1999 Trophée Lalique
Ladies free program

 

The competition was quite disappointing. There was no real highlight- except Victoria Volchkova, and, for me, Sarah Hughes (but I'm biased I have to say!!). For me and most of the crowd, Marya Butyrskaya didn't deserve to win. Oh well...

First to go was Sanna-Maija Wiksten, who skated to the Basic Instinct soundtrack and wore a white dress. She landed a triple lutz/double toe combination, fell on the flip, overrotated the salchow. She tried the salchow again but doubled it. Then she did a split jump into a double toe loop (instead of a triple). She fell on her second lutz and singled the axel, then did triple toe/double toe. Not that bad, but not that good. She is flexible, elegant and beautiful to watch. I liked the music, although the music cuts were awful.:-( Her spins were a little wobbly. Her marks were:

Technical merit

4.7

4.7

4.7

4.6

4.7

4.7

4.7

Artistic impression

4.9

4.9

4.9

5.0

4.8

4.9

4.9

  Stephanie Von der Thusen from Germany was wearing a blue and gold dress and her music was horrible!! At the beginning it was oriental music, then piano in the slow part, and then some really strange (awful) violin music, and the music cuts were bad too. She did a double axel to start followed by a triple toe but she fell. She singled the lutz, doubled the salchow and the loop, did the triple toe, then double flip/double toe combination and a double axel. She did a flying spin that was very low, which was very ugly. I'm sorry, I don't want to criticize her but to be objective I have to say it wasn't good at all. She got marks lower than 4.0...

Technical merit

4.3

4.3

4.4

3.8

4.3

3.9

4.3

Artistic impression

4.7

4.5

4.6

4.4

4.4

4.1

4.4

Brittney McConn was next, and I was glad because it was my first time seeing her. She seems good, but there she had a bad performance. She had a black dress and was skating to spanish music including Aranjuez concerto. She did a good triple salchow/double toe combination, but doubled the lutz and then fell on the loop. She did a double axel out of a spread eagle, and a triple toe/double toe combination. I was disappointed because the program seemed interesting and she has lots of potential, that's obvious. She is very powerful and reminds me of Tonya Harding (please see the good side of it!). I'm looking forward to seeing her skate again.

Technical merit

4.4

4.5

4.6

4.5

4.5

4.3

4.5

Artistic impression

4.7

4.8

4.9

4.9

4.9

5.0

4.7

Yulia Vorobieva was wearing the same dress as last year, that awful (in my opinion) black and white dress, with white long gloves, and I think she was skating to the same program as last year (some folk music). She landed the triple lutz on two feet, doubled the flip and the loop, singled the axel. She tried the axel again and this time did a double. Her triple loop was leaning forward, she singled the flip and the toe loop. While she was preparing the triple toe, I knew she was going to fall- she was so slow over the ice. And I was right: she doubled it and had a bad fall. She ended with her amazing scratch spin. I don't really like her skating, and it was a bad performance.:-(

Technical merit

4.1

4.0

4.0

4.0

4.0

3.7

4.0

Artistic impression

4.6

4.4

4.5

4.4

4.0

4.5

4.7

Jennifer Robinson was next.:-)) I LOVE her skating, I think she's so elegant and graceful. There she wore an awesome black dress, her shoulders were nude - I don't know how to describe it but that was the most beautiful dress I've seen. She looked gorgeous. She landed a triple salchow, fell on the lutz, then did a wobbly triple flip and landed the lutz this time, but on two feet (as she often does!!). She landed beautifully the triple loop and salchow, and overrotated the double axel. She was skating to violin music that was really nice. I loved the program, but of course I'm biased because I love Jennifer. She just amazes me.:-) I would have given her much higher marks for presentation.

Technical merit

5.2

4.8

4.6

4.8

4.5

4.6

4.8

Artistic impression

5.3

5.0

5.0

5.1

4.8

5.1

5.3

During the warm up for the last group, Laetitia Hubert hurt her left foot on a jump. I didn't see what happened but I saw her wincing and it seemed painful.:-( She was nearly crying and couldn't put her foot on the ice- it was hurting. Anick Gailhaguet, her coach, seemed very angry with her, she was telling her not to cry and to go on skating. I thought that was ridiculous. Laetitia just had a bad ankle injury (the right one) so if her left foot was hurting it would have been stupid - and dangerous to skate. She withdrew, and I think that was the right decision. We saw her crying backstage. However when I saw her at the hotel she was walking quite well - I'm not saying she was fainting, that's just to tell you not to worry too much.:-)

Fumie Suguri, who was surprisingly in the last group, skated to some classical music that I couldn't recognize and wore a beautiful pink dress. She overrotated the triple lutz, double the flip (and she landed it leaning forward), did another triple but I didn't see what jump it was. :-b She landed a triple salchow, doubled the loop, singled the lutz, and then did a double axel/triple toe loop combination but landed it on two feet. I have to say I was bored by the program, although she is very graceful.

