#MeToo Movement Goes ‘Stir Crazy’ With Christmas Music Ban

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Smooth Jazz and More will continue the tradition of playing the classic, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” in it’s daily Christmas playlist. It would be downright lunacy not to! We’ll tell you why, but first a brief history of the song.

It was written in 1944 by songwriter, Frank Loesser, who wrote it for his wife, Lynn Garland. The two would perform the song at parties, suggesting the evening was over. The song’s lyrics describes a man who tries to convince a woman that she should stay for the evening because the weather is cold and the trip home would be difficult. While the lyrics make no mention of any holiday, it’s popularly regarded it as a Christmas song due to its winter theme.

In 1949, the song was performed in the film, “Neptune’s Daughter” by Esther Williams and Ricardo Montalbán. The tune won an Oscar for best original song. Since then, there have been over three dozen versions of the song, including versions we play in our Christmas playlist by Ray Charles and Betty Carter; Lou Rawls and Dianne Reeves; and Vanessa Williams and Bobby Caldwell.

In recent years, the song has had controversy because of it’s suggestive lyrics, preferably, the line, “What in this drink?”. Many critics have suggested the song is no longer appropriate due, in part, to the case of comedian Bill Cosby, who was convicted in June 2018 of sexual assault and is currently serving a 10 year sentence for the crime. Other cases, such as Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey also had an influence. This week, Cleveland radio station WDOK announced that it had pulled the song, citing listener concerns over the song’s content in the wake of the Me Too movement. In addition, Canadian radio broadcasters Bell Media, CBC Radio, and Rogers Media also followed suit.

Our position on this matter is clear. We believe in free speech and we don’t believe in censorship, which this is. “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is a classic, worthy of airplay.  The song isn’t about rape, nor should it be known as a “date rape anthem”.  In the film, Neptune’s Daughter,  the song is actually performed twice. Once, with Montalbán as the aggressor and Williams as his target, and then again with Betty Garrett pressuring Red Skelton. Skelton gets so flustered as he tries to leave that he puts on Garrett’s coat and picks up her purse.

If we ban “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”, then we need to also consider songs like “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”, which would suggest a burglar sexually assaulting a woman in the house. Or, any Christmas song that mentions “Jesus” (Not that it’s the reason for the season.).

Critics of the song need to take a step back and “chill”. This new controversy is political correctness gone “stir crazy” as a result of overreaching and looking for reasons to suit their own agendas.

Just stop it!

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Posted in #MeToo, Christmas, Christmas Music, Political Correctness, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Smooth’s Podium Picks – ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final (Senior & Junior) 2018

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The Grand Prix season ends this weekend with both the Junior and Senior Final taking place in Vancouver, site of the 2010 Winter Olympics. It will be an Olympic-style showing, as a number of former medal winners will be participating on the senior circuit. Future Olympians will be crowned on the junior side starting this Wednesday.

shoma-uno-1Men – Three weeks ago, two-time Olympic gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu walked out to the podium on crutches to receive his gold medal at Rostelecom Cup. Sadly, he announced last week that he would not be able to participate in the final this weekend. Canada’s Keegan Messing will take his place and is the lone entry representing the country, having been named an alternate on points. Japan’s Shoma Uno is considered one of the favorites this weekend. He was undefeated this season, having won Skate Canada and NHK Trophy. American Nathan Chen will be close behind him for the podium. He was also undefeated, with wins at Skate America and Internationaux de France. Czech Republic’s Michal Brezina, Russia’s Sergei Voronov and Korea’s Jun-Hwan Cha round out the field.

Smooth’s Pick
1. Shoma Uno (JPN)
2. Nathan Chen (USA)
3. Sergei Voronov (RUS)

cropped_image_lLadies – It will be Russians and Japanese skaters vying for the crown. But the story of this Gran Prix season is the rise of Japan’s Rika Kihira. Her breakout performance at NHK stunned the judges and the home crowd, winning her first Grand Prix title. She repeated her performance at Internationaux de France, punching her ticket to Vancouver. It would be hard not to consider the young skater the favorite this weekend, but she has lots of competition. Olympic champion Alina Zagitova of Russia looks to repeat as GP Finals champion. She’s undefeated this season with wins in Helsinki and Moscow. Teammate Elizaveta Tuktamysheva looks to continue her comeback tour with a podium. She won Skate Canada and finished third at NHK. Japan’s Satoko Miyahara’s best finish in GP Finals action was 2nd two years ago in Marseille, France. Other skaters looking to make the podium are Japan’s Kaori Sakamoto and Russia’s Sofia Samodurova.

