The final is here! But life is so busy at the moment that I won’t be able to watch it until after the event. *cries* There won’t be any pictures for these predictions too since I’m a bit strapped for time. (In fact, I should be working on other things rather than writing on this blog.) Without further ado, here are the predictions for the GPF.
Daisuke Takahashi might not have gotten the highest overall score in the GP circuit but Takahiko Kozuka is rather unloved by the ISU, especially when the young but talented Japanese skater is pitted against Daisuke (who’s the current World champion) and P-overinflated score-Chan. Takahiko will probably win bronze (although I will pray very hard for a silver) by trailing Chan but he may oust his other countryman, Nobunari Oda for the spot of #2 Japanese man. Oda has the jumps and is brilliant early in the season but his programs remain uncompelling, especially in comparison with his delightful Charlie Chaplain LP from last year. Tomas Verner and Florent Amodio will probably fight to not finish last, although I’d give the advantage to Tomas for the fact that he was once European champion while Florent has yet to win a major international title. It may seem a bit political but the GPF is perhaps one of the most political major figure skating competitions. I just hope that Tomas will not lose his confidence no matter how he places and that he’s improved his programs since his last competition.
Miki Ando should be able to win without Mao or Yuna blocking her way. She has the consistency and the jumps now… if only she could get good choreography and a better degree of musicality. She has such a great personality, it’s just a pity that she’s stuck with these horrible programs. It has been reported that her SP is now to “Gabriel’s Oboe” but we have yet to see what sort of program that will turn out to be. Rachael Flatt may or may not have a shot at the podium depending on how she is dealing with her tendonitis. Aunt Joyce reports that most of her triples were “Sarah Hughes triples”… ie. underrotated. Carolina Kostner would have been a dark horse for the gold if her knee wasn’t busted, which prevents her from doing lutzes and flips. If her lutzes and flips are back and consistent, then Miki will have to work for that gold. Akiko Suzuki seems to have a good shot at the podium as well, as long as she doesn’t lose stamina in the 2nd half of her LP as she has done all season. Kanako Murakami may also be a dark horse, for most probably a bronze while my expectations for Alissa Czisny remain very low. Alissa seems to be a darling girl but I’d love to see more personality from her on the ice. In any case, the silver and bronze may just be a free for all if Miki Ando is consistent. If she isn’t then the entire competition is a free for all.
My baby Chinese pair (Sui & Han) surprised me by dropping out of the junior GPF where they were basically guaranteed a win and competing in the senior GPF where it’s likely that they’ll end up in 5th place, although skating on home ice might benefit their scores. Speaking of home ice advantage, Pang and Tong will have that advantage but their consistency and spark is not apparent in this season and if they want to work that PCS, they’ll have to skate clean or the title will go to Savchenko & Szolkowy who have been skating rather well now that Shen & Zhao aren’t there to scare them out of their wits. Bazarova & Larionov will probably make Mother Russia somewhat happy with a bronze because the Russians need to set at least one team up for Sochi pairs gold. Moore-Towers and Moscovitch might be in their way since these two have been getting puzzling and ridiculously high scores all season but I wouldn’t be surprised if Mother Russia puts her foot down and squashes nice Canadians.
Meryl and Charlie will probably have a firm hold for the gold even though their programs this season aren’t quite working for them. Pechalat & Bourzat have been strong all season and injury free so they should also have a good grasp on the silver. The bronze should be a battle between Bobrova & Sloviev who have skyrocketed this season now that there’s a vacuum in Russian ice dance and Crone & Poirier who has yet to impress me. (How I miss Tessa and Scott…)
The Cafe’s Picks:
Men: Daisuke Takahashi
Ladies: Miki Ando
Pairs: Savchenko & Szolkowy
Ice Dance: Meryl & Charlie
~The Rinkside Cafe