Technical merit

4.8

4.5

4.6

4.6

4.8

4.3

4.4

Artistic impression

4.8

4.7

4.6

4.7

5.2

4.6

4.7

Diana Poth was next.:-) Yes, I'm terribly biased about her. I love Diana. But she didn't skate well.:-( She was wearing a dress that I didn't really liked, although it suited her well- she looked very sexy, maybe too sexy. The costume was beige, and from the back it looked like a two-piece swin-suit. Her skirt was not a real skirt, actually it was just black fringes on her hips. But she was beautiful with it! She skated to spanish music by the Gipsy Kings and Santa Esmeralda. If some of you can remember the music Marie-Pierre Leray used for her 94/95 short program, it was exactly the same pieces of music (but longer obviously!). She started with a triple toe loop/double toe combination, and I'm quite sure she was going for triple/triple. She singled the lutz.:-(( Then she doubled the loop, fell on the toe loop (or flip, I didn't see it well) and then fell again on the flip. She did the triple salchow and double axel. She ends with a great step sequence and a scratch spin. She does a lot of hand and arms movements. I loved the program, but there it was not a good performance.

Technical merit

4.6

4.5

4.7

4.7

4.7

4.5

4.7

Artistic impression

4.9

5.0

5.1

4.8

5.1

4.9

5.0

Victoria Volchkova surprised me. I didn't like her skating before, but now I really like it! Maybe seeing her in person makes the difference. She was skating to classical music that was a little boring. She was very elegant, although I didn't like her dress. It was white and blue, I think, but the blue was very flashy. She did some gorgeous jumps: triple lutz/double toe combination, triple flip, triple salchow, triple toe, triple lutz again, double axel. Her only mistakes were on the loop: the first attempt was a double and the second one was a single.:-( But it was a great program, and I think (well, most of the crowd felt like me) that she should have won. For me there was no doubt that she was the best. I think she really was undermarked.

Technical merit

5.6

5.3

5.6

5.7

5.4

5.6

5.6

Artistic impression

5.4

5.4

5.6

5.5

5.6

5.5

5.7

Sarah Hughes was next and I was thrilled. I love her. Her blue dress is very sparkling and I don't particularly like it- I would enjoy it more if it didn't have all these sparkles. Her program was beautiful. It was my first time seeing it and I loved it!:-) She landed a double axel/triple toe combination, fell on the lutz, did a very good triple flip. She did a wonderful move where she does an amazing spiral (so much extension!) followed by a triple loop. She landed the triple lutz/double toe combo, then another double axel (beautiful) and a triple salchow. I love her jumps, I think they are gorgeous to watch- except the lutz which is more a flip than a lutz I have to say, and is so strange. The program was so great to watch. I can't believe how good she is artistically at such a young age. And her layback spin is fabulous. She did the same spiral several times, but each time it was a pleasure to watch. I loved the program. In my opinion she deserved to be second-why not first.:-) But for me it was better than Butyrskaya's program. But I'm not a judge...

Technical merit

5.4

5.4

5.4

5.2

5.5

5.3

5.5

Artistic impression

5.5

5.6

5.7

5.5

5.7

5.6

5.8

Last to go was Marya Butyrskaya, and everyone was waiting for her I guess. But I also guess most of the crowd was disappointed. I was. Her costume was awful in my opinion. It was black and white, with sparkles... and feathers. :-(( She was skating to Swan Lake and she chose the parts of the music that I don't like. I like the parts that Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze used in 98, but not these. I didn't like the program, it didn't do anything to me. There were some beautiful moments, but overall it was boring (in my opinion). Her jumps were not good. She landed the triple lutz, fell on the flip, overrotated the triple toe, doubled the salchow. She had a very bad landing, leaning forward, on the triple loop. She did the triple salchow, then a double axel and a triple toe loop. She didn't look secure on her jumps at all. I was really disappointed, because I like Marya, but this program-no. Maybe if the jumps had worked the program would have looked better, although I'm not sure of that. After the program, she skated around, thinking about her performance I guess, but it was very strange! People were wondering what she was doing there. She didn't look that happy. She won, but didn't deserve it. I don't know how she got first place because only 3 judges out of 7 gave her first place. 5.8 for presentation was too high in my opinion. I much prefered Sarah's program.

Technical merit

5.5

5.4

5.4

5.4

5.4

5.2

5.6

Artistic impression

5.7

5.8

5.6

5.7

5.7

5.8

5.8

   


Title photo (c) J.Barry Mittan

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