Monday, March 18, 2013

2012-2013


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Giselle twizzles. So apt. So balletic.

Lynn Rutherford is right. VM and DW are equal technically. There's no distinction at all. Simply style and who is clean.

I wonder how the judges decide? "Eh, I'm not feeling the hop catch foot arm wave behind the back deal this year. What are the Canadians doing?"

Or, "Hot damn - since I first saw DW's hop into catch foot arm wave into behind the back twizzle at my bar mitzvah, til this past spring at my retirement, they always slay me! Can I please score higher than 10?"

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Virtue Moir 2013 sd. It's a travesty these two even get on the podium. When will they branch out like DW?

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Esmerelda! Come hop catch-foot arm-hoist, guess-which-hand with me before we part! It won't sap your strength! It's only two twizzle sets!

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Sure, but can you hop into catch foot arm hoist reverse guess which hand over the course of 5 years with variable degrees of speed, unison and stability? Can ya? Huh - huh?

64 comments:

  1. Motherfucker. They really have been doing the same twizzles year after year after year. And in both programs.

    HOW?

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  2. The same twizzles. Both programs. For 5 years. For those playing at home, that's one set of twizzles for five years. Meanwhile, in the same 5 year span, V/M have had 10 sets of twizzles.

    Thank you for putting all of this together with the gifs, OC.

    Have you thought about taking the PCS criteria listed on the ISU website in their official communications and going through each one to compare V/M and D/W?

    On a different note, I was thinking again about how the ISU loves to move the goalposts for V/M, make them jump through hoops, and mess with them. During the Russian fan meeting, Scott mentioned that their first thought had been to use Carmen for the SD and The Waltz Goes On for the FD. However, the ISU told them "no" when it came to using Carmen for SD. What do you want to bet if D/W had wanted to use Carmen for the SD, it would have gotten the green light?

    I honestly think V/M's 2012-2013 season could be summed up by a gif of Lucy moving the football everytime Charlie Brown tried to kick. Hell, their whole senior career could be summed up that way.

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    1. Yes, thank you!!

      I just watched the CBC coverage of the two SDs again...eery, it's like they knew D/W's twizzles needed defending....
      D/W's twizzles
      Kurt: difficult entry!!!
      Tracy: fast rotation!!!
      V/M's twizzles
      Tracy: twizzles are OFF!!!!!!

      If you're taking requests, I would also love to see D/W compared to some other teams. C/L have a very similar ballet lift to D/W's giselle in their FD that they execute beautifully. D/W's got progressively sloppier over the season, but hey, give them some credit they DID change the entrance to something V/M did their first year in seniors.

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    2. The lifts! Oy. That will be next.

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    3. Did you see Lynn Rutherford's tweet about how the ISU will look into the injury timeout rule? idk what's the problem of ISU but lol ISU can improve more things about the IJS, but clearly since this affected V/M, they're gonna go after it.

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    4. How fascinating that the injury time out rule permitted a silver medal in the 2006 Olympics and a bronze in 2008 TEB, but because it permitted a second by VM at the 4CCs it must be looked into.

      They are targeting VM. I have never seen a skating team take such abuse.

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    5. In my basically two decades of being a skating and ice dance fan, I've never seen anything quite like this before either. The thing I don't understand is why they're being abused and targeted like that. You would think the ISU would be excited to have a team as talented and sublime as V/M competing. Instead, the establishment likes to stick it to them every chance they can. Way to honor the sport there...

      Seriously, this is without question one of the greatest ice dance teams to ever grace the sport. Their work should be celebrated and rewarded. Instead, people try to diminish V/M's work and screw them over.

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  3. Can we talk about the ridiculous difficulty of Tessa and Scott's exit out of the twizzles in Carmen? Holy cow. They literally stop on a dime, with their arms extended over their heads, on an edge, and completely arrest their momentum. And they are FLYING out there before the exit.

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    1. It's John Curry-esque. Watch Curry's famous lp from 1976 on youtube. The man's ability to arrest momentum WITHIN an element is stunning. Stunning.

      I knew this whole thing was a racket but just making the gifs is pissing me off. It's not simply that DW do the same fucking twizzles. It's the quality isn't what they say. There's a LOT of traveling. It's a standard part of their twizzling. Meryl is usually swerving in and out.

