Rostelecom Cup Dance Preview

Davis/White started off this season with a gold medal finish at Skate America and are 10ths of a point within the top score of the season.  They are truly in a league of their own with Virtue and Moir with great lifts, precise technical skills and emotion packed performances.  Their free skate is a joy to watch and is a perfect fit for them.  They have the 2nd best short dance, best free dance and 2nd best total score of the season.  They can qualify with a gold, silver or bronze finish.  They will also qualify with a 4th place finish if two of the following things happen: Bobrova/Soloviev finish 5th or lower, Tobias/Stagniuanas finish 2nd or lower and Carron/Jones finish 2nd or lower.

Bobrova/Soloviev also started off with a gold medal earlier this season at Cup of China, defeating the Shibutanis by a healthy margin.  Their free dance had some rough patches and I wasn’t a fan of the distracting costumes but they’ve had time to work out some of these issues.  They have the 4th best short dance, free dance and total score of the season.  They can qualify with a gold, silver or bronze finish.  They will also qualify with a 4th place finish if two of the following things happen: Davis/White finish 5th or lower, Tobias/Stagniuanas finish 2nd or lower and Carron/Jones finish 2nd or lower.

Tobias/Stagniunas won their first career Grand Prix medal at Skate America and share coaches with with Davis and White.  Their programs are high energy and a lot of fun but lack the technical difficult of the top teams.  They can qualify with a gold medal.  They will also qualify with a 2nd place finish if two of the following things happen: Carron/Jones finish 3rd or lower, Davis/White finish 5th or lower and Bobrova/Soloviev finish 5th or lower.

Carron/Jones also won a bronze medal earlier this season at NHK Trophy.  They can qualify with a gold medal.  They will also qualify with a 2nd place finish if two of the following things happen: Tobias/Stagniunas finish 3rd or lower, Davis/White finish 5th or lower and Bobrova/Soloviev finish 5th or lower.

Weaver/Poje are competing in their third event of the season and already have two silver medals this season.  Their free dance is exquisite with beautiful lines, great lifts and wonderful performance quality, but an extended lift cost them the gold medal at NHK Trophy.  They have a great chance to qualify for the Final at this event and improve their rankings.  They have the 6th best short dance, 7th best free dance and 5th best total score of the season.  They can qualify if two of the above teams don’t meet their qualification criteria, if they win a bronze medal and improve their score by 13.11 points or if they win a gold or silver medal.

Riazanova/Tkachenko are also in the mix with the 10th best short dance score of the season.

My podium predictions:
Gold: Davis/White
Silver: Bobrova/Soloviev
Bronze: Weaver/Poje

Bios of the competitors:
Weaver/Poje, CAN: They finished 5th at Worlds and 4th at Four Continents.  They won silver at Skate Canada and NHK Trophy.  They are the 2010 Four Continents Champions and 2007 Junior World bronze medalists.  Their personal best is 160.32.  She is 22 and he is 24.

Carron/Jones, FRA: They finished 12th at Worlds and 9th at Four Continents.  They won bronze at Cup of China.  Their personal best is 140.86.  She is 25 and he is 23.

Tobias/Stagniunas, LTU: They finished 14th at Worlds and 12th at Europeans.  They won bronze at Skate America. Their personal best is 132.58. She is 20 and he is 26.

Bobrova/Soloviev, RUS: They finished 6th at Worlds and are the reigning European silver medalists.  They won gold at Cup of China.  They qualified for the Grand Prix Final last season and finished 4th.  They are the 2007 World Junior Champions.  Their personal best is 163.52.  She is 21 and he is 22.

Pushkash/Guerreiro, RUS: They are the reigning World Junior silver medalists.  They placed 6th at Skate Canada.  They qualified for the JGP Final last season and placed 4th.  Their personal best is 126.63.  She is 19 and he is 20.

Riazanova/Tkachenko, RUS: They finished 6th at Europeans.  They placed 5th at Skate Canada.  Their personal best is 146.79.  She is 20 and he is 24.

Davis/White, USA: They are the reigning World and Four Continents Champions.  They won gold at Skate America.  They qualified for the Grand Prix Final last season and won gold.  They are the 2010 Olympic silver medalists; 2010 World silver medalists; 2009 Four Continents Champions; 2008 Four Continents silver medalists; and 2006 World Junior bronze medalists.  Their personal best is 185.27.  She is 24 and he is 23.