I loved C/J and they were great, even with some hiccups. I actually was surprised to see that Knierim/Frazier participated knowing they have only just teamed and on the ice for 4 plus months or so, I would have perhaps thought there debut would have been at Nationals. However, it was a pleasant surprise and they looked strong considering their short time together and I'm sure they have to get used to competing together and just overall coming together as a team, but they have done outstanding and look to have a promising future together. I'm actually excited to see what these two teams can do internationally.Yes a bit they do, but not by that much. If the top two teams hadn't made jump errors, there's no question about the scoring. In fact, C/J and K/F look to be battling it out for the top spot down the road because they are both great and it's very exciting. I absolutely get why C/J and K/F are on top. Of course, the short programs factor in and they simply aren't there so that part was confusing to me as well. (shaking my head at all these glitches and technical snafus, and the lack of great communication readily accessible for fans -- the US fanzone site is not user friendly either).
Anyway, I love C/J and the new team of Knierim/Frazier!!! Plus, I'm happy for Meno/Sand who have been working hard for years as coaches, and were wonderful pairs skaters themselves. I remember. The quality of top two teams is at a very high level. But I would not be so dismissive @readernick regarding the importance of landing jumps in pairs, especially in international competition. I think Alexa/ Brandon's couple of jump snafus were due to slightly tight nerves by Alexa. They are still a new pair too, but they have come together really quickly and they look great. They may even be the stronger jumpers if they get the nerves settled. C/J though have a lot of magic on most everything except the jumps, which they are capable of landing, but seem to have difficulty in mastering consistently. For both top teams, they need to get the jump rust out. I know it's the start of an unusual season, but they have to try and relax and get consistency on those jumps because both teams have everything else. K/F are just new and have to build momentum, which won't be hard for them to achieve.
Honestly, C-G/L get a bad rap though. They steadily improved, and they are showing the hard work they did in the off-season with their new lifts and overall tweaks. They have to work harder at the lifts in being smoother and steadier on them, but I see their improvement. They looked fabulous at the start of last season, but they lost confidence and momentum at the most inopportune moments. I believe the setbacks they had on the GP circuit last season maybe colors how they are now viewed. Skate America was theirs to win, or at least strongly challenge, and they faltered. Sometimes, it's hard to climb back into good graces and to repair your own confidence after setbacks. They have a disadvantage on lifts and on how they are perceived due to the way some people look down on Ashley's height. But I like the way Ashley and Timothy embrace their unique differences and maximize their strengths to overcome obstacles.
Thanks for responding to my questions!
Cain/Leduc have always been a fave of mine as well, however, their pair elements compared to the top two teams in this comp are much smaller, but they are very artistic and can jump, but in pairs you need to have the big throws, twist and high level lifts too.
Tarah/Danny - They looked the same, not much difference from what we have seen previously in terms of jumps, they still are doing a double axle and although some nice lift positions, I'm not sure I'm liking either of their short or long programs, perhaps it's because the music are warhorses but time will tell if it they grow on me
It will be interesting to see how all these teams progress through the season, it is only September and with the skaters having a lot of time off the ice earlier in the season, it's amazing that any of them were ready to put out there programs. So I applaud all of the skaters who participated. It was sure nice to see figure skating again and kudos to all the skaters for going out there and doing what they do.