Grand Prix Final 2012: Predictions

It’s the GPF! Aka the competition that’s really worth watching in the GP series. This year’s roster will provide ample drama on the ice and Kurt Browning has taken some time on this blog post to talk a little about each competitor. I agree with him on the most part and I’ll include a few highlights here:

On Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir’s FD:”The long program of Carmen on paper did not ring as such a good idea, but I love being wrong about something that turns out so right.”

On Takahiko Kozuka:”He is still my pick as best ‘skater’. Patrick has amazing feet and builds speed with ease, almost magical actually, but for blade magic it’s still Taka for me.”
So for those Chan-stans, even Kurt Browning thinks that there are others who surpass Chan in skating skills.

“My pick for a winner is….the audience. Get used to it, I’m not picking winners.”Only someone as congenial and magical as Kurt Browning can do this. That and he’s the most reasonable CBC commentator.

“A big part of me wishes that I still competed[…]” As someone who started watching figure skating when you were still competing, I wish you could still compete too.

In any case, onto the predictions!

Yuzuru Hanyu and Winnie the Pooh

Yuzuru and his Winnie the Pooh tissue box beckons you to read on…

In case you don’t remember the roster for the GPF, here it is.

Men

This will be such an intense competition and basically the cream of the crop will be competing in the final. I think the fight for gold will be a tough battle between Patrick Chan, Daisuke Takahashi, Yuzuru Hanyu and Javier Fernandez. Yes, I know that I’ve named two-thirds of the competitors but this is how intense this battle will be. Chan’s loss on home ice in Skate Canada seems to indicate that the judges have somewhat curbed their egregious overscoring for Chan and I sincerely hope that whatever happened at Worlds 2012 will not repeat itself here.

Nonetheless, I’ll narrow the field for gold a little here by excluding Yuzuru, not because I don’t love him but because he still needs a lot of work on his long programs. Hanyu’s lack of stamina is holding him back from skating consistent long programs that aren’t marred by a sloppy or slow second half. Javier and Daisuke still need to work on their consistency but in truth, so does Chan but note that I said that the judges have “somewhat curbed their egregious overscoring.” Patrick may have good skating skills but in terms or performance and execution and interpretation, I’d give more points to Daisuke. Though I’m not a  judge so this opinion doesn’t really count for much, unfortunately. (What I hate most about this bit is that the judges scores will support the opinions of the zombie Chanstans who refuse to see his faults.) In any case, the rankings for the most part will depend on the skater’s performance though Chan may have a little leeway for error. The predictions for this discipline will be pretty hard to decide but I’ll give it a shot.

Predictions

Gold: Patrick Chan
Silver: Daisuke Takahashi
Bronze: Yuzuru Hanyu

On a side note, the rankings here may affect what happens at Japanese Nationals because we do have all the big guns minus Nobunari Oda at the GPF. If Yuzuru manages to beat Daisuke here, he may be the next #1 Japanese man in the new year.

 

Ladies

There will be a less exciting battle for gold here between Ashley Wagner, Akiko Suzuki and Mao Asada. Wagner has the most consistency, Mao has the most fame and Akiko I would say would be the most deserving winner for skating well but not getting properly rewarded for it. In my ideal world, Akiko would win Worlds this year but we all know that the JFSA just doesn’t seem to like her at all. In short, I think Wagner’s consistency will win out at the end while Mao’s political clout from the JFSA will bring her above Suzuki even if Akiko has better skates.

Predictions:

Gold: Ashley Wagner
Silver: Mao AsadaBronze: Akiko Suzuki

Pairs

Without Aliona and Robin, Tatiana Volosozhar & Maxim Trankov should win it easily enough. Qing Pang & Jian Tong are still good enough to win silver though who knows what will happen with the judges drinking Mother Russia’s vodka. The battle for bronze should be between two Russian teams: Yuko Kavaguti & Alexander Smirnov and Vera Bazarova & Yuri Larionov but if Mother Russia gets her way, the judges will find a way to penalize Pang & Tong severely for a Russian sweep of the pairs medals. Let’s hope that this doesn’t happen.

Gold: Tatiana Volosozhar & Maxim Trankov
Silver: Qing Pang & Jian Tong
Bronze: Yuko Kavaguti & Alexander Smirnov

Ice Dance

In truth, all the teams competing here are super good though the competition will be split between two groups. The first group is clearly Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir and Meryl Davis & Charlie White who will battle it out for gold. Again. And it will be fabulous. V/M have revamped their SD and hopefully they’ve improved Carmen as well while D/W will skate a wonderful Giselle and maybe they’ve improved their FD though I haven’t heard anything about that. With their scores though, it might not be necessary. The placement of these teams will really depend on how well they skate and personally, this is the best kind of competition: one where politicks are minimized. None of them are Russian and yes, Marina probably favours V/M but this competition isn’t important enough on the way to Sochi for her to put in a few extra cents for either team. I am very excited.

The other teams will have a pretty decent chance for bronze with World bronze medalists, Nathalie Pechalat & Fabian Bourzat being the most likely team to win the bronze. However, what’s even more important in this competition now is the point margin between them and the other teams, who are all coincidentally European. Mother Russia may make a play for Elena Ilinykh & Nikita Katsalapov here to set them up for medal contention for Sochi (even though their FD is bloody terrible). There are two  possibilities that will bode well for this team: the first being I/K outright win bronze by a slight margin or the second, they lose bronze and end up in 4th by a slight margin. Either way, this would set them up very nicely as a team to look out for next season. If this doesn’t happen then Mother Russia may find herself without a dance medal yet again at the Olympics. One could argue that they could do the same with Bobrova & Sloviev but the cards seem to line up well for I/K. They have the political clout of Morozov, previous accolades to build upon and they’re a gorgeous couple the Russian media can sell to the populace. In any case, I/K need to prove with solid skating that they can be *the* next Russian team vying for a medal at Sochi. Though getting a new FD might really help.

Predictions:

Gold: Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir (I flipped a coin to decide this arrangement.)
Silver: Meryl Davis & Charlie White
Bronze: Nathalie Pechalat & Fabian Bourzat

What are your predictions for the GPF? Please post them in the comments section, I’d love to hear them!

~The Rinkside Cafe

P.S. I do have a few other posts in mind but I will be busy for the next little bit so I’ll thank you for your patience and support.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: