PopWatch on Ice: Lysacek defeats Plushenko in cold war

Question: How did you handle the stress of watching Evan Lysacek’s free skate? Did you leave the room believing if you didn’t watch, he’d win? Did you stay on your sofa but close your eyes for the jumps? Did you force yourself to watch every second of the routine thinking somehow that self-inflicted torture would sway the figure skating Gods in his favor? Or, are you sane?

For the record: My mother’s the leave-the-room kind of crazy, and I’m the torture type — so you’re welcome, Evan. Lysacek became the first American to win men’s gold since Brian Boitano in 1988, and the first reigning world champion to stand atop the Olympic podium since Scott Hamilton in 1984. He wore a different costume than he had at the US Championships, and the studded snakes coiling around his torso made me think he wanted to send a message to Russia’s Yevgeny Plushenko that he was about to strike. His venom was his grade of execution scores for his jumps, footwork, and spins; his fangs were the gelled-solid strands of hair that stood straight up when he spun. Plushenko was part cat landing jumps that were tilted — pause as you think back to Hamilton’s “raaaar!”but Lysacek was polished both in the air and on the ice. (Watch Lysacek’s performance.) Plushenko’s tango (watch) had choreography I could’ve come up with — hip circles and thrusting, cocky-walking toward the judges, blown kisses, and, the running of his fingers down his mouth (I rewound, no tongue). He in no way deserved the gold even with the quad, but I would give him top marks for his performance at the medal ceremony. If only NBC had captured him taking Evan’s spot on the podium before jumping down to his. At least we got to see the look on his face when he was given his silver medal: It said it was burning his neck. You may hate him, but I kinda love him.

Japan’s Daisuke Takahashi held on for the bronze, recovering from an opening fall on his quad to deliver a solid, entertaining program that once again showed his ability to work a busy top half of a costume. (Watch.) He’s definitely one of the best showmen in amateur skating and gets a high grade of execution for his Edward Cullen-in-Twilight level hair. I hope we see him on the pro figure skating TV circuit along with Switzerland’s Stéphane Lambiel (4th), who was too tight in his free skate to be as dreamy as he was in the short. (Watch.) But he fought for every landing and honestly, I would tune in just to see him spin (and speak French).

After the long programs, I find myself really looking forward to 2014. I’m so happy that Canada’s 19-year-old Patrick Chan (5th) left the kiss and cry area smiling after a slightly disappointing Phantom of the Opera free skate. (Watch.) The crowd stayed with him, and I would personally like to applaud him for his minimal, effective use of sequins. In fact, he could’ve been the best-dressed. It was a costume, but it wasn’t an explosion. Then you’ve got France’s 19-year-old Florent Amodio (12th) and his marionette routine that wasn’t anywhere as dreadful as it sounded. (Watch.) Generally, I’m anti-face paint and dramatic pouting in skating, but he played to the audience, had an interesting mix of music, and kept me guessing (was not expecting the ‘N Sync “Bye Bye Bye” video vibe). I want to see whatever program he skates next. Just like I’m eager to see if Kazakhstan’s flexible 16-year-old Denis Ten (11th) grows into the heavage he showed during his Paso Doble. (Watch.)

My favorite of the young guns is Japan’s 20-year-old Takahiko Kozuka (8th) who, after skating to Jimi Hendrix in the short, opted for “Guitar Concerto” by Michael Kamen for the free skate. (Watch.) One of his heroes is Kurt Browning, and those are pieces of music he would have used (while wearing leather pants), so I approve. “Guitar Concerto” set him apart and totally fit him — it was artistic without feeling forced, unlike his countryman Nobunari Oda’s Charlie Chaplin salute. I appreciate that Oda’s coach wanted to give him a character to try to amp up his performance level, but it was a little too gimmicky unless you’ve got the charisma and footwork of Browning to back it up. But the pants did have a great shape when he jumped, and how parental did you feel when his skate lace broke near the end of his routine? (He looked younger than 22.) He had three minutes to fix it. DRA-MA! He finished 7th. (Watch.) That was almost as much of a nailbiter as wondering whether U.S. champion Jeremy Abbott’s nervewracked body would continue to betray him on the jumps. It looked like his short program nightmare had spawned a sequel, but he managed to pull his free skate together after a disastrous start and finish 9th. That’s something.

