The Judges’ Table Does the 2017 World Figure Skating Championships

Shoma Worlds 2017

The season is over (with the exception of everyone’s favorite event, of course), and it’s onto the Olympics! Lots of skaters have already told us how completely over 2016-2017 they are by immediately distracting us with new music. So far, it looks like we’re getting two American La La Land programs, a reprise of Hip Hip Chin Chin, at least one Carmina Burana, possibly some Hamilton, Swan Lake and Phantom, and, I’m just going to say this even though I haven’t seen it yet, I assume someone’s going to do Turandot.

It’s a good thing we’re already looking towards next year, because some of our judges thought this was a pretty ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ worlds. But several skaters did break scoring records, making for several very exciting skates. Of course, that needs to be balanced out by whatever happened in the last group of the free dance. I’ll let our judges talk about that. 🙂

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

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. (@elysiondream)| 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.

Be honest: how much of this event did you *actually* watch?
Amanda: All of it, except a few skaters in early groups of singles

Erin: I’d say about 75%, thanks to the utterly horrific time conversion between Helsinki and Los Angeles.

Margaret: Everything shown on NBCSN and whatever videos I could actually find of the rest. I think I got most everybody except for the first two groups of the men’s free.

Sam: Pretty much all of it! missed some early group action, but made a point to go back and watch any highlights I missed.

Sean: Around half of it.

Tiffany: Every single heart-pounding moment.

Who had the best performance of the event?
Amanda: I’m torn between two unexpectedly excellent SPs. Javier Fernandez proved why you should never count him out at Worlds. But the surprise that had me yelling gleefully at the TV was Hubbell/Donohue’s SD. Who’d have thought that the season’s most ill-advised music cuts would transform into something that put a nationally third-ranked team in medal position? Forget about that THING that happened in the free – this is how I want to remember Worlds for them.

Erin: I’m going to choose two. First, Papadakis and Cizeron’s free dance. Especially after watching them seem so off at the beginning of the season, likely a result of having to compete in Virtue and Moir’s shadow, it was wonderful to see them skate with such freedom again, and it was the best they’ve performed this program all season. I know they get a lot of criticism for doing similar programs year after year, but in my opinion no other top team could skate their programs with the same ethereal quality. Secondly, Yuzuru Hanyu’s freeskate. Just, wow. When he is on, he is ON. Even though it was literally 4am, he grabbed my attention.

Margaret: There were some amazing performances, but if I had to choose just one, then I’ll go with Jason Brown’s short. It’s just a gorgeous program, and I’m thrilled that he deservedly earned such a high score without attempting a quad, proving that quality can still compete with quantity.

Sam: There was some remarkable skating here, but I have to go with Papadakis and Cizeron’s Free Dance. So emotional and rich with nuance and the plain skating skills are just heaven. Ever since NHK I think they’ve been struggling to find their way, but absolutely met the moment here. Honorable Mention to Misha Ge! So many tears for the free skate.

Sean: As far as both programs of any skater/couple, no one was perfect throughout the competition. But there are several excellent single performances. My choice is a virtual tie between Gabriella / Guillaume’s free dance and Tessa / Scott’s short dance. Gabriella and Guillaume showed perfection again in their contemporary routine. They were 100% devoted and technically impeccable. Tessa and Scott gave their best version of the wonderfully-choreographed Prince program. They were extremely sharp and easily stood out from all couples that day.

Tiffany: I feel like everyone is probably going to (deservedly) Yuzuru’s long program, but we’ve seen him skate perfect, record-busting performances before. So I’m going to tip my hat to Javi’s short program. I cannot remember the last time he skated a crispy, clean SP, and on that day, he skated like a 3-time world champion.

Who improved the most from the last time you watched them skate?
Amanda: Can there be any answer to this except Karen Chen? I’ll admit, her performance at 4CC had me pretty nervous going into Helsinki, but not only did she prove why she’s a worthy national champion, she performed strong enough to salvage our three spots for the Olympics! Consider me converted.

