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Apr 4, 2012

Ten Things Worth Watching from 2011-2012

My top ten list of favorite performances this season, in video form....i.e. stuff that I'd actually bother re-watching in the future.

10) Natalie Pechalat/Fabian Bourzat Carnival in Rio SD at Worlds

9) Ashley Wagner, Black Swan LP at US Nationals

8) Julia Zlobina/Alexei Sitnikov, Derap, Aquarelle FD at Worlds

7) Carolina Kostner, Allegretto from Trio No. 2 SP at Euros

6) Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje, Je Suis Malade FD at 2012 Worlds

5) Yuzuru Hanyu, Romeo + Juliet LP at 2012 Worlds

4) Narumi Takahashi/Mervin Tran, Imagine SP at 2012 Worlds

3) Jeremy Abbott, Exogenesis LP at 2011 Cup of China

2) Aliona Savchenko/Robin Szolkowy, Pina LP at GPF 2011

1) Daisuke Takahashi, In the Garden of Souls SP at NHK 2011


  1. Another AnonymousApril 5, 2012 at 6:46 AM

    Mostly excellent choices (haven't seen Zlobina/Sitnikov yet, and not fond of Je Suis Malade). Are these in random order or is it a countdown? If it's a countdown, I'd have Ms. Kostner's SP higher.

    1. I like Je suis malade FD in theory, I think it is brilliantly constructed. Although the final lift could've been swapped with the earlier rotational lift and I believe the rotational lift would've have done the finishing powerful touches of the music more justice but other than that well done. My problem is with her, she cannot sell the FD to me, she's really trying and I can see that, which is no good. She's way over the top in her attempt to be expressive and ruins the whole dance for me.. Shame, this could've been perfect in another team's hands..

    2. Mostly random order. If I had to rank them in terms of purely personal preferences, the order would probably be:

      1) Daisuke Takahashi
      2) Savchenko/Szolkowy
      3) Yuzuru Hanyu
      4) Jeremy Abbott
      5) Carolina Kostner
      6) Pechalat/Bourzat
      7) Takahashi/Tran
      8) Weaver/Poje
      9) Ashley Wagner
      10) Zlobina/Sitnikov

    3. To Anon at 6:01 AM:

      I do understand why people would think Kaitlyn Weaver is over-the-top (she is after all a pupil of Anjelika Krylova), but I think her portrayal suits the character and theme of the FD. Je Suis Malade is about the madness of love/passion (just google the OTT lyrics of the song), and thus it is not a dance of subtlety or impression especially accentuated by that particularly waily and overwrought Lara Fabian version of Je Suis Malade chosen for the FD.

    4. Another AnonymousApril 6, 2012 at 3:55 AM

      Like my fellow Anon, I have a tough time buying Kaitlyn Weaver's attempts to do passionate and sexy; it comes across as fake to me. Now, if it were a Russian team (not any of the current ones, of course) doing Je Suis Malade, that might have worked - though I think it would have been called overwrought by many fans in that case rather than receiving near universal admiration.

      My top three would be S/S, Takahashi, Kostner. I give Kostner major marks because I love that music but honestly thought it was unskatable.

      What would you say was the worst program? Amodio's hot mess of an LP from earlier in the season?

    5. Dear Anon,
      Amodio's hot mess of an LP from earlier season is the same hot mess of an LP in later season, only the music is changed. Hence my earlier comment, the tiger disguised as samba. :) I think that probably is the worst indeed, followed closely by Leonova's hot mess. Interesting, who choreographed those? :D I also really didnt like the Funny Face programme. Shoot me if you want..
      I am not in awe of Kostner's programmes as much as the rest of the world, more in awe of the quality of her skating. I did think the music was totally unskatable though so that alone is an achievement on its own..
      Btw, coming back to Je suis malade, I am aware of the theme and I like it that they didnt try to do smth refined but more raw but thats exactly my problem with Kaitlyn. IMO, she cannot portray the passion or the desperation that Lara's voice carries out so well, she tries but comes across as very fake to me.. At least thats my take and why I cannot come to love the FD although I am very much inclined to do so..

    6. Anons, I guess we have to agree to disagree then. For me, my enjoyment of Je Suis Malade is premised on the assumption that the FD is intended to be overwrought, melodramatic and a bit cheesy, and I found Ms. Weaver's overwrought, melodramatic and cheesy performance very suiting. Just wondering--has Je Suis Malade actually received near-universal admiration? I found opinions regarding the FD quite polarizing: I know people who like it as much as I do, but I've encountered quite a few detractors as well.

      Anon at 1:42AM, I did not like Funny Face either. To be honest, I found it rather insipid and trite, and a FD not worthy of V/M's talents as a whole. Actually, I haven't been impressed by ANY of Zueva/Shpilband's programs this season: Die Fledermaus was only mildly tolerable, hated both V/M's and D/W's SDs, found the Shibs' and C/B's programs a complete bore. This season, I have firmly been in the Krylova/Camerlengo camp in terms of choreography (though I must admit I'm not exactly impressed by P/B's mummy FD).

      Er...worst programs? Ack, so many options to choose from! Off the top of my head: Florent Amodio's SP and LP, Mirai Nagasu's LP, Alena Leonova's LP, Sergei Voronov's LP, Ksenia Makarova's LP....

    7. I think there was indeed a great universal buzz about Je suis malade, more than I expected.. And the reception in Nice was very very good, no? Besides, a little disagreement will do no harm..
      I must fully agree with Zueva/Shpilband programmes. Granted, I never like much of what D/W do so my opinion is biased but they really did dismal work this year. I wonder if they are becoming 'Nicholised' now that they have so many teams and will only come up with smth worthwhile once a blue moon? Btw, V/M's SD is a shame given they reshuffled it from a wonderful (maybe their best IMO) FD. I honestly wish they could've have kept the 2011 FD and skate it to perfection, instead of winning with Funny Face..

    8. I also prefer V/M's SD in its first incarnation as a FD. Such a pity that we only got to watch it once, while we were forced to watch the SD version over and over again......

  2. Sandra Bezic actually said during Ashley's long program that "Ashley doesn't quite have Alissa's speed." Alissa has superior skating skills but to insinuate that she's fast is a joke or maybe thats just me.

    1. I cannot confirm what Ms. Bezic is smoking...I have seen Ms. Czisny live and can confirm that she is quite slow on the ice, especially prior to her jumping passes.

    2. Seconded after seeing them both live this season. Alissa's skating skills are much smoother than Ashley's, but the Czisny crack must be strong to imply that she does anything but stalk her jumps at almost a complete halt.

  3. Alissa's spins are BLAZING fast, probably faster than most men.

    Maybe that was Bezic was referring to.