Friday, July 16, 2010
The Pairs Short
Liberty is being held a week earlier this year and boy does it feel like an odd time for a skating competition. Between the heat and the humidity, this boy has never been so glad to freeze his little Polish ass off inside an ice rink.
This event officially marks the Post Johnny Era of figure skating, but his legacy lives on. Walking into Ice Works, it was immediately evident that there were fewer gays at San Francisco Pride a few weeks back.
The skating costumes are always a bit much to take in after the off season. How much is a yard of illusion mesh going for these days?
While waiting for the senior pairs, we watched what we thought were the junior pairs (turned out to be the novice.) After seeing a brother-sister team unable to muster mere moments of unison, we felt oh so proud of our country's supremacy in this discipline. We put on such a showing each and every year.
I did manage to spot a few adopted daughters walking around. Nina Jiang looks taller than before, but she is every bit as adorable as usual.
New rules are being tested out for the first time. A number of the UDel pairs performed spiral sequences in their short programs, but the rules actually call for the insufferable side by side step sequences. Given that all of the pairs are choosing slow music, these already slow sequences appear never-ending.
Most of the pairs just looked unprepared and out of sorts. So many SBS double axels were missed. There were a few highlights of the evening.
Erika Smith and Nathan Bartholomay are skating to another short program that leaves the audience feeling hot and bothered. It is immediately evident that they are dating by the end of the first bar of music. Their choreography and transitions were infinitely more interesting than any of Delilah's pairs, but their elements had a few hiccups. Given their lack of height difference, their lifts present a challenge. The lasso lift had a poor dismount, but they did manage a nice split double twist. One thing you can say about the girls from UDel is they know how to LAND their throws with some seriously steady edges. Their SBS Triple Salchows were sort of landed. There were stumbly/two foot/turn outs going on, but it was an accomplishment for this point in the season. Most of the other pairs didn't even attempt SBS triples.
Gretchen Donlan and Andrew Speroff skated. They skated to Moonlight Sonata and had a number of problems. They deserve mention because he is seriously hot, she is quite pretty and their split triple twist is bangin.
Brittany Simpson and Nate Miller wound up winning the short with their Pink Panther program. He looks like he's been trading the light beers for Guinness lately, but she is sassy and charismatic enough to be an ice dance diva. One cannot take their eyes off of her. This music WORKS for her. He adds nothing. SBS Double Axels, Low Triple Twist, hand down on Throw Triple Salchow, and SBS spins came undone. The program will be a good one and it is a welcome relief from the slow and dull numbers the judges are being subjected to.
The highlight of the night was Felicia Zhang and Taylor Toth's new Claire de Lune program. Debussy works for them. Together for a year now, the Junior National Champions look like a real pair. The unison has developed and they're finally relating to one another. There was even a moment during their spiral sequence (which will be changed to a step) where Felicia grabbed Taylor's head during a transition to an ina bauer. Felicia and Tay simply work well together. She is the rock. He is the diva. They have wonderful speed, good lifts, and she has seriously amazing throws. Felicia did put her foot down for support on the landing of her huge throw triple loop. She is wearing a total MK Chinese Good Luck necklace and it is working for her. Their sbs triple toes were landed cleanly, but she did take off and land before he jumped. Tay did NOT want to be rushed on his triple toe. He took his sweet ass time because he was NOT going to miss it. If you've never seen TayTay's hair, it is magic on the ice. He really embraces the 'wind in the hair' look.
Kaye Zhang was relatively pleased with the program. They are really coming together and were the class of the field. Unfortunately, doing a spiral sequence instead of a step sequence wound up costing them the lead. Simpson and Miller won the short program.