2016 Tallinn Trophy Senior Dance Results

Short Dance

Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CO IN Deduction
StN.
1 Elena ILINYKH / Ruslan ZHIGANSHIN RUS 76.04 40.52 35.52 8.79 8.71 8.96 8.86 9.07 0.00 #23
2 Isabella TOBIAS / Ilia TKACHENKO ISR 71.35 37.66 33.69 8.32 8.29 8.46 8.46 8.57 0.00 #16
3 Alisa AGAFONOVA / Alper UCAR TUR 67.51 37.06 30.45 7.50 7.46 7.71 7.68 7.71 0.00 #9
4 Elliana POGREBINSKY / Alex BENOIT USA 65.94 35.49 30.45 7.57 7.46 7.64 7.64 7.75 0.00 #7
5 Olga JAKUSHINA / Andrey NEVSKIY LAT 60.51 33.71 26.80 6.75 6.54 6.75 6.68 6.79 0.00 #12
6 Yura MIN / Alexander GAMELIN KOR 59.22 31.10 28.12 7.04 6.93 7.00 7.07 7.11 0.00 #19
7 Adelina GALAYAVIEVA / Laurent ABECASSIS FRA 56.43 30.57 25.86 6.36 6.25 6.54 6.54 6.64 0.00 #13
8 Cecilia TÖRN / Jussiville PARTANEN FIN 55.70 29.02 26.68 6.71 6.46 6.75 6.71 6.71 0.00 #10
9 Taylor TRAN / Saulius AMBRULEVICIUS LTU 54.90 29.81 25.09 6.25 6.07 6.32 6.32 6.39 0.00 #2
10 Anastasia GALYETA / Avidan BROWN AZE 54.53 29.64 24.89 6.25 6.00 6.32 6.25 6.29 0.00 #5
11 Viktoria KAVALIOVA / Yurii BIELIAIEV BLR 53.98 29.73 25.25 6.46 6.25 6.14 6.43 6.29 1.00 #18
12 Ludmila SOSNITSKAIA / Pavel GOLOVISHNOKOV RUS 53.61 29.33 24.28 5.96 5.93 6.11 6.21 6.14 0.00 #3
13 Victoria MANNI / Carlo RÖTHLISBERGER SUI 52.32 28.83 23.49 6.00 5.71 5.96 5.86 5.82 0.00 #20
14 Juulia TURKKILA / Matthias VERSLUIS FIN 50.55 26.54 24.01 6.07 5.82 5.96 6.11 6.04 0.00 #17
15 Robynne TWEEDALE / Joseph BUCKLAND GBR 49.81 25.51 24.30 6.14 5.89 6.18 6.04 6.14 0.00 #6
16 Adel TANKOVA / Ronald ZILBERBERG ISR 48.37 26.75 21.62 5.57 5.21 5.43 5.43 5.39 0.00 #15
17 Olga BIBIHINA / Daniil ZVORYKIN RUS 47.63 25.86 21.77 5.43 5.25 5.46 5.54 5.54 0.00 #8
18 Katerina BUNINA / German FROLOV EST 45.35 24.28 21.07 5.36 5.04 5.32 5.36 5.25 0.00 #14
19 Aurelia IPOLITO / Malcolm JONES LAT 40.68 21.06 19.62 4.93 4.71 5.00 5.00 4.89 0.00 #22
20 Marina ELIAS / Geido KAPP EST 39.83 18.82 21.01 5.32 5.07 5.21 5.32 5.32 0.00 #21
21 Mathilde HAROLD / Mael DEMOUGEOT FRA 39.75 19.33 20.42 5.18 4.96 5.18 5.14 5.07 0.00 #1

Free Dance

Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CO IN Deduction
StN.
1 Elena ILINYKH / Ruslan ZHIGANSHIN RUS 109.15 55.54 53.61 8.82 8.68 9.04 9.07 9.07 0.00 #21
2 Isabella TOBIAS / Ilia TKACHENKO ISR 106.45 55.32 51.13 8.43 8.32 8.64 8.61 8.61 0.00 #20
3 Elliana POGREBINSKY / Alex BENOIT USA 101.87 54.55 47.32 7.68 7.68 7.96 8.07 8.04 0.00 #18
4 Alisa AGAFONOVA / Alper UCAR TUR 95.49 48.70 46.79 7.64 7.57 7.89 8.00 7.89 0.00 #19
5 Yura MIN / Alexander GAMELIN KOR 92.13 49.20 42.93 7.07 6.89 7.21 7.36 7.25 0.00 #16
6 Olga JAKUSHINA / Andrey NEVSKIY LAT 90.30 48.00 42.30 6.96 6.79 7.11 7.25 7.14 0.00 #17
7 Taylor TRAN / Saulius AMBRULEVICIUS LTU 88.40 47.61 40.79 6.68 6.57 6.89 6.96 6.89 0.00 #13
8 Adelina GALAYAVIEVA / Laurent ABECASSIS FRA 87.82 47.31 40.51 6.57 6.46 6.82 6.96 6.96 0.00 #15
9 Anastasia GALYETA / Avidan BROWN AZE 86.59 46.71 39.88 6.57 6.39 6.82 6.75 6.71 0.00 #12
10 Cecilia TÖRN / Jussiville PARTANEN FIN 86.20 45.35 40.85 6.68 6.61 6.82 7.00 6.93 0.00 #14
11 Ludmila SOSNITSKAIA / Pavel GOLOVISHNOKOV RUS 85.04 46.45 38.59 6.43 6.21 6.54 6.43 6.54 0.00 #10
12 Juulia TURKKILA / Matthias VERSLUIS FIN 77.84 40.32 37.52 6.14 6.04 6.29 6.43 6.36 0.00 #8
13 Viktoria KAVALIOVA / Yurii BIELIAIEV BLR 77.16 39.14 39.02 6.43 6.29 6.50 6.75 6.54 1.00 #11
14 Robynne TWEEDALE / Joseph BUCKLAND GBR 75.40 38.64 36.76 6.11 5.86 6.25 6.21 6.21 0.00 #7
15 Victoria MANNI / Carlo RÖTHLISBERGER SUI 73.02 37.92 36.10 5.96 5.71 6.21 6.14 6.07 1.00 #9
16 Olga BIBIHINA / Daniil ZVORYKIN RUS 70.95 37.41 33.54 5.57 5.32 5.61 5.71 5.75 0.00 #5
17 Katerina BUNINA / German FROLOV EST 70.92 39.41 31.51 5.29 5.00 5.32 5.36 5.29 0.00 #4
18 Mathilde HAROLD / Mael DEMOUGEOT FRA 67.09 37.26 30.83 5.07 4.86 5.29 5.29 5.18 1.00 #1
19 Adel TANKOVA / Ronald ZILBERBERG ISR 62.94 29.04 33.90 5.71 5.36 5.68 5.79 5.71 0.00 #6
20 Aurelia IPOLITO / Malcolm JONES LAT 62.15 33.10 30.05 5.11 4.79 5.14 5.07 4.93 1.00 #3
21 Marina ELIAS / Geido KAPP EST 57.20 28.00 29.20 5.00 4.61 4.93 5.00 4.79 0.00 #2

