Pairs Discussion Thread 2018-19--"Two Skating as One"

clairecloutier

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At the suggestion of @nimi, I'm starting a pairs discussion thread for the new season.

Hopefully the Grand Prix assignments will be out today, and I'm sure there will be a lot to talk about with that.

In the meantime, in my recent interview with Stellato/Bartholomay, Deanna Stellato explained some details of rules changes with lifts this season. Here's the relevant excerpt from the interview:

Stellato: ... And the lift changes … There are some [senior] teams, even at Worlds, that are doing like a double throw [but] have a level 4 lift. So I think it was about time to make the lifts a little more difficult, so that you have to be a skilled lifter, as a man, and you have to be a strong female, as a woman, to be able to get a level 4[lift]. Or three level 4s, let’s say, in a long program. So I think that that was a very good change.

Q: How exactly do you see the changes affecting lifts next year?

Stellato: Before, if you did a [difficult] entry and a [difficult] exit, those were each a bullet [a feature to get levels in a lift]. So that was 2 bullets toward a level 4. Now, you have to do a [difficult] entry and a [difficult] exit just to get 1 bullet. And now, two turns [rotations] on one arm have to actually be with just one point of contact. So you know how everyone would do a star position, where the girl has her hand on the guy’s shoulder and the guy has his hand on her hip? That’s no longer 2 [rotations] on one arm [a bullet feature to get levels]. It has to just be one point of contact. Those are two things that will make lifting more complicated. We had to change an entire lift because it was no longer a level 4. And the position that I’m holding [now], where we only have one point of contact, is far harder than the position I had last season.
 

nimi

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Thank you Claire!

A little bit of ICYMI cross-posting from other threads:
I'm reading the SYWTWFS summary of day 4 and the pairs are now allowed to do lifts with more than 3.5 rotations? And they can do show style moves where the guy is swinging his partner around, by holding her just by her neck/feet/hands, which also used to be illegal? And all lifts in FS must be from different groups in FS (also in seniors) so no more programs with 2 lasso lifts?
Whoah. Those are pretty significant changes! :watch:
Rogonov on Instagram:
https://instagram.com/p/Bkaqf_ADpvW/

Kristina decided to retire, he is eager to continue..
He thanks her for everything they achieved together and understands her decision.
Anna Duskova wrote in the comments of her latest IG post (2 photos after surgery) that she "had ruptured ligament in my knee again" :(: https://www.instagram.com/p/BkdNAGFAGaf/?hl=en&taken-by=aninka_duskova
Peng/Jin are in Canada getting choreo from Lori, assisted by WeaPo who tweeted a pic:
https://twitter.com/WeaverPoje/status/1011684602547789824
 
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Mad for Skating

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Thanks Claire for starting this thread! I'm really excited for this new season and can't wait for all the usual craziness of pair skating (eek!)

I loved Stellato and Bartholomay last year. I'm eager to see what they're going to do this time.
 

aftershocks

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It's really interesting that Wea/Po are working with Lori to aid Peng/Jin on choreo. I didn't recognize that's Xue Shen standing in the middle at first. I haven't seen her in a long time. As far as I'm concerned, Peng/Jin are the bomb. Lori seems to delight in bringing out their personalities. In fact, Peng came out of her shell with Jin in more ways than one. They need to be more consistent, but they are truly fun to watch.

OTOH, I don't enjoy watching Yu/Zhang skate, despite Yu's lovely lines and Zhang's solid strength. Y/Z simply have no chemistry together. It's all workmanlike. And Yu's heart and spirit are not in it. Her sense of duty and her obedient will to succeed are apparent, but not her heart. She loses focus and it just looks like a pleasant, but exacting chore to be gotten over with when they skate. And they are also prone to make mistakes. It's going to be interesting how things pan out for all three top Chinese pairs in the lead-up to Beijing 2020.

