Wednesday, January 13, 2010

And Off They Go

The skating world was out in force to send off the Delaware figure skaters to Nationals this weekend. Walking in the UDel ice rink, one can feel the spirit of Tara and all of her jumping frenzies. They were times that I felt I needed to run off the ice and take a drive in the van until I could wrap my head around my triple loop-triple loops.

There were so many ice dancers between the UDel skaters and the group from Aston. There were a ton of Cannuscios and Lorellos skating...some even together. The family that ice dances together... thankfully we weren't subjected to any brother-sister pairings. The Cannuscio-Lorello dance team actually skated to 'Hernando's Hideaway' and Ms. Cannuscio channeled some serious Jamie Silverstein.

As with many ice shows, there is always one up and comer who is so wonderful that you think about stealing them the way Madonna 'adopts' people in Malawi. Emmaunel Savary was such a burst of wonderful energy. The little tour de force skated to the Simpsons and had some serious speed and jutzpah...attempting triple flips, a friple salchow and a triple loop. The little wonder kid absolutely BLURRED a forward scratch spin with speed that would make Uncle Dick proud.

I am most impressed with my 'adopted daughter' Felicia Zhang, who is coming along splendidly in both singles and pairs. Felicia is quite the consistent competitor and always manages to lands her jumps and throws with strong flowing edges. My daughter has taken to pairs skating so quickly that it is easy to see her becoming one of best pairs skaters in the country in no time. She will hereby be referred to as Kyoko for displaying that kind of competitive intensity and reliability. Even her level 4 skating mom would have to be impressed with the triple flips and triple lutzes that she has been landing. This is a girl who was only attempting a triple toe at Regionals a few months ago.

Tay and Felicia are really coming along as a pair team. Aside from a rare fall on a throw triple loop and some spins issues, one wouldn't automatically know that they've only been skating together since July. Tay is absolutely the John Zimmerman of the team and is the dramatic diva between the two. Now we need to have a serious talk with their choreographer about their music edit. Although this was only supposed to be a 'test program,' they are competing Irina's 'Tarot Card Program' with Bohemian Rhapsody randomly spliced in the middle. This team is forgiven for having the best music choices ever for their exhibitions. They've already skated to 'Like A Prayer' and Judy Garland. I can only imagine what's next.

Michael Solonoski looks absolutely delicious in his new short program costume. The judges on the panel at Sectionals (gays and females alike) told him that he needed a much tighter shirt that showed off his muscles. Michael obliged and let's just say no one will be complaining about this costume. In the great tradition of another longtime Delaware skater, Ms. Weir, Michael tends to stick his ass out as he strokes around the rink. His coaches don't necessarily appreciate it, but the audience sure does.

Michael was noticeably exhausted on Saturday because he had a presentation for his architecture thesis that morning and only got three hours of sleep. Like Rachael Flatt, Michael Solonoski is an All-American girl who balances serious skating skills with being a mega genius. It should be noted that while he may look like he joins Evan at Hollywood Tans, Michael would never fake bake because it ages ones skin incredibly. He prefers using bronzer to get his World Champion glow.

If you've seen the videos of Belgosto and Domnina and Shabalin, you know how the ice dancers are looking. Tanith appeared tense and was yelling at skaters for getting in her way during the warm up. Word in Aston is that Belgosto are VERY stressed about Nationals. Their twizzles actually looked acceptable for once, but their programs just don't appear to be cohesive, fast, dramatic or original enough to hold off the serious momentum that Marlie has been generating this season.

As for Domnina and Shabalin...if you don't have anything nice to say... Drunksana did say that their dance spin aged him a good seven years. Pat Lipinski could not get over Max wearing white pants over his knee brace. Linichuk is going to have to come up with some serious mafia money if these two are going to be Olympic Champions.

Drunksana: He's making Maurizio look not so bad.

Melissa Bulanhagui's jumps are disgustingly impressive in person. She is exciting and definitely someone we're rooting for at Nationals. And yes Melissa, I'm still queening out over your program.

On the contrary, Ashley Wagner's jumps don't seem to be doing it for me. There is something very 'Hughesish' or 'Czisnyish' about them. Ashley is well trained, consistent and skates with a lot of speed, but the international judges are going to have a field day with that technique. Drunksana, Pat Lipinski, WestPalmBitch and I dashed over to Wilmington to catch their send off show but only managed to make it for Ashley Wagner and some odd group tribute to Priscilla Hill. Her skaters performed to 'Aint No Sunshine When You're Gone' and fell on purpose around the rink. I get that Priscilla is chill and dyes her hair all sorts of crazy colors now that Johnny left, but it was just a bit much.

Faiela and Scali didn't skate due to injury. Has anyone heard how serious it is?

PS: Can we retire Requiem For A Dream after this season? I'm starting to miss Carmen.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Send Off

The Detroit Area skaters performed their programs one more time before heading to Nationals.

It is a bit surprising that Davis and White did their new exhibition instead of their OD, but perhaps they are getting ready for their moment in the spotlight.

Jeremy Abbott's short program looks consistent and ready to ruffle a few Firebird feathers.

One of the funniest and most ironic things is how good Alissa Czisny looks. While the USFSA isn't looking for a repeat champion in ladies, it would be a delight if she finally put everything together and threw a wrench in what could be the mundane inevitable...

Videos courtesy of mysticchic.