Last but not least, we get to Johnny Weir. His “Fallen Angel” was my favorite program to watch, the perfect combination of expressive music and movement, despite a stumble on a spin. (Watch.) The audience gave him a standing ovation (and a crown of roses, which he wore to the kiss and cry), but the judges apparently questioned the difficulty of the moves coming in and out of the jumps. He finished 6th, which the audience booed, but skating two inspired performances in Vancouver had to be a victory for Weir.

Your turn. What did you think of the free skate and the final results? Should we blame Scott Hamilton or me for jinxing the Czech Republic’s Michal Brezina (10th), who ran out of steam during his An American in Paris number? (Watch.) Have you viewed any of the performances we didn’t get to see on-air on NBCOlympics.com and want to recommend one? (Check out all the free skates here.) Belgium’s sexy Kevin van der Perren (17th) skated to the Robin Hood soundtrack, and his costume was exactly what you’d expect after his sequined skeleton short program. (Watch.)

Tune in for the start of the ice dancing competition tonight (NBC, 8 p.m. ET). The USA could be looking at its first-ever gold in the Russian-dominated discipline, and you know the editors of NBC’s packages will have fun with that after turning Plushenko into Ivan Drago. We’ll have a recap Saturday.

More PopWatch on Ice:
Recap: Villains, heroes, and fashion victims in the men’s short programs
Olympic Stud of Day 5: Evan Lysacek
Recap: Shen and Zhao win pairs gold following collective gasp
Recap: Good music, bad costumes, and questionable scoring in the pairs’ short programs
Scott Hamilton: The 5 most memorable Olympic figure skating falls
Scott Hamilton: The 5 times I was a little too excited in the broadcast booth
Scott Hamilton: The 5 programs I would have skated

Photo credit: Lysacek: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images; Plushenko Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images

Comments (418 total) Add your comment
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  • Stef


    • charlotte

      Agree!! He was fantastic! How could they not score him higher than skaters who FELL??

    • llevinso

      Do you think he was robbed of a medal?

      While I do think he deserved a higher score, I don’t think he should’ve been on the podium. He probably should’ve come in 4th or 5th though. He had a beautiful beautiful free skate. One of my favorites. But I can see how it wasn’t as difficult as some of the others.

      • mtraptor

        I know he shouldn’t have medaled, but there’s no way he should have been below Patrick Chan.

      • Peter

        I have figured skated for years, and although I’m certainly no where near the Olympic level I have a full understanding of the point system. Johnny Weir was quite undermarked to be honest. Plushenko and were overscored… Lambiel seemed to be given credit for jumps he didn’t even complete. Check out my blog for a mini recap… EntertainmentWithZiggy.blogspot.com

      • Zoey

        I do indeed think he was robbed of a medal. I think Plushenko was overscored solely on his ability to make his jumps because the rest of his program was exectuted extremely awkwardly. And Lambiel and Chan both had more faulty jumps that should have been more penalized than the slight malfunctioning spin Weir had. I understand Weir not having as flawless execution as Lysacek and Takahashi but Weir was definitely better than to land in 6th.

    • jezoebel

      Definitely! Weir was flawless. Stupid judges. Weir should’ve gotten a medal. Even the audience were not pleased with the scoring. Loved the crown of roses a fan gave him.

    • katie

      he was robbed! should have at LEAST been 4th!

    • Alicia

      I agree. I’m not a Weir fan, but he skated wonderfully, much better than I ever remember seeing him skate in competition. I’m not sure if he deserved a medal because I’m iffy on how the scoring system works…still. But he definitely deserved a higher score than he got.

    • Diane

      Absolutely robbed. 15 years from now we’ll have forgotten Ploshenko’s boring tango and will still be watching “Fallen Angel.”

    • Nicole

      Agreed. I think he gets shafted by the judges because his personality makes them uncomfortable. I thought his free skate was amazing. I’d much rather see that than Plesheko’s.