I must say that I'm sorry to see Ashtakova/Rogonov split, as they were always exciting to watch. They are so much more exciting than bland, boring Z/E. And T/M lack excitement too, despite their elegant precision with the right vehicle. I do understand that Kristina Ashtakova wants to move on, and I sympathize with her decison. Pairs can be a tough grind without enough backing and support. Even with enough support, its a roller coaster with a lot of ups-and-downs, and not always enough return on investment of time, energy, dedication, hard work and sacrifices. I hope that Alexei Rogonov can find a good match in another partner. :saint:

Interestingly enough then at least a couple of the teams who made the harsh cut at Worlds are kaput, while worthy cut-offs could have used the experience of moving on to the fp segment. Not even 20 pairs making the cut at Worlds will be enough, but it will have to suffice.
 
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aftershocks

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^^ Good luck. NOT. I don't think there's any hope for Z/E generating any excitement. I would be very surprised if they break out of being my refrigerator break. ;) Unfortunately, they are sure to continue being held up in the marks due to being coached by Mozer and having the traditional Russian balletic lines, and good skating skills and technique. But they are simply not a 'wow' factor team.

No programs are yet listed for Z/E in the FSU new season spreadsheet.
 

Mad for Skating

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All I hope for this coming season is to see Stolbova/Klimov return and succeed. Two clean skates from them and they will be hard to beat.
I'm a certified Stolbova/Klimov uber too! Unfortunately they aren't skating the Grand Prix (no reason specified), so we'll have to wait until at least Nationals. They like to torture us poor fans!
 

Sylvia

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Copying over the Pairs GP assignments from GSD thread (46 of 48 slots currently filled)... I spelled out the full names of the teams scheduled to make their GP debuts:

Skate America, Oct. 19-21, 2018, Everett, Washington
Tarasova/Morozov RUS, Xiangning Li/Zhong Xie CHN (she's new to pairs), Yu/Zhang CHN, Annika Hocke/Ruben Blommaert GER, Efimova/Korovin RUS, Cain/LeDuc USA, Knierim/Knierim USA, TBD USA

Skate Canada International, Oct. 26-28, 2018, Laval, QC
James/Cipres FRA, Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya/Harley Windsor AUS [JGPF1], Moore-Towers/Marinaro CAN, Ruest/Wolfe CAN, Evelyn Walsh/Trennt Michaud CAN, Peng/Jin CHN, Aleksandra Boikova/Dmitrii Kozlovskii RUS, Denney/Frazier USA

FINLAND (new), Nov. 2-4, 2018, Helsinki, FIN
Sui/Han CHN, Ziegler/Kiefer AUT, Seguin/Bilodeau CAN, Tae Ok Ryom/Ju Sik Kim PRK, TBD FIN, Della Monica/Guarise ITA, Daria Pavliuchenko/Denis Khodykin RUS [WJC1], Zabiiako/Enbert RUS

NHK Trophy, Nov. 9-11, 2017, Hiroshima, Japan
Sui/Han CHN, Moore-Towers/Marinaro CAN, Peng/Jin CHN, Annika Hocke/Ruben Blommaert GER, Suzaki/Kihara JPN, Zabiiako/Enbert RUS, Kayne/O'Shea USA, Knierim/Knierim USA

Rostelecom Cup, Nov. 16-18, 2018, Moscow, Russia
Tarasova/Morozov RUS, Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya/Harley Windsor AUS [JGPF1], Ziegler/Kiefer AUT, Della Monica/Guarise ITA, Efimova/Korovin RUS, Daria Pavliuchenko/Denis Khodykin RUS [WJC1], Cain/LeDuc USA, Stellato/Bartholomay USA

Internationaux de France, Nov. 23-25, 2018, Grenoble, France
James/Cipres FRA, Seguin/Bilodeau CAN, Yu/Zhang CHN, Tae Ok Ryom/Ju Sik Kim PRK, Esbrat/Novoselov FRA, Aleksandra Boikova/Dmitrii Kozlovskii RUS, Denney/Frazier USA, Kayne/O'Shea USA

Initial pairs assignments as of June 28, 2018: https://isu.org/docman-documents-li.../17410-pair-skating-2018-19-all-6-events/file
 
