The Judges’ Table Does World Team Trophy 2017

Congratulations on surviving the 2016-2017 season! It’s officially over. We’ve come a long way. Remember watching So Youn Park and Pogrebinsky/Benoit at Skate America? Since then, we’ve had another Yuzuru Hanyu world record, multiple WRs from Evgenia Medvedeva and between Virtue/Moir and Papadakis/Cizeron in Dance, a shakeup among the top pairs, and a decent number of retirements, including Kanako Murakami, who retired during this event’s exhibition.

Before getting to World Team Trophy, I want to thank all of this year’s judges and readers for a successful second season at The Judges’ Table. Over the last two years, The Judges’ Table has seated 75 unique judgesSeventy-five. It’s been incredibly exciting to be able to share so many different perspectives with all of you. And if you’re reading and haven’t judged yet – what are you waiting for?! After I review everyone’s bold predictions for this season, we’ll do a few throwback events to rejudge some figure skating events from the last 20-30 years (last summer we covered the 2002 Olympics pairs event and the 1994 Olympics ladies free skate). Sign up so you can judge, too!

This is especially relevant if you’re not seeing your perspective represented here. We’ve had participation from fans of nearly every competing skater/team (except somehow two-time US champion Gracie Gold??). So if you’re a Gracie fan, or there’s another perspective that’s missing – maybe you’re a competitor, commentator, Team USA gymnastics coordinator, or just another sleep-deprived fan with new ideas – we want you here!

Alright, enough of that. Let’s meet the judges who sat at The Judges’ Table for World Team Trophy!

Banana W. (@quadsal)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan, if any. I went to GPF 2015 and kind of cried the entire time. Also, a lady from the JSF laughed really, really hard at me once.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Akiko Suzuki’s career??

Grace W. | Tumblr
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. Although I have no personal skating experience, my first live experience was watching the Men’s FS and Free Dance of the 1998 Worlds in Minneapolis, MN when I was 5 years old. I am going to 2017 Worlds in Finland!
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? I would have to go with Ashley Wagner’s short program at the Olympics. I totally agree with her reaction and thought that should have been scored higher.

Meghan D. (@DadeMeghan) | Figuratively Speaking
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. Michelle Kwan was my first skating obsession. Like, I literally had a replica of her necklace that I bought with her book at the book fair. And I wore it. Proudly.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years?  Justice for #TinyQueen!

Noelle D. (@madforskating)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I watched the 2014 Olympics not knowing an axel from a salchow but just got so obsessed with it that I needed to know everything about figure skating. I’ve actually never gone skating before – I leave that up to the pros! I’ve been to one skating event in person (Skate America 2015). 
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Weaver/Poje’s free dance at 2015 Worlds (and every other event). Four Seasons of pure heaven.
Roshni B. (@RoshniBhudia)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I watched the last group of men at 2014 US Nats and was instantly hooked. I then watched the Olympics, Junior Worlds, and Worlds and finally found a sport I enjoyed watching. I hope to one day go to a competition, but that probably won’t happen until after I graduate college.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? There’s way too many to pick just one, but I boiled it down to 3: Weaver/Poje’s 2015 Worlds FD and Satoko Miyahara’s SP and FS at 2016 Worlds.
LET’S GET JUDGING. Click “continue reading” below to continue. When you’re finished reading, leave a comment to let us know what you thought about WTT, how you think the real judges did, and how you think our judges did. If you disagree, sign up to judge an event later in the year and share your thoughts!

World Team Trophy 2017: The Judges

WTT Elena Radionova

It’s time for Scott Moir’s favorite competition of the year – World Team Trophy! After a full season where the stress of the pre-Olympics season inevitably took a toll on the athletes, your favorite skate- uh, the substitutes for your favorite skaters are competing yet again instead of take a short break and maybe getting some rest. Thanks, ISU! On the plus side, we can expect crazy Kiss and Cry antics and a chance for several skaters to redeem themselves from rough seasons – assuming you live in Asia or you plan to stay up all night. Good practice for the Olympics, Western hemisphere!

Thanks to the judges sitting at The Judges’ Table for World Team Trophy this week! This list will be updated as one or two more are added.

Meghan D. (@DadeMeghan) | Figuratively Speaking
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. Michelle Kwan was my first skating obsession. Like, I literally had a replica of her necklace that I bought with her book at the book fair. And I wore it. Proudly.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years?  Justice for #TinyQueen!

Noelle D. (@madforskating)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I watched the 2014 Olympics not knowing an axel from a salchow but just got so obsessed with it that I needed to know everything about figure skating. I’ve actually never gone skating before – I leave that up to the pros! I’ve been to one skating event in person (Skate America 2015). 
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Weaver/Poje’s free dance at 2015 Worlds (and every other event). Four Seasons of pure heaven.
Events judged: World Team Trophy 2017

Grace W. | Tumblr
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. Although I have no personal skating experience, my first live experience was watching the Men’s FS and Free Dance of the 1998 Worlds in Minneapolis, MN when I was 5 years old. I am going to 2017 Worlds in Finland!
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? I would have to go with Ashley Wagner’s short program at the Olympics. I totally agree with her reaction and thought that should have been scored higher.