Erin: Valentina Marchei and Ondrej Hotarek have made real strides this season, and this is the best I’ve ever seen them look. I think it helps that their programs are better than last year’s dreadful iPod shuffle freeskate, but they are really gelling as a team.

Margaret: Kaetlyn Osmond, Karen Chen, and Elizabet Tursynbaeva all had pretty poor skates at Four Continents but definitely turned it back around at Worlds!

Sam: Definitely Karen Chen. She was a nervous mess at 4CC but her skates here (especially her short) were so cool and collected. Her talks with Kristi really made a difference!

Sean: No one really. Many skaters didn’t do their best this time. I would say Da Bin Choi improved a lot, but she already did pretty well in Four Continents this year. It is the same case with Shoma Uno, Gabrielle Daleman and Sui/Han from China.

Tiffany: Boyang Jin is just so darn charming. I can definitely tell he’s been working on his PCS, and (like Javier) I think he’ll find the style that will get him where he needs to go.

Which performance was the most underscored?
Amanda: Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje are the perennial “almosts” of the ice dance world, and it made no sense why their stunner of a free dance scored how it did (and behind who it did…). They have this quiet, elegant intensity that no other team does, and they skated this program better than ever.

Erin: Julianne Seguin and Charlie Bilodeau skated a lovely free skate that landed them quite low in the standings, especially compared to their previous results at championship events. It could just be a sign of them needing to up their technical content to keep up with the pack, but it was still surprising that they weren’t able to move up further. Also, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t mention Ashley Wagner’s short here. It is a bit shocking how quickly the judges seem to have turned on her when she received far more benefit of the doubt/PCS boosts last season- although, one could chalk it up to her programs not being as strong this year. But….behind Sotskova in the short? Really?

Margaret: Like I’m sure a lot of people are doing, I’m scratching my head over the low scores that Zijun Li received for both her programs. I thought she skated rather well, but looking at the results, you’d think she was an utter disaster! And although I don’t really feel confident enough to talk about ice dance judging with any real authority, I do think Cappellini/Lanotte and Weaver/Poje’s free programs should have been higher than Bobrova/Soloviev’s. (The Shibutanis, too, but they would have been without the deduction anyway.)

Sam: Misha Ge’s Free. I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of scores he’d pull if he was from a more influential country. He’s not quite the PCS/GOE master like a Jason Brown, but that skate was a real moment. I would have had him ahead of Kevin Reynolds and Mikhail Kolyada for sure.

Sean: Easily Mai Mihara’s free program. The PCS she received was outrageous. I watched her live in Pyeongchang earlier this year. She’s got great speed, excellent edges, beautiful extension and in general skating skills of a top skater. She performed very well in her free skate. I really cannot understand why her PCS was almost 13 points lower than Evgenia Medvedeva, considering Mai is better in many ways.

Tiffany: I felt like Wakaba Higuch’s SP was underscored by at least 3-4 points, especially putting her harder jumps in the second half.

Which performance was the most overscored?
Amanda: I’m going to probably take some heat for this, but Evgenia Medvedeva, especially in the free skate. Her technical skills are unmatched, true, but her artistry feels very one-note to me; it all relies on mime-like expressions. It’s doubly disappointing because she seems like a bundle of personality off-ice, and I’d love to see some of her natural personality translate to her programs. (Bonus complaint to the blatant overscoring of Bobrova/Soloviev, and this is coming from someone who LIKES them.)

Erin: Can someone please explain to me how exactly Bobrova and Soloviev got third in the free dance segment? To me, their performance was stilted and lacked flow and precision, and some of the positions they hit are just…not cute. When it comes to Russian dance teams I personally prefer Stepanova and Bukin, who at least have a bit of  an “it” factor, and I’ve never quite understood Bobrova and Soloviev’s success. Politicking is clearly alive and well in the world of ice dance. 

