Thursday, April 18, 2013

These are a few of my favorite things

Tango NHK Trophy 2010.

This was a straight line transition to a rotational.
This shows Meryl changing positions for the rotational
and the exit.

Skate America

There's a sort of weird symmetry to the first version transitioning to a rotational lift and the second version being instead of a rotational lift Meryl climbs down off of Charlie to be dragged rotationally around on the ice.

NHK. This I found interesting. Trying to glide in different holds and changes of direction, with no hopping, trotting, skipping, jumping or yanking even when they're linking. They do it.

Skate America. It seems to me that Charlie's edge catches a bit there after they pass the judges. Also, he seems less able to just stay in the moment and work the glide. He's starting to violate the spirit of the thing.

I gifed this thing (NHK Trophy) both real speed (above) and slow mo (below) because what the fuck is it? I don't get Charlie's skid stop at the beginning and him having to angle himself back in order to control it and i don't get why, when she gets up, Meryl does this half assed tip-toe thing close the space between them and get in hold.

Once they're in hold (and before the broken legged kicking and other what the fuckery starts) - look at their feet. They're bracing themselves on each other, bearing down on each other to get stability for the way they have to actually try and glide into different poses and positions before they launch themselves across the width of the rink. They are not skating. All the power and energy is coming from the top down, from the grip, to balance themselves. They're stablized by each other, not their blades. Once they start covering ice they're back to jumping, hopping and kicking.

And here it is at Skate America, below.

Man, before the fall even, see how Charlie just yanks her. You know Marina and Igor didn't tell them to do it like this. This was how they understood it. What I don't get is the skating. How does the sport wind up with two time World Champions who don't skate their programs and can't dance them?


  1. Fortunately for D/W, this quad has had no older couples to really offset the Disney on Ice feel of ice-dance in general. Not that the teams are not talented but there is a lack of sophistication. I mean just look at the latin SD..yes latin is difficult to translate on ice but hell Daisuke Takahashi is capable of demonstrating more of a tango or latin flavour than most ice dance teams in this quad. How many programs in ice dance are we going to remember from this quad? Not many including D/W's recycling...Overall with the loss of the cd and the interpretation of PCS scores in this discipline - no wonder D/W have been falsely rewarded....I mean seriously can you picture Meryl teaming up with another partner and looking half as good or Charlie teaming up with someone else and actually slowing down to show edge control...nope...because the basic techniques are not as strong as V/M...I distinctly remember Emily Samuelson indicating in an interview that it was interesting training with Scott Moir and stroking with him while she was waiting for Evan Bates to recover and Scott was waiting for Tessa. Emily Samuelson is a World junior champion - so for her to say that it was impressive to work with Scott does mean something...yes the guy has a strong work ethic but the guy is talented and technique is important to him...sorry for the rant...

  2. Me again - perhaps I need to start cheering for B/S...maybe they can pull the upset in Sochi..hell they are a good looking couple and have very good skating skills...

    1. Here's the definition of sophisticated as applied to figure skating. Figure skating's first value is skating. Not music, not acting, not emotion.

      1.(of a machine, system, or technique) Developed to a high degree of complexity.
      2.(of a person or their thoughts, reactions, and understanding) Aware of and able to interpret complex issues; subtle.

      refined "

      Meryl and Charlie's figure skating isn't developed to a high degree of complexity. When someone's figure skating is properly developed to a high degree of complexity, the components are ALL executed with clarity and good technique. Sophistication in ice dance isn't executing a lot of junk really fast. It's not - but you're doing so much junk out there, it must mean some type of skill, right? Especially since you're doing it quickly?

      No. That's called a fucking mess. It's also called bullshit.

      The reason there hasn't been very many memorable programs "this quad" is there hasn't been much memorable ice dancing save for Virtue and Moir. And not much consistently superior ice dancing except for Virtue and Moir. The superiority consists of a combination of excellent skating with excellent dancing. There are teams out there who are stronger in one department than the other. There's only one team currently superior in both.

    2. I think the most sophisticated ice dance can get is for the skaters to actually skate well while dancing well. Combine the two. It's rare because it's difficult and because the ISU judges have been willfully ignoring the rulebook.

