Japanese Olympic Team Announced!

FSAKTE-JPN-OLY-2014

The Japanese Figure Skating Championships are one of the few more exciting National Championships out there because the entire competition isn’t just a one pony race. In the singles events, the field is tough and the sad thing is – if some of the lower ranked competitors were from some other country, they’d be going to Sochi right now. In any case, here is the video announcing the Japanese team for Sochi 2014.

In case you can’t quite pick out the names in the flurry of Japanese, they are: More

Sad News: No More Takahashi & Tran

narumi takahashi mervin tran 2012 Worlds medal

According to this article, Narumi Takahashi & Mervin Tran have split due to citizenship issues on Mervin’s part and in some part, Narumi’s injury this season. Narumi’s injury may have become a huge roadblock to an Olympic medal if Mervin did get Japanese citizenship but either way, I’m really sad to see these two go.

Let us remember their brightest moment in their career:

You will be missed. I’m so sad that such potential is now over. Please continue skating somehow.

~The Rinkside Cafe

Picks from 2011-2012

Icenetwork.com posted an article with picks by some of their correspondents. I decided to do the same ’cause it seemed fun. Agree or disagree? Link to your blog in the comments or just comment!

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Worlds 2012: Pairs LP

I never seem to be able to catch a break these days. Just when things were calming down, I find myself with a gazillion things to do again. So much for a vacation. In any case, I’ll try to finish up the Worlds posts. All I have left to write about is the ladies’ competition. But before that, let’s take a look at the results of the pairs LP.

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Worlds 2012 – Pairs SP

For me, both events were last night. I somehow missed most of pairs but my internet couldn’t handle the livestream so I missed watching the last 4 pairs to skate even though I was just in time to see half a death spiral from Sui and Han before my internet bailed on me. As for dance, the event went so late at night (or really early morning, really) that I couldn’t watch it in case I showed up to work half asleep. Luckily, I do have a day off tomorrow so hopefully, I can watch the ladies SP and dance FD live.

So… let’s start with the pairs post.

First of all, let me say this about the current pairs results: W.T.F. Takahashi & Tran are in 3rd while Volosozhar & Trankov are in 8th? A possible 3 spots for pairs for Japan next year even though they don’t have enough pairs teams to fill those spaces up? Mother Russia’s best hope for a medal right now is Bazarova & Larionov? Whaaa???

Let’s go through the top 5 performances as well as a few performances from important contenders.

In the lead is Aliona Savchenko & Robin Szolkowy with 68.63.

It wasn’t their best skate. Aliona two-footed the landing on the throw 3A (but at least they actually landed it this time) and Robin stepped out of the SBS 3T and their triple twist was a hair lower than I would expect from them but overall, it was better than the Russian splatfest that we’ll be looking at later. Only a point separates them from Pang & Tong, who are in second though S&S tend to be better long program skaters while the Chinese pairs have been known to come out short in the LP. Furthermore, S&S tend to get really shit choreography for their SP. I can’t decide whether or I like the pose-y step sequence here where they have good interesting movements with awkward bent leg poses that are just plain fugly. I’m not sure whether the good defeats the bad in this section of the program. Overall, this program is quite forgettable though it is an improvement over their kitschy country folk SP from last season. Ugh. I can’t remember a SP from them that I’ve ever liked from them. Nonetheless, I’m very excited to see their Pina program again.

Currently in second: Qing Pang & Jian Tong with 67.10

These two are trying to win another World championship despite not participating in the Grand Prix series this season. This is their first international competition and these two are off to a good start. Rank-wise. In terms of this short program, all I have to say is, “Bloody hell, that was boring.” According to this article, their choreographer is Lori Nichol, who seems to need a vacation or something. Anything to get her creative juices flowing again because I haven’t been impressed with anything she’s done for a while. While Pang & Tong have lovely flow and connection with each other, the choreography doesn’t make use of the music and in the end, the whole this is just pretty but with no substance. It’s like looking at a pretty dress in a store and you try it on, only to find out that it washes you out. In this case, the choreography for this program would wash even Gordeeva & Grinkov out so I doubt there’s anything Pang & Tong could do with it to make it any better.

