    Shoma Uno is so talented, but I agree 100% to ditch the screaming lady!

    Shibutanis…#love.

    • Fedor godfather it was only my guess) But who knows, they’re friends.

      I’ll always love Mao. No matter what. Only few ledis now show true feminine skating. She, Caro and Ashley….

      Shibunatis #love – agree) Especially Alex)))

      I’m trying to find strength for watching Skate Canada live (it’s again a 7 hour time difference for me). Strength and nerves

      • Stolbova Obsessed // 27/10/2016 at 18:53 // Reply

        My friend and I are pretty sure Fedor will be the godfather. I think it’d be quite nice. I wonder who will be the godmother (because I highly doubt it will be Ksenia).

        Yes, the mature feminine skating is so rare these days that I love Mao even more than I used to.

        Alex – #love

  2. OlgaLV // 25/10/2016 at 23:03 // Reply

    Thanks for your review!I wanted to ask about photos in this and couple of previous articles- they are not seen!I don’t see picture- what is with Russian ice dance?! Maybe it’s just on my computer..

    • Oh….I don’t know why you can’t see it. Try this link:
      https://cdn.tribuna.com/fetch/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fi85.fastpic.ru%2Fbig%2F2016%2F1025%2F78%2F675519c8e2a1899951deb4d345cf7178.jpg

      Let me know If it also doesn’t work.

      • OlgaLV // 26/10/2016 at 11:08 // Reply

        Thank you!Now I see what you thought about ice dance,tears and laughs!:)))But why so pessimistic?:)Elena and Ruslan did very well,British eurosport commentators were also quite surprised about their marks.Stepanova\Bukin won recently,Donohue pair was behind.
        Ksenia soon will be ok,and Tarasova\Morozov now has a good experience-what to do if sth goes wrong.Not so bad to my mind.:)

        • You’re an optimist) British eurosport commentators are always so kind, they have their “beautiful, fantastic, wonderful” for everyone) Unfortunately, I’m not that kind) Elena and Ruslan had a lot of time, actually more than everyone else in Russian team. Their last competitions was Russian Nationals in December, so they had 10 month for preparation and their dances look ok…..as for the test skates( I was surprised in a bad way. Bobrova Soloviev is a mature and experienced pair! Why they were so nervous?! They shouldn’t behave at GP like debutantes( As for Stepanova Bukin, I’m not so sure that their marks will be that high with a different judging pannel.

          • Stolbova Obsessed // 27/10/2016 at 19:02 // Reply

            The British Eurosport commentators are my favorites. Although sometimes I watch Russian commentary because the videos download faster.

            I think Bobrova and Soloviev will skate better later in the year, they’ve been dealing with a lot lately, what with her meldonium accusations and stuff. It’s only natural for them to be nervous.

            Elena and Ruslan…I don’t know, I feel like Elena deserves a better partner, I just do. Ruslan is great but I’m not sure if he’s Olympic-bronze-medal level yet. There’s definite chemistry, but I still miss my good old Ilinykh/Katsalapov, I just do.

            • OlgaLV // 27/10/2016 at 19:36 // Reply

              I would say this time Elena herself was not on Olympic level. And I think their duo would benefit if they do not hide Ruslan behind her.Short dance was super,but in free dance I didn’t like her ‘solo’ and all the time she focused on judges,not on him.And I believe new costumes will make better impression of their free dance.But still they are very interesting!
              British commentators forever!:)

    • Crabe93 // 27/10/2016 at 08:46 // Reply

      That’s also the same phenomen on my smartphone, I don’t see the photos from this article and those with fashion review for Skate America. That’s strange…

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