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Sylvia

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2017-18 ISU SB total scores of all the pairs with 2 GP assignments:
2 235.47 Wenjing SUI / Cong HAN CHN XXIII Olympic Winter Games 2018
4 225.53 Evgenia TARASOVA / Vladimir MOROZOV RUS ISU World Championships 2018
6 219.20 Xiaoyu YU / Hao ZHANG CHN ISU GP Skate America 2017
7 218.53 Vanessa JAMES / Morgan CIPRES FRA XXIII Olympic Winter Games 2018
9 212.88 Natalia ZABIIAKO / Alexander ENBERT RUS XXIII Olympic Winter Games 2018
10 206.06 Nicole DELLA MONICA / Matteo GUARISE ITA ISU World Championships 2018
11 204.33 Kirsten MOORE-TOWERS / Michael MARINARO CAN ISU World Championships 2018
12 204.02 Julianne SEGUIN / Charlie BILODEAU CAN XXIII Olympic Winter Games 2018
14 202.07 Cheng PENG / Yang JIN CHN ISU World Championships 2018
15 194.42 Tarah KAYNE / Danny O'SHEA USA ISU Four Continents Championships 2018
16 193.63 Tae Ok RYOM / Ju Sik KIM PRK XXIII Olympic Winter Games 2018
18 192.51 Alexa SCIMECA KNIERIM / Chris KNIERIM USA ISU GP NHK Trophy 2017
19 191.58 Aleksandra BOIKOVA / Dmitrii KOZLOVSKII RUS ISU CS Minsk Arena Ice Star 2017
20 190.61 Ashley CAIN / Timothy LEDUC USA ISU Four Continents Championships 2018
21 190.31 Ekaterina ALEXANDROVSKAYA / Harley WINDSOR AUS ISU CS Nebelhorn Trophy
23 184.83 Annika HOCKE / Ruben BLOMMAERT GER ISU World Championships 2018
24 184.30 Miriam ZIEGLER / Severin KIEFER AUT ISU World Championships 2018
26 180.53 Daria PAVLIUCHENKO / Denis KHODYKIN RUS ISU World Junior Championships 2018\
30 172.95 Haven DENNEY / Brandon FRAZIER USA ISU GP Skate Canada International 2017
32 171.22 Alisa EFIMOVA / Alexander KOROVIN RUS ISU CS Ondrej Nepela Trophy 2017 (host pick)

Received 1 GP:
27 178.38 Deanna STELLATO / Nathan BARTHOLOMAY USA ISU Four Continents Championships 2018 (could get host pick TBD spot)
33 169.11 Camille RUEST / Andrew WOLFE CAN ISU CS Nebelhorn Trophy 2017 (host pick)
40 160.47 Lola ESBRAT / Andrei NOVOSELOV FRA ISU European Championships 2018 (WS 24; host pick)
42 158.96 Evelyn WALSH / Trennt MICHAUD CAN ISU World Junior Championships 2018 (host pick)
44 157.27 Miu SUZAKI / Ryuichi KIHARA JPN ISU Four Continents Championships 2018 (host pick)

SPLIT but he got 1 GP with his new partner, singles skater Xiangning LI who also got 1 GP in singles:
37 165.03 Yumeng GAO / Zhong XIE CHN ISU Junior Grand Prix Final 2017/18 (WS 22)

ISU senior age-eligible for GP alternate list:
35 167.72 Minerva Fabienne HASE / Nolan SEEGERT GER ISU CS Warsaw Cup 2017
41 160.09 Audrey LU / Misha MITROFANOV USA ISU World Junior Championships 2018
43 158.10 Jessica PFUND / Joshua SANTILLAN USA ISU CS Ondrej Nepela Trophy 2017
47 152.08 Laura BARQUERO / Aritz MAESTU ESP ISU European Championships 2018
...

