Hawayek/Baker vs. Shibutani/Shibutani vs. Hubbell/Donohue
Who do you think will have the upper hand next season? Will they all receive two Grand Prix assignments? Will Marina be coaching Hawayek/Baker?
The Shibutanis will receive two assignments due to finishing in the top six at Worlds (they will also be seeded No. 4 due to P/B's retirement and what looks to be the I/K spilt).
Originally Posted by blackswanphoto
Hawayek and Baker will get one assignment automatically due to winning Jr. Worlds and will likely get two.
Hubbell and Donohue will get at least one and will likely get two.
I agree with Mrs. P, given all the retirements and splits they should all get 2 spots. I think the Shibs probably have the upper hand at this point but could easily lose it depending on a lot of things.
This coming season is going to be very interesting. With all the couples who are gone, and with I/K now officially out of the picture, the door is very open.
The Shibs seem to lose a little ground every year though. I get the sense Marina does not see much potential in them and is on the lookout for the next stars. Just look at how she gushed over I/K knowing they were direct competition.
Originally Posted by tulosai
It's all very, very open. But I do have a soft spot for H/B. Looking forward to how they progress.
H/d improved a lot, but I think they are a couple prone to injuries, if maia and alex get a good program they definitly should to be The second or even The first american team. I Know, they need a radical change in their strategy
P/B Appreciation Squad
I think if the Shibs get a good program, they'll get to be great. I have a huge soft spot for them and was ecstatic when they said they wouldn't retire, so this is likely bias speaking.
I think H/B will take a bit to gel at the Senior level, and they'll need to prove themselves against A/E before challenging any of the other top teams.
Hmm, I think Baker has some of the purest ice dancing skills since Scott Moir. She's not quite up to his level yet, but the fact that she didn't screw up the twizzles at Junior Worlds is a very good sign. Two things to remember: they've only been together for less than 2 years, and ISU program changes, particularly the elimination of one lift, will only benefit them.
The Shibs seem to have sorted out a good many of the technical issues that plagued them. The costume snag at Sochi was simply unfortunate, but their SD was lovely. Again, it's a question of them finding the right programs. I'm hoping that the MJ program will be their Marlie tango program--something that wasn't a "natural" fit but will teach them performance skills.
Hubbell/Donahue had two well-tailored programs last season, but I remember Doris criticizing their skating skills --and I eminently trust her opinion. Still I am eagerly looking forward to their new programs.
A/E made a big tactical error with their Bollywood program, but it was nice to see how much their performance of it improved over the course of the season. Still, I think H/B will be able to pass them.
Nice to see that the general consensus is, if Marlie have left the playing field for good, C/B is the undisputed new #1 US ID team. They've earned it. And I think they've only just scratched the surface of what they can accomplish.
Wicked Yankee Girl
I just watching Jean Luc Baker skate! However, the transition to seniors is fraught with difficulty for dancers. They have to increade their speed without losing timing or posture or general tidiness or performance value to score well as seniors.
World Jr. Champions Bobrova and Soloviev lost posture, for example. Stepanova & Bukin had a dreadful year.
V&M and D&W had the best transition to seniors I've seen, but the Shibs medalling in their first senior season was shocking.
Although they struggled at Worlds, A&E have come a long way this year, winning the bronze at 4cc's. That Bollywood program was a real stretch for them, but they learned a lot, and impressed at Nationals.
Last edited by dorispulaski; 04-07-2014 at 03:01 AM.
It's hard to know how H&D will do next season until determining how Madison does on the ice after her recent surgery.
The Shibs are best with a lyrical, classical program. Something pure and spiritual would do the pair nicely, though I would suggest them splitting up and finding new partners.
I think H/B have an unusual advantage: because they've been together such a short time, they have less to UNlearn than other junior teams moving up might. I went back to youtube to watch their previous competitions, and with each one there was a marked improvement. So starting again at the senior level might not be quite as difficult a transition for them as for a team that may be more set in their ways. Baker really impressed me not only because his talent is so pure, but there is such a relaxed quality to his skating--very much like Fred Astaire in the Rogers & Astaire movies. Making the difficult seem offhandedly easy and elegant.
Originally Posted by dorispulaski
A&E also made marked improvements over the course of the year. What they seem to be missing so far to me is any kind of individual style that would make them stand out. It's like the equivalent of a poet finding his/her own "voice."
I'm sorry but I do not see anything in A&E that suggests they will be anywhere close to being a top couple. There are many other factors that go into ice dancing success outside of the skaters control including physical build, natural talent, charisma and yes even how attractive they are.
Originally Posted by WeakAnkles
I didn't comment on their potential for being a "top couple" either positively or negatively. Right now, they're a nice couple who have obviously worked hard all year and their performance at Worlds showed a marked improvement from the beginning of the year. I also said what they really lack is style, something that will make them stand out from other couples. Part of that is a problem with choreography--a Bollywood-theme program was a mistake I believe for a senior debut--and part of it is they don't have an abundance of natural charisma like an I/K or a Madison Chock. Then again, Islam & Paul have the same issues for me. Nice, but nothing especially noteworthy as of yet.
Originally Posted by blackswanphoto