The team in 3rd right now is a complete and total – but delightful – surprise. Narumi Takahashi & Mervin Tran – 65.37.

I’m very happy for these two seeing that they have the best SP hands down this season. For once, a pairs program is actually palatable. Happy sigh. What I’m most impressed with is that these two are really starting to look like a senior team while their itsy bitsy Chinese rivals are still struggling to look polished despite their big tricks. This program has the loveliest transitions and they looked smooth as butter in this performance. It’s a pity that Narumi two-footed the throw triple salchow but I suppose this minor mistake is preferable to a splatfest. Now, the two questions are: what would Japan do if they had 3 spots for pairs next season and is Mervin going to give up Canadian citizenship?

In fourth – Vera Bazarova & Yuri Larionov with 65.02

If you had told me yesterday that these two were going to be the top Russians after the short program, I would’ve laughed in your face and told you to lay off the vodka. Weirdly enough, this is the reality right now. They are within striking distance of Narumi and Mervin in a fight for bronze though I know that Mother Russia bullshit judging will somehow come through and Volosozhar & Trankov will somehow muster at the VERY LEAST a top 5 finish.

In any case, onto the program. This program seriously has to be the least dramatic interpretation of Tosca ever. Sure, I didn’t get a chance to see it live this season at the Canadian Opera Company but we all know that Tosca is an angsty, dramatic opera. The music didn’t quite help since it sounded like an elevator-fied version of Tosca and both skaters did very little to express anything really. At least there was that amazing triple twist. And luckily Vera has good lines despite being beanpole thin. I find that a lot of girls who are built similarly (ie, Qing Pang and Carolina Kostner) have terrible lines, especially with their feet since it almost seems as if their ankles and feet operate as one unit. It looks stiff and the lines break off despite the fact that they usually have long limbs and it’s horrendously ugly when you get into the jump landing position. In any case, I guess these positives made up for Yuri’s stepout of his 3T and the really random collapse in the end (which did not incur any deductions since I suppose the program had already ended).

Fifth place belongs to Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford with a score of 63.69, who have been having a pretty good season.

I was actually quite pleased with this performance and despite the wipeout by Eric on the SBS 3Ts, I felt that the program was pretty good overall because of the commitment that both had put into the performance. They skated the program with attack (and you can’t properly pull off a flamenco routine without attack) but good flow despite the staccato nature of the music. Despite the fall, I would have put them above Bazarova & Larionov.

Special mentions:

Former junior World champions, Wenjing Sui & Cong Han are in 6th place currently, a strange place to be seeing that they’ve had a record of consistently beating Takahashi & Tran. Despite their mistakes (a fall from Sui on their SBS 3T) and the ongoing need for polish and skating skills, I was very happy with one aspect of their performance: Sui seems to have turned up the maturity level and was a natural flirt in the program. I hope she brings that to their flamenco LP.

It never helped that Tatiana Volosozhar & Maxim Trankov were skating to a cheap version of an Evanescence song (which doesn’t help at all) and seriously, you’re reigning World silver medalists? Since when did you f&%$ up a death spiral of all things? That kind of f%$& up is reserved for amateurs with no core strength. It also doesn’t help that this program was rather painful to watch. I could feel my blood curdling during the step sequence as if I was listening to someone rubbing two pieces of styrofoam together. Ugh. 60.48 – 8th place.

The Russian splatfest continues! I had pegged these two for bronze since they were on the comeback but Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov have found themselves in… 11th place with 59.59. They started out quite well and despite Yuko’s confusing costume, I thought that this program suited them pretty well. It’s edgy and Yuko’s anything but soft and cuddly really so Tamara Moskovina was quite clever in using their lack of classical lines to their advantage. Everything was going well until the lift when somehow, Smirnov collapsed when he was about to set Yuko down which resulted in both of them falling and a -2 penalty. Is it bad that I derive a little bit of entertainment from the aura Yuko was exuding at the end of the program? She didn’t even want to hold onto Sasha’s hand and Tamara Moskovina didn’t look too happy either. I think Sasha better brace himself. Let’s hope their “Claire de Lune” LP will be better since I really do love the choreography.

