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Skate America, the first of the Grand Prix competitions, starts this Friday. For those of us who are unable to go to Chicago(or those who want to set their DVR), viewing options are pretty limited. Icenetwork is going to live stream and archive the bulk of the events, with NBC showing only the Ladies final and other interesting performances. Here is the live streaming and viewing schedule:

SKATE AMERICA Schedule (All Times Eastern)

Icenetwork.com Live Streaming

Friday, 10/24: 8:00 pm - Short Dance

9:30 pm - Men’s Short Program

Saturday, 10/25: 1:00 pm - Pairs Short Program

2:30 pm - Ladies Short Program

8:00 pm - Free Dance

9:40 pm - Men’s Free Skate

Sunday, 10/26: 2:15 pm - Pairs Free Skate

8:00 pm - Skating Spectacular


Sunday, 10/26: 4-6 pm - Ladies Free Skate, highlights

For the remainder of the Grand Prix competitions, Universal Sports TV will be showing the Men Short/Free Skate, the Ladies Short, the Pairs Free Skate and the Free Dance. Icenetwork will show all events from all the Grand Prix competitions.

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Since IceNetwork charges $50 to watch the streaming and I don't have Universal Sports, I will be relying on NBC (or possibly Youtube vids of the international streams from Eurosport?)  Hope they show some of the US men during the coverage - I'm sure they'll show Jason and Jeremy at least since people know them from the Olympic team.  I also imagine we'll see the ShibSibs and Chock & Bates for dance.


Good luck to Samantha, Mirai and Gracie who are all competing at Skate America!  Hope at least one of them winds up on the podium :)  My money's on Elena Radionova to take the ladies' gold.

Edited by apgold
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Hallelujah, Terry Gannon!  I disliked Tom Hammond with the fire of a thousand suns so the fact NBC got his condescending, snide, overly-botoxed orange face off my screen and replaced him with someone who actually seems to like and respect the sport and the athletes, is a step in the right direction.


I'm ambivalent about Johnny and Tara (although I still don't like her), but would like to request the addition of Tanith Belbin during ice dance competitions as Johnny and Tara have zero experience there and don't know what the judges are looking for.

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Does anyone know if Eurosport (in particular British ES) will be doing live coverage?  If so, it's not all that difficult to find a stream for it here in the States.  I haven't bothered with an Ice Network subscription in over 3 years and was able to watch damn near every phase of every competition I was interested in seeing.


I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Radionova has better costumes than last season's Majorette-On-Crack nightmare.  Girl has talent to spare, but her team has some of the Euro-trashiest taste I've seen in 40 years of watching FS, and the tackiness of them unfortunately detracted from her programs [/oldfart].


Best of luck to Gracie and Jeremy this weekend.  

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I don't understand why Jeremy keeps doing this to himself. It's obvious he's not a competitor. A gifted performer, yes. A fire-in-your-gut competitor, no. I fear he may end up suffering from Fumie Suguri syndrome: continuing training and telling yourself that the competition you've always dreamed of winning is JUST within your reach and you will rise like a phoenix from the ashes and everything will magically come together and you will have a performance for the ages.

Meanwhile, your teammates and other competitors are passing you by and you keep getting lower in the standings and skills you'd barely acquired are disappearing while other skills you'd mastered long ago are getting weak and you're no longer automatically mentioned as a given for one of the top three spots and barely discussed as being in the running for the top ten.

Okay, maybe it's not that dire for Jeremy yet, but the trajectory is headed that direction. I mean, he's almost 30, the quad seems to be a once-in-a-blue-moon jump for him, the triple axel is starting to get iffy, and he doubled a lot of jumps in his LP yesterday. And yet to hear him talk during the press conference, it was just a fluke, he's just got to get back to training and everything will be fine. He's got this season in the bag and the world title is his for the taking!

