Lots of flair and some imperfect jumping marked the men’s event at Rostelecom Cup last weekend.
We’ll start with Jason Brown, who was skating after the sudden death of his agent, Shep Goldberg. I have to hand it to him, because he skated great in the long despite everything he was dealing with and a shaky showing in the short. This was the first time I watched his “Juke” short program and he moves really well to the music (there were also a couple cute little girls dancing along with him that I spotted in the audience—this program is a crowd-pleaser). I love the hop accents in the choreography and how he shows off his flexibility with the lunges and extensions. I also love how gracious he is to the audience, no matter how the performance went for him.
The short was a bit of a rough outing and man, did he bounce back in the free. I’ve blogged before about his “Tristan and Isolde” program and can’t say enough about his commitment to his choreography. And the choreography itself is superb, especially his circular footwork. Check it out:
The first thing I noticed when Max Aaron hit the ice for his short was that he was sporting a new, slicked-back hairstyle. Commentator Johnny Weir was a big fan of it, and I’m always a proponent of keeping hair out of one’s face while skating (don’t get me started on ice dancing ladies who leave their hair down entirely…I’ll save that for another post). I really liked his “Footloose” short program—it was (rather appropriately) loose and fits his more athletic style of skating. The vocal intro to his long program sets the tone well, but unfortunately it wasn’t his day. He doubled both of his planned quads and from there it just looked like the wind went right out of his sails. His program component scores are under 40 and seem to be really holding him back—I think he could use more knee bend when he is skating in between elements and in his footwork sequences to help get those numbers up.
If you didn’t catch the entire men’s free skate, you have to watch Michal Brezina’s long program solely to see the INSANE height he gets on his triple axel. No shock that he gets a positive GOE on that one.
I’ve been a Javier Fernandez fan for a few seasons now and was happy to see him clinch a spot in the Grand Prix Final in his home country of Spain with a victory here. I love the personality that shines through in all of his programs, even when he is taking on different characters. His short program was my favorite at this event, because he looked so smooth and at ease on the ice:
Who’s your favorite? And who do you think will come out on top in the Max Aaron–Jason Brown showdown at U.S. Nationals? (Though I think it is still too soon to count out defending champ Jeremy Abbott, who shines on his home stage).