2017 Rostelecom Cup Dance Results

Short Dance

Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CO IN Ded.
StN.
1 Maia SHIBUTANI / Alex SHIBUTANI USA 77.30 40.23 37.07 9.21 9.07 9.36 9.32 9.36 0.00 #9
2 Ekaterina BOBROVA / Dmitri SOLOVIEV RUS 76.33 39.47 36.86 9.18 9.04 9.32 9.21 9.32 0.00 #10
3 Alexandra STEPANOVA / Ivan BUKIN RUS 71.32 36.38 34.94 8.68 8.57 8.89 8.75 8.79 0.00 #6
4 Piper GILLES / Paul POIRIER CAN 69.67 35.70 33.97 8.46 8.39 8.57 8.46 8.57 0.00 #7
5 Charlene GUIGNARD / Marco FABBRI ITA 68.99 35.62 33.37 8.29 8.25 8.46 8.29 8.43 0.00 #8
6 Betina POPOVA / Sergey MOZGOV RUS 64.14 34.13 30.01 7.54 7.36 7.54 7.50 7.57 0.00 #1
7 Rachel PARSONS / Michael PARSONS USA 59.41 29.29 30.12 7.68 7.43 7.36 7.61 7.57 0.00 #5
8 Marie-Jade LAURIAULT / Romain LE GAC FRA 55.64 28.72 27.92 7.00 6.86 6.96 7.04 7.04 1.00 #4
9 Nicole KUZMICHOVA / Alexandr SINICYN CZE 54.39 27.99 26.40 6.57 6.36 6.75 6.64 6.68 0.00 #2
10 Alisa AGAFONOVA / Alper UCAR TUR 53.11 24.68 28.43 7.11 6.93 7.14 7.25 7.11 0.00 #3

Free Dance

Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CO IN Ded.
StN.
1 Maia SHIBUTANI / Alex SHIBUTANI USA 111.94 56.01 55.93 9.39 9.21 9.36 9.36 9.29 0.00 #9
2 Ekaterina BOBROVA / Dmitri SOLOVIEV RUS 108.41 52.94 55.47 9.18 9.04 9.29 9.32 9.39 0.00 #8
3 Alexandra STEPANOVA / Ivan BUKIN RUS 108.03 55.23 52.80 8.75 8.61 8.89 8.79 8.96 0.00 #10
4 Piper GILLES / Paul POIRIER CAN 102.62 51.95 50.67 8.50 8.29 8.46 8.43 8.54 0.00 #6
5 Charlene GUIGNARD / Marco FABBRI ITA 102.38 51.29 51.09 8.43 8.36 8.64 8.46 8.68 0.00 #7
6 Betina POPOVA / Sergey MOZGOV RUS 99.88 52.48 47.40 7.86 7.68 7.96 7.89 8.11 0.00 #4
7 Marie-Jade LAURIAULT / Romain LE GAC FRA 91.55 47.65 43.90 7.36 7.18 7.32 7.43 7.29 0.00 #3
8 Rachel PARSONS / Michael PARSONS USA 89.34 43.52 45.82 7.75 7.50 7.61 7.64 7.68 0.00 #5
9 Alisa AGAFONOVA / Alper UCAR TUR 87.68 44.30 43.38 7.25 7.00 7.25 7.29 7.36 0.00 #1
10 Nicole KUZMICHOVA / Alexandr SINICYN CZE 82.42 41.87 40.55 6.61 6.50 6.93 6.89 6.86 0.00 #2

Total

FPl. Name Nation Points SD FD
1 Maia SHIBUTANI / Alex SHIBUTANI
USA
189.24 1 1
2 Ekaterina BOBROVA / Dmitri SOLOVIEV
RUS
184.74 2 2
3 Alexandra STEPANOVA / Ivan BUKIN
RUS
179.35 3 3
4 Piper GILLES / Paul POIRIER
CAN
172.29 4 4
5 Charlene GUIGNARD / Marco FABBRI
ITA
171.37 5 5
6 Betina POPOVA / Sergey MOZGOV
RUS
164.02 6 6
7 Rachel PARSONS / Michael PARSONS
USA
148.75 7 8
8 Marie-Jade LAURIAULT / Romain LE GAC
FRA
147.19 8 7
9 Alisa AGAFONOVA / Alper UCAR
TUR
140.79 10 9
10 Nicole KUZMICHOVA / Alexandr SINICYN
CZE
136.81 9 10

2017 Rostelecom Cup Dance Preview

Three of the ten teams are making their Grand Prix debut at this event, including reigning World Junior Champions the Parsons.  Rachel Parsons is the youngest competitor at this event at only 19, while the oldest female in this event is 28.  The youngest male is 21 and the oldest is 32.  One team has scored over 190 points, while three other teams have scored over 180.

The Shibutanis are going into their 8th season on the Grand Prix and have only finished off the podium once, back at this event in 2012.  They have won gold at their last three events and have qualified for the Final four times, including for the last three years.  Last year was the first time they medaled at the Final, taking home a bronze medal.  They have not competed yet this season, and while their program components and overall performance was strong last season, they never quite got the levels they normally achieved as a highly technical team.  By the end of the season it’s not uncommon to see them routinely receive Level 4s on their step sequences, and that did not happen last year.  They are returning to Coldplay for their free dance (but a different song), and that might help them recreate some of the magic that returned them to the World podium two years ago.

Bobrova and Soloviev are starting their 11th season on the Grand Prix.  They have not missed the podium since 2009 and have qualified for the Final six times, including each of the last two seasons.  However, they have never medaled at the Final.  They kicked off their season with a gold medal at Ondrej Nepela Trophy.  Their short dance earned Level 4 for the rhumba and their lift with Level 3 on the twizzles, non touching step sequence and their partial step sequence.  They had all positive GOEs, but only earned 6 points, and their program components were in the high 8s and low 9s.  Their free dance received Level 4 for the twizzles, lifts, and spin, with Level 3 on the step sequences.  They had all positive GOEs, netting 13 points and had program components in the low to mid 9s.  They have the 5th best short dance, 2nd best free dance, and 3rd best total scores.

Gilles and Poirier will be competing in their 6th Grand Prix season as a team.  They have medaled at every Grand Prix event they have entered the last three seasons, but have only made the Final once, back in 2014.  They won bronze at Autumn Classic International to start their season.  Their short dance earned Level 4 for the twizzles and lift and Level 3 for the partial and non touching step sequences.  They had all positive GOEs, gaining 7 points.  Their program components were in the high 7s to mid 8s.  Their free dance had a Level 4 spin, lifts, and twizzles, with Level 3 on the step sequences.  They had all positive GOEs, totaling 10 points and had program components in the mid 8s.  They have the 9th best short dance, 7th best free dance, and 7th best total scores.

