US National Figure-Skating Championships Fab and Fabber


When I saw what Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto wore for their free skate in the US National championships recently, I assumed the routine was about either Elvis, or the Bee-Gees:

Actually, it’s about God. WHOOPSIE. But can you blame me? Look at that majestic white jumpsuit! Of course I thought we were going to be talking it up on the Barry Gibb talk show. Talking about sequins. Talking about crazy, crazy ruffles.

Speaking of crazy:



THIS routine was about celibacy. (Not really: it was what the commentators called a Moldavian folk dance. I assume they meant Moldovan, as it sadly was in no way related to Dynasty‘s infamous Moldavian massacre, as neither Tanith nor Ben ended it by flinging themselves on the ice, twitching and screaming. Come on, guys: it’s an Olympic year. Couldn’t you have thrown us a bone?)

While Tanith and Ben made the critical error of not basing any of their routines on old Spelling programs, fellow ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White were good enough to base one of theirs on something ELSE I really loved when I was twelve: The Phantom of the Opera:

When this routine started, I complained to Heather that I thought it was EGREGIOUS for any routine using “The Music of the Night” to fail to use either a cape or a dramatic face mask. And while I stand by that judgment, I do have to point out that this routine is freaking great. And that I guess Charlie might be skating as Raoul rather than The Phantom, but…okay, listen: we just need to see a cape out there one of these days, guys, okay? Take it under advisement. I know you can make it happen. Because you also did this:

Yeah, that’s a Bollywood number. I LOVE ICE-DANCING. (For one thing, the costumes are way more entertaining than the ones in pairs, none of which were even interesting enough to include in this round-up. I have higher hopes for the European pairs skaters come Olympics time, as some of them are sure to arrive in Canada bearing massive amounts of tulle.)  Anyway, aren’t they cute?

Did someone say cute?

I wish Emily Samuelson and Evan Bates’s routine here was based on Toy Story. Despite appearances, it is not. Regardless, I applaud the brave use of both a hat, and chaps. There should be more chaps in figure-skating. Chaps for everyone!

I am surprised, in fact, that we haven’t seen a far greater use of chaps from this young man:

OH JOHNNY WEIR. You are the Lady Gaga of figure-skating: dramatic; quite talented; prone to wearing crazy shit and saying provocative things; possibly inspired by Grace Jones; and very very likely to perform “Poker Face.” (If you haven’t seen Johnny do his “Poker Face” routine, I highly encourage you to do so. It is…exactly what you’re picturing right now. But more.) Unlike Lady Gaga, though, right now I am worried that he’s growing a mullet. And a mullet is going to clash with his wings:

I swear to God, this ensemble used to have more feathers on it. Maybe Johnny’s Olympic teammate (and current world champ) Evan Lysacek STOLE THEM:

He certainly does look fierce, doesn’t he? Both in the traditional sense, and the Tyra Banks sense. I do, however, enjoy that Evan tends to deploy a sort of Banana Republic Men’s Department color story in his costumes:

Were it not for the ruching, I might accidentally walk up to him and ask where I can find a sensible pair of black work pants. Okay, fine: if it weren’t for the ruching AND the leather shoulder cages. Those aren’t very Business Casual. In fairness, I actually think Evan looks pretty sophisticated — in a feathery, dramatic kind of way — which is not something you say about male figure-skating costumes very often. On the other hand, I kind of like all my skaters to show up wearing items BeDazzled with, like, flames. So: we’ll call it even, Evan. (SEE WHAT I DID THERE? HAHAHAHA I am hitting the wall here, guys. If this post were a long program, this would be about two and a half minutes in and my legs [er, fingers] are TIRED.)

I don’t know if I would call US champ Jeremy Abbott sophisticated, exactly, but he is charming:

I love it when dude skaters dress in an approximation of street clothes. It’s kind of like giving your dog a person name, like Steve or Jennifer — unexpected but not crazy and therefore cute. Though it might not kill him to button an extra one, right? I’m worried one of his nipples may freeze off. You’re going to need both nips in Vancouver, Jeremy. If you win that thing, the ladies/the dudes/both (whichever you prefer) might want to see you shirtless and if you have chest frostbite, it might kill the mood.

I CAN’T BELIEVE I HAVEN’T EVEN GOTTEN TO THE LADIES YET. Thank you for sticking around this long. Like the actual Olympics programmers, I have left them for very late, so that you’re tired and just want to see those bitches skate so you can go to bed.

So, without further ado, THOSE BITCHES. Er, sorry — I’m sure they’re all lovely (except maybe Sasha, but her bitchface is one of the reasons I love her). I mean, without further ado: THE LADIES.

First-place finisher Rachael Flatt:

Pleasant. Workman-like. Could use a bit more pizzazz. Would like to see more feathers/flames/sequins. My criticism of her outfit is, it seems, much like the traditional criticism of her skating, which is to say: it’s perfectly fine, but possibly bordering on snoresville and therefore might benefit from a soupcon of punching-up. Also, this seems as good a time as any to point out that while I know pulling the tights over the skates is intended to make the legs look longer, I think it just makes the girls who do it look like they have hideously wonked-up ankles:

Sasha Cohen. I can’t believe you, of all people, have bowed to trend and covered your skate. I CAN, however, believe that you of all people turned in an amazing short program (here — yes, she’s dressed in the traditional ladies’ garb I like to call, “Imitations of a Romanticized Consumptive 1800s European Prostitute,” a look which may be adapted regardless of the music skated to) and then blew it in the long.

At least you looked very pretty:

Also pretty: second place finisher Mirai Nagasu:

Seriously, could she BE any cuter? No. The answer is, no more cuter.

Can’t wait to see what the rest of the world pulls out of their suitcases in Vancouver.  Cross your skates for SEQUINS AND FLAMES AND TULLE AND RUFFLES AND LACE AND LATEX. I certainly am.

Oh, and PLEATHER. But Johnny’s probably got that one covered, right? Phew. One less thing to worry about.

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