Saturday, March 30, 2013

Look at the speed skater esque drive around the end of the rink at the end of this gif with the leg swing that kicks into the first cross-over. The turn around the end of the rink is, of course, preceeded by two hops. Hop hop hop. Once you see it, you can't stop seeing it. They constantly need to hop in order to keep up the speed or appearance of speed - they can't generate it with edges and stroking. And it's also obvious that instead of running a move out on an edge, they HOP.

For me, the most amusing non-skater part of this program is Charlie's smile. He's doing this cheese-eating angel smile with his arm expansively open to the crowd - and the smile is always aimed towards the crowd, not his partner.


  1. I remember someone said on ONTD_skating that v/m are so slow live compared to d/w and I just felt like laughing at them because v/m and d/w skate at about the same speed. however v/m's speed is much more controlled and v/m are more musical and it only seems that d/w are faster because they skate to faster music and they rush their elements. anyways if they only care about speed then maybe they should be watch speed skating instead of ice dance

    1. Dw also seem faster because they tend to skate in straight lines, rather than the deep patterns vm Do so beautifully. This makes it look like dw are just cruising from one end to the other

  2. moreover i just realized how hideous d/w's step sequence is.

    1. I cannot believe the amount of two-footing in between actual elements, and the amount of two-footed choreography, and the rowing, pushing feet, and how even turns by both of them often involve two feet. It's absurd.

      You have to be in tremendous physical condition to work against the medium you're using as an athlete - in their case they exert so much energy trying to seem energetic and busy without the "speed" coming from their blades. The most speed they are able to generate using their actual skates is rotational, and rotational around their own axis - but that's pretty much it. It's exhausting watching DW because there's no flow.

  3. MC have a simple secret.. they just hop when they need to generate speed. They hop when they get to twizzles, spins,sequences, they hop during transitions, everytime they are about to loose speed, they hop. Easy, that makes you apparently faster, because physics says that if you hop, you give might to the legs and when you land, it generates speed. Sadly this is not ice dance, where you should generate speed by the edges of you blades.

    What a scandal.

    1. YEP.

      Best of all, they get a level four for hopping into their twizzles. Imagine if they had to do three sets - the third set would be practically stationery. But no need, add a hop to their same old old twizzle pass - ergo, it helps with speed and is awarded the level for it!

      They use hops for another purpose - to control momentum. Rather than run momentum out on a sustained edge, they jerk their bodies upward and then hop into the next segment. They do this constantly. Even the little running steps Meryl does all the time are punctuated by a hop. And this gets monster scores. A pair of ice dancers constantly running and launching themselves into the ice because they can't generate momentum from their blades. The few times they have to get it done off their blades they crouch down and pump like speed skaters.

      Their 77 point short program was a hop fest. Lucky the iconic Giselle "move" is the hopping in place, so they were able to pass off the whole thing as style of the "dance".

      If your chosen style isn't SKATED ("skated", not just "performed") that is suppose to be reflected in the protocols.

      Even though Giselle facilitated or excused hopping, they were still unable to either twizzle or do the final lift remotely in the character of either polka or ballet.

      They use the same tactics in the Die Fleudermaus 'waltz' which didn't have a lot of waltzing. It had hopping, leaping, and solo pirhouetting.

      Yes, it is a scandal. The judges are ignoring CoP when they "judge" Meryl Charlie. I actually don't think they judge or care about Davis White at all. Davis White are a club with which to beat Virtue and Moir.

    2. "They use the same tactics in the Die Fleudermaus 'waltz' which didn't have a lot of waltzing. It had hopping, leaping, and solo pirhouetting."

      The waltz didn't have much waltzing. The tango didn't have a lot of tangoing. The polka/ballet didn't have a lot of polka or ballet. To top it off, the FD didn't even have any discernable style of dancing in it. It was theater, which is something the ISU has professed time and time and time again that they do not want. They want real dancing on ice, they say. So, by all means, lets reward the team that does exactly what the ISU said they didn't want--theater on ice-- and punish the team that gives them exactly what they said they wanted--to get back to dancing on ice. This is on top of everything else with the actual skating being done.

      "Yes, it is a scandal. The judges are ignoring CoP when they "judge" Meryl Charlie. I actually don't think they judge or care about Davis White at all. Davis White are a club with which to beat Virtue and Moir."

      I think this is possibly the biggest scandal ever in figure skating.

