2017 World Championships Dance Preview

In ice dance, all the teams are attempting the same elements, and what the scores come down to are levels, grades of execution and program components.  Teams are seeking to gain Level 4 for all of their elements, including the high value step sequences.  They are looking for all positive GOEs in the 2s and 3s.  And they are trying to achieve the highest program components possible.  No team has earned all Level 4s in either of their programs this season.  With a difference of 1.5 points between a Level 3 and a Level 4 step sequence and two in the short dance and two in the free dance, levels can make a huge difference in who ends up on the podium.

Virtue and Moir came back to competition this season in preparation for competing in next year’s Olympics.  They won two gold medals on the Grand Prix and won gold at the Grand Prix Final.  They are the reigning Four Continents Champions.  They were beat in the free dance at Skate Canada, but since then, they have been on a roll.  The coaching change they have made seems to agree with their style of movement as they have always been a more understated, lyrical team.  They have the top three technical scores in the short dance, program component scores in the short dance, and technical scores in the free dance.  They also have the top two program components scores in the free dance.  Their personal best came at the Grand Prix Final this season where they scored 197.22.  They earned nine 10.00 marks in their free dance at Four Continents.  They have the best short dance, best free dance, and best total scores.

Papadakis and Cizeron seemed untouchable until Virtue and Moir announced their return.  These two teams now train alongside one another.  They are the two time reigning World Champions and three time reigning European Champions.  They won gold at Trophee de France and lost to Virtue and Moir at both NHK Trophy and the Grand Prix Final.  They’ve been missing levels and that has cost them ground in their programs and they’ve been having to come back from behind.  Their personal best is 194.46, set at last year’s World Championships.  They earned five 10.00 marks in their free dance at Europeans.  They have the 2nd best short dance, 3rd best free dance, and 2nd best total scores.

The Shibutanis had their breakout season last year, landing on the World podium for the first time since 2011.  They are the reigning World Silver Medalists and reigning Four Continents Silver Medalists.  They won two gold medals on the Grand Prix and took home gold from the Final.  They have long been known as technical skaters, but were scoring in the 2s on some of their elements early in the season.  They have resolved many of these issues, but still haven’t hit all 4s.  Their free dance is a very subtle, artistic piece and contrasts their hip hop short program.  Their program components have come up significantly this season, as evidenced by their four 10.00 marks in the free dance at Four Continents.  Their personal best came at Four Continents, where they scored 191.85.  They have the 3rd best short dance, 2nd best free dance, and 3rd best total scores.

Cappellini and Lanotte failed to make the Grand Prix Final this year, after placing 4th at Skate Canada.  They turned their season around, winning the silver medal at Europeans.  Their personal best came at that event, where they scored 186.64.  They are capable of hitting top levels on all of their elements, but they haven’t been able to put together all of those elements in the same event.  They are also slightly behind on program components, and did not receive any 10.00s at Europeans.  They have the 7th best short dance, 6th best free dance, and 6th best total scores.

Bobrova and Soloviev are the reigning European Bronze Medalists.  They won a bronze at Skate America and gold at Rostlecom Cup to qualify for the Final where they placed 4th.  Their personal best was at Rostelecom Cup, where they scored 186.68.  At Europeans, they had a costly Level 2 on one of their step sequences and did not receive any 10.00 marks.  They have the 5th best short dance, 5th best free dance, and 5th best total scores.

Chock and Bates are the only team to beat Virtue and Moir this season, finishing ahead of them in the free dance at Skate Canada.  But their season has been uneven.  Their performance at Skate Canada was a personal best, scoring 188.24.  At the Grand Prix Final, they finished 6th and were beaten by Hubbell and Donohue for the first time.  They took home the bronze medal from Four Continents, but were over 6 points behind the Shibutanis.  Their scores at Skate Canada were so high because they received Level 4s on some of their step sequences, the first team to do so this season.  But they haven’t been able to replicate that since.  They did receive four 10.00 marks for their free dance at Four Continents.  They have the 4th best short dance, 4th best free dance, and 4th best total scores.

Weaver and Poje have found themselves slipping in the last few seasons.  They nearly won a World Championship in 2014 and medaled again in 2015.  But they finished 5th last season.  They won a silver and bronze on the Grand Prix, and failed to qualify for the Final this year.  They finished 5th at Four Continents, their worst performance ever at that event (tied with 2008 and 2009). At Four Continents they had some program component marks in the 8s, which will not be good enough to get onto the podium at Worlds.  Their levels are what’s giving them the biggest trouble this season.  They have not yet scored a 4 on either step sequence in their short dance or their twizzles.  They are the only top team not to receive a Level 4 on their twizzles this season, which costs them about 1 point per event.  Their personal best was set at the World Team Trophy in 2015 when they scored 182.93.  They have the 9th best short dance, 9th best free dance, and 9th best total scores.

Gilles and Poirier won two bronze medals on the Grand Prix this season.  They finished 6th at Four Continents last month and 8th at Worlds last season.  Their personal best came from Skate Canada this year, when they scored 182.57.  They have the 7th best free dance and 8th best total scores.

Hubbell and Donohue finished 4th at Four Continents, but they were 5 points from the podium.  They did set a personal best at that event, scoring 180.82.  They won a pair of silver medals on the Grand Prix to qualify for the Final where they finished 5th.  They placed 6th at Worlds last season.  They have the 8th best short dance and 10th best total scores.

Other teams looking to crack the top ten include Stepanova and Bukin and Guignard and Fabbri.

Virtue and Moir, the Shibutanis, Chock and Bates, Papadakis and Cizeron, and Cappellini and Lanotte have all scored above 40 points in the short program for their technical score.  Virtue and Moir hold the top mark of 42.16 with the Shibutanis the next closest at 40.85.

Virtue and Moir, Papadakis and Cizeron, the Shibutanis, and Bobrova and Soloviev have scored above 37 points in program components in the short dance.  The top mark was set by Virtue and Moir at 38.37 with Papadakis and Cizeron having the second highest score of 37.83.