Margaret: Carolina Kostner — most noticeably in the free, although her short was a bit high too. It’s not often that I get angry about a score, but I was FUMING when I saw that the judges gave her 130 for that poor performance. As a huge fan of Jason Brown, it’s not like I’m opposed to somebody with a somewhat easier program getting huge scores if they skate really well, but she didn’t! A program with no lutz, just one flip, two popped jumps, and a messy landing on a triple toe-triple toe combo that was nowhere near as good as Gabby Daleman’s should not be earning that many points. I’m sorry, but that’s plain bad judging. I wouldn’t have put her even in the top 10. Okay, rant over!

Sam: I would have to give a tie between Tarasova/Morozov and Bobrova/Soloviev. Hats off to Evgenia for skating after sustaining the injury to her leg, but that free skate is about as artistic as Irina Slutskaya pretending to deal cards in 2005, and the wheels really started to fall off the bus at the end of that skate.

Sean: Easily both of Evgenia’s performances. There were a lot of record-breaking in this event. Some of them are convincing, some are not. I can’t really think of any reason why judges gave her crazy scores unless they really appreciate Evgenia’s consistency, which I think is amazing but should not be considered when they are judging a particular performance. She still has many imperfections in terms of her skating. Her ice coverage, speed, body extension, free leg positions and edges definitely have room to improve. She was a bit sloppy here and there during her performances too.

Tiffany: I absolutely feel like Evgenia should have won, by a lot, but I don’t feel like her LP was worthy of a 154+. PCS 5 points higher than Carolina? and nearly 8 points higher than Ashley? GTFOH. Her skating still has a juniorish quality, not to mention the abomination that is her long program music.

Out of those skaters and teams who finished in the bottom half of their events, who had the best performance?
Amanda: I was so proud of the baby Aussie pairs! Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya and Harley Windsor came off their Junior World title with a perfectly respectable program at senior worlds, even qualifying for the free skate.

Erin: I was very impressed by some of the young pair teams, and was sad that Sumire Suto and Francis Boudreau-Audet just missed the free skate despite a lovely short program. I also really enjoyed Tae Ok Ryom and Ju Sik Kim from North Korea- they skated with a lot of polish and have very strong elements.

Margaret: I gotta say, every time I see Kaliszek/Spodyriev’s “Dirty Dancing” free dance, it just makes me want to smile. It may not be the most polished or difficult program out there, but in terms of pure entertainment value, it’s fantastic! They interpret the characters so well. (Although I wish Natalia had waited to dye her hair until after Worlds! She really did resemble Jennifer Grey with the lighter color.)

Sam: Maybe I need to evaluate how swayed I am by The Nutcracker Act 2 Pas, but I would go with Isabella Tobias and Ilia Tkachenko. Their short dance was a little unmemorable to me (not to mention they were skating to R&B, not hip hop…) but I thought their Free Dance could absolutely stand with all the teams in the penultimate group and they definitely had the crowd growing. I look forward to seeing how they grow next season.

Sean: Moris Kvitelashvili’s free skate. I haven’t seen him for a while and I just noticed that he changed his country. But what a wonderful performance he gave in his free skate. Not only he did 3 quads and a triple axel, the entire performance was also very enjoyable and executed with ease. He showed great potential in his skating and already has very good skating skills. What made his free skate more wonderful is that he is a well-trained dancer too.

Tiffany: Alexa and Chris! After the year they’ve had, it was great to see them skate like their hearts were really in it.

Which non-medalist from this event is going to have the most success next season?
Amanda: Nathan Chen might have underperformed here, but I think he’s going to work on his artistry and consistency and be a true threat next season.

Erin: I might be biased, but I am confident Ashley Wagner will enter next season with a new fire in her eyes after faltering here. She thrives as the underdog, and placing 7th in the pre-Olympics Worlds could turn out to be the best thing that’s ever happened to her. Now we just need Marissa Castelli to permanently gift her dress for the anticipated return of Hip Hip Chin Chin. #thebeat

Margaret: My totally biased answer is Ashley Wagner. She’s my favorite, so of course I want her to come back strong next season and make the podium at the Olympics! I think she can do it, too. She’s been close to the top before; she can do it again. However, I would be willing to bet more on Nathan Chen. His Worlds debut didn’t go as well as he had hoped due to the boot problems, but with that arsenal of quads and (hopefully) a better choreographed free program, I’m sure he’ll have plenty of success next year.

Sam: I think the easy pick here is Nathan Chen. There was a lot of learning to be had for him at his first World Championships and even though 6th was disappointment, his final score was still head and shoulders the rest of the field behind him. He also has proven to be a skater that learns quickly from tough skates, I’m not worried about his prospects for next season. (Skating Gods please don’t let this hubris smack me in the face next year!)

Sean: Javier will still be unstoppable if he is in his best shape. But I think Zachary and Madison will really be the force to be reckon with next season. Although they had a horrible fall in free dance, their short dance performance showed that they could be in the top three if they did their best. I have always been a fan of their skating since the formation of this duo. Because they just are two of the best ice dancers in the field now. They’ve got almost everything a top dance couple requires: solid basic skating skills, wonderful technical ability, beautiful body lines and excellent dance training. I hope they can really step up and prove themselves in the Olympic season.

Tiffany: James and Cipres are going to ride the momentum they’ve been building this year to a podium finish at the Olympics.

Which medalist from this event is going to have the least success next season?
Amanda: I have a feeling one of the Canadian ladies is going to falter badly, I just can’t decide if it’s Kaetlyn or Gabby. And Jin Boyang needs to watch his back – Javi wants that Olympic medal, and he’s a much stronger performer.

Erin: Given how insane the men’s field has become and how many total-package skaters are also doing multiple quads per program, Boyang Jin is going to have to step up his PCS majorly to continue to be a medal contender. He only squeaked onto the podium here with clean performances because others made mistakes, and he may not get that lucky again. But also, I truly hope he does us all a favor and keeps his Boyangman SP for the Olympic season, because PyeongChang will not be complete without some spider shimmies.

Margaret: This is a tough one… All the medalists are pretty strong. Maybe Gabrielle Daleman, since she wasn’t one of the favorites to make the podium this year in the first place?

Sam: I’ll be really curious to see how Gabi Dalemen and Kaetlyn Osmond both handle next season. Up to this point I wouldn’t really call either skater a gamer. We might be seeing a turn in the tides of for both women but up to this point this is the first time I’ve seen either skater not buckle under pressure when opportunity was knocking outside their Nationals.

Sean: Maia and Alex. They were a blast last season because of their amazing free dance. But they seemed to stop growing since then. They became more and more conservative each competition. Consistency is good, it can help you get a medal when another couple fell. But what if everyone else is improving and pushing boundaries. This couple should really think about their strategy heading into the Olympic season.

Tiffany: Evgenia is going to have the growth spurt that always seems to plague the Russian ladies, and she won’t win the gold in Pyeongchang.

What surprised you most about this event?
Amanda: The podium in ice dance was exactly what I expected, but the way we got there certainly wasn’t. I’ve come to expect the best from my American teams, but all three had major errors. Pretty much the only top teams that didn’t have clear issues were Anna & Luca and Kaitlyn & Andrew. Frankly, that bronze medal is WAY up in the air now – I’d say three American teams, one Canadian, and one Russian team are all legitimately in the mix.

Erin: The final group of the free dance was just a series of unfortunate events. Who ever said ice dance was less exciting than the other disciplines? While the podium ended up looking exactly like I’d predicted, I certainly didn’t expect things to go down (often literally) the way they did, or multiple major errors from the top teams. I found myself having traumatic flashbacks to the 2006 Olympics original dance, which is not a thing we should make Marie-France mentally revisit.

Margaret: What didn’t surprise me? Denny/Frazier not even qualifying for the pairs’ free, poor Anna Pogorilaya’s disastrous free skate, the last warm-up group for the free dance in general… It was a very surprising Worlds all around, and not really in a good way.