      Maybe they think it's going to be easier to manufacture a bunch of DW/GP type stars because they fake it. You can't fake talent and you can't manufacture it. They may feel it's in the best interests of the sport's appeal to promote a lot of junkyard ice dancers.

      Fans are always focused on theatre, what a skater's energy or personality projects, and music/theme. I have been reading someone going on and on on fsu (very typically) describing "qualities" in DW that have absolutely no relevance to the sport as judged, and for that matter, some of these "qualities" are imaginary. For instance, anyone with eyes can see that Meryl Davis does not "use her entire body" to ice dance. Unless they're making up what 'using your entire body' means - and a lot of fans do think that's the way it works. "This is what using the entire body means to ME! It's just as valid as any other standard!"

      People basically don't think that actual criteria EXISTS. They think it's ALL subjective. And yet the ones who think this way have no problem with figure skating being an Olympic sport.

      I've said it before - too many fans, too many skaters, too many skating commentators and so-called skating journalists aren't interested in and haven't learned about skating as a sport. They're interested in performance and personalities only - theatrical performance, not good skating.

      Anyone genuinely interested in ice dance/figure skating as a sport can educate themselves. Find out what it's supposed to look like, how it's supposed to be done, watch a lot of it, repeat. Don't just watch the elite athletes - watch video examples of properly done footwork and edging which has been filmed precisely to isolate/show what proper footwork/edging looks like. There are examples going back years. There's video and there's articles on every aspect of figure skating. There's diagrams. What good figure skating is, in its fundamentals, hasn't changed between 6.0 and CoP. Just how it's quantified and how points are allocated.

      Anyone interested in seeing if the judging is corrupt or not can stop focusing on personalities, politics and their own theories and just a) learn about ice dance and figure skating and what well-executed looks like b) familiarize themselves with what is set down in CoP and c) see if there is a match between how the judges score the skaters per CoP and how the skaters skated.

      Nobody fucking does this. P.J. Kwong doesn't do it. She looks at the protocols, period. She doesn't match it with how the skaters skated to see if the protocols reflect what actually happened on the ice.

      DW fans don't do this.

      VM fans don't do it either but if they did they'd be happy fans, secure that their favorites were the best based upon reasons that were actually relevant.

      The judges have free rein because they're the ones doing the skating/points match-up, supposedly per CoP, and everybody else is judging the events on some mash-up of emotion and ignorance.

      Spectators, reporters and even skaters are doing something entirely different than the judges when they talk about the sport, so the judges end up doing what they want.

      What matters is this is a sport. There is a specific technique to the best figure skating. Edges, sustained edges, executing elements in and out of edges. Linking and choreography on edges.

    3. "The reason there hasn't been very many memorable programs "this quad" is there hasn't been much memorable ice dancing save for Virtue and Moir. And not much consistently superior ice dancing except for Virtue and Moir. The superiority consists of a combination of excellent skating with excellent dancing. There are teams out there who are stronger in one department than the other. There's only one team currently superior in both."

      One of the most maddening things to me right now is that V/M are one of the best ice dance teams ever competing in one of the weakest quads ever. They should be running away with every title, yet... *headdesk*

      "VM fans don't do it either but if they did they'd be happy fans, secure that their favorites were the best based upon reasons that were actually relevant."

      I wouldn't say that V/M fans don't do that. Some V/M fans do, some don't. A lot of those conversations looking at everything are happening in more private settings than fsu, fanforum, goldenskate, etc. We know how good our team is and why. We're just frustrated about how they're being treated.

    4. Well maybe it's because the field is so weak that DW's scores are faked. In reality, the field is a walkover for VM. As others have said, the difference between VM and other teams is so great they should be able to absorb errors and still win. Their biggest competition isn't even actually skating their programs, let alone dancing them. DW get points for what they're not actually doing - that's the bottom line. There's some astronomical score the judges will award DW and only when their mistakes are "visible" = non-technique in-your-face mistakes like a stumble or fall or getting blatantly out of sync - will a penalty be applied. So all DW have to do is make sure they do their junk smoothly. It doesn't matter that the junk itself is BAD. Bad skating, bad technique.

      The rivalry in this quad is faked. We have one team that is completely superior to all the others, and by a lot.

      That's actually the source of the bullshit. If there really were one or more teams that could give VM a contest, it wouldn't have to be faked.