For the free dance, Virtue and Moir, the Shibutanis, Papadakis and Cizeron, Chock and Bates, and Gilles and Poirier have scored above 56 points on the technical side.  Virtue and Moir again have the highest mark of 59.25 with the Shibutanis setting the second highest mark of 58.43.

In program components, Virtue and Moir, Papadakis and Cizeron, the Shibutanis, Bobrova and Soloviev, and Cappellini and Lanotte have all scored above 56 points in program components.  Virtue and Moir have the highest score of 58.14 with Papadakis and Cizeron setting the next highest mark of 57.61.

Virtue and Moir have a significant lead in all aspects of competition and that is without hitting the top levels on their step sequences.  Papadakis and Cizeron have the second highest artistic marks while the Shibutanis have the second highest technical marks.  What this podium is going to come down to is who can hit the Level 4s and how close will the gap on the artistic side be between the French and the Americans.

 

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Virtue/Moir

Silver: Papadakis/Cizeron

Bronze: Shibutani/Shibutani

2017 Four Continents Championships Dance Results

Short Program

Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CO IN Ded.
StN.
1 Tessa VIRTUE / Scott MOIR CAN 79.75 41.38 38.37 9.54 9.50 9.50 9.68 9.75 0.00 #9
2 Maia SHIBUTANI / Alex SHIBUTANI USA 76.59 39.49 37.10 9.32 9.07 9.32 9.29 9.36 0.00 #15
3 Madison CHOCK / Evan BATES USA 74.67 38.73 35.94 8.89 8.79 9.07 8.96 9.21 0.00 #14
4 Madison HUBBELL / Zachary DONOHUE USA 73.79 38.56 35.23 8.82 8.57 8.93 8.82 8.89 0.00 #16
5 Kaitlyn WEAVER / Andrew POJE CAN 71.15 34.93 36.22 9.00 8.96 8.96 9.14 9.21 0.00 #13
6 Shiyue WANG / Xinyu LIU CHN 61.45 32.33 29.12 7.25 7.07 7.39 7.36 7.32 0.00 #12
7 Piper GILLES / Paul POIRIER CAN 61.21 28.27 33.94 8.39 8.43 8.32 8.68 8.61 1.00 #11
8 Yura MIN / Alexander GAMELIN KOR 59.01 32.75 26.26 6.57 6.32 6.64 6.61 6.68 0.00 #7
9 Kana MURAMOTO / Chris REED JPN 57.80 29.53 28.27 7.11 6.89 7.11 7.11 7.11 0.00 #10
10 Linshu SONG / Zhuoming SUN CHN 51.60 27.48 24.12 6.04 5.71 6.11 6.18 6.11 0.00 #4
11 Hong CHEN / Yan ZHAO CHN 51.34 26.99 24.35 6.25 5.86 6.07 6.25 6.00 0.00 #2
12 Emi HIRAI / Marien DE LA ASUNCION JPN 49.35 25.55 23.80 5.93 5.79 5.89 6.11 6.04 0.00 #5
13 Hojung LEE / Richard Kang In KAM KOR 44.57 22.94 22.63 5.82 5.50 5.50 5.82 5.64 1.00 #8
14 Adele MORRISON / Demid ROKACHEV AUS 37.87 20.07 17.80 4.43 4.21 4.50 4.61 4.50 0.00 #1
15 Kimberley HEW-LOW / Timothy MCKERNAN AUS 33.54 16.97 17.57 4.50 4.21 4.39 4.50 4.36 1.00 #3
16 Matilda FRIEND / William BADAOUI AUS 32.75 17.52 18.23 4.57 4.54 4.46 4.68 4.54 3.00 #6

Free Skate

 Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CO IN Ded.
StN.
1 Tessa VIRTUE / Scott MOIR CAN 117.20 59.25 57.95 9.54 9.57 9.64 9.79 9.75 0.00 #16
2 Maia SHIBUTANI / Alex SHIBUTANI USA 115.26 58.43 56.83 9.46 9.32 9.54 9.54 9.50 0.00 #15
3 Madison CHOCK / Evan BATES USA 110.91 55.62 55.29 9.11 9.04 9.25 9.36 9.32 0.00 #13
4 Kaitlyn WEAVER / Andrew POJE CAN 108.94 53.53 55.41 9.14 9.07 9.25 9.36 9.36 0.00 #12
5 Piper GILLES / Paul POIRIER CAN 108.93 54.93 54.00 8.71 8.89 9.04 9.07 9.29 0.00 #10
6 Madison HUBBELL / Zachary DONOHUE USA 107.03 53.68 53.35 8.75 8.71 8.93 9.07 9.00 0.00 #14
7 Shiyue WANG / Xinyu LIU CHN 92.78 48.21 44.57 7.50 7.29 7.50 7.46 7.39 0.00 #11
8 Yura MIN / Alexander GAMELIN KOR 85.68 44.28 41.40 6.82 6.68 7.00 6.93 7.07 0.00 #9
9 Kana MURAMOTO / Chris REED JPN 82.58 38.86 43.72 7.21 7.04 7.29 7.46 7.43 0.00 #6
10 Hong CHEN / Yan ZHAO CHN 77.21 41.05 36.16 6.11 5.82 6.00 6.14 6.07 0.00 #7
11 Linshu SONG / Zhuoming SUN CHN 72.99 38.26 35.73 5.96 5.75 6.00 6.11 5.96 1.00 #5
12 Emi HIRAI / Marien DE LA ASUNCION JPN 72.36 37.34 35.02 5.89 5.68 5.71 6.04 5.86 0.00 #8
13 Hojung LEE / Richard Kang In KAM KOR 67.85 37.20 32.65 5.57 5.29 5.32 5.64 5.39 2.00 #3
14 Adele MORRISON / Demid ROKACHEV AUS 58.48 33.73 25.75 4.43 4.07 4.36 4.39 4.21 1.00 #2
15 Matilda FRIEND / William BADAOUI AUS 56.54 29.89 26.65 4.46 4.21 4.50 4.54 4.50 0.00 #1
16 Kimberley HEW-LOW / Timothy MCKERNAN AUS 51.43 26.55 25.88 4.43 4.07 4.39 4.36 4.32 1.00 #4

