Well, it wouldn’t be figure skating if the “easiest event to call” ends up with a surprise winner!
Congratulations to Tarah Kayne and Danny O’Shea on their first national title. They really stole the show, putting down two completely clean skates. Kudos to them for having the courage to change their short program before Nationals, as it really worked in their favor. I love that program for them and I’m glad we get to see it again at Four Continents and Worlds. They were so genuinely happy to win and I loved Tarah’s NBC interview in the Kiss and Cry when she said that no one gave them a chance to win, because really, no one did. They were clean and consistent when it mattered most, so huge props to them for creating such a big moment for themselves.
I had expected Alexa Scimeca and Chris Knierim to skate better than they did in St. Paul, but it seems they’re still carrying some confidence issues from their last two events with them. On a positive note, they made a big improvement on their quad twist in the free skate, and actually that free skate, though flawed, looked better than the ones they’ve put out this season. When you watch the pairs warm up, it’s Alexa and Chris who draw your eye with their speed and power. I think internationally they may still score higher than their national champions, but they have to get those side by side jumps together. Mistakes on that element just take so much air out of their programs. Hopefully they have fire in their eyes at Four Continents.
I really love the team of Marissa Castelli and Mervin Tran. They look so good together and there’s a star quality about them that you can’t deny. Shout out to Marissa for the best costumes of the event, too. I know they are disappointed that they aren’t skating at Worlds in Boston, but I think their time is still coming. I’m happy they’re competing at Four Continents, as they need the international exposure and maybe with some of the pressure off and nothing to lose, they can put out some fabulous skates. They have a ton of potential and just need to grow as a team.
Big congrats to Madeline Aaron and Max Settlage for a good competition. After an injury took them out of the beginning of the season, they skated well enough here for the pewter medal. I like these two and I hope they can come back next season even stronger. I like a lot of things about teams 5-7 (Calalang/Sidhu, Smith/Reiss, Pfund/Santillan) and I hope they can hang in there and improve for next season.
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Reviews, predictions and opinions in the magical, sparkly and dramatic field of figure skating.