The theme of the 2010 Olympic original dance this year was Country/Folk, and we were treated to Flamencos, Tarantellas, Can-Cans, Indian, aboriginal and Moldavian folk dances. Leaders Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are more than three points ahead of second place Americans Davis and White, who are two points ahead of third place Domnina and Shabalin. Belbin and Agosto have their work cut out for them in the free dance, being three points behind the Russians, who are in third place.
1. Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir have taken the lead in the Original Dance portion of the ice dancing competition in the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, with a score of 68.41, giving them a total of 111.15 going into the free dance portion. They performed a lively flamenco, with an extremely risky upside down lift, the most dangerous I saw in the entire competition. Their spins were in sync, they were fast and close at all times. They bested the leading Russian team by 5.5 points and deserved the standing ovation they received, even if was in their hometown.
2.. US champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White moved into second place with a score of 67.08, giving them a total of 108.55, with their Indian themed folk dance and authentic costumes. Davis led off with a sideways twinkle in her eye in her stunning red dress. They skated clean, fast, close and ended with side-by-side spins that made me audibly gasp. The performance was flawless and I think it’s a shame their scores weren’t a little higher. Even if White did have on a Nehru jacket.
3. Russians Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin fell from first to third with their controversial Aboriginal dance earning them a 62.84, for a total of 106.60. I really, really did not like this dance. It was disjointed, not graceful and, according to the announcers, not particularly difficult or well done. They didn’t even look like they were skating together. They did tone down their costumes, lightening the skin tone and wearing less face paint, but they still looked ridiculous, in my opinion. I don’t think they deserve to be in third place.
4. US skaters Tanith Belbin and Benjamin Agosto are still in fourth place. Belbin wore a charming red and white dress with bell sleeves and red boots for their Moldavian folk dance routine. They put on a strong performance with good speed, beautiful lifts and intricate footwork, but I hate to say, I wasn’t feeling this dance, and didn’t particularly like the music. I do, however, think they performed much better than the Russians. Their score of 62.50 gave them a total of 103.33.
5. Italy’s Federica Faiella and Massimo Scali also failed to move up, with a score of 60.18, total of 100.06. Their Tarantella was delightful to watch, and they performed well, with clean movements, spins in sync, and complex steps.
6. France’s Isabelle Delobel and Olivier Schoenfelder performed a delightful French Can-Can, her black dress with pink petticoat flashing as she lifted, spun and jumped. I thought their footwork at one time didn’t match the music but all in all it was a good, but not great, performance. Their score of 58.68 gave them a total of 96.67, well out of medal range.
I am pleased for the Canadians, and if the US can’t take the gold, I’d rather lose to them than a Russian. The Free Dance on Monday, February 22nd, will decide who takes home the gold. A North American team has never won the Olympic ice dancing gold medal, with the Russians or Soviet pairs taking gold seven of the nine times this event has been presented.
Sources: NBC-TV 10 Philadelphia; Ice Dancing Results