MONDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2018
SONG CHOICE IS IMPORTANT
Don't pick lame songs when your score depends on them.
- To the bobsled, where NBC has decided we don't need to heat three and has skipped directly to heat four. I guess that means there are no Americans within striking distance of a medal. There aren't, but there are five sleds within 12 hundredths of a second, so the winner could be anyone in the top five. Germany's Nico Walther manages to cross the finish line tonight without flipping his sled, so that's an improvement for him. He's in first. Until the next sled, then the Latvian's are in first. I have a hunch this will happen with every sled after this. Nope! The next German sled pinballs off the walls and falls out of medal contention. The next German sled… the NEXT German sled? How did they get so many in the top five? What do they put in the water in Germany to get so dominant at bobsleds? Only the Canadians can stop the German from their bobsled domination. And they do! And they don't! What? They tied! Both the Canadian and German teams had the exact same time down to the hundredths of seconds. Do they go to the replay to get it down to the thousandths like the speed skaters did last night? Nope! Apparently bobsledders don't care that much. The probably all just want to go drink a beer. They are Canadians and Germans, after all.
- It's Olympic news time back in the studio. An Olympic Athlete From Russia might have his medal taken away because he was caught doping. In curling. What benefit could you possibly get in curling by doping? Super sweeping powers! Maybe the Olympic committee didn't penalize the Russians because they were doping. Maybe they penalized them because they're stupid.
- LIVE to the halfpipe we go for the Women's Freestyle Skiing final. Like the snowboarders in the halfpipe, only the best run out of three counts. That's good news for Sochi gold-medalist Maddie Bowman from the United States, as she crashes on her first run. Two other Americans finish three and four at the end of round one.
- Now LIVE for the Women's Downhill! Sorry again. Like yesterday, this is just more women's downhill training. There isn't anything else happening in the Olympics other than skiing practice? I know NBC has sunk a lot of capital into drumming up interest in Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin, but watching them practice seems a bit much. I guess I could practice being interested.
- Back to the halfpipe for round two. It turns out Maddie Bowman had crashed about an hour ago during a practice run before round one. That seems like something they could have brought up earlier. Now she crashes again. America's hopes might rest on Annalisa Drew and Brita Sigourney, who end round two in fourth and third place, respectively. Then again, in this event all it takes is one run. This whole thing could turn upside-down in round three.
- On round three Bowman makes it all the way to her final trick, again, then crashes, again, cracking the top off her helmet. She's okay, physically anyway, but she's clearly upset not being able to finish any of her runs. This is understandable, but if you crash so hard that you break your helmet into pieces, you should probably count yourself lucky that the worst thing that happened to you today is that you lost a gold medal.
- Annalisa Drew moves into third place with her run, but is then followed by Brita Sigourney, who immediately passes her for the bronze medal. The last two skiers are already in first and second place, so when France's Marie Martinod falls down, Canada's Cassie Sharpe wins gold without having to even make her run. And on Cassie's victory lap, she falls, too. That was little anti-climactic.
- Back in the arena, it's time for the ice dancing free dance segment. The ice dancing is NOT live tonight, so if there are any wardrobe malfunctions, NBC will be able to edit around them.
- Americans Madison Chock and Evan Bates skate to "Imagine." I'm docking them points for that right off the bat. Eek! I doubt my demerits for poor song choice will be as damaging as that fall they just had. Perhaps if they'd chosen a better song they would have been able to better concentrate on standing upright.
- Next up, the Olympic Athletes From Russia Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev skate the longer version of their earlier team dance program, where Bobrova pretends to be blind. Apparently she's supposed to be a Russian doping official. What, too soon?
- Italy's Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte skate next. This will be shocking to you, but I don't have anything to snarky to say about them. I really like their program and they seem very charming as a couple. I know they probably won't win because they don't have the flair the judges seem to like, but I enjoyed their last performance, and I liked this one, too. The judges put them into second place, but with three pairs to go, that probably won't hold up.
- It's time for the Shib Sibs, who surprisingly, given that this is recorded, have no fluff segment preceding their skating. They're skating to Coldplay. That seems appropriate for ice skating. They're really good and the judges think so, too, moving them into first place with three pairs to go.
- Now on the ice is Ms. Wardrobe Malfunction herself, Gabriella Papadakis, and her partner Guillaume Cizeron from France. I notice there's no way tonight's outfit would be able to malfunction. Since it's happened twice this Olympics, I wonder if future skaters will consider that before making wardrobe choices. Tanith says she's clutching her beating heart because their skate is so beautiful. I'm assuming that's figurative and not that she's Mola Ram. They move into first place.
- Hubbell and Donohue of the US perform what Tanith called a "smoldering" program. But they did make some mistakes, she says, and that costs them.
- The final skaters are the occult-based Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada, channelling their inner strumpets by skating to the Moulin Rouge's El Tango De Roxanne. That's a great song. See, Chock and Bates? This is how you pick a song. And they get the gold by less than one point. Just a reminder: Papadakis and Cizeron finished two points behind them in the short program. Had they not had that wardrobe malfunction, they might not have finished behind, there. For want of a clasp, a gold medal was lost.
- Lindsey Vonn is on fire! I mean, not actually aflame, but Alicia Keys sings while NBC has put together a montage of videos of her, from when she was a kid, to winning medals, being helicoptered out after an accident, rehabbing her legs… you know, this is all getting to be just a little too much Vonn. NBC has spent more time promoting her than she's actually skied in competition. I hadn't counted Lindsey's earlier interview with Heather Cox as fluff since it was at the bottom of the run, but with as much hype as they're piling on, I might reconsider if they pull this tomorrow.
It's hard to be too upset with NBC when they only show one minute of fluff, but their obsession with Lindsey Vonn is getting tiring. Hopefully tomorrow night she'll make all the hype worth it. See you then!