Pairs Short Program
Volosozhar/Trankov delivered an excellent, clean technical performance. I felt like everything had a bit more 'oomph' than usual-- the jumps had more height and power, the twist was huge, the lift moved quick and was solid, etc. Side by side spins got a little bit off, but that was the only fault (+3's? I don't think so..) Again, the critical side of me comes out. I believe this team is dating now, but I don't get much feeling out of them as a pair with this music. Individually they both emote to the crowd and they do have some nice choreographic moments that relate to each other, but I just don't feel like it's very believable for some reason. For the second year, I prefer their free skate.
Bazarova/Larionov seem to have everything that a traditional pair team would want. However, they don't really connect to each other at all and her individual jumping ability remains very weak. +2's from some judges for the throw jump that leaned forward? Generous. It frustrates me having watched them all of these years, because I never get ANY feeling out of them and end up always bored. Their interpretation mark would be much lower than the choreography on my scorecard.
I don't have anything to add about Denney/Coughlin that I didn't already say at Skate America. While I have seemed negative about all of the pairs here, they are just missing that extra something special for me. This team does the elements, but they have the typical American pair curse where there's just nothing to set them apart (Castelli/Shnapir being an exception for me). Ugliest lifts in the entire Grand Prix series, probably. Stretch!
I'm a huge fan of Lawrence/Swiegers, particularly Paige and her fearless attitude. However, the jumps have to be there, and the twist was a mess. I find myself always intrigued by their choreography and presence.