by Anne Calder | Photo by Robin Ritoss

The third Grand Prix Series event was held in Grenoble, France, from November 1-3. Eight countries were represented. Advertised as the “Capital of the Alps” due to its size and proximity to the mountains, Grenoble hosted the Winter Olympics in 1968.

Gabriella Papadakis & Guillaume Cizeron of France continued their Grand Prix gold medal streak, while Americans Madison Chock & Evan Bates won silver, followed by Charlene Guignard & Marco Fabbri representing Italy taking home the bronze. Olivia Smart & Adrian Diaz of Spain and Russians Tiffani Zagorski & Jonathan Guerreiro finished fourth and fifth respectively.

Rhythm Dance
Papadakis & Cizeron danced Disco and the Blues to a Fame medley and earned 88.69 points, the highest rhythm dance score this season. Their levels were a scattering of 2, 3, and 4, but the GOEs were mostly +4 and +5. The opening Finnstep and Pattern Dance Type Step Sequence used music from the Fame TV soundtrack that was slowed down to get the correct beat.

Chock & Bates sizzled with “It’s Too Darn Hot” from Kiss Me Kate and scored a season’s best 80.69. They missed the four key points, but earned level 4 for the twizzles and straight-line lift. The Montreal-based team used Blues, Quickstep, and Swing.

Guignard & Fabbri performed to selections from Cirque du Soleil’s Paramour for their Blues and Quickstep rhythms. The program earned five of seven level 4’s. Their season best 79.65 score was only a point behind the Americans.

Olivia Smart & Adrian Diaz brought Sandy and Danny (Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta) and their Grease music to life. An audience-favorite, the program scored 76.09, barely missing their personal best score from Skate America.

Zagorski & Guerreiro had level 4 twizzles and the rotational lift; the rest of the elements were all level 3.  The Russians earned 75.05 for their rhythm dance to music from The Greatest Showman.

Free Dance
Papadakis & Cizeron’s 133.55 free dance score broke the season’s previous record by seven points. The innovative program to “Danny” and “Suspects” by Olafur Arnalds and “Find Me” by Forrest Black earned level 4 twizzles, lifts, and spin. The judges awarded them a perfect 4.15 for their Choreographic Character Step Sequence, another first for the 2019 Grand Prix Series. The total score was 222.24.

Chock & Bates, who missed the 2018 Grand Prix Series due to injury, danced an Egyptian Snake Dance. Chock’s recognizable arm movements throughout and Bates’ snake charmer role showcased the Egyptian folkloric theme throughout. The highlight was a spectacular Curved Lift Combination that scored 3.66 GOE from the judges. The free dance 124.15 and the total 204.84 were both were season bests.

Guignard & Fabbri scored level 4 in all their elements – a first for the team and a first for this season. The Italian’s dance to “Space Oddity” and “Life on Mars” narrowed the gap between them and the Americans. The final placement came down to the Choreographic Elements and the Program Component scores. The free dance scored 123.69; the total was 203.34. Both were personal bests.

Smart & Diaz scored 112.09 in the free dance and a total of 188.18. Zagorski & Guerreiro’s free dance earned 109.30 and a personal best total score of 184.44.

The fourth Grand Prix Series event, Cup of China, will be held in Chongqing, China, from November 8-10.