Total

FPl. Name Nation Points SD FD
1 Elena ILINYKH / Ruslan ZHIGANSHIN RUS 185.19 1 1
2 Isabella TOBIAS / Ilia TKACHENKO ISR 177.80 2 2
3 Elliana POGREBINSKY / Alex BENOIT USA 167.81 4 3
4 Alisa AGAFONOVA / Alper UCAR TUR 163.00 3 4
5 Yura MIN / Alexander GAMELIN KOR 151.35 6 5
6 Olga JAKUSHINA / Andrey NEVSKIY LAT 150.81 5 6
7 Adelina GALAYAVIEVA / Laurent ABECASSIS FRA 144.25 7 8
8 Taylor TRAN / Saulius AMBRULEVICIUS LTU 143.30 9 7
9 Cecilia TÖRN / Jussiville PARTANEN FIN 141.90 8 10
10 Anastasia GALYETA / Avidan BROWN AZE 141.12 10 9
11 Ludmila SOSNITSKAIA / Pavel GOLOVISHNOKOV RUS 138.65 12 11
12 Viktoria KAVALIOVA / Yurii BIELIAIEV BLR 131.14 11 13
13 Juulia TURKKILA / Matthias VERSLUIS FIN 128.39 14 12
14 Victoria MANNI / Carlo RÖTHLISBERGER SUI 125.34 13 15
15 Robynne TWEEDALE / Joseph BUCKLAND GBR 125.21 15 14
16 Olga BIBIHINA / Daniil ZVORYKIN RUS 118.58 17 16
17 Katerina BUNINA / German FROLOV EST 116.27 18 17
18 Adel TANKOVA / Ronald ZILBERBERG ISR 111.31 16 19
19 Mathilde HAROLD / Mael DEMOUGEOT FRA 106.84 21 18
20 Aurelia IPOLITO / Malcolm JONES LAT 102.83 19 20
21 Marina ELIAS / Geido KAPP EST 97.03 20 21
WD Vavara OGLOBLINA / Mikhail ZHIRNOV AZE
WD Ekaterina FEDYUSHCHENKO / Lucas KITTERIDGE GBR

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 America Short Dance

Group 1

Shibutani/Shibutani, USA: 36.21 TES + 36.83 PCS = 73.04

  • The Midnight Blues section of their program was very smooth and crisp
  • This is a really interesting mix and they’ve made the hip hop work with a very classic song
  • Their twizzles were right on but seemed a bit slower than normal
  • I really like their hip hop accents in their non touching step sequence and their unison is spot on
  • Rotational lift with two changes of position
  • Very clean program and very solid throughout
  • I really love that she’s wearing pants and this is quite a different look for ice dance

Min/Gamelin, KOR: 29.39 TES + 26.86 PCS = 56.25 and into 2nd place

  • Their hold in the Midnight Blues looks a little tense and they seem just  tad bit far apart; I’d like to see them have a bit more control and relax into the steps and holds
  • A little hesitation and bounce going into their lift and not sure I love her bicycling legs while upside down
  • Interesting costume change for them with the music change into the hip hop
  • They don’t seem quite sure of their footing on some of the twizzles
  • I’d like to see their music fit together a bit more cohesively as the cut seems a little jarring and the two pieces don’t necessarily fit together

Muramoto/Reed, JPN: 27.60 TES + 28.59 PCS = 56.19 and into 3rd place

  • Their midnight blues is very smooth with good ease in their holds but I would like to see their legs matching a little better
  • I love the personality coming thorough in their non touching step sequence and they have great unison throughout
  • Very off on the timing and spacing on the twizzles
  • Really nice rotational split lift with him holding her back foot
  • Really nice performance for them

Agafonova/Ucar, TUR: 30.64 TES + 28.34 PCS = 58.98 and into 2nd place

  • Their midnight blues seems really slow and their hold position has a lot of tension
  • A little difficulty in some of the changes of holds with some hesitation in the turns
  • Pretty good unison though all three sets of twizzles
  • I’d like to see her stand up a bit straighter in the non touching step sequence and they could both work on varying their expressions and making it a bit more authentic
  • Rotational lift with a change of position
  • A little bit of hesitation getting the hands through the holds into the ending pose