      For the moment I'm going to continue to compare VM and DW. One of the things that struck me is that while DW's spins are fast, they're not so much uber faster than VM's, and in fact, they are like a lot of DW's stuff - they start quickly and rapidly, and then get a bit stuck, which is finessed by trickery in the middle. For instance, in one version of their pairs spin (which always begins with back outside edge camels), Meryl flips her leg up and does a rapid pirhouette in place before the spin resumes. Because SHE's rotating, and very quickly, it enhances the impression that it's part of the spin combo and a fast part of the combo. But it's not part of the combo at all. It's just a transition. Charlie's not spinning - she is.

      Their programs are FULL of crap like that. Flourishes. Flourishes hiding basics that are simplistic compared to VM - and I'm sorry, when I was making this gifs I was surprised at how much better VM's twizzles are. Yes, they will have a competition where they don't execute at their best - such as this past Worlds sd. But a side by side comparison when both teams execute? How is it a fucking contest? Scott has called them "great element skaters" (DW) but he and Tessa are BETTER element skaters and better skaters. This is absurd.

      The ISU didn't give a shit about those Carmen twizzles. That what DW were doing could be considered on the same freaking planet is a travesty.

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    2. P.S. - John Curry's ability to arrest momentum was stunning, but he was a singles skater. Scott and Tessa did it coming out of a three twizzle pass at high speed and arrest it on an edge IN UNISON and it's inside specific choreography.

      This sport sucks.

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    3. Yep. It's definitely inside specific choreography because when they exit their bodies are not "up" and "open" like they'd normally be coming out of that element. Their weight is shifted and they're using that lower centre of gravity needed to correctly perform the type of modern movement they used for the program. It's all the more stunning because that means they had to do an instant shift of that centre of gravity from being "up" and "open" for the twizzle passes to being "down" or "lower" in their cores for the exit. That takes absolutely unwordly balance and precision and they did it all while completely arresting momentum, with their arms above their heads, on a sustained edge, on one foot. And yes, in perfect unison.

      Good gracious.

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    4. ^^^ Unworldly balance, that is.

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    5. OC @ 7:21
      No kidding....just watching these gifs is majorly pissing me off.
      Don't the tech specialists have the benefit of replay + slow motion? IOW, you know they have been seeing this all along. Yeah, can you say - The fix is in.

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    6. Oh, and one more thing: the exit of those twizzles are perfectly timed to the nuances of the music, which is expected. But what makes Tessa and Scott so fantastic at what they do is not only their ability to perform the element and the difficult exit superbly. They also sustain themselves balanced in those "down" positions for the entirety of those final beats. They feel the music and are able to hold themselves there.

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    7. The "hop" in my eyes, seems to function almost as a pre-rotation functions in jumps in singles. And we know how popular those are with judges and fans.

      I bet all of this will be changed - just as soon as this "rivalry" is over. Suddenly Davis and White's elements will be determined to need an upgrade - as long as Davis and White are no longer doing them.

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    8. I suspect the tech specialists don't actually know what they're doing. I don't think the sport understands the difficulty of what Tessa and Scott did in those twizzles. The infuriating part is they were gorgeous AS TWIZZLES - they were centered, fast, in unison, close together and covered a great deal of ice. Then they come out and completely shift their center of gravity while arresting momentum on an edge - in UNISON and in time to the music AND in the style of the dance AND it's an integral piece of the choreography, a complete expression of what is happening psychologically with the music and the on-ice relationship.

      Duh huh goes the ISU.

      If this can't be rewarded in tech AND pcs, CoP isn't set up to reward superior skating either technically or in quality of execution, plain and simple.

      I wonder if it's like the Bielman spin. I don't know what level a Bielman is but I have read complaints that juniors can do it, novices can do it, it has nothing to do with your skating skills. The DW "hop", just deconstructing the mechanics of what is involved in a twizzle, appears to make the freaking twizzle easier, not harder. A "hop" is not skating. There’s no blade engagement with the ice. What does it do? It assists the momentum needed to generate the rotation.

      And still - look at the body positions of DW in their catch foot – their foot/leg isn't close to their bodies – the thigh is stretched out behind them, the foot is way behind them. There’s also no unison of lines when they’re in the catch foot set. And, they’re in a forward lean as often as not when they first get into catch-foot position, to counterbalance. Then they lock their arms behind them for the back outside edge rotation set of twizzles. Open and lift your chest when you’re in that position and you’ve just made it easier to stabilize your twizzle (if they were forward inside edge twizzles, that would not enhance stability, but for back outside edge twizzles, that is a position that stablizes).

      IOW, as CoP is structured I think it is awarding high levels to ice dance element features that are not just difficult, but may actually make the element easier, and they're ignoring what Scott and Tessa have done as if ice dance isn't supposed to be about either skating skills or dance.
      Scott and Tessa’s Carmen twizzles alone should get them the stratospheric numbers Chan gets on footwork or Volosozhar/Trankov get on the split 3 twist. It should have a base value of infinity.

      The sport has its head up its ass. I don't think they assign points correctly in non-footwork elements.

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    9. I was reading on FSU that what Virtue Moir are being put through and have been put through for years in this sport is going unremarked and unexamined. Possibly they've hurt themselves by putting THEMSELVES through stuff (such as the 4CCs) so the other stuff is experienced as all of a piece but it is not all of a piece.

      It’s as if figure skating's infrastructure is looking for ways to trip them up. Either mind fuck them about whether or not an element is legal (don't give them an answer, mind, just hint around), or ignore something fantastic in their skate (as in, don't reward it) so they decide to take it out and replace it with something more conventional. And nobody says anything. Can you imagine how lesser skaters would SCREAM if they were jerked around moments before competing the way Virtue Moir have been? But Virtue Moir take it in stride because they can do ANYTHING.

      How do commentators not call out what the ISU did to Virtue and Moir in 2010 AFTER the Olympics - calling for a change (or kind of going – we can’t say for sure, but you COULD be penalized – up to you) in the final lift 20 minutes before the od at Worlds? There’s no stench there?

      And if that final lift suddenly struck the ISU as so wrong, why did the ISU ignore it when the same lift reappeared in VM’s short this season? It's a "twist lift" (i.e., pairs) just because he sets her down in Farrucus and in the sd it evolves into a rotational? Is that it? In Farrucus he wasn't setting her down and onto something else - he was setting her down because the program was over! The skating is over! She's set down and they hit their pose. So how was that a pairs move?

      It's the silence of everybody else on this that kills me. Forget Virtue and Moir - people who love skating should speak out for the sake of the sport. But the sport is so political, so agenda-driven, so neurotic, they don't.

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    10. Another thing - Meryl and Charlie's working legs are both bent when they twizzle. Tessa and Scott's are straight.

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  4. OC, thank you for exposing all of this.

    Skate Canada is so preoccupied with themselves (at the Director level), do they realize exactly how the ISU is screwing with VM, or maybe I should ask, do they care? One thing I've become sure of - VM know, especially Scott. Considering the depth of corruption, I think he's been extremely restrained. Too bad he (or Moirville) didn't take steps to fight back in ways that could expose ISU's politiks and advocate for VM while at the same time keeping their own hands clean. Up till recently, that's pretty much what DW have done. Others out there were waxing eloquent about DW and DW looked clean. Although I think recent articles are exposing more DW's own strategies that are not "clean."

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    1. DW are overreaching, but a lot of the stuff in the press now isn't skating-related. The DW push at the moment is smothering and trying way too hard considering the team just won. Why so heavy handed?

      There's a supposed semi-retired skating journalist on one of the message boards, a Scott hater/DW uber, who exemplifies skating journalism - it's packed with groupies who don't know figure skating. This poster has no idea what she's talking about and couldn't support her declarations about DW if you paid her.

      On other message boards many VM fans are still preoccupied with getting VM away from Marina. This is ridiculous and they're wasting their emails and their stamps. It's also insulting. A bunch of message board fans have better insight into the coaching situation than Scott and Tessa themselves? The one area where Scott and Tessa know exactly what they're doing is their skating.

      It's irritating because some of the threads have genuine outrage about how VM have been treated, but, predictably, these fans are now channeling their own non-skating agendas for Virtue Moir into their supposed plan of action. Essentially they want Virtue Moir to apply their talents to an entirely different sort of figure skating. What was initially a genuine reaction to VM getting screwed is once again being distorted into promoting their own personal agendas and biases.

      As to your question - the blog and others who participate in discussions on the blog have observed that Skate Canada doesn't care. VM were supposed to bring glory and riches to Skate Canada and the officials were meant to ride in their wake if not lead the parade, enjoy the spotlight, have bragging rights, and secure their own celebrity. Now that THAT part of it hasn't worked out quite as expected, they're on to other things.

      I am uncomfortable with the tone of the media around DW at the moment because it does feel like a purposeful attempt to co-opt everything people liked about Scott/Tessa and put the mantle over DW. But the reality is a lot of the material DW is now copying was inane when it was written about Virtue Moir. No matter what the agenda is for DW's pr right now you can't manufacture chemistry and those two have no chemistry. Let's not even go into whether chemistry is relevant.

