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Home Main “He’s irresistible. Actor!”: how the figure skating world reacted to Yagudin’s victory in the Showcase tournament

“He’s irresistible. Actor!”: how the figure skating world reacted to Yagudin’s victory in the Showcase tournament

The Show Program Tournament was a bright end to the season for current skaters and an opportunity to take to the ice again for those athletes who have already finished their athletic careers. One of the masterpieces of acting was the number of Alexei Yagudin, the winner of the competition. His sad clown, chasing a ray of light, made the audience and the jury give him a standing ovation. And even the song Ne Me Quitte Pas sounded in a new way. The Olympic champion, despite the sore knee, dared to do a triple loop, and he did it magnificently.

The program was directed by choreographer Ilya Averbukh. According to him, despite the lightness of perception of the work, everything was born in great agony.

“We changed the musical composition three times. The main idea is a ray of light that we all follow and will continue to follow forever, striving to have it inside us. I wanted to make a sentimental number with a dream and the desire for a ray of light,” “Match TV” quotes the specialist.

As it turned out, at first Yagudin tried to dance to the music from the movie “Euphoria,” then – to the themes from Chopin. Everything turned out nice, but did not evoke the necessary emotions.

“Understandably, Alexei is not in the same athletic shape as in 2002, but yet he has become a great actor on the ice over the long years that we worked. That’s why we tried to find the right tempo at which he could open himself as an actor… It was important for Yagudin to make a triple jump when he did it – there were only tears in his eyes from the delight, from the way he was dissolving,” added Averbukh.

Absolutely everyone was thrilled with Yagudin’s performance. Two-time world ice dancing champion Maxim Stavinsky said his skating differed from that of the current athletes. According to the skater, their movements are clear, confident, but not as emotional.

“No one could compare to Yagudin. When he came in on the toehold, I was worried along with him and almost did that somersault with him. The whole thing is breathtaking: his face and the image of him as he came out of the locker room and walked in. It was amazing! Alexei got first place not because Ilya Averbukh was putting on the program or Tatiana Tarasova his longtime coach, and not because of his birthday, although they certainly had a hand in Yagudin’s success. He is irresistible. An actor! He did all the key moves, which are his calling card, without leaving his character for a second,” Sport24 quoted Stavisky as saying.

Olympic champion in ice dancing Natalia Bestemianova agrees with the expert. In her opinion, Yagudin showed young figure skaters that they still have a lot to learn.

“I absolutely loved the show! It was very beautiful and interesting. Everyone skated so freely and beautifully that it was breathtaking. Yagudin showed a level that young athletes are still difficult to show. They can’t feel the music the way Alexei did,” Bestemianova said.

Other compositions choreographed by Averbukh also stood out. For example, Mikhail Kolyada climbed the stairs from umbrellas into the sky to the cover of Je suis malade, and Elizaveta Tuktamysheva performed the tango “Cumparcita” with a ballet bar. At the same time, according to the athlete, she was nervous before the start.

“Honestly, it’s unusual and exciting to perform, because you kind of know that it’s still a competition, and somewhere at the unconscious you get a little nervous, and like the show, where usually there is no excitement, there is only excitement and joy. I had a number with the machine, and I was initially worried that something would happen to him or to me. But when I stepped on the ice and the music began to play, I allowed myself to fully surrender to it and really enjoy the moment,” Tuktamysheva wrote on social media.

Very lyrical were the compositions by Anna Scherbakova and Viktoria Sinitsina with Nikita Katsalapov. This genre was particularly close to the judges, because these skaters were on the podium with Yagudin.

The dancing duo chose the medical theme. Katsalapov appeared on the ice as a doctor and during the whole number saved Vika from death. As the athletes’ coach Alexander Zhulin explained, Sinitsina was the soul of a person undergoing surgery.

“It ends on a positive note. Nikita stands with his head down: he understands that that’s it, it didn’t work out. And Vika is a soul who has come to terms with the need to fly away. But the very last chords make it clear that the man is alive, and Nikita – not a bad surgeon, “- said the specialist.

Shcherbakova demonstrated her number “17 Moments of Spring”. She embodied the image of Stirlitz’s wife on ice. The touching music, the video from the legendary movie, and the superb skating of the Olympic champion could not leave anyone indifferent.

