Kat: You're In The Loop - we're here to discuss the ups, downs and sideways of the sport of figure skating, and maybe give you +5 GOE along the way. Let’s introduce this week's hosts:
Evie: Hello friends, I’m Evie and I’m super sad that the JGP has wrapped up for another season and that we won’t hear Ted Barton’s delightful commentary for a while. You can find me on Twitter @doubleflutz.
Tilda: Hi, I’m Tilda, here for the third episode in a row, sorry if you're tired of me! I got hit by a bit of a cold this weekend but fingers crossed my voice will survive this recording. I'm @tequilda on Twitter.
Kat: Hey, it’s Kat again, also here for the third episode in a row and while I’m still recovering from the Grand Prix I’m also preparing myself for Russian and Japanese nationals in a few days so...no rest for the weary, I guess. You can find me on Twitter @kattwts.
Evie: So, going right into the figure skating news of the past week, we've got quite a few unfortunate injuries or withdrawals or sicknesses in general to report. The first of which being Elizaveta Tuktamysheva of Russia, she, unfortunately, has come down with pneumonia and so has had to withdraw from Russian Nationals, which happen this weekend. So we hope that she gets better soon, and it's sad that she has to miss out on Nationals after such a great Grand Prix that she's had. But hopefully, she'll rest up and get all better and, hopefully, get assigned to competitions in the second half of the season.
Tilda: And another withdrawal is Yuzuru Hanyu, who has withdrawn from Japanese Nationals. Maybe not very unexpected but this is the third year in a row that he will be missing Nationals. So, really really bad luck, I think.
Evie: One day he'll get there again.
Tilda: One day!
Kat: And then, finally, Mikhail Kolyada has come down with sinusitis and he has apparently been sick since the summer but has only gotten treatment now. But he will still compete at Russian Nationals.
Evie: I'm sad to find out that he's been having this issue since the summer and has been competing while sick for the past couple of months. So, hopefully, getting the treatment will help him and I really hope that he'll still be able to put out good performances at Nationals, despite just coming out of the hospital.
Kat: Yeah, it really sucks for him but you know...
Tilda: Especially since he's had a rough season.
Kat: He has been having a rough season so I really hope that this doesn't weigh him down too much. Best of luck.
Evie: We've had a lot of National Championships in the past week. We've had the French, Italian, Spanish, Four Nationals and Swiss National Championships all in the span of just a couple of days. It's been very packed. If you’re interested in seeing any of the results of these competitions, you can check out our weekly roundup where we recap those, as well as other stories you might have missed. Just go to inthelopodcast.com and you’ll find all our articles there.
-end segment- 3:19
START: JGPF Overview
Evie: Let's go on to talking about the Junior Grand Prix Final! We talked about the Seniors last week and we're here talking about the Juniors this week. It's the end of the road for the Juniors and the end of Ted's commentary for a while, which makes me sad.
Kat: I mean, I obviously didn't hear Ted's commentary because I was there but I will miss it a lot. I did miss his commentary during the event.
Evie: They should just broadcast it in the arena.
Tilda: And also his guest, Meagan Duhamel.
Evie: Yeah, during the Pairs commentary. I actually quite enjoyed her commentary in the Pairs. I found most of her comments really insightful, especially as someone who, compared to the other disciplines, I think Pairs is the one I follow the least and so my grasp of it isn't, I would say, as strong. So hearing that kind of technical analysis really helped me just as a fan.
Kat: Yeah, it's always good to have an actual skater with experience speak to the experience and offer personal insight. It helps a lot, obviously, if you've never done figure skating ever.
Tilda: Yes, so thank you for that commentary.
Kat: Did you guys have to deal with the really bad audio on the stream?
Evie: Yes we did.
Kat: It was extremely distracting when I was trying to replay the events. The audio kept going fuzzy, going in and out or the volume kept fluctuating. I can't imagine what it's like during the actual competition.
Tilda: I think it was most noticeable when me and Evie were watching the Rhythm Dance (Evie: Yeah) which was the first event. We were really unsure what was happening.
Evie: It was really low audio, and it was only coming out of one side of the speakers and it was very annoying. I believe that Ted wasn't in charge of the stream. During the Junior Grand Prix, he's the one that's kind of directing what happens on the stream. He's the one that's telling the camera operators which bits he wants to see in the replay, and then those get played later. But here he was just at the mercy of the ISU and the event organizers, so he didn't have much control over what happened to the stream and, unfortunately, there were some audio issues.
Tilda: I thought it was strange because there weren't any issues with Seniors so...
Evie: Yeah, it was really weird, maybe it was something to do with the way that they broadcasted it. Who knows?
Tilda: On YouTube.
Kat: Yeah, probably that.
Tilda: Because I did not have any issues with the Eurovision TV stream which was how I was watching Seniors.
Kat: I'm sure that the TV broadcasters probably have stricter guidelines and regulations, I guess. Or they're going to check it a lot more for TV.
Tilda: We're still very happy to have the Junior Grand Prix Final on YouTube.
Kat: Oh for sure. Everything's so organized and easy to find. You don't have to hope that the channel [wasn't] taken down and the video won't be there anymore.
Evie: And it's just great for the accessibility side of things, having everything right at your fingertips for free no matter where you are. It's so good to see that.
Kat: There's no scrambling to find a stream, right?
Tilda: No region blocking. I love that this is a competition where the Juniors and Seniors skate together in the gala. (Evie: Yeah, that's so cute) Which we're not at all used to seeing them skate at the same time in the gala, so I really just appreciate that. Seeing all of the new talents and then the older skaters.
Kat: Although, it's really funny that some of the Men did not have gala performances prepared.
Evie: Yeah, I think it was only Stephen Gogolev that had an exhibition program prepared, both Petr and Koshiro didn't have them. It's very cute but also very funny.
Kat: But yeah, all in all, it was a great event, I think.
Evie: Yeah, it was a really good Final.
Kat: Let's talk about Pairs! Winning gold here, we have Anastasia Mishina and Alexander Galliamov of Russia.
Evie: In silver, we have Polina Kostiukovich and Dmitrii Ialin, also of Russia.
Tilda: And in bronze, we have Apollinariia Panfilova and Dmitry Rylov, also from Russian.
Evie: Not surprising that there is an all Russian Pairs podium considering after the Short Program there were only Russians entered. Considering the US team had to, unfortunately, withdraw after the Short.
