More than half a day after the short dance at the 2010 Nebelhorn Trophy was skated, people are still looking at the results with that tipped-head-huh-what? reaction frequently reserved for memorable upsets like the 1994 men’s short program at the Winter Olympic Games in Lillehammer.
Ice-dance.com does not have a journalist credentialed in Oberstdorf, so we do the best we can to answer any questions that make their way to us. We obtained a copy of the detailed protocol results and it helps explain some things. This whole short dance is a new beast we need to get used to — skaters, coaches, judges, media, and fans.
Because the event was not streamed, we were very 1997 in our refreshing of the results page in search of news. Fortunately, unlike 1997, we have pages of data that help tell the story of what happened.
One of the biggest upsets of the day was Maia & Alex Shibutani’s eighth-place ranking, with their technical elements score ranked 13th out of the 16 teams. They stand approximately 10 points behind the top teams. The protocol shows where they lost a bulk of those points.
Maia fell on their opening element, the synchronized twizzles, and the team received no credit for this. Unlike the 2010 Canadian Championships, where Vanessa Crone fell but had completed enough of the element to receive a level, the Shibutanis had not successfully completed enough of the twizzle sequence to receive any level. The team is usually strong in their twizzles and earn high levels. A level four twizzle sequence now has a base value of six points, and the chance to build on that with a positive Grade of Execution. Assuming the Shibutanis would have received level four, they lost six points there, plus an extra point for the mandatory deduction of a fall. Seven points gone, not counting the possibility of positive GOE.
Their footwork sequence earned a level 3, which is the highest anyone has done this season (at least internationally). They had mixed results on the Golden Waltz section of the dance, receiving a level 3 on the first portion, but only a level 1 on the second. The base value of a level 4 on the first portion is six points and eight points on the second. Instead of a maximum 6/8=14 base points, the level 3/1 is only worth 5/3.5=8.5 base points. Their lift was rated a level 4 with 2 base 0 GOEs, 4 +1s, and 3 +2s.
Unlike some of the JGP events this season, every team got at least a level 1 for both sections of the Golden Waltz. The Germans, Nelli Zhiganshina & Alexander Gazsi, received level 4 for both sections en route to taking the highest TES mark and finishing fourth overall. The next best level-earners were the Czechs, Lucie Mysliveckova & Matej Novak, with a 3/4, who were ranked sixth in the short dance.
The other big surprise of the day was odds-on favorites Nathalie Pechalat & Fabian Bourzat of France winding up in third place. Although they received level 4s (and positive GOE) on both their twizzles and the lift, they had mixed results with the Golden Waltz. The second portion, usually the more difficult half, was called level 4, but the first section only a level 1. They also had their midline footwork called a level 1. Aside from two base 0s, the French received all +1s and +2s on the other 43 marks. They captured the highest PCS of the day — more than a point over the leaders, Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte of Italy–but were behind them by more than four and a half points in TES.
Cappellini & Lanotte secured their victory with a level 3 on the first half of the Golden Waltz and a level two on the second half. They scored big on their step sequence, a level 3 midline (6.5 base points) with a full point of GOE. Their twizzles and rotational lift were both called level 4.
Sandwiched between the Italians and French were the Russians, Ekaterina Riazanova & Ilia Tkachenko. They also earned level 3 on the step sequence and tacked on +1.29 GOE. In fact, they received positive GOE for all of their elements, and received no negative marks from any of the judges.
Behind the fourth-place home team were Americans Lynn Kriengkrairut & Logan Giulietti-Schmitt in fifth place. with a score of 52.71 They were given a level four on three elements (lift, twizzles, and first half of the Golden Waltz), although their level 4 Golden pattern did earn a slight negative GOE of -.07.
Mysliveckova & Novak ranked sixth with 50.97 points, and just over a point behind them are Canadians Sarah Arnold & Justin Trojek. Arnold & Trojek also earned a level 4 on the first half of the Golden Waltz. A slight mistake on twizzles set them back to a level 3 twizzle sequence with -.07 GOE.
Tarrah Harvey & Keith Gagnon of Canada finished ninth, behind the Shibutanis, with 44.60 points. Their level 2 midline step sequence earned +1 GOE from 7 of the 9 judges, but their Golden Waltz patterns took a hit. They were called level 3 for the first portion and just a level 1 for the second, with negative GOE on both.
Isabella Tobias & Deividas Stagniunas, representing Lithuania, rounded out the top ten. Looking over all 16 sets of scores, one of the most glaring discrepancies comes in their Interpretation/Timing score. One judge gave them a 2.5 while three had them in the 6s, including a 6.75. Four of their five elements earned negative GOE; the only element in the positives was their level four rotational lift.
Siobhan Heekin-Canedy & Alexander Shakalov of Ukraine finished 11th with 42.19 points, just barely out of the top ten. A point and a half behind them was the British team, Louise Walden & Owen Edwards, in 12th, whose one point deduction was due to an extended lift. Barbora Silna & Juri Kurakin, a new team representing Austria, were 13th with 39.17 points, and Israel’s representatives Brooke Frieling & Lionel Rumi were 14th with a score of 37.47. Katelyn Good & Nikolaj Sorensen of Denmark were 15th and Aussies Danielle O’Brien & Gregory Merriman rounded out the field.
If ranked by TES highest to lowest, only three of the 16 teams had their TES equal their overall placement: Riazanova & Tkachenko (3rd in PCS), Heekin-Canedy & Shakalov, and Good & Sorensen. For PCS ranking, Heekin-Canedy & Shakalov and Good & Sorensen also had their rank match their placement, and they were joined by O’Brien & Merriman who were 16th (12th in TES).
The highest TES went to the Germans, possibly indicating that the compulsory dance still has some power. The team was only 7th in PCS, though, putting them in 4th overall. Even though the Shibutanis were 13th in TES, they were ranked 4th in PCS. Pechalat & Bourzat were 7th in TES but 1st in PCS. Cappellini & Lanotte, who stood at the top of the leader board after the short dance, placed 3rd in TES and 2nd in PCS. Where the Italians placed higher overall than either of their two ranks, Czechs Lucie Mysliveckova & Matej Novak ranked 5th in TES and PCS, but wound up 6th overall.
And that’s Fun with Short Dance Numbers!