Speaking about the other trainees of Eteri Tutberidze, the most successful compositions were those of Kamila Valieva and Sofia Akatieva. The first performed as a shaman and brought rain, while the second came down to earth to give people love. Both received special prizes from the jury and the audience.

The biggest criticism was given to Alina Zagitova, who wrapped up the tournament and was supposed to put a bright point in it, but could not. The Olympic champion appeared as Marilyn Monroe, which did not suit her at all.

“Sorry, but no,” wrote on social media columnist Elena Vaitsekhovskaya, who posted a photo of the girl.

On top of everything else, her only jump didn’t work out: instead of a triple touloupe, the audience saw a butterfly. But the skater did not get upset because of the failure. In her opinion, you have to try everything in life.

“Anyway, guys, I pulled myself together, calmed down, put my thoughts together and am ready to share them with you. I’m very happy, because I showed a whole new image of myself. I think that many people were not used to look at me like this, but we have to try something new, to move on. And about the fact that I don’t like the number… Well, hello to all well-wishers,” Zagitova said in a video on social media.

Several skaters’ performances, according to experts, turned out to be underestimated. Matvey Vetlugin’s performance caused the most controversy. The skater did a parody of Alina Zagitova, Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, Evgeny Plyuschenko and Yagudin, choosing their most memorable numbers: “Don Quixote”, Toxic, Sex Bomb and “Winter”. According to Vaitsekhovskaya, the judges’ scores were the main failure of the tournament.

“And only because in the judging brigade none of the maestros (thanks, Polina Krutikhina, for the plate) did not seem to understand at all what it was about and how unique the idea was,” the RT columnist wrote;

Alexander Zhulin, in turn, explained the low scores of the athlete by the fact that the referees simply did not know the young pupil Alexei Mishin.

“If we talk about Vetlugin, the judges did not understand the criteria for scoring. Apparently, the jury was still unclear who it was. Plus he was skating in the beginning. I think that this tournament could become a permanent one. It’s a very unusual format, which the audience liked,” Zhulin told RIA Novosti.

Coach Inna Goncharenko noted the skater’s artistry. So, the athlete not only performed elements of Zagitova from “Don Quixote”, but also showed how the girl prepares for the start, tapping herself on the legs.

“I was struck by Matvey, who can still be called inexperienced, how much he appreciates the experience of his predecessors: the next generation knows them and remembers them, there is continuity. That’s very good, I think it’s very important,” TASS quoted the specialist as saying.

At the same time, Averbukh expressed the opinion that Vetlugin should not get upset in this situation, because he still has everything to do. The same can be said about Pyotr Gumennik. The skater performed to “Bolero” in a leather vest with a heart-shaped turtleneck underneath, and at the end of the composition he played the part on the piano. This especially pleased Bestemianova.

“I agree with the judges on the allocation of points for the first three places, but it felt as if by the second section they had forgotten: in the first one, a beautiful, charismatic guy who also played the piano live. Too bad they didn’t appreciate it properly. But otherwise it was a great show,” Sport24 says.

Anastasia Mishina and Alexander Galliamov could have had a slightly higher score. The Olympic champions took to the ice in “Zenit” uniforms and performed almost all the elements with the balls, tied to the skaters with strings. It all looked very dangerous, as the pair could have easily fallen or got tangled in the props. However, the energy of the athletes was inferior to that of the more experienced skaters. Perhaps that’s why the judges gave such scores.

However, the skaters, long since retired, skated primarily for themselves, not to win. According to Maxim Trankov, who together with Tatiana Volosozhar reminded the audience the story of “Samson and Dalila”, he missed the old emotions.

“It was very hot in the stands. We saw all those forgotten banners dedicated to us. It was worth it. We never skated to please the judges. We always skated for each other – and for you to feel our love. So thank you very much for your support, respect. I got high from you guys. The support in general is crazy, thank you. To tears, very cool, and I hope you liked our number with Tanya,” – said Trankov in his Telegram-channel.

In general, everyone was satisfied with the tournament. Although on the judging and criteria for evaluating the numbers, according to Zhulin, still have to work.

“We will make some conclusions. If you see a ten from two judges and a five from one judge, it’s kind of illogical, although, again, why not? A person might say, ‘I didn’t understand the number at all, what they were skating about.’ That’s the mistake of the performers and the choreographers-directors, so it should have been made so that everyone understood. Art appreciation is very difficult: some people are delighted with Marc Chagall, and others do not understand why square people fly in the sky, “- summed up the coach;


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