The Grand Prix Final – The Seniors

I’m not going to write an in depth pairs post for this competition as I usual do. That boat has sailed. I’m just going to stick with my impressions from the watching the competition live.

Dance

  • Guignard/Fabbri are so small. I just kept saying things like: “They’re so cute,” “They’re so tiny,” “Look at how small they are.” Charlene and Marco really are the cutest little couple ever. They’re just so tiny!
  • I am not against Hubbell/Donohue‘s free dance like so many people seem to be. Maybe I’ve been seduced by their beautiful costumes but I quite like it and I’m not apologizing. I do absolutely agree that they seem to be going for their own Moulin Rogue moment, right down to the a girl dying at the end though. Does anyone remember that Romeo dies too? I thought they looked quite commanding, powerful and confident, especially in the rhythm dance.
  • Viktoria and Nikita have a great tango. I really enjoy it. I still have problems with her dress. Their free is really not very memorable for me but I like it, I enjoy it, and then they lean into that classical/rock thing there at the end, and it really turns me off. They just turn the switch the wrong way. Why does it need to switch at all?
  • There was only one team here who did a sliding feature here and I really missed not seeing it in other programs too! It’s my new favourite thing! But at least the sliding feature I got to see is maybe the best of the season. Good work, Hawayek/Baker. I really enjoyed their free dance.
  • It must have been very nerve wracking when Jonathan’s skates did not arrive with everything else, but Tiffany really skated that tango in practice, even if it was solo. She was terrific. I have a whole new respect for her as a person. Blues for Klook is a pretty fabulous program too. I know they haven’t really nailed it yet this season but the opening is everything. I feel like it gets a bit indistinct in the middle but the beginning is so strong. I love it. (Now that Russian nationals is past and we have a better idea of the second half of the season… maybe we will get to see it next season. Please say yes.)
  • Stepanova/Bukin… I like both programs. I like that they are going for a strong impression with strong music but it all just feels a bit put on. Is there not something a bit more organic for them? I suppose with legs like that there might not be. Drama-rama might be your only choice.
  • My sister and I invented a new game called “Marry, Pair, Pet.” In it you have to say who out of three skaters (men in our case) you would marry, who you would skate with as a team – you can choose if it’s ice dance or pair – and who you would keep as a pet. Marco Fabbri and Jean-Luc Baker both have a definite pet advantage (disadvantage) in any group they are competing, but it can be hard. Would you want to pair with Nikita? I think that could be difficult. Some people it’s maybe safer to marry. The one clear answer in all of this is that you always marry Zach Donohue.

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The Grand Prix Final 2018 – The Juniors

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything but I’ve been really meaning to write about the Grand Prix Final! I was there! It was so fun! I know that it’s been almost a month (December maybe ate me alive) but I think I have a moment or two, so it’s now or never.

First off, it was a lot of fun. My sister and I met up in Vancouver and got to enjoy four days of watching and discussing skating. The arena was cold but with our fleecy blankets and smuggled-in food, we managed to keep warm and cozy. It’s amazing how quickly it all goes by when you are watching live. There doesn’t seem to be that interminable wait for the scores that you experience watching on TV. There is always something interesting going on, whether it’s watching the skaters’ body language or their interactions with their coach or the warm up going on or the replay of the performance. (There is also the added benefit of not yelling at a commentator for incessant chatter.) The audience’s reactions were interesting too. Some skaters really won the audience over, while others left the audience with just a tepid reaction. There was, too, the added silliness of figure skating culture (which is maybe my favourite part). What with the stuffies and the clapping in time to the music and the hair and the costumes, one can really entertain oneself! And you can’t ignore just the very high attractiveness factor. Is there a rule that everyone has to be beautiful?

I’m going to start with the Juniors and follow up later with the Seniors. I think this is going to be too much for one post…

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Internationaux de France – The Pairs

France was the big finish to the Grand Prix series, the final stage, the decision maker. And it was a pretty exciting one! Going in, I thought first and second looked pretty locked up, with James/Cipres first and Boikova/Kozlovskii second, and otherwise it could be one of three rounding out the podium: Ryom/Kim, Hase/Seegert or Kayne/O’Shea for the bronze, all having all placed fifth at their previous assignments, all never having medalled on the Grand Prix before. I gave the edge to Ryom/Kim going in with the highest total score of the three pairs. And then there were a few dipsy-doodles and everything sort of jumbled about and in the end we came out with this.

pairs france

Except for Ruest/Wolfe, no team had the same ordinal from one program to the next. Sitting here looking at it all I can think is that probably no one would have predicted the top half. If you did, I want to know. And of course, this all has implications for the Grand Prix Final! But first let’s deal with the actual competition.

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Rostelecom – The Pairs

Whoo! We are in the sixth week and the Grand Prix is definitely catching up with me. It’s crunch time on the Grand Prix and there is so much going on. I don’t know when I’ll get this done but I am going to because I have thoughts! We are in the heart of the first half of the season and things are really starting to come together. This past weekend, teams seemed ready to compete. Not to say that it all went well but I felt like the teams at Rostelecom wanted to compete and show what they can do. It was just a matter of putting it out there when it counted.

But I guess the important question is: who got Cup of Russia’d? And I think the answer is, surprisingly,  no one. I really thought it might go hard for Ziegler and Kiefer but they managed that final lift and all was well in the world for them. If anyone got Cup of Russia’d, they did it to themselves, so no foul here. I am a bit frustrated with the results but not because any team got stinted on the marks.

pairs rostelecom

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NHK Trophy – The Pairs

NHK saw a lot of teams finishing up their Grand Prix. All of the teams except two were skating in their second assignment, so for three of the four their was a possible berth to the final on the line. For others it was a chance to improve on their first showing and performances. Quite a few managed to be just that and it was interesting to see who skated up to potential and who didn’t; some under performed and some exceeded expectations.

nhk pairs

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