    5. "Well maybe it's because the field is so weak that DW's scores are faked. In reality, the field is a walkover for VM."

      That would be my guess--D/W's scores are what they are because the field is so weak overall. It's like no one could stand the idea of V/M winning everything, all of the time.

      Another thing that drives me nuts is that in the zeal to create a false rivalry, teams other than V/M are getting a raw deal in that they should have surpassed or at least also be regularly beating D/W at this point. V/M are clear and away the best team, but there are other teams that skate and dance better than D/W. It's not fair to them either.

    6. There's a lot of hinky below DW - with how the Shibs pcs - PCS! dropped like a rock, how as soon as Chock/Bates went to Igor they started beating the Shibs - IMO this is a way of "spreading the wealth".

      Chock/Bates on the silver medal step make DW look a lot less worse than Shibs on the silver medal step.

  3. D/W are working with Derek Hough on one of their programs. I'm sure they'll get points for the name... *headdesk*

  4. Agree that in some perverse way, the lack of quality couples is actually hurting V&M.

    Carmen vs the rest of the world was like a wolf among the sheep. It was so much better than everyone else that it’s like it wasn’t even fair. So good that the establishment couldn’t even process it and just pretended it was an ordinary dance by average skaters, equal to D&W’s so D&W could win on the day if they skated without obvious errors. Giving credit for the complexity and innovation of Carmen, when it was so far ahead of everything else, would mean 20 point winning margins (even with minor mistakes). That would “look bad” since ice dancing doesn’t have jumps and the untrained eye can’t see the extra difficulty, so it just got shut down completely.

    If there were another team on V&M's level, they might not win all the time, but a real rivalry would be exciting. The other team would do something amazing, and V&M would come back with some crazy difficulty, and then the other team would have to push back... that would be awesome. I have to give so much credit to V&M for coming up with Carmen even when they didn't have anyone pushing them, skating-wise. So unfortunate for the "sport" that it didn't work out.

  5. remember pls vote

    there is no way a 'dancer' who gets yanked around by her partner and likes to pass off hopping and skipping as dancing should have that many votes

    1. Read the thread - people are idiots.

      They would never talk about jumps this way. "Oh, a good jump is a different thing to different people - it's very subjective!"

      Fuck that. There's as much technique in the goddamn blade work but they refuse to learn.

    2. "For me, this was really hard to answer. I thing both Tessa and Meryl have their strenghts and weaknesses.
      I hear all the time how Tessa is marvelous ballerina, while Meryl is so bad when it comes to extensions, finishing her moves, posture,...I have to disagree a little. Meryl's problem is that her legs are very badly built for any tipe of artistic sport or dance, even when she strightens her knees to maximum, it will never look like a ballet leg line. She can't do anything with it. I think she improved incredibly in last few years, but right now, she can't do much else, as she can't change her body. Tessa have a chance to have the body which alows her to look ballerina like. but there are some details that really bother me. I have sometimes problems with the way she uses her fingers and hands....she has very graceful arms, but her fingers could be more "free". It was quite visible in this year SD. But the main problem for me is this . The position of her free leg here is just a big no no and no. She tends often to point her toes inwards (sorry I don't know how to express it better with my English) , which is the worst thing you can do in ballet. It is particularly visible after their first Carmen lift. Meryl have generaly worse leg line, but her toe points are correct (outwards). Of course, I'm speaking about detail here."


    3. She's insane. Tessa's hips are open, her rib cage is lifted, her chest is lifted.

      Your toes aren't supposed to act like a weather vane. If your leg line is bad but your toe is pointing out, you have bad fucking leg line and it doesn't matter what your toes are doing. Your hips are meant to be open and the toe follows.

      Kristi Yamaguchi and Michelle Kwan, while never dieting down to the extreme thinness of Meryl Davis, had similar body shapes and leg shapes. Short and semi-bow legged.

      Meryl Davis doesn't engage her core when she skates. That's why her line is impoverished. She uses her limbs only. Even when she bends her back it's upper back only - it doesn't come from her hips and lower spine.

      Amazing how many opinions people acquire without knowing anything about the topic, and it seems likely it's because they're assuming this activity became an Olympic level sport without it involving anything the lay person might need to learn about and understand. Nope. My taste and opinions is sufficient to tell which girl is better!

