OK, Canada. Where are we at? What you really need to know is that last night, Patrick Chan – our domestic darling, our medal-ready men’s master – CHOKED. It’s true. He’s starting tonight in 7th place. But lucky us; we’ve got Vaughn Chipeur standing strong in 4th.
Sorry, folks. Some technical difficulties. we’ve got Tomas Verner skating for the Czech Republic
Verner stands in 19th right now. I’m not surprised. This routine is moving through at a snail’s pace.
Although that was a very crisp triple lutz.
Wow. That was a face plant, ladies and gents. Nothing dainty about that fall.
I’m confused because his vest was so fabuliciously sparkled. And yet, his routine lacked any hint of spunk.
Score is not great. Sorry, Verner.
But WOW. Check out the love story that drove Verner to the ice.
Italy’s up. We’ve got the Paolo Bacchini skating to Cirque de soleil.
Nasty take off on the triple axel. Flunk.
This pale, slender boy is lovely. I’m not sure why he’s dancing like a Frenchman to French music. But man oh man can he dance.
Nailed the triple salchow, triple toe.
Italians aren’t used to getting men on the Olympic ice. I bet everyone in Italy is watching this right now.
A smile! I love it when they smile. Why don’t they smile more?
The audience is going nuts. People are clapping with the beat. Clap. Clap. Clap.
Confusion. It seemed as though the music just stopped. But Bacchini kept skating. And then the music came on again… slowly. That’s a strange musical choice.
(Keep in mind that our dear Patrick Chan was docked a point last night for skating after the music had stopped, and thus going over the time limit.)
This is what Chan said of his show last night: “I’m really lost, I seriously got off the ice and I couldn’t believe what I had just done. I pictured it in my mind just right, every step of the way. . . it’s OK, Thursday will be a new day.” Oh, Patrick!
Not bad: 177.21 pints for Bacchini.
We’ve got Viktor Pfeifer of Austria up. I love a man in a white silk shirt.
The commentator just described him as “a super person.”
Pfeifer is a professional cello player! I feel so untalented…
Pfeifer wanted to be bold and start of with a bang! (read: a quad). He just fell. Oh well. Go big or go home, I always say…
Triple salchow, triple toe was flawless.
Could this routine be slower? The effect of the pale skin, white shirt, black pants & black gloves makes me think of a mime.
Wow! Triple jump sequence was very nice. I’m half Austrian. I think maybe I’ll root for this guy…
How many times can you wildly throw your arms up into the air with a pained look on your face – as if to say: dear Lord of the ice arena I present myself, raw and vulnerable, to you….??
I’m so excited. How adorable is our 24th place holder?
Smokin! Fine, he singled that jump. Rub it in our face, commentators.
Those are some smooth moves.
Pizazzzzz. More spins. And I’ve never seen someone jump quite so high. And look at that toe-pick action.
I’m sorry. I’ve developed a debilitating crush. Refocus:
This guy is screwing up every major jump.
Great jump! And another! Jumping for days! Like it’s going out of style…
Another! Dear Lord!
Wow. He spins. Jumps in the air on one foot. Lands and continues spinning.
Take a bow, good sir.
I think he took that literally. This guy won’t stop bowing. Now, he is skate sauntering off the ice.
Nope. Not yet. One more lap.
Fine! He lost 18 technical points for all those weird high, mid-air jolts and ice touch-downs. (warning: made up terminology)
Did the commentator just say he had “too much energy”? What? He’s supposed to be solemn a la Czech Republic’s Tomas Verner??
Commercial break. Let’s talk men’s figure skating. Now, I know my fair share of manly men who turn up their nose are these skilled gliding wonders. But men’s figure skating is NOT a soft sport. Just ask U.S legend Johnny Weir.
This Canadian Tire commercial (for Canadian Tire commemorative coins??) is adorable. The boy teaches his dad to skate. Why does this touch me so? I’m ACTUALLY teaching my own Dad to skate. Get it? Canadian Tire is relatable.
Adrian Schultheiss is up for Sweden.
OK he’s wearing a straight jacket. Why?
NO, he’s ACTUALLY wearing a straight jacket. He begins his routine pretending that his hands are bound to his chest and jerking his head sideways as if insane.
This is funny because the commentators were just talking about what an inspiration he will be to little boys everywhere.
The music just changed. Is this an 80s rap remix of Jump Around?
I have NO idea what’s going on. But I know it’s mighty deep.
Now he’s doing the robot, I think? I do a better robot. Just sayin’…
Points for boldest musical choice.
And he’s really working the facial expressions.
Commentator just said he’s a “real technician.” No, Schultheiss is a MAD technician.
Triple lutz, double toe will give him 10 extra points.
Now the music has changed again. I know this song! Either:
1) I played it in concert band. (flute)
2) I danced to it at a bar mitzvah.
200.44 points. A personal best!!
Apparently the hockey game is tied. Who cares?
Stefan Lindemann of Germany is up. I would have told you sooner, but TSN decided not to broadcast the beginning of his routine. I bet it was great, though.
Let’s notice that all the figure skaters are sporting black gloves. Can we say: MJ commemoration Olympics 2010?
Lindemann has a lot of fancy footwork going on. Not surprising; he’s a 7-time German champion. But I’m finding his routine sort of understated.
Just doubled his triple axel. Tsk. Tsk.
And another double. Oh dear.
This sounds like Lord of the Rings.
He looks so sad. And strained.
His coaches look peeved too. Hows about a smile, Germany.
Looked like the coach was giving him a comforting back rub. But she just picked a piece of lint of his bejewled t-shirt.
As he wipes perspiration off his face, I see that his gloves are also bejewled.
Artem Borodulin of the Russian Federation is up.
Wow. That jump was crazy.
He’s dancing to Roxanne (Moulin Rouge version). I love love love.
Two triple axels in a row.
Was that three?
As he tosses his head sensually, his shoulder-length blond locks swirl. They look run-your-fingers-through worthy.
Landed another jump sequence.
The crazy thing is that Borodulin wasn’t even meant to come to the Olympics! He only got slated last minute because the Russian frontrunner dropped down. And now look at him
Roxanne has morphed into some kind of ballet music.
My friend describes his dance as “a flail fest.” Young people these days and their flailing limbs. Sorry excuse for dancing…
He does look a wee bit tired. Slowing down.
210.16 points! He’s in 1st right now. Not too bad, for a guy who wasn’t supposed to be here.
Jeremy Abbott of the United States of America steps onto the ice in a conservative blue button down, black slacks, and a brown corporate hair do.
My peanut gallery notes that the shirt has detail on the shoulder.
That was quite a bad fall on his rump. Left a snow mark.
He almost fell again. He’s got a scared look on his face. Not on to a good start.
He’s not really letting himself fall into this routine. He seems very reserved. And he’s had a couple near falls.
I’m bored. This is a boring routine.
Abbott looks like he is going to weep on the ice. He can barely bring himself to bow. He throws down his upper body with great sorrow.
What just happened? He was terrible technically. And stylistically pedestrian. I am shocked and appalled.
Samuel Contesti of Italy.
Oops. Messed up his first jump and did not finish the sequence.
I dig the the windpipe music. (Riddle me this, batmen: what is the name of this instrument? Feel free to comment.)
It takes a certain kind of man to wear a sun embroidered skin-tight blazer over a fluorescent orange undershirt – tucked in to tight (embroidered) pants.
Sounds like a didgeridoo.
He just messed up his second triple axel. His hands touched down on the ice. That’s going to cost him technical points.
Tribal arms. The Italian is doing some sort of aboriginal-themed tribal dance.
I’m not not dancing along.
Contesti made his last two jumps, but faltered on both landings.
He’s a former European silver medallist.
It’s like he’s saying: Look, I’m going to get a failing grade on these jumps. But I’m going to blind you with my (tribal-themed) spirit fingers.
Ouch. That’s a no good very bad techincal score.
187.5 points. He’ll take it.
Representing Spain: Javier Fernandez. (What a name!)
Pirates of the Caribbean theme. Delicious.
Is he breaking the no accessories rule with that dangling tassel thing around his waste?
Music stimulates fond memories of swaggering Johnny Depp.
Ouch. A wipe-out on the first jump.
His spin gets very close to the ice.
He’s pretending to be drunk, like Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean.
Yeah, about that “inspiring young boys and girls” thing…
He’s in character. I like it.
Fernandez is only the 2nd man from Spain to ever make it to the Winter Olympics. First one was way back in 1956.
Now, he’s fake sword fighting with the air. This is precious. Fight on, man. Fight on!
I’m still angry that American skater Jeremy Abbott is in first. He was like… Republicans on Ice. Nay! Chartered Accountants Convention on Ice.
206.68 puts Javier Fernandez of Spain in 3rd.
Brian Joubert of France is taking the ice. Why I like him:
1) He has TWO quadruple jumps planned. Can you believe it? That’s a game-change.
2) His physique and chiseled cheekbones.