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I wonder why it is that the US hasn't had a man since Tim Goebel why could reliably do the quad.  Jeremy and Evan and a few lower rung skaters were able to do them every once in a great while.  I don't think it can be body type.  Chan, Hanyu, Plushy, Joubert, this is a variety of heights and body weights and these guys were/are able to real them off pretty reliably in SP and LP. Nam Nguyen just landed his first quad in competition last week and produced another beauty at Skate America.  I think he is 16. I honestly don't see Jason getting the quad.  He struggles mightily with the triple axel.  Beautiful skater, lovely personality, but not likely to threaten for Worlds podium.   I even checked some of the US junior men and none made the Junior Grand Prix final.  So, what is the explanation for this lack of technical ability? 


I thought Gracie might be "The One" to have a high profile in the sport like Michelle or Sasha.  I think she is capable of the difficult jumps and combinations but she appears to be so nervous and stiff that she takes herself out of the running.  I don't think you can be in the upper echelons if you have to fight for every landing. And I hate the vocals in her program. 

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Whatever happened to Timothy Goebel?


So, NBC, your coverage sucked.  It didn't even have the cool little black box with the technical scores (as it were).


I bit the bullet and went to the I*e network.  It's better, but still.  I should be able to watch it on tv dammit!


It seemed like a rough competition for everyone.  I guess it is early in the year, but it felt like there were more "eh"  programs than "wow" programs.  


I really liked Jeremy's short program.  I wish there was a way for him to be more consistent- maybe he should look for a hypnotist.  ;)   I just hope he can get a bronze in some world championship so he can retire and move on. Jason Brown- not sure how I feel about his programs.  Or maybe it's his costumes.


Machida just wiped the floor with everyone.  I'm not crazy about his skating- he can jump beautifully, but I just don't "feel" his programs.  I feel like he's there for the jumps, and everything else is just something bothersome for him.  It doesn't look like the USA can compete with the Russians or Japanese.


The women:


Mirai!  LOVED your long program, love the choreography of your short- I hope to see her skate cleanly in her short very soon.  Such potential.  Sam Ceasario was pretty good, Gracie Gold, I think, is suffering from the pressure of "OMG she's the next big thing" people/figure skating politics.  Also, the music for her long is awful.  It doesn't seem to "fit" her.  She's not a disney princess, but she's not a "let me dance to a mournful dirge" person either.


I don't get the russians.  They can SKATE.  Their costumes are awful.  And while they can skate and jump, I feel like I'm watching a lot of windmilling arms and a lack of artistry.  I'm not feeling them either.


They say the year after the olympics is a time of change- I hope everyone can get it together.

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So happy to find fellow former TWoP posters here--Tumblr is great for pictures and videos but useless for actual discussion threads.


Men's LP thoughts:


Since I'm at the mercy of the kindness of YouTube uploaders for GP performances, I have learned to love pixelated picture and muddy sound these last few years.  Perhaps if I'd been able to watch in high def, Jeremy Abbott's scruff would look less half-assed? I kinda get what he's going for, but just not feeling it right now. As for actual skating, I love the music he's using for his LP, but eesh, some of those doubled jumps. I thought last season was going to be his final in competition? He finished in a good place after the rough Olympics and seemed pretty final about it all, so I was surprised to see him still in the mix.


Watching Jason Brown was frustrating because TRIPLE AXEL, dude. That has to be locked down if there's no planned quadruple jump and you want to be in gold medal contention with the Japanese men. I love the rest of his skating, even if not so much feeling the costumes (hoping they will be changed at some point this season). I hope with Jason, it's a case of "first competition of the season"-itis and not a harbinger of things to come.


The Canadian who finished in third, Nam Nguyen, some of his moves were pretty good and fluid, but other times he was quite stiff. Looked at his bio--he's only 16--so that explains that and his slowness compared to the other top, older competitors.


Tatsuki Machida is certainly Mr. Jumps, but I'm not feeling the program as a whole. Hoping there will be refinment of the elements between the jumps.

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Wikipedia says that Tim Goebel is working at something called "Aviator Figure Skating Academy", but the only thing I can find out about it online is in association with repeats of the Wikipedia article.  Does anybody know what that is?

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So, NBC, your coverage sucked. 


I do not understand how the network could completely ignore ice dancing (and pairs). Davis and White really boosted its popularity during the Olympics, and even without them this year, the US still took gold and silver at SA. Jeremy, Jason, and Gracie aren't going to be winning any world medals this year - why act as if the only discipline with a shot at success doesn't even exist? They couldn't even be bothered to put up a graphic with the results.




