Grand Prix Final 2011: Predictions (Pairs and Ice Dance)

The predictions continue! Ugh. Why does the GPF have to come at a week where I’m crazy busy. Ok. Predictions and back to work. And maybe some dinner in between. As a result, this will have to be quick. Here goes!

Pairs

The Roster

Aliona Savchenko & Robin Szolkowy
Yuko Kavaguti & Alexander Smirnov
Tatiana Volosozhar & Maxim Trankov
Narumi Takahashi & Mervin Tran
Dan Zhang & Hao Zhang
Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford

Aliona Savchenko & Robin Szolkowy haven’t been completely consistent in their competitions this season and their Pina LP is a work in progress but it’s a great and creative vehicle that can take them to the world title again. If they skate clean, I know that they can fend off the onslaught of Russians. If they don’t, then I see Mother Russia backing Tatiana Volosozhar & Maxim Trankov rather than Yuko Kavaguti & Alexander Smirnov, who have actually been doing well this season. The Chinese pair might get on the podium if one of the three above screw up, though they’re definitely the best of the best so far. The Zhangs definitely lack the expression and consistency to be a captivating pairs team like the other Chinese teammates. They might’ve won silver in Torino, but they only have a ghost of a chance of winning a medal here.

Predictions:

Gold: Aliona Savchenko & Robin Szolkowy
Silver: Tatiana Volosozhar & Maxim Trankov
Bronze: Yuko Kavaguti & Alexander Smirnov

Ice Dance

The Roster

Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir
Meryl Davis & Charlie White
Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje
Maia Shibutani & Alex Shibutani
Nathalie Pechalat & Fabian Bourzat
Ekaterina Bobrova & Dmitri Sloviev

The V/M & D/W rivalry continues! It will be an exciting contest to see who will win. At the moment, I would tentatively put money on Meryl & Charlie because even though Tessa & Scott’s “Funny Face” FD is entertaining, it has too much posing and pauses and not enough skating while D/W’s routine is athletic, driving and showcases their speed and power. It also has really lovely transitions though the program as a whole needs a lot of polish maybe some minor changes so it’s not so dull at the beginning. I also can’t help but feel that the Shibutanis would’ve done a better job with this Die Fledermaus program. In any case, Tessa and Scott need to really vamp up their program

Looking at the list, I’ve got a feeling that one of the European teams will take bronze. Bobrova & Sloviev seem to be getting a few questionable scores and we all know that Mother Russia wants all the medals it can get in Sochi. That and Ilinykh & Katsalapov are still not rising meteorically as everyone had hoped. They’ve really gotten shunted into the back this year. As for Nathalie Pechalat & Fabian Bourzat… they’re consistent but how they stack up to Mother Russia’s politicking might is beyond me.  I’ll draw a name out of a hat and see how it goes.

Predictions:

Gold: Meryl Davis & Charlie White (prove me wrong, Tessa and Scott!)
Silver: Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir
Bronze: Ekaterina Bobrova & Dmitri Sloviev

What are your predictions?

~The Rinkside Cafe

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