Figure Skating Fab and Fabber: US Nationals


YAY! Time to forget about awards seasons and TV shows for the time being, and focus on what’s really important: all the cracked out stuff everyone wore at the US National Figure Skating Championships this weekend.  Note: we miss Johnny Weir. We miss him so bad. Won’t SOMEONE think of the glitter? I also desperately miss Dick Button. Nothing against Scott Hamilton, who was a great skater and seems like a great dude, and who I LOVED when I was a little kid, but the only actual technical note he ever gives is toward the end of everyone’s free skate, where he always says something along the lines of, “her legs are really burning right now.” There is NO actual technical commentary anymore, and it drives me nuts. I don’t know if someone at the network decided that it was too mean to be critical of figure skaters, but that’s bullshit. It’s a sport, these people are highly-trained athletes, and it’s useful for the viewer to know what the JUDGES are seeing and possibly thinking. Did that spin travel too much? Did someone just two foot a landing? Are those arms in an incorrect position? When I’m watching the Dodgers and someone drops the ball, Vin Scully doesn’t say, “but he has such spirit.” He says, “that’s the third error tonight for SoAndSo.” Without Dick Button OR SOMEONE to actually provide athletic context (and, obviously, to occasionally sigh passive-aggressively, “Well, that was pleasant” when someone who’s been whiffing it finally lands one), the whole exercise feels a little bit more patronizing than it ought. Yes, figure-skating is beautiful and full of artistry and fancy outfits, but it’s also a SPORT, and it irks me that NBC doesn’t seem to want to actually hire someone to call the freaking game.  AHEM. Sorry about that, but it’s been weighing on me. AND NOW ON TO THE OUTFITS.

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Comments (121):

  1. akamarykate
    0

    THANK YOU for saying exactly what I’ve been thinking about skating commentary. I want to know WHY stuff works or doesn’t, not what someone’s “story” is. I miss commentary that made me feel smarter after I heard it.

    • Chasmosaur
      0

      Oh, it’s all about the perky factor or how someone overcame adversity and all about that “spirit”. Except if you got to this level of competition, that’s all pretty much a given.

      However, this is NBC’s answer to all sports these days, I think – they even manage to do it with Triple Crown horse racing. I loathe their sports coverage in the extreme. It’s ridiculous and it’s insulting to the athletes that compete in sports that don’t involve revealing and/or sparkly bodywear.

      (Don’t make me start on the coverage of Men’s Gymnastics vs. Women’s Gymnastics….)

  2. Ellen
    0

    Johnny Weir has said (via Twitter and Facebook, so you know it must be true) that he’s returning to competition! There’s hope after all!

  3. nichole
    0

    I liked Alysa Czizny’s (sp?) pink outfit. She reminds me a bit of Nancy Kerrigan when she skates. But without all the “Why, why, why” drama. Nancy had very lovely lines when she skated and that gold costume at the Olympics was one of the best ever. Also – Ashley Wagner, my new favorite and the Shibutani siblings are the cutest skaters ever.

  4. Sarah
    0

    Oh but I hate Dick Button. He frequently dwelled upon little shit that no one cared about, or made vaguely rude comments about the shape of a skater’s body. That aside, Scotty Hamilton does not tell us enough about technique, it’s true. I think skaters have a hard time explaining why something does or does not work in a language accessible to tv viewers.

    But thank you for pointing out the Caydee Denny wore way too much makeup, that Rachael Flatt’s costumes are perennially terrible, and that Alissa Csizny’s free skate costume was just wrong.

    • Heather
      0

      Yeah, I agree that Dick Button was a little body-insensitive. I mostly like him for the huffy “That was PLEASANT” stuff, because I think he’d basically stopped giving any actual analysis by the time NBC booted him. But they need SOMEONE. Elfie Schlagel or whatever her name is, is just TERRIBLE. It’s like a bunch of Paulas. They need a Simon, or hell, even a J.Lo.

      • Heather
        0

        Oh wait, it’s Sandra — Elfie is the gymnastics one, right? I always mix them up. Both are terrible.

      • Sally Praskey
        0

        They need a Toller Cranston! Now there’s a commentator who speaks his mind. As a result, CBC fired him.

  5. Louise
    0

    I will say that Scott USED to give technical commentary. Back in the days when networks were serious about skating and showed more than just a handful of routines per competitions. And Sandra is usually much more technically inclined, and a bit snarkier, in her commentary – she just was OFF last weekend.

    I think it immensely impressive that Charlie White manages to pull off tailcoats and curls and not look at all like he should be doing one-or-the-other. And watching the curls and tails fly when he does his ballet leap at the end of the free dance is awesome. I almost never even care what Meryl is wearing.

    And does it mark me as impossibly ancient if I say that Keegan reminds me SO MUCH of Elvis Stojko, even down to the costume? If he does a Bruce Lee routine I will not be even slightly surprised.

    • kdl
      0

      At the competition, I said, “It’s as if Elvis Stojko and Philippe Candeloro had a baby.”

      • danielcraigforevah
        0

        I can’t believe I didn’t think of that! You two are SO RIGHT!

  6. ReinaJayne
    0

    I am a longtime lurker and also a longtime skating fan, so THANK YOU so much for covering this! Regarding NBC’s commentary, I would point out at NBC only covers Nationals, Worlds and the Olympics (the biggies) while ABC covers many of the smaller competitions throughout the year. I think ABC has better commentary and does a better job at pointing out technical elements because they don’t just check in twice a year. (Hello? What was NBC’s “Keys to the competition: Stay vertical” all about?”)

    I have to disagree on your assessment of Rachel Flatt’s dress. No matter how she skated, I thought it was gorgeous, if a bit sheer. She was skating to “Firebird,” which could have produced a much, much uglier costume.

    But Ashley Wagner’s costume was beautiful, and the Shibutanis are, indeed, adorable!

    • danielcraigforevah
      0

      The whole “stay vertical” thing killed me. That wasn’t just dumb, it was insulting to the entire audience!

      There used to be at least short segments where a skater would show the difference between a Salchow and a toe loop, for example, or what edge the Lutz take-off should be on, or what a great layback spin should look like.

  7. kdl
    0

    I have so much to say, because I was at the event for the entire week. (Novice pairs skating is scary, y’all.) I will, however, limit my comments to: 1) Caydee Denney dresses really cute off the ice, and I don’t know why she trashes it up on the ice; 2) Rachael Flatt needs to retire. Yesterday; 3) I can confirm that Zach Donahue and Madison Hubbell are doing it; 4) there is another pair in which she is 15 and he is 35 — worse than Rockne and MB; and 5) Why does Alissa Czisny suddenly have boobs?

    BTW, Johnny did commentary on icenetwork.com. I haven’t listened to it, but I bet it was awesome. He walked around everywhere with security and wearing fur all week.

    • Jessica
      0

      I KNEW IT. I KNEW THEY WERE DOING IT.

      • kdl
        0

        I’ve known for awhile, but he also tweeted something this week about having “the best partner and girlfriend!!!!” Also, they don’t exactly try to hide it in public.

    • Amynishiki
      0

      My worlds collide! I know you from McCovey Chronicles.

    • loola234
      0

      YES! Totally wondering how Alyssa had grown boobs at such an advanced age!

      Good to know that Caydee dresses OK off the ice because she needs an intervention – STAT! (Plus how could someone think that Caydee is a better pair girl than Caitlin?)

      I did like Mirai’s goddess dress – sad she didn’t skate so well…

      • kdl
        0

        My mom and I disagreed over Mirai’s dress, but I agree with you. I loved it.

        It’s pretty much confirmed that Caydee and John have gone the way of Zach and Madison, if you know what I mean. The whole Caitlyn thing has seemed pretty scandalous, but I don’t think we’ll ever know the whole story.

      • Sally Praskey
        0

        You’re SO right about Caydee versus Caitlin. Caitlin skated amazing, had total class, and supported John through the death of his Mother, which he went on about incessantly. I’m very sorry for him, but he really needed to stop whining about it.

    • Grace
      0

      Regarding Alyssa’s new boobs: it’s all padding. All of it. A skating blog commented on this and it’s apparently to hide how slight she really is. I also think they’re tring to play “she’s the woman in a field of girls” to sell her choreographic maturity.

  8. Alix
    0

    1. Can’t something be done about those hideous beige tights that cover the skates? They look uniformly AWFUL and match NO ONE’s skin tone! At least the ice dancers are sensible enough to wear sheer hose and beige skates. Seriously — why not just more BEIGE SKATES?
    2. Where’s Dick Button???

    • Lizaster
      0

      Yes! I was just about to comment on that! It was super distracting and looks terrible. Reminds me of when robbers put pantyhose over their heads and it smushes their faces. Ick.

      • hippetyhop
        0

        Yes! Ugly ugly ugly. Ice-skating may be the only place where you CAN wear tights over boots, but that doesn’t mean you SHOULD.