Total

FPl. Name Nation Points SD FD
1 Tessa VIRTUE / Scott MOIR
CAN
196.95 1 1
2 Maia SHIBUTANI / Alex SHIBUTANI
USA
191.85 2 2
3 Madison CHOCK / Evan BATES
USA
185.58 3 3
4 Madison HUBBELL / Zachary DONOHUE
USA
180.82 4 6
5 Kaitlyn WEAVER / Andrew POJE
CAN
180.09 5 4
6 Piper GILLES / Paul POIRIER
CAN
170.14 7 5
7 Shiyue WANG / Xinyu LIU
CHN
154.23 6 7
8 Yura MIN / Alexander GAMELIN
KOR
144.69 8 8
9 Kana MURAMOTO / Chris REED
JPN
140.38 9 9
10 Hong CHEN / Yan ZHAO
CHN
128.55 11 10
11 Linshu SONG / Zhuoming SUN
CHN
124.59 10 11
12 Emi HIRAI / Marien DE LA ASUNCION
JPN
121.71 12 12
13 Hojung LEE / Richard Kang In KAM
KOR
112.42 13 13
14 Adele MORRISON / Demid ROKACHEV
AUS
96.35 14 14
15 Matilda FRIEND / William BADAOUI
AUS
89.29 16 15
16 Kimberley HEW-LOW / Timothy MCKERNAN
AUS
84.97 15 16

2016-2017 Top Senior Dance U.S. Qualifying Scores

Short Dance

  1. Shibutani/Shibutani: 82.42 (US Nationals)
  2. Chock/Bates: 79.96 (US Nationals)
  3. Hubbell/Donohue: 79.72 (US Nationals)
  4. Hawayek/Baker: 72.60 (US Nationals)
  5. Pogrebinsky/Benoit: 67.17 (US Nationals)
  6. Biechler/Dodge: 60.60 (Eastern Sectional)
  7. Manta/Johnson: 59.83 (Midwestern Sectional)
  8. Cannuscio/McManus: 56.94 (US Nationals)
  9. Maxwell/Devereaux: 56.88 (US Nationals)
  10. Reynolds/Reynolds: 40.83 (US Nationals)

Free Dance

  1. Chock/Bates: 119.08 (US Nationals)
  2. Shibutani/Shibutani: 117.63 (US Nationals)
  3. Hubbell/Donohue: 111.70 (US Nationals)
  4. Pogrebinsky/Benoit: 103.12 (US Nationals)
  5. Cannuscio/McManus: 96.41 (US Nationals)
  6. Biechler/Dodge: 93.04 (US Nationals)
  7. Manta/Johnson: 89.19 (US Nationals)
  8. Hawayek/Baker: 87.46 (US Nationals)
  9. Maxwell/Devereaux: 82.32 (US Nationals)
  10. Reynolds/Reynolds: 69.13 (Eastern Sectional)

Total (one score per team listed)

  1. Shibutani/Shibutani: 200.05 (US Nationals)
  2. Chock/Bates: 199.04 (US Nationals)
  3. Hubbell/Donohue: 191.42 (US Nationals)
  4. Pogrebinsky/Benoit: 170.29 (US Nationals)
  5. Hawayek/Baker: 160.06 (US Nationals)
  6. Cannuscio/McManus: 153.35 (US Nationals)
  7. Biechler/Dodge: 152.57 (Eastern Sectional)
  8. Manta/Johnson: 147.15 (US Nationals)
  9. Maxwell/Devereaux: 139.20 (US Nationals)
  10. Reynolds/Reynolds: 108.47 (Eastern Sectional)

Total (multiple scores per team listed)

  1. Shibutani/Shibutani: 200.05 (US Nationals)
  2. Chock/Bates: 199.04 (US Nationals)
  3. Hubbell/Donohue: 191.42 (US Nationals)
  4. Pogrebinsky/Benoit: 170.29 (US Nationals)
  5. Hawayek/Baker: 160.06 (US Nationals)
  6. Cannuscio/McManus: 153.35 (US Nationals)
  7. Biechler/Dodge: 152.57 (Eastern Sectional)
  8. Biechler/Dodge: 152.19 (US Nationals)
  9. Manta/Johnson: 147.15 (US Nationals)
  10. Manta/Johnson: 146.00 (Midwestern Sectional)
  11. Maxwell/Devereaux: 139.20 (US Nationals)
  12. Reynolds/Reynolds: 108.47 (Eastern Sectional)
  13. Reynolds/Reynolds: 103.57 (US Nationals)
  14. Ponomaryova/Altukhov: 93.29 (US Nationals)

2017 US Nationals Dance Results

Place Start Name Short Dance Free Dance Total Score
Place Score Place Score
1 9 Maia Shibutani, SC of New York
Alex Shibutani, SC of New York
1 82.42 2 117.63 200.05
2 11 Madison Chock, All Year FSC
Evan Bates, Ann Arbor FSC
2 79.96 1 119.08 199.04
3 10 Madison Hubbell, Lansing SC
Zachary Donohue, Lansing SC
3 79.72 3 111.70 191.42
4 7 Elliana Pogrebinsky, Peninsula SC
Alex Benoit, Skokie Valley SC
5 67.17 4 103.12 170.29
5 8 Kaitlin Hawayek, Detroit SC
Jean-Luc Baker, Seattle SC
4 72.60 8 87.46 160.06
6 6 Anastasia Cannuscio, University of Delaware FSC
Colin McManus, SC of Boston
8 56.94 5 96.41 153.35
7 5 Julia Biechler, SC of Wilmington
Damian Dodge, Peninsula SC
6 59.15 6 93.04 152.19
8 4 Karina Manta, Coyotes SC of Arizona
Joseph Johnson, Broadmoor SC
7 57.96 7 89.19 147.15
9 1 Charlotte Maxwell, Arctic FSC
Ryan Devereaux, Pittsburgh FSC
9 56.88 9 82.32 139.20
10 3 Elicia Reynolds, SC of Wilmington
Stephen Reynolds, SC of Wilmington
10 40.83 10 62.74 103.57
11 2 Kseniya Ponomaryova, Skokie Valley SC
Oleg Altukhov, North County FSC
11 38.89 11 54.40 93.29

2017 US Nationals Senior Dance Preview

Ice Dance is by far the United States’ most competitive event.  Three teams qualified for the Grand Prix Final for the second year in a row, and these same three teams all placed in the top 6 at Worlds last season.  This is the one discipline where the US is consistently a medal threat and there is the potential of walking away from Worlds with two medals.