      • Emma

        I think that is the perfect way to phrase why he lost: judges discomfort. It had nothing to do with his skating ability, which is incredibly infuriating.

      • Zoey

        IA – Johnny is outspoken and arguably a more provacative personality and that makes judges uncomfortable.

    • jb

      he was robbed like a bank. I can understand not medaling but to score lower than both Chan and Lambel was just outrageous.

    • LynnF

      I agree! I was so moved by his skating. It was beautiful and inspired and he should have more to show for it than that lovely crown of roses.

    • Plant

      I totally agree. He should have at least gotten third place. Maybe I do not perfectly understand the rules for judging figure skating, but no other performances were as emotionally connected, as beautiful as Johnny Weir’s.

    • Emma

      I can’t believe that’s all you had to say about Weir. I was so appalled by his marks I couldn’t finish my lab and had to hand it in late. Anyone who’s taken Orgo in college knows what that means. He deserved that Bronze and I really hate to think that homophobia is the reason he didn’t get it.

    • Jennifer

      I found his program, while very well-skated, to be completely univolving. It didn’t begin to measure up to his engaging short program. I’m glad he did well, but I don’t agree that he was robbed of a medal. There just wasn’t a lot of ‘there’ there between the jumps and spins. Evan’s program, on the other hand, was masterfully performed and just beautiful, and he proved that skating doesn’t have to be all about the jumps. Thank goodness.

    • Jennifer

      I do agree that he should’ve gotten higher marks and he did skate better than he has in years, but his program wasn’t medal quality however well-performed it might’ve been.

    • Zoey

      IA so hard. If judging was based solely on performance, the top three would have been Lysacek, Weir and Takahashi hands down. But due to jumps and “difficulty” technicalities (not to mention Johnny’s outspoken and “provocative” personality), Johnny was majorly slighted in favor of arguably lesser skaters.

  • Brittany

    Johnny Weir was robbed. It is so obvious the figure skating community does not embrace him. A clean inspired routine deserves better credit then a sloppy “well-transitioned” one (with falls).

  • queensgirl

    Lysacek definitely deserved to win. I’m glad the judges didn’t get starry-eyed in the face of Plushenko’s quad.

    I liked Amodio a lot; I hadn’t seen him on Tuesday. (LOST always takes precedence!) And Weir…yeah, he was robbed a bit. I thought he should have finished fifth.

  • Emmy

    A minute into Evan’s routine, my local emergency broadcasting system kicked in (screaming ensued) and went away just in time for me to see the last 30 seconds of his routine. Thank you for posting a link to a video of his skate! Also, Weir skated beautifully, but he was not robbed…his routine was no where near as difficult as the gentlemen who won. GO USA!

    • waytoofriendly

      I don’t think he was robbed a medal, but he was robbed of one or two places. I honestly don’t see how Patrick Chan and Stephane Lambiel scored so much higher in the free skate than Johnny.

      • Emmy

        I would definitely agree with you on that.

      • ger

        Footwork and speed.

      • Stef

        Lambiel’s spins and footwork were nowhere NEAR the quality he usually shows, and that’s where he usually gains points over the rest of the field. As for Patrick Chan, falling twice gets put over a clean program? Something needs to be looked at in the new scoring system.

      • ps

        Speed-what speed? Neither Patrick or Stephane had any speed! Johnny deserved to be in 4th-no, not 3rd, although I would have LOVED to see him medal. And speaking of speed, I’ve never seen Plushenko skate so slowly-and him tying Evan on the program component?! Were the judges all drinking or what? When for the last minute all he does is skate around and blow kisses-not a very good program in my book.

      • Mrs M

        @ ps – totally agree about Plushenko’s speed, especially on his spins. I was afraid he wouldn’t even make it to the end of his sit spins, they were so slow.

      • Jennifer

        I do agree that he should’ve placed a bit higher than he did.

      • April C

        To me, the most important issue re:Johhny was that he was dramatically underscored on the SHORT program first! He should have entered the free skate in 4th or 5th, and then been awarded with 3rd or 4th in after the free. His short was GREAT.