Tilda: That does speak to the depth of the field in Russia. It's very impressive.
Evie: And there was a very close finish between the top two teams. It was within a point, I believe. It's exciting as viewers to see that kind of thing, but also tense as hell to watch a competition this close.
Kat: Yeah, I feel like with the Pairs you really have to rely a lot on levels and technical scores because a lot of the Juniors, in general, get really similar PCS, but especially in Pairs. Because Mishina and Galliamov, they went in third - I actually thought they were going to be leading going into the Free but they were going in third because they had a sloppy landing on their side-by-side double Axels in the Short Program which put them back a couple of points. But then they landed their side-by-side triple Sal-Euler-triple Sal with positive GOE and I'm pretty sure that made the difference because Kostiukovich and Ialin kind of had a messier landing on that combo.
Evie: Yeah, I think, especially with Mishina/Galliamov and Kostiukovich/Ialin, they both have very similar technical abilities. Their layouts are pretty much identical, so it was really, at the end of the day, going to come down to whoever was the cleanest. And it's not exactly unexpected that Mishina/Galliamov won the event considering they came in as the top qualifiers, they had two wins on the Junior Grand Prix circuit. They also recently competed in a Senior Challenger event, the Alpen Trophy, where they did pretty well too. So it's not surprising but yeah, I was also kind of shocked that they came in third in the Short. But both Kostiukovich and Ialin, and Panfilova and Rylov, they just had overall really good execution there and that tiny [mistake] that Mishina/Galliamov had on their double Axels - that was really the clincher at that point. It's interesting to see how a tiny error like that can cause a two-point difference in the Short Program and to bounce back and skate a clean Free Skate after that is really impressive, I feel.
Tilda: I think they were all relatively clean, they all had good performances so I was really happy to see that they all got to have good skates at the Grand Prix Final because that's not always the case. We had the tragedy of the event for the US team, which really shook me up when I was watching it and the fall on the twist.
Evie: It was awful to watch.
Tilda: She seemed to be really shaken up after that throughout the program.
Kat: Luckily that happened really far away, like the opposite end of the rink from me, so I actually did not get a very good view [of the fall]. All I said was "Oh my gosh, I think she just fell on the dismount from the twist."
Evie: Yeah, it looked like that.
Kat: And so, I didn't really see exactly what happened and I couldn't rewatch it either because I did not want to watch that again.
Evie: It's so unusual, I feel, to see problems like that in competition. You don't see a lot of twists very often that just completely fail on the dismount so that was really disheartening to see considering that they were the only non-Russian team to qualify for the Final and I was really looking forward to seeing them. Because, especially, that Short Program (Tilda: It's so good) It's so good. I love the intense, tango-y feel of it - even though I'm kind of sick of tangos already because of Ice Dance. But I think it works for them as a team so I really hope that this fall at this competition doesn't bring their spirits down. They've got US Nationals in a couple of weeks and I hope that they'll be able to bounce back from this.
Tilda: I was impressed that they managed to finish the Short Program, especially since they had to withdraw from the Free. So the fact that they managed to fight on I thought was really inspiring.
Evie: So going back to the gold medalists, I found that even though their technical foundation was really solid, as a lot of the Russian Junior Pairs are, they've got very difficult lifts and the positions especially. I thought the one in the Short Program where she's being held up and the point of contact is just her one hand was very effective. But I found that, overall, their lifts didn't cover a lot of distance on the ice and they tended to slow down right towards the dismount. And overall, I think, out of the podium, they probably had the weakest overall skating skills out of the three. Their edges weren't as good, their speed and ice coverage wasn't as good - they were still really strong skaters but, overall, out of all of the three teams on this podium, I think that they had the weakest, even though they were still relatively strong.
Tilda: I agree with what you said, but at the same time I love their Free Skate and I felt that the style of the music really worked for them. It was fun and interesting. There were those moments with the lifts, for examples, where it was noticeable but I think overall they still managed to have coherent programs and execute them it well.
Kat: I definitely think that they weren't the strongest team but overall, combining the performance and the technical side, they kind of squeaked out ahead. Like I said, I think the side-by-side combo was what made the difference between them and the other teams. So it's more balanced, at least, and I really do like their Short Program. It kind of grew on me, it's pretty fun, even if it is a little bit on the nose with the "Party Like A Russian" but... (Tilda: I love it) And it's also really impressive that Anastasia managed to top the podium again two years [later] with a different partner this time, so props to her.
Evie: And, of course, I think Kostiukovich and Ialin, out of all the Russian Junior Pairs teams, they're probably my favorite. I think Polina - she's so small and she's so expressive, I love her to pieces. She's so cute. But I think the overall technical difficulty of their elements really stands out to me, especially at this competition in their Short Program with their lift. Both the entrance and the exit were so acrobatic and difficult, especially the exit when he twirls her around his body and puts her back down on the ice backwards. It's just really impressive how they can have that level of difficulty and still make the element look so easy. I think that's a really good quality to have, when you can make something that is difficult look just so effortless. It's really good to see them do so well here, even though they ended up losing by a little tiny bit. I think it was the clincher with the side-by-side jump and their combination spin got a V so they lost a couple of points on that which, unfortunately, led them to get the silver here. But I still think that they should be really happy with how they did here.
Evie: But I still that they should be really happy with how they did here.
Tilda: Yeah, I just feel like their programs don't feel quite complete yet. I think the elements feel a bit disconnected from each other, they don't have those seamless transitions. So, I thought that combined with their Free Skate feeling a bit Junior-ish. For me, I feel like since they have that technical difficulty, just trying to get the refinement to make the program come together. For me that would make them a really really strong team.
Kat: I feel like the Free Skate is bizarre, really bizarre, but the crowd really got into it. Because they sell it, they're like "I don't care, I'm going to do this". Because there's nothing more uncomfortable than when the skaters don't look like they're buying what they're selling. Because if you look uncomfortable doing weird choreo, then everyone is uncomfortable. But they sell it really well so the crowd really got into it.
Evie: Everyone loves jungle Russians.
Kat: Yes. It was definitely fun, even if it's not necessarily my cup of tea. But respect.
Evie: Should we go on to Panfilova and Rylov? Oh boy, I think they have such a grace to their skating and such a refinement that you rarely see in a Junior Pairs team. They're such a stunning team. I just wish their technical content was higher than it is, I need them to get triples!
Kat: Yes. For me they were the highlight. Their Free Skate was the highlight of the event for me. Their Free Skate was so gorgeous.