As a group, they have 28 national medals (although 12 of them belong to the Shibutanis).  They have won four Worlds medals, seven Four Continents medals, and two World Junior Medals.  They won seven Grand Prix medals and seven Challenger Series medals this season.  The 1st-5th, 7th, 8th, 11th, and 13th place finishers from last season will be competing here.  Only the 3rd and 5th place finishers from last year’s junior event moved up.  The short dance will be held on Friday, January 20th with the free dance on Saturday, January 21st.

To be competitive internationally, these teams need at least 72 points in the short dance, 107 points in the free dance and 180 points overall.
While this is the deepest and most competitive discipline in the US it is also fairly predictable.  The Shibutanis, Chock and Bates, and Hubbell and Donohue have dominated the scene for the last 2.5 years and it would be a major upset if any other team were to steal one of the top three spots.  But there are several teams vying for that final spot on the podium and the placement of the top three teams is not set in stone.
The Shibutanis are coming off a World Silver medal and the first US senior title of their career.  They have the 3rd best short dance, 3rd best free dance and 3rd best total scores.  They have struggled a bit with their levels this year, earning a Level 2 in the short dance on their partial step sequence at Skate America and Cup of China and a Level 2 on the non-touching step sequence at Skate America.  However, their GOEs have more than made up for the technical deficits, earning between 8.5 and 9.5 points between events.  Their program components have been strong throughout the season, and their best short dance components came at the Grand Prix Final where they received 9.11-9.36.  They have perhaps the best execution of the combination of Blues and Hip Hop of any team this season.  After last season’s iconic Fix You program, I thought it would be difficult for them to top that free dance, yet they have been successful.  Again, they’ve had Level issues, receiving a Level 2 on one of their step sequences at Cup of China and the Grand Prix Final.  They earned 15.5 points from GOE at all of their events and at Cup of China and the Grand Prix Final their program components ranged from 9.21-9.50, even receving a few 10s from the judges.
Chock and Bates established themselves as the #1 team in the US after Davis and White retired following the 2014 Olympics.  They won a national title, medaled at Worlds and had never lost a competition to any of their US teammates.  However, they were overtaken by the Shibutanis last season at nationals and haven’t been able to catch up.  They have the 4th best short dance, 4th best free dance, and 4th best total scores internationally.  They have done something no other team has done this season, beating Virtue and Moir in the free dance at Skate Canada.  However, their scores have been steadily slipping throughout the season and they finished 6th at the Grand Prix Final behind the Shibutanis and Hubbell and Donohue.  They have consistently dropped Levels in the short dance with all but one of their elements receiveing Level 4 at Skate Canada, while only two received Level 4 at the Grand Prix Final.  They earned 9 points from GOE at Skate Canada, but only 6.5 points and the GPF.  Their best program components for the short came at Rostelecom Cup, where they earned 8.93-9.36.  Their free dance was fairly similar between Skate Canada and the Grand Prix Final with Rostelecom Cup being a bit of a blip in the road.  At their two best events they earned Level 4 on everything but the step sequences (and they earned one Level 4 step sequence at Skate Canada).  They earned between 12.5 and 14 points from GOEs with their best program components ranging from 9.07-9.29.  Interestingly, their best program components came at Rostelecom Cup, which was their weakest technical performance.
Hubbell and Donohue have steadily moved up in the world standings, qualifying for the Grand Prix Final two years in a row, and placing 6th at Worlds last season.  They even bested Chock and Bates for the first time at the Grand Prix Final.  They have they the 8th best short dance score internationally.  They have been improving throughout the season, with their best short dance coming at the Grand Prix Final where they received Level 4 on everything but the partial step sequence and earned 7 points from GOE.  Their best program components were also at that event, scoring 8.61-8.79.  While their free dance had better Levels at Skate America and Trophee de France, their program components were much better at the Grand Prix Final, scoring between 8.75 and 9.14.  They consistently scored around 13 points from GOE in the free dance.
Hawayek and Baker had a bit of a disappointing season last year.  They won the pewter medal in their senior debut in 2015, but fell to 5th place last year.  They had a free dance they were very passionate about and invested in, but they couldn’t find the scores to move them forward.  They have had some Level issues this year, receiving Level 2 on the partial step sequence in their short program at Skate Canada and Level 2 on the non-touching step sequence at NHK Trophy.  They earned between 5 and 6 points from GOE at their two events and their best program components were at Skate Canada where they scored 7.64-8.00.  Their free dance improved throughout the season.  While they earned Level 2 for their twizzles at Skate Canada, they received Level 4 at NHK Trophy.  Their GOE in this segment at that event earned them 13 points and their program components were 8.07-8.43.  However, they may be closer to the top 3 after a strong performance at Golden Spin saw them score only 2 points less than Chock and Bates and Hubbell and Donohue.
Pogrebinsky and Benoit are the reigning US Junior Bronze Medalists and placed 4th at Junior Worlds last season.  They still had junior eligibility but decided to make the jump to the senior ranks where they earned two Grand Prix assignments and won a medal on the Challenger Series.  Their best short program came at Rostelecom Cup where they improved the levels on their twizzles and the non-touching step sequence and earned 4 points from GOE.  Their program components are a bit low, but on par with a first year senior team.  Their best short dance program component marks came at Skate Canada where they scored 7.00-7.29.  For the free dance, their Skate America levels were better, earning 2 and 3 on their step sequences and 4 on everything else.  Their GOE and program components were similar at their two GP events, earning +9-9.5 and 7.21-7.61.
Cannuscio and McManus had a breakout season last year, winning the pewter medal at nationals.  Like many of the teams here, they’ve struggled with some of their levels this season.  Their best short dance came at Cup of China where they earned Level 4 on their lift, Level 3 on their twizzles and Level 2 on the step portions.  Their program components were a little low ranging from 6.57-7.04 at NHK Trophy.  They had similar performances in their free dance, earning Level 4 on everything but the step sequences, which earned Level 2.  They earned between 6 and 7 points from GOE and had program components ranging from 6.57-7.36.
Biechler and Dodge are making their senior debut after placing 5th in juniors last year.  At Eastern Sectionals, their short dance earned Level 4 on the twizzles and Level 3 on everything else.  They received 4.5 points from GOE and their program components scored 6.42-7.00.  They earned Level 4 on the lifts and spin in their free dance and Level 3 on the twizzles and steps.  They earned 11 points from GOE and had program components ranging from 6.42-6.92.
Manta and Johnson also had a strong showing at Sectionals.  Their short dance received Level 4 on the twizzles and lift, Level 3 on the non-touching step sequence, and Level 2 on the Blues and partial step sequence.  They earned 4.5 points from GOE with program components from 6.63-7.31.  They earned Level 4 on the lift, twizzles and spin in their free dance with Level 2 on the step sequences.  They were awarded 7 points from GOE with program components ranging from 6.58-7.25.
What this event is going to come down to is program components.  The Shibutanis were under marked in this category for years and even though they were exceptional technicians, they couldn’t keep pace on the artistic side.  Now, their levels have been holding them down a bit this season, but their GOEs and program components are keeping them on podiums.
Top 5 TES Scores, Short Dance
40.85 Shibutanis, Grand Prix Final
40.61 Chock/Bates, Skate Canada
38.35 Chock/Bates, Rostelecom Cup
37.66 Hubbell/Donohue, Grand Prix Final
36.87 Shibutanis, Cup of China
Top 5 PCS Scores, Short Dance
37.12 Shibutanis, Grand Prix Final
36.83 Shibutanis, Skate America
36.69 Chock/Bates, Rostelecom Cup
36.36 Shibutanis, Cup of China
35.60 Chock/Bates, Skate Canada
Top 5 TES Scores, Free Dance
57.44 Chock/Bates, Skate Canada
56.95 Shibutanis, Skate America
55.59 Shibutanis, Rostelecom Cup
55.45 Shibutanis, Grand Prix Final
54.88 Hubbell/Donohue, Trophee de France
Top 5 PCS Scores, Free Dance
56.31 Shibutanis, Cup of China
56.18 Shibutanis, Grand Prix Final
55.76 Shibutanis, Skate America
55.30 Chock/Bates, Rostelecom Cup
54.59 Chock/Bates, Skate Canada
Note that despite receiving lower levels in the short dance and free dance than their other competitors, the Shibutanis are receiving much higher GOE marks, giving them technical scores equal to or better than the other teams here.  Add on to this the higher program component marks and scores that are trending upward, and they are on the right track to repeat their national title.

My podium predictions:

Gold: Shibutani/Shibutani

Silver: Chock/Bates

Bronze: Hubbell/Donohue

Pewter: Hawayek/Baker

 

Bios of the competitors:

Biechler/Dodge: She is 18 and represents the Skating Club of Wilmington and he is 22 and represents the Peninsula Skating Club.  They finished 4th at Lombardia Trophy.  They placed 5th as juniors last season, 8th at juniors in 2015, 7th as juniors in 2014 and 9th as juniors in 2013.

Cannuscio/McManus: She is 24 and represents the University of Delaware Figure Skating Club and he is 26 and represents the Skating Club of Boston.  They placed 7th at Cup of China and 8th at NHK Trophy.  They finished 7th at Ondrej Nepela Memorial.  They are the reigning Pewter Medalists, finished 5th in 2015, 7th in 2014, 6th in 2013, 6th in 2012, are the 2011 Junior Bronze Medalists, finished 7th in juniors in 2010 and 10th in juniors in 2009.

Chock/Bates:  She is 24 and represents the All Year Figure Skating Club and he is 27 and represents the Ann Arbor Figure Skating Club.  They are the reigning World Bronze Medalists and reigning Four Continents Silver Medalists.  They won silver at Skate Canada and silver at Rostelecom Cup to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where they placed 6th.  They won silver at Nebelhorn Trophy and silver at Ondrej Nepela Memorial.  They are the 2015 World Silver Medalists, 2015 Four Continents Silver Medalists, and 2013 Four Continents Bronze Medalists.  They are the reigning Silver Medalists, 2015 Champions, 2014 Silver Medalists, 2013 Silver Medalists and finished 5th in 2012.

Hawayek/Baker: She is 20 and represents the Detroit Skating Club and he is 23 and represents the Seattle Skating Club.  They finished 6th at Skate Canada and 4th at NHK Trophy.  They won silver at Autumn Classic International and silver at Golden Spin of Zagreb.  They are the 2014 World Junior Champions.  They finished 5th last season, are the 2015 Pewter Medalists, 2014 Junior Champions and 2013 Junior Silver Medalists.

Hubbell/Donohue: She is 25 and he is 26 and they represent the Lansing Skating Club.  They placed 6th at Worlds and 4th at Four Continents last season.  They won silver at Skate America and silver at Trophee de France to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where they placed 5th.  They won gold at the US International Classic and silver at Finlandia Trophy.  They are the 2014 Four Continents Champions.  They are the reigning Bronze Medalists, 2015 Bronze Medalists, 2014 Pewter Medalists, 2013 Pewter Medalists and 2012 Bronze Medalists.

Manta/Johnson: She is 20 and represents the Coyotes Skating Club of Arizona and he is 22 and represents the Broadmoor Skating Club.  They placed 5th at the US International Figure Skating Classic.  They finished 7th last season and 10th as juniors in 2015.

