Debrief: Skate Canada International 2015

shibsibs sci15 fd

It was such a busy weekend for me that I actually didn’t get to watch Skate Canada live at all. Life, work and everything else in between has left me pretty sleep deprived at the moment. I will say though, I am very proud that my podium predictions were spot on for the men, pairs and ice dance competition. The ladies podium definitely threw me off but then again, I don’t think anyone expected Elizaveta Tuktamysheva to not win.

Highlights

  1. Journey medley = WIN
  2. They just paired up and they are FANTASTIC. Though Marissa is clearly better trained than Mervin at this point.
  3. The transitions, the details! They were robbed of bronze.

I knew the Ravensburger Waltz would be right up the Shibuntanis’ alley and I’m glad that Marina packaged them so well in this cute, fun and lively program. I would’ve ranked them in 1st after the SD but what can they do… they were in Canada.

This skate was definitely a good comeback after a rough SP for Yuzuru. I present this as a highlight mostly for the choreography – I personally find his music choice unique and suited to his dramatic style and the transitions into the jumps take my breath away. I want to see this again when Yuzuru is better trained. His performance here was quite mechanical as if he was trying to make sure he got all the elements and it definitely felt more tired in the second half nearing the end.

Men

  • First thing’s first: I wish that Kurt Browning was skating Patrick Chan’s SP. #nostalgia
  • Yuzuru’s SP wasn’t all that bad – he had 2 of his jumps invalidated but the overall performance was good – the first 30 seconds were actually divine. He’ll just have to put in a little work his quads. Otherwise, I want this program skated to perfection so badly. It’s a wonderful piece. Bless your talent, Jeffrey Buttle.
  • Is it just me or did Daisuke Murakami look like a different skater between his short and long programs? He just looked so much more polished and fluid in his LP (except for the last 20 seconds – he just looked tired and his movements looked lazy). Also, I want him to get rid of that leg wrap. It’s really bugging me more than it should.
  • Chanflation is alive and well. I hope that this infliction is limited to competitions in Canada.
  • To justify my previous comment: I can and do appreciate Chan’s edges and skating skills – they’re glorious and gorgeous but I think his choreography is a little monotone and he doesn’t connect with the audience or the music when he performs. Maybe it’s just me but I find myself a little bored when I watch him. (I thought his LP would never end…) Feel free to disagree with me.
  • Nam Nguyen has great musicality and he’s maturing well. For some reason, I kind of want to see an interesting rivalry between him and Adian Pitkeev.

Ladies

  • Elizaveta Tuktamysheva doesn’t look trained and ready for competition – she’s slow on the ice, her jumps are there and her spins slow down quickly. Her LP is also extremely disjointed. As much as I’m not a fan of her rival, Adelina Sotnikova, if Liza skates like this for the rest of the season, she can expect to be overtaken by Sotnikova, who, despite her flaws, is speedy and has huge jumps.
  • I love Ashley Wagner’s LP dress even though I’m much less fond of the program. Make that both her programs. The spoken words in her SP sound as if they’re being said by some greasy creep at the club.
  • Also, kudos to Ashley to proving that she’s got a lot more fight left in her! Even though she won here, I’m not sure if Wagner can maintain her national title now that Gracie getting programs that are more suited to her. That and the ladies competition here was a bit of a splatfest.
  • Yuka Nagai reminds me of a young Yuna Kim, complete with a dead free leg, non-pointed toes, non-turned out feet and all.
  • Kanako Murakami’s tights over skates horrify me. That was meant as just a Halloween joke, right?

