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Nov 28, 2010

Trophee Eric Bompard Day 2 Recap: Ladies

If only Kiira Korpi's skating was as superb as her stunningly good looks...

Kiira Korpi won her first Grand Prix victory at Trophee Eric Bompard 2010. Miss Korpii actually placed second for her long program but managed to hang onto first place overall. Miss Korpii is a pretty skater--her elements are all neat, finished and nice--but there is little exciting or brilliant about her skating or jump content. Miss Korpii is, however, notable for landing the only triple-triple combination among the top five, even if it is only a 3T-3T. All in all, Miss Korpi is clearly reaping the benefits of Laura Lepisto's absence from the Grand Prix this year, but Miss Lepisto's return may complicate matters.

Mirai Nagasu at long last won her first ever Grand Prix medal with a silver at Trophee Eric Bompard, an honor long overdue especially considering Miss Nagasu's spectacular fourth-place finish at the Olympics and first-place short program at Worlds last season. Miss Nagasu clearly has a number of qualities that should ensure her place at the American ladies' #1 position--star power, incredible spins, and Frank Carroll as her coach. However, her inconsistency is troubling (especially since the embodiment of consistency itself, Rachael Flatt, is a compatriot) and what notably also holds Miss Nagasu back are her technical deficiences--namely, her tendency to borderline-underrotate her jumps and the edge calls she receives on her 3Lzs--problems that leave her at the mercy of the technical caller. With the venerable Frank Carroll as her coach, though, it would not be surprising if a good dose of Mr. Carroll's famous run-throughs would eventually cure Miss Nagasu of her consistency problems. Miss Nagasu's technical issues may be rather trickier to fix--one needs only to look at Mao Asada and her 3Lz problems--but Miss Nagasu is in good hands with Mr. Carroll.

That being said, Miss Nagasu's programs this season are positively sleep-inducing, perfectly representative of generic Lori Nichol choreography of the blandest variety. Not a single moment stands out during both programs--rather disappointing especially given how Miss Nagasu worked her Pirates of the Caribbean SP to maximum effectiveness last year. Miss Nagasu's Memoirs of a Geisha LP, for instance, is a rather disjointed pastiche of various pieces from the movie that lack a coherent theme or character. Miss Nagasu has so many highlight reel-worthy moves in her skating--it's astonishing that Ms. Nichol has failed to use any of them to good effect. However, Ms. Nichol is known for shuffling around choreography during the season, so perhaps there is hope yet for Miss Nagasu's programs, especially that SP of hers.

Alissa Czisny won the bronze medal and ensured herself a ticket to the Grand Prix Final mostly on basis of her fairly strong Skate Canada showing. Miss Czisny had her usual bobbles during her jumping passes during her LP but managed to score very well in her PCS nonetheless, reflecting the elegant quality of her skating. Over the years, one really learns to appreciate Miss Czisny for the beauty of her skating alone; to emotionally invest oneself in Miss Czisny's competitive success....well, that way lies madness and much gnashing of teeth.

The Mao Asada triple-jump count stands at three during her Trophee Eric Bompard LP, which is an improvement from previous showings. Honestly, it is quite surreal typing those words in reference to Miss Asada, former jumping wunderkind and most definitely not a European ladies skater. Miss Asada finished in fifth place, another improvement from NHK, but it is so, so difficult to watch Miss Asada's technique overhaul cause such an abrupt, Kimmie Meissner-style fall down skating's pecking order. Why is Miss Asada even doing the Grand Prix? One would think that taking at least half a season off is an essential step in revamping jump technique, if only to preserve one's all-important reputation among the judges...


  1. Yeah I, too, think that Korpi's skating is kind of mediocre...her programmes this year are much better, but there's nothing really amazing about her, and she's not that graceful either. But the level of the competition was really low, so she won fairly, I think. Czisny's so graceful and elegant, it's a shame her LP music is not that interesting...but she's a charming skater. Mirai...too bad about her inconsistency and her programmes this year aren't that good. Anyway it wasn't a very exciting competition, was it:)

  2. Mirai's flutz is very, very minor. I was watching the British Eurosport broadcast at the Olympics and the commentator stated that he believed that Mirai's flutz was "one of the few that was fixable", her flutzes are usually off a flat edge so Frank should be able to power into her a proper edge.

  3. That's what I like about Miss Asada, she never quits. Her courage is from her innocence and pure love for skating.