Overall, this has been a surprising competition. Volosozhar & Trankov can still muster a medal if 1) they skate clean in the long and 2) if teams ranked second to seventh screw up (which is likely because very few of these teams are very adept at skating clean LPs and/or 3) Mother Russia pulls some bullshit judging. If the third point doesn’t come through, I can’t see them taking anything more than a bronze though I admit I do like the podium as it stands now. So, it’s all down to the LP. Maybe it’ll be just as random as the SP.

For all the scores and detailed breakdown for the pairs SP, click here.

What did you think of the pair’s SP?

~The Rinkside Cafe

The dance blog will be coming soon. I’ll try to finish it before the last two groups come out for the FD tonight.

Predictions: Four Continents 2012

Wahhhhhhh!!! It’s that time of year again! Euros has just passed and the rest of the figure skating world is testing the waters before the World Championships later on this season. Four Continents is here! It’s time for PChiddy to win another medal! Onwards to predictions!

Men

By now, I’m just expecting Patrick Chan to get ludicrous scores for everything he does. His recent 300+ score at Canadian Nationals indicates that Skate Canada is behind him full force. I have yet to watch those performances in fear of projectile vomiting onto my lovely laptop. Then again, I might be just a tad disappointed if Chan doesn’t get a crazy score just because the spectacle is somewhat amusing. There’s always a sense of excitement when you wonder many points can the judges award to a program that Chan bombed whether or not he’ll be in 1st place.

Daisuke Takahashi will probably take silver even if he skated two perfect mesmerizing programs. At this point, I’ll look at the positive and just hope that Daisuke will skate his best because those programs deserve perfection and I know he can achieve it. So in short, screw Chan and just skate your heart out, Daisuke.

Bronze, however, presents a bit of a conundrum for me in terms of predictions. There’s no clear cut competitor who’s evidently ahead of the rest but behind Chan and Daisuke. It seems that a lot of the major figure skating unions are opting to put some fresh faces out there to give the youngin’s a bit of experience in a competition that doesn’t have as many high stakes. Most the competitors are pretty much in the C/D/F-lists anyways. It’s a pity that Jeremy Abbott withdrew from injury but I guess my best guess for bronze would either be Adam Rippon, the young talent that the USFSA has been promoting for the last few years and Nan Song, a surprising young skater from China and first alternate at this year’s GPF. Adam has been known to be inconsistent but he also has the USFSA behind him. At the moment, it’s a bit of a tossup.

Predictions:

Gold: Patrick Chan (Prove me wrong, Daisuke. Or at least try to.)
Silver: Daisuke Takahashi
Bronze: Nan Song

Ladies

I expect some favouritism to be shown for Ashley Wagner as she will have some home ice advantage at Colorado Springs but in the end, I don’t think she can trump the survivor and legend that is Mao Asada. Mao has shown herself to be the most resilient and courageous of competitors. She doesn’t have the “instant win” fairytale story that Yuna Kim had but in that sense, I think I find her more endearing that way. Life will always be full of ups and downs and sometimes you don’t win but Mao shows us that with hard work, courage and the determination to never give up, you can achieve great things. Hopefully, her newfound consistency will be present at 4CC and I can’t wait for another dazzling performance of her Liebestraume LP.

As for the bronze, Cynthia Phaneuf could surprise us (or perhaps not bore us) with some consistency now that she’s being coached by Brian Orser. To tell you the truth though, I don’t know think even Brian Orser can give people ***STAR POWER*** I mean, he couldn’t do that with Christina Gao and that girl had potential. Phaneuf on the other hand… let’s just say that the Olympics aren’t in Vancouver anymore and she has a snowball’s chance in hell to win a medal at Worlds. She might be able to pull through with a medal here but I sincerely hope that Kanako Murakami has practiced the shit out of her LP so she can snatch the bronze.

