Friday, Oct. 29
8:10 p.m.: Short dance, EST
With the withdrawal from this competition by Virtue and Moire, Crone and Poirier and the Kerrs will be vying for the top spot. If it were not for Sinead's recent injury, I would have the Kerrs prohibitive favorites for the win. However, Crone and Poirier have worked very hard to enter this season in the best shape ever, including having their programs choreographed by Christopher Dean. Their short dance is to Alicia Keys' "Fallin'". The Kerrs will be using two pieces of music that don't immediately seem to fit together: Etta James' "At Last," and "Shut Up and Let Me Go" by the Ting Tings. In the exhibition version they did at Michael Weiss' show, they skated the Golden Waltz to "At Last" and used a voice over to proclaim something like, "This is boring, let's do something more modern," to segue into the Ting Ting's selection. . If the same voiceover is used in competition, I am not at all sure how this will be regarded by the judges. If the competition version is like the exhibition version, it will include Sinead lifting John as an optional lift. It should be interesting! Neither team has ever won a Grand Prix event before, so a first time champion will definitely be crowned here.
Third place is also wide open. Chock and Zuerlein, Gorshkova and Butikov, Carron and Jones, and Paul and Islam all competed in the short dance this summer, receiving rather similar scores. Chock & Zuerlein, Carron and Jones and Paul and Islam won their events. Gorshkova and Butikov were third in the short dance at Finlandia, but the field there was stronger than here at Skate Canada. Three of the four teams here are using a waltz-only program, an approach which has had the best success to date in short dances. Paul and Islam are combining a Spanish waltz with a tango, a transition that in my opinion, is not the best choice choreographically. Either one chooses to skate an un-Viennese like waltz so that it moves into the tango smoothly, or one skates a waltz like tango, or just deals with a very abrupt, jarring transition. It will be interesting to see how they manage it. If I had to guess, I would pick Gorshkova and Butikov for third in this part of the competition, but really any of these four teams could grab the third spot in the short dance.
The skaters will skate in the reverse orde of their ISU rankings in the short dance.
Sarah Arnold and Justin Trojek CAN (Currently unranked)
Coach: Paul MacIntosh, Rebecca Babb
Choreographer: Pasquale Camerlengo for the FD, unknown for the SD
Their Short Dance Program: An American in Paris by Gershwin
This team has only been skating together since 2009; last year they were 10th at Canadian Nationals.
They did skate the Short dance at Minto Summer Skate, where they got level 1 in both segments of the Golden Waltz, for a
total score of 40.73. Overall at that event, they placed second to Harvey & Gagnon. However, at Nebelhorn, they placed
seventh in the short dance (eighth overall) with a score of 49.31, partially due to improving their Golden Waltz levels to Level 4 for the first segment and level 2 for the second segment, and finished ahead of Harvey & Gagnon. As a result, they earned this Skate Canada assignment.
Stefanie Frohberg and Tim Giesen GER (ISU Ranked 54th)
Coach: Rene Lohse
Choreographer: Jutta Deutschland
Their Short Dance Program is not listed on their biography.
They placed seventh overall at Finlandia, and placed sixth in the short dance with a score of 45.23 where they Level 4 for the first segment and Level 3 for the second segment of the Golden Waltz.
Alexandra Paul and Mitchell Islam CAN (ISU Ranked 37th)
Coach: David Islam, Pavol Porac, K. Johnson, T. Myles
Choreographesr: Pavol Porac (SD),Dubreuil and Lauzon (FD)
Their short dance program: Spanish waltz/tango
Paul and Islam are the reigning Canadian Jr Champions, who placed second at the Jr World Championships last year.
They have competed the short dance this summer at the Thornhill competition, where they scored 53.16.
Rachel Tibbetts and Collin Brubaker USA (ISU Ranked 34th)
Coach: Tiffany Dambeck
Choreographer: Tom Dickson, Tiffany Dambeck
Their short dance program: At Last by Etta James; Hallelujan, I Love Her So by Ray Charles
Last year they placed second in Juniors in the US and seventh at Junior Worlds. Collin is Rockne Brubaker's brother.
Pernelle Carron and Lloyd Jones FRA (ISU Ranked 28th)
Coach: Muriel Zazoui, Romain Haguenauer, D. Ribas
Choreographer: Antonio Najarro
Their short dance program: Waltz: La Valse A Mille Temps by Jacques Brel
Carron and Jones won the Coupe de Nice this fall. They scored 54.99 in the short dance even though they had a significant problem with their twizzles. They earned Level 2 and Level 3 in The Golden Waltz segments,
They are the reigning French champions, since Pechalat and Bourzat did not compete at French Nationals last year.
They were twelfth at Worlds, but only fifteenth in the Golden Waltz there.
Kristina Gorshkova and Vitali Butikov RUS ( ISU Ranked 17th)
Coach: Elena Tchaikovskaia, Ksenia Rumiantseva
Choreographer: Elena Tchaikovskaia
Their Short Dance Program: Russian Waltz by Alexandra Pakhmutova
Gorshokova and Butikov placed sixth in Seniors in the most recent Russian Nationals. They placed third overall at FInlandia
and third in the short dance there, earning Level 3 and Level 2 in th Golden Waltz segments, for an overall score of 54.50.
Madison Chock and Greg Zuerlein USA (ISU Ranked 14th)
Coach: Igor Shpilband, Marina Zueva
Choreographer: Igor Shpilband, Marina Zueva
Their Short Dance Programs: Milord and Padam Padam by Edith Piaf
Chock and Zuerlein, who were the 2009 Junior World Champions, placed fifth at US Nationals.
They competed in the short dance at Lake Placid IDC this summer, and won the short dance with a score of 52.31.
Vanessa Crone and Paul Poirier CAN (ISU Ranked 9th)
Coach: Carol Lane, Juris Razguliaevs, Jon Lane
Choreographer: Carol Lane, Juris Razguliaevs
SD Fallin' by Alicia Keys
Crone and Poirier were the Canadian national Silver medallists the last two years. Last year they placed seventh at Worlds, but were only ninth in the Golden Waltz compulsory dance there.
As far as I could find out, they have not skated their short dance yet in competition, but they have done an exhibition performance of it.
Sinead Kerr and John Kerr GBR (ISU Ranked 3rd)
Coach: Evgeni Platov
Choreographer: Evgeni Platov, Robert Royston
Their Short Dance Programs: At Last by Etta James; Shut Up & Let Me Go by The Ting Tings
The Kerrs have been the reigning British champions for seven years, and were fifth at the last World Championships.
They were scheduled to compete at Finlandia, but were forced to cancel because of an injury to Sinead's shoulder.
They were sixth in the Golden Waltz compulsory dance at Worlds last year. They have not entered a short dance competition previously, although they did skate an exhibition version of it in Michael Weiss' recent show.