Did I say in a previous post that the SP was an emotional rollercoaster? Well, that was just a figure of speech then, I didn't really think it was, but I really mean it now when I say: That LP was an emotional rollercoaster and tunnel of horror ghost train combined into one nightmarish experience.
It started off pleasantly enough. Over time one has come to accept certain things, most importantly that some skaters can't escape their destiny, or their prospective scoring. There are good days, bad days. Favourites win, favourites lose, favourites get the short end of the stick, programme-choreography and performance don't necessarily matter etc. etc. You probably know what I mean, all those minuscule vanities. There comes a time, when you realise that is simply the circle of skating as an artform doing nothing more than imitating life. So far so good.
Should I bother you with the early groups? Maybe a wee bit:
Justus Strid put really some effort into his performance. The music made me immediately think of P/B's Circus but, to draw upon T.S. Eliot, it's all a great body of skating. There were 4 broken glass sound effects which was a bit too much in that regard but still, despite the falls, enjoyable, good to end on a choreo step. I encourage that. Well done I say, even if he was less than happy after the programme.
Meneer Hendrickx. He has really improved his skills and shows a certain feel for his material. Also landed his stuff throughout, which always helps. Also, well done.
Tomas Verner: I had hoped, and was pretty sure, it could only go upwards for him after his performances at the Europeans. He has the skills and can also still do it in the presentation department as he proves time and again in every Gala he participates. May the bittersweet Saffron comment further on that.
Misha Ge, natural performer, youthful refreshing attitude, blog favourite of ours, and it's always a pleasure to watch a skater put all his personality into his performances. If anything underscored in that department or others overscored?, probably both.
Peter Liebers, straight up landed everything in a very good skate. I suggest a non-brown and more flattering sp-trouser, but he ended up only one place shy of getting two spots, which is very very good considering the dense and very competitive field.
Rapidly are we approaching the top.
Takahito Mura pleasantly surprised me with a technically strong skate that also was very enjoyable in choreography and he performed it well. The music is partly difficult to skate to fittingly, and I appreciate how they put this together. Also, well done.
Fast forward to Brian Joubert. The Maximus of our hearts, the champion of The Quad! statistics. I wasn't expecting much, I was expecting a decent skate. My favourites never seem to win, anyway. Then suddenly, there he was: not having fallen on his ass even once in the whole competition, doing three Quads! over the whole event, and even doing 3 combos in the LP. Unfortunately, the system states that he should have rather fallen on a 4S than doing a clean 3S in the beginning, and, thusly, he invalidated his last combo.
Luckily, he need not feel bad about that little mishap, as the following option would have barely elevated him into 7th, at the most: Falling on a fully rotated 4S and having the Flip(E) count gives him roughly 6.5 points more at the most.
For a moment I thought he had done it. I knew he hadn't though. He doesn't pick up GOE easily normally, like he did here in the SP, much to my surprise, and a great Joubert skate does score around 160 at the maximus [sic!], which would have him in 5th now. Deep down I felt that was more than possible, more than deserved. But alas... the downgrades, the GOEs, the combo-rules... Blessings of the new system, here they shine bright like a diamond.
Ah, lest if forget, the podium skaters:
Did I say in that other post I was fine with overscoring of the clear winner as it happened in 6.0 as well? Luckily, not quite. I said the event was already decided and in 6.0 you could, no matter how much 6.0s not be further ahead than in 1st. after the SP. So, for the future, dear judges: Only overscore during the LP as that is the last segment and you have seen everything of a skater once he has finished, you can still somehow let the SP margins seep into your LP considerations. Who are we kidding. That happens anyway, subconsciously and through skating order.
Instead of commenting on the podium skaters, I'm offering you a poll, in which you can participate to make the vox populi heard. If not for me, do it for Maximus. And feel free to engage via the comment function.