So, the Grand Prix is officially over *sobs* and there’s still over a week to the Final *sobs more*, and I can’t get the Golden Spin of Zagreb livestream, but I want to post something, so here is a new thing: Post-GP Skater Rankings!
Basically, these are post-GP analyses of the skaters who made the Final, ranked by “power” (from least to most), with little blurbs that explain why I placed them there. Plus, I will try to predict placements. Woohoo! Watch me fail miserably at predicting stuff! *Punches air triumphantly*
6. Ashley Wagner, USA
Qualified in: 6th
Achievements: Qualified for five GPFs, medaling at three (a silver and two bronzes); three-time US Champion; multiple-time GP medalist; Multiple top-5 Worlds finishesFinishes on 2015-16 GP: Skate Canada-1st; NHK Trophy-4th (24 pt.)
Why I Placed Her Here: While the GPF has kind of become Ashley’s “signature competition”, as she almost always peaks there, I could be very wrong about this. After all, last year she qualified in last and then won the bronze medal unexpectedly. I thought she was due for a repeat after she won Skate Canada over the reigning world champion, but a near-meltdown at NHK changed that. While she’s known for surprise GPF medals, I don’t think she has one in her this year.
5. Satoko Miyahara, Japan
Qualified in: 3rd
Achievements: 2015 World silver medalist; 2015 Japanese Champion; four-time GP medalist; 2015 4CC silver medalist
Finishes on the 2015-16 GP: Skate America-3rd; NHK Trophy-1st
Why I Placed Her Here: Despite being high in the qualifying order, I don’t think Satoko will medal here because her underrotation issues tend to derail her. She has lovely spins, skating skills and presentation, but her jumps are so small that she hardly ever rotates them all. However, she’s one of the most consistent skaters in this field, so she might surprise us.
4. Mao Asada
Qualified in: 4th
Achievements: 2010 Olympic silver medalist, five-time world medalist (three gold), six-time 4CC medalist (three gold), six-time GPF medalist (four gold), two-time Junior World medalist (one gold), JGPF champion, can’t-even-keep-track-of-the-times GP medalist
Finishes on the 2015-15 GP: Cup of China-1st, NHK Trophy-3rd
Why I Placed Her Here: with an achievement list like that, it’s pretty clear that Mao is already a legend-so why place her this low? Well, after CoC, I probably would’ve had her first or second, but she melted down at NHK and the rest is history…while she’s got an insane technical layout planned, and her “PCS Qualities” are class-of-the-field, I’m afraid her consistency has gotten worse sense she came back. She could easily win if she skated cleanly, but I’m not sure how likely that is.
3. Elena Radionova, Russia
Qualified in: 5th
Achievements: 2015 World bronze medalist, 2015 Russian champion, 2015 GPF silver medalist, 2o13 and 2014 Junior World Champion, six-time GP medalist, 2015 European silver medalist
Finishes on the 2015-16 GP: Cup of China-3rd, Cup of Russia-1st
Why I Placed Her Here: Elena, my Princess of Poor Posture, is a total wildcard: she will either medal or melt down, and there is really no in between. Of course, I want her to medal, and she certainly has the goods and is usually consistent. But her less-than-stellar CoC outing leaves a bit of doubt as to which version of the Baroness of Biellmans :p will show up at the final-the rock-solid jumper who never puts a foot wrong, or the one who makes us cry hysterically.
2. Gracie Gold, USA
Qualified in: 1st
Achievements: 2014 Olympic Team Event bronze medalist, several top-5 finishes at worlds, 2014 US Champion, six-time GP medalist, 2012 Junior World silver medalist
Finishes on the 2015-16 GP: Skate America-2nd, Trophee Bompard-1st
Why I Placed Her Here: Okay, so this is a bold choice considering Gracie’s awful track record with consistency, but I really think this is the right place to put her. She’s been far more consistent this season, has better programs, improved her interpretation, and is skating with more attack-all the things she needs to do to contend with the best. The judges are willing to score her high if she skates well-we saw that at SA and TEB-so if she skates anywhere close to clean, I expect a medal. She’s always had it in her-she just needs to land everything under pressure for once.
1. Evgenia Medvedeva, Russia
Qualified in: 2nd
Achievements: two-time JW medalist (one gold), 2014 JGPF champion, two-time GP medalist, Russian bronze medalist
Finishes on the 2015-16 GP: Skate America-1st; Cup of Russia-2nd
Why I Placed Her Here: Evgenia is a consistent competitor with strong jumps and a layout that, when done right, can’t really be beat (except by a clean 3A). She also has good spins and skating skills; her presentation is all right as well. I find her a little bland, but the judges are more than willing to reward her in PCS despite being a very new senior. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Evgenia melt down, and that’s why I’m putting her in first-you can count on her.
Any thoughts? I’d love to hear from you!