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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Let's pretend this never happened

Sometimes, even the best skaters let you down - not because they perform poorly - that can happen to anyone - but because they skate to programs that are mediocre, a poor fit for their style, uninspiring, tacky, vulgar (and not in an amusing way) or occasionally, some combination thereof.

This post was originally inspired by Carolina Kostner's Scheherazade free skate, as performed at the 2013 Cup of China. I adore Kostner and think she is a fantastic skater. In my summary of the past Olympic quadrennial, I named her collaboration with Lori Nichol one of the very best, and I know many skating fans share this assessment. So while I felt some trepidation at the news that the two had selected the (too) popular piece for Kostner's Olympic free skate, I withheld judgment until I saw the result. But sadly, it was the one thing I'd never associated with Kostner: generic. Hopefully it will be replaced soon so that we can once again admire Kostner's awesomeness.

While I am not now a Volosozhar/Trankov fan, I actually was very eager to see them together when the partnership was first announced, and found their first programs together quite promising. Then came the Evanescence short program in 2011-12, and my love affair with those two was at an end. From the moment they skated onto the ice (making a show of it - skaters, don't do that) until its conclusion, nothing, except perhaps the always fabulous triple twist, was remotely appealing, finally deciding my choice of top pair to support: team Savchenko/Szolkowy for me, if you please.

As for Savchenko/Szolkowy...

Let us never speak of this again. Pina would have been a tough act to follow for anyone, but their Flamenco Bolero and especially these costumes should never have seen the light of competition ice. No no no.

The collected works of Florent Amodio and Nikolai Morozov, 2011-2013: Amodio is so very talented and such a charming and exciting performer when he's on, but his programs in those two seasons were poor vehicles for showcasing any of it.

Not content with his work with Amodio, Morozov also foisted the infamous Ghost FD on Ilinykh/Katsalapov, who actually didn't seem to mind. Their Swan Lake this season, while not any great work of art, is so vastly preferable that I'm not surprised they broke 100 with it.

Next up: more Russian ice dance! This is not an aboriginal dance. This was never an aboriginal dance. Having knee injuries does not excuse this non-aboriginal dance. I had to put Domnina/Shabalin's Tango Romantica CD on a loop to cleanse my mind of this horrible memory.

There comes a time in life, when everything seems to make sense... now is not one of those times (Adrien Brody's Oscar acceptance speech, 2003). This statement could certainly have been applied to a certain Yagudin gala that will live in infamy:

This could not have helped the Yagudin-Mishin coaching relationship

I can find something to top this. You know the one: it was skated by Yagudin's rival. But I'd rather not.

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