1. Daisuke Takahashi 2012 World Team Trophy- Short program
Yes the performance side, particularly the step sequence, was better in Niece. But just seeing this program score higher then the very tacky, cheesy take five program made me fist pump like Ashley Wagner. Speaking of which...
2. Ashley Wagner 2012 U.S Nationals- Long Program
In this program Ashley went from "That girl that won the bronze medal whose skating you liked but you just can't remember the name of." To Ashley Wagner American National Champion. She skated this like both a bitch and a boss, which is exactly what some of the other skaters I like need to do *COUGH* MIRAI *COUGH*, I wasn't hopeful after the decent but average results she got during the Grand Prix but she finally broke out as her own skater.
3. Yuzuru Hanyu 2012 Worlds- Long Program
This was to me the best long program in any discipline of the year in terms of being able to deliver on the elements and sell the program. Despite the fall he managed to come back and fought hard, which is incredible considering how hot it was there and considering his asthma. The quad was the best of the season, the height, running edge and ease to it were superb. The choreography being incredible helped. Can't say enough about this one.
4. Mao Asada 2011 NHK Trophy- Long Program
After her worst competitive year ever, in which I was worried her confidence would be eternally broken, this gave me hope. In this performance she showed she was ready to start being a contender in every competition again. The choreography may have been better at Japanese Nationals of the year before but it was nice to see her with two programs neither of which activating my fight or flight instinct, as had been the case with some of her other programs. Even if my hope and relief proved false, it was nice to see her skate so superlatively again.
5. Mirai Nagasu 2011 Cup of China- Long Program
Another program that gave me false hope, yes she did skate it in the same expressionless way she did at Skate Canada but I thought once she had the technical elements down like she did here, she could work on selling it more. I don't think selling this program could do much considering there isn't much in the way of choreography in this program, but she could have put some fire into it. But alas she went on to completely wipe herself out at nationals. A person can dream though.....
6. Carolina Kostner 2012 Worlds- Long Program
We all say this choice coming, the girl who never gave up may be cheesy but it is nice to see. Though I despise the watered down jump content, the program was beautiful and that first triple flip was textbook. I'm still so glad she won this considering the alternative to her was eighties eyes. The performance oozed how ecstatic she is at not having messed up as usual. First time in a while I've enjoyed watching her skate.
7. Song Nan 2011 Cup of China- Long Program
What can I say, I like breakout skaters. He completely blew me away technically, I didn't see it coming at all. Yes from the start until the first triple axel is very jump to jump with not much going on, and after that the choreography is a bit of a snooz fest throughout, but at least they tried and he does a good job of selling it. But the two quads were incredible. It also leaves me with the question of how the hell he gained speed after the triple toe in the first combination, he literally was faster coming out of the triple toe then the quad.
8. Tatsuki Machida 2011 NHK- Short Program
I have to admit before this competition I hadn't seen him before, but wow. He's like a male Akiko Suzuki(kind of). He sells everything. Yes he was better technically at Four Continents but I thought he seemed sharper here. Maybe the program is slightly front loaded but the entrances to the spins were difficult, the flying sit position was incredible...until he fell, and he didn't do the usual "skate around in a circle after i've fallen" thing. Not many people can fall in such a surprising way and keep going with so much energy. I loved it, just wish he wasn't so slow sometimes. Nicky Slater's reaction was hilarious as well.
9. Akiko Suzuki 2011 NHK- Short Program
Although this is not her finest program, it is very good and Akiko was very in touch with the music here. There was a dark intensity to her through the opening section of the music, and the mini step sequence through the fast section at the beginning was great. Then the intensity returned for the step sequence, then back to fast, it's amazing how quickly she changes the mood in her program. Not to mention that she added a triple-triple this season, she was in for the kill this season and it showed.
10. Caroline Zhang U.S Nationals- Short Program
Caroline really does teach you the cheesy disney cliche of "Never give up" is actually capable of being true. She improved her technique so much. Although there is very little choreography, and it is a little bit of a program that tries to let the music make the skater seem artistic, she did skate cleanly and did sell it at points I really wish she had really gone for it but oh well. If she works on her speed in spins and general skating she could really become a good all round skater. And good god that layback pearl. But yes this skate restored my faith in those who are reworking their jump technique.
I may not have mentioned this before but I don't really follow ice dance or pairs that closely, sorry. I can try but it will reek of a lack of knowledge for a while. Leave a request in the comment section if you do wish to embarrass me. Kidding, but seriously leave a request if you do.