Ilinykh/Zhiganshin, RUS: 33.52 TES + 33.08 PCS = 66.60 and into 2nd place

  • Starting with their lift and a great position with her standing up in front of him over the ice
  • The midnight blues seemed a little slow in contrast to their partial step sequence
  • She’s really performing to the audience but I’d love to see them have a little bit more connection with each other
  • A little off in the twizzles
  • Some unison issues on their non touching step sequences with the arms not matching exactly and some slight timing being off
  • Cartwheel flip into their ending pose was slightly awkwardly landed
  • A lot of energy throughout and I’d like to really see them harness that as the season goes on to bring up the rest of the performance

 

Group 2

Guignard/Fabbri, ITA: 32.25 TES + 32.54 PCS = 64.79 and into 3rd place

  • Very nice twizzles
  • I like this interpretation of Grease using Frenchie’s song instead of doing Danny and Sandy
  • Nice long lines in their Midnight Blues
  • I’d like her facial expressions to match the tone of the song a little more as this is not really a big smile type of song
  • I like their timing with the music on the non touching step sequence
  • Overall I think this program still needs a little bit of work on the performance aspect to really match the song but I really like the overall look and think it has a lot of potential

Bobrova/Soloviev, RUS: 33.32 TES + 35.60 PCS = 68.92 and into 2nd place

  • Really nice twizzles from them with some interesting variations
  • Twist around to sit on his shoulder and cartwheel out of it
  • Great lines and use of their arms in the midnight blues and really nice edges
  • This is the best I’ve seen them look in a while
  • The swing section of their music doesn’t really seem to mesh seamlessly with the blues portion to create a cohesive story but overall I think this was a really effective program

Tobias/Tkachenko, ISR: 32.67 TES + 30.66 PCS = 63.33 and into 5th place

  • Twizzles seem a little bouncy and on top of the edges but the unison was nice
  • Especially since she’s wearing pants I’d love to see a little more stretch through her free leg in the step sequence
  • Their movement seems to fall more into the jazz choreography category than hip hop but it goes well with the music
  • Dive into a rotational lift with her hanging by her knees

Hubbell/Donohue, USA: 35.52 TES + 33.26 PCS = 68.78 and into 3rd place

  • The Midnight Blues looks very secure with ease in the changes of hold and nice matching leg lines
  • Nice twizzles
  • I’m not sure how all this music is supposed to fit together but it is edited really well
  • I almost feel like they’re letting the music carry the hip hop feel though instead of through their choreography
  • I enjoyed the first half of this program so much more than the second

Pogrebinsky/Benoit, USA: 29.66 TES + 28.52 PCS = 58.18 and into 8th place

  • Nice curve lift with her standing on his legs and a toss into a catch
  • They could stretch through their free legs a bit more in places in the midnight blues
  • I love the ease in which they skate the pattern dance with nice deep edges and no tension in their holds
  • He had a pretty big bobble on the second set of twizzles but didn’t put his foot down
  • He had another bobble in the non touching steps but hangs on to it
  • The ending is a little distracting trying to hit all the accents and getting in to too many poses
  • Overall this was a really solid performance from a first time senior team
 Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CO IN Ded.
StN.
1 Maia SHIBUTANI / Alex SHIBUTANI USA 73.04 36.21 36.83 9.14 9.00 9.36 9.18 9.36 0.00 #1
2 Ekaterina BOBROVA / Dmitri SOLOVIEV RUS 68.92 33.32 35.60 8.86 8.64 9.00 9.00 9.00 0.00 #7
3 Madison HUBBELL / Zachary DONOHUE USA 68.78 35.52 33.26 8.29 8.11 8.39 8.36 8.43 0.00 #9
4 Elena ILINYKH / Ruslan ZHIGANSHIN RUS 66.60 33.52 33.08 8.25 7.96 8.43 8.32 8.39 0.00 #5
5 Charlene GUIGNARD / Marco FABBRI ITA 64.79 32.25 32.54 8.07 7.93 8.25 8.18 8.25 0.00 #6
6 Isabella TOBIAS / Ilia TKACHENKO ISR 63.33 32.67 30.66 7.61 7.43 7.79 7.75 7.75 0.00 #8
7 Alisa AGAFONOVA / Alper UCAR TUR 58.98 30.64 28.34 7.04 6.86 7.21 7.14 7.18 0.00 #4
8 Elliana POGREBINSKY / Alex BENOIT USA 58.18 29.66 28.52 7.04 7.00 7.11 7.29 7.21 0.00 #10
9 Yura MIN / Alexander GAMELIN KOR 56.25 29.39 26.86 6.64 6.54 6.71 6.82 6.86 0.00 #2
10 Kana MURAMOTO / Chris REED JPN 56.19 27.60 28.59 7.18 6.89 7.18 7.21 7.29 0.00 #3

2016 Skate America Dance Preview

Three of last year’s top 10 Worlds finishers are competing at this event along with three of the Grand Prix Final qualifiers.  As a group they have three Worlds medals, four European medals (including one gold), four Four Continents medals (including two gold), and two Junior Worlds medals (including one gold).

The top short dance score of the season is 77.72 with the top ten all scoring above 63 points.  The top free dance score is 111.48 with the top ten all scoring above 97 points.  The top total score is 189.20 with the top 10 all scoring above 160.

The Shibutanis had their breakout season last year, taking home a World silver medal five years after their first World medal.  They also won their first US title in their sixth senior season.  Their free dance last year finally showed all of their potential with their impressive technical ability matched with a dramatic emotional performance matched with great music.  They’ll need a performance matching last year’s if they want to stay on top of a stacked US field and stay on the podium in an international field that now includes Virtue and Moir.  They have not competed yet this season, so this will be the first time judges have a look at their new programs.

Bobrova and Soloviev started their season with a gold medal at Ondrej Nepela Trophy.  All of the elements in their free dance earned Level 3 and 4 with all positive GOEs.  All of their program components were in the 9 range except for the transitions.  They were not able to compete at Worlds last year as she was disqualified due to the doping scandal that plagued many Russian athletes.  They have the 4th best short dance, 4th best free dance and 4th best total scores.

Hubbell and Donohue won gold at the US International Classic and silver at Finlandia Trophy.  At Finlandia Trophy, they received a Level 2 on one of their step sequences.  They also received all positive GOEs and program components in the 8s.  They have the 8th best short dance, 7th best free dance and 7th best total scores.

Ilinykh and Zhiganshin started their season strong last year with a medal at Cup of China.  But they weren’t able to medal at their next event, and finished 4th at Russian nationals, keeping them from any Championship teams.  They have not competed yet this season.

Guignard and Fabbri started their season with a gold at Lombardia Trophy.  They had Level 4s on all of the elements in their free dance except for their step sequences with positive GOEs on all of their elements.  They had 8s on some of their program components, but were in the 7s for skating skills and transitions.  They have the 8th best free dance and 9th best total scores.

Pogrebinsky and Benoit are starting their first senior season.  They were the US Junior Bronze Medalists and finished 4th at Junior Worlds.  While they were not the team most expected to move up to seniors this year, they are making the most of their opportunity.  They finished 4th at Nebelhorn Trophy in their first major senior international event.  They didn’t have the best levels in their free dance, earning Level 3s on their steps and a Level 2 and Level 3 on two lifts.  They did have all positive GOEs and program components in the 7s.  They have the 10th best short dance score.

They will skate the short dance on Saturday, October 22nd and the free dance on Sunday, October 23rd.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Shibutani/Shibutani

Silver: Bobrova/Soloviev

Bronze: Hubbell/Donohue

 

Bios of the competitors:

Tobias/Tkachenko, ISR: They finished 12th at Worlds and 10th at Europeans.  This is their Grand Prix debut.  Their personal best is 160.98.  She is 25 and he is 29.

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

Muramoto/Reed, JPN: They placed 15th at Worlds and 7th at Four Continents.  They finished 7th at NHK Trophy last season.  Their personal best is 151.18.  She is 23 and he is 27.

Min/Gamelin, KOR: They finished 8th at Four Continents.  This is their Grand Prix debut.  Their personal best is 139.26.  She is 21 and he is 23.

Bobrova/Soloviev, RUS: They are the reigning European Bronze Medalists.  They won bronze at Skate Canada and silver at NHK Trophy last season to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where they placed 5th.  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.

Ilinykh/Zhiganshin, RUS: They won bronze at Cup of China and placed 5th at Rostelecom Cup last season. Their personal best is 176.70.  She is 22 and he is 24.

Agafonova/Ucar, TUR: They placed 21st at Worlds and 12th at Europeans.  They finished 7th at Trophee Eric Bompard last season.  Their personal best is 151.74.  She is 25 and he is 31.

Hubbell/Donoue, USA: They finished 6th at Worlds and 4th at Four Continents.  They won gold at Trophee Eric Bompard and bronze at NHK Trophy last season to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where they finished 6th.  They are the 2014 Four Continents Champions.  Their personal best is 176.81.  She is 25 and he is 25.

Pogrebinsky/Benoit, USA: They finished 4th at Junior Worlds.  They placed 4th at JGP Austria and won bronze at JGP Spain last season.  This is their Grand Prix debut.  Their personal best is 155.20.  She is 18 and he is 21.

Shibutani/Shibutani, USA: They are the reigning World Silver Medalists and reigning Four Continents Champions.  They won silver at Skate Canada and gold at NHK Trophy last season 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 188.43.  She is 22 and he is 25.

Russian Nationals Senior Dance Results

Short Dance

Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CC IT Deduction
StN.
1 Victoria Sinitsin / Nikita Katsalapov MOS 73.96 36.70 37.26 9.25 9.11 9.32 9.50 9.39 0.00 # 3
2 Ekaterina Bobrova / Dmitry Solovyov MOS 70.21 33.97 36.24 9.00 8.86 9.04 9.29 9.11 0.00 # 2
3 Alexander Stepanov / Ivan Bukin MOS 68.56 33.45 35.11 8.71 8.54 8.89 8.86 8.89 0.00 #8
4 Elena Ilinykh / Ruslan Zhiganshin MOS 66.75 32.67 35.08 8.64 8.54 8.71 9.04 8.93 100 #5
5 Tiffany ZAHORSKI / Jonathan Ghurair MOS 61.30 29.13 32.17 7.96 7.89 7.86 8.25 8.25 0.00 # 6
6 Anna Janowski / Sergey BRAINS MOS 57.92 28.83 29.09 7.32 7.11 7.32 7.39 7.21 0.00 #1
7 Lyudmila Sosnitsky / AP GOLOVISHNIKOV MOS 53.55 27.09 26.46 6.61 6.39 6.64 6.82 6.61 0.00 #4
8 Anastasia SAFRONOV / Ilya ZIMIN SPB 43.68 21.31 22.37 5.57 5.43 5.57 5.71 5.68 0.00 #10
9 Margarita SHESTAKOVA / Savely Gloom CYRUS 36.57 18.34 18.23 4.43 4.36 4.61 4.75 4.64 0.00 #9
10 Angelica Kanivets / Alexei Chizhov ESA 35.46 16.63 18.83 4.79 4.61 4.68 4.79 4.68 0.00 # 7