Maxwell/Devereaux: She is 27 and represents the Arctic Figure Skating Club and he is 27 and represents the Pittsburgh Figure Skating Club.  They placed 6th at the Warsaw Cup.  They finished 8th last season and 9th in 2015.

Pogrebinsky/Benoit: She is 18 represents the Peninsula Skating Club and he is 21 and represents the Skokie Valley Skating Club.  They finished 4th at Junior Worlds last season.  They placed 7th at Skate America and 6th at Rostelecom Cup.  They placed 4th at Nebelhorn Trophy and won bronze at Tallinn Trophy.  They are the reigning Junior Bronze Medalists and 2015 Junior Bronze Medalists.

Ponomaryova/Altukhov: She is 28 and represents the Skokie Valley Skating Club and he is 33 and represents the North County Figure Skating Club.  They placed 11th last season, 12th in 2015, 16th in 2014 and 14th in 2013.

Reynolds/Reynolds: She is 26 and he is 23 and they represent the IceWorks Skating Club.  They finished 13th last season, 11th in 2015, and 14th in 2014.

Shibutani/Shibutani: She is 22 and he is 25 and they represent the Skating Club of New York.  They are the reigning World Silver Medalists and reigning Four Continents Champions.  They won gold at Skate America and gold at Cup of China to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where they won bronze.  They are the 2011 World Bronze Medalists, 2011 Four Continents Silver Medalists, 2015 Four Continents Bronze Medalists, and 2009 World Junior Silver Medalists.  They are the reigning Champions, 2015 Silver Medalists, 2014 Bronze Medalists, 2013 Bronze Medalists, 2012 Silver Medalists, 2011 Silver Medalists, 2010 Junior Champions, 2009 Junior Silver Medalists, 2008 Junior Pewter Medalists, 2007 Novice Champions, 2006 Intermediate Champions and 2005 Juvenile Silver Medalists.

 

2016 Grand Prix Final Dance Results

Short Dance

 Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CO IN Ded.
StN.
1 Tessa VIRTUE / Scott MOIR CAN 80.50 42.16 38.34 9.50 9.39 9.71 9.54 9.79 0.00 #2
2 Maia SHIBUTANI / Alex SHIBUTANI USA 77.97 40.85 37.12 9.18 9.11 9.36 9.32 9.43 0.00 #5
3 Gabriella PAPADAKIS / Guillaume CIZERON FRA 77.86 40.18 37.68 9.43 9.39 9.32 9.43 9.54 0.00 #3
4 Ekaterina BOBROVA / Dmitri SOLOVIEV RUS 74.04 37.86 36.18 9.00 8.89 9.11 9.11 9.11 0.00 #4
5 Madison HUBBELL / Zachary DONOHUE USA 72.47 37.66 34.81 8.61 8.61 8.79 8.71 8.79 0.00 #6
6 Madison CHOCK / Evan BATES USA 70.87 36.47 35.40 8.75 8.82 8.75 8.93 9.00 1.00 #1

Free Dance

  Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CO IN Ded.
StN.
1 Tessa VIRTUE / Scott MOIR CAN 116.72 58.58 58.14 9.57 9.57 9.71 9.75 9.86 0.00 #6
2 Gabriella PAPADAKIS / Guillaume CIZERON FRA 114.95 57.34 57.61 9.54 9.36 9.71 9.61 9.79 0.00 #4
3 Maia SHIBUTANI / Alex SHIBUTANI USA 111.63 55.45 56.18 9.36 9.21 9.39 9.36 9.50 0.00 #5
4 Madison CHOCK / Evan BATES USA 108.45 54.19 54.26 8.96 8.86 9.11 9.11 9.18 0.00 #1
5 Ekaterina BOBROVA / Dmitri SOLOVIEV RUS 107.91 52.92 54.99 9.14 9.04 9.25 9.18 9.21 0.00 #2
6 Madison HUBBELL / Zachary DONOHUE USA 107.12 53.30 53.82 8.82 8.75 9.14 9.00 9.14 0.00 #3

Total

FPl. Name Nation Points SD FD
1 Tessa VIRTUE / Scott MOIR
CAN
197.22 1 1
2 Gabriella PAPADAKIS / Guillaume CIZERON
FRA
192.81 3 2
3 Maia SHIBUTANI / Alex SHIBUTANI
USA
189.60 2 3
4 Ekaterina BOBROVA / Dmitri SOLOVIEV
RUS
181.95 4 5
5 Madison HUBBELL / Zachary DONOHUE
USA
179.59 5 6
6 Madison CHOCK / Evan BATES
USA
179.32 6 4

2016 Rostelecom Cup Dance Results

Short Dance

Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CO IN Ded.
StN.
1 Madison CHOCK / Evan BATES USA 75.04 38.35 36.69 9.04 8.93 9.32 9.21 9.36 0.00 #6
2 Ekaterina BOBROVA / Dmitri SOLOVIEV RUS 74.92 37.91 37.01 9.25 9.04 9.36 9.29 9.32 0.00 #7
3 Kaitlyn WEAVER / Andrew POJE CAN 69.81 34.11 35.70 8.89 8.64 9.00 8.96 9.14 0.00 #4
4 Charlene GUIGNARD / Marco FABBRI ITA 67.72 34.86 32.86 8.29 7.89 8.29 8.29 8.32 0.00 #10
5 Tiffany ZAHORSKI / Jonathan GUERREIRO RUS 64.28 32.91 31.37 7.89 7.57 8.00 7.89 7.86 0.00 #8
6 Elliana POGREBINSKY / Alex BENOIT USA 62.93 34.39 28.54 7.18 6.86 7.21 7.25 7.18 0.00 #2
7 Laurence FOURNIER BEAUDRY / Nikolaj SORENSEN DEN 62.82 32.93 29.89 7.57 7.29 7.61 7.50 7.39 0.00 #3
8 Alisa AGAFONOVA / Alper UCAR TUR 59.31 31.16 28.15 7.07 6.79 7.21 7.11 7.00 0.00 #9
9 Sofia EVDOKIMOVA / Egor BAZIN RUS 55.83 29.23 26.60 6.68 6.43 6.75 6.86 6.54 0.00 #1
10 Viktoria KAVALIOVA / Yurii BIELIAIEV BLR 54.64 28.29 26.35 6.61 6.46 6.61 6.71 6.54 0.00 #5