Taking time off from competition:
1 245.84 Aljona SAVCHENKO / Bruno MASSOT GER ISU World Championships 2018

Officially retired:
3 230.15 Meagan DUHAMEL / Eric RADFORD CAN XXIII Olympic Winter Games 2018
17 193.07 Liubov ILYUSHECHKINA / Dylan MOSCOVITCH CAN ISU GP Internationaux de France 2017

Status?
5 222.74 Ksenia STOLBOVA / Fedor KLIMOV RUS ISU GP NHK Trophy 2017
8 216.59 Valentina MARCHEI / Ondrej HOTAREK ITA XXIII Olympic Winter Games 2018

Split:
13 203.64 Kristina ASTAKHOVA / Alexei ROGONOV RUS ISU GP NHK Trophy 2017
22 189.60 Anna DUSKOVA / Martin BIDAR CZE ISU World Championships 2018
25 181.40 Chelsea LIU / Brian JOHNSON USA ISU CS US Internat. FS Classic 2017
28 177.15 Marissa CASTELLI / Mervin TRAN USA ISU GP Internationaux de France 2017
31 171.61 Paige CONNERS / Evgeni KRASNOPOLSKI ISR ISU CS Nebelhorn Trophy 2017
37 165.03 Yumeng GAO / Zhong XIE CHN ISU Junior Grand Prix Final 2017/18
38 164.32 Sydney KOLODZIEJ / Maxime DESCHAMPS CAN ISU CS US Internat. FS Classic 2017
45 156.88 Jessica CALALANG / Zack SIDHU USA ISU CS Finlandia Trophy 2017
46 156.52 Sumire SUTO / Francis BOUDREAU-AUDET JPN ISU GP NHK Trophy 2017

Back to JGP:
29 173.01 Apollinariia PANFILOVA / Dmitry RYLOV RUS ISU Junior Grand Prix Final 2017/18
34 167.99 Polina KOSTIUKOVICH / Dmitrii IALIN RUS ISU World Junior Championships 2018
36 167.24 Anastasia MISHINA / Aleksandr GALIAMOV RUS ISU World Junior Championships 2018
39 162.14 Anastasia POLUIANOVA / Dmitry SOPOT RUS ISU JGP Minsk Arena Cup 2017
48 151.27 Laiken LOCKLEY / Keenan PROCHNOW USA ISU JGP Riga Cup 2017

2017-18 ISU SB list: http://www.isuresults.com/isujsstat/sb2017-18/sbtspto.htm
 
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aftershocks

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If the entries remain as posted, I'm predicting podium placements:
SA: T/M, Knierims, Y/Z. If Y/Z are by chance inconsistent, it'd be cool to see C/L medal along with the Knierims. Why are T/M so often at SA :drama: Likely Deanna/Nate will be the TBD pick.

SC: J/C, M-T/M, and either P/J or A/W for bronze

FIN: S/H, unfortunately Z/E cuz judges gift 'em on PCS, D-M/G

NHK: S/H, yuk Z/E, third will be a battle betw M-T/M vs K/O vs Knierims vs P/J & hopefully one of these teams could take out boring Z/E too in the crossfire :drama:

RC: T/M, D-M/G, and we know one of the new to seniors Russians will likely prevail for third, but I hope C/L and S/B can give them a run for their placements :saint:

IDF: J/C, Y/Z, K/O leap of faith :saint::drama: (altho' 4th to 5th is likelier for K/O politically with the PRK team on the rise, and any Russian team on the roster :rolleyes:)

With this scheduling set-up, T/M, S/H and J/C should be shoo-ins for the final. I hope Z/E don't skate well, but this scheduling and judges usual gifts give them an in for 4th, with D-M/G and M-T/M looking strong possibilities for 5th and 6th. For 5th and 6th finals placements, it will come down to how Y/Z, P/J, and the Knierims fare in the overall standings.
 
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cgirl8

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This explains why Marchei/Hotarek are missing from the Grand Prix assignments: https://twitter.com/valemarchei14/status/1012758369000738816

"We couldn't have imagined that we would have gotten so far 4 years ago. Since July 2014 we have lived tough moments, but full of satisdactions for us and for in incredible bunch of people that surrounded ourselves. Really unique moments.
Now, it is time to take a break, breath a little, and this is the reason why we decided to not participate in the Grand Prix this year. We continue to train everyday with the passion and all the efforts that have distinguished us, keeping the doors open to new adventures. See y'all soon. It is a promise."
 

nimi

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(Cross-posting from the Japanese thread because relevant also here...)

