Tonight's entertainment is the second rotation of the Pacific Rim Championships, which has a team of six US women: Aly Raisman (my favorite and of the Fierce five), Simone Biles (the best in the world), Ashton Locklear (her bars are inspirational), Brenna Dowell (lots of people like Brenna; I am somewhat meh but feel sorry for her all the time), Laurie Hernandez (HER FLOOR HER FLOOR HER FLOOR), and Ragan Smith (who is probably under accusations of being underage by the Chinese with a touch of irony, because she don't look sixteen).
I need lots of wine prepare for Aly's vault, so time to pour me a glass. I have to watch on my phone, so sadly you don't get the setup, but picture the wine.
6:55 Oooh, this is a good wine. It's an Italian rose with a chicken on the cover.
6:59 Do wines have covers?
7:00 START LIVESTREAM. START.
7:02 Am I going to need wine for the Olympics? Will I need to take time off? What time of day is everything, anyway? Probably around noon. Maybe just the afternoon off, then...YES THE STREAM HAS STARTED ohnoit'sAl
7:03 This is not the last team competition before the Olympics. Europeans, for starters. Stop lying, Al (I shouldn't expect so much of him, I know).
7:05 This is really strong wine. Excellent.
7:07 UGH it's still commercials, I think. Maybe. How many people watch Access Hollywood, anyway? Is it really that many more than gymnastics in an Olympic year?
7:08 Ok, after a brief description we got nothing. The Youtube Steam (here) is also showing nothing, so at least this is not a Christine's phone issue.
7:09 AHHHH IT IS SIMONE. AND THERE'S ALY. WE'RE HERE! WE'RE HERE!
Wait my phone restarted the introduction? Ah, well. It is per the Youtube, anyway.
7:10 Wait China's here? I missed that.
7:11 YES TIM SMONE HAS THE CHENG AND ALL IS RIGHT WITH THE WORLD oh no don't let Tim talk about Laurie. He's gross about her. Don't let him! Please, NBC, I beg of you. Ooooh, awkward on-air silence. Hahahahah. Al schadenfreude makes these technical difficulties a dream.
7:13 YAAAY BRENNA'S FLOOR wait my stream went out again. This doesn't happen when it's on tv, you know.
7:14 Floor is back but I missed it except for the final pass. There's Brenna. She's being very Brenna, not the most controlled landings but some excellent tumbling.
7:15 Nastia calls Ragan "cute". Nastia called the Chinese gymnasts "kids". Ugh, this is all racism. Also, of course she has Kim Zmeskal, she is trained by her!
7:16 Oh, that's a good point--Brenna had music! At Worlds she didn't get music. Time for Ragan!
7:17 Ragan is using the Addams Family which I think is kind of cute. Stumbles out of first pass, slightly messy form on the second, but those leaps are spectacular. Those are what leaps should be. However that dancing in the corner is kind of code-whoring. Don't really rate the floor choreography, sort of stumbles out of her turn. Double pike is solid for her final pass. That's a nice routine, pretty solid.
7:18 Yes, I agree with Tim for a change--it's a very playful routine, which suits her (I guess), but I'd rather see something a little more mature for a senior debut.
7:20 TIME FOR LAURIE'S FLOOR ROUTINE YAAAY. She is one of the better dancers. I just wish Tim wouldn't talk about her.
7:21 Great DLO to start. Solid tumbling too on the second pass. Sorry, I'm enjoying this too much to type. She has a nice switch ring, I should give her more credit for that. Pass three was a little crooked, but she lands it okay. You know what, I don't like this routine anywhere near as much as her past routines. This one is kind of devoid of her personality. Her dancing is more going from move to move rather than really dancing, which isn't bad but she used to be so expressive!
7:23 HEY LOOK NBC IS SHOWING US NEW ZEALAND They never show the smaller countries, normally. This could be progress! Or something they can cut for time in the telecast. Hmm. Nice difficult vaults from Courtney McGregor, but she messed up the second one a bit.
7:24 Is Laurie going to Rio? I don't know. Depends on bars. Hmm. 14.95....I can't see her AND Aly going, which means I route for Aly.