      Like I said, these people claim to love figure skating but have no respect for it.

    4. P.S. It's very typical that the conversation focuses on Meryl, as if Meryl is the lesser. Look at Charlie's skating. Look at his partnering. Look at his blades, how he holds his partner, how he works in and out of "hold" in the limited way they do, look at his head and neck. Look at his torso and his hips and his knees.

      The guy's alignment is jacked up. He can't vary speed. He can't adjust his center of gravity. He has trouble controlling his blade with his blade. He has trouble sustaining edges. He has trouble going around a curve without jumping or leaping. Just like Meryl, that free foot is always going to ground. He has trouble matching what his body is doing to what his skates are doing - in motion. On one edge.

      Alignment is different from "line". You can have the most bowed leg on the planet but if you're fully extended, properly, from hip to toe, your lines will be fine for the purposes of skating. Let's not forget that good line also aids freedom of movement - good line is efficient. A "bow leg" may not be the aesthetic ideal from a "picture" point of view but a picture in that sense is two dimensional. It's absolutely fine from a technical perspective if the athlete is using her body properly, which Meryl does not. And that is what's wrong with her dangling free leg and her weird half-hearted movements on the ice that she does in between the big showy moments. Not her body. How she uses her body and doesn't use it. Look around at figure skating. There are skaters all over the place who don't remotely look like ballet dancers, but who use their bodies properly. And there are skaters who have classical proportions and look like all kinds of ass out there.

      Exhibit 1 is Tanith Belbin. When she's standing still, what more do you want. Long legs. Straight legs. Perfect proportions everywhere else. A feminine silhouette but describing light, clean lines in space. Long neck and arms. Nice back, good shoulders.

      Put that on ice and you get a train wreck. Why is that? She was born with the physical attributes this poster is talking about, but her lines suck. Her knees were bent, her feet on occasion sickled, her posture collapsed. It's because of what she was DOING with her body, or not doing.

    5. Yikes.....not that it's very important, but Meryl's fingers are much much too free this season if you ask me. It looks very childish, especially in lifts.

    6. I would like to ask what you mean by 'free' - you and the one who thought Tessa's hands weren't free enough. It doesn't make sense to me in terms of what you think the hands ought to be doing.

    7. I'm 3:07 - oh I don't mean it any sort of technical way, I also don't have a clue what that poster is talking about. It just reminded of something that Meryl does that I find annoying. Like I said, I don't think it's something very relevant to the scoring, not like toe point.!/fileImage/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_563/ondc350-314-2013-203614-high-jpg.jpg

    8. continued, I think what T does with her hands is perfection, I can't for the life of me figure out what that person thinks is lacking

      Meryl's, like everything with DW, are always strained to show OMG how hard this is.

    9. 2:17 - 2:29

      Great examples, thank you.

      Doesn't it seem as if Meryl has the same trouble with the hands/fingers as her feet, where she almost forgets to finish the movements properly. Her fingers look so stiff and unnatural.

      With Tessa, otoh, you can really see the ballet training in her arms, all the way to her fingertips. And everything looks so natural to the dance, whatever the style.

    10. Meryl's hand positions looks the webbed feet of a frog...there is absolutely nothing attractive about how they are splayed. Plus, she would have to make a conscious effort to hold the in such unnatural positions. Gah.

    11. It's more than how they look. The real point is there's no relationship between her splaying her fingers and how the hands are used in ice dance. Yes, energy is supposed to be carried through to the tips of the fingers, but she's got such a forced position it's rigid/static. They're not light, mobile, relaxed, flexible. They're not extending the line of her arms. They're useless in that position to engage with her partner - there's no possible fluid transition from that hand posture to putting a hand on a shoulder or arm. It's all for show. If she did something else with that hand she'd have to drop that position completely. It's all two dimensional with them - form doesn't follow proper technique.


  6. I'm no fan of Yuna Kim, but the you gotta give the girl credit, she does what she does well and consistently. So why is it that no ones makes a fuss when she finishes 20 points clear of the rest of the competition? Why would it be so bad for V/M to finish clear of everybody else? Especially since they clearly deserve to?

    1. It's funny I had the exact same thought.

      Maybe because the ones directly behind Yuna are also from Asia, or in the past they were.