Free Dance

Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CC IT Deduction
StN.
1 Ekaterina Bobrova / Dmitry Solovyov MOS 106.77 51.76 55.01 9.14 8.93 9.18 9.29 9.29 0.00 # 6
2 Elena Ilina / Ruslan Zhiganshina MOS 102.97 50.55 52.42 8.68 8.57 8.75 8.89 8.79 0.00 #8
3 Victoria Sinitsin / Nikita Katsalapov MOS 101.87 46.43 55.44 9.25 9.07 9.21 9.36 9.32 0.00 #9
4 Alexander Stepanov / Ivan Bukin MOS 101.70 49.30 53.40 8.75 8.75 9.04 9.00 8.96 100 #10
5 Tiffany ZAGORSKY / Jonathan Ghurair MOS 98.30 49.30 49.00 8.11 7.89 8.25 8.29 8.29 0.00 # 7
6 Anna Janowski / Sergey BRAINS MOS 81.94 38.24 43.70 7.29 7.11 7.29 7.43 7.29 0.00 # 2
7 Lyudmila Sosnitsky / AP GOLOVISHNIKOV MOS 76.86 38.16 39.70 6.61 6.43 6.61 6.75 6.68 100 #4
8 Anastasia SAFRONOV / Ilya ZIMIN SPB 64.56 32.86 32.70 5.43 5.21 5.46 5.54 5.61 100 #5
9 Angelica Kanivets / Alexei Chizhov ESA 58.29 30.62 27.67 4.61 4.46 4.64 4.71 4.64 0.00 # 3
10 Margarita SHESTAKOVA / Savely Gloom CYRUS 55.10 28.09 27.01 4.61 4.29 4.54 4.61 4.46 0.00 #1

Total

FPl. Name Nation Points KT PT
1 Ekaterina Bobrova / Dmitry Soloviev MOS 176.98 2 1
2 Victoria Sinitsina / Nikita Katsalapov MOS 175.83 1 3
3 Alexander Stepanova / Ivan Bukin MOS 170.26 3 4
4 Elena Ilinykh / Ruslan Zhiganshin MOS 169.72 4 2
5 Tiffany ZAHORSKI / Jonathan Guerriero MOS 159.60 5 5
6 Anna Janowski / Sergey BRAINS MOS 139.86 6 6
7 Lyudmila Sosnitskaia / AP GOLOVISHNIKOV MOS 130.41 7 7
8 Anastasia SAFRONOVA / Ilya ZIMIN SPB 108.24 8 8
9 Angelica Kanivets / Alexei Chizhov ESA 93.75 10 9
10 Margarita SHESTAKOVA / Savely Ugriumov CYRUS 91.67 9 10

Rostelecom Cup Dance Preview

Weaver and Poje won gold at Skate Canada.  They only received a Level 4 on one element in the short dance: their lift, giving them lots of room for improvement.  Their free dance was stronger with four Level 4 elements.  They received no negative GOEs on any of their elements at the event and earned an impressive 11 points from GOEs in their free dance.  They have the 3rd best short dance, 3rd best free dance and 2nd best total scores.  They need a gold or silver medal to qualify for the Final.

Cappellini and Lanotte won gold at Cup of China.  They received Level 3s on their waltz sections in their short dance but earned all positive GOEs.  Their free dance had all Level 4s except for the step sequences with very high GOEs and program components.  They have the 4th best short dance, best free dance and 3rd best total scores.  They need a gold or silver medal to qualify for the Final.

Sinitsina/Katsalapov took home the silver medal from Skate America.  They received only Level 2 and Level 3 on their waltz in the short dance.  They received a Level 4 on all the elements in their free dance except for the two step sequences, which received a Level 3.  As a newer team, their program components are very good and only have room to improve.  They have the 10th best short dance, 6th best free dance and 6th best total scores. The need a gold medal to qualify for the Final.

Ilinykh and Zhiganshin won bronze at Cup of China.  They received Level 3s on the waltz in their short dance.  They received only a Level 2 on one of their step sequences in the free dance and only received less than 8 points from GOEs.  They have the 2nd best short dance, 2nd best free dance and best total scores.  However, these scores came from the Mordovian Ornament, and their Cup of China scores were almost 20 points less.  They need a gold medal to stay in the running for the Final.

Guignard and Fabbri finished just off the podium in 4th place at Skate Canada.  They received a Level 2 and a Level 3 on the waltz sections of their short dance.  The weak spot of their free dance was their diagonal step sequence.  With higher GOEs and program components they can bring their score up even more.  They need a gold medal to stay in the running for the Final.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Weaver/Poje

Silver: Cappellini/Lanotte

Bronze: Sinitsina/Katsalapov

 

Bios of the competitors:

Kavaliova/Bieliaiev, BLR: They finished 28th at Worlds and 25th at Europeans.  This is their Grand Prix debut.  Their personal best is 148.08.  She is 21 and he is 23.

Weaver/Poje, CAN: They are the reigning World Bronze Medalists and reigning Four Continents Champions.  They won gold at Skate Canada.  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.

Cappellini/Lanotte, ITA: They finished 4th at Worlds and are the reigning European Silver Medalists.  They won gold at Cup of China.  They are the 2014 World Champions, 2014 European Champions and 2013 European Bronze Medalists.  Their personal best is 177.50.  She is 28 and he is 30.

Guignard/Fabbri, ITA: They placed 12th at Worlds and 6th at Europeans.  They finished 4th at Skate Canada.  Their personal best is 166.46.  She is 26 and he is 27.

Kim/Minov, KOR: They finished 26th at Worlds and 9th at Four Continents.  They placed 8th at Rostelecom Cup and 7th at Trophee Eric Bompard last season.  Their personal best is 137.28.  She is 17 and he is 22.

Ilinykh/Zhiganshin, RUS: They placed 7th at Worlds and 4th at Europeans.  They won bronze at Cup of China.  Their personal best is 176.70.  She is 21 and he is 23.

