2017 Internationaux de France Dance Preview

With two events left in the Grand Prix series, only Virtue and Moir have qualified for the Final with 30 points.  Hubbell and Donohue have 24 points as do Bobrova and Soloviev and will have to wait and see how the next two weeks play out to determine if they receive a spot in the Final.

Papadakis and Cizeron won gold at Cup of China with personal best scores across the board.  They were also the first dance team to break the 200 point mark and currently hold the world record score.  They need a gold, silver, or bronze medal to qualify for the Final while a 4th place finish would keep them in the running.  Their short dance had a Level 4 rhumba, twizzles, and lift, and partial step sequence with Level 3 on their non touching step sequence.  They had all positive GOEs, worth nearly 11 points, and program components in the mid to high 9s.  They even received eight 10.00 marks, better than they scored at Finlandia Trophy earlier in the season.  They earned at least one 10.00 from five of the nine judges.  Their free dance had Level 4 twizzles, lifts, and spin, and the midline step sequence with Level 3 on their circular step sequence.  Their GOEs were all positive, netting 17 points and their program components were extremely high, in the mid to high 9s with their interpretation score averaging 9.93.  In all, they received 14 10.00 marks for their free dance, including at least one from seven of the nine judges.  They have the 2nd best short dance, best free dance, and best total scores.

Weaver and Poje won silver at Skate Canada with a personal best short dance score. They need a gold or silver medal to qualify for the Final.  Their short dance featured Level 4 twizzles, rhumba, partial step sequence, and lift, with only a Level 3 on the non touching step sequence.  They earned all positive GOEs worth almost 9 points and had program components in the low to mid 9s.  They made a switch to a new free dance before Skate Canada and while the move seems to have paid off, it should be even better at this event with more run-throughs under their belt.  Their free dance received Level 4 on their lifts, twizzles, and spin, and most impressively on their diagonal step sequence.  Their only Level 3 element was on the circular step sequence.  They had all positive GOEs, totaling 14 points and had program components in the low to mid 9s.  They did receive a one point deduction for an extended lift.  They have the 3rd best short dance, 4th best free dance, and 3rd best total scores.

Chock and Bates won silver at Cup of China.  They need a gold or silver medal to guarantee a spot in the Final.  They short dance earned Level 4 for their twizzles and lift with Level 3 on the partial step sequence and the rhumba.  They had all positive GOEs worth 7 points and program components in the low to mid 9s.  heir free dance received Level 4 for their lifts, twizzles, and spin, with Level 3 on their step sequences.  They earned all positive GOEs worth 14 points with program components in the low to mid 9s.  They have the 8th best short dance, 6th best free dance, and 8th best total scores.

Stepanova and Bukin won the bronze medal at Rostelecom Cup with a personal best free dance and total score.  They need a gold medal to guarantee themselves a spot in the Final.  Their short dance received Level 4 for their twizzles and lift with Level 3 on all three step sequences.  They had all positive GOEs, receiving nearly 7 points.  Their program components were in the mid to high 8s.   Their free dance earned Level 4 for their lifts, twizzles, and spin, with Level 3 on their step sequences.  They again earned all positive GOEs, worth 13 points and had program components in the mid to high 8s.  They have the 9th best free dance and 9th best total scores.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Papadakis/Cizeron

Silver: Chock/Bates

Bronze: Weaver/Poje

 

Bios of the competitors: 

Weaver/Poje, CAN: They finished 4th at Worlds and 5th at Four Continents.  They won silver at Skate Canada.  They are the 2014 World Silver Medalists, 2015 World Bronze Medalists, 2010 and 2015 Four Continents Champions, 2012 and 2016 Four Continents Bronze Medalists, and 2007 World Junior Bronze Medalists.  Their personal best is 190.56.  She is 28 and he is 30.

Abachkina/Thauron, FRA: They finished 8th at Junior Worlds last season.  They placed 8th at Cup of China.  Their personal best is 152.17.  She is 17 and he is 22.

Alessandrini/Souquet, FRA: They placed 28th at Worlds.  They finished 9th at Trophee de France last season.  Their personal best is 131.78.  She is 27 and he is 23.

Papadakis/Cizeron, FRA: They are the reigning World Silver Medalists and European Champions.  They won gold at Cup of China.  They are the 2015 and 2016 European Champions, 2015 and 2016 World Champions, and 2013 World Junior Silver Medalists.  Their personal best is 200.43.  She is 22 and he is 23.

Guignard/Fabbri, ITA: They placed 11th at Worlds and 6th at Europeans.  They finished 5th at Rostelecom Cup.  Their personal best is 180.30.  She is 28 and he is 29.

Kaliszek/Spodyriev, POL: They finished 14th at Worlds and 8th at Europeans.  They placed 9th at Skate Canada.  Their personal best is 157.15.  She is 21 and he is 23.

Loboda/Drozd, RUS: They are the reigning World Junior Silver Medalists.  They finished 5th at Skate Canada.  They are the 2016 World Junior Bronze Medalists.  Their personal best is 164.37.  She is 18 and he is 21.

Stepanova/Bukin, RUS: They placed 10th at Worlds and 5th at Europeans.  They won bronze at Rostelecom Cup.  They are the 2015 European Bronze Medalists, 2013 World Junior Champions, and 2012 World Junior Silver Medalists.  Their personal best is 179.35.  She is 22 and he is 24.

Chock/Bates, USA: They finished 7th at Worlds and are the reigning Four Continents Bronze Medalists.  They won silver at Cup of China.  They are the 2015 World Silver Medalists, 2016 World Bronze Medalists, 2015 and 2016 Four Continents Silver Medalists, and 2013 Four Continents Bronze Medalists.  Their personal best is 189.01.  She is 25 and he is 28.

Pogrebinsky/Benoit, USA: They finished 7th at Cup of China.  Their personal best is 167.81.  She is 19 and he is 22.