His shirt is sort of ravaged and ripped and raw. Like shirt, like man.
He puts a finger in front of his lips and whispers shhhh. We were already speechless.
GREAT! He wipes out on the first quad. Tragic. He needed this.
Will he change his mind and triple his second quad?
Yep. He triples it. Lands it. But triples it.
There will be another point reduction for faltering on the triple lutz.
“With this amount of mistakes not, he needs to just skate for himself now.”
-TSN, saying it like it is.
French skating chief Didier Gailhaguet has a theory for why Joubert has fared so poorly tonight. It involves him “not working enough.”
The commentators are right. Overall, an underwhelming evening thus far.
At least he has his looks to fall back on. Sigh.
200.22. Joubert is in 5th right now.
OK. I know I’ve been hard on some skaters for their outfit choice. But that’s nothing compared to the smack Victoria Beckham’s been shouting: “There’s nothing good about those outfits. I wear the feathers in my relationship. If David came home dressed like that – could you imagine? Terrible.”- Beckham, discussing men’s figure skating attire.
I just learned this from the commercial break: To hit a triple axel, skates jump 23 inches off the ice. That’s about what NBA basketball players jump to make a slam dunk! Except: the skaters need to land on one foot. Sheesh. Often, during the free skate, skaters do up to 8 of those tricky triples.
What if Olympic figure skating was in 3D? Wow. Ring, Ring: Calling James Cameron.
Sorry, it’s been a long commercial break…
The Chan Man is warming up on the ice.
Oh my gosh. There’s this adorable little girl who is a double amputee (lost both her legs to a disease) whose dream was to be a figure skater. She’s working now at the Olympics. They’re showing her on the ice right now. Tears.
Chan needs 149 points to get 230 (his season’s best). His personal best is 260. He can do it. I have faith!
Great picture on Patrick Chan‘s official website. Umm…
TSN is showing me a bar graph. I mean, skate graph. It’s supposed to tell me something about Patrick Chan’s strategy. I don’t get it…
Don’t forget: In Turino, Patrick Chan went from 6th after the short program to 3rd (Bronze!). He’s a fighter. Fierce.
Then again, can you BELIEVE his deduction last night was for going over the time limit. I mean: amateur mistake!
At last! Hip hip hoorah for a QUAD!
Kozuka is slender, dressed head to toe in black with spiked hair.
Triple lutz double toe at the beginning was just kind of thrown in. He had meant to do a three jump combination. That double sequence will earn him major technical points, though!
Oh dear. After landing a quad, he fell on a double axel. Yikes!
My TV is blurring up! Oh no wait. That’s just Kozuka spinning
You know why I like Kozuka so much? He’s a thinker. He missed the opportunity for a triple jump sequence, so he improvised. And it’s going to pay off. A less experienced skater would have frozen up.
That’s a new personal best for Kozuka!
And that puts Kozuka in first.
(For the record: Japan has NEVER medalled in men’s figure skating.)
We’ve got Ten Dennis of Kazakhstan.
What a baby-face. He’s only 16 years old: the youngest guy in the competition.
That was a pretty bad fall on that triple axel. And he’d been hitting them all in practice.
Come back alert! Nailed the second triple jump.
He’s so tiny and graceful.
Nice flying camel spin.
Triple salchow followed by double axel. No big deal.
And yet, I’m yawning through this routine. The music is dramatic – in a sort of Spanish bull fight kinda way. But this choreography is fairly standard. He’s moving his arms in the right way, but I don’t buy it…
211.25 points for Denis Ten. He’s in third so far. This teaches me that FLAIR has nothing to do with it at all…
Silly, judges. Technical points are for kids.
Kevin van der Perren of Belgium. He’s 12th after the short program.
i’m trying to figure out if those lime green blobs of fabric spattered over his tight, sheer black shirt mean something…
Um, yeah they do. He’s skating to Robin Hood.
ALMOST touched down with his hand on the triple axel.
Might of actually touched down the second time. He’ll lose techincal points for that.
Triple trip, triple toe loop. apparently, van der Perren was going to do a triple-triple-triple but lost the momentum and only double tripled (aka triple-tripled). Confused?
The slow, sweet music is somewhat at odds with the very large back tatoo shining through van der Perrin’s sheer number.
So apparently van der Perren is moving jumps around as he goes, possibly because he’s tired. This is kind of a no-no for Olympic skaters. They’ve practiced for so long. It’s best to just stick with the routine.
He seems very tired in deed.
Yawn. That’s some slow spinning.
I told you to stick with your routine, Mr. van der Perren!