Sam: The overall fairness of the judging. I didn’t have many issues with the standings of the athletes and while I maybe would have had Yu and Zhang over Tarasova and Morozov I thought each podium was clear and well earned.

Sean: The most unstoppable people in this event were the judges. And also what a non-exciting Pairs free skating event it was…

Tiffany: Twizzles are hard, yo! That final ice dance group was a rollercoaster of emotions. I’m thrilled that the US brought home another medal, but I was so excited for Maddie and Zach to finally step into their own spotlight. It would have given them such momentum going into next year.

What surprised you most about this event?
Amanda: The podium in ice dance was exactly what I expected, but the way we got there certainly wasn’t. I’ve come to expect the best from my American teams, but all three had major errors. Pretty much the only top teams that didn’t have clear issues were Anna & Luca and Kaitlyn & Andrew. Frankly, that bronze medal is WAY up in the air now – I’d say three American teams, one Canadian, and one Russian team are all legitimately in the mix.

Erin: The final group of the free dance was just a series of unfortunate events. Who ever said ice dance was less exciting than the other disciplines? While the podium ended up looking exactly like I’d predicted, I certainly didn’t expect things to go down (often literally) the way they did, or multiple major errors from the top teams. I found myself having traumatic flashbacks to the 2006 Olympics original dance, which is not a thing we should make Marie-France mentally revisit.

Margaret: What didn’t surprise me? Denny/Frazier not even qualifying for the pairs’ free, poor Anna Pogorilaya’s disastrous free skate, the last warm-up group for the free dance in general… It was a very surprising Worlds all around, and not really in a good way.

Sam: The overall fairness of the judging. I didn’t have many issues with the standings of the athletes and while I maybe would have had Yu and Zhang over Tarasova and Morozov I thought each podium was clear and well earned.

Sean: The most unstoppable people in this event were the judges. And also what a non-exciting Pairs free skating event it was…

Tiffany: Twizzles are hard, yo! That final ice dance group was a rollercoaster of emotions. I’m thrilled that the US brought home another medal, but I was so excited for Maddie and Zach to finally step into their own spotlight. It would have given them such momentum going into next year.

The experts always get to make “bold predictions.” Make an additional prediction about something that will happen NEXT season.
Amanda: Hawayek/Baker get the heck out of the U.S. dance backlog and go skate for Britain to take over when Penny & Nick leave. Hubbell/Donohue finally move up from bronze nationally. Javi gets his Olympic medal and retires. Sui/Han go undefeated all season. Bobrova/Soloviev medal at Worlds and/or the Olympics. (I’m kidding about that last one, skating gods, please).

Erin:  Okay, you told me to be bold, so I’m going to say it- Medvedeva will NOT win the Olympics. I don’t know who will beat her or how, but hey, stranger things have happened. Also, Sui and Han will assume their rightful throne as King and Queen of Pairs Skating by winning Olympic gold, Javi will do the proper number of salchows to win his first Olympic medal, and the gap between Papadakis/Cizeron and Virtue/Moir will continue to close to make ice dance interesting again.

Margaret: Ashley Wagner will win a medal in the individual event at the Olympics, and so will Weaver/Poje. The U.S. men’s team will be Nathan Chen, Jason Brown, and a healthy Adam Rippon, and the latter two will finally have consistent quads. Yuzuru Hanyu will not repeat as Olympic gold medalist; he’ll have to settle for the bronze. Patrick Chan, however, will do two quads in the short and break the Canadian curse. James/Cipres will be surprise Olympic silver medalists. (Oh, and Misha Ge’s injuries will miraculously heal, so he can continue for another season.)

Sam: In her 4th year with Tom Z, things will truly click and Mirai Nagasu will emerge as the US Number 1, handily make her second Olympic Team and then do what she has a habit of doing every February. Deliver.

