Friday, October 21, 2016

State of the SKAM: Men and Ice Dance Predictions

If you're looking for Ladies and Pairs predictions you'll want to scroll down a bit... otherwise, here come some 2016 Skate America Men and Ice Dance predictions... 


GOLD: Shoma Uno (JPN)
SILVER: Jin Boyang (CHN)
BRONZE: Sergei Voronov (RUS)

DARK HORSE: Jason Brown (USA)

Uno made a huge splash last season… right up until he semi-tanked his Worlds FS. But his Japan Open performance a few weeks ago shows him to be in fine competitive shape. Full disclosure: I predicted Uno to win this LAST year too, and he ended up 2nd behind the then-surging Max Aaron (who I picked as a Dark Horse). I stand by my decision to stand by Uno, and it’s not even because we won’t see Aaron again until Rostelecom Cup...

I’m going with Boyang for silver as more of a “body of work” vote because, frankly, I haven’t seen him skate lately. If he lost his quad lutz/triple toe over the summer, the podium will be a different story. But dang, what a jumper.

Why Voronov over Kovtun? Because they were in the same “B” a few weeks ago and Voronov, as mildly appalled as I am that he’s using “Exogenesis” (yes, the music used by Jeremy Abbott in Sochi and a similar cut to Ashley Wagner’s current FS), must admit that he skated with quads and skated fairly clean. Kovtun, to say the least, did not. It could be an opposite story at SKAM, to be sure—neither one has been consistent of late. But that’s where I’m coming from here.

Brown always gets the component scores, and based on what I’ve seen so far this season, that hasn’t changed. As for his quad—he’s attempting it regularly now and getting closer, but still has yet to land one when it counts. Whether he does so at SKAM could make the difference between “dark horse” and “medalist”.

And for those wondering, I don’t have Adam Rippon in the podium mix for the same reasons he wasn’t in the Worlds podium mix… love his work; wish he could get that quad lutz. (Or any quad. But getting that lutz would be awesome.) Also, believe it or not Rippon is only 3 for 14 in terms of career senior GP medals… and only one of those came within the last five years. Maybe his U.S. title will change things. Can’t wait to see!


GOLD: Shibutani/Shibutani (USA)
SILVER: Hubbell/Donohue (USA)
BRONZE: Guignard/Fabbri (ITA)

DARK HORSE: Bobrova/Soloviev (RUS)

Here we have the super-secretive Shib Sibs, one of the few dance teams here (maybe the only one?) that did not compete a “B” event in skating’s pre-season. As I write this, Wikipedia only has the Shibs’ FD program as “Evolution”, with all the music listed as TBD. But not to worry; they seem to be in that “they-could-skate-to-a-reading-of-the-phone-book-and-still-kill-it” phase of their career, so more power to them! Also, I hope it’s awesome because I’m choosing them to win sight unseen.

Hub/Don, on the other hand, have already put some miles on their programs this season. The hip-hop portion of their SD had about 5 more songs within its medley than I thought were necessary, but their “Love” FD medley is one I already prefer to last year’s effort. I’ve got them in second, but heard Zach has been ill this week so I guess it might be a victory for them if they simply avoid scratching the event…

And yes, I went out on a limb with my prediction for bronze… it might be wishful thinking on my part, given that the Italians’ FD music is the ever-uplifting “Pas de Deux” from Nutcracker and Bob/Solo are using the Chopin piece that will always leave me saying you should have used Manilow’s adaptation (aka “Could it Be Magic”) instead! But Guig/Fab DID win Lombardia this year, and were 4th in both their GP assignments last year, so a medal is certainly not out of the question for them…

That’s it for SKAM predictions! Follow me on Twitter (@KLBSt8ofSk8) so we can follow all the Skate America shenanigans together! 

No comments: