Live blog of the SD – NHK trophy

Don’t expect live blogs all the time. I just happen to have a bit more free time than usual today. The pictures in this post are from practice by the way. (Photo credits go to the wonderful photographers at

Dora Turoczi and Balazs Major

Hmm… excuse me while I take a food break. Decent lines. Nothing too interesting.

Xiaoyang YU and Chen Wang

This program is horrendously tacked together. A bit sloppy at the end.

Penny Coomes and Nicholas Buckland

I remember this team. They have glimmers of brilliance. They need to mature a bit but I guess this is part of the process. Lovely waltz section, good lines. Need more speed. Bit choppy on the last lift. I thought their scores should be a bit higher than the Chinese team.

Chris and Cathy Reed

I like the Adams family theme of this routine – for a second, I thought Chris was supposed to be Morozov aka the Russian Gino. (You can do better than him, Miki!) The first lift is awkward but it fits with the theme. These two feel really slow during the waltz section. Screwy twizzles, fall from Chris. Midline step sequence faster and more watchable.

Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov

Finally, a team to be excited about. I see these two making a splash this year. Prove me right? Bit far apart oon the first set of twizzles. I’m glad the choreography doesn’t start with the waltz sequence right away like all the other routines. The music is a bit jarring but they’re a lot faster than the previous teams. Very smooth lift. Stumble on the mid-line step sequence. A bit sloppy at the end but a pretty good performance overall. Their superior skills are reflected in their scores.

Weaver and Poje picture to mark the beginning of the warm-up!

(Meryl and Charlie are officially my favourites for this competition but I love Kaitlyn’s dresses!)
FINALLY! Warm-up group 2! *Is super excited for Weaver/Poje, Davis/White and the Shibushibus.*

Lucie Mysliveckove and Matej Novak

Lucie looks as if she slept with in those curls. Oh em gee. No. These two remind me of the tacky team aka Allie Hann-McCurdy and Michael Coreno. No, stop with that =O face. I’m starting to get a headache. Stop it with the stupid facial expression, Lucie! Elena and Nikita were a lot better. The 2nd part of their music reminds me of a theme song to a really tacky sit-com TV show. Twizzles really out of sync. Ughhh… this team just spews tackiness and I thought I had seen the last of the super awkward tacky hick style when Hann-McCurdy and Coreno retired. Excuse me while I go wash my eyes out. I was so distracted by their tackiness, I didn’t note to much about their skating. Woot for replays. Their footwork is a bit sloppy. They don’t seem to know where the other’s feet are. I fear they may injure each other if they don’t work that out. Ok, those twizzles were out of control. I think the guy left out one rotation on the first set. Would’ve marked them lower.

Maia and Alex Shibutani

Yay!!! It’s the Shibushibus~! These two remind me of Tessa and Scott without the romance. Love Maia’s dress. They’re adorable, I want to pinch their cheeks. They both have such lovely lines. Fast twizzles. They may have less experience, but Meryl, take note of Maia’s lines. Wonderful unison on the mid-line step sequence. And Marina Zoueva is a goddess for seamlessly putting the waltz into the program. Whoa. Freak fall from Alex. Costuming problem for Maia, but at least the little bit of cloth is hanging on a thread. No deductions if it stays on. Not a good start for them. Very smooth transitions during the lifts. Hopefully they’ll be placed 2nd after the Russians despite the fall. Yep.

Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje

Can I steal Kaitlyn’s dress? You can totally wear that to a nice night out. No tacky costumes here. So excited to see how these two have grown.I hope to see them as Tessa and Scott’s successors for the Canadian National title one day.  Love the music choice. They’ve gained some speed since last season. .  Beautiful chemistry.  Still love their music choice on the 2nd part of the routine. Wow, they got  some audience support… for a second or so. Good unison in the step sequence. Favourite SD so far.  Simple and elegant. Love. Woot! They’ve beaten the Russians!

Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte

Lovely couple. The bottom of the dress is a bit strange… Love the song! Que sera, sera! Slowed down on the last part of the waltz… They’re nice and close on the mid-line step sequence. . Nice interpretation of the music on the 2nd half. Twizzles a out of sync but difficult. Adorable! 3rd after Kaitlyn and Andrew and Elena and Nikita.

Meryl Davis and Charlie White

Even when you watch them during the warm-up, you can tell they’re so much better than the rest of the competition. It’s Marlie!!! *squeal* Fast twizzles, in unison, definitely the best of the night. Meryl has improved her line and extension slightly. So much faster and smoother than the other teams.  Is it just me, or Meryl a bit stiff? They aren’t skating with the attack that I know they’re capable of. Meryl has a smile practically plastered onto her face. Lovely new lift, very intricate.  For some reason, I can see Tessa and Scott skating this more than these two… Overwhelming lead. No need to panic about winning this thing, they can fall 3 times and still win.

