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 Cup of China 2017

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Apologies to readers – this week’s Cup of DisasterChina rejudging is, clearly, being posted a little bit late. But even though it’s been a few days, we’re halfway through the Grand Prix, which makes now the perfect time to take stock of exactly where we are before NHK begins!

Thanks to these six judges for sitting at The Judges’ Table for Cup of China 2017!

Amanda P. (@storyologist_ap) | The Storyologist
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I’ve loved skating all my life, but only laced up my own skates a couple years ago. Now I’m slowly working my way through the skills and watching every competition I can find a stream for!
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Weaver/Poje’s 2015 free dance at Worlds.

Bea (@beanjibae) | You Only Lutz Once
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I was familiar with figure skating as a kid, but I only got more in-depth after watching the Olympics in Sochi. I now co-run You Only Lutz Once with my friend Clara (@jimboppa). I’m more known as that girl waving the large, obnoxious “The CHANpion is Back” banner in 4CC Taipei.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Our #TinyQueen Satoko Miyahara is grossly underscored all the time.

Bu B. (@bubblebarred)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. One time I watched the men’s free skate at the Sochi Olympics on my TV, and I died.

What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? I was really moved by Mirai Nagasu’s Demons short program at Worlds 2016.

Kara M. (@NamasteRead)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I took lessons when I was 12-15. Been a superfan since 2014.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? I still feel like Mirai Nagasu is underscored almost every time she skates.

Laura C. (@LaurillaC)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I’ve watched figure skating all my life and decided following it more seriously at the age of 12, although I’ve never taken lessons. What I know about technique is all thanks to my friends and internet.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Rika Hongo – Riverdance.

Stephanie H. (@perfectlonely)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan, if any. I grew up in the era of the Kween, but wasn’t more than a casual watcher. It’s only since 2016 Worlds that I really started following it.

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 Cup of China, 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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The Judges’ Table Does World Team Trophy 2017

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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!