Friday, November 11, 2016

State of the 2016 Trophee de France: Pairs & Dance Predictions

As the 2016 Grand Prix of Figure Skating makes its way around the world, Trophee de France—the Competition Formerly Known as Trophee Eric Bompard—will get underway a few hours later in the day (on Eastern Time, anyway) than Rostelecom Cup did last week. 9:40AM ET is the start time; here’s an IFS link to all the rest you need to know…
Aaaand here we go with predictions!

GOLD:  Savchenko/Massot (GER)
SILVER: Zabijako/Enbert (RUS)
BRONZE: Tarasova/Morozov (RUS)

DARK HORSE: James/Cipres (FRA)

It might sound like a rerun of Rostelecom last week, but Sav/Mass are back and so are Zab/En. The difference is that I’m not underestimating the latter this week! As for Tara/Moro… elements aside, their SP is delightful (my daughter’s dance company utilized the same music last season so I’m quite familiar with it), but their FS leaves something to be desired. Upon hearing it at SkAM a few weeks ago, I thought it kind of sounded like the quasi-hip theme song to a 1970s family drama that I somehow never managed to see. So I looked it up, and… yikes, I wasn’t too far off (except for the TV part): the song Tara/Moro use is actually a pop ballad called “Music”, which was a #3 hit in the UK for an artist named John Miles back in 1976. So those of you overseas who’ve heard of it, or even remember it from your youth if you’re from my generation and are wondering what my deal is… I should tell you that “Music” apparently stalled out on the U.S. pop charts at #88, effectively keeping it from becoming a radio hit over here.

So! Now that you know more about this “Music” than you ever cared to… I’ll add that I can’t quite fathom using it no matter how familiar you are with it. It’s like reaching for a box of processed cheese when you’re trying to spice up a meal—it just doesn’t work.

Having said all that, I know they’ve got more consistent elements but I’d love to see James/Cipres nail their stuff this time and get a medal—on home soil, no less.


GOLD:  Papadakis/Cizeron (FRA)
SILVER: Gilles/Poirier (CAN)
BRONZE: Hubbell/Donohue (USA)

DARK HORSE: Ilinykh/Zhiganshin (RUS)

I should start this by saying that of this field of 10 ice dancing teams, I’ve only heard of exactly half of them—and four of those five are listed above! I haven’t taken the time yet to see if the rest are young (read: recent JGP grads), or mediocre semi-veterans, or simply new to this level of competition… so, who knows, maybe another Papa/Ciz –esque star team will be born this weekend. But for now I’ll stick with those I know: reigning World Champs for gold, recent SkCAN medalists for silver (I’m already cheered by the thought of seeing Disco Paul again in the SD), and recent SkAM medalists for bronze.

I’m going to list the five lesser-known teams below; hopefully I’ll have something to add about at least a few of them when I recap this event:
(NOTE: Tobias/Tkachenko of ISR is the 5th of the 5 “known” teams above)

Viktoria Kavaliova/Yurii Bieliaiev  BEL
Cortney Mansour/Michal Ceska  CZE
Lorenza Alessandrini/Pierre Souquet  FRA
Marie-Jade Lauriault/Romain Le Gac FRA
Oleksandra Nazarova/Maxim Niktin  UKR

Men’s and Ladies predictions will be posted sometime before the guys get underway at 12:40 PM Eastern—and for those planning to watch Adam Rippon—he drew 1st to skate, so be on time!

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