Thursday, December 8, 2011

Grand Prix Final: Ice Dance Preview

Comparing Davis & White to Virtue & Moir is like splitting hairs, but Davis & White have the highest score of the season and if the judges stay consistent, they should come out on top. I expect Virtue & Moir to lead after the short, but Davis & White should win the free by enough to take the overall lead. Pechalat & Bourzat are a good bet for bronze, though neither of their programs seems World Class to me this season. Weaver & Poje are the most beautiful team on the scene today and they have more chemistry and better presentation skills than anybody, in my opinion. I liked Bobrova & Soloviev last season, and I appreciate their effort, but their high-drama programs this season are very 1990s ice dance. While they won Cup of China, I think their scores will slide when compared directly to Davis & White and Virtue & Moir. I'm not sold on the Shibutanis' programs this season and I don't know how they'll hold up in this field. They have the lowest scores of this group, but they are very consistent and will be able to climb if other teams make mistakes.

Placement Predictions:
1) Davis & White (USA) Season's Highest GP Score 179.02
2) Virtue & Moir (CAN) Season's Highest GP Score 178.34
3) Pechalat & Bourzat (FRA) Season's Highest GP Score 164.56
4) Weaver & Poje (CAN) Season's Highest GP Score 161.18
5) Bobrova & Soloviev (RUS) Season's Highest GP Score 163.52
6) Shibutani & Shibutani (USA) Season's Highest GP Score 151.85

Competitive History:

Ekaterina Bobrova & Dmitri Soloviev (RUS)-3rd at 2011 Rostelecom Cup, 1st at 2011 Cup of China, 6th 2011 Worlds, 2nd 2011 Europeans, 4th 2010 Grand Prix Final, 1st 2010 Rostelecom Cup, 2nd 2010 Cup of China; PB: 163.52 at 2011 Cup of China (Cup of China, Rostelecom Cup)

Meryl Davis & Charlie White (USA)-1st at 2011 Rostelecom Cup, 1st at 2011 Skate America, 1st 2011 Worlds, 1st 2011 Four Continents, 1st 2011 Grand Prix Final, 1st 2011 Skate America, 1st 2011 NHK Trophy; PB: 185.27 at 2011 Worlds (Skate America, Rostelecom Cup)

Nathalie Pechalat & Fabian Bourzat (FRA)-2nd at 2011 Trophee Eric Bompard, 2nd at 2011 Skate America, 4th 2011 Worlds, 1st 2011 Europeans, 2nd 2010 Grand Prix Final, 1st 2010 Trophee Eric Bompard, 1st 2011 Cup of China, 1st 2010 Finlandia Trophy, 1st 2010 Nebelhorn Trophy; PB: 167.40 at 2011 Europeans (Skate America, Trophee Eric Bompard)

Maia Shibutani & Alex Shibutani (USA)-1st at 2011 NHK Trophy, 2nd at 2011 Cup of China, 2nd 2011 Finlandia Trophy, 3rd 2011 Worlds, 2nd 2011 Four Continents, 3rd 2010 Skate America, 3rd 2010 NHK Trophy, 5th 2010 Nebelhorn Trophy; PB: 163.79 at 2011 Worlds (Cup of China, NHK Trophy)

Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir (CAN)-1st at 2011 Trophee Eric Bompard, 1st at 2011 Skate Canada, 1st 2011 Finlandia Trophy, 2nd 2011 Worlds, 1st 2010 Worlds, 1st 2010 Winter Olympics; PB: 181.79 at 2011 Worlds (Skate Canada, Trophee Eric Bompard)

Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje (CAN)-2nd at 2011 Rostelecom Cup, 2nd at 2011 NHK Trophy, 2nd at 2011 Skate Canada, 5th 2011 Worlds, 4th 2011 Four Continents, 4th 2010 Grand Prix Final, 4th 2010 Skate America, 2nd 2010 NHK Trophy; PB: 160.32 at 2011 Worlds (Skate Canada, NHK Trophy, Rostelecom Cup)

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