Monko/Khaliavin, RUS: They placed 8th at Worlds and 10th at Europeans.  They finished 5th at Skate Canada.  They are the 2011 World Junior Champions and 2010 World Junior Bronze Medalists.  Their personal best is 159.13.  She is 23 and he is 25.

Sinitsina/Katsalapov, RUS: They won silver at Skate America.  Their personal best is 162.21.  She is 20 and he is 24.

Cup of China Dance Results

Short Dance

 Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CC IT Ded.
StN.
1 Anna CAPPELLINI / Luca LANOTTE ITA 66.39 32.60 34.79 8.64 8.64 8.71 8.71 8.79 1.00 #7
2 Madison CHOCK / Evan BATES USA 65.36 29.05 36.31 9.04 8.89 9.14 9.07 9.25 0.00 #8
3 Elena ILINYKH / Ruslan ZHIGANSHIN RUS 63.54 31.06 32.48 8.14 7.82 8.21 8.21 8.21 0.00 #5
4 Kaitlin HAWAYEK / Jean-Luc BAKER USA 58.35 27.83 30.52 7.46 7.54 7.54 7.86 7.75 0.00 #6
5 Federica TESTA / Lukas CSOLLEY SVK 53.90 27.05 27.85 6.75 6.96 6.96 7.14 7.00 1.00 #4
6 Yue ZHAO / Xun ZHENG CHN 51.02 26.50 24.52 6.18 5.86 6.29 6.32 6.00 0.00 #2
7 Shiyue WANG / Xinyu LIU CHN 50.64 25.16 25.48 6.39 6.18 6.25 6.46 6.57 0.00 #3
WD Yue CONG / Zhuoming SUN CHN #1

Free Dance

 Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CC IT Ded.
StN.
1 Anna CAPPELLINI / Luca LANOTTE ITA 106.91 52.72 55.19 9.07 9.07 9.25 9.32 9.29 1.00 #7
2 Madison CHOCK / Evan BATES USA 103.80 49.15 54.65 9.04 9.04 9.21 9.04 9.21 0.00 #6
3 Elena ILINYKH / Ruslan ZHIGANSHIN RUS 95.46 46.12 51.34 8.46 8.36 8.61 8.61 8.75 2.00 #5
4 Federica TESTA / Lukas CSOLLEY SVK 82.27 40.19 43.08 7.11 7.11 7.14 7.25 7.29 1.00 #3
5 Yue ZHAO / Xun ZHENG CHN 78.63 39.51 39.12 6.50 6.25 6.64 6.46 6.75 0.00 #2
6 Shiyue WANG / Xinyu LIU CHN 76.09 38.36 37.73 6.25 6.04 6.29 6.54 6.32 0.00 #1
WD Kaitlin HAWAYEK / Jean-Luc BAKER USA #4

Total

FPl. Name Nation Points SD FD
1 Anna CAPPELLINI / Luca LANOTTE
ITA
173.30 1 1
2 Madison CHOCK / Evan BATES
USA
169.16 2 2
3 Elena ILINYKH / Ruslan ZHIGANSHIN
RUS
159.00 3 3
4 Federica TESTA / Lukas CSOLLEY
SVK
136.17 5 4
5 Yue ZHAO / Xun ZHENG
CHN
129.65 6 5
6 Shiyue WANG / Xinyu LIU
CHN
126.73 7 6
WD Kaitlin HAWAYEK / Jean-Luc BAKER
USA
4
WD Yue CONG / Zhuoming SUN
CHN

Cup of China Dance Preview

Cappellini and Lanotte hit a bit of a slump last year after claiming their first World title in 2014.  They only competed in one Grand Prix and failed to defend both their European and their Worlds title.  They were 8 points away from gold at Europeans and 7 points at Worlds.  They started their season with a gold medal at Lombardia Trophy, receiving the same score they posted at Worlds last season.  Because this was an International B event, their score does not count towards the season’s best list, but it would be the highest score posted this season.  However, these events tend to be scored higher than a Challenger series or Grand Prix.

Ilinykh and Zhiganshin had a good debut as a team last year, finishing in the top 10 at Worlds.  They also qualified for the Grand Prix Final in their first attempt.  They started their season with a gold medal at Mordovian Ornament where they set new personal bests in all segments of competition.  They currently hold the 2nd best short dance, best free dance and best total scores of the season.  These scores should be taken with a grain of salt, however, as this event seemed to be overmarked across the board.

Chock and Bates started their season with a gold medal at Skate America.  They have now won three consecutive Grand Prix gold medals.  They can qualify for their second Grand Prix Final by winning any medal here.  They currently hold the best short dance, 3rd best free dance and 3rd best total scores of the season.

Hawayek and Baker showed improvement at Skate America over their earlier season outings.  Their free dance has been their big project this season and the program with which they hope to put themselves on the map.  At Skate America, they set a new personal best free skate score and currently have the 9th best free dance of the season.  With the top three teams skating so strongly this season, Hawayek and Baker will need a score well above their personal best to contend for the podium but another 4th place finish would be a good end to their Grand Prix season.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Chock/Bates

Silver: Cappellini/Lanotte

Bronze: Ilinykh/Zhiganshin

 

Bios of the competitors:

Cong/Sun, CHN: This is their international debut.  She is 14 and he is 20.

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

Zhao/Zheng, CHN: They finished 10th at Four Continents.  They placed 8th at Cup of China.  Their personal best is 115.12. She is 20 and he is 28.

Cappellini/Lanotte, ITA: They finished 4th at Worlds and are the reigning European Silver Medalists.  They won bronze at Cup of China last season.  They are the 2014 World Champions, 2014 European Champions and 2013 European Bronze Medalists.  Their personal best is 177.50.  She is 28 and he is 30.

