Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Canadian World Team Intrasquad

Videos of a recent intrasquad from the Canadian World Team have surfaced.  Let's take a moment to discuss the name Coralie Susanna LeBlond Chartrand.  I believe that we all need to celebrate the ridiculously long names of French Canada.  Can you even imagine what it must be like trying to spell your name for a customer service representative in the great white north?!  That's '  D as in Daniel...."    Our girl, Ms. LeBlond Chartrand, looks like the alternate, but French Canadian politics came into play and the Gerber family has been slapped across the face yet again. (This time figuratively...)

Our French Canadian girl is dismounting bars with a front 1 1/2, but is only a step up from Betty Okino.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

This and That

The incomparable Kurt Browning killed it by performing to Moves Like Jagger during the opening of Battle of the Blades.  He is still the best male skater in the world.

As I feared, Tanith Belbin looked awkward without Ben dragging her around the ice.  Tanith has a fantastic diva personality, but she just didn't look comfortable on the ice herself.  This show really displays the individual talents of the pros and the hockey players.  We will get to see Tanith use her pairs background.

Note the individual talents of Elena Berezhnaya.  Her CSKA background shows.  Their choreography was simple, but it may pay off in the long run to learn how to walk before you run.

Mirai Nagasu's free skate from Nebelhorn.  I like the program better than last year's, but she needs to skate it with more authority.  Mirai has loads of talent.  She doesn't always skate with control or intention the way someone like Michelle Kwan does.  My inner Peggy Fleming needs to yell at her for not holding out her movements longer.  The spread eagle sequence is not as effective as she could be because she rushes through it and never allowed herself to have a true 'moment' on the ice.  If Mirai can get in better shape and double the amount of programs she does a day, this could be a successful season for her.  The difference between last summer and this summer shows.  Mirai now needs to take it up a few notches to compete with the top girls in the World.

Julianne Hough and Russell Brand are set to costar in The Mandate Project

Monday, September 26, 2011

Meryl + Extension + Adele

I love their improvement, but I wish they told more of a story with this music...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

This and That

Team China Update.  Lu Bu withdrew from the team due to injury and has been replaced by Yao Mingyong.

The OC Register broke part one of the Don Peters sex scandal today.  It is important to note that the reporter left out a part of the story, which is why Don really moved to California initially.  The writer may have more research to do.  While the allegations are from events from decades back, it is important to realize that there is a culture in the sport where it goes on.  A members of the USAG National Staff married their wife at 18, which is legal, but it also means that they were likely involved for years prior to the date of their nuptials.  Steve Elliot was famously banned from USAG for similar charges.  It is believed that Don Peters may have let his USAG membership lapse, which would make it difficult for the federation to do anything about the situation.  This story has been in the works for some time and it was attempted to be stopped.  It is important for parents and athletes to realize how easily this abuse can happen.  Several skating coaches have been taken to court for similar situations, one of whom Scott Hamilton vehemently defended despite substantial evidence.

Fashion on Ice took place yesterday.  The ice was reportedly chippy, but Alissa Czisny skated with confidence and nailed a triple lutz.  Meryl Davis had a rare fall, but retakes were done for the TV broadcast.  Jeremy Abbott complained about the ice and needed quite a few retakes...  Sasha Cohen was not in 2010 Nationals shape and performed at least one number without any jump attempts.

Lexie Priessman won three gold medals (and a bronze) in event finals at the Intl Junior Tournament, while Amelia Hundley added another three to her AA silver.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Evolution of Katia

This is how IMG marketed Katia the grieving widow in the US.  One must remember that her relationship with Ilia was kept under wraps for some time due to her public image.  Even wishing to get with her would be enough to get someone kicked off of a tour.

Where did THIS Katia come from...  ?!

International Junior Gymnastics Competition- AA

Lexie Priessman won the AA at the International Junior Gymnastics Competition despite some low scores all around.  Lexie needs to be nailing that beam set before she gets too tall.  Amelia Hundley finished second.  It is great for these girls to win when the pressure is on.  They couldn't afford a loss with the field at the event.  It is great for their mental strength to win when they have to.

When one watches Amelia Hundley, it is obvious that MLT works her hard like one of the oxen on the Oregon Trail.

This and That

Evan Lysacek told Phil Hersh that he isn't ready to commit to Skate America.  With the event just weeks away, it sounds like he won't be there.  Evan brought up that he lost the weight he needed to but still needs to gain more muscle mass.  I'm sure we'll be hearing about him drinking protein shakes with Ronnie and Pauly D any day now.  Evan isn't going to come back unless he is in top form.  He is not going to have the type of return to competition that Shawn Johnson has the Classics two months ago.  Frankly, if he wasn't in top form, he'd get hell for it from the press.  Evan says his goal is still Nationals and Sochi.  He hopes to be in fighting form by next season.

Mirai Nagasu won gold at Nebelhorn and actually won a long program.  Mirai's short has a ton of potential and shows growth, but she still needs the discipline that is going to take her over the top.  If she wants to compete with the top girls, she is going to need to get in better physical and mental condition.  Once again, Mirai's flip and lutz were underrotated in the long. Both lutzes received edge calls. She also underrotated a double loop.  Mirai's posture could be better in areas and her overall footwork can be sold with a bit more authority.  It is good to see just how improved Mirai's triple loop has become under Frank Carroll.  Her double axel is also landed with such authority.  Mirai does look to be light years ahead of her condition at Glacier Falls.  She certainly won't peak too early, but she never does.  The challenge for Mirai will be to take her skating up to a level that it has never been before.  Time is running out in terms of the federation believing in her 'potential.'

