I Still Exist: Let’s Talk Rostelecom

So, after what I’m pretty sure is over a year of not existing on this blog, I’m back. For now. No promises I’ll be able to post consistently. I’m writing about Rostelecom because a) I watched it in chemistry today because I finished a test early and B) I have no homework.

(As you can probably tell, I’ve been absent because school has been nuts. I used to be homeschooled, which is why I was able to watch so much skating, but not anymore. I love it, but it definitely does not allow for as much free time.)

Anyway.

Let’s get to the skating!

Random Thoughts: Ladies FS 

Mariah Bell, USA (6th)

Mariah’s jumps are mostly looking fantastic but I’m just kind of lukewarm on this
“West Side Story” program. I LOVE her SP, and I’ve loved all of her past programs, but this one kinds falls flat. It’s all right, but I’ve come to expect such great programs from her that an okay one is disappointing. It does have its bright spots, thought. Her opening 3Lz-3T and both of her triple flips were gorgeous, and Mariah is always an enjoyable skater to watch. I also want to sucker-punch Johnny for calling her juniorish. (WATCH HER EAST OF EDEN FS AND TELL ME SHE’S JUNIORISH WITH A STRAIGHT FACE.)

…My love of Mariah Bell is deep. I have met her twice and I adore every program of hers up to this one. So don’t get me wrong, I don’t think ill of her skating in any capacity. It’s just…give her Rohene back. His choreo for Mariah was magical, and this just ain’t it.

Mirai Nagasu, USA (9th)

TRIPLE AXEL, Y’ALL.

Not many people thought she could/would do it, so it’s been pretty awesome seeing her smash expectations. Unfortunately, though, she has not been able to outrun her reputation for underrotating things. Other than that, I love her program. I love the music to “Miss Saigon” and it suits Mirai perfectly. This really is a gorgeous, mature, refined free skate. If only she could skate it a bit more cleanly…

Also, Mirai’s illusions are what I aspire to. (Illusions are one of my favorite moves to use in footwork sequences or as transitions, but alas, I am not good at them.) Her ChStSq was very well-placed and choreographed. And when Mirai’s jumps are on, they’re lovely.

Elena Radionova, RUS (4th)

Lena may have faltered a bit since her glory days as a new senior, but Elena is still an absolutely delightful ball of energy and flailing. Sure, her squirrely 3-3s make me cry for the days when she could actually rotate things, but she is just so dang enjoyable to watch. She sells everything, and her arms have improved. She’s using them to greater effect. And no one, and I mean NO ONE, does “face” like Elena Radionova. Spanish music is usually good for her, but I feel like she’d do better with something with a bit more fire.

 

Also, that loop entrance fall was a very good metaphor for my love life.

Wakaba Higuchi, JPN (3rd) 

YOU GUYS, I LOVE WAKABA SO MUCH.

Whoever picked “Skyfall” for Wakaba deserves an award. It both plays to her strengths (jumps, power, newfound maturity) and challenges her to be more emotive. I love the choreography, as well. And she carries it off perfectly. Her jumps and spins were excellent, and I was incredibly impressed by how much her presentation and maturity have improved. Wakaba’s junior days are clearly gone – she’s undeniably skating like a senior now, and I LIVE for it. I really did get swept up in this program, which isn’t something that happened with any of the other performances at this event. Definitely one of my new favorites.

My one complaint, however, is that you should not try to hold a fan spiral if you cannot do a fan spiral.

Evgenia Medvedeva, RUS (1st)

A friend of mine from skating told me to watch Evgenia’s free skate because she, to put it nicely, disliked it. I was of the opposite opinion. “Anna Karenina” is a good fit for Evgenia. It’s quirky and nuanced and allows her to portray a character, which she seems to like. Tech was fantastic, as alw-oh wait, she fell. Still got a 150. As good as Evgenia is, these scores are getting insane. She’s amazing, there’s no denying it, but I just don’t get the sense that she’s “new world record at every event she competes in”-amazing. At this point I’ve just learned to accept that she’s going to win before she even skates so as not to get my hopes up for any other skaters. That way her amazingness won’t dampen my enjoyment of the competition. (C’mon, you know already knowing the outcome is no fun!) Still, though. Evgenia killed it, even with the fall. And she is adorable.

Carolina Kostner, ITA (2nd)

I am going to start off this explanation by stating two facts.

  1. Carolina’s artistry is absolutely exquisite, and I really do appreciate that kind of genuinely artful skating, but I was just not captivated by this performance.
  2. I think Wakaba should have been second.

Carolina’s performance was a beautiful one, and certainly had great artistic merit. But it wasn’t…well, interesting. I did enjoy this program, but it was less that it moved me and more that I appreciated it (in the same way that I appreciate Evgenia’s freakish consistency). But it was a truly beautiful performance. And that is rare.

Elizabet Tursynbaeva, KAZ (8th)

Elizaveta didn’t do particularly well at this event, but I had to talk about this program anyway. I am very rarely moved to tears by skating, but I almost started crying in chem watching this program. It’s that beautiful. Perfect music choice for her, perfect choreography, perfectly interpreted. Elizabet makes me so happy, you guys. SO HAPPY. She is honestly a smol ball of quads and ballet arms. And it brings me LIFE.

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