Trophee de France 2016 review

Impressions from Trophee de France 2016

French people are very creative. They always come up with something new even in figure skating competitions: k&c corner on the third floor and elevator or non-standard approach to the presentation of the participants. And I really liked it.

Favorites of cameramen: people who were eating something (I watched the Russian channel, so they were eating under relentless tirade from Tarasova about weight),  pigeons (they could be the symbol of this Grand-prix) and Brian Joubert (each his appearance on the big screen was accompanied by a weary sigh of a female audience, and oh, I do understand them).

Trophee de France 2016

Pairs are a dying breed( Only 6 pairs got to Paris.

Lovely Austrians screwed everything that was possible. The positive thing – she has very beautiful dress for the free pgoram.

Marissa and Mervin have excellent presentation, confident and determined. Unfortunately there weren’t much to present.

Zabijako / Enbert‘s short program is a great match for them. Images of the characters from another era fit them like a glove. They also look a bit like from another era – another era of pair skating. This can be their thing. But I really hope they will add some more speed and power into their skating. I have only one question about FP: why only 2a throw? 3a isn’t ready, but why to loose points?

Vanessa James – Morgan Ciprès is my personal crush in pair skating) Such a beautiful couple, with their own style. I often criticize them for complexity they can’t cope with, but it’s only because I like them and wish them medals! They do not listen to me, and probably, do a right thing) This time an attempt of quad was close to success. Their fp amazed me so much, so being in the heat of passion I demand a gold medal for the French team! Anyway no one actually deserved it here.

Finally Tarasova / Morozov have decent programs. Let not trendy, but at least fresh and without naphthalene. Their elements are so great. But I think they lacks some good sporting arrogance and self-confidence. I have no question about their SP – it’s very nice.

But in the free program the first thing I want to do it’s to give them a couple of deductions for tastelessness. I just don’t understand how a pair, who competes at such a high level, can wear this! especially against smartly dressed rivals? Maybe Austrians can borrow them costumes?) I would like to say that quad twist takes a lot of energy, so they hadn’t enough concentration for the combination, but it’s always like this with them –  someone, somewhere will screws up something (

Wardrobe troubles continue to haunt Aliona Savchenko. Even dresses can’t withstand her pressure and desire for technical difficulty. I like their short – playful, humorous and hiding Bruno‘s flaws. Free program is beautiful, in trending style of Lounge FM, but it does not hide Bruno’s weaknesses. I would like to look only at Aliona …… but he takes a lot of screen space. Honestly, I don’t think they really skated on the gold, even if we add some points for Aliona’s gorgeous dress. Nothing would have happened, if judges had put them second. Sometimes, it’s even useful.

Trophee de France

Nazarova / Nikitin left Zhulin but continue to skate his favorite ‘lovely  freaky’. It’ was 100% his pair, They’re so nice and have so much new interesting elements! Tarasova also pointed out their creative approach to programs.

If the French Marie-Jade Lauriault – Romain Le Gac get out from their tasteless costumes and have dances which highlight their strengths – will be WOW. Because they have very interesting elements and lots of potential.

Isabella Tobias in her jumpsuit (with no mm without sequins) in the short dance reminded me of Barbra Streisand. So, I couldn’t help myself, I wanted to sing Barbra Streisand UUUUUUUUUUUUUUU. Their Nutcracker turned in a retro style, but it has been repeatedly proved that Tchaikovsky can help anyone in PCS)

I’d like say what I really think about Ilyinykh – Zhiganshin‘s performances in Paris, but I’m afraid, their fans will find and beat me. Better I’ll be delicately silent. I can only say that the question “What pair has been doing since January?” remains open. It remains to see what Katsalapov will show us in China, and then decide whether Elena and Ruslan can start to learn rumba right now.

Gilles / Poirier FD for me was the brightest impression from ice dance at Trophee de France. It’s a real tango. When people are actually dancing, rather than jumping like a goat, kicking feet and show passion all over the face. Oh…how he looks at her….goosebumps all over my skin) Ok, I’ll just say it: in this dance partners want each other. It’s a shame that we won’t see them at GP Final, but you can never ralax on twizzles(

Well, I try to ignore Hubbell / Donohue‘s short dance. I try to focus on their feet and their skating. For such a horror instead of sensual blues for this couple, I plan to visit Dubreuil Lauzon in nightmares. I wasn’t enthusiastic about their free dance, but second competition in a row it touches me a lot. Tender and heartfelt story of the relationship. I think I can watch for hours how they are holding their hands)

I’ll never again watch early records of the dances, ever again! Because when I saw such video of Papadakis / Cizeron‘s SD I was horrified . After their performance at Trophee de France – hats off. So dancing, so effortless, the dance flies in one second. I don’t like their costumes, but when people skate like this, costumes are the last thing you pay attention to.

But their FD didn’t charmed me….People, what’s wrong with me? I can see how qualitatively it’s done, how effortless executed, I see the idea and how it embodies … ..I give credit to this meaningful work, but it doesn’t carry me away…Maybe, I need a certain philosophical mindset? Perhaps, for me, as a representative of a very earthly sign of the zodiac, such dances are just not very close … ..? Eh. Maybe, this dance will ‘win over me’ during the season.

Trophee de France 2016

This time, Misha Ge didn’t really impressed me. He was focused on the jumps, so there was no usual freedom in his performance.

Ok, I’m ready to join Jorik Hendrickx‘s fanclub. I respect people who get maximum out of that minimum nature gave them. This time I can’t shake the song from his SP out of my head. Whatever is happenning in his free program, it lasts toooo long. Even fan club membership does not help)

I love Takahito Mura no matter what blouses he wears. Sorry, just can’t pass by his blouses) In the short it’s made of a tablecloth from revolution times. In the FP it’s a shiny lizard suit. Apparently made by the same designer, the author of last season’s ‘ruptured pillow”. *Now it’s time for Japanese fans and fans of Ilinykh Zhiganshin to unite and beat me together* But I like his skating, it’s so deep and passionate! The music with the inner nerve suits him a lot. So, I’m looking forward to see this programs skated clean!

I like Nathan Chen in training clothes more. Did Marina really approved this Aladdin costume and velvet coat from the times of Charlie White sultanate? Wonderful short to a great music, it ennobled him a lot. His jumps are fantastic, even those he fell on. Of course with four quads in the free program there were no space for transition and choreo, but the music is very helpful. So, it was Borodin who worked on major part of PCS)

At the US Nationals we’ll be a great battle between jumpers and performers. And no matter how it ended, I know I will miss some of them at the major competitions. In his free progam Adam Rippon was amazing and touching. This program leaves a feeling of light grief. During his performance a desire to look at the table with tech haven’t appeared even for a second – it all did not matter. Compared to his free his short program looked a bit ‘under his level’ because we’ve seen that he’s capable of much more.

If there’s man in the world who is able to get Denis Ten back in the game it’s definately Nikolai Morozov. And if it was necessary to give him a warhorses programs, call the spirit of Takahashi’s techno-swan and throw away all transitions from the first part of his free program, ok I can take it) Because I really want to see Denis skating to his potential again.

Now I know that it’s better to watch Javier Fernandez on TV (I have less questions about his PCS marks). Looking at Javi’s new costume for the short program I start to understand why Patrick is wearing his old…..someone definately stole it) Javi, give Patrick his clothes back and sew something colorful! Your program will only benefit. All this modern concepts are not for your. Bring back the Spanish flavor to the Spanish program!

Elvis is for sure his “character”, so he has no need in Elvis’ costume to rock and look damn hot in this free program.  It’s a pity, not two see two clean skates in a row, Javi also has failed in a famouse puddle near the board, which has been already visited by so many people that day.

Trophee de France 2016

Alena Leonova skated Zhulin’s dream program “Vivaldi and only Vivaldi” and had troubles on every jump( Heartbreaking performance, hope she’ll recover soon.

I will love Mao Asada till the end of her career and even longer. In joy and sorrow, in ups and downs. Without jumps … .but I have never seen her as beautiful as this season.

Gracie Gold‘s troubles reached short program ( Neither sparkling dress nor lovely hairdo was able to save the impression from her free program. It’s time for dramatic changes, the more she waits the less time it remains till the Olympics.

I’d call Laurine Lecavelier the main discovery and impression of the women’s competition in France. She’s a charming skater with bright individuality.

Gabrielle Daleman was absolutely gorgeous in the short program. This program, music and even cobras on the dress suit her a lot. Her 3-3 combination is just to die for! The free program didn’t turn out, when she’ll learn how two skate two clean programs she’ll be a very dangerous rival to everyone. It was painful too watch her almost crying in the k&C, come on, it’s just a GP. Think better about Olympics, because team Canada really needs a solid girl for the Olympic Team Event.

Wakaba Higuchi – young hope of the Japanese figure skating. She may not have beautiful lines, graceful posture, but this girl has a star quality, because she’s has lots of charisma. I don’t really like her short program, I don’t think it was a best choice for her. But the free program was very cool and impressed me a lot. She has such a great speed and lot’s of energy.

Maria Sotskova is an aristocrat from figure skating. She has such a refined look. I like her free program more, I think it suits her and hides a little her lack of speed and not really good skating skills. Her ability to save the jumps with such height and such long legs deserves a special admiration. It was a decent debut. Something tells me that Masha has very good chance to qualify this season for the European and World Championships.

Evgenia Medvedeva – charming, her skating looks effortless and killingly consistant (who cares about that one fall). The fact that her programs make great impression is only Evgenia’s merit, not choreographer’s. All these jumps on the rope, sirens, 911, voices should be throwed out of her programs! She deserves and capable of much more than pantomime. But I’m afraid they will not risk to try a new choreographer in the Olympic season (

Well, that’s all. I probably should start saving my nerves for GP in China)

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7 Comments on Trophee de France 2016 review

  1. Stolbova Obsessed // 15/11/2016 at 20:30 // Reply

    Since you tolerated my long review on your last post, I’m leaving another very long comment here on my thoughts about this whole thing.

    PAIRS:
    I adore Marissa and Mervin’s “Journey” medley. It’s a gorgeous program. But I wish they could skate it clean just once! I’m still praying for them to pull it off at Nationals.

    Zabiiako and Enbert should switch the double axel for another triple throw. It’s common sense.

    James/Cipres were fabulous!

    Tarasova and Morozov’s short program is so classy (it makes me worried for my dear Stolbova/Klimov). They look really good, and for once, white on ice does not bother me! But I agree 100% on the free program. I don’t really like their costumes, I wish they’d go back to the red ones, those were tasteful and not unattractive. As far as the quad twist, I don’t think it’s ready yet. Aliona Savchenko said that doing a quad takes extra mental effort, and sometimes you can’t do the stuff afterwards as well as you planned. But I would stay with the triple until they have the mental ability to handle a quad and a full set of other jumps.

    Thank goodness, God knew it was my birthday this weekend and made Aliona take out the quad. It seems like a dangerous, reckless thing for her to try it 4 minutes into the program. I like triple throws at the end of programs, when they’re landed neatly (Ksenia Stolbova hit some awesome ones over the 2014-15 season). But it is a big risk, and I’m not sure if they should take it.
    Their short program is really cute and theatrical. I love her new pink dress. Aliona is such a great actress, and Bruno does his best to keep up. As far as the free, I think it’s a great idea, but you can clearly see that Aliona is the stronger skater.

    DANCE:
    I’m with you, I was not impressed by Ilinykh and Zhiganshin here. Elena looked kind of slow, and that fluke fall…yikes. The short dance was not bad, but I thought Elena was too dramatic. I’d like to see them do their lift without her crazy facial expressions. You know, like when you said it looked like she saw a sale at the Chanel store?

    I’m not always a Gilles/Poirier fan, but their free dance is really fabulous. It’s quirky, but not too weird. I don’t always like when they’re too wacky. This was cute but still tasteful. And I love the costumes, very Volosozhar/Trankov Masquerade Waltz.

    I agree that Hubbell/Donohue’s SD needs to go. There are just too many crazy music cuts. I’m sure other people have said the same thing already, but it’s true. I wanted to see a very sexy SD from them, they have such chemistry, but you can’t make chemistry when your music keeps cutting every two seconds.

    Papadakis and Cizeron have a nice SD. I have a funny feeling that the costumes belong in the bedroom, not on ice. I think the problem with the FD is that it looks just like everything else they’ve done. It’s lyrical, and they’ve already done 2 lyrical free dances. Time for something new. On a positive note, I like Gabriella’s dress.

    MEN:
    Takahito’s costumes have to go. His SP looks almost borrowed from Javier Fernandez, if you ask me, and I like the look of his overall skating.

    I like Nathan Chen’s packaging, the music makes it look like he’s actually skating instead of just jumping. I don’t think the velvet pants are his thing, but when you’re landing your jumps, no one cares about your dang pants.

    Adam’s free skate is beautiful. I’m not a fan of the short, and personally I’ve always been devoted to Jason Brown, but Adam was just stunning here. He definitely had a happy birthday!

    I thought of Takahashi’s Swan Lake too when I saw Denis! I love what Morozov has done for him, he looks so good. Now all we can do is pray for consistency.

    Javier looked sharp! But I miss his red sleeved costume from last year. A matador is supposed to have a glitzy suit of lights, all covered in sequins to the point that the bull doesn’t know which way to look! Clearly Team Orser hasn’t been to a good Barcelona bullfight lately. But I’m starting to like his FS better.

    LADIES:
    Mao was fabulous even without the jumps. She could survive on step sequences for the rest of her career, and I wouldn’t care. She is such a lovely skater, there’s no one quite like her.

    Gracie needs a new coach pronto! Frank is a good coach, but I think his technique is hitting her in all her little insecurities. And I know everybody says it’s a mental problem, but I think the real issue is that her jumps are too high to control, so she naturally falls. Satoko Miyahara’s jumps are consistent because she doesn’t have too much speed. If Gracie could cut some of that speed, she would be able to skate cleaner. What good is an explosive triple-triple if you always “explode” all over the ice? I don’t mean to be harsh, but that’s the truth.

    Gabrielle’s SP was flawless! I really love her. I felt so bad about her reaction to the free skate – I don’t quite understand why she was so upset, but I think anytime you have a bad skate, you feel awful about it. Come on, girl, it’s not so bad! Cheer up!

    Wakaba’s free skate was for me the highlight of the ladies’ event. She wins the gold medal for best Scheherazade dress! And she’s such a charismatic little thing.

    Maria Sotskova looked so elegant in the FS! The program is light and feminine, it suited a young girl very well, and I liked the pink dress. She is a real budding talent! I think she may try to bump off Elena Radionova.

    Evgenia…it’s like they stuck her with the world’s worst programs, and now she’s trying to make them beautiful. I give her props for making them work as well as she has. Ilia Averbukh has given her a really rough program, and she’s coping with it. I hope to see her skate to something much subtler next year.

    —–
    So, that’s my review of things! Sorry for rambling, but I couldn’t help myself. Your blog is very interesting and your reviews are spot on!

    • Thanks for another huge commet. It’s a pleasure to read such.

      I really hope that Marissa and Mervin are staying till OG 2022. Not every pair is Volosozhar – Trankov, so not every pair can learn all pair elements quickly and gain consistancy. But they’re a memorable pair and this’s also important.

      Sometimes I has a huge desire to burn some costumes, and Tarasova Morozov’s are almost first to go this time) She’s such a pretty girl, with tender beauty….why the hell she’s wearing this disaster?!

      I can understand Aliona in her determination to learn quads. Has she really a choice if she wants that damn Olympic gold medal? You can’t just prepare such element at practices and then it’ll turn out at competition. It doesn’t work like this( They need to get used to it at competitions.

      ‘Hubbell/Donohue’s SD needs to go’ – somewhere far far away) Or if it’s so dear for them they can use it for gala/exhibitions.

      I don’t think that Papadakis and Cizeron will change their style in Olympic season. The worst thing is I’m almost sure that judges don’t care what they’ll skate at Olympics.

      Oh no, I do care about plushy pants) Even you have 5 quads….I still hate plushy costumes!!!

