Thursday, March 14, 2013

Volosozhar_Trankov vs. Duhamel_Radford/Davis_White vs. Virtue_Moir

Figure skating has come to an interesting junction when quality skating matters more in pairs than in ice dance.

Duhamel Radford skated lights out yesterday. Their basic skating has improved exponentially. Their edges are quiet, knees are soft, speed is good. They nailed sbs 3 lutzes - near textbook and the most difficult jumping pass in pairs today. There's all kinds of tricky transitions in their content-packed short. Their 3 twist is a beauty - tight rotation, plenty of air - done easily. The concluding sbs spins were dead on in sync. They're in second place.

First place Volosozhar Trankov don't have sbs 3 lutzes. They do salchows. Volosozhar's salchow was incredibly tilted in the air and it's a miracle it was landed. One might argue their short program isn't as packed with linking moves as DR's. Their pairs spin is glacial.

Why are they in first? Their skating is huge. They cover tremendous amounts of ice with each stroke. All of their elements are linked with unending effortless power and flow. They have better unison than DR. The quality of their skating is unmatched at this Worlds, despite the tremendous program and flawless execution by DR and the less challenging program presented by VT (save the otherwordly split 3 twist) - they are simply the biggest, most powerful team out there.

So ice dance is different.  I just watched Davis White and Virtue Moir back to back. Davis White hit their stuff. It's a good program. It's also beyond clear that they do not skate 'big' (compared to VM) - that they are fast scramblers who cover less ice per stroke then Tessa and Scott. Their two part twizzle sequence slows noticably in the second sequence. This "power" mantra and the idea that they're faster is bogus.  It was beyond obvious that it's Virtue Moir who have the power in their blades.

I saw the glitches in Virtue and Moir's program. I also saw that their skating was huge. Like VT their elements were connected by power and flow.  Their stroking covers ice like no other.

They're in second, more than 3 points behind. Davis White are in first. Virtue and Moir have greater power, cover more ice per stroke, and they bury Davis White when it comes to unison and skating close together.

That doesn't matter. It only matters in pairs.

Make no mistake, Duhamel Radford laid down quality skating. Those blades were quiet. They weren't dawdling, and they nailed everything. They gave the judges no excuse.

VT were a little wobblier. But that basic skating. Sublime.

This pre-Olympic cycle, quality skating counts more in pairs than in ice dance. That's wonderful.

_______________________________
P.S. - where else in figure skating are we or have we been meant to pretend that two top competitors are absolutely equal in skating skills in all the same way - I'm reading from some DW fans that their edge work, etc. has evolved to on par with VM - and it only matters who skates clean? When did this miracle occur and when has it existed in the past?

Michelle Kwan partisans maintain that if Cop existed in 1998 Lipinski would never have won because Michelle's skating was so much better. Really? Are we sure they weren't equal? Lipinski skated with a lot of pep, never stopped moving and hit everything. Michelle skated cautiously, spun cautiously (with wonderful technique) and had to steady the landing of her flip. That seems like a clear win for Lipinski under CoP to me.

Were we supposed to believe Plushenko and Lysacek were equal? Plushenko had the quad. The question was - would the quad trump all that Lysacek had packed into his quadless program? We weren't told they were equal - we understood Plushenko was one-dimensional and Lysacek was 'complete'. But it was men's singles. Without the quad, Lysacek may as well be a lady. Should a quadless Lysacek really beat a Plushenko who stayed upright?

I understand this must be in the rulebook, but it's also just wonderful that Meryl and Charlie can do only 2 sets of twizzles, the same ones for the past 4 years, the second of which slows markedly, and every other ice dance team, including the Shibs who have had the fastest twizzles in the game, must do three to even compete with them. Do we really think Charlie White and Meryl Davis could keep it together through a third twizzle sequence? They don't need to. Only their competitors have to - just to keep pace with them! It's set up like that in the rules. Let's ignore that they grit their way through the second set.

The premise of this post and the truth, is the quality of Virtue and Moir's skating surpasses that of Davis White just as Volosozhar and Trankov's surpasses Duhamel Radford's, Chan's beats Ten.

But wait - wrong. Davis White and Virtue Moir are EQUAL. Miraculously, Davis White have evolved to where their figure skating skills - their ice dance skills - are equal to Virtue and Moir's in every single respect while Virtue and Moir - who used to be ahead of them - have apparently not evolved at all. They stayed still so Davis White could catch up. Virtue Moir have obviously evolved their speed and power since 2009-2010, but we're supposed to pretend they have not. We're supposed to keep them in a straightjacket so Davis White can catch up. And the ISU apparently has decreed they have.

It's one for the record books - two teams who are exactly equal and have the exact same strengths in all the same ways, competing at the same time. It's nowhere else in the sport.

207 comments:

  1. Let's not even comment on how Patrick Chan gets a 7 point lead over Denis Ten with the same elements due to superior skating quality. And certainly let's not mention how Kostner can overcome falling on her ass on a much easier combination and doing an easier solo triple than Osmond or Murakami. Anyone who questions that is dismissed as a philistine who “doesn’t understand CoP” and is lectured about how the skating skills, non-jump elements, and carriage of these skaters far outweigh any technical errors.

    But in ice dance - why it doesn't matter at all!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes I think it's a specific thing against VM. It's truly baffling.

      Delete
    2. Chan's most important elements - his jumps - weren't even his best today. He worked them. He did them and received big GOES to boot. In between the elements - sublime skating. Apparently in between the elements matters a lot in the other two disciplines. Just not ice dance.

      We're supposed to pretend that that choppy (on purpose, by design) stroking in Davis and White's short program, the mismatching leg lines and the unfinished movements and slightly tight overall showing doesn't matter a damn because ... elements? But in singles and pairs elements are only part of the picture and skating skills trumps all?

      Or are we all meant to pretend, along with the judges that the stroking, run of blade, edge depth, unison and power in DW is better or equal than VMs despite what everyone can see? Why can't Duhamel Radford benefit from that myopia?

      Delete
    3. And speaking of the myth of DW's power, did you see this gem in USA today?

      http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/olympics/2013/03/13/meryl-davis-charlie-white-usa-best-shot-gold/1985667/

      Not only are they now reminding us that they started skating together at 8 and 9, that she relies on him to protect her, and that she's the serious one to his jokester - sound familiar? - but then this:

      "They were once known for their power and speed. But the boy with chipmunk cheeks and the girl with hair slicked back in a tight bun ("with a mid-90's scrunchy bigger than your head," as Davis put it) grew into graceful artists."

      It's not about the speed and power anymore. They have surpassed it! They are graceful artists. Why? Because it says so in an article. Because a ballet dancer from a reality TV show came to the rink and did one session with them, and then they went to NHK and skated the exact same routine as SA, with the same elements they've been doing for years, with a slight change in the music.

      Delete
    4. And after years of the public knowing about Tessa's shins, Mrs. Davis conveniently approaches the public prior to Worlds with news that Meryl is both dyslexic and lacks depth perception in one eye, and so also skates under a handicap/in danger/needs Charlie's protection. Didn't mention it before because wanted to be judged only on skating. That's why it hits the news for the first time just prior to the last Worlds before the Sochi olympics.

      Delete
    5. right, so it is to be the excuse on why they haven't done anything really original in years?

      Delete
  2. I have been musing myself in the last couple of hours over the fact that skating quality now matters far more in every discipline but ice dance. Chan and V/T are in first for their skating skills; Carolina's in second because her skating skills saved her today after the fall. But, in ice dance, where these things are supposed to matter so very much, V/M's far supberb skating skills weren't enough to even get them within fighting range for Saturday. They don't have a shot at all of rebounding on Saturday and it's unfair and a shame. There's some talk that maybe they'll be able to win th FD, but I don't think it's going to be allowed to happen. They won the FD in Nice by 4 points, so you'd think they could have a shot at making up the points here, but D/W are going to be handed level 4's and GOE'S and PCS they don't deserve. The actual skating isn't going to matter one single bit.

    I just hope V/M can regroup for next season, although given the way things are going, I'm not sure it'll make a difference. They might be better of to retire, have another kid, and live a peaceful life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are meant to believe their skating skills are equal. That's how we can proceed with the myth that the winner is the one who skates cleaner or has a higher TES.

      Delete
  3. I never thought I'd say this but I hope they hang their skates up after Saturday. If this is how things are going to go for them, what's the fucking point?

    I'm not convinced that Tessa is healthy, they seem intent on hiding behind their sham (Cassandra's brother posted his best wishes to Scotty on his instagram so we all know what that means) and what they do best is no longer appreciated.

    I'm just so sorry that this has happened.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well - it's so classy of Cassandra's brother to wish Scotty only good luck on instagram - while one of Tessa's besties - on instagram wished both Tessa and Scott good luck and lots of love.

      Delete
    2. 10:46
      So typical of the sham. Pretend Scott doesn't have a partner. Tessa is kept far away (on social media, who knows in real life) from these games Scott and his lover(s) play for the benefit of the public.
      I'm so sick of these grown-ups and their stupid childish games. Sometimes I think they deserve it when things don't go their way. It's payback for all the dishonesty and the malice toward a public who adores them.

      Delete
    3. cassandra was sitting beside/behind the moir clan in the cbc coverage..not sporting yellow..

      Delete
    4. Anon 11.03 I agree with you...Who is Tessa ? It seems that Scott is a solo ice dancer...

      Delete
    5. It's nice to know what's really important to Tessa and Scott. They've just lost their chance at hometown glory but hey, did you know that they're not dating? There's Scott's girlfriend with his family!

      Delete
    6. It's appreciated - it's just that Davis White do it just as well!

      Meantime, the ISU finds it prudent to ignore that VM have progressed their power and speed to where they are simply a very fast and powerful team who move with effortless flow. Have speedsters Davis & White become still faster since 2009, so Virtue Moir have still not caught up to what we're to pretend was DW's superior speed?

      It's just amazing. Where Davis White have needed to develop, miraculously, it's been declared they have. Unison, dancing, connection, flow - have all evolved while skating the same program (and one less set of twizzles). Developed to the degree they match Virtue Moir. Virtue Moir have obligingly stagnated and not developed at all. They're the same skaters as in 2009.

      Delete
    7. 11:03 - what do you mean "Who knows in real life?" This isn't Scott's gig - it's Scott and Tessa's gig. He's not conducting a pseudo relationship on the side or any type of relationship with Cassandra Hilborn on the side. It's a 2 dimensional relationship and Tessa's just as involved as he is, even if she's not in the photos. And his involvement is pretty limited to photos.

      Totally agree how ridiculous that the Hilborns pretend Scott has no partner. As with Jessica, it conveys that the "girlfriend" is threatened by and jealous of Tessa. Imagine if Tanith only wished Charlie good luck.

      Delete
    8. http://oi48.tinypic.com/2ajz09f.jpg Cassandra gets the same status treatment as Jessica - shoved in the back but she's still there!

      And Quinn and Charlotte get another shout-out from Uncle Scott, even though they're right there, in the audience. If they do have a child, this is deplorable. I'm trying to convince myself that they don't because I don't want to believe that even they could be that cold and fucked up.

      Delete
    9. "It's just amazing. Where Davis White have needed to develop, miraculously, it's been declared they have. Unison, dancing, connection, flow - have all evolved while skating the same program (and one less set of twizzles). Developed to the degree they match Virtue Moir. Virtue Moir have obligingly stagnated and not developed at all. They're the same skaters as in 2009.
      "

      It is rather amazing, isn't it? All D/W have to do is say they have a particular thing and, like magic, they do. It's sickening.

      People bemoan why skating doesn't have the number of fans it used to. It's shit exactly like this.

      Delete
    10. Yeah it makes one notice how all the US media in the run up to Worlds were busy telling us DW were now sublime dancers with the best skating skills in the world, and - most importantly - only if the fix were in in Canada could they possibly lose to the lesser VM. So they skate how they skated at the 4CCs - a little tighter actually - and voila - 77! If they've improved so much, wouldn't it be evident on the ice? Would they have to campaign?

      Delete
    11. Exactly. If there were actual improvements, wouldn't it be evident in their actual skating? The answer is, of course, if there were actual improvements, they wouldn't need to have campaigned so hard in the press.

      There is a post on FSU linking to a Russian article in which Marina said that Tessa doesn't believe in herself after 4CC. Thoughts?

      Delete
    12. Anon at 8:17 am - we all know that Tessa is a perfectionist and that she is hard on herself. Even if her confidence level dropped after 4CCs (with no help from the US media, haters etc) - if the article is accurate - then Marina should not have said it - my opinion. Marina saying that the dress may have been problematic with the twizzles and now that Tessa may not believe in herself - to me it deflects the attention away from the fact that D/W were overscored in the SD. If I had to read Marina's body language in the KNC for V/M - I actually think that she was also surprised at the gap between the 2 teams...

      Delete
  4. ITA, 9:50.

    If this is how it's going to be for them, then, yes, what's the fucking point?

    I am so sorry ,too, that this has happened. I know this one was important to them, and I hate that they don't even have a chance of coming back in the FD.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Davis and White have stolen everything from them. The one thing that Tessa and Scott have left that is special and untouchable is the one thing they refuse to disclose.

      Delete
    2. D/W have stolen everything from them. At this point, I think it'll be D/W that go down as the better team because of what they "won", and it's such a travesty. Sadly, I don't think there's any turning it around either at this point.

      V/M would seriously be better off to disclose that special thing and hang up their skates.

      Delete
  5. If you think V/M are disappointed - can you just imagine how W/P and P/B and Krylova must be thinking? Basically the judging with the PCS scores is sending a message to all teams including V/M that D/W are untouchable...and let's face it - if D/W know that they are being given a cushion - naturally you feel less pressured to be perfect....this is actually becoming an embarassment...yes V/M did not have their best skate but the gap is just too obvious...and oy canada - I agree with you that if the 3 other disciplines are judging skating skills then WTH with ice dance...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's got to be disappointing for Krylova and her teams. It seems like last year, they were the up-and-coming things. This year, they're in the same sucky position as V/M.

      The adage is usually that it's easier to be the hunter than the hunted, except that goes flying out the window with D/W. You're right that they have such a cushion and know that they do that there's no pressure. The judges are going to hold them up no matter what. They're free to just keep skating the same program year after year.

      Even with the mistakes, they shouldn't be so far out of this that they couldn't rally with a fantastic FD.

      Delete
    2. DW have to face plant to not get monster scores. VM skate and it's "Call for review on that part!" DW skate with the benefit of the doubt always. They are not held to the same standard as VM. It's not VM's 73 and change that's questionable - it's DW's freaking 77 for a 2009 program skated with their 2009 skating skills.

      VM can't rally because no matter how they skate DW are going to be scored so that 3 point gap is unbridgeable. VM are pressed to be better and better and are still picked apart and held to a separate standard, DW can hit near perfection skating from their own archives. It's the biggest "tell don't show" scam in this sport. All over the media the message is they are now better than VM in every department. It's VM who are scrutinized and analyzed. DW are not.

      All that care that went into Carmen - the incredible skating that show cases is a huge who cares to the ISU.

      Delete
    3. "All that care that went into Carmen - the incredible skating that show cases is a huge who cares to the ISU."

      I was talking to someone last night about that very thing. I feel sort of like Baby in Dirty Dancing when Johnny is fired from Kellermen's and she's listing off all of the things they did for nothing.

      So much went into that Carmen FD and it was all for nothing. I am gutted for V/M and gutted for ice "dance" in general. This should not be happening.

      Delete
    4. I also look back at the past 4 years and see a lot of bullshit. Tessa goes through the GP series with the pivot onto the ice off the Goose - by Canadians they hear "through the grapevine" that it could be a problem. Nobody's saying it IS, exactly, just hmmm, could be. So they change it to something equally brilliant. God forbid Tessa pivot off Scott's leg and land on an edge - what is she, a singles skater?

      I have ALWAYS been pissed at what happened at that Worlds. What freaking sports Federation tells the Olympic champions who won the previous month that the final move of their od might be ruled illegal? Shouldn't they have opened their yaps sometime during the season instead of the day of the freaking free dance? Can you imagine if Davis and White had to improvise a new lift/ending 20 mintues prior to competing?

      This happens all the time with VM. Something's in their program that sets them apart - commence jerking their chains til they take it out.

      I am also pissed at anyone putting yesterday on Tessa. The question is what did DW do to earn 77, not why did VM get 73. When did DW become near-perfect and how come VM have stagnated? The only ones getting scrutinized are VM. Meantime, we're only supposed to listen to the campaign for DW, not look at their skating.

      Delete
    5. P.S. - and now they do basically that same move at the end of the short dance and the ISU has no problem with it or hasn't noticed.

      Delete
    6. Hasn't Tessa been recently hiding a different injury then her usual? how is that not a factor in yesterdays performance? It is not that i am "blaming" her or anything like that - it's just clear that she wasn't 100%, not even 90%. I am stumped how everyone is calling Worlds Carmen perfect and flawless - it was riddled with flaws and imperfections, some HUGE, some that were so huge people who dont know anything about edges, GOE and that just watch them should have been like - huh, that's not how Tessa normally pulls her leg up in that...huh, she's like jumping up off the ice in the twizzles, that's weird..