      I think the main thing that is uncomfortable about the media around DW now is it's controlling, and it is concertedly attempting to shut down opposition. The sheer volume of material, the overbearing tone of it all, and the smothering of contrary opinion is what's wrong with it. Even on twitter the hashtag #BSWorlds13" is used to gripe about what, IMO, are legitimate outcomes (Chan's win, for instance. What do people want - to eliminate the short program scores once someone disappoints in the long? It's a two phase competition!) while waxing joyous that at least the Canadians didn't succeed in stealing the dance title.

      That is exactly the opposite of what occurred - the Canadians were robbed in dance.

      It's all very ironic how Canada has been stuck with the label of the whiners, the poor sports, the Federation that throws its power around. Ironic because for those who want to tarnish Canadian skating by saying the Fed is shady, they can always look at Sale & Pelletier. The irony is that no matter what they tell themselves, the Canadian Fed and Canadian skating had nothing to do with S&P receiving that ludicrous and unearned "second" gold. It was the American media that made it happen for Sale & Pelletier, with the exact same steamrolling tactics being used now on social media and elsewhere.

      These tactics work well because most people broadcasting their opinions about figure skating don't know anything about figure skating - including many figure skaters! How many of them are actually able to support their opinion about whether one or another skater should have won?

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  5. I have no dog in this fight because both teams have put out programs that I enjoy. I see your point re: D/W, but what incentive do they have to change? They apparently have the winning forumula, so what would be the point of tweaking it from their perpective?

    Where is Marina in all of this? Does she not green light the recycled parts of their program? Does she tell D/W that it's not a blast to recycle spins and lifts and they override her say? Sorry about all the questions, but they've been running around my head since the blog started focusing on D/W vs. V/M.

    With that being said, frustration with certain results are the reason that I made the decision several years ago to just view skating as entertainment instead of sport. I just enjoy the programs that are to my taste. My only consideration of the scores are from an analytical POV. Whether it should be or not, judging is highly subjective and there's always going to be some controversy or another over results.

    Do you still disagree with Moirville's Facebook comments after 2011 Worlds?

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    1. Anon 3:02

      I've also been asking myself where is Marina in all of this. She has obviously green-lighted all of DW's recycled moves. I can think of a couple things, which might be wrong, who knows. She might know what's going on within the ISU politics so she allows DW a pass, since it makes no difference. Or, she knows DW cannot up their game. So she cleverly choreographs to their limitations.

      As far as VM. If Marina knows about the ISU games, then does she plan on helping VM achieve the programs that best showcase their interests and stretch them technically and artistically because it's the personal satisfaction, in spite of results? Or does she really think they can win every season and is just as surprised as all the rest of us when they don't? It's to be assumed she's more aware than anyone how much more VM are doing out there on the ice than DW, right?

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    2. Marina has to see the writing on the wall. She's certainly been around long enough and I am SURE she knows V/M are the better team in every possible way. Also re giving them the programs that stretch them technically and artistically - that's exactly what they did this year in my opinion. I don't think any of this has anything to do with Marina at all. This is the USFA and the ISU conspiring in an effort to make sure everybody is sucked into the so-called rivalry to boost interest in Sochi.

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    3. It is incredible to me that DW had the balls to to Skate Notre Dame once they saw what VM were cooking up with Carmen. Cause one thing I believe is Meryl and Charlie aren't stupid. They sure have played their PR perfectly. DW must know what they put on the ice is easier. They skate next to VM - feel them woosh past. They see that VM work on new stuff while they just put the old stuff in a different order. They see VM work with a ballet choreographer, so they make sure to tweet pics of themselves working with a ballet dancer for one day (but not actually changing anything in the program).

      They know what VM do is better and harder. I wonder if they worry at night that the judges will one day get it. Who could be that confident?

      It is like the Emperor's New Clothes, except they know they're naked. At least, I think they must.

      The more I think about it the more upset I get. Those little bitches. After losing Worlds with their "masterpiece" program, why didn't they double down and work on new stuff? Why didn't they really improve their (on-ice) connection? Why didn't they really work on ballet - like before debuting the program?

      Why did they go the media route instead of putting in the effort?

      Worst of all, why did that WORK?

      I mean, that display at SA actually fucking worked. People, even DW stans, found it revolting at the time, but here we are after Worlds and people actually are saying they improved their connection and that's why they deserved it.

      Seriously?

      SERIOUSLY?!!?

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    4. Marina has to work with her skaters abilities and work around their limitations. She's done this brilliantly with DW because as you say, they're getting away with it. She knows how to finesse what they can't do, to use strategic busyness to create the impression of difficulty. She knows she's doing it. To an extent THEY know they're doing it or they would never ever ever have tried the tango. The wanted to get more into the ice, they wanted greater intricacy. The problem is they failed. I think it goes to a combination of skating skills and partnering issues. They simply can't connect and be interdependent, which is what doing what Virtue and Moir do requires. Also, Charlie is naturally propulsive - he's a pumper, he's frenetic. Don't ask him to switch gears, throw in an accent note with his BLADES (his upper body, fine) - he'll trip. The example I use is the little dip in the tango that they borrowed from Valse Triste and Mahler. Charlie fell - he couldn't control it. It's something Scott can toss off while half awake.

      THEY don't need to change - IMO the judging does and the ISU has to stop power tripping with Virtue Moir, jerking their chains over and over to keep them playing their role in this manufactured rivalry. I'm not actually calling out DW - I'm calling out the ISU and anyone else who pretends this is on par with VM technically or in skating skills. It's a travesty.

      I take issue with Moirville because they were bitchy. DW and VM are friends. Scott and Tessa had also taken the entire season off for the baby. Consequently they were undertrained and gassed in the Worlds fd. I now think VM could have won the fd credibly because DW were much more labored than I'd realized. My beef with the Moirs wasn't their opinion but the classless, juvenile, petty mean girls way they expressed it, and targeting Meryl. They were also hypocrites with the "skate each other's programs" shit because the Moirs were loudmouths during the S&P v. B&S controversy and we all know S&P couldn't have skated B&S's program if their hair was on fire. So no, I haven't changed my mind.

      I, too am sure Marina knows VM are the best team. But at the same time, she has to work with skaters in a sport that isn't fair, and they have to accept that going in, or they'll burn out.

      I don't think fans are obliged to accept it though. not when it's this blatant.

      I don't see how this is a rivalry any longer when we're being smothered with headlines like 'Case Closed - DW smite their rivals!' on ice network. It seems they want to break VM.

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    5. 5:23 - in fairness, Davis and White DID work, they did try, they did double down, they did fairly kill themselves attempting something new. In 2010-2011. It was the perfect time - the "down year" after the Olympics. Moreoever, they were given a priceless opportunity when Virtue Moir were pregnant, because they could tackle this stuff without Virtue Moir showing them up, as it were.

      Davis White knew VM were pregnant long before most people did, so when deciding on a program they knew they had a golden opportunity to "do what VM do" - improve the partnering quality, the unison, the interdependence and the intricacy. They nearly said it in so many words and if you look at early iterations of that program the program tells us they were doing it. There was no template theatrical melodrama - some type of heroic monster in Charlie and some type of heroine real world "girl" in Meryl. It was a tango - all about bodies working closely together. The style forced them to be much less open.

      By Worlds, it was a tango in flourishes only. It had been opened back up, the new stuff had been mostly taken out, it was boilerplate DW. Because they couldn't improve well enough to still compete like that. Too many errors, too unnatural, too difficult.

      So since they couldn't do it, and the Olympics is next year, the fallback is to just say they did. Everybody seems to be enabling it, no?

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    6. DW: Let's Not and Say We Did.

      Sigh.

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    7. "DW: Let's Not and Say We Did."

      I can hardly blame them, it's worked so well. Why not keep the same strategy for all aspects of their skating, off-ice connection, on-ice connection, blah blah blah.

      What I'd like is for SC to grow some and orchestrate a brilliant media pushback. I'm not expecting one, though. Their handling of anything related to VM up till now has been asinine. If they tried the pushback I'd like to see, I bet they'd blow it big time.

      Sigh.

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    8. SC isn't capable. The smart people who are around Canadian skating seem to steer clear of Skate Canada proper and only intersect when absolutely necessary - Orser, Wilson. Jeff Buttle I'd love to hear from more.

      Skate Canada is so stupid it's hard wired into their most prominent personnel. If they attempted to mount a push back it would backfire. They'd insult those they tried to persuade, they'd miss the point, they'd frame the case erroneously.

      Skate Canada also doesn't care about Virtue Moir. The key point is Virtue Moir are presumed to be retiring after Sochi. Debbi Wilkes would love to remain at Skate Canada after Sochi. So she's got other fish to fry and she's media with Barb her stooge. We know damn well she's not business developing and never has.

      There are, though, others who could make the case for VM. There actually are people who understand skating. Unfortunately the irony is that the smartest people are often the least self-aggrandizing and the most philosophical, and not as inclined to make public spectacles of themselves parading their ignorance on twitter, or in an interview. Virtue and Moir would need to seek them out.

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    9. "Virtue and Moir would need to seek them out"

      You'd think Moirville would have enough connections to make this happen.

      Oh I forget. This isn't a priority for them PR-wise.

      I hope they're happy with all the yellow sweatshirts they sold. All that public rah-rah. It didn't persuade any judges. Darn. I thought if Moirville just believed hard enough - while at the same time all wearing matching sweatshirts - they would magically make things happen. Isn't that how it works?

      They're just as dumb as SC.

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    10. "Skate Canada is so stupid it's hard wired into their most prominent personnel. If they attempted to mount a push back it would backfire. They'd insult those they tried to persuade, they'd miss the point, they'd frame the case erroneously."

      This is a good point, we probably shouldn't be hoping that SC steps up. It needs to be someone else.

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  6. Pechelat and Bourzat have had a lot to say about the judging in London also....

    This is all so discouraging. V/M are truly getting screwed over. And i agree that leaving Marina is not the answer and you're right OC, they know that and they have the most control over their material. I have a friend who watches skating with me and she can't identify the elements but even she noticed the recycled rotational lift from Die Fledermaus in Notre Dame!!

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  7. V/M have been doing variations on the same rotational lift for the past 2 seasons. Nearly all of their lifts in Funny Face involved Tessa around Scott's shoulders.

    All teams have some elements they recycle.

    I think you're being OCD about the twizzles. Different arm positions is not as big a deal as you think - no one is relearning how to twizzle when they move their arms a different way.

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    1. They went back to ONE lift from last year after the new sd lift had hurt Scott's neck. They tried a new lift at least. Every lift in Carmen was new, interesting, exciting, difficult and athletic.

      And it's not just different arm positions...it's different placements in the program, different entrances and exits, different transitions between their 3 sets of twizzles, different position levels like the 3rd set in Carmen, etc. etc. etc. etc.

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    2. Looks like DW are ocd about their twizzles - they have to do them exactly the same in every program for five years through ten programs. As long as they're supposed to be the "best in the world" is there a problem with looking at these twizzles - which clearly can't be improved, and seeing:

      That DW twizzle with bent knees?
      That DW aren't even close to having unison in body line on the first set?
      That DW pitch their upper bodies forward when they start the first set?
      That DW's thighs and feet are stretched far away from their bodies as they reach for their skate blades while their torsos are pitched forward and they have to pull their legs in and their bodies up?
      That DW frequently travel during the first set and are out of sync?
      That the second set slows down?
      That if the twizzles are so fast, why aren't they covering DW real estate - and I mean forward going real estate, not Meryl swerving all over the road.

      The problem is these are the twizzles Meryl and Charlie did 5 years ago and rather than having to add value by increasing difficulty to keep pace, as every other skater must do, the ISU simply increases the value of these twizzles each year without Meryl and Charlie having to add anything. They've increased in value, remaining level 4, while staying the same. Other skaters used to be able to compete with these twizzles doing an easier twizzle pass. But now they have to increase their difficulty to beat these twizzles.

      It's not that they're the same. It's how they've retained their level of difficulty and yet somehow what was considered difficult enough to be on par with them in 2009-2010 isn't anymore.

      Is there a problem with considering whether a hop or jump is actually adding difficulty to a rotational move, considering hops and jumps are clear rotational aids in elements performed by singles?

      These twizzles are five years old, were beaten by less difficult twizzles in the past, but we're meant to believe they remain state of the art, and so other skaters are required to up their twizzle ante to compete with them.

      That's a neat trick.

      Also, why not just look at the twizzles as twizzles. Forget that they're the same. Forget the level. Let's look at these twizzles they've been "perfecting' for 5 years. How perfect are they? Read today a journalist/fan stating as fact on a message board that Davis White have the best twizzles in the World.

      So I looked at them. I know the ISU doesn't, judges don't (unless Charlie trips), fans don't, the media doesn't but there's no law that says you can't. So I did.

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    3. You clearly don't understand how the scoring works if you think a hop into a twizzle is some "aid" D/W cooked up.

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    4. You clearly have reading comprehension issues if you believe that's what I said.

      I SAID that the ISU assigns Level 4 to 5 year old twizzles because a hop was added and I asked WTF about a hop enhances the difficulty of a rotational move when in other disciplines hops and jumps facilitate and assist rotational moves. I said DW made up the feature - where?

      I think making that feature constitute a level four is ridiculous. G&P also do a "leap" into their 2 set twizzles - that alone should tell us about the actual level of difficulty. It's something that aids singles skaters when they rotate - but it enhances difficulty for dancers? Okay ISU.

