Rostelecom Cup: Best & Worsts

Rostelecom Cup just ended, and wow, it was a whirlwind competition. The ladies field was one of the best I’ve seen, the dance equally competitive, and the pairs excellent as well. Naturally, I want to cover everything, so I’ve condensed all my post formats into one: a best/worst recap that includes everything from costumes to quads and everything else in between. So…enjoy!

BESTS 

Best Breakout Performance: Natalia Zabijako/Alexander Enbert, Russia

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Coming into Rostelecom, I had no idea who this team was. This is their first season together and only their second competition, but I’d heard good things about them online. And they skated pretty well here! Although they kind of bored me, they were very impressive technically for such a new pair. It will be interesting to see, a bit later in the year, where they stand in the hierarchy of Russian pairs.

NOTE: I would’ve put a video of them here, but WordPress wouldn’t let me-that’s why there are no videos in this post.

Best Short Program (singles): Alaine Chartrand, Canada 

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I have said many times that I love Alaine’s short program, set to selections from the Pina soundtrack. But this was on a whole new level of awesome.

It was, without a doubt, the best short program Alaine has ever skated, giving her a new personal best score of 67 and placing her 2nd in the SP. For one thing, she didn’t underrotate any jumps, which she almost always does-not even her triple lutz-triple toe combination. It was a triumphant comeback after her last-place finish at Skate America. Although she did not hold on to a podium place (finishing 5th), this was one of the many programs from this event I will be rewatching sometime in the future.

Best Short Dance: Ksenia Monko/Kirill Khaliavin, Russia

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This is actually a bit of an unexpected one for me: I wanted to put a best short dance in this post, but I hadn’t actually seen the short dance, so I had to go through the videos on YouTube. Theirs (to the soundtrack of Howl’s Moving Castle) was the only SD I hadn’t seen, so I watched it in the hopes that I would like it enough to put it here. Sure enough, I did! I love the playful feel of the program and that they genuinely seem to love skating it. It’s a shame that they had to withdraw, because I like their FD a lot. (And on the topic of withdrawals, NHK must be cursed because skaters are dropping like flies out of that one!)

Best Free Skate (Singles): Adelina Sotnikova, Russia

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Okay, just to clear this up: if anyone skates to Je Suis Malade, I’m automatically going to love it. That was Adelina’s music. I loved it.

Adelina’s artistry has improved greatly since she appeared on the Russian version of Dancing with the Stars, and it really showed here. No, JSM is not exactly a beacon of refined artistry (at all…), but the ridiculously awesome over-the-topness of this song fits Adelina perfectly. I really, really loved it, even with the mistakes (and weird dress), and I hope she makes worlds so I can see it again. And again. And agaiiiin!!!!!! Hehehehe!

Best Free Dance: Anna Capellini/Luca Lanotte, Italy

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I really love everything about this free dance: the music, the choreography, the costumes, the sass and spunk that’s really made this pair stand out to me this season-it’s pretty much all there. A lot of people (including me) kind of wrote them off as one-hit wonders after their dismal GP showing last year (in the wake of a world title), but they’re back with a vengeance this year. They’ve got great programs and solid elements and I will be very excited to see how the rest of the season unfolds for them!

Best Pairs Free Skate: Tarah Kayne/Daniel O’Shea, USA

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You can read my thoughts on this program in my US International Classic post, so I will indulge my laziness and not type them up again. 🙂

I just want to put it out there that I was RIDICULOUSLY HAPPY that they did so well here and I also wish I could’ve found a better picture of this, LOL.

Best Costumes

1.Evgenia Medvedeva-Short Program

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I saw this dress in action :p at Skate America and thought it was gorgeous…and I still do. The burgundy color is very flattering on Evgenia, and the bling (crystals, mostly) is absolutely exquisite. It’s a gorgeous but age-appropriate choice; other teenage skaters should take a hint from this! (Also, a MILLION times better than her last SP dress.)

 

2. Alaine Chartrand, Short Program 

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First off, #NinjaAlaine needs to be a thing that exists. (If you did not think “ninja” when you saw that bottom picture, we cannot be friends. :p JK, I’m probably the only one who thought that.)

Secondly, I loved this dress almost as much as the program itself. Turquoise is my favorite color, so of course I loved that, but I also liked the unusual halter-y neckline and the rows of crystals. I never would’ve thought “sleeveless turquoise halter dress” when I heard her music, but it fits perfectly! It was very effective with the program.

3. Adelina Sotnikova-Short Program

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Okay, I only included that first picture because Fierce Adelina is the best species of Adelina. 🙂

Anyway, I thought this was a really great costuming choice for Adelina. The color looks great on her, and the fringe skirt is a fun touch (it looked fantastic during spins). It was very samba-y without being tacky, which I appreciated. It probably could’ve done without extra fringe in some places (there were certainly some…questionable placements of fringe), but the good far outweighed the bad. This was a big step up from a lot of her previous costumes.

Also, shoutout to whoever did her hair. It looked amazing. 🙂

4. Yuka Nagai-Free Skate 

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The OMBRE!! *Drama hands*

This is one of the best-done ombre dresses I’ve seen. The colors were gorgeous! Also, there was what looked like a violin in crystals on the back (or a viola *slow clap for violists of the world*), which I thought was awesome. Overall, a very well-designed dress.

6. Riona Kato-Free Skate

STRIPEY BOWS, Y’ALL!

WORSTS

Worst Costumes:

1. Polina Edmunds-Free Skate

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I hate to criticize her costumes after she got so much flack for her (not that bad) Peter Pan dress last year, but this dress is…ick. The tattered sleeves and skirt are more “the cat got its hands on grandma’s fancy drapes” than Gone With the Wind. And something about the neck is just not right. Also, pale skaters should not wear any shade of white. EVER.

2. Adian Pitkeev-Free Skate

No. No. Just no! 

“The Mission” is one of my favorite pieces of music, and I loved Adian’s interpretation-but this costume needs to die. It looks like a Casual-Friday-At-Work suit with a weird collar and a chest cutout.

No. 

 

3. Mikhail Kolyada-Short Program 

*Hides in closet*
*Cries*
*Ruptures tear ducts*

I actually did want to cry upon seeing this. MIKHAIL, YOU NEED TO FIRE WHOEVER PUT YOU IN THIS. NOW.

 

 

Soooo…that’s my recap! Thanks for reading! 🙂 

 

 

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