Grand Prix Final: Predictions

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.

Men

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.

Ladies

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.

Pairs

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.

Ice Dance

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

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jecava
    Dec 10, 2010 @ 02:33:41

    Men: I’d like to see a Japanese sweep. Actually I like Verner better than Oda this season, maybe he can keep it together this time? I dread an overinflated PC getting on the podium

    Ladies: I cringe at the thought of a podium consisting of Ando, Flatt, and Kostner but that could very well be it

    Pairs: No comment because I don’t really care. This used to be my favorite discipline but now… Let’s just say that if you miss Tessa+Scott, you can imagine how I miss Katia+Sergei, Natalia+Artur, Elena+Anton, Xue+Hongbo, oh the list could go on

    Dance: Marlie! I agree their programs could use some work, they could actually be challenged by Pechalat/Bourzat or even Bobrova/Soloviev, at least performance-wise. I still think they’ll win the competition, maybe even by a good margin but they haven’t faced either team this season, both of which have skated smoother, cleaner, and more interesting programs this season, even if they haven’t earned as many points

    Sorry for the long post! Btw, any thoughts on the Junior GPF?

    Reply

    • rinksidecafe
      Dec 10, 2010 @ 03:52:27

      I don’t mind long posts, I love comments! So thank you!

      Singles: I’d love to see a Japanese sweep for both podiums. I don’t mind Miki Ando that much because I still like her personality and her programs from 2009 (not to mention between her and Flatt, she’s the lesser of two evils) and Carolina’s Canon in D is one of my favourite SPs. As for the ladies podium, Flatt and Kostner may have had the jumps at a certain point but I’m pretty sure that both of them are injured right now, which puts them at a disadvantage. Akiko Suzuki might be one to watch if Miki fails. She’s consistent and her LP is improving as she goes through all of these competitions.
      All in all, I’m just hoping that Chan and Flatt don’t get on the podium for their respective disciplines. The others, I’m fine with.

      Pairs: I haven’t really been excited about this discipline since my return of interest in the sport. I do like the little baby Chinese pair though.

      Ice Dance: I’m not sure what Zueva/Shpilband were thinking for Marlie’s programs this year. It makes me a little disappointed because I’ve deified Marina. Meryl just looks miserable in their La Traviata SD…

      As for the JGPF, I’ve only had time to look at the scores but not the performances. The Russians mean it when they said they wanted medals for Sochi. For some reason, I’m not too surprised with the Russian SP sweep so far in the ladies competition (I am a bit surprised at Christina Gao’s result though) and ice dance… wtf??? There are 6 Russian teams there? O_o I’ll have to figure that out later. In any case, now that so many juniors have moved up to seniors this year, I have yet to sort out all the up and coming juniors sometime.

      Reply

  2. jecava
    Dec 11, 2010 @ 01:59:38

    I’d definitely pick Ando over Flatt any day. Kostner’s program is lovely, there’s just something about her skating I don’t quite like, I don’t know what it is. That said, this is probably my favorite program from her.

    Haha, Marina could do little wrong in my book after I saw all the amazing programs she put together for G&G back in the day. She has this knack for choosing music and choreography that suit the skaters’ personalities and development on the ice. Which is why I find it so strange that Davis and White’s new programs aren’t working well for them this season, first with the botched Amelie program and then with this tortured tango.

    Reply

    • rinksidecafe
      Dec 11, 2010 @ 02:03:37

      I just remember watching their SD for the first time and seeing Meryl plaster this fake smile on her face and being all stiff throughout the program. I’m not sure if Meryl and Charlie have that connection with each other for the tango but maybe it’s one of those programs that forces you to branch out a bit, like Tessa and Scott’s Pink Floyd FD.

      Reply

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