World Championships 2017: The Judges

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Ladies Podium, Worlds 2016

It’s finally here! After a full season of nervously watching our favorite skaters through the spaces between our fingers (unless your favorite never falls/is Evgenia Medvedeva), they (uh, most of them,) have converged in Helsinki for the 2017 World Figure Skating Championships! Of note is obviously reigning world champ Medvedeva, 2010 Olympic champions Virtue/Moir, Nathan “maybe-I’ll-add-a-sixth-quad-to-my-free” Chen, and Sui/Han returning from injury. Two-time consecutive reigning champions Duhamel/Radford, Javier Fernandez, and Papdakis/Cizeron have mountains to climb before repeating as gold medalists, but we said that last year, too, before all three put down some of the best performances of their careers (360 days later and I’m still giggling from when Javi charmingly pointed at the stands in my general direction during his free skate).

Thanks to these judges for returning to The Judges’ Table for Worlds 2017!

Amanda P. (@storyologist_ap) | The Storyologist
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. Wanted to learn to skate for years, but didn’t have the time, money, and courage all at the same time til a couple years ago; now I sloooowly work my way through the skills in between multiple jobs, grad school, and, you know, life. I’ve watching skating all my life, and in recent years have particularly gravitated towards ice dance.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Everyone keeps saying Mao’s Olympic FS, so I’m going to go for the lower ranks and say Hawayek/Baker’s 2015 US Nationals FD.

Erin (@Erinsk8On Stage and Screen
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I skated competitively for 10 years, worked as a coach, and now I continue to follow the sport obsessively. I attended Worlds 2016 in Boston this year and it was pretty much the best experience ever.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? The one that immediately comes to mind is Belbin and Agosto at the 2010 Olympics. They should have been third.

Margaret D. | Tumblr
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan, if any. Like a lot of people, I became a figure skating fan during the whole Nancy/Tanya saga before the 1994 Olympics. Never been on the ice myself — ha, I would fall right on my butt the second I stepped on it! — but I just absolutely fell in love with the combination of art and athleticism and knew I would be a lifelong fan.
Favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years: When it comes to the whole Sochi thing, I have no real opinion of who should have won ladies’ gold and thought a case could be made for all the medalists, but I do think that Mao Asada should have at least won the free skate. 

Sam S. (@szabothebaby)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. Been a fan of the sport since 1997 and have taken some basic skating classes (I have a mean forward swizzle lol). Also I’m a professional dancer in New York which definitely informs the way I watch skating.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Mirai’s short at 2014 Nationals.

Sean Z. (@enderstar)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I have been a figure skating fan for over 10 years and also a part-time sports writer specializing in figure skating from China. Though not a skater myself, I am very interested in the technical side of the sport. I have also covered several ISU events including GP China, GPF and FCC. Ice dance is my favorite category and probably the most fabulous thing on this planet.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Yuna Kim’s free skate at Sochi. Though given over 140 points, in my opinion, this routine is the Mount Everest of ladies’ single skating in terms of artistry, choreography, transitions, interpretation and the overall concept. Its hidden difficulty is unbelievable. So its PCS given at Sochi should have been so much higher, especially comparing to the PCS some other skaters received that night.

Tiffany (@TiffLangston) | Tiffany Langston
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I met Paul Wylie at #Worlds2016. Really, my life is complete at this moment. Everything else is bonus. Seriously, I’ve been a skating fan since I watched his Olympic long program in 1992 (I feel so old). Took a bit of a break for a couple of years, came back strong around 2008 (the Evan/Johnny drama was everything) and have enjoyed every minute of being able to communicate with other figure skating fans through social media. (My IRL friends just don’t seem to get it.)
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Mao Asada’s 2014 Olympic LP.

To keep up with those who have Twitter during the competitions, subscribe to our list and follow The Judges’ TableAnd check out the updated Judges’ Page to quickly find all of our judges online.

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The Judges’ Table Does World Junior Championships 2017

FSKATE-TPE

Junior Worlds 2017 broke records – Vincent Zhou’s quad lutz and Australia’s first ISU championship gold medal come to mind – while still crowning a few expected champions, including Alina Zagitova and Parsons/Parsons. Junior Worlds opened with a 45-person, 35-country, 7-hour long men’s short program event in which a huge number of skaters went clean, inspiring confidence about the future of figure skating through 2022 and 2026. Less inspiring was the 16-team, 13-country pairs event, which echoes concerns whispered among fans of the senior ranks that pairs skating could be in trouble. Somewhat encouragingly, the top three teams were very competitive with each other.

Unfortunately, I’ve been unable to track down several videos I was hoping to find for this post. If you find a video that’s missing, please send it this way!

Thanks to these five judges for sitting at The Judges’ Table to close out the junior figure skating season:

Bea (@tweenershots) | You Only Lutz Once
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I co-founded and blog in You Only Lutz Once. I also co-founded Tropical Frost, a fan site dedicated to Michael Christian Martinez (PHI). Outside streaming, I’ve watched Four Continents in Taipei last season. (I was probably on TV too many times because of the many banners we had, especially that “The CHANpion is Back” banner. This season, I got to watch Asian Open Trophy and got to meet and cheer for many of my favorite skaters.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Tatsuki Machida’s 2014 Worlds free skate

J.j. (@RealDetective) | Tumblr
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. One time Meryl Davis told me happy birthday and another time a security guard told me he took a picture of me and Zach Donohue but he unknowingly never actually pressed the button and I didn’t want to ask Zach for another picture. It was all very sad. Except for the Meryl part. Which made being old worth it.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Davis/White 2014 US Nationals Free Dance and let me tell you why, you see one judge (specifically Mary Karen Henderson OF THEIR VERY OWN HOME STATE OF MICHIGAN) thought that they were worthy of only +2 GOE on two elements and had the gall, THE GALL, to give them a 9.75 in one (1) PCS category WHICH IS A FULL STEP LESS THAN WHAT IS SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE. Sure, these scores are thrown out and Meryl Elizabeth Davis and Chuck White scored the maximum amount of points possible BUT THE PRINCIPLE. The principle. (Don’t @ me.)

Mara B. (@missmaraskate)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan, if any. I started out as purely an ice dance fan, after watching D/W on DWTS. Gradually, I was introduced to the other disciplines, and I’ve found myself enjoying all of them. I’ve never been to a live event…hopefully that will change eventually (hi Skate America 2017!).

Ryan P. (@jetsfan_85)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I used to compete from ages 15-17 and casually skated for years later. Just got back into it this year (31y.o now). I watch every GP competition of the year as well as Canadian and American Nationals etc.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Bourne/Kraatz River Dance 1998 Worlds…they should have won gold.

TJ C. (@Tsk8c)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I am a current competitor in ice dancing (and a first-time national qualifier!). I’m a huge fan of the sport, but it’s not like I have a problem or anything (hehehe…).
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje’s FD at the 2014 GP Final.

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World Junior Championships 2017: The Judges

marin honda world juniors 2016

We’re finally back! It’s been a long several weeks since Four Continents, but the World Junior Championships are here and we’re returning to Taipei – the site of the 2016 Four Continents Championships. Three of last year’s champions are returning this event, and all will likely encounter great difficulty in defending their titles. I imagine Daniel Samohin’s skates will actually arrive this time, but that’s not going to be enough to stop his competitors. McNamara and Carpenter will have to get past their uncharacteristic mistakes this season to beat their undefeated teammates, Parsons and Parsons. And Marin Honda, who has had a good season compared to her fellow reigning champions, is facing a team of seemingly unstoppable Russian women, two of whom are coached by Eteri Tutberidze – the same coach as Evgenia Medvedeva, who is nearly undefeated over the last three years.

Thanks to these judges for sitting at The Judges’ Table for Junior Worlds!

Bea (@tweenershots) | You Only Lutz Once
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I co-founded and blog in You Only Lutz Once. I also co-founded Tropical Frost, a fan site dedicated to Michael Christian Martinez (PHI). Outside streaming, I’ve watched Four Continents in Taipei last season. (I was probably on TV too many times because of the many banners we had, especially that “The CHANpion is Back” banner. This season, I got to watch Asian Open Trophy and got to meet and cheer for many of my favorite skaters.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Tatsuki Machida’s 2014 Worlds free skate

J.j. (@RealDetective) | Tumblr
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. One time Meryl Davis told me happy birthday and another time a security guard told me he took a picture of me and Zach Donohue but he unknowingly never actually pressed the button and I didn’t want to ask Zach for another picture. It was all very sad. Except for the Meryl part. Which made being old worth it.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Davis/White 2014 US Nationals Free Dance and let me tell you why, you see one judge (specifically Mary Karen Henderson OF THEIR VERY OWN HOME STATE OF MICHIGAN) thought that they were worthy of only +2 GOE on two elements and had the gall, THE GALL, to give them a 9.75 in one (1) PCS category WHICH IS A FULL STEP LESS THAN WHAT IS SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE. Sure, these scores are thrown out and Meryl Elizabeth Davis and Chuck White scored the maximum amount of points possible BUT THE PRINCIPLE. The principle. (Don’t @ me.)

Mara B. (@missmaraskate)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan, if any. I started out as purely an ice dance fan, after watching D/W on DWTS. Gradually, I was introduced to the other disciplines, and I’ve found myself enjoying all of them. I’ve never been to a live event…hopefully that will change eventually (hi Skate America 2017!).

Ryan P. (@jetsfan_85)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I used to compete from ages 15-17 and casually skated for years later. Just got back into it this year (31y.o now). I watch every GP competition of the year as well as Canadian and American Nationals etc.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Bourne/Kraatz River Dance 1998 Worlds…they should have won gold.

TJ C. (@Tsk8c)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I am a current competitor in ice dancing (and a first-time national qualifier!). I’m a huge fan of the sport, but it’s not like I have a problem or anything (hehehe…).
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje’s FD at the 2014 GP Final.

To keep up with those who have Twitter during the competitions, subscribe to our list and follow The Judges’ Table. And check out the updated Judges’ Page to quickly find all of our judges online.