Tilda: It was so elegant.
Kat: It just shows off her gorgeous lines and extension. They've got great elements as well, even if they don't have the triples. The steps into her triple twist, and it's a massive triple twist, she just floats forever and they get so much speed and ice coverage on their lifts, which is really crazy. I really love that one reverse lasso lift, and then right after he carries her and she's suspended on his neck before dismounting, with her legs wrapped around his neck. It's so beautiful and it looks so effortless.
Tilda: And I thought just their throw jumps, so gorgeous, like her extension is so good on those landings. It was really the side by side jumps that kind of got them down, with not having their triples.
Kat: They were only back a few points. They were second after the Short Program, by .4 or something like that, something crazy. And then they only were down a couple of points that they could've easily made up if they'd had triples. I really hope that they up their technical content because they have so much potential.
Evie: They really do. Just looking at the field here, I'm getting so worried for Russian Nationals considering there's only three spots on the Junior Worlds team. And there's potentially five Junior Pairs that could contest for those spots, so it's going to be a really interesting race to follow in the next couple of days. To see which out of these Russian teams are going to get those places.
-end segment- 7:30
Kat: So, moving on to the men. In first, we have Stephen Gogolev from Canada-
Evie: In second, we have Petr Gumennik of Russia-
Tilda: And in third, we have Koshiro Shimada from Japan.
Evie: So it's Gogolev, the alternate turned gold medalist! Definitely an impressive feat considering first JGP season, first time making the Final...
Kat: As an alternate!
Evie: As an alternate, and first gold at the Final!
Kat: On home ice too.
Evie: Yeah. I was really worried going into this, after Andrew Torgashev withdrew and Gogolev got called up. I was worried because he didn't have the greatest performance at Canada, at the JGP in Richmond just a couple of months ago. He really struggled there. And so I was worried going into this that a similar thing might happen, because he was back on home ice. But luckily that didn't happen and he put out two pretty strong skates here.
Tilda: Yeah, I thought he was very impressive. It is quite noticeable that he's the youngest one-
Kat: He looks like a baby.
Tilda: And his skating is quite young in appearance.
Kat: I really need him to take more stroking classes with Tracy. He definitely has the weakest skating skills in this field, but he's pretty young.
Tilda: And I feel like he rushes through his elements a lot, and I think that's an age thing as well. Not quite taking the time.
Evie: Well these are performance skills and overall refinement - they are something that gradually increase as time goes on. I think a lot of fans have a perception of Stephen, that he's going to immediately do well. Which is true, in a sense, he's done very well in his first Junior season. But I think having that kind of reputation of being trained at TCC, recently he did go through sort of- not really, I wouldn't say a coaching change because he's still at TCC. Brian is no longer his main coach, he's now trained mainly by Lee Barkell at Cricket. But I think a lot of people have the expectation going in, knowing his background, for him to be a certain level. And yeah, he's 13, he's not going to be a perfect skater. There are certainly a lot of things in his skating that I personally either don't especially like, or I see that he needs overall polish. But he's got a really solid technical foundation I would say.
Kat: Right now his quads are basically what's propping up his score. They're not great quads, by any means-
Evie: I think his quad Salchow is really nice, I do think that when he lands it well, it looks really great. His quad Lutz, I've spoken about it before on the pod, but I'm not a fan of it. I think his technique really needs some work.
Kat: It looks muscled.
Evie: It looks muscled, it's overly pre-rotated, and I really think that as a younger skater, I think he should be focusing more on becoming a bit more well-rounded. Rather than jumping straight to going for these crazy quads. Because in the Junior Men's field at the moment, you don't really need those kinds of big quads to shine, at the moment, in the field at how it is. I think if you maybe focused on just a quad Salchow, a quad toe loop, a bit more of an easier quad. And then focused on improving your skating all around, you would probably become a better skater all the while getting better results.
Tilda: Yeah, I don't think there's a point in being impatient and trying to add more quads already, because I feel like it is obvious that there are other things that at his point of development, that he should be focusing on. And I'm worried if trying to get the quads consistent enough for competition if that is hindering his development in areas where it would be more prudent to focus on at his age. Considering there's no guarantee when you go through growth spurts that your technique is going to hold up anyway.
Kat: That's my main worry. He's what, 13, and he's definitely not done growing yet. He's so tiny right now, that by the time he turns 16 he'll probably be like twice his height. And there's no telling whether or not the technique will survive for that long.
Tilda: Especially since his jump technique is not completely flawless.
Evie: I think in the environment that he's in, the longevity issue isn't really much of an issue. I feel like the coaches at TCC will do their best to make sure that when his body does go through changes that he'll be able to adapt his overall technique and be able to grow as a skater.
Tilda: At the same time, you've seen skaters like Nam Nguyen who has had those growth-related issues as well.
Kat: And then, you know, Nam was a Junior World Champion and he's been struggling on some of his jumps in recent seasons. Not saying that, of course, that's going to happen to Stephen.
Tilda: We don't know!
Kat: There's definitely a couple of years for him, he's got a lot of time. And this is only his first Junior Season, so.
Tilda: We don't really know what's happening in his training environment either.
Evie: There's definitely going to be a lot of eyes on him going into Canadian Nationals and then to Junior Worlds, about what he'll be able to achieve.
Kat: Right, yeah. At the same time, he doesn't even seem to know what's going to happen. Because in all of his interviews, he's like "I don't know!". He's very shy.
Evie: Okay, should we move on to our silver medalist here, Petr? I found that overall, he did come into this event with a bump up in his technical ability. He didn't have a quad in the rest of the Junior Grand Prix, he did instead try to go for more difficult combinations. I remember his two assignments, in the Free Skate he did triple Axel-triple loop combos. Which is really impressive.
Tilda: He was very impressive, yeah.
Evie: But here he had a quad! I didn't realize going in that he got a quad, so when he did it in the free I was like "what! He has a quad now?"
Tilda: Same! I was so surprised, and his quad Salchow actually looked good. It looked easy! So is this the first time he's attempted it in competition?
Evie: I believe so.
Tilda: Yeah, since he didn't do it in the Grand Prix events. I thought that did not look like a first attempt at a quad in competition. It looked like it was something he had done many times before. So really impressive.
