Thursday, November 26, 2009

2009 Grand Prix Final Ladies Preview

Thousands of Japanese skating fans bought tickets to the 2009 ISU Grand Prix Final with the expectations that they would be witnessing their hometown heroine, Mao Asada, take on her premier rival, Yu-Na Kim, in a pre-Olympic showdown. While Kim easily qualified to this event, Asada's career hit rock bottom at Cup of Russia, where three failed attempts at the storied triple axel lead her to finish off the podium for only the second time in her career as a senior level skater. Asada's absence from the Yoyogi National Stadium in Tokyo next week is of a particularly sad irony, as the 2008 world champion won this event in that very arena back in 2005 when she was not age-eligible to compete at the 2006 Olympic Games. With Asada out, the Japanese will now look to 2007 world champion Miki Ando, the winner of two Grand Prix events this season, to try and match Kim. Another athlete from the host nation, Akiko Suzuki, will be looking to secure an Olympic berth at the Grand Prix Final, which would be quite an inspirational culmination to a career that was stagnated by Anorexia five years ago. Alena Leonova will be making her first trip to the Final and could be looking at a podium finish if her consistency remains intact. The only United States representative for the ladies in Tokyo, Ashley Wagner, is seeming to provide some light at the end of the tunnel for the shallow state of U.S. ladies figure skating. However, Kim's top rival won't be Suzuki, it won't be Leonova, it won't be Wagner, and it may not even be Ando. The international judges have not always sided with the five-time Canadian champion Joannie Rochette, but they are appearing to favor her immensely now, late in her career, to become the first Canadian ladies medalist at an Olympic Games since Elizabeth Manley in 1988.

While the Grand Prix Final is not life or death, there is still much to be gained and much to be lost at this event. For Kim, another less than desirable performance could cause some of her immense favor from the judges to diminish. Despite winning Skate Canada, Rochette has not skated with enough quality this season to realistically challenge the likes of Kim. Ando and Suzuki are both battling one another to become the highest placing Japanese skater, and thus, a winner of an Olympic berth. Leonova is set to be on her nation's Olympic team, but needs a strong competition here to even be considered as a remotely realistic prospect for a medal in Vancouver. It is certainly advantageous for Wagner to be the only American here, but having just barely placed ahead of the top two finishers from last year's U.S. nationals, Alissa Czisny and Rachael Flatt, Wagner's opportunity for receiving one of the two Olympic berths allotted for the American ladies in Vancouver is by no means assured. When also factoring in the potential return of 2006 Olympic silver medalist Sasha Cohen, Wagner needs nothing less than a strong showing here to further prove her worth of an Olympic berth. The Grand Prix series up to this point has been unpredictable enough, and with six of the top female figure skaters in the world skating in one event, that unpredictability shouldn't die off. With much to gain and much to lose, the skaters will be demanded to produce their competitive mettle to wish for a medal at this competition. This event could ultimately foreshadow what is to occur at the biggest outing of these athletes' lives, the XXI Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada.

The Finalists

Miki Ando (Japan)
Yu-Na Kim (South Korea)
Alena Leonova (Russia)
Joannie Rochette (Canada)
Akiko Suzuki (Japan)
Ashley Wagner (USA)

Miki Ando (Japan)

Top Achievements: 2007 World Champion, 2009 world bronze medalist, Four-time Grand Prix finalist, 2009 NHK Trophy Champion, 2009 Rostelecom Cup Champion, 2006 Skate America Champion, 2006 Olympian, 2004/2005 Japanese champion

Pros: With Asada's demise, Ando has become the current top female skater in Japan, having won both of her Grand Prix events this season. Lauded for her high, secure jumps, the 2007 world champion is the only female skater to have ever landed a quadruple jump in competition. Ando is capable of landing triple lutz-triple loop combos, a jumping pass more difficult than the triple lutz-triple toe Yu-Na Kim is currently attempting, and Ando has also avoided receiving an edge call on either her lutz or her flip this season. Ando has shown improved artistry in her programs for this year, with a short program to Mozart's "Requiem" and a Cleopatra-themed long program to the soundtracks from both the television series "Rome" and "Marco Polo." The judges have been marking Ando's PCS marks favorably this year, and her artistic score has been consistently higher this season than it was during her Grand Prix events last year.

Cons: Ando's improvement artistically still does not make her a true "artist" on the ice, as she lags behind several of the top female skaters in musicality, posture, and extension. Ando's primary resource for boosting her score is jumps, but those haven't been especially brilliant since last season's worlds. Her lone attempt at a triple-triple so far this season ended with both a faulty landing and a downgrade on the second jump. Ando has also had issues with her double axel-triple toe loop combination, both falling and under rotating the pass at the Rostelecom Cup and nixing the combo entirely when she struggled with it during the women's free warm-up at NHK. Particularly with the intense media scrutiny in Japan, Ando will have much more pressure placed on her at this event being the top female Japanese skater, a position she has little experience filling. Ando has historically not done well at the Grand Prix Final: While she has qualified four times, she has never brought home a medal.

Outlook: Ando is one to perform at her peak whilst the underdog, and with Asada out of the Grand Prix Final, entering the competition as Japan's premier female skater will bring about all sorts of new challenges for the two-time world medalist. Perhaps these challenges are what Ando is most looking forward to overcome, however, as she has commented that she absolutely wants to erase the disaster that was her 15th place finish in Torino. Although Ando did win both of her Grand Prix events, that accomplishment is not especially great when considering that her scores at Rostelecom and NHK were the two lowest winning scores throughout the six events, and her score of 162.55 at the latter event would not have even medaled at either Trophee Eric Bompard or Cup of China. However, perhaps, that is good news for her. Ando has not often shown to be capable of staying at her peak for an extended period of time, and poor showings at this event in 2006 and 2008 did not negatively impact her showing at the World Championships for those seasons in the least. Claiming an Olympic berth here would be ideal, and if Suzuki doesn't regain her Cup of China form, Ando should have no issue doing so. Considering Suzuki's poor showing at Skate Canada, and Ando's victories over Leonova and Wagner at Rostelecom and NHK, Ando appears destined for her first Grand Prix medal, but Ando winning this competition is about as likely as Sarah Palin disappearing from the public eye.

Yu-Na Kim (South Korea)

Top Achievements: 2009 World Champion, 2007 and 2008 world bronze medalist, 2006 and 2007 Grand Prix Final Champion, 2008 and 2009 Skate America Champion, 2006 and 2009 Trophee Eric Bompard Champion, 2009 Four Continents Champion, 2008 Grand Prix Final silver medalist, 2007 and 2008 Cup of China Champion, 2007 Cup of Russia Champion

Pros: The Roger Federer of ladies figure skating, South Korean superstar Yu-Na Kim owns both the current World title and the world record scores in the short program, free skate, and overall segment score. She achieved her world record free skate score of 133.95 at the recent Trophee Eric Bompard, where she completely jettisoned her triple flip and had four of her five non-jump elements only graded at a level three. Kim has been undefeated since this event last year, and the last time any of the 2009 Grand Prix Final qualifiers beat Kim was when Miki Ando won her world title in March 2007. Kim has breathtaking jumps, including her signature triple-triple combinations, and is the only woman to have ever received at or above +2 GOE on a jumping pass under the code of points in international competition. Kim also demonstrates commendable speed and interpretation in her two current programs: a flirtatious, scintillating short to the medley from the "James Bond" movies, and a polished, elegant long to Gershwin's "Piano Concerto in F."

Cons: Kim had one of her worst long programs in memory at her most recent competition, Skate America, losing that phase of the event to Rachael Flatt, a skater whose score at the 2009 World Championships was a staggering 17.94 points off of securing a medal. Kim had far less pressure and outside competition than she will in Tokyo or in Vancouver at Skate America, and her overall score at that event would not have medaled at last year's worlds. Kim has a colossal amount of pressure from the people of her homeland and she was seen in tears after performing her short program at last year's Grand Prix Final (held in South Korea), where she popped open her triple lutz. The current world champion has also struggled with maintaining her health for key competitions. Kim was ill for this event last year, and entered both the 2007 and 2008 World Championships battling a back injury. At all three competitions, Kim missed the gold medal at stake. Kim has not landed seven clean triples in a single program since 2007 Cup of Russia, and has not even done six cleanly since 2008 Skate America. Kim has substandard positions on her layback, Bielmann, and spiral positions, and she appears to be no longer keeping the triple loop jump in her repertoire.

Outlook: Kim picked the perfect competition to have a poor long program at Skate America. She seemed relieved, albeit disappointed, in the kiss and cry following the skate, which perhaps means that she just needed an event to get a bad skate out of her system, much like last year when she had a shaky outing at GPF only to win Four Continents and Worlds thereafter. If Kim goes clean, or close to it, she will simply be untouchable for the other women. Kim has broken 76 in the short program three times, whereas the highest score ever posted by any of her competitors at this event was a 70 by Rochette. Adding 5.5 points for the lost triple flip to her Trophee Eric Bompard long program score, Kim would be looking at a mark near 140. Add in some positive grades of execution for that element (during her short program at Skate America she received +1.8 GOE), a few more level fours for her spins, and a slight increase to her PCS score, Kim could be looking at a LP score near 145 if she goes absolutely clean. Taking Asada's score from WTT where she had an excellent free and adding back the points she lost for two downgraded jumps (plus some additional positive GOE) her score "only" hovers around 137. Kim has this gold medal and, most importantly, the Olympic gold medal, in the bag if she skates near her full potential. Winning this event will be a help to Kim's confidence and will win her a medal and some prize money, but in the end will count for hardly anything. If Yu-Na Kim is able to enter the Olympic Games in February in prime physical condition and a confident mindset, her name will be plastered adjacent to 1 on the scoreboard. There will simply be no way for anyone to catch her, not even a hometown boost for Rochette, not even three triple axels for Asada.

Alena Leonova (Russia)

Top Achievements: 2009 NHK Trophy silver medalist, 2009 Cup of Russia bronze medalist, 2009 Finlandia Trophy Champion, 2009 World Championships-7th place, 2009 World Junior Champion, 2009 European Championships-4th

Pros: The vivacious Russian is continuing to build off of her breakthrough last season with a win at the Finlandia Trophy and two medals on the Grand Prix circuit, which enabled her to qualify to this competition for the first time. Leonova finished a strong 7th at her first World Championships last year, and is noted to be one of the more consistent jumpers in the world today. Leonova has a full arsenal of triples (besides the axel) and has upgraded her jumping content from last season with a new triple toe-triple toe combination. Leonova is a fan favorite for her spunky personality on the ice and shows that off to its best with a short program to the Russian folk song "Barynya" and a long program to the soundtrack from "Chicago." Leonova could gain political favor at this event, as she is the only European lady to have qualified.

Cons: Leonova has the lowest average short program score from the Grand Prix series among the six qualifiers, and has the second lowest average PCS score from the long program. Also, Leonova's seasons best scores in the long program and overall segment total are the lowest among the six qualifiers. Leonova has unsatisfactory extension and her spins are far from brilliant. Leonova received edge calls for each of her four lutzes that she did throughout her two Grand Prixs, and she has failed to complete her new triple-triple combination after four attempts in competition thus far. Although Leonova always sells her programs, there is little else in her skating that supports her program components score. Her transitions are relatively choppy and her choreography is not the most difficult; therefore, the judges have yet to give her superior marks in that area.

Outlook: Leonova may be lacking in polish and refinement, but one thing she has that cannot be said for any of the other top European ladies is consistency. Gedevanishvilli, Korpi, Kostner, Lepisto, and Poykio struggle with varying degrees to consistently land their jumps and to avoid meltdowns at major events. Kostner is absolutely the top European lady at her prime, but that she has been not since her meltdown in Los Angeles and 6th place finishes at Trophee Eric Bompard and Cup of China. If Kostner doesn't get her act together, Kiira Korpi may end up being Leonova's top rival for a European title if Korpi's over scoring from Cup of China continues. This is where the importance of this event comes to Leonova. A strong placement here, and especially a podium finish, should not only help Leonova's confidence, but it also should give her a boost from the judges come Europeans to vie for the gold medal. Leonova is doubtful to reach the medals stand in Vancouver, but strong showings here and at Europeans should help the 19-year-old Leonova to stay competitive and to fend off a potential influx of upcoming Russian ladies skaters in the next quadrennium.

Joannie Rochette (Canada)

Top Achievements: 2006, 2008, and 2009 Skate Canada Champion, 2009 World silver medalist, 2008 and 2009 Four Continents silver medalist, 2005-2009 Canadian Champion, 2004 and 2008 Trophee Eric Bompard Champion, 2006 Olympic Games-5th, 2004 Grand Prix Final bronze medalist

Pros: Rochette is one of the best examples of skaters who combine the technical and artistic aspects of skating seamlessly, as her skating possesses strong, high jumps, and creditable musicality and choreography. On the technical side, Rochette not only avoids the wrong edge deductions on the lutz and flip, but also rotates her jumps consistently, and she is rewarded for being one of the few female skaters to consistently demonstrate those merits of fine jumping technique. On the artistic side, Rochette has strong skating skills and agility of the blade, and has augmented her expression and artistry over the past several seasons. Rochette has taken much effort into improving her ability to peak under pressure, whether it be touring with Stars On Ice or announcing publicly her intentions of winning a world championship medal last season. Having been successful in her endeavor to win a world championship medal last year, and having just recently won Skate Canada by over 20 points without skating at her optimum, Rochette has proven that she is entirely in the running to win Canada's first Olympic medal for ladies figure skating in over two decades.

Cons: Rochette had a meltdown during her short program at Cup of China, doubling the front end of her combination and leaving out the second jump entirely. She later went on to single her axel, finishing 7th in that phase and 3rd overall. The short program was what cost Rochette a medal at this event last year, and she also finished behind Cynthia Phaneuf (who had a fall) during the SP phase of the 2009 Canadian Nationals. Rochette has hopes of doing a triple-triple combination in her short, but has not once completed the element successfully. Rochette delivered a superb free skate at the Japan Open, a competition of little significance, but her condition went down at Cup of China and Skate Canada, where she executed weaker free skates that scored around 15 points lower than what she received at an inconsequential competition early on in the year. Rochette's potential scoring ability when going clean is considerably less than that of Kim or even Asada. Rochette's score for a clean, seven-triple long program at last year's Canadian Nationals was a 131.77, over two points lower than what Yu-Na Kim received in France for a five-triple program. Even when adding a hypothetical triple lutz-triple toe combination, Rochette's SP score at Skate Canada would still only be 72.7 (give or take depending on GOE and PCS), which is over three points lower than the personal bests of Asada and Kim.  These scores, of course, are given in the event where Rochette is to do a clean long program, something she has never done internationally, and when she is to do a triple lutz-triple toe combination in the short, something she has never done.

Outlook: Rochette is faced with a dilemma off the bat. On one hand, she needs a triple-triple in the short to stay within striking distance of Kim for the gold medal, but she has every potential to still be in the running for an Olympic podium spot, but not necessarily gold, with a triple-double combination. This is where the Grand Prix Final comes in handy. It will be the ideal event for Rochette to test out the triple-triple combination, and to see how her rivals, specifically Kim, are looking. Rochette would obviously enjoy a podium finish here, and two strong showings should easily do the trick, but the five-time Canadian champion has not been especially impressive thus far this season. Her Cup of China performances were uneven, and she had a shaky long at Skate Canada. Thus, it is possible that Rochette may perform below her optimum at this event as well, but even a poor outing shouldn't diminish Rochette's reputation entering the Games, as she has plenty of that already in the bank from her world silver last year. Both the Grand Prix Final and Canadian Nationals will be events where Rochette won't have much to lose, but she will still have much to gain. An international event against world class skaters and a national event at home should be the ideal combination of competitions to get Rochette fit for Vancouver.

Akiko Suzuki (Japan)

Top Achievements: 2009 Cup of China Champion, 2009 Four Continents Championships-8th, 2008/2009 Japanese Nationals-4th, 2008 NHK Trophy silver medalist, 2008 Finlandia Trophy Champion

Pros: Suzuki has made a resilient comeback from Anorexia to become one of the top female figure skaters in Japan. 2009 Skate Canada notwithstanding, Suzuki has been a fairly consistent competitor throughout the last two seasons and has shown to be especially consistent when skating in Asia. At Cup of China, Suzuki scored the second highest free skate score of this year's Grand Prix series en route to her first career Grand Prix victory. Suzuki finished 4th at last year's Japanese Nationals, a placement deemed too low by several fans who thought that she was robbed of a podium finish because of an unfairly downgraded triple salchow in her long program. Suzuki has a full arsenal of triple jumps (besides the axel) and skates with fervent passion and speed. Suzuki generally skates her best when she is competing in or near her home country, as last year's NHK Trophy, Japanese Nationals, and this year's Cup of China have shown. Suzuki is the only skater competing at this event who actually trains in Japan, let alone Asia.

Cons: Suzuki has never been a judge's favorite, in part due to her weaker transitions and extension. Suzuki's average PCS score during the Grand Prix for her long program is the lowest among the six qualifiers, and she is prone to receiving deductions for turning onto an inside edge for her lutz. Suzuki is not an especially strong spinner, and her spirals leave much to be desired as well. Suzuki is lucky just to have qualified to the Final after a poor outing at Skate Canada, where she only landed three clean triples (one marked down by an edge call), but she survived to stay in the top five after epic meltdowns from Cynthia Phaneuf and Caroline Zhang surfaced. Even with two of her best performances, Suzuki was only able to place 4th at Cup of China during the short program phase, and her winning long program had a substandard PCS score of only 52.56. Suzuki was the lowest rank qualifier to this event, so she will fulfill the unenviable task of skating first in the short program, a start position often destined for lower marks.

Outlook: Suzuki would want nothing more than to snatch her Olympic berth in Tokyo for the Grand Prix Final. Miki Ando should be favored enough at Japanese Nationals to get a medal through PCS even if she doesn't skate well, such as what happened last year at Suzuki's expense. The same cannot necessarily be said for Suzuki, however, particularly after her poor showing at Skate Canada. Fumie Suguri may not be performing well so far this year but one absolutely shouldn't count her out: in 2005, she placed 8th at Skate Canada and went onto win Japanese Nationals under an even deeper field than what will be in store at this year's competition. Yukari Nakano at her 2008 worlds form should also have no issue finishing ahead of Suzuki and claiming an Olympic berth. Suzuki always seems to perform well at home, however, and if she can regain her magic from Cup of China she could be looking at a podium finish and an Olympic berth coming from this event. Although, without the judges on her side, Suzuki will need to take the hard way to the medals stand.

Ashley Wagner (USA)

Top Achivements: 2009 NHK Trophy bronze medalist, 2009 Rostelecom Cup silver medalist, 2007 and 2009 World Junior Bronze medalist, 2009 U.S. Figure Skating Championships-4th, 2008 World Championships qualifier, 2008 U.S. bronze medalist, 2007 Trophee Eric Bompard bronze medalist

Pros: Wagner has always been a creditable jumper; however, since changing coaches to Priscilla Hill, the 2008 U.S. bronze medalist has matured her presentation immensely and shows off that improvement this season with a dramatic short to the soundtrack from "Once Upon a Time in America" and an elegant long to "Polovtsian Dances." Wagner won the long program at last year's U.S. Nationals with a program that only contained five triples, and she could have won the overall title were it not for a faulty short program. Wagner scored personal bests for the long program and overall segment total at the recent Rostelecom Cup. The 2008 U.S. bronze medalist takes full advantage of the rule allowing 10% bonus to be awarded for jumping pass after the midway point of a long program, as she does a triple loop-double axel sequence, a triple flip-double axel sequence, and a triple lutz deep into the program. A well-rounded skater, Wagner demonstrates both excellent speed and refined positions throughout her skating.