7:25 ALY TIME!!! Same first pass as in 2012. She controls it, some messy legs but that's difficult. Needs to work on the double spin a bit. Her dance has improved from 2012. Good second pass too--she has improved a TON since Worlds last year, clearly missing finals made her work and it's paying off! Pass three is the DLO, separated legs but nice. The bouncy part! I like the bouncy part. She hits the splits, which she doesn't always. Final pass--slight bounce, but good. YESSSSSSSS that's what she needs for this summer. YESS YESSSSS YESSSSSSSSSSss.
7:27 Except vault is next, and I need more wine. Mm. This is great wine.
7:28 Where's Gabby? For chicken's sake, Al, you know. She's had two meets, they get two meets (Simone only needs one because she is special).
7:29 15.6 YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS.
7:30 Simone time! Oh, this is wonderful. I would love this rotation in Rio. Her new foutine is a bit more rock, and I love it. Wonderful first pass, dancing, second passis the Biles and done wonderfully. Oooh the butt layout, I love the butt layout. They kept the OH! and they've made it Brazilian. This screams "I'm winning gold medals!" and it should. OH this is a fabulous routine. Almost stuck her final pass, just a slight shuffle. Ohhhhhhhhhh, this is going to be an awesome summer.
7:31 I dunno, I love Simone's music--I hadn't heard of people not liking it? Also, a floor routine to Mary Had A Little Lamb might be kind of awesome. (This could be the wine typing.)
7:34 Hey, the Warriors won! You go, Warriors. Keep winning.
7:35 You know what this live stream needs? That Under Armor commercial.
7:36 I'm hearing Simone broke 16 on floor, which she should if Aly got a 15.6.
This bodes well for Aly.
7:38 That was not a good DTY from Ragan at all. She's probably competing against Laurie for a spot right now, and Laurie's got the advantage right now for sure. Sigh.
7:39 Laurie's vault! They're sort of competing for the same spot for the Olympics, a fourth AAer, so let's see. Big bounce out of it, I think it is better than Ragan's, but not by too much. Hmm.
7:40 Aly's on vault soon. Time to refill the wine glass.
7:41 Are they seriously showing us McGregor's bars over Dowell's vault? That's shocking. Are NBC being paid by Marta to ignore Brenna? She's not my favorite, like I mentioned, but I do feel sorry for her.
7:42 Aly on vault! She sat it a few weeks ago, so this will be important. Wine? Wine. Stumbles out of it, but she survived? And reeeeeally bad legs. I don't know if she would be used on vault in a TF situation, but maybe, and she needs to work on it. 15.3. Hmm.
7:43 Simone vaults! Simone also has a huge step out of her Amanar? Hmm. Better than Aly, yes, but that is surprising. And now we get a CHENGGGGGG.
7:44 15.8 for her on the Amanar AND IT'S A CHENG AND MAYBE IT IS NOT PERFECT BUT SHE LANDS AND IT ISN'T TERRIBLE AND HOORAY!!!!! She really had to work to get it around, she barely squeezed it in, but....hey, she isn't injured, I'll call this a success.
7:49 Al. It must be fascinating for people to be friends but also competing against each other? I find that sad, but if you want to be that devoid of humanity, you can be.
7:51 Trying to find score update, so I missed Megan Chant. Seemed good, though.
7:53 Here we go:
7:55 They're talking about how Romania has to go the Test Event and Larisa is injured and I'm just sad now. UGH Romania better qualify. I don't care if Germany or France has an off day, but Romania needs to get there somehow. Even if they might earn a much-needed lesson by missing it. I want Ponor.
8:01 OH NO ALY BARS IS COMING. Okay, she's on. Some leg separation. Nice strong swinging that doesn't look terrible. She has some form issues, but you what? That's not her worst bars I've ever seen. That's actually not half-bad. Some form issues, but a really nice swing. Double-front layout, nice. I would take that bars and be happy. I would be quite happy.
8:03 Laurie's bars! Laurie has a nice set of bars. She mounts, and two releases, three releases, some leg separation on the change to low, much cleaner on the return. Swing, swing, dismount isn't stuck, but that's decent. That will do. But will it score higher than Aly's? I'm....not actually sure. I think Aly's were harder? Why can't I do live scoring on my phone! THIS WOULD BE SO MUCH EASIER IF IT WAS ON TELEVISION.
8:05 Tim knows that Laurie has been on the television, because Tim has made grossly inappropriate comments about Laurie on the television.
8:07 14.8 for Laurie on bars, but I can't find Aly's scores. Now it's Simone! Her "weak" event, which means it's still great and she can qualify for finals. She just looks so nicely effortless, gliding around the bar. Slight fight for that handstand, and stuck layout. This is Simone's year. I'm loving it.
