Feb. 27th, 2010

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I don't know if I'll have anything to say about the Exhibition Gala tonight -- it's enough to savor it -- so this might be my last figure skating post for the Olympics.

Picking up where I left off... another Firebird program. At that point, I really hoped one of the ladies did it, too, just to round things off, but if anyone did, NBC didn't air it. =/

Khokhlova/Novitsky's Firebird was alright. As I said, they had better costumes than Evan, though as I watched the program I didn't really like how it made Novitsky fade into the background -- a lot of times my eyes just slid over him like he wasn't there at all. I know that's how they work as a pair -- she's the star and the stronger skater and all -- but still. As for the music itself, I like how there was a bit of a rock section at the end. Really started sounding like video game music, particularly Black Mages.

Nothing more to say on ice dance, really. My eye isn't good enough to catch what should be distinguishing these skaters. I thought Davis/White were comparable to Virtue/Moir, but the scores disagree.

Oh yeah, and every time the announcers said "Tessa Virtue", I thought that was just her last name, like some classical composer or something. ^^;;

On to ladies' singles. I think going forward I will be rooting for Mirai Nagasu. Not sure what it is about her -- maybe I was just so excited when I realized she was skating to Pirates of the Caribbean for her short program. (But then she did the second Carmen for her free program. Shoulda done Firebird...) I really wanted to kill the announcers for their inability to pronounce "Mirai", though. They say it like "Mariah" without the "ah". *mutter* Also, they were saying nice things about her at the end of the free skate and quoted something she said at a previous competition, something like, "I don't care about scores, I just want everyone to know I'm the future." And they didn't get the pun, of course. Silly American commentators.

Miki Ando did a non-vocal Requiem for her short. (I didn't realize they aren't allowed to have vocals. When did that start? Are all the vocal programs I'm remembering from the exhibition? Like Todd Eldredge's "Go the Distance". So heartbreaking.) It was really weird because I'm rehearsing Requiem right now for some conducting student's senior recital. I couldn't help hearing all the words in my head. I forgive her for skipping Kyrie, which is one of the coolest movements, but really fast, which makes it hard enough to sing, much less skate to. And really, most of the Requiem movements are super-cool. If I didn't know the piece, I probably wouldn't think the transition from Requiem to Dies Irae was jarring at all.

Speaking of Miki Ando, since I seem not to really be going in chronological order anymore, I really liked her Cleopatra costume for the free program, too. Not very impressed with her as a skater -- it's like Plushenko's "I do jumps, and nothing else" minus all of his charisma and... other stuff -- but I might be too influenced by the commentators.

Kim Yuna. I'm not sure what to say here. I wanted her to win, if only because I was scared what her country would do to her if she didn't. And she seems like a likable person and skater. I thought it was funny how she's known as "Queen Yuna" -- I started comparing the real Olympics with Ginban Kaleidoscope, so you have to put her up against the invincible Empress Lia. At least she has more charm and audience-connection. Lia is just pure ice and technical skill. But more on Ginban comparisons later.

What I want to know is, how did she get the NBC people to put her last name first? They don't do it for any of the other Asian athletes. And the medal ceremony announcer, who has the most atrocious pronunciation I have ever heard, didn't do it.

The free skate was exciting because everyone seemed so happy and pleased with their performance when they finished. (Maybe a little less with Mao Asada, who did screw up pretty badly.) If there were twice as many medals -- two of each color -- I thought that would do everything justice. Then Mao would also have gold. And Mirai would have a medal. And Joannie Rochette would have a silver, which I'm sure everyone wants to give her anyway. (At the end of her short program... wow. Would make anyone cry.) But who am I kidding. If there were two golds, we wouldn't have the problem in the men's results, either.

So that was Olympics figure skating! I hope they'll have fun tonight at the gala, and put aside any bitterness and disappointment. (I think they're pretty good at that, when they're with each other and not face-to-face with the media...)

More generally, I started thinking about this last time -- or maybe 8 years ago -- but it kind of struck me again the gap [or perhaps I should say "difference"] between the men's and ladies' events. How with the men we're complaining that they won't do quads, while most of the women can't do triple axels. I wonder if it's entirely just a physical strength difference, or if it's because we also expect the women to be flexible enough to do those contortions in the spiral sequences and spins.

Which leads me to the first comparison with Ginban Kaleidoscope. Spoilers for volumes 7-8, but who of you are ever going to read those? )

Well, as you can tell from my spoiler cut being for volumes 7 and 8, and not 9, I haven't finished the series yet. I guess it will be my way of extending the Olympics excitement. Whether Tazusa will beat Lia is a harder question than any of the ones the real Olympics posed. (Except maybe whether Lysacek would beat Plushenko.)


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