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Thread: Looks like a second North American GPF title, but who gets it?

  1. #1
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    Looks like a second North American GPF title, but who gets it?

    Bourne & Kraatz are the only North American dance team to have won the GPF in the 2001/2002 season. Now with Virtue/Moir, Belbin/Agosto, and Davis/White as the 3 top dance teams on the GP this fall, it seems another North American title is in the works.

    Of the 3, which team do you think will come out on top? I'm hoping Belbin/Agosto. I love their OD and FD this season. However, I think the judging so far is favoring Virtue/Moir.

    What do you guys think?

  2. #2
    Rink Rat i love to skate's Avatar
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    Virtue and Moir. If they skate clean, I think their FD could be unbeatable this year.

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    Rooting for the divas with Kwanford Spun Silver's Avatar
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    Go, Meryl & Charlie!

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    I think it will either be B/A or V/M, preferably V/M. I know that D/W are leading going in, but I think that they got a bump up because DomShabs weren't there. There is no way they would have two golds if they (D/S) had been there. My dream podium however, would be:

    1. V/M
    2. D/W
    3. C/L

    Yeah...not going to happen...:sheesh:

  5. #5
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    I really don't know.

    Davis/White have had the huge scores, and both their programs are already polished to such a degree that I can imagine them skating them extremely well. Additionally, they've had the most time from their last GP event to the GP Final to bring up those levels on the step sequences. On the other hand, were those scores realistic? I mean, we definitely see the inflation of the top contenders across the board in the GP, but D/W undeniably had the easiest line-ups (though to be fair to them, both B/A and V/M didn't have to face DelSchos like the initial line-ups suggested). But I keep going back to last year's worlds. After the OD, I fully expected to see them on the podium in place of V/M. It would make sense: they had a lot more time to polish their program, V/M had a disappointing OD (weird how their senior ODs never really rise to the occasion like their FDs do), and things sorta looked like they'd be going that way. None of the top contenders were really flawless, and DelShos weren't even there. But V/M skated about as well as they could have given the circumstances and just eked out the bronze over D/W. I don't know if that was a statement (the judges going "no, we're not gonna have two American teams on the podium"), luck of the draw (imagine if there'd been an American judge instead of a Canadian one. Likely, 1-2 and 3-4 switch places), or just one groups honest reflection of the evening.

    Virtue/Moir are obviously judges favourites. The Olympics are in their home country, they're great skaters, they've got the program, etc. They haven't had two perfect presentations of their programs yet, but their OD is probably their best ever (though I'm partial to "Dark Eyes" myself). They're certainly setting themselves up very well.

    Belbin/Agosto are the ones I'd be more concerned about. The results at last year's worlds confirm that despite D/W's victory at Nationals, B/A remain the de facto number one. But they're just not getting the scores this season. Now, it's not like they're getting bad scores. And you can certainly make arguments that D/W had the benefit of weak competition and V/M had hometown support.... but so did B/A at Skate America. The dumping of K/N continued, Z/Z zooming high with their free dance, no DelShos... so why aren't they getting the scores. It's not a level thing - they're levels have been higher than V/M and they're the only team who got a level for step sequence (the Non-Midline in the OD, and the Circular in the OD at CoC, though both were level three at Skate America). They're just not earning the GOE. Now this isn't that out of place - V/M have routinely outpointed them on the TES and D/W have done well there as well. But after the improvements we saw immediately under Linichuk, I'm a little surprised to see them consistently below the Shpilband teams in this department. And now that both teams are threatening/breaking fifty points in PCS.....

    I've heard speculation on other boards (not based on rumours even, just conjecture) that surmises that it might be in B/A's best interest to skip the GPF. If they lose to D/W there, they lose traction as the number one team and make it that much harder for USFSA to figure out whom to support. I don't know how much weight to place in that, but it doesn't seem completely unreasonable.

    So right now, I'd go with Virtue and Moir. They have the advantages of the other top two teams without the internal competition.

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    This is only IMHO.

    "On paper" I don't think that V&M are unbeatable. By that I mean that they are very talented and many would probably consider them the top team (in the absence of DomShabs and DelShoes) in terms of overall skating ability and skill but with B&A's improvements and their two excellent programs (especially the FD) I would have them and V&M battling to decide the gold in the FD. For the record B&A and V&M are two of my favorite teams so I'm not trying to put down V&M.

