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 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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Rostelecom Cup 2017: The Judges

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The first event of the all-important 2017-2018 Grand Prix is here! Welcome back to The Judges’ Table. The ISU season is already well underway: Yuzuru Hanyu has already won a silver medal in Canada, Nathan Chen debuted a new quad without really warning anyone, we’ve watched approximately 397 different athletes skate to Moulin Rouge (and Carmen – don’t worry, it’s still an Olympic year), and Evgenia Medvedeva is still winning things. The start of the Grand Prix brings even more pressure as skaters look to establish themselves as medal contenders before the sport is under its biggest international spotlight in just a few months.

Thanks to these six judges for sitting at The Judges’ Table to kick off the 2017-2018 season!

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.

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 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!

World Team Trophy 2017: The Judges

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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.