Alissa Czisny and Katherine Ruch Regionals 2013
Alissa Czisny and IceSkatingWorld blogger Katherine Ruch

by Katherine Ruch

I did it!! I actually managed to watch all of NHK coverage that was broadcasted on NBC last weekend! Granted the TV video was significantly better than anything I’ve been able to watch on Ice Network, but I was seriously disappointed that they didn’t broadcast any of the Pairs Skating or the Ice Dance! I know an hour and a half, or even two, isn’t enough time to broadcast everything but doesn’t that just mean that they need to allow more time for figure skating coverage seeing as it is an Olympic year? Just my opinion…

I watched the Men’s programs first. Takahashi won, Oda placed 2nd, Abbott placed 3rd and Rippon finished out the top 4. Takahashi’s freeskate is to Beatles music, and while it is technically superb, I hate to see anyone skate to music that reminds of me of anyone else’s program in the same season. I was happy to see Abbott medal in this competition because I always appreciate the artistry that is found hidden within his technically challenging programs! My absolute favorite program among the Men in the Freeskate was Javier Fernandez! I really enjoyed his music choice, costume and overall skating!

Next, I watched the Ladies. Mao Asada won, Elena Radionova took 2nd, Akiko Suzuki took 3rd. Gracie Gold finished 4th and Mirai Nagasu finished 8th. Mao was fabulous but Akiko’s Phantom program which I had previously found dazzling fell flat for me this time around. I know Elena is only 14 but she looks so thin to me that I wanted to pull her off the ice and force feed her a cheeseburger! I do wonder if Gracie was rattled by the fact that Frank Carroll didn’t make the trip to Japan or if Mirai’s freeskate was affected by the computer issues that caused a 20-minute delay for her program. Despite the delay, Mirai’s Bond program was my favorite among the ladies probably because I absolutely loved her dress!

Next, I watched the Free Dance on my computer since it wasn’t being broadcasted on the Telly! Davis/White placed 1st, Cappellini/Lanotte placed 2nd and the Shibutani’s finished 3rd. Davis and White’s program to Scherezade was technically and artistically superior and I just don’t understand why these programs weren’t shown on the television! The Shibutani’s program to Michael Jackson was the most unique and refreshing thing I have seen in quite some time! I think that they have certainly benefited from the time they have spent working on choreography with people from “Dancing with the Stars!”

Finally, I watched the Pairs competition on Ice Network. The winners were Volosozhar/Trankov, Peng/Zhang were 2nd and Sui/Han were 3rd. What do you notice about these names? No one from the US placed in the top 3! Castelli/Shnapir placed 4th with a Bond program that I loved and Denney/Frazier finished 5th with a program that had some lovely moments as well!

Be sure to tune in next weekend for the Cup of Russia on NBC from 2-4 on November 24th. I will be wearing a fur hat just for the occasion.

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