Sean: Patrick Chan will quit? (I really hope he doesn’t, but…)

Tiffany: The U.S. will win three medals at the Olympics. Mirai will make her 2nd Olympic team (That one is for Patrick). Adam will make his 1st Olympic team (That one is for Kwanette). Gabby will win Canadian Nationals (That one is for Justin).

Bonus question! Give one country (that isn’t your own!) an extra spot at the Olympics in one discipline.
Amanda: Russia gets a third ice dance slot back, but only if it goes to Ilinykh/Zhiganshin for Elena’s Revenge.

Erin: I’d give a third spot to the Japanese ladies. It’s unfortunate that Satoko Miyahara’s injury was likely what prevented them from maintaining 3 spots because they have so many young, talented, up-and-coming skaters who would be deserving of an Olympic berth.

Margaret:  an I say two? I’d give Japan the ladies’ spot they lost and the U.S. the pairs’ spot they actually earned but won’t get due to a silly rule. (Pairs really needs more Olympic spots, period!)

Sam: No question I would give a third spot to the Japanese Women. Between Satoko, Mai, Marin, Mao, and Wakaba alone there is so much depth to the team and it will be a crime to only have two Japanese women at the Olympics.

Sean: One more spot in Ice Dance for Russia. Because I really would love to see Victoria and Nikita in Pyeongchang. They have improved a lot this season in terms of unison and partnering. They are starting to transform from two brilliant skaters into a wonderful couple together. Unfortunately they couldn’t be in the Worlds, though their two programs are probably two of the best among all programs this season.

Tiffany: I’d give the Japanese ladies one more spot. I’d love to see Mao return for one more run, but it will be hard with only 2 spots.

Anything else to add about this event?
Amanda: A lot of this event was a bit of a trainwreck, to be honest, and not always the enjoyable kind. But there were some glorious performances mixed in, and I’m more excited than ever for the Olympic year!

Erin: This has been a strange season, hasn’t it? This Worlds in particular felt like a bit of a 180 for the Americans from Boston 2016, where our team skated overall so much better than in Helsinki. I would say I’m not super sorry to see this season go, except then I think about how stressful next season will be and start to reconsider.

Margaret: In general, this Worlds wasn’t that great, to be honest, but the medalists were all fantastic, and the pairs’ event in particular was just amazing. To think that the top ten pairs all earned over 200 points! Seriously, there should be more spots for the Olympics. Also, I’m so glad that the U.S managed to earn three spots for the men and keep the three spots for ladies and ice dance.

Sam: Team USA and USFSA need to get their act together. With the exception of the Ice Dancers, all season they’ve been skating like it’s a post-Olympic season. I know Worlds was in Boston last year, but Team USA all but blew the momentum we had going out of 2016. Also, there is something systemic going on in the Pairs program that needs to be dealt with. Alexa and Chris skated admirably here, but why were all our other top teams this season either dealing with major injuries or brand new pairings? The pattern seems too big and consistent to be just bad luck or coincidence. Last, I would like to see step sequences have more value. Considering how much time they take to execute they are deeply undervalued. Figure Skating isn’t an X Games Sport for a reason, (Sorry, Evan Lysacek) and while the technical push we’ve seen in the sport has been thrilling, it’s important the ISU take a more holistic approach to pushing the sport forward.

Sean: It was a bit exhausting watching this year’s Worlds for me. I want to see more exquisite choreography instead of endless perfectly executed but nothing-new technical elements.

Tiffany: High five to all of the US competitors who skated with such immense pressure, and I’m so excited that we got three spots for the men, ladies and dance. US Nats in San Jose is going to a pressure cooker, and I plan on being there!

What did you think about this year’s Worlds? How did our judges do? Leave us a comment to let us know, then sign up to judge a future event!

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2 thoughts on “The Judges’ Table Does the 2017 World Figure Skating Championships

    • The ISU abolished anonymous judging at the last congress, and fortunately throughout this competitive season, the judges have been named! I have no reason to believe this won’t continue through Pyeongchang, thank goodness. It was about time, I think!

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