Apparently, he did 3 triple salchows – perhaps in the confusion. Well, only the first two will count. (You can only repeat a jump once).
189.89 points for Belgium.
Florent Amodio of France is up.
Wow, what a life story… LITERALLY abandoned on the streets of Brazil by his parents when he was a baby.
He attempts the first quad salcow of the night…. (drumroll please!)
Error. Changes it to a drab double axel.
Triple axel is rocky at the end.
Whew. Florent is gettin funky on the ice. Those are some jazzy moves coming from the man in an unbuttoned purple shirt with built-in suspenders.
Oh wow. Bring on the wind-up-doll moves.
Nice: triple axel, double toe.
Triple salchow, double-toe loop. Oh he’s having great fun out there!
Lost out on that triple jump routine. Won’t be nabbing any extra technical points.
Intergalactic Planetarium… dadada. Is that really playing?
No, Katie. No, it’s not. (That’s what 2 hours and 47 minutes of live blogging will do to you). But take my word for it: he’s shakin’ it.
Adorable. He’s booty-shaking instead of bowing.
Patrick Chan is on the ice.
His mother is apparently scribbling notes furiously from the stand.
Florent Amodio’s got 210.30. 4th overall.
Back to Chan.
This is going to be a great routine – choreographed by Lori Nichol.
Nails his triple axel. We have hope ENCORE!!!
Oh, man. A bit of a falter.
Hello, commentators? Where did you go?
I think this is a bad sign. The chatter has stopped.
I think this means Patrick Chan blew it for Canada and nobody wants to say it.
Second triple axel. He is down on his arse. All the way.
The audience is clapping in a kind of “thanks, but not thanks” kind of way.
He needed this to be perfect.
How much do I love Phantom of the Opera. (The Phantom of the Opera is here. Inside my mask… da da da da da).
He really is picking up such great steam. Wonderfully tight spins.
He looks so disappointed. Tears, maybe?
The commentators offer these pearls:
“It was supposed to be his time…ascent to the podium. Vanquished tonight!”
“My heart is just empty right now.”
THE CROWD IS GOING CRAZY.
What a smile! What a smile!
He’s in 1st right now.
Michal Brezina of the Czech Republic.
If I ever had a dream about a triple axel, my dream would look like THAT.
He looks like a JCrew ad. Strolling around the ice in a short sleeved white polo and a pink and brown sweater vest. His sun-kissed (nay, chemically altered) hair positioned ever so casually over his forehead.
Music is an American in Paris. Pretty.
Nailed the second triple axel.
He’s wearing brown sued-ish pants. They don’t even look like skating pants.
True story: male figure skaters HAVE to wear pants. They can’t wear skirts. And they can’t wear tights. Now that doesn’t seem fair, does it?
Quite the wipe-out on the triple lutz.
I feel perturbed to see a delicate boy in a pink sweater vest fall so violently.
The music quickens. Ballet arms joined above his head.
The music softens, becomes jazzy. He prances lightly into the air before falling effortlessly into a camel spin.
He looks upset.
Please smile! You always end up smiling when you’re snuggling up to your coaches later. Might as well save yourself the embarrassment of looking like a poor sport now.
216.17 points for Brezina.
Did I mention Chan’s score was a personal best??
Evan Lysacek of the United States is kicking off this flight.
Triple lutz, triple toe loop is beautiful.
Are y’all noticing that the higher the skater’s rank, the more conservative the attire?
Triple axel is so flawless. Not a wobble in there. This man is a pleasure to watch. He is big and strong and looks fully in control of his limbs.
By the way, this routine is also choreographed by Lori Nichol.
Manages to land his second triple axel jump.
This guy is a big deal, people. Class A celeb status. Don’t believe me. Just ask People Magazine.
“He loves clubbing in L.A. with pals like Nicole Richie and Rachel Zoe.”
Did you see that? He did a CanCan kick and his thigh almost touched his nose.
Lysacek celebrates with a self-congratulatory scream. “Oh say can you see by the dawn’s early light… tra la la.”
167.37: HUGE lead into first place for Lysacek.
Oda Nobunari of Japan.
Oh he’s wearing a little bow tie. I want to wrap him up and take him home and put him under my Christmas tree.
Sorry… carried away.
The thing is, Nobunari was supposed to start with a quad. He’s been practicing the quad all week – and landing it just fine. But last minute, he opted for a triple lutz.
Fancy footwork here. This is a darling routine.
Some quick, perky jump routines.
This is where the top skaters are really distinguishing themselves. There’s no time wasting here… it’s all moving.
