While I work on the singles....

What do you want for... THE PAIRS

Gold: Kavaguti/Smirnov
WHY: If you had told me before Cup of Russia that I would be rooting for them to outright take the world championship, I would’ve smirked and assumed you knew nothing about me. But this LP, in form and function, is a masterpiece so far ahead of what they’ve done before that I can hardly believe it. And the SP isn’t bad. Indeed, what both programs do so well is remove all those extraneous little distractions. Their lifts remain beautiful and difficult, but they don’t twist her every which way on the way down. I’m really stunned actually by just how much I love “Clair de Lune.” Strauss is good in its spare, epic way but peaks too early and doesn’t end well. But the LP. It’s merely a masterpiece now. If they changed that final pose, it’d be perfect. I think a victory here would be great, plus a warning shot against all those that think the Russian Federation is dumping them.
WHAT NEXT: Continue along this vein.

Silver: Savchenko/Szolkowy
WHY: Why did they choose Pink Panther? I have no objections to the lightness of the piece, or the play acting. It’s just that the music itself is ... rather trite. Beyond that, they are skating like a revitalized, new team this season.
WHAT NEXT: Back to elegance, please.

Bronze: Pang/Tong
WHY: Ummm... I don’t want V/T to win bronze just yet? I prefer their programs to V/T’s and they don’t have a world bronze.
WHAT NEXT: I’m not sure, to be quite honest. I don’t see them maintaining their skill until Sochi (and before you say Shen/Zhao, lets remember that S/Z are a whole lot better). But pairs has been moribound for so long.... I'd like to see a favoured stalwart continue.

Fourth: Volosozhar/Trankov
WHY: I’ve taken the time to learn how to spell her last name. Least she could do is deliver a top five placement at worlds before she and Maxim dominate the sport! I think their goals of getting the elements together before the programs makes sense, but I don’t really want to see these two programs get them on podium. So much goodness on offer here, though.

Fifth: Barazova/Larionov
WHY: Because I really respect how hard they must have worked during their absence and I’m slowly growing fond of this Beauty and the Beast pair. They’re skating to music immortalized twice over, but I won’t hold that against him.
WHAT NEXT: Expression classes for him.

Sixth: Duhamel/Radford
Seventh: Moore-towers/Moscowitch

WHY: Because I want Canada to have three spots for 2012, and I love that Duhamel/Radford go for both lutzes and flips, so I snuck them ahead
WHAT NEXT: Mt/M need to learn more than one air position for lifts. Improve their line (both). Figure out a way to handle the height difference a little better (D/R). Shave (R). Improve skating skills (both)

Eighth: Evora/Ladwig
WHY: Ever since Baldwin was a bit rude about them last year, I’ve cheered for them. Evora has a terrific smile. I enjoy their programs. Do I need more of a reason than that?
WHAT NEXT: More smiling. Work on their unison across the board.

Ninth: Berton/Hotarek
WHY: I sorta like them. Though to be honest, once we get down to this rank, it could be any one of a number of teams
WHAT NEXT: Work on consistency, avoid injury.

Tenth: Takahashi/Tran
WHY: Has Japan ever had a top ten pair at worlds? Their short program is an absolute stunner.
WHAT NEXT: Work on landing those jumps