France's Ice Dancing World Champions Isabelle Delobel and Olivier Schoenfelder lost the free skate on Sunday but managed to hold on for the Skate America win with a 187.64. American Champs Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto won the free skate with a 91.43 for a 186.54 total, but it was only good enough for them to get second place.
I have to admit, perhaps Delobel and Schoenfelder were at some sort of a disadvantage coming last after some very overly dramatic performances, but I found their skate to be a bit of a snoozer. I also must have been blinking a lot because I missed what they got a 1.00 deduction for. It wasn't their best skate but it also wasn't their best choreographed routine. I never reallly started being impressed.
Belbin and Agosto were very good. The skated to "Tosca" and it was very dramatic, the singer was the third character in the dance I think. There was a lot of working of the arms around each other and in and out of each other's neck crooks; it was like a game of twister or something. I found it distracting, but I could see how difficult it was. I could see why they would score better than the French couple, although their presentation mark was lower (45.43 to 46.99) which I don't really see.
Great Britain's Sinead and John Kerr have a very disappointing free skate; such a let-down after their great original dance. I do like that they don't flail their arms around without much of a purpose like some of the other couples did, and their lifts were innovative. But she made some visible errors and overall, it was not a great show. They scored an 88.09.
Americans Emily Samuelson and Evan Bates continued to impress, actually beating the Kerrs in the free skate and finishing fourth in the competition. They had a dramatic skate and they are very precise, I think we'll see more good stuff from them. They also had my favorite lift of the day; he was bent the whole time and I was duly impressed.
As far as the rest of the season, the French look to be in a good position. Belbin and Agosto consistently lost out to them on presentation, so they may have to take another look at what they're doing and their choreography, because they didn't make any visible errors to me but they still lost out to the world champions.