Smooth’s Pick
1. Rika Kihira (JPN)
2. Alina Zagitova (RUS)
3. Satoko Miyahara (JPN)

evgenia-tarasova-and-vladimir-morozov-1Pairs – This could be a close competition, with the possibility of a Russian sweep, or a brand new Final’s champion. Russia’s Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov are the favorites this weekend, as they captured gold at Skate America and at Rostelecom Cup. Teammates Natalia Zabiiako and Alexander Enbert were also undefeated with wins in Helsinki and NHK. Daria Pavliuchenko and Denis Khodykin is the third Russian team that could make the podium. They were third twice to punch their ticket to the final. The team that stand in their way of a Russian sweep are France’s Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres. They won their first Grand Prix title at Skate Canada. They repeated the favor at Internationaux de France and could win their first final. Italy’s Nicole Della Monica and Matteo Guarise reached the final with two 2nd place finishes in Helsinki and Moscow. China’s Cheng Peng and Yang Jin also had two 2nd place finishes to reach the final.

Smooth’s Pick
1. Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov (RUS)
2. Natalia Zabiiako and Alexander Enbert (RUS)
3. Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres (FRA)

rs_1024x759-180212200226-1024-madison-hubbell-zachary-donohue-winter-olympics-couples-ct-021218Ice Dance – Despite three Russian teams making the final, the favorites are Americans Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue. They’ve finally broken away from other American ice dance teams to dominate the Grand Prix this season, as they won at Skate America and Skate Canada. Their main competitors this weekend will be Russia’s Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin, who were undefeated this season, winning in Helsinki and Moscow. Americans Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-luc Baker won their first GP title at NHK and had a 4th place finish at Internationaux de France. Italy’s Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri had two 2nd place finishes at Skate America and in Helsinki to make it to Vancouver. Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov also had two 2nd place Grand Prix finishes to make the final. Russia’s Tiffani Zagorski and Jonathan Guerreiro qualified for the GP Final on points.

Smooth’s Pick
1. Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue (USA)
2. Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin (RUS)
3. Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-luc Baker (USA)

Here are my picks for the Junior Grand Prix Final. It could be a Russian sweep in all categories this weekend.

maxresdefaultMen – Petr Gumennik (RUS), He set a junior men’s world record in the free skate.

ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating - YerevanLadies – Alexandra Trusova (RUS) with a quad lutz in her arsenal, she could lead a Russia dominated junior podium.

29101195_1961501340832938_6546544999746502656_oPairs – Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galiamov (RUS), They were undefeated all season, winning at JGP Canada and JGP Slovakia.

khudaiberdieva-nazarov-4891Ice Dance – Elizaveta Khudaiberdieva and Nikita Nazarov (RUS), Wins at JPG Czech Republic and JPG Slovakia put them at the top of the contenders.

Posted in Figure Skating, Figures skating, Grand Prix, Grand Prix Final, Ice Skating, International Skating Union, Junior Grand Prix, Skating | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Smooth’s Podium Picks – Internationaux de France de Patinage 2018

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The final week of Grand Prix qualifying ends with competition in French Alps city of Grenoble.  One of the more exciting contests will be in the ladies competition, where a skater came out of nowhere to defeat two former World Champions.  Can she make it two in a row?  Also, French teams in pairs and ice dance can win in their home country this weekend.

181019-skateamerica-06-jpgMen – (Full Lineup)

This weekend will be Nathan Chen and everyone else. The American is the overwhelming favorite in Grenoble. Teammate Jason Brown didn’t get the performance he was expecting at Skate Canada. He looks to make up for his fourth place finish a month ago. Russia’s Alexander Samarin just missed the podium at Skate Canada, finishing in 4th. This could be his best chance at reaching the podium this wekend. China’s Boyang Jin also has his best chance at a podium slot, as he was 5th at GP Helsinki.

Smooth’s Picks –
1. Nathan Chen (USA)
2. Alexander Samarin (RUS)
3. Boyang Jin (CHN)

Skaters to Watch: Nicholas Nadeau (CAN), Kenji Tanaka (JPN), Daniel Samohin (ISR)

screenshot2018-11-12at7-36-49pmLadies – (Full Lineup)

The ladies division got a wakeup call in Tokyo two weeks ago, as Japan’s Rika Kihira (Center, with Japan’s Satoko Miyahara, left and Russia’s Elizaveta Tuktamysheva.) pull off not one but two triple axels to win her first-ever senior Grand Prix title at NHK Trophy. She can punch her ticket to Vancouver with another victory this weekend. But she’ll have her work cut out for her. Russia’s Evgenia Medvedeva looks to improve on her 3rd place showing at Skate Canada. A win by the 2018 Olympic silver medalist could put her in the final. American Bradie Tennell just missed the podium at Skate America, finishing 4th and is a contender. So, too is Japan’s Mai Mihara who also finished 4th at NHK Trophy. Russia’s Stanislava Konstantinova was a 2nd place finisher in Helsinki.

Smooth’s Picks –
1. Evgenia Medvedeva (RUS)
2. Rika Kihira (JPN)
3. Stanislava Konstantinova (RUS)

Skaters to Watch: Alexia Paganini (SUI), Maria Sotskova (RUS), Marin Honda (JPN), Laurine Lecavelier (FRA)

james_cipresPairs – (Full Lineup)

Only seven teams compete this weekend. At the top of the list is the hope team of Vanessa James & Morgan Cipres. They won their first ever Grand Prix title at Skate Canada and can automatically qualify with a win this weekend. Of the remaining teams that won’t make the Grand Prix Final, the top teams that could make the podium are Aleksandra Boikova & Dmitri Kozlovskii of Russia. They had a strong senior debut finishing 4th at Skate Canada. Former US Champions Tarah Kayne & Danny O’Shea are in the mix for a podium spot with their 5th place finish at NHK Trophy. North Korea’s Tae Ok Ryom & Ju Sik Kim continues their upward swing in Grand Prix competition, as they finished 5th in Helsinki.

Smooth’s Picks –
1. Vanessa James & Morgan Cipres (FRA)
2. Aleksandra Boikova & Dmitri Kozlovskii (RUS)
3. Tarah Kayne & Danny O’Shea (USA)

Teams to Watch: Minerva Fabienne Hase & Nolan Seegert (GER), Camile Ruest & Andrew Wolfe (CAN)

gabriella-papadakis-and-guillaume-cizeronIce Dance – (Full Lineup)

2018 Olympic silver medalist Gabriella Papadakis & Guillaume Cizeron were supposed to compete at NHK Trophy when a back injury to Cizeron sidelined the team. Because of the withdrawal, the team will not qualify for the Grand Prix Final in two weeks. However, they’re still considered the overwhelming favorites going into Grenoble. A number of teams could give them a run. Americans Kaitlyn Hawayek & Jean-Luc Baker could punch their ticket to the Final win as a result of their win at NHK Trophy. Russia’s Victoria Sinitsina & Nikita Katsalapov were 2nd at Skate Canada and can also qualify for the final with a 1st or 2nd place finish. Canadians Piper Gilles & Paul Poirier finished 3rd at Skate Canada and have an outside shot at the final with a 1st place showing.

Smooth’s Picks –
1. Gabriella Papadakis & Guillaume Cizeron (FRA)
2. Kaitlyn Hawayek & Jean-Luc Baker (USA)
3. Victoria Sinitsina & Nikita Katsalapov (RUS)

Teams to Watch: Rachel & Michael Parsons (USA, 3rd place at NHK Trophy), Marie-Jade Lauriault & Romain Le Gac (FRA)

Last Week’s Results

Men: 1/3
Ladies: 2/3
Pairs: 2/3
Ice Dance: 3/3 (CALLED IT!)

