Monday, March 30, 2009

2009 World Figure Skating Championships - Conclusions

This was supposed to be a post dedicated to the Worlds Gala, after a busy week of figure skating and running Absolute Skating, but unfortunately I haven't seen it yet. TVR 2 was bragging about broadcasting the biggest number of live hours from the Worlds, but when that means after midnight it's as if it hadn't broadcast any at all. There is a re-run for it, starting after 11 PM and ending close to 2 AM. Who is going to stay up all night to watch it on a work/school day? Not me. Maybe I'll get to record it, provided I can convince someone to wake up and stop the recording at the appropriate time. We'll see. On the other hand Eurosport doesn't re-run it at all. Not until the end of the year anyway. No matter how you turn it it doesn't look good.

So this being said, let's move on to the comments:

- Aliona SAVCHENKO / Robin SZOLKOWY - are still strong and it was a pleasure to watch them win; they might not have the classic sophistication of a top Russian pair but they bring in a breath of fresh air and no ballet.
- Dan ZHANG / Hao ZHANG - I remember watching them at the 2002 Olympics when they were all technique and no artistry at all, they've come a long way. There's still room for improving, though.
- Yuko KAVAGUTI / Alexander SMIRNOV - I used to complain about the Russians' obsession for circus and clowns routines. After watching their FP I realised I missed the clown costumes they used during the season, they made the program look better.
- Qing PANG / Jian TONG - they skate with more feeling than the other Chinese pair, the technical level seems to be stagnating. And Jian Tong needs a haircut, badly.
- Maria MUKHORTOVA / Maxim TRANKOV - the thing is, I like them, and it's sad to see they still can't hold their own during the FP. Another observation is that Maria was so much in character during the FP acting like a total bitch that she showed no connection whatsoever with her partner or the audience. Of course that didn't help selling the program. Her complicated hairdo made think I was seeing her brains and not her braids when she was gliding across the ice.
- Tatiana VOLOSOZHAR / Stanislav MOROZOV - I would have liked to see them place higher. It amazed me how Tatiana transformed from the ugly duck she used to be into a beautiful gracious swan, it's quite a pleasure to watch her now. Too bad her partner is getting old, I'm afraid their time is almost over.

- Evan LYSACEK - It was nice to see him win at home. He's still not my favorite skater by far, but his performance was solid and he's stopped looking like a teenager and started skated more like a man, which is good.
- Patrick CHAN - a new face for me, good skating skills, missing that 'awe' factor.
- Brian JOUBERT - It's no secret I wished he'd won, but I guess his nerved worked against him. I was counting on a big fight during the FP, hopefully with no mistakes. It wasn't meant to be. I hope he'll learn from this and win the Olympics next season.
- Tomas VERNER - I guess it wasn't his time yet. It's not too late, he's still young and on a good day he can give everyone a run for their money, although there's still some work to do.
- Samuel CONTESTI - definietly the revelation of the season for me, I just loved his FP and I'm so looking forward to see him skate next season.
- Takahiko KOZUKA - I liked him though maybe he shouldn't have skated to Romeo & Juliette soundtrack, that's too much of a chick flick.
- Nobunari ODA - another one who did good, less expressive though.
- Denis TEN - promissing for his young age.
- Brandon MROZ - a fresh face, not extraordinary but somehow it reminds me of the time when Joubert first showed up on the scene.
- Kevin VAN DER PERREN - they didn't show him, I would have liked to see him although given his placement I imagine I didn't miss much.
- Adrian SCHULTHEISS - at first I found him interesting, but now I think he just repeats himself and doesn't bring anything new; and he's starting to look weird.
- Kristoffer BERNTSSON - I like his style and his programs, it's a shame he can't achieve more with them.

Ice Dance:
- Oksana DOMNINA / Maxim SHABALIN - not my favorite couple and I didn't care for their FD, probably too serious for my taste, but they won it fair and square. I found it hard to get used with Oksana not being a blonde anymore.
- Tanith BELBIN / Benjamin AGOSTO - Tanith usually has nice costumes, but the OD one was horrible with that see through skirt. For some reason I don't see myself ever rooting for them to get the gold and there was just no one else to take the silver from them.
- Tessa VIRTUE / Scott MOIR - I don't get what the hype is about them, to me they are nothing special at all, no sparkle, just bland and boring.
- Meryl DAVIS / Charlie WHITE - their OD was my favorite and I seem to like them more and more.
- Nathalie PECHALAT / Fabian BOURZAT - when they first appeared I thought they were going to be something special in time but then they sort of disappeared in the background for a while. Now they're back again and they're looking good in spite of the horrid costumes and circus theme, it must be a Russian thing like I said. And did you see Nathalie's bra? Hehe...
- Jana KHOKHLOVA / Sergei NOVITSKI - no one should be allowed to show up on the ice wearing those atrocious neon glowing costumes, if ony for that and they didn't deserve to medal. Just kidding, but they weren't good enough... yet.
- Sinead KERR / John KERR - They're getting better and better and they're wonderful to watch. Unfortunately Sinead is 30 already and there's not much time left for them either. Let's all hope for a miracle next season.
- Federica FAIELLA / Massimo SCALI - I was glad to see she changed the OD red pants for a skirt, it looked much better. The FD clown costumes stayed though. *shudders*
- Anna CAPPELLINI / Luca LANOTTE- a lovely young couple, lovely FD and lovely dress.

- I can't really say much because the Ladies bore me most of the times so I wasn't paying much attention during the SP and then I had guests during the FP, but I have to say that the Asian ladies, Yu-Na KIM, Miki ANDO, Mao ASADA, rocks!

Random comment:
What was with those ugly dresses worn by the flower girls in the arena?

Message to Eurosport:
You, guys, really need to run an efficiency check on your commentators. If you paid them by correctness of the things they said, then Yvonne Ghita must owe you millions by now. Are you capitalizing on that? If yes then when? We are so anxious to have her off the air. We are growing gray hairs here listening to her nonsense. Sure, it's fun to try to guess in advance how many mistakes she is going to make this time, which names, dates and places she is going to mix up, but we are really getting tired of doing that and after a while all we wish is to turn off the volume and stop listening to her. Get Cornel Gheorghe, get Florin Gafencu, even Marius Negrea would do, anyone who knows what they're talking about, just not Yvonne Ghita. Seriously, you're wasting your money and we've had enough!

- A frustrated fan

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