Early Forerunners - Dance
After assessing Int B events and the Grand Prix Series I thought I would make a start of the favourites for the upcoming European Championships to be held in Sheffield - GB.
Have not watched much of the Dance this season, so I will assess as best as I can. I have lost some admiration of this discipline, not sure why but I feel I am not a great lover of the new SD and we have lost a lot of the innovative teams of years gone past. I just don't know how the judges separate them when they are all doing the same elements. Also seems to be a sameness when we come to the marina/Igor teams (but of course that will be world's).
Favourites - Bobrova/Soloviev - Russia
Have been better this couple of seasons, the SD is very lively but not too sure on their new FD. I have given them favourite status as I think they may well snatch the Gold this time around. It will be close but you feel Russia is due for another Ice Dance Title.
Close Favourite's - Pechalat/Bourzat - France
I feel for Nathalie and Fabian, they were doing so well with Zhulin, that the new coaching team has taken them a step backwards rather than a step forward. I truly felt they might have given up after another 4th spot at world's but their back to defend, but B/S are hot on their heels and it will be very close between the two. Always come up with something different, they are one of my favourite teams out there and probably one of the last of the innovative teams around. Their SD and FD are very good but I have seen better programs from them in the past.
A team that have got back on track, always a couple full of exuberance and expression. Their SD is probably one of the best, not in favour of their FD but it is still fun, great to watch, possibly a medal here.
Ilinyk/Katasalapov - Russia
They burst on the scene last year but like P/B have taken a step backward this year which is very unlike the Russian teams. Their FD to modern take on Ave Maria is very nice, but the team still lacks a spark about them, lets hope it is a transition year, they will battle with C/L for a medal.
Wicked Yankee Girl
We'll definitely see how B&S and P&B rank at the GPF this weekend, as to which is ahead of the other. Whichever finishes ahead definitely has the edge to win Europeans.
Capellini and Lanotte have made a huge leap in skill & quality this year. For one thing, they are both healthy. For another, Faiella & Scali have finally retired, leaving C&L the top Italian team. C&L are the only team this year to date to get level 4 on both rhumba sequences in the SD, too. I would not be surprised to see them take 3rd or even second at Europeans.
P&B didn't so much take a step back as Fabian caught bronchitis and they had a difficult outing at Skate America in consequence. It takes a while to recover from a serious illness, so I doubt that they were at full strength by TEB, their second GP outing. I'm hoping to see them do well this weekend and win Europeans again.
As to other European teams that have done fairly well this year:
Tobias and Stagniunas won the bronze at Skate America.
Zhiganshina & Gaszi have done well in Senior B's and have a couple of 4th places on the GP.
Russia gets 3 spots at Euros. I'm assuming Riazanova & Tkachenko will get the 3rd spot on the Russia team.
They got really low base level calls at CoR but may do much better at Euros. Just where I&K fit in is something to be interested in. I will be especially be interested to see the results of Russian nationals.
Coomes & Buckland just missed the bronze at CoC, due to severe errors in the FD. They could easily finish top ten at Euros.
Carron & Jones won the bronze, but have worse programs than C&B this year. Her SD in the parrot costume is pretty fowl.
Last edited by dorispulaski; 12-13-2011 at 01:39 AM.
Toss the idea of B&S being favored over P&B down the drain now. Unless there is some major Russian politiking or P&B have a disaester of some kind P&B will defend as European Champions.
Wicked Yankee Girl
There was definitely agreement by the judges and spectators that B&S deserved last place at the GPF. However, we have Kustarova giving an interview that is because of the bad tech specialists at the GPF, not because of the bad skating.
On the Ice
Did she criticize specific calls?
Originally Posted by dorispulaski
Wicked Yankee Girl
Not in the article that I saw translated.
And I have not seen any call I'd have questioned on B&S's marks. Other than their Skating Skills marks seem inflated to me. The team skates with bad posture to get their speed, and still can't manage clean edges with that speed, as witnessed by their inability all season to get the levels on step sequences and even the rhumba. Therefore, I would not give them 8's in skating skills. And obviously, that's not the change Kustarova was looking for .
If anything, I thought the GPF tech panel was quite forgiving.
I would not surprise me at all to see B&S finish behind C&L at Europeans, the way they are skating.
Russian Nationals is going to be interesting.