Ilinykh/Zhiganshin, RUS: They placed 7th at Worlds and 4th at Europeans.  They placed 4th at Cup of China and won silver at Rostelecom Cup to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where they placed 6th.  Their personal best is 176.70.  She is 21 and he is 23.

Testa/Csolley, SVK: They finished 15th at Worlds and 8th at Europeans.  They placed 7th at Skate America last season.  Their personal best is 150.57.  She is 22 and he is 25.

Chock/Bates, USA: They are the reigning World Silver Medalists and Four Continents Silver Medalists.  They won gold at Skate America.  They are the 2013 Four Continents Bronze Medalists.  Their personal best is 181.34.  She is 23 and he is 26.

Hawayek/Baker, USA: They finished 5th at Four Continents.  They placed 4th at Skate America.  They are the 2014 World Junior Champions.  Their personal best is 157.12.  She is 19 and he is 22.

Mordovian Ornament Dance Results

Short Dance

Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CC IT Deduction
StN.
1 Elena ILINYKH / Ruslan ZHIGANSHIN RUS 70.12 33.52 36.60 9.05 8.90 9.30 9.20 9.30 0.00 #3
2 Isabella TOBIAS / Ilia TKACHENKO ISR 65.28 31.20 34.08 8.35 8.25 8.70 8.60 8.70 0.00 #6
3 Natalia KALISZEK / Maksim SPODIREV POL 59.44 30.12 29.32 7.40 7.05 7.35 7.50 7.35 0.00 #12
4 Viktoria KAVALIOVA / Yurii BIELIAIEV BLR 57.48 29.44 28.04 6.95 6.70 7.10 7.15 7.15 0.00 #4
5 Alisa AGAFONOVA / Alper UCAR TUR 56.76 28.12 28.64 7.20 6.90 7.25 7.30 7.15 0.00 #8
6 Ludmila SOSNITSKAIA / Pavel GOLOVISHNIKOV RUS 53.16 27.40 25.76 6.35 6.20 6.55 6.55 6.55 0.00 #11
7 Rebeka KIM / Kirill MINOV KOR 51.26 27.10 26.16 6.55 6.35 6.75 6.60 6.45 2.00 #13
8 Katharina MULLER / Tim DIECK GER 46.86 24.46 23.40 5.85 5.60 5.95 6.05 5.80 1.00 #7
9 Anastasia KHROMOVA / Daryn ZHUNUSSOV KAZ 45.92 22.08 23.84 5.95 5.70 6.00 6.15 6.00 0.00 #10
10 Kimberly BERKOVICH / Ronald ZILBERBERG ISR 42.06 21.30 20.76 5.25 4.95 5.25 5.35 5.15 0.00 #2
11 Olga JAKUSHINA / Andrey NEVSKIY LAT 41.38 17.70 23.68 6.15 5.70 5.85 6.10 5.80 0.00 #1
12 Aurelia IPPOLITO / Bennet PREISS GER 32.36 17.40 16.96 4.30 4.05 4.30 4.40 4.15 2.00 #9

Free Dance

Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CC IT Deduction
StN.
1 Elena ILINYKH / Ruslan ZHIGANSHIN RUS 106.58 50.30 56.28 9.35 9.15 9.35 9.55 9.50 0.00 #12
2 Isabella TOBIAS / Ilia TKACHENKO ISR 95.70 43.50 52.20 8.70 8.45 8.75 8.80 8.80 0.00 #9
3 Natalia KALISZEK / Maksim SPODIREV POL 91.16 45.62 45.54 7.50 7.30 7.60 7.75 7.80 0.00 #11
4 Alisa AGAFONOVA / Alper UCAR TUR 88.58 44.78 43.80 7.45 7.05 7.40 7.30 7.30 0.00 #5
5 Rebeka KIM / Kirill MINOV KOR 86.02 44.50 41.52 6.90 6.60 7.00 7.05 7.05 0.00 #8
6 Viktoria KAVALIOVA / Yurii BIELIAIEV BLR 85.38 41.82 43.56 7.25 7.00 7.35 7.35 7.35 0.00 #10
7 Ludmila SOSNITSKAIA / Pavel GOLOVISHNIKOV RUS 81.02 40.88 40.14 6.65 6.45 6.80 6.75 6.80 0.00 #7
8 Katharina MULLER / Tim DIECK GER 72.24 36.50 37.74 6.30 6.00 6.35 6.30 6.50 2.00 #6
9 Anastasia KHROMOVA / Daryn ZHUNUSSOV KAZ 68.28 34.16 36.12 6.05 5.80 6.10 6.10 6.05 2.00 #1
10 Kimberly BERKOVICH / Ronald ZILBERBERG ISR 63.96 32.00 33.96 5.65 5.40 5.70 5.80 5.75 2.00 #2
11 Olga JAKUSHINA / Andrey NEVSKIY LAT 63.02 28.44 35.58 5.95 5.75 5.85 6.05 6.05 1.00 #3
12 Aurelia IPPOLITO / Bennet PREISS GER 58.06 29.74 28.32 4.70 4.45 4.80 4.90 4.75 0.00 #4

