In alphabetical order, here are the judges for Cup of China 2015:
Emmy predicted each FD score at GPF 2014 within a 0.5 margin of error. You can find her on Twitter.
Joanna is on Tumblr!
Justine is busy coaching and writing about skating. You can also find her on Twitter.
Mark is documenting his skating journey and blogging for the USFS Fan Zone. He's on Twitter here.
Roxanne can be found on Tumblr or Twitter.
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Emmy: All of it
Joanna: All of ladies and mens, Pairs SPs, the 2nd groups of the Pairs LPs, and both Ice Dance segments.
Justine: ALL of Ladies and Men's SP in the middle of the night. And then the top 3-5 in each of the other events. I already miss events in North America.
Mark: All medalists, and the top 8-10 of singles, both programs.
Roxanne: Only the men's events. I'm not the spring chicken I used to be.
Who had the best performance of the event?
Emmy: Across both programs, Cappellini/Lanotte. They are back in their comfort zone after trying to experiment last year, and demonstrating why sometimes it's better to stick with what you know works rather than always aiming to re-invent yourself. They are executing their elements with ease and it's this that sets them apart from the other couples; they had the same base value in the SD as Ilinykh/Zhiganshin, but picked up 1.6 more in GOE overall because everything is done smoothly & with great confidence. Beating C/B by such a margin really sets them up well for the rest of the season. And as ever, Anna's dresses are on point.
Honorable mention goes to Boyang Jin. Holy short program, Batman!
Holy Quads! Wow! That 4Lz was brilliant! I worry for the day he learns how to do a transition and to gain speed without doing crossovers. But you can't deny his technical ability.
Rika, your FS was so much fun and your jumps so solid! I'm guessing this is an improvement over last season considering I don't really recall anything you did last season. I look forward to seeing how the Japanese ladies stack up against each other now.
Honorable mention goes to Grant Hochstein. Fourth overall is nothing to sneeze at for a GP event with a deep field.
I always think Chock & Bates are overscored, it wasn't just here. I just don't quite get them. I was thrilled the Italians were able to pull off the upset!
Joanna: Probably Rika Hongo again. She actually won the LP over Mao Asada, and her next event is the Cup of Russia - the event she won last season. Now, her competition will be nail-bitingly tough: Evgenia, Elena and comeback lady Adelina, all with hometown advantage. But the Russian ladies don't have the best track record at CoR while Rika is fiercely consistent - so stranger things then her winning could happen? At least she has a good shot at getting the silver and making the GPF, and a 2nd good showing on the GP could bring her closer to the "big medal contender" group. She could also climb the national ranks to be Japanese #2 and overtake Satoko.
Justine: This event was rather dismal for the Canadians. After a stellar start to the season Elladj needs to carry some of his Nebelhorn magic forward and prove he can compete with the best. Lubov and Dylan were shinning stars last season and I hope they can find that magic again, or else they may find themselves buried at Nationals
I love Han Yan but I fear he's never going to live up to his potential. It's been a couple seasons now and he hasn't secured a spot at the top, and now he has Boyang to compete with. Show us you're still the top Chinese man.
Mark: Boyang Jin came into this competition with nothing to lose, and came out as a serious threat. Even if the judges sink his PCS score, just imagine if he ever skates that long program clean: his TES was nearly 100, even with multiple errors. Right off the bat, he is a serious threat for top 5 at Worlds, and will be able to pick off Nguyen and Brown without even trying if either is anything short of perfect. He's up against Hanyu and Brown at NHK in a few weeks, and if they falter he may even be able to prevent at least one of them from making it to the GP Final.
Roxanne: For the men, I would have to say Elladj (if he has another event) - it depends on the depth of the field for him. The lady with the most to gain would be a toss-up between Radionova & Chen - their base levels with TES can be counted on in the event of a weak field, or a spectacular performance could be the deciding factor in presenting a score good enough for podium. In pairs, the team with the most to gain from this event would be Kavaguti/Smirnov - the gold medal here in their first GP comp this season will likely keep them in a disciplined mindset to do well at their next event. The team with the most to gain would be Elena/Ruslan - a bronze at CoC will give them the energy to work on the elements that gave them trouble at this event.
Emmy: Ilinykh/Zhiganshin, Radionova, & Pogorilaya all look like they aren't going to make the GPF. Considering how many skaters are chasing after Worlds spots in those two disciplines in Russia, they need to do something special at their next GP events.