Kat: Yeah, no, I am not very familiar with Petr, but I was just really drawn in the Free Skate particularly with the use of his arms. They have a lot of purposeful tension to them, they're not floppy. And he, especially in his fingers and his hands as well. So I thought that he looked a lot more refined, especially because he also looked so young. And I'm just not used to seeing young male skaters skate with that kind of-
Kat: Maturity. Yeah, exactly! He looked a lot more polished than a lot of the other younger Junior skaters that I've seen. He really did bring the drama with the Romeo and Juliet - although I swear to God I can't listen to Romeo and Juliet, any Romeo and Juliet after this Grand Prix. I'm done with it.
Evie: Too many Romeo and Juliets. I feel like his expression could still use a bit of growth. He is still young and that is going to come in time, but I feel like his facial expressions overall were very onenote, he had the one expression throughout this program-
Kat: Yeah, he needs to show something on the face. That's something.
Evie: Exactly! And that's something that he's going to become more aware of as he continues to compete, so I'm not completely fussed about that. It's common in Junior Men's to have this kind of thing, so overall I'm just really impressed with him.
Tilda: Yeah, I think my comment about Stephen, you know, noticeable that he's very young, applies to Petr as well. It is noticeable that he is very young, but I am seeing a lot of things in his skating that make me very very excited to see him in the rest of the season and next season as well, because he already has - like you were talking about, his movements and his jumps as well. So I'm really excited.
Kat: So, Koshiro Shimada. What did we think?
Evie: Yay! Oh my god, I was so happy to see him on the podium here.
Kat: And Stéphane's interactions with him in the Kiss & Cry were so adorable.
Evie: So cute! I'm so happy for Koshiro, just the amount of growth that he's gone through in this entire season has really warmed my heart. The last couple of seasons he was kind of struggling to get to the top of the Junior Men's field in general, and the Japanese Junior Men's. And obviously he's gone through a giant growth spurt recently, he's much taller than he was in previous seasons, he's 90% legs now. But I'm just so glad to see him grow and be able to medal at the Final here. His skating does need a little bit of polishing here and there, I think because he's just so tall now and lanky, I feel like in his landings especially, he just doesn't extend his free leg. And it can look a little bit unflattering to his figure overall.
Tilda: That's the one thing I was thinking about when I was watching him, I was like "extensions! Please!". He lands them really well, he has good landings, and then I'm just like... just, just, just extend!
Evie: Bring the free leg up and bring it out, yeah!
Tilda: Yeah, I mean, not so hard to do, right?
Evie: I'm sure that he'll, as he continues in skating, I'm sure considering he's coached by Stéphane, I'm sure that he'll instill that kind of extension, and awareness of your legs kind of thing too. His landings...
Tilda: I am noticing, those little flairs, that you can tell are very Lambiel Trademark. But he's still not very expressive to me, and not very engaging, but I feel like he has been having improvements in that department. That you can see noticeable improvements. So I think if he keeps working the way he has been doing so far, I think that's going to be really interesting to see how he far he can come in another year.
Evie: And of course we've got, this weekend we have Japanese Nationals where he will be appearing. He came in third at the Junior Nationals last month. And Japan has two spots for Junior Worlds this season, and one of those spots is already going to be claimed by Tatsuya Tsuboi who came in first at Junior Jnats, automatically gets one of those spots. So it will be interesting to see how Koshiro does at Nationals this weekend. And obviously a bronze medal at the Final is really going to help his chances getting that spot. So I hope he does well there, and hopefully we'll see him at Junior Worlds in March next year.
Tilda: Fingers crossed!
Kat: Yep, fingers crossed. He has a lot of potential. Yeah, and then, of course, I feel like we have to talk about Camden.
Evie: Oh, Camden.
Kat: Yeah I could not rewatch Camden's free program because it's just too sad. I was so upset.
Evie: Yeah especially after the really great Short Program that he had
Kat: Oh I love that Short Program too.
Evie: I find that both of his programs are really strong choices for him and I think that just overall Camden is such a captivating skater, the way that he moves and just feels his music. All that work with Tom Dickson really pays off.
Evie: I just love his skating so much
Kat: I definitely think he was the class of the field when it comes to skating skills and interpretation and he is among the older Junior skaters, he's nineteen now. So this is the last year he's Junior eligible so I was hoping that he'll have a smooth transition into Seniors next year because I was so sad for him, he looked so sad after..cause he was like the last one, he was just kind of moping in the kiss and cry and it was so tragic.
Evie: It was so hard to watch his Free Skate.
Tilda: And then also I'm thinking Tomoki, who is my favorite man as I've said before, my favorite Junior man. I'm really impressed by him overall. His movement, choreography, that iconic cantilever into split jump into triple Salchow.
Evie: Ah it's so good!
Kat: It was so good!
Evie: I wish split jumps could be worth points because his would get +5s across the board.
Tilda: He is so flexible! And you see it in his spins as well. I just really find the way he moves so compelling, he has his own style I think. His own unique style so I'm just really sad that he kind of fell apart with his jumps.
Kat: That was really unfortunate especially with the Short Program. He was so far back in the Short Program. So yeah that was really sad. Although funny story, I remember seeing Tomoki during his first Junior Grand Prix and he was wearing a different costume I think for the Free Skate. And then I saw his Free Skate costume there and I was like " Oh my goodness it looks so similar to Yuzuru Hanyu's Origin costume from one side, with the gold detail that kind of spreads down into his legs.
Tilda: Yeah it's true.
Kat: I was like "Oh my goodness". It caught me off guard for a moment, but great costume still.
Evie: And also I wanted to give a shout out to Adam Siao Him Fa. His Short Program overall the jumps really weren't there for him, but I just loved the step sequence in his Short Program so much. After the issues that he had with his jumps to kind of just throw everything into that step sequence at the end was just so effective. I really encourage anyone who hasn't seen the program to just go watch it because I found it really really good. And also i just wanted to say I that I love the fact that his coach Brian Joubert was there because just thinking about the fact that both Brian and Stephane [Lambiel] are coaches at this event, it's so cute!
Evie: You know from competitors to coaches, I love that sort of thing.
-end segment- 33:35
START: Ice Dance
Tilda: So let's move onto to Ice Dance. We have, in first place, Sofia Shevchenko and Igor Eremenko from Russia
Kat: In silver, we have Arina Ushakova and Maxim Nekrasov from Russia.
Evie: And in bronze, we have Elizaveta Khudaiberdieva and Nikita Nazarov also of Russia.
Kat: A whole Russian fleet!