    • coudntbelieve

      poor johnny was sacrificed *to balance* lysacek’s *gold*, don’t u get it?

      • Alicia

        no, I don’t. can you explain?

    • Tripletoesplat

      While Johnny probably should have been 4th or 5th, his program, while well skated, is not as difficult as the medal winners. In addition, he got an edge call on his triple flip and fell out of a spin. Ripped off from a placement or two? Sure. Ripped off from a medal? Nope.

      • Emma

        Really? Cause that Japanese Bronze medalist fell on his ass…twice. He sucked. At the very least, I could have made piece with Lambiel taking it b/c overall his skating is almost as sublime as Weir’s.

      • Emma

        I meant peace. lol. I feel very strong about this!

      • Jennifer

        The bronze medalist went into the free skate with a much higher score than Johnny Weir, so one missed element wasn’t enough to hurt him. I think if Johnny’s short program had scored a bit higher, he might’ve had a better argument for the bronze. Maybe it should’ve scored higher, but not as high as Takahito’s short.

      • Emma

        Maybe it should have scored higher? DEFINITELY. It was spectacular.

      • @Emma

        I was refering to Johnny Weir’s short program, which was quite good, but nowhere near the level of Takahito’s. And the short program was better, imo, than the long program, which I found unengaging. But that’s just my opinion – I don’t claim to be an expert, just a fan.

    • Nicole

      Mine too! I was so mad. Scott Hamilton had just said how important it was for Evan to land his triple axle and he was midair when the alert came on. Whoever planned it at that time is either an idiot or extremely unlucky.

  • Ambient Lite

    So super proud of Johnny and Evan, what exciting perfomances!
    Thanks to both of them for making U.S. figure skating SO STINKIN’ HOT!!! :)

    • Emma

      I just read an article where Johnny said that it was his dream since he was little to win an Olympic medal and the anger over the injustice (they totally underscored him!!!) just came flooding back. I’m glad that someone at least cares only about the performances but let’s face it: Placement is what is truly remembered in subsequent years.

  • Sara

    I just held my breath every time Evan jumped, there’s no way I was leaving the room and missing his sure to be gold medal performance.

    I will say I lost a little respect for him after reading on people.com yesterday that he loves clubbing with Hollywood starlets like Mischa Barton. I hope they were wrong, he’s too awesome for that.

  • Elizabeth

    Mandi, damn you — I had no interest in watching any of this but there I was last night, sitting curled up in a ball, crying as I watched Evan skate… and then Johnny’s performance.
    I’m not sure I’m up for the ladies, but I might check out the ice dancing.
    Well done on the blog, too… too much fun this last week or so!

    • llevinso

      How can you NOT watch the ladies skate? Really it will be some of the most beautiful figure skating you will see. You have to tune in!

      • sara

        Agree! And very possibly the best women’s figure skating competition ever.

    • Danielle

      OMIGOD…I thought I was the only loser who cried during and after Evan’s wonderful free skate!! He is sooo cute, likeable, and, oh yeah, a great skater. Congrats Evan!

  • Reese

    Patrick Chan actually skated to “Phantom of the Opera”, Mandi!

    Lysacek was amazing and he totally deserved it. I was so excited when I found out he won!

    • laurie

      Thank you Renee! I thought the same thing when I read that. Le Mis is my fave musical ever and I wish someone would skate to it!

      • Flyer

        Actually, Todd Eldredge skated to Les Mis in 1991. You can see his Les Mis program if you look under “1991 Worlds LP” on YouTube.

  • llevinso

    Apparently Elvis Stoiko think Plushenko was robbed of the gold. Whatever. I think Lysacek totally deserved it. I though Plushenko’s free skate was wobbly, not graceful at all and I just didn’t like it. I don’t really know how to describe it but I always feel his movements are too awkward. Yes, he can pull off some amazing jumps (which he didn’t even really do last night without almost falling), but otherwise I don’t see what the hype is about.

    • keith

      Yeah, well, Elvis was kind of a one trick pony, too. All about the jumps. A program that is several minutes long should not all come down to a total of 30 seconds or so at the most. Evan is a total skater, not just a jumper.

      • coudntbelieve

        how about that shawn white guy, huh? isn’t he *one-trick-pony* as well?

      • Deb

        Two TOTALLY different concepts, couldntbelieve………snowboarding is all about being able to control the big-gun moves, while skating is about being expressive and artful while controlling the big-gun moves. Last night, Plushenko was lacking in both, while Evan was not. He didn’t do a quad, but he was in control of all his jumps and his artistry was unmatched.
        Apples and oranges.
        That is all.

      • Jennifer

        Yeah, as much as I was entertained by Elvis in his heyday, he had great jumps, decent spins, and not much else. So I take his opinion (and that of all commentators really) with a grain of salt.

    • rkor

      I am a huge fan of Stojko. He is one of my favorite skaters (I still think he shoiuld’ve won the gold in 94), but I have to respectfully disagree with him on this. I happen to be a fan of Plushenko. I think that he has more than his jumps. But his program last night was definitely off. I am not sure if the position in the air is judged, but if it is…Plushenko had some jumps where he should’ve fallen on his butt. I think it all boils down to those who can do the quad with little effort (Stojko belonged in that category when he skated) believing that only those with quads have a chance.
      If the new scoring system is the reason for the lack of quads, well I guess I don’t completely hate it.

      • Caroline

        Air position is counted – It’s in the Grade of Execution. That’s where Evan took the Gold, He executed every jump better than Evgeni.

    • Yay

      Of course Elvis would think that. He was a skater who was all about the jumps too.

    • Cardsgal

      Elvis likes Plushenko because they are the same type of skater — lots of physicality and athleticism but very little artistry. I was on the edge of my couch urging Evan to skate clean, and had my fingers crossed waiting for the scores. Daisuke was my favorite skater — he’s the total package: Technical moves, artistry (he told his story right down to his fingertips), great choreography and an awesome costume. Can’t wait to watch him (and Stephane L.) again.

      • llevinso

        Yeah, I think that’s my problem with Plushenko. The lack of artistry. I admire his athletic skill immensly, but I need both and IMO he is too one-sided.

      • clandrith

        Elvis needs to drink a steaming hot cup of STFU. Sounds like sour grapes, IMO. Plushenko is such a sore loser. Both he and is coach have been bitching about Evan’s lacking a quad. HELLO! Evan CAN do a quad. He has a stress fracture in his left foot and CHOSE not to do one so as not to aggravate the injury. I just stick with Mama Lysacek, who responded to Plushy’s comment (paraphrasing) “a skater with no quad shouldn’t win the Olympics,” Mama Lysacek said, “A skater with a quad and nothing ELSE shouldn’t win the Olympics.” Good for her.

      • Paul

        I agree. Takahashi was my favorite skater too. I think he’s even more of an artist than Evan. It’s too bad he attempted that quad. He should’ve played it safe like Evan. But I guess being in 3rd place after the short program, he felt he had to do something. It’s too bad. But if Daisuke couldn’t win, I’m glad Evan won. Anyone but Yevgeny.

      • Emma

        Lambiel is second in terms of artistry only to Weir. His spins and transitions are amazing. I agree though that last night was not his best skate. It belonged to Weir.

    • Linda L

      I could not believe Elvis Stojko wrote Evan’s program was not Olympic champion material. What??? Sure jumps are great and great to watch but if the rest of the program is flat, then there is nothing there. Some skaters last night had jumps but the rest of the skate were very lackluster.

      • Alan of Montreal

        If you watch Elvis’ own routines from his competitive career, you’ll notice his choreography is practically the same for each one, year after year, and he always performed to some godawful overblown film soundtrack, with costumes to match. He deserved to beat Alexei Urmanov in Lillehammer, but Ilia Kulik deserved to beat him in Nagano. I’m a Canadian, and Elvis was a great champion, but I think the new judging system has improved the sport and made it more challenging for the skaters choreographically, which makes it more interesting for viewers overall.

    • Melinda65

      After the third or so blown kiss, I just wanted Plushenko off the ice. No way was his program better than Evan’s, or as technically proficient, when he does the majority of his jumps at the beginning of his program and during the last minute, the most taxing move is a hip wiggle. Elvis, jumps aren’t the defining measure of how good a program is.

      I watched Evan’s whole routine with my hand on my mouth, so if I had to exclaim in dismay I was prepared. Fortunately, it didn’t happen. The picture of Florent Amodio as a 7-year-old made me “awww” out loud. Lambiel’s spins are amazing and way above anyone else’s. I generally don’t like Johnny Weir, but I do think that he should have at least gotten more credit for landing his jumps cleanly and for the way his routine flowed. I can’t wait to see Patrick Chan and Denis Tan in 4 years.

      • Stef

        Elvis didn’t win either. I guess he’s still not over it.

    • CAM

      Stojko said what you’d expect him to say. I nelieve he was a 2 time silver medalist. I always liked seeing him skate, but he was all about the power/jumps in my opinion, so it’s no wonder he felt Plushenko’s quad should have gotten him the gold. I found Plushenko’s wild arms distracting and the tango move, wave, etc… ridiculous. What a poor sport.

  • keith

    Happy for Evan. Plushenko is an evil evil ass. I’m glad he got served some humble pie. Frankly, anyone with a mullet should be disqualified from gold medal contention anyway.

    • llevinso

      Thank god someone mentioned the mullet! I’ve been laughing about that for days :)

      • Amy

        Haha me too! I wonder what the Russian word for “mullet” is. Someone should let him know it’s not a good thing.

      • Borat with a Mullet

        It is scary to me that he and his mullet are still considered hot in Russia tooling around in his Bmw/Mercedes…his sexy dance was so Borat, those blowing kisses just yucky and he needs to learn to develop the class and artistic style and perfection that Evan exhibited

      • Jennifer

        Oh come one, that mullet was just about the only attractive thing he has!

      • Alan of Montreal

        Elvis had a mullet too

    • Kevin C

      I liked one description of Puschenko’s hair I heard “Quad in the front, party in the back”.

      • Cardsgal

        Hilarious! The hair, the nose and the ego really combine to make quite a package.

      • Ambient Lite


      • jones

        That combined with his fugly outfits make me think I am in a time warp and it is the 80’s again when he skates.

      • Emma

        Hey while it’s true Plushenko’s nose is HUGE you’ve got admit, Evan has quite a schnozzle on him as well.

    • FigureSkatingDevotee

      Did you hear the comment Dick Button made about Evgeny that Bob Costas tried to talk over the end? He said he thought Evgeny liked to look a little bit “evil” with the little bit of beard, and the long, stringy DIRTY hair (that’s where Costas interjected).

      I don’t think having a mullet, however unattractive, should be a disqualifiable offence. Anymore than being a sore loser with an even sorer coach should be. (Mishin said the judges had regressed the sport 20 years, it was criminal, and they had cheated Plushy of his destiny!)

      I’m glad he got to skate, and that he was last. He’s been obnoxious his entire skating career, even back when he was a second stringer in Mishin’s stable, and Mishin referred to him as a little turd. I got to see him not only get BEAT, but beat after he thought he’d won, he even raised his arms to jam them down in victory when they started reading the marks, and then just dropped them when he realized he hadn’t won.

      It was worth the price of admission to watch his shock when he lost, and to watch him squirm and fidget at the medal ceremony, all while he was desperately trying to pretend it didn’t bother him and the whole thing was a joke.

      • Cardsgal

        Button was hypercritical even in his prime, but with age he’s lost any ability to censor himself; it’s been clear during these Olympics that he should no longer be allowed to comment on TV.

      • Stef

        Cardsgal, I could not disagree more. Dick Button is not afraid to be honest. He actually points out details that only skating experts know about. I learned the perfect position for a layback spin from him.

      • Mrs M

        Dick Button is such a downer. When the Chinese pair won the gold, all he could say was something like the little mistakes they made would fester inside them for the rest of their lives! Um they won the gold, for heaven’s sakes!

      • Cardsgal

        Stef — I think Bob Costas would agree with me. He’s had his hands full trying to keep Button from embarrassing himself and NBC.

      • Alan of Montreal

        now we can all understand why Alexei Yagudin hated him so much

    • Cagey

      When not in motion, the mullet is bad, but I have to admit that when he’s jumping, the mullet works. It’s like Dorothy Hamill’s wedge– flowing magically in the wind.

  • Silent E

    Plushenko is saying on nbcolympics.com that Evan didn’t deserve to win because he didn’t have a quad. It’s a sport, not a show, he says. I don’t agree at all. The quad is a manly move, for sure, but the artistry is what separates the men from the boys in this sport. Embrace the graceful! We aren’t tuning in to watch men jump quads over beer kegs, we like the whole “show!” Go Evan!

    • Heather

      Ooh, quad quad quad! Yevgeny, if it were all about the jumps that would be all that would be done, trick after trick. There has to be some ARTISTRY to the routine too, which you sorely lacked. Also, landing all your jumps doesn’t make them any less ugly in the air. TECHNIQUE is also important. Maybe you should practice more on the other 4 minutes of the program and less on one 15 second element.

    • jezoebel

      Enough with the quads already!! Not every skater has to do a quad. Plushenko is just jealous. He got what he deserved, not only for trash-talking Lysacek after the short program, but Lysacek skated with passion and artistry. Lysacek deserved the win. Hands down!

    • bettybaby

      i agree with you completely and felt plushenko was down right offensive in his post win interview. yes he rightly stated that 3 Olympics with 2 silver and 1 gold is a great accomplishment, but to go on and say that he was “surprised the winner got it done w/o a quad,” was more than disrespectful.

      then to have the audacity to jump upon the winner’s podium as if it were rightfully his just goes to show his true character.

      he gave a less than lackluster performance and should have acknowledged evan’s performance.

      • ktct

        Plushenko is coming off as the Kanye of skating.

      • Melinda65

        Evan, I’ma let you have your spot on the podium, but I think that I gave the performance of the decade and should have won.

        He’s worse than Kanye, because at least Kanye was being a sore loser for someone else’s loss, not his own.

      • Alan of Montreal

        plushenko’d better be careful, unless he wants to ruin his chances of having a lucrative ice show career after he retires.

    • warped

      Okay so the sport is about the technique, not artistry, then Evan would STILL win. Their artistry scores were exactly the same. Evan won because other than that quad, everything else he did was harder than Plushenko AND was done with better quality.

      • qi

        evan is not good skating at all, Plushenko is the best, he should got the goal matal!!!!!.

      • alterangirl

        Perhaps if you’d learn to use proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling, we’d have more of a reason to listen your rather troll-like comments.

      • qi

        alterangirl: since you can not say anything right, and you only can say “ABCDE”, so you are more stupid than any troll-like comments.

      • Alan of Montreal

        @qi–that doesn’t even make sense

    • FigureSkatingDevotee

      Always a class act, Evgeny is. ;D He also made tons of excuses in the first post competitive interview he did: he hasn’t skated in 3 1/2 years, this is a “new” judging system (yeah, its only been around since 2002 or 2003, and its the system you won an OGM under, its so old) and that under the old 6.0 system its much easier for a skater with a quad to win (guess that’s why Yagudin beat you in SLC), and he thought he had won, he had the quad after all, but after all he only lost by a very little bit, it was very close, so he *almost* won. Didn’t notice him making the same claim when he was ahead in the SP by an even smaller fraction.

      So there’ll no doubt be lots of excuses and accusations of judicial stupidity from the Plushenko camp. None of them can admit he lost, and fairly so.

      • Cagey

        Trash-talking is part of sports. Plus, the dude is not speaking in his first language. It might not come out with the subtlety he intends. Just sayin’.

      • Sarah

        Did you happen to see his program, Cagey? Subtlety is not one of his strengths.

      • Laura

        Plushenko deserves a gold medal in the Poor Sportsmanship/Cry-Baby Award.

      • qi

        alterangirl: you are not my English teacher, please close your mouth

      • Emma

        The new system is from 2005. Just a small note.

    • Sarah

      Waaah waaaah Plushenko. Is it news to you that figure skating is part artistry? If it weren’t then everyone would just go out and do a series of required jumps, or they would all be given the same program to skate. You knew that before you ever became a skater, and if you have a problem with it, then you should have participated in a different sport. The artistry in your program was sorely lacking, doesn’t matter how many severely tilted quads you land.

      • qi

        The judge make so stupid mistake that is difference between artist and athletes, artist should be perfect, like ballet dance, but sports should be competition, who does more difficulty, fast, in which others can not do. Like quads, so if acceding to new role, “everyone should do perfect”, it will mean that when we watch 100m running, the gold metal should give someone who run more beautiful, not fast!!!. “Olympic game”, it is really the stupid game.
        So this is why that Plushenko is the best, he is artist and athlete. not evan!!!!! ,

      • @qi

        You’re right, sports are competition, and should be about whose performance includes more difficulty. And that’s why Evan Lysacek won the gold. With the sole exception of the quad, his program was more difficult than Plushenko’s, and was performed with more skill and artistry (which IS 50% of the judges’ marks) and better execution of pretty much every element: jumps, spins, footwork, etc.. And the sport is figure skating, not figure jumping, so other elements do count, not just the jumps.

  • lynn

    enjoyed the whole program so much! who knew men’s figure skating could be so entertaining! loved johnny weir’s program! ( actually more so than lysacek’s.)

  • waya

    The judges got it right for the gold (and Plushenko is such a crybaby prima donna), but totally robbed Weir, who should have had the bronze. I’m sick of skating judges. I’ll watch something else when the skating comes on for the rest of these olympics.

    • Cardsgal

      I disagree. Johnny was great, but I would have ranked him fourth. His routine did not compare to either Evan’s or Diasuke’s in terms of degree of difficulty.

      • Cagey

        Yes, unfortunately, Johnny was too far down after the short program. I just hope that he can go on to have a pro career so that the fans (who clearly love him very much and really enjoy his skating) can continue to watch him for many years to come. He makes the “establishment” so nervous, I worry that Stars on Ice won’t offer him a gig.

      • Diane

        Yeah-but Diasuke landed flat on his butt which means he didn’t perform a flawless program. I’d rather have a great program I want to watch again and again then a quad that ends in a fall.

      • k2ofcu

        Stars on Ice will NEVER offer Weir a gig- they’ve had YEARS to do so and have not done it- the one in charge there is a born-again homophobe.
        It’s why Weir has had to do all of the outside gigs (to generate income)- the ‘traditional’ ice shows have shunned him- and then he gets slammed for being defocussed (due to the outside gigs). Clearly, Weir often doesn’t help himself (with his comments,etc.) , but -on so many levels- he can’t win for losing!

      • ally

        Totally agree on your placement of Johnny. 4th would have been where I placed him. He was 6th after the short, and while his program was good and he was robbed, I don’t think he deserved the bronze.

      • Alan of Montreal

        I like Johnny’s program, but some of the landings on his jumps could have been cleaner, and he could have had some more combination jumps. I think Chan’s footwork was more complex, and that counts for a lot under the new system, and Chan is one of only two skaters in the field who can had all the major triples (salchow, axel, loop, flip, toe, lutz) in his program. As for Evan vs. Evgeni (nice little “Ev” matchup, eh?), Evan had more jumps in the 2nd half of his program, which gave him a 10% bonus in his score, than Evgeni. And David Pelletier was saying that Evgeni pauses too much in his program when he should be skating. So add that to the level of execution of all his elements, and he was most certainly outclassed (in so many ways) by Evan. The Russian sense of entitlement in the figure skating world leaves much to be desired.

  • Heather

    Um, Patrick Chan’s free skate was to Phantom, not Les Miserables. Get your musicals right!!

  • Leslie

    Great blog Mandi. Lysacek definitely deserved the gold and the future looks bright for the other top 8 skaters that didn’t make it to the Podium. One comment though – Patrick Chan skated to Phantom of the Opera not Les Mis

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