Volosozhar and Trankov are really upping their level of difficulty this season.  It has become obvious that they are advised by Tarasova in terms of their on-ice performance because they are beginning to struggle as her students typically do when she ratchets up the content of the programs.  V+T have gold in Sochi in mind and they need to be upping their game and developing consistency.  This season will not be as smooth-sailing as last season and it is already evident.  Their programs do not look sharp or performed with conviction by any means.  There is going to be an extensive learning curve over the course of the season and their final lift in the program shows just how exhausted they must be.  I predict errors on the side-by-side jumps and throw triple flip throughout the Grand Prix. Last year, their long program was never as solid or as well presented as their short program until the actual World Championships.

Johnny Weir will be performing to Lady Gaga and Ave Maria at Fashion on Ice.  It is nice of him to get new programs.

No surprise, Kanayeva captured AA Gold and swept RSG Worlds for the second time.  It was her closest competition of the week.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Memmel Out; McLaughlin In

Chellsie Memmel withdrew from the Pan Am Games due to an injured shoulder that she originally tweaked at last month's National Championships.  Earlier today, reporters published quotes from Chellsie that she'd only be competing beam and floor at Pan Ams.  This is quite the opportunity for Grace McLaughlin.  It is interesting that McKenzie Wofford wasn't named to the squad, as she has been hyped online rather extensively over the last few months.  Of the six major selection processes that Chellsie Memmel has been a part of, this marks the third time that she has been injured during the process/training.  It is also important to remember that she missed being named to the 2003 World Team initially due to injury and missed the 2004 Olympic Team for the same reason.  Not only will Chellsie have to fight a body that breaks down over the next year, she'll have to hope Martha Karolyi and Kathy Kelly believe in her enough to overlook her injury-prone track record.  It is a sad day, as Memmel looked amazing in her comeback this summer.

This and That

The Kerrs, Marlie and Alissa Czisny practice for Fashion on Ice.

Volosozhar and Trankov won gold at Nebelhorn.

Bazarova and Larionov finished second.

Denney and Coughlin finished third overall despite a fourth place finish in the free skate.

Mirai Nagasu leads after the short at Nebelborn despite an underrotated Triple Lutz.  At this stage in her career, Mirai shouldn't be having the technical issues that have plagued her for so long.  Her focus and lack of a consistent work ethic have also eroded her potential for years.  With only two spots for Worlds this year, it may be tough for Mirai to claim one of them.  This is a vitally important year for her career.  She is leading the short, but that is always her strength.  Finishing behind Elene Gedevanishvilli would've been embarrassing for our favorite absent-minded skater.

Evgenia Kanayeva continues to dominate RSG Worlds and is expected to sweep the event for the second time.

Jamie Silverstein will be performing with Ice Theater New York this October.

Jamie Silverstein Ice Dancing from Alexandria Rivera on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Hot Mess of the Week: Xander Alexander

It is Xander! Erase the A-L-E!

History Lesson: The Bezics

I saw a vignette on Sandra on Battle of the Blades and needed to dig up some old clips.  The Bezics were fan favorites in the '70s and early '80s, but their career was cut short after Val was injured by a TV crane during a practice session.  Note their wonderful stroking and edge quality.  It didn't matter that she was skating with her brother, Sandra still brought her signature sensuality, sex appeal and regality to every performance.  Note how she holds herself on and off the ice.  The Bezics had the opportunity to perform with John Curry.  Having John Curry approve of your skating was next to impossible, which means they 'made it.'  It is unusual for a pairs skater to go on to be a choreographer, but it isn't a surprise after watching Sandra skate.  Their skating had quality and magic that just wouldn't be rewarded by IJS.  Tall skaters need to unite and learn how to carry ourselves in the same regal and diva manner as Sandra Bezic the Ice Goddess.

Favorite Things Friday

What A Wonderful World is one of the greatest numbers Sandra Bezic ever choreographed.  From Tara Lipinski's majestic opening solo, the entire program just sings.  The costumes, the music, the lighting and the choreography were perfection.  Kristi and Kurt also really stand out.  Unfortunately, Scott had to provide his requisite cheese...but he is only at the very end so it doesn't ruin the entire number.

This and That

Carlotta Ferlito on MTV gimnaste.

A clip of Mao Asada's new Scheherezade short program.  The program was choreographed by Tatiana Tarasova and looks like it may bring out more of Mao's inner competitor and strength.  Mao is a lovely lyrical skater, but I've come to appreciate her attack and found her programs a bit forgettable last season.

Marlie will be performing to Adele's Someone Like You at this weekend's Fashion on Ice.  To die for!

Volosozhar and Trankov narrowly lead Denney and Coughlin at Nebelhorn.  Volosozhar and Trankov definitely looked far from even approaching their peak when they skated at the Russian Test Event.  It will be interesting to see how Denney and Coughlin fare this season, as they've already had to compete a number of times to earn assignments.  There is a danger that they could run out of steam by Worlds.

Results  (Videos will be posted when they show up online.)

Stephen Carriere is in second behind Yuzuru Hanyu.  Hubbell and Donohue are also in second after the short dance.

Link to the World Team Conference Call.  In PR Bullshitting 101, Shawn Johnson said she wasn't upset to not make the team, which is a far cry from what those at camp said.  It is beyond annoying that American athletes have to be politically correct at all times.

Polina Shelepen leads after the short program at the JGP Brasov Cup.