    • Karen
      0

      Lord, that’s exactly what I came here to complain about: those damn hose-covered skates. I don’t know what effect the ladies are TRYING for, but they only succeed in making it look like they’ve got two club feet.

    • BW
      0

      I was beginning to think I was the only one who hated the beige tights over skates look. Why give yourself lumpy cankles? It does not make your legs look longer. I like the look of pantyhose and white skates. Also, I wish the ice skaters would wear uniforms. It’s not that I don’t like the costumes, but it would make me feel that they were atheletes, and concentrate more on their routines.

    • LibraryChick
      0

      While I don’t like the tights over skates look, there is probably a logical reason for doing it. Does no one remember Tonya Harding and the broken shoelace from 1994? Perhaps skaters figured out that if they cover their skates, they can’t have a stray shoelace ruin their routines as readily.

      • danielcraigforevah
        0

        Figure skater here – wearing tights over your boots keeps your feet slightly warmer, keeps your laces tucked away, and a lot of judges like that the line of the leg seems longer when not broken by white skates. If you skate, it seems normal, but I can see how other people would find it ugly or like club feet.

        Beige skates are just hideous, IMO. They don’t look that bad on TV, but they are so, so ugly.

  9. Jen
    0

    Ugh, is it some sort of requirement that all female skaters have to do that pose which is basically a crotch shot? I’ve not noticed any of the guys ever doing it.

    Also, I have no idea who Keegan Messing is but he looks like the lost Jonas Brother!

    • kdl
      0

      So many figure skating moves are totally crotchtacular. It’s gross, but those moves are difficult so they gain a lot of points under the new scoring system. There’s another spin that a lot of the guys do where they are bent at the waist and basically showcasing their butts to the audience. It’s disgusting.

  10. Willow
    0

    Caroline Zhang’s Pearl Spin is one of the most incredible things I have ever seen:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBNIFavPgdY&feature=related

    It leaves me breathless every single time.

    • Genevieve
      0

      That spin is completely nuts. Wow. It’s mindboggling that someone can do that with her body.

      • Cecilia
        0

        She almost touches her head to her butt. It’s like a cracked vertebre waiting to happen. It looks amazing when she does it, though.

    • Sarah
      0

      Baby Caroline Zhang! So long ago.

    • kdl
      0

      Hey, I was at that event!

  11. Amanda
    0

    Scott Hamilton was on at the beginning of the season and had some disparaging marks regarding Evan Lysacek’s return to skating vs. the financial disagreement between him and US figure skating-mostly about how he shouldn’t be doing it for the money. Anyway, that was the last we heard from Scott, until now.

    I find it hard to believe that no one, in all these years, has never spoken to Rachel Flatt about her posture. She’d look so much better (okay, maybe just better) if she STOOD UP STRAIGHT!

    • Cecilia
      0

      Oh, like Scott works for free. Where did Evan disappear to, anyway, he seems to have fallen off the face of the earth. Don’t tell me the skating federation had him kneecapped?

  12. Sonya
    0

    I was laughing so hard by the end, I was crying. I had to shut my office door. Thanks for brightening what has been a TERRRRRRRRRIBLE day, Ladies.

  13. Robin
    0

    Yea! My absolute favorite posts of the year are the figure skating posts.

    That makes me sad about the commentary. But NBC has been dumbing down all of their sports commentaries recently.

  14. coexxi
    0

    This is one of the most beautiful routines I ever saw, I always get goosebumps… click it, it is 4 minutes well spent! And the costumes are very costumey!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWOPzq4AnKw

    (Marina Anissina and Gwendal Peizerat with music from Carmina Burana – O Fortuna)

  15. Cat
    0

    Greatest.Post.EVER!!! I am laughing so hard I am crying and it’s lucky most of coworkers are gone right now. Whew! And basically, I agree with everything you wrote. It’s all the truth!!

    Caydee Denney’s makeup– who set the makeup gun to clown?! It looked sooooo bad. It’s just sad because she’s so cute and seems really lively and energetic… and then we get trailer park makeup on the ice. Yikes, tone it down girl!

    Shibutanis– adorable! Simply adorable. I am so glad they have not ventured into ick territory yet (and hopefully ever). Please never do a love story, please!!

    Rachael Flatt – tights are still AWFUL and she needs to retire ASAP.