Cons: Wagner has an egregious flutz, and she has yet to not receive an edge call on that particular element this season. Wagner's triple-triple combinations seem to have disappeared, and she doesn't look capable of adding a triple toe loop as a combination jump, as she has a tendency to toe-axel her double toes (something she had a downgrade on at the 2009 U.S. Nationals). While Wagner is able to execute difficult jumps after the halfway point of a program, her stamina goes out the door when straight line footwork is concerned. Her straight line step sequence at the conclusion of her long program is fairly lethargic and makes for a poor concluding impression of her performance. Wagner has proven very susceptible to nerves: At last year's U.S. Nationals, she was completely in the running for a U.S. title, but an error littered short program prevented any hope of that happening. Wagner was only 16th at her first World Championships in 2008, and a shaky free at the NHK Trophy prevented her from winning a championship that was entirely within her grasp.

Outlook: The first order of business for Wagner is to replace her triple lutz in the short with a triple loop. The loop has been a solid jump for her this year and would actually get her more credit than a lutz with an "e" edge call, or even an "!" call. Wagner rearranged her jump layout several times last season, and appears to be doing the same this year as well. Hopefully, she won't be changing her jump layout too much more, but there are still some potentially easy switches of jumps in her long program that could be beneficial to her. Wagner has a fairly competitive jump layout for the long already, but her flutz at the end with an "e" call is going to get her about the same credit as a clean triple toe loop, so she would be wise to make that change as well. For a podium finish here, Wagner is going to rely on other skater's mistakes because she does not possess consistent triple-triple combinations or the high program component scores given to Kim, Rochette, and Ando. However, even just skating well and improving upon her personal bests will be a tremendous confidence boost for Ashley and will give her a leg up in the tight race for the two Olympic berths when U.S. Nationals arrive. Wagner has been scored well domestically for the last two years, and a strong finish here will help her create her own destiny toward making that Olympic team.


Gold: Yu-Na Kim (South Korea): Yes, she had one of her worst long programs ever at Skate America, but it has to be noted that every other top ladies skater has had, at the very least, a mini-meltdown in some shape or form this year. Kim has the top two overall segment totals this season and has proven to have a fairly comfortable margin for error even over her toughest adversaries.

Silver: Joannie Rochette (Canada): Rochette has the judges on her side and just needs those jumps to be the same. A couple of less than desirable skates throughout the Grand Prix should invigorate Rochette to skate with solidity here. A peaked Rochette should have no issue beating Leonova, Suzuki, or Wagner, even if they skate at their absolute best, and the Grand Prix Final has not historically been a great competition to Miki Ando, who has not looked so superior to Rochette thus far.

Bronze: Miki Ando (Japan): She never peaks for this event, but because of the huge advantage she will have on PCS over Leonova, Suzuki, and Wagner, Ando should be on the podium if she just skates decently. Competing at home and as the top ranked Japanese female could give Ando a slight boost to her marks as well, but on the flip side, Ando will be bound to feel more pressure at this competition, which could negatively impact her skating.

4th: Akiko Suzuki (Japan): She generally does well at home and can probably bounce back at least somewhat from her poor Skate Canada outing, but she simply doesn't have the polish nor the reputation behind her to give her a medal against far more seasoned skaters, unless of course she skates lights out.

5th: Alena Leonova (Russia): Her overall score from Rostelecom and NHK was higher than that of Wagner's, and Leonova did much better at her first worlds (7th) than Ashley did at hers (16th). Both will be making their debut here, but Leonova has slightly more momentum to ride off of from her silver medal at NHK.

6th: Ashley Wagner (USA): She should have an advantage on Leonova and Suzuki with PCS, but being that this is a major international event, it is possible that Wagner may succumb to pressure and not perform at her best. It is imperative for Wagner to deliver two quality skates, as she can often deliver one great program in a major competition, but not both.

That is all.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

2009 Skate Canada Ladies LP Live Commentary

Start Order

Warm-Up Group 1

11 40.48

10 45.50

9 47.48

8 53.10

5 Caroline ZHANG USA
7 54.58

Warm-Up Group 2
6 55.10

5 55.58

4 55.74

3 56.34

10 Alissa CZISNY USA
2 63.52

1 70.00

5:58 CT Judges being announced.
Warm-up group 1 on ice.
Arena appears to be nearly full.
Helgesson-decent 3S
Hecken-doubled 3T
Suzuki-good 3Z
Suzuki-good 3F
Zhang-3F+2T-landed (mule kick has gotten worse)
Zhang is in blue
McCorkell-good 2A
Warm-up concluded.

Joshi Helgesson (Sweden)
Sit spin-not low enough
2A-little off on landing but clean
3T-likely UR
3T-fall; will only be counted as a sequence
Spiral sequence-dreadful extension
2A+2T-landed; looked as though she had a 2R planned but didn't have enough speed to try it
Whoever cut the music should be shot
Footwork simplistic
Occasional moments of energy but movement doesn't match music. Extremely poor transitions.

TES: 32.85
PCS: 36.08
Ded: -1.00
Total: 67.93
Grand Total: 108.41

Sarah Hecken (Germany)
3T+3T-slight cheat on 2nd jump but landed
1R-long, slow entrance
Slow combo spin
Spiral sequence-slightly better than dreadful extension
3S-leaning to the right; two-foot; fall out; likely UR
Good energy in footwork but no involvement of entire body during step sequence
Good energy but relatively poor skating skills and transitions. Choreography is bland but she sells what she has.

TES: 45.50
PCS: 37.98
Total: 78.90
Grand Total: 124.40
Rank: 1

Jenna McCorkell (Great Britain)
3Z-fall; likely UR
Deathdrop to sit spin to pancake-decent
Spiral sequence-slightly better than dreadful extension
3F-both hands down
3T-big UR; leaning way to the left in air
Straight line step sequence-slow; looks very tired
Good speed in catch foot layback in spin combo
Her Cirque LP from last year was much better than this program. Not very difficult choreographically and her movement was very lethargic towards the end.

TES: 37.98
PCS: 39.04
Ded: -1.00
Total: 76.02
Grand Total: 123.50
Rank: 2

Akiko Suzuki (Japan)
3Z+2T+2R-good; a bit of a toe-axel on 2T
1A+3T-second jump looked UR
Spiral sequence-adequate
3F-nearly fell
3Z-stepped out
Flying camel to catch foot-a little slow; good centering
Straight line step sequence-good speed and expression
Flying camel to sit spin to sideways layback-decent
Carried artistry of the program well despite the many jump errors. Good speed and have transitions have improved but her consistency with hitting jump just vanished after the first pass.

TES: 47.98
PCS: 46.64
Total: 94.62
Grand Total: 147.72
Rank: 1

Caroline Zhang (USA)
2A-landed; no speed entering jump
Sit spin to pancake in spin combo traveled
3F-fall; will only be counted as a sequence
3R-slight cheat but landed
3S(slight cheat)+2T-landed
Circular step sequence-slow
Spiral sequence-a tad slow but positions are stunning
Excellent layback to pearl to Bielmann
Extremely flat program choreographically that goes nowhere. There was a particular section before the second 3F which had no choreo, no footwork, no arm movements or anything of that nature. Very poor skate.

TES: 39.32
PCS: 40.56
Ded: -2.00
Total: 77.88
Grand Total: 132.46
Rank: 2

Warm-up group 2 on ice.
Lepisto-good 3S+2T+2T
Czisny-good 3F
Rochette-landed (I believe) a 3S
Nagasu-3Z(slightly UR)+2T-landed
Rochette-fall out on 3F
Lepisto-popped lutz
Warm-up concluded.

Amelie Lacoste (Canada)
3R-good height; turned out
3F-turned out
3Z-landed; possible UR
3T-awkward landing but held on; possible UR
Spiral sequence-adequate
Straight line step sequence-good use of whole body
Spins decent but a tad sluggish throughout
Good speed in final spin
Finished after music
Transitions aren't extremely complex but overall a pleasant presentation from her. Good musicality.

TES: 40.23
PCS: 46.80
Ded: -1.00
Total: 86.03
Grand Total: 141.13
Rank: 2

Cynthia Phaneuf (Canada)
3T+2A+SEQ-great 3T; fall on 2A
3Z-fall; possible UR
3R(very forward; possible UR)+2T-landed
Deathdrop to sit spin to pancake-good
Spiral sequence-adequate
3Z-fall; UR; will only be counted as a sequence
Straight line step sequence-nice movement and musicality
3T-landed but will receive zero points because it was the third type of triple jump repeated in the program
This program is lovely when the jumps are on par like they were at the 2009 Four Continents Championships but if falls flat when jumps are not on, as was the case tonight. Disaster.

TES: 34.90
PCS: 46.00
Ded: -4.00
Total: 76.90
Grand Total: 132.48
Rank: 3

Laura Lepisto (Finland)
3Z-landed; possible UR
3R-very forward on landing
Deathdrop to sit spin to pancake-good
Sideways layback to catch-foot layback-good
2A-turned out
Spiral sequence-adequate
Nice energy in circular step sequence
Final spin combo-good speed but traveled slightly
She is really coming into her own as an artist, but her jumps are regressing. Good program with great expression and speed.

TES: 48.62
PCS: 54.16
Total: 102.78
Grand Total: 158.52
Rank: 1

Mirai Nagasu (USA)
3Z+2T+2R-slight flutz; little speed coming out; landed
2A(a little slow)+2T-landed
3F-very nice with steps coming before it
Nice sit spin to pancake
Layback-(good position but traveled) to catch-foot layback and Bielmann (very good positions but Bielmann traveled slightly)
Spiral sequence-excellent
3Z-fall out; slight cheat; flutzed
3R(possible UR; turned out)+2T-possible UR
Circular step sequence-Good speed but expression is (oddly) non-existant
Good final spin
Much improved speed but presentation was a bit better at COC. Very nice posture and good flow in-between elements.

TES: 51.69
PCS: 48.80
Total: 100.49
Grand Total: 156.83
Rank:  2

Alissa Czisny (USA)
3R-landed but UR
2A+2A+SEQ-a little slow but solid
3Z-fall; likely UR
3T-landed but slow coming out
Spiral sequence-very nice
3R-fall; possible UR
Step sequence-speed is average; good use of whole body
Final two spin combos excellent
Presentation of program is very mature and actually has improved somewhat from last season. Unfortunate falls broke flow of the program but decent effort.

