Hoffmann and Zavozin of Hungary started things off skating to Sleeping Beauty and The Skaters Waltz. Their mid-line step sequence was performed well besides slight unison issues on the twizzles, and then the actual twizzle sequence itself was extremely sloppy and mirrored- surely this is a weakness for the team and that is an attempt to mask it. The timing seemed slightly off during the compulsory pattern, and his extensions were barely there. Overall, this is one of the better short dance programs in my opinion, but their blades scrape across the ice an awful lot. It seems like I was so much more impressed with him in his US days, anyone else feel the same? 55.98
Weaver and Poje of Canada skated second, using At Last and Cheek to Cheek. Right away you can see that their flow and skating quality is much higher than that of the previous team, and their compulsory pattern was well-done-- the first part of the program is much better than the second in my opinion. All year I have commented that their twizzle sequence seems so simple compared to pretty much every other team, and she had trouble this time around on the first set. 55.51
Bobrova and Soloviev of Russia concluded group one, skating to Tom Jones' Delilah. I like this team, but I don't like the music and what a mess it all was today. He was a bit back on his blade in the first twizzle sequence and then completely lost his balance on the second and got stuck on the toe pick. They skated right up to the corner of the boards several times and it looked like they really had to check themselves-- not good when they were already stiff and unfinished. At the end, they seemed off-placement on their lift and there was a little struggle to get it up. Just not good today. 54.33 and they are in third.
Crone and Poirier of Canada began group two, skating to the cheesy version of Fallin'. I have to say, it's not as irritating as it was the first and second times around. They are really progressing so quickly and this performance flowed beautifully from start to finish. They also were the first team to really get through the twizzles, making them the very last element of the program and being perfectly on time throughout. 54.82 for that, they obviously did something wrong somewhere.
Pechalat and Bourzat of France chose to begin with their twizzles and they were also in perfect unison. This team has came into the season so prepared and really serious about getting onto the podium. The only slight glitch appeared to be Fabian running into the boards right before the shoot-the-duck portion of their compulsory pattern, but it didn't affect them at all. 65.66 and they shoot into first place. I really like this program and they make the two different parts blend together well.
Davis and White come in as the obvious favorites here, even with their struggles earlier in the Grand Prix. Their first portion to Musetta's Waltz is probably my absolute favorite part of any of the short dances this year. Their second twizzle pattern seemed off balance from both and he really fought to keep it together, but they at least stayed in unison. The mirror footwork at the beginning of the mid-line step is gorgeous and matches the music well. The Golden Waltz flowed and didn't get right up on the boards which was nice, and the program overall was performed extremely well. 68.64 and into first place by just under three points. I don't know that it was that much better than the French.
Hoffmann and Zavozin in third at this point. Who would have guessed? There's 1.65 points between third and sixth right now-- I guess that leaves much more excitement for the free dance than previously anticipated.