Joanna: I'd go with Chock/Bates here. I thought it was nearly impossible for them to lose to anyone given worlds are in the USA this year and they got such a huge boost since last season... but then they lost to Cappellini/Lanotte. Anna and Luca are a high-class team, no shame in losing to them, but there's also the fact (yes, for me this is a fact) that the ShibSibs have an absolute standout of a FD this season. And they're the technically stronger team too. At least one can dream that they'll finally get their due and be allowed to overtake C/B if they actually skate better... maybe...
Justine: Boyang was the star of this event. He came out guns ablazing with nothing to loose. Can he keep it up? Are those quads consistent? Can he keep people talking about him? Time will tell.
Mark: Elena Radionova. While she may have been on fire last season, she needs to prove to people she's not just going to go the way of Lipnitskaia. Her programs here were extremely underwhelming -- we need to help her control her arms -- and while the judges were generous in their PCS scoring, if her jumps don't come back neither will the titles. Unfortunately, this will be no easy task: at Rostelecom; she's up against Medvedeva, Hongo, and Sotnikova.
Roxanne: Among the men, Javi has the most to lose at his next comp - he has a world title standard/reputation to uphold and, depending on the depth of the field at his next event, it's either going to be an uphill battle or a cakewalk. For the ladies, I would say the top 2 finishers at CoC (Mao and Rika) - Team Japan is on a roll this season [so far] in terms of podium placement, well ahead of the Russian & American ladies. Mao has the most to lose with the amount of expectation on her for returning this season. In pairs, Sui/Han have the most to lose - their performances have been very strong this season and as one of the top pairs teams in recent years, they have to keep the caliber of programs up in order to make podium/GPF. And in dance, Anna/Luca have the most to lose. They are in the same position as Javi in regards to having a world title reputation to uphold.
Joanna: Boyang Jin will quad his way to the GPF podium and push off Javi or Patrick doing so. All the men will scream "to the quads!" and storm the practice rinks - except for Yuzuru, who did that anyway and carries on as always. Okay, or maybe not ;)
On a serious note: Rika Hongo makes the GPF and becomes the absolute break out star by placing on the podium. Adelina becomes national champion again. Yuzuru keeps his trend of owning every 2nd season and skates a nearly flawless LP to set a new WR (probably at GPF, maybe worlds). Joshua Farris manages to come back in time for nationals, makes worlds and actually stays healthy for the rest of the season. (I went a little too big there, huh?)
Roxanne: No Russian men make GPF.
Emmy: Richard Dornbush - Lovecats by The Cure. Just because.
Joanna: Elena needs more spunk and fun again. Given her growth spurt and all the talk of her getting swallowed up by puberty, I'd suggest "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor. Please complete with mirror ball dress and a dramatic my-hair-is-bigger-than-your-talent hairdo. She'd rock that!
Justine: Already saw my dream music here! Last week I was saying I want someone to skate to "My Heart Will Go On" with dialogue from the movie, and then it happened here! Elena Radionova's FS had it all and then some. That program was very entertaining!
Roxanne: I pick Richard Dornbush. You have a Coldplay medley, use words! [The 'whoooaaahooaooahhhhahahaoooah' from Viva La Vida does not count.] Being that Richard and I are roughly from the same area of California, I suggest that he skate to "Cecilia and the Satellite" by Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness as either a FS or EX program. :)
Emmy: I didn't get a chance to talk about Pairs all that much, but it was such a great event here! Sui/Han have the SP of the season across all disciplines, Yu/Jin are improving every time they compete, and Kavaguti/Smirnov keep coming back and showing that they still belong with the best in the World. 2 quad throws, and unlike Duhamel/Radford, I don't feel like they have to abandon all attempts at choreo or integrating elements in the program in order to land them.
Joanna: I managed to get through all the questions so far without mentioning the 4Lz3T - so here it is: 4Lz3T!! Holy moly. Stay healthy kid, stay healthy. And thank you very much for having me! (Thank's for being here! -Mara)
- When does Yuzuru Hanyu skate again?
- So glad there were no terrifying collisions this year!
- Team Orser looks trained and ready for the season.
- It was fun to see some unexpected upsets! Excited for Capellini and Lanotte, but I think Kavaguti and Smirnov are a little overrated.
- I'm rooting for Elena to get her jump issues sorted. She is a star and I would love to watch her for years to come.
- The Mens podium here was the first podium I have successfully predicted this GP season. Woot!
Mark: I love Mao, and I think her SP was a joy to watch and deserved to be first in that segment.... but I'm sorry, that 3Lze was *not* fully rotated. Go rewatch the slow-mo. ;)
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