    And preach about the need for better commentaries! I can tell when someone falls down– tell me if the jumps were made on the right edge or why the technical score isn’t as high as it should be or something! I don’t need to know that a skater is tired, or out of it, or has lost focus– I can see that on my screen, thanks!!

    • Sally
      0

      Scott Hamilton will tell you that blades don’t like to go sideways. That is the extent of his technical commentary.

  16. Tama
    0

    Right ON about the commentary. I sent NBC a seriously scathing letter once about how I hate that they seem to be trying too hard to gain a female audience for the Olympics with all this damn backstory crap, and that I am female and want to see the dang SPORTS!! Seemed like they toned it down a bit after that – it was after a particularly bad year a long time ago. Skating-wise, I have never enjoyed Scott Hamilton, he talks too much about nothing through the routines. I just want the commentators to shut up and maybe have a short outburst if something happened we need to pay attention to.

    • Heather
      0

      I sort of feel like… the judging has gotten EVEN MORE confusing, so they need to have people who can help pick apart the things the judges may knock, without also feeling like they have to coddle the athletes by praising them for stuff that isn’t praiseworthy. or the reverse: Sandra slobbered all over Jeremy Abbott’s perfect long program, and it was fine, but Jessica and I watching both agreed that he looked exhausted the ENTIRE time and that it lacked emotional connection. Yet all Sandra could do was be like, “ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh,” in an orgasmic way. I don’t think these people have the necessary perspective because they are too close to it, possibly, and they’re rooting for everyone to be a winner. If Troy Aikman did that on NFL Sundays, he’d get fired.

      Although Jon Gruden does it and he hasn’t been fired, so who knows. Then again, Gruden isn’t afraid to say people are NOT playing well, he just uses massive hyperbole when they are.

      • kdl
        0

        I didn’t hear any of it, since I was actually at the event. I sat right by the NBC booth, and it looked to me like they got the judges scores immediately on monitors in front of them. They should be able to explain right away why a jump didn’t get credit because it was under-rotated, or if the spins or footwork got a level 3 instead of a level 4. I could be wrong, though.

      • Sarah
        0

        Yes re: Abbott’s long program lacking emotional connection. Sure it was lovely, but I was left rather flat. He is so wonderful when he is in character, so be in character! Short program – lovely, charming. Long program – lovely, flat.

  17. Liane
    0

    The excreting feathers comment made me laugh my ass off. Apparently, I’m 12. And will now have “Gaston” running on a loop through my head for the rest of the day. Which is fine because I love that song.

  18. oohsparkley
    0

    GFY the posts were so funny. It’s also hilarious how a lot of the pictures look so awkward and strange as stills. The crotch shot aspect doesn’t really bother me when in motion. The sport would be pretty boring if they couldn’t lift their leg higher than thigh high.

    • Sandra
      0

      Thank you Jessica! So many things about this entry are pleasing to me. Not the least of which is the Keegan Messing/Gaston theme. That is my all-time favorite Disney song and it suits the little guy very well. Which is weird because it’s all about how much bigger and meaner Gaston is than everybody else. Maybe it’s the fact that KM is all technique and no artistry. It’s not called “ice jumping”, kiddo.

      Regarding Marley and Brubaker, she is 16 and he is 25. Yeah, she looks younger and he looks older, but they are a really seriously good pairs team. Thank God she’ll be 18 in the Olympic year, so the ook factor should diminish. Being coached by the legendary Mr. Nicks and Jenni Meno & Todd Sand is very much in their favor as well. Also, Caydee Denney is 18 and John Coughlin is 26, so M&B are hardly the only ones here with a big age gap. As for Coughlin, whatever he is smoking needs to be banned. They won this competition because M&B aren’t quite there yet and Evora and Ladwig are never going to get there. Denney has the ugliest air positions in lifts and she’s apparently chosen Tonya Harding as her muse. Caitlin Yankowskas is in every way a superior skater. She and USFSA are probably gonna have to find some Russian boy and give him a ton of money to come skate with her because this discipline needs some dramatic intervention. The fourth place team, Donlan and Speroff are on their way up as well.

      As for Meryl & Charlie and the Shibs, what’s not to love? Both teams make my heart smile. Die Fleidermaus is perfect Davis and White. I adore the way each of them is featured in one segment. A big ol’ :notworthy: bow to Marina Zoueva and Igor Shpilband. They coach the top three dance teams in the world and nobody has shanked anybody.

