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Grand Prix Final (Seniors) Day One Thoughts

Well, Day one of the Grand Prix Final is over and I think it was a pretty successful day - no complete disasters although there were noticeable mistakes here and there. Broken records and season and personal bests and some absolutely amazing skating left me quite happy at the end! Can't wait to see what everyone does tomorrow.

Pairs

Shen and Zhao, China (75.36): How much is everyone loving watching this pair? They were awesome, as they have often been this season. I was honestly surprised that they are not maybe a couple of more points ahead of Savchenko and Szolkowy (despite the fact that they set the all-time short program score in this program!), but both teams were fabulous.

Savchenko and Szolkowy, Germany (73.14): A great performance of a very nice program. So strong - just that hand down on the triple jump...but with competition like this, that becomes too many points to give away!

Mukhortova and Trankov, Russia (69.78): Well done. Didn't love the endings of their side by side spins but they definitely belong in third place, I'd say. Still, it will be almost impossible for them to win here unless the other teams err.

Pang and Tong, China (68.04): Ouch, such a lovely performance but ack, right at the end they separated on their pairs spin. I am assuming that is what lost them the points in the technical score, because the judges preferred them components-wise to Mukhortova and Trankov. Still, they received a season-best score in the short.

Zhang and Zhang, China (66.24): They started out with some strong elements but the cracks started to show early on. The program never comes together artistically. The side by side spins end terribly, just as they did at their last Grand Prix.

Kavaguti and Smirnov, Russia (62.30): Not good enough. No major disasters but nearly all of her landings were awkward or off. After seeing them up against all these pairs today, they don't look Olympic-medal ready.

Ice Dancing (Original Dance)

Davis and White, USA, (65.80): Such a great choice for their original dance, and how fast were those twizzles? too fast for my eyes, to be honest, but they looked great. I was thinking that this program theme could have flopped with another pair but it seems to really be working for them.

Virtue and Moir, Canada (64.01): I just love this program and was so happy to see the improvement over the Skate Canada OD.

Pechalat and Bourzat, France (56.93): I could not see any major errors other than his twizzle ending before hers at the end, although maybe I just saw it wrong...this is a fun performance. Still, that gap in the scores is pretty wide and highlights the difference in ability between this pair and the top two.

Kerr and Kerr, Great Britain (56.47): It's hard to know what to say for all of these pairs who put on perfectly good performances of perfectly enjoyable programs, but they're just not good enough to compete with the top two, which is slightly annoying because it's the Grand Prix Final. But I love having teams like the Kerrs to watch and this program is so fun, so I will say good job.

Cappellini and Lanotte, Italy (54.91): Some iffy moments here and there where I wasn't sure if there was a mistake or not, but overall it was fine.

Crone and Poirier, Canada (51.69): Well, they are no Virtue and Moir, but this program still has no problem keeping my attention. Nice for them to get this slot.