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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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 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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