Guignard and Fabbri are entering their 6th Grand Prix season, and while they have never won a medal, they have finished 4th at each of their last four events.  They started their season with a gold medal at Lombardia Trophy.  They earned Level 4 for their twizzles and lift in the short dance with a Level 3 on the rhumba and non touching step sequence.  They had all positive GOEs, totaling 8 points and had program components in the mid 8s.  Their free dance had Level 4 twizzles, spin, and one lift, with Level 3 on their circular steps and one additional lift.  They earned a negative GOE on one of their lifts, but other wise earned 11 points.  Their program components were again in the mid 8s.They have the 7th best short dance, 9th best free dance, and 8th best total scores.

Stepanova and Bukin will compete for the 5th season on the Grand Prix and have three bronze medals on their resume.  They won silver at Finlandia Trophy to start their season.  Their short dance received Level 4 for their twizzles and lift with Level 3 on the partial and non touching step sequences, but they received a shocking Level 1 on their rhumba.  They had all positive GOEs, receiving 7 points.  Their program components were in the mid to high 8s.  Their free dance earned Level 4 for their straight line and rotational lifts, twizzles, and spin, with Level 3 on their curve lift.  They again earned all positive GOEs and had program components in the low to mid 8s.  They have the 6th best short dance and 9th best total scores.

The Parsons are making their Grand Prix debut after winning the World Junior title last season.  They started their first senior season with a silver medal at Ondrej Nepela Trophy.  Their short dance earned Level 4 on the non touching step sequence, lift, and twizzles, with Level 3 on the rhumba and partial step sequence.  They had all positive GOEs, totaling 5 points and program components in the mid to high 7s.  They actually beat Bobrova and Soloviev on the technical score at Nepela, but lost ground on the program components.  Their free dance received Level 4 on their lifts, spin, and twizzles, with Level 3 on one of the step sequences.  They had all positive GOEs and their program components were better, all in the high 7s and low 8s.  They have the 10th best short dance score.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Shibutani/Shibutani

Silver: Bobrova/Soloviev

Bronze: Gilles/Poirier

 

Bios of the competitors:

Gilles/Poirier, CAN: They placed 8th at Worlds and 6th at Four Continents.  They won bronze at Skate Canada and bronze at Trophee de France last season.  They are the 2014 Four Continents Silver Medalists. Their personal best is 182.57.  She is 25 and he is 25.

Kuzmichova/Sinicyn, CZE: They placed 26th at Worlds, 26th at Europeans, and 9th at Junior Worlds.  They finished 4th at JGP France and won silver at JGP Czech Republic last season.  This is their Grand Prix debut.  Their personal best is 142.69.  She is 20 and he is 21.

Lauriault/Le Gac, FRA: They finished 21st at Worlds and 12th at Europeans.  They placed 6th at Trophee de France and 6th at NHK Trophy last season.  Their personal best is 154.36.  She is 20 and he is 22.

Guignard/Fabbri, ITA: They placed 11th at Worlds and 6th at Europeans.  They finished 4th at Skate America and 4th at Rostelecom Cup last season.  Their personal best is 180.30.  She is 28 and he is 29.

Bobrova/Soloviev, RUS: They finished 5th at Worlds and are the reigning European Bronze Medalists.  They won bronze at Skate America and gold at Rostelecom Cup last season to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where they placed 4th.  They are the 2013 World Bronze Medalists, 2013 European Champions, 2011 and 2012 European Silver Medalists, 2016 European Bronze Medalists, and 2007 World Junior Champions.  Their personal best is 186.68.  She is 27 and he is 28.

Popova/Mozgov, RUS: This is their Grand Prix debut.  Their personal best is 161.92.  She is 20 and he is 22.

Stepanova/Bukin, RUS: They placed 10th at Worlds and 5th at Europeans.  They finished 5th at Skate Canada and won bronze at Cup of China last season.  They are the 2015 European Bronze Medalists, 2013 World Junior Champions, and 2012 World Junior Silver Medalists.  Their personal best is 177.41.  She is 22 and he is 24.

Agafonova/Ucar, TUR: They finished 16th at Worlds and 11th at Europeans.  They placed 9th at Skate America and 8th at Rostelecom Cup last season.  Their personal best is 163.00.  She is 26 and he is 32.

Parsons/Parsons, USA: They are the reigning World Junior Champions.  They won gold at JGP Japan and gold at JGP Germany last season to qualify for the Junior Grand Prix Final where they won gold.  This is their Grand Prix debut.  They are the 2016 World Junior Silver Medalists.  Their personal best is 164.83.  She is 19 and he is 22.

Shibutani/Shibutani, USA: They are the reigning World Bronze Medalists and reigning Four Continents Silver Medalists.  They won gold at Skate America and gold at Cup of China last season to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where they won bronze.  They are the 2016 World Silver Medalists, 2011 World Bronze Medalists, 2016 Four Continents Champions, 2011 Four Continents Silver Medalists, 2015 Four Continents Bronze Medalists, and 2009 World Junior Silver Medalists.  Their personal best is 191.85.  She is 23 and he is 26.

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

2016 Trophee de France Dance Results

Short Dance

 Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CO IN Ded.
StN.
1 Gabriella PAPADAKIS / Guillaume CIZERON FRA 78.26 40.43 37.83 9.43 9.29 9.50 9.50 9.57 0.00 #10
2 Elena ILINYKH / Ruslan ZHIGANSHIN RUS 68.72 33.29 35.43 8.79 8.61 9.07 8.93 8.89 0.00 #7
3 Madison HUBBELL / Zachary DONOHUE USA 66.77 32.37 34.40 8.64 8.43 8.57 8.61 8.75 0.00 #6
4 Piper GILLES / Paul POIRIER CAN 64.74 30.54 34.20 8.57 8.36 8.46 8.71 8.64 0.00 #2
5 Isabella TOBIAS / Ilia TKACHENKO ISR 63.70 31.07 32.63 8.18 7.86 8.25 8.29 8.21 0.00 #5
6 Marie-Jade LAURIAULT / Romain LE GAC FRA 57.37 28.88 28.49 7.25 6.86 7.11 7.25 7.14 0.00 #3
7 Alexandra NAZAROVA / Maxim NIKITIN UKR 56.61 29.10 28.51 7.04 6.93 7.14 7.25 7.29 1.00 #8
8 Cortney MANSOUR / Michal CESKA CZE 55.69 29.35 26.34 6.61 6.39 6.64 6.68 6.61 0.00 #1
9 Lorenza ALESSANDRINI / Pierre SOUQUET FRA 48.18 22.94 25.24 6.36 6.11 6.25 6.46 6.36 0.00 #9
10 Viktoria KAVALIOVA / Yurii BIELIAIEV BLR 46.81 20.54 26.27 6.57 6.36 6.61 6.75 6.54 0.00 #4

Free Dance

Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CO IN Ded.
StN.
1 Gabriella PAPADAKIS / Guillaume CIZERON FRA 115.24 57.77 57.47 9.50 9.39 9.75 9.57 9.68 0.00 #10
2 Madison HUBBELL / Zachary DONOHUE USA 107.81 54.88 52.93 8.86 8.57 8.93 8.79 8.96 0.00 #9
3 Piper GILLES / Paul POIRIER CAN 106.04 53.50 52.54 8.64 8.46 8.79 8.96 8.93 0.00 #6
4 Elena ILINYKH / Ruslan ZHIGANSHIN RUS 98.68 47.69 52.99 8.68 8.61 8.79 9.14 8.93 2.00 #8
5 Isabella TOBIAS / Ilia TKACHENKO ISR 95.16 45.00 50.16 8.32 8.07 8.46 8.50 8.46 0.00 #7
6 Marie-Jade LAURIAULT / Romain LE GAC FRA 92.70 49.70 44.00 7.39 7.07 7.36 7.46 7.39 1.00 #3
7 Alexandra NAZAROVA / Maxim NIKITIN UKR 88.78 43.73 45.05 7.32 7.29 7.57 7.68 7.68 0.00 #5
8 Cortney MANSOUR / Michal CESKA CZE 85.23 43.52 41.71 6.93 6.68 7.00 7.18 6.96 0.00 #4
9 Lorenza ALESSANDRINI / Pierre SOUQUET FRA 81.94 43.00 38.94 6.50 6.21 6.57 6.61 6.57 0.00 #2
10 Viktoria KAVALIOVA / Yurii BIELIAIEV BLR 68.23 30.38 37.85 6.39 6.11 6.25 6.50 6.29 0.00 #1

Total

FPl. Name Nation Points SD FD
1 Gabriella PAPADAKIS / Guillaume CIZERON
FRA
193.50 1 1
2 Madison HUBBELL / Zachary DONOHUE
USA
174.58 3 2
3 Piper GILLES / Paul POIRIER
CAN
170.78 4 3
4 Elena ILINYKH / Ruslan ZHIGANSHIN
RUS
167.40 2 4
5 Isabella TOBIAS / Ilia TKACHENKO
ISR
158.86 5 5
6 Marie-Jade LAURIAULT / Romain LE GAC
FRA
150.07 6 6
7 Alexandra NAZAROVA / Maxim NIKITIN
UKR
145.39 7 7
8 Cortney MANSOUR / Michal CESKA
CZE
140.92 8 8
9 Lorenza ALESSANDRINI / Pierre SOUQUET
FRA
130.12 9 9
10 Viktoria KAVALIOVA / Yurii BIELIAIEV
BLR
115.04 10 10

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

2016 Skate Canada Dance Preview

Virtue and Moir decided to come back to competition this season and have a new coaching staff behind them.  They won gold at the Autumn Classic International to start their season.  They received Level 4 on all of their elements except for the spin in their free dance.  They received a time deduction and an extended lift deduction.  They have the best short dance, 2nd best free dance and best total scores.

Chock and Bates faced a disappointing season last year, being surpassed at US Nationals and Worlds by the Shibutanis.  They won silver at Nebelhorn Trophy and silver at Ondrej Nepela Memorial to kick of their season.  They received Level 4 on everything except their step sequences in the free dance at the Nebelhorn Trophy.  They had all positive GOEs and program components in the 8s and 9s.  They have the 3rd best short dance, 4th best free dance and 4th best total scores.

Cappellini and Lanotte won gold at Nebelhorn Trophy to kick off their season.  They also received Level 4s on everything except for their steps in the free dance.  They only had one program component in the 8s with the rest in the 9s.  They have the 4th best short dance, 3rd best free dance and 3rd best total scores.

Gilles and Poirier started their season with a bronze at Nebelhorn Trophy.  They had the same levels as Chock and Bates and Cappellini and Lanotte but their program components were in the 8s with one in the 9 range.  They have the 6th best short dance, 7th best free dance and 6th best total scores.

Stepanova and Bukin won gold at Finlandia Trophy.  They received a Level 2 on one of their step sequences in the free dance.  They have the 7th best short dance, 8th best free dance and 8th best total scores.

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

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Virtue/Moir

Silver: Chock/Bates

Bronze: Cappellini/Lanotte

 

Bios of the competitors:

Gilles/Poirier, CAN: They finished 8th at Worlds and placed 5th at Four Continents .  They won bronze at Skate America and silver at Trophee Eric Bompard last season.  They are the 2014 Four Continents Silver Medalists.  Their personal best is 176.84.  She is 24 and he is 24.

Paul/Islam, CAN: They placed 6th at Skate Canada last season.  They are the 2010 World Junior Silver Medalists.  Their personal best is 152.59.  She is 25 and he is 26.

Virtue/Moir, CAN: They are the 2010 Olympic Champions; 2014 Olympic Silver Medalists; 2010 and 2012 World Champions; 2008, 2011, and 2013 World Silver Medalists; 2009 World Bronze Medalists; 2008 and 2012 Four Continents Champions; 2009 and 2013 Four Continents Silver Medalists; 2006 and 2007 Four Continents Bronze Medalists; 2006 World Junior Champions; and 2005 World Junior Silver Medalists.  Their personal best is 190.99.  She is 27 and he is 29.

Wang/Liu, CHN: They placed 22nd at Worlds and 9th at Four Continents.  They placed 8th at Skate America and 6th at Cup of China last season.  Their personal best is 142.31.  She is 22 and he is 22.

Fournier Beaudry/Sorensen, DEN: They placed 13th at Worlds and 9th at Europeans.  They placed 7th at Skate Canada and 5th at Trophee Eric Bompard last season.  Their personal best is 156.23.  She is 24 and he is 27.

Torn/Partanen, FIN: They placed 18th at Worlds and 15th at Europeans.  Their personal best is 142.90.  She is 22 and he is 25.

Cappellini/Lanotte, ITA: They finished 4th at Worlds and are the reigning European Silver Medalists.  They won gold at Cup of China and silver at Rostelecom Cup last season to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where they won bronze.  They are the 2014 World Champions, 2014 European Champions, 2015 European Silver Medalists, and 2013 European Bronze Medalists.  Their personal best is 182.72.  She is 29 and he is 31.

Stepanova/Bukin, RUS: They placed 11th at Worlds and 5th at Europeans.  They won bronze at Trophee Eric Bompard and placed 4th at NHK Trophy last season.  They are the 2015 European Bronze Medalists, 2013 World Junior Champions and 2012 World Junior Silver Medalists.  Their personal best is 172.83.  She is 21 and he is 23.

Chock/Bates, USA: They are the reigning World Bronze Medalists and Four Continents Silver Medalists.  They won gold at Skate America and silver at Cup of China last season to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where they won silver.  They are the 2015 World Silver Medalists, 2015 Four Continents Silver Medalists and 2013 Four Continents Bronze Medalists.  Their personal best is 185.77.  She is 24 and he is 27.

Hawayek/Baker, USA: They placed 4th at Skate Canada last season.  They are the 2014 World Junior Champions.  Their personal best is 160.50.  She is 19 and he is 23.

 

 

 

2016 World Championships Short Dance Review

While, the top teams are still very close after the short dance at the World Championships, the scores were perhaps not as close as many had predicted.  Reigning World Champions Papadakis and Cizeron have about a 1.5 point lead over the Shibutanis.  Chock and Bates sit in third, nearly 2.5 points out of 2nd.  Weaver and Poje, Gilles and Poirier and Cappellini and Lanotte will try and make their way onto the podium, and all are within 2 points from bronze medal position.

