Four-time World Champions Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron of France danced to the lead in the Rhythm Dance at the ISU Grand Prix Internationaux de France in Grenoble on Friday. Canada’s Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier came second while Alexandra Stepanova/Ivan Bukin (RUS) are currently ranked third.
Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron (FRA) © International Skating Union (ISU)
Papadakis/Cizeron put out a characteristic and crisp performance of their dance to “Made to Love” and “U Move, I Move” by John Legend. The 2018 Olympic silver medalists collected a level four for the twizzles and the curve lift, while the Midnight Blues Pattern Dance and the step sequences were rated a level three. The multiple French Champion set a season’s best with 89.08 points.
“It was nice to be in Grenoble at the Grand Prix and with our French audience and to feel their support. We did a very good performance, we are happy with what we did, we are happy with the scores and look forward for tomorrow,” Papadakis said.
Bringing the “waacking” street-style dance on to the ice, was a challenge, Cizeron shared. “The first few weeks we were training off the ice and it takes quite some coordination, and we did research on the ice on how we can fit the steps, the flow. It was try and error. It was important to us to embrace the style and not just try to copy or make it look like a waacking style,” he said.
Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Canada © International Skating Union (ISU)
Dressed in bright orange, Gilles/Poirier entertained the crowd with their dance to “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues” and “Still Standing” by Elton John. The twizzles and rotational lift merited a level four while the Midnight Blues Pattern Dance was a level three. The 2021 World bronze medalists scored 81.35 points.
“It's nice to be back here,” Poirier said. “When we were here last time we had a disappointing finish and did not qualify for the (Grand Prix) Final. So we are definitely on a mission this week.
“This is our second event with an audience and it's great to be able to skate and entertain the crowd.”
Stepanova/Bukin’s upbeat performance to a Backstreet Boys remix was highlighted by a straight line lift and fast twizzles. However, the midline step sequence and the Midnight Blues garnered a level one only. The multiple European medalists earned 79.89 points.
Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin (RUS) © International Skating Union (ISU)
“Today I think we skated better than in our first Grand Prix in Italy, our first competition,” Stepanova said at the post-event press conference. “For now we don't know where we lost two points compared to Italy, but as of right now we are satisfied with our performance.”
Christina Carreira/Anthony Ponomarenko (USA) are sitting in fourth place at 70.74 points with Evgeniia Lopareva/Geoffry Brissaud (FRA) not far behind in fifth on 69.23 points. Annabelle Morozov/Andrei Bagin (RUS) round up the top six (68.45 points).
For full results, see here.