Perhaps if I'd been able to watch in high def, Jeremy Abbott's scruff would look less half-assed?

Sadly, no.

Edited by Barbara Manatee
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Jason Brown's LP outfit looked like he should have been skating to music from The Hobbit.


Movie music is awesome, actually - I'm surprised we don't see more skaters using it. Maybe getting the rights to the music is harder?

Edited by MaryMitch
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So I watched the commentary on Eurosport 2 (it's on Youtube) vs. Johnny, Tara & Terry.  Love Terry and Johnny, Tara really doesn't add anything to the conversation.  She said Samantha was inconsistent which is BS.  Even Johnny called her out on it (in a nice way) and Terry said she was the only skater who didn't fall last season on the GP.  Contrast that with the Eurosport guys who loved her Carmen and said she deserved to be placed over Gracie.


I don't think Sammi is the best skater ever or her Carmen is the best ever, but she sells the hell out of her programs and doesn't falter. The only valid thing Tara said was her step sequence and spins aren't at the highest level which is true.


Johnny was spot on about Gracie not being her "off ice" self on the ice.  And Terry didn't like the vocals, LOL.


And yes, NBC's coverage was awful, considering that US skaters took #2 in pairs and #1 and #2 in Ice Dance.  And they didn't even show Mirai's nice comeback in the FS.


And I was right that Radionova would take the gold.  She did look a little rough around the edges, more than usual, even though she skated well.  She is all arms and legs still.


Looking forward to Skate Canada next weekend!

Edited by apgold
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I wish Jeremy would have retired after Worlds. During Sunday's broadcast I kept hearing that he wants to be on the world podium, but I can't see how that will ever happen. I really hope he falters at Nationals so he doesn't make the team. Not that the US has a bevy of top male skaters and I'm over Max Aaron, but anyone else, please!

I'm also growing tired of Gracie. I just don't see her growing as a skater and I'm starting to think she'll never make a Worlds podium either. I hate her music this year.

I didn't think Sam Cesario got enough credit. Love her programs and she really does sell them. I'd love to see her on the Worlds team this year.

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I can't say that this season feels super exciting for me so far. 


I actually really like Gracie but I think it's obvious that her long program this year is a miss. I know it's unlikely to happen but I think she should scrap it and put another program together. I'd love to know any music suggestions you guys would have chosen for her. My first thought was something like Ravel's Daphnis et Chloe but I'd also like to finally see a singles skater use Wagner's Tristan und Isolde and I think Gracie would be a good fit for that. Since she's kind of stuck on the princess thing there's also something like Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet since almost everyone goes for either Prokofiev or Rota. 


Jason is easily my favorite among the American men but I can't say that he looks as though he's improved all that much and that triple axel really should be a bit more consistent at this point. Does anyone happen to know if he had wrap issues on his jumps when he was younger?


I really like Mirai's long program and think it has a lot of potential. And--I *hate* saying it but I also think that it might be helpful for her to lose a bit of weight. I'm definitely not trying to be insensitive, I just couldn't help thinking it as I was watching her. I've had similar feelings in the past about Caroline Zhang, Rachael Flatt, and other skaters.  


Jeremy makes me sad. I wish him well. I have nothing further to add as far as he's concerned. 


NBC's coverage sucked. So rude that they couldn't be bothered to show Mirai's long or any of the dance or pairs but could find time for a Meryl/Charlie interview. WTFever.


I did like it though when Johnny checked Tara on the fact that Sam Cesario is indeed pretty freaking consistent. Why though she has to be the 86458763rd lady to skate to Carmen is beyond me. Seriously. Carmen needs a five to ten year break at the very least.


I'm stunned that Carolina seems to not be retiring. That's way more shocking to me than Jeremy staying in the game. 

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Johnny said Gracie's off ice personality is "fiery."  I think maybe she could try something with power to it.  Maybe the greatly overused Malaguena or Aranjuez.  I could even see her doing Sam Cesario's program with all its existing choreography as Carmen.  Gracie has the look of a Hitchcock blonde and she has a more womanly appearance than the young Russian girls.  What music could play to those strengths?  Something kind of sexy like Fever?  I don't know.  Sometimes Lori Nichol does great work and other times it is very uninspiring and cliched.