Free Dance

  Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CO IN Ded.
StN.
1 Ekaterina BOBROVA / Dmitri SOLOVIEV RUS 111.76 55.61 56.15 9.36 9.07 9.50 9.43 9.43 0.00 #8
2 Kaitlyn WEAVER / Andrew POJE CAN 108.76 54.50 54.26 8.96 8.86 9.29 9.11 9.00 0.00 #10
3 Madison CHOCK / Evan BATES USA 107.09 51.79 55.30 9.18 9.07 9.29 9.29 9.25 0.00 #9
4 Charlene GUIGNARD / Marco FABBRI ITA 102.73 52.72 50.01 8.32 8.11 8.50 8.46 8.29 0.00 #7
5 Tiffany ZAHORSKI / Jonathan GUERREIRO RUS 92.67 44.80 47.87 8.00 7.71 8.00 8.18 8.00 0.00 #6
6 Elliana POGREBINSKY / Alex BENOIT USA 90.99 45.95 45.04 7.54 7.21 7.57 7.61 7.61 0.00 #5
7 Laurence FOURNIER BEAUDRY / Nikolaj SORENSEN DEN 89.70 45.35 45.35 7.61 7.39 7.50 7.68 7.61 1.00 #4
8 Alisa AGAFONOVA / Alper UCAR TUR 84.59 41.17 43.42 7.21 7.11 7.29 7.39 7.18 0.00 #3
9 Sofia EVDOKIMOVA / Egor BAZIN RUS 77.54 38.41 39.13 6.54 6.46 6.50 6.57 6.54 0.00 #1
10 Viktoria KAVALIOVA / Yurii BIELIAIEV BLR 74.91 35.66 39.25 6.57 6.43 6.50 6.71 6.50 0.00 #2

Total

FPl. Name Nation Points SD FD
1 Ekaterina BOBROVA / Dmitri SOLOVIEV
RUS
186.68 2 1
2 Madison CHOCK / Evan BATES
USA
182.13 1 3
3 Kaitlyn WEAVER / Andrew POJE
CAN
178.57 3 2
4 Charlene GUIGNARD / Marco FABBRI
ITA
170.45 4 4
5 Tiffany ZAHORSKI / Jonathan GUERREIRO
RUS
156.95 5 5
6 Elliana POGREBINSKY / Alex BENOIT
USA
153.92 6 6
7 Laurence FOURNIER BEAUDRY / Nikolaj SORENSEN
DEN
152.52 7 7
8 Alisa AGAFONOVA / Alper UCAR
TUR
143.90 8 8
9 Sofia EVDOKIMOVA / Egor BAZIN
RUS
133.37 9 9
10 Viktoria KAVALIOVA / Yurii BIELIAIEV
BLR
129.55 10 10

2016 Rostelecom Cup Dance Preview

Chock and Bates seem to have rebounded from a bit of a disappointing season last year.  They won silver last week at Skate Canada behind Virtue and Moir and were less than a point off the gold.  They set new personal best free dance and total scores at that event.  The biggest challenge they are going to have here is competing in back to back events and not having time to make adjustments to their programs based on the feedback they received.  They have the 2nd best short dance, 2nd best free dance and 2nd best total scores.

Bobrova and Soloviev won the bronze medal at Skate America.  They performed better at that event than I have seen them in years and have fixed many of the issues they had with their skating in the past, most noticeable posture and lines.  Their short dance is a bit disjointed with their music choices but they do a good job executing what they have.  They have the 6th best short dance, 6th best free dance and 6th best total scores.

Zahorski and Guerreiro are competing at their first Grand Prix event but have already competed at two Challenger Series events this season.  They won bronze at Ondrej Nepela and bronze at Finlandia Trophy.  They have the 9th best short dance and 9th best total scores.

Guignard and Fabbri placed 4th at Skate America behind Bobrova and Soloviev, however they were 9 points off the podium.  They have a very cute short dance program that is Grease themed and plays to their strengths really well.  They have the 9th best free dance and 10th best total scores.

Weaver and Poje are competing for the first time this season after struggling at the end of the season last year.  They were undefeated through the first half of the season, including winning gold at the Grand Prix Final.  They dropped to bronze at Four Continents after winning it the year before and 5th at Worlds after being on the podium each of the two previous seasons.  There wasn’t any glaring errors with their performances this season, but they just didn’t have programs that were really memorable and other teams were able to pass them up.  They also had some problems with levels but the level issues varied from event to event.

The best short dance score of the season is 77.72 with the top 10 scoring above 66 points.  The best free dance score is 112.71 with the top 10 scoring above 98.  The best total score is 189.20 with the top 10 scoring above 165.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Chock/Bates

Silver: Weaver/Poje

Bronze: Bobrova/Soloviev

 

Bios of the competitors:

Kavaliova/Bieliaiev, BLR: They finished 28th at Worlds and 16th at Europeans.  They finished 7th at Rostelecom Cup last season.  Their personal best is 148.08.  She is 22 and he is 24.

Weaver/Poje, CAN: They placed 5th at Worlds and are the reigning Four Continents Bronze Medalists.  They won gold at Skate Canada and gold at Rostelecom Cup to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where they won gold.  They are the 2014 World Silver Medalists, 2015 World Bronze Medalists, 2010 and 2015 Four Continents Champions, 2012 Four Continents Bronze Medalists, and 2007 World Junior Bronze Medalists.  Their personal best is 182.93.  She is 27 and he is 29.

Fournier Beaudry/Sorensen, DEN: They placed 13th at Worlds and 9th at Europeans.  They placed 7th at Skate Canada.  Their personal best is 156.71.  She is 24 and he is 27.

Guignard/Fabbri, ITA: They placed 10th at Worlds and 7th at Europeans.  They finished 4th at Skate America.  Their personal best is 172.28.  She is 27 and he is 28.

Bobrova/Soloviev, RUS: They are the reigning European Bronze Medalists.  They won bronze at Skate America.  They are the 2013 World Bronze Medalists, 2013 European Champions, 2011 and 2012 European Silver Medalists, and 2007 World Junior Champions.  Their personal best is 178.84.  She is 26 and he is 27.

Evdokimova/Bazin, RUS: They won bronze at JGP Latvia and placed 5th at JGP Austria last season.  This is their Grand Prix debut.  Their personal best is 137.60.  She is 19 and he is 21.

Zahorski/Guerreiro, RUS: This is their Grand Prix debut.  Their personal best is 165.64.  She is 22 and he is 25.

Agafonova/Ucar, TUR: They placed 21st at Worlds and 12th at Europeans.  They finished 9th at Skate America.  Their personal best is 151.74.  She is 25 and he is 31.

Chock/Bates, USA: They are the reigning World Bronze Medalists and Four Continents Silver Medalists.  They won silver at Skate Canada.  They are the 2015 World Silver Medalists, 2015 Four Continents Silver Medalists and 2013 Four Continents Bronze Medalists.  Their personal best is 188.24.  She is 24 and he is 27.

Pogrebinsky/Benoit, USA: They finished 4th at Junior Worlds.  They finished 7th at Skate America.  Their personal best is 155.20.  She is 18 and he is 21.

 

 

 

2016 Skate Canada Free Dance Results

Free Dance

 Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CO IN Ded.
StN.
1 Madison CHOCK / Evan BATES USA 112.03 57.44 54.59 8.96 8.96 9.14 9.25 9.18 0.00 #10
2 Tessa VIRTUE / Scott MOIR CAN 111.83 55.21 56.62 9.39 9.29 9.46 9.50 9.54 0.00 #8
3 Piper GILLES / Paul POIRIER CAN 110.45 56.15 54.30 8.86 8.89 9.14 9.11 9.25 0.00 #9
4 Anna CAPPELLINI / Luca LANOTTE ITA 109.27 54.70 54.57 9.00 8.82 9.18 9.18 9.29 0.00 #7
5 Alexandra STEPANOVA / Ivan BUKIN RUS 99.98 48.68 51.30 8.50 8.54 8.46 8.71 8.54 0.00 #6
6 Kaitlin HAWAYEK / Jean-Luc BAKER USA 97.18 48.77 48.41 8.04 7.89 8.04 8.18 8.18 0.00 #5
7 Laurence FOURNIER BEAUDRY / Nikolaj SORENSEN DEN 94.08 48.66 45.42 7.43 7.39 7.50 7.82 7.71 0.00 #3
8 Shiyue WANG / Xinyu LIU CHN 86.30 46.10 40.20 6.82 6.43 6.86 6.75 6.64 0.00 #1
9 Alexandra PAUL / Mitchell ISLAM CAN 86.02 42.53 43.49 7.32 7.14 7.18 7.39 7.21 0.00 #4
10 Cecilia TÖRN / Jussiville PARTANEN FIN 82.16 42.82 39.34 6.68 6.46 6.54 6.64 6.46 0.00 #2

Total

FPl. Name Nation Points SD FD
1 Tessa VIRTUE / Scott MOIR
CAN
189.06 1 2
2 Madison CHOCK / Evan BATES
USA
188.24 2 1
3 Piper GILLES / Paul POIRIER
CAN
182.57 3 3
4 Anna CAPPELLINI / Luca LANOTTE
ITA
180.35 4 4
5 Alexandra STEPANOVA / Ivan BUKIN
RUS
168.10 5 5
6 Kaitlin HAWAYEK / Jean-Luc BAKER
USA
162.19 6 6
7 Laurence FOURNIER BEAUDRY / Nikolaj SORENSEN
DEN
156.71 7 7
8 Alexandra PAUL / Mitchell ISLAM
CAN
144.85 8 9
9 Shiyue WANG / Xinyu LIU
CHN
144.16 9 8
10 Cecilia TÖRN / Jussiville PARTANEN
FIN
139.14 10 10

2016 Skate Canada Short Dance Results

Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CO IN Ded.
StN.
1 Tessa VIRTUE / Scott MOIR CAN 77.23 39.57 37.66 9.32 9.18 9.50 9.50 9.57 0.00 #7
2 Madison CHOCK / Evan BATES USA 76.21 40.61 35.60 8.86 8.71 8.93 9.00 9.00 0.00 #1
3 Piper GILLES / Paul POIRIER CAN 72.12 37.58 34.54 8.46 8.43 8.71 8.82 8.75 0.00 #2
4 Anna CAPPELLINI / Luca LANOTTE ITA 71.08 35.01 36.07 8.96 8.86 9.07 9.07 9.11 0.00 #5
5 Alexandra STEPANOVA / Ivan BUKIN RUS 68.12 34.44 33.68 8.46 8.25 8.43 8.54 8.43 0.00 #10
6 Kaitlin HAWAYEK / Jean-Luc BAKER USA 65.01 33.97 31.04 7.64 7.64 7.64 8.00 7.89 0.00 #6
7 Laurence FOURNIER BEAUDRY / Nikolaj SORENSEN DEN 62.63 32.60 30.03 7.50 7.32 7.50 7.57 7.64 0.00 #8
8 Alexandra PAUL / Mitchell ISLAM CAN 58.83 29.05 29.78 7.36 7.29 7.32 7.64 7.61 0.00 #3
9 Shiyue WANG / Xinyu LIU CHN 57.86 31.92 26.94 6.68 6.54 6.82 6.89 6.75 1.00 #4
10 Cecilia TÖRN / Jussiville PARTANEN FIN 56.98 30.63 26.35 6.61 6.46 6.57 6.71 6.57 0.00 #9