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29 January 2011 @ 11:21 pm
2011 US Nationals (Ice Dance and Ladies)  
Woohoo! US National Figure Skating Championships! Mirai! YAY!!!

Ice Dance - Yes, they're great, but White/Davis just rub me the wrong way. I thought maybe it was just my Belbin/Agosto love and how the press/judges kept pitting those two teams against each other, but nah, they bore me. I can see how how good they are, but they just don't move me. On the other hand, oh my goodness!, the seniors debut of the Shibutani brother/sister team (Maia and Alex) were AMAZING! I just adored them. So light and fresh with wonderful, wonderful skill. Only 16 and 19, they didn't come across as anything other than pure style and sophistication on the ice. So glad to see them take the silver. They look like they have a great future ahead of them. Whee!

No one really else grabbed my attention.

Ladies (covering only the ones I saw the short and long for) - MIRAI! Love her so much. Her short was as delightful as ever, and as Sandra Bezic said, it was magical. Loved seeing her go into the long in first place, just wish she could keep the lead. She just makes me smile when she skates. Sigh, even if this wasn't my favorite long program of hers, she was still leagues better than Flatt. Ugh, ugh, ugh!

Alyssa Czisny did wonderful, she's not a favorite, but it was lovely seeing her do so well after her ups and downs. Alas, she does bore me a bit, not much charisma, but she has such grace and artistry and when her technique is on, she really hits the marks. The thing with her is that, with her backstory, you're really just rooting for her to do well. If Mirai couldn't win, then at least Alyssa won over Flatt. SO YAY FOR HER!!!

I love Mirai Nagasu, but I really do go back and forth between her and Ashley Wagner as my favorite. Ashley is so beautifully graceful and lyrical. Her arms and hands are comparable to Oksana Baiul, in my opinion -- the only one I've seen and that's really high praise coming from me. Once again, though, she had a weak short program and a much stronger long program. She actually placed much higher after the short than last year (where she went from 12th to 4th). This year, she place seventh, but alas, her long was not nearly as strong as her long programs usually are, so any shot at the podium pretty much rested on most of the top six finishers screwing up. Ah well. I still think she's a beautiful skater; I just wish she could get over her short program shutdown, she could be amazing.

Agnes Zawadzki, making her seniors debut, is very good. I thought she played up a bit of a slutty (is that the word I'm looking for?) vibe in her short program, but she's clearly, clearly got the goods. I really liked the demeanor and choreography in the long much better. I think that if they had gone for saucy/sassy in the short, I would have liked it much more. But the long really allowed me to concentrate on her skill (even with the mistakes, doubling jumps, falling on jumps, poor dear) without my disappointment in the choreography and tone. She's definitely promising, if not as graceful as I prefer. But I suppose I have Ashley and Mirai for that, and she still has lovely form and musicality, along with the technical skill.

I liked Christina Gao's short, and her long was just lovely. Gorgeous jumps, wonderful use of her longer limbs due to the growth spurt. She doesn't reach out and grab me, but she's quite, quite good. Still, I do like her, I mean, I gasped for her when she fell. Give her a bit more time to get used to her new body though, and I could see her being unstoppable.

Rachel Flatt is, admittedly, more graceful than I've seen her before. Of course, before this round I thought of her as Frankenstein's Bride on Ice, so that's not really saying much. She still lumbers, but she's a bit better, less lumbering, but still ... this girl is a National Champion? Sigh. I mean, you have Mirai, Ashley, Alyssa, Agnes, Christina with varying degrees of such grace and musical artistry and then Flatt? She sticks out like a sore thumb. Technical consistency, my ass. It so bugs me that this girl is a figure skating champion. Ugh. Really, shouldn't grace and artistry have any place in determining the winner? With Flatt on top, it sure doesn't look like it. Double ugh.

Tomorrow, the mens with JEREMY ABBOTT! and JOHNNY WEIR!! Yay!
kilodaltonkilodalton on January 30th, 2011 04:24 am (UTC)
Oooh I totally forgot that was on! =( Glad she did so well!
Arabian: Dr Who (10) - Kissarabian on January 30th, 2011 04:30 am (UTC)
Ah, but she didn't! She finished third, and with the poor showing at the Olympics (Mirai finished the highest at 4th), the US only has two berths at the Worlds, and yup, Flatt is getting it instead of Mirai. It's really frustrating because it's quite obvious that outside of the US, Flatt's lumbering artistry clearly outweighs her technical prowess because she never does as well, so basically, all of our hopes are resting on Alyssa.
kilodaltonkilodalton on January 30th, 2011 04:54 am (UTC)
Oh no, I misunderstood =/ ... I'm sorry to hear that. Yeah ... I'm not a fan of Flatt either.
Arabian: Dr Who (10)arabian on January 30th, 2011 04:54 am (UTC)
I'm hoping I'm wrong, but the way they were talking, it sure sounded like it. I am sad. :(
this girl's mostly fictionanti_social_ite on January 30th, 2011 04:41 am (UTC)
I was so happy for Alissa, because I just love the way she skates. But I was also really disappointed for Mirai, because now it's looking unlikely that she'll get to worlds, and she is amazing and definitely better than Rachel Flatt, who, I don't know, just annoys me a fair bit. I haven't watched her programs yet, but she's always struck me as a little bit ... flaily?