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Sometimes Lori Nichol does great work and other times it is very uninspiring and cliched.


True, she did some great work with Michelle Kwan and Carolina Kostner.  Frank and Lori just don't know what to do w/Gracie, IMO.  Her packaging is terrible and it doesn't work for her.


Even her EX to "Shake it Off" was better because Gracie looked alive because she was connecting to the song.

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Yeah, I see Gracie doing better with sassy, jazzy music. Or something rock and roll. Her Chicago exhibition was really cute. Floaty princess is what she looks like but it doesn't seem to wear well. I think she would have an easier time with music that she was really into--no worries about tensing up for jumps if she is rocking out to the music. It would help her performance too. Maybe Frank and crew are trying to get her to stretch or maybe they have gotten too moribund and don't know how to handle a skater with a personality other than ice princess. Kwan could do sassy and ice princess but maybe Gracie can't.


Cesario I guess needs to keep showing up and delivering and will get recognition soon. Hopefully. She's a good looking woman and is more consistent tha Czsiny was so here's hoping it happens for her. Not excited about Carmen, but I do think she did a good job with it. The Russians weren't perfect, so there is room to advance on them.


Also, WHAT was Tuktamysheva wearing? It technically worked with the theme of the music, but it looked like she came right from the hotel and barely had time to cover her panties with her pegnoir. If her skates had had feather tufts on them, the picture would have been complete. I do like that she tried a different silhouette but in application, I don't know that it worked.

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Skate Canada is the next Grand Prix event, and this competition will take place in Kelowna, British Columbia this coming weekend. Icenetwork will be live streaming the whole event, while Universal Sports TV and NBC will be showing portions of it.

Below are the broadcast times for Skate Canada on various media. Please note that ALL TIMES LISTED ARE EASTERN.


Icenetwork.com Live Streaming

Friday, Oct. 31:        4:15 pm - Men’s Short Program

                             6:10 pm - Pairs Short Program

                             8:45 pm - Short Dance

                            10:15 pm - Ladies Short Program


Saturday, Nov. 1:     1:55 pm - Men’s Free Skate

                             4:25 pm - Pairs Free Skate

                             8:05 pm - Free Dance

                            10:00 pm - Ladies Free Skate


Universal Sports TV

Friday, Oct. 31:        9:00 pm - Men’s and Ladies Short Programs

Saturday, Nov. 1:     4:30 pm - Pairs Free Skate

                                7:30 pm - Free Dance



Sunday, Nov. 2:       1:00 pm - Highlights of Men and Ladies Free Skate


For our Canadian friends, below is the schedule for the Canadian TV broadcasts:




Friday, Oct 1:          4:00 pm - Men and Pairs Short Programs

                                8:30 pm - Short Dance and Ladies Short Program

Saturday, Nov. 1:     2:00 pm - Men’s Free Skate

                                10:00 pm - Ladies Free Skate




Saturday, Nov. 1:     4:30 pm - Pairs Free Skate

                                 8:00 pm - Free Dance

As always, check your local listings for the times in your area for any changes to the schedule.

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Madison Hubbell's costumes are usually unflattering, but I'll never complain about her again after seeing Z and G. (Well, that's not true. Of course I will.)


Piper Gilles's cape looked like a stripper costume from Gypsy--give her a butterfly G-string and she could sing "You Gotta Have a Gimmick."

Why is Alena Leonova in drag?

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I didn't mind Leonova's costume--it worked with the music and really highlighted how great her posture is. I don't think Pogorilaya should be in first--I'd have put both Wagner and Leonova ahead of her. Wagner's hair is terrible. Maybe she should try red. Felt bad for Helgesson when she practically flashed the crowd when her top came undone. Guess they need a backup clasp up there--at least when Gracie's came undone at the Olympics, she had sleeves to help keep it up. Satoko Miyahara's outfit looked oversized on her (last year's did too actually) but Canada really put on a good showing even without their best lady in the event. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the Canadian ladies' skating---there is definitely room to grow there.