TES: 46.57
PCS: 55.44
Ded: -2.00
Total: 100.01
Grand Total: 163.53
Rank: 1

Joannie Rochette (Canada)
3Z+2T+2R-good; slight bobble of 2R
3F-fall out; good steps preceding it
3R-hand down
Spin combo-good
Spiral sequence-a little wobbly; extension adequate
Good energy in circular step sequence
Finished slightly after music
Not as on top of the music and sharp choreographically as she was when she debuted this program at the Japan Open. Still, excellent skating skills and transitions.

TES: 50.02
PCS: 62.88
Total: 112.90
Grand Total: 182.90
Rank: 1

Final Standings
1 Joannie ROCHETTE CAN 182.90
2 Alissa CZISNY USA 163.53
3 Laura LEPISTÖ FIN 158.52
4 Mirai NAGASU USA 156.83
5 Akiko SUZUKI JPN 147.72
6 Amelie LACOSTE CAN 141.13
7 Cynthia PHANEUF CAN 132.48
8 Caroline ZHANG USA 132.46
9 Sarah HECKEN GER 124.40
10 Jenna MCCORKELL GBR 123.50
11 Joshi HELGESSON SWE 108.41

The GPF lineup is Kim, Ando, Rochette, Leonova, Wagner, and Suzuki

That is all.

2009 Skate Canada Pairs LP Live Commentary

Start Order

Warm-Up Group 1
1 Ksenia OZEROVA / Alexander ENBERT RUS
8 40.28

7 51.14

6 52.42

4 Caydee DENNEY / Jeremy BARRETT USA
5 55.46

Warm-Up Group 2
5 Anabelle LANGLOIS / Cody HAY CAN
4 55.52

6 Jessica DUBE / Bryce DAVISON CAN
3 57.90

2 65.80

1 74.16

12:28 CT judges being announced.
12:30 Warm-up group 1 on ice.
Denney-clean 2A
Denney/Barrett-decent triple twist
Landed 3Z throw from Ozerova/Enbert
Warm-up concluded.

Ksenia Ozerova / Alexander Enbert (Russia)
SBS 3T-fell out of his
double twist
2A+1A+SEQ-funky landing from her on 2A
Throw 3Z-fall
Positions not fully extended on lift
Spiral sequence-relatively poor
Throw 3R-double footed, possible UR, good turning transition into it
SBS Spins-off unison on transitions and on the exit, he was yelling very loudly (I know many pair skaters do that but he was yelling especially loudly; is there a deduction for that?)
Completely missed entrance on lift and aborted element
Very slow pair spin
Very poor program technically and artistically

TES: 40.16
PCS: 33.92
Ded: -1.00
Total: 73.08
Grand Total: 113.36

Kirsten Moore-Towers / Dylan Moscovitch (Canada)
SBS 3S+2A+SEQ-wobbles from both on first jump but completed; clean 2nd jump; fairly long transition between two jumps
Throw triple twist-low and closely caught
Throw 3R-low but landed
Decent pair spin
Excellent, difficult lift combo. Crowd loves it.
Spiral sequence-very weak extension from him
Throw 3S-turning transition entering element; forward on landing
SBS 3T-landed
SBS Spins-traveled noticeably but decent unison
Fairly undetailed program artistically but good technical elements.

TES: 55.21
PCS: 40.56
Total: 95.77
Grand Total: 146.91
Rank: 1

Caitlin Yankowskas/ John Coughlin (USA)
Triple twist-spiral preceding it; good
Throw 3S-slow going in; slight bobble on landing
SBS 3T-good
SBS Spins-off unison at times and hers traveled noticeably
Spiral-nice extension from her; awful extension from him
Throw 3R-fall out; slow entrance
2A+2T+SEQ-fell out of his; totally off transition going into 2T
Good lift combo but slightly rough exit
Pair spin-a tad slow but decent
Improved presentation.

TES: 50.87
PCS: 40.32
Total: 91.12
Grand Total: 143.61
Rank: 2

Caydee Denney/Jeremy Barrett (USA)
Throw triple twist-slightly wobbly on exit
SBS 3T-landed well; slightly off unison
Throw 3Z-very nice; revolutions finished well before landing
SBS Spins-decent unison; his spins traveled
Lift combo good but exit was awkward
Spiral sequence-relatively poor
Throw 3R-very good control on landing
Decent final pair spin
Great speed but choreography doesn't always reflect music. Flow across the ice is improving but they could emote to one another and the audience more. His shoulders are always tense and lifted. Good skate overall.

TES: 57.07
PCS: 44.56
Total: 101.63
Grand Total: 157.09
Rank: 1

Warm-up group 2 on ice.
Dube/Davison-good throw 3R (slightly forward on landing)
Davison-good 3S
Warm-up concluded.

Anabelle Langlois / Cody Hay (Canada)
Throw triple twist-slightly rough exit
SBS 3S-hand down and possible UR from her
Throw 3S-slow, peculiar entrance but well done
SBS 3T+2T-heavily double footed and possibly UR 3T from her
SBS Spin-off unison in places
Good lift combo
Spiral sequence-poor
Throw 3F-heavily double footed
Music suits their style fairly well but their choreography is very simplistic, so the overall presentation is somewhat bland.

TES: 56.67
PCS: 47.76
Total: 104.43 (Big overscore; should not be ahead of Denney/Barrett)
Grand Total: 159.95
Rank: 1

Jessica Dube/Bryce Davison (Canada)
Throw triple twist-a little low
2A+2A+SEQ-singled his 2nd jump, skaters came extremely apart from one another
SBS 3S-fall out
SBS Spins-off unison in several places
Death spiral-very low to ice
Throw 3Z-good
Good one-handed lift
Spiral sequence-relatively poor
Throw 3R-leaning to the right and hand down
Good extension from her during lift combo
Final pair spin-missed last position
Very emotional program. Nice presentation.

TES: 52.95
PCS: 56.08
Total: 109.03
Grand Total: 166.93
Rank: 1

Maria Mukhortova/Maxim Trankov (Russia)
Throw triple twist-good
SBS 2A-solid but very far apart
SBS 3T+2T-good
Good lift combo
Wardrobe malfunction-had to stop program
His boot strap apparently came off
Continuing now
Throw 3R-very nice recovery
Spiral sequence-not terrible
Throw 3S-double footed
SBS Spins-off unison in places
Final pair spin-decent but transitions between spins are a bit rough
Good presentation but interruption ruined the spark they had afterward.

TES: 63.11
PCS: 58.80
Ded: -2.00
Total: 119.91
Grand Total: 185.71
Rank: 1

Aliona Savchenko/Robin Szolkowy (Germany)
3T+3T+SEQ-scratchy landings from both on first 3T
Throw 3F-beautiful
1A-spread eagle going into it
SBS Spins-good
Pair spin-decent
Throw triple twist-decent
Good lift
Spiral sequence-best one today
Throw 3S-nice
Dramatically improved technically from their TEB disaster but the program really is not an improvement over their original one. It has some good moments (like the ending) but the program as a whole is quite bland.

TES: 66.55
PCS: 66.00 (Overscored)
Total: 132.55
Grand Total: 206.71
Rank: 1

Final Standings
1 Aliona SAVCHENKO / Robin SZOLKOWY GER 206.71
2 Maria MUKHORTOVA / Maxim TRANKOV RUS 185.71 2 2
3 Jessica DUBE / Bryce DAVISON CAN 166.93 3 3
4 Anabelle LANGLOIS / Cody HAY CAN 159.95 4 4
5 Caydee DENNEY / Jeremy BARRETT USA 157.09 5 5
6 Kirsten MOORE-TOWERS / Dylan MOSCOVITCH CAN 146.91 7 6
7 Caitlin YANKOWSKAS / John COUGHLIN USA 143.61 6 7
8 Ksenia OZEROVA / Alexander ENBERT RUS 113.36 8 8

Check back for live commentary of ladies free at 7:00 ET tonight.

That is all.

Friday, November 20, 2009

2009 Skate Canada Mens SP Live Commentary

Start Order

Warm-Up Group 1

2 Jeremy TEN CAN
4 Denis TEN KAZ

Warm-Up Group 2
11 Patrick CHAN CAN

6:54 CT Judges being announced.
Warm-up group one on ice. Big crowd responses for two Canadians and Contesti.
Denis Ten-good 3F
Contest-very nice 3Z+3T
Carriere popped lutz
Russell-near fall on 3F
Jeremy Ten-fall on 3A
Mahbanoozadeh-good 3Z
Carriere-landed but wobbly 3A
Contesti-nice 3A
Warm-up concluded.

Joey Russell (Canada)
3A-fall out; possible UR; interesting entrance
3F+3R-leaning to side on landing of 3F; 3R looked UR
3Z-landed but weight forward
Sit spin needs to be lower
Footwork somewhat simplistic but well executed
Sit spin combo a tad slow
Decent final spin
Very good energy and extension for such an inexperienced skater. Some good nuances with the choreography, particularly in the sequence with the spread eagle and the head  movements prior to preparing for the triple lutz. He loses that presentation in places but good effort.

TES: 34.72
PCS: 27.10
Total: 61.82

Jeremy Ten (Canada)
3A-fall; looked rotated
3Z-looked flutzed; leaning to the right and fall out; no combo
Deathdrop to sit spin-traveled slightly
Circular step sequence-quirky movement in places but not nearly as fast as he is capable of doing the footwork
Straight line step sequence-same thing as circular step
Traveled on forward catch position spin
Good speed and good edge work, but his body was not at all centered during his jumps.

TES: 21.84
PCS: 25.30
Ded: -2.00
Total: 45.14
Rank: 2

Armin Mahbanoozadeh (USA)
Funky fall at beginning during choreo
3A-a litte low but good landing
3F+3T-nice delayed rotations; excellent
Interesting position in spin
Decent footwork
Sit spin-nice and low but traveled slightly
Good expression in footwork but movement not especially difficult
Good last spin
Very nice expression throughout. He has a strong sense of musicality and if he could combine that with a bit more speed and complexity in his choreography he will be a forced to be reckoned with come the next quad. Nice effort.

