There were a lot of other notable performances, so without further ado, our judges:
Bronwyn can be found video recapping the Grand Prix events at Lutz and Glory, as well as live-tweeting gymnastics, baseball, and skating (sometimes all at the same time) on Twitter.
Judit can be found actually judging and refereeing for the ISU through 2003, including at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano.
Kathy video recaps skating events at Lutz and Glory with fellow judges Bronwyn and Will (NHK 2015). She's also on Twitter.
Sharon can be found on Tumblr and Twitter.
Sigrid can be found on Twitter or converting skating event times for time zones across globe, keeping us all sane.
LET'S GET JUDGING. When you're finished reading, leave a comment to let us know what you thought about the European Championship, 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!
Judging the European Championships
Bronwyn: I honestly didn't have as much time to watch as I thought - since most of the event took place during the week, I was either sleeping or in class. I've caught up as much as I can, but I wish I had more time to watch like I initially thought I would!
Judit: All of the event.
Kathy: Most of ladies, dance and men; the last two groups of pairs.
Sharon: Men: SP final group, Jorik Hendrickx, Ivan Righini; FS top 5, Michal Brezina. Ice Dance: SD final two groups, Tobias/Tkachenko, Sinitsina/Katslapov; FD top 7. Ladies: SP final group; FS top 5. Pairs: top 5.
Sigrid: 90% of it. Only missed some early skates.
Who had the best performance of the event?
Bronwyn: Everyone is going to say this, but honestly, how can you choose ANYTHING else? Florent Amodio's long program was a perfect performance to cap off such a memorable career, the crowd was completely behind him, and he placed second in the long program only to Javier Fernandez. Such an absolutely sensational performance, and everyone, including Nikolai Morozov, was in tears. All I can say is Merci, Flo!
Bronwyn: Alexei Bychenko for sure. He had SUCH a disastrous Grand Prix season, finishing 12th at Skate America and 10th at Rostelecom Cup, so I don't think anyone saw his silver medal finish coming at all. Although he had a quad fall, he landed the rest of his elements so strongly and convincingly that he ended up with the first European medal of any Israeli skater.
Which performance was the most underscored?
Bronwyn: Here, I'm going to go with Elena Radionova. It wasn't her best performance of the season (that goes to Rostelecom Cup in the long program) but her long program was clean, and the fact that she lost to Evgenia Medvedeva with a fall is very confusing. I understand why Evgenia won overall, but I do think Elena should have won in the long program, especially since Elena just gives her all and pours emotion into every performance. She wasn't happy about the scoring, and I'm with her on this one.
Kathy: I didn't feel any performance was grossly underscored, but then again everything is relative so I'd have to go with Cappellini/Lanotte's free dance. Their lifts are typically some of their trademark elements, but they received lower GOE than I expected, as well as low PCS in Skating Skills and Performance, especially with respect to Bobrova/Soloviev. At the end of the day, this wasn't the best outing of Cappellini/Lanotte's free dance we've seen so far, but even on a bad day this program should have been firmly the #2 in Europe.
Sigrid: Evgenia Medvedeva in general. I mean, she's fantastic and all, but did her LP really deserve 3 points more in PCS than Lena's?
Bronwyn: I honestly didn't have enough time to watch all the skaters in the bottom half, but the one I did manage to catch was Felipe Montoya's short program. He managed to beat out Javier Raya at Spanish Nationals this year and earn himself a Euros spot, and he got the minimum SP TES for worlds in a fun, engaging performances. I'd love for him to go to a senior B if he can to try to get the LP minimums - he's fun to watch and I'd love for Spain to use all three of their spots for Worlds!
Judit: Viveca Lindfors from Finland, the German ice dancers Lorenz/Polizoakis, and Denis Vassiljevs in the free skate.
Bronwyn: Bychenko's silver medal - even if the men were super disastrous, I thought Bychenko had peaked with his 4th place finish at Euros last season, and he hadn't been doing super well all season. I don't think anybody expected him for the podium.
Judit: The very good FD from Coomes/Buckland.
Kathy: How supportive the audience was! It looked like there was a full house for almost every event, and the fans were equally enthusiastic for all of the skaters, hometown favorites and otherwise. Their cheers were thunderous, and they clapped along to just about every piece of music with a beat. Even to someone sitting in front of a computer screen watching the whole thing, the electric atmosphere felt almost tangible. Kudos to you, Bratislava.
Sharon: I guess I had not realized before that Javier is now THE man of figure skating in Europe. He was head and shoulders above the rest of the field. It is amazing thinking how far he has come in almost five years when he started putting Spain on the figure skating map, and now he’s the first man to win four European titles since the 1970s. Well done, Javi (and Brian, too)!
Sigrid: The poor quality of the Men's event. I mean, Javier Fernandez scored SIXTY points more than the silver medalist. We all know that Javier is in the highest possible level but only Florent was able to break the 160 mark in the LP. In the GP events almost everybody needed 160+ in the LP to get a medal. And 4CC is going to be super competitive as well.
The quad-fever is ruining competitions. Now the medalists aren't the best, they're the ones who fail the least.
Preparing for Worlds
Bronwyn: Probably Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov - they have been having a very strong season, and while I don't think they're going to podium by any stretch of the imagination, I think they are going to have a very solid Worlds debut and finish in the top 10.
Judit: I hope that Stolbova/Klimov, who were not present in Bratislava, can be World Champions in Boston.