      Someone remarked how come Skate Canada manages to get out there for Patrick. I can't know their entire agenda but there's no version of Gilles/Poirier among Canadian men, for one, and there's no DW among American men, for another. The USFSA isn't employing/drowning out Patrick partisans in favor of steamrolling one of their guys. They don't have a real contender.

    2. At least at the ISU political level, maybe it's ok for Yuna to win by 20 and a "rival' hasn't been created to beat her with because of the popularity of skating in Korea. How much would the ISU be profiting from that market?

    3. Good point - anon at 1:15 pm and if I am not mistaken short track speed skating is huge in Korea which is also part of the ISU....

    4. I'm the one who posted the other day that it would look bad for VM to win by 20 points, so let me explain... (sorry about length).

      Pairs and singles are different because there are jumps. They still screw around with the marks, but when Yu Na skates two clean programs with difficult 3z-3t combos, and other podium finishers had falls and pops, it's hard to quibble.

      Ice dance traditionally has a very bad reputation for political judging. The CoP was supposed to change all that. Belbin Agosto were the first poster children for “look ma, it’s fair!” as a North American couple who made it to the top quickly. Sometimes though, they were quite overmarked early in their career to achieve this fiction (2006 Olympics and 2007 Worlds, they had a ton of mistakes). By 2009-2010, they may have been undermarked, which shows what a joke judging is in general.

      A couple winning every competition over a four year stretch with huge margins would look terrible. The Russians snuck in Navka Kostomarov in the early days of CoP, but since them, no one has dominated. No one including NK has won more than two world titles since 1997 (I’m sure DW will change it next year, but it’s ok, they’re American, and since Americans haven’t won a lot, when they do, it’s not due to politics!).

      The ISU DOES NOT WANT ice dancers winning four years in a row, EVEN IF IT WOULD BE THE RESULT OF FAIR JUDGING. They want the appearance of fair, not actually fair. It would be called “making DW wait their turn” and “reputation judging” for VM (nevermind that sometimes, reputation is earned by quality skating that remains unsurpassed until retirement).

      If such nice, hard-working Michigan kids who “improve so much” every season got stuck behind the gimpy white bread Barbie doll and her douchebag of a partner, people would cry foul. This is because NO ONE REALLY UNDERSTANDS ICE DANCE JUDGING. Some would disagree with the judging, and those who agreed with it would say inane things like “well DW still look juniorish on the ice, and Meryl’s leg line doesn’t match Tessa.” The DW/American fans would be appropriately outraged – “this is supposed to be a sport! How can Meryl be penalized for the body she’s born with!” and controversy would ensue. Anyone who actually bothered to look at the skating would see DW’s terrible technique on the elements that they’ve been doing for six years and should-have-the-fucking-hang-of-by-now, two-footed skating, lack of rhythm, and other goodies. But who actually looks at the skating? Who bothered to look at the skating when they were complaining that Bourne Kraatz weren’t beating Grishuk Platov? And when the media tried, it was dumb stuff like “here’s their CDs side-by-side, you can clearly see BK being slower and out of alignment with worse timing, but look, one misstep from Grishuk, so BK were robbed!” Sometimes it’s better that the media doesn’t even try to analyze skating in a serious way. SLC pairs is another excellent example – he turned out of a double axel, so that completely eradicates their edges, unison, and transitions!

    5. cont from 9:09 AM:

      Here’s how it played out with VM and DW IMO:

      2011: It would look terrible for DW to be winning all season and suddenly get passed by VM at Worlds. It would look like they were keeping the throne warm for VM and VM just got slotted right back into “their” spot. There are of tropes in figure skating about “Russian couples swooping in to win Worlds after not competing.” Maybe if VM had won 4CC, they stood a chance, but after that, no. (IMO, VM were given a [deserved] win in the SD at Worlds because the judges didn’t know what would happen with Tessa in the FD, and they wanted them to save face by making sure they had a cushion were they wouldn’t drop off the podium entirely – however, the intent was never to give them a gold medal).

      2012: Perfect example of what I’ve been talking about. People are already complaining when VM win 4CC. At Worlds, VM win with two microscopic stumbles, quite rightly due to out-leveling DW and having better flow and performance which epitomizes the standard of “effortless” bandied about in the rules. So, people have a shitfit and bitch that the audience liked DW better. No one with a stumble should ever beat a clean anyone! If VM have a stumble, they should place behind the Reeds!