Gilles and Poirier were the surprise of the event, finishing the short dance in 5th place.  I personally thought that Hubbell and Donohue were underscored and should have been closer to Gilles and Poirier.

Papadakis and Cizeron along with the Shibutanis earned Level 4 on all of their elements in the short dance, earning a base value of 29.70.  Papadakis and Cizeron edged them out on the total technical score with higher GOEs on the Ravensberger Waltz, partial step sequence and their lift.  The Shibutanis earned higher GOEs on their twizzles, earning +3 from all but one judge.  Papadakis and Cizeron also edged out the Shibutanis in program components, earning slightly higher marks in all categories.  A positive sign for the Shibutanis going into the free dance was their program components.  They have long been underscored in this category, even earning 7s for these same programs a few weeks ago at Four Continents.  They earned 10.00 from two judges in program components, something that Papadakis and Cizeron did not do.

Chock and Bates lost points when they dropped a level after his bobble on the twizzles and they only earned Level 3 on the second segment of their Waltz.  They were just edged out by the Shibutanis on program components, but this is the first time in years that that has happened.  They also earned two 10.00 marks from judges in program components, and along with the Shibutanis they were the only team to do so.

Weaver and Poje suffered a drop in level on one segment of their Ravensberger Waltz as well as their partial step sequence, costing them two points on the technical side.  While Gilles and Poirier earned all Level 4s on their elements, they had lower GOEs and program components than the other top teams.

 

QUALIFIED

Papadakis and Cizeron, FRA: 38.46 TES + 37.83 PCS = 76.29 

They have so much speed and power through the ice, even with this more elegant, understated program.  What I really love about them as a team is the strong presence he has on the ice.  Often the male partner is overshadowed, but he has great posture, use of his arms and expression throughout and can command the focus.  They had great speed in their rotational lift and is was nicely timed to highlight the music.

Shibutani and Shibutani, USA: 37.78 TES + 36.92 PCS = 74.70

The thing that makes this Coppelia program so effective is her total commitment to the character.  It is very clear when she’s the doll and when she’s been brought to life and everything about her movement quality and performance changes.  There is nothing in this program that looks like work; everything is effortless, completely smooth and oozes elegance.  They are able to consistently achieve the highest levels because of the deepness in the edges and the knees that gives them such a clean look on the ice.  This was a very solid and charming program for them and everything looked very technically solid.

Chock and Bates, USA: 35.62 TES + 36.84 PCS = 72.46

They have a great elegant, classic ballroom feel to their short dance.  They had the tiniest bobble on the second set of twizzles, but otherwise the sequence was put into the music nicely.  Their Ravensberger Waltz has great flow and creates a big pattern on the ice.  What sets them apart is that they use the element at the end of the program as a highlight to really put an exclamation point on their program.  To find differences between these top teams, it comes down to the tiny details, and their edges are not quite as deep as the Shibutanis but this program has a much different kind of performance quality that resonates better.  The bobble on the twizzle cost them a level and that cost them some valuable points.

Weaver and Poje, CAN: 34.99 TES + 36.84 PCS = 71.83 

Their lift is the first highlight in their program and perfectly accents their music.  The position changes are not acrobatic but it is extremely effective.  Their twizzles were very clean and nicely in unison but they didn’t have the speed that is typically seen from the top teams.  There is an effortless elegance to this program and all the little details are thought out down to the accents of the music with their arms.

Gilles and Poirier, CAN: 36.45 TES + 34.25 PCS = 70.70

I love the cartwheel into the rotational lift in this program.  It is so simple, but is very clean and effective and given the number of positions most other teams try to achieve, it stands out.  They have such playful personalities and this Beatles program suits them perfectly and allows them to truly connect to the audience.  This is a team that truly complements each other and everything matches well with great unison.

Cappellini and Lanotte, ITA: 34.35 TES + 36.30 PCS = 70.65

They had a slight timing issue at the start of their twizzles and in a game of fractions that could make a difference.  Her dress is very different, hitting well below the knee, but the dress is fitted to the thigh and then flares out, giving it a lot of movement and really accenting their flow across the ice.  Her arms could have more flow to them and have a bit more softness throughout the step sequences.

Hubbell and Donohue, USA: 33.58 TES + 34.86 PCS = 68.44 

This truly is an absolutely beautiful program and feels more like an exhibition program than a short dance with everything weaved seamlessly together.  They have great flow out of the Ravensberger Waltz stepping right up into the twizzles with great unison throughout and command of the entire element.  This program has just gotten better as the season has progressed and the emotional connection they feel to it is evident in every facial expression and movement down to their fingertips.  They put out a true performance combining the best of the technical and artistic sides.

Coomes and Buckland, GBR: 35.20 TES + 33.03 PCS = 68.23 

They have a lightness throughout their Die Fledermaus short dance.  Everything about their program seems so easy and secure and you never have to worry about them being able to complete their elements.  A memorable moment in their program is the entrance to their lift with him in a hydroblade and picking her up from behind his back.  Overall, a very lovely skate for them.

Sinitsina and Katsalapov, RUS: 32.42 TES + 35.26 PCS = 67.68

Their Swan Lake program was very elegant and they did a great job through the middle choreography section getting into the playfulness of the characters.  Her costume was especially effective, with a light tulle skirt that mimicked a romantic tutu.  The Ravensberger Waltz was a little stiff through the upper body and didn’t seem as secure through the changes of holds as some of the top teams.  Their twizzles were nicely placed with the music but were not executed cleanly and they had a loss of timing as well.  Overall, it was a very nice program with a few errors here and there.

Guignard and Fabbri, ITA: 33.19 TES + 32.77 PCS = 65.96 

I love the speed on their twizzles and the great back attitude position they hit in their first set.  They are skating their program to Italian music and are dressed in vintage Italian costumes which gives them a unique feel to this program.  Where they can really improve as a team is paying attention to the details in the hand and arm position and in the changes of hold in the Ravensberger Waltz and the partial step sequence to really finish off the movement and create a better dance hold position.  This team has really made a big step up this season and skated a strong program here but they still have room to grow if they want to be with the top few teams.

Stepanova and Bukin, RUS: 30.75 TES + 33.09 PCS = 63.84

What I really appreciate about this team is the crispness in their head positions when dancing in holds, giving them a very clean look up top.  Their signature move is the sit spin twizzles and they executed them flawlessly here.  They have such an elegant look about them but they really make it work for them throughout the “Good Times Roll” section of their program.  They skated this program solidly with great lines and flow, but there isn’t anything truly memorable to really set them apart.

Testa and Csolley, SVK: 32.09 TES + 29.66 PCS = 61.75 

They have very nice speed on their twizzles with great unison to start off the program and it sets a nice tone for what is to come.  Her dress is very unique with a longer skirt and a dropped waistline and a heavier fabric.  As a team they have the right look to pull off the Addams Family and they do a great job bringing the characters to life as well though their facial expressions and the shapes of their arms and hands.  The one area I would have them work on is having more flow through their arms and more of a lightness in their closed hold positions.

