Monday, November 29, 2010

TEB and GPF 2010-11 Updates At-A-Glance

Here’s the thumbnail of TEB developments, and the Grand Prix Final assignments that were clarified as a result… my full report (complete with references to the oh-so-fancy directing that was taking place throughout the World Feed!) will likely come on Wednesday..

After Brian Joubert withdrew (“flu-like symptoms”) and French newcomer Chafik Besseghier suffered a case of RSO (rookie spaz-out), the stage was set for the top 3 to easily hold on to their podium places. Brandon Mroz laid down another solid, if not stellar, free skate to earn bronze… Florent Amodio easily supplanted Joubert as the home-country fave with another entertaining free skate that made up for the fact that it was quad-free… he took silver. Takahiko Kozuka hit another high point in his career by coming out right after Amodio brought the house down…and rebuilt it, and brought it down all over again with a technically packed, quietly brilliant free skate of his own. (I was 2 for 3 on the predictions.)


It was a good weekend for the U.S. ladies, though not as good as it should have been. Alissa Czisny botched her triple lutz in the SP, then resorted to meltdown mode after making her initial mistake in the FS (a stepout on her triple loop)… still, she hung on to bronze when Haruka Imai tumbled out of 3rd place with a pretty sorry-looking free skate. Mirai Nagasu fared much better from 2nd place than she’s done from 1st, happily accepting the silver medal (her first medal in the GP). She lost gold—by less than 2 points—to Kiira Korpi, who I wouldn’t have put in first in either the SP or FS… but the judges were ready to hand it over after Nagasu under-rotated 2 of her jumps AND made mincemeat out of her own gorgeous layback spin. Sigh. (I had the people right in my podium predictions, but not the order.)


In what was essentially a 2-pair event as promised, Savchenko/Szolkowy built on their previous Pink Panther free skate to create another great, if not flawless, GP performance. It put them well enough ahead of Bazarova/Larionov, who came up very close in the SP and, I suspect, will be a team making a major move at this year’s Worlds (they were 8th this past year). My prediction for 3rd, Canada’s Brodeur/Mattatall, had consistent difficulties with side-by-side jumps and throws and settled for 4th behind the surprisingly strong Maylin Hausch/Daniel Wende of Germany. (I was 2 for 3 here.)


Pechalat/Bourzat took gold with a pair of programs that topped their previous gold medal-winning work, looking very much like a team that could make a successful run for the Worlds podium this year. The U.S. team-on-a-roll Chock/Zuerlein managed a second bronze medal with their infectious Cabaret number (despite a fall on Chock’s part), leaving silver to Russian newcomers Ekaterina Riazanova/Ilia Tkachenko. (Meaning 1-for-3 for me)

With these results, the GP Finalists were able to be determined:

Men: Kozuka, Takahashi, Chan, Verner, Oda, Amodio (ALT: Abbott, Mroz, Rippon)
P.S. It’s worth noting, I think, that 2 of these top 6 (Verner and Amodio) made it this far without having a quad in their repertoire so far this season.

Ladies: Ando, Czisny, Kostner, Murakami, Suzuki, Flatt (ALT: Korpi, Nagasu, Wagner)

Pairs: Savchenko/Szolkowy, Pang/Tong, Bazarova/Larionov, Moore-Towers/Moscovitch, Iliushechkina/Maisuadze, Wenjing/Cong (ALT: Takahashi/Tran, Yankowskas/Coughlin, Lawrence/Sweigers)

Dance: Davis/White, Pechalat/Bourzat, Crone/Poirier, Bobrova/Soloviev, Weaver/Poje, Hoffman/Zavozin
(ALT: Shibutanis, Chock/Zuerlein, Riazanova/Tkachenko)

As it currently stands, only 3 slots of the Final are occupied by U.S. skaters… oddly enough, 8 of the 12 “alternate” slots are occupied by them.

Look for a Skating with the Stars update tomorrow…

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