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.