After attending mass at Notre Dame Cathedral and then grabbing a quick lunch, it was back to the arena for the Free Dance. I'd been curious to see Ekaterina Bobrova/Dmitri Soloviev skate live because on TV their skating always looked herky-jerky and heavy to me. Seeing them in person didn't really change that. They have good speed, but there's an awkwardness about them that I can't get past. Their lifts often look labored and they don't have the smoothness that the other teams in the event had.
I was happy to see the crowd getting into Maia and Alex Shibutani's swing free dance and clapping along with the music. I think at Nationals it will get the home audience going even more. The Shibutanis are so light are on their feet and make it all look so easy. As my friend said, "Maia was born with grace."
Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje delivered the most emotional performance of the competition. They hit every nuance of the music and told the romantic story with their movement and their facial expressions. I enjoyed Nathalie Pechalat/Fabian Bourzat's Egyptian free dance at GPF more than I did at previous events, but the theme still isn't one I can totally get into.
I thought Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir skated their free dance better than they have all season, but that's another program I can't get on board with. The posing and the music bug me. If they were going to step out of the box, I'd prefer something like their Pink Floyd program. I think an edgy look would suit them better than the cutesy look.
Meryl Davis/Charlie White ended the event with another stunning performance of their "Die Fledermaus" program. It seemed to have more of a spark at Skate America, but I think that was because the crowd there was into the program from the first beat of the music and their energy built with the performance all the way through.
The Exhibition gave good closure to the event and let us get one more look at the top finishers from the competitions. My favorite performances were given by Meryl Davis/Charlie White, Aliona Savchenko/Robin Szolkowy, Yuzuru Hanyu (this kid can move!), and Daisuke Takahashi. I loved watching all the skaters try to do disco moves in the finale!
Here are my photos from all Sunday events and a few videos from the Exhibition:
|2011 Grand Prix Final Sunday Events|