      Delete
    7. I'm not sure I've seen anyone saying it was a perfect skate, just that it was an incredible performance. And what HUGE flaws do you see? The only majorly visible thing I saw was T put her foot down on the (incredibly more difficult) moment after the twizzle finished. Your last sentence I wish I even knew what that meant. Please point out the moments that you're referring to - be specific.

      Delete
    8. I'm not 2:13 but I agree that there were moments where Tessa seemed unsure of her footing. I wouldn't write off her hiding an injury. Whatever the case, whether it was an injury or nerves that was causing her trouble, their season is done. WTT doesn't seem to be in their plans this year, so she can get some well deserved rest for Stars on Ice.

      Delete
    9. I'm 3:33, I'm not saying that there weren't imperfect moments, and I thought in the SD especially there were issues that made me think it's possible that she's still having problems with her legs. But I felt the exaggeration and insinuation of 2:13's post needed a response.

      Delete
  6. its absolute bullshit that D/W are viewed as this great amazing team when they are just candy coated crap - every time i watch them they appear frazzled, rushed, strained, a fucking hodge podge of flailing movements that have been remade over and over like marge simpsons chanel suit.

    I cant stand it, and i can not get the judges pulling this shit unless they are not giving V/M the scores they deserve because they are sick of the scam as much as we all are. The judges can not be that stupid can they? Scoring D/W these insane marks? DAVIS AND WHITE ARE LESSER SKATERS then W/P and B/P and i am sick to death of this shit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Meryl has the worst explosive diarrhea faces ever while she skates...that is all i see - her on the crapper, making those faces while her asshole burns from the explosive diarrhea.

      Delete
    2. Really? Why don't we keep it classy. This is not D/W's fault. They are incredibly talented skaters, they should be in the top ranks, it's just that they don't hold a candle to V/M. As OC has pointed out before, the differerce that the marks should reflect has almost nothing to do with emoting or acting, even though TS are much better at that too.

      Delete
  7. Let's see what happens with the FD on Saturday. It will be very telling to see how all of the teams will be placed including Chock/Bates, the Shibs, I/K, W/P, P/B, Gilles/Poirier, Capellini/Lanotte, etc...I am not counting V/M out - I still think there's an outside chance that they could make up 3 points...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The judges aren't going to allow that to happen, trust me.

      Delete
    2. ITA 5:35 I believe that DW winning World's was already predetermined before this season even started. You can clearly tell from the marks this season that no matter how well TS have skated they are not beating DW. And unfortunately it is going to more of this crap next season. I already see the writing on the wall. DW winning gold in Sochi.

      Delete
    3. What happens if Tessa and Scott do the unthinkable and retire after Worlds? The ISU's precious "rivalry" will be gone.

      Delete
    4. That would be interesting. I just don't see them retiring before the Olympics.

      Delete
    5. Believe me, I am FAR from counting on a win for Saturday, but we also don't know what TS would have been scored in the SD if they had skated clean. DW's scores were beyond ridiculous, doesn't mean that judges might not have been willing to push TS higher. The games with scoring this season have been reprehensible, I don't know what the judges are up to, but I still think it's possible they'd be hesitant to tarnish Worlds to this extent. TS will skate before DW, and therefore the judges can decide exactly who they want to win instead of throwing a MC score out there and waiting to see what TS do. I think it will be very telling as to what's really going on - is it about a rivalry or is it about DW must win from now on?

      Delete
  8. Wouldn't it be ironic to see Chan and Duhamel/Radford bomb today - just to see how the Canadian media would write it up...

    ReplyDelete
  9. So, if D/W are so determined to steal everything special about V/M, if V/M were to come out, would D/W immediately rush off to get married? They could follow it up by stealing a kid from a daycare or something. Or, maybe Tanith could serve as a surrogate to carry D/W spawn!

    ReplyDelete
  10. You know would be great - if Tessa and Scott decided to skate Carmen tomorrow in their practice clothes. To hell with it, just skate - show your beautiful lines, unison, amazing lifts and connection. Maybe Tessa should start emulating Katherine Hepburn instead of Audrey, hahaha...just kidding...but seriously, from what I have seen Scott has been very supportive of Tessa and hopefully that will carry through to the FD...

    ReplyDelete
  11. VM fans will be no different than certain fans of other teams if they focus their hatred on DW. The rival teams are not the enemy. The problem has to do with judging, with the VM Camp dropping the PR ball, even at this moment with VM making mistakes in their SD.

    How does calling someone ugly improve any scores for VM? Please.

    Also, by the way, VM have not been proactive in overtures of sincerety or generosity toward fans. They are very nice during interviews we see on youtube, but of course the fans hang out on social media and VM have been less than exemplary. And NONE of this is DW's fault. VM are shooting themselves in the foot (PR wise) all by themselves. It would be so much better to get angry at the real reasons for the present circumstances.
    I just think VM fans can be better than the DW hatred.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree that getting personal about Davis and White is counterproductive. I think though, that their skating could and should stand a lot more scrutiny, and that the teams are judged by a double standard - DW get the benefit of the doubt/pass, VM have trip wires set up and everything is audited. It is insulting to fans of the sport, this campaign that DW can just say "us too - hell, us too PLUS" and it is so, and the scores follow through. I don't know how one tempers anger or frustration at that issue without bringing DW's skating (or campaign about their skating) into it, but I believe it's possible without going on a personal attack about the physicality of the skaters themselves.

      I also agree that Virtue and Moir have put their pr energy in all the wrong places. Maybe they're too proud to promote their skating on a skating basis. Maybe they think it should speak for itself. I, for one, would like them to quit saying they are working on "power and speed" when they already have amazing speed and power. And they waste their time using skating reporters who are ignorant of the sport like Pyette and Milton and have the two of them focus on relationship issues or talk about the fans.

      However, PR has not impacted the situation in pairs and singles. There it is impossible to campaign your way to near-perfect scores based on what you claim about yourself and then everybody agrees and stops analyzing your actual skating. So I'm loathe to blame VM's PR in this case, and actually loathe to blame the mistakes in the short dance, since their mistakes do not explain DW's 77, awarded before VM took the ice. As said above, Kostner can fall on her butt in a program where her 3/3 isn't as difficult as Osmond's and lie in second because CoP values her skating skills. Chan can have the same elements as another skater but be 9 points in the lead due to his skating skills. Volosozhar Trankov can have a less difficult jumping pass than Duhamel Radford and execute the one they do less well, and they're in first because of their skating skills.

      DW doesn't HAVE better skating skills than VM, but ... 77 with VM and other contenders still to skate. They only have to SAY they do. VM, OTOH, are picked apart. It's outrageous.

      Delete
    2. OC @ 1:07

      I absolutely agree with everything you had to say in that comment. When it comes to discussing the double standard in judging, and the resulting frustration and anger by those of us who can see what's going on, it's impossible to do so without discussing D/W's skating and the PR tactics.

      V/M's approach to PR is eye-rolling, but at the end of the day, the off-ice PR shouldn't matter one bit. It certainly doesn't matter when it comes to singles and pairs. The skaters in those disciplines have to actually back up their words with their skating. Those skaters can say whatever they want, but unless it's actually there in the skating, they aren't getting credit for it. D/W, on the other hand, just have to say it and voila. In a reverse from the other three disciplines, what's actually happening on the ice does not matter one single bit.

      The issue with the SD scores defintiely isn't what V/M got, it's what D/W were given with V/M and others left to come. There was nothing about that program that made it worth 77 fucking points. No way. The fact of the matter is that D/W were overscored for what did. Based overall on what both teams actually did on the ice, V/M shouldn't be so far behind that even if they skate lights out tomorrow, they have no chance at winning. And I've seen the theory going around that they could make up the points, but the judges simply will not let that happen because they're going to rip Carmen to shreds tomorrow while D/W will get multiple free passes, all while doing the same elements they've been doing for 5 years now.

      Outrageous indeed.

      This season is a lost cause, and I'm trying to start looking ahead to next season. The big question for me is there a damned thing V/M can do to turn this around? I don't think they can do what D/W and just say they're better... It doesn't work that way with the double standards. I'd like to see them rally back like K/P in 1992 after losing the world title in 91 and A/P in 2002 after losing in 2001. I'm just not sure if that's possible for them.

      Delete
    3. This is a tag-on to my last comment.

      The thing that infuriates me is that if D/W show up tomorrow and make the same kinds of errors that V/M had last night, they'll get a free pass on it They can muck up the twizzles and steps, and they'll be called level 4 and given +3 GOE. We know this because it's happened time and time before It's sickening.

      Delete
    4. Charlie did have a twizzle glitch and a couple of other things last season and they still blew up the scoreboard on that occasion and for the goes of that element.

      I know the answer can be researched, but I still find it fascinating that DW's two twizzle sets apparently meet Level 4 requirements but no one else can get level four unless they do three - what are the features of DW's two, including the reality that the second set slows down and covers very little ice - that make it = to three by other teams? And how happy for them that it does, since it's unlikely the two of them could sustain three, considering what is happening to the second.

      Meryl and Charlie were ragged at the end of 4CCs 2011 while still skating their program and Tanith simply declared it hadn't happened. There is willful blindness when DW has the sort of non-fatal but imperfect skate VM had. VM's style is perfect and DW's is however they want to do it.

      oc not logged in

      Delete
    5. " what are the features of DW's two, including the reality that the second set slows down and covers very little ice - that make it = to three by other teams? "

      I think it's the little hop they do going into it.

      Delete
  12. I totally agree the judging is not right and all the PR about DW is basically lies. But hating DW personally is not fixing anything. They happen to be the beneficiaries of whatever hinky politiks is going on in ice dance.
    And of course VM on the side with all their energies poured in to telling us that Scott is dating so-and-so and that Tessa goes through a new bf every season is astonishingly stupid.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well - yes, but they are actively politicking themselves. That is their right. They are competitors, and if this is working, why shouldn't they do the full court press in the media, announcing they have become complete.

      The problem is the ISU co-signing what DW declare about themselves when what they're saying about themselves isn't reflected in their skating. But DW aren't not participating in the campaign - they're at the fore front.

      Delete
    2. OC 1:35

      Any team with good PR that was being coddled like the ISU is doing with DW would of course be participating in saying they are the best. That's what the judges of their sport are telling them. Does anyone expect DW will release a press statement saying they're sorry the ISU is giving them monster undeserved scores?

      It's extremely unfortunate there has been no push back at all from other ISU officials, Skate Canada officials - anyone with clout in the sport. And like it's been said, VM care more about using their PR resources to make sure it's known they are not a couple. Only a few sources have talked about VM's brilliant skating in specific terms, such as one of icedance.com's reporters. I'm not seeing much anywhere else. There needs to be pushback that is not whining, not personal against DW or any other team, and that clearly and objectively reports on all the things mentioned here on the blog regarding why VM are the better skaters. If there were at least an equal amount of voices out there declaring VM are the best (and saying *why* they are the best), it might be a lot harder for the ISU to blatantly co-sign like this on stuff that isn't in fact reality.

      It's depressing to see ice-dance as riddled with politiks as it ever was.

      Delete
    3. This is where it would be helpful if Skate Canada media positions weren't staffed with self-serving, pork barreled incompetent cronies but it is. Debbi Wilkes is an idiot and continues to receive a platform, a platform which has nothing to do with communicating the skating strengths of the Fed's champion figure skaters. Her cause is Debbi Wilkes, and she's an idiot - so it's almost good she's not the one pushing back. Thanks to ... Thompson? all we have in pushback position is MacDonald and Wilkes. Did you know that Paul Poirier likes to stone his costume along with Piper?

      It would be helpful if Moirville, which presumably knows about skating would articulate the case a bit better than just trying to take bitch bites out of Meryl, run a pathetic sham and hawk yellow sweatshirts.

      It would be helpful if the Canadian media were other than groupies. They don't have the name or readership of USA Today, reuters, or even icenetwork. So maybe they should try substance.

      oc, not logged in

      Delete
  13. Are you people 12 years old or just plain crazy? Do you honestly believe the ISU is favoring a US team in ice dance¿????????? Canada has medalists in every skating discipline, while the U.S. has bupkus. I hate to break it to you, but the rest of the sane world sees the reality of the situation. Davis and White have been skating circles around V/M since 2010. They win everything until Worlds, when V/M finally get their shit together and give one decent performance (even tho it is filled with bobbles and stumbles). The commentators all over the world acknowledged the performance of D/W in last nights short.And they uniformly dismissed V/M as slow, not over the blades, lackluster, etc. I am talking Eurosport (where the guy said v/m are my favorites but this is not good. The Italians called d/w brilliant, a masterpiece of skating skills, perfection. This has nothing to do with the Usfsa. They have about as much power in this country and with the isu as I do (and that is zero). Meryl and Charlie have surpassed their rivals in every way, thereby sparking your irrational hatred. Wow, v/m and Canada have an embarassment of riches and still you whine and hate. Damn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the people here have eyes. It's obvious that Davis White don't cover the ice with their stroking the way VM cover it, don't have the control VM have, and don't have anything like unison and aren't scrutinized.

      If VM were lackluster last night why did they get 73 points? You describe them as skating like shit and DW skating circles around them reveals you as someone who doesn't understand figure skating and is just venting. Figure skating is about the blade and the ice, not the choreography and the pep.

      The question is - why did DW get 77 points? How was this better than the 4CCs? How was this better than their short programs since 2009? When was it decided that without changing their elements (and they have not) - the elements should be worth 20 points more?

      Delete
    2. You've also proposed a reason for DW being held up - Canada has the best male, so the USFSA is getting gift scores for DW so there isn't an "embarrassment of riches" for Canada. And it's unfair.

      Delete
    3. anon 1:29 - you're certifiable

      Delete
  14. Anyone else have to laugh every single time that Sheri Moir changes her profile picture on Facebook? Out of all the shots she could have chosen, she goes for the most intimate ones that she can find.

    PS: Looking forward to seeing Cassandra's new profile pic. When will it be ready? Has the photoshoot not taken place yet?

    ReplyDelete
  15. There has been some speculation that even if V/M skate lights out and/or D/W make a mistake, D/W would still win. They have a)a few points cushion and b)the judges might want to make up for the 'controversial' scoring during the men's event.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's just something wrong when a hop entry to the twizzles (if that indeed is what elevates DW's two sets of twizzles to level four) serves as a Level 4 feature for a team for whom its suspect could stay in control for 3 sets of twizzles, and all the incredible pure skating-based, partner-based, difficult stuff in Carmen is just whatever to the judges.

      An Olympic year is too late to try it, but I would love to see VM just do a DW program. Forget the nuances, forget the linking moves and interdependence - just go out there, rush through everything, never mind unison or finish or holding anything, and keep the lifts very off-ice based versus skating based. Stay super busy. Do a little hop into the twizzles - forget arresting your momentum coming out of three. If DW had to arrest momentum (a la VM, a la John Curry repeatedly), Charlie would fall over. If Tessa's shins hurt, well simply have her do a lot of skips, hops and little running steps and have Scott lift and pull her across the ice far more than now. They'll have to get a perfect score plus bonus points. The ISU apparently thinks actual dancing and superior basic skating is bad for ice dance.

      oc not logged in

      Delete
  16. Has there ever been a worlds with more skaters kept afloat by their PCS? But only in 3/4 discplines...bizarre. Apparently an out-of-sync-but-recovered-and-completed twizzle amounts to more of a problem than all of S/S's, KC's and PC's falls combined.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well it works like this - I re-watched Scott and Tessa's skate and the more I see the better it looks because the run of blade is so extended, they have so much power and natural speed, and the reason the wobbles stand out is BECAUSE they have extended blade run, are holding their moves, don't flail and rush either through their moves or from move to move, and because they have such wonderful unison of line instead of considering it optional or dispensing with it completely. And their bodies are fully stretched and extended, so any correction or adjustment is also out there. So the reason even minor errors show up is because of the quality of the rest of their skating.

      If they had more of an impoverished posture - holding out the arms, lifting the leg, but not really opening up their chests, fully lifting the rib cage with shoulders settled and back - not really finishing their moves - they could take adjustments with it just blending into the rest of what they do. If they didn't bother with extending and holding edges and wonderful unison, and hopped, skipped and rushed through and in between, the wobbles could also be swept under the rug.

      Unfortunately, only in singles and pairs is the superior skating that VM do that anchors and links their choreography and elements even considered superior skating. But blade run, natural power - natural power from a single stroke carrying you swooping across the ice - not "power" as in bulling and barreling through your program - unison, body line, edges that are held, moves that are held - are only considered skating skills in pairs and singles. In ice dance, the ISU considers skating skills to be running around frantically through and in between with frequent hops and skips.

      Extending your moves and your edges are a deficit and works against you if there's a glitch. Better not to open your chest, lift your rib cage, settle your shoulders, open your hips and straighten your leg, because then any adjustment or minor recovery is indistinguishable from the rest of what you do. It's just shooting yourself in the foot to have an extended blade run or hold a move - it's much better to flail and wave around because then who can tell an oops from choreo?

      Skating skills in ice dance are the opposite of what they are in pairs and singles.

      oc, not logged in

      Delete
    2. It is beyond frustrating that V/M's sublime skating skills don't count for crap.

      I am dreading this afternoon.

      Delete
  17. I can make one sham-related remark - that the photo of the stricken Moirs in neon yellow sweatshirts the sham girlfriend displayed like a flag in the back as usual - was one of the most pathetic and exposed sights ever.

    The short dance more than ever brings home the utter disservice the Moirs and Virtues have done the fans. The fans are gutted and furious about the skating. They care about the scoring and about Scott and Tessa, the athletes. They don't give a flying fuck about Hilborn in the back there. She's only a token of Moirville's threadbare self-importance.

    They still want the fans to react to them personally instead of as figure skaters at this event and all the skaters care about here is the skating.

    I know they're kind people - at least the actual Moir side (the skating side is really the maternal McCormick side). I know Uncle Paul and Sheri got skates to the couple whose skaters didn't arrive and if need be, Paul would have opened the case at Shoeless Joes and loaned the girl Tessa's Olympic skates. But, they also enjoy self-mythologizing and starring in their own heart-warming movie about themselves, playing both star and audience (their reaction to their own actions). It's so off and so weird it's not even funny, and if Cassandra is still living at home as her mother's tweet suggests, shame on her for giving this the green light. They all look pitiful.

    oc not logged in

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly. The fans don't give a flip about Hilborn right now. The fans are devastated about the unfair burying Thursday night, the fact that there's no way for V/M to catch up and win this thing, the fact that their skating skills and programs don't matter one single bit... Hilborn? Not so much.

      Delete
  18. I don't think that DW are held up by any means. There are plenty of times they have come in second to VM. What is frustrating as a fan is that the judges seem to flip flop them in the standings at different competitions, for no apparent reason. If it's the levels then it would be nice if someone explained to the fans why something that appears no better to the naked eye than the last competition suddenly gets higher levels or higher scores.

    I agree that DW have better PR and SC seems clueless as to how to market their stars.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think DW have been held up plenty of times over the past few years of the GPS prior to even facing VM. Their scores have been ridiculous compared to VM's.

      I also agree that the Worlds sd was no better than and to my eyes tighter than the 4CCs but now it's a 77 short program with 5? teams left to skate.

      About DW's twizzles: I'm sorry if Paul Poirier and Piper Gilles can "hop" into their two set twizzle pass then the ISU needs to revisit assigning that feature a level 4, especially when it's beyond clear that both teams would be hard-pressed to achieve a third set no matter how they launched the element. It can even be argued that the "hop" helps generate rotational momentum that an entry out of steps does not.

      As to Skate Canada. Two years running the USFSA has scored DW like the second coming of Torvill & Dean at the US championships, while at Canadians Skate Canada puts everything VM do through a TSA style, millimeter wave high frequency full body scanner on the hunt to strip points and lower levels, then the judges are on facebook while Gilles Poirier skate and then co-sign 8s and 9s.

      SC is clueless, period. Its star marketing has always been a pretext to market personnel - at the start it was Wilkes, Thompson and Slipchuk all elbowing their way into the spotlight. The "stars" were just a means to that end - it was all about the gatekeepers. Alone among the three Slipchuk seemed to realize he needed both to put his focus elsewhere and to appear to be putting his focus elsewhere, and he did - maybe because he actually has core competencies that relate to his job. Thompson is gone and Debbi Wilkes is busy promoting Piper & Paul as her main route to the spotlight.

      The Moirs have used the spotlight they've enjoyed to market Ilderton and their skating club and the family restaurant. When there's an unhappy result on the ice they use the occasion to bitch about the opposition instead of making the case for Scott and Tessa on either technical or component grounds, which, considering they are supposed skating "experts" they ought to be able to do - especially since Virtue Moir's skating superiority is a fact. It seems to me that keeping that message about Virtue and Moir's skating quality in the forefront at every opportunity might occupy as many members of the Moirville community as running around facebook and twitter creating another twit relationship for Scott.

      oc, not logged in

      Delete
    2. I think DW have been held up plenty of times over the past few years of the GPS prior to even facing VM - starting with their first GP in 2009-2010. Their scores have been ridiculous compared to VM's.

      I also agree that the Worlds sd was no better than, and to my eyes tighter than the 4CCs but now it's a 77 short program with 5? teams left to skate.

      About DW's twizzles: if Paul Poirier and Piper Gilles can "hop" into their own two set twizzle pass, then the ISU needs to revisit assigning that feature a level 4, especially when it's beyond clear that both teams would be hard-pressed to achieve a third set no matter how they launched the element. It can be argued that the "hop" helps generate rotational momentum that an entry out of steps does not.

      As to Skate Canada. Two years running the USFSA has scored DW like the second coming of Torvill & Dean at the US championships, while at Canadians, Skate Canada puts everything VM do through a TSA style, millimeter wave high frequency full body scanner on the hunt to strip points and lower levels. Then the judges are on facebook while Gilles Poirier skate, before awarding them 8s and 9s. Result: a bigger gap between VM's scores at Canadians and DW's at their championship than between Gilles/Poirier and VM at Canadians.

      So good work, Skate Canada. We can see by the short dance it was alllll worth it - Gilles Poirier are right up there.

      SC is clueless, period. Its star marketing has always been a pretext to market personnel. At the start it was Wilkes, Thompson and Slipchuk all elbowing their way into the spotlight. The "stars" were just a means to that end - it was all about the gatekeepers. Alone among the three, Slipchuk seemed to realize he needed both to put his focus elsewhere and to appear to be putting his focus elsewhere, and he did - maybe because he actually has core competencies that relate to his job.

      Thompson is gone and Debbi Wilkes is busy promoting Piper & Paul as her route to the spotlight. She's a cockroach - she'll always be there when the light goes on.

      The Moirs have used the spotlight they've enjoyed to market Ilderton and their skating club, and the family restaurant. When there's an unhappy result on the ice, they use the occasion for petty bitching and whining about the opposition on a personal level, instead of making the case for Scott and Tessa on either technical or component grounds, which, considering the Moirs are supposed skating "experts" they ought to be able to do - especially since Virtue Moir's skating superiority is a fact.

      It seems to me that keeping that message about Virtue and Moir's skating quality in the forefront at every opportunity might occupy as many members of the Moirville community as running around facebook and twitter creating another pathetically juvenile, twit relationship for Scott.

      Delete
  19. I'm just curious. Is Eric Radford gay?

    ReplyDelete
  20. The amount of butthurt in this post and the comments is hilarious. Face it, VM's programs this year just aren't as good as DW. People's arrogant expectation that VM are entitled to win no matter what programs they come up with is ridiculous. When I saw VM's programs at Skate Canada I cringed...I knew then that they were going to have trouble this year, especially after I saw DW's programs. If you guys honesty believed VM were going to win at the Worlds this year after seeing their programs then you were DELUSIONAL.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. VM's programs are better. Furthermore, ice dance is a sport; it's not theatre. That said, anybody who claims that the Notre Dame program - the same desperately re-packaged program DW have been recycling since 2009, is a better program than Carmen on any level from theatrical to athletic to skating quality and difficulty, has no taste, perception, or valid understanding of either figure skating proper or ice dance in particular worth respecting, even if that opionion comes in yelling all caps.

      Delete
    2. P.S. - at the start of the season, even their fans and partisans weren't proclaiming DW's long program as better than Carmen - their own eyes told them the program was outclassed. It wasn't until the GP scores revealed that the ISU doesn't care what DW put on the ice or if they'd actually developed so as to challenge VM that suddenly some of the fans kicked into gloat mode. The reality is it doesn't matter what's in DW's program, or what the content actually consists of - they'll be scored as if they've passed VM. What DW say about their skating matters far more than how they skate. So now that DW fans realize their faves are protected, they can get out there and yell, never once being able to cite specifically where in DW's program the new incredible quality and artistry has evolved. It's one thing to say - blah blah they skate circles around VM's crappy program. Or to say VM suck, blah blah. It's another thing to deconstruct DW's skating and program with specificity to support instances of where their program and skating skills are superior, and no surprise DW partisans among the fandom, in the media, and in the commentariat are unable to do that.

      Delete
    3. P.S. - furthermore it's interesting that you apparently believe the medal is determined by the package and not the skating. Otherwise you wouldn't have reached a prediction about worlds back at Skate Canada. I can't blame you for that belief - the ISU prefers the frantic flailing package too.

      Delete
    4. lol, your "if you don't agree with me it's because you're stupid" attitude is very mature...NOT. no offense, but you seem very crazy. DW were obviously better than VM at the worlds today...and beat them very easy. Guess you're not as knowledgeable as your pretend you are.

      Delete
    5. 2:35
      Wow, as a DW fan you sure got here quickly after the competition.

      Delete
    6. Actually you're the one, 2:35, who keeps showing up to make sweeping statements you are completely unable to support, because you either lack the knowledge to support them or you know they can't be supported - probably both.

      D/W were a lock for today - after the judges went up their ass with a 77 for Giselle anything less than a win in the fd would shame them. They had to save face. As it is to GOE Meryl and Charlie on the steps is insane. They held down VM and good thing because if these judges who dished out a 77 could "only" muster a 112 for DW then it's obvious they couldn't possibly have been scored "easily" above VM.

      Carmen freaked out the ISU because it set the bar too high and demanded a quality of skating that post-Sochi teams will find impossible to match or exceed. Rather than celebrate that the ISU seeks to squash it. I think they're very threatened by VM and I think Oksana Domnina was prescient when she said VM can't be trailblazers because they're too good - it's far too difficult to do what they do.

      As for immaturity I think that's defined by coming into this discussion displaying a degree of projection and generalization that can only be displayed by juveniles. If you truly believe DW outskated VM you'd be able to say where and how and why, but thus far nothing because they can't and don't. IMO you are well matched with your favorite skating team as you share the belief that saying something is the same as causing that thing to exist.

      Delete
    7. "Actually you're the one, 2:35, who keeps showing up to make sweeping statements you are completely unable to support, because you either lack the knowledge to support them or you know they can't be supported - probably both. "

      I agree, please 2:35, outline in detail exactly how DW are better skaters and ND is a more difficult and PCS-showcasing program. Your comments are shallow and vague and therefore you bragging about your superior understanding of the situation is pretty lame.

      Delete
    8. It's obvious to me that this particular "type" of DW remains insecure or they wouldn't constantly be hissy fitting over VM fans.

      Go ahead - point out where and how DW's fd is a more difficult and pc-showcasing program. Do it.

      They're desperate for VM fans to cry "uncle" and "admit" that DW are equal. DW are not equal. If they were on par, let alone better, their fans could say where. Let's not forget that in this discussion it's been noted over and over how quality skating has held up the scores when element execution has wobbled. If these DW fans are absolutely convinced their team is better than DW then it's a simple matter to get specific. Declarations about "refinement, blade run, edge quality" can be made til blue in the face if one fails to point out where this is happening in the actual program. Identify it and what relevent aspects are superior to VM. I think the blogger who interviewed PJ was the only one who made the attempt - albeit he was wrong. He cited some aspects of the respective skates that aren't relevant. However, he called DW faster (which isn't true - they rush more and are quicker but don't cover acreage with more speed) and he said they can't spin for shit. VM's spins tend to be slower until the 4CCs and Worlds, when they gain speed, but they're more complex than DW's and until the ISU flipped the middle finger at the gorgeous original Carmen spin VM didn't recycle.

      It's amazing how Volosohar and Trankov's spin while quality in centering and line, moves at -5 mph and they still win comfortably, but VM doing complex spins at a slower rate than DW (at least the initial rotation - DW tend to become workmanlike in everything after the initial "ta da" of a move) is supposed to be a sign they're shit.

      DW fans who love them don't make the case FOR DW. It's all VM are shit and making assertions they can't support by pointing to the specifics of the actual performance.

      Delete
    9. "If they were on par, let alone better, their fans could say where."

      I would go farther than that - I think if they would on par, or better, V/M fans would LOVE them. I think a certain segment of D/W fans assume that V/M fans base their fandom on the same arbitrary things - theatrical style, patriotism, off-ice likability, work ethic...who knows what else. V/M fans love V/M because of their skating. If there was another team that was as good, with as good of programs, I for one would be over the friggin moon.

      Delete
    10. ice dance is a fucking pageant and that is it.

      Delete
    11. OMG if DW were only that good this comments section would be mostly empty. It would be a freaking relief to know VM were locked into an authentic rivalry, instead of getting absolutely fucked. In ice dance of all disciplines, a once in a life time team is getting totally outgamed by the propaganda for an admirable but distinctly lesser team. The story is told in the execution and pc bullshit. If there were two once in a lifetime teams I think the fandoms would be energized and have every reason to hope their favorite would win in Sochi. Here, the fandom has every reason to believe the game is rigged because of how it played out here. Before VM even skated - 77?

      Tanith Belbin can cheer all she likes, but she's the one who in 2009 talked about the need for having "our judge" on the panel. She was unapologetic and straightforwardly said that this was the nature of 'our sport.' She's won in the post-CoP era, she was frank about the value of making the case off-ice. This year, to set up a Sochi win, the DW partisans took that reality as a club and beat us in the head with it from the first day of the season. It was ignored by Skate Canada who only cares about Gilles Poirier because that team represents life support for a couple of its directors, and even now its twitter is congratulating GP for finishing in the basement. All of its politicking was spent on GP.

      All of VM's politicking was same old same old - use the fans as a punching bag with one arm; reach for their wallets with another. After the free dance scoring it couldn't be clearer that what VM put on the ice doesn't matter. Does Moirville care or are they going to be satisfied with a whine and bitch fest before gearing up for Scott/Cassandra vacation shots as well as figuring out other markets for the sweatshirts? The Moirs have been Skate Canada stalwarts for a long time now. Maybe they should use some of their experience to pressure the Fed to use its energy for Scott and Tessa instead of Piper and Paul, and too damn bad if a personal follow spot for Debbi Wilkes doesn't come with that.

      Delete
    12. "OMG if DW were only that good this comments section would be mostly empty. It would be a freaking relief to know VM were locked into an authentic rivalry, instead of getting absolutely fucked. In ice dance of all disciplines, a once in a life time team is getting totally outgamed by the propaganda for an admirable but distinctly lesser team. The story is told in the execution and pc bullshit. If there were two once in a lifetime teams I think the fandoms would be energized and have every reason to hope their favorite would win in Sochi. Here, the fandom has every reason to believe the game is rigged because of how it played out here. Before VM even skated - 77?"

      What happened this season was nothing short of V/M--yes, a once-in-a-lifetime sort of team for sure--getting fucked over and over again by what is a truly lesser team. It disgust me how this title was taken from V/M. I think what happened this season is proof positive that this sport is just as corrupt as ever, if not more so. The judges have figured out how to maniuplate this system to get the results they desire.

      The fact of the matter is that if the judging were truly fair, the only thing that would matter would be what was put down on the ice. Nothing elsewhere would matter. V/M's lack of good PR shouldn't matter, but it does.

      Moirville--I know you have to be reading here, so this message is for you. Cut the crap. You cannot afford to lose the PR battle next season. I know it should matter, but it does, clearly, or Tessa and Scott would be three time world champions right now. I'm assuming you want them to win that second OGM just as bad as we do. So, talk up their skating. Talk about how brilliant they are, what makes them better than D/W. Don't dumb it down. Do it in technical skating terms. Do it over and over and over again.

      Delete
    13. Exactly. In the past on facebook the Moirs have mostly waxed sour grapes while talking of the free dance in mostly performance terms while of course taking the obligatory potshots at Meryl Davis (never Charlie which is curious and also sexist. Be equal opportunity bitches, Moirs). These are people who have lived and breathed figure skating their entire lives and its the best they can do? Be snide about the opposition? They don't know figure skating well enough to point out where and how, blade-and-ice, their guys are better?

      Surely they've already forgotten that the argument supporting Virtue Moir versus Davis White undermines the ancient Moir bitching about Sale & Pelletier versus Berezhnaya & Sikhuerlidze, or, if not, surely the Moirs can let it go/decide to ignore the inconsistency. Fight your corner, don't piss out of it, Moirs.

      Ironically, there are articles from VM's days in juniors that are more incisive and informed than what gets out there today. When they got silver the article explained that they were clearly the future, but where they lagged behind was the depth of the edges they were able to carve into the ice in the cd, due mostly to their literal lightweight physicality. The article explained that time would cure that deficit as they obviously had the edge on the winners in every other respect. Danny Moir was quoted in that article and he had smart things to say.

      Since then everything written about VM has been dumbed down.

      Delete
  21. I don't intend to throw any hissy fits because DW won. The season is over and in the books. What I would like now, going into next season and throughout the coming season, is wonderful PR for VM and lots and lots of wonderful reporting on why they are the great skaters that they are. And all of it positive, without any put downs to the rivals.