Evie: Another Russian Podium!
Evie: So we had just like in pairs we had another very close finish between first and second here in dance, with only a 0.01 point difference between first and second place which is just insane!
Evie: I don't think I've ever seen a first and second place finish that close in quite a while. And we also had third and fourth which were just down to 0.03 between them. That's really crazy!
Kat: Oh man that was definitely a really really close finish. You could definitely see the reactions from the kiss and cry. Like when Arina and Maxim got their scores and it was just 0.01 below Igor and the audience was very audibly gasping, like "Oh! Oh my goodness".
Evie: You could hear it so clearly from the stream. Everyone just going " Oh my god!"
Evie: It was insane!
Tilda: They were first in the Free Dance, right?
Evie: Arina and Maxim were first in the Free Dance, yeah.
Tilda: When I saw that they were first in the Free Dance I thought that they had won.
Tilda: Because it was so close from the Rhythm Dance, I was like "They've won!" and then they said in second place I was like "Oh that wasn't enough? Oh my god".
Kat: Their reactions, Sofia and Igor's reactions were really really cute though.
Evie: They were so cute! Especially in a field like this, There were reasonably good odds that any one of the six teams could foreseeably make the podium. it was pretty much always going to come down to who was going to hit their levels the best overall. Shevchenko and Eremenko in their last two assignments while they skated pretty cleanly overall they weren't hitting all of their levels and they actually didn't hit over a 100 in the Free Dance until final. This is the first time they've scored over a 100. I think their previous personal best before that was around the 95 mark from Ljubljana. Where they did have some level issues and an extended lift I'm pretty sure. But here they managed to bring their best to the final. Which is really good to see, you like to see teams peak where it counts. I feel like overall they have a really intense energy that really makes you captivated by their performances. I think their skating skills and overall technical ability are really strong for a Junior Ice Dance team, as a lot of the other Junior Russian dance teams are too. They're coached by the same coaching team as Stepanova and Bukin so...
Kat: Yeah! I was kind of rooting for them a little bit just because I knew they were coached by Irina Zhuk and Alexander Svinin. But I really really liked their Rhythm Dance. I think it was probably my favorite Rhythm Dance. And I thought that the exit from the twizzles, where she exits into an upright spin was so cool!
Evie: That's so cool!
Kat: I remember being really really impressed, and just I love the arm variations in the first set as well. I just think that Zhuk and Svinin teams just have cool twizzle variations I guess. And they performed really really well and it got them really good GOE.
Tilda: Yeah I also loved their Free Dance a lot. So I was really impressed because they feel really versatile. You know when the choreographic step sequence hits and it sort changed the mood and I just...to me it was even though, I have of course seen this before, it still felt like such a fun surprise.
Evie: It really goes off, yeah.
Tilda: Yeah and they really manage to match the mood.
Evie: I'm sure Kat can tell us this but that kind of drum beat, did it play well in the arena?
Kat: Yeah it did! It definitely did! I feel like the audience was really into them.
Tilda: And the straight line lift at the end of the Free Dance, I just feel like they match each other's energies very well. Like they're a good match as a team and that they get really into what they're skating to.
Kat: Yeah, yeah I really enjoyed them. I think they were probably my favorite, one of my favorite dance teams at this event at least` so.
Evie: And then we have Arina and Maxim in second. They were coming in as the top qualifiers here. They won both their event in Kaunas and in Yerevan. So they were also the highest scoring team in the Junior Grand Prix series overall coming into the final. So there was kind of a bit of an expectation going in for them to do well. I think overall they're really a strong team. Their performance aspect and their overall expressions, especially I find in the Free Dance even though the music is kind of a little bit campy I feel, their expression is just so fun! Both of them are really good at expressing, at using their faces to really show what the music is expressing. Which I find really great in a Junior team. I will say that overall there are little bits of their skating that kind of annoy me. I find that especially Arina, her posture sometimes, especially in the Free Dance she can kind of hunch her back at points and I don't enjoy that. I find that you know it's very important in dance teams to really have that good posture. To have strong backs to carry their movements across the ice and seeing the hunched forward shoulders kind of turns me off the skaters. I'm sorry Arina and Maxim! You have really great overall elements! You're a young team, I hope you spend some more hours in the ballet bar and just practice that posture, please!.
Tilda: Yeah I just felt like their Free Dance did not quite work for me. Because I think that when it is a bit over the top, it can come across as a bit silly and I think it's a line that they're walking. And to me, their arms distracted me a lot because they were moving all over the place sort of and there was a lot happening with the choreo so, to me, I think it can sort of become a bit too much.
Kat: Yeah I mean like for me, that Free Dance isn't necessarily my cup of tea, but I watched their previous performances and I do think this is probably their best performance of it, just performance wise. So I was pretty pleased with what I saw. But you know it didn't work out in this instance even though they won the Free Dance. But I mean I really liked them overall though.
Evie: I want to bring up the fact that the Rhythm Dance overall none of the teams skated a clean pattern here. Which was kind of weird to see. Especially since most of these teams have either skated clean patterns in other Junior Grand Prix qualifiers before or have skated very close to clean patterns. I think nearly everyone hit the first section of the Argentine Tango.
Kat: Yeah, they seemed a lot harsher with the second.
Evie: That second half of the pattern does have a lot of rather quick changes of edge. Especially for the lady's parts, wherein the first couple sections, she has to do a twizzle and then step onto another edge and then turn. It's just a very quick succession of moves and you have to be very sure with your edges and how you place your feet. And you know this is a very high-level event with a lot of pressure so that could obviously be a contributor to just the overall nerves. You know sometimes you don't have that kind of sureness of edge that you might have in a lower level competition, with sort of less expectation and pressure. but overall it was kind of startling to see no one skate clean patterns or people messing up that second half. I think that was kind of exemplified with how the Canadian team, Lajoie and Lagha, did. They placed fourth in the Rhythm Dance because they got a basic level on section two of the Argentine Tango. But they also had a level two in their midline step sequence. They actually would have medaled overall if they didn't have an extended lift in the free. Because again they were only 0.03 behind Khudaiberdieva and Nazarov. So I think overall they are a team that definitely has a lot of potential. They have fantastic expression for their age and for the fact that they are a Junior team. But their skating skills overall just aren't as strong as some of the other teams here and that really kind of affected their scores overall, even if they had the PCS to back it up. They had the highest PCS in the Rhythm Dance and they had pretty high PCS in the Free Dance as well. But their levels overall in their step sequences and the grade of execution they get from that just isn't as high as some of these other teams, and that's really going to affect them going forward. So I really hope that they spend the time to drill their basics, get their skating skills to a higher overall level. Because even if the trend of some kind of ice dancing, especially in Seniors as we saw in the Senior Grand Prix Final, that levels at the end of the day don't matter as much they used to-
Kat: They definitely matter in Juniors!
