Participation in the 2017 GrandSlam Stuttgart turned out to be in line with that of the previous year, with 272 entries it should end up being the best attended Latin leg of the 2017 Series. When it comes to the numbers for the German Open Championships overall, attendance was lower than usual. Above dancers from Russia kept away; something which the organisers blame on the ever declining value of the ruble in exchange for the Euro. However, that Armen Tstauryan – Svetlana Gudyno and Sergey Gusev – Vera Bondareva, the two top-ranked Russian couples, chose not to enter the Stuttgart leg, could well have other reasons too.
That they are not dancing brings a few changes to what has become the customary line-up for GrandSlam finals this year, providing opportunities for a number of couples that had to content themselves with places seven through ten in the most recent legs. It also limits the competition for the two couples dancing on home turf: German Champions Timur Imametdinov - Nina Bezzubova and Marius-Andrei Balan - Khrystyna Moshenka. In the 2016, they were, respectively, second and first runners-up behind Gabriele Goffredo - Anna Matus, MDA.
The Moldovans seem to have made their peace with Stuttgart after recording their last GrandSlam defeat here back in 2015, when they came in third behind Tstauryan –Gudyno and Balan – Moshenka. Ever since, they won every leg they entered, that’s nine consecutive wins in two years. They are certainly the favourites here too.
Two dancers who are particularly motivated to do well in Stuttgart are Charles-Guillaume Schmitt and Elena Salikhova from France. A few years ago they swept the German public off their seats with a Paso Doble, winning the dance and coming in third. It was a magic moment.
A 6-camera production with full graphics plus interviews with the protagonists! The 90-minute programme is made up of four parts: the full-length semi-final (1 · no commentary), interviews with some of the finalists (2), the full-length final (3 · no commentary), the interviews with the medallist couples (4). The full-length quarterfinal is the bonus feature.