The lovely (but potentially too tall) Polina Korobeynikova is in second.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

USAG names Worlds & Pan Am squads

Howdy Kittens,

Catty Comments here! Your USA women's gymnastics teams for 2011 Worlds and Pan Ams have just been named, and they are:

2011 Women's World Championships Team
Oct. 7-16, 2011, Tokyo, Japan
Gabrielle Douglas, Virginia Beach, Va./Chow's Gymnastics and Dance Institute
Anna Li, Aurora, Ill./Legacy Elite Gymnastics LLC
McKayla Maroney, Laguna Niguel, Calif./All Olympia AOGC
Alexandra Raisman, Needham, Mass./Brestyan's American Gymnastics
Alicia Sacramone, Winchester, Mass./Brestyan's American Gymnastics
Sabrina Vega, Carmel, N.Y./Dynamic Gymnastics
Jordyn Wieber, DeWitt, Mich./Gedderts' Twistars USA
Non- traveling alternate: Shawn Johnson, West Des Moines, Iowa/Chow's Gymnastics and Dance Institute

Head coach: John Geddert of Geddert's Twistars USA
Asst. coach: Jiani Wu of Legacy Elite

2011 Women's Pan American Games Team
Oct. 24-29, Guadalajara, Mexico
Bridgette Caquatto, Naperville, Ill./Legacy Elite Gymnastics LLC
Jessie DeZiel, Rogers, Minn./Twin City Twisters
Brandie Jay, Ft Collins, Colo./GK Gymnastics
Shawn Johnson, West Des Moines, Iowa/Chow's Gymnastics and Dance Institute
Chellsie Memmel, West Allis, Wis./M and M Gymnastics
Bridget Sloan, Pittsboro, Ind./Sharp's Gymnastics Academy
Replacement athletes
Grace McLaughlin, Allen, Texas/WOGA Gymnastics
Hallie Mossett, Los Angeles, Calif./West Coast Elite Gymnastics
McKenzie Wofford, McKinney, Texas/Zenith Elite Gymnastics Academy

Head coach: Marvin Sharp of Sharp's Gymnastics
Asst. coach: Jiani Wu

What's notable is the youth movement Marta went with for the Worlds team. I'm so happy that she's throwing down for Olympic gold, and the team title this year is secondary. The only athletes with Worlds experience on the team are Raisman & Sacramone. Her risks ensure that she will have as much Worlds experience as possible from all of her major 2012 Olympic contenders. Marta will know exactly how all of these girls perform in big competitions before selecting a team for London.

Right now, Vega is assumed to be the alternate. She's a gorgeous, solid AA gymnast with no major weaknesses and no major difficulty scores. And she can actually dance.

Douglas is a HUGE risk - she is an excellent AA athlete with a good bars routine who is highly unpredictable in competition. She can hit, or she can completely melt down. Hopefully Marta can work the same training magic with Gabby that she did last year with the then-inconsistent Raisman. Either way, she will soon know what Gabby is capable of in major competition.

One-event wonder Anna Li is the feel-good Blind Side athlete of the year. In a major motion picture of this team, Morgan Freeman will narrate Anna Li's story. A recent UCLA graduate, instead of giving up on her Olympic dreams, she buckled down, continued to train at UCLA, then AOGC, then returned home to be once again coached by her parents at Legacy Elite, who happen to be the Team USA bars coaches du jour. SHE'S NOT EVEN ON THE NATIONAL TEAM. Yet here she is, gunning for London and gutting her way onto a Worlds team.

My TF lineup predictions are:
VT: Wieber, Sacramone, Maroney
BA: Douglas, Wieber, Li
BM: Sacramone, Clubfoot the Raisman, Wieber
FX: Sacramone or Maroney, Clubfoot, Wieber

This leaves the Pan Am team with three former World AA champions - Sloan, Memmel & Johnson. None of them are happy to be named to the B team. However, if any make lame excuses for dropping out of the competition, Marta will NOT be happy. I think they're stuck going to Guadalajara and getting a tan sandwiched between training sessions to impress Marta with their desire to make the London Olympic team.

Battle of the Blades 3: Game On (Highlights)

The glorious Sandra Bezic is sending DVDs this way for Battle of the Blades, so there will be plenty of coverage this season.  This is wonderful, as Dancing With The Stars just didn't do it for me the other night.  Unfortunately, CBC is not able to have a Battle of the Blades youtube channel due to music copyright issues.  This is also why DWTS doesn't rack up the hits on youtube.  Hopefully, some users will be able to upload more clips along the way.

Wade Belak Tribute

Lift Class

Once this season takes off, there will be plenty of men wishing they could practice lifts with Tanith Belbin.  Overall, the cast just looks hunkier and blonder this season.  Let's pray Sandra Bezic puts all of the guys in Paul Martini's jeans for at least one number.  Theme week, anyone?

This and That (Catching Up Edition)

Brandon Mroz landed a killer Quad Lutz at the Colorado Invitational.  With his new programs from Jeff Buttle, Brandon may take his skating up a few notches this season.

Sorry for the lack of updates the past two days, life has gotten crazy busy.

Mackenzie Caquatto was injured on her beam dismount at the World Selection Camp.  There are already those blaming Martha or the camps in general for her injuries.  The truth is that the sport has become exceedingly difficult.  Dominique Moceanu continues to blame the powers that be for every injury at camp, but this one seems like more of a fluke.  There are some truths here--Macko Caquatto's strength is that she is an all-arounder who excels at bars.  She is not an event finalist on bars.  Macko doesn't have the execution, the amplitude or the difficulty to be competitive with the best bar workers in the world.  If she wanted to make the team, she needed to be available on multiple events.  Macko is not the world's greatest competitor, though she has improved over the last few seasons.  She was a feel-good story when she made Olympic Trials and good for her for making a world team.  She is not the type of talent to make multiple world teams.  This isn't 1997 when we took anyone to Worlds.  Macko isn't in the world's best physical condition either.  She did need to do a double pike beam dismount to be usable.  When she did it, she landed short and injured herself.  For some to say she shouldn't have had to do the beam dismount, they're wrong.  The US is not going to send someone to worlds who dismounts beam with a double full.  Macko isn't good enough to be taken for one event.  The only gymnasts taken for one event have been Nastia Liukin in 2006 and Annia Hatch in 2004.  Chellsie Memmel was kept for one routine in 2008.  Macko is just not that level.  Hopefully her ankle will heal and she'll have a successful collegiate season.

Macko is lucky that she isn't competing for Peggy Liddick who would've issued a callous statement that the loss is sad, but we've already more than replaced her.

Chellsie Memmel is supposed to throw her full bar routine at today's competition.  She did parts of her bar routine the other day, but she did not throw the full difficulty she is planning.  It remains unclear if her full difficulty includes a hindorff+pak salto combination.  Should she nail a set, Martha just might tight her to Worlds.  Hopefully, stubborn Chellsie will one day stop doing the jam on bars and stop twisting that shoulder off the horse on that DTY.

Martha and Kathy are going to be downing some booze tonight when they have drunken decisions to make that are reminiscent of the decision to put Sloan or Larson on floor in last year's team finals.  With Maroney, Wieber, Raisman and Sacramone locks at this point, the team doesn't have strong bar or floor options.  They have a girl with herniated discs almost killing herself on a senseless double arabian dismount because her coaches can't code whore.  They also have Alicia, a gymnast fighting her sell-by date, who can't stay in bounds on floor, upgrade or stay healthy.  This may be Alicia's last year of being necessary to Team USA.  Frankly, there are better girls on all three of her events.  Who do they take for bars...Chellsie who breaks? Gabby the headcase on other events which could spread?  Unprepared Sloan?  Inconsistent Anna?   What to do with Shawn Johnson? This will require several bottles of Jack tonight.  The gymnasts have not answered this question for themselves.

Alissa Czisny is planning on competing a Triple Lutz+Triple Toe and a Triple Salchow this season.  Hopefully Alissa has spent as much time with a sports psychologist as she has at the rink, because she still crumbled with medals on the line at Four Continents and Worlds last season.  Let's hope she takes another step forward, but it is difficult for a skater to learn how to compete this late in the game.

DWTS started with a thud this season.  The first team got voted off, yet no one cared.  Derek Hough is back and looks as amazing as ever.  There isn't a standout talent yet, so the cast just isn't seeming that special after getting past the Chaz Bono novelty factor.  Carson Kressley was as annoying as ever---he brings a new meaning to 'gay for pay.'

Laetitia Hubert is going to skate at the ladies on ice show in Atlantic City on December 3rd.  I need to be there to witness this.

The University of Michigan honored Marlie during this weekend's packed football game.  They will be skating at this weekend's Fashion on Ice with Alissa Czisny, Johnny Weir, Jeremy Abbott, Sasha Cohen and Sarah Hughes.  It looks like this Disson production has a hint of a budget.  It could be good, even if the camera will spend more than half the time on Aretha Franklin.  I guess the queen of soul deserves it.  Kudos to Disson Skating for not forcing us to endure performances by Ashley Tisdale or Raven Symone.

Beastly Beth Tweddle has another tumbling pass to take on the world with.  The girl is unreal.

Monday, September 19, 2011

This and That

Catalina Ponor debuted her floor routine at this weekend's friendly meet in the UK.

Camp Tidbits:  Chellsie Memmel did parts of her bar routine during the first two workouts.  McKayla Maroney is back to doing everything after resting her back injury during the first selection camp.  It will be interesting to see if she winds up injecting cortisone shots in her back during the Olympic year after competing through disc issues.  Alicia did her rudi on hard mats yesterday, but she didn't do her yurchenko during the morning workout.  Frankly, that second vault needs more work.  The chances of Alicia ever upgrading appear to dissipate by the day.  Shawn Johnson is back to doing just about everything from Nationals on vault, bars and beam.  It looks as though Sheryl Shade put the word out to USA Today in case Shawn doesn't make the world team.  Shawn is one of the few gymnasts with an agent and making money.  Her endorsement potential is significantly enhanced by the appearance that she is going to be the 'old Shawn' during the Olympic Games.  Appearance is everything.

Viktoria Komova won the AA at the latest event for selecting the final Russian Worlds' squad despite not being up to snuff on vault or floor.  Her chance at AA Gold may need to wait a year.  Ksenia Afanasyeva finished second.  Maria Paseka vaulted a strong Amanar and showed why the coaches put such stock in her.  Check out the photo of her mother next to the podium on IG.  Vera is an international judge.  Also, try not to roll your eyes at IG kissing Paul Hamm's ass with their latest column about his amazing character and being such a 'wonderful' interviewee.

Komova, Nabieva and Afanasyeva swept the EF titles, but it looks like Paseka missed her Amanar.

Brandon Mroz landed a clean Quad Lutz at the Colorado Invitational.  It will not go in the record books as a 'first' since it was completed at a non-qualifying domestic event.

Ana Porgras is in peak form on beam again.

Julia Lipnitskaya is quickly becoming one of my favorite ladies after her performance at the JGP.  Look at the elegance and beautiful line that is emerging.  Julia feels the music and doesn't have to rely on cheap flash like students in the Mishin camp.  She looks to have a bright future.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Favorite Things Friday: Russian Edition



This and That

Joshua Farris leads the JGP Baltic Cup after this fantastic short program.

