Thursday, October 17, 2013

2013 Skate America: Ice Dance Preview

And now for my favorite event of them all...Ice Dance! I'm a dancer and a dancer dances, so obviously this is my jam. Short dance kicks of tomorrow (Friday) at 8:45 and we'll see that free Saturday night in the money spot at 9:00.

Detroit is in for a treat as hometown kids and reigning World Camps Meryl Davis & Charlie White (USA) grace us with their presence. You know they are going to be in Olympic form already, so lord only knows how phenom they will look by February. Around here, we are 100% thrilled with their program choices and can't wait to see them perform the heck out of them. They haven't lost an event since the 2012 Worlds and I have a strong suspicion they will continue their winning streak all through Sochi in February.

Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte (ITA) are the
most likely silver medalists, but they are know to be streaky. Their switch to Igor Shpilband seems to have really settled them and they are forming their identity as artists. I cannot wait to see their 42nd street Short Dance! They are certainly one of the hottest Ice Dance couples around, so that's never a bad thing. I'm looking forward to seeing them.

Maia Shibutani & Alex Shibutani (USA) are scaring me with their program choices this season. Michael Buble for the short is perfect for them. That is classic Shib Sib style. However, the Michael Jackson free dance? When I think of a Michael Jackson free dance I think of that epic Bourne & Kraatz fail in Salt Lake in 2002. This just doesn't seem like it will suit their classical style and elegant lines, which is a huge risk to take in an Olympic year. But, I'm an artist and I love risk here in there, and I trust Marina, so more power to them. I bet you anything that this is one of those programs that undergoes major changes in composition, choreography, and costuming by Sochi.

Madison Hubbell & Zach Donohue (USA) are the bubble team in US
Ice Dance. The top three are very clearly established in Davis/White, Chock/Bates, and Shibutani/Shibutani, but if one of those team would happen to have an injury or a rough GP series, they could have a shot at the Olympics. It's an outside shot, but still a shot nonetheless. Their strength is their chemistry, which is the one thing that Marina & Igor's teams have been criticized for. The Big Bad Voodoo Daddy short seems perfect for them and I expect that their Nocturne free should be quite sensual. They have an outside shot at the podium if they are perfect and others have problems.

Podium Predictions:
Gold: Davis & White (USA)
Silver: Cappellini & Lanotte (ITA)
Bronze: Shibutani & Shibutani (USA)

The Rest of the Field:
Zlobina & Sitnikov (AZE)
Carron & Jones (FRA)
Reed & Reed (JPN)
Tobias & Stagniunas (LTU)
Hubbell & Donohue (USA)


  1. I won't argue with the high quality skating of the Shibutanis. They have been together long enough to develop nicely in that area. In other areas, I think they're underdeveloped. However, the success of Chock and Bates has less to do with the level of their skating and more with Igor's pull with officials/judges. Yes he is a great technical coach, but his reputation as a premier coach, more often than not, gets the nod for his students when all things are equal. USFS wants to be in good favor with him so they'll throw as much support as they can to his top U.S. team. I think Hubbell and Donohue are better, but will have to endure the politics in U.S Ice Dance until Meryl and Charlie retire. It's a shame.

  2. *high quality technical skating of the Shibutanis...