Thoughts on the top ladies after the season & looking forward to what's next
RUSSIA’S TOP THREE:
LIZA: Okay, girl, I gotta hand it to you- you had a hell of a season. After the disaster that last year was for her, this season’s results are INSANE. And her triple axel is one of the most beautiful jumps I have ever witnessed. Her overall jump technique is truly impressive. I would like to see some improvement, though. First- call me traditional, but I’d like that hair in a bun like the mature skater you are. Thanks. Second- the “afghan-caftan moments” (quote Johnny Weir) happening in your costuming this season does not work for me. The colors were great, but the cheapo sparkly gold stars on that long program costume do not speak “World Champ” to me. And most importantly- I’d like to see some choreography and musical interpretation that has some depth to it. Her choreo this season relied heavily on arm movements - which while flashy, isn’t the most sophisticated of presentation styles. What was great about Liza this season though was her incredible consistency and the ability to perform under pressure. Hopefully she can build on that next year and not let the pressure of being World Champ drag her down.
ELENA RADIONOVA: There’s a lot I like about Lena as a skater. She’s always got a fire in her eye and I like that intense competitiveness. She seems like a firecracker to me and I like it. I was all impressed with her at the beginning of the season, but that faded as the year went on. She’s got this scratchy, jerky way of jumping that is so ungraceful that it taints her performances for me a bit. She’s got technical consistency, though, and that’s what made this season so successful for her. I also feel Elena emotes and performs well for someone of her age. It was fun to watch her rivalry with Liza, but their scores really weren’t that close by the end of the season. To compete with Liza next year, Elena is going to needs TWO mature programs (Read: NO J-Lo) and I’m hoping for some smoother lines and jumps. And for the love of God- some costumes that aren’t terribly gaudy? Hers this season were a vast improvement from the past, but I’m all for simple and elegant. And- will she unveil a triple axel of her own to compete with her teammate?? Hmmm….
ANNA POGORILAYA: Our ‘beloved’ PogoStick had a rough go of it by the end of the season. She started out fairly well, but she was a hot freakin’ mess by the time Worlds came around. She used to have technical difficulty that would keep her in the medal race at events, but by the end of the year she didn’t even have that! Her performance skills have always been lacking, but she looked especially lost on the ice this season- screwing up spins, footwork and practically belly flopping on the ice at Worlds. WIth the crazy-intense talent in Russian ladies skating right now, Anna is in true danger of being overstepped and left in the dust. If Evgenia Medvedeva had skated the whole year as a senior, Anna wouldn’t have even made it to senior worlds. (Not to mention that Julia may be back next year, too.) Recent reports from Anna say that she’s patched things up with her coach (who looks like a total blast, btw) and is working on harder jumping content to get back into form for next year. You’ve got some work to do, girl!
Part Two: Japan’s Top Three Coming on Friday : )
About the Blog:
Reviews, predictions and opinions in the magical, sparkly and dramatic field of figure skating.