Roshni B. (@RoshniBhudia)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I watched the last group of men at 2014 US Nats and was instantly hooked. I then watched the Olympics, Junior Worlds, and Worlds and finally found a sport I enjoyed watching. I hope to one day go to a competition, but that probably won’t happen until after I graduate college.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? There’s way too many to pick just one, but I boiled it down to 3: Weaver/Poje’s 2015 Worlds FD and Satoko Miyahara’s SP and FS at 2016 Worlds.

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.

 

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.

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The Judges’ Table Does European Championships 2017

 

james-cipres-euros-cropped

Despite crowning three reigning winners as the 2017 European Figure Skating Champions, Euros was about as exciting an event as you could ask for. Ice dance scoring changes! Illegal triple toes! Javier Fernandez / Russian men getting their swag back! An outstanding final group of pairs teams!

We now have to wait several week before we see if Four Continents can match the quality and drama of this year’s European Championships. In the meantime, before you go into figure skating withdrawal, here is our Euros rejudging! Thanks to all the judges who sat at the table for this event:

Aiden (@aidenaiena)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. Have been a fan since 1994.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Mao Asada 2014 Olympic FS.

Carla
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I’m a roller skater and I’ve been an avid fan of figure skating since I saw Yuna Kim at the 2010 Olympics. I attended the 2015-16 Grand Prix Final in Barcelona.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Ashley Wagner and Yuna Kim at the 2014 Olympics.

Francy S. (@fs_evolution) | Figure Skating Evolution Events Photography 
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. Avid fan since the 2006 Winter Olympics! I try to attend live competitions whenever I can – most of my holidays are skating related 🙂 I find watching practices fun and extremely interesting. Recently getting into skating photography too.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Weaver/Poje 2014 Worlds FD

Heidi M. (@heihei_0422)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. Casually watched Euros and Worlds as a child, started to follow the sport more actively in late 2011 (why then? no idea) and now I’m at a point where every missed live stream of any A-level competition is A Failure At Life.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Satoko Miyahara’s free skate at 2016 Worlds.

Judit F.
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I was an ISU referee and ISU Technical Delegate until 2003. Since 2003 I have been a commentator for figure skating at Eurosport Hungary.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years?  Virtue and Moire contra Davis and White at the Olympic Games.

Keira C. (@tripletoes) | Tumblr
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I figure skated until I was 11, giving the sport up for horseback riding (which I regret). I got back into the sport, this time as a fan, during the 2014 US National Championships – and ever since, I’ve been obsessed!
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Weaver/Poje’s 2015 Worlds FD. Beautifully choreographed and well skated – they should have gotten the gold.

LET’S GET JUDGING. Click “continue reading” below to continue. When you’re finished reading, leave a comment to let us know what you thought about Euros, how you think the real judges did, and how you think our judges did. If you disagree, sign up to judge an event later in the year and share your thoughts!

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The Judges’ Table Does Russian Nationals 2016-2017

zagitova

Happy New Year! As usual, the 2016-2017 Russian National Championships featured what feels like an unreasonably deep ladies field and a very competitive battle for the pairs and dance podiums. Junior Grand Prix Final champion Alina Zagitova surprised fans by beating successful senior skaters Maria Sotskova, Anna Pogorilaya, and Elena Radionova, among others, and by having the highest technical score in the free skate, besting even training mate Evgenia Medvedeva.

Thanks to the judges who watched and rejudged Russian Nationals over the holidays!

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.)

Kara M. (@NamasteRead)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I took lessons from 13-15, but ended up quitting during Freestyle 1 due to lack of finances and talent (ha!), but I’ve been a fan of figure skating since Katarina Witt skated at the 88 Olympics. I used to practice jumps in my basement in my socks. Sasha Cohen forever!
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Honestly? Anything Mirai Nagasu does. Until this season anyway. I think the judges have been really unfair to her over the years. Also, Ashley Wagner’s short program at the Sochi Olympics. I’ll never forget her face in the K&C.

Matthew R. (@mrusskie93)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. Never was a skater but have attended three Worlds (2009, 2013, and 2016), and three U.S. Nationals (2006, 2013, 2014).
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Mao Asada’s Sochi LP: indisputably the best free skate of the event. More recently, Satoko Miyahara’s LP at Skate Canada: lowish PCS and an invalid step sequence seemed like a convenient way to keep her behind Kaetlyn Osmond.

Nori (@NakedIceBlog) | The Naked Ice Blog
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. Long time fan, runner of the Naked Ice Blog…and I can stroke around pretty well on ice skates…I can even skate backward (very slowly).
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? It used to be Christina Gao at the 2013 Nationals but I think I’m going with Mao Asada’s Sochi FS.

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.

LET’S GET JUDGING. Click “continue reading” below to continue. When you’re finished reading, leave a comment to let us know what you thought about Russian Nationals, how you think the real judges did, and how you think our judges did. If you disagree, sign up to judge an event later in the year and share your thoughts! Continue reading