Papadakis/Cizeron gave a crowd-pleasing routinte to 'Fame' © International Skating Union
France’s four-time World Champions Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron shone in the Rhythm Dance as they took a confident lead at the Internationaux de France in Grenoble on Friday. Madison Chock/Evan Bates (USA) came second, edging Italy’s Charlene Guignard/Marco Fabbri.
Papadakis/Cizeron got the crowd going with their entertaining aerobic-themed dance to ‘Fame’, dressed in workout outfits complete with a headband for Cizeron. The five-time European Champions collected a level four for the twizzles and the stationary lift as well as a level three for the Finnstep pattern dance and the midline step sequence to score 88.69 points.
“It was a fun performance. We were quite nervous, because it was our first competition, but I think we were very lucky that it was in France. The audience was very responsive and very supportive, so it helped during the performance. We made a couple of small mistakes, so we have some things to work on for the next one,” Papadakis said.
Cizeron added: “It’s really fun for us that it is really different. It’s different from what everyone else is doing and it’s different from what we’ve been doing. It was a kind of a challenge to work on this program and make it fun.”
Madison Chock/Evan Bates (USA) sit in second place with 80.69 points © International Skating Union
Dancing to ‘Too Darn Hot’, Chock/Bates delivered a strong performance as well, earning a level four for the lift and twizzles, but the Finnstep pattern garnered only a level one. The 2019 Four Continents Champions scored 80.69 points.
“We really had our best performance of the season. It’s our third time out and I felt like we’re really getting comfortable with the program and were able to have more energy throughout the program. It was really an amazing atmosphere in the arena today. I was delighted to see an almost full arena and the crowd went crazy,” Bates said.
Guignard/Fabbri’s Blues and Quickstep to music from Cirque du Soleil's ‘Paramour’ included four level-four elements. However, Fabbri wobbled on the twizzles. The 2019 European bronze medalists set a season’s best of 79.65 points. Fabbri was wearing a cast after injuring tendons in his right hand in a practice accident in September, but it didn’t stop him from competing.
“I’m super happy and super angry at the same time. The only element I didn’t use my hand I made a mistake. It was a really stupid mistake that cost us a lot of points. But I will not complain,” Fabbri said.
Marco Fabbri danced with his hand in a cast following a recent injury © International Skating Union
“We just decided to come (to the competition) two days before the departure. Until one week ago we didn’t think we could come to France as the doctors told us I would not be able to do a program. I couldn’t use my hand and I wasn’t even thinking that we could adapt everything (to the situation).”
Olivia Smart/Adrian Diaz (ESP) finished fourth with an upbeat dance to ‘Grease’ on 76.09 points. ISU Grand Prix Finalists Tiffani Zagorski/Jonathan Guerreiro (RUS) are sitting in fifth place with 75.05 points.
Overall, 59 skaters/couples representing 13 ISU members compete at Internationaux de France November 1-3. The top six qualifiers of the Grand Prix series in each discipline will proceed to the Final in Torino (ITA), December 5 to 8, 2019. Full entry lists, results, the General Announcement of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series are available on isu.org.
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In the Rhythm Dance, there were two instances of wrong data input of the Pattern Dance Element (Finnstep) which had been detected in due time by the Referee. The correction of the data resulted in a new score for the couples Marie‐Jade Lauriault/Romain Le Gac (FRA) to 63.42 points and Allison Reed/Saulius Ambruvelicius (LTU) to 60.99 points. The ranking of the Rhythm Dance did not change.