Grand Prix Final–December 8-11, 2011–Quebec City, Quebec, Canada–Men’s


Place Name Country Points SP FS
1 Patrick CHAN CAN 260.30 1 1
2 Daisuke TAKAHASHI JPN 249.12 5 2
3 Javier FERNANDEZ ESP 247.55 3 4
4 Yuzuru HANYU JPN 245.82 4 3
5 Jeremy ABBOTT USA 238.82 2 5
6 Michal BREZINA CZE 218.98 6 6

Overall, this was a fairly well-skated event. They skated their free programs in reverse order of the short program placement (anyone else miss the old random draw)? Michal Brezina skated solidly but not spectacularly. Daisuke Takahashi had some major problems in the short–his quad was short, and he didn’t do a combo–so he was in fifth place heading into the long, about 10 points or so behind SP leader Chan. His long was spectacular. He had a respectable quad toe attempt but stepped out on the landing. Otherwise, the program was technically good and artistically wonderful. His interpretation of “Blues for Klook” didn’t come across that well at Skate Canada, but he was truly marvelous both here in Quebec and at the NHK trophy. When he skates the program with swagger, it builds to a climax (and makes me wonder how someone can do all that footwork on ice and make it look like he’s on a floor). Yuzuru Hanyu is only 17, and it shows in his lack of mature artistry yet, but his jumps are pretty spectacular and he’ll hopefully continue to grow artistically as he matures. If he can get artistry to match his jumping, he’ll be a formidable force in the future. Javier Fernandez has put himself, and Spain, on the skating map this year. He’s got no glaring weaknesses and pretty consistent quads (toe and salchow so far), along with a nice carraige and musicality. Jeremy Abbott has been plagued by consistency problems this year. Unfortunately, this has been a pattern with him. His free skate here in Quebec had a the best quad toe he’s done all year, but he fell twice later in the program (on the second 3A and a 3Lz). He continues to push the boundaries artistically, but his music choice for this season’s long (“Exogenesis:Symphony” by Muse) is a bit too quiet for my taste. I do love when he stops and touches his palm down during his footwork sequence though. And Patrick Chan, oh, where do I start? Great skater, don’t get me wrong, but the judges seem to have blinders on where he is concerned. I mean, in his short, he crashed into the boards after adding a triple toe to his quad toe at the last minute, and he also touched a hand down on the triple Axel. However, two judges gave him execution scores of 9.00, and two others gave him 9.50!! IN WHAT UNIVERSE?? Only one judge bothered to give him any composition scores below 8.00 of any kind. At any rate, his long program had two marred quads (not major mistakes though) and a fall. How, then, does he outscore Takahashi in the long program?? Yes, he has two quads to Takahashi’s one, but Takahashi just flat-out skated better. It doesn’t surprise me that Chan won the competition, given his lead over Takahashi from the short, but he should not have won the long program. I realize that none of this is Chan’s fault–he has no control over how he is judged–but I am sure I am not the only one who is tired of Chan getting the benefit of every doubt and mega-component scores even if he doesn’t skate that well (who can forget 2010 Skate Canada’s short program where he fell on all three jumping passes and still was in fourth place)? Sigh…


One response

  1. I enjoy Javier Fernandez’s skating so much.His presence on the ice is pleasant , likeable, just plain old nice.I think he represents a great future for men’s skating and he
    was my delightful surprise for this season so far along.I agree that Chan seems to have an advantage with the judges presently regardless of what is happening on the ice in his programs.It reminds of judging based on reputation that the old system was rife with.

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