Rice, gymnastics, and blogs -- what more do you need tonight?
Interesting leotards already. I'm kinda digging Shawn Johnson's black and blue number, though the see-through mesh on the back is a bit disconcerting. I feel similarly about the gray-and-pink number donned by WOGA. It's weird. But not in a bad way.
Who's the dude who's commentating with Tim and Elfi? He sounds uncomfortable.
Chellsie Memmel, bars: BIG Tkatchev. Nice, clean routine. Good extension throughout.
Shawn Johnson, floor: JK.
Gabby Douglas, floor: So cute! Such a baby. Liang Chow is always smiling. Clean triple twist. Interesting use of vocals in the background -- very NCAA. Flying out of bounds on double Arabian. I feel like Marta is not amused by "Me No Speak Americano" music. I feel like this girl will only get better with age.
As per Wikipedia, that song is actually produced by an Australian duo.
Alicia Sacramone, floor: Dislike the weird X on her leotard. Nice triple full. Tremendously high double Arabian. Really enjoy this music, though the choreography isn't really a revelation. So it goes. Aaaaand falls to her back.
Jordyn Wieber, beam: Freaked out by the yellow/gold leotard. I was never really a fan of yellow. Wobbly wobble out of the layout. Can't imagine too many "laymen" are watching Universal Sports right now. Nice switch-side-half. Seems to be becoming popular lately. Shakes all around. Nice 2.5 dismount.
McKayla Maroney, floor: Really casual 3.5 twist. This music must be so irritating to practice to day in and day out. Very clean. Looks like she could break in half, but she's a beast. The requisite (thus far) out of bounds. Will she make the double Arabian??? Nope. End scene.
Rebecca Bross, bars: Looks like she's about to fall asleep. Nice Khorkina to high bar. Off on the Tkatchev. Tim is shocked. Then again, Bross has a history of being a hot mess in major competitions on at least one event. I am not shocked. Big Pak salto. She has nice amplitude on her releases -- I have never truly appreciated it before.
Aly Raisman, floor: I bet Aly is a lovely person, but I fear she will win tonight. Egads. Man, though, she is an insane tumbler. Two Arabian passes. Random vocals in the background. Semi-sexy moves on the floor. Triple full. Must also be annoying music to hear day in and day out. But she stayed in bounds, so good for her.
Just realized that they're not telling us any scores. Ah, well.
Super neon green for Legacy Elite. Meh.
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Neon Leotards for the Caquatto sisters? Maybe.
Lol, uh, commercial break again?
Bridgette Caquatto, bars: feet crossing on some handstands. Extra swing. Piked down double layout dismount.
Did unknown male commentator just say, "The sweat is dripping down her bra"???
Alicia Sacramone, vault: Leotard by Under Armour? Will check out that logo again. Wow, that first vault looked higher than ever. And that's def Under Armour. Really nice execution in the slow-mo replay. Pretty solid DTY.
Anna Li, bars: The much-hyped routine is happening. Some form issues and close to the bars on releases, but she's making it happen. Cool!
Jordyn Wieber, floor: Right now I'm guessing Aly 1, Jordyn 2, Rebecca 3 for the all-around finale. Just a hunch. Double-double to start. Crisp dance. I appreciate that her moves actually go with the music. Very clean twister. I feel like she has new routines at every meet. Or maybe that's just because she's always injured and does like 1 major meet per season. Nice routine! I liked it.
TOO MUCH YELLOW.
Mackenzie Caquatto, bars: Looks worried. BIG Church. And big Pak. (That's what she...). Very aggressive routine.
Rebecca Bross, beam: Stuck Arabian. She's going all the way here -- no hesitations. Yikes! Foot slips on the back tuck. Tim is shocked again. Valeri will not be pleased. And down on the dismount.
Aly Raisman, vault: I fear this Amanar. JK, she does a DTY instead. I feel better now. On the plus side, she looks nice in pink.
Sabrina Vega, bars: Break on the handstand and kicks low bar. Aw. And off on the Church.
So many falls!
Nastia is helping to make the selection for the World team? For why?
Do we really need to keep the camera on Sabrina Vega's face as she cries? Really?
And Steve Rybacki also chooses the World team?
So many questions, rhetorical and not?
Chellsie Memmel, beam: barani connected to back handspring. Not beautiful, but definitely admirable. Long pause pre-Arabian. Too many looooong pauses throughout this routine. Successfully 2 for 2 in not splatting.
Shawn Johnson, finally! vault: A serviceable DTY. Not going to change the world, but not embarrassing. She sprints awaaaaay. In the slow-mo replay, crooked but not terrible form.
Casey Jo Magee, standing: Her hair is cute. Also, a nice leotard.
Jordyn Wieber, vault: Wow, really nice Amanar. High, clean, and not scary. Win!
Anna Li, beam: Business-like switch-ring. Seems confident. I type this just as she wobbles majorly. Oops. A decent routine.
McKayla Maroney, bars: Extra swiiiings. Seems to be required along with the OOB on floor. This probably WILL spur on Nastia's comeback.