Posted in Figure Skating, Figures skating, Grand Prix, Ice Skating, International Skating Union, Skating | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Smooth’s Podium Picks – Rostelecom Cup 2018

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Round four of the Senior Grand Prix series heads to Moscow and the possibility of two different sweeps of the podium for Russia. One category could be a definite, but the other is quite unsure. More skaters could qualify for the Grand Prix Final with one more stop to go.

messing-keegan-20181722-1180Men (Full Lineup) – Last year, Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu was upstaged by Nathan Chen’s outstanding performance and had to settle for 2nd place. This year, the two-time Gold medalist looks to get what was taken from him in Moscow. He’s the overwhelming favorite this weekend, but there are other skaters who look to challenge him. Canada’s Keegan Messing (Photo) will be his biggest competitor coming off a 2nd place finish at Skate Canada last month. A 1st or 2nd place finish could put him in the final. Russia’s Mikhail Kolyada finished 3rd at last year’s Rostelecom Cup and looks to get back to the podium. American Alexei Krasnozhnon performs in his native Russia this weekend and looks to do better than his 7th place finish at Helsinki.

Smooth’s Pick –

1. Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN)
2. Mikhail Kolyada (RUS)
3. Keegan Messing (CAN)

Skaters to Watch: Julian Zhi Jie Yee (MAS), Andrei Lazurkin (RUS)

gracie-gold-opens-up-about-professional-help-socialLadies (Full Lineup) – The question this weekend is whether Russian ladies can sweep the podium. The “deep bench” of skaters is led by Olympic champion, Alina Zagitova, who easily won the Grand Prix of Helsinki and can punch her ticket to Vancouver. Teammates Sofia Samodurova (3rd, Skate America) and Polina Tsurskaya (7th, Skate America) could make that sweep of the podium a reality. However, Elizabet Tursynbayeva of Kazakhstan could break it up with a good showing this weekend. American Gracie Gold (Photo) makes her return to Grand Prix action after two years away for the sport. Her last appearance in Moscow was in 2012, where she finished 2nd. Mako Yamashita of Japan finished 2nd at Skate Canada and can also make the podium with a big performance.

Smooth’s Pick –

1. Alina Zagitova (RUS)
2. Sofia Samodurova (RUS)
3. Elizabet Tursynbayeva (KAZ)

Skaters to Watch: Yuna Shiraiwa (JPN), Eunsoo Lim (KOR).

nicole-della-monica-and-matteo-guarise-1Pairs (Full Lineup) – Eight teams compete this weekend. At the top of the list is Russia’s Evgenia Tarasova & Vladimir Morozov, who dominated Skate America with a 1st place win. Teammates Alisa Efimova & Alexander Korovin were right behind in 2nd place and look for another podium spot. Daria Pavliuchenko & Denis Khodykin finished 3rd in Helsinki and could make it a sweep on the podium in pairs, as well. A few teams could top that from happening. Italy’s Nicole Della Monica & Matteo Guarise (Photo) were 2nd in Helsinki and look to make the Grand Prix Final with a win. Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya & Harley Windsor of Australia had a disappointing Senior GP debut, finishing 7th at Skate Canada and look for a better showing this weekend.

Smooth’s Pick –

1. Evgenia Tarasova & Vladimir Morozov (RUS)
2. Alisa Efimova & Alexander Korovin (RUS)
3. Daria Pavliuchenko & Denis Khodykin (RUS)

Teams to Watch: Ashley Cain & Timothy LeDuc (USA) 3rd at Skate America, Deanna Stellato & Nathan Bartholomay (USA)

carreira-ponomarenko-8261Ice Dance (Full Lineup) – Only nine teams are competing this weekend, with Americans Madison Chock & Evan Bates pulling out due to injury. That makes Russia’s Alexandra Stepanova & Ivan Bukin the team to beat. They won their 1st Grand Prix title at Helsinki and can make the Final with a win. A few teams could make their first podium this weekend. They include Sara Hurtado & Kirill Khaliavin of Spain, who were 4th in Helsinki, Americans Christina Carreira & Anthony Ponomarenko (Photo) who were 5th in Helsinki and Natalia Kailszek & Maksym Spodyriev of Poland, who were 8th at NHK Trophy last weekend.

