Brown brings down the house-Abbott leads
Minutes before the men’s short program warm up, a video preview blasted from the center ice jumbo screen. The music was a perfect prelude to this event. “The Eye of the Tiger” was made famous by the Rocky movies. With no clear favorite, it’s anyone’s battle to win. It was also widely believed the knock out punch would come in the form of a quad.
Jason Brown didn’t need one, and now I now why.
This pony tailed 19 year old is fast becoming the hottest thing on ice. His program set to “The Question of You” by Prince brought the house down. The musical selection makes sense given he is on this way to becoming a figure skating rock star. No quad, just a bunch of hot moves, fantastic spins and beautiful triples. Brown’s skating is not a “program,” it is a “performance.” I am completely sold on this kid. I am not sure he will ever win the Olympics, although I am quite sure he could win “Dancing with the Stars.” Tomorrow.
His short program was rewarded with a huge score of 87.47. I will take his skating over 100 bobbled quads any day. Jason Brown is the total package. Good for him, and good for figure skating. There is too much emphasis on the quad. It bugs me that skaters get points “just for trying” the jump, even if he two foots, touches a hand down, or heaven forbid, falls on it. That’s crazy.
Boston’s own Ross Miner did a smooth, well choreographed, classic program set to “The Way We Were.” The program was flawed only by one popped jump, and it cost him in the scoring. His overall flow and spins were nicely done. Miner is sitting in 8th place, out of the running for Sochi.
First out in the final group was “old timer” Jeremey Abbott. The 28 year old veteran has not lost his fastball folks. The quad toe/triple toe came first. Check. Triple lutz. Check. Triple Axel check. His score of 99.86 put the 2010 Olympian in place to make the team again.
Maz Aaron was the only skater left with a chance of catching Abbott. Aaron is a former hockey player, with a fearless attitude. He has said that he is not afraid of falling. Most skaters are. Aaron stepped up to the plate and delivered a spirited and energetic program to a Latin beat. It was not good enough to catch Abbott, or Dornbush, or Brown.
Jeremy Abbott, like Rocky Balboa is a fighter. He answered the bell with a stunning short program, and on Sunday he will have to come out swinging again. And he better be prepared to go the distance.
Other skating notes:
Ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White were terrific today in their short dance. Skating to “I Could Have Danced All Night” from My Fair Lady, the team looked like the world champions they are. She was the perfect Audrey Hepburn, and he was much cuter than Rex Harrison. They are on their way to gold in Sochi. I’m calling it now.
After watching the ladies practice today, I have to say Gracie Gold is impressive. She hit every triple jump and looks ready to win. Coaching legend Frank Carroll has been good for her. Let’s see if she can hold up tomorrow night. Two time defending champion Ashley Wagner sits in fourth place. Wagner is the reason the women will be sending three skaters to Sochi, thanks to her success last year at World’s.
Starting tomorrow these skaters will be playing for all the marbles- the Olympic team.
It’s a big stage- and a slippery one.