Highlights/Low Points: US International Figure Skating Classic

Wow, this was some competition! Lots of great performances in all disciplines. I can’t wait to share my favorite and least favorite moments with y’all!

Update: a week later, here’s a very short post, because most of it was already in my drafts and I wanted to at least put up what I had.

1. Highlight: The Name On Everybody’s Lips Is Gonna Be…

…Mariah!

Yes, Mariah’s free skate was cleaner (she fell out of her 3Lz-3T here), but I am in LOVE with this program, so I had to include it. After a wildly inconsistent 2015-16 season, Mariah is on a major upswing so far this season. She won Glacier Falls in style with two clean/near-clean programs, including her first landed 3Lz-3T in competition, and continued that form at the US Classic with two more fantastic performances. And speaking of performance, this program is a masterclass in selling a program. Her delightfully sassy “Chicago” SP is the mostest fun! (I feel like “mostest” is the only adequate word, or rather, non-word, to describe how awesome this program is.) As someone on a skating forum said about a skater (not her) here, she “sells it like the rent is due), and the choreography is first-rate. When she lands her jumps, this program lights up the arena. I can’t wait to see how the crowd would react if she skated this clean at Nationals! Major congratulations on a deserved silver medal here.

2. Low: The Meltdown of the Event 

I do not know what happened here, but it was a heartbreaking disaster. But a video just surfaced of Elizabet landing a quad salchow, so she must not be losing her jumps too badly. Whatever this was, I hope she can get it sorted out soon.

3. High: What Even?

All I can say is wow. 

Madison and Zach’s short dance is half hot mess and half creative genius. The “evolution of dance” (if I remember correctly?) theme takes a blues or hip-hop song from each decade from the 70’s (?) to the 2010’s and attempts to smash them all into a coherent program. And it actually worked! The over-the-top, sometimes-awkward choreography, and their total commitment to selling this mess, made it interesting and fun to watch. It left me laughing hysterically in parts, grinning like an idiot in others, and just generally questioning the meaning of life all the way through. So, a slightly-incoherent mess? Yeah, pretty much. But fun? Oh, heck yes.

5. High: Finally 

It seems like, every season, Karen Chen has one phenomenal performance and basically bombs most of the others. Nationals in 2014-15, Skate America last season…it’s irritating, but I’ll take what I can get. So I was thrilled that what we got here was high-quality. Her SP was disastrous, but she rebounded with a strong FS (although it was not technically up to her usual standards-she did not attempt any 3-3s or even a 2A-3T). I really like her new tango FS-it’s powerful and dynamic, and she has the speed, power, and presence to pull it off. When the jumps are working, she’s a fierce little firecracker. We got mixed messages from Karen’s performances her (one very bad, the other very good), so I don’t really know how that bodes for her season, but hopefully, she can work out whatever was getting to her last season.

This was supposed to have ten items on it, but I didn’t get to see enough of it to find that many. My priority right now is to consistently get out recaps of the JGPs, so this was kind of on the backburner. 

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Recap: Nebelhorn Trophy Ladies Event

Hello, readers! The second event of the Challenger Series, Nebelhorn Trophy, finished yesterday, and I’m going to be recapping the ladies event.

Let’s start with the winner (duh :p):

1. Kaetlyn Osmond, Canada-179.41

This was Kaetlyn Osmond’s first competition since the 2014 World Championships, as she sat out last season due to injury. I have to say, I was very pleased with this! In the SP, her opening combo fell apart, but the other jumps were GORGEOUS and HUGE…the total opposite of the winner of the last CS event, LOL. I like this program, even though this recording of “La Vie en Rose” is awful. I also love her costume. 🙂

I actually doesn’t watch this program, but the score was good, so good for her.

2. Alena Leonova, Russia-165.61

Alena kept this program from last year, and, while I used to rather hate it, it’s grown on me a lot. Whether you love it or hate it, you can’t deny that she’s selling the heck out of this. However, this costume must burn.

No video was available of Alena’s FS, which is fine because I did not watch it…hehe. *Awkward silence*

3. Courtney Hicks, USA-162.85

Courtney finished pretty much how I expected her to. There were a few small mistakes, but the programs are miles above her programs from last year. This program was pretty strong technically, and it fits her, so yay. Good job, Courtney.

Confession: I am shamelessly obsessed with this program. It is awesome. Next.

4. Alaine Chartrand, Canada-161.35

This was an excellent showing for Alaine, and I LOOOOOVE this program! ❤ It’s so sassy and fun-it’s the “where have you been all my life?” program that forces you t0 take notice of a skater. Alaine underrotated her 3lz-3T, but otherwise, this was a perfect skate. I can’t say enough good things about this program and I can’t wait to see it again!

This was a shaky program and unfortunately took her off the podium, but I like this program as well. And yes, I like this “Gone With the Wind” program better than the other one we’ve seen. 🙂

5. Mirai Nagasu, USA-159.67

Mirai, ever the heartbreaker, started her season with this.

Oh, Mirai, this program is so beautiful-stop ruining it with 3A attempts! She started the program with a downgraded triple axel that threw off the rest of the program. She popped her triple loop and fell on a combination. I just wish she could take out the 3A and get it together because this is a beautiful program.

In the FS, Mirai rebounded very well (her only mistake was a UR on something), and, while I’m not a huge fan of the erratic music cuts, the program has potential. (Also, her dress is amazing.) Good for you, Mirai, but you need to take out the 3A. It’s throwing off the performance and you aren’t going to make teams with SPs like that.

This concludes the recap. 🙂

Thoughts? Questions? Leave a comment-I’d love to hear them!