Evie: They definitely matter in Juniors and it's really good to get that kind of solid technical foundation early so that you can continue to develop your other areas of your skating.
Kat: I don't know if I would have had Lajoie and Lagha winning the PCS in the Rhythm Dance, personally. I probably would have given it to Sofia and Igor, but that's just my personal opinion.
Tilda: I liked their Free Dance better I think.
Evie: I agree, yeah.
Tilda: I think their Free Dance felt very well put together, like the composition of it. Although not as original perhaps as say, Sophia and Igor.
Evie: I really like the lifts in their Free Dance. Especially the stationary lift at the start where he's holding her one arm by the leg and the other one over the skate. You don't see a lot of lifts that use that sort of position, so I thought that was quite inventive and I like to see interesting and difficult lift positions like that, especially in Juniors.
Tilda: Their rotational lifts in the Free Dance as well impressed me.
Evie: Yeah they get so much speed on that, even if the position of it is kind of basic. They get the amount of rotations.
Tilda: The speed is...
Evie: The speed and the amount of rotations they get is really impressive.
Evie: Shall we talk about all our favorites', Avonley and Vadym ?
Evie: Oh god, they were just..it was kind of disappointing to see how they did here. But in their defense, they did have issues beforehand. They only arrived in Vancouver I believe the day before the Rhythm Dance because Vadym had visa troubles. They couldn't get into Canada. So you know, lack of practice time.
Evie: Yes, that kind of thing is going to affect your performances, and unfortunately, they didn't have very strong skates here compared to their qualifying event places. But, I just love this team so much.
Kat: Their expression is just so gorgeous. I love their Free Dance particularly, especially the latter half with the Einaudi part. It's just so beautiful, and they have so much speed.
Evie: She's so delicate.
Kat: She's such a star, honestly. Her expression just lights up the rink.
Evie: Honestly, I think out of all the six teams here, even with the mistakes that they had in both programs, I would probably still rate them the best in skating skills. They have such amazing speed and ice coverage, and the edge quality in the steps and turns are so strong throughout the entire program. Even if they're not occasionally getting their levels because of the added stress of not getting visas and not having practice time — they're just such fluid skaters, and they've only been skating together as a couple for two years. That's just so impressive to see that level of connection with Junior Ice Dancers that have only been together for a short amount of time.
Tilda: I feel like they have so much potential. Maybe the most potential of everyone else here.
Kat: They're so young too. I definitely see something in them, and I just read an interview yesterday with their coach Igor Shpilband. He was basically comparing them to Tessa and Scott in the potential that they have.
Kat: Yeah, I know — bold. Well, we don't know what's going to happen in the future, but I see something very special.
Evie: They're definitely a diamond in the rough.
Kat: There's definitely a long road ahead and a lot of work to be done with them before we get there, but again, they've only been together for two years.
Evie: They're such gorgeous skaters and just really cute kids. In the kiss and cry for the Free Dance, the camera cut to them as they were waving and Vadym spilled water on his own leg accidentally because he was shaking his hand with the water bottle. That was such an adorable moment. Just after the free — after they finished skating — Avonley had the issue with the twizzle where she completely lost her center of balance and couldn't get enough rotations in, they hugged and it was a sad moment, but I felt really soft. You can just see how close they are to each other, and I love them so much. I need them to rise as a team, and I need them to do well at nationals next month. I need them to do well at Junior Worlds.
Tilda: I really can't stop thinking about their rotational lift in the Free Dance. It's so beautiful. I'm sad they couldn't get the performances they were looking for because there were those little moments where you would notice them slip up and not finishing their movements properly. Just when you think about how they did at the Junior Grand Prix earlier, you really see that they know how to do these things. I just think that this performance was due to them not getting enough time to prepare, basically.
Evie: Hopefully, they have smoother experiences with competitions in the second half of the season.
Kat: Did you see that tuft of hair during the Rhythm Dance that didn't get pinned down or sprayed down. It was really distracting, and I think I pointed it out to Gabb and I was like, 'Oh no, someone help her find a bobby pin.' That is the most distracting thing, and that has happened to me during piano competitions and recitals when a piece of hair comes loose and that's all you think about the entire time. So I don't know if Avonley was distracted or something but, I was like, someone should fix that.
Tilda: I did not notice, honestly.
Kat: It looked very apparent from my angle.
Evie: I really hope that they have a really good U.S. Nationals next month and a smoother competition than they did here. I hope they don't let their fifth place finish here get them down. Because getting to the final in itself is a really huge achievement.
Kat: This is their first time winning medals on the Junior Grand Prix, so I'm really happy for them. They definitely have an upward trajectory.
-end segment- 49:43
Evie: So, let's talk about ladies. In gold, we have Alena Kostornaia of Russia.
Kat: For silver, we have Alexandra Trusova also of Russia.
Tilda: In bronze, we have Alena Kanysheva also of Russia.
Kat: Another Russian sweep. There were ten possible Russian podium contenders and they got them all.
Evie: Good ol' Russia. But oh my gosh guys, Alena Kostornaia won her first major Junior competition in her career, and I am so overjoyed for her.
Kat: Gosh, I was so over the moon happy for her. I think this is another instance we can use — just like when we talked about Jason Brown at IDF winning the short — of maybe the system working out in favor of the skaters that skate clean and bring the skating skills and interpretation and the PCS marks.
Evie: I completely agree. I think myself and a lot of other people — especially after we saw Trusova skate her free — we weren't sure if Alena was going to stay in the front because you think of the last season where we've seen Trusova beat her every major competition. I think I kind of had that expectation because Trusova landed quads in her Free Skate that she would come in first overall. And that didn't happen, and I was just so glad for Alena because she really put out two amazing performances here. At the last Junior Grand Prix she was at, she had issues with her jumps and to put out performances like she did here at the final, it's just so nice to see. I'm such a big fan of hers.