Top 3:

1. Davis/White – 66.97
2. Weaver/Poje – 58.69
3. Ilinykh/Katsalapov – 56.89

General comments:

Meryl and Charlie are very obviously going to win this thing. There might be a bit of a tussle for 2nd place but Kaitlyn and Andrew’s strongest segment is the FD, so I hope to see a silver medal around their necks at the end of this competition. The little Russians whose names I cannot pronounce for the life of me are doing rather well, as expected. I look forward to their Don Quixote FD. Capellini/Lanotte are only 1.2 points behind Elena and Nikita but I don’t see the Italians surpassing them. The Shibushibus will probably remain in 5th as well… I think they would’ve had a chance at 4th place if they didn’t fall. Pity their season had to start like that. Hopefully they’ll get better as the season progresses.

Results/scores can be found here.

I think I’ll go to bed rather than watch the pairs. There aren’t very many exciting teams. I’ll wake up and hopefully there will be no madness and Pang and Tong will be in the lead.

‘Nighty night!

~The Rinkside Cafe

The New Season is Upon Us! NHK Predictions!

The NHK trophy is this weekend! Who is excited?

Here’s the schedule of events in the Japanese time zone. Please check your local listings.

Day 1 – Friday, October 22nd, 2010.

  • 14:30 – Opening Ceremonies
  • 15:00 – Short Dance
  • 17:05 – Pairs Short Program
  • 19:05 – Ladies Short Program

Day 2 -Saturday, October 23rd, 2010.

  • 12:20 – Men’s Short Program
  • 14:30 – Free Dance
  • 16:35 – Pairs Long Program
  • 18:00 – Ice Dance/Pairs Medal Ceremony
  • 18:50 – Ladies Long Program
  • 20:45 – Ladies Medal Ceremony

Day 3 – Sunday, October 24th, 2010.

  • 12:00 – Men’s Long Program
  • 14:00 – Men’s Medal Ceremony
  • 16:00 – Exhibition Gala



The two main competitors for gold should be Daisuke Takahashi and Jeremy Abbott. Jeremy has beaten Daisuke before (2009 Skate Canada) but he tends to be a headcase. How close the race to gold will rest on whether or not he can skate consistently and whether the judges will like his supposedly toned-down frantic arm waving a la Lysacek. Daisuke has shown us that he can do a clean quad at the Japan Open but let’s hope he’ll have to be more consistent than he was at the Japan Open if he wants to win back his world title. I sincerely hope that he does skate clean because his LP is absolutely gorgeous. (P.S. His hair in the picture above is EPIC.) Also, an interesting debutant: Yuzuru Hanyu aka, last year’s junior world champion. The guy has a lot to work on but he has the beginnings of a delightfully artistic skater. Other highlights of the competition will be Florent Amodio, Adrian Schultheiss and Denis Ten. Who knows how well these guys will fare, although they do display the occasional glimmers of brilliance.


A couple of interesting competitors in this category. We’ll finally see whether Chairman Mao has recovered her consistency despite signs that she is improving her jump technique (ie. not flutzing and doing a salchow). If she does get back in her groove, she has no challengers. Carolina Kostner usually begins her seasons badly but she’s erratic enough to prove us wrong and perhaps emerge as a dark horse contender (as she always is). Rachel Flatt will continue to be boring and if she wins this thing, I may just have to cry. Ashley Wagner made it into the GPF last season and although she didn’t make the Olympic team, we’ll see how she improves this season. Admittedly, Wagner is slightly more interesting to watch and has more star quality than Flatt but that doesn’t take much. Another U.S. lady to mention would be Caroline Zhang. Apparently she’s been working on correcting her technique with her new coach. Let’s hope that what she’s saying is true. She has too much potential to go to waste. Finally, Kanako Murakami will be someone to watch for. Machiko Yamada’s latest prodigy has lovely jumps (including a triple-toe, triple-toe combination), a fun style and she just exudes happiness on the ice. I sincerely hope that she makes a strong debut at the senior level.


Unless something batshit crazy happens, Pang and Tong will probably wipe the floor with everyone. ‘Nuff said.

Ice Dance

Meryl Davis and Charlie White are sure to dominate the GP circuit now that Tessa and Scott are gone. If Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje continue their momentum from last season, they might win a medal. (I rather like this team, they are way more interesting to watch than the #2 Canadian team…) Some interesting debutants include Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov, the wonder Russian team who will be filling in that huge vacuum in Russian ice dance at the moment now that Domnina/Shabalin are retired and the Khokhlova/Novitski partnership is dissolved. I see a meteoric rise for these two and if they train hard, we might see them on the podium for Sochi 2014. Another debuting pair: the Shibutanis! I find these two adorable. They might not win a medal but their new FD is lovely.

The Cafe’s Picks:

Ladies: Mao Asada (crosses fingers for her)
Men: Daisuke Takahashi
Pairs: Qing Pang and Jian Tong
Ice Dance: Meryl Davis and Charlie White

And an image to end…

I can’t wait to see this lift in action~!