I was out of town last weekend and not able to catch all the coverage of Skate Canada, but luckily I have a subscription to Ice Network, which provides access to all their video footage of the competitions this year. Some thoughts after watching the highlights:
- I have always been a big Wagner fan—I love the passion in her skating. She always sells her program and really commits to the music. I was glad to see her improve upon a shaky start at the Japan Open.
- I love the lunge entrance she is using to one of her spins—so unique!
- It was great to see a Charlotte in her program as well. I still miss the required spiral sequence for the ladies…no one holds their spirals long enough any more, in my opinion.
- I’m not sure about this music choice, given that Ashley usually excels when portraying strong, recognizable characters, e.g. Delilah of Samson and Delilah in 2013 or Nina in Black Swan in 2012. I’ll be interested to see the program evolve throughout the season. Jenny and Dave over at The Skating Lesson blog mentioned in one of their videos that they think the program lacks transitions and I agree. Lots of long glides rather than more intricate connecting moves. Maybe she will add more as the season progresses?
- Canadians Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje won gold with their fluid style and long, beautiful lines. I really enjoyed watching them at the Olympics last season and can’t wait to see more from this duo. Their lifts were the highlight of their programs for me—such interesting positions!
- Americans Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue skated to a compilation of songs from The Great Gatsby soundtrack and unfortunately, I didn’t love it. Their costumes didn’t really complement the music—and the hood on his vest was a little confusing. It seemed like they were going for a more modern take on Gatsby, as opposed to the traditional 20s style. Maybe not the way I would have gone with it, but perhaps it will grow on me as the season goes on. There was also audible swearing from Zach in the kiss n’ cry, which I was surprised was not bleeped out of the Ice Network broadcast. Definitely something he should be careful about in the future.
- I have to admit that I haven’t watched a lot of the pairs coverage this season, but I like Canadians Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford. They skate with such joy—and it doesn’t hurt that their side-by-side triple lutzes are amazing! I also love how in sync they are on their side-by-side spins; that can sometimes be a lost art.
- Max is a fantastic jumper who seemingly effortlessly tosses out quads. But I do wish he would hold the landings of his jumps a bit longer. He’s really worked on his skating skills and polish over the past few years and not holding the landings takes away from that.
- I really liked his Gladiator program—the strong music suits his style. Thoughts on the vocal intro? I thought it was weird at first, but that might be because I don’t do well with change and am still getting used to the new rule allowing lyrics in all disciplines. After thinking about it a bit more, I like how the intro set the context for the program and the character he is portraying.
- I’ve seen the a-shaped spin (is there an official name for it?) a couple of times in my skating viewing this season, and I just really don’t like it. It’s not an attractive position at all:
I’ll have to find some scoresheets and see how many points this thing is worth…I hope not too many, and it can be retired soon.
Looking forward to watching some Cup of China action this afternoon! I’ll be typing about it this week.