Mackenzie Caquatto, beam: Save on the side somi. Off on the layout. Hot dang, sons, I miss the days when you'd see very, very few falls at a big competition. I sound like I'm ninety.
Rebecca Bross, floor: I feel bad for her. She must hate life. Watched this routine in the training videos and found it to be a major step up from her previous routine. HUGE first pass. I really like this music. WOGA sure loves those violins in their floor music. Slow movements in contrats to high energy music. Lots of posing and standing. Haha, I like the landing of the last pass to the music -- very MIOBI in its conclusion. No disasters for her in that routine.
Aly Raisman, bars: Leg separations. Flexed toes. You know the rendez-vous.
Casey Magee, beam!: Broken connection in the double to single turn. She looks taller than the rest of the pack. I sense that Tim is rooting for her. I am, too. Yikes, didn't really complete that round-off pre-layout. Off she goes. Triple turn, saved. The crowd appreciates it. Love that handspring down to the knee.
Where did Gabby Douglas go?
Shawn Johnson, bars: Nice Geinger - big! Resists the extra swing. Nice dismount! Redemption from the CoverGirl Splatfest.
Chellsie Memmel, floor: Runs out of bounds, OF COURSE. High tumbling. reminds me of Kristen Maloney with better form. This routine is dragging. A fierce finish.
Gabby Douglas, bars: They found her! Holy Tkatchev. Wowzas. Nice extension. Wild dismount almost to her hands.
Bridgette Caquatto, beam: This group is still on beam? Man. Gets a lot of height in the aerial skills. And she's off. Tim calls these falls "infectious." The zombie viral apocalypse? The heralding of 2012? I digress.
That judge hit the bell with true relish. She too is tired of the nonsense.
Is it wrong that I'm looking forward for this comp to be over, but yet I can't look away?
I feel like there's no urgency to this competition. Everyone (for the most part) looks like a mess. Whoever survives will win. Kudos to Wieber, however, who has performed like a real champ.
Quite simply, it's boring.
But we'll see what the final rotation brings.
As Andrea Joyce talks about Gabby Douglas's family, does anyone else miss the days of fluffy montages and interviews? I lived for those. Again, I'm ninety.
Rebecca Bross, vault: High vault, scary low landing - bent knees in the air and chest down. Aw. She needs a long rest, and maybe something sugary.
McKayla Maroney, beam: I'd like to see her have a nice routine. Will she? Ah, yes, a fall on the layout. But of course.
Mackenzie Caquatto, floor: Will we see a techno FSU floor routine? Looks like it. Kind of a yawn.
Aly Raisman, beam: Aly looks slightly like a young Emeline, which is a supreme accomplishment. Stays on the layout. Hence why she will win (or place top three). An improved leap. Bent knees on the front pike. She's a tough customer. Whoa, a legit dismount/landing.
Chellsie Memmel, however, is not impressed.
She vaults: FTY. It's fine.
Sabrina Vega returns after the break. Floor: Out of bounds. Spicy music. Lots of energy and sweet ending pose.
J-Wiebs, bars: I suddenly fear a meltdown a la Vanessa Atler in '97 on bars. Legs apart. Seems to be muscling through. Low Tkatchev. That routine seemed really short. No meltdowns, however.
Shawn Johnson, beam: I'm excited. Stays on for the layout. She's very aggressive today. Big save on the aerial. The haters will love the low back leg on her switch leap. Honestly, this is one of the best beam routines at this meet. Over time. She and Raisman desire to be co-champs on beam at this rate, based on this telecast (maybe second to Wieber).
I'd like to ask SJ about her knee surgery. Which graft did she choose: patellar tendon, hamstring, or cadaver? The grand questions.
Gabby Douglas, beam: My goodness, she is tiny. Those damn layouts, man. Off she goes. And off on the back full.
Tim: "This is, quite honestly, one of those meets that's hard to recover from."
Dad: "And hard to watch."
Yikes. Off on the switch ring. One of those times where you wish you could get off mid-routine and hide.
Her coach, however, smiles anyway. I'd like to see what he's like in the gym.
Seriously, who doesn't hate her life tonight? Raisman, Memmel, Wieber, ShawnJohn? That's it.
Alicia Sacramone, beam: Goin' big. No wobbles. Huge switch-side. She may need to be the national beam champ. Really good routine. The execution score should be high.
Much like the CoverGirl Classic, that was one heck of a brutal meet to watch.
Is it really the open-ended scoring that encourages so much difficulty that the girls are a mess? If that's so, then, why did nearly all of the falls on TV come from layouts, a skill that Level 10's perform comfortably? Nerves about the rest of the routine? Nerves about Marta? Nerves about something else? Would we see these sort of routines at Russian or Chinese nationals? What happened to that supreme confidence of a Miller or a Zmeskal, or even Patterson? Is it the Code that makes the confidence impossible? Or is it the undercurrent of something else?
The standings thus far:
To conclude for the night, here's a beam routine to make you feel better about life: