US and Canadian Nationals 2017: The Judges

 

The holidays are over, the cold of January is settling in, Americans are either celebrating or thanking their lucky stars that US Nationals are providing a welcome distraction to that thing that’s happening on Friday. But American skating fans have plenty of reasons to be frustrated by sport as well – Adam Rippon, Polina Edmunds, and Alexa Scimeca and Chris Kneirim are just some of the big names taken out of competition this weekend by injury, leaving big gaps on the podium and possibly even larger gaps on the world championship team as competitors look to maintain or reclaim three spots in Pyeongchang.

In significant contrast, Canada looks to be on the upswing – a resurgent team of really strong ladies, a two-time pairs world championship team that seems to peak at just the right time each season, a quad salchow from the guy who won Canadian Nationals eight times without it (eight, 8, one two three four five six seven eight), and the dramatic return of Tessa and Scott should make Canadian Nationals the prelude to a fantastic second half of the international season for Team Canada.

Thank you to these judges who will be giving their takes on American and Canadian nationals!

American 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.

Fannya C. (@LAFANNYA)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I have been a fan of figure skating since 2012. I became one when I was randomly changing channels and came across Nationals. I thought it was such a beautiful sport and art. Ever since I have watched every season and have tried to attend more competitions.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Karen Chen

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 B. (@lbee329)
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? 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.

Canadian Nationals
Cassandra (@CKimm1314) | Tumblr
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I’ve been skating since I was three, and am working on becoming a fully certified coach. My first live event at SCI 2015 is what got me into this full time. Long time fan of Patrick Chan though! Now I’m obsessed and if I’m not watching figure skating I’m probably at the rink! 🙂
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Probably gonna go with Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir’s free dance in Sochi.

Justine K. (@beanyskates) | Princess Beany Skates
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I skated for years and have now coached for just as many. I fell in love with the sport when I saw Alexei Yagudin live at the 2001 World Championships in Vancouver. Since then I’ve been to another 4 World Championships (and I’ll be in Finland this year!) and a number of smaller events, started a figure skating blog, and dedicated many seasons to getting up early to watch events live from Japan.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? I still think Scott & Tessa should be two-time Olympic Champions, definitely underscored in Sochi.

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.

Sharon (@RosaCotton) | Tumblr
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I became a year-round figure skating fan when my roommate and I watched Skate America, and I fell head-over-heels for Davis/White’s Die Fledermaus. Ice dance remains my favorite discipline (men a close second). Having followed the ShibSibs for five years, I was so thrilled for them winning silver at Worlds with two fantastic programs. So excited to see what will happen in ice dance this season!

Taryn (@tleeh)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I started skating at age 3; quit at age 10 when lessons were at 5 am. I’ve always watched! I’ve attended 2 Skate Canadas, 1 Worlds and one Canadian Nationals. I plan to attend Canadian Nationals this year.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Weaver/Poje Worlds 2016
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The Judges’ Table Does Russian Nationals 2016-2017

zagitova

Happy New Year! As usual, the 2016-2017 Russian National Championships featured what feels like an unreasonably deep ladies field and a very competitive battle for the pairs and dance podiums. Junior Grand Prix Final champion Alina Zagitova surprised fans by beating successful senior skaters Maria Sotskova, Anna Pogorilaya, and Elena Radionova, among others, and by having the highest technical score in the free skate, besting even training mate Evgenia Medvedeva.

Thanks to the judges who watched and rejudged Russian Nationals over the holidays!

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.)

Kara M. (@NamasteRead)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I took lessons from 13-15, but ended up quitting during Freestyle 1 due to lack of finances and talent (ha!), but I’ve been a fan of figure skating since Katarina Witt skated at the 88 Olympics. I used to practice jumps in my basement in my socks. Sasha Cohen forever!
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Honestly? Anything Mirai Nagasu does. Until this season anyway. I think the judges have been really unfair to her over the years. Also, Ashley Wagner’s short program at the Sochi Olympics. I’ll never forget her face in the K&C.

Matthew R. (@mrusskie93)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. Never was a skater but have attended three Worlds (2009, 2013, and 2016), and three U.S. Nationals (2006, 2013, 2014).
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Mao Asada’s Sochi LP: indisputably the best free skate of the event. More recently, Satoko Miyahara’s LP at Skate Canada: lowish PCS and an invalid step sequence seemed like a convenient way to keep her behind Kaetlyn Osmond.

Nori (@NakedIceBlog) | The Naked Ice Blog
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. Long time fan, runner of the Naked Ice Blog…and I can stroke around pretty well on ice skates…I can even skate backward (very slowly).
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? It used to be Christina Gao at the 2013 Nationals but I think I’m going with Mao Asada’s Sochi FS.

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.

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 Russian 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! Continue reading

The Judges’ Table Does Japanese Nationals 2016-2017

Satoko Miyahara Nationals 16-17.jpg

Happy Holidays from The Judges’ Table! Japanese Nationals is the first rejudging on our new website. After you read, please leave a comment or reach out on Twitter, on Facebook, or by email to let us know what you think. I’m a poor graduate student so formatting options are limited to what’s available on free websites, but I’ll make the changes I can to make the experience of reading The Judges’ Table as enjoyable and easy as possible.

The rejudging of Russian Nationals will be available very soon. In the meantime, meet the six judges who took time out of their holidays to rejudge Japanese Nationals:

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??

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

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.

Ioana (@iguana012) | Tumblr
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. My experiences with figure skating have been staying up or waking up at ridiculous hours, arguing with my laptop, growing gray hair watching my faves, but also enjoying beautiful programs, unforgettable performances and making edits and gifs. 
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Daisuke Takahashi’s Blues For Klook at the 2012 World Championships.

MJ C. (@arabesquing)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan, if any. I can swizzle and stroke around a rink! That’s about the best I can do as a skater. 😛 I’ve been watching skating since the Sochi Olympics and had the great privilege to attend 2016 Worlds in Boston in person! (And got drunk in the hotel bar while surrounded by skaters, but that’s another story.)
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Tatsuki Machida’s 2014 Worlds short program should have broken 100.

Spiccine (@Spiccine)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan, if any. I fell in love with figure skating watching Plushenko’s Euros 2005 FP on TV. After a few years I decided I absolutely had to learn to skate and now I’m teaching to kids. My fav skaters are Yuzuru and Shoma.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Misha Ge’s programs in general, he deserves higher scores in Interpretation of the music and composition. Also Takahashi’s 2012 Worlds FP, but there are so many, especially regarding PCs!

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, 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 has a New Home!

Welcome to the brand new home of The Judges’ Table! If you’ve never visited before, learn what we’re all about and check out our archives. Meet our judges and, if you’re so inclined, sign up to become one!

Starting in January 2017, The Judges’ Table will update only at this site, our new home. I hope the new site is a little easier for everyone to read and gives more people an opportunity to enjoy everyone else’s thoughts.

If you have questions, comments, or other feedback, please reach out on Twitter, Facebook, or by email, or leave a comment on a post.