Hi everyone! I’ve been absent for a couple weeks now, which wouldn’t normally be a big deal. Except a lot has happened in the past couple weeks! Disney Princesses, a thesis and the Avengers got in the way. But today I’m back and I want to talk about my favourite topics: Yuzu and men’s figure skating.
Let’s rewind to the World Team Trophy a couple weeks ago. My last post was shortly after the SP and my open letter to Brian and Yuzu about keeping his current SP for another season. I’m still hoping that happens but wouldn’t be surprised if he gets a new one. I just hope it’s choreographed by Jeff Buttle.
I haven’t discussed the FS from World Team Trophy at all! And boy wasn’t that fabulous. This might have been the only performance of this program that Yuzu was happy with. This program has really grown on me this season, I’m definitely a fan. This performance wasn’t perfect, but it was really really good. That 4S was simply gorgeous. And Yuzu was smart after popping his 4T and reorganized his jumps so he didn’t zayak. Very quick thinker on his feet. Team Japan in the Kiss n’Cry with the Phantom mask was simply adorable.
Flash forward to the Gala and the return of Parisienne Walkways. What!?! I couldn’t believe it! I forgot how much I missed this program and seeing such a fun and happy and lose and rockstar Yuzu. He needs more programs like this. I enjoy seeing his fun side. Also, this was the cleanest SP we’ve seen all season. Clean 4T and 3Lz-3T combo! New WR for an exhibition skate? It’s insane.
But really, the most insane thing is what followed. During the customary Jump-Off that seems to happen when events are in Japan Yuzu landed a Quad Loop – Triple Axel Sequence! (Video) Yuzu are you even human?? I’m continuously amazed at his talent and determination to push himself. What a way to end such an up and down season! His reaction was priceless.
And the other skaters reactions are almost as good. Meagan and Eric bowing is adorable.
After the first two weeks of the off season I can report on two things. First, Yuzu is back in Toronto or shortly on his way there to get a new FS from Shae-Lynn Bourne. She is responsible for his Phantom FS, which I think was his best FS yet even though we never got to see the full choreography version due to the injuries and lack of training. I wonder which romantic hero Yuzu is going to portray next season. And second, Yuzu is currently only signed on to perform in 18 shows this summer. This may seem like a lot, but it’s down considerably from the 50 or so he did last summer. I think both Brian and Yuzu himself stepped in to stop that from happening again. After every thing that happened this season I think this boy deserves some solid time off to rest and heal properly.
Which brings me to the other big news stories of the past two weeks. Both Patrick Chan and Evgeni Plushenko have announced comebacks! And lucky me, I’ll get to see them at Worlds in Boston next year. Now this is a topic I have a lot of thoughts on.
Seriously Plushenko!?! Just let it go already. What do you hope to achieve in making a comeback? You’ve already won World and Olympic titles and have proved yourself by skating in 4 Olympics. Do you seriously think you can still compete with the top skaters? When Yuzu is on he is a machine and no one can catch him, and Denis and Javi are close behind. There’s also the crop of other Japanese men and Nam and the other Russians. There’s also a large group of up and comers ready for the challenge. I feel Plushenko may find himself in this second tier. In his programs he’s never had any transitions and I don’t think the judges are going to allow him to get away with that anymore. And is he really going to be able to complete a program again with multiple quads and 3A’s? I just don’t see it becoming a reality. I might be proven wrong, but I still highly doubt we’ll actually see a competitive Plushenko again.
I do think we’ll see Patrick Chan in competition again. It’s only been a year since he left the scene and the competitive landscape hasn’t changed too much. Patrick could very well find himself right back where he left, competing with the current world podium for that top spot. Patrick’s transitions, skating skills and high GOE’s have helped him a lot in the past but in the past year I think a number of skaters have closed this gap. Yuzu emerged as a new skater this season. His effortless speed and transitions have really set him apart from the current crop of men. I don’t think Patrick will have much of an advantage over Yuzu here. And I don’t think there’s a man out there who can compete with Yuzu technically. I really hope Patrick get’s his technical skills down though. I don’t think 2 4T’s and a 3A are going to be enough anymore to compete with 3 quad and a 3A Javi and a possible 3 quad and 2 3A Yuzu. It’s going to be exciting. I just really hope Patrick doesn’t crash and burn. I would love a solid comeback. I would love Yuzu and Patrick competing for the top again. I would really love to see them go head to head at Skate Canada next season when I’ll be in the audience.
But most importantly, the main thing I want for next season is to see more of this happy Yuzu 🙂