Skate America is the first of six events in the ISU Grand Prix series. It is organized by the United States Figure Skating Association. The location changes yearly. This year, the competition was held at the ShoWare Center in Kent, Washington from October 19–21, 2012.
The 2012 Hilton HHonors Skate America opened Friday with the Pairs' short program.
Volosozhar/Trankov opened their program to “The Godfather” with a high triple twist, but the catch was not clean and she two-footed the throw triple loop. The Russians recovered in the second half of the program, picking up a level four for the lift, the step sequence and the side by side spin. They weren't at they're best, but took the lead with a brilliant yet not perfect short program.
Pang/Tong's routine to “Scott's and Fran's Paso Doble” was highlighted by a triple twist, a difficult lift and a level-four step sequence, but he falled on the side by side triple toeloop. Anyway they showed a beautiful skating quality, despite Tong's knee problems.
Skating to “Concierto de Aranjuez”, Denney/Coughlin completed a triple twist, side by side triple toeloop, a throw triple twist and two level-four elements. Not bad for this relatively new couple.
Yuzuru Hanyu won the Men's Short Program, setting a new highest Short Program! His performance was really extraordinary. Performing to “Parisian Walkways”, Hanyu hit a solid quadruple toeloop, a triple Axel and triple Lutz-triple toeloop combination and picked up a level four for two spins. Grades of execution were the main key for his wonderful score, as he got +2 for the quad and triple axel and all positive goes for every other element. The 17-year-old earned 95.07 points, surpassing Daisuke Takahashi's 94.00 points set at the ISU World Team Trophy in last April.
Takahiko Kozuka produced a somewhat shaky quadruple toeloop, two footed, a triple Axel, triple Lutz-triple toe and level-three spins in his routine to “Exodus”.
Jeremy Abbott's intricate routine to “Spy” by Nathan Lanier featured a triple Lutz-triple toeloop combination and a triple Axel (hands down), but he fell on an underrotated quadruple toeloop. It wasn’t clean, but he is a fantastic skater and the routine was very entertaining to watch.
Not a good start of season for Tomas Verner, only 3rd at the Ondrej Nepela Trophy and now only 9th! A little better Michal Brezina, in 6th.
Ashley Wagner's program to “Red Violin” featured a triple flip-double toeloop combination, a double Axel and a level-four layback spin, but she two-footed the triple loop. Her program is very interesting and she interprets it manignificently.
Performing to “Capriccio Espagnol”, Adelina Sotnikova produced a triple toe-triple toe combination, double Axel and difficult spins, but singled her flip. Despite a not so brilliant skating, this 16-year-old made older competitors tremble.
Christina Gao hit a triple toe-triple toe as well, a double Axel and triple loop in her routine set to “Close Without Touching”, a very elegnt short program.
Alena Leonova, one of the favourites for a medal, finished in 9th after she struggled with all her program. She scored 46.72 and bursted into tears at the kiss and cry. Poor Alena, it really broke my heart to see her like that.
And to finish, a really wonderful Valentina Marchei in 5th with a great short that suits her very well!
The Polka has been performed for the first time in an ISU competition this season and the results have been interesting.
Davis/White skated a stunning and beautifully choreographed short dance. They danced to the lead chosing a March, Waltz and Polka from the ballet “Giselle” for their Short Dance. They completed fast twizzles, a side by side circular footwork and picked up a level two and four for the Polka patterns.
Weaver/Poje's Polka and Waltz from “The Sound of Music” was highlighted by a confident Polka (level four and three) and a rotational lift.
Bobrova/Soloviev interpreted a Polka and Waltz from to Russian movie soundtracks, picking up a level four for the first Polka pattern and the straight line lift.
But the more entertaining couple to watch were Lynn Kriengkrairut/Logan Giuletti-Schmitt and Lorenza Alessandrini/Simone Vaturi with their Mary Poppins.