Kim Yu-Na and Mao Asada Skate to Some Great Music, Cheltzie Lee Takes the Gold Medal for Most Innovative Musical Choice

Like the rest of the world, I was mesmerized last night by the high quality of skating in the ladies’ competition. I had hoped that the women would have chosen some more adventurous music. Kim Yu-Na and Mao Asada did, at the very least, choose music for their free skate programs other than the stereotypical songs we always hear. But Cheltzie Lee was the only woman to step outside of the norm with the music for her short program.

Korean gold-medal winner Kim Yu-Na performed her free skate to Piano Concerto in F by George Gershwin. Skaters normally choose better-known Gershwin pieces such as An American in Paris or Rhapsody in Blue, so it was nice to hear this piece instead. Everybody else has already rhapsodized (no pun intended) about Kim, so I’ll keep my comments short and simple. She has the perfect combination of athletic power and artistic expression, as well as an incredible ability to connect with the audience.

Japanese silver medal winner Mao Asada performed her free skate to an orchestral arrangement of the Prelude for Piano No. 1 in C sharp minor (“The Bells of Moscow”) Op. 3/2 by Sergei Rachmaninoff. Again, I am pleased that she chose an unusual classical piece. And you certainly can’t go wrong with the drama and beauty of Rachmaninoff’s music. Contrapuntist and I were both impressed at Asada’s ability to express the power and drama of the prelude. What a shame that she got her skate stuck in a rut. It marred an otherwise outstanding performance.

According to NBC’s info, 20th-ranked Australian skater Cheltzie Lee skated to “Feeling Good”, tribute to Michael Buble. I did some digging around, and it seems like she skated to a version of the song done by the Vitamin String Quartet on the album Vitamin String Quartet Tribute to Michael Buble. It was a refreshing change to hear some non-classical music which was not from a movie. I thought that she did a beautiful job of interpreting the jazzy, laid-back feel of the song.

For those of you who have read my other posts about this year’s Olympic figure skating, you probably already know that I’m less than pleased with NBC. But if you haven’t heard me complain already, I’m going to do it one last time. NBC, thank you so much for not telling us the names of the musical selections during the broadcast. Thank you also for not allowing the videos of the performances to be embedded on other websites. Keep up the horrible work.

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