The Pairs Free Skate was first up and I have to first mention the Americans Vise and Trent. They had a great free skate and pulled up from last place after the short to finish 5th. The bronze medal went to Kawaguchi and Smirnov of Russia. If Alexander Smirnov wore clothing any tighter, his muscles would rip through! He has to be one of the buffest skaters ever! Dube and Davison had to settle for the silver medal this week; they did, however, skate very well and clinched a spot in Torino for the Grand Prix Final. The cream of the crop was clearly Savchenko and Szolkowy. Clean and smooth all the way through, they will be tough for anyone to beat this year, they look very well trained for this early in the season.
The ladies were up next. Ashley Wagner put down a clean program and it was clear she wouldn't be staying down in 8th place! Leader after the short, virtual unknown Laura Lepisto, completely bombed in the free skate. She failed to land a single clean triple and finished 7th. Joannie Rochette brought the house down with her comeback performance. She fought for everything and the crowd responded with a standing ovation, she earned the bronze. Yukari Nakano also looked to improve upon her 4th place finish after the short. After Joannie's outstanding performance and Asada and Hughes still to come she knew she would need to dig deep. She reeled off a huge Triple Axel at the top of her program and never looked back. She earned the silver. I really thought Mao Asada would go for a triple axel given the outstanding performances given before her but she did what she does best, triple/triple combos and a back loaded program full of jumps. She was smooth and graceful and it was clear that nobody was gonna even get close to beating her! Emily skated next and while improved from Skate America, she still struggled with her lutz turning it into a double. She was also really hanging onto some of her jumps; go home and work on those triples before Nationals, she finished 4th.
I was a bit confused by the original dance. Americans Gregory and Petukhov had an amazing OD to Lord of the Dance yet they were pummeled by the judges dropping from 3rd to 4th??? The French team of Carron and Jost got the biggest ovation to their OD and edged the Americans for 3rd. Cappellini and Lanotte were in second and the Candaian team of Virtue and Moir continued to dominate. I must tell you their twizzles were some of the best looking twizzles I have ever seen in my life! I'm very concerned for Dubreuil and Lauzon at this point...Virtue and Moir are making huge strides and I believe will challenge for the World Title (bold prediction I know!)...Dubreuil and Lauzon might find the water a little choppier than expected if they decide to make a run at Olympic Gold in Vancouver.
Ainsi jour davantage fini deux... à venir!