The NHK Virtue/Moir vs. Papadakis/Cizeron matchup was one of the most highly anticipated battles of the Grand Prix season. While the #drama was certainly high, so was the point spread between the two when all was said and done. While I expected the race to be tight, mistakes from the French lead Tessa and Scott to an easy victory.
Overall, I feel that Virtue/Moir have better music choices this year. Their short dance is probably my favorite of the season and though I don’t think the two sections of their free coordinate, I think the program as a whole is more impactful than their rivals. While this win is a huge step forward for their comeback, I wouldn’t say they are unbeatable. They were clean here (which isn’t always the case) and the French weren’t. I can’t wait to see what happens when they both skate clean *rubs hands together excitedly*. Perhaps the Grand Prix Final?
Papadakis/Cizeron may not have gotten the result they wanted here, but they are still headed to the Final as co-favorites for gold with Tessa and Scott. This competition was messier than usual for them, and they will be skating on home country ice at the Final. I still think they could swing the pendulum back their way with a different result in Marseille. I think they’ll lose ground all year in the short dance, but their strength in the free dance could pay off later.
Congrats to Cappellini/Lanotte for grabbing a medal here after finishing fourth in Canada. They had some really tough assignments this year, and won’t be headed back to the Final. While there is a lot I like about this team, I also feel like they don’t break out of their comfort zone stylistically, which seems to be keeping them in the middle of the pack. We should see them compete next at Europeans.
My favorite performance in the free dance was from Hawayek/Baker, and the judges agreed- lifting them to finish fourth ahead of Sinitsina/Katsalapov. That free is a great vehicle to push their skating forward in maturity this year. After finishing fifth to Cannuscio/McManus last year at Nationals, you know they want to climb back to fourth. Judging from the Grand Prix, I think they should be able to do that, but you never know with that Nationals judging : ) This free dance is one of my favorites of the year for sure.
Sinitsina/Katsalapov seem to be losing ground this season. The Russian nationals results in ice dance will be very interesting™ to watch.
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Reviews, predictions and opinions in the magical, sparkly and dramatic field of figure skating.