Predictions

Gold: Mao Asada
Silver: Ashley Wagner
Bronze: Kanako Murakami (please, please, please Kana-chan, don’t let me down)

Pairs

Gosh, this pairs competition is going to be lame. The itty bitty Chinese pair (Wenjing Sui & Cong Han) are going to be there as will Narumi Takahashi & Mervin Tran. The latter and Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford are the only teams to have made it to the GPF. There’s also the possibility that the crowd will favour Caydee Denney & John Coughlin.

I have no clue how this competition is going to turn out (and this doesn’t even make the competition that exciting which shows how lame this competition is) so I’m just going to make a wild guess.

Predictions

Gold: Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford
Silver: Narumi Takahashi & Mervin Tran
Bronze: Caydee Denney & John Coughlin (prove me wrong, itty bitty Chinese pair!)

Ice Dance

Oh my… a rematch between Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir and Meryl Davis & Charlie White. I think the big question on everyone’s minds is – if Scott didn’t fall in the SD, would they have won the GPF? The fall gave them a 1 point deduction but it definitely affected the presentation of the program, the score on skating skills, choreography, etc, which would account for the huge margin of win. I’ve got a feeling that they might let Tessa and Scott win 4CC to save some of their dignity but ultimately give the World medal to Meryl and Charlie. Who knows, Tessa and Scott are always free to prove me wrong and I hope they do so. In any case, the highlight for me would definitely be Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje’s “Je Suis Malade” FD, though this team will have to give it their all if they want to beat the Shibutanis who are definitely being bogged down by this year’s sexy SD but bolstered by home ice advantage. This will be one tough call, I must say…

Predictions:

Gold: Meryl Davis & Charlie White (taking home ice advantage and the fact that the Americans probably won’t win a gold in any other discipline)
Silver: Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir
Bronze: Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje

These were difficult predictions to make. What are you predictions?

~The Rinkside Cafe

Favourite Programs of the Season So Far – 2011/2012 Edition

Finally! Some time! I actually started this post a while ago but it got bulldozed with the rest of the things I wanted to do in my free time in the last couple of weeks. I’m finally free for a glorious week or two but I’ll really try to keep up. I have a few posts in mind to write and I will deliver. In any case, the Grand Prix series has just ended and the season’s programs have been revealed. So far, these are my favourites:

(Yuzuru beckons you in with his adorable anime-character face…) More

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

Skate Canada 2011: Predictions

Ok. I’ll make this quick because I seriously need to do some stuff and sleep before I can watch the ladies program. I hope Elizaveta skates in the latter group so I can have a little extra sleep. I’m awfully mad that I can’t watch the SD live because of work but I know that videos will surface. I don’t think I’ll live blog the events I’ll (hopefully) be watching live since my live blogs are totally inadequate when compared to others but I hope that my posts will be a bit more speedy. In any case, PREDICTIONS.

Men

I have no doubt in my mind that Patrick Chan will win. Even if he falls on his ass 3 times in a program, the judges will somehow award him enough PCS to give him a shiny gold medal. Just like last year. (Remember my outrage?) As for the rest of the podium, I sincerely hope that Daisuke Takahashi won’t give us a repeat performance of the Japan Open, though if he skates clean, he should be able to clinch the silver. I’m so cynical right now that I’m absolutely positive that even if Chan falls 3 times and Daisuke skates cleanly, Chan can still win the gold. If Chan does skate cleanly, be prepared for inflation of vomit-inducing proportions. As for the bronze, I’d say it would be a toss-off between surprise Skate America silver medalist, Kevin Van Der Perren, the newly Orserfied Javier Fernandez and last year’s hopeful phenom that’s starting to fade without a stable quad or 3A, Adam Rippon.