      This’s so bad that we won’t probably see Denis till Four Continents.

      I start to think that Gracie need a women coach. Maybe Yuka Sato? She was able to cope with Alissa and Jeremy.

      Maria Sotskova should harry up…her jumps can be in an underrotational risk soon(

      PS: Happy Birthday! Hope you had a great Birthday party) Wish you lots of luck and love, stay healthy and love figure skating!

      • Stolbova Obsessed // 16/11/2016 at 01:45 // Reply

        I TOTALLY want to see Marissa and Mervin until 2022! They have such nice presentation; hopefully the jumps will come with time. They are both only 26 right now – Duhamel and Radford didn’t start winning major gold medals until they were 28! So by 2022 we could see a very different Marissa and Mervin.

        Whoever is doing costumes for Tarasova/Morozov needs to be exiled to Siberia. I didn’t mind Evgenia T in the dark red dress, though it was a little plain and looked a darn lot like Tatiana Volosozhar’s dress last year. In general, I feel like they’re trying to make Tarasova and Morozov into another Volosozhar/Trankov, but they aren’t quite there yet. And the free skate music this year is a little…old fashioned, in my opinion (The song is from the 1970s). I’d rather see them doing something pretty like Seguin and Bilodeau’s Cinema Paradiso. Simple and lyrical, but at least suitable for a young pair like that. Or you know I’m a sucker for Stolbova/Klimov’s Addams Family FS from Sochi :)

        As far as Aliona…I just think it’s dangerous to put the quad at the end. A friend of mine said that she thinks they should simplify the programs until the quad and triple axel are consistent.

        I think Hubbell/Donohue’s SD choreographer needs to get exiled to Siberia along with Tarasova/Morozov’s choreographer.

        Papadakis and Cizeron…I think Ekaterina Bobrova was the one who said that ice dance is a constantly changing sport, and the goal is to keep changing what you do, reinventing yourself. P/C don’t do that. They are very talented, but after a while doing the same thing falls flat. Sometimes I think they’re a bit overscored. I like them, don’t get me wrong, but I’d like to see something new.

        While plushy pants aren’t exactly a fashion statement, my real pet peeve is when men’s costumes look like women’s blouses! I try very hard to focus on the skating, but sometimes the costumes are so distracting.

        I 100% agree that Gracie needs a female coach. I was thinking perhaps Kori Ade (Jason Brown’s coach), but Yuka Sato seems like a good choice as well! I think Gracie is having trouble simply because Frank’s technique is to point out what you did wrong so you can correct it, and she doesn’t like being criticized. And I think it’s hard to relate to an old man when you’re a young lady.

        Maria needs more speed, definitely. I did not notice it as much in the free skate, but her short program seemed slow.

        Thank you so much about my birthday! It was lots of fun, especially since I got to watch Trophee de France! I’m not at the age where I start dreading getting older yet :) And Eric Radford wished me happy birthday – I almost fainted :)

        • ‘I think Hubbell/Donohue’s SD choreographer needs to get exiled to Siberia along with Tarasova/Morozov’s choreographer.’
          Choreographer?) Poor Alexander Gazsi)

          ‘And Eric Radford wished me happy birthday – I almost fainted :)’
          WOW that’s so cool!)

          • Stolbova Obsessed // 16/11/2016 at 20:25 // Reply

            I’m just saying, whoever came up with that awful short dance and those blue costumes for T/M needs to be properly punished!

            Yes, Eric and I talk a little on Twitter. He’s super nice and doesn’t know that I’m obsessed with his rivals. :) I like almost all pairs!

            • ‘He’s super nice and doesn’t know that I’m obsessed with his rivals. :)’
              Oh how can you be so cruel with such a nice guy! ))))

              • Stolbova Obsessed // 17/11/2016 at 18:51 // Reply

                I’m not trying to be cruel at all! It’s just that I have tons of favorites! I want them all to do well! But I don’t want Eric to know that I also love Ksenia and Fedor! So I talk all about Meagan and Eric on a separate fan page, and Ksenia and Fedor on my other account.

                Eric is so nice…not to mention handsome. I think I’m watching them mostly for him. :)

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