8:10 Brittany Rogers! Great vault except for the step. She was one of my favorites back in 2012, but I am FIRMLY cheering for her this year. I admire anyone who does NCAA and Elite. Good second vault as well.
8:12 Aha! 14.3 for Aly. That's lower than I thought it would be, I thought she had about a point higher difficulty to Laurie? Haha, and they thought they showed Brenna's vault but didn't. This stream is lagging, but the behind-the-scenes stuff is making it worth everything.
8:13 Ashton Locklear! She has a FABULOUS bars routine, she's wonderful on it and should have won a medal at 2014 Worlds in my opinon but got robbed because the judges didn't notice a missing number from a Chinese gymnast's outfit. Oh, such a lovely swing, legs flued togethed, nice lines, perfect handstands. Stuck landing!! Oh, this is going to be an interesting year for her. I think she can get an alternate spot, but I don't know about a full spot--I feel that Madison Kocian is more likely for a full spot. I'd like it if she was there though.
8:15 15.55 for Ashton on bars, that's solid. And Ragan! She's so tiny that she can do a lot of good moves on bars, she doesn't have to worry about hitting the bar. Solid bars. That'll help her case.
8:18 Wait, a piano-y version of the gymnastics tune? That's weird.
8:22 15.25 for Brenna! I can't see her being picked, I honestly think Marta's got something against her, but that's awesome. Rooting for her, even if she isn't my favorite.
8:23 Who is standing in Simone's way? Herself, essentially. Yeah, Gabby is coming after her, and Larisa, and maaaaybe Aliya on a good day, but Simone's got to fall for any of them to have a chance.
8:25 Looking for scores, but my understanding is that Simone is winning, Aly behind by 1.8, Laurie behind by .55. Time to Ashton's beam! She needs it for a chance, but she's really not a beam person. You know, she just doesn't have the difficulty that she needs--it's an okay routine, okay form (although a bit slippy on those turns), but it's not that hard. Leaps are well connected. Lunges after her dismount, but it'll help her case.
8:29 They're taking a while for this score, that's odd. Okay, 14.450. Yeah, that's seems about right (inflated, of course, but alright).
8:31 Ragan's beam! Double wolf turn to start, solid jumping and flipping. Her feet are probably small, that's got to help as well. Ooh, she has a pike jump, I love pike jumps. Dismount is almost stuck. That's her strongest event, beam, and she can definitely earn some points here. She had a bit of a rough start to the competition, but she came back nicely.
8:33 Aly's next for beam! She's a solid beamworker--bronze in 2012--and hasn't really had problems here. Slightly off on her punch front, great layout though. She always does that lie-down on the beam, it's her thing. She needs to work on her connections, there's about half of them that she won't get credit for. Ooh, those turns were solid. Patterson dismount, insanely difficult, and almost perfect! Lands with her body well up. That's was excellent. She should get silver here.
8:36 Laurie's up next! Laurie looks like she had her makeup done by Aly, which unfortunately isn't a compliment. Sassy beam routine, definitely getting her connections. Hmm, maybe I spoke too soon about Aly getting a silver. Oooh, the Game of Thrones floor music is in the background (One of the New Zealanders uses it, I believe). Laurie has a slight stumble and then dismount, chest pretty low but stuck. Hmm. I need the live scoring now.
8:40 BRITTANY ROGERS FALLS AND EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE. Hmph. Stupid Jaeger.
8:41 Quickly turned off the stream for scores! 14.8 for Aly on beam, and 15.25 for Laurie....I need to check the difficulty scores, I could have sworn Aly was above that. Anyway, Aly's ahead by a tenth, so it should be Simone/Aly/Laurie. I'll take that. Ragan is behind by about a point which doesn't bode well for her...
8:44 Simone on beam! Yaaaay for a pike jump. Solid series, she was slightl tentative at the beginning but she's much more solid now. She should be getting most of the connections. Stuck Patterson, YES. That's it. Ohh, I have been on board with her for three years, when this summer comes I'm totally going to say TOLD YOU SO for the next quad.
8:46 A 62.45 IN THE AA?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!????????????? Good grief, Simone, you're breaking the code.
8:51 The results!
And to end things, I hope the US doesn't ever wear that shade of fuchsia again. It's hideous.
On to Classics!