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 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 US Nationals 2016-2017

karen-chen-us-nats-17

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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