Heeey!!! I wanted to get this post done before Christmas Eve, so here I am!
If you didn’t see my last post (the SP recap), this series is essentially ranking every program of the top-15-placed ladies skaters on the Grand Prix-by how much I liked them, that is. (It’s about the programs, not individual performances.) I did the short programs already, so now I’m back with the Free Skates!
To get started, here is a graphic of the GP rankings:
Now for Ze Programs!
15. Ehhhh…(Elizaveta Tuktamysheva)
I do not know who thought it would be a good idea for Elizaveta, who does best with powerful programs that aren’t balletic, to skate to Peer Gynt, but it is not pleasant. This is just not Liza’s style and, what’s worse, plays up her weaknesses, which is the exact opposite of what a program should do. I hope her team decides to go with something more her style next season.
14. Music Cuts of Death (Roberta Rodeghiero)
I suppose one consequence of breaking into the top tier as fast as Roberta has this season is that you aren’t prepared to actually be competitive with the best in the world, and this program shows it. It’s a fine program (except the awful music cuts), but it is clearly not up there with the best in the world.
13. This is not a very strong wind (Polina Edmunds)
Polina, I love you, but this program is incredibly generic. As much as I appreciate her attempts to show her new refinement and grace, this program just bores me. And this is the second disappointing FS in a row she’s had…
POLINA, YOU DESERVE BETTER THAN THIS!
12. I don’t really know what to call this (Kanako Murakami)
I like Kanako, but this program is kinda weird. It feels very abstract for some reason. I don’t really like abstract programs, so…yeah.
11. Pretty but Bland #1 (Julia Lipnitskaya)
I feel like every program Julia does is supposed to be a rehash of her iconic Schindler’s List program from the Sochi Olympics, and they’ve all fallen short. This meets both criteria. It’s pretty, but it’s also very bland (this seems to be kind of a trend this season).
10. Eventually, the show must end (Ashley Wagner)
This was a fine program last season, and it’s still a fine program, but I’m getting kind of sick of it. Ashley had so many iconic moments with this program that she’s kind of exhausted its wow-factor.
9. Pretty but Bland #2 (Yuka Nagai)
*Sigh* it’s an infestation…at least her dress is pretty.
8. Hey music: Pick on someone your own size! (Karen Chen)
I love Karen to pieces, and I think she’s doing a pretty good job with this program, but it was a really ambitious choice and I’m not sure it paid off. She’s skating to Les Miserables, which is really big music, and she’s usually good at projecting to the audience, but this program really overpowers her. She would do better with something a little more understated.
7. Queen Courtney: the Golden Age 😉 (Courtney Hicks)
THIS is a great example of playing up a skater’s strengths. Because this music is very big, Courtney’s speed and power are made very obvious. And because those are her best qualities, this program really works. I like it a lot and I’m glad she’s had some good skates of it this year!
6. Pretty but Bland #3 (Satoko Miyahara)
I will give Satoko a pass for going the pretty route because she is very graceful and soft classical is a style she does well. But this program is borderline bland-infestation™. No. Satoko, you are too good for that. Get something more original.
5. Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, who’s the Pretty but Bland™-est of them all? (Evgenia Medvedeva)
While she’s really grown on me, I am still confused by this program. it alternates between hysterical arm-waving and tortured facial expressions and moments of garden-variety blandness. Coupled with the ridiculous amount of ‘tanos and the distracting backloading, this is not Evgenia’s best; however, even Evgenia’s worst isn’t horrible.
4. NEEEEEAR! FAAAAAR! WHEREEEEEEVER YOU AAAAARE! (Elena Radionova)
This is a complete and utter cheesefest. However, cheese is delicious. 🙂
3. Borderline Pretty-but-Bland™ (Mao Asada)
I really hate calling this Pretty-but-Bland™, but it honestly does nothing for me. I get that it’s supposed to be artistic, but I’m not picking up on that.
2. #BirdHands (Gracie Gold)
Okay, this is admittedly cheesy. But as I said, CHEESE IS DELICIOUS. 🙂 Apparently slightly-cheesy is Gracie’s best style…
1. Surprise! (Rika Hongo)
With this FS, Rika Hongo has officially bumped Julia Lipnitskaya out of my third-favorite-ladies-skater slot, because this is something I actually keep track of.
And so it ends!
P.S.: Depending on how bored I am tomorrow, I might post something about Russian Nationals or whatever.