Kathy: James/Cipres. We've seen some fluke mistakes from them as of late, but Worlds is their chance to clean things up. After narrowly missing qualification for the Grand Prix Final this season, I have a feeling they'll be gunning for their highest-ever finish at Worlds (their record is 8th).
Sharon: I believe Guignard/Fabbri will improve on their 13th-place finish at Worlds last year – rooting for them to sneak into the top 10.
Sigrid: To be honest, if anyone has a shot at a Worlds Medal it's the same people who got medals in Bratislava, but if I have to bet on a non-medalist, I guess Nikita and Victoria could get a pretty decent result in Boston if they maintain the same level. The field will be super deep (Shibutanis, Chock/Bates, Weaver/Poje, the three European medalists...). If they were to beat Bobrova/Sololiev it would be really important for their status in Russia.
Which medalist from this event is going to have the least success at Worlds?
Bronwyn: Poor Bychenko, I keep picking him for these questions. But yeah, I don't see him finishing super well as he isn't super consistent, and this was a surprise for him.
Judit: Maxim Kovtun and Anna Pogorilaya.
Kathy: Alexei Bychenko. Unfortunately, the men's field is just too stacked for him to have a shot at the podium. And not to undermine his achievement here, but it was really a combination of a clean short program and everyone else faltering in the free skate that got him the silver (to put things into perspective, he went 4-4 in placements). That being said, I wish him the best of luck at Worlds and hope he skates lights-out to prove me wrong. ;)
Sharon: Anna Pogorilaya. After that unfortunate performance in the long, Anna may not even go to Worlds.
Sigrid: Bychenko probably, but nobody expects anything from him in Boston, so he can enjoy his Euros medal without any kind of pressure. So if we're talking about real expectations, maybe Kovtun will have the most trouble. He'll find a Men's field in Boston with Javi, Yuzuru, Shoma, Han, Boyang, Adam, Max, Patrick. We already know that it's going to be a big splatfest, but with a bad skate he could end easily out of the top 10.
After all, most of this guys have already beaten him this season.
And, just for fun...
Bronwyn: There were a LOT of good ones. Personally, I really like Elena Radionova's new LP dress. The lace is super gorgeous, and suits her really well. I also like Evgenia Medvedeva's LP dress. The color is beautiful on her, although I really wish she would choose over-the-boot or under the boot with her tights.
Judit: Radionova in the free skate.
Kathy: It's a three-way tie between Daniel Samohin's FS costume, Mikhail Kolyada's FS costume, and Anna Pogorilaya's SP costume. Honorable mention goes to Elena Radionova for her replica of the Heart of the Ocean necklace.
Bronwyn: Mikhail "Pineapple King" "Piña" Kolyada's SP shirt is really bad but I cannot hate it no matter what. Also he's literally dressed with the colors of the pineapple so how can you hate that. 🍍🍍🍍🍍
Bronwyn: I really really really like Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron's FD music, because I love any sort of music that sounds hipster-ish and has violins. Another good choice is Penny Coomes and Nicholas Buckland's FD to Muse. Also, shoutout to Pineapple King's Nightmare Before Christmas LP.
Kathy: Jorik Hendrickx's "Titanic" FS. The voiceovers! The sound effects! It was basically a 3+ hour movie condensed into a 4-minute program...what's not to love?
Sigrid: Anastasia Galustyan skating to... Anastasia OST!!! I love when I can shamelessly sing along during a program and I completely adore "Once Upon a December." Her program was cute but it was a shame she had rotation issues.
Who had the worst music selection at this event?
Bronwyn: Kovtun's Beethoven program is an insult to me as a Tatsuki Machida fan for life.
Judit: Voloshozar/Trankov's short program and Kovtun's free skate.
Sigrid: I love them but Valentina Marchei and Ondrej Hotarek's LP music selection is just terrible. Barbra, the Bee Gees and Disco Inferno all in the same program? One of these things is not like the others...it was like a small radio station trying to play a disco session but mixing the CDs instead. They get the award for the worst music but also for the cutest Kiss and Cry moment. PB you go, guys!
| || |
| || |
To close it up...
Bronwyn: The Shibutanis will end up on the podium in Boston, and finish second at 4CC.
Judit: Maybe Voloshozar/Trankov will not go to the Worlds.
Kathy: Only one European pair and one dance team will make their respective podiums at Worlds.
Sharon: At Worlds there will be only one Russian lady on the podium.
Sigrid: For the first time in forever Denis Ten will get a disappointing result at Worlds. Aliona and Bruno will win a medal at their first Worlds together. Papadakis/Cizeron will be the only ones who will revalidate their World title. Adam Rippon will show up at Worlds with his natural blonde hair.
Anything else to add about this event?
Bronwyn: Merci, Flo!
Sharon: The men and ice dance completions were very exciting, while ladies and pairs were less interesting in my opinion. P.S. After seeing how high some of the scores were awarded here, I am now super-duper curious to find out how 4CCs shall be judged. Do Weaver/Poje have a chance of defeating Papadakis/Cizeron? Will Patrick Chan become the third man to score 300+ points internationally?
Sigrid: Seriously, STOP the half-way over the boot tights syndrome. This is a very serious disease spreading through the European ladies: Medvedeva, Roberta, most of the low-ranked girls, even some in pairs... It looks terrible! And Congrats to Javier Fernandez for being the first European man to win 4 European titles in a row in 40 years. And above all, for stepping up his game even in such a weak field. The skating fans thank you, Javi.
What did you think about the European Championships? How did our judges do? Leave us a comment to let us know, then sign up to judge a future event!