Pairs

  • As expected, Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford brought out their technical arsenal to crush the competition. I’ll applaud them for that. They look a little rough but nothing a little time and a few more competitions won’t solve.
  • On another note, I feel as if they skated their SP to a Foldger’s instant coffee commercial. Their LP was a lot more palatable – that throw 4S helped it along too. Then again, anything is better than drunk man singing “Mon coeur s’ouvre à ta voix.”
  • Kirsten Moore-Towers & Rob Marinaro look less precarious this season though I will say that they were lucky they were in Canada. They were pretty close to Castelli & Tran in TES but an extra point in PCS in both programs gave them the bronze. If it were up to me, I would’ve given the bronze to the Americans. Yes, blasphemy coming from a Canadian.
  • Speaking of Castelli & Tran – I love them. They’ve only been paired up this year and they already look pretty seamless compared to some of the other new pairs at Skate Canada. Their season has barely begun and I absolutely love them to bits. They look as if they’re working to develop a connection with each other on the ice and I hope that they continue to improve.
  • Tarasova & Morozov are on their way to being the next Classic Russian Pair but for the love of all that is holy did they really have to do a Riverdance-ish program? #petpeeve

Ice Dance

  • Weaver & Poje were almost World Champions last year. Which is why I’m really frustrated at seeing them skate like juniors with their free legs swinging about with wild reckless abandon, twizzles out of sync and a cheesiness that suggests that they’re not comfortable performing. I want them to take a page out of the Shib sibs’ notebook and learn to skate cleanly with awareness of where their limbs are because I truly liked this team in the past.
  • I like how Weaver & Poje are trying to be creative and unique with their FD but I find the music and choreography to be meandering most of the time. The beginning drags out for too long, like a novel with overly long descriptions. I think they may need to rework this program as they did with the sculpture program – the resulting program was so much better.
  • After years of seeing the same thing over and over again, I think Marina has finally found some fresh packaging for the Shib sibs, which I’m really happy for. I adore both of their programs this year and I truly hope that this can be their breakthrough year because let’s face it – most people don’t seem to like Chock & Bates at all.
  • Bobrova & Soloviev exist. They won bronze. ._. Had the field been more competitive, they wouldn’t have been memorable at all.

Well… now that I’m all caught up, I think I’m glad that I spent my weekend the way I did. Even better, I’m glad I didn’t make that trip up to Lethbridge this year as I was contemplating for a while. Skate Canada this year to me feels like a bit of a mess. Or maybe that’s just me.

What did you think of the competition? Let me know in the comments! I love reading your thoughts!

~The Rinkside Cafe

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Quyen Thuy Tran
    Nov 04, 2015 @ 04:35:16

    For the man:
    Whenever Nam skates to Bach, he kills the music again and again. Words from a Vietnamese fellow like Nam.
    Daisuke Murakami looked like he struggled a lot in the LP, after watching it I remember nothing. Sorry Dice.
    Patrick’s performances were wonderful, but same as every year. He even does not have many difficult transitions before the jumps.
    I am ok with the placement, but I have to say the Chanflation is too much this time. Chan’s score sheet even looks better than some scoresheet at Sochi. I am puzzled and a bit worried that it will continue throughout the season.

    Reply

  2. Christianne
    Nov 04, 2015 @ 10:22:31

    They didn’t even invite Nam to the gala. The closest answer we got was “It was an ISU decision.” What?

    For all the faults Yuzuru had during the weekend, I appreciate his experimentation into something he hasn’t done before. Patrick bores me. Even that ending pose reeks of “Seen that so many times before.” Skate Chanada is back. Ugh.

    Reply

    • rinksidecafe
      Nov 05, 2015 @ 21:48:09

      I agree – I think I would like Chan better if he could venture into different programs that are not his standard “charming guy” SP and fancy piano concertos LP. Sadly, I don’t think there’s really a way to deduct points for that.

      Reply

  3. Jenny
    Nov 05, 2015 @ 12:58:33

    As a Canadian figure skating fan, I’m just glad Canada is not holding any big international competition any time soon, one Skate Chanada per year is enough. Sure, Chan skated great in the FS and had a deserving win in the overall rank, but the welcome back bonuses reflected on his FS GOE and PCS is just too much.

    As a Canadian figure skating fan, I’m extremely disappointed in how Skate Canada only focus on their come back king and completely dismissed their other rising skater, Nam. Perhaps they have forgotten who kept the Canadian men’s field relevant internationally when Chan was taking his sweet time off last year? Surely a country that’s the size of Canada can give some support to more than just one skater at a time?

    Reply

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