The Judges’ Table Does Skate America 2017

Figure Skating: 2017 Skate America

So, uh, that was an event. 3 competitors withdrew during the event alone (two of those happening during the free skate), and many others found themselves competing injured. Boyang Jin has two sprained ankles. Ashley Wagner’s ankle is infected. Maxim Kovtun hurt his foot. Daniel Samohin and Adam Rippon both dislocated their shoulders in the middle of their programs. And this is all after Anna Pogorilaya, Dabin Choi, Jorik Hendrickx, and Tobias/Tkachenko had to withdraw due to injury or illness in the weeks and days leading up to the event. It’s been a rough Grand Prix season all around, and I’m pretty sure that no one’s joints will ever be the same again. But in the midst of all this insanity, we also saw incredible comebacks and a bevy of personal bests from skaters looking to assert themselves as possible Olympic participants and medalists.

Thanks to these six judges for sitting at The Judges’ Table for Skate America 2017!

Gabrielle T. (@Gabrielle_1209)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I skated for ten years, competing locally. Now, I enjoy watching skating from the stands (or anywhere I can find Wi-Fi)!

Irina G. (@annafly13
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I am a dedicated fan and photographer and love being part of figure skating events. I never travel without a camera and have thousands of pics from the events.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Yuna Kim at Sochi in 2014.

Jared A. (@JaredMAllen) | Instagram
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I’m a lifelong fan of the sport and decided to learn how to skate, purely to have more info to influence my judgements! Now I’m a competitive skater myself and I absolutely love it.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years?  Satoko’s FS in Boston.

Madi L. (@not_lipton) | Tumblr
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I am an avid figure skater and figure skating fan. Sometimes I spend way too much money traveling to watch competitions but make up for it by teaching learn to skate with my home club.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Tessa and Scott’s Sochi short dance.

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. I 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: Mao Asada’s free at Sochi.

Rafael Q. (@HRHtheDentist)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. Been skating since I was 3, following competitions closely since 2009, etc.

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 Internationaux de France, 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 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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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.

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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The Judges’ Table Does Four Continents 2017

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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