    And if this could be accomplished without ever referring to VM's living arrangements or non-couplehood it would be much appreciated. Unless, of course, it's to report that they are a couple off-ice, then it would be fine to mention that. However, only in passing. (Otherwise just shut up about any of it.) Please keep the reporting about the skating and all of VM's perfections as ice dancers. Over and over - till it's the accepted narrative regarding their skating.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It will only happen if VM and Moirville themselves drop it. Cassandra's career - whatever her adolescent dreams of it may be - isn't going to get a boost from this, the fans don't give a fuck - they're too mad about the skating and scoring, and I hope the skaters themselves realize that the only reason fans care about their relationship is they care passionately about the skating. It's the skating fans are responding to and when a competition unfolds like this one it's ALL they care about and to hell with relationship teases and games. It's clear that if they cared to do so, Scott and Tessa could be honest and respectful on their own terms and the fans would give it back in spades.

      It's horrific that VM let the narrative about the skating be hijacked by USFSA and the American media because they can't get over their game plans from 2009 2010. We had Jeff Buttle describing what Patrick Chan brings to the table and nobody pushing back on the DW bullshit that was clearly orchestrated, because VM were singing from a different hymnal. Burn that book, don't rely on Skate Canada for anything, and IMO they need to get the people in their circle who know about skating to open their yaps and make the case. It's insane that Carmen skate lost to the DW pastiche today. A travesty. It's only because of the size of the score in the short that it happened - that monster score needed to be ratified.

      There were two upsides today - the first is Weaver & Poje came back after not competing all season and showed their quality, while Gilles & Poirier, whom Skate Canada is still strenuously promoting, got a well-deserved 81 in their free and are in the bottom ten where they currently belong.

      Delete
    2. I'm Anon 3:23 and I wanted to say that when I wish for articles on VM's skating without putting down their rivals I'm only referring to personal attacks. I wouldn't at all mind a slew of reporting and blogging, and all the rest, that specifically showed the differences between VM's and DW's skating, sort of like what this blogger has done. Complete with photo-evidence. As long as the focus is the skating and not personalities, I would love to see this. But I also think there is plenty to say about Tessa and Scott's sublime skating without necessarily always bringing in DW.

      Delete
    3. I think it's important to bring in DW, including analysis of their components, because no matter how VM's skating is emphasized all DW's side had to say is us too plus we're faster! and the game is lost. DW don't have to prove it; just have to say it.

      Delete
  22. I would just like to point out that DW won the free skate ENTIRELY on GOE and PCS. What else is there to say? At least TS don't have to regret the bobbles now... nothing they could have done would have changed the placement. And way to go commentators, reporters, officials, coaches, fellow and former skaters for valuing your job security and popularity and petty jealousies above the sport you claim to love.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As a comment noted below, GOES and PCs are where politiks happen. The skater doesn't have to execute + 3, the judges just have to say they do - and voila.

      They needed DW to win the free today. If they awarded that Carmen what it deserved that wouldn't be possible. They held it down and then they upsold DW's GOEs and pcs and what a travesty it was.

      Delete
    2. I am still stunned that out of everything with today's skate that actually had DW ahead of TS with the artistic mark. What a huge slap in the face that was! I am sorry but this whole thing is a joke. I don't even know what would motivate TS to even come back next season. I already know who's winning gold in Sochi with how things went this season. I just see a repeat going into next.

      Delete
    3. I think the fact that the free dance scores were so conservative was very telling considering what was put on the ice. VM's free was stunning. They didn't come near DW's international season's best I don't think. If they'd scored what it merited they would have gotten the four point differential needed to win and the judges had already crawled out on a limb with the short dance. They had to keep VM down so no matter how DW skated they could win the free. IMO it is very telling that DW, who blew out 77 in the short before VM hit the ice, "only" got 112 in the free dance and most of that from gifted pcs and GOES. They won because the judges held VM down, and based on what DW actually skated in the free could only give them the free dance win in the politiks column. There was no way even this panel could put tons of daylight between the two free skates.

      I think this might be a lesson to VM to either skip the 4CCs or, if they determine they must skate it, know they have to skate the free all through there. In hindsight, this means they'd have waited til Worlds 2011 to debut their season, just like W&P had no choice but to wait this year. It didn't hurt W&P and wouldn't have hurt VM in 2011.

      I'm only half kidding that a stop or withdrawal in the 4CCs in the open door to a Worlds victory by DW. And it's irrelevant now as next year is the last season for this "rivalry".

      DW's two World titles have come after VM stop the free at the 4CCs after winning the short. It's like a momentum stopper. The politics turn on them when they have a stop at Four Continents - it doesn't matter what other team stops. VM are a political hot spot for the ISU - don't know why, but the politics by the ISU towards them have been there since 2009, and DW is the perfect club for the ISU to beat VM with.

      Delete
    4. Thankfully, because of timing in regards to the Olympics, V/M won't be at 4CC next year.

      Their only pre-Olympic match up will be, most likely, the GPF.

      What I don't understand is that once upon a time, V/M were touted as the next T/D. Where did all of the animosity towards them and their skating come from?

      Delete
    5. I timeline it best I can and still don't know. I remember a competition where they skated Valse Triste, and Tracy Wilson was surprised their pcs were lower than their TES. PCs is where VM excel, yet it's where the ISU jerks their chains.

      Worlds 2009 was politics - Linichuk's teams 1-2, Zoueva's 3-4. I didn't see that competition until after the fact, and I figured that, more than Scott's twizzle error in the od, Tessa's shins must have held them back from skating with freedom in the fd. That's before I saw B&A and D&S, who were each even more labored and ragged.

      Some talk was it was DW who'd been screwed. That was the year they skated the template program (Samson & Delilah) they've been recycling ever since.

      The Olympic year, DW broke 100 at their first international comp, while at TEB VM got 97. By GPF it was clear VM were overtaking them even though DW won (based on winning the short).

      The Olympic year was also when the ISU thought it was fine for Tessa to pivot off Scott's leg throughout the GPS and only started clearing its throat about it by the national championships. That's ok - I could see the rationale. But it was notable how the ISU never peeped about Maxim Shabalin swinging Oksana around by her costume straps. The ISU was only interested in controlling VM.

      The "you are fucking kidding me" moment happened with the concluding od lift at Worlds 2010. After the entire season, after the Olympics, and the day of the free, suddenly the ISU is all - hey, that move might cost you - and VM had to improv a new one 20 minutes before competing it. Imagine if the ISU had pulled that on another team.

      I find it doubly suspicious because VM did the same damn move in the short dance this year and nary a peep from the ISU. Tessa launches into Scott's arms, executes a twist, and is caught. Only difference is she's not set down; it evolves into a rotational. I know the twist was the issue, so why was it fine this year?

      IMO they are fucking with this team. They want to control this team. It's jealousy, ego, politics.

      This blog really ripped the Moirs a new one for their bitching over Scott and Tessa losing Worlds in 2011. The entitlement was offensive. Plus the team was clearly undertrained and running out of gas. BUT subsquently I've really watched DW's effort and they were the slowest I've ever seen them, and they also had to fight through everything. So I'm like - not as clear-cut as I'd thought - they had neither the energy nor attack I'd assumed. And if they don't have those things, they really are or should be up a creek.

      Of course, out of VM's free at Worlds came the ISU pissing on that camel lift thing (very sexy) so that had to come out.

      It seems to me that any move the ISU can't picture another team ever pulling off, it pressures VM to omit or pressures the judges to penalize them for. Resentment or insecurity politics.

      Last season the strengths of Die Fleudermaus ended up exposing DW. It was such big music with such obvious natural phrasing and highlights, your dog could skate to that rhythm. When DW started skating THROUGH it, phrasing nothing, being manic, doing hair skating and face skating, it got to be noticable.

      Meantime, Funny Face, its music cuts and choreography were more and more obviously entirely dependant on VM's extraordinary abilities to give it shape - there was no security blanket in the layout or the music.

      Delete
    6. This year, Carmen was head and shoulders above notre dame as a program, so much so I think it may have freaked out the ISU, that saw its thus far purely hypothetical "hot" rivalry being definitively settled a year in advance. Cue the season of lies and denial. Look how it played out. DW lay down a solid short with a lot of teams left to skate, including VM. Give them 77! VM blow the roof off with what is by any rational measure an extraordinary program with extraordinary skating and the judges HOLD THEM DOWN to the tune of a fucking 111 points because there's a few more skaters to go including DW. What's the matter - a clean Notre Dame can't plausibly beat a fair score for that Carmen performance?

      It could not so now the old "save room" 6.0 era bullshit kicks in for the free dance when it was ignored for the short. And when both teams' step sequences get Level 3, throw some higher GOES at DW so they win the segment.

      This competition IMO was worse politics than 2009. At least then it was a contest among three teams clearly not at their best, so it's a sort of which team was faltering the least situation if you wanted to spin it that way. 2013 was out and out crockery, especially measured against scoring patterns for the other two disciplines. CoP is CoP - you don't define pcs as one thing for singles and pairs and another for ice dance. In ice dance it's 'however DW skate it.'

      Delete
    7. This was far, far worse than 2009, for sure. Out and out crockery is the perfect way to describe it. I've been watching skating and ice dance for roughly 2 decades. I've picked up another decade watching older performances on youtube. What happened today/this season is one of the worst judging/political transgressions I've EVER seen in ice dance, if not the worst.

      Delete
  23. oc 4:02

    I love your analogy that VM were singing from a different hymnal. Lol

    Total agreement. It's been said here from the beginning, both by you and many others, what a huge disservice it has been to VM to pursue this PR line (or non-line) that seems to have also been endorsed by Skate Canada. It's so true the fans care because of their skating and VM have gone and squandered their PR resources and opportunities with this stupid and asinine concept of the fake love-lives. I couldn't agree more the spectacle of Cassandra placed among the Moirs is humiliating and pathetic.

    I hope the Moirs get a grip and start emphasizing the skating that they supposedly know so well and could explain to the world with specificity and clarity.

    ReplyDelete
  24. One of the ironies of this competition is how VM were buried - absolutely buried - by an orchestrated propaganda campaign by the US media, commentators and USFS interests who were allowed to frame the competition on their own terms, unchallenged by VM supporters. Underneath the storyline ran the implication that a VM win was a victory for corruption - they could only win in Canada. Otherwise DW were clearly better - hell, they'd beaten them in the GPF and 4CC. This was not a set of assumptions allowed to hamstring, or example, Chan, who was 3d at the GPF. It was never implied that if he won worlds after that it meant the fix was in. We were told Meryl and Charlie had amazing chemistry and had become true artists on the ice all without them needing to demonstrate it in performance. The competition went forward with pcs holding up figure skaters because they were defined one way in singles and pairs but another way to allow DW to prevail in dance.

    This is smart. The proponents for DW kept their focus on the skating.

    Where do all of Moirville's propoganda initiatives go? where to they put THEIR energy? Congratulations Ilderton. If I were in Ilderton I'd tape that screen cap of Cassandra Hilborn with the traumatized Moirs on my fridge so I could see it every day. IF I had been myopic enough to make the same errors and be hoisted by my own petard. Which took a talent for self-deception that I and most other people lack.

    ReplyDelete
  25. With regards to next year, I think that if V/M can continue to skate the way they have and continue to push the envelope - I personally think that the Russian federation would prefer V/M win gold in Sochi. In general, Russian fans are extremely knowledgeable and I am fairly certain that previous Russian champions prefer V/M. Yes the USFSA pushed the limit and helped D/W with their second world title...now that B/S are in the mix...there might be a possibility that France (for P/B) and Russia (B/S) will slowly politik against D/W...and hopefully with W/P in the mix with a solid showing here - Skate Canada will put their 2 cents in here.....on a side note - I am just happy that V/M had a strong FD...it's funny how on fsu - V/M fans want Scott to be outspoken...I want him to take the high road...I think the ultimate payback for V/M would be to take a second Olympic gold...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would love for V/M to win a second Olympic gold. And from what they put on the ice they should win. I is just too bad they aren't being rewarded for their pure skating skills.

      I have noticed a few times in the past couple of years the pure frustration and anger Scott has shown after their marks come up. I don't blame him. And they are always changing their programs and working even harder to get things right. Yet it doesn't seem to matter. Especially after this season.

      Both Scott and Tessa seemed quite positive today and really seem to want to take what they are feeling today and build on that and come out next season and win.

      Delete
    2. The ISU has been jerking VM's chains since 2009-2010. It's like the ISU enjoys using DW as the weapon to force VM to say 'how high' when the ISU says jump. If VM had won the championship today; if Carmen had been rewarded as it deserved, it would be 3x World champions VM versus 1X DW who'd achieved it in a season where VM only skated one complete competition. VM would have been out of the ISU's power to get their piece of VM's programs. The ISU doesn't give a shit about DW's programs - it's clear they have no interest. Whatever you want you two!

      Hey, Gilles & Poirier are down in 18th place or somewhere having executed the same twizzle sequence as DW basically (apparently - a hop into two sets). Boy, they must be really really really really BAD for theirs to score what theirs does or DW to score what theirs does doing only two sets. Odd that the ISU hasn't looked at that but is so very interested in every move VM make.

      I'm pissed because no matter how they do next year, Carmen was extraordinary and both Skate Canada and the ISU didn't give a fuck because it got in the way of their respective agendas.

      Delete
    3. Even if V/M win every damned thing there is to win next season, I'm pissed as well. Carmen was an absolutely brilliant FD and it deserved a world title. Like you said though, it never got its reward because it got in the way of other's agendas.

      I'm going to have to go through some stuff to find it, but there was an article, I think right after SC in perhaps the Russian press, where it was suggest that with Carmen this season, V/M could finally pull out ahead and away from D/W. (Which, of course, V/M have long since been out ahead and far away from D/W when you look at the actual skating.) That wouldn't work for the ISU and their contrived rivalry.

      I'm convinced that no matter what V/M did this season, it was decided long ago that they would not be winning these worlds.

      Delete
    4. I completely agree with you. I've been saying that for quite awhile now. It is such a shame!

      I think it spoke volumes when V/M marks were being shown at the GPF in Sochi and the audience booed. They knew that they should have been scored more appropriately. That there set the tone for the rest of this season.

      It really bothers me that in the future V/M will be talked about in reference to the rivalry instead of the actual brilliant and innovative skaters they are.

      Delete
    5. I can't stand the utterly contrived media hype about the rivalry. The entire season was orchestrated. The double standards were set in stone from the first. There was a poster commenting here - a DW fan - who claims when they saw VM's programs at SC they knew they couldn't win worlds. Bullshit. Even Tanith Belbin was quasi apologetic the first time DW did their free dance. Well, they could be the same old Meryl and Charlie and do trick trick trick or they could do something new - she was trying to explain what apparently she read as an unconvincing performance. However her message that DW needed to do something new was strong. Of course DW weren't doing anything new - same re-made and recycled material - new advertising.

      When Tanith critiqued VM, her tune changed. Everything she didn't say implied she wanted VM to stay in their 'intimate, comforting' box. She ignored the dramatic, incredibly athletic, audacious skating in the intense sequences of the program. Why, Tanith, is it okay for DW to pretend to challenge VM on their turf - chemistry, "artistry", etc., but VM better not go near what is presumed to be DW's strength. Does that fuck with the narrative? Does that end the rivalry a year too early?

      For Carmen's first outing, Tracy Wilson was beside herself with admiration. Subsequently, her reaction became much more muted. How come? Did she know which way the wind blew?

      Scott and Tessa got the message and its all politics. They don't call it that but when two skaters announce they know what they need to do, where did they get that information? The same "grapevine" that suggested they change the original goose? They need to go back to being 'us' they said - i.e., the Mahler Scott and Tessa. That is CLEAR. That message got to them. Get back in the box if you want the scores. It's no good if you're intimate and dramatic and conflicted and sexy and dramatic and powerful in the same program. It leaves DW nothing. It's over. Again, the ISU doesn't care what DW skate. Skate the same program, call it a different name, pretend old is new - do what you want.

      All the ISU wants is the narrative. Between the two teams, only VM have the ability to skate other than their assigned role. THEY can do what DW supposedly do (power, audacious athleticism) better than DW. So of course late in the season comes the overbearing, railroaded message that it's DW outdoing VM at what VM do best, it's DW who have broken through.

      It was the only way to keep the pretense going - off the ice, in the media. Everybody stopped talking about Carmen.

      The rivalry is a joke. It's not packing the house, because it's a fake rivalry. Anybody who knows skating and has no vested interest can see that it is. VM know it too and have pretty much said they'll go back to their pre-determined role next season, after trying to fuck up the ISU's storyline this season.

      Who is benefitting from this story? Some people in the comments have described what is so far only a big deal on paper - two north american teams gunning for gold. Sure, fine - but it's not putting butts in the seats or eyeballs on the tube, it's not SRO so what is the ISU or the media protecting but an hypothesis? Or maybe if the media didn't have the old empty tropes to write about they'd have to learn about the actual skating.

      Delete
    6. It's crazy to me that the ISU is still putting skater's in these boxes and if they deviate from those they are frowned upon.

      That is why so many people I know will not watch skating. The judging is still corrupt. Wrap it any way you want to it's still the same system it's always been.

      Delete
    7. Or not on V/M going back to their box:

      https://twitter.com/RyanatLFPress/status/313050098798063616

      "Scott said there's no turning back after Carmen. They're not going back to "classic" Virtue-Moir."

      Delete
    8. Oh and I might add one thing - in the absolute avalanche of bullshit that buried us about the new, artistic Davis and White, where was the talk about the freaking PROGRAM that showcased this incredible evolution? At the least, we heard from Jennifer Swan about Carmen; we heard from Maria Mountain about how to prepare Scott and Tessa for the demands of the season, the new elements, the new choreography. For DW we got pure charade - some ballroom dancer does a write up on ice-network basically claiming that the sun orbits the moon, DW work for a day with someone else. Skating doesn't work like that. All the talk of chemistry was relationshippy. How did it hit the ice? Other than that idiotic 'sweep up in my arms' move for the first outing of Notre Dame, where was this new connection showing up in the freaking program? All I heard and read was Davis White this, Davis White that, Notre Dame nothing. Seriously, the program that transformed them isn't worth describing or discussing? We can only make vague, sweeping declarations? Even though the Canadian-based talk about Carmen was crap (stripper poles, sexy, blah blah) they at least addressed the program. A skating program is the vehicle that proves the skating, and the miles of shameful drivel written about Davis White absolutely ignored the program. If they're so great now, the program must be great. How come nobody can talk about it then? Carmen the program generated a whole lot more ink.

      I agree with above - this was the most orchestrated outcome in 20 years, or one of. The second Carmen was unveiled I think various PTB shat their pants. Put that genie back in the box. There are no figure skaters alive other than Virtue and Moir who could twist and turn and change and tweak per the whims of the ISU and still be the best in the world. I think the ISU is just power tripping. They know Chan will probably pull one or two lps like his effort here with no help from them - keep things in play. VM they have to manufacture obstacles for them, and invent hoops for them to jump through, while reaching out and lending Davis White a hand. The ISU is power tripping and enjoying using DW to excert power over VM. I wonder if DW 'know what they nee to skate next year' or 'knew what they needed to skate' THIS year after last year's loss. The ISU doesn't give a shit what they skate.

      Delete
    9. Pyette is cherry picking. Scott said they know what they have to do they have to do "us" that they branched out this year and are going back. Every self-respecting athlete will then add an assurance that of course this doesn't mean they won't push the envelope but the reality is, that's exactly what Scott was saying.

      Delete
    10. Well, then, I hate the ISU. This is more rhetorical, but why is it a bad thing to be innovative in ice dance?

      Then, again, going back and getting in thier box is more-or-less what K/P had to do for the 91/92 season when they went back to a more romantic style.

      I'm starting to think that once V/M retire, I may walk away from ice dance for good. It's all starting to remind me of The Truman Show with the ISU orchestrating everything.

      Delete
    11. BTW, have you seen icenetworks's article with this quote in it:

      "I think what sets our discipline apart from the other disciplines is we really take it upon ourselves every year to come out and try to be fresh," White said.

      I was unaware that using the same program for 5 years was being fresh.

      Delete
    12. "VM know it too and have pretty much said they'll go back to their pre-determined role next season, after trying to fuck up the ISU's storyline this season."

      Idk, I just watched the FD press conference and Tessa said they are "not going to go back into the classic Virtue and Moir that everyone wants."

      What the hell?

      All season the fans have said over and over they LOVED Carmen and were so excited Tessa and Scott were going this direction with their skating. The only comments I've seen regarding "going back" have been in the context of fans' outrage and disappointment at the scoring during the whole season, and based on that, speculating that VM might feel forced to do a romantic program in the same style as Mahler. No one is clamoring for them to "go back" to anything. Not only that, Tessa dear, the true fans are well aware that the team of VM excels at multiple styles and that if VM should want to go a classic romantic route next year, it would be completely different from Mahler because of the growth and maturity since then. Get over yourselves.

      I hope they abandon this particular viewpoint of fans as soon as possible. What a disaster if they again waste precious media resources complaining about what they think fans want. VM have been very gracious in all their remarks today about coming in second. I was so disappointed to hear Tessa saying this kind of crap.

      Also, she said something along the lines of her and Scott having a connection and the fans see that. Oh please. That's so from their junior years....They used to always say, "We felt *the* connection." Tell me they're not going to be dishing out this absurdity again. The fans really care about their skating and appreciate their real connection - VM can stop trying so very hard to make sure "the connection" sounds clinical. Geez.

      Delete
    13. "Idk, I just watched the FD press conference and Tessa said they are "not going to go back into the classic Virtue and Moir that everyone wants."

      What the hell? "

      I have not watched the press conference comments yet, but I'd guess that the everyone in that statement isn't the fans. It's the ISU.

      Delete
    14. Well of course Davis White aren't fresh - it's a repackaging of the same style. They've had it since 2008-2009. I went back further and their skating was a lot calmer. The only time Davis/White really tried to be "fresh" was the time they did try to do VM - when they did the tango. There were a few beats in there out of the VM playbook and at least one was dropped (Charlie sweeping in to dip Meryl - he tripped). It's fine for them to take advantage of VM's absence to explore more refinement and even a few moves of VM's - hell, they won that season. But VM can't tread on DW's supposed territory. I imagine it's fine for DW because they can't do it - at the end of the day, the tango parts of their tango were mere choreographic flourishes - Meryl randomly wrapped her leg a la Argentine tango a few times without any of it cohering into an actual tango - it was just gesture, the rest was the program they always skate, and what little of the original experiment was left remained a struggle.

      The Orwellian nature of the dialogue about this season is exhausting - the ones who recycle say they're fresh; the ones who actually did do new things got slapped down.

      I also suspect 'what everyone wants' = ISU. The Olympic year Marina let it be known that the ISU the judges, etc., were so happy VM were doing Mahler. This was after Pink Floyd. Mahler was a great vehicle but why the fuck are the ISU or the judges sticking their nose in about the style THEY want? The reason the package and the style matter is, if this is a real sport, purely for the skaters. When a skater is working with a physical vocabulary that feels natural, or, if not natural, one that challenges and focuses them, keeps them engaged, when there's music they understand or can grow with, when there's an element layout and composition that works for them, they're going to skate their best. That's what its for. It's not - to use an analogy -supposed to be here judges, I'm wearing that pink dress you like! It shouldn't have anything to do with the package the judges prefer. The only reason VM should skate THIS style versus THAT style is if one of the styles ends up limiting them because they feel restricted as skaters and it takes them out of their game in some way. That was not the case with Carmen - it expanded their game, proved their quite limitless range even more, so the reality is the ISU has no business whispering they need to get back in the box. Of course, it's figure skating, so rationality, as Scott Hamilton has said, is not a big component of the sport.

      VM are proud. They're going to defend and they're not going to say they're playing it safe next year even when they do. DW never say they're playing it safe when that's how they've done it since 2008-2009. It's all cover for "we got the message'.

      Delete
    15. And while I really resist the idea that the worlds outcome is predetermined it's been harder to resist the idea in hindsight. One, the short dance score, two, VM blowing off the roof in Carmen to get only 111 and DW needing pc and GOES gifts to get an unearned fd win. Carmen must not be allowed to win this year that's the message.

      Prior to worlds we got everything and the kitchen sink thrown at us about DW - it was an avalanche and it came from all sides. Her mom reveals Meryl's battle with depth perception and dyslexia. A minor ballroom dancer is given a forum on ice network to write that DW are the ones with the connection, not VM. We're told they are now artists with no reference to the program that supposedly proves it. Over and over it's they're rolling in to take what's theirs and in a fair world they will win - in a rigged world only will they lose because now they are VM plus.

      That says rigged to me. That says the grapevine or whatever idiotic channels that supposedly operate in ice dance got the word out to make the argument and defend the results before they were awarded. There was no recognition that Worlds was a competition - so maybe it wasn't. It was all - it's a coronation unless these pretenders steal the crown.

      Delete
    16. "Also, she said something along the lines of her and Scott having a connection and the fans see that. Oh please. That's so from their junior years....They used to always say, "We felt *the* connection." Tell me they're not going to be dishing out this absurdity again. The fans really care about their skating and appreciate their real connection - VM can stop trying so very hard to make sure "the connection" sounds clinical. Geez."

      V/M definitely need to play up their actual skating in actual skating terms next season, but IMO, the fact that D/W are trying to talk about how they have a connection too now, V/M have also got to talk about their own connection again. They're being forced into reminding people in words that they have a connection. Showing it on the ice isn't enough because what happens on the ice doesn't matter when it comes to the scores.

      Delete
    17. "That says rigged to me. That says the grapevine or whatever idiotic channels that supposedly operate in ice dance got the word out to make the argument and defend the results before they were awarded. There was no recognition that Worlds was a competition - so maybe it wasn't. It was all - it's a coronation unless these pretenders steal the crown."

      Everything about this situation screams rigged to me as well. I have been suspicious of the judging for a long time now, but I'm starting to think this season was far more rigged and this sport for more corrupt than I ever thought. The ISU wanted a specific result for their predetermined narrative for ice dance this quad, so the scoring was manipulated to give them at result. Rip V/M's programs to shreds and hammer them for every tiny little thing and turn a blind eye to D/W. No, worlds was not a competition. It was a theater stage for the ISU. For this act, D/W were slated to win so the stage will be set for a showdown next year. V/M didn't have a chance, no matter what they did or how they skated. That 77 in the SD for D/W was an impossible bar. They were the first team in the next to last group with all the rest of the big guns left to come. And they got a 77 for a program that was not worth 77 points. V/M were going to have to be beyond perfect to get over it, and when they weren't, the judges just used it as an early opportunity to take care of the result they wanted for this season.

      I swear, V/M are being punished for being too good. It's childish and the anti-thesis of sport. The best are supposed to be rewarded, not be lowballed because it doesn't suit some contrived "rivalry" narrative. I seriously have no desire to continue to be a fan of something so rigged.

      Delete
    18. Right on cue everybody is enthusing over how great this is for the sport, how cool that they've alternated worlds titles. Very neat. Figure skating is a volatile sport and yet this "rivalry" worked out perfectly neatly didn't it. And at Worlds they slapped down Carmen good, and now they're proclaiming it's the best thing for the sport. I think DW fans are happy but also pissed VM fans aren't conceding it's a legitimate victory - because it's not, and because nothing about DW's scores this season were legit - and I think fans of other figure skaters besides VM smell the same stench VM fans smell. It seems clear to me from the competition post-mortem that Scott and Tessa have been hearing it from the ISU. Considering their skating quality has actually improved, what business did the ISU have sticking in its nose - particularly as it appeared to be all about style?

      At the moment, I'm obsessed with a tech point - the level 4 2 twizzle sets. I know fucking well that won't change for next year. I also know that even novice skaters "hop" into flying camel spins because that helps generate momentum for the rotation and that's why the "hop" is how you get into a camel spin, I know that Gilles & Poirier have control issues - her in particular - and lo they are 'hopping' into their two twizzles - of all the level 4 twizzle options they chose that one? Wonder why.

      I believe I know why - it's easier. It's an easier way to do two of them, so of course let's give it the level of three of them. How is it that the twizzles Meryl and Charlie did in 2009-2010 are the twizzles they do now without having to up the ante? They did twizzles harder than anyone else's back then? Everyone else was doing two sets as well and Virtue Moir managed to beat Davis White while doing only two sets back then - but now they need three to keep it on the same level without DW changing them at all? How is that.

      So I'm looking at gifs for that. It might be a feature of the next post.

      And just because I found them very impressive - I have to congratulate W&P once again. They not only came back from an ankle injury, they came back from a morale-shattering start to the season when their faith in their programs was undermined by unexpectedly low scores. And they finished 5th at Worlds. Good for them.



      oc not logged in


      Delete
    19. I'm the one who said the two twizzles is allowed because of the hops. I've checked and that's true, but I can't figure out what P/B do for only two.

      Delete
  26. How about the rumor that Tessa was skating on an injured ankle. Any truth to that? If so, good on them for not using that as an excuse.

    ReplyDelete
  27. "This year, we had some really tricky elements, tough stuff. Everything that we did was new, and that's tough," he said. "It was a really hard season. We're going to go back to what we do well, not that we're not going to push ourselves next year."

    Asked what they do best, Moir said, "I think it's our connection. We showed it in Carmen, just in a different way. There were a lot of figure skating people who didn't agree with it all. We'll see what we can make next year. We're not just going to go back to the classic Virtue and Moir; we're more mature."

    It's the skating PTB they're talking about. They can't skate like teens or people who aren't parents and married - or like newlyweds, but they can skate the "mature" version of that versus something like Carmen. I would focus on "just" as the intention in that sentence, as in we're not JUST going back to that we're going back to that using who we are now.

    I'd really like to know what the judges resisted. It can't have been the skating. I think it was too threatening.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was just thinking things over again. When V/M said that "some of the fans" were saying that Tessa was like Carmen, do you think there's any chance that might have come from the ISU, as in the ISU told them it was being said when it wasn't?

      Delete
    2. I don't know - I have no fucking idea what business that type of remark has in a sport. I don't understand the ISU expressing its opinion on what style it prefers to see from particular skaters. The ISU just shat on a free dance that was the purest expression of pure dance (all of its physical vocabulary was dance - all of it) and pure skating ever put on the ice. The ISU said "don't do that". They are a disgrace.

      oc, not logged in

      Delete
  28. Anonymous - March 14, 2013 at 10:46 PM
    Well - it's so classy of Cassandra's brother to wish Scotty only good luck on instagram - while one of Tessa's besties - on instagram wished both Tessa and Scott good luck and lots of love.

    I am anonymous at 10:46 - little update: Well it appears that Mr. Hilborn has amended his instagram message to wish BOTH Scotty and Tessa - good luck...Okay folks...LOL..of course they don't read this blog...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lmao Hi Connor! Good effort on the backtracking there. Oopsie.

      Delete
    2. Anon @ 11:25
      Lol, of course they don't care about this blog. They're above such things.

      Delete
    3. holy fuck.......

      http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-OgTsKl_4lzc/TemXs0HqdBI/AAAAAAAAASM/9Ae4ZbpuZMg/s1600/picard-facepalm.jpg

      Delete
  29. OC, do.you know if Eric Radford is straight or gay? I'm just curious and I'm not a homophobe.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Boo hoo...Virtue and Moir didn't win. Why don't yo all cry about it. I wonder if they'll be able to get back on track and win next year in Sochi? Probably not.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You do know they won a bronze medal in the 2009 World's and went on to win The Olympic Gold Medal in 2010. Suck it loser but previous world records does not prove at all whether one would go on to be champions or not in the Olympic Games. Clueless pathetic noob.

      Delete
    2. You're clueless. They were penalized for being too good this year. It's crystal clear. I'm still waiting for one DW fan to make a figure-skating relevant program component case for DW's victory but I don't think many DW fans understand ice dance. They're just thrilled the politics are propping up their team.

      Furthermore all of those who think VM must leave Canton are missing the point. This is a top down political problem not a training center outward. It doesn't matter where they train - it's the ISU holding DW up and keeping VM down. The ISU showed its ass about ice dance this year and I don't think they'll be able to cover it back up. In ice dance it cares about neither dance nor the actual skating. I don't think any of those setting the levels for certain elements or judging components understand tech or pcs well enough to render a judgment. I've read enough interviews from judges over the years to know that all the experience in the world can't change an idiot.

      oc, not logged in

      Delete
    3. I do agree that it's a top-down political problem. That said, I do understand why some people are wondering if V/M shouldn't change coaches.

      Last year, in the Russian press, there was an interview with Marina where she said that she was sad that D/W didn't win. This year, there are comments in the Globe and Mail for her where she says she can't be sad for V/M placing second this year.

      Now, my big question. The ISU has set the table exactly like they want it for next year to be some big final showdown (for a "rivalry" that shouldnt' exist). For all of the politics in the past, it seems like except maybe (or maybe not) in 1994, the right team has always ended up with the OGM. If V/M go and get back in their assigned little box, will the ISU do the right thing and let them--the better team--win in Sochi. Or, to make things equal between D/W and V/M, will they give it to D/W?

      Delete
    4. They are taking Marina far too literally. She's respecting the pride of her skaters. If you read Katia Gordeeva's book, Marina tells her more than once she doesn't feel sorry for her. It's about pride, and knowing who you are and what you achieved. The results, in life and especially in ice dance, are out of our hands. Even the skating doesn't matter in ice dance. You can skate the best, and lose.

      In private they all want the gold medals. In public they're going to be proud and not let a bunch of judges tell them how to feel about themselves. Marina's been in figure skating a long long time, back to the days when the politics internally and internationally could break you. There's an anecdote in the book when, early on, G&G came in second but the winners cried. G&G had been better and the winners knew it.

      Marina being sad DW didn't win isn't saying she's sorry VM did. It's possible to have a complex set of emotions. She trains two teams; one has to lose and she's going to be sad for that team.

      All those who want to blame Marina are looking in the wrong place. If VM went somewhere else the ISU would still need "the storyline". The ISU is the problem - it would still hold up DW and hold down VM for 'the storyline'. Having the same coach doesn't do a damn thing to give DW the edge because they can't do what VM do. DW could watch them all day - they can't do it. They tried in 2011 and had to pull back. And VM have been definitively told they can't break out of the box the ISU wants them in for this storyline, the box described by Lynn Rutherford who might as well be an ISU mouthpiece with her "nearly equal technically, but miles apart emotionally." VM fucked with that this year. Their Carmen announced - for real - that POTO for the 5th time is HARD? It's dramatic, it's athletic? Really? We'll show you.

      And out comes the purest ice dance program ever skated - incredibly athletic, a tour de force. It exposed DW because it showed DW's mash-up for the smoke and mirrors it is. Carmen totally exposed VM and they were brilliant. It blew the story up and the ISU spent the season shoving everything back. The ISU denied Carmen, it said DW's 2010 program was the best in fucking pcs. That's what you get when you mess with the ISU's storyline.

      Marina and her skaters are better than the ISU. In 2011 DW were allowed to try and challenge VM on their own turf - the refinement, intricacy, more mutually interdependent movement. Yes, it was the safest year to risk going out of their box - VM were out for most of it and DW knew they would be long before it was announced. But you had better believe that if DW had succeeded in the experiment VM would have been excited by it and welcomed it. And I imagine the ISU wouldn't have minded because they know VM could handle the challenge. So it was okay for DW to try and leave their box. As it happened, they failed, but they did try and were permitted to do it.

      VM were not allowed when it was their turn to try, because it seems to me the ISU freaked out. It turns out DW's turf isn't really "their" turf, it's more protected turf, versus something they do better than VM. When VM want to, they do it better, how it's supposed to be done, rooted in the edges and in dancing.

      The ISU is the problem, not Marina. The ISU I am sure knows what's wrong with DW's skating. They want their power tripping more, they want their storyline more.

      oc not logged in

      Delete
  31. Wow, this website is hilarious. What a bunch of bitter whiners. V & M just weren't as good as D & W, face it. Funny no one in the media is saying V & M deserved to win - and apparently the judges didn't think so, either...but y'all are so convinced they should have. Maybe it's not the judges who are ignorant...maybe it's you guys. Grow up and get over it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm having a really hard time picturing VM fans being this obsessed over what DW fans think if a win had happened.

      Delete
    2. No doubt the crazies here would be busy talking about Tessa's hidden away child they're convinced she had. Smh.

      Delete
    3. 2:50 You love hanging out here obviously.

      You can feel superior all you want by calling us crazies. At least we can back up our talk with facts. Do you have anything besides name calling and an obsession to see what people here are saying? Are you worried anything might be true? :)

      Delete
    4. Crazy is fans who think VM are television characters who live at the arena. If the baby isn't on tv or at the venue it is "hidden away."

      Do you think Virtue and Moir don't have a home? Where do you think home is - where do you think it's been since they've been training in Canton? Before you answer - are you sure?

      They keep plenty "hidden". It's not "hidden", actually. It's just not on TV or the web. I realize some fans struggle to get the difference.

      And too right - VM fans wouldn't give a shit what DW fans thought but DW fans can't feel validated unless VM give in to the storyline.

      The media can't say shit about the results for the same reason the ISU can get away with corruption - the media doesn't understand figure skating. How can they agree or disagree with something when most of them can't tell pairs from dance, confuse performance and theatre with skating and when even former skaters have idiotic reasons for why one team is better than the other (so and so is "passionate", so and so has "presence"). It's a sport set up for corruption because nobody bothers to study it enough to be able to see for themselves if the relevant criteria is being met on the ice. DW fans whined their faces off last season because VM beat them. This season, suddenly the judging is honest. So please. Whine about last year. And now whine that VM fans aren't crying uncle. How many visits does this comment make to this thread, all to cloak whining in childish I don't cares and lols like a four year old.

      oc, not logged in

      Delete
  32. I share the opinion they need to leave Canton. If for no other reason, than because they need an improvement narrative next year (notice I did not say an improvement arc - they don't really need to improve, they just need people to think they have).

    Hook up with Igor, drop all the transitions from the program, and cow about how they have a newfound speed and athleticism. Talk about how Marina focuses too much on connection and chemistry, for both top teams, and that this year they decided to go back to basics and focus on the ice dance fundamentals of speed, aggression, and athleticism. This will have the added bonus of shitting all over DW's newly discovered "connection" the way that DW have undermined VM by implying the teams were equal technically, and VM only had that connection over them.

    Also, Scott, make sure you talk about how much you love, love, love that Finnstep. Because it's so fast! And athletic!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can understand this viewpoint, but I don't want to suffer through a season with a crap program just so VM can explicitly show up DW. I also wouldn't put it past the ISU to somehow try to penalize TS by pulling some "Olympic Champions should push the sport" gaslighting.

      Delete
    2. 3:13 here. I would keep Swan to put some highlights and flourishes in the program. Mahler was a lot more open than Carmen but it was beautiful. Doesn't have to be crap. They just can't get bogged down with transitions, since they're so "slow" you know.

      But yeah, I can see the ISU pulling a reverse on them. They may be screwed either way.

      Maybe they could become singles or pairs skaters. They have skating skills but not difficult jumps. They'll fit right in and be showered with 10s.

      Delete
    3. I'm 3:23 :) Just want to clarify that I in no way think of their past programs as crap, so perhaps that wasn't the correct adjective to use. But I would find a program lacking transitions very disappointing after what we've witnessed this season.

      Delete
    4. Who knows what they should do about transitions--any of it, really. Last year they had too few, this year too many. The ISU is always moving the goalposts on V/M. Who knows what they'll come up with for hoops to jump through next season.

      Delete
  33. During gala coverage, Tracy said "I think Carmen was underappreciated by the judges". I almost fell off my chair. Not enough, but it's something.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And PJ Kwong said something to that effect as well. You're right though...not enough.

      Delete
    2. They waited until after Worlds to say it. I still believe many in the sport, including Tracy, knows exactly what's up and knew it was a done deal prior to the competition. Too right. The ISU makes sport of moving the goal posts for VM.

      Delete
    3. I haven't watched the bold coverage of today yet - but on Saturday, on twitter, PJ says she agreed that M&C were clearly the best. Canadian commentators need to grow a pair. I did watch the bold FD coverage - is she knowledgable and just doesn't SAY anything useful or does she really not have much of a clue? She yammered on about how NDP doesn't sell the story, I never heard a word about the skating. Worst moment for me was "nice combination spin" as ?Coomes/Buckland? enter into it, but then she adds no follow-up comment as it completely falls apart. I know no longer feel she adds much that is useful.

      She has a pic on her twitter - why would Danny's kid be in the press conference zone? Is that usual for the family to be there if they are at the comp? But the kid doesn't look old enough to be TS' and looks like the same kid who the women I assume is Tessa#2 was holding, so I'm guessing that IS Danny's kid. But, seriously, why NOT their kid? I can understand them not wanting their kid to grow up in the public eye - but why is it ok for the nieces? Why all these references/shoutouts/pictures and now video of the nieces OK? If there was a valid reason to protect their kid from the public, why is the privacy of the nieces so slack? If this picture can exist and be broadcast by PJ, what is wrong with the alternate universe in which the public TS have a child?

      Delete
    4. I agree with you about the neices. If being part of it in PUBLIC, in real time (not in private family material) weren't significant, the little girls wouldn't be held up in the front row where the camera can see them so that in future years, these little girls can see themselves, and their own kids can see mom when mom was a kid, at this historical event.

      The photo of Danny's daughter wouldn't hit twitter. It would be a private photo. We'd never know she was at the press conference table. Instead - twitter.
      Because that's part of it. You were on twitter back then!

      Scott and Tessa's own child is being denied the history their cousins will be part of, because their existence needs to be edited out of the narrative. But never fear, at every major Canadian competition since 2009 their child can look at the family in the stands from television clips of the time and see Daddy's pretend girlfriend. She'll be in pre-K or something and Daddy will still be posing with a fake girlfriend.

      As to PJ - she's a publicist. The entire figure skating business depends upon both the public and media ignorance of the sport. Former figure skaters are only too delighted to perpetuate all kinds of bullshit about the sport when they do commentating.

      Even the people who have written about figure skating for years don't know what they're writing about. Ask Steve Milton if he understands CoP, if he can see what the blade is supposed to be doing. Ask E.M. Swift of Sports Illustrated (who co-wrote My Sergei) if he understands the technical components of the sport he's been covering for 20 years. They're all seduced by the personalities, the drama, and the accessibility you get in what is really a niche sport. You rub elbows. There's not the barrier you get in major sports like football, hockey and basketball. The media that cover it year after year have become groupies.

      Kwong came out this season and declared Gilles Poirier ought to have beaten Hubbell Donohue at some competition, declared that her opinion was expert because she's an ice dance coach, and then was unable to cite a single specific as to why she thought so.

      I think everybody is throwing VM under the bus here and I wonder why. They're eager to cave on this. Anybody who understands figure skating knows that DW and VM are really not equal - so is the problem these people don't understand figure skating?

      Tracy Wilson, who does, is hamstrung because she works with NBC.

      Sometimes I wonder if Skate Canada - including PJ, spent the entire season sucking up to the ISU about Gilles and Poirier and letting VM take care of themselves, and it makes me wonder if the ISU totally played them. That's right, talk to us about Gilles Poirier, not VM! That's where we want your energy. Lead Skate Canada on by giving Gilles Poirier nice scores at the 4CC, only to crush them at Worlds once the ISU didn't need Skate Canada's focus on something else anymore.

      Delete
  34. "All those who want to blame Marina are looking in the wrong place. If VM went somewhere else the ISU would still need "the storyline". The ISU is the problem - it would still hold up DW and hold down VM for 'the storyline'. Having the same coach doesn't do a damn thing to give DW the edge because they can't do what VM do. DW could watch them all day - they can't do it. They tried in 2011 and had to pull back. And VM have been definitively told they can't break out of the box the ISU wants them in for this storyline, the box described by Lynn Rutherford who might as well be an ISU mouthpiece with her "nearly equal technically, but miles apart emotionally." VM fucked with that this year."

    THIS. People upset by this season's results need to pull back from what I like to call the "FSU solution to everything," which is: switch coaches or retire! I swear a skater could have a bad skate because of a hang nail and FSU would scream "she needs to switch coaches!"

    What people need to do instead is really think about this as the larger top-down political problem it is. One that would remain in place whether Virtue and Moir train with Davis and White or not. People constantly blow the sharing a training/facility issue out of proportion. Those are not bad things for Virtue and Moir. They claim it helps them strive to be better everyday. Can't quibble with that. Why walk away from a set-up that provides you with a set of coaches devoted to helping you achieve your goals (and who really "get" what those are and help you shape them) and an environment which allows you to see just what you're up against each season? Moving to Igor wouldn't change a damn thing. It would be a waste of time. There's nothing he can do for Tessa and Scott that they can't get from Marina or the other coaches at Arctic Edge. They're where they should be. Being in Canton is not the problem. Marina does plenty of politicking for Virtue and Moir and always has.

    The problem is that what Virtue and Moir did with Carmen was beyond what the ISU wants to see from them. Virtue and Moir want to push the sport forward. They're being stifled creatively in order for the ISU to keep the rivalry the top story and create a more even playing field with a lot of skaters bunched up closely behind.

    It's clear now (though more than a few people saw this coming at the beginning of the season) that the USFSA out-maneuvered Skate Canada this year. There was a deluge of Davis/White propaganda (asserting their superiority to Virtue/Moir) released monthly and with no push-back from Skate Canada it made it easier for that propaganda to be folded into the sport's general discourse. Skate Canada seems far more interested in shoving Gilles and Poirier down people's throats than anything else. I've never seen a federation devote so much attention to a currently below-average team in all of my life. Especially a fed that has the world's best ice dance team making real efforts to change the sport.

    Skate Canada is losing battles in the media (are they even suiting up for most of them?) and on the ice. They can't fall back on the "we like to let Tessa and Scott's skating speak for itself" excuse, either. Because Lord knows Virtue and Moir and their fed never miss an opportunity to whine about how the fans don't understand them or confuse what they do on the ice with who they are off of it. They certainly can't let the reality of who they are together speak for itself. That truth apparently can't come out and they'll work overtime to make sure it doesn't happen. But talk about their skating? Nope.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with this.

      Delete
    2. "It's clear now (though more than a few people saw this coming at the beginning of the season) that the USFSA out-maneuvered Skate Canada this year. There was a deluge of Davis/White propaganda (asserting their superiority to Virtue/Moir) released monthly and with no push-back from Skate Canada it made it easier for that propaganda to be folded into the sport's general discourse. Skate Canada seems far more interested in shoving Gilles and Poirier down people's throats than anything else. I've never seen a federation devote so much attention to a currently below-average team in all of my life. Especially a fed that has the world's best ice dance team making real efforts to change the sport."

      Bingo. Skate Canada got played. Even if they were willing to feed Virtue Moir to the ISU (or let Virtue Moir fend for themselves) so as to cultivate political capital for Gilles Poirier - THAT paid off, didn't it?

      Hell, because Skate Canada spent so much political capital (if they even have any) on Gilles Poirier, because Skate Canada screwed over Virtue Moir two championships running while giving Gilles Poirier absurd scores (what did GP get at Canadians this year? 105? They got 81! at Worlds), they played into the hands of the ISU's agenda for DW/VM. Shit, for all we know Skate Canada was FINE with VM getting fucked as long as GP got the boost - and boy the ISU stabbed them in the back, didn't they?

      Gilles Poirier Gilles Poirier Gilles Poirier. What the holy fuck Skate Canada? A bunch of officials who, seven years ago, couldn't stop bragging about how much better they understood things than their predecessors has turned into the fucking the fucking Howdy Doody circus army.

      Even after Worlds they were tweeting out congrats to Gilles Poirier for a great first worlds. Really?

      Figure skating is rife with paranoia. It's comformist. There's no accountability. Skaters invest an incredible amount of ... everything ... into the sport without ever really understanding if they're on a level playing field or not. This year's worlds only validates these circumstances. So there's no chance of a mutiny or rebellion, although it would be great if the "skating community" demanded of Wilkes and Skate Canada when the HELL did Skate Canada become all about a single pair of bottom ten sub par ice dancers? Other ice dancers - the dancers at Scarborough that their coach treats as cannon fodder, the beautifully intricate and soft Paul Islam who are dismissed as virtue Moir wannabes and don't get credit for what they put on the ice or the skills it takes to do their programs (Jennifer Swan appreciates them, though) - Weaver & Poje who can thank themselves and their coach for their results at this Worlds - Skate Canada mostly forgot they existed.

      Delete
    3. I've said this in other posts, but don't forget the propoganda succeeds because even the people who write about the damn sport don't know a damn thing about it as a sport. They couldn't tell an inside edge from an outside edge, they don't know why a sustained edge is better than skidding on two feet, they don't know a curve is better than a flat. They're cluelss, so the sports media AND the public is easily manipulated.

      And what kind of education program, does, say Skate Canada promote? It spends all of its PR telling us that a pair of, as said above, below average ice dancers are the second coming. And Debbi Wilkes has had one idea she is beating into the ground - you can hurt yourself figure skating, just like a real sport.

      That's really helpful. The corruption in the sport thrives on ignorance of the sport.

      Delete
  35. But does training with DW really make VM better skaters, if DW are not better skaters than VM? How does it push them every day seeing DW perform the same elements from 5 years ago? How does it push them to skate next to a couple who cannot generate the same speed with one push off the blade, who don’t skate as extended, as big? Why do they need to train with DW to know what they’re up against each season, when they have already seen the program DW will skate for the Olympics, because it’s the same program they skated at the last Olympics? God bless VM for actually pushing themselves to do new elements when they watch DW winning with the same old shit. They must have a very strong internal drive. My hat’s off to them.

    The theory that VM went too far out of the box and therefore had to be shut down is interesting. But I’m wondering – do those of you who think that think that if VM had gone with something in their wheelhouse, that they would have won? Or is it more than they weren’t going to win either way – in which case the Carmen experiment neither helped nor hurt?

    My first order of business for VM was not a new coach. It was to get better choreography. There was nothing wrong with what they had before, but the top ice dancers need to grow and push themselves to move the sport forward. They got better choreography this year than I could have dreamed. It didn’t help. So I’m ready to say try with a new coach. It could not get any worse than second place in every major competition.

    Politics and media are important, but they are as much a part of the coach’s job than anything. Zhulin has talked since day one about how he would make Bobrova/Soloviev into a new team. Linichuk used to do it, TAT did it. Maybe Marina politiks for VM, but not for them exclusively. I say, since their technique is flawless and Jennifer Swan is a brilliant choreographer, find a coach who will put every fiber of their being into making YOU the winners, one who will talk the ear off every judge. Skate Canada is too busy with its head up Paul Poirier’s finely sculpted ass. And VM can’t do it themselves because it’s “arrogant.”

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Virtue and Moir are at Arctic Edge because of Marina, not because of Davis White. They are good enough to handle Davis & White. It is, IMO, absurd to second and third guess the ISU politics. What the ISU wants is the rivalry. To that end they will uphold Davis White no matter where each trains. IMO they freaked out over Carmen because it was scary good, it was a shut out - it slammed the door. So they went into denial and denied Carmen its pcs all season when pcs is what Carmen is all about - pure pcs as well as much more difficult elements than those performed by Davis White.

      Marina put every fibre of her being into making them the winners this season. She rightly said they had the potential to get 200 points this season. The ISU didn't want that.

      I disagree they ever needed better choreography. They've had the best and still have the best. It is fans who don't understand figure skating who don't see Virtue and Moir's diversity and quality, don't see the extraordinary work they do and the extraordinary choreography they get to show it off. Why, because they don't know what diversity and quality even mean in ice dance and figure skating. It's all about theatre to them or something "different" for the sake of it pasted gratuitously onto something else.

      What do you mean by "push the sport forward" specifically. What does that skating look like to you? What does the choreography look like to you? And what makes that "forward" compared to what's being skated by them now?

      When fans cite an example of a team that they believe has 'stretched' or 'push the sport forward' they make no sense in terms of ice dance as a sport. Since they became seniors nobody has pushed the sport forward like Virtue Moir with Marina's choreography. There's no skaters that have skated a wider variety of rhythms and styles, often within the same program. But when they skate a program with a consistent style throughout, they get full value out of that style and use every inch of music. They are always dancing and they are always using their skating to dance. That last sentence sums it up. You can't get more 'forward' than that. There is no other team that does that.

      What for God's sake is "pushing the sport forward" if not what Virtue Moir have been doing since they arrived at Arctic Edge (give or take a "Dark Eyes" od). How can people declare themselves fans of Virtue Moir and not see that this is what they are already doing to the max despite the ISU trying to trip them up at every time. What the fuck do people think they've been doing?

      What for freak's sake is better choreoraphy than Pink Floyd, Mahler, Farrucas, the Latin fd and od, Funny Face, and Carmen?

      oc

      Delete
    2. ITA. Is it really pushing V/M at this point to train with a team that's remained the same for the past five years? It's not like V/M don't know exactly what D/W are going to do next season. The only question regarding D/W next seeason is what bombastic piece of music they'll use for the stock program. I'm guessing Les Miserables is probably a front runner.

      The politics may be top-down, but D/W sure are running their own mouths a lot to the press. I do think it would beneficial for D/W to NOT know what V/M are up to next season. If this season is any indication, whatever V/M are doing for real and whatever their own improvements are in their skating, D/W will just say they've done and our doing the same, and voila, it will be so!

      Also, even though V/M really don't need to make major overhauls or improvements, given the fact that appearances apparantly count more than actual skating these days, it makes it look like they're taking things into their own hands to get back to the top... Yes, it would be a farce, but PR farce is what counts these days.

      That said, I do think, looking back at the season, D/W winning this season was decided before anyone hit competitive ice, and it wouldn't have mattered what kind of program they did. It wouldn't have done for the rivalry narrative for V/M to have won this year. If they'd done something else besides Carmen, they would have invented other issues to pick at to keep them down.

      It really is far to perfectly wrapped up in a bow for D/W and V/M to be trading off titles year-by-year. V/M owned 2010, rightfully. In 2011, V/M had been out practically the entire season, so it was easy to give it to D/W. (I also don't think their win is as clear cut when you go back and rewatch. V/M lost steam at the end and were rough, but look at the circumstances of that season. D/W had no such excuses--they'd trained and competed the whole season). Having D/W win two in a row wouldn't be good for the narrative, so V/M were allowed a rightful win last year in Nice. Can't have V/M winning two in a row as it would end the rivalry before Sochi--the 2011 D/W win would have been dismissed as V/M would have won if they'd had a whole season, making it really no rivalry at all. The ISU wants next season as some sort of final showdown, so they needed D/W to win this year and they made it happen.

      Delete
    3. Jennifer Swan is a dance choreographer. Marina Zoueva is an ice dance coach. Carmen is a product of both those women, the tech specialists, plus Scott and Tessa. People are all - oh, Carmen was special because of Swan.

      Carmen was special because Scott and Tessa and Zoueva don't give a shit about control and credit - they want the best. They had a vision for Carmen and brought in Swan. All of them including Swan, knew they wanted this program to depend upon only two things - a piece of choreography where every single move and gesture had intention and (psychological) meaning - nothing extra. And where all of this choreography was executed on sustained edges and dependent upon pure skating. It was a throw down.

      The "style" they used for the choreo was contemporary - contemporary of course uses some vocabulary that's nearly 100 years old - modern is at least that old. (BTW - do people who love "modern" know what modern is? Read Jacqueline Thayer's interview - again, there's a specific answer).

      They chose Swan not because she's modern but because she's brilliant and she's collaborative like them.

      They wanted authentic flamenco for 2010 Olympics and worked with a flamenco dancer from Spain. Davis White put together Bollywood working all summer with an Indian dance specialist. Davis White and Virtue Moir positioned themselves for gold and silver at the Olympics because Marina brought in the inventor of the Argentine Tano to train them.

      Marina's ability to collaborate with not just outside choreoraphers - which she has always done, but with the skaters, is why Virtue Moir are there. So of course the fandom paints her - the most collaborative coach in the sport, the most open to outside input and choreography - as the most controlling and dog-in mangery. Absolutely typical.

      oc Read Jacqueline Thayer's interview with Jennifer Swan on icenetwork.com to understand Swan's contributions to Carmen. She didn't coach them how to skate, it is down to Marina to work with the team to get the dance onto the ice and it was done brilliantly.

      Marina isn't projecting her vision onto Virtue and Moir, nor is she controlling them. They're skating THEIR vision. Marina facilitates, she translates, she's a cultural and musical omnivore who can find the elements they're looking for in order to skate the way they want to skate. They share another important thing in common - TASTE. Their taste is the same. Their aesthetic is the same. It's organic. It's holistic. At least with VM it is.

      Please understand that when it comes to their skating Virtue and Moir are extremely strong minded and also extremely, extremely smart. They know what they want and that's why they're at Arctic Edge. They are nobody's creatures or puppets - they wouldn't tolerate it. They're with Marina because she lets THEM be in charge to a huge degree, and because they trust her - they're too smart to coach themselves. Scott is a student of ice dance - he has a persona but when it comes to skating he knows why he and Tessa are the best, and 100-1 he knows why the two of them got fucked.

      oc, not logged in

      Delete
    4. BTW, I've noticed some fans having a shit fit because Swan may work with other Arctic Edge teams. Why? Are they so insecure about Virtue Moir they think sharing the input of her choreography would undermine them? There's no way she could ever make any other skaters look like or skate like Scott and Tessa. Carmen was great not because of the choreoraphy but because of what Scott and Tessa could bring to it. It's not to say the choreo wasn't sublime - it was. But no other skaters could have fulfilled that choreoraphy - combined with what the skating demanded it was too difficult.

      Do we think Marina asked Swan to help with others without first clearing it with Scott and Tessa? Do we think this was done over their heads - or they're too weak to say no? Why would they say no? What threat is it to them?

      Do we think Swan was interviewed over Marina's objections? Remember, Marina is a woman who refuses to use outside choreographers except when she always does. She's a possessive woman who exerts a Svengali and Rasputin-like influence and she's terribly insecure. Scott and Tessa must have allowed Swan to talk about Carmen against Marina's will.

      P.S. - had a brain short circuit above when I said 100-1. 100-1 means Scott has no idea why they got fucked. Replace that with 100%.

      oc

      Delete
    5. I do not understand the objection to Swan working with some of the other Arctic Edge teams. Swan said she wanted to work with skaters who wish to dance their programs. I think we all know that doesn't apply to D/W. And even if she does work with them, it's not like the dancing part won't have to be stripped...

      Delete
    6. I'd like to see what she could do with the Shibs. They're the other dancers at Canton.

      Delete
    7. I think you mean the Thayer article at IDC. Icenetwork ain't producing top-notch articles like that.

      Delete
    8. I think she'd do lovely work with the Shibs.

      Marina also has some lesser-known (unknown, really) senior and junior level teams as well as her pairs teams.

      Delete
    9. OMG my apologies to icedance.com. Profoundest apologies. icedance.com. icedance.com is the website that features Thayer's articles. She's a writer who has the sense to ask questions that are informed in all the right ways, but just as importantly, not informed in the wrong ways. So much of figure skating interviews are informed by the interviewer's assumptions. The interviewer loads a set of often erroneous assumptions and false equivalencies into their questions. That does not happen in these icedance.com articles.

      Thanks for the shout out to the lesser known Marina teams.

      I also think Swan could do some great things with pairs choreo.

      oc, not logged in

      Delete
    10. Thayer's articles for icedance.com have been the most informative ever. This writer has helped me better understand and appreciate the technical aspects of ice-dance, and I've noticed she asks the skaters well-informed questions, so that the skaters usually answer with great detail and information. I've especially liked the articles about VM since no one else is really reporting about their skating with any knowledge.

      Delete
    11. oc, just curious, and with much respect, why do you think DW's choregraphy is so bad if Maria is so brilliant? They literally can't do better? Or it's good in the sense that it hides their flaws well? They are not terrible skaters - couldn't they do more?

      Delete
    12. Marina, obviously.

      Delete
  36. 6:35pm - I agree - the Worlds 2011 long is not as open and shut as I considered it at the time, when I only watched Scott and Tessa closely while assuming Davis White had put down their usual Davis White. Subsequently I've watched more of Davis White and that was much more of a struggle for them than we're accustomed to seeing, and yes, they were slower than their reputation tells us they are.

    In fact, I've been watching a LOT of Davis White. I have a gif-heavy post coming up about their Level 4 twizzles that have stayed level 4 for them since 2009 without a single upgrade in arm position or any other feature - while every other team has had to up the ante even though in 2009-2010 two twizzle sets were enough for VM to beat Davis White but now Davis White's twizzles stay the same while their competitor's must get harder in order to beat them. Davis White's don't need to get harder cause they're already level 4 even though Davis White were previously been beaten in that element by two twizzles. It's been decided that's not good enough to beat such sublime twizzles and their competitors must need to grow to three plus get fancier with entrances and exits. Davis White can stay the same - don't change a thing.

    What a travesty - if the ISU had only realized this in 2010 maybe Davis White would have won gold. It's amazing how more and more perfect everthing Davis White do becomes each year while staying the same.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Looking forward to your twizzle post, I've been thinking someone should go gif crazy for comparison purposes.

      Delete
    2. There's gonna be a lot of gifs. Short and long program twizzles from DW and Virtue Moir starting with the 2009-2010 season to the one just concluded (I don't count WTT).

      Then I want someone to explain to me why Davis White's twizzles haven't changed since 2009-2010, but back then it was okay to have two sets of well done twizzles to beat them but now you need three and you need to do your twizzles differently in the od than in the fd but Davis White do not (they are identical in the short and long). How did Davis White's 2009-2010 twizzles become more difficult to beat without those twizzles upgrading or changing in any way whatsoever? Seriously, I'm expecting teams to next do three twizzle passes using a charlotte spiral position and still not getting the level or GOE given Davis White for the same hop into a catch foot for the first, slow down into hands behind the back for the second, and done they've been doing since 2009. Level 4! +3!!!

      oc

      Delete
    3. I hope the Shibutanis get a shout out in any post about twizzles. They put on a clinic everytime they're on the ice. No one does them better.

      People also claim Davis and White are the fastest spinners. Speed doesn't constitute everything that is of value in a spin but hands down I think the Shibutanis also spin faster than anyone else in the sport.

      Delete
    4. The twizzle post is going to use gifs to ask how come Davis and White haven't needed to upgrade their twizzles in 5 years plus, but Virtue Moir, the Shibs, and other skaters have had to add difficulty. That fucking hop must be BRUTAL. I wonder if Debbi lent the ISU her biomechanics analyzer and the ISU discovered that every year you hop into a twizzle, it become exponentially more difficult to achieve.

      In the game of moving the goal posts - the ISU keeps adding value to these twizzles of Davis White's and then telling all the other skaters to up the ante in order to keep pace with a Davis White who are standing still.


      I co-sign that the Shib twizzles are absolutely wonderful, but since the current discussion is about DW versus VM, I'm going to run gifs of DW's short and long program twizzles since 2008-2009, and Virtue Moir's short and long program twizzles since 2008-2009. Virtue and Moir's have evolved (and are also different from short program to long, close together with beautiful synchronization and unison of line, and fast. And they cover a lot of ice.). Davis White do the exact same twizzle set in both the short and the long, the same way, including the slow down and frequent loss of sync in the second set, and have done for five years, and yet their twizzles keep increasing in value while the ante gets upped for everyone else.

      Hell, Davis and White's twizzles were marginally harder in the 2009-2010 Bollywood od, as for the second set in that program they actually moved their arms a la Bollywood dance style. In POTO and in every single set of twizzles they've done since, they catch foot the first set and lock their arms behind them for the second, and done. Short and long. Since 2009.

      The idea is it is already level 4. Was level 4 then, is level 4 now. Fine.

      But everybody else's twizzles from 2009-2010 have lost value. They're not good enough to beat that 2009-10 Davis White twizzle anymore. Up the ante people.

      Nice for Davis White. It was level 4 in 2009 and the ISU has decided not to upgrade the criteria? It so happens that Davis White's twizzles are the ones that get to stay level 4 year after year?

      A comment here mentioned that the ISU are always moving the goal posts on VM. True. And the ISU is always moving the goal posts on Davis White - moving them closer, to help them across the goal line.

      There's nothing wrong with an element remaining textbook year after year - look at Volosozhar and Trankov's split three twist.

      However, the twizzle element doesn't really work the same way. A twizzle is a multirotational one-foot spin that travels. A quality twizzle has a tight axis by the skater, in teams the partners are close together and in sync, with unison of body line and equivalent speed, and the skaters are over their skate blades. That's the basic criteria and quite a few ice dancers meet it. To separate the ordinary from the extraordinary, levels are assigned according to "features" that enhance the difficulty of a twizzle. The entrance into the twizzle. The position and movement of the arms in the twizzle. Etc.

      I have no problem with the ISU establishing that Davis White's twizzle set was "this" level and "this" difficult and if you want your twizzle to score better you need to add one of "these" features while of course continuing to display the attributes of quality twizzling.

      The problem is, in the past, the ISU said okay, THIS is what you need to beat that twizzle, and Virtue and Moir were able to do so.

      But each year they and other ice dancers have apparently been told they actually have to do MORE to beat that exact same twizzle of DW's that hasn't changed at all.

      Meantime, Davis White don't have to add or change a thing for their twizzle to keep pace with current season level four requirements. That hop is deemed to meet the criteria every single year.

      Delete
    5. IOW, imagine if in every single program since 2009 through yesterday, Virtue and Moir's twizzle passes were two sets of twizzles that looked like this:

      Short program (Farrucas): twizzle the width of the rink into Ina Bauers. (One set is a catch foot) Reverse and twizzle in the other direction into another set of Ina Bauers and out.

      Long program (Mahler): twizzle the width of the rink into Ina Bauers. Reverse and twizzle in the other direction into another set of Ina Bauers and out.

      2011: Short program (waltz): width of rink into Ina Bauers. Reverse direction into Ina Bauers.

      Long program (Latin): width of rink into Ina Bauers. Reverse direction into Ina Bauers.

      2012: short program (Latin): width of rink into Ina Bauers. Reverse direction into Ina Bauers.

      Long program (Funny Face): width of rink into Ina Bauers. Reverse direction into Ina Bauers.

      2013: short program (Yankee Polka/waltz): width of rink into Ina Bauers. Reverse direction into Ina Bauers.

      Long program: (Carmen): width of rink into Ina Bauers. Reverse direction into Ina Bauers.

      Throughout, entrance into element and arm stylings and rotational direction remain the same. Two sets.

      Virtue Moir wouldn't be able to skate for all the rotton eggs and tomatos FSUers were hurling onto the ice.

      Oh, and while Virtue Moir glided through their lovely cross-width Ina Bauer twizzles, all of the other skaters were doing three sets now and still not beating them. They're varying entrances and exits, one team is doing Bielman positions in the middle and then Charlotting for the final set. And they're fast, and centered, and in sync, and covering ice.

      But still not as good as Virtue Moir and those lovely two set Ina Bauers.

      How would that go over?

      How would people enjoy hearing those twizzles were the gold standard just because of who was skating them? They won the Olympics with those twizzles!

      Nobody calls out Davis White. Same rotational year after year. Same twizzles year after year. What are they even training every summer?

      Delete
  37. "Please understand that when it comes to their skating Virtue and Moir are extremely strong minded and also extremely, extremely smart. They know what they want and that's why they're at Arctic Edge. They are nobody's creatures or puppets - they wouldn't tolerate it. They're with Marina because she lets THEM be in charge to a huge degree, and because they trust her - they're too smart to coach themselves. Scott is a student of ice dance - he has a persona but when it comes to skating he knows why he and Tessa are the best, and 100-1 he knows why the two of them got fucked."

    and

    "What for God's sake is "pushing the sport forward" if not what Virtue Moir have been doing since they arrived at Arctic Edge (give or take a "Dark Eyes" od). How can people declare themselves fans of Virtue Moir and not see that this is what they are already doing to the max despite the ISU trying to trip them up at every time. What the fuck do people think they've been doing? What for freak's sake is better choreoraphy than Pink Floyd, Mahler, Farrucas, the Latin fd and od, Funny Face, and Carmen?"

    EXACTLY. How on earth do people think this team got to the top? They've been extremely smart when it comes to where they work and who they work with. They seek out the best. Nothing else is tolerated, more so now than ever I'm sure because there's no reason for them to remain in the sport otherwise. They have nothing left to prove. They've done it all.

    Fans need to cut the shit about Marina Zoueva somehow holding Virtue and Moir back. Pay some fucking attention to what this team has actually been doing on the ice for the past ten years (meaning, what they're doing with music, rhythm, styles of movement, and their blades), make an attempt to learn what constitutes "innovation" beyond aesthetic preferences, and see the reality of what is happening with the system right now. Tessa, Scott, and their coaches have always pushed it. This year, they went further than ever by creating an absolute masterpiece of innovative movement and pure skating. "It was a throw down." Damn right it was. And the ISU balked. It didn't fit into their game plan and it certainly didn't fit within the image constraints they've developed for Virtue and Moir. Stop misdirecting anger and negative energy at the wrong targets. It does nothing to fix the problem.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The heartbreaker is they pushed this sport towards what its name claims it is - ice dance. Dancing on ice. It was pure skating married to pure dancing. And the ISU pushed BACK? The ISU doesn't want ice dance to marry dancing and skating as purely as possible? Holy HELL. What were they pushing back against? This sport absolutely SUCKS at times - it's irrational, and the stupid goes to high heaven.

      Maybe what Scott and Tessa did was so brilliantly pure - the absolute essence of what this discipline claims it is, its justification for itself as a sport - was inconvenient because it left no room for the pc manipulation and GOES politiks that are easier with busy busy, face acting, hair flinging, and heavy non-dance gesturing. It goes to power.

      Everybody who created Carmen created it with the intention of editing out everything else but dance and skating. They worked with a choreographer who had the correct definition of dance - who understands it thoroughly. It's not acting. It's dance. It's its own vocabulary. Tessa understands this Scott does, the sport does not.

      The entire Carmen relationship was channeled through specific, choreographed dance movement and executed using pure skating skills. They not only took away any non-dance movement and gesture, they took away movement that wasn't skating. What the hell more does the sport want? Well it has shown us that the last thing the ISU wants is too much ice dance in ice dance. What charletons.

      Delete
    2. I'm going to take a guess that there are at least some people within the ISU that absolutely get what V/M did and know exactly why V/M are the better team. It's not that they don't care about dance. They care more about the story they wanted to setup for next season.

      Whatever the reasons, it was absolutely heartbreaking to watch this happen to both V/M and the discipline.

      Delete
  38. It think it's the result of ISU wanting to promote the athletic side of figure skating opposed to the artistic one. You've mentioned it already. They want to gain younger fans and the sport to look more dangerous, strong, etc.
    And mabye they want to bring a twist to VM's figure skating reign. I mean, there's no question about the first two places anymore so they can't make that exciting because everyone knows it's gonna be VM and DW. So the only thing they can do is bring some variation into the first two places to keep people excited.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the ISU wanted a rivalry narrative in ice dance for this quad and for the Olympic season. The scoring has been manipulated to make it so. I was thinking about this, in pairs and singles, there's no one team or skater that's entirely dominant. Chan, yes, has won 3 in a row now, but it's also prone to splatting, so it's not a for sure thing. In pairs, there is the legitimate rivalry between V/T and S/S. Ladies is always volatile. Only in ice dance is there one clear-cut, far better than the rest team of skaters. That wouldn't do, so they had to invent one.

      The D/W are more athletic argument doesn't fly with me. Just look at the lifts the two teams do. V/M's are far more athletic than D/W.

      All of this is just a bunch of bullshit. V/M are the better artistic team, obviously. But, they're also the better team techinically and the better team athletically. They are the better team on every single last measure.

      Delete
    2. The more I look at DW's programs and break them down, the simpler and easier the elements look. I know that relatively speaking, they're quality skaters, I also know that even an untrained eye can see that their lifts are a hell of a lot more simplistic than VM's even though they've been doing minor variants on the same ones for years. Hell yes VM are stronger athletes.

      Delete
    3. Well, that's right. But I think because DW aren't that artistic, they make everything they do (even if it is simpler) look much harder and more difficult. Some think that's "athletic".

      I agree with you, though.

      Delete
  39. Hypothetically, say that Tessa and Scott hadn't had a child when they did and had competed the entire 10-11 season. Conventional wisdom is that given whole season with that program, they would have easily won worlds. Would they have won or would D/W have still come out on top?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon 10:15

      You would also have to add in that hypothetically Tessa had not needed another surgery, which she did at the beginning of the season 2010-2011. One way or another, VM were out of the season, till almost the very end.

      I agree with all the observations made that the ISU decided beforehand that the narrative had to be a very very close rivalry between these two teams. The only way to do that is to screw with VM by both supressing scores and constantly shifting the requirements, while at the same time overscoring DW.

      Of course, SC's extraordinary stupidity and incompetence made this possible in the first place.

      I do have a question. Do VM's lies play into any of this? Do the judges and/or ISU officials have a personal dislike because of their scams and therefore it makes it easier for them to screw with them?

      Delete
    2. The way Tessa was skating throughout the summer of 2010, and the power with which she skated the short dance when they used it as an exhibition and then when they competed with it, makes me question how hampered she was by her surgery whenever it took place. I believe she had the surgery because I know the Farrucas od caused her leg pain in every competition during the Olympic season, and she also had a training regimen that was different than Scott's. He was with Maria Mountain at Revolution Conditioning; she did mostly physical therapy.

      Since then, baby aside, Tessa hasn't "gained weight" - she's put on muscle. Look at her body in 2009-2010. You can count her verterbrae in her back. Her elbow is the widest part of her arm. She has naturally wide, square shoulders, but they jutted. Her shoulder blades also jutted.

      Look at her now. She has a groove running down her back, the muscles are developed. Look at the muscles in her shoulders and her arms. She started building this more athletic body after the Olympics, at the same time she had the second surgery, so my takeaway is that whatever was done to fix what was ailing her legs during the Olympic season, the fix didn't take her out of the training game the way it did in 2008-2009. She was on the ice, skating with abandon and power, and she was back in the gym. It's the baby that took her out of the season til Worlds (and the 4CC short).

      About DW winning in 2011 - I think a fully trained VM would have crushed DW's tango, but I also believe DW would never have done the tango if VM had competed the entire season. DW knew VM were pregnant way before they announced her "shins" were taking her out of the GPS. They knew the pregnancy timeline and how long she would minimally be out, and everybody knew Worlds was questionable at that point because who knows how a pregnancy will develop and its impact on the mother. So, it was DW's risk-free season to try and REALLY evolve, as opposed to doing the same stuff and just claiming they had, as they did this year.

      If Virtue Moir hadn't taken the baby break, I don't think DW would have chosen the tango, so Virtue Moir would have been competing against a different program.

      It's also possible that, by VM taking the season off and DW winning, that was when the most desired outcome of alternating world titles became a priority to the ISU.

      I don't know if VM's lies play into anything. From the outside, they're not the good soldiers DW have been. And by any measure their Federation SUCKS ASS. Other skaters have pointedly and conspicuously gone out of their way to not just treat fans well on social media, but to be seen treating fans well, and one wonders if that's not something of a reflection of how VM's treatment of the fans are viewed. There's a nasty streak there that is at odds with how other skaters on social media treat their fans. Scott and Tessa manipulate on social media while denying to the pretty they're even on social media. Part of me thinks the judges don't give a shit. I don't know how much sucking up a skater is expected to do after a competition, but if it's a lot, I'd imagine VM are less convincing when they do it than other skaters have been.

      Delete
    3. We don't know if it matters with the judges, but I do wonder if their lies is part of why no one seems to stick up for them. Even if people genuinely "like" them, their PR actions are grandiose and myopic and might be contributing to some isolation.

      Delete
  40. http://www.freep.com/article/20130316/COL38/130316047/jeff-seidel-meryl-davis-charlie-white-world-figure-skating-champions-and-more

    This is getting f***** ridiculous. Maybe next they'll claim they ARE secretly married and have a child. Meryl is such a badass she didn't even need to take any time off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have to to be f****** kidding me.

      It reads nearly word for word like a V/M article.

      OMG, that is low.

      Delete
    2. And they can get away with it because they know all too well that Tessa and Scott are too chicken to respond to that crap.

      Delete
    3. THIS IS BULLSHIT, WHAT A SHAME, THEY SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES, REALLY, WITH THIS ARTICLE THEY ONLY PUT MORE CRAP ON THEIR (STOLEN) "GOLD"

      Delete
    4. Are you kidding me??? So we are now supposed to believe that D/W have this unspeakable chemistry now. And that they can finish each other's sentences?

      Do they think we are all blind and can't see they do not have the connection at all?

      Oh is this their new story line for Sochi? This is actually getting worse if that's even possible?

      Delete
    5. "And they can get away with it because they know all too well that Tessa and Scott are too chicken to respond to that crap."

      Sadly, this is true.

      They've watched Scott and Tessa all these years do two things: say they have an amazing indescribable something that gives them their connection, and - say that it's nothing but friendship.

      Well, hell, why not say the same things. Then everyone will think they, too, have that special specialness that creates "chemistry" or "connection." And since with VM it never became romance, well, Meryl and Charlie, who are a known NON-couple, can be the same. Why not? They've also been skating together since they were children, haven't they? Why shouldn't it be the SAME? Tessa and Scott practically fed them the lines.

      It is too bad VM and their families are too chicken to say the truth. That would put an end to DW being able to claim the same things on the same grounds.

      Delete
    6. Practically fed them the lines? They did feed them the lines.

      HEY MOIRS! I know you and yours are reading here. It's time to suck it up, grow up and drop the act.

      Delete
    7. My prediction is that the next thing that's going to happen is that Charlie and Tanith will fake a break-up so Meryl and Charlie can fake date.

      In addition to the opening lines that read like those about The Goose in 2010, there is a lot that appears to be taken from the National Post article last spring.

      "It is so fascinating to watch Davis and White give interviews.

      When Davis is talking, White has his eyes locked on her, nodding his head in total agreement, as if the words are coming out of his mouth.

      And when White is talking, she does the same thing. Smiling and nodding in total agreement.

      They are like a married couple that has been together for so long they know what the other one is thinking."

      vs.

      "He talks, she watches him; he looks at her and she speaks. It is a connection most married couples never have. They look mostly at each other, not at the rest of the world. After fifteen years skating together, they belong to each other."

      Delete
  41. "Charlie White was skating sideways, his feet pointed in opposite directions, squatting down, forming a human platform, and Meryl Davis stood on him, with her skate digging into his thigh.

    She leaned back, smiling with her arms spread, as Davis soared across the ice.

    ...

    Then, it hits you: Seriously? How is that even possible on ice skates?"

    A besti squat lift? Why don't you ask every other team who has done one?

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/12/Trina_Pratt_%26_Todd_Gilles_Lift_-_2006_Skate_Canada.jpg/220px-Trina_Pratt_%26_Todd_Gilles_Lift_-_2006_Skate_Canada.jpg
    Wow, look at the depth of his age and the insane counterbalance.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7b/2012_Rostelecom_Cup_02d_800_Tessa_VIRTUE_Scott_MOIR.JPG
    How stretched out is she? Amazing.

    http://www.cbc.ca/gfx/images/sports/photos/2011/04/26/virtue-moir-100326.jpg
    No hands! And she does different dismounts. Imagine - changing an essential part of an element, and even then, not daring to use the element for more than 1.5 seasons.

    http://www.goldenskate.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/2012teb_SD.jpg
    Showing the character of the dance is nice.

    http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT-QKZO9XIkJH18-hvhogMUsywU4S4GDgh_pP3gOksWCtUhYWaV
    She's backwards!

    http://nationalpostsports.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/pechalat-bourzat.jpg?w=620&h=465
    Look at that, another team who tries to do variations, instead of the same lift... are they trying to make DW look bad? Shame on them.

    I trust there are many more. I have bad google-fu when it comes to photos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What you guys are doing is demonstrating how easily the media is bamboozled because they know absolutely nothing about figure skating. As you've said the freaking "human platform" besti squat is done by every man in ice dance including juniors. They're like - her blade is digging into his thigh! First of all, way to recycle 2010 VM material. Second, that's not what makes it good figure skating.

      It reminds me of when Rod Black gasped "What a spectacular lift!" about DW's Poto lift because he doesn't understand figure skating mechanics. Charlie flips Meryl onto his back and then lifts his leg, cruising slowly backwards on a blade flat. Meryl balances her skate on his calf and her butt on his back and holds out her arms. She then holds onto him with both hands and jumps off landing on two feet. The transition into knee slides.

      It's great looking, but what does it have to do with figure skating, really? In the Goose, Scott is gliding and Tessa has to take his hand and step up onto his thigh while moving, she either jumps into his arms or pivots onto the ice, landing on an edge and they go off into another skating segment.

      The figure skating media knows nothing about figure skating; that's why they can be bamboozled.

      oc

      Delete
  42. Actually this article is even worse in terms of throwing the rest of the US figure skaters under the bus - Ashley Wagner etc...so in other words no chances for a US team medal in Sochi because everyone else sucks but D/W...whoa...Ashley Wagner, Jeremy Abbott, anyone with the Blue, Red and White - you are irrelevant...wonder what Meryl's former bestie Jeremy Abbott thinks of this...yes Mr. Charlie White - great leader...actually this article would be bulletin material for many skaters...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. V/M, the Canadian press, and SC leave me shaking my head at times, but nothing like this would ever be said about any of the ladies, mens, or pairs teams:

      "America does not have a great female figure skater, at least not one who figures to be a dominant force at the Sochi Games.

      And America does not have a great male skater, who will walk into Sochi as a medal favorite. Right now, the favorite will be Patrick Chan, who is from Canada and won the men’s title Friday night. But he did train at the Detroit Skating Club for three weeks before the world championships, so Detroit will claim him. But America won’t.

      And the U.S. does not have a pairs team of note, either.

      So the Sochi Games will come down to this: Davis and White against Virtue and Moir."

      Ashley Wagner will be a contender next year, or at least one would think at this point. Depending on how she comes along this next year, so could Gracie Gold. US Pairs are a weak spot yes, but you never know. I'm also sure Jeremy Abbott and the other US men would be glad to know that they've also been written off as well.

      Delete
    2. It's practically saying flat out - and this is why the ISU is handing the ice dance gold to a clearly lesser team.

      Delete
    3. It is.

      How to V/M even start to fight something like that?

      Delete
    4. I think it's easy. They've just been putting their focus, public relations-wise, every where but the skating.

      They have to, IMO, control their own narrative but what have they done? Use syncophants who mewl about their relationship and backhand the fans.

      They need to seek out other than the usual media not because the media they choose happens to be gullible and eager for a "break" but because they either get figure skating or are willing to become informed. Have people get on twitter. I think there are plenty of people out there who may not have been skating experts their whole lives but are willing to become informed. I've learned about more than one sport simply starting from square one. We all have eyes.

      With figure skating, I think I learned first - when I decided to learn - that jumps are meant to be landed on the back outside edge. Actually, before that, I think I confirmed for myself that a figure skating blade actually has a groove running across the bottom so that the inside and outside edges are quite literal. Then I learned the different jumps and the proper take off edge. And so on. It's not rocket science.

      You know people are on twitter now on DW's behalf celebrating that at least in ice dance there was no corruption. Social media and entertainment media is free to go 100% Orwell on the narrative, using the old "turn it around" that VM only bothers using on fans. DW's partisans are playing for keeps - they use mind fuckery on skating and scores, unlike VM. The way VM start to fight something like that is to start to fight. Plenty of people would do it simply out of love for the sport. Instead who knows what they're doing now. Generating fluff interviews about their separate beach vacations.

      Delete
  43. Also, I guess Meryl has backtracked on this statement from a year ago:

    "But I think people respect and appreciate Charlie and my relationship, and we would never want to pretend it was something else."

    ReplyDelete