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 Internationaux de France 2017

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It was another messy Grand Prix event – Weaver and Poje had a rough short dance and couldn’t get on the podium, Javier and Shoma had messy free skates, Alina Zagitova had to make up a 7 point deficit to win the ladies’ event, and no one in the pairs field came even close to touching the top two teams. Still, there were phenomenal performances, including something we’ve never had at The Judges’ Table: a unanimous pick for best performance of the event! Misha Ge’s first and final Grand Prix medal/blue star was well-earned with skates his fans will remember for years.

Thanks to these judges for sitting at The Judges’ Table for Internationaux de France 2017!

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 myself. I really love Ashley Wagner. That is about all you need to know about me.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Ashley Wagner’s 2017 World Championships short program.

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 6 World Championships, most recently in Helsinki and started a figure skating (Yuzuru Hanyu) blog.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? I still think Scott & Tessa should be two-time Olympic Champions.

Linda K. (@lindalmk)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan.  I’ve been following skating as a fan since I was very young. My list of events I’ve attended includes 6 US Nationals and 2 Worlds. Sheepishly, I admit I’m still working on telling the jumps apart. Ice dance is my favorite discipline.
Events judged: Internationaux de France 2017

Maddie L. (@MaddieLarson19)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan.  I’ve been a fan of figure skating since the 2006 Olympics, but I myself have absolutely no athletic ability.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Yuna Kim’s 2014 Olympic Short Program.
Events judged: Internationaux de France 2017

Tiffany L. (@TiffLangston)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. Stanning for skating since 1994!
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Any time Satoko Miyahara skated in the 2014-2015 season.

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 Skate Canada 2017

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Parts of Skate Canada were messy: jumps in the ladies free skate were marked underrotated more than 30 times, and Patrick Chan basically fell off the podium. But the ice dance and pairs events featured high-scoring podiums and several extremely triumphant comebacks from Canadian teams.

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

Caroline D. (@caroline4pres)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. Ever since I saw Kristi Yamaguchi on Stars On Ice as a toddler, I’ve been obsessed with figure skating. I became completely invested in it when I decided to write about it for my senior thesis as a History major in college. I am ALL about stunts, drama, theatrics, artistry, etc. I always love the hot messes.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Adam Rippon’s free skate at 2015 Nationals.

Emily W. (@Em_Wilmes)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. Last year at Skate America I stalked Jorik Hendrickx until he caved and told me where he was sitting; becoming a full blown stan was worth it for that picture.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Is there anyone more #robbed than Zijun Li? (No.)

Erica G. (@egaley)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I’ve been figure skating for 27 years, and a Canadian Skating Official for the last 6. I still get giddy when I put on my skates and hit clean ice, and being an official has given me a whole new perspective on why we do what we do.

Keira C. (@tripletoes)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I figure skated as a child but stopped at age 10. I fell back in love with the sport when I caught the 2014 US National Championships on TV and have been obsessed since!!
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje’s free dance from 2015 Worlds.

Laurel M. (@ThisIsLaurelM)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I fell in love with ice dance first, watching Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir on TV during the Vancouver Olympics. Now I follow everything, including juniors, but ice dance remains my favourite discipline.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Maybe Virtue/Moir’s SD in Sochi.

Ryan P. (@jetsfan_85)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. 2002 Manitoba Winter Games 4th place!! LOL. Certified in Jr Silver FS in Canada. Big fan and watch every GP event.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje’s free dance from 2015 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 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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Skate Canada 2017: The Judges

osmond

At last year’s Skate Canada, Kaetlyn Osmond roared back into the spotlight, scoring over 200 points for the first time in international competition. She was kept from gold by brilliant performances from Evgenia Medvedeva, who won’t be there this weekend. But Kaetyln will still have to beat a heavyweight collection of ladies skaters, including world medalists Ashley Wagner and Anna Pogorilaya, as well as up-and-comers Karen Chen and Maria Sotskova, to win her first Grand Prix gold since 2012. In the other disciplines, Canadians Duhamel/Radford, Patrick Chan, and Virtue/Moir will all be fighting hard (well, at least the first two will) to keep their Skate Canada International golds – all three have won the event at least three times. With great performances from some of the most talented skaters in the world – and the standard help from the home crowd we’ve come to expect during Grand Prix – Canada has a very real chance to sweep this event.

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

Caroline D. (@caroline4pres)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. Ever since I saw Kristi Yamaguchi on Stars On Ice as a toddler, I’ve been obsessed with figure skating. I became completely invested in it when I decided to write about it for my senior thesis as a History major in college. I am ALL about stunts, drama, theatrics, artistry, etc. I always love the hot messes.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Adam Rippon’s free skate at 2015 Nationals.

Emily W. (@Em_Wilmes)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. Last year at Skate America I stalked Jorik Hendrickx until he caved and told me where he was sitting; becoming a full blown stan was worth it for that picture.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Is there anyone more #robbed than Zijun Li? (No.)

Erica G. (@egaley)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I’ve been figure skating for 27 years, and a Canadian Skating Official for the last 6. I still get giddy when I put on my skates and hit clean ice, and being an official has given me a whole new perspective on why we do what we do.

Keira C. (@tripletoes)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I figure skated as a child but stopped at age 10. I fell back in love with the sport when I caught the 2014 US National Championships on TV and have been obsessed since!!
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje’s free dance from 2015 Worlds.

Laurel M. (@ThisIsLaurelM)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I fell in love with ice dance first, watching Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir on TV during the Vancouver Olympics. Now I follow everything, including juniors, but ice dance remains my favourite discipline.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Maybe Virtue/Moir’s SD in Sochi.

Ryan P. (@jetsfan_85)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. 2002 Manitoba Winter Games 4th place!! LOL. Certified in Jr Silver FS in Canada. Big fan and watch every GP event.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje’s free dance from 2015 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.

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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