Monday, March 4, 2013

I love how Charlie and Scott can be friends and Meryl and Tessa can't

How does that work?

According to an interview P.J. Kwong IMO pointlessly agreed to grant, "let's face it, Meryl and Tessa aren't going to lunch together." says the interviewer. Because they're COMPETITORS.

IMO it's fine to be interviewed by absolutely anybody - a kid, a blogger, a fan, your mother. Any of it can produce interesting content. However don't ask questions with your high-handed, but wrong assumptions built in, especially not to P.J., who doesn't exactly have the best focus or the most logic. Or let's call the assumptions what they are - low rent dramatic fantasies based on absolutely no actual information except the lowest common denominator stereotypes held by the interviewer. I'm sure the interviewer thinks Charlie and Scott can share a beer, no problem.

At least she confirmed what was already apparent - she never asks questions that aren't approved in advance. I'll take that further - she asks questions at times that the skaters themselves would like to be asked. Such as the time she asked Scott and Tessa what romance means to them.

P.J. also told twitter she'd ask Scott and Tessa more specifically about where they got the idea there was an internet backlash against Carmen from the fandom. She never did. And now we know why.

She has a role and does it well, but that role is publicist. It's not reporter.


  1. What a joke that was. How dare you say VM are fine cheddar cheese and DW are kraft singles? HA

    I actually like the idea of that analogy. Virtue and Moir really are in a league of their own. And unfortunately they aren't seeing the points for it.

  2. Yes. On the whole, "figure skating journalism" is a misnomer. There's very little journalism to be found in the sport. Most of the media who cover the sport are nothing more than entertainment reporters, publicists, or individuals who want to find a way inside (to be "in the know") so they can buddy up with the skaters and hear gossip.

    The hullabaloo about PJ's "cheese" comments has mostly revolved around one set of fans disagreeing with the metaphor while a second set of fans believes the comparison to be correct. The first set of fans then became offended by the second set of fans praising the comments, which then annoyed the second set of fans. Now both sets of fans are engaging in petty slap fights with one another across the message boards while spending inordinate amounts of time circle jerking and reiterating how morally superior they are to the other group and how much their opinions actually matter. It's all fan wars. Different day/week/year, same shit. Without fan wars, FSU would be a virtual ghost town.

    PJ can compare Virtue/Moir and Davis/White in whatever way she likes. The bigger problem with her comparison is that she falls back on the "we've seen this before" argument when talking about Meryl and Charlie. There's far too much emphasis on program theme as the thing that separates both the top teams this season when in reality what she and every other commentator should talk about is the actual skating (but they almost never do). Explain why Tessa and Scott are out-skating Meryl and Charlie (because they are). Explain that connection isn't about how deeply a skater can stare into his or her partner's eyes or make a big flailing gesture out to the crowd, but how it's a skating component that impacts things like tracking, edge depth, the ability to hold positions, etc. The skating is not separate from the artistry or from the story being told on the ice.

    1. Everything you just said about emphasis on program theme being what separates the skaters, hell, it's what separates the skaters in the minds of fans. It's the skating components that DW do the same way every year in the same package. The interviewer, of course, was idiotic and claimed that because we know Tessa Virtue loves Audrey Hepburn; she didn't "stretch" doing Funny Face.

      oc, not logged in

  3. Wow, that was annoying. And I totally agree^, re PJ being too occupied by themes etc. The discussion never goes beyond fluff or snark. I was surprised that J&D admitted that if TS skate to potential, they could fairly win....that goes against the OTT narrative that we are being bombarded with. On the other hand, disingenous could be Dave's middle name.

  4. It's one thing for a blogger who has made a reputation for himself providing snarky, personality-driven commentary on skating to intersperse that rhetoric into his reasoning for why one team or program is better than another. That's how the "Tessa and Meryl don't show a lot of gratuitous affection for one another when at public events = they're not good friends at all = it would probably be better for one of the teams to leave Canton because of the increased tension" logic plays out.

    Forget that both teams have reiterated many times that they consider Marina to be the best choreographer and coach for them, that they believe training with their biggest rivals makes them better, and that as they've matured, improved, and become more successful over the years they make it a priority to respect one another's boundaries and keep the focus on their own skating. No. Because the two teams don't provide the public with a detailed account of their friendships with each other off-ice, it's assumed they aren't as close as they claim, and that is then woven into an assessment that the atmosphere in Canton must be stifling. The conviction becomes that all relationships must play out a certain way in the public eye or they aren't valid. But that's to be expected from a lot of fans and commenters who enjoy and hope to see drama.

    It's another thing for an individual in the media who is tapped by officials, skaters, and coaches to serve as a "specialist" with in-depth knowledge and understanding of the skating to make those same kinds of personality-driven assessments or to toss out broad generalizations about programs or skaters based on preference of style, personality, or theme. I guess that given the insular nature of the sport, this shouldn't be a surprise. But one of the biggest complaints from skating fans and some in the media is that one of the reasons the sport isn't growing is because the judging system has become too confusing for potential new fans to understand. I would never argue that the system is without fault but it probably couldn't hurt if someone with a detailed knowledge of how skaters are actually scored within it would make an effort to explain it without falling back on broad stylistic generalizations. And I don't think that's an impossible task. It might take some research and actual work, though. And who wants to waste time with that when you can be in the hotel bar watching a drunk coach hit on an underage skater and gossiping about it with your friends and colleagues?

    1. I'll add that even one of the most respected commentators in the sport - Tracy Wilson - sometimes has a tendency to fall back on the comparison of Davis and White and Virtue and Moir as "athletic vs. dance-y." I don't mean to bag on Wilson because she *does* make efforts to break down the skating and she's extremely knowledgable. But the broad style generalizations don't get to the heart of the differences in skill level between the two teams. Tessa and Scott dance brilliantly on the ice, but they don't do so *in spite of* being on their skates. They do so *because* they're on skates. Without their technical skills, they wouldn't be able to perform very difficult choreography with such flow. But those "sometimes Tessa and Scott get too caught up in their choreography and let the skating suffer" or "they're really dancers first, skaters second" misconceptions continue to be tossed around regardless.

      Emphasis on those broad generalizations also facilitates anger among fans who struggle to understand, for instance, how Virtue and Moir could have won Worlds last season despite not having skated a totally error-free FD (Tessa had a small slip during a choreographic transition). Virtue and Moir rightfully won Worlds over Davis and White because the former's program was the more difficult of the two and was skated brilliantly despite the small error. But when the public is constantly hit with inaccurate claims that "both teams are equal and it's really just about preference of style!" in the media (and PJ Kwong and several others tend to prefer falling back on vagueries like "I'm right about this because I'm an ice dance coach, that's why!" types of reasoning to defend their arguments), it leads to an increase in confusion about the scores.

    2. Couldn't agree more with both of you. The skating commentators themselves perpetuate fallacies which fuel mistaken fan feelings that their favorites have been ripped off.

      And just yesterday I was reading on fsu a breakdown of the differences between VM and DW's program that was based entirely on theme and acting. It's not freaking THEATRE. Theatre is the package - the skating is the sport. The theatre is not the sport. Pechelat and Bourzat, for example, are considered diverse because they've tackled a variety of themes - however not only can the themes be grouped under a generalized theatrical umbrella, but the type of skating they've done has remained the same inside the package. That's not a comment on their skating quality - I'm simply saying VM have shown the most diverse skating in the world.

      Skating commentators are constantly talking about the package as if the package is the thing that's judged. It's not.

      Tanith will mention how she loves the relationship of Charlie's character to Meryl's charater in Die Fleudermaus (that's her trying to emphasize connection, but it's also her trying to politic connection and reframe what it really means in ice dance).

      There was P.J. in 2011 making her case for VM's Latin free dance over DW's free dance by talking about Tessa moving her hips. "Meryl can't move her hips like that, I can't move my hips like that, Tessa can move her hips like that." That's great P.J. It's also totally irrelevant. The hips would only come in as a factor if absolutely everything about VM and DW was identical in difficulty and quality of execution and they needed hip action (a non-skating choreographic component) as a tie-breaker.

      Kurt Browning and P.J. and a bunch of others were saying that despite their efforts, DW weren't succeeding at conveying chemistry in Notre Dame. It wasn't believeable.

      Who cares! It's not relevant either.

      Just imagine if "chemistry" were a component in the protocols, or emotion based relationshipping out there. It would be perceived differently by individual judges. It would have as much sports validity as the Academy Awards.

      The only person writing intelligently about ice dance currently, IMO, is the author of the piece on Jennifer Swan, and she's the sole voice in the wildnerness. She's rejecting the mindset most writers and commentators and personalities bring to the subject (most of which is driven by "our fans are idiots who only like the soap opera elements) and approaching the topic seriously enough to produce useful and specific description and information from her interview subjects so as to promote informed understanding.

      And there was this from FSU (in the section about the crazy blog, but a few stopped in the middle of the discussion to address the DW versus VM situation):

      Re VM:

      "It's very smart tactical strategy. It's implying that they now have the one thing that V&M have had that they lacked. It plays into the notion that their technical abilities and programs are equal, and that it's just a matter of "what you like" and who skates clean. It's all a game of adding bells (literally) and whistles to their program and selling it as "improvements" without reconstructing the technique or adding difficulty. I almost want to say good for them for getting away with that."

      Yes, and the reason they can get away with it is because the commentators comment with a mash-up of style and technical remarks and don't communicate which actually is actual scored on the protocol sheet. You'd think "style" WAS a sort of skating technique.

    3. The reason this goes on is there is no accountability in figure skating journalism. Those who have "names" in figure skating coverage don't even know the sport as a sport.

      It's because of the groupie mentality around figure skating. The sportswriters who have a lot of figure skating bylines turn out to be experts in some OTHER sport (like Steve Milton and football) and are in figure skating for the personality politics, the drama the relationships. There's no criteria so it's an easy gig. Free travel, expense account, lots of gossip, lots of elbow rubbing with the skaters that doesn't happen with, say football players and baseball players. Even if journalists are legit when writing about other sports they turn into groupies around figure skating because they know nothing about it and therefore think it doesn't matter, and they turn into publicists for the skaters themselves (I've now seen three media pieces promoting Ilderton's yellow sweatshirt sale).

    4. I think the reason someone like P.J. is tapped for her job is a direct reflection of the view the sport has towards its audience and demographic. Figure skating fans aren't sports fans. They're theatre/soap opera/romance novel/celebrity personality fans.

      A lot of what is wrong with figure skating has at its root figure skating's disparagement of and belittlement of its core demographic. Based on that perspective, you don't need informed analysis. You don't need reporters who understand figure skating. For God's sake, figure skating is choking with "reporters" who don't understand the scoring system and haven't even tried. I don't think Scott Hamilton has even tried.

      Figure skating is full of paid fans (that's how most reporters function even if in other parts of their professional lives they are better qualified for the task) and skating-ignorant personalities, because that's the calibre of journalism the sport itself thinks figure skating needs.

    5. "I think the reason someone like P.J. is tapped for her job is a direct reflection of the view the sport has towards its audience and demographic. Figure skating fans aren't sports fans. They're theatre/soap opera/romance novel/celebrity personality fans."

      Totally agree. I've made a comparison on here before about curling - similar size fanbase in Canada, but it's swimming in sponsors. Fanatastic fan outreach - encouraging people both to come to the events and to start playing themselves. I don't know much about the game, but Cdn Nationals are on this week and from the little bit I've seen....the commentators actually EXPLAIN what is going on. They don't assume people will be swept away with how beautifully the rocks move.

      I think with skating, commentators assume all the fans watching only care about the artistry. I LOVE theatre and dance, but the reason I'm into figure skating now is because IMO, COP made it more interesting and exciting (and *gasp* even more understandable, it's NOT rocket science people) from a skating/sport point of view. There's enough theatre/art out there, that market is so saturated - if that is all there is to skating, what is the big deal? Add in the sport-on-ice combo, and suddenly it's something completely unique that may actually appeal to people.

      "But one of the biggest complaints from skating fans and some in the media is that one of the reasons the sport isn't growing is because the judging system has become too confusing for potential new fans to understand. I would never argue that the system is without fault but it probably couldn't hurt if someone with a detailed knowledge of how skaters are actually scored within it would make an effort to explain it without falling back on broad stylistic generalizations."

      Yep, they've somehow assumed the judging system has driven fans away, but what if people aren't interested because the sport as it's being presented right now seems pretty archaic?

    6. Yeah, what's archaic are figure skating's ideas about their audience. Skate Canada being exhibit 1. They start with outdated concepts that are embedded with insulting assumptions about their market/demo and follow from there.

      And face it - beats working is a gig that appeals to a lot of people. I can think of very few figure skating pieces that aren't regurgitation and cut-and-paste, and dismissive of the fundamentals of the skill set involved in the sport. As a comment here said, what do you want to do, do some research to get a grasp of what's being done on the ice, or sit at the bar and gossip with your equally fortunate colleagues who are taking a break from any kind of real work? It's much easier to claim the scoring system is impossible to understand in order to justify YOUR laziness (Rosie DiManno). Hell I don't need to learn it because my readers wouldn't understand it!

      That's another insult. Fans of other sports are meant to grasp patterns of play, position and execution diagrams, and a whole bunch of rules that come into effect depending on a given scenario - goes across football, basketball, hockey, etc. Also, even though gymnastics has some things in common with figure skating, those responsible for taking the audience through the competition understand what's being done in front of them and understand the scoring.

      By disparaging their market, many in figure skating - the people who cover it for the media, much of the personnel involved with it, are letting themselves off the hook and freeing themselves of responsibility.

    7. Jackie Wong seems to do a fair job at reporting the technicalities.

    8. Anon at 4:44 pm - I agree that Jackie Wong is a decent blogger/writer - however how many events has he seen live this year? This is the problem I have in general with the North American media is that during the GP series - besides Skate America and Skate Canada - they are using the live streams off the internet to make their assumptions. And to be honest - I think the only person who probably goes to all events is Tatjiana Flade (I apologize for the incorrect spelling). Ms. Flade is usually at all the press conferences and provides translations etc (and to my knowledge is not a technical specialist). My point is that the commentators in North America are rarely there in person and let's face it - TV or the internet does not do figure skating justice. My analogy would be would you prefer an expert be there in person say - let's say at a symphony or a piano recital rather than viewing it on tv...I mean even Browning, Wilson and PJ Kwong were not physically at the GP final or 4CCs - so right there it lessens the two cents..Personally I would love for Ben Agosto to provide commentary for ice-dance - rather than Tanith Belbin - who seriously has a conflict of interest...Going back to the reporting - I remember after Skate Canada - some folks on twitter reported V/M's Carmen as vulgar,offensive etc and these folks in general were huge D/W fans...guess who responded back to some of them saying that whoa - those are pretty nasty criticisms and that they perhaps need to be more open to concepts and not live in such a pure society? Lynn Rutherford...Ms. Rutherford may not be a V/M fan - but judging from her tweets after Skate Canada - I think she appreciated V/M's effort for not playing it safe..

    9. I would also love to see Ben Agosto doing commentary.

      Tanith Belbin does have a serious conflict of interest right now. IMO, she shouldn't be commentating on ice dance at all until D/W hang up their skates. Even if D/W aren't at a particular competetion, chances are at least one of V/M or P/B are. Especially when it comes to V/M, Tanith isn't going to give a fair opinion. I know the contrived rivalry is set up to be V/M vs D/W, but I also don't trust her to give a fair assessment on P/B.

    10. Anon here at 5:37 - if Tanith commentates during the Olympics - I am hoping that NBC would at least have Ben Agosto be there as well - to have a second viewpoint. Other sports also some conflict of interest commentators (ie. in tennis - Mary Jo Fernandez a former US tennis player usually does commentary - her husband was/is a player's agent with IMG and then I think he became a director of IMG tennis - so basically when she was commentating on a match - if a player was an IMG player - the bias was obvious - and when a player was a directly represented by her husband - the bias was even worse)..Look we all have personal favorites and bias' but if you are in a conflict of interest - either step away from the commentary venue or the broadcaster needs to provide a disclaimer...

    11. Anon 5:37 - yes fair enough about not being there live. Having personally attended live events, I certainly appreciate the difference. In terms of educating fans, like showing the base values and the actual numbers, I think Jackie somewhat more helpful than a lot of the other reporting out there. And I am glad Rutherford defended Carmen because I LOVE it!!

    12. I like Tanith. I believe she tries to be fair, and I believe she's genuine. That said, the conflict of interest does produce a lot of biased commentary from her, but who among the high profile commentators in the US and Canada isn't? P.J. Kwong is partial to VM over DW but her case is made on inane tangentials. She just sounds like a fan, and she also sounds overly protective (compare her comments on Dube Davison's 2009 Worlds lp, for example, versus Tracy Wilson's).

      My problem with Tanith isn't so much when she comments on DW, because give or take a 4CC's 2012 outcome I think that's where she's most conscious of reining in her rooting interest. But in commenting on others she poor mouths them. For her, VM's Carmen is strongest during the "middle section" that icenetwork disparaged. That's their strength, says Tanith. But that sort of implies that the technical/dance feats VM are pulling off in the first and last thirds aren't their strengths. That's where they directly challenge the idea of DW (not the fact of because what VM are doing is far more challenging/difficult).

      She's also taken to patronizing the Shibs.

      I, too like Ben. He's smart, stays out of his own way, and doesn't appear to have a horse in the race.

    13. Anon at 6:44 pm - I agree that Jackie Wong is one of those that reporters that is fair and enjoys the sport. And I agree that he at least tries to break down the results in terms of the scoring and I appreciate that. Recently an accredited photographer released their pictures of V/M's Carmen at Nationals. The photographer literally captured frame by frame of the dance and even though I had seen Carmen several times on either youtube or on TV - I was so surprised at how much detail I did not notice before this photoset. In a way - I wish this photoset would be provided to other media because it was eye-opening to me...Choreography, interpretation, transitions and skating skills should not be this close this year between V/M and D/W...let's just hope that judging at worlds is somehow reasonable for all teams. I mean look at a team like I/K - very good team but that FD is just a hot mess - but have they been dinged for it this season - no. So what type of message does that send? Right now - I have a problem with the PCS scoring in all disciplines and the 8,9 and 10s are being given away like candy. And on the technical side - the tech specialists in ice-dance haven't exactly been consistent either. Would it be that difficult to have 20-30 technical specialists worldwide go through training on a consistent basis (at least twice a year). Not for just the GP series, nationals etc but also for Senior B competitions. The ISU upped the minimum requirements in all disciplines this year. Interestingly, the ISU then lowered the minimum requirements after the GP series for all disciplines except ice dance in order for more skaters to qualify for Europeans, 4CCs and Worlds. Is that one of the reasons that the scoring during the GP series is inflated then all of a sudden at 4CCs and Worlds - there is a back to reality scoring. No wonder the casual fan is bewildered if the judging is not consistent. if the best skaters in the world participate in the gp series which is the first part of the season and the scores are already hitting the ceiling - well we are doing a disservice to the skater as well to the fan. Don't get me wrong - I think D/W is a great team and I do enjoy their skating but I would like to know when was the last time they got judging feedback indicating that they need to improve x, y and z. There is absolutely no incentive for them to change their skating. It's interesting that the USFSA has supposedly had their FDs changed over the last 2 years either at High Performance camp or prior to the camp.

    14. Apparently on another message board there's been some wondering about why DW's scores dropped ten points between the GPF 2011 and Worlds 2012, with the implication that there was something fishy about Worlds.

      That's how the spin has been. There was something fishy about the GPF inflation.

  5. Is the Blogger Aunt Joyce????

    1. Blogger is Definately American...

    2. Yes. I believe Tessa liking Audrey Hepburn and skating Funny Face is exactly equivalent to DW skating the same program components the same way every season.

  6. "No. Because the two teams don't provide the public with a detailed account of their friendships with each other off-ice, it's assumed they aren't as close as they claim, and that is then woven into an assessment that the atmosphere in Canton must be stifling. The conviction becomes that all relationships must play out a certain way in the public eye or they aren't valid."

    That, to me, is the most startling part of the figure skating fandom. Something must take place in public or it can't exist. Take, for example, Tessa and Scott's child. Set aside the belief that she couldn't possibly have been pregnant and then skated Worlds in 2011 - that's not even what flummoxes some fans. They believe Tessa and Scott can't HIDE THEIR CHILD. They're not hiding their child. They're just not bringing their child out in public. I don't think a lot of the skating public understands the limitations of the window they're looking through.

    A lot of fans adopt the self-serving view that skaters aren't really fussed about being observed by fans/other skaters/public, etc. etc., and go about their business as if they were in private, thus every time they're on video or at practice or somewhere else where interested observers collect, the bystanders get to be a fly on the wall and see how it actually is.

    As you said, it doesn't occur to them that the Meryl/Charlie Scott/Tessa friendship isn't just one of the most mature relationships in the skating world in the degree of respect the teams have for each other (which includes boundaries - not "emotional boundaries" "chill" or "distance" but boundaries as in "respect, don't interfere, don't comment, critique and bitch") but it's also mature in having a private component - it means something to both sides.

    It's also been obvious that those who lie about figure skaters and make up gossip only use existing internet gossip or stories that have been disseminated on the web as their jumping off point, because they're all unwilling to acknowledge how much takes place without their participation or observation, because the skaters - like all public figures - want it that way. They think all that exists is what they, the fans, can see through the window.

  7. "Yes, and the reason they can get away with it is because the commentators comment with a mash-up of style and technical remarks and don't communicate which actually is actual scored on the protocol sheet. You'd think "style" WAS a sort of skating technique."

    Exactly. Innovation in ice dance is about the way movement is tied to the skating, it's not about theme. Virtue and Moir's Carmen isn't innovative because their version is "modern" in style (meaning, opposite of the "classic" versions). It's innovative because they're applying modern movement to their skating and all of the different challenges that entails physics-wise.

    I appreciated Jennifer Swan's willingness to go on the record with her critique of the media on this issue. It's much easier for someone to write "Carmen is really sexy and provocative!" than to learn about what it is Virtue and Moir are actually doing out there on their skates. Same with those in the media who will actually write "Carmen is innovative." Well, yes it is. Do you care to explain why it's innovative? As in, actually breaking down the skating? Nope.

    The PJ Kwong/Dave/Jenny interview on the Davis/White vs. Virtue/Moir rivalry provided absolutely nothing of substance insofar as the actual skating is concerned. It was fifteen minutes of three people talking about what styles and themes they personally prefer to see from certain teams and nothing else.

    1. There's also no examination of speed. The blogger/fan who interviewed P.J. Kwong has declared that DW need to win Worlds because they're faster.

      Who says? Has he done a frame-by-frame? Or is he just dazzled by DW's acceleration? Difference being:

      "Speed is simply how fast a person is going at a particular instant in time. As long as you keep going at the same speed and in the same direction, then you have no acceleration. Conversely, acceleration can be defined as the process of changing speed."

      DW do a lot of stopping, pirhouetting, leaping and rotating, and then they start churning like their skates are on fire, rushing to the next thing. They're accelerating.

      Are they going at a faster rate of speed than VM? No. VM are not rushing around out there - they are taking a single stroke and swiftly covering a mega amount of real estate. Their speed is smooth.

      Nobody is saying DW is slow, but they're not faster than VM. It would be nice if commentators pushed back on that one but then they'd lose the storyline for the rivalry.

      I, too, appreciated Jennifer Swan's critique of the media, especially since she explicitly let the audience off the hook. She felt the media was letting itself off the hook by claiming the audience perceives figure skating a certain way, because it's just easier to write sound bites about style points. She tactfully didn't implicate her skaters or Skate Canada itself for promoting the problem, but she could have.

    2. The speed thing kills me because D/W are no faster than V/M. It also kills me for another reason. In one of his more recent replies on formspring, Aunt Joyce said that D/W should win because they execute their elements faster. Really? That's what matters? Never mind that V/M execute their elements far more cleanly and with better form and technique, D/W are not particularly fast with their elements (aside from twizzles, which they whip through without much ice coverage). For one example, watch the two teams do their step sequences. V/M do their steps with flow, power, and yes, more speed than D/W. D/W slow considerably during their steps then accelerate off once they're done.

      Even if D/W really were executing their elements faster, there's so much more to executing an element than how fast someone does it. Doing something fast also doesn't mean that someone is doing the element well.

    3. One other thing while I'm thinking about elements. This goes back to the discussion on lifts. It has driven me crazy that one of the memes this season is that V/M's lifts are labored (uh, no) while D/W's are not. I don't know about the rest of you, but it looks like to me that D/W are laboring getting into position with this lift-- Charlie is swinging Meryl around like a sack of potatoes. The final leveled lift of the Carmen FD is one that people tend to try to say looks labored, but this looks pretty swift and fluid to me:

    4. "D/W are not particularly fast with their elements (aside from twizzles, which they whip through without much ice coverage)."

      Are those really faster than VM? They're fast enough - but faster? I see a lot of hair flying through the twizzles from both Charlie and Meryl, but I think VM's twizzles are equally fast or faster, cover more ice, have better unison, more control, and the way they arrest the momentum at the end of their Carmen twizzle sequence is a tour de force.

    5. Re lifts - the component parts of VM's lifts are a whole lot more difficult than DW's.

    6. Oh, I definitely think V/M's twizzles are just as fast if not faster. I also agree with you on all points regarding V/M's vs. D/W's twizzles. D/W's twizzles are wild and for the life of me I can't figure out how they get the GOE they do for them.

      In my post, I was just talking about D/W's own elements--no comparison to V/M--in that their twizzles don't slow like their other elements, particularly steps, do.

  8. And, yes, the components of V/M's lifts are more difficult than D/W's. Even with the lifts being more difficult, I think V/M execute their lifts better than D/W execute their more simple, used-for-years now lifts.