Tobias and Tkachenko, ISR: 31.52 TES + 29.45 PCS = 60.97

Kaliszek and Spodirev, POL: 31.86 TES + 28.02 PCS = 59.88 

Fournier Beaudry and Sorensen, DEN: 29.83 TES + 29.92 PCS = 59.75

They have a unique take on this waltz with a rock ballad including lyrics.  She is absolutely gorgeous on the ice with great posture, 90 degree arabesque line and great use of her arms and hands to accentuate the movement.  As a team they have great speed and flow and really utilize the full ice surface.  The most effective part of their program was the rotational lift that had great speed, a nice up and down flow and good changes in position.  I was totally taken on a journey with this team and was captivated by their program.

Muramoto and Reed: 31.49 TES + 27.51 PCS = 59.00  

What is immediately noticeable about this team is the speed and flow they have, which is all the more impressive for a first year team.  Their enjoyment of skating is also evident throughout the program and they do a great job of showing the different performance qualities between the waltz and the march.

Torn and Partanen: 30.06 TES + 26.45 PCS = 56.51

Their program was skated to a Frank Sinatra medley.  Their Ravensberger Waltz was a bit on top of their edges without clean changes, but they had solid timing on their twizzles.  What really sets them apart is their lightness in the partial step sequence and their full use of their upper bodies and arms to finish off the lines.  This program really suits their lines and styles and this was a good outing for them.

Lorenz and Polizoakis: 28.50 TES + 26.30 PCS = 54.80

They had great energy and emotion in their Sound of Music program.  I really enjoyed the cuts and how the program was put together, but I would like to see a somewhat more traditional costume to fit the theme of the program.  While they have great frames and posture throughout the step sequences, they could use more connection and eye contact between them to really sell the love story that is at the heart of Sound of Music.  Overall this was a very effective and well executed program.

Silna and Kurakin, AUT: 29.43 TES + 25.20 PCS = 54.63

Nazarova and Nikitin, UKR: 26.95 TES + 26.69 PCS = 53.64

She has a great presence on the ice with great lines and posture and they really play to her strength with this Strauss themed program.  The thing that is holding this team back right now is that they still have a very juniorish feel about them, sitting on top of their edges and not getting a nice flow across the ice.  While  she has great lines, they are a bit stiff in the upper body as a team.

 

NOT QUALIFIED

Agafonova and Ucar, TUR: 28.27 TES + 25.29 PCS = 53.56 

Wang and Liu, CHN: 26.49 TES + 26.43 PCS = 52.92 

They have great speed and nice posture to open up their Piano Man program.  While they have a huge height difference between them, they do a great job maintaining their posture in the holds and matching their leg lines.  The cut into Fever was nicely done but I’m not sure how these two pieces of music fit together into a cohesive story.  I really like everything about this team and they have a great presence and sense of style on the ice.

Paradis and Ouellette, CAN: 26.59 TES + 25.35 PCS = 51.94

Mansour and Ceska, CZE: 27.16 TES + 24.52 PCS = 51.68 

Kim and Minov, KOR: 25.89 TES + 23.90 PCS = 49.79

They have good flow to their skating and a pleasant demeanor throughout their program but they are often on top of their edges and not really pushing all the way across the ice.  I really enjoy their matching leg lines in the partial step sequence and their great posture throughout the program.

Robledo and Fenero: 26.15 TES + 23.43 PCS = 49.58

They chose to skate their short dance with a Spanish style, which gives them a very unique take on the required waltz.  This team has a very noticeable height difference and while she has a great frame and head position in the Ravensberger Waltz, he almost seems slightly hunched over in the dance holds.  The most effective part of their program for me was the partial step sequence which really allowed them to perform and pull the Spanish flair into this program.

Garabedian and Proulx-Senecal, ARM: 24.13 TES + 22.98 PCS = 47.11

They have great packaging right off the bat.  They are skating to Waltz of the Flowers from the Nutcracker and she has flower earrings and he even has flower vines along the waistband of his pants.  They have some troubles in the closed holds, gripping each other and looking a little stiff through the changes of holds and arm positions.  I don’t like where they decided to go with the program in the second half, using a polka with lyrics which seems to completely deviate away from where they started this program.

Pl. Qual. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CC IT Ded.
StN.
1 Q Gabriella PAPADAKIS / Guillaume CIZERON FRA 76.29 38.46 37.83 9.43 9.32 9.57 9.50 9.46 0.00 #30
2 Q Maia SHIBUTANI / Alex SHIBUTANI USA 74.70 37.78 36.92 9.11 9.04 9.29 9.32 9.39 0.00 #26
3 Q Madison CHOCK / Evan BATES USA 72.46 35.62 36.84 9.04 9.00 9.36 9.29 9.36 0.00 #27
4 Q Kaitlyn WEAVER / Andrew POJE CAN 71.83 34.99 36.84 9.11 9.04 9.29 9.36 9.25 0.00 #28
5 Q Piper GILLES / Paul POIRIER CAN 70.70 36.45 34.25 8.32 8.43 8.64 8.75 8.68 0.00 #25
6 Q Anna CAPPELLINI / Luca LANOTTE ITA 70.65 34.35 36.30 8.89 9.00 9.14 9.14 9.21 0.00 #29
7 Q Madison HUBBELL / Zachary DONOHUE USA 68.44 33.58 34.86 8.61 8.54 8.89 8.68 8.86 0.00 #22
8 Q Penny COOMES / Nicholas BUCKLAND GBR 68.23 35.20 33.03 8.18 8.11 8.39 8.29 8.32 0.00 #21
9 Q Victoria SINITSINA / Nikita KATSALAPOV RUS 67.68 32.42 35.26 8.79 8.54 8.82 9.00 8.93 0.00 #9
10 Q Charlene GUIGNARD / Marco FABBRI ITA 65.96 33.19 32.77 8.14 8.04 8.32 8.18 8.29 0.00 #24
11 Q Alexandra STEPANOVA / Ivan BUKIN RUS 63.84 30.75 33.09 8.36 8.11 8.21 8.39 8.29 0.00 #23
12 Q Federica TESTA / Lukas CSOLLEY SVK 61.75 32.09 29.66 7.32 7.18 7.46 7.50 7.61 0.00 #16
13 Q Isabella TOBIAS / Ilia TKACHENKO ISR 60.97 31.52 29.45 7.29 7.18 7.50 7.46 7.39 0.00 #3
14 Q Natalia KALISZEK / Maksim SPODIREV POL 59.88 31.86 28.02 6.89 6.93 7.04 7.14 7.04 0.00 #6
15 Q Laurence FOURNIER BEAUDRY / Nikolaj SORENSEN DEN 59.75 29.83 29.92 7.50 7.29 7.54 7.61 7.46 0.00 #18
16 Q Kana MURAMOTO / Chris REED JPN 59.00 31.49 27.51 6.71 6.71 6.93 7.04 7.00 0.00 #13
17 Q Cecilia TÖRN / Jussiville PARTANEN FIN 56.51 30.06 26.45 6.46 6.50 6.64 6.75 6.71 0.00 #11
18 Q Kavita LORENZ / Panagiotis POLIZOAKIS GER 54.80 28.50 26.30 6.61 6.32 6.57 6.79 6.57 0.00 #14
19 Q Barbora SILNA / Juri KURAKIN AUT 54.63 29.43 25.20 6.29 6.14 6.43 6.32 6.32 0.00 #8
20 Q Alexandra NAZAROVA / Maxim NIKITIN UKR 53.64 26.95 26.69 6.61 6.61 6.61 6.89 6.64 0.00 #17
21 Alisa AGAFONOVA / Alper UCAR TUR 53.56 28.27 25.29 6.50 6.11 6.39 6.50 6.11 0.00 #2
22 Shiyue WANG / Xinyu LIU CHN 52.92 26.49 26.43 6.57 6.43 6.61 6.71 6.71 0.00 #20
23 Elisabeth PARADIS / Francois-Xavier OUELLETTE CAN 51.94 26.59 25.35 6.36 6.25 6.36 6.57 6.14 0.00 #1
24 Cortney MANSOUR / Michal CESKA CZE 51.68 27.16 24.52 6.14 6.00 6.11 6.36 6.04 0.00 #10
25 Rebeka KIM / Kirill MINOV KOR 49.79 25.89 23.90 6.11 5.86 5.93 6.11 5.86 0.00 #19
26 Celia ROBLEDO / Luis FENERO ESP 49.58 26.15 23.43 5.82 5.64 5.96 6.07 5.79 0.00 #12
27 Tina GARABEDIAN / Simon PROULX-SENECAL ARM 47.11 24.13 22.98 5.93 5.61 5.75 5.82 5.61 0.00 #15
28 Viktoria KAVALIOVA / Yurii BIELIAIEV BLR 40.82 18.22 22.60 5.64 5.68 5.54 5.79 5.61 0.00 #4
29 Olga JAKUSHINA / Andrey NEVSKIY LAT 40.80 20.34 20.46 5.29 5.00 5.14 5.29 4.86 0.00 #5
30 Anastasia KHROMOVA / Daryn ZHUNUSSOV KAZ 40.69 21.64 20.05 5.14 4.96 4.96 5.14 4.86 1.00 #7

2016 World Championships Dance Preview

This promises to be one of the most competitive events at this World Championships, with the top three scores of the season within one point of each other.  The top short dance scores are only fractions of a point apart.  It is going to be the small details that are going to set these teams apart and determine who ends up on top of the podium, but it could truly be anyone’s game.

Papadakis and Cizeron were sidelined most of the season with a concussion but were able to make it back in time for Europeans.  They won that event with the best scores of the season, proving they are fit and ready to defend their World title, even with less mileage on their programs.  While there was nothing glaringly wrong with their short dance (all but one Level 4 element, all positive GOEs, strong program components) they are just in the top 5 in terms of scores because of how close everyone is ranked.  Their free dance is their biggest strength and they received Level 4 on both step sequences at Europeans and even a 10.00 on their performance.  They have the 5th best short dance, best free dance and best total scores.

Cappellini and Lanotte have had a hard time living up to the World title they won in 2014.  They failed to make the podium at Worlds at all last season and they won bronze at the Grand Prix Final (an event that Papadakis and Cizeron did not attend).  They did win the silver at Europeans, but were over 4 points behind Papadakis and Cizeron.  They had about a 1.5 point lead after the short program after setting higher TES and PCS, but they received Level 3 on both step sequences in their free dance along with one lift and even had some program components in the 8s.  They have the 3rd best short dance, 6th best free dance and 4th best total scores.

Weaver and Poje looked to be regaining the form that had made them the favorites for the World title last season, winning every event they entered through the first half of the season.  However, they ran into trouble at Four Continents, where they dropped to a disappointing third place.  Their short dance was fairly solid at that event, but they received Level 3 on one pattern of the Ravensberger Waltz and their partial step sequence.  Their free dance was full of technical errors with two Level 2 elements, but they did have the highest program components in the event.  They have have the 2nd best short dance, 2nd best free dance and 2nd best total scores.

Chock and Bates have had troubles with their programs this season, scrapping a few and making major changes to others along the way.  They now seem comfortable with the content, but they aren’t getting the results they were hoping for and they are being passed up both at home and abroad.  While their programs are well executed, they aren’t necessarily memorable.  They have had Level issues all season, and this problem continued at Four Continents.  Their short dance had Level 2 twizzles and they received Level 3 on both sections of the Waltz.  Their free dance was mostly better with only Level 3 on the step sequences and program components mostly in the low 9s.  They have the 4th best short dance, 5th best free dance and 5th best total scores.

The Shibutanis have had a resurgence this season after winning a Worlds medal way back in 2011.  They won their first US title and their first Four Continents title, leapfrogging several teams who defeated them earlier in the season.  Their Coppelia short dance is charming and everything from the costuming to the music and the choreography work together to tell the story.  But by far what sets them apart is their free dance.  They’ve been receiving standing ovations all season and are really connecting with the audience.  They received all Level 4s on the short dance at Four Continents, but their program components were lower, even receiving some scores in the 7s.  They received Level 4s on all but one step sequence in the free dance and even received +3 GOE from all but one judge on their twizzles.  The program components were lower again than the top competitors, but were stronger than the short dance.  They have the best short dance, 3rd best free dance, and 3rd best total scores.

Sinitsina and Katsalapov finished just off the podium in 4th at Europeans, but with Bobrova and Solovjev unable to compete, they are the top ranked Russian team at this event.  They won two medals on the Grand Prix but didn’t score quite well enough to qualify for the Final.  Their short dance received two Level 3s at Europeans, and they also received lower GOEs and program components.   Their free dance was stronger, but they received Level 4 on both their step sequences.  They have 9th best short dance, 8th best free dance and 8th best total scores.

Hubbell and Donohue have really come into their own this season and their new coaches seem to have found a style that suits them perfectly.  Their programs are expertly choreographed and the elements flow seamlessly into the program.  Their short program to Hallelujah is one of the more gorgeous programs being competed this season.  They have the 7th best short dance, 10th best free dance and 9th best total scores.

Guignard and Fabbri looked to be joining the top ranks after two solid back to back performances in the Challenger Series late this fall.  However, they dropped a place at Europeans and finished 10 points lower than their personal best.  They have the 10th best short dance, 9th best free dance and 10th best total scores.

Other teams looking to be in the top 10 include Stepanova and Bukin, Coomes and Buckland and Gilles and Poirier.

Not competing in this event but holding top ten scores are two Russian teams: Ilinykh and Zhiganshin (6th) and Bobrova and Soloviev (7th).

The key to this event is going to be levels.  The Shibutanis received all Level 4s on their short dance, earning them a base value of 29.70.  Earning a Level 3 on the Waltz drops your base value by .6 while a Level 3 on the partial step sequence costs you 1.5 points base value.  Chock and Bates dropped two levels on the twizzle, costing them 2 full points.  In an event where the top teams may be within a point of each other, losing 1.5 points can be deadly.  In the free dance, Papadakis and Cizeron earned almost all Level 4s, earning them 43.00 points in base value.  Dropping a level on a lift will cost you .5 points base value, while losing a level on a step sequence will cost you 1.5 points.  However, the levels are the easiest piece of the puzzle to fix.  While you can’t control how strict a controller is going to be at calling the levels and watching the edges, the teams know exactly how to achieve each level and will be working in practice every day to make sure they can maximize their point values.

The troubling thing for the Shibutanis is going to be the program components.  While they have the technical edge over all the teams (except for perhaps Papadakis and Cizeron), their program components are significantly lower (and I find them to be under marked).  While there are clear guidelines for program components, most of these come down to a gut judgement for the judges and are not as easy for teams to address.  Here’s how the top 5 teams fared in the short dance and the free dance at Four Continents and Europeans.

Weaver/Poje: 37.06

Cappellini/Lanotte: 36.28

Shibutani/Shibutani: 35.66

Chock/Bates: 35.48

Papadakis/Cizeron: 35.47

 

Papadakis/Cizeron: 55.73

Weaver/Poje: 55.54

Cappellini/Lanotte: 55.42

Chock/Bates: 55.10

Shibutani/Shibutani: 54.84

 

Weaver and Poje earned the highest total of 92.60 just from program components.  The Shibutanis are the lowest of the top five teams with 90.50 points.  Weaver and Poje won the bronze medal behind the Shibutanis at Four Continents but that was due to levels.  If they can bring a few of their levels up, they had a nearly 2 point advantage in program components.  However, I think that performing Fix You in front of a home crowd (a crowd that gave them a standing ovation before their program even ended at US Nationals), may be enough to boost their weaker program components in the free dance.  However, with more mileage on the more technical difficult short dance, I think Papadakis and Cizeron will also see their weaker program components increase and with their technical skills and program component lead in the free dance they are going to be tough to beat.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Papadakis/Cizeron

Silver: Shibutani/Shibutani

Bronze: Chock/Bates

 

Bios of the competitors:

Garabdedian/Proulx-Senecal, ARM: They finished 18th at Europeans.  Their personal best is 127.92.  She is 18 and he is 24.

Silna/Kurakin, AUT: They finished 21st at Worlds last season.  They placed 17th at Europeans.  Their personal best is 129.87.  She is 27 and he is 28.

Kavaliova/Bieliaiev, BLR: They finished 28th at Worlds last season.  They placed 16th at Europeans.  They finished 7th at Rostelecom Cup.  Their personal best is 148.08.  She is 21 and he is 23.

Gilles/Poirier, CAN: They finished 6th at Worlds last season.  They placed 5th at Four Continents .  They won bronze at Skate America and silver at Trophee Eric Bompard.  They are the 2014 Four Continents Silver Medalists.  Their personal best is 165.22.  She is 24 and he is 24.

Paradis/Ouellette, CAN: They finished 6th at Four Continents.  They placed 8th at Skate Canada.  Their personal best is 146.94.  She is 23 and he is 24.

Weaver/Poje, CAN: They are the reigning World Bronze Medalists and 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, 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 26 and he is 29.

Wang/Liu, CHN: They placed 19th at Worlds last season.  They finished 9th at Four Continents.  They placed 8th at Skate America and 6th at Cup of China.  Their personal best is 142.31.  She is 21 and he is 21.

Mansour/Ceska, CZE: They placed 13th at Europeans.  Their personal best is 141.36.  She is 21 and he is 23.

Fournier Beaudry/Sorensen, DEN: They placed 11th at Worlds last season.  They finished 9th at Europeans.  They placed 7th at Skate Canada and 5th at Trophee Eric Bompard.  Their personal best is 156.23.  She is 23 and he is 27.

Torn/Partanen, FIN: They placed 25th at Worlds last season.  They finished 15th at Europeans.  Their personal best is 142.90.  She is 22 and he is 24.

Papadakis/Cizeron, FRA: They are the reigning World and European Champions.  They are the 2015 European Champions and 2013 World Junior Silver Medalists.  Their personal best is 184.28.  She is 20 and he is 21.

Lorenz/Polizakis, GER: They finished 14th at Europeans.  Their personal best is 137.99.  She is 20 and he is 20.

Coomes/Buckland, GBR: They finished 6th at Europeans.  They placed 4th at Trophee Eric Bompard and 5th at Rostelecom Cup.  They are the 2014 European Silver Medalists.  Their personal best is 162.75.  She is 26 and he is 26.

Tobias/Tkachenko, ISR: They finished 10th at Europeans.  Their personal best is 160.98.  She is 24 and he is 29.

Cappellini/Lanotte, ITA: They finished 4th at Worlds last season and are the reigning European Silver Medalists.  They won gold at Cup of China and silver at Rostelecom Cup to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where they won bronze.  They are the 2014 World Champions, 2014 European Champions, 2015 European Silver Medalists, and 2013 European Bronze Medalists.  Their personal best is 178.01.  She is 29 and he is 30.

Guignard/Fabbri, ITA: They placed 12th at Worlds last season.  They finished 7th at Europeans.  They finished 4th at Skate Canada and 4th at Rostelecom Cup.  Their personal best is 172.28.  She is 26 and he is 28.

Muramoto/Reed, JPN: They placed 7th at Four Continents.  They finished 7th at NHK Trophy.  Their personal best is 145.83.  She is 23 and he is 26.

Khromova/Zhunussov, KAZ: They finished 14th at Four Continents.  Their personal best is 114.20.  She is 18 and he is 24.

Jakushina/Nevskiy, LAT: They finished 29th at Worlds last season.  They placed 22nd at Europeans.  Their personal best is 120.86.  She is 18 and he is 23.

Kaliszek/Spodirev, POL: They finished 24th at Worlds last season.  They placed 11th at Europeans.  Their personal best is 150.60.  She is 19 and he is 22.

Kim/Minov, KOR: They finished 26th at Worlds last season.  They placed 11th at Four Continents.  They placed 6th at Rostelecom Cup.  Their personal best is 137.28.  She is 18 and he is 23.

Sinitsina/Katsalapov, RUS: They finished 4th at Europeans.  They won silver at Skate America and bronze at Rostelecom Cup.  Their personal best is 172.65.  She is 20 and he is 24.

Stepanova/Bukin, RUS: They placed 9th at Worlds last season.  They finished 5th at Europeans.  They won bronze at Trophee Eric Bompard and placed 4th at NHK Trophy.  They are the 2015 European Bronze Medalists, 2013 World Junior Champions and 2012 World Junior Silver Medalists.  Their personal best is 165.55.  She is 20 and he is 22.

Testa/Csolley, SVK: They finished 15th at Worlds last season.  They placed 8th at Europeans.  They placed 4th at Cup of China.  Their personal best is 158.05.  She is 22 and he is 25.

Robledo/Fenero, ESP: They finished 19th at Europeans.  Their personal best is 122.81.  She is 21 and he is 23.

Agafonova/Ucar, TUR: They placed 16th at Worlds last season.  They placed 12th at Europeans.  They finished 7th at Trophee Eric Bompard.  Their personal best is 151.74.  She is 25 and he is 31.

Nazarova/Nikitin, UKR: They finished 17th at Worlds last season.  They placed 7th at Skate America.  They are the 2015 World Junior Bronze Medalists.  Their personal best is 148.48.  She is 19 and he is 21.

Chock/Bates, USA: They are the reigning World Silver Medalists and Four Continents Silver Medalists.  They won gold at Skate America and silver at Cup of China to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where they won silver.  They are the 2015 Four Continents Silver Medalists and 2013 Four Continents Bronze Medalists.  Their personal best is 181.34.  She is 23 and he is 27.

Hubbell/Donohue, USA: They finished 10th at Worlds last season.  They placed 4th at Four Continents.  They won gold at Trophee Eric Bompard and bronze at NHK Trophy to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where they finished 6th.  They are the 2014 Four Continents Champions.  Their personal best is 172.29.  She is 25 and he is 25.

Shibutani/Shibutani, USA: They placed 5th at Worlds last season and are the reigning Four Continents Champions.  They won silver at Skate Canada and gold at NHK Trophy to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where they finished 4th.  They are the 2011 World Bronze Medalists, 2011 Four Continents Silver Medalists, 2015 Four Continents Bronze Medalists and 2009 World Junior Silver Medalists.  Their personal best is 181.62.  She is 21 and he is 24.

 

2016 Four Continents Dance Preview

This promises to be an extremely competitive event with many of these teams contenders for World medals later this season.

Weaver and Poje lost ground last season after winning Four Continents.  They were the favorites going in to Worlds and had to settle for the bronze medal.  They’ve won every event they’ve entered this season, including the Final.  After scoring close to the pack for the first part of the season, they pulled ahead at the Final, crossing the 180 mark.  They have the best short dance, 2nd best free dance and 2nd best total scores of the season.

Chock and Bates have had troubles with their programs this season, scrapping a few and making major changes to others along the way.  That was evident in their scoring as they dropped between Grand Prix events, before pulling up at the Final.  While their programs are well executed, they aren’t necessarily memorable.  They also had several Level issues at US nationals which cost them a repeat of their title.  They have the 3rd best short dance, 7th best free dance and 4th best total scores of the season.

The Shibutanis finally won their first US title last month, taking down a sitting Ice Dance Champion for the first time in two decades.  Their Coppelia short dance is charming and everything from the costuming to the music and the choreography work together to tell the story.  But by far what sets them apart is their free dance.  They’ve been receiving standing ovations all season and are really connecting with the audience.  However, they won at US Nationals largely due to having higher technical levels and they scored below Chock and Bates on program components.  They have the 6th best short dance, 6th best free dance, and 7th best total scores of the season.

Hubbell and Donohue have made great strides this season since moving to Canada to train with Dubreuil and Lauzon.  After losing ground on the top two teams in the US last season, they closed the gap this year and left other contenders behind them.  Internationally, they qualified for their first Grand Prix Final.  Their programs really have a dancey quality to them and the elements are woven seamlessly into the program.  I’m not as big of a fan of their free dance, but their short dance to Hallelujah is one of the more gorgeous programs this season.  They have the 10th best free dance and 10th best total scores of the season.

Gilles and Poirier bring their own unique spin on ice dance and their Beatles themed short dance is definitely in a class of it’s own.  While their best score of the season doesn’t rank in the top 10 and they are several points below the other teams, they haven’t competed a full event since Skate America as they weren’t able to compete their free dance at Trophee Eric Bompard.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Weaver/Poje

Silver: Shibutani/Shibutani

Bronze: Chock/Bates

 

Bios of the competitors:

Friend/Badaoui, AUS: They placed 13th at JGP USA and 17th at JGP Croatia.  Their personal best is 86.57. She is 16 and he is 17.

Gilles/Poirier, CAN: They finished 6th at Worlds and 4th at Four Continents last season.  They won bronze at Skate America and silver at Trophee Eric Bompard.  They are the 2014 Four Continents Silver Medalists.  Their personal best is 165.22.  She is 24 and he is 24.

Paradis/Ouellette, CAN: They placed 8th at Skate Canada.  Their personal best is 137.30.  She is 23 and he is 24.

Weaver/Poje, CAN: They are the reigning World Bronze Medalists and Four Continents Champions.  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, 2010 Four Continents Champions, 2012 Four Continents Bronze Medalists, and 2007 World Junior Bronze Medalists.  Their personal best is 182.93.  She is 26 and he is 28.

Li/Xiang, CHN: They finished 9th at JGP Lativa.  Their personal best is 101.13.  She is 16 and he is 20.

Wang/Liu, CHN: They placed 19th at Worlds and 7th at Four Continents last season.  They placed 8th at Skate America and 6th at Cup of China.  Their personal best is 142.31.  She is 21 and he is 21.

Zhang/Wu, CHN: Their personal best is 116.34.  She is 22 and he is 24.

Hirai/De la Asuncion, JPN: They placed 8th at Four Continents last season.  They finished 8th at NHK Trophy.  Their personal best is 127.92.  She is 29 and he is 27.

Muramoto/Reed, JPN: They finished 7th at NHK Trophy.  Their personal best is 134.97.  She is 22 and he is 26.

Khromova/Zhunussov, KAZ: Their personal best is 114.20.  She is 18 and he is 24.

Kim/Minov, KOR: They finished 26th at Worlds and 9th at Four Continents last season.  They placed 6th at Rostelecom Cup.  Their personal best is 137.28.  She is 18 and he is 23.

Lee/Kam, KOR: They finished 19th at Junior Worlds last season.  They finished 4th at JGP Slovakia and 7th at JGP USA.  Their personal best is 129.28.  She is 18 and he is 19.

Min/Gamelin, KOR: Their personal best is 119.84.  She is 20 and he is 22.

Chock/Bates, USA: They are the reigning World Silver Medalists and Four Continents Silver Medalists.  They won gold at Skate America and silver at Cup of China to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where they won silver.  They are the 2013 Four Continents Bronze Medalists.  Their personal best is 181.34.  She is 23 and he is 26.

Hubbell/Donohue, USA: They finished 10th at Worlds last season.  They won gold at Trophee Eric Bompard and bronze at NHK Trophy to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where they finished 6th.  They are the 2014 Four Continents Champions.  Their personal best is 167.49.  She is 24 and he is 25.

Shibutani/Shibutani, USA: They placed 5th at Worlds last season and are the reigning Four Continents Bronze Medalists.  They won silver at Skate Canada and gold at NHK Trophy to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where they finished 4th.  They are the 2011 World Bronze Medalists, 2011 Four Continents Silver Medalists and 2009 World Junior Silver Medalists.  Their personal best is 174.92.  She is 21 and he is 24.