Sunday, September 4, 2011

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.

As we head to Worlds, we notice that Viktoria Komova will be peaking for a strong showing.  With 4-5 competitive routines under her belt on bars and beam, she is starting to get in top form.  Vika looked sloppy and sluggish on bars(for her, not by American standards) during prelims in Ghent, but she came back with one of her best efforts to take the title over Wu Liufang and Jiang Yuyuan.

Vika did fall off beam, but she has had several successful outings.  Though far from a weakness, it is not her strongest event.

Wu Liufang won't be left off the World Team again if she keeps performing like this.

Evgeny Plushenko performed at a Russian Test Skate.  There are moments in the program when his artistry looks improved and then he erases it by flailing with more alacrity than ever before.  His jumps look strong, but he no longer has the air of invincibility.

It appears that Ksenia Makarova's new coach is emphasizing the need to get up in the air before she rotates her jumps.  It will take some serious work if she ever wants to make another World Team.  May the force be with her to erase Polina Shelepen from our hearts and minds.

Sui and Han won another Junior Grand Prix event with their senior-level tricks, junior-level skating skills and novice-level sophistication.

Igor Shpilband proved his political mettle to his pupils by scoring a berth to Skate Canada for Madison Chock and Evan Bates.  He is proving that he meant what he said about 'going places' when he "allegedly" had Evan Bates dump his longtime partner in order to climb the mountain of success in the world of ice dance.

A wonderful feature on Tamara Moskvina.

Courtney Hicks aims for the top.

Imagine if she were given usual Russian training in ballet and choreography.  There is no excuse for such unfinished skating with a body that is suited for the sport.  That also goes for Courtney Hicks' dangling free leg.


  1. I can't stand to watch Sui and Han. They are so sloppy and messy. They really struggle w/ unison. (Their crossovers aren't even together at times.)
    I don't know if it's a age issue. How old is she really? She just seems to young for this level (although it is the Junior Grand Prix). I think if this was their first season on the JGP and they weren't on the SGP, I wouldn't have such an issue w/ them. I hate to see them pushed so fast.

    I almost cringe to see the lower ranked pairs FS if that won.

  2. Ksenia Makarova's Marilyn Monroe LP is God Awful. The music cuts are disjointed and cheesy. The choreography makes her look like a junior (something Nina Pretrenko's choreography managed to cover up) and the dress ... well maybe Johnny Weir can have a talk with her. I suggest switching to the Seven Year Itch white halter, and taking the first plane back to Connecticut.

  3. Maybe this is a stupid question, but what's Beluification??

  4. Can we send Mariya somewhere for safekeeping? I'm scared she'll fall to a typical Ukrainian fate..

  5. Makarova's FS is shit. I don't see her off the Russian world team for 2012 since they have three spots and all, but man, she needs a new program.

    The same goes for Leonova's short program. Typical Morozov shit.

  6. simona amanars bars at the 95 euro cup compared to amanars bars at later compitions...thats beluification

  7. Dave. I don't think your being completely fair to Shelepen. She's actually getting more and more watcheable. There's still work to do, but I think she's trying to work on those issues...

  8. There's just such a long way to go...

  9. [Quote]There's just such a long way to go [/Quote]

    Absolutely and a part of me would actually put the girl with someone like Tarasova. The jumps are there its the skating skills/presentation side that needs work. Tarasova would make her attend ballet class.

    This being said she's 100% improved from what she was last year. In all areas, and that shows that she's mindful of her issues and is at least working on them. She's still quite young. I don't want to see the girl win any medals any time soon. But I'm far less willing to see a skater or even a gymnast who as at least working on improving their weaknesses getting completly ragged on.

    Its kind of like for the difference between Wieber and Bross/Johnson on floor exercise right now. Wieber's never going to be a #1 dance. But Jordyn and her team are at least making the real effort to put together a watcheable floor exercise. Whereas I don't see that with either Bross or Johnson. Of course Wieber is a much better gymnast than Shelepen is a skater.

    I mean still criticizing is fine, but its fair to mention the improvement there too. Of course physically I agree Polina's body type is such that she really could be much more watcheable.

  10. Oh and Dave. At Goldenskate apparently Chan did the free skate and apparently lost to Dornbush by a point. Obviously Chan was hardly at his best. And Dornbush didn't land a single 3 axel. But Dornbush did land a 4toe. So it seems like his 4toe actually IS coming along even if Tammy was downplaying it. (And I actually I kind of like that Tammy was downplaying it)

  11. what happened to porgras?

  12. Uh, AJ, in context of that Makarova trainwreck, you might want to reconsider suggesting that Courtney Hicks get Russian training.

    I've never thought much of Makarova's skating, but wow - looks like she has really gotten a lot worse. No feel for the music and really bad at telegraphing her jumps.

    Horrible outfit too (that pink clashes with her weird tan) and horrible music (although the Shibutinis would know how to make something of the music cuts in the beginning of the program).

  13. Images of the great Soviets flowed through my mind as I watched Livchikova who's balletic style reminded me of Ilienko and Mostepanova-except she has far superior form on her GORGEOUS double front/double back tumbling passes!! Her routine just took my breath away, what loveliness in her dance, everything! :)

    Very good routines on bars and beam respectively from Komova and Wu.

    Plushy seems to be expressing himself well but his program left me just blah. Ksenia's Marilyn Monroe outfit-no just no.

    Shelepen still needs so much polish but there's time.