      I think the judges have to know better--they can't be that clueless about skating and ice dancing. They're entirely ignoring the rulebook when it comes to D/W. ITA that they don't care about D/W except as a club to beat V/M with.

      It makes me so angry. In V/M, you have a team delivering exactly what the ISU said they wanted, all wrapped up with a huge, pretty bow on top. Yet, they seem hell bent on destroying them. Nice.

    3. I don't think this is "the biggest scandal ever" in figure skating. 2002 SLC pairs judging was a big scandal. Harding/Kerrigan was a big scandal. Speedy remaining president of the ISU for a long time is a big scandal. ;)

      But yes, it is a scandal that the judges are not scoring appropriately, according to the rules, in the discipline that has in the past garnered the most scrutiny when it comes to judging.

    4. I think it's pretty big because it's an Olympic cycle-long occurrence, and this season a beyond egregious inflating of an inferior team, contrary to the criteria set down in the ISU's own rules. Furthermore where something does meet part of the criteria - the hop into the two twizzle sets - it's questionable if it should meet the criteria.

      Since that's the go-to twizzles for ice dancers with subpar twizzle skills, why haven't Davis & White changed theirs in years? They haven't so much as altered the arm styling or the transition between sets.

      I think this is the biggest scandal. It's unacknowledged, but because of its duration and how its sustained, it's the biggest. Harding/Kerrigan wasn't a skating scandal per se; it was a tabloid scandal that didn't implicate skating officialdom in any way.

      Sale & Pelletier? I think that was as bogus as it gets - it was a media scandal set in motion by Scott Hamilton screaming in the broadcast booth and Sandra Bezic getting histrionic - the skating-ignorant American media and Canadian media piled on and the OOC (not the ISU) caved and threw a second gold at S&P. How convenient to find a judge - albeit an unstable judge - who was persuaded to confess to funny business. The scandal there is that a better performance and more difficult program was presented to the public as inferior to S&P's Love Story on the basis of a stumble in part of a 2x and the waving around of the judge was intended to create the impression the better team couldn't have won without dealmaking. Meantime, the bloc-judging by the US and Canada for S&P - they both put S&P in first after the short, which is indefensible - went unexamined.

      Yes, it was a big to do, but it was one event. This isn't one event. This is a concerted, ongoing situation. Every time Davis & White take the ice their scores blow up.

      It's also not behind-hand or secret. It's right in front of everyone's face and everybody goes along with it. There's nobody looking at DW's skating and asking how it meets some very explicit standards and criteria in CoP, and why they get the points without demonstrating the criteria or meeting the standards on the ice.

      And why Virtue and Moir are held to a totally different standard despite being CoP poster children.

  4. Thanks for the interesting posts. The one thing I may disagree with is that the ISU don't care about D/W except as a club to beat V/M with. My take is that Shpilband - pre-break-up with Zoueva politicked strongly in having the Yankee Polka and the Finnstep as the SD patterns for D/W's sake leading up to the 2014 Olympics. Then post-break-up Zoueva, I don't think it was a coincidence that Shpilband had C/L do Carmen. He knew that V/M were going to use Carmen in one form or another. Then all the USFSA via icenetwork bashing of V/M over the last year...the ISU and the judges is a small community. If the ISU didn't care about D/W except as a club to beat V/M with then why the negative campaining ads by the USFSA? My take is I don't have a problem with V/M's's D/W's monster scores over the last 2 seasons specifically with PCS and GOEs that are WTF?
    And to think that post 2010 - V/M have been the team whether in singles, pairs or ice dance that have pushed themselves and improved both technically and artistically in terms of maturity and this is what they get? I am not saying that V/M have always been perfect but what has happened over the last 2 years with D/W's scores and then the scoring at Nationals over the last 2's a bit much. And I agree with anon 6:59's last comment - they seem hell bent on destroying them. If V/M continue to compete next year, I just wish them a healthy season and for them to feel satisfied with their programs. That will be enough for me. They have contributed to the sport and have won respect from various coaches and fellow skaters. Throughout their career - V/M have earned their scores. I cannot say the same for D/W. Again this I am not blaming D/W personally since they are not the judges but after their competitive careers are over and some fans will look over scoresheets - they will say - the scores don't add up to what was produced on the ice...

    1. I just think it's a collision of political interests. The USFSA of course cares about DW's gold medal chances in Sochi, the ISU I believe is doing something else with the way it absolutely ignores CoP in the scoring of these two teams. It's outrageous.

      C/L aren't close enough to VM's level for either Shpilband or anyone else to think there could ever be dueling Carmens, so I don't buy into the thought he purposefully chose Carmen for C/L.

    2. imo if they continue like this and d/w win the olympics we should riot lol!

    3. The only think we can do is to not going live watching their fucking fake competitions where final results are already decided. Or just insult the ISU over facebook, but that's something fans have been already doing for Chan since 2012's worlds, and nothing really changed.
      There is big money involved, that's clearly the point, ISU doesn't give a shit about us.
      But probably if a miracle shut down DW's propaganda, well, Tessa and Scott could have a chance to win gold.

    4. I'd really like to know what actual money the ISU is making from fostering such a rivalry. I don't think the last Worlds made a boatload of money. Worlds, not the Olympics, is the ISU moneymaker.

      I think the ISU mindset is best represented by how much it values the WTT and how gung ho it is for team figure skating at the Olympics.

    5. Yeah you know I was wondering if ISU cares so much about this rivalry because they get money from it, or from the federations, or just because they want to create a major interest in the sport.. or I don't know, they don't want to let VM awarded as one of the best (if not the best) ice dance team of all times.. maybe is something that they do to "incite or provoke the crowd" LOL

    6. 2:31

      I'm not sure it has anything to do with fostering a rivalry. That's a theory that the fans have put out there but it doesn't mean it's the motivating factor for the ISU's devaluing VM's skating. Regarding ice-dance, the ISU has been doing this for ages and before VM-DW it was never about rivalries. I think it's more to do with their usual internal politics and corruption, same as always. Besides the USFSA being obvious winners, I'd like to know who/what else is benefited.

  5. Just putting this out you think with the Olympics being in Russia, the Russian Fed will come out to bat for V/M? They are well respected by current and former Russian coaches and ice dancers, who uphold them as the ideal ice dancers in the Russian sense: superb technique, balletic, emotive, and dramatic.

    I'm sure Marina will pick music by a well-loved Russian composer to tug at the heart strings of the Russian audience.

    1. IMO people continue to be off base blaming Marina. She is DW's coach. She works just as hard for VM. In fact, her choreography for the two teams shows she clearly understands which team is better. She could not have created more of a masterpiece for Virtue Moir than she did with Carmen, and I think if she were to do it over she should do the exact same thing.

      Carmen was a CoP program to the letter. It took the GOES criteria in CoP and raised the standard. There is no way she would have been able to predict that the ISU would ignore their own rule book, hold Carmen down and robo score DW with monster points every time they stepped on the ice. Nor could she have realized that Skate Canada intended to throw VM under the bus to promote Gilles Poirier.

      Weaver & Poje and Pechelat Bourzat train at the same rink with Krylova and Carmelango. They are roughly equal in the standings - at least at any given competition one or the other could come out ahead. They both passionately want to be on the podium in Sochi. But nobody is singling out their coaches as favoring one over the other.

      Before Marina and Igor split, it was a "known fact" on the figure skating message boards that Igor promoted DW and Marina loved VM, that Igor politicked for DW especially in Russia and one particular fan, when hysterical, would insist everyone in Russia knew Igor was having an affair with Meryl. When Igor was let go from Arctic Edge many fans expected DW to go with him based on absolutely nothing but their own assumptions which, with reinforcement from other fans sharing the same assumptions, they took as fact.

      DW didn't go with him and never considered it.

      Now fans decide that Virtue Moir needed to go with Igor or should have. Really? Virtue Moir have been getting their levels except for a Level 3 at Worlds (of course DW got level 3 too but were awarded, I believe, higher GOES - OF COURSE.).

      I look at the choreography for Chock Bates and it's as derivitive as it gets.

      IMO a lot of fans actually do like the theatrical sort of programs skated by DW and do not like dance - I've read Virtue Moir fans say they don't care for "ballroom" - they really do want adiago theatrical stuff.

      That is NOT who VM are nor is it who they want to be. It is not Marina who prevents them from receiving the choreography this small group of fans want to see from VM. VM are with Marina because, among other things, they have the same sensibility with choreography and also, as pointed out in other posts, Scott and Tessa run a great deal of their own training.

      They are not little puppets. Both are very outspoken, both are happy to reject something if they don't want it.

      The situation with DW and VM would exist even if VM went elsewhere because DW are the Americans and there's a huge push to hold them up through Sochi. I don't think VM should lower themselves to choreograph in reaction to what a far inferior team is doing. They shouldn't let a lesser team drive them to be less than they are.

    2. im pretty sure the person who said that meryl was in a relationship with igor was joking.

      also how the hell did d/w out-GOE v/m at worlds? i dont understand. v/m were out-GOEing them at 4cc

    3. Anon 1:25
      I would be surprised if the scores that pushed DW to the win had anything to do with what was actually happening on the ice.

    4. If we're thinking about the same person, then no. They were quite serious, and very furious, but they also tend to go very OTT when they appear to be feeling stressed over an upcoming competition. Lots of "oh well" type fatalism combined with hair-trigger fury and paranoia.

    5. DW didn't out GOE VM at worlds. The judges just decided to say they did. They threw 77 points at DW for THAT. That Giselle has nothing to do with what was on the ice, and it absolutely defied what was in CoP. This was a racket.

  6. Except Marina didn't create Carmen. Jennifer Swan did.

    V/M's Carmen doesn't match Marina's sensibilities at all. I think Marina knew Swan's version of Carmen would lose, but V/M were too stubborn. Lo and behold, she was correct.

    1. Excuse me, no. It was a collaboration, and Marina was every bit as much a part of that collaboration as Swan. People say these things as if the skaters went around Zoueva. Zoueva is like many talented people - she's unthreatened by other talented people. Swan isn't an ice dance choreographer. The style of movement with which she works had to be translated into blade and ice. What have we been talking about here? This isn't a dance pasted onto the ice; it's choreography executed with the finest skating skills. Does anyone think Swan just lays the whole thing out and then it's just connect the dots with the steps? Why do so many people who involve themselves in ice dance choreography talk have such little understanding of ICE dance that they can say - oh, the ballet choreographer - it's all her!

      What respect or understanding of blade work does that type of attitude even show? To translate what Swan and Marina and VM wanted in this program, Marina had to thoroughly understand what Swan was doing so that everything Virtue and Moir did with their blades both met the CoP criteria for a FD at the highest level, and also fully supported the vision of the program as dance done with modern movement What kind of talent do you think that takes? An absolutely stunning talent. Any time people dismiss the coach's contribution IMO they're disrespecting the sport - they're trivializing the skill it takes to do this WITH ice dance skates on, using ice dance steps and blade work in a way that both works as a competitive program and fulfills the choreographic intention.

      God, I don't get people. This wasn't a product of 'this' person that 'that' person had to sign off on. It was a collaboration among a great ice dance coach, a brilliant (off-ice) dance choreographer, and two brilliant ice dancers.

    2. P.S. - what do you think "Marina's sensibilities" are? Swan also worked on Pink Floyd. Marina has asked her to work with other teams. Marina has choreographed classical, blues, Broadway, ballroom and everything you can imagine. She has ALWAYS brought in outsiders. For Bollywood. For Farrucas.

      Do you think these people would have seen their work translated as seamlessly with another ice dance coach? Marina knows how to interpret someone's ideas on the ice better than anyone else in the business. She also has her own ideas. Coaching is a synthesis of influences. They're not freaking auteurs with figure skaters as their medium. They're damn coaches looking to create the best programs for their skaters, and that means serving a variety of agendas within a single program. There's nobody better at it than she is.

  7. To anon 4:23 - you may be correct that the initial Carmen program was all Marina and then perhaps V/M wanted outside help with Jennifer Swan and the collaboration grew from there. However to say that V/M are stubborn - well - that certainly is not true - judging by the number of changes made to programs over the last two years = assuming per the judges' feedback. When Carmen was skated at Skate Canada and the USFSA saw the potential - that's when all the negative feedback started from icenetwork and various bloggers...why? they knew that the program was different and innovative...did we ever hear what a beautiful program Notre-Dame was? No...And seriously was Giselle for D/W that much better choreographed than V/M, C/L, B/S etc - no....Does Marina know what wins? yes - but then explain to us why the USFSA has scrapped D/Ws programs at Champs camp or earlier? We don't know what the first Carmen looked like - but as a fan - I am happy that V/M took the risk...

    1. It makes no sense to say Swan's Carmen couldn't win. Swan's Carmen, thanks to Marina, was CoP down to the movement of each skater's little pinky. It was the most perfect synthesis of dance and figure skating ever in ice dance, IMO, and it displayed a thorough respect for and understanding of the ISU rules. They weren't trying to get around the rules - they were attempting to live up to them and elevate the standard - maintain an edge coming out of twizzles? How about while arresting our momentum in unison and inside the contemporary choreography of which our program is composed?

      That program wasn't just a winner, it should have blown the roof off the scoreboard. It was so freaking CoP I think the skaters and Marina felt there was really no room for the ISU to screw around.


      And I think it was a surprise - to the skaters and to the coach.

      The fact that DW's scores blew up instead is the scandal, and the scandal isn't on Marina.

    2. "It was the most perfect synthesis of dance and figure skating ever in ice dance, IMO, and it displayed a thorough respect for and understanding of the ISU rules."

      This. IMO, Carmen is the greatest FD that anyone has ever put together under any scoring system. It's very COP as you put it, but I'd like to think if you put it in a time machine, it would also have worked under 6.0. It was just simply a fantastic piece of work for everyone involved.

      "That program wasn't just a winner, it should have blown the roof off the scoreboard. It was so freaking CoP I think the skaters and Marina felt there was really no room for the ISU to screw around.


      When I first saw Carmen in its entirety, I thought there was no freaking way that the ISU would be able to deny this program. From most the articles coming out, it seemed the whole world felt the same way as well. ND had not been well-received. People were declaring that this would be the year that V/M would put some distance between themselves and D/W. Marina said she thought that the SD+FD would break 200 points (meaning V/M would have been perfect or close to it).

      Then, at NHK and the GPF, D/W were overscored, V/M underscored, the narrative in the press changed, and that was that. The follow up was V/M getting screwed by SC in the FD at nationals while the USFSA threw an astronomically inflated score at D/W.

      I don't think Marina or V/M saw this coming in a million years. I think Marina thought at the end of the season that she was going to be the coach who had the first skaters to recieve a perfect score under COP.

      On a related note, anytime anyone tries to bring up the ice dance judging on the ISU message board, the conversation gets shut down with a message along the lines of they don't allow allegations of unfair judging without proof.

    3. After the SD, I'm sure Scott and Tessa knew the end result, no matter what they did. Kudos to them for keeping it together in public and not saying anything out of line nor in any way sounding bitter, especially towards Meryl and Charlie, no matter how they might have really been feeling. I'm very impressed with the way they handled themselves, sounding sincere during the whole freaking event, regardless who was interviewing them or who wanted autographs or pictures. They never sounded fake when they talked about being grateful for the city of London, the volunteers, etc. They were classy in every way.

      (Too bad about the enduring image of those hundreds of yellow sweatshirts. Ick. Such a horrible distraction and tacky to boot.)

    4. 7:53pm - not a huge fan of the sweatshirts either - also thought it was tacky.

      I did find one of Scott's remarks about competing in London interesting, because it's the closest I can remember him ever saying publicly how overbearing the experience can be. He talked of everyone knowing you (him) - everywhere - every security person, every attendant, every single person staffing the venue - and by the end of the week it was 'exhausting'. That's his word.

    5. There was another article regarding worlds, perhaps in the run up, where there was a line about everyone wanting a piece of them. I thought that was particularly interesting.

    6. "Piece of" always = time. Always. Some type of interaction/recognition. Wanting to be heard.

      That's why it's off-base to suppose a 45 minute encounter such as the one with the Russian fans was better. It was sort of conspicuous self-martyring by Scott and Tessa. I think for them it's easier to do these one-offs with a group of fans such as the orange team, or the Russian fans - give a select group a one-off chunk of time - then it is for them to be consistently accessible/available. The latter is far more exhausting. The one-offs are just suck it up and over and done. But it's still the same thing - it's still tiring. It's still artificial. It's a one-way street. The experience is basically all about you - which is the exhausting part.

      I read an interview with Lena Dunham recently. She said one of the aspects of fame is being treated with familiarity by strangers. Her coping method of choice is to treat them with familiarity back - that's actually the coping method of many celebs - it's just easier, and they become practiced with it. However then what happens is the fan or stranger assumes there's an actual relationship there, which is where boundary setting kicks in - and that can be difficult among acquaintances and people you know as well as with strangers.

      I think it was Dave Chappelle who said he didn't want his whole life to be about establishing boundaries. But I know for many people it is. When otherwise common sensical, decent people find themselves in proximity to someone they admire, they tell themselves "this is my chance!" and they simply don't care that they are one of hundreds of people doing this to the person. They use all the self-serving rationalizations with which we're all familiar.

    7. I get what you're saying about the fan encounters, but I was more thinking about the "piece of" line in the context of the demands of Moirville. Scott's quote in the article seemed more aimed at it being the people they knew from home wanting a piece of them (the full line included a bit about how they'd known all of these people their whole lives)--the very people who should have had the sense to know it was time to back off. Of course, Moirville and sense don't particularly go hand-in-hand.

  8. Regarding the ISU message boards - did they shut down any comments regarding the mens scoring?

  9. Great post anon at 7:53 pm. Honestly, they gave 2 great performances and considering the circumstances after the SD - Carmen was a joy to watch. Oy Canada - I agree with your remark about Scott that by the end of the week - he was exhausted. They will learn from this experience - both positive and negative. To be honest I am glad that they are not doing WTT and that they can take the time to re-group. You do have to wonder whether this experience has left a sour taste in Scott's mouth about coaching post-competitively and how he feels about Skate Canada, the judging, the Canadian media...etc...

    1. and the ISU and CoP. He's always purported to be a big CoP fan because if it's on the ice, you'll get the points.

      I imagine it never occurred to him that if it's not on the ice, you'll still get monster scores if you're the right team, and you can put it all on the ice in a program like Carmen and even your own judges, for their own agenda, can ignore it.

    2. P.S. - actually, it had to have occurred to him based on his experiences in the past. Way back before he reached the top he'd been pissed at certain protocols. But IMO, CoP fan or no, he still looked at the political piece as an east/west issue. I remember he gave the opinion he felt DW's cd ought to have been scored higher than Dominina & Shabalin's as well as his and Tessa's higher. I imagine that the results at Worlds 2009 might also have gotten under his skin as far as the free dance - that could be spun as political re Linichuk.

      I don't know if it occurred to him that the American media with a great deal of complicity from Skate Canada would cast him and Tessa in the role of the "Russian" team who gets unfair advantages (they stopped a program and were allowed to continue! This has only gone on for more than 25 years! Somebody look into this right away!). And Skate Canada has been left holding the Sale & Pelletier bag as the US media forgets its primary role in that debacle. "That Canadian Fed will do anything to win- they whine their way to gold!" There's no consistency in that spin considering SC blatantly threw Virtue Moir under the bus two Canadians in a row but consistency isn't the point.

      I also don't know if it crossed his mind that the judges would pit teams from the same training camp against each other this blatantly. Politics in 2009 meant your coach. Linichuk's teams were awarded over Zoueva's. And did it occur to anyone that the judges would ignore what Carmen had achieved this blatantly, and give the points to the umpteenth DW recycle instead.

    3. "I don't know if it occurred to him that the American media with a great deal of complicity from Skate Canada would cast him and Tessa in the role of the "Russian" team who gets unfair advantages"

      Hah. And they have a lot in common with most of those Russians, i.e., they can skate, and they deserve their wins (not so much with Domnina Shabalin but others).

      At least if he did have that POV, he didn't share it as Meryl did in an interview where she dissed the entire Russian tradition.

      How can he possibly think DW's CD was better than DS? I wonder if regrets all of his anti-CD comments now. CDs might have given VM the edge a little longer, although I'm sure by now we would be told DW are equal or better. Just like how DW out-GOEd them on the YP even though VM got two level 4s.

      A DW fan recently wished that VM and DW would skate the same program to settle the question of who was better once and for all. I was flabbergasted. Are DW's fans that uninformed? Did they all start watching in 2011? I guess ice dancing did not exist until DW won. It was just a Russian farce until then with the French politiking, the Italians cheating, and the Canadians occasionally whining their way to gold.

    4. Yeah, seriously, any DW fan better not ever wish the two to skate each other's programs. DW would spend more time on their asses than skating, and VM would look silly doing all that hopping and other b.s. but they could do it - no question. Shit, they did most of it years ago and moved on.

      I've been of two minds re the cd placements in 2010. Domnina and Shabalin had style to burn. They projected tremendous maturity and understanding of the character of the dance. BUT - Shabalin was crippled. I've always wondered if they were working style over pattern size and speed. It was obvious even on video that Virtue Moir ought to have been first - their patterns were HUGE - Tessa was dead on and their speed was unmistakeable - the superior depth of their edges as well. All the style in the world (and it was gorgeous) didn't justify D/S in first. It's about skating, not theatre.

      But between DW and DS I never looked at it closely enough. DW's posture wasn't the greatest. It's a cd and a tango, open your chest, lift your rib cage, settl your shoulders.

      It came down to size of pattern and depth of edge and I couldn't tell, because I didn't deconstruct. I think I just mostly was on guard about savvy style, attitude and costuming (DS) trumping skating. I know VM were the best in the cd.

      If the cds were still a thing who knows. It's just as likely the judges would declare that DW skated them bigger, stronger, faster, deeper, more precisely than VM. Or, if giving VM the edge, gave it only fractionally and then buried VM with DW's scores in the other two phases.

      The issue, once again, is the monster scores unearned by DW Judges appear willing to maybe give VM strong scores if they skate absolutely flawlessly, but they are going to be marking down everything they can find.

      They don't treat DW the same way. Here's monster scores, and we don't give a shit how you skate. We won't mark anything down, not seriously. We're going to begin with the baseline of you guys are perfect. Out of sync, out of alignment, two footing, balance checks - do what you want. If Virtue Moir come out and don't so much as kick up an atom of ice, we might edge them past you.

      Virtue Moir have the pressure to be perfect. DW have the pressure to skate however the hell they want as long as they don't abort an element or splat on the ice. The areas in between get a free pass.

    5. "Virtue Moir have the pressure to be perfect. DW have the pressure to skate however the hell they want as long as they don't abort an element or splat on the ice. The areas in between get a free pass."

      Another V/M fan who's also very knowledgeable when it comes to ice dance and I have been discussing this aspect of the scoring forever. V/M are a vastly superior team, and in reality, should have at least a one-fall cushion over D/W. It's something beyond backwards that the far better team has to be perfect to have even a shot while the inferior team can slop through and be thrown a huge score. It's not fair. V/M have all the pressure in the world on them when they skate. D/W really have none.

    6. Slop through is the word for it.

      There was a skate of DW's in the Die Fleudermaus season when Charlie had an obviously shaky instant in the twizzles. It's not as if their twizzles are backed up by extraordinary entrances and beautiful run outs and show other high level attributes such as phrasing, rhythm, posture, unison, and harmonious alignment so their body lines match. Their twizzles are a lot of cheese-eating fuss in the lead up, a messy or negligible hop into the rotation (sometimes the hop is only "indicated" with a slight foot spasm) and then they channel the rotational momentum UP coming out, instead of into a running edge of any kind. So if you don't have the look of the bam bam bam rotational speed, what do you have?

      Well what they had were scores that ignored Charlie's balance check completely. Here's high GOE! Here's your level! And this was early in the season.

      Then there was the two of them absolutely gassed at the end of the 4CCs last year. Tanith and Andrea sounded alarmed that Meryl and Charlie showed their exhaustion after the program ended, gasping and bent over, so they rushed to declare you would never have known while the program was being skated. For real? We have eyes goddamn it.

      This discipline is currently inside out. It is the better skaters who have all the pressure because if they are not absolute peak condition they're going to lose to a sloppy team that is going to get huge scores no matter what they do out there.

      It seems to me this is extremely calculated by the judges. Because VM actually skate their program, because their choreography is utterly honest and everything is exposed, because they aim for a seamless whole, if there's an imperfection - not a debacle - an imperfection - the audience can see it.

      Whereas who knows what the hell Meryl and Charlie are even doing out there? If there are mistakes the audience can't tell the difference between the mistake and what DW are doing on purpose (and that says an awful lot about the calibre of the stuff they do on purpose).

      The ISU knows better but they think the audience doesn't.

    7. "The ISU knows better but they think the audience doesn't."

      Exactly. The ISU has to know better, but it's necessary for the public to remain as ill-informed as possible for things to keep going as wished politically. This scandal requires public ignorance.

      There are clearly a number of ignorant fans who don't have a clue though. The rest of us who took the time to learn what good ice dancing is? We're not falling for it.

  10. OC - thanks for responding. Your last line - "the judges would ignore what Carmen had achieved this blatantly and give the points to the umpteenth DW recycle instead" says it all...unfortunately...