      Glad to see Jeremy and Ashley skate beautifully instead of splatting. I hope Alissa gets another dose of whatever she got last year and gets it together at Worlds. Marai Nagasu makes me want to cry. Such great talent and no competitive instinct at all. Frank Carroll is clearly not pleased with her.

      Classic Dick Button was great fun, but Getting Senile Dick Button (and the old boy is 83 now) was painful to watch. He would, however, have something to say about the tights-over-boots look. He was vociferously opposed to it and hated the idea of beige boots even worse. In his world, white is the only acceptable color for Ladies’ skates.

      • Jessica
        0

        I think for me the issue with Brubaker and Marley isn’t their ACTUAL age difference, but that she looks 12, even if she’s 16, and he looks 35 despite being 25. He is VERY MATURE looking and she is SO TINY. They HAVE to stop putting bows in her hair.

      • nichole
        0

        “and nobody has shanked anybody”. Ha ha ha. My favorite comment in this whole post.

      • Sandra
        0

        I agree totally on the idea of improving the styling for M&B. It would be a shame to have that ruin them. Rockne’s kinda short for a pairs guy, so he doesn’t have as many choices as a taller fella would. His former partner was also small enough to put in your carry-on luggage.

    • ESK
      0

      I laughed too at the still shots–some of them look like they’re in the midst of an epilleptic fit.

  19. Ms. Chanandler Bong
    0

    I’m so glad that coverage didn’t get lost in the SAG shuffle and I have notes. I could already hear your commentary when Rachel Flatt took the ice with the tiny skirts and spaghetti straps. It’s SO unflattering. She’s just so blah and not very graceful. She needs to pick either/or. Like, if you want to skate, skate! Lord knows you can only really compete until maybe 23??? Maybe?
    I was glad A Wags. won, but mostly because of the “almost-girl” package they did of her running on the beach. There was a Michelle Kwan sighting! GOD, I MISS MICHELLE KWAN! I really enjoyed the pairs and dance this year. I NEVER watch the men because, without Johnny Weir running around dripping in feathers and glitter and PRETENDING HE”S RUSSIAN, who cares, really? The pair that won won’t make a dent internationally, but they looked like they were having a blast. Things I miss…Belbin and Agosto and the white boots! I scorn those hideous boot covers!

  20. Artemis
    0

    SCOTTY HAMILTON IS AN AMERICAN INSTITUTION. Even if he only pipes up to comment on the obvious.

  21. Joe Dwarf
    0

    Look into getting CBC for worlds then. Much better.

    • Sally
      0

      Definitely much better, although Kurt Browning does tend to go on — and on. But we love him anyway.

      • LibraryChick
        0

        Oh, Kurt Browning. I can still remember the time I saw him do a “Brickhouse” skating routine. He brought sexy into skating in the best possible way. :)

  22. Krusticle
    0

    I missed the ice-skating this weekend, but it sounds just like the commentary you now hear on Pro Ballroom Championship shows. Back in the day, Ron Montez and Juliet Prowse knew their stuff and were not afraid to call it as they saw it. Now the fab Ron is paired with so-called pros like Marilu Henner, Jasmine Guy or Jean Louisa Kelly, whose commentary consists of, “Wow, great costumes!” and “Those were some sexy moves!” and “They look really great together!” Yeeesh. You can’t even mute that shit because you lose the music, too.

    • eee
      0

      I am SO GLAD I’m not the only one who a) watches professional ballroom dance competitions and b) hates that they can’t find a good partner in commentary for Ron Montez. Barbara Eden? Is she even remotely qualified? Bah.

      At least over on Ovation, they had Nigel Lythgoe and Debbie Allen doing the bumpers for their Nutcracker competition.

  23. Erica
    0

    As a former competitive figure skater, I was never a big Dick Button commentary fan. He’s technical observations weren’t always true. But I guess I was looking with a more critical eye and not being skating “to the people.” So that does make him better than Scott Hamilton (who IS a great person) in that respect.

    Also, I HATE HATE HATE tights that go over the skates. We know you have feet. We can see the blade!

  24. kathotdog
    0

    I had to look up Keegan Messing because he looks like he is about 3 feet tall. Wikipedia didn’t list height, but the do list his skate programs:
    Pirates of the Caribbean
    The Incredible Hulk
    Thank God I’m a Country Boy
    Selections from Gremlins!
    I am just imaging how wonderful these all must have been.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keegan_Messing

  25. Jasmine
    0

    I actually cannot put into words just how much I love the fact that Gaston’s song was quoted in this slideshow.

    http://t.qkme.me/35gvzk.jpg

  26. Martigraw
    0

    I enjoyed all of your commentary. Agreeing most of all with Jeremy looking a little SWF to Evan in his free costume and how scary Caydee’s makeup was. No way she looked in a mirror, and a makeup artist must have punked her. The thing that bothered me most about Alissa’s free costume is how 95% of it was sheer with just a teeny white bathing suit bottom. And the space between the choker and the rest of the bodice seemed vast.

