The Four Continents Figure Skating Championships 2016 started with short dance. Ice dancers took this competition seriously, as a rehearsal before the Worlds. So, no withdrawals here, all the US and Canadian top-3 came. The competition of ice dancers promised to be one of the most exciting at the tournament, the main intrigues:
- Will Weaver and Poje set themselves as Worl No 1 team?
- Will Shibutani prove their position as US first pair?
- How good Paradis – Ouellette as Canadian third pair?
Firstly I want to say that I really like how Chris Reed looks with Kana Muramoto. They look more harmonious together and have bigger variety of possible characters and music choices for their programs. She also look more refined and sophisticated. But of course, they need some time to get used to each other. I start to regret that they haven’t teamed up earlier.
Honestly, I was cheering for Elisabeth Paradis – Francois-Xavier Ouellette at Canadian Nationals, I wanted something new and fresh in the Canadian team. So, I’m glad this duo will show themselves at Four Continents and Worlds. I pretty like their short dance. Not a classical waltz but still you can feel the mood of the waltz and march. Their lift is amazing! And they actually beat Gilles and Poirier in TES.
Piper Gilles Paul Poirier – 63,92. Yes, waltz isn’t the most suitable dance for them. They can’t compete with pairs who have long lines and classical appearance, but judges continue to show that they don’t like too much creativity in the short dance. You may choose not a classical music, but the mood of the waltz must bee felt in a dance. And if you taking a risk with controversial choreography at least do it technically on maximum. 1st level for one pattern section is too bad.
I thought Madison Chock and Evan Bates (67,05) could took a revanche here. But it’s difficult to get your positions back making a mistake on twizles again. They’ve been struggling with this element all the season….something strange is happening. They lost SD to Hubbell and Donohue, that’s a really bad sign for them too. But I’m sure they will move one place higher in the free dance.
Madison Hubbell – Zachary Donohue (69,36) on my taste, have one of the best short dances this season. Sensual, breathtaking, giving you a goosebumps from the first seconds, one move slightly goes into another. Amazing dance! It gives them a chance for breakthrough, but unfortunately the free dance holds them back. It was a great skate and well deserved scores.
I think loosing the SD (72.42) to Shibutanis was a bit of a cold shower for Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje. Especially, after the Grand prix Final. They definitely came here to establish themselves as a main contenders for gold at Worlds. They have the most powerful and classical waltz, all like judges like. And…..they placed second. I like their dace more, but Shibutani have better execution of the elements. So, I agree with judges who gave them the highest PCS. And the prize for best costumes also goes to Weaver and Poje (costumes were already discussed here).
It was unexpected but the Shibutanis won the short dance! (72.86) I’m really happy for them. They’re so strong technically – all 4th levels! Their short dance is lovely. But I wish they had something more serious, something more interesting in their short dance. That they could have won not only in TES but in PCS too, and could have been one of main contenders for the Worlds title.
The gap between them and Weaver Poje is really small, so we’ll see a great fight in the free dance. Funnily that both free dances not only in the same style and mood but choreographed by the same choreographer – Peter Tchernyshev. Interesting which one the judges will prefere.