I know the final GP event before Finals starts up soon, but here's a look back at the Trophee Eric Bompard results before we head to Moscow...
Gold- Ashley Wagner,
Silver- Adelina Sotnikova, RUS
Bronze- Anna Pogorilaya, RUS
* Both Russian girls missed the double axel in their SP, and while that surely helped Wagner gain a six-point lead on them, her components helped too... though in the case of Sotnikova, not as much as I thought. Sotnikova in particular gave Wagner a great run for her money, skating perhaps better than I’ve ever seen in her free skate win.
* What’d you think of Wagner’s new FS “Juliet” dress? I like this one a lot and prefer it to the old one,which for me was too close in color to last year’s “Delilah” costume.
* Samantha Cesario, who finished 4th here, continues to be a force of nature among the
ladies and absolutely should NOT be counted out of an Olympic spot this season
simply because she finished down in 8th at last year’s Nationals.
Christina Gao, meanwhile, had the kind of free skate you want to forget and
turned up down in 8th place. Her Tweets, however, indicate she’s moving
on quickly towards prepping for Nationals.
Gold- Patrick Chan, CAN
Silver- Yuzuru Hanyu, JPN
Bronze- Jason Brown,
* As at Skate Canada, props go out once again to Chan. Not just for his sublime-beyond- words, World Record-setting free skate, but the fact that he skated “lights out” when he didn’t need to (to win). He now heads into the GP Final as not only the reigning World Champ, but the most consistent jumper among the top men.
* Hanyu continues to struggle somewhat this year—to look at his first two (missed) quad jumping passes in the FS was to figure he was about to skate his way right off the TEB podium—but he pulled it together after that, and his SP was much better this time around too.
* China’s Han Yan didn’t skate much like he did at Cup of China—a step out on the combo in the SP; a series of bobbles in the FS that increased as he ran out of gas—and he proved no match for the top skaters...
* ...One of which turned out to be Jason Brown. With no quads and a still-inconsistent triple axel (he popped his second one in the FS), Brown is currently the kind of skater who needs the quad guys to miss if he’s to be competitive. Yes, he finished ahead of Han in the SP, but had Han hit his toughest jumps in the longer FS (where more points are accumulated), he would’ve gone ahead of Brown. That said, Brown LIT. IT. UP. in
Paris, continuing to share his brand of Ponytail Power all over the world.
Gold- Qing Pang/Jian Tong, CHN
Silver- Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford, CAN
Bronze- Caydee Denney/John Coughlin,
How I wish Tong wasn’t struggling with his SBS jumps... the Thirtysomethings of Olympic-eligible pairs skating were otherwise looking pretty good (again) over the weekend. And I didn’t realize they’d never won TEB before, so that victory had to be especially sweet. Duhamel/Radford looked better here than at SkCan, but of course with the higher risk elements come bigger knocks when they don’t happen as planned. And speaking of side-by-side jumps, it appears to still be Bazarova/Larionov’s weakness—if she wasn’t missing them, he was (or was too worried about her to focus, as Peter Carruthers might say). In any case, Denney/Coughlin were the ones to medal, and high time they did this season.
Gold- Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir, CAN
Silver- Elena Ilinykh/Nikita Katsalapov, RUS
Bronze- Nathalie Pechalat/Fabian Bourzat, FRA
There wasn’t as much of a point spread among these three as you might think... and you may have noticed they weren’t in the order that I, for one, was expecting. Are I/K on track to be the breakout team of the season? A theory I posed on Twitter during the FD was that their centerpiece last season (the Ghost FD, with the wildly distracting dialogue and drama) held them back from showcasing how much they were fusing as a team... so perhaps their Swan Lake looks that much better to us (and the judges) in comparison. Will they turn out to be yet another viable contender for the Olympic bronze?
In any case, I broke out the technical FD protocols for both I/K and P/B so you can see who won which individual battle. Levels-wise, both were getting 4’s on everything except the dance spin (where P/B got a level 3). I’ve highlighted the higher score on most of the elements.
STw4 (twizzles) 6.86
SILi4 5.21 (Li= LIFT)
CiSt3 7.93 (St= STEP SEQUENCE)
Sp3 4.43 (Sp=SPIN)
So this round went to I/K, but it’s P/B that already have a spot in the GP Final... I/K, with a 4th place finish at NHK, are most likely to be the 1st alternate depending on what happens at Cup of Russia this weekend. It starts FRIDAY (at Eastern time), so I’ll get my preview/predictions posted later this evening!