    While I think Meryl and Charlie are an amazing pair, her expressions were extra ballroom dancerish and distracting. I know Corky Ballas helped the Shibs, I hope he didn’t get his hooks into Meryl too!

  27. Denise
    0

    The tights-over-the-boots-to-attempt-to-lengthen-the-leg phenomenon is an unfortunate one, the overall effect is very clunky. And I miss more technical commentary, too. I adore Scotty Hamilton, God knows he has the skill set to do a better job. I suspect they are directed to be the way we see them. I bet Christy Yamaguchi or Brian Boitano could do an admirable job, but they probably have better things to do with their time. Rachael Flatt must be a brilliant person to major in biochemical engineering at Stanford, but she has never done a good job on either her posture or her skating artistry. She needs to focus on her studies and give up the blades, at least competitively. Thanks for posting all the photos and comments : )

    • Jessica
      0

      Trust me. I love him. I think he’s doing what they’ve asked. I think what they’ve asked is wrong-headed. But HE is lovely.

  28. Tara
    0

    12 year competitive figure skater here. I love you guys for doing this. I HATE Dick Button and yet I must agree with you – Scotty is silent on so many mistakes. The layman need to know! I was commentating for my friends. We had to take a drink every time someone messed up.

  29. Hmm
    0

    As someone who doesn’t follow the world of figure skating at all, WOULD SOMEONE PLEASE EXPLAIN THE BLEEDING?!

    There are over 50 comments and this hasn’t come up yet? I guess it’s not part of fashion per se, but certainly it’s worth a remark or two?

    • Jessica
      0

      What bleeding? Do you mean Alissa — that’s just the shadow of her skirt!

      • Katharine
        0

        THANK YOU! But it is on her hand and elbow too. Why would a pink skirt cast a red shadow?

      • Hmm
        0

        Oh wow. Now that I’ve stared at it long enough I guess it is just the shadow from her skirt. I have never seen a shadow look so blood-like in my life! What a weird effect!

    • emily
      0

      thank you….i googled the crap out of this, so confused that there is no mention! really looks like blood….

  30. vandalfan
    0

    As an uninitiated to ice skating other than to see pretty outfits, I would also appreciate more technical sport information, and not the schleppy backstories. This includes the Olympics. I do know a bit about snow skiing, and I know those experts fail to point out athletic specifics in favor of frivolous background details.

  31. Liz
    0

    I absolutely hate those tights that cover the skates – they are hideous!!! Hello clod feet. The girls who actually show their skates look so much better!

  32. ceecee
    0

    Picture #23
    I thought “How nice that Owen Wilson has taken up figure skating.”

  33. ksd1123
    0

    Figure skating annoucing aside, Scott Hamilton is the most unlucky man (and also somehow the luckiest man) in all the world. I watched some mid-Olympics documentary (let’s call it “Behind the Laces”) in 2010 and his story is, seriously, just Crazytown. Ups, downs, more ups, more downs. Bad timing and miracles all the way through. And then a backflip. I hope it’s on in 2014; I would totally watch it again. That is all. And now to the costumes!

  34. Pagooey
    0

    I miss mean old Uncle Dick like crazy, too. You really learned from him, and he made for some excellent drinking games (if he bestows the elusive “First rate!”, everybody chug!).

    But I am mean old Auntie Pagooey, because I find Alissa deathly dull. I also hated her LP dress, mostly because it was all falsely sheer sheer sheer and then UNDERPANTS AHOY. I did think it was sweet that Rachael Flatt’s dorm-mates showed up in a big mob, though. Rachael, honey, you’ve given it your all. Hang up the blades and go cure cancer; no one will begrudge you. And I’ve been marveling at Caroline Zhang and “the Pearl” for years; I can watch her and watch her, and I still don’t understand how it’s physically possible. She’s like a contortionist who can pack themselves into a milk crate or something!

    • Cecilia
      0

      OMG, I thought I was the only panty police! Alissa’s bikini bottoms drove me nuts. And I, too, think Rachel will some day cure cancer and is only slumming on the ice. She’s bubbly and approachable about autographs, though, so I’ll always have a soft spot for her.

