Here are the final standings:
Satoko Miyahara (JPN): 54.76 (SP) + 106.89 (FS) = 161.65 (1st)
This is one of the reasons I really enjoy following the JGP. It's cool to watch the progression of these skaters from year to year. Satoko has definitely grown a bit taller in the last year and that's the good news; she seemed almost unnaturally tiny last year. The downside seems to be her jumps have not gotten any bigger and she's still a chronic flutzer. Even with her tiny jumps and flutzy technique she rocked this competition, winning both segments. Both of her programs were nicely done and she's doing a better job of skating outward this year -- more connection to the judges and the audience. Her skating skills are just wonderful: soft knees, easy flow, good speed, difficult jumps, difficult transitions...the girl is talented. I really hope someone addresses her technique issues soon because, as of now, that's the only real thing that will hold her back.
Courtney Hicks (USA): 51.36 (SP) + 102.41 (FS) = 153.77 (2nd)
From what I can tell, Courtney spent the majority of her rehab time pumping iron -- her upper body is ripped...almost too much. Her skating is still unappealing and sloppy to me, especially her SP. The last forty-five seconds of that program sound like complete and utter noise...it's a hot mess in my opinion. Thankfully, her FS is much better but that edit of "Aranjuez" makes me think of the Kween's glorious performance to it which makes it tough for me to focus on Courtney's program. To her credit her presentation is slightly better and she seems to be actually listening to the music now but overall, she is still just...awkward. She's just awkward to me. Regardless, she recovered from a rough SP with a decent long and captured silver.
Angela Wang (USA): 44.71 (SP) + 105.69 (FS) = 150.40 (3rd)
Mark my words: Angela Wang is going to be awesome in the years to come. She has great programs, very nice presentation, solid technique and big, pretty jumps. I took notice of her last year at nationals and I was really excited to see her debut on the JGP this year. A missed combo and rough landing on her 3F left her in eighth place going into the FS and I really thought it was over for her, but she kicked ass in the FS. She cracked off a huge 3Lz-3T-2T to open and nailed all of her jumps with the exception of a crappy landing on her 2A. Angela jumped from eighth place in the SP to finish second in the FS and third overall. If she hadn't had such a rough SP she probably would have won this competition. Like all of the ladies she still needs work but I think her base is excellent! I'm really hoping she does well at her next assignment and makes the final. Forget Gracie and Courtney...Angela is the first US junior I've been excited for in a long time.
As for the rest...
Evgenia Gerasimova (RUS) is another nice skater from Russia, though she lacks the technical firepower of her teammates. She had a strong SP but two falls in the FS kept her off of the podium (4th).
Kiri Baga (USA, 5th) is a lovely skater but her lack of difficulty will make it tough for her to break into the top 3. Even so she has really lovely programs, nice lines and great spins. She's just gotta get her technical content up...
If there is one skater out there who has been studying Yu-Na Kim, it's So Youn Park (KOR). So Youn's style, her carriage, everything...it all reminds me of Yu-Na. Girlfriend has done her homework! A+++. I love how she feels the music, hits the notes and really performs her program. Her opening 3S-2T was massive and really should have been a 3-3. She finished in 2nd in the SP but had a lot of trouble in the FS and dropped to 6th overall. I really hope So Youn gets her nerves under control because with her big jumps and lovely presentation, she could be that go-to skater Korea will need in the future.
You can see all of the performances by checking out the ISU's JGP channel on YouTube. So, two down and five more to go! JGP Austria takes place this week. We'll see Russia's Elena Radionova in her second event as well as the season debut of Polina Agafonova. Also we'll see Korea's Hae Jin Kim, Japan's Risa Shoji, and Samatha Cesario and Hannah Miller of the United States.