Rostelecom Cup 2017: The Judges

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The first event of the all-important 2017-2018 Grand Prix is here! Welcome back to The Judges’ Table. The ISU season is already well underway: Yuzuru Hanyu has already won a silver medal in Canada, Nathan Chen debuted a new quad without really warning anyone, we’ve watched approximately 397 different athletes skate to Moulin Rouge (and Carmen – don’t worry, it’s still an Olympic year), and Evgenia Medvedeva is still winning things. The start of the Grand Prix brings even more pressure as skaters look to establish themselves as medal contenders before the sport is under its biggest international spotlight in just a few months.

Thanks to these six judges for sitting at The Judges’ Table to kick off the 2017-2018 season!

Arlisse L. (@aethanie)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I grew up skating, but stopped after I learned how to do cross overs. Once, Mirai Nagasu retweeted my reaction to her triple axel and I actually cried a little bit.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years?  Tatsuki Machida at 2014 Worlds.

Camden R. (@camdenrider) | YouTube Channel
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I have skated for the last 11 years! Currently at the intermediate level. One time Ashley and Adam called me their son and that was my peak.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Satoko Miyahara’s free skate at 2017 Skate Canada.

Erin C. (@Erinsk8) | On Stage and Screen
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I was a competitive skater for 10 years and also did some coaching. I fell in love with the sport while watching the drama of the 94 Olympics and have never looked back.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Belbin & Agosto at the 2010 Olympics.

Hannah C. (@hannahskates96) | A Skater’s Perspective
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I have been competing for 14 years. I am also a skating coach and hope to make that my career!
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Almost anything from Ashley Wagner.

Meghan B. (@meghanbartels)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I can’t tell loops from axels but I have strong feelings about costumes.

Patrick D. (@Team_PDD) | Patrick Commentates Skating
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I lead figure skating prayer circles on twitter, make silly commentary videos, and spend way too much time tweeting about skating. Yay?
Favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years: Mirai Nagasu’s SP at 2015 NHK Trophy.

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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Remember that? The Best Performances of the 2016-2017 Season

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Welcome back to The Judges’ Table! The 2017-2018 season is nearly here. If you don’t normally follow skating, HAPPY OLYMPICS! And if you do…crap, the Olympics.

Unfortunately, this was a quiet summer for The Judges’ Table. While I would have loved to do some new throwback events, my schedule just didn’t allow it. 

Between the Junior Grand Prix, test skates, and a slew of senior Bs, figure skating is slowly dialing up towards what should be a bloodbath of a Grand Prix and nationals season. What better way to prepare than to look back at the best performances of last season? As a bonus, reading through the judges’ thoughts gives you a pretty good idea of what happened throughout the entirety of last season, instead of  justthe things we all remember from the end. Before you declare 2016-2017 clinically dead, let’s take a trip down memory lane.

Included in this list are the skates that the judges decided were the “best performances” at each event. Since some judges listed more than one skate as the “best performance,” I usually took the first or most convenient one listed. Sometimes, a skater’s free and short were both listed; I generally picked one or the other. Some of the descriptions are lightly edited from their original post.
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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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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.

 

The Judges’ Table Does Four Continents 2017

mai-mihara-4cc-2017

The Four Continents Championship is supposed to be the Asian, North America, and Australian response (I assume Africa and South America would be welcome too) to Europeans, but since its inception in 1999, it has had the great *distinction* of being extremely close to the Olympics, not being used in world team selection by the three most competitive countries at the competition, and being a huge schlep for at least half the event’s skaters, regardless of where it takes place. But this year, with the participation of top pairs, dance, and men’s skaters, and as the test event for the 2018 Olympic Games, Four Continents held a bit more excitement. Even the ladies, whose podium featured zero Grand Prix Finalists, zero national champions, and a medalist who didn’t even make the world championship team, put down stellar performances.

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!

And finally, here we are: thanks to these six judges for sitting at The Judges’ Table for this surprisingly exciting event!

Amber C. (@amberchamberlan) | A Skater’s Perspective
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I am a figure skater and I have been skating for 10 years, and competing for 3. I have been a fan for 4 years and attended the 2016 U.S Figure Skating Championships. I met Ashley Wagner twice, and it was awesome both times.
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.

Clara P. (@jimboppa| You Only Lutz Once
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I am the other half of skating blog You Only Lutz Once, as well as a founding member of Michael Christian Martinez (PHI)’s fansite Tropical Frost. I also try translating updates on Team Korea. Besides streaming, I’ve watched Four Continents in Taipei last season. (Yes, I was one of the two “banner-waving girls caught on TV too many times). Jin Seo Kim (KOR) hugged me at Asia Open Trophy earlier this August, and we had a conversation in both Korean and English.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Kim Yuna’s free skate at the 2014 Olympics. Enough said.

ElisaTumblr
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I’ve been a roller skater for 15 years (and also competed nationally), but of course I am also into ice skating. I have always watched it, but become obsessed after the Sochi Olympics.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Satoko Miyahara’s FS at Worlds 2016 – she was well judged generally, but SO underscored if compared to the other ladies.

Emily W. (@Em_Wilmes)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. My first live figure skating event was the 1998 World Championships. I have always loved figure skating and still bust out my skates occasionally and attempt a Karen Chen-esque spiral (although I am not as successful as she is). My first foray into publicly sharing my skating opinions came last year, when I was one of USFSA’s Fan Bloggers. Now I just tweet, mainly about the fit of the mens’ pants (looking at you, Jorik).
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Satoko in general is underscored a lot (in my opinion). Also Ashley. Duh.

Justyna Z. (@anedgecall)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I’m a figure skating fan who has never skated and now can skate only forward. Not much else. Figure skating was my family tradition when we watched the competition with my mum and grandma.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? It’s a popular choice, but Mao Asada Olympic FS in 2014.
Victor (@VictorShi12)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I am a three-time Sectionals competitor.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Kim Yuna at the 2014 Olympics.

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 4CC, 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

The Judges’ Table Does European Championships 2017

 

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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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