  35. KarenF
    0

    Johnny did fantastic commentary on ice network – not only was he delightfully, totally Johnny in his hair and fashion remarks, but he had great technical insight on why things worked and did not work. Plus, he managed to say something positive and nice about every competitor. I wish he had been part of the broadcast for more than just the men’s SP, and the top 10 mens FP.

  36. Bianca
    0

    Yaay! I love your figure skating entries!

  37. Jessica
    0

    I am DYING for Johnny Weir to get a real commentary gig. If we see him at Fashion Week, I am ASKING.

    • kdl
      0

      I think Johnny would LOVE it, but I think NBC (wrongly) believes he would be off putting or something. They’re idiots, obviously. The ratings for skating have tanked over the last 10 years. Johnny is exactly what they need. (And, I say that as someone who is sort of over Johnny’s whole shtick.)

      • deee
        0

        I heard a little bit of Johnny’s commentary on Icenetwork during the men’s short. Sigh. He spent most of the time making inane observations about people’s hair and other random stuff. Could have been fun but it wasn’t. AT ALL. Just really awkward. Scott Hamilton is a commentary genius compared to Johnny. And I like Johnny.

  38. Fiona K
    0

    I can’t bear figure skating without Johnny Weir. It’s all too drab. These costumes and most of the people in them put me to sleep.

    • Nancy
      0

      Agreed.

      Definitely not enough *CRAZY*- they were either meh or just plain bad.

  39. ginger
    0

    Anything you post when ice skating season comes along makes my week. It’s perfect every single time. Love, love, love the ice skating costume analysis. Always. :)

  40. Julia
    0

    Dang it. Now I have the Gaston Song stuck in my head. ::sigh::

    Toe pick!

    • Caity Rose
      0

      “When I was a lad I ate four dozen eggs every morning to help me get large! And now that I’m grown I eat five dozen eggs so I’m roughly the size of a barge!”

  41. Sajorina
    0

    I don’t watch, so I know nothing about figure skating, but I enjoyed reading this post thoroughly! “NBC’s The more you know” & the “child bride” comments were priceless… Thank you! By the way, I loved the Black Swan dress, it really was perfect!

  42. Lili
    0

    The photo for Zach and Madison FD is from another competition, isn’t it? He had a grey shirt at Nationals. LOL to Madison’s mother who made a costume for her daughter like this.

    • Jessica
      0

      Whoops, maybe? Getty’s picture spread of Nationals was thin, maybe I yanked the wrong one.

  43. Christine
    0

    Wow, I absolutely had no idea anyone still watched this stuff. I think I quit after the year of the Nancy-Tonya scandal. But you guys have me intrigued again!

    Thanks a lot! As if I didn’t already have enough ways to waste my time. <3

  44. Ellabella
    0

    Thank you for showing me photos of Adam Rippon. Newest addition to Men I Would Like To Marry or At Least Have Meaningful One Night Stands With. Sorry to be so shallow ;)

    • Cecilia
      0

      From the audience it looked like he had a nasty pit stain, though. Not sure if they make dress shields for men but he cried out for one. It’s a fight over whether he or Charlie had the best male head of hair, with Jonathan Cassar and Ian Lorella tied for silver in the hair competition, and Doug Razzano taking home the bronze for the way his hair flipped perfectly during his spins. Someone get these guys endorsements for hair care products…

  45. Lisa
    0

    Why does she look like she’s mortally wounded and bleeding to death on the ice?

  46. Jodi
    0

    What happened to Rachael Flatt’s legs? In that photo her arms are longer than her legs. I had to look up other photos of her to confirm that she apparently has had surgery to make her stumpier.

  47. Chaiaiai
    0

    um, i would TOTALLY watch a long program set to the Wills/Kate love story.

    I am ashamed of myself. I’m a 33 year old woman. HELP ME.

    • Sarah
      0

      You are not alone. Only I want Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir to do it, as an homage to their future sovereigns!

  48. maryse
    0

    a keegan messing skate to gaston would have been awesome. and the only reason to wear that otherwise ridiculous looking costume.

  49. Nicole
    0

    I LOVE you ladies. This is easily my favorite blog post ever. I had to stop myself from snorting at your commentary as I scrolled through the gallery. You have made ice skating my favorite thing again.

  50. Liz
    0

    It really weirds me out when they put the awful stocking over the skates. It looks like the girls have freaky deformed alien feet.