The men looked ragged other than Fernandez who grows on me more and more each season. Max Aaron was definitely *trying* to do his program justice and maybe as the season goes on, it will get better. But his hair is THE WORST. I don't know what he is going for with something that is flat, curly, *and* poofy, but the whole effect was awful. Also, at least two of the men need to find new costumes--seemed like everyone out there had a shirt with a fake, undone bowtie around their neck. BORING.


Finally, I found myself saying SHUT UP, PETER CARRUTHERS about a hundred times. He talks so much but says nothing at all. They need to replace him. Ryan Bradley was great last year. Carruthers can't watch, think, and talk at the same time and being a sports commentator requires the ability to multitask. He says the same things over and over, trails off weirdly, doesn't answer the network guy's actual question, and provides no real insight despite several good leading questions. "Is the ability to show competitive fire something that comes from the athlete or can the coach teach it?" "It depends...." and then nothing else. Examples, please, if you are going to talk over the skating. He also kept interrupting the network guy when he was doing wrap-up stuff--it was like he had never done skating commentary before. So amateur. And any time he comments about one of the ladies' looks, it sounds pervy.

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I actually liked Leonova's short once I realized what the costume was about. Pogorilaya still seems a bit junior to me. Normally I don't think anyone except Russian pairs should skate to "Spartacus," but Wagner did well (and I think Arutunian is a good choice of coach for her. And I can see her as a redhead).


I missed the men's first flight in the short--what did Rippon do (or not do) to end up in twelfth place?

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Oy, Adam. The singles free skates are on NBC (EST) now, but they're starting with Aaron, skating to the Gladiator sound track. Sort of Stojko-ish, but Tara Lipinski loves it; she thinks he has more artistry this season. Johnny Weir thinks he doesn't have nearly enough. I'm with Johnny. (But he does like Max's thighs.)

Edited by honeywest
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So how was the coverage on universal sports?  NBC, I think, is still pretty bad.  Not even feeling the tara/johnny love anymore.


Thus complained, I liked Ashley's program, and wished she could have beaten the russian woman (Anna?)- even though I liked her.  The girl who came in third is adorable, but I am wondering if she's going to have a growth spurt soon.


Poor Adam.  I'd like to seem him pull it together.  


Unless things change this season, it looks like the russians/japanese are going to dominate for some time to come- they really seem to know their stuff.  I wonder what they are doing differently from other countries/programs that is making such a difference.  

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Thus complained, I liked Ashley's program, and wished she could have beaten the russian woman (Anna?)- even though I liked her.  The girl who came in third is adorable, but I am wondering if she's going to have a growth spurt soon.


There's no way Ashley would've been first without upping her technical content.  Anna had two 3-3s and Ashley had none.  I think Ashley's program suits her though and plays to her strengths.  I saw improvement in her speed and spins but she needs to get the lutz back or a 3-3 to really be competitive.

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Just found all of you!   I was hoping someone had started a thread for figure skating after watching a lot of it over the weekend.  Can I say how sad I am that so many Canadian pairs have split up?!  I understand that Kirsten wants to make it to two more Olympics and Dylan may be a little on the "old" side to keep up with her especially in 8 years, but it still makes me sad to see them with other people.  Having said that, I watched Kirsten and her new partner on the weekend, but so far haven't found Dylan any where.  Has he gone to any competitions that have been televised with his Russian partner?  So thrilled that Eric Radford and Meagan Duhamel are still together.  I saw them in Kingston years ago when they were just starting their partnership and have to say it's been lovely watching them as they've solidified their partnership.


As someone who discovered quite by accident that TSN up here carries figure skating in its entirety on occasion vs highlights I want to pass that along to any Canadian viewers.  Until the Olympics - and late into the Olympics I might add, I had no idea I could watch all the skaters vs the last two flights or just the last flight.  I wasn't impressed with our Canadian coverage over the weekend.    


I'm really looking forward to watching Andrew Poje and Kaitlyn Weaver this season.  I really liked their LP from last year and am looking forward to watching their growth this year.  Haven't had a chance to see their short yet this year but am looking forward to that as well.


