Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Top Three Pairs: (L to R) Silver medalists Yu Xiaoyu and Jin Yang, Gold medalists Peng Cheng and Zhang Hao, Bronze medalists Wang Xuehan and Wang Lei, all three pairs from China--2014 Lexus Cup of China

Finishing up with my 2014 Lexus Cup of China Costumes Review/Recap--it's now time for the PAIRS and ICE DANCE. In case you missed by LADIES and MEN Blog, click HERE. There was no colliding drama on the ice for the Pairs or Ice Dancers but just some dishy change-of-partner news for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Bronze Medal-winning Ice Dancers...or at least the female half...
Now, let's discuss the COSTUMES. First up, the PAIRS:

Yu Xiaoyu and Jin Yang of China, Free Skate: They skated to "Humility and Love" from the "Creation" Soundtrack. Their costumes were color coordinated with blue as the main color theme. Hers featured a sequined applique trim and ombre shading while his was a more deeper blue (in the shirt) with black pants. I liked his draped jersey shirt; it was much more modern and directional looking than hers, which just looked very Figure Skating 101.

Jessica Calalang and Zack Sidhu of the USA, Short Program: This US Pairs skated to "Selections from My One and Only". The costumes were very "jazzy" in their black with silver sequin accent details. The fact that his silver sequin tie kind-of went with her silver and black costume was a nice costume choice. Sometimes with the Pairs you see the male look TOTALLY unrelated to the female, as if it was a MAJOR (costume) afterthought. But not here.

Free Skate to "Romeo and Juliet" by Nino Rota: I really liked these costumes until...he lifted her and showed his "Ross Dress For Less" belt. I liked the magenta coloring of her costume and how it was brought in to his ombre silver-gray top with the sequins, but yes, the $20 belt was a major NO-No. Figure skating costume designers need to come up with something better for these men than going out to their local discount store and buying a belt for them. Seriously.

Nicole Della Monica and Matteo Guarise of Italy, Short Program: They skated to "Cinderella" by Sergei Prokofiev. They wore electric blue costumes with harlequin diamond-shaped details on both her costume as well as his trimmed with diamantes. As kind-of-cheesy and clique as this was, I actually liked it; at least it was impacting and went with the Cinderella program.

ICE DANCE:
Maia and Alex Shibutani of the USA: I've discussed the Shibs Short and Free Dance costumes HERE . FYI: I LOVE them!

Now onto Ice Dance:
Yiyi Zhang and Nan Wu of China Free Dance: If you couldn't tell from looking at the photo above, this pair skated to the "Prince of Egypt Soundtrack" by Hans Zimmer. I really liked her costume with its stark white dress and gold and turquoise details. His look of a matching short sleeve t-shirt (matching to her dress) and bright lemon yellow pants look left me a bit perplexed; I am just not sure if yellow was the right color choice for his pants. And to be honest, I don't know what color I would have chosen instead.

Yue Zhao and Xun Zheng of China, Free Dance: They skated their Free Dance to "Cartoon" by Raphael Beau, "Oblivion" by Astor Piazzolla, "Assassin's Tango" (from "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" soundtrack) by John Powell. The all black costumes were very intense and followed on the Tango theme. I especially loved hers with its interesting front detail and scooped back.These were modern, very chic and fashionable.

Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte of Italy, Short Dance: This Italian Ice Dance pair skated their Paso Doble Short Dance to "Capriccio Espagnol" by Nikolai Rimski-Korsakov arranged by Hugo Chouinard. I thought these costumes were a different take on Spanish flamenco--in terms of not using RED and her longer, multi-tiered black and white costume. Luca was every bit the Toreador hunk with his scooped vest and cropped bolero-like jacket and skin-tight pants.

Free Dance to "Danse Macabre" by Camille Saint-Saens, arranged by Hugo Chouinard: I really liked both his and her costumes here. I loved her delicately gathered blush dress with twist-knot center front detail and crystals throughout. She looked very ethereal. Luca looked strong and costume perfect in his deep red and gray fitted jacket top. I usually like it when the pair are more unified in their costumes, but these somehow work perfectly.

Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France, Free Dance: First off, I have to say--as a half-Greek--Gabriella is SOOO stunning and SOOO Greek; that face, that nose, the hair...she could have easily been on a gold coin back in the Greco-Roman era! OK, now that I've said that, back to the costumes. These two skated their Gold medal-winning skate to "Concerto No. 23" by Mozart. I was spellbound by this Free Dance and I think the Contemporary Ballet-like costumes helped. I loved her sinuous draped off-white and blush dress; so modern, so contemporary. And Guillaume was THE definition of a sexy partner in his draped and asymmetrical jersey top and black pants. These two were PERFECTION.

Elena Ilinykh and Ruslan Zhiganshin Short Dance: Ilinykh and Zhiganshin skated their Paso Doble Short Dance to "Aragonaise" and "Torrero" from "Carmen Suite" by Georges Bizet. This was pretty obvious since the costumes reflected it. What I loved about these costumes was that hers was a "Sports-Chic" version and his was more stylized and "costume"-like. It is usually the other way around. I really, really liked these! Now, in case you're having a "wait, I remember HER but who is HE?" moment, it is because Elena was part of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Russian Ice Dance pair who won the Bronze medal. However, back then she had another male partner, the very hot-and-hunky Nikita Katsalopov...


Their skate to Tchaikovsky "Swan Lake" was EVERYTHING!

THE DISH: According to the bleacherreport.com article, despite winning bronze at the 2014 Sochi Games and facing fierce opposition from the Russian Figure Skating Federation, ice dancing pair Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov are no more. Less than two months after their triumph before their home country, the Russians announced their split... There is still no word on what caused the split.

Happy Times: Elena Ilinykh and  Nikita Katsalopov

According to Ilinykh's side of the story, she was informed that Katsalapov wished to move on. "Nikita came up to me April 4 at our scheduled medical exam and thanked me for my contribution and said that he won't compete with me any more," Ilinykh told R-Sport. "The initiative to split up our pair came from him, I'd like to underline that." Valentin Piseev, the general director of the Russian Figure Skating Federation, seemed particularly displeased (Oh Dear!). All that should be behind them since Ilinykh's new Ice Dance pairing partner, did quite well, thank you very much.

Top Three Ice Dance: (L to R) Silver medalists Maia and Alex Shibutani of the USA; Gold medalists France's Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizaron; Bronze medalists Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte of Italy--2014 Lexis Cup of China

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