Monday, September 19, 2011

2011 JGP Baltic Cup: Ladies Review

I've been super busy this weekend BUT I didn't want to let the week pass without saying something about the ladies at the JGP Baltic Cup...

I've said it a billion times, but here goes one billion and one:  Sochi is gonna be a mutha!!   Remember a few years ago when the ladies field in Japan was about six deep?  Well Russia is now the country sporting the largest number of jaw-dropping ladies and these chicks are scary good.

Quick thoughts on the girls:

Julia Lipnitskaya: 60.37 (SP), 112.14 (FS) = 172.51 (1st)
The only thing I can find to complain about with this girl are those fugly gloves she's wearing.  Julia has some gorgeous jumps and the bendiest spins I've ever seen.  The first time I saw her she aggravated me; her choreography consisted of nothing but pulling her leg over her head.  Thankfully, there's a bit more balance to her programs this year.  She's channeling Sasha Cohen hella-hard this season, using "Dark Eyes" for her SP and "Romeo & Juliet" for her FS.  Kudos for that ballsy move.  Of course, there is no comparison, but I like that she aims so high.  Where she outdoes Ms. Cohen is in the jumps. Huge 2a-3t (two of them) that covered a ton of ice and looked way too easy.  I'm sure we'll see 3-3s in the future.  Add Julia to the list of oh-hell-here-come-the-Russians skaters who are gunning for Sochi.  I swear, Russian nationals are going to be brutal that year...

Satoko Miyahara:  56.46 (SP), 105.74 (FS) = 162.20 (2nd)
This little lady made me smile!  I just love her spunk and pizazz.  What I really love is her presentation...or attempt at presentation.  You can tell she's trying very hard to give the movements meaning, and she did a pretty good job for someone so little.  I already know once she gets older she'll be a tough one to contend with.  In addition to her presentation, she's technically solid.  Unlike Lipnitskaia and Cesario, Miyahara received no edge calls in either program.  Her 3f-3t was fully ratified in the SP, though the 3t and a 3lp was URed in the LP.  Still, I say give her some time to grow a bit and mature, and Japan will have another star on their hands.

Samantha Cesario:  52.22 (SP), 101.62 (FS) = 153.84 (3rd)
Samanatha is definitely a lovely skater.  I'm wondering where she's been up until now and why this is the first time I've seen her compete?  I don't know, maybe that's my fault.  Regardless, I really like what I saw from her.  She has a lovely look on the ice, nice sized jumps and decent spins.  Samantha's "Black Swan" program is second to Ashley Wagner's at the moment, though I do think she has a great dress.  I expect to see Ashley upstage her there too (Come on, it's Ashley).  Samantha's program is nice; however, it's not outstanding.  She had only a bobble/UR on her 3f and an edge call on her lutz; a good clean skate from her.  I'm excited to see how she'll stack up against the other American juniors.  I already like her better than Courtney Hicks...

Check out the rest of the protocols here and all of the ladies' programs at the fabulous ISU channel here.  A few other notes:  Best dressed of the night definitely went to Italy's Carol Bressanutti.  As Tyra would say, Fierce!  There was a "Bitch Stole My Look!" moment too:  Agata Kryger totally ripped off Mao Asada's dress.  Agata also suffered the worse fall I've seen in a long time...a total belly flop on the ice. Check out the stolen dress and belly flop here.  Ouch!

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