Virtue and Moir lead after Original Dance
Tessa Virtue Scott Moir of Canada took the lead after the Original Dance (OD), while USA’s Meryl Davis and Charlie White also moved up one spot to second. Russia’s Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin, who led after the Compulsory Dance (CD), dropped to third.
Virtue and Moir delivered a technically complicated, but passionate Spanish Flamenco which had the crowd on its feet as soon as it ended.
“It felt amazing,” said Virtue. “We just stayed in the moment every step. We were actually quite relaxed. It wasn’t until we were sitting there (after the program) that I realized what had happened.”
The Canadian Champions were smooth and confident throughout their routine, which featured level 4 twizzles and a spectacular curve lift. The team also garnered over 2 points in Grades of Execution (GoE) on their level 3 circular and midline steps. They placed first in the OD with a new personal best of 68.41 (32.90/35.51) points, placing first overall with a total of 111.15 points.
“Right about now, we have to forget about what we’ve done and focus on the Free Dance,” noted Moir. “We’re going to skate for our fans and our country.”
Davis and White earned level 4 on all elements except for a level 3 midline step sequence (which earned +2 GoEs) in their dazzling Bollywood routine. The U.S. Champions scored a new personal best of 67.08 (32.60/34.48) points, moving up from third to second overall (108.55).
“It was an emotionally charged program,” said White. “We gave everything we had in that program. This definitely gives us momentum to slide right into the Free Dance. We have confidence. When you are able to skate your best, it’s definitely more fun.”
Domnina and Shabalin gave a solid yet tentative performance in their Aboriginal Dance. The Russian Champions earned level 4 for the curve lift and the twizzles, while the two step sequences were graded level three. The team earned 62.84 (29.80/33.04) points, a seasons best, but slipped to third place with 106.60 points overall.
“We did well,” Shabalin told the press. “We did all our elements clean and we’re happier with the performance than at the European Championships.”
USA’s Tanith Belbin and Benjamin Agosto performed a strong “Moldovian Dance” which was delivered with speed and power. The 2006 Olympic silver medalists eared level 4 on their straight line lift and twizzles, and level 3 on their circular and midline steps. They placed fourth in the OD with 62.50 (30.10/32.40) points, and overall (103.33).
Federica Faiella and Massimo Scali of Italy produced a fiery Flamenco Tarantella which featured a level 4 curve lift and midline step sequence, placing fifth in the OD 60.18 (28.60/31.58) and overall (100.06).
France’s Isabelle and Delobel Olivier Schoenfelder produced an entertaining French Can-Can which featured a level 4 rotational lift, but all other elements were only graded a level 2. The team placed sixth in the OD (58.68) and overall (96.67).
Teammates Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat performed a lively American Country dance which was featured a level 4 straight line lift and twizzles. They are currently seventh overall with a total of 96.12 points.
Great Britain’s Sinead Kerr and John Kerr are currently eighth overall (93.78), followed by Russia’s Jana Khokhlova and Sergei Novitski (92.75) and Israel’s Alexandra Zaretsky and Roman Zaretsky (89.62).