Romania named their World Team.  Before anyone freaks out, Catalina Ponor is not allowed to be officially named to the team until October 1st.  Thus, she is not named to the team but will be once they arrive at Worlds.  The coaches had to name a no-name alternate who won't even be competing at this weekend's dual meet with Great Britain.  As expected, the names on the squad are: Ana Porgras, Sandra Izbasa, Diana Bulimar, Diana Chelaru, Amelia Racea and Raluca Haidu.  Ponor will bump someone off---likely Haidu or Chelaru (unless Izbasa's injury gets worse.)  Marian Dragulescu was also not allowed to be named to the men's squad, but he will also join the team at Worlds.  The FIG is not allowing them to be named until then because you have to be back in the drug-testing pool for a full six months prior to entering international competition.

Melissa Bulanhagui is going to represent the Philippines.  Unfortunately, she will only be able to compete in their national championships this year.  The USFSA is not releasing her until May (even though they haven't provided any funding for her training and were unlikely to ever send her to any more assignments.)

Joannie Rochette is being charitable and is interested in competing in the team event at the 2014 Olympic Games.  She plans on continuing with Stars On Ice this year.  It will be interesting to see just how tied up she is by SOI, as rumors have swirled over sponsorship issues for this year's tour.

Elizaveta is confident about bringing her level of Mishin fugliness to the Grand Prix.

Alissa Czisny is planning on competing a Triple Lutz+Triple Toe.  Czisny says she's confident.  Now if only we could spice her up, make her a bitch and get her to stop skating in such a chaste manner...

A Japanese comedian is under fire for imitating Mao Asada.  Take a look at the photos!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Dance Moms: An Exercise In Name Dropping

 Laquifa.  What?  Laquifa. What?!

Yes, it was another week of fabulicious drama on Lifetime's Dance Moms.  Lifetime used to be television for women. Now, it is the network for gays and the women who love them.  Golden Girls, Will and Grace, Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, Project Runway and now...Dance Moms!  Could a network get any better?!

Note: I am really enjoying the comments from gymnastics and skating fans about the abusive exploitative nature of the series.  This is comparatively tame to what life is like in Little Girls In Pretty Boxes.

It has become blatantly obvious that Cathy is the Danielle Staub-level find for Lifetime's smash hit reality series' producers.  One can imagine that Cathy was found making snippy bitter comments at a hotel bar when the producers were out scouting the Abby Lee Dance Company and attempting to woo them to do a series.  Once they wooed her into being a saboteur (it couldn't have taken much), they exploited the train wreck for every cent she's worth.  The amazing thing about Cathy is that we can tell it isn't a big act for her.  The woman is clearly crazy and buys into the producers' ideas.  It appears that the producers didn't let Abby or her company in on their planned drama.  This made for one delicious episode.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Exceptional Gay Moment: Anderson Cooper

Our favorite gay journalist went spray tanning with Snooki and sun bathing with Kathy Griffin.  Note that the usually reserved Anderson isn't above showing some skin for ratings.  And we love him for it.

This and That

Catalina Ponor is back to being disgusting on floor again.  The camera angle was not forgiving this time.  Her piked full on is sporting a nice knee bend and her triple full is just like before.  My biggest issue lies with the inexcusable beam shoes, which really kill her leg line during her vamping. They are not remotely sexy. Whenever I see beam shoes, have visions of Moceanu in Atlanta.  P.S.  Safri Duo is so over.

Nastia at Buckingham Palace

Evgeny Plushenko Article

Camp Tidbits:  Alicia's front double full was only done in the pit.  There is a fat chance she'll compete it.  Shawn Johnson won beam after adding back her back full, but she did not do any training on floor.  Shawn has had some unsettling tweets the last two days.  Yesterday, Shawn tweeted ''You just have to believe, 'everything happens for a reason'' and today she informed us, 'new day, new goal.'  She also went biblical with 'Corinthians 10:13  God is faithful and will not let u be tested beyond ur strength.' Best wishes to Shawn. She certainly knows how to be vague and arise suspicion and attract attention.  Just remember, we'll always have that butter statue!

ETA: Shawn sprained her foot.  Though, she didn't manage to somehow do it in ice skates.  Get well soon and work on that bar routine!

ETA: Shawn is now shocked that the news about her sprained foot is out USA Today quoted her father and she pretty much Tweeted she was injured...  Get ready for Sheryl Shade to exploit the injury when Shawn isn't named to the World Team.  We may hear about this foot for a long 10 months!

David Boudia continues to give his agent a heart attack via Twitter.  A month or two ago, Boudia tweeted about peeing in bottles while driving.  Today, he tweeted that he has never smelled this bad and apologizes for the people behind him in line.

More videos from ROM-GER-SWI after the jump!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

More This and That

Tomorrow marks the tenth episode of Dance Moms and I don't know what I'm going to do with myself once this series ends.  I don't care that the drama with Crazy Cathy is clearly staged.  I wan't to know if Maddie will ever learn a non-lyrical solo, end up on Broadway or secretly turn into a Chuckie doll.  Will Chloe and Christi ever hit when it counts?  Will Kelly secretly reveal she is Kate Gosselin's long-lost cousin?  Will the Pennsylvania trash finally attain acceptable highlights?  Will Brooke quit dancing before she yells at her mother for trying to force her to make out with a future gay?  Will she fake another injury?  Will Abby Lee Miller eat another gallon of ice cream?   I'm invested.

The gaytinos are VERY upset at Alyssa Campanella (Miss USA) for losing too much weight before the Miss Universe pageant.  In the Latin world, this is a bonafide scandal.  Those gaysians would even lose support for Maria Venus Raj if it came to this.

An interview with Tara Lipinski.  We need to persuade her to dump another guy and skate a program about it on the Today Show.

Evan Lysacek and Yu-Na Kim were spotted sharing the ice at the East-West Ice Palace.

More shots of Nastia looking thinner in London.  Notice she is getting back to being a confident bitch and is now flipping for the camera.  It's been a while.  It is as thought she knows we are tired of her not being in Beijing form.

This and That

Nastia Liukin is in London for Britain Bound.  This is a brief respite for the Olympic Champion who has been spending time in the gym and is looking thinner every time we see her.  The true test of her comeback potential will come at the upcoming Skating and Gymnastics Show, which she has been preparing for.  The weave is gone and there has been a noticeable weight loss.  Things are starting to look possible, but she will have to work her ass off. Literally.  Like many of us, Nastia puts on weight in her face and her chin.  There is a visible difference since Nationals.  I must say the just like with Sasha Cohen, I like Nastia better when she's thinner.

Dorothy Hamill is dealing with another business-related lawsuit.  Every time Dorothy gets in business with one of her husbands, problems arise. (Love, the Ice Capades.)  It isn't clear what the real story is here, but Dorothy has worked hard over the last few years to get her career and her life in order.  I wouldn't mess with American's Sweetheart.  Like the contestants at Miss Universe, she knows how to turn on her charm and charisma when she needs to.  She also knows how to get away with charging outrageous prices for a weekend adult skating camp.

An interview with Nikolai Morozov about coaching Ilinykh and Katsalapov and Alena Leonova.  He is keeping a level of secrecy and the highly-promoted-eye-candy.  Perhaps their twizzles are being kept under lock and key as well?  Notice that even the interviewer notes how grotesque Leonova is.

An interview with Maxim Stavisky about the state of Russian Ice Dance after the test event.  He makes it clear that Riazanova and Tkachenko are the only team that impressed him.  Maxim is NOT amused.

Universal Sports is changing its model and hoping to reach more audiences.  It looks like we may have to pay for it.  We'll need to follow what this means for us with the Olympics looming, but the Grand Prix shouldn't be impacted by the current business deals.

Monday, September 12, 2011

This and That

Serena Williams was fined $2,000 for her latest outburst at the US Open.  Is it better to see Serena win or lose?  Both are exciting and have their merits.  Put yourself in the shoes of poor Eva who was on the receiving end of Serena's wrath.  Based on previous encounters, I think she had reason to be afraid.  Then again, Serena looked to be angrier and in better shape two years ago.  Her ass did weigh her down slightly and her mobility suffered anoche.  My favorites to chuckle at are the people who think she is somehow now a bad role model and that we should all stop watching her matches.  First of all, she hasn't been a 'role model' for some time.  Secondly, I'm DVRing the next nine matches she is  in to see what she will wear and who will tick her off.  There are purist tennis fans who hate the Williams sisters for the outlandish attention they receive.  There are those who hate their tendency to get sloppy.  There are those who are racist and are predisposed to hate them.  Personally, I love every second of their theatrics and awesome talent.  They may not be the classiest broads, but one can never claim they aren't genuine.

Let's take a moment and analyze just what Serena said on the changeover...

If you ever see me walking down the hallway, look the other way.  (Done.)

Remember, Serena never complains.  She is NOT the one!  Don't look her way!

Samuelson and Gilles are among the Grand Prix selection pool alternates.  Shockingly, Emily decided not to continue with Igor and Marina after she was dumped in favor of Madison Chock.  In a rare candid moment in the skating world, Emily Samuelson admitted that the situation with her former partner is 'a bit tender.'  Samuelson and Gilles are being coached by Yuri and Yasa alongside Lynn and Logan.  Their short dance was choreographed by Tom Dickson and their free dance was choreographed by Christopher Dean.  One has to think that this team will be among the sentimental favorites this season.

Battle of the Blades will premiere on September 18 at 9 PM as planned with Battle of the Blades: Game On.  The first episode will document the training for the show.  While some will find the episode fluffy, I savor every moment of Tanith Belbin, Sandra Bezic and Kurt Browning.  The first episode will feature a heartfelt tribute to Wade Belak.  Todd Simpson is replacing Belak on the third season of the hit CBC show.  We can only pray that Sandra Bezic will have another sexual Paul Martini moment and put all of the male contestants in skintight jeans. Luckily, Barb Underhill will not sully the TV screen with her lack of sex appeal.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

It's On!

It's on like Donkey Kong!  After reading Serena's book, I hope she is pissed at another boyfriend and is determined to have him see her win four slams in a row.

This and That

Training clip and interview with Brian Joubert.

Ana Porgras won the AA with a 58.10 at a tri-meet between Romania, Germany and Switzerland.  Amelia Racea was second (56.95), Diana Bulimar was third (56.35) and Raluca 'Pitic' Haidu was fourth (56.30.)  It was thought that Pitic may be the alternate for the Romanian World Team, yet she continues to put up one of the highest scores on bars for Romania (14.15 and sad, but true.)  Catalina Ponor competed on three events but didn't have her best beam (14.65.)  Sandra Izbasa continues to nurse a sore achilles.  Izabasa watered down vault and skipped floor.  Let's pray they keep her in tact for Worlds and give her some time to rest before the Olympic push, as she is one of the few girls worth watching in the current hot mess of artistic gymnastics.

Chusovitina won vault with a 15.15 at age 73.  Eliszabeth Seitz won bars with a 14.85.

Philipp Boy leg the men of Germany to a victory with an 88.95.  Fabian Hambuchen dominated high bar with a 16.50 but still has a ways to go before returning to top form.

Shen and Zhao dance in a Chinese TV dancing competition.

Interview with Weaver and Poje

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Dance Moms: Sinful

The seven, I mean six deadly sins...  (Love how she gives each one the sin she thinks they're most guilty of...)

This and That

Interview with Voir.

Paul Hamm lost his job at Ohio State.  Everyone makes mistakes, but not everyone has a video that can be played repeatedly on cable news.  It is unclear where Paul will go from here as his body continues to break down.  It broke down twice in 2008 and he has already had several injuries.

Voir are ready to regain their world title (with program info.)

Adam Rippon...looking gayer than ever in his new feature in IFS.

P Chiddy looks to up his game this season.

Czisny update.

No shit, Plushenko is battling old injuries...

Catching up with Emily Hughes.  Sadly, Evening With Champions with Yu-Na Kim is already sold out.  The Koreans are coming en masse...

Nastia Liukin (the new Nationals Nastia minus 10 lbs) will be visiting Buckingham Palace this week.  Let's pray for a photo with Kate Middleton.  I'm still waiting on a Tessa Virtue-Kate Milddleton photograph.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Chinese Name World Squads

From International Gymnast...

Men: Chen Yibing, Teng Haibin, Feng Zhe, Zhang Chenglong, Lu Bo and Guo Weiyang.  Zou Kai is the alternate.

Women:  He Kexin, Jiang Yuyuan, Sui Lu, Tan Sixin, Wu Liufang and Yao Jinnan.  Huang Qiushuang is the alternate.

Not Attending:  Deng Linlin, Zhang Hongtao, Yao Mingyong and Wang Guanyin.

Look at the names missing from the squads...     Team USA may be in it for fourth place.

Favorite Things Friday: I'm Ready For The New Season

German ferocity has been missing in my life.

Awesome Montage

I hate to admit it, but I loved it.

Where Have All The Children Gone?

If there is one thing I love in this world, it is watching eight, nine and ten-year-olds performing a dance about child abduction, bullying and suicide.  Abby Lee Miller is a visionary genius.  Frankly, I want to adopt a few Asians and have Abby teach them lyrical Geisha solos to perform at their weekly competitions.  Abby has taught me that when there is a casting call for The King And I, she is going to only send Ann Patrice unless she can convince Maddie that slanty-eyes would be good for her career.  Ann Patrice is going to spend her mornings with Elena Valova and her afternoons with Abby Lee Miller until Daddy is cashing some serious paychecks on her behalf.

Abby really does try her best with these girls.  It killed her to put Brooke atop the pyramid that week, but she did it to keep her from faking injuries in order to become a Kate Gosselin-like hooch like her mother.

These mothers need to know that any time they have an opinion, they're just ruining their daughters.

Look at Melissa, she agrees with everything Abby does and lives vicariously through her eight-year-old BFF.  Melissa's daughter is the best because she kisses ass and is the real-life Mrs. Cummings.

This and That

Volosozhar and Trankov's Black Swan in hideous Russian attire.

Major bar drama went down at the ranch today.  Both Macko and Anna Li fell during the verification.  For Anna Li, bars was the only event she verified this week and it was also the only bar routine she missed in Texas.  Bridget Sloan also fell, while Memmel didn't compete on bars.  Shawn Johnson hit her routine, but the routine isn't worth enough to land her a spot on the world team.  Ironically, Gabby Douglas hit bars.  It is going to be a last minute decision to see who makes the squad, as girls are improving and messing up by the second.  Camp concludes tonight with a final workout.  All of these girls should make the next camp because the US just doesn't have that many bodies available to fill two full teams for Pan Ams and Worlds.

John Geddert's Facebook stated that Wieber scored a 14.85 on FX and a 16.00 on VT.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

True Colors: The Paul Hamm Story

Years back, Paul Hamm lost the Wheaties box with how he handled himself during the controversy surrounding his bullshit Olympic Title.  When there is a video of you falling on your ass and being overscored on vault, it is difficult for the general public to believe you earned anything.  Instead of celebrating his triumphant comeback to the medal stand, Paul and Sandy Hamm got defensive and got a lawyer.  These are the same people that fired Paul's longtime coach for murky reasons just after he coached Paul to a World All-Around title.  Many in the sport will tell you that Stacy Maloney was the reason for Paul's success, not Paul and Morgan coaching one another under the guidance of Miles Avery at Ohio State.  If Sandy Hamm sounds even worse than Danny Kwan, you're beginning to catch on.

Paul has never been known as Mister Congeniality.  Morgan has always been regarded as the far more affable twin.  Many deride Morgan due to his father allegedly planting stories that Paul wouldn't go to major meets unless he was on the team, but he is a beautiful floor worker and a great gymnast in his own right.  Most of us have gotten drunk and done things we've regretted, sometimes deeply, yet not many of us have refused to pay $23 and punched and kicked a taxi driver.  One may wonder if Paul was blacked out or if drunk actions were sober thoughts.

God Bless Technology, as you can now see clips from the cab in addition to listening to Paul's high-pitched whine.

Drunken Paul Hamm even quoted Nancy Kerrigan:  Why?  Why?

When was the last time you threatened to kill a police officer?

Paul Hamm is scheduled to return to gymnastics at the 2012 Winter Cup.

This and That

Workout Wednesday with CGA on bars.  It is amazing that MLT is as anal as ever, yet she lacks a bars girl at this time.  Lexie is improving, but she doesn't have the open shoulder angle of Beckerman, Powell, Sapunar or even Priess.  Kayla Williams may very well look much improved between the bar coaching at CGA and Alabama.

