Figure Skating: "That Was Hot"

posted by Women's Sports Blog
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 at 1:02pm EST

An irreverent look at the news, issues, and personalities of women's sports from a feminist perspective.

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With that spontaneous utterance, NBC's replacement for Dick Button almost redeemed herself.  Fortunately there was plenty of obnoxious left for the rest of the evening.  Scott Hamilton got in on the stupidity bandwagon as well, with his classic "[Even] with that pink tassel, every man in America envies him [Weir] because he's rooming with Tanith Belbin."  Just to be clear: if you live in America and like pink tassels, or think the beauty queen aesthetic is overrated, or are not interested in women, you're not a man.  Obviously he didn't mean that, but it's time to start thinking about not littering the ground with offensive cliches. 

As technically proficient as their programs were, the two higher-rated American skaters left me cold.  Not only would their costumes have been rejected by Lady Gaga on grounds of ugliness, the music was mediocre and  I felt the programs didn't convey any coherence or strong emotion.  Jeremy Abbot's line was much prettier and more fluid, so it's a shame he popped his jumps.  It's been difficult to watch the skating this year because the competition seems to be balanced on the knife edge of success or disaster more than ever before. 

The nation of Japan could either be shocked about the secret rockabilly identities of its men or profoundly proud. They skated two of the most dynamic and fun programs skating's seen in awhile (Hendrix as great skating music! Who knew?).  As for leader Plushenko, after having watched him do the same program for years and be justly criticized for 'waving his arms around' in lieu of artistic expression, it's worth remembering this performance, his 2004 tribute to Nijinsky.  Plushenko is not, at base, an artistic skater.  He's a charismatic athlete, much as a Nureyev was in ballet, and with this music and choreography his strength and jumping ability are channeled into a work of extraordinary power.

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