TES: 39.70
PCS: 26.60
Ded: -1.00
Total: 65.30
Rank: 1

Denis Ten (Kazakstan)
3Z+3T-slight wobble on 3T but otherwise great
3F-slightly off in air but well controlled landing
Great spin combo which includes Bielmann attempt
Great circular step; good speed and energy and very quick turns
Pancake spin traveled ever so slightly
Slight slip on straight line footwork, working music well but head movements are far too over the top
Just beautiful speed and jumps. Expression could use improvement but other than that quite creditable skating.

TES: 43.60
PCS: 31.85
Total: 75.45
Rank: 1

Stephen Carriere (USA)
3A-hard fall back; looked rotated
3Z(weight slightly forward)+2T-I think he could have still done the 3T
Sit spin slow and traveled greatly
Straight line step-noticeably slower than Denis Ten's but good use of whole body
Good pancake spin
Great last spin combo
Edges have improved but not as fast as he is capable of. Expression has improved slightly but still has a ways to go. Didn't convey the strength of the music completely in choreography.

TES: 31.70
PCS: 28.70
Ded: -1.00
Total: 59.40
Rank: 4

Samuel Contesti (Italy)
Western themed program
3Z+3T(3T was low)-landed, slight cheat
3R-UR, bailed out mid air, split jump preceding it that had especially poor extension
Sit spin-nice and low but weak leg extension
Great expression in footwork; good steps; maintains theme of program throughout
Last spin combo a tad slow
Very entertaining as always. Posture is not the best but has improved slightly.

TES: 36.60
PCS: 30.70
Total: 67.30
Rank: 2

Warm-Up Group 2 on ice.
Brezina-fall on 3A
Chan-good 3F+3T
Brezina-excellent 3F+3T
Chan-hands down on a jump(I believe 3A; missed it)
Preaubert-good 3A
Warm-up concluded.

Daisuke Takhashi (Japan)
Very dynamic expression at start
3F(slightly forward)+3T-landed; looked slightly cheated
Good camel to sit to layback variation in spin combo
Very musical straight line step sequence; perhaps not as fast as he is capable of but very good
Great circular step
Very musical and dynamic program with superb energy. He seems to be showcasing his expression much more so than before his injury. Good skate.

TES: 39.20
PCS: 37.10
Total: 76.30
Rank: 1

Jeremy Abbott (USA)
3F+3T-a tad low but well controlled landing
3A-great entrance; a little wobble on landing but clean
Circular step-excellent; great expression, great abandonment in movement
Nice low sit spin
Straight line step-good but not as musical as circular step
Brilliant program. Circular step sequence is to die for. He nixes together technique and artistry very well.

TES: 42.60
PCS: 36.40
Total: 79.00
Rank: 1

Michal Brezina (Czech Republic)
3A-very high; a tad wobbly
3F+3T-good height on both jumps; well controlled landing
Sit spin combo-traveled on second variation; a tad slow
Step sequences-movement is OK but his expression is almost non-existant
Decent last spin combo
He has great speed but his posture a bit hunched over in places (like his triple flip entrance). This program could be sold a lot more than it currently is but great jumps.

TES: 40.02
PCS: 31.90
Total: 71.92
Rank: 4

Alban Preaubert (France)
3F(somewhat stiff legged landing)+3T-good
Sit spin variations not low enough
3R-possible UR; leaning to the right in air
Very fun footwork; loses speed in places
Spin combo traveled slightly and is slow
Very humorous section in choreo
Great expression in straight line step
Nice program for him and he was really committed, as always, to entertaining to the crowd. Very unpolished and skating skills are abonimable but a good skate for him.

TES: 38.50
PCS: 33.80
Total: 72.30
Rank: 4

Patrick Chan (Canada)
Good speed at start
3A-fall; looked rotated
3F(weight back)+2T-landed
3Z-good height; held on
Superb movement in circular step; improved expression
traveled following deathdrop part of spin combo
Deathdrop to sit spin-traveled greatly and wobbled in spin position; messy
Great straight line step sequence
Good last spin
The lingering effects of his injury are still evident. Great program that actually looks improved slightly from last year choreographically but the technical elements were a mess. Finished slightly after music.

TES: 31.74
PCS: 37.90
Ded: -1.00
Total: 68.64
Rank: 6

Kevin Van Der Perren (Belgium)
1A-looked wobbly on entrance
Good low spins in combo but not especially fast
Straight line step sequence-not especially dynamic nor difficult
Circular step sequence-same as straight line
Good last spin
Finished after music
Good combo and solo jumps but other than that a very flat skate.

TES: 29.06
PCS: 29.80
Total: 58.86
Rank: 11
He is disgusted by the scores.

Standings After Mens SP
1 Jeremy ABBOTT USA 79.00 1
2 Daisuke TAKAHASHI JPN 76.30 2
3 Denis TEN KAZ 75.45 3
4 Alban PREAUBERT FRA 72.30 4
5 Michal BREZINA CZE 71.92 5
6 Patrick CHAN CAN 68.64 6
7 Samuel CONTESTI ITA 67.30 7
9 Joey RUSSELL CAN 61.82 9
10 Stephen CARRIERE USA 59.40 10
11 Kevin VAN DER PERREN BEL 58.86 11
12 Jeremy TEN CAN 45.14 12

I will not be providing commentary for mens free tomorrow but I will be doing live commentary for pairs free and ladies free.

That is all.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

2009 Skate America Mens FS Live Commentary

Start Order

Warm-Up Group 1
12 51.45

11 55.90

10 59.05

4 Jialiang WU CHN
9 59.16

8 59.24

6 Yasuharu NANRI JPN
7 59.35

Warm-Up Group 2
7 Andrei LUTAI RUS
6 60.64

5 65.95

4 67.55

10 Brandon MROZ USA
3 71.40

11 Florent AMODIO FRA
2 72.65

1 79.17

7:58 CT Judges have been announced. First warm-up group out on ice.
Reynolds-clean 3R; dressed in black and gold
Renyolds-fall on 3F in warm-up
Wu-fall out of 3R
Nanri-lovely 3Z
Bradley-popped axel
Verner-turned 4T into triple; fell out
Bradley-landed 4T+2T
Warm-up concluded.

Igor Macypura (Slovak Republic)
3A+3T-good height; well done
3Z+3T-barely held onto 3T but landed
Step sequence slow
Good low sit spin
Spin combo traveled
1R-landed on two feet
1A-slow entrance
1F-totally off in air; landed on two feet
2A-almost no preparation or speed going into it but landed
No energy left
Extremely pedestrian choreography. No speed whatsoever throughout program.

TES: 47.07
PCS: 46.50
Ded: -1.00
Total: 92.57
Grand Total: 144.02

Tomas Verner (Czech Republic)
4T-fall but looked roated
3T-opened up in air but landed
Footwork good but not as fast nor as expressive as he is capable of executing that element
Sit spin position could have more stretch
3F-good, maybe lipped
Straight line step sequence-a bit slow; footwork is good, however
Final compo spin-traveled slightly
Very methodically skated program. Not much spark or speed but much better than Friday.

TES: 68.06
PCS: 71.10
Ded: -1.00
Total: 138.16
Grand Total: 194.06
Rank: 1

Kevin Reynolds (Canada)
2T(intended 4T+3T)
3A-(hunched way forward on entrance; landed jump while leaning forward on landing)+2T
3A-possible UR
3S-weight back but well controlled landing
Footwork-needs to get down into ice more; more speed needed
Straight line step sequence-movement aren't bad but don't reflect music
Traveled in final spin combo
Has improved slightly artistically; his short program demonstrates that more so than his long.

TES: 72.28
PCS: 58.90
Total: 131.18
Grand Total: 190.23
Rank: 2

Jialiang Wu (China)
3Z+3T-Weight was slightly back but adjusted very well in the air; nicely done
Spin combo fairly slow
Hunches over while stroking
3R-two footed; fell out
3F-awkward landing; possibly double footed
Speed and energy is completely gone
Simplistic footwork
Straight line step sequence-extremely slow; void of any actual steps
3Z-hard fall to the side
No presentation.

TES: 55.00
PCS: 51.10
Ded: -1.00
Total: 105.10
Grand Total: 164.26
Rank: 3

Ryan Bradley (USA)
4T+2T-slightly forward on landing of 4T but landed
Great expression in footwork
3A-leaning to the left slightly but well controlled landing
3Z-great landing and finishing arm position
Straight line step sequence-slow and not as difficult as others' step sequences but well-executed; good energy
3F-barely picked in; fell out of
3R-good; little bit slow coming out
1S+3T-way off on salchow but centered himself and pulled off 3T well
2Z+2T+2T-landed but slow going in and out of jumping pass
His skating skills are fairly poor but he really does all that he can with expressing to the crowd. Good skate.

TES: 70.38
PCS: 68.50
Total: 138.88
Grand Total: 198.12
Rank: 1

Yasuharu Nanri (Japan)
3Z-little slow coming out of it but solid
3A- fall
Good centering in spin combo but sit spin not low enough
3R-struggled to solidify landing but clean
3F-nice height; forward on landing; possibly lipped
Footwork OK but simplistic; very slow during the last part of it
3F-heavily two-footed; looked lipped; perhaps slightly UR
3S-turned out
Circular step sequence-good movement; could be faster
Adequate skating skills but needs to keep up the speed of the program as it continues. Relatively bland presentation.

TES: 51.69
PCS: 58.80
Ded: -1.00
Total: 109.49
Grand Total: 168.84
Rank: 4

Warm-Up Group 2 on ice.
Lutai-good 3R+2T
Mroz-Good 3F+2T+2R
Amodio-Low but landed 3R
Lysacek-Good 3A
Lysacek-Good 3S
Mroz-Fall on 4T
Warm-up concluded.

Andrei Lutai (Russia)
3A-little forward but landed
4T-hands down; fall out
3A-fall; will only be credited as a sequence because neither 3A was in combination
Good straight line step
Good speed in start of spin combo; slowed down and traveled towards the end
Circular step sequence-slow
Last sit spin to pancake not low enough
3S-landed awkwardly but held on
Some good moments in the choreography but quite bland after that.

TES: 49.15
PCS: 60.00
Ded: -2.00
Total: 107.15
Grand Total: 167.79
Rank: 5

Shawn Sawyer (Canada)
3A-two-footed; turned out; possible UR
3Z-leaning forward on landing; possible flutz
Great split jump transition
Great musicality in step sequence
3R-good with split jump preceding it
2A+3T-hand down
Great spiral
2A-turned out
Very entertaining; nicely executed straight line step sequence
3S(scratchy, possibly two-footed landing)+2T+2R-landed
Spin combo a tad slow; traveling; great positions
Very entertaining and polished program.

TES: 68.86
PCS: 69.10
Total: 137.96
Grand Total: 203.91
Rank: 1

Adrian Schultheiss (Sweden)
3F+3T-fall out
3A+2T-little awkward going into 2T but landed
Quirky step sequence; very contemporary
3A-fell out of; possible UR
3Z+2T-very low 2T; fell out of
Straight line step sequence-sluggish
Music is very different but the program itself, with the exception of a few parts, is actually quite generic. Needs to improve speed, particularly when he is entering or coming out of a jump. Noticeable improvement from his performance at this event last year.

TES: 56.32
PCS: 61.20
Total: 117.52
Grand Total: 185.07
Rank: 5

Brandon Mroz (USA)
4T-fall; looked rotated
3F(very slow coming out)+2T+2T(hopped out)-landed
Improved footwork; good quick turns
2A+2T-spread eagle coming before it; intended 3A+2T
3Z+2T-very close to the boards but landed
3R-put free leg down very quickly
Decent straight line step sequence
Skating skills have improved but jumps were just not there tonight. A poor warm-up directly translated to his skate.

TES: 71.40
PCS: 61.40
Ded: -1.00
Total: 102.60
Grand Total: 174.00
Rank: 6

Florent Amodio (France)
2A-intended 4S
3A-held on
Very creative and expressive footwork
3A-turned out; will only be counted as a sequence
Random fall while stroking but comically shrugs it off
3S+3T-barely held on
3Z-step out
3F-double footed
3Z-fell out of; will only be counted as a sequence
Very quirky skater like Preaubert, Contesti, and Bradley, but has superior skating skills to them all. Good speed but his jumps were quite shaky tonight.

TES: 57.03
PCS: 68.30
Ded: -1.00
Total: 124.93
Grand Total: 197.58
Rank: 3

Evan Lysacek (USA)
3Z+3T-spread eagle going in; excellent
3A-swingy landing but looked rotated
3S-weight back; fall out
Step sequence-Good musicality but could use more motion throughout his entire body as opposed to doing so many arm movements
Nice sit spin to pancake
3A(possible UR)+2T-landed
3F(possible UR)+2T+2R-good landing with spiral preceding jumping pass
Great straight line step sequence
Very expressive program

TES: 77.55
PCS: 81.00
Total: 158.55
Grand Total: 237.72
Rank: 1

Overall Standings
1 Evan LYSACEK USA 237.72 1 1
2 Shawn SAWYER CAN 203.91 5 4
3 Ryan BRADLEY USA 198.12 8 2
4 Florent AMODIO FRA 197.58 2 6
5 Tomas VERNER CZE 194.06 11 3
6 Kevin REYNOLDS CAN 190.23 10 5
7 Adrian SCHULTHEISS SWE 185.07 4 7
8 Brandon MROZ USA 174.00 3 11
9 Yasuharu NANRI JPN 168.84 7 8
10 Andrei LUTAI RUS 167.79 6 9
11 Jialiang WU CHN 164.26 9 10
12 Igor MACYPURA SVK 144.02 12 12

That is all.

2009 Skate America Ladies SP Live Commentary

Starting Order

Warm-Up Group 1
6 Susanna POYKIO FIN

Warm-Up Group 2
11 Rachael FLATT USA
12 Yu-Na KIM KOR

5:59 CT Judges have been announced. Warm-Up Group 1 about to take ice. Gilles in pink; Glebova in green.
Gilles joking with Tom Z.
6:00 Competitors take ice.
Emily Hughes gets big ovation; one noticeably louder than compatriot Alexe Gilles.
Hughes is in black dress.
Gilles-clean 2A
Glebova-good 3T; Tara Lipinski commentating and mentions Glebova struggling in practice.
Hecken needs greater than a 128 total score to make Olympic team for Germany.
Poykio in blue dress with rhinestones.
Hecken-Clean 3S
6:07 Warm-up concluded.

Emily Hughes (USA)
1Z+2T-big mistake; very slow entrance
3F-landed well but likely UR
2A-good height and controlled landing
Spiral-good height of the free leg but leg is slightly bent. Back is too dropped.
Great layback to catch-foot layback to Bielmann
Good straight line step sequence
Decent final spin; a tad slow on the last few revolutions
Good expression and speed

TES: 21.56
PCS: 23.72
Total: 45.32

Tugba Karademir (Turkey)
2F+2T-didn't get down into ice on takeoff and big toe-axel on 2T
3S-OK; possible UR
Turned-in layback position
Spiral Sequence-nice leg line
Good spin combo
Footwork a bit simplistic
Last spin combo-well centered but a tad slow

FYI: Lipinski's commentary is awful.

TES: 27.50
PCS: 21.92
Total: 49.42
Rank: 1

Alexe Gilles (USA)
3Z+1T-possible UR on 3Z; double footed first jump
1F-weight off in air
2A-nice; good transition preceding it
Good layback but slow and poorly extended Bielmann
Nice spiral
Flying sit spin-not much amplitude; leg in sit spin not extended fully
Footwork starts off well but gets slower
Very elegant program but not nearly as strong as her SP from TEB.

TES: 24.04
PCS: 22.52
Total: 46.56
Rank: 2

Elena Glebova (Estonia)
3S-good but intended 3F
Spiral-relatively poor extension
3T+3T-very nice
Sit spin/pancake variation-well centered but a tad slow
Footwork-good in places but bland overall
2A-low but landed
Completely missed her flying sit
Decent final spins
Relatively bland program; she skated to a strong piece of music of which she had trouble living up to in her skating. I enjoyed her "Songs My Mother Taught Me" SP from last year more. Good skate technically aside from unusual spin error.

TES: 28.80
PCS: 23.48
Total: 52.28
Rank: 1

Sarah Hecken (Germany)
2T-intended 3T+3T but slow entrance; legs loose in air; forward on landing of 2T and didn't do combo
Slow spin
Very poor spiral
Decent catchfoot layback
Footwork-needs more speed; moves not finished; decent expression
Camel extension poor
Facial expression is decent but other than that her movements are very unpolished and slow. First jumping pass was off but the second and third were very clean.

TES: 24.10
PCS: 19.76
Total: 43.86
Rank: 5

Susanna Poykio (Finland)
3Z(very slow; leaning in the air, hand down and likely UR)+2T-landed
2F-fall out
Turned-in layback position
Spiral-dropped back; relatively poor free leg extension
Footwork slow
Finished after music
One of the worst skates I can recall seeing from her. Extremely bland, slow program

TES: 22.80
PCS: 23.92
Total: 46.72
Rank: 3

Warm-Up Group 2 on ice. Kim from same dress as TEB. Suguri from same dress from COC. Lipinski mentions Suguri having issues in practice.
Flatt in pink (I believe same one as COC)
Kim-Good 3F
Kim-Another good 3F.
Kim-good 3Z+3T
Flatt-Good but likely UR 3F+3T.
Warm-up concluded.

Joshi Helgesson (Sweden)
Nice expression at start
3T-landed well
3Z+2T-good height; landed; slight loss of speed coming out of 3Z
2A-good; spiral coming out
Spiral sequence-extension poor
Footwork a bit slow, lots of twizzle-esque movements
Turned-in layback position
Weak Bielmann
Very quirky presentation and a clean program; really needs to work on both polishing all of her positions and improving her transitions from element to element

TES: 29.48
PCS: 21.84
Total: 51.32
Rank: 2

Fumie Suguri (Japan)
3Z(slightly flutzed; free leg very crossed over on landing; possible UR)+2T-landed
3F-good control and height; slight cheat
Good speed in spin but positions are weak
Spiral extension relatively poor
Deathdrop-traveled slightly; sit spin could be lower
Footwork a bit slow; good expression
Finished slightly after music
Better attention to the music and the choreography than she has done in several previous programs. This program is quite a bit better than her LP.

TES: 29.28
PCS: 26.76
Total: 56.04
Rank: 1
3F apparently got downgraded

Elene Gedevanishvilli (Georgia)
2Z-legs too loose upon propeling up into the air
Nice spiral extension
Spiral immediately into 2A-slightly forward but controlled well
Good combo spin
Good use of edges in footwork; not as expressive as she is capable of
Nice sit spin/pancake variation
Not as much spark as she is capable; a good program overall but the technical mistakes seem to diminish her interest in the performance

TES: 27.90
PCS: 24.28
Total: 52.18
Rank: 3

Julia Sebestyen (Hungary)
3Z+2T-great height and control
3F-good height; possible slight cheat
Good donut spin
Spiral extension relatively poor
Traveling in layback; poor position; slow
Footwork-decent energy; a bit slow
Lacks flexibility and polish but has great height on her jumps and good speed. Decent energy.

TES: 32.10
PCS: 26.44
Total: 58.54
Rank: 1

Rachael Flatt (USA)
3F+3T(leaning to the right; fall; possible slight UR)
3Z-leaning to the side; didn't hold landing very long but clean
Spiral sequence-adequate
Good layback; a tad slow
2A-low but landed
Great energy in footwork
Good speed in final spin
Actually a very nice program aside from the opening fall. Much improved musicality and personality from COC.

TES: 33.40
PCS: 26.40
Ded: -1.00
Total: 55.80
Rank: 1

Yu-Na Kim (South Korea)
3F-very good
Layback through to Bielmann-good speed; positions not great but improved
Spiral-good speed; position not great but improved
Good deathdrop to sit spin
Footwork-very good expression; a tad slow in places
Good final spin
Excellent expression and speed; she really got into the character of the program even more so than at TEB. Fabulous.

TES: 44.00
PCS: 32.28
Total: 76.28 (New World Record!!!)
Rank: 1

Standings Entering LP:
1 Yu-Na KIM KOR 76.28 1
2 Rachael FLATT USA 58.80 2
3 Julia SEBESTYEN HUN 58.54 3
4 Fumie SUGURI JPN 56.04 4
5 Elena GLEBOVA EST 52.28 5
7 Joshi HELGESSON SWE 51.32 7
8 Tugba KARADEMIR TUR49.42 8
9 Susanna PÖYKIÖ FIN 46.72 9
10 Alexe GILLES USA 46.56 10
11 Emily HUGHES USA 45.32 11
12 Sarah HECKEN GER 43.86 12

Commentary of men's free to start in 25 minutes.

Friday, November 13, 2009

2009 Skate America Mens SP Live Commentary

Start Order

Warm-Up Group 1

2 Andrei LUTAI RUS
3 Jialiang WU CHN
6 Yasuharu NANRI JPN

Warm-Up Group 2

7 Florent AMODIO FRA
10 Brandon MROZ USA

7:59 CT. Judges being announced. Todd Sand is technical specialist.
Warm-Up Group 1 on ice. Bezic and Joyce also commentating this competition.
Macypura and Sawyer almost collided.
Bradley landed 3A in warm-up. Sawyer landed 3A in warm-up with a cheat on landing.
Nanri-turn out on 3A.
Nanri-Did 3A again; leaning to the side and possibly UR but held the landing position.
Warm-Up Group 1 concluded.
Karen Kwan in attendance coaching Igor Macypura.

Igor Macypura (Slovakia)
Blues for Klook music
3A-fall; possible UR
3F-intended combo but no speed coming out of 3F and therefore didn't tack on a 2nd jump
3Z+3T-little speed coming out of either jump but completed
Very slow footwork in both step sequences
Camel spin traveled slightly
Extremely bland program

TES: 29.00
PCS: 24.45
Ded: -2.00
Total: 51.45

Andrei Lutai (Russia)
3T+2T-intended 4T+3T; opened up in the air; slow entrance
3Z-jump traveled back instead of up, but landed
Slight slip in footwork
Traveled slightly in spin combo and missed the camel part of the combo spin because he appeared off-balance
Not low enough in the deathdrop to sit spin at the end
Skate needed much more speed, attack, and energy. Slightly more interesting than Macypura's.

TES: 33.04
PCS: 28.60
Ded: -1.00
Total: 60.64
Rank: 2

Jiuliang Wu (China)
3Z+3T-good; slightly pre-rotated 3T
3A-good height; turned out
3R-looked slightly UR but landed
Slow step sequence
Nice amplitude in deathdrop; stumble on exit
Decent straight line step sequence and final spin combo
Definitely could use more speed and bigger movements.

TES: 33.06
PCS: 26.10
Total: 59.10
Rank: 2

Ryan Bradley (USA)
4T+2T+SEQ-UR and fall out on 4T; stepped in-between jumps so will not receive credit for the 2T
3A-swingy entrance; good height but a fall out on landing
3Z-nice arm position on landing
Combo spin-slow
Excellent step sequences; great personality
As always a very quirky presentation from Ryan Bradley; he is able to mask some of his weaknesses in skating skills and transitions in this short program versus the long program. Relatively poor posture. Entertaining program but I have seen him emote to the audience even more than he did tonight.

TES: 30.94
PCS: 29.30
Ded: -1.00
Total: 59.24
Rank: 2

Shawn Sawyer (Canada)
Good speed
3A-fall out; looked slightly UR
3F(slightly leaning)+3T-landed
2Z-opened up on 1st revolution
Great extension in all spin positions
Good incorporation of upper body in circular step sequence; great musicality
Straight line step sequence-not quite as dynamic as circular footwork but still very good
Great extension in Y-scale spin
Dynamic finish
Really great program; a shame about the mistakes technically. Very musical and showed a lot of attention to detail with artistry.

TES: 34.60
PCS: 31.35
Total: 65.95
Rank: 1

Yasuharu Nanri (Japan)
3F+3T-possible double foot; slightly UR on 2nd jump
2Z-way too far forward in air; two-footed
Step sequence decent; could have just a bit more speed and presentation
Deathrop to sit spin-sit spin could be a bit lower
Circular step sequence good not great
Overall the program is decent on pretty much every level but there is nothing unique or exciting in it.

TES: 29.30
PCS: 30.05
Total: 59.35
Rank: 3

Warm-Up Group 2 on ice. Reynolds fall on 2Z in warm-up- not good for someone so reliant on jumps. How the hell is Schultheiss in this top group of two?
Reynolds landed what looked like a 3A. Amodio-low but landed 3F.
Mroz-fall out on 4T.
Warm-up concluded.

Florent Amodio (France)
Good speed
3A-nice; lovely twizzle series immediately following it
3Z-somewhat off but landed
Great turning elements in footwork and very quick, continuous movement
Flying sit spin-not low enough and traveled slightly
Great expression in final step sequence
Very finely put together program.

TES: 39.90
PCS: 32.75
Total: 72.65
Rank: 1

Adrian Schultheiss (Sweden)
3Z+3T(possible UR)-slightly rough landing
3A-little speed coming out but landed
Great speed in combo spin
Good movement in footwork but slow
Straight line step sequence-decent
Flying sit spin-nice and low; decent speed
Well I'll eat my words from earlier! Not a stunning performance by any means but a huge improvement from his work at this competition last year. Shows more polish and refinement in his choreography than he has previously but the height and speed of his jumps need improving.

TES: 37.80
PCS: 30.75
Ded: -1.00
Total: 67.55
Rank: 2

Kevin Reynolds (Canada)
4S(double footed)+3T-landed
1A-slowed down completely on entrance
3Z-little low but landed
Good deathdrop to sit spin to pancake
Footwork-little slow, expression has improved
Straight line step sequence-musical but again a bit slow
Artistry has definitely improved, but an unfortunate and peculiar mistake on the 3A attempt. Fun program but didn't sell it to its full potential.

TES: 28.70
PCS: 30.35
Total: 59.05
Rank: 8

Brandon Mroz (USA)
4T+3T(turn in-between)-struggled but good fight
3A-turned out; possible slight UR
Good low sit spin
3Z-very nice
Movement in footwork is good but his expression does not relate to the fun nature of the music at all. Serious music seems to suit him a bit better.

TES: 40.90
PCS: 30.50
Total: 71.40
Rank: 2

Evan Lysacek (USA)
3A-looked UR
3Z+3T-slight UR on 2nd jump but landed well
3F-very good but lipped slightly
Good flexibility in pancake through to sit spin
Lots of expression in footwork; good speed; arm flailing at full force
Very well put together program with excellent energy

TES: 39.62
PCS: 39.55
Total: 79.17
Rank: 1

Tomas Verner (Czech Republic)
4T-fall; UR
2A-popped open but landed
Nice speed in footwork but spark is gone
Quirky expressions but mistakes have diminished overall impression of the program
Complete disaster
Huth seems to be ultimate coach of headcases: Dytrt, Kostner, Verner

TES: 21.80
PCS: 35.10
Ded: -1.00
Total: 55.90
Rank: 11

1 Evan LYSACEK USA 79.17 1 (Would be 83.87 if 3A had gotten ratified, although it was rightfully not)
2 Florent AMODIO FRA 72.65 2
3 Brandon MROZ USA 71.40 3
4 Adrian SCHULTHEISS SWE 67.55 4
5 Shawn SAWYER CAN 65.95 5
6 Andrei LUTAI RUS 60.64 6
7 Yasuharu NANRI JPN 59.35 7
8 Ryan BRADLEY USA 59.24 8
9 Jialiang WU CHN 59.16 9
10 Kevin REYNOLDS CAN 59.05 10
11 Tomas VERNER CZE 55.90 11
12 Igor MACYPURA SVK 51.45 12

That is all.

2009 Skate America Pairs SP Live Commentary

6:20 CT Live commentary of pairs short program at the 2009 Skate America is to come.

Start List
Warm-Up Group 1

1 Xue SHEN / Hongbo ZHAO CHN
2 Brooke CASTILE / Benjamin OKOLSKI USA
3 Amanda EVORA / Mark LADWIG USA
4 Stacey KEMP / David KING GBR

Warm-Up Group 2

7 Tatiana VOLOSOZHAR / Stanislav MOROZOV UKR

6:29 CT Judges being announced. Referee is Vanessa Riley.

Shen/Zhao, Castile/Okolski, and Evora/Ladwig get big crowd responses in warm-up. Commentary from Sandra Bezic and Andrea Joyce.

Arena a little less than half full.
Andrea Joyce just announced that this is Shen Xue's 31st birthday. Happy Birthday Shen!
Good throw 3F from Castile/Okolsi.
6:37 CT Warm-up concluded.

Shen Xue/Zhao Hongbo (China)
throw triple twist-stunning amplitude
Throw 3R-great transition preceding it; beautiful landing, not as high as they are capable of
SBS Spins-improved
Pair spin a bit slow
Beautiful straight line step sequence
Very unusual position in death spiral
Excellent transitions and expression. Should be impossible to top for the remaining pair teams tonight.

TES: 41.40
PCS: 32.96
Total: 74.36 (New personal best)

Brooke Castile/Benjamin Okolski (USA)
3S-doubled his; fell out (and maybe doubled) hers
Throw triple twist-fairly low and awkward position when he caught her
Throw 2F-She barely picked in; her weight was back in the air
SBS Spin-little off unison
Decent pair spin
Program has a fun feel to it but they don't convey that much in the choreography, and probably didn't show that expression even more so because of the mistakes. Good speed. Discussing in Kiss and Cry how they want to rearrange some of their elements.

