And again the weekend has seen the world of figure skating be touched by an act of terrorism, only this time, the victims included one of their own:
RIP Garrett Swasey, 1992 Junior US Champion in ice dance.
And meanwhile, when presumably the Russians, the Canadians, or both were trying to get the ISU to bend things so that their skating stars could get to the Grand Prix Finale despite their bad shorts in Bordeaux, one imagines they didn’t think the ultimate beneficiaries of it would be Julianne Seguin & Charlie Bilodeau(though it’s unlikely the Canadians mind, obviously). After all, while it’s not impossible they might have moved up to second has the free skates in France happened, you didn’t feel a certainty of them moving up like Patrick Chan or Liza T would’ve almost certainly done. But at least they’re a wonderful pair, and it should be a treat for the Barcelona audience to see them.
As for the NHK Trophy itself, certainly Hanyu put on quite the show, and is effectively the new Patrick Chan, in that he’s undefeatable when he goes clean. So did Satoko Miyahara, essentially, when one considers how everybody else in that ladies competition skated-I’d be worried for the implications of Mao struggling with her free skate for two Grand Prix events in a row, but you seriously wonder if there was something wrong with the ice. But the high score that might be the most significant for the skaters in question might be the FD score the Shibutanis got. They might not have looked that good in their season debut, but the Grand Prix season so far as been encouraging. And a team that gets 106 even with a lift deduction has a definite chance of taking the national title from Chock & Bates, and they also are back in the conversation for the world podium.
For me, 2015 has been the year I seriously took the plunge back into fanfic and fandom. I was never fully disconnected, but in recent years I haven’t had much to do with it; I was focused on other things. I was inching in already, thanks to the MCU in general and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but movies don’t come out often enough for me to go full-blown, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. wasn’t the show most suited to it either(at least at first). But then Daredevil landed, and I took the plunge back in. I’ve written more in the past six months than I did during some years, and what I put on the backburner in favor of trying to become a published novelist, I now feel differently about. For better or for worse, I am a fanfic author, that is my identity in life, and I’m learning to embrace it, once and for all. I’ve never been ashamed, but now I’m proud. Let the world scorn me or dismiss me for not being a respectable published woman(though I still might self-publish a book that is essentially Jane Austen fanfic anyway); I don’t give a damn.
So after hyping this big final night, with the party taking place both at in the ballroom and outside the neighboring Grove Hotel, the opening at least lives up to that. The show starts with an appearance from Santa, because the Grove is decked out for Christmas already like nobody’s business(suppose there’d be no point in commenting that it’s still not quite Thanksgiving yet?), and the large opening number brings back the eliminated cast members(except Tamar Braxton, whose health doesn’t allow her to be here tonight), and Erin is also there, while Tom holds down the fort in the ballroom. The three finalists, of course, are in the ballroom as well, and they will do final 24-hour fusion dances later tonight.
Night one of the finals opens with the obligatory “This is the Finale!” opening montage, and also a large opening number with live singing, courtesy Meghan Trainor. No cramming anything tonight; there’ll be two rounds over the next two hours. The first involves the judges picking a style each couple they think they can improve on, and a judge dropping in to give pointers:
This was a weird weekend, with the other half of my Twitter feed watching their way through Jessica Jones, leaving me seriously wondering how they could marathon such a show; I’ve reached the third episode and that’s some rough stuff. I also attempted a twelve-tone opera, since the Met was doing a movie broadcast of one, only to flee after the second act, albeit for reasons other than the twelve-tone music. But I still saw a good deal of sectionals, as well as three of the four free skate segments of the Rostelecom Cup, and also most of the gala this morning. Also some of the Tallinn Trophy, including the senior pairs free. Thoughts on some of the things I saw:
We really shouldn’t have been surprised by any of the twists Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has thrown at us. Especially not the ones that took all the multiple plots going on this first half of the season and tied them neatly together in time for the final two episodes. That’s what this show does.
We tune into the semi-finals tonight with sadness and a little bit of uncertainty of what the show’s going to do, since last week, after the uplifting ending of her making it back to the ballroom for her second dance and avoiding elimination, Tamar received a much more serious diagnosis of blood clots in her lungs , and announced her withdrawal. But apparently the producers don’t think the fans read social media. There’s pretty much the best opening we’ve had this season, involving spotlights and the five pros who qualified, including Val, and the four partners come out to join them, Tom noted the absence of Tamar and tells us details later! Also, as well as the trios, there will be dance-off between the two main rounds. So we start the first round, now with the fluffs before the dances turning biographical.