While all U.S. skating fans’ attention was focused on the U.S. Championships in St. Paul, Canada was also hosting their nationals. I finally had time to catch up on the highlights and check in on some of the Canadian skaters before they take part in Four Continents this week.
DANCE: Weaver and Poje looked strong and consistent as usual as they easily grabbed another Canadian title. Though I appreciate the quality of their skating, I have to say their programs this season feel generic to me. She’s a little too much and he’s a little not enough, and that combination with their programs just isn’t “magic” for me. Their free is the stronger of the two, though I wish they would go back to their black costumes from the beginning of the year. It’s interesting to note that this season’s results are an exact duplicate of last year’s, being undefeated going into Four Continents and Worlds. They are favorites to win in Taipei this week, but I think Worlds will be more of a challenge for them- just like last year.
Piper Gilles and Paul Prioir had a nice event here. They look more comfortable with their programs after having some time off after the Grand Prix. They changed their free dance costumes, but to be honest, I wish they’d kept their old ones and traded out their neon short dance ensemble instead. I 100% appreciate them for their commitment to being different in a discipline where we see so much of the same, but unfortunately their “quirkiness” this season simply distracts you from how good of a team they really are. Instead of focusing on their amazing edges or striking lifts, you’re stuck wondering what the hell they’re wearing and trying to piece together the storyline of their programs. I wish they would attempt something more simple so that their skating could shine through like it deserves.
PAIRS: Wow, there was a lot of storylines to watch in the pairs. Duhamel and Radford deserved their win here, but they are not looking as solid as fans would hope going into Worlds. Their confidence seems to be missing, and you can see it in their mistakes and overall skating this year. I don’t think there was anything wrong with her short program dress, though I do think the new one does a good job of softening her and it looks better overall with his shirt. After such a big season last year, they are working through some adjustments this year it looks like. Seeing what the European teams have done this year, Duhamel and Radford are going to have a hard time reclaiming that title this year.
I love Julianne Seguin/Charlie Bilodeau. They have a great connection to each other, to their music and to the audience. They had some bobbles in the short, but overall they looked strong. What a season they have had already- two medals on the Grand Prix and a fourth place at the FInal! It was announced this past weekend that she sustained a “minor injury” and that they will be out of Four Continents “as a precaution” for Worlds. All the best to them as they heal; I can’t wait to see what they can do in Boston.
It was nice to see Lubov and Dylan have a consistent competition they have some nice moments. Props to Moore-Towers/Marinaro for the great recovery in the short program. These two have good potential; they are just too new of a team and need more time to smooth everything out.
That's it for Canadian Nationals! This week will be all about previewing Four Continents; I will post a preview and fantasy picks for all disciplines before the event starts late Wednesday night. Though I will not be watching live (too late/early for the work week), I will be following the results and catching up each day. I will post reviews next week after I am all up to speed! Happy watching : )
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Reviews, predictions and opinions in the magical, sparkly and dramatic field of figure skating.