    That said going strictly by what message the judges seem to be sending, I think V&M will win the GPF with B&A and D&W fighting for silver and bronze.

    I hesitate to comment any further (in fact I deleted part of my post but put it back) but again only going by how I rank the teams in terms of skill, program content and probably my own bias regarding which programs I like best, if B&A can skate full out without the hesitation I noticed at CoC and Skate America I still feel that they are the top U.S. team.

    And again I realize the judges on the surface seem to be sending a different signal. Sometimes I wonder if the judging is what it is to make things seem more competitive; people have complained about there being no change in the standings. Last season D&W drew even closer to B&A than they had ever been before and I think they could have won the national title even if Ben hadn't injured his back. This year I just feel (again only my opinion and I'm sure others feel different) that B&A should be able to solidify their position as the top U.S. team. Watching the three NA teams, IMHO watching V&M and even B&A this season they come across differently than D&W.

    What I would like would be:
    1.B&A
    2.V&M
    3.D&W

    I wouldn't be heartbroken though if 1 and 2 flip flopped depending on the skating in Japan. Since people are being blunt then I hope I can be as well without people getting too upset but I would be disappointed if D&W beat either of those two teams. I do like D&W but aside from their OD being a standout artistically, content wise I don't think their programs are better than those of V&M or B&A. Especially the FD. What might help them though is the lack of a CD event.

  7. #7
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    When placing the 3 top teams at the GPF, you have to take into account that the CD is not skated there, and the CD is the weakest part of D&W's events, typically leaving them 2 points or more behind B&A and a little less below V&M at Worlds.

    OTOH, this year, D&W have what is for me the standout OD of the season, and they have skated it well at both their events. And V&M have had problems with their OD at both their events. B&A skated theirs well (they are great OD skaters, generally), but didn't theyget the PCS, possibly because the judges (like me) really can't tell the difference between Moldovian folk and Russian or Ukrainian folk, and they have seen all too much of it.

    It would not surprise me if B&A went into the FD with D&W ahead of B&A , the question being by how much, and with V&M in third.

    If D&W win the OD , and I still expect them to lose the FD to V&M. B&A will have to rely on the others making mistakes while making none themselves to win.

    The nagging question for B&A is, "What happened to their PCS vs. the two Shpilband teams??"

    I'm not making any predictions, and just hope all 3 teams skate their best.


    It's not clear that any of these teams are really benefited by going to the GPF., since they are so close.

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    D/W fan ~tapdancer's Avatar
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    I agree with much of what Doris said. Without the CD factor here, it will be much closer. I think D/W have the strongest OD and could very well being the leaders after the OD. If B/A continue to get the scores they did in the GP series on their FD, they will not be in position to take the title...their scores are lower both in the OD and FD next to D/W and V/M. I don't know if D/W will have enough of a cushion in their OD score (if they win the OD) to make it a sure thing for the FD, in fact I'm sure they won't but still their FD score is very close to V/M so I think it will still be a close competition.

    I hope it is, anyway. I hope they all skate well so we can really compare without mistakes marring the picture. Of course there is still the personal perspective. I prefer D/W overall, I just like them the best and think they have the goods to be the winners. I'm one of the few (as far as forum posters go) who has loved their FD from the beginning. Even though they have their detractors on this forum (and the other one) as far as their FD, that's not really the case with the skating audiences, judges, and the "real" skating world. They will do just fine.

    I could be wrong (as we all could) but I really believe the battle for gold will be V/M and D/W. I read a post somewhere that said the judges are "not buying what B/A are selling" and I think that's a good assessment. But we'll see. Things can always change in the world of skating.
    Last edited by ~tapdancer; 11-24-2009 at 10:46 AM. Reason: spelling

  9. #9
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    It's far too difficult to pick; all three teams are very very close. I'm concerned for B/A though; they aren't getting the PCS compared to V/M and D/W, something that has happened twice already. I know you can't compare scores across competitions but still, not a good thing when you're a couple of points off your rivals.

    I love them all but I'll be rooting for V/M to win; they are the ones who made me interested in dance to begin with and I'm forever partial to them (their FD is a thing of beauty and that OD is freakin hot). Next in line would be D/W, whose OD I adore . I'm just not a fan of B/A's FD, although I quite like their OD.

    We haven't seen a "clean" OD from V/M yet; I'm curious as to how all 3 stack up against each other if they all go clean. The judges are clearly willing to reward V/M if they skate well. If they are able to give them a 60+ score for the subpar OD (I disagree), what on earth could they earn if they skated well?

    I'm thinking D/W will win the OD and then V/M will come back to kill the FD. Who actually comes out on top; I don't know; it will boil down to who has the cleanest performance I think. I'd definitely like some fair judging though.

    If D/W place higher than B/A though ... US Nationals is going to be very very interesting this season. V/M definitely have Skate Canada's backing all the way; USFSA thus far seem to be backing B/A as their No 1 (D/W getting passed over for SA). I suspect that which ever US team places higher here will gain momentum into Nationals and possibly backing for Olympics. How much that will help; I really have no idea (oh the politiking scandals).

    Here's wishing everyone ALL THE BEST! I'm looking forward to seeing a performance from the Kerrs and C/L as well. And the Shibus in juniors.

    Off-topic: No Russians in the GPF; who'd have known?

  10. #10
    D/W fan ~tapdancer's Avatar
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    Just an observation..don't know exactly how GP assignments are decided but I don't think the USFSA had any choice but to give B/A Skate America and since D/W were the next strongest US team, seems only reasonable to have them skate in different competitions to increase medal chances. Obviously it worked well this season but Dom/Shabs pulling out greatly increased D/W's chances for two golds. Anyway, B/A are 5 time US champs, and silver in the Worlds last season, of course the USFSA is going to think of them as US #1. But all that was decided before the GP series. Interesting situation now with D/W getting better scores than B/A. The GPF will definitely tell the tale if both D/W and B/A are there, competing against one another for the first time this season. I really hope both teams are there...I don't want to wait until nationals to see how the judges are going to compare them. And I'd rather have international judges doing it first.

    Quote Originally Posted by mishieru07
    I suspect that which ever US team places higher here will gain momentum into Nationals and possibly backing for Olympics. How much that will help; I really have no idea (oh the politiking scandals).
    I agree and really have no idea, either.

  11. #11
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    The top 3 teams at Worlds last year are never assigned to the same event. So there is no way B&A and V&M could be at the same event. Which 2 events each skater/team gets is otherwise determined by a draw.

    Likewise the next 3 teams at Worlds last year are never assigned to the same event. Which 2 events each skater/team gets is otherwise determined by a draw. It is simply luck that D&W (4th) and B&A (2nd) or V&M (3rd) were not assigned to the same event.


    Here's the exact rules for 2009/2010 season

    http://isu.sportcentric.net/db//files/serve.php?id=1446

    2. DESIGNATION OF THE SKATERS
    2.1 Seeded Skaters/Couples
    a) Skaters/couples who have placed 1 – 6 in each of the 4 categories (Men, Ladies, Pairs, Ice Dance) at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2009 will be considered to be seeded skaters/couples and will be assigned, by draw, to skate in two events.
    b) If a seeded skater/couple withdraws from an assigned event, even for medical reasons, that skater/couple will not be assigned to another event.
    c) If any vacancies remain after having filled the places as to a) to b) of this paragraph, the next priority will be given to those skaters/couples not meeting the above criteria but who have achieved a seasonal best (as posted on the ISU website for season 2008/2009) score equal to or better than the top six from the
    ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2009.
    d) If vacancies still remain after having filled the places as to a) to d) skaters/couples placed 7th and below
    at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2009 will become seeded skaters in order of placement.
    e) If a seeded skater/couple withdraws from one of the assigned events or declines an invitation to one of the assigned events, that skater/couple will still be considered and the next highest placed skater/couple at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2009 will not become a seeded skater/couple.

    2.2. Invited Skaters/Couples
    a) Skaters/couples who have placed 7 – 12 in each of the 4 categories (Men, Ladies, Pairs, Ice Dance) at
    the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2009 will be guaranteed to be selected for two ISU Grand
    Prix of Figure Skating events. If there are any retirements from placements 7 – 12, the next priority will
    be given to those skaters/couples not meeting the above criteria but who achieved a seasonal best score
    equal to or better than those placed 7 – 12 at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2009. If
    vacancies still remain, skaters/couples placed 13th and below at the ISU World Figure Skating
    Championships 2009 will be selected in order of placement.
    b) Skaters/couples with an ISU World Standing placement of 1 – 24 (after season 2008/2009) and
    skaters/couples with seasonal best scores in the top 24 (for season 2008/2009) who do not hold an ISU
    World Standing placement of 1 – 24 will be guaranteed one (1) event if they do not otherwise meet the
    criteria listed in categories 2.1 or 2.2 above.
    A listing of seasonal best scores for each season will be compiled to include the following events:
    * ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating and Final
    * ISU Senior Grand Prix of Figure Skating and Final
    * ISU Figure Skating Championships
    * Olympic Winter Games (if applicable in the year concerned)
    * Other ISU controlled Events as identified each season by the ISU Council.
    c) Medallists from the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2009 and the medallists from the
    ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final 2008/09 will be included in the selection process.
    Skaters/couples who have stated their intention to skate as Senior in 2009/10 will be guaranteed one (1)
    event.
    d) A maximum of three (3) skaters/couples in each discipline from the host Member may skate in the host
    Member’s event. This includes skaters/couples selected according to category 2.1 and 2.2 above. If the
    host Member chooses not to exercise its option for the three (3) skaters/couples in any discipline from its
    own country, the remaining slot(s) must be filled from categories 2.2 a) and b) above.
    e) Skaters/couples, seeded in any previous year (place 1 to 6 in the respective World Championships), and
    who due to injury or no fault of their own, were forced to sit out competitive season(s) could be
    considered for selection for up to 2 assignments, if they return to competitive skating.
    f) If any slot(s) remains open and if all skaters/couples as defined in paragraph 2.2. a) and b) above have
    been selected for one (1) event, the host Member may select any skater/couple with a top 75 seasonal
    best score to fill the open slot(s).
    g) Pairs or Dance couples, who were placed amongst the ranks as previously mentioned in criteria a) and
    b) in the year 2007/2008 or 2008/2009, but have split, will be considered in the alternate list with the new
    partner, if proof is given that they intend to continue the competitive career.
    h) In addition to the seeded skaters/couples and the above-mentioned invited skaters/couples, each host
    ISU Member may select additional skaters/couples in accordance with selection procedures established
    ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating and ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final 2009/2010
    Page 4 of 16
    by the ISU Figure Skating Event Coordination Group. The maximum number of entries per event,
    however, is set as follows:
    Men and Ladies not more than 12 but not less than 10 entries
    Pairs not more than 8 but not less than 6 entries
    Ice Dance not more than 10 but not less than 8 entries
    i) No invited skaters/dance couples may compete in more than two events of the ISU Grand Prix of
    Figure Skating. These events will count for points and prize money will be awarded according to
    placements.
    j) A maximum of three skaters/couples from the same ISU Member may compete in the same category
    of any individual event of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating.
    k) Non-seeded skaters/couples will not be assigned to another event if they choose not to skate in an
    assigned event.
    l) Non-seeded skaters/couples will not be assigned to another event if, by medical reason, they
    withdraw from an assigned event.
    If a skater/couple (seeded or non-seeded) does not finish an event, that skater/couple’s Member
    Federation is obligated to cover the expenses for travel, accommodation and meals for the
    skater/couple and for the Judge, if the Judge is not drawn for another panel.

  12. #12
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    Looks like you're gonna have to wait, tapdancer. I'm disappointed too.

  13. #13
    D/W fan ~tapdancer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue View Post
    Looks like you're gonna have to wait, tapdancer. I'm disappointed too.
    Yeah, I know. I knew they were going to withdraw. It's just so frustrating. Now the speculation continues on and on and on...

    Ah, heck with it, I'm just going to say it...I hope D/W and/or V/M win everything in sight for the rest of the season.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ~tapdancer View Post
    Ah, heck with it, I'm just going to say it...I hope D/W and/or V/M win everything in sight for the rest of the season.
    I'm just not going to speculate anything. I'll do a Hersh and believe that when atheletes say they are injured they ought not be questioned (that wasn't meant to be sarcastic btw). Wisdom teeth extraction hurts like a b**** and I wish Tanith well.

    AMEN to that. If V/M don't win, I'd much rather D/W win than any other team D/W for repeat national champions and Shpilband teams 1-2 at Worlds, GPF and Olympics!

    US Nationals just got more interesting. I can't wait to see the showdown between B/A and D/W.

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