Total

FPl. Name Nation Points SD FD
1 Elena ILINYKH / Ruslan ZHIGANSHIN RUS 176.70 1 1
2 Isabella TOBIAS / Ilia TKACHENKO ISR 160.98 2 2
3 Natalia KALISZEK / Maksim SPODIREV POL 150.60 3 3
4 Alisa AGAFONOVA / Alper UCAR TUR 145.34 5 4
5 Viktoria KAVALIOVA / Yurii BIELIAIEV BLR 142.86 4 6
6 Rebeka KIM / Kirill MINOV KOR 137.28 7 5
7 Ludmila SOSNITSKAIA / Pavel GOLOVISHNIKOV RUS 134.18 6 7
8 Katharina MULLER / Tim DIECK GER 119.10 8 8
9 Anastasia KHROMOVA / Daryn ZHUNUSSOV KAZ 114.20 9 9
10 Kimberly BERKOVICH / Ronald ZILBERBERG ISR 106.02 10 10
11 Olga JAKUSHINA / Andrey NEVSKIY LAT 104.40 11 11
12 Aurelia IPPOLITO / Bennet PREISS GER 90.42 12 12
WD Ekaterina BOBROVA / Dmitri SOLOVIEV RUS

World Championships Dance Preview

Weaver and Poje have probably been thinking about this day from the moment last year’s World Championships ended.  After skating in the shadow of Virtue and Moir for years, they won their first medal at Worlds, a silver.  However, they lost out on the gold by .02 points.  A difference so small that it is difficult to quantify what they could have done differently.  They have had a perfect season so far, winning every event they have entered, including the Grand Prix Final and Four Continents.  They have all the skills and potential to cap off their season with their first World title but being the front-runner and being chased may make them more cautious than they have been in the past.  They’ll need every ounce of the passion and abandon they’re known for to be able to fend off some strong challengers.  They have the best short and free dance scores this season, and if they skate the way they have been all year, they should be able to control their own destiny.

Chock and Bates are a newer team and only had to spend a season and a half in the shadow of Davis and White, but with their previous partners, they have been competing and looking up to them for years.  With Davis and White announcing they were taking the 2014-2015 season off of competition, Chock and Bates declared themselves the heirs apparent and have lived up to that promise all season.  They finished just 5th at Worlds last season, but with a strong showing at Nebelhorn Trophy where they beat Weaver and Poje in the free dance, they made themselves a contender for gold at Worlds.  They won their first Grand Prix gold medals this season and qualified for their first Grand Prix Final where they won silver.  They also won silver at Four Continents.  While they are having the best season of their careers, they have yet to beat Weaver and Poje in a head to head competition and will have difficulty trying to overtake them here.

Papadakis and Cizeron were practically unknowns in ice dance going into this season.  Last year they finished 15th at Europeans and 13th at Worlds.  But with the retirement of the top French teams, it was their job to step up and fill the void.  Their free dance to Mozart has been widely praised this season and will likely become their signature piece.  They have continuously leapfrogged teams as the season has gone on, winning two gold medals on the Grand Prix and finishing 3rd at the Final.  They won their first European title in January.  While they have yet to beat Chock and Bates in head to head competition, their best score from this season is three points higher, so it is possible they’ll be able to sneak in and challenge for silver and even surprise for gold.

The last time the Shibutanis stood on the World podium was in 2011.  They’ve had some ups and downs since then with injuries, illnesses and programs that just didn’t click.  With Davis and White and Virtue and Moir stepping back this season, they’ve moved up in the ranks with their coach Marina Zoueva.  Their free dance is gorgeous and reminds me of Die Fledermaus while their short dance has the spark and fire that a paso should have.  Their levels have been a problem throughout the season.  If they can receive full credit they’ll be challenging for the podium, but they may find themselves on the outside looking in once again as younger and newer teams replace them in the rankings.  They won the bronze at Four Continents and will have to fight off a few of the top European teams if they want to repeat a bronze here.

Cappellini and Lanotte come in as the reigning World Champions, but are not favorites for the title or even for a medal.  They competed in only one Grand Prix event, where they won bronze.  After that disappointing finish they went back to the drawing board and worked on clarifying the concept for their free dance.  This strategy appears to have worked as they scored much better at the European Championships, where they won a silver, but they finished 8 points behind the French.  It will be a tough road for them to defend their title, but no one expected them to win last year either, so they could pull out another surprise finish.

Hubbell and Donohue started this season planning to challenge for one of the top two spots among the Americans, but found themselves in a distant third at the US Nationals.  Their Great Gatsby free dance is modern and a crowd pleaser, but I don’t think it really shows off what they do best and their attempt to make the program hip-hoppy doesn’t work with all their musical choices.  Their best scores this season make them competitive for a top 5 finish, but that came from a Senior B event.

Gilles and Poirier were disappointed to not make the Olympic team last season, but were able to have a strong showing at Worlds where they finished in the top 10.  They won two silver medals on the Grand Prix this season and qualified for their first Grand Prix Final.  They finished 4th at Four Continents but set new personal bests in all segments of competition.  However, they were 8 points from the podium there and realistically are looking to repeat their performance from last season.

Guignard and Fabbri finished 14th at Worlds last season, but should be able to show a significant improvement here.  They finished 6th at Europeans, their best finish in their career.  They set a personal best score at the Golden Spin of Zagreb, which would put them in the top 8, however, they weren’t able to replicate this at Europeans.

This is a bit of a rebuilding year for the Russians with two of their top teams splitting up (including the Olympic bronze medalists) and the heir apparent team missing the season due to injury.  They might have trouble hanging on to their three spots for next year’s World Championships.

Stepanova and Bukin put their names on the scene with their bronze medal at Skate America.  They have innovative twizzles and an interesting, well-choreographed free dance to Eleanor Rigby.  They won the bronze medal at Europeans, but were nearly 20 points out of first place.

Ilinykh and Zhiganshin are one of the teams made out of the ashes of an Olympic medal winning team.  Their season started out promisingly with a 4th place finish at Cup of China and a silver medal at Rostelecom Cup which earned them a trip to the Grand Prix Final.  They even claimed the Russian national title, but fell to 4th place at Europeans behind Stepanova and Bukin, although the margin was only a point.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Weaver/Poje

Silver: Papadakis/Cizeron

Bronze: Chock/Bates