Wednesday, December 5, 2012

2012 Grand Prix Final: Pairs Preview

This event is kind of a hodgepodge. I feel like no pair has impressed me this year. The fact that Denney & Coughlin are the 1st alternates shows you how weak the pairs field is this season.

Volosozhar & Trankov (RUS) are certainly the frontrunners. They should be at least 20 points ahead of the rest of the field. They are outstanding and if they can stay healthy, they should take the World title this year. They don't make me nervous when they compete because I know they'll hit every element. Plus, he's easy on the eyes.

Pang & Tong (CHN) should be podium favorites. After all these years, they are still divine. I feel like we we see the same lyrical programs from them each year, but with different costumes and music. But if it aint broke, I guess you don't need to fix it.

I'd actually love to see Kavaguti & Smirnov (RUS) take the silver this year, but just when I start to believe in them, they find a way to screw things up. They almost always peak early in the season and then fizzle out by Worlds. They are aging and she has a history of injuries, so their window to win another World, and possibly an Olympic medal is closing.

Duhamel & Radford (CAN) are one of my favorite pairs these days. They have accomplished so much but still have a lot of upside. They are getting better every season and I see them being a real podium threat in 2014.They need to up the ante in terms of their chemistry and on-ice expression and they'll move up to the top tier.

Bazarova & Larionov (RUS) were the beneficiaries of a weak field at both of their events. She has no jump in her jumps and he is just "there". They are, in a word, 'dull'. They are fading fast, in my opinion, and I believe Stolbova & Klimov or one of the rising junior teams will pass them in time for Sochi.

Moore-Towers & Moscovitch (CAN) also benefitted from an easy schedule. They are fine, I actually loved them back in the Zorba/Les Mis season, but they are falling fast compared to Duhamel & Radford. One of their best qualities is they know how to do them. They know their style and they stick to it. There's nothing phenomenal about the Queen Free skate, but then again I'd hate to see them do Dr. Zhivago.

Podium Predictions:
1) Volosozhar & Trankov (RUS)
2) Pang & Tong (CHN)
3) Kavaguti & Smirnov (RUS)

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