Apr 29, 2011
2011 Worlds: Ladiezzz SP
After the sturm und drang of the men's event, a fairly drama-free ladies event was almost welcome. However, the truism that one should be careful of what one wishes for unfortunately applies here, as the ladies SP was downright soporific.
Yu-Na Kim. I was hoping that Miss Kim would prove my impressions of her new SP wrong by bringing it in competition, but well, that didn't happen. Miss Kim's makeup and dress were absolutely flawless as usual and a welcome departure from the faux-peasant garb skaters usually wear when skating to Giselle but unfortunately her performance...wasn't. It's difficult to exactly say what I found lacking in Miss Kim's SP. Perhaps I have too high expectations for a Yu-Na Kim SP? The classic Miss Kim SP (except for Die Fledermaus in 2007-2008) since Miss Kim entered into the senior ranks has consistently been absolutely fierce and frankly quite explosive in the best way possible. Put into perspective here--when I first watched Miss Kim debut her Danse Macabre at 2008 Skate America, I think I literally had trouble breathing after her performance. It was that overwhelming. But upon watching Giselle--everything, especially after the step-out on her 3Lz seemed deflated and she was definitely slower and more tentative than usual, something that wasn't helped by the rather forgettable choreography.
Although some are questioning Miss Kim's lead in the short, to be honest, I don't have too much of a problem with Miss Kim's lead since it's miniscule and I too would score her higher than Miss Ando on PCS. However, I personally still would've put Miss Ando in the lead, for primarily two reasons. Firstly, Miss Kim should have received much higher deductions on her 3Lz--as it was her solo jump in the short program, connecting steps are a requirement leading up to the solo jump--yet Miss Kim's performance did not have such steps leading up to her 3Lz, for obvious reasons. Secondly, Miss Kim was rather overscored in her spins: there is no way Miss Kim should score higher in GOE than Miss Czisny on spins, particularly the layback.
Miki Ando. Miss Ando probably had one of the better performances of the night (not like that's saying much, admittedly). Like Miss Flatt's East of Eden, Gabriel's Oboe is doing Miss Ando a huge favor when it comes to her skating. Although some of Nikolai Morozov's programs for Miss Ando have been downright painful in the past, it's clear that Miss Ando has come a long way under his tutelage. Gabriel's Oboe is arguably one of Miss Ando's better programs and I found this performance of it fairly watchable as Miss Ando appears to have substantially improved in her emoting and projecting abilities and use of arms. However, Miss Ando seemed fairly tentative even if her jumps were solid. Wish she went for the 3-3.
Ksenia Makarova. Miss Makarova appears to have received a bit of a hometown boost but in all honesty, she skated very well. Very solid 3T-3T opening her program, and the whole thing was skated with good energy that fit the music. It's rather unlikely that she'll remain in this position after the long, however.
Alissa Czisny. Even with the bobble on the flip, Miss Czisny skated very well, especially given her checkered past at the World Championships. Her flip looked borderline and I wrote that she might get a UR call on it in my notes during the program, but happily that was not the case. (Clearly, that is a sign that the paranoid ISU crusade on underrotations over the past few seasons has fully seeped into my brain.) Anyways, Miss Czisny's spins looked particularly sharp here and it is an utter travesty that she did not receive more +3 GOEs.
Mao Asada. Ouch. Down in 7th place and out of the final group. Although the bronze medal is still in reach given the fairly small point spread between 3rd-8th place, the gold and silver look nearly impossible for Miss Asada right now. However, given the bizarre happenings at the men's event yesterday I suppose anything could happen in the long tomorrow. Miss Asada received a downgrade on the 3A and a UR call on the front half of her 3F-2Lo combination, which were more or less deserved but put a large dent into her technical elements score. As I've said earlier, I pretty much hate the choreography for this short program and my opinion still stands. Moreover, Miss Asada looked very lackluster today and was nowhere near her best. Disappointing.