Warm-Up: Castelli/Shnapir are another team where he absolutely towers over her. Start with a high double twist. Iliushechkina/Maisuradze take their jackets off and she starts warming up jumps. Kemp/King do a twist, and it's their first time at Skate Canada. His hair is a mess. Dong/Wu, she warms up a double toe. The Russians perform a nice lift while the Americans attempt side-by-side jumps right by them. Mariusz Siudek is a busy man, on the technical panel at NHK and now here with the Brits. The Chinese perform their death spiral, where she's in a split position.
5 Castelli/Shnapir USA
Music is Money by Pink Floyd. Nice side by side triple Salchows, they really went in with attack. Triple twist is nice. Side by side spins stay in unison throughout until the very end, and I'm surprised he has such decent positions with being so tall. Footwork is alright. They look relaxed going into their throw triple Salchow and it flew beautifully-- nice run out by her. Lift goes into the traditional Russian one-hand she in a split position. Well done. Death spiral is a pretty basic one and they are just slightly ahead of the music at the end, but that was very good!
32.96/23.38 = 56.34 they go into 1st by the slightest of margins. Well done.
6 Iliushechkina/Maisuradze RUS
The Marriage of Figaro is the music. Footwork and choreography right into side by side triple toes, well done. Her back is absolutely perfect through everything. Throw triple Salchow is also well done, and they are carrying great speed so far. Nice triple twist. Catchfoot for her into the death spiral with a change of hands. He travels really close to her on the side by side spins and they get a bit messy. The ending is completely off. Footwork is nice and then spirals into a nice lift where he appears to drop her but catches her down low.. I liked this team last year and I'm glad to see that she seems to have gained enough power on the individual jumps to rotate triples cleanly. I noted that they had a chance to really distance themselves in the short in my event preview, and I think they have done just that. Lots of transitions throughout and they kept the speed from start to finish.
34.03/26.69 = 60.72. First by over four points.
7 Kemp/King GBR
String quartet Coldplay. Triple twist might have been a bit underrotated and he caught her somewhat far away from him. Side by side double flips still as their jump of choice, and their basics are still just average. Throw triple loop with her slow to get the free leg out, but it was big and clean. Death spiral with a change of hands that slows down on the change. Mirror footwork is slow and has hip movement at a stand-still in the middle from both of them. He really trips big on a set of spread eagle transitions and then their side by side spins are a bit off and way too far apart. Both last positions come to a crawl. Spread eagles again into a catchfoot lift and he sets her down nicely, but their overall package is still a bit too basic, even in this field.
23.27/20.23 = 43.50. Seventh.
8 Dong/Wu CHN
Side by side triple toes, she steps out. Double twist. Throw triple loop is successful, split death spiral, that was a nice variation although not done very fast. It's been all stroke stroke stroke to this point. Footwork is relatively simple and slow, as well. She stumbles a bit-- a lot of the pairs are tripping on their toe picks. They don't really present themselves very well yet, either.. their faces remain serious and focused. Scratchy on the lift on his part, and the side-by-side spins started alright but then they lost the unison. Nothing remarkable here. Probably sixth place.
22.92/20.61 = 43.53. Welp, seventh and missed out on being last by .03. The two top-ranked ISU teams sit in second to last and last. In this field. Ouch.
Iliushechkina/Maisuradze, Castelli/Shnapir, Lawrence/Swiegers, and Duhamel/Radford are the top four. The difference between second and fifth is just 2.5 points.