Predictions:

Gold: Patrick Chan
Silver: Daisuke Takahashi
Bronze: Javier Fernandez

Ladies


The ladies roster is exciting not because there are tons of high profile names. In fact, there really isn’t anyone who’s clearly an A-list skater. What’s exciting is the potential in this ladies field. FSOnline commented that a mini-U.S. nationals is happening because of the appearance of Mirai Nagasu, Rachael Flatt and Ashley Wagner. I’d never really place any bets on the latter two but Mirai is also a risky bet. A more mature Akiko Suzuki will emerge hopefully from a bit of a disappointing season last year. She’s a GP skater to look out for though I’m a bit worried about how she’ll do against the young phenom, Elizaveta Tuktamysheva who has a triple-triple and Papa Mishin’s backing in her arsenal. As for Cynthia Phaneuf, who PJ Kwong claims can “reach” her audience unlike Elizaveta (a statement I just disregarded because Liza has more charisma than Cynthia can ever hope for – not to mention Phaneuf’s performances makes drying paint look more entertaining), I wouldn’t be surprised if Skate Canada gave her tons of points of a good SP only to have that effort wasted when she skates a terrible LP.  I’m really not sure how this competition will go but I’ll give these predictions a shot.

Predictions:

Gold: Elizaveta Tuktamysheva
Silver: Akiko Suzuki
Bronze: Mirai Nagasu

Pairs

 

The pairs competition will be exciting for once. The gold will definitely go to Tatiana Volosozhar & Maxim Trankov even though Nikolai Morozov’s horrid choreography is ruining this pair. If my baby Chinese pairs (Wenjing Sui and Cong Han) team can skate clean and get over their hiccups in their junior GP assignments, they have the technical elements and potential to win silver. I don’t know how much influence Mother Russia will have in this competition but we should probably keep an eye out for Lubov Iliushchekina and Nodari Maisuradze. These two have a mature skating style, though I feel that Nodari is holding Lubov back at times for being a less than reliable partner and for not giving 110% in his performance. Narumi Takahashi and Melvin Tran will be fun to watch but their competitors are too good, which may dash their GPF hopes at least at Skate Canada.

Predictions:

Gold: Tatiana Volosozhar & Maxim Trankov
Silver: Wenjing Sui & Cong Han
Bronze: Lubov Iliushchekina & Nodari Maisuradze

Ice Dance

The ice dance competition marks the return of Tessa and Scott to the Grand Prix circuit after skipping it last year for Tessa’s surgery. Barring major disaster or injury, they should be given the gold quite handily. With hometown advantage and the absence of Nathalie Pechalat & Fabian Bourzat due to illness, Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje should have a good start to their season as well with a silver. The bronze is a bit of a toss-off between Ekaterina Riazanova and Ilia Tkachenko (more Russian names I can’t pronounce) and the newly formed team of Madison Chock and Evan Bates. The battle for bronze is a battle between Mother Russian and Queen Marina’s influence.

Predictions:

Gold: Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir ❤
Silver: Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje
Bronze: Ekaterina Riazanova & Ilia Tkachenko

Ok. Chores and sleep. So much to do, so little time? Any opinions on the outcomes at Skate Canada?

~The Rinkside Cafe

Four Continents: Predictions

I apologize for the lack of posts last week. Things are happening and I’m really stressed out and going through weird ups and downs. Thank you for all of my faithful readers who motivate me to write whenever I feel mixed up and crazy, even if I’m just writing about figure skating. In any case, my last post included podium predictions for the men and now, I should do predictions for all the other disciplines before this crazy competition starts.

Ladies

The ladies competition will be a definitive time for a lady to establish herself as the favourite going into Worlds. Seeing that a basic nobody won Europeans with Kiira Korpi and Carolina Kostner’s consistency in question… again, the Japanese and Americans are the ones to be looking at when the World championships roll along. Now the question is who will be the one wearing the gold medal at the end of the day and challenge Queen Sondok Yuna. (I’m sorry Yuna, even though you’re a great figure skater, you aren’t as epic and cool as Queen Sondok… if the stories about her from the Samsuk Sagi are true.) Alissa Czisny delivered steady performances at Nationals which solidified her position as a threat to the World podium after winning the Grand Prix Final. Unfortunately, not all the skaters were up to par while others (*cough*Carolina Kostner*cough*) had scores that were a bit questionable though it seems as if those scores may soon disappear with the reappearance of inconsistency in that particular skater.

Everyone will probably be holding their breath for Mao Asada, the current World champion. Mao has been reworking her jumps this season, which lead to a really rocky start. She lost her National title to Miki Ando, meaning that she still had ways to go back in January. Let’s hope that she regains her mental strength and consistency enough to put up a good fight. She is the only one who has consistently beaten Yuna Kim and perhaps the only one who can put up a good fight against the Olympic champion if she is back in form despite not doing any competitions this season. Ando, on the other hand, still has choreography that leaves much to be desired. However, she has big jumps and her consistency is decent unless she’s injured. I don’t think her programs are good enough vehicles to take her to another World title against Yuna, but who knows. Sleeping with Nikolai Morozov has its advantages I guess.

Akiko Suzuki will hopefully give out lovely performances as usual, which will be sadly undermarked. It’s tough being weighed down by being the #4 Japanese lady when you can easily be the #1 Canadian lady. Or even European champion. I say she should give up her Japanese citizenship. She’d save Canada a lot of embarrassment at Worlds if she did.

Podium prediction – A combination of any of the ladies mentioned above.

Pairs

Pang and Tong should win this thing pretty easily. Pairs is one of the disciplines with major European contenders aka, being European pairs champion actually means something. A few people who could actually medal are Kirsten Moore-Towers & Dylan Moscovitch, whose interesting scores have propelled them into what may look like the top 10 at Worlds this year. Narumi Takahashi & Mervin Tran have shown that they are capable, even as new senior skaters by getting a spot in the GPF, although Caitlin Yankowskas & John Coughlin with their touching/well-sold/packaged LP may be a good challenge for the bronze.

Predictions

Gold: Pang & Tong
Silver: Moore-Towers & Moscovitch
Bronze: Yankowskas & Coughlin

Ice Dance

Four Continents marks the return of our darling Olympic champions, Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir. Winning this competition will immediately place them in good contention for gold at Worlds, although the fact that they had less training time and program-tweaking time (I mean, Meryl and Charlie had to improve their programs throughout the season this year) may be a disadvantage. However, who knows, maybe Skate Canada will pull something weird out of their bag and we may see questionable gold medals on their necks. (Not that I don’t believe in them but I would rather have them beat Marlie fair and square rather than see them win by politicking.) Meryl Davis & Charlie White will be the ones to beat since they’ve been undefeated all season without Tessa and Scott in their way. Their tango FD has improved but they still lack the sex – sex that their rivals exude – that is required to pull off a great tango. Vanessa Crone & Paul Poirier, Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje and to a lesser extent, Maia and Alex Shibutani, should be embroiled in a bitter battle for bronze. The two Canadian teams have been at it with Crone and Poirier getting the edge but the good news is, they’re getting really close. C/P won only by 1.03 points, which can be a lot in ice dance, but I guess it can be worse. Weaver and Poje, I believe, has worked on their FD. I sincerely hope to see them triumph over C/P one day. Sooner rather than later would be nice. Being the I-refuse-to-be-nationalistic figure skating fan, I will once again, incur the ire of the people who share the same citizenship as I do and say that I would like it best if the little American brother-sister team won. Maia and Alex have lovely lines, posture and musicality. They glide around the ice with what seems like no effort and Alex is a wonderful lead and partner who reminds me a lot of Scott Moir. Their FD this year is gorgeous as well.

Predictions

Gold/Silver: Toss of between Tessa & Scott and Meryl & Charlie (it depends on 1. who skates better 2. has better programs and whether or not the judges have drunk Skate Canada cool-aid) – I can’t decide between a toss off between the two without seeing how Tessa and Scott are doing at the moment and what their programs are like. I may have to give the edge to Meryl and Charlie just for their exposure though.
Bronze: Vanessa Crone & Paul Poirier =(

I’d love to upload pictures but there is so much to do and never enough time. But I’d still love to hear your thoughts/opinions/predictions!

~The Rinkside Cafe

 

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