      DW are simply taking the helping hand the ISU is offering. A hop - and we don't have to try new stuff? Done!

      oc

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  8. "V/M have been doing variations on the same rotational lift for the past 2 seasons."

    Doing a variation on a lift for 2 seasons equals neither doing the exact same lift for 2 seasons nor doing the exact same twizzles for 5 seasons.

    " Nearly all of their lifts in Funny Face involved Tessa around Scott's shoulders."

    That's like saying all step sequences are the same because they're mostly in hold.

    " Different arm positions is not as big a deal as you think - no one is relearning how to twizzle when they move their arms a different way."

    What planet are you from? I think the first two responses to this comment, while excellent, didn't call this little gem out enough. First, if you're isolating the discussion to the actual twizzling, it's the position of the free leg that changes too. Second, of course it's a challenge to change your position in a twizzle. Any change in arm or free leg is going to change the physics of what is happening. Why don't skaters just skate a brand new program every time they take the ice if movement is so easy to train into human bodies? And third, if it's not hard why haven't M&C ever tried a new set? Seriously, there's never been a variation that would have improved the choreo and mood of one of their programs?

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    1. The judges specifically asked Meryl and Charlie to use that lift again this year. Kurt Browning decided to make a nonexistent issue out of it. And you claim USFSA is the one doing politicking, HA.

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    2. Really?? I was the one above who mentioned the lift....I honestly did not know that, and I apologize for assuming they made that particular decision alone. However, even more telling of how involved the ISU is in the programs that they intend to reward.

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    3. I heard that DW said the judges asked them to put that lift back, but how exactly does that work? They competed, and were marked down, because they didn't do that lift?

      No. They had it there in their first outing.

      The judges can't "tell you to put something in the program." Are they going to figure out which lift in your program should've been that lift, and then the technical specialist is just going to call it level 1 for shits and giggles? Judges will give you negative GOE because you didn't use that lift? Are they going to mark down the PCS because of it (and who is they - did they talk to every judge who will be judging them internationally?).

      It generally works the opposite way - you compete or display a new (hahahahahaha) element and then you either get deducted or a judge warns you that there's something iffy there which might get you into trouble with the next caller/judging panel/referee.

      What I can see happening is that perhaps, at Champs Comp, a USFSA official or judge said "oh, that lift you had last year would really highlight the music... maybe you could use that." That's not the same as being told or forced.

      Or of course it could just be another DW "saying it without really saying it" thing like "many people told us we were robbed but we're too classy to say anything like that." Turn a judges comment that "the lift last year was really nice" into "we didn't want to keep it, but the lift was so great that the judges made us!"

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    4. It's me the lift person again. Yes OC, I was wondering how that was possible as well. I know that the new programs are usually viewed at the High Performance Camps and they are given feedback. And we all know that skaters can get feedback from judges if they desire....but being told what to put in the program? Sigh.

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    5. 7:56 - 7:24 isn't me. 7:24 is another participant in this discussion.

      I agree with 7:24 about how events are framed. The examples are on point. "that lift last year was really nice" becomes, for pr "do that lift again - it was awesome!"

      And God I wish everyone, not just DW, would knock it off pretending they're to classy to say something but they're perfectly happy to tell us someone else said it.

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    6. "The judges specifically asked Meryl and Charlie to use that lift again this year. Kurt Browning decided to make a nonexistent issue out of it. And you claim USFSA is the one doing politicking, HA."

      You do realize there's something shady in the judges doing this, if in fact that's accurate. I'm not sure what you feel you've proved here.

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    7. I'm curious why the commentator took it upon themselves to declare this a "nonexistent issue" when it's obviously shady, if it really happened. More than Kurt Browning should make an issue of it.

      But perhaps this poster is as well informed about what the ISU asked Meryl and Charlie as they are about how arm positions impact twizzle difficulty.

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  9. I think the hop thing has even gone downhill for them - it's much higher and more defined in the previous seasons. This year it's like they're fudging it.

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    1. IMO they were sharpest at the Olympics in 2010. Their programs were pretty open, and had safety nets built in, but they weren't 100% predictable and for me their basic skating was better.

      Dredging through this topic, the real revelation for me is Die Fliedermaus. When I first saw it I thought - oh shit (from a fan POV) because it really is a perfect package. Revisiting, it appear to me to be rife with dumbed down elements (lifts most especially), finessed by incessant pirhouetting and skipping by Meryl, and by leaping with hair flinging and arm flinging by Charlie.

      I thought all the busyness Marina built into it, coupled with the fail safe "dumbing down" of the actual elements, would make it almost impossible to beat.

      What happened, though, was DW's lack of musicality did them in. We all know that feeling and using the music helps a skater relax, helps their bodies work for them, releases unnecessary tension, and facilitates adrenalin.

      The notable aspect of Die Fliedermaus was here was music with such elemental rhythms it could move the dead, yet Meryl/Charlie were oblivious. As the season wore on, the rhythms that should have protected them and concealed the absence of musicality actually exposed their lack of musicality - that's how little musicality they actually possess (meaning - ability to feel and express rhythm). Marina built in some fabulous highlight moves with perfect points in the music but as the season went on those highlights washed out. They become subordinate to one note - push push push push push, and the music, instead of creating the impression that they were bigger and better than they were, had the opposite effect, as DW's skating got more and more one-note in response to the music.

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    2. I agree, and IMO that's what had happened to Giselle by Worlds too.

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    3. So of course let's give Giselle 77 freaking points. Award GOE for attributes DW don't even perform.

      It's outrageous.

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  10. "Skate Canada is so stupid it's hard wired into their most prominent personnel. If they attempted to mount a push back it would backfire. They'd insult those they tried to persuade, they'd miss the point, they'd frame the case erroneously."

    Probably so. I swear, sometimes Skate Canada reminds me of Mr. Bean. So sure of himself and yet, "oops. I thought my trying to light your cigarette would serve as proof of my awesomeness and didn't realize I'd send your entire house up in flames as a result. Well, see you later."

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  11. So, the D/W fans want them to skate a program like Mahler next year. I guess to highlight their softness and lines or something like that.

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    1. If the D/W fans are being serious about this Mahler inspiration...for 2 seconds I almost feel sorry for D/W's first fans who adored Samson and Delilah...honestly they want D/W to win but they can't be happy with D/W's lack of progression of the years...at least as V/M fans we can go back to youtube and say - wow funny face was different than the latin fd...carmen...pink floyd...mahler..valse triste...there is range...let me guess...next year..D/W - Romeo and Juliet...etc...and you guys are right...Tessa can rock the Finnstep...

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    2. lol who are they kidding? Oh wait, their fans will buy that BS. They wouldn't be able to deliver that. Aunt Joyce has made a jab at Meryl in the past that when she wants to connect to Charlie, she lays her head on his shoulder lmao. Aunt Joyce pointed out that she has gotten good at laying her head on his shoulder. He even pointed out in which programs this stuff happens lmao.

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    3. Bring this from FSU: "In fact it would be nice to see them skate identical programs for comparison, so this controversy can be put to rest"

      There's not a VM fan on the face of this earth who'd say no to this.

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  12. 9:16 To show their connection! Naturally!

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    1. Charlie has more chemistry with his magical wizard hair than he does with Meryl.

      Charlie + Hair OTP.

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    2. The only way to have Chuck look at Meryl is to have her wear blue and gold - Michigan colors..

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    3. Considering that he's on record saying that he felt he skated the best while thinking about football, you're probably right.

      Meanwhile, does anyone have any doubt that Tessa and Scott are thinking about anything other than each other?

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    4. I wouldn't be surprised if they're setting the stage for a Mahler-type program. Their costumes for the Worlds gala were conspicuously -- distractingly, even -- similar to VM's for Hallelujah.

      Soon, people will be saying DW's skating skills are so pure, just because she wore a white dress.

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    5. Anon at 3:34 pm - if that's what happens - at least will should be getting some epic "judging you" gifs...hahaha

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    6. 3:34 here - what are "judging you gifs?"

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    7. Ugh, the gala costumes. Yes, definitely freakishly similar to V/M's Hallelujah costumes.

      Here's the deal though. They may intend to do something in the vein of Mahler, but what's going to happen is that they'll be told to dump it at Champs Camp. In the end, they will end up with the stock FD because it's the only FD they're capable of doing.

      D/W aren't a just sticking to the same box or same wheelhouse team. They're stuck in one gear.

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    8. "Here's the deal though. They may intend to do something in the vein of Mahler, but what's going to happen is that they'll be told to dump it at Champs Camp. In the end, they will end up with the stock FD because it's the only FD they're capable of doing"

      Yeah, I agree. I have a feeling the USFSA will say - NO - do your regular program.

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    9. That's what makes me pause and wonder if DW have wanted to try new things. I suppose the nixed programs could have been different in theme only though.

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