The Judges’ Table Does NHK Trophy 2017

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With only two Grand Prix events left before the final, several skaters and teams have officially qualified, including Virtue/Moir, Evgenia Medvedeva, and Sui/Han, who put down a world record performance this weekend. After Yuzuru Hanyu dropped out of the event, surprise men’s champion Sergei Voronov took advantage of the opening and will have the opportunity to sneak into the final in a few weeks.

Thanks to these judges for sitting at The Judges’ Table for NHK Trophy 2017!

Amanda H. (@BlondeAssassin1)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan, if any. I’m a lifelong fan who skated as a kid, competing locally and skating in club shows wearing terrible costumes. I was also on a precision skating team (the precursor to synchro) for 3 years that competed at Sectionals twice and Nationals once.
Favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years: Satoko Miyahara at 2016 Worlds.

Clara P. (@jimboppa| You Only Lutz Once
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. Besides writing for You Only Lutz Once, I also try translating updates on Team Korea. I was one of the two “banner-waving girls caught on TV too many times at the 2016 Four Continents Championships. Jin Seo Kim hugged me at 2016 Asia Open Trophy.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Michael Martinez’s short program at 2017 Nebelhorn Trophy.

Emily E. (@JoyofEmily)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. Life long obsession with the ice. Currently coaching, passing on my love of the Kerrigan Spiral.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years?  Insert any program skated against Kaetlyn Osmond in 2016/17.

Joseph K. (@thebrothaj)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. Former skater (Back in the stone age of the early-mid 80’s… I had a FABULOUS quarter turned double lutz!) Skating fan for life.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Kostner, 2014 Sochi. Deserved silver.

Sara J. (@getmerescued)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I went to 2015 Nationals in Greensboro and 2016 Worlds in Boston and cried the entire time. I’ve watched skating since 1996 – which means I’m super old. I saw like a thirteen year old Nathan Chen and who knew that I was in the presence of royalty? (I totally did!!!)
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years?  I rewatched some of the 2014 Olympics free skates again recently and the fact that Yuna Kim did not win still irritates me!!

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 NHK Trophy, 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 Rostelecom Cup 2017

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I’ve always felt there was a huge advantage to the skaters from whichever ISU national federation managed to snag the first Grand Prix of the year – starting the season out with that home crowd scoring boost definitely can’t hurt. Usually, the United States gets that honor, but since we began this season in Moscow, Russia doesn’t appear to have missed the opportunity to offer its skaters some home-cooked scores. Evegenia Medvedeva took home a 150-point gold despite falling, and some of our judges felt Canadians Gilles and Poirier were underscored in favor of budding Russian dancers Stepanova and Bukin (Piper, by the way, seems to agree). Another judge saw politicking in the Russian-swept pairs podium. 

Regardless, Rostelecom offered some incredible performances and exciting moments. Nathan Chen established himself as a true contender after beating reigning Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu yet again. Wakaba Higuchi reminded us that, yes, she’s still here, and she’ll be fighting hard for one of Japan’s two ladies’ Olympic spots. Carolina Kostner proved that her three decades of experience – cue everyone calling her old – are going to be a benefit rather than a detriment in PyeongChang.

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

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.

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 Rostelecom Cup, 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 the 2017 World Figure Skating Championships

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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 US Nationals 2016-2017

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I don’t think anyone expected to be calling Karen Chen “National Champion,” or to start referring to Nathan Chen’s five-quad free skate, or see so many nervous falls in America’s best discipline. But US Nationals served up these surprises and more, including the incredible comebacks of Deanna Stellato and Dennis Phan and the disappointing performances of World team contenders (and 2016 top 10 World Championship finishers!) Max Aaron and Gracie Gold.

Thanks to the judges who sat at the table for US Nationals!

Bronwyn (@inabauers) | Lutz and Glory
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. Your friendly Detroit-area skating fan.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Tatsuki Machida should have won 2014 Worlds.

Emily E. (@JoyofEmily)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. Lifelong figure skater. Currently coaching teeny tiny Learn To Skate and Low Freestyle skaters, passing on my love of the Kerrigan spiral.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years?  Hubbell & Donohue’s 2015/16 Short Dance certainly did not receive the credit it was due all season.

Hannah C. (@hannahskates96) | A Skater’s Perspective
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I started skating 13 years ago and have been competing for 10 years. I am currently at the Novice level and I literally spend all of my free time on skating. Literally. Watching skating, researching skating, dreaming about skating.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Ashley Wagner’s 2016 Worlds Short Program. She should have been the leader.

Joseph K. (@thebrothaj)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. Former novice level skater (Early ’80’s). Forever a fan of quality skating over quantity skating. Last competition attended was Skate America 2016.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Carolina Kostner, 2014 Winter Olympics short & long programs.

Lauren (@lbee329)
Favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years: Can I possibly do past six years because by a mile for me is Meryl and Charlie’s Samson and Delilah 2009 Worlds. It should have won the free dance. They should have medaled. I watched it every so often and every time I am still mad.

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 US 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!

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