Sometimes I prefer not to comment when things don’t go well, so I don’t have a lot to say about the first couple flights. Mariah Bell looked like it was all hard work. Raf clearly thought so. He said “Too much thinking!” It could have been a fun program but the life sort of went out of it but she still has the best spiral, I think… I was never a big fan of Laurine Lecavelier’s Grease program. It started the on-ice-costume-change trend, which seems like a slippery slope, but it clearly works for her and the audience loved it… I felt badly for Stanislava Konstantinova. Things were just not going well for her, everything seemed off. Something about her dress made her seem way taller than she had just a couple days before for the short. It was a pretty hard debut for her. I hope she gets more chances! … Hanul Kim had a good competition. She kept it together in the free even though she never managed to get her triple toe tacked on for a 3-3 combo. She must have felt some pressure with Dabin Choi out. God job, Hanul!
- Loena Hendrickx had a great Worlds. She did not seem effected by skating at the Olympics and Worlds at all. I think she must be one hard working girl. I like her free program quite a lot (a lot more than her short), and I loved the little skid she does just before going into her last spin.
- I want to know about Elizabet Tursynbaeva‘s skating skills. What do you think? I’m not always a a fan of her jumps or spins but I think her skating is pretty good. True? Anyway, her illusion spin is always great. And she always seems to be analyzing her marks in the kiss and cry. I like girl with a brain.
- I just want Nicole Schott to do more with her hair. Is this too much to ask? I quite like Nicole. I hope that after competing a million times this season, she has more confidence.
- I’m really happy for Bradie Tennell. I think she skated and placed really well for her first Worlds, and I think showed why she is U.S. Champion. I don’t like when she kicks up to a camel position in her combination spin, but she has great sit spin positions. I’m starting to suspect that she has a super short body which is another reason why a strapless dress design is not good on her. Actually, I think she looked the best she has all season in the gala. So much better.
- Marai Nagasu had a great skate. It wasn’t reflected so much in her marks after Shin Amano went to town but it really was good; the audience was with her and it was enjoyable to watch. It was one of the clean programs of the night and I think some of the UR calls could have gone either way. (For the most part, I was happy to see Shin Amano on the panel but unfortunately if meant that Marai got sacrificed.) Her charlotte is just beautiful to watch. I think Miss Saigon is one of my favourite of Marai’s free programs. I hope Marai keeps going actually, because I feel like she has more to offer artistically. And as exciting as the triple axel is, I won’t miss it if she decides the price of continuing is leaving it out. Just call her 10th-Place-Marai! She’s been very consistent in her sporadic appearances at Worlds.
- Wakaba Higuchi was so wonderful to watch. I was really nervous for her but she kept it together in terrific style. It was pretty much do or die time for her, after the Japanese federation entrusted her with one of their precious two spots, and she really, really just did, skated her heart out. I actually got shivers a bit when she started into her step sequence. That was maybe the music too, but it was all just so well timed. I’m so glad Wakaba got her moment and ended up with a medal to boot! This is also one of the rare times that I will say that I loved the gloves. I loved her whole look (and so much more than the blue.) It was a great change.
- Kaetlyn Osmond!!!! I just saying, “Dig, dig, dig” the whole time she was skating (as in dig deeper.) After looking uncharacteristically shaky in the short, I thought she must just feel exhausted and I wasn’t sure how much fight was in her. But she poured herself out and kept her focus. I admire how she gives everything in each performance to achieve the speed, the height, the flow, and the performance itself. There was some brilliant jumping in her program. Her loop is now solid and gorgeous, and in her three jump combination, her final jump was actually higher than the second and she still came out with so much flow. I think each time she achieves success her confidence builds a little more; consistency begats consistency. I hope she sees herself as truly belonging at the top now because she proved herself as a competitor this season. She stuck to her plan to peak for Olympics and Worlds and followed it through. She stayed healthy and strong and gave the performances when it counted. I also admire that she is level-headed. Asked about triple axels and quads jumps, she told reporters that she has no plans to pursue these. She is enjoying being healthy and plans to stay that way. She plans on working with what she has, building her consistency and improving her PCs. Good for her for realizing you don’t need pursue the juniors. They aren’t here competitors yet!
- If there was any reason to be happy about Shin Amano, it was Maria Sotskova. After getting off without any jump calls in the short, I was counting on him sticking it to her in the free and I was not disappointed. I feel a little badly about my attitude but I think it’s just and fair that Maria gets her share of UR calls. I like that Maria is going for elegance in her skating but I wish there was more about her skating that made her stand out. I wonder what’s in store for her next season?
- It was great to see Gabby Daleman back with her gorgeous triple toe-triple toe, all plus 3 GOE. I guess she had some ankle or foot issues to but it was good to see her fight. I always enjoy that she shows when she is ticked off with herself (although she seemed quite unhappy with the people around her too). Still, in all, I think it was a pretty good competition for Gabby and I’m sure she will be looking forward to a new season. This was a tough one!
- Satoko Miyahara is always able to move me. She seemed to struggle more than usual with the jumps, but even with the mistakes, she still gave a beautiful performance. She doesn’t let the performance go and that is a real strength. I am a little worried that she has maybe lost all of the eight pounds she managed to gain. I hope she stays healthy and takes care of herself. I agree with Megan Duhamel (on TSL) that maybe gaining some muscle and strength would really help her jumps. She needs more power and it needs to come from somewhere!
- One thing I can say about Alina Zagitova is that she has great spins. I like watching her spin and she has nice positions. That’s not something you can say about everyone. And I definitely give her credit for going to Worlds. But I guess the same program that can win you an Olympic gold medal is also a program that can lose you Worlds. Her legs were just not under her and there was not time to regroup.
- So at this point, I thought Carolina Kostner could win this. Even after the first couple of mistakes, I still thought she might turn it around but by the end it was clear that it was not the performance Caro needed. I’m sure I was thinking the same thing as everyone else: “What just happened?” It was too bad she couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity but the free skate has been a bit of a struggle all season. I am so glad we got to see that short program though. It was a beautiful thing.