Maybe the plan was to go around the entire time. But, because of the high speed/energy, when they tried, the aircraft didn't pull up. Kind of like those air show crashes where the pilot does a loop but can't pull out of it and basically slides right into the ground.
Sorry if I missed it, but do we know why they were in such a hurry? Why was the first approach so unstable? I mean if they couldn't figure out how to ask for vectors to help stabilize the approach, it's no wonder they landed up how/where they did.
High energy would be a good thing if you want to pull up, as you need that energy to do so. On the other hand, a low energy state means you can easily run out energy as you try to pull up. This happened in the infamous Mulhouse-Habsheim crash.
Air show crashes like those you are thinking about are typically different. Those aircraft ran out of altitude, but pulling more would have been ineffective because the manoeuvre could not be tightened further. No more lift to available and if you pull more you get an accelerated stall and pancake in. The Normal Law negative pitch limit of minus 15 degrees would have prevented this aircraft from going that nose-low anyway.
"Why were they in such a hurry?" is indeed the million-dollar question.
Approaches are sometimes hurried and things go a bit fast. It happens, but as long as you don't exceed any company speed or sink rate regulations for low altitude, and as long as meet the stabilised approach criteria, no harm done. One of the main reasons we have speed and sink rate regulations, and stabilised approach criteria, is as a reality check. As in, "Doing this is possible, but is it clever?"
This approach was next level out there. 3500 feet at 5 miles? I guess it would be possible to land straight in, but no way they would have been stable by 500/1000 feet (or whatever their company regs say). The only time to attempt something that crazy is if a fire is so bad you don't think you have even 2-3 minutes for a quick orbit.
BTW they didn't even need to ask for vectors. AFAIK ATC offered and they declined.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo