Like your average Winter Olympics fan, I was hoping the figure skating in Torino (Turin, to you Shroud fans) would feature the Wrath of Kwan, with Michelle finally capturing the elusive gold medal. That was not to be, so all the U.S. pressure falls on Sasha Cohen, who should definitely be played by Alexis Bledel in any potential future TV-movies (the Shaun "Flying Tomato" White gig will, naturally, go to Carrot Top.) Let's just hope the ladies' programs go smoother than the ice-dancing competition, which featured more crashes than your average drivers-education movie.
Some of the night's highlights:
Kimmie Meissner, U.S.: the second performance of the night sets the tone for the Americans as Meissner nails the combo of a triple lutz into a triple toe-loop. This, apparently, is very hard. Up until tonight, I thought the triple-triple was some kind of burger from Carl's Jr.
Joannie Rochette, Canada: remember when Olympians only skated to Swan Lake or some other piece of vaguely familiar classic music? Well, this crazy Canuck just laid it down to Madonna's "Like a Prayer." Madge was right, life is a mystery. But so is this crazy Olympic scoring system.
Elene Gedevanishvili, Georgia: I'm with Scott Hamilton on this one (not a sentence I've ever typed before) she's one of my very favorites.
Miki Ando, Japan: Is it me or is she wearing Santino's entry from the Project Runway skate-costume challenge?
Emily Hughes, U.S.: Skating to Gershwin, Kwan's replacement tears it up while her gold-medal-owning sister cheers her on.
Irina Slutskaya, Russia: The unfortunately named Russian rocks her bedazzled pantsuit right into first place. Between her Tourette's-looking preskate mumbling, her Manheim Steamroller-esque musical choice and her aggressive skating style, I gotta admit, I'm a little afraid of Irina.
Elena Liashenko, Ukraine: As Cosmo Kramer once said, "The Ukraine is weak." Holy cow, does Dick Button let this chick have it. Button, who won the gold medal in, like, 1904, has grown a little Simon Cowell cranky over the years.
Sylvia Fontana, Italy: Sylvia came out of retirement for the Games but couldn't do as well as her husband, John Zimmerman, is doing on Skating with Celebrities.
Sasha Cohen, U.S.: I'm no skating expert, but it's pretty clear from the gasps and gawks of the commentators that she knocked it out of the park. Can she keep it up for the free skate? Cohen finished in first and has a chance on Thursday to become the third straight U.S. gold medalist in women's skating. I'll be back then with an update.