TES: 26.32
PCS: 23.20
Total: 49.52
Rank: 2

Amanda Evora/Mark Ladwig (USA)
Very nice speed
Throw triple twist-decent
SBS 3S-UR and fall from her; her blade almost touched his leg as she was getting up
Throw 3R-forward on landing but good entrance
SBS Spins-a little off
Decent pair spin
This music was used in the intro fluff piece of the 2004 Olympic Gymnastics team final for the women. Very quirky pair with nice athleticism that really needs to work on consistency and security of landing positions.

TES: 28.86
PCS: 22.18
Ded: -1.00
Total: 50.14
Rank: 2

Stacey Kemp/David King (Great Britain)
Nice extension from both
Split double twist-unremarkable
SBS 2F-landed
Throw 3R-no move in the field going in but very well done
SBS Spins-Off unison
Spiral in entrance to lift
Y-scale spiral to death spiral-very off balance and then basically omitted the element
Best quality of this team is extension, and their best technical element is their throw. Very simplistic skate, both technically and choreographically, and a peculiar mistake on the death spiral.

TES: 23.78
PCS: 19.68
Total: 43.46
Rank: 4

7:05 CT Warm-up Group 2 on ice. Good throw 3R from McLaughlin/Brubaker in warm-up.
Stunning throw triple twist from the Zhangs in warm-up.
Clean SBS 3S from McLaughlin/Brubaker, the element they have been having issues with in practice and previous competitions.
Step-out from Morozov on a side-by-side jump.

Keauna McLaughlin/Rockne Brubaker (USA)
Throw triple twist-good
SBS 3S-singled hers; fall out on his
Decent SBS-spin
Throw 3R-nice; slight loss of speed coming out
Great lift
Pair spin traveled slightly
Finished after the music
Very mature, polished program, but one which doesn't showcase their speed and athleticism to their potential.

TES: 32.50
PCS: 26.04
Total: 58.54
Rank: 2

Meagan Duhamel/Craig Buntin (Canada)
Throw double twist-good height
SBS 3T-good
SBS Spin-decent
Y-scale spiral into death spiral
Good lift
Throw 3Z-good transition preceding it; weight back in air but fought to keep landing
Very dynamic finish
Not a very polished pair but this team has both great energy and relates to the music and the audience. Nice skate.

TES: 33.84
PCS: 25.80
Total: 59.64
Rank: 2

Tatiana Volosozhar/Stanislav Morozov (Ukraine)
SBS 3T-fall out from him
Throw triple twist-very nice
Good lift
Throw 3R-leaning slightly to right side but good control on landing
SBS Spin-a little off in places
Slow footwork
Nice death spiral
Very strange music choice; parts where the woman is gasping made me gasping for the program to end. Very nice extension from her; good speed from both.

TES: 35.30
PCS: 26.40
Total: 61.70
Rank: 2

Dan Zhang/Hao Zhang (China)
Throw triple twist-very nice
SBS 3S-doubled hers
Throw 3R-lovely height and landing
Death spiral-lost speed when she changed to the second position
SBS Spin-OK until exit; she completely missed the sit spin
Program doesn't suit her at all; he actually makes an attempt to express the fun of the program. Footwork is a tad slow and appears even slower when matched against the quickness of the music. Very little extension as Bezic mentioned.

TES: 29.92
PCS: 26.92
Total: 56.84
Rank: 5

Standings After Pairs Short
1 Xue SHEN / Hongbo ZHAO CHN 74.36 1 (World Record)
2 Tatiana VOLOSOZHAR / Stanislav MOROZOV UKR 61.70 2
3 Meagan DUHAMEL / Craig BUNTIN CAN 59.64 3
4 Keauna MCLAUGHLIN / Rockne BRUBAKER USA 58.54 4
5 Dan ZHANG / Hao ZHANG CHN 56.84 5
6 Amanda EVORA / Mark LADWIG USA 50.14 6
7 Brooke CASTILE / Benjamin OKOLSKI USA 49.52 7
8 Stacey KEMP / David KING GBR 43.46 8

Men's SP commentary to come shortly.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

NHK Ladies LP Live Commentary

Start Order

Warm-Up Group 1

12 36.26

11 40.66

10 44.28

4 Annette DYTRT GER
9 44.86

8 45.96

7 47.22

Warm-Up Group 2
6 47.64

5 52.34

4 53.64

10 Yukari NAKANO JPN
3 54.92

11 Miki ANDO JPN
2 56.22

12 Ashley WAGNER USA
1 56.54

Warm-Up Group 1 on ice.
Meier singled lutz. Phaneuf-nice 3Z.
Sarah Meier went over to the referee in a distraught manner and it looks like she is going to withdraw. No announcement has been made.

Becky Bereswill (USA)
2Z-flutzed, bailed out in air, double footed
Nice spiral extension
3R-landed with nice spiral preceding it
2A-looked like she was going to tack on a combo but didn't; low landing
3Z-flutz, possible two-foot
Footwork doesn't match the music
1T-bailed out in air
Very flexible skater but at times quite awkward looking.

TES: 38.56
PCS: 43.60
Total: 82.16
Grand Total: 118.42

Oksana Gozeva (Russia)
2A-good height
Great speed in catch foot layback
2A-turned out
Good final spin
Finished after music
Very mundane program. Gozeva has little expression or personality but does have a fair amount of spring in her jumps and speed in her spins.

TES: 41.71
PCS: 41.60
Total: 83.31
Grand Total: 123.97
Rank: 1

Shoko Ishikawa (Japan)
3S-held on
Spin combo traveled
Very bent free leg in standard spiral
3F-fall; possible UR
Relatively weak donut spin
Slip in footwork
3T(possible UR)+2T
Very flat performance. Speed is decent but doesn't express herself well to the audience.

TES: 36.35
PCS: 40.00
Ded: -1.00
Total: 75.35
Grand Total: 119.63
Rank: 2

Annette Dytrt (Germany)
3F-forward but landed
2A-not as good as first but landed
Spiral-nice speed, positions inadequate
Good speed in footwork
Last two spin combos-good speed, traveled a little
Very pleasant skater to watch. Skates with solid speed and does make an effort to relate to the audience. Mature but simplistic program choreographically.

TES: 36.91
PCS: 44.24
Total: 81.15
Grand Total: 126.01
Rank: 1

Sarah Meier has withdrawn.

Cynthia Phaneuf (Canada)
Skating her "Mission Cleopatra" long program from last season
3R-forward on landing but landed
Weak extension on spiral
Strange, so she just switched the 3F with the 3R on a dime? Because had she done the lutz in the beginning she would have been repeating three triples. Smart decision because her flip is not a good jump. Very mature program that suits her well, but quite simplistic choreographically. Very behind music the entire way but somehow managed not to go overtime.

TES: 49.33
PCS: 46.48
Ded: -1.00
Total: 94.81
Grand Total: 142.03
Rank: 1

Warm-up Group 2 on ice. Leonova landed 3R. Nakano landed 3F.
Ando fell out of 2A+3T (UR). Wagner looks relaxed.
Ando good 3Z. Wagner good 3R.
Warm-up has concluded.

Yan Liu (China)
3F-pretty good
3R-turned out slightly
Weak Bielmann
Adequate spiral
3T+2A+SEQ-good; possible slight cheat on 3T
Footwork relatively slow
1S-spiral preceding it
Yan Liu is somewhat elegant but is unbelievably boring. Makes Rachael Flatt look like Katarina Witt.

TES: 36.85
PCS: 42.00
Total: 78.85
Grand Total: 126.49
Rank: 2

Alena Leonova (Russia)
3T+3T(possible UR)-step out
Spirals not good but improved from last season.
3Z-held on
3F+2T(slightly toe-axeled)-landed
Flying deathdrop to sit spin-traveled slightly
3S+2T+Tano2R-very good
Best long program from her so far this season. Should ditch the 3T+3T because the combo has failed her four out of four tries. Excellent energy, very fun to watch.

TES: 57.07
PCS: 51.44
Total: 108.51
Grand Total: 160.85
Rank: 1

Laura Lepisto (Finland)
3T+2T-loss of speed coming out of 3T
Spin combos well centered
Adequate spiral
Excellent footwork
Significantly improved expression and great musicality. This is a nice program from her but some mistakes technically.

TES: 44.95
PCS: 53.60
Total: 98.55
Grand Total: 152.19
Rank: 2

Yukari Nakano (Japan)
Great donut spin
Good spiral
3T-possible slight UR but landed
3S-UR; fall
Great spins throughout
The program is not nearly as strong as her "Giselle" LP from last season. She hardly gets into the character of the music and portrays it, which is a shame because she has been making strides artistically over the past several seasons.

TES: 44.51
PCS: 53.92
Ded: -1.00
Total: 97.43
Grand Total: 152.35
Rank: 2

Miki Ando (Japan)
3Z-fell out
2A+2T-good but didn't do intended 2A+3T
Nice low sit spin
3R-very good
Spiral extension relatively poor
3Z-good but will only count as a sequence because neither had a combo
3T+2R(UR)-nearly fell
Very good expression in step sequence
Final spin combo traveling
A good program for Miki. Has some kinks to work out with the jumps but she did demonstrate more expression and choreography than several of her past programs.

TES: 48.93
PCS: 58.40
Total: -1.00
Grand Total: 106.31
Rank: 162.55

Ashley Wagner (USA)
Spin combo traveled slightly
3S-fell out
3R+2A+SEQ-shaky on landing of 2A; possible UR on 3R
3F+2A+SEQ-barely held onto landing of 2A
Slow footwork
Very elegant program

TES: 45.61
PCS: 53.84
Total: 99.45
Grand Total: 155.99
Rank: 3

Final Standings

1 Miki ANDO JPN 162.55
2 Alena LEONOVA RUS 160.85
3 Ashley WAGNER USA 155.99
4 Yukari NAKANO JPN 152.35
5 Laura LEPISTO FIN 152.19
6 Cynthia PHANEUF CAN 142.03
7 Yan LIU CHN 126.49
8 Annette DYTRT GER 126.01
9 Oksana GOZEVA RUS 123.97
10 Shoko ISHIKAWA JPN 119.63
11 Becky BERESWILL USA 118.42