Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Rostelecom Cup Short Dance Review

And so we've come to the final stop on the Grand Prix series, the last chance for skaters to punch their ticket to the Grand Prix Final. The top three ice dance teams at Rostelecom Cup in Moscow have been far ahead of the other teams in this field score-wise during the season, so the podium members look pretty set here. The big surprise so far is Ekaterina Bobrova/Dmitri Soloviev being in third place, three points behind Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje. The Russians received big scores at Cup of China, but some technical problems here have hurt them. More on that in my review below. . .

Isabella Tobias/Deividas Stagniunas - Their Shakira music is one of the more catchy medleys of the Latin choices this season. The upside-down split rotational lift is a favorite of mine and looks incredibly dangerous. Circular steps looked sharper to me at Skate America, but they earn a Season's Best score here.

Ekaterina Pushkash/Jonathan Guerreiro - He must've trimmed his hair because I find the floppiness less distracting than it was at Skate Canada. If she would cover up the one mesh boob on her bodice, her dress would be fabulous. They look more trained than they did at Skate Canada, but the the dance moves done while posing need a lot more Latin flavor. Move your hips, kids!

Ekaterina Riazanova/Ilia Tkachenko - Love the back of her dress but there's too much skirt. First segment of music is somewhat depressing. Second segment sounds like Latin disco. Ilia has wonderful posture. Program gets a little messy at the end, and I'd like to see them get down into the moves more, too.

Pernelle Carron/Lloyd Jones - Pernelle fake slaps Lloyd as part of the choreography to start. So awesome. Their rhumba patterns should move out faster. Pernelle is really getting into the dance, and I feel more of a Latin spirit than I did with the prior two couples. Circular steps get sloppy and only earn a level one.

Ekaterina Bobrova/Dmitri Soloviev -  I like Ekaterina's new sassy ponytail. Now get a sassy costume to go with it! Good power on the first rhumba pattern. Problems on the twizzles from Dmitri. Ekaterina's bent-over-at-the-waist posture continues to be a distraction. Did Dmitri just grab his leg and do an 80's dance move? They look a bit perplexed at their score, but dropped levels on almost all their elements did them in.

Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje - Still hoping Kaitlyn cuts the sleeves off the tiger dress. Also, unlike Riazanova, I think she needs more skirt. Something about the short cut of the skirt with her long legs doesn't look right. Great straight-line lift with no vulgar positions - always a plus! I like the move where Andrew stretches his leg out and holds the position.. They look sharp and doing three GP events will have them very seasoned for the Final.

Meryl Davis/Charlie White - Love the shape of the skirt on Meryl's new dress, but I liked the top and back of her Skate America dress better. Also liked Charlie's black shirt at Skate America more than this metallic one. The black shirt was more fitted and gave him a sleeker look. Not sure about Charlie's partial facial hair. Should go all or nothing with the scruff. Now on to the skating . . . I think I speak for many D/W fans worldwide when I say we had a freakout when Charlie tripped early in the program. We've all been scarred for life after his infamous 2008 Cup of Russia disaster. Thankfully, Charlie moves right past the stumble and recovers in time for the twizzles. They really sell the program, and I think their music is a breath of fresh air after some of the tired and overused pieces we've been hearing in the short dances this season.

The suspense in the Free Dance will be seeing if Weaver/Poje can best Bobrova/Soloviev again and whether Davis/White can match or improve their monster score from Skate America. Will be back with my thoughts on the competition tomorrow!


  1. "I think I speak for many D/W fans worldwide when I say we had a freakout when Charlie tripped early in the program."

    I like to think all D/W fans freaked out at the exact same moment...the gasp heard round the world.

  2. Yes, we D/W fans are used to near perfection most of the time! My heart was pounding for sure! Thank goodness he recovered very well.

    Loved Weaver/Poje here, they are improving by leaps and bounds. And yes, I saw the 80s move by Dimitri..good catch there!

    Why does Charlie feel he needs a beard?

  3. It's amazing how Meryl and Charlie barely missed a beat after the stumble. I think they improvised some steps to get back on track before the twizzles. That's when a lifetime of skating together helps! :) I don't mind some scruff for the SD, but the chin-only scruff looked weird. I'd like to see him clean-shaven for the FD.