A fall and he’s injured! His skate has fallen apart.
His coach is on the ice and the music has stopped.
His skate fell apart like it’s 1994!
He leaves the ice and puts on a new skate. That will be an automatic two point deduction. But….
The music has resumed. He’s back on the ice. He’s lost his speed, but the audience is cheering him on. What a trooper!
The music sounds sort of like nutcracker ballet.
Can you believe his lace snapped? You make it all the way to the Olympics and your f***ing lace comes undone!
He WOULD have been in second (ahead of Chan), but for that costume malfunction.
We’ve got Stephane Lambiel of Switzerland.
Touch down on his first jump.
And forward again on his second jump.
It’s coming: the quad. He BARELY hangs on. But it ain’t pretty.
Nice double jump sequence.
Heavenly jump into that camel spin.
Holding his head at artistic angles.
Like Patrick Chan, Lambiel is a beautiful dancer. Just look at the way he holds his wrist while spinning.
Don’t you just get the feeling with him that he isn’t wasting an iota of energy?
Lambiel, keep in mind, is coming back to skating after a debilitating hip injury. Here’s what the 24-year-old said of that: “Last year at this time I couldn’t skate more than twice a week before the hip would start to bother me. At that point, I never could have imagined I’d be here today.”
Katie Engelhart award for fastest spin of the evening, perhaps?
I’m so excited for American Johnny Weir to skate. He is fabulous. His role models include Lady Gaga. Um…
162.09 for Lambiel. Chan falls to third. Canada: kiss goodbye to our podium chances.
Daisuke Takahashi of Japan.
And he didn’t just fall coming out of the jump, he was completely off balance going in.
That next triple was landed very nicely. A whole lot of speed on that one.
This guy has major spunk. Did he just look at the camera and make a fierce face?
He’s one of only a few male skaters to achieve level 4 footwork (the highest level that can be achieved.)
A tad off balance at the end of that sequence.
That’s some dainty footwork right there, I’ll tell ya that.
Gorgeous triple axel near the end of the routine when – let’s not forget – his muscles are probably rip roaring raw.
Could Japan finally make it to the podium for figure skating?
Johnny Weir is blowing his nose on the ice in a white sparkly spandex shirt that is flared at the wrists.
In second. BUT 10 points behind Evan Lysacek. Whew.
Weir almost quit last year after placing fifth. And now, he’s 6th after teh short program.
He’s skating to City of Angels. He says it’s the story of his life.
Nails te second triple axel.
Katie Engelhart award for most elegant skate of the night.
“He’s only lacking in steps that bring the element together,” says the commentator. Are you kidding? He just did four jumps in a row!
Fact: Johnny jumps clockwise. Most other skaters jump counter clockwise.
The music speeds up. The crowd is rooting for him. (I mean, let’s face it. We’ve given up on Chan. And Johnny’s not a bad second.)
Routine is finished to booming applause. Now here’a smile!
Some of you may be wondering: How on earth did Johnny wear prepare for such a grueling routine? I know! His roomate, ice dancer Tanith Belbin, leaves him alone to relax: “She is the best roommate – she stayed away all day today so I could run around naked and watch Real Housewives of Atlanta,” he adds. “I will do the same for her.”
Are you KIDDING me?
5th place for Johnny Weir?
I give up.
At least he accepted his results wearing a wreath of red roses around his head.
Evgeni Plushenko of Russia.
Oh he BARELY hung on to that triple axel.
Legs for days! Look at those puppies…
“He stands in his place for too long.”
OK now the commentators are trying to hard to find fault. He rubs us all the wrong way. But look at how softly his skates land on that ice.
Plushenko, darling. Is that comic relief? A funny little jig breaks up the slow music.
He’s the guy we love to hate. Think about all the hullabaloo he created around his quad.
Dancing like his life depends on it.
That quadruple combination is going to give him some serious technical points. But will it be enough?
If I had two cents to rub together, I think I’d put them on Plushenko.
Dick Button is the only man to ever win back to back gold for men’s figure skating.
PLUSHENKO loses by… ONE POINT.
The American superstar Evan Lysacek wins GOLD.
I can’t decide whether or not to celebrate. Let me think about it….
While I ponder my sleep-deprived emotions, let me recap: Patrick Chan finished 5th.
Pluschenko had the quad, but it wasn’t enough to match the yankee skater’s chichi. I think I’ll end with a one-liner… one of them sayings that us figure skating ‘insiders’ like to throw out there: “Quality over Quad.”
Good night readers. Vive les sequins!