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Apr 22, 2017

2017 World Team Trophy: 20 Questions

Twenty questions about everyone's favorite end-of-season cheesefest . . .

20) Is anyone else torn about the current Morozov'd version of Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje? Nikolai Morozov has gotten Weaver/Poje to skate with more attack and speed by stripping out their transitions and smoothed out the lifts, but that Aranjuez free dance is pure paint-by-numbers banality . . .

19) Does Kévin Aymoz remind anyone else of a young, pre-Morozov Florent Amodio?

18) Did anyone else just laugh when Yuzuru Hanyu tried to go for an ina bauer-spread eagle-3A-spread eagle on the fly with virtually no speed coming out of the ina bauer in the last 30 seconds of his Hope and Legacy long program? I thought he was certifiably insane for even trying to attempt that, but I suppose his crazy ambitious attitude is what makes him an Olympic champion and what makes me a schlub with a laptop criticizing an Olympic champion.

17) Has Mikhail Kolyada ever done a non-kitschy senior program yet?

16) What was with the laurel/olive wreaths given out at the World Team Trophy's medal ceremony? Given the IOC's infamously protectionist intellectual property regime, I'm surprised the IOC didn't try to shut this one down . . .

15) What's the deal with the World Team Trophy vs. the Team Challenge Cup--was last season's Team Challenge Cup just an one-off event, or is it going to alternate with the World Team Trophy in non-Olympic years?

14) Why on earth would anyone decide to choreograph two uninspiring back-to-back spins at the final, climatic end of the Nessun Dorma aria in Elena Radionova's long program, when the music cries out for a spiral/spread eagle/super impactful moves in the field sequence that blazes down the ice?

13) What is with Alexander Zhulin's penchant for randomly shoehorning Vivaldi's Four Seasons into free dances?

12) Is anyone else amused that Evgenia Medvedeva's and Vanessa James/Morgan Cipres' placements (24 each) contributed more points to their respective teams' totals than the entirety of Team France's singles skaters (23)?

11) Is Team France your pick for the team spirit award this year?

10) Which Nationals will be more of a bloodbath next year, Russian ladies or Japanese ladies? If only we could just give Kazakhstan's unused ladies second spot away to Japan instead . . .

9) Did anyone else burst out laughing at the frequent long, lingering close-ups of Yuzuru Hanyu's face throughout the competition, especially at the medal ceremony?

8) What is your latest pet theory on how/why Evgenia Medvedeva is seemingly able to defy several metaphysical laws by not only consistently, but also casually skating clean programs despite the crushing weight of competitive pressure and expectations? Mine is that Ms. Medvedeva's adrenal glands release abnormally low amounts of adrenaline in times of stress/pressure . . .

7) Question for any Japanese readers: what was written on that pink and white poster Team Japan was holding up during Mai Mihara's kiss-and-cry in the ladies long program?

6) What do you think Nina Mozer was thinking when she was packaging Evgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov's long program this season? "Let's take this traditional, classic Russian pair with elegant lines and beautiful flow . . . and let's have them skate to 80s eurotrash music with some nonsensical music cuts! Let's also give them "choreography" ripped off of an old aerobics video from my closet! And top that off with shoddy, ill-fitting costumes that look like cast-offs from a low-budget futuristic film from the 80s! What could possibly go wrong here?"

5) Was anyone else extremely amused by Team Russia's decision to wear kokoshniks and newsboy caps at the opening ceremonies, as well as their twirling/bowing routine?

4) How much higher did Karen Chen's skates at the World Team Trophy raise the blood pressures of the more tense-nerved US ladies fans?

3) Is this now the appropriate time to confess that Madison Chock/Evan Bates' Bad to the Bone/Uptown Funk short dance is actually my favorite short dance of the season?

2) What was with those horse heads in Team China's kiss and cry?

1) On a scale of one to Mordovian Ornament, how would you rate the scoring inflation at this year's World Team Trophy?


  1. 9. I very much did. Ahhhh the japanese cameramen really missed him after he withdrew from nationals.

    7. It says "Thank you Mao-chan" with messages from many skaters and coaches, Japanese and non-Japanese. Twitter is currently deciphering what each message say.

    2. An example of how team China WUZROBBED of team spirit award.

    1. 9.I swear, it looked like there was a cameraperson dedicated to following Mr. Hanyu at all times . . . well, I suppose TV Asahi knows its demographic.

      7. Thanks for letting me know about the Mao Asada poster! That's so sweet, and I would love to know what the other messages said . . .

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  3. 20) Weaver/Poje's Aranjuez is such generic judge-bait, I can't even. It also can't be a coincidence that they've switched to Morozov and now they're skating to a Ghost program for their gala. I understand they needed to show the judges that they're spicing things up and trying new things, but I don't have to like it!

    14) If you're not Stephane Lambiel at the end of Poeta where your spins are absolute showstopping highlights, say no to back-to-back spins through musical climaxes, people.

    6) Nina Mozer's choreography and packaging is so actively counter-intuitive, perplexing, and downright tacky that it can only be purposeful trolling, or genius.

    1) I would say it's solidly one GPF Barcelona 2015 out of one 2015 Mordovian Ornament.

    (Sorry, accidentally deleted the comment!)

    1. 6. The only way Nina Mozer's choreography and packaging could be genius is if it's a ploy to lower our expectations for Tarasova/Morozov so we could be dazzled by merely half-decent choreography and packaging next season :)

  4. 18) He can do the 3A out of a stand-still, there's video. Which means he's totally vexed over not doing it. LOL that dude.
    16) No intellectual property there to be protected. Laurel wreaths are too old. Somewhere an IOC dude is crying over lost money.
    9) Yes but I was rolling from laughter at the Gala who was really losing it.
    6) Has to be trolling on purpose. Right? Right?!
    2) At least it wasn't a giant cow bell like the Germans in Sochi.

    1. 18. He is so extra I can't even . . . ;)

  5. T/M's music choices (and choreography) make me turn off the computer every time. And it's not just them. I mean whole Mozer's playlist technically.

    1. It's so frustrating because Tarasova/Morozov are actually talented and could be so much more! Thankfully, I heard Peter Tchernyshev is doing their choreography next season so that could only be an improvement . . .