I may have picked Chock/Bates for USFSA Fantasy (see below), but that was mostly because they are the safest bet of the top three teams here. Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje have been away from the spotlight since last season, making a coaching change and staying out of competition so far this year. After a rough couple of Worlds finishes, you know this team is going to be hungry to come out on top. I'm gonna pick them for the gold medal here in Russia. I think Chock/Bates will skate well enough to earn silver; they have a tough back-to-back competition week but their programs were received well last week, so they;ll be looking to ride some momentum. Bobrova/Soloviev finished third at Skate America, so you know they'll be looking for a top placement to get to the Final. If the last two events have taught us anything, it would be to never underestimate home ice advantage. The judging could easily place them higher, but I'll say third.
I am so incredibly excited to see Savchenko/Massot open their Grand Prix season here. This is a team with impressive pair elements, and I think their program choices this year will be received well. I look for them to earn their first gold GP medal as a team. I trust you, Baby Canadians. Seguin/Bilodeau have a great opportunity to make it to the Final with a good finish here. I expect consistent skates for second place. The rest of this paris field are real wildcards. I'm picking home team Zbjalko/Enbert for bronze.
If the Russian team is looking to haul medals this week, their ladies can certainly do most of that heavy lifting. Last year, the Russian ladies swept the podium and I'm picking a repeat of that. I'm interested to see where Anna Pogorilaya's confidence and consistency are at, but I am picking her for gold as she's competed the most in the preseason. Elena Radionova is my pick for silver. She could be anywhere with her jump consistency, but as we all know, the Russian ladies competition can bring out the best in their skaters. Julia Lipnitskya is a sentimental fave of mine, but she's had a tough road post-Sochi. She's very talented, and I hope to see her skate well enough for a bronze here.
The battle between Javi and Shoma is the one to watch this week. Coming off a win at Skate America, Shoma Uno is my pick for gold. He's truly got the entire package, and his technical content is the highest of the event. I expect Javier Fernandez to skate well here; he's keeping his short program that was so well received last year and sticking to the genre that works for him in the free. I pick him for a solid second place here. For bronze, why not pick a Russian? Mikhail Kolyada is my pick for bronze.
I will be tuning in as much as possible for this event. I actually really want to watch dance this week, but the time isn't very friendly. I may have to catch up on that one, but should be able to watch the rest. Happy watching; happy live tweeting!
About the Blog:
Reviews, predictions and opinions in the magical, sparkly and dramatic field of figure skating.