Saturday, April 13, 2013

Meryl. and then Tessa.

In a comments back and forth under one of the posts below, a participant told me the 'baby lift' I mentioned was actually the curve lift.

I had forgotten about the curve lift (the one where Meryl's pelvis is riding Charlie's boot - the pelvis being ground zero of your gravitational center, and Meryl's pelvis sits on Charlie's boot in a position any intermediate pilates student can hit, and Charlie's boot is on the ice, and she has her arm stretched back for Charlie to hold, and Charlie is manfully leaning in the opposite direction.).

As it happens, what I'd had in mind as a 'baby gif' was indeed a throwaway lift and not the curve lift, because, as said above, I'd forgotten all about it.

How could I? It was one of the first things I'd gifed due to its super difficult exit and its over all tremendous execution that well deserved getting higher GOE than Virtue and Moir's curve lift at Worlds 2013.

This exit.

Oh, let's have better quality

What's this? Davis White's tribute to Christina's World by Andrew Wyeth?
Please note her leg and knee are clearly on the ice.


Level 4 lift and higher GOE than Virtue Moir in today's ice dance, ladies and gentlemen.

This curve lift will be gif-ed in a moment, both Davis White's and VM's from Carmen, but it sent me back to Tessa riding Scott's boots in Pink Floyd.

Of note - Tessa's core is the glue holding this fucker together. It's not everything and the kitchen sink in there to support her core. The control shown by both of them - Scott's blades so that Tessa doesn't slide right off, Tessa's magical core which kicks Charlie White's magical hair's ass since Tessa's core is a real thing.

Look at Scott's position.

Look at Scott's hands and realize again it's her damn core holding this thing together.

Look at the continuity. When Scott lifts her up and rotates her into the set down her hand is on his neck. That same hand remains there (only releases even more, so she is balanced even more independently) during the split glide. Look at the angle of Tessa's torso and head. Look at the angle of Scott's torso. He's inclined towards her - from his hips, not breaking the line of his spine. He's not counterbalancing her angle. He's on the same fucking angle.

I'm sure they really review this shit at ISU Judges School because "difficult" is obviously a concept the ISU takes seriously.

One hand on the side of Scott's neck. Why isn't it a full arm, and wrapped around Scott's leg in a vise grip? Do we doubt the choice of neck is choreographic, and that she couldn't as well have done this as easily with her hand on his chest, hip, leg?

To finish it off, why didn't she just slide off Scott's boot with her ass on the ice, kneel, and have him haul her up to her feet with both of his hands? Why be fancy?

I'm continuing this is the next post but wanted to throw this in from Pink Floyd as well.

I had remembered this as Tessa stepping down assisted by holding Scott's hand, but no, she steps down by herself and then takes Scott's hand.

P.S. -  Brilliant as Tessa is here, not possible without dead steady, secure edges and stability from Scott. Look at him. What she's doing actually shows off what he's doing. This team.

Carlos Kleiber is one of my favorite conductors - well he's the only conductor whose stuff I'll seek out just because he conducted it. He was a genius - for some people he ruins every other version of the compositions he conducted.

He always felt inadequate to the music. The angst! But when you listen to anything he's conducted, it kills. His friends (who talk in a filmed profile called I am Lost to the World) all threw up their hands - how could he have felt inadequate! He was the best!

Other conductors said this. Other conductors were all - why is this dude beating himself up? He's better than us all!

I thought about Kleiber while watching Tessa warm up for Carmen at worlds.  Posture looking a little low-spirited.

The girl is a genius. That's how geniuses are. What they're aiming for is usually unobtainable. They're not "shoot for the moon, even if we fall we'll land among the stars" types. They want the fucking moon. It's in them, they can't help it.

Every time I go back and look at something she's done on the ice, I see something new that makes it more sensational than I realized when I first saw it, and it was pretty damn impressive the first time.


  1. even when tessa is in an awkward position she is still more gracefull than meryl. meryl is so obnoxious anyway

    1. 4:40
      How enlightening - "obnoxious" must be an important factor in the physical capabilities of ice-dancing technique. Thank you so much for furthering the discussion in such a classy manner.

    2. but she does sound obnoxious. she is just as obnoxious as her fans.

  2. in addition the facial expressions meryl makes are just so obnoxious

    1. you're not very subtle, rainbowkisses

  3. You made me cry with this post. She is so incredible, it breaks my heart that she's (appears to be) so hard on herself.

    Also, I vote for spam filtering a certain VM fan^. Three obnoxiouses, you're out.

  4. Do you have anything of substance to add to this post, or is this the only kind of pointless comment you're able to come up with?

    You know what's obnoxious? The fact that Meryl and Charlie's lifts are being credited by officials, media, and fans as the best in the business, when in reality that's not the case. What's being discussed here is a detailed breakdown of lift mechanics and technique, and you throw out stuff like "Meryl's facial expressions are just obnoxious."

    Are you twelve years old, or what?

  5. It doesnt matter what scores they got or will get from the federation - everyone with a clue knows they got the moon with mahler, put fucking mars in their pockets with carmen and will take whatever celestial body they want next season! Extraordinary, out of this world geniuses.

    That said, it makes me sick in my stomach they are not rewarded for the performances they give on the ice, because they truly are outstandingly amazing, awe inspiring, every gracious thing you can say doesnt fucking do them justice for their gift they share with us...they are just purely sublime and it is all a travesty.

  6. Thank you, OC, for shedding light on this whole sham season(s); I hope you seriously consider sending all this to the ISU and calling them out on their bullshit.

    Watching the VM's exhibition it just me, or was Tracy Wilson choked up at the end? Did she know they were obviously robbed?

    1. Anon 8:03

      IMO Tracy knows.

      She's one of the only ones who has consistently and specifically talked about VM's superior skills. But by the end of the season, due to whatever corrupt shenanigans are going on behind the scenes that control these people, it was clear she had toned it down and was forced to act as if the results had merit.

      They all know. Just look at the uniformity of the message put out - that DW are "more" than VM in technique but this season also artistically - the narrative was everywhere. Since this is obviously a bunch of bs, it indicates a narrative that was determined beforehand, and separate from the actual facts.

      I do have a question for you, 8:03. In what way do you feel that sending all this to the ISU would change anything? They seem to be a law unto themselves. Although I share your wish that they would respond to being called out, I don't see that happening due to any admission of wrongdoing. It's to be expected that saving face and justifying the judging is more important than exposing themselves as a dirty organization. I do wish there were some entity that had the authority to call them out - I don't know of one anywhere.

    2. I'm Anon 8:03...wishful thinking, I suppose. The ISU is no different than all the other ridiculous governing bodies out there: the IOC and FIFA are top of mind. Totally corrupt organizations with dictator-like idiots at the helm.

      Fucking Ottavio Cinquanta couldn't even be bothered to show up in London...what, was he too afraid of getting booed a la Sepp-fucking-Blatter?

    3. Remember when Grishuk's aunt used to go to press conferences and ask B&K why they expected better marks if their jive was not really a jive? It was horrible and unsportsmanlike, but it would be satisfying to see someone actually call out that in point of fact, the emperor has no clothes, here. Better would be for someone to do it at one of those ISU ice dance seminars, not to D&W themselves. Just bring some big ass posters and say "hey judges/technical specialists, how they fuck is this level 4? how are these the reigning world champs?"

    4. "Remember when Grishuk's aunt used to go to press conferences and ask B&K why they expected better marks if their jive was not really a jive? It was horrible and unsportsmanlike"

      Agreed - it came across badly and unsportsmanlike. It just cannot be a family member who does this, all it accomplishes is to sound like whinging and sour grapes. And IMO it should never come across as a personal attack on any team. This is about corruption in national sports' federations and an international sports' organization. That it has benefited/harmed specific teams is due to this dishonest judging, not necessarily particular individuals. The issue is organizational. If it's not addressed at that level it's just seen as this kind of unsportsmanlike behavior.

      Yeah, these gifs have been exposing DW's horribly crappy skating. But it's not really DW's personal fault that the ISU (and the USFSA and who knows what/who else) crowned them the golden team.

    5. Davis & White rolling in to take the crown in London was steamrolled at us starting with the 4CCs. The reaction to the 4CCs, even by Canadians in figure skating, raised a red flag.

      It was exactly like a political campaign. Churn it up, muddy the waters, equate apples and oranges - get it out there that VM are shady and the only way they can win is to be shady.

      1. DW were robbed last year - they'd never say it themselves but everyone knew it and came up to say it
      2. Worlds are in London and DW have beaten VM at the prior two competitions - if they don't win in London it's because VM robbed them in Canada. This isn't used as the logic for any other skaters - nobody says the woman who won GPF has to win Worlds and nobody said if Volsozhar Trankov happened to be defeated by S&S it would be robbery.
      3. Tessa and Scott had to use the restart rule at the 4CC - shouldn't that be "looked into"?

      It's all enabled by the reality that the media doesn't know anything about ice dance or the code of points, that the media thinks figure skating should be won or lost on the applause meter, and that the people who style themselves experts on figure skating are so political and so elitist they prefer that the media keep it that way.

  7. Stupid 4CCs...if hadn't been for that stoppage, VM looked to win.

    Fuck all the ignorant media and especially the TV commentators. When you have the former ice dancer of the Eurosport bunch saying that there wasn't much to seperate VM's Carmen and Cappellini and Lanotte's Carmen, you have to wonder if they're smoking crack or just really that ignorant.

    1. I think it's obvious they've all stopped looking at how DW actually skate. It's remarkable how nonspecific the commentary is, and how focused on non-skating qualities. Also remarkable is the truly galling double standard. Everybody goes on alert when VM skate - monitoring and noticing everything.

      Only if it's something the audience can tell is anything with DW noticed.

      The last time Andrew Poje skated prior to Kaitlyn's injury, the commentators noticed a number of (relatively) small glitches by Andrew and mentioned them all.

      Meryl can bounce her toepick on the ice in the middle of a lift at Worlds (and who are we kidding - that's what it is. At least mention it and then look for a replay) - and drape the full length of her exit leg flat on the ice and nobody notices.

      And nobody notices the many times they're plain sloppy with their blades, when the free foot drifts down to the ice, Meryl walk her turns, or the swerving in twizzles. Charlie swings Meryl up like laundry (her knees bent, legs akimbo) and yanks her down into the spin rotation so that they both launch off the yank instead of going off an edge, and Kurt Browning calls it difficult. Tessa rotates her body in space, walking on air before stepping over Scott's shoulder onto his thigh and it's 'clever'. Clever ("glibly facile") like it's a cute trick.

      The wheels are coming off Meryl and Charlie at the end of the 4CCs Die Fleudermaus and at the end they're gasping and bent over. Immediately we're told there was no sign of exhaustion at any point in the program. I guess when it's Alex Shibutani, though, it's okay to mention it.

      Imagine if Suraya Bonaly was scored about on par with the other women in "technical merit" but was beating them on "presentation".