Smooth’s Pick –

1. Alexandra Stepanova & Ivan Bukin (RUS)
2. Sara Hurtado & Kirill Khaliavin (ESP)
3. Christina Carreira & Anthony Ponomarenko (USA)

Teams to Watch: Allison Reed & Saulius Ambrulevicius (LTU), Misato Komatsubara & Tim Koleto (JPN)

Last Week’s Results

Men – 2/3
Ladies – 0/3
Pairs – 2/3
Ice Dance – 3/3 (CALLED IT!)

Posted in Figure Skating, Figures skating, Grand Prix, Ice Skating, International Skating Union, Rostelecom Cup, Skating | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Smooth’s Podium Picks – NHK Trophy 2018

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The fourth leg of the Senior Grand Prix series heads to Hiroshima, Japan; where three more skaters could qualify for the Grand Prix Final next month.

sp-skating-a-20180128-870x646Men – (Full Lineup)

The favorite this weekend is the hometown skater, Shoma Uno, who could punch his ticket into the Grand Prix Final with a victory. He captured Skate Canada with a come-from-behind win. As far as his main rivals, Russian Sergei Voronov, who took home bronze at Skate America. Italy’s Matteo Rizzo finished outside the podium in 4th place at Skate America and has a chance this weekend to make the podium. American Vincent Zhou also has a shot at the podium, as he skated in 5th at Skate America.

Smooth’s Picks –
1. Shoma Uno (JPN)
2. Sergei Voronov (RUS)
3. Vincent Zhou (USA)

Skaters to Watch: Kevin Reynolds (CAN), Dimitri Aliev (RUS), Deniss Vasiljevs (LAT)

satoko-miyaharaLadies – (Full Lineup)

The field is very solid and stands to be one of the best this weekend. The favorite is Japan’s Satoko Miyahara, who won Skate America and can clinch a spot in the Grand Prix Final next month. Liza Tuktamysheva of Russia can also clinch a spot with a victory, as she won at Skate Canada. Japan’s Mai Mihara makes her Grand Prix season debut this weekend. She had 2 fourth place finishes last season in Grand Prix action. Also making her debut this weekend is Maria Sotskova, who finished 2nd at last season’s Grand Prix Final.

Smooth’s Picks –
1. Satoko Miyahara (JPN)
2. Liza Tuktamysheva (RUS)
3. Maria Sotskova (RUS)

Skaters to Watch: Mariah Bell (USA), Courtney Hicks (USA), Mae Berenice Meite (FRA), Eunsoo Lim (KOR)

natalia2bzabiiako2band2balexander2benbert2bof2brussia_spPairs – (Full Lineup)

Only 8 teams are fielded for this weekend. The favorites are Natalia Zabiiako & Alexander Enbert of Russia. They captured gold in Helsinki last weekend and look to qualify for the Final. China’s Chen Peng & Yang Jin had a 2nd place finish at Skate Canada and could qualify for the final with a win. Canadians Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro needs a big win this weekend for an outside chance at the GP Final. They were 3rd at Skate Canada.

Smooth’s Picks –
1. Natalia Zabiiako & Alexander Enbert (RUS)
2. Chen Peng & Yang Jin (CHN)
3. Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro (CAN)

Teams to Watch: Alexa & Chris Knierim (USA), Tarah Kayne & Danny O’Shea (USA),

dsc_4838-editIce Dance – (Full Lineup)

A last minute injury forced out France’s Gabriella Papadakis & Guillaume Cizeron from this weekend’s competition. That leaves the field wide open. Russia’s Tiffani Zagorski & Jonathan Guerreiro is the narrow favorite to make the podium this weekend. They finished 3rd at Skate America. The United States can take the other two podium spots. Kaitlin Hawayek & Jean-Luc Baker are the reigning 4CC champs and had their best Grand Prix finish at NHK Trophy back in 2014, where they made the podium in 3rd place. Rachel & Michael Parsons are former Junior Grand Prix Champs, but their best competition had them place 7th at Rostelecom Cup in 2016.