As a watcher vs someone who knows a lot about rules and regulations etc can I ask if anyone knows how new partnerships are ranked and how the draws are done for the Grande Prix events?  One of the commentators said one of the Canadian dance teams drew the last two competitions.   I got the impression they wouldn't be in any more until the Canadian Nationals which will be held in Kingston.  Is this correct?

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Ugh.  I like fanfiction when writers are using fictional characters but fanfiction using real people is creepy.  I mean, you're writing a story about someone that could actually read it for themselves!  How squick-worthy is that?  And then the person's family and friends get added along with the scenarios the person or people are put in, sometimes overly sexual--it's just gross.

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What's up with Max Aaron's look this year? Just no with the hair and why do his costumes always look three sizes too small? I understand he's built like Stojko but certainly someone can come up with a costume that looks like it wasn't sewn for an eight year old.

I'm not sure why Ashley is back. I keep hearing about her triple triple combo but she always under rotates it or takes it out. If she can't get that down by now, she might as well give up on a worlds podium spot.

Just to be shallow, I hate the Russian ladies costumes. They're always way overdone with beads, sparkles, etc. And I wish it was a massive point deduction to wear over the boot tights. I thought that fad was over by Vancouver.

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Nice triple axels from Takahito Mura. Those entrances! I'll forgive him for skating to Phantom since it seems like he's going to be bringing it this season.


Too bad about Adam. Why I'm always in love with the skating of the unreliable headcases I have no idea. When I watch him skate it takes me back to how I'd feel every time Alissa or Sasha would blow it. Too frustrating.


I'm really pulling for Javier too and hope he gets it together so that he can win next time. I basically feel like he has the complete package and hope that this turns out to be a great season for him.


Pogorilaya still seems a bit junior to me.



Yeah, I think my expectations were probably too high. I also thought her choreography should have been more dramatic for something like Firebird. Still I'm definitely looking forward to seeing how she fares through the rest of the season and am definitely going to check out Russian Nationals for the ladies if they end up popping up on youtube because that competition should be fierce. 


ETA: It seems that Alexandra Proklova is also skating to The Firebird this season. Should be interesting.


I'm not sure why Ashley is back. I keep hearing about her triple triple combo but she always under rotates it or takes it out. If she can't get that down by now, she might as well give up on a worlds podium spot.



I don't really get it either. I feel like she's two footed and under rotated her way through too many programs for my taste. I think the choice of Moulin Rouge fine but felt that her choreography wasn't especially memorable especially during the "One Day I'll Fly Away" sequence. OTOH I like her dress I only wish it were a different color. I would have liked something a little closer to a different costume that Nicole Kidman wore in the film but I guess that one might have seemed a little too close to Michelle's Salome costume from '96. She also needs to fix her hair color because it looked pretty patchy--I wouldn't be happy if I'd paid somebody to do that to me.


Mirai may have her issues but I just get the impression that she has a lot more natural talent than Ashley so for me she's a much more exciting skater to watch. I think Madame Butterfly is a great choice and can't recall a US lady having recently skated to it. Ann Patrice McDonough is the last American lady I can recall using it and I remember liking that program IIRC.

Edited by Avaleigh
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I'm okay with Ashley skating another season or two if she feels she still has the drive and wants to compete.  Clearly she needs to up her tech content and work on the two foot/UR issues, but she is a fierce competitor (most of the time) and her PCS mark was the highest of all the ladies at SC.  She is ahead of Gracie so far in the GPF ranking, so it's too early to count her out.

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The next Grand Prix event on the schedule is Cup of China, which is going to be held in Shanghai. This Grand Prix will be held at the same venue as the 2015 Worlds, so skaters with aspirations of making it to Worlds will have an opportunity to check out the arena before next March.

As usual, icenetwork.com will offer live streaming of the event, although given the time difference between China and North America, the live streaming is probably of interest only to those who think that sleep is highly over-rated.

NBC, Universal Sports TV and the CBC in Canada will be offering the event on tape delay, and icenetwork will post the video of their live streaming on their website for on-demand viewing.

Below is the broadcast schedule for Cup of China. As usual, all times listed are EASTERN. Check your local listings for the times in your area.

Universal Sports TV

Friday, Nov. 7: 11:00 am - Men and Ladies Short Programs

Saturday, Nov. 8: 11:00 am - Free Dance and Pairs Free Skate


Sunday, Nov. 9: 4:00 pm - Highlights of Men and Ladies Free Skate


Friday, Nov. 7: 3:00 am - Short Dance

4:30 am - Ladies Short Program

6:30 am - Men’s Short Program

8:30 am - Pairs Short Program

Saturday, Nov. 8: 2:00 am - Free Dance

3:35 am - Ladies Free Skate

5:45 am - Men’s Free Skate

8:00 am - Pairs Free Skate


Saturday, Nov. 8: 3:00 am - Events from Cup of China

3:00 pm - Events from Cup of China

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That was a bizarre competition. Collisions, upsets, implosions, medalists skipping the ceremonies. 


I don't understand why Hanyu and Han were allowed to skate, or not stopped as soon as it was clear they were going to keep falling. Are there any medical protocols at skating events - do the officials have the power to force someone to quit for safety resons?

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So how was the coverage on universal sports?  NBC, I think, is still pretty bad.  Not even feeling the tara/johnny love anymore.


See above for my report on how Carruthers is doing (short answer: AWFUL). The only thing Universal Sports is doing right is the network guy (Hummer) and the ice dancing (Tanith Belbin for China, Sinead Kerr for Skate Canada). Even if they don't add much (but they do seem to and I am not a ice dancing fanatic so take that for what it might be worth), they don't actively detract from the watching. Like Carruthers does. Uncle Dick can do crazy and trailing off comments because he is frickin' Dick Button. Peter Carruthers, while I am sure a nice guy, is a terrible sportscaster. Scott Hamilton would be an improvement. And he really, REALLY needs to lay off the comments on the physiques of the ladies skaters. (I am going to insert another plea for Ryan Bradley to get the call to the broadcast booth. Heck, they can keep Carruthers in the "crazy old guy" spot if they bring in someone, anyone to get him to talk less.)


After catching up on Skate Canada, I have to say that Rika Hongo very much has that gangly Karen Kwan/Kimmie Meissner quality. Maybe early Carolina Kostner too. Here's hoping it doesn't take her as long to grow into her elegance as it took those other skaters. I also really liked Aaron and Settlage in Ice Dance. I hope they stay together long enough to grow as a pair. The German ice dance couple's music was terrible. Just noise. I think if they feel they are being underscored, they should look to their awful music and not the location of the competition. Hubble and Donahue also skated to music I actively hated. Poje and Weaver were great.

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I got lucky and was able to see the Cup of China ice dance and pairs free programs on Uniersal Sports, and even though Peter Carruthers was a bit annoying with his commentary, at least they showed all the entrants programs in their entirety. As a U.S. skating fan, it feels increasingly pointless ever watching the American pairs because it seems like they never stay together long enough to get to the level required to finish on an international podium.


I really like Tanith Belbin as a commenator. Her remaks are usually informative, particularly for me since ice dance is the discipline I know the least about, and don't detract from the viewing experience. The French team that won was lovely to watch--their free program is just so...pretty and pleasant to watch. Too bad about the Italians--they finished last season on such a high, I was just not feeling what they put together in this new free program. I think I want to like the ShibSibs free program this year more than I actually do at this point. I really like their short dance, but I think because the music they use for their free is so familiar that it's easy to feel bored by it. As a viewer, I like it when things get theatrical and weird, and their program is anything but.


Something I noticed while watching the ladies free skate: some of the youngest were doing a kick thing with their free leg going into some of their jumps, like the flip (?)  Is that a common thing to do? It was distracting to see.


And I have a couple of music choice questions. First, what is it with so many of the Japanese skaters using Phantom of the Opera this year?? Second, when is someone going to use selections from the Battlestar Galactica soundtrack for a program? (I've been asking this for going on ten years now.) This kind of gets to a perennial gripe about hearing the same dozen music selections every year; there are so many options, especially now that words are allowed in all disciplines, but instead we just get the same stuff--just with the actual words now instead of instrumental versions.

Edited by specialj67
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Yes! I have been wanting someone to skate to the Battlestar Soundtrack! I would geek out over that!

Carmen, Phantom of the Opera and Swan Lake all need to be locked up in some sort of time capsule device to be opened on 2035 or something. I might throw a few versions of Romeo and Juliet in there too.

After a couple of those falls Hanyu and Han were taking, I almost wished they'd just stopped the music and escorted them off the ice before they hurt themselves more than they were already hurt. Kudos to both of them for competitive spirit, but at the very least those two need whopping doses of Motrin and nice, soft beds... Right after thorough exams for concussions.

Edited by Libby96
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It seems to be a sad state of skating when the silver medalists in the mens' and womens' events both fell multiple times and made numerous mistakes but were more interesting than the majority of other skaters shown on tv. Even with the concussions and other injuries (I really wanted them to just go and sit down), Hanyu and Han(?) were both far more compelling than the Russian who won. He really got lucky they took themselves out. I hope Julia can hold on until the next Olympics. I think she could be the next big star.

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Something I noticed while watching the ladies free skate: some of the youngest were doing a kick thing with their free leg going into some of their jumps, like the flip (?)  Is that a common thing to do? It was distracting to see.


If you're talking about Kanako Murakami, then she has been doing the "donkey kick" for a while now, going into all of her jumps, not just the flip.  It's her technique. I didn't notice it on the others, so maybe it's the flip you're referring to that requires some kind of kick before takeoff.


As for the collision mess with the men's - it was pathetic to see Yuzu skate like he'd returned from battle.  I guess Han Yan decided to skate because it was in his home country and Yuzu is a trooper.   According to reports, I don't think either have sustained anything other than some bumps and bruises and are lucky it wasn't worse.  


On another note, I'm glad Ricky Dornbush got bronze here, if he hadn't messed up in the second half, he could've taken silver.


And apparently Yulia skipped the medal ceremony because she was confused about the timing (and obviously upset about her skate).  Once they called her and said she should be there, she said they tried to rush back to the rink but it didn't work out.

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Maybe Tara Lipinski could address the mechanics of the donkey kick; she had a doozy on her triple flips.  Certainly the donkey kicks must have a minus GOE?  I haven't seen many of the performances, but I did catch a few on you tube.  I agree that Julia L. has that it factor that makes you want to watch her.  I don't care for that striped shirt costume in her short; I actually found it distracting.  I read somewhere it represents a kite?  Hanyu has a beautiful short program to Chopin. He's gonna score crazy big when he puts it all together.  Glad to see some success for Ricky Dornbush.  Wouldn't mind seeing him on the podium at Nationals this year.  Polina missed her combo in the short but I still like her skating.  She is a tall skater and I hope that doesn't hinder her.  It worked for Carolina, so there is hope...

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I actually like Ricky Dornbush's program and hope this ends up being his season. As far as the American men I'm keeping my fingers crossed for him and Jason Brown.


I love that there are three American men doing that lutz now.


It seems to be a sad state of skating when the silver medalists in the mens' and womens' events both fell multiple times and made numerous mistakes but were more interesting than the majority of other skaters shown on tv.



In all seriousness I'm starting to wonder if -1.00 is enough of a deduction for a fall. I think it's too ridiculous that a person can fall and still easily breeze away with a silver medal. To the casual viewer IMO it makes the sport seem like a joke.


Yulia seems to have some serious technique issues on top of seeming like she's the type to get nervous and distracted while competing. I have a hard time seeing her keeping it together for four more years. Plus I wince ever time she does a double axel. I hate that take off. 


I hated most of the laybacks I saw yesterday. Not one girl had a proper turnout. 


Kanako Murakami seems to have kind of plateaued out. I'm just not seeing any improvement and by all rights this should be her year considering two of the other prominent Japanese ladies won't be in it this season.

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I think it was utterly foolish for Hanyu and Yan to go back out and skate after that collision.  Head injuries are nothing to screw around with.  They both should have been sent to the hospital immediately after the accident and withdrawn from the competition.  I understand Brian Orser tried to talk Hanyu out of going back out to skate but Hanyu refused and ended up falling five times and looking like he didn't know where he was.  There's no one really to blame in this whole incident, but at the same time, everyone is to blame. 

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