Cup of Russia 2011: Pairs Long Program

Again, I don’t have a lot of time on my hands right now so I can only blog here and there. I watched the last 5 teams for the pairs competition but I’ll only blog about the top 3 because the rest of them were terrible and a pain to watch. I want those 15 minutes of my life back. I’ll post videos when they’re up but for now, you’ll just have to settle for my rambling. In any case…

Bronze – Stefania Berton & Ondrej Hotarek

I just put a random team in the bronze position for my predictions because I really had no clue who these C-list teams were. The Russian team I put in bronze did come in fifth place but this team really took me by surprise. And in a pleasant way. Berton and Hotarek have yet to get all the technical elements to compete with the top teams in the world but there’s a real connection between the two of them and they’re quite lovely to watch. Stefania has lovely lines and they have a flow that some teams would die for. I’m very happy for their bronze and I hope they improve in time.

Silver – Yuko Kavaguti & Alexander Smirnov

Something has changed with these two. Or should I say, Yuko seems to have improved by leaps and bounds. Her knees are a lot softer now and she looks less like a possessed psychopathic ball-jointed voodoo doll. I’m really glad they kept this program and that they’ve improved it because I really wanted to download it onto my computer for offline viewing but I couldn’t find a version I liked because of how it was skated. I was always too creeped out by Yuko’s floppy dead voodoo doll look throughout the program, especially in the ending pose. I dunno if they can beat Tanya and Max (my instinct says no) but I’m glad that they’re doing this program justice because it’s a lovely piece of work. I was rather impressed by the team’s new found flow and softness. I don’t know what Tamara Moskovina did, but I have nothing but respect for her right now.

Gold – Aliona Savchenko & Robin Szolkowy

Pina is a very interesting program. Aliona and Robin mentioned that it was one program that you either love or hate and I think I’m leaning towards the former. It’s creative and although it’s a bit of a work in progress, I’m having a lot of fun watching it. It’s quirky, interesting and unexpected and I think that’s what really pulls me towards it. Aliona and Robin didn’t skate this perfectly (Aliona stepped out of her 2A and put her hand down) but I have faith in these two and I know that this program will be uber awesome at future competitions. I’m very happy that they’ve redeemed themselves from that bronze medal at NHK. Good work, guys!

LP results here.

Overall standings here.

What did you think of the pairs competition at CoR?

~The Rinkside Cafe


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