Smooth’s Picks –
1. Kaitlin Hawayek & Jean-Luc Baker (USA)
2. Tiffani Zagorski & Jonathan Guerreiro (RUS)
3. Rachel & Michael Parsons (USA)

Teams to Watch: Lilah Fear & Lewis Gibson (GBR), Shiyue Wang & Xinyu Liu (CHN)

Last Week’s Results

Men – 2/3
Ladies – 1/3
Pairs – 2/3
Ice Dance – 1/3

Posted in Figure Skating, Figures skating, Ice Skating, International Skating Union, NHK Trophy, Skating | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Smooth’s Podium Picks – GP Helsinki 2018

isu-grand-prix-figure-skating-helsinki-2018

After two weeks in North America, the Grand Prix series travels across the Atlantic to Helsinki, Finland; where two Olympic champions make their way to the ice in search of another Grand Prix Championship.

afp-19c4spMen – (Full Entries) This weekend marks the return of two-time Olympic Gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu to action. After his much heralded victory in PyeongChang in February, he began his pre-season by winning the Autumn Classic International in Canada. He’s considered the overwhelming favorite, but he does have challengers. Russia’s Mikhail Kolyada found the podiun in last year’s GP Final, finishing 3rd. Korea’s Junhwan Cha looks to make the podium again coming off a 3rd place finish at Skate Canada last week. China’s Boyang Jin also makes his GP season debut and looks to regroup after missing out of the GP Final.

Smooth’s Picks

1. Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN)
2. Mikhail Kolyada (RUS)
3. Junhwan Cha (KOR)

Skaters to Watch: Michal Brezina (CZE), Keiji Tanaka (JPN), Alexei Bychenko (ISR), Alexei Krasnozhon (USA)

gettyimages-923191200-e1538055416394Ladies – (Full Entries) 2018 Olympic Gold medalist Alina Zagitova of Russia makes her GP season debut this week. She’s the favorite in this field and looks to capture her 2nd GP Final championship. Of Zagitova’s challengers, Kaori Sakamoto of Japan looks to be the closest in the field, coming off a 2nd place finish at Skate America. Teammate Rika Hongo makes a return to the GP stage, while Belgium’s Loena Hendrickx looks to bounce back after a disappointing withdrawal due to injury.

Smooth’s Picks

1. Alina Zagitova (RUS)
2. Kaori Sakamoto (JPN)
3. Loena Hendrickx (BEL)

Skaters to Watch: Viveca Lindfors (FIN), Angela Wang (USA), Emmi Peltonen (FIN)

FSKATE-GER-NEBELHORNPairs – (Full Entries) A diminished, but ambitious field of teams look to score points towards the Grand Prix Final. At the top of the list is Natalia Zabiiako & Alexander Enbert of Russia, who have two 1st place finishes in Non-GP events, but their best GP finish has been 4th. Nicole Della Monica & Matteo Guarise of Italy is another team that looks at the podium. Their best GP finish was 3rd at last year’s Internationaux de France in Grenoble. North Korea could get their first Grand Prix podium in this event with Tae Ok Ryom & Ju Sik Kim. They surprised many with the country’s first appearance at the Olympics in Figure Skating and are making their GP debut.

Smooth’s Picks

1. Natalia Zabiiako & Alexander Enbert (RUS)
2. Nicole Della Monica & Matteo Guarise (ITA)
3. Tae Ok Ryom & Ju Sik Kim (PRK)

Teams to Watch: Deanna Stellato & Nathan Bartholomay (USA), Daria Pavliuchenko & Denis Khodykin (RUS)

figureskatingwinterolympicsday10d7klrq9kk1slIce Dance – (Full Entries) Out of the four disciplines this weekend, this could be an open competition on who can outperform each other. Italy’s Charlene Guignard & Marco Fabbri could punch their ticket to the GP Final with a win this weekend. They finished 2nd at Skate America two weeks ago. Russia’s Alexandra Stepanova & Ivan Bukin make their GP season debut this weekend. Their best finish was 3rd twice last season. Americans Lorraine McNamara & Quinn Carpenter look for a better result after their 4th place finish at Skate America.

Smooth’s Picks

1. Charlene Guignard & Marco Fabbri (ITA)
2. Alexandra Stepanova & Ivan Bukin (RUS)
3. Lorraine McNamara & Quinn Carpenter (USA)

Teams to Watch: Christina Carreira & Anthony Ponomarenko (USA)

Last Week’s Results at Skate Canada

Men – 1/3
Ladies – 0/3
Pairs – 1/3
Ice Dance – 1/3

Posted in Figure Skating, Figures skating, Finland, Grand Prix, Ice Skating, International Skating Union, ISU, Skating | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Smooth’s Podium Picks – Skate Canada 2018

skate-canada-international-grand-prix-2018

Round 2 of the senior Grand Prix circuit takes us to Laval, Quebec; where this year’s Skate Canada is taking place beginning Friday. Over 50 skaters vie for a chance at the podium.

shoma-uno-1Men (Full Lineup) – The clear cut favorite this weekend is Japan’s Shoma Uno. He picked up his first win of the season at Finlandia. He looks to get to the Grand Prix final for the second year in a row. He’ll have competition from Canada’s Keegan Messing, who has a victory at Nebelhorn and American Jason Brown, who finished 2nd at last year’s Skate Canada.

Smooth’s Picks –
1. Shoma Uno (JPN)
2. Jason Brown (USA)
3. Keegan Messing (CAN)

Skaters to Watch: Alexander Samarin (RUS), Nam Nguyen (CAN), Roman Sadovsky (CAN), Daniel Samohin (ISR)

180212110502-01-evgenia-medvedeva-super-teaseLadies (Full Lineup) – Russia’s Evgenia Medvedeva makes her Grand Prix season debut with a new routine, new coaches and new choreographers. She’s considered the favorite this weekend. Teammate Liza Tuktamysheva is on the comeback trail with two pre-season wins at Lombardia and Finlandia. Japan’s Wakaba Higuchi looks to make it to the Grand Prix final again and is considered a favorite for the podium.

Smooth’s Picks –
1. Evgenia Medvedeva (RUS)
2. Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS)
3. Wakaba Higuchi (JPN)

Skaters to Watch: Elizabet Tursynbaeva (KAZ), Mariah Bell (USA), Veronik Mallet (CAN), Alaine Chartrand (CAN)

vanessajamesmorgancipreswinterolympicsxzjky0zziu2lPairs (Full Lineup) This could be a historic weekend for the French pairs team, Vanessa James & Morgan Cipres. They’ve come close to the Grand Prix final and they’re considered the favorites to win this weekend. Their main competition will be from Canadians Kirsten Moore-Towers & Michael Marinaro. One team that everyone should be watching is Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya & Harley Windsor of Australia. They’ve won the country’s first Grand Prix title on the junior circuit and are making their senior Grand Prix debut this weekend.

Smooth’s Picks –
1. Vanessa James & Morgan Cipres (FRA)
2. Kirsten Moore-Towers & Michael Marinaro (CAN)
3. Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya & Harley Windsor (AUS)

Teams to Watch: Cheng Peng & Yang Jin (CHN), Haven Denny & Brandon Frazier (USA), Aleksandra Boikova & Dmitrii Kozlovskii (RUS)

800-9-5Ice Dance – (Full Lineup) Americans Madison Hubbell & Zachary Donohue go for two in a row and an automatic bid for the Grand Prix final this weekend. They cruised to victory last week at Skate America for their first Grand Prix victory. Two teams that could spell trouble are Canadians Piper Gilles & Paul Poirier, who won at Nebelhorn earlier this fall and Russia’s Victoria Sinitsina & Nikita Katsalapov, who won at Ondrej Nepela in Bratislava this September.

Smooth’s Picks –
1. Madison Hubbell & Zachary Donohue (USA)
2. Piper Gilles & Paul Poirier (CAN)
3. Victoria Sinitsina & Nikita Katsalapov (RUS)

Teams to Watch: Marie-Jade Lauriault & Romain Le Gac (FRA), Anastasia Skoptcova & Kirill Aleshin (RUS)

Last Week’s Results

Men – 1/3
Ladies – 0/3
Pairs – 2/3
Ice Dance – 1/3

Posted in Figure Skating, Figures skating, Ice Skating, International Skating Union, Skate Canada, Skating | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment