Wednesday, October 24, 2012

2012 Skate America Wrap Up Part I

Now that I've had time to return home and get settled, I wanted to put together my thoughts on the competition last weekend. I'll start with the short programs in this post and then tackle the free skates next time.

The first event on Friday night was the pairs short program. Gretchen Donlan/Andrew Speroff led off the competition and looked a little nervous in their Grand Prix debut. It was wonderful to see their program, though, which includes a beautiful footwork sequence. Their Skating Club of Boston training mates, Marissa Castelli/Simon Shnapir, looked much more confident taking the ice, and they performed one of the best programs I've seen from them. Marissa had the sassy attitude down pat, and Simon looked like he was having the time of his life. Even in practice I noticed his facial expressions and how much fun they both seemed to be having.

Vanessa James/Morgan Cipres are one of my new favorite teams after last weekend. They look very crisp and are strong on all the pairs elements. And they know how to bring the pretty! Caydee Denney/John Coughlin's program was well-skated, but the music (Aranjuez) will always make me think of Michelle Kwan.  I thought the top two teams Pang/Tong and Volosozhar/Trankov looked sloppy and not worthy of the scores they were given, especially Volosozhar/Trankov.

The men's short program was next, and I think the judges were confused and thought they were at Skate Canada because we saw some serious Chanflation! I thought Yuzuru Hanyu skated great and definitely deserved a big score, but not ten points more than Takahiko Kozuka. Takahiko is an incredible skater and he threw it down in the short program. Jeremy Abbott debuted his "Spy" program and showed a lot of personality. I generally don't like James Bond-type programs, but this one I enjoyed. Another skater I enjoyed was Tatsuki Machida. I don't think I'd seen him skate before, and his jumps are amazing.

Saturday's slate of events started with the ladies' short program, which I skipped to eat lunch. The short dance followed, and all the teams skated excellently. It's rare to see a dance event where every team executes their twizzles perfectly. Anastasia Cannuscio/Colin McManus started off the competition with a flowing waltz and polka, a great Grand Prix debut for them. I barely recognized the next team of Lorenza Alessandrini/Simone Vaturi because I think they've improved so much. Last year I thought they were rather sloppy-looking, but this year I was impressed with their speed and polish.

Lynn Kriengkrairut/Logan Giulietti-Schmitt had the crowd behind them all the way with their Western-themed program. They have such great performance skills. Another team with great performance skills is Nelli Zhiganshina/Alexander Gazsi. Their expression reaches the top row of the arena. Ekaterina Bobrova/Dmitri Soloviev followed them with a more subtle program.

Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje skated to the entire soundtrack of The Sound of Music in two and a half minutes. The program had a few too many music cuts for me. They looked beautiful, though - Kaitlyn's dress reminded me a lot of the dress Maria wore in the movie when she danced with the Captain, and Andrew looked so dapper! Funny moment at practice that morning as we watched the program run-through, and my friend said, "Will Trankov be playing the role of the Nazi?" LOLOL

Meryl Davis/Charlie White closed the show with a fun program that made me smile. And it also looked incredibly intricate! I knew Meryl and Charlie would make the Yankee Polka look easy, and they did. I think they picked the perfect music (Giselle) to bring that light and easy feeling to the program. Charlie's costume is one of my favorites he's worn, and Meryl looked like a little doll. I'm in love with the skirt of her costume.

Thoughts on the free skates coming soon!


  1. Thanks for the recap! I had a chance to look at some of the programs and they were lovely.

    With the Vanessa James/Morgan Cipre program the music was killing me because I know the first song very well and it's really NOT meant to sound like that, it was hurting my ears. but their skate was quite dynamic and I like the couple's style.

    I saw Meryl and Charlie's and I quite enjoyed their short dance, though I thought some of their arm movements were a little sloppy. Hopefully their program will get better and better as the season progresses - though I'm a die hard fan of Virtue and Moir, I like a tough competition.

    I don't usually "ge"t Weaver and Poje but I really enjoyed their short program this time. I think they are growing on me and I love their outfis.

    1. I loved Weaver and Poje's free dance. More on that in my free dance recap! :)