Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Quick, Before Someone Cancels: TEB Predictions pt. 1


I’m going to try to post my initial predictions for Trophee Eric Bompard very quietly. Why? Because I’m starting to fear that every time one of us skating bloggers (or skloggers?) tries to take some educated guesses at a GP finish, a major contender gets hurt, and falls out of the running for the next event. Not that we have any special powers… or voodoo dolls, for that matter… maybe it’s just a nutty coincidence. Or, maybe because it’s an impossibly demanding sport these days…

But just the same, I’m tiptoeing onto the internet this time… if that’s possible… with some TEB predictions. The hope is that we can get to Friday without so much as a stubbed toe from Mao Asada.

For the DANCE:
Gold- Delobel/Schoenfelder (FRA)
Silver- Kerr/Kerr (GBR)
Bronze- Faiella/Scali (ITA)

Frankly, the D/S free dance ’08 did little for me when I watched it at Skate America. But the judges obviously thought otherwise, and D/S come into this not only as last year’s defending champs… but this year’s world champs. They’d pretty much have to fall twice in every part of the competition to lose this one. As for the Kerr’s ability to go up one podium spot from their own SKAM finish… it’s kind of risky, but I really do think they can get it done.

The recent SKCAN silver medalists Crone/Poirier (CAN) also seem a podium possibility, but I’m not confident that what happened on their home turf can happen across the pond. Maybe I’ll have to gain some confidence in that thought by week’s end.

For the MEN:
Gold: Brian Joubert (FRA)
Silver: Takahiko Kozuka (JPN)
Bronze: Patrick Chan (CAN)

Ooh… finally, a tough one! Joubert might seem a shoo-in at TEB any other year, but this year he happens to be facing a rising star from Japan who just won SKAM... not to mention a rising star from Canada who just won SKCAN. So why am I still going with Joubert, particularly when he’s unproven so far this season? I guess it’s because I have a hard time seeing him blow it. Joubert hasn’t been at TEB for at least a couple of years, so I think he goes in with a double agenda: to give his native fans a great homecoming, and to give his rising star competitors a primer on what a long-burning star skates like.

It would certainly shake things up if either one of the other two can pull an upset, though. Stay tuned! Ryan Bradley and Alban Preaubert are possible contenders should any of the top three falter. And I know that’s what I said of Bradley at SKCAN, and then he went and won silver. The difference this time is in the deeper talent pool. Methinks it's going to be a little harder for lightning to strike twice.

Speaking of Preaubert, the
Clip of the Day is his SP from last year’s TEB (which put him in 1st, though he was unable to stay on top after the free skate). With programs set to music like Dracula and Addams Family Values, I can’t help but wonder: Is Preaubert the Ryan Bradley of France? Discuss.

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