Kat: Considering her Free Skate music cuts are pretty terrible, I was still crying at the end of it. What she has is so magical. That arm tension thing that I was talking about with Peter, Alena has it in spades. Her level of body awareness is so incredible. She knows exactly where to put everything for her to look elegant. She looks so polished, and she finishes her movements and holds her positions.
Tilda: That's one thing you noticed, especially with the Ina Baeur into the double Axel just how lovely that entire transition and the jump looks.
Kat: I think everyone just needs to look at her arms and hands. From the tips of her fingers and onwards, there's just nothing that is noodle-y or thrown without purpose. Everything has a purpose. There's a finish to her movements.
Evie: Everything that she does is just so impactful. Even if the programs itself aren't the most groundbreaking, she can carry everything off so well. Her overall level of polish and her skating skills, interpretation, her spins. It all makes a complete package, even with the Free Skate and the music cuts even though they're kind of tragic. And the Short Program with the weird arm movements halfway through that I have an issue with because I think it's such a weird thing that throws you out of the program, the way she gets you engaged with her programs — just everything else doesn't matter. The flaws in her skating almost don't matter because she's such a star.
Tilda: Normally, I think of her jump technique not being quite stellar, but I wasn't even noticing that when I was watching her this time. I was thinking before she skated and the minute she started moving, it was gone from my head.
Kat: Even if her technique, especially for the takeoffs, aren't perfect, her check position is so gorgeous. The extensions she gets, and she has gorgeous Rippon’s too.
Evie: Yeah, she does.
Kat: I was just so happy, although I really cannot ever listen to “Romeo and Juliet” ever again. That was Romeo and Juliet for dummies. It had three different “Romeo and Juliet” tracks.
Evie: And voiceovers, don't forget the voiceovers.
Kat: And the voiceovers!
Evie: It's a bit of a mess, the program, but she just pulls it off so well.
Kat: She does. I just absolutely adore her, and I love the Short Program very much though.
Evie: Of course, we have to talk about Trusova. This is the first time in quite a while where she has gotten silver, but she still put out two pretty decent performances. Overall, I'm not a fan of either of her programs. I think they're a bit weird, for lack of a better term, but I think her Short Program's a little more tolerable now that she has changed her costume from the weird skirt jumpsuit thing she had in the previous competitions. I feel like the dress that she has now is a little bit nicer.
Tilda: I still don't understand the jumpsuit in the free.
Kat: I think it looks interesting. I was just more like she has a lot of guts for being a bit different, and the beginning of her Free Skate where she stares down the judges.
Evie: She punched the judges.
Tilda: I'm kind of questioning the punch the judges choreo. Sure, it is interesting but I'm wondering, is it a little too...
Kat: In your face, for a lack of a better term?
Evie: I kind of like it. In her Free Skate, she did attempt three quads which is crazy.
Kat: I'm just saying if you're going to go for the really big quads and the impactful jumps, you might as well have a really out there program because grace and elegance with quads like that, in particular, might not go together as well. Last year, her free program was Vivaldi, right? The really high-intensity type of music and the quads blended in with the program a bit better. Her quads scare the hell out of me, but I have to say her triples are really huge. All of her jumps are really huge. She's really impressive in person. I don't know if that technique will last her through to Seniors. Overall, she is such a fast rotator and she jumps so high. It's helping her a lot right now.
Tilda: I really think her quad Lutz is...
Kat: Terrifying? Aren't they all terrifying? I can't believe I had to watch ladies do quad Lutzes here. I never thought I would be able to say that. Ladies. Plural.
Evie: I do think that her quad Lutzes were quite scary, but her quad toe was huge. I was completely shocked by the height she got on that quad toe. I made the joke that it looked like a popped quint. The height she got on that was insane. Even though she did flip out of the landing on the first quad Lutz, which affected the GOE, and that she fell on the second one so it wasn't in combination, she got that repetition deduction. Those jumps weren't the best, but she did manage to keep the intensity up after that. She managed to land the rest of her jumps, and that's admirable.
Tilda: And her triples are huge. I think we can say that once more to emphasize how huge they are.
Evie: I think Trusova overall, her skating skills aren't her strong point. I think especially in comparison to the other two Eteri girls here, Alena and Anna, she's definitely the weakest of the three. But her jumps are so strong, and overall, I think she has a lot of raw talent and if she focused on refining the rest of her skating, I think she could grow into a good overall skater.
Tilda: I think the most distracting aspect is her spins.
Evie: Yeah, I agree with that.
Tilda: That's her main weakness. I would like them to be faster.
Evie: Faster, and maybe the positions. Her Biellmann is nice, but in comparison to some of the other ladies, she doesn't quite get the extension on it that others do. I think that could be an area she could work on.
Kat: I agree. I want to talk about our other Eteri girl, Anna Scherbakova. Those were two really tough performances to watch. It's the most heartbreaking for me. This is her first year on the Junior Grand Prix but she looked so devastated after both her programs. The entire week I thought she looked like she was about to cry, even during practices, she just looked panicked when she was trying to hammer out the quad Lutzes. She was falling so hard on them and would skate back to Sergei and Eteri. She would have this really panicked expression while listening to them talk, and she would go back and try to hammer out another one. It was just really hard to watch.
Evie: Yeah, it was really sad to see all of her jumps struggle, not just the quads, because really, Anna is such a beautiful performer-
Kat: And her skating skills are really good.
Evie: They really are. I really love her skating skills. I love the positions she hits, I wish she would hold the positions, but you know, that's a general critique of a lot of the ladies in general, but I think overall she has such talent and I really want to see her develop and shine as a skater and to see her - even with the issues that she had, you know she wasn't getting the jumps at all in the Short Program, but she still managed to not let it show on her face at all.
Kat: Right, yeah, until the program finished.
Evie: Until the very end, she kept her head up high. She kept smiling, she looked like she was engaging with the program, the music, and then as soon as the music stopped she let the emotions come back to her, but I just find that really admirable that she's able to keep on that performance aspect even when the jumps aren't working out the way that they're supposed to. And of course the quad Lutzes in the free - they were terrifying to watch. She didn't - both of them, when she fell, she did not fall well, you know what I mean.
Kat: And then the ones during practice that I just mentioned too, like...
Evie: Yeah, they were high impact falls, I think in the first one her legs just got completely tangled because she hadn't unwrapped them in time, so when she fell, and she fell hard, it was just so overall hard to watch. I just really wish she would just take the quads out of her programs because we've seen her Free Skate without them, we saw it at Bratislava where she skated it clean and even though the program is a bit heavy and I don't think that her style really fits heavier programs, I think she is suited more to the light and flowy style that her Short Program kind of exemplifies.