Chellsie Memmel didn't do bars today and fell on beam at camp.  Unless she can pull a miracle out of her ass in two weeks, she is likely to be left off the World Team.  Chellsie hasn't shown a bar routine at the level that the selection committee is looking for and they're going to go with Raisman's stability on vault, beam and floor.  Amanda Jetter isn't at this camp.  Bridget Sloan has been doing more than she showed in training at Nationals.

Volosozhar and Trankov

Ilinykh and Katsalapov's short dance (Hip-Hip-Chin-Chin.)  Miss Russia has had a successful date with puberty, but their twizzles are still a mess.

Battle of the Blades Update

This show works because it is well-produced and takes itself seriously without relying on cheese.  And they have hot hockey players and pretty girls to look at.

A calculated interview with Tanith Belbin where she appears to be campaigning to be Miss North America.  She may have jumped ship to compete for the US, but she is counting on Canadian support.  She may even say 'eh' a few times.

Sadly, hockey player Wade Belak was found dead in a condo at approximately 1:33 PM on August 31.  The cause of death has not been confirmed, but his death is the third in a series of recent deaths by hockey players in a four-month span that are believe to be caused by either drugs or suicide.  Belak's mother said he had been suffering from depression.

Season 3 premieres Sunday September 18 at 8 PM.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Foray Into Adult Skating: Roller Coaster (of Love)

I hate skating.  I love skating.  I'm going to quit.  I had a great lesson.  I'm having so much.  And I'm injured.  That is the latest week I've been having in my quest to become a full-fledged diva of the ice.  Following my second lesson, I got right back to work on the ice.  I skated the Saturday morning of the hurricane and even annoyed a dinner companion by saying that I was sorry, but my back crossovers were more important than feigning a good time.  The small tank that Natasha coaches follows me wherever I go, but he actually hasn't managed to knock me over yet (despite numerous close encounters of the I'm-going-to-cut-you kind.)

Russian Test Skate Videos

Alena Leonova

This and That

A new Yu-Na Kim documentary surfaced.  Like many of you, I check Blazing Blades religiously.  I don't know a lick of Korean, but I was still captivated by this gem.  As expected, any scene of Yu-Na working with David Wilson is a total gem.

The nominative team for the US World Team was released:

Mackenzie Caquatto
Anna Li
McKayla Maroney
Aly Raisman
Alicia Sacramone
Jordyn Wieber

Alt: Sabrina Vega

Word is that Chellsie Memmel isn't training much at camp.  It could be the Memmels trying to play it safe after the bars debacle at Nationals.  One always has to wonder how long it will be before Chellsie rips a shoulder or injures an ankle again.  The nominative team is surprisingly well-rounded, which means that Martha and Kathy Kelly are likely sending a message that Memmel needs to get a bar routine if she wants to make the team.  Given Chellsie's driven nature, it may be a battle of head and heart over the court of the next three weeks.  If Shawn continues to plug away and the other girls go down with an injury, anything is possible.  Martha may also be playing games by naming Macko to the nominative roster.  Macko recently returned to Gainesville.  Given the Gators' history of peaking during the preseason, Martha may not realize that she could be in the perfect place.  Whether or not Macko finishes this semester is anyone's guess, but it would not be above Martha to name her to the squad to keep her in Illinois for another year.  It is important to note that Anna Li isn't even an official member of the national team.    Nastia Liukin is at camp on the selection committee and looking thinner since Nationals. As one of my friends put up, "it's just a tad fucked up that she is on the committee, eh?"  Recent photos of Nastia show that she's ditched the weave and is looking less and less like a country singer. With veterans returning and the Olympics around the corner, things are about the get very interesting.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Positive Coaching

How Jay Clark needs to speak to his junior class...

Why I Love Nancy Kerrigan...

Which Disney classic is Nancy's favorite?  Discuss.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Fluff to Remember

For some reason, ABC decided to randomly do a fluff on how different Nicole Bobek and Tonia Kwiatkowski were.  At the time, it was thought that it was Michelle Kwan and then everyone else in the US.  ABC had foresight, as many things changed that night and it would soon be Nicole vs. Tonia for the third spot on the Olympic Team.  This fluff is a total battle between head and heart: we know we should like Tonia.  Ask yourself: really, who would you rather watch skate or hang out with?

Also, applaud Nicole Bobek for coming up with the word 'artistic' for her skating when searching through her very limited vocabulary.  Kudos.

Buffering Criticism

Dick and Peggy softened in the '90s compared to a decade earlier, yet they still make their thoughts exceedingly clear.

Such a sweet girl = Kiss. of. Death.

This and That

Mariya Livchikova gave us this wonderful floor routine to capture gold on floor at the Ghent World Cup.  The Ukrainians are always the truly pretty ones.

Much has gone on since the last time we caught up.  While we do need to hold one another and mourn the Beluification of Ana Porgras, we need to focus on all of the wonderful beam routines we had together.

Favorite Things: Obscure Soviet Edition

With a hurricane, power outage, funeral to attend to and a badly sprained ankle, it has been a tough week.  If I've ever needed that endorphin release over some obscure Soviet goddesses, now is the time.

We really need to appreciate that the USSR displayed some of their brightest stars annually in a country with a senile president who wouldn't even acknowledge the AIDS virus in a time when Geza Poszar's choreography reigned supreme.  Talk about an annual juxtaposition!

Not all of these gymnasts are truly 'obscure' to long-time fans, but the routines and gymnasts are a breath of fresh air to the numerous younger readers whose reference points are Jordyn Wieber and Shawn Johnson.