  51. eee
    0

    In the first pic of Meryl Davis and Charlie White, his squiggly hair matches the squiggles on her dress.

    And YES to the wussification of the commentary. Let’s talk about the technical stuff! Otherwise, this may as well be the Ice Capades.

  52. Angela
    0

    Yes! More figure skating posts, less “Fug the Show” posts!

    • Sally
      0

      Yes! Fug the Show is the only section I ever skip. BTW, lovbed the Fug Girls on E-Talk TV in Canada this week!

  53. Princess Leia
    0

    I heard the Skate Radio commentary from certified skating Technical Specialists was really good but was only broadcast in the building. Maybe network TV should hire them.

    Rachael Flatt’s dress was beautiful as was Ashley Wagner’s. Also, I am a shiny white skate fan, no over the boot tights for me, either. Yuck.

  54. Sydney
    0

    So ti’s true Marchesa actually designs for figure skaters but actors like buying the dresses in long form anyway?

  55. taylor
    0

    I love the ice skating posts! “This looks like something from Figure Skating Salutes Communism.” made me giggle so much.

  56. Sally Praskey
    0

    As a former figure skater myself, I couldn’t agree with you more about Scott Hamilton. He is a TERRIBLE commentator! The only worse one I’ve seen is Peggy Fleming, who only said: “She could point her toes more in that spin.” Sandra Bezic, however, did try to give some technical context, and she is quite a good commentator — perhaps a bit too positive, but that was probably the directive she was given.

  57. Caro
    0

    I soooo miss Dick commenting on someone’s “wild, free-swinging leg.”

  58. Caity Rose
    0

    The Shibutani siblings are ADORBZ. I seriously just want to put them in my pocket.
    And Wagner’s black swan outfit is stellar.

  59. Grace
    0

    I’m surprised everyone is buying the “good guy” image Scott Hamilton is selling. He and Bezic are heavily responsible for the dismal state of figure skating today after their ugly, biased commentary at the 2002 Olympics and the disaster that ensued. The sport has never been the same and been uglified beyond repair. I lost respect for him completely after that. Second, he was notorious for praising those skaters that he either had or was courting for Stars on Ice. He’s a savvy businessman, don’t you forget it. Third, read his autobiography or do some research online. He’s acutally quite a right-wing Christian conservative, which doesn’t concern me. What does disgust me is how he has had no qualms in the past outing “friends” without their knowledge or approval. He is infamous in the skating world for his homophobia and his derogatory stance towards gays. Sorry to burst your bubbles.

    If you want good skating commentary, and the not the cotton candy fluff on American TV, check out the British commentators on Eurosport or suprisingly, Tara Lipinski’s commentary for Ice Network online. She is surprisingly good at it.

    • Sally
      0

      How could you blame Scott and Sandra for speaking out about the judging scandal at the 2002 Olympics? It was the only right thing to do.

  60. SkaterMom
    0

    Canadian skater mom here….I missed your nationals, so I didn’t hear the commentaries first hand. But I don’t think I’m wrong if I say that the commentators are likely encouraged to dumb down their observations. The production group probably doesn’t understand many of the technical points and likely assumes the audience won’t either. Although scoring a program now seems like a math equation, I know that skating fans are extremely knowledgable about their sport, and would appreciate hearing some observations other than the obvious “Oops. And she’s down….too bad” :)

  61. qr5
    0

    so happy to see the cutting edge reference! =)

  62. linda
    0

    Thank you so much for covering this.I thought no one paid attention to figure skating. I enjoyed every word and am looking forward to Worlds!

  63. LisaJo885
    0

    Heather and Jessica, US Nationals was hosted about 10 minutes from my house this year and I totally missed going to catch a glimpse of Johnny! Next time they are hosted here, you are invited to sleep on my couch and we’ll all go see it in person together, okay?

  64. Ellie
    0

    re: toe pick, Canada has a TV reality competition based on that very figure skater + washed up hockey dude = awesome combination.

    It’s called Battle of the Blades.
    http://www.cbc.ca/battle/

    It does really well in the ratings.

  65. KarenW
    0

    Love this post! Lol, that Keegan Messing slide killed me. I’m sad that you missed Johnny’s commentary on icenetwork though, he was fantastic. He needs to commentate everything from now on (when he’s not actually skating, of course). And I’m not just saying that because I love him :)

  66. Evie
    0

    Oh, please do this again once Worlds comes around!
    The European skaters especially dress in… quite unorthodox fashion.