Kat: I love the Short Program.
Evie: It works so well. But overall, I really don't want to see her doing quad Lutzes, especially after we know that she broke her leg last year doing them. I just, ugh.
Kat: Yeah, I worry about her. Yeah, like I said, because she looked so panicked the entire time I just feel like she wasn't all there for this competition, so you know I hope that this doesn't really affect her going into the second half of the season. But, like I said, she has so much potential, I don't think she needs quads, at least at this moment in time, so I just hope that she works - continues to refine her programs, because I think that they, especially her Short Program, I think work really well for her.
Tilda: And we haven't talked about the bronze medalist yet, that's my favorite.
Kat: The other Alena. Alena K.
Tilda: Alena K. I love her so much. She's, I think, my favorite of the ones here, her jumps, her Lutz, she has really good jump technique, and I really love watching her Free Skate. So beautiful, so lovely.
Evie: She looks like a snow princess. She's so tiny.
Kat: She had the little tiara, too, it was very adorable. And the flower crown that I gave her just happened to have - the ribbon on it matched her dress perfectly. So that was good planning - I don't even think that was intentional, but. What I noticed about her is that she kind of has this unrefined elegance to her - like she has the very graceful arm movements and just body expression in general, but doesn't always finish her positions or finish her movements and hold her positions, I mean, so I feel like if she just worked on that a little bit, it would bring a lot more quality to her performance. But I see it all there. It's there, it just needs to be a bit more refined.
Evie: Definitely. She's got an amazing technical foundation, it's something that's really going to do her well. She's only just starting her Junior career, this is her first Junior season, she's only thirteen, but I think her technique is just overall so solid that I really - I'm looking forward to seeing what she can bring in the future of her skating in general. It's just, especially since we've had, of the six ladies at the final, five of them Russian, and there are only three Junior worlds spots for Russian ladies, and we've got Russian nats this week, and not all of them - I believe Kanysheva isn't competing at Senior nationals but she will be at the Junior nationals - all of the others will be at the Senior Russian nationals, so I guess it's definitely going to be a fight to see who's going to get those Junior worlds spots. It's gonna be intense, and probably very good viewing, overall, I think Russian nationals is definitely gonna be a very stress-filled competition.
Kat: Oh, for sure, especially the ladies.
Evie: I think Kanysheva just has such charm and she's so solid at this young age, I'm excited for her, that's the main thing. I'm excited to see what she'll bring.
Tilda: For sure. And we wanted to talk about Yelim Kim as well, the only non-Russian.
Kat: She is so lovely. Like, she's got this lightness and airiness to her skating, but it's just so refreshing. I was really, really impressed with just the quality of her skating. Obviously, she's a little bit unpolished, but she's got a little time. And I love this trend of the rise of Korean ladies, honestly.
Evie: She's such a beautiful skater. I love her extension on all of her landings, and she's got quite long legs but she uses them very effectively, and all of the positions she hit are very aesthetically pleasing to the eye. It was really sad to see her fall in the Free Skate - it was a bad fall too, she went careening into the boards and it took her a couple of seconds to get up and was kind of behind on her music afterward, but after she did get up she did have a pretty solid recovery, it was just - sad to see her have an error like that in a competition where every single element counts.
Kat: Yeah, and she also had an underrotation in the combo in her short, unfortunately. I think she's just really lovely.
Tilda: Bright future ahead of her.
Kat: Especially impressive, considering the depth, we've talked about the depth, of the Russian and Japanese ladies, and a Korean lady ended up making the Grand Prix Final, so.
Tilda: Yeah, and didn't she have a coaching change as well?
Evie: Yeah, she's with Tom Z now.
Kat: Yeah, Tom [Zakrajsek] and Tammy [Gambill] in Colorado.
Tilda: That was pretty recently, right?
Evie: Yeah, both Yelim and Young both moved to Tom Z over the off-season, I believe.
Tilda: So even more impressive, then, with the new environment, that she has managed to get here.
Evie: And a quick shoutout to Anastasia Tarakanova, who didn't have the best Short Program, she had some errors on her jumps, but came back in the free and skated a really strong, clean program, so that's really good to see that kind of bounce back.
Kat: All +GOEs and level fours on all of her elements, so good to her.
Tilda: That's really impressive.
-end segment- 1:07:41
START: Shout Out of the Week
Evie: So, shoutout of the week this week, we're recording this today on Shoma Uno's birthday so we want to say happy birthday to Shoma, we hope he has a good birthday, he did post, his brother did post a photo on Twitter earlier of his birthday cake made of meat. So you know, Shoma's favorite, is there anything more Shoma than a birthday cake made of meat? I don't think so.
Kat: That's fantastic. Yeah, so he's 21 now! Which means he's legally allowed to drink in the US.
Tilda: And then we wanted a shoutout to our listeners who have been with us throughout this year, this will be our final episode of 2018, we will see you again in January for our Japanese-Russian nationals episode!
Evie: It's kind of insane how much we've done over the past couple months, we're gonna be taking a week off for the holidays but we will be back with coverage of nationals - we're going into the second half of the season, which I'm sure will be even more exciting than the first.
Kat: Probably also pretty stressful, too - the Grand Prix goes by pretty fast, but I feel like some of the competitions in the second half of the season - way more stressful.
Tilda: Yeah, and we just wanted to say happy holidays, happy new year, and thank you so much for supporting us and supporting our podcast this year.
Evie: Thank you!
Kat: Thank you!
-end segment- 1:09:15
Evie: Thank you for listening, we'll be taking a couple weeks off for the holidays but we'll be back in early 2019 with an episode covering Russian and Japanese nationals.
Tilda: If you want to get in touch with us, please feel free to contact us via our website inthelopodcast.com or on Twitter, Tumblr, or Facebook. You can find our episodes on YouTube, iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, and Spotify.
Kat: If you enjoy the show and wanna help support the team, please consider making a donation to us on our ko-fi page, and we'd like to give a huge thank you to all the listeners who have contributed to our team thus far.
Evie: You can find the links to all our social media pages and our ko-fi on the website.
Tilda: If you're listening on iTunes, please consider leaving a rating and a review if you enjoyed the show. Thanks for listening, this has been Tilda,
Kat: And Kat. See you next year!