Grand Prix Catch-up for Japan and Canada, Ready for Cup of China


Rachael Flatt/DailyLife.com/Koji Watanabe/Getty Images

First and foremost, Rachael Flatt got a haircut. So now we match. That is what’s important here, right?

Secondly, she—and many others—continue to wear awkwardly colored tights. There are taupe tights, there are overly-tan tights, there are tights that can’t decide whether they are nude or a very sheet black. This ongoing problem continues to distract me endlessly during the ladies’ programs. I can’t help it.

But seriously, what has been up with our faves from last winter/spring on Words to Bumble?

I have already expounded of the wonderfulness of Jeremy Abbott’s season debut—so check that out if you missed it.

Rachael Flatt was the élite American lady representing the United States at the same competition—the ISU Grand Prix Japan NHK Trophy. She won the free skate with her “Slaughter on Tenth Avenue” program, maintaining the vaudeville-y burlesque music type from last season. She raked in 107.35 for the long program with a total of 161.04 overall, taking her to the podium for a silver medal, mirroring Abbott’s podium placement in the men’s competition.

Words from commentators? First of all, “This is a year, a post-Olympic year when you take it up a notch and announce,  ‘Listen, I am going to help dictate what the next four-year cycle is going to be like.’ It starts right now.”

Well.

At any rate it looks like Flatt has been working on her audience engagement a bit, getting some more emotional connection into her skating, etc. Commentator Tara Lipinski said, “I think what she’s been working on is her artistry—the second mark, the presentation. And she’s adding more facial expression and emotion, but I think she still needs to focus on paying attention to developing the basic flow of her skating and extension.”

Carolina Kostner/NPR.com/AP

Either way, she was solid enough to open the Grand Prix season with a trip to the podium for silver behind Carolina Kostner of Italy (with serious skin-tone fabric issues) and ahead of newcomer Kanako Murakami.

Meanwhile, Meryl Davis and Charlie White dominated Ice Dance and took home the NHK Trophy for their competition, closing with a tango featuring their usual grace, perfect synchronicity and the occasional truly weird and impossible looking lift.

Not a bad start to the international season for Team USA.

To follow-up, last weekend Alizza Czisny took home the gold at Skate Canada with 172.37 points (which, thank you NBC, will not be airing until this coming Saturday). The men’s title went to Canadian Patrick Chan, with American Adam Rippon coming in third.

Meryl Davis & Charlie White/UniversalSports.com/Koji Watanabe/Getty Images

 

And coming up this weekend, possibly airing never on NBC? The Grand Prix Cup of China will see the return of Words To Bumble ladies’ favorite, Mirai Nagasu who will be skating to “The Witches of Eastwick” and “Memoirs of  Geisha.” The girl must really like John Williams, but then… who doesn’t?

I will miss her “Pirates of the Caribbean” program, but always treasure the memories. Kind of like how I miss Jeremy Abbott’s Beatles program, but will just have to treasure the memory of the purple vest outfit and Beatles love.

Very much looking forward to seeing how Nagasu looks in China. She will be my personal highlight of the goings-on, but the United States will also be represented by Amanda Dobbs and Kristine Musadembra.Miki Ando of Japan should also be great to see.

In the men’s competition look out for the return of Brian Joubert of France, in the market to erase Olympic memories of No. 16. Ross Miner and Brandon Mroz of the US will compete as well.

There is a slide show of skaters to watch on UniversalSports.com for the Cup of China, if you want to know it all.

Recaps and ponderings forthcoming.

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Filed under Commenting, [Obscure] Winter Sports

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