Da Boys Duke it Out: Torino Worlds SPs

To Quad, or Not to Quad

Jeremy Abbott: Calm, cool, and collected! He was methodical, but clean, not attempting his quad, but getting through all of his elements. An enormous improvement over Vancouver. I’m proud of him for reigning it in, and seemingly successfully adjusting his mindset in such a short amount of time.

Takahiko Kozuka: He displays very fast, well centered spins. Although this program is not my style, he has evolved this to a level where it all came together…the rocker vibe imbued his appropriately edgy look, carriage, costume, dynamic edging, all in a very authentic manner. I can’t wait to see more from him, in 2010-11. As per Paul Wylie: “he will wrap this up.” And, he does!

Nobunari Oda: He really is all legs and ass. Wylie’s comment: “tremendous knees on this athlete” sounded like gay code for…well, I’ll leave it up to your imagination. 3 popped single jumps, REALLY? This Kostner-scaled meltdown may be the worst I’ve ever seen from a man on this level…yes, even worse than Verner. His program music doesn’t help…like bad Russian Liberace musak. I really feel for him, and wonder what happened. A little too much saké beforehand?

Patrick Chan (2nd): Amazing attack! I love his danceability, particularly in this Tango program. He exhibits such a strong physicality, and doesn’t waste a second of the program. He’s REALLY on…nailing his 3A, and effectively erasing the Vancouver stain on his record.

Daisuke Takahashi (1st): My friend John, who I enjoyed watching this event with, bills Dice-K as The Japanese Elvis. He repeats, but even improves on his greatness from Vancouver. I REALLY want Daisuke to take the gold here…Patrick has a lot more time. If you look under “flair” in the dictionary, you will find his name. He moves like a serpent, shifting his body every which way, and using every part of it to express.

Samuel Contesti: He fights for and manages cat-like landings on every jump. He really is sex on ice. I really preferred both his SP and LP last year. I think that’s part of why he hasn’t had the same success this year. I hope he can stage a real comeback next season.

Brian Joubert (3rd): He nails his 4T/3S. Although there is a lot of finger-pointing-as-choreography, but it’s hawt! Redemption! As cute as it is, I’m not a fan of his “running man” footwork moment. This may have been one of his greatest SP performances.

Michal Březina: He wins the Bubble Butt Award, hands-down! His program just oozes ease, and his jumps have such tight rotation. More than anyone else, he entertains here. He too has a very pleasing danceability, and his footwork is among the most interesting, as it furthers the musical story he was telling. He is effectively erasing the memory of countryman Verner.

Adam Rippon: I’m so glad he’s at this competition. This is one of my favorite programs of the season, for its emotive value. He executes a beautiful donut spin, and a perfect Rippon lutz. He can be very proud of this performance, despite a turn-out on his 3A.

Denis All-Of-Ten: Great triple axel! This is the Denis we saw in LA last season. I love his “headless” footwork spin! And, he offers a lovely nod to Plushy with the only televised male Biellmann in the competition. I can’t wait to see him grow in future seasons. He’s Ah-dorable here.

See complete SP results here.

Patrick vs. Daisuke, A Boxing Match

What is the difference between these two skaters, and their performances here?

Daisuke scores two punches for personality and pizazz, as he has more star quality, and an added twinkle in his eye.

Patrick strikes back with even smoother and deeper edging than Daisuke.

Daisuke undercuts with bigger and more dramatic jumps.

Patrick hits again with faster and more centered spins.

But, Daisuke scores a knock-out with more fleet footwork, despite Patrick also having some of the best footwork in the biz. Next round, the FS.

U.S. Berths: In the Danger Zone

The first and second US men (Abbott and Rippon) stand in 6th and 7th. 6 + 7 = 13. If they add a single point to their placement total, we lose our 3rd berth for Tokyo. My fingers are crossed. This is DANGEROUSLY close! On a different note, in regards to the camera-work, I hate the blade close-ups used on spins. Although I appreciate their intent, I always feel I’m missing out on something more important or expressive going on with the upper body.

The Inevitable Gravity of Aging

John was aghast when he saw Peter Carruthers and Brian Orser, exclaiming: “All my icons are tumbling!” Indeed…gravity is not our friend. But, when you consider that they were in their athletic primes in the mid-80s, they look to me about as they should (barring nips and tucks). I was amused that we only HEARD Andrea Joyce and Paul Wylie (literally never seeing them once), but SAW plenty of Tara and Johnny. Now, if that isn’t ageist, I don’t know what is.

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