Meagan Duhamel tweeted a pic with Miura/Ichihashi and this:
I'd say they're in good hands! :cheer2:

Ichihashi was born in Nov 1997, so this should be their last eligible jr season. (Miura was b. in 2001.) They'll probably do both the JGP and a couple of sr comps like 4CC this season like they did last season.

I've only seen them skate in 4CC last year and they looked like a very pleasant & promising team, esp. in SP, but didn't have a 3Tw yet and had some issues with lifts and death spirals.

Now that Narumi Takahashi has retired and Suto/Boudreau-Audet have split, I think M/I are the only Japanese pair besides Suzaki/Kihara. Unless Ryo Shibata has a new partner.
 

aftershocks

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I hope Z/E don't skate well,
I'm sure I should be kinder because they seem like nice young people. They are physically attractive with elegant lines, but I find Z/E to be so boring. I could live with that and forgive it to a degree if they were scored accurately and weren't immediately embraced when they came on the scene as Mozer's young up-and-comers. They've always been given overly high scores even with mistakes and inconsistent performances from the very beginning, which means they've never really had to weather the newbie team hurdles of proving themselves before being fully embraced by the judges. If they were to truly improve their connection, presentation, music, choreo, and overall packaging, maybe I could find their skating more engaging to watch. They don't show any personality or excitement whatsoever. So as it stands now, :blah: :yawn:
 
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aftershocks

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:drama: Yeah leave it to you to jump on what I already highlighted from my earlier post and admitted is a harsh thing to say about athletes. I've always been consistently honest about why I don't like Z/E's skating, and that's obviously not all I said. But whatever @misskarne. You are one to always act holier-than-thou and rabidly self-righteous (especially regarding skaters you like or don't like), which doesn't amount to a hill of beans in the long run. :yawn:

Carry on. :gallopin1
 

Mad for Skating

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Ah, this thread has been running for less than a day and already there's a spat...

I personally find Z/E rather boring. I can acknowledge they're very talented and I don't wish them ill, but I'm not a huge fan.
 

oleada

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Ah, this thread has been running for less than a day and already there's a spat...

I personally find Z/E rather boring. I can acknowledge they're very talented and I don't wish them ill, but I'm not a huge fan.
This is fine. I find them boring too. It's different to say that you hope a skater you don't like skates badly, like some others in this thread have. I personally want all skaters to do well because I want my faves to win in fair fight and it's more enjoyable to watch when skaters go clean.
 

savchenkoboss

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The problem is you know the judges have their pre set favorites and sometimes wont ever let certain skaters get a higher placing unless certain others falter. So while it might not be nice to wish others falter, let alone admiting it, on some level I am sure we all end up hoping that for certain skaters.
 

pairskatingfan

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What Stellato said about the lift changes isn't necessarily right. From what I understood, while a lift entry and a lift exit were two different features, you couldn't get both in the same lift. Now, I believe, you have to do both to get a feature. However, before you could not use both to get two levels anyways...
 

aftershocks

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I want my faves to win in fair fight
There's nothing fair about figure skating. As we all know, the scoring is manipulable and there exist conflicts of interest among judges. Reputation and luck are always factors, as are skating orders, and even a random rut in the ice that catches a skate blade. :drama:

If no one has ever secretly had a thought they quashed about hoping even if for a fleeting second that a rival skater to one of their faves didn't skate quite so well, with at least a small bobble or so, you must be a saint or in denial. :lol:

Anyway, I acknowledged my harsh thought, and I've always given Z/E credit for what they are good at. What they aren't good at really needs improving before they receive the kind of high scores they routinely receive. I don't see a thing that's fair about the gifts Z/E often get from the judges. But that's figure skating, and as someone said earlier, Z/E are the solid #2 Russian team, unless and until Stolbova and Klimov come back together or separately with good partners.
 

savchenkoboss

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I am most excited to see how the beautiful Della Monica & Guarise fare this year. I was thrilled with their improvements last quad, and would love to see them even maybe be in medal contention this year. Personally I prefer them to say James & Cipres, who were never my cup of tea. Just out of curiosity is that team a couple off the ice too? I always got the impression they might be, but I never got confirmation for sure.
 

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