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The Inside Edge: Buck, 'best-dressed' reactions

Zachary Donohue, Andrew Poje and Massimo Scali found this motorcycle irresistible.
Zachary Donohue, Andrew Poje and Massimo Scali found this motorcycle irresistible. (Sarah S. Brannen)

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By Sarah S. Brannen and Drew Meekins, special to icenetwork.com
(02/09/2012) - Hello from Colorado Springs! Actually, Drew lives here, and Sarah flew in Wednesday to catch all the excitement at the Four Continents Championships. We are looking forward to seeing some great skating and, we hope, some fabulous cutting-edge fashion from Asia.

What the Buck

YouTube celebrity and adult skater Michael Buckley was glued to the coverage from San Jose two weeks ago. We got together for a three-way video chat to find out what he thought about the competition.

"I watched so much of it!" Buckley said. "I was watching on icenetwork.com. Way more people were talking about it social network-wise than in previous years, which I thought was interesting."

Buckley, a social-media master, Tweeted extensively throughout the competition week.

"I was driving to the Cape, and I don't text and drive because I took Oprah's pledge not to," he said. "So my husband was Tweeting during the pairs, and he was looking at the protocols and trying to figure it out. I was like, 'Tweet Doug Mattis and ask what sbs [side-by-side] was.' A lot of people thought I was there [in San Jose]."

Mattis, a choreographer, recently joined Twitter and promptly became a must-follow, Tweeting witty and pertinent observations throughout the championships two weeks ago. After the men's free skate, several people Tweeted that "Jeremy Abbott" was trending, but none of us saw it.

"A couple million people were watching on NBC," Buckley said. "Who knows? It is quite difficult to become a world-wide trending topic. I hope he was."

Buckley said he was very happy with the results this year.

"A lot of times I'm kind of cranky about the whole thing, but I was pleased," he said. "I thought the people who were supposed to do well did their job. I'm looking forward to the world championships. I need some world medals to get me excited.

"The right people are going to worlds, that's the important thing. Hopefully, the men and women will get the extra spot back -- I hate it when only two people can go.

"Ashley [Wagner] has the personality to be a winner; she thrives in the spotlight, it seems. She could get some endorsements going into the Olympics."

Buckley was particularly happy to see Caroline Zhang do well after a couple disappointing seasons.

"I was thrilled, I cried a little," he said. "She's been through a lot, and her coaching team did miracle work with her. I find her exciting, as a long-time skating fan. Hats off to them because they really turned her around."

We asked what the highlight of the event was for Buckley.

"Probably Jeremy's short program because it's so charming and he's so into it," he said. "I loved that performance. I also loved that guy Douglas [Razzano]. He has that hair flopping around, I enjoyed watching him.

"I loved that guy with the ponytail [Jason Brown], he looks so happy. His happiness makes me happy. He had some mistakes, but he's up and coming, so I'm not that worried about him.

"I wish Adam [Rippon] hadn't cut his hair. Grow your hair out, Adam Rippon, if you see this! I'm trying to help you!"

Buckley, who has taken a lot of skating lessons and can do some double jumps, is, of course, a very knowledgeable viewer. He follows competitive skating closely and pays close attention to the ladies as well as the men.

"I felt like there was some depth in the field," he said. "I'm mad about Mirai Nagasu because I'm a fan of hers, and it's hard to be a fan if you have no idea how they're going to skate.

And good for Rachael Flatt. I was happy to see her do a good performance. Gracie [Gold], she's awesome, I love her. I have high hopes for her.

Buckley remembers when all the talk about the ladies centered on the triple Axel.

"Last night I was watching this video I found on YouTube of Midori Ito's triple Axels," he said. "All the senior girls should watch this. I know you don't have to do it, because the scoring system is so convoluted, but I miss it."

Buckley watched most of the junior events as well as senior, and enjoyed them.

"Those junior men were so charismatic. In juniors, they're so fun, and then they're a senior and they become so focused and boring," he said, partly kidding.

Like many fans, Buckley is interested in Johnny Weir's recent announcement that he is planning to return to competition next season.

"I'm trying to figure out who to root for, who to hope for, and if Johnny and Evan [Lysacek] throw themselves in there, I don't know," he mused. "If Evan comes back and he's still throwing quads, they're going to send him back to the Olympics."

We were interested to hear what Buckley thought about the costumes. Any favorites? Any fashion don'ts?

"I always think Alissa [Czisny] looks so pretty, I never even notice what she has on," he said, laughing. "I saw a lot of people Tweeting about Jeremy's spats. I liked those."

Acceptance speeches

We got lots of comments on our best-dressed list from the 2012 U.S. Championships.

"Love that you guys loved my costume!" Rippon Tweeted at us. "Pasquale [Camerlengo] wanted me to be naked, and this was how we compromised."

Rippon also told us that Yuka Sato had designed the costume for his free skate. Is there anything that woman can't do?

Wagner started to make an acceptance speech, à la Karen Kwan last year.

"What an honor to make the Sarah and Drew's Best-Dressed list at Nationals," she posted on Facebook. "So many people to thank for this!"

Madison Hubbell, Zach Donohue, Kaitlyn Weaver, Andrew Pojé, Camerlengo and Massimo Scali were on Sarah's plane into the Springs.

"I saw online that someone said I needed a makeover," Hubbell said. "Then you guys gave me 'best hair,' and I was like, Boo-yah!"

True to form, Madison's hair looked great even at the end of a long plane trip. We'll be watching for great looks this week, both on and off the ice.

Motorcycle

There's a big, gleaming, fantastic motorcycle in the airport here. You fill out a survey on screens next to it for a chance to win it. Donohue, Pojé, Camerlengo and Scali all made a beeline for the bike and started entering their names and answering questions.

"Will your mom let you keep it if you win it?" Hubbell said to her partner. "It's not like you bought it."

See you later,

Sarah and Drew

Follow Sarah and Drew on Twitter.