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Dec 10, 2010

Grand Prix Final 2010 Recap: Menfolk

The menfolk put up a very good show at the Grand Prix Final short program--not a single splat to be seen or heard!

Of course, this probably means that the LP tomorrow will be a splatfest.

Florent Amodio, France's favorite glitterpunk, opened up the night. Mr. Amodio popped his axel, which seemed to suck the life out of the rest of his performance thereafter.  This was all rather unfortunate as Mr. Amodio's SP is already quite vanilla and far less engaging than his LP. Hopefully, this SP does not signal a return to the inconsistent Mr. Amodio of old. Mr. Amodio finished with 61.64 points and in sixth place.

Nobunari Oda
, on the other hand,  had easily the best SP outing of his season and of the night, landing a very impressive and very massive 4T-3T. Mr. Oda's jumps, when landed, are truly worthy of excessive exclamation marks and high GOE--and he indeed landed all his jumps today (+2 GOE!!!!!!!!). Those brackets into his 3A deserve to have a poem written about them, seriously. Mr. Oda deservingly racked up huge TES with a bit lower PCS...which sounds about quite right, actually. Mr. Oda currently sits in first place with 86.59 points, which is an impressive feat in itself given his competition. Thanks to a diligent Youtubist, Mr. Oda's SP is already up for consumption on Youtube:

The delightful recovering headcase Tomas Verner of the Czech Republic skated next. Skating to the music of Singing in the Rain may not exactly be the best choice, given the fact that Kurt Browning more or less owns the music, but Mr. Verner is thankfully charming enough to do the music some justice (though it still pales in comparison to Mr. Browning's version). Alas, like Mr. Amodio, Mr. Verner popped his axel. Fortunately, Mr. Verner kept performing quite well despite his mistake, but against a field this deep, popping the axel was fatal to his TES. Mr. Verner received 65.37 points and sits in fifth place.

Patrick Chan of Canada skated after Mr. Verner. Quick, everyone--check the streets for the wailing of sacrificed infants and rivers of blood! Has the apocalypse truly arrived? Has hell frozen over?! It might be, for Mr. Chan actually skated a program without a fall (or three)! Mr. Chan's 4T was a bit off, possibly underrotated, but Mr. Chan on the whole skated quite well. Surprisingly, the judges refrained from giving Mr. Chan 100+ points for actually keeping his posterior off the ice for once and Mr. Chan is instead nipping at Mr. Oda's heels with a score of 85.59, in a very close second place. This seems fairly correct and I have no egregious complaints about Mr. Chan's scoring (at this portion of the competition, at least).

Japan's Daisuke Takahashi currently sits in third place with 82.57, still within striking distance of the gold and salvaging my battered pride after making those woefully incorrect predictions. Mr. Takahashi changed his SP costume into a relatively more sedate (for him) sequined black shirt but still gave a rousing performance to his SP, albeit with a very noticeable stumble on his footwork. With the stumble and without a quad, Mr. Takahashi understandably sits in third place, but with the highest PCS of the night (deservingly--the man can sell his program like no other right now). Mr. Takahashi is rumored to be planning a quad flip for his LP tomorrow--if landed and ratified successfully, he will be credited with the honor of being the first ever to land such a jump.

Takahiko Kozuka also had his share of odd bobbles during his SP tonight. Skating immediately after Mr. Takahashi must be rather daunting, as the difference between Mr. Takahashi and Mr. Kozuka in categories such as PE and IN grows even more stark in such circumstances. Mr. Kozuka's jumps unfortunately were not as smooth as they are at their best tonight, especially the exit of his 3Lz-3T. Strangely, Mr. Kozuka also very noticeably stumbled at the boards near the end of his step sequence. Definitely a more tentative performance from Mr. Kozuka tonight, miles away from his superb showing at Trophee Eric Bompard. 77.90 and fourth place for Mr. Kozuka, a fairly decent score given his performance.

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