I want to know what's happened to Caroline Zhang though. She used to be good - back in Juniors - and her hammertoe has gotten better lately, but she's still not near where she used to be, in terms of placing. This girl used to be competition to Mirai Nagasu, and now Mirai's miles ahead. This disappoints me, cause when I used to watch her in Juniors, she used to be so graceful and such a pretty skater - apart from the obvious technical flaws ...

Looking forward to tomorrow though!
Arabian: Mirai Nagasu01arabian on January 30th, 2011 04:49 am (UTC)
Yeah, I was disappointed with Zhang too. I remember her being awesome too and it just isn't happening for her.

Ugh, Flatt is flaily and lumbering and ugh, ugh, ugh! That she'll go to the Worlds and not Mirai just breaks my heart. But, good for Alyssa.
sourisvhosourisvho on January 30th, 2011 05:10 am (UTC)
Oh, Mirai. ::sigh:: She's my favorite, so I'm disappointed she won't get to go to Worlds. I could tell before the program started that she was nervous and worried. It's so frustrating, because she has all the goods. I hope she can conquer her confidence issues, much as Alissa seems to have done.

I was very happy for Alissa. She is a lovely skater, and it's great how she's pulled herself together.

Agree with the meh on Flatt. She was better than usual, but still, she's not engaging.

I don't think Johnny Weir is competing this season.

I'm going to the Skating Spectacular tomorrow! :-)
Arabian: Virtue & Moirarabian on January 30th, 2011 05:17 am (UTC)
Yeah, definitely sighing for Mirai. When I heard Carroll's pep talk before her skate, it was obvious, she was just not really feeling it.

I didn't think Johnny was either, but my DVR included him in the list of competitors. Hopefully it was right, but if not, at least there's still Jeremy (who will hopefully make up for his disastrous Olympics showing).

I'm going to the Skating Spectacular tomorrow! :-)

Ooh!! Have fun! :D
sourisvhosourisvho on January 30th, 2011 07:36 pm (UTC)
I think your DVR was wrong, because he wasn't mentioned in the coverage of the men's short program that I saw.
Arabian: One Angry Loganarabian on January 30th, 2011 07:40 pm (UTC)
Stupid DVR! Grrr!
summerofsoaps: amy pondsummerofsoaps on January 30th, 2011 05:22 am (UTC)
Mirai was definitely the best, IMHO, although I don't have a problem with Alyssa winning, as she did a good job, and every time she smiles I melt a little. It's great to see her do so well after last year. Rachel Flatt.... ugh.

I loved loved loved Christina Gao, can't wait to see her develop as an artist.
Arabian: Dr Who (Painting)arabian on January 30th, 2011 05:25 am (UTC)
Pretty much this all-around. Yuppers! :D
Beckbeck_liz on January 30th, 2011 09:38 am (UTC)
I was rooting for Alissa to win it, but I was shocked that Flatt got second place. Like you, I don't think too much of her, and I was really hoping Mirai would get second. I had forgotten we only get two places at Worlds this year. I really wish Mirai could go instead of Flatt.
Arabian: Mirai Nagasu01arabian on January 30th, 2011 03:13 pm (UTC)
And unless a miracle happens, Flatt won't do well. She never does in international championships. Maybe because for some crazy reason, non-US-judges actually care that while the skater may hit the technical marks, she looks like a lumbering ox while doing so. Ugh!

Oh, Mirai! :(
obstinate, headstrong girl!: Film » Strictly Ballroomzombie_boogie on January 30th, 2011 03:07 pm (UTC)
I haven't followed skating this season, but at the Olympics last year I though Davis/White were really, really talented, but kind of... Stepford-ish. They don't have the same flair as Belbin/Agosto for me (though Virtue/Moir >>>>> All *hearts in my eyes forever* too bad they've been out of commission for awhile).

I don't follow ladies skating that closely, but I remember Mirai being totally adorable and wonderful during her free skate at the Olympics.
Arabian: Virtue & Moirarabian on January 30th, 2011 03:12 pm (UTC)
It's so hard to find when the skating is on now, I'm missing so much of it, but at least the main stuff (Olympics, Worlds, Nationals) still air and can be easily found.

I though Davis/White were really, really talented, but kind of... Stepford-ish

Oh, gosh! That is so it. Yes. I adore Belbin/Agosto, but they're done, and Virtue/Moir are love, but, yeah, no going right now. The Shibutani brother/sister team were wonderful. Here's their long, not from Nationals, but from earlier in the season, but you can still see their flair.

ETA: I have no idea why the embed code is not working, but here's the link - Shibutani Free Dance

Mirai is adorable; love her. I'm SO bummed she won't be going to the Worlds, but Flatt will instead. Ugh!

Edited at 2011-01-30 03:17 pm (UTC)