      2013: Carmen, packed program it is, occasionally causes VM to make small mistakes, totally understandable and common in the early season where ice dancers (except DW) test new stuff. Mistakes like stumbling on a transition or not being smooth on a choreographic lift are inconsequential and not a reflection of poor skating quality. If there were another couple of comparable skating quality with an equally difficult program who skated it cleanly – by all means, they should win over VM. But there was no one in their ballpark, and they should’ve been winning with big margins anyway. That would look bad though, in the interest of “fairness.” So…. VM make any mistake, DW have to win, poor technique be damned. I’m one who believes politics are fluid – they might have given DW the GPF and VM the 4CC, for example. But once we came to a point where DW had dominated VM all season, they were not about to switch that for Worlds, because it would totally look like “VM won because Worlds were in Canada!!!” The argument that “DW are better early season and VM catch up later” didn’t go down well in 2012 and they weren’t gonna go there.

      So that’s why VM winning with big margins would be bad. It would seem like no matter what poor DW do, they just can’t win over VM, and it’s sooo unfair.

    6. My fear is that after D/W "dominated" over V/M this season, it will continue on into next season. "Well, D/W won all last season, can't let V/M win now. It would seem unfair!"

    7. I think their hideous technique is finally going to catch up with the and trip them up. At least that's my hope.

    8. The horrid part of all of this is DW make hideous mistakes in every single program but since it's 'intentional' - i.e., bad technique - it's not counted.

      The points they rack up for difficulty, for pcs, when they're either not meeting the criteria for either or the criteria specifically accomodates their limitations - is the real issue. They are doing easier stuff than most of the top five. Easier in terms of the skating and partnering skill required to achieve it. Is some of it dangerous? Yes. But not in a way that's relevant to skating skills.

      Their skating skills - SUCK. SUCK. Objectively suck. The evidence is in every program, it's blatant as they hop, skip jump and trot and lazily two foot through everything.

      People know how ice dance is judged. Ice dance gets away with it because the general public simply doesn't know skating. That's all it is. It's not ice dance, per say, it's skating that the public, media and commentators don't understand. That's why it's able to be corrupt.

      Look at the skating board discussions. They haven't a clue. There's nobody who talks about technique with ice dance. Technique - the actual technique of blade work and skating in and out of elements, the mature skating that allows sustained run of blade - the sports loudest fans ignore it.


    9. I think their hideous technique is finally going to catch up with the and trip them up. At least that's my hope. This video got me thinking

      As much as the Finnstep is "hop, skip, jump", it's also pretty obvious when it gets messy. Look at the difference in the two teams even back then (minus T's post-surgery bobbles). I think DW might have a hard time keeping it neat enough while maintaining speed...

    10. ^oops, first sentence is a quote from 10:56.

    11. "As much as the Finnstep is "hop, skip, jump", it's also pretty obvious when it gets messy. Look at the difference in the two teams even back then (minus T's post-surgery bobbles). I think DW might have a hard time keeping it neat enough while maintaining speed..."

      You would think so. But the way they've been able to mask their deficiencies makes me think they (or Marina) will figure out a way to approach the Finnstep so as to make it seem they're doing something they're not -- as usual. Wanna bet some bombastic music will help.

      The narrative that DW and VM are starting from an equal technical base will be the most difficult thing to combat. Even with actual evidence of DW's problems, I think it's hard to go against the established narratives. It's so much the Emperor's New Clothes syndrome -- if the crappy skating is obvious, can the judges/commentators/fans admit it? Or will we just get so much more spin about "style" and "preferences"?

      And you know, I could care less if all the DW ubers keep posting their ridiculous reasons why DW are better than VM. What matters is that the judges stop rewarding crap for the sake of political agendas. It would also be so helpful if the commentators stopped lying about what DW are actually doing.

    12. 12:55 here, oops again - I meant to link this video, which shows the two teams back to back.

      You're right, they and their team have been masters at masking their deficiencies as a "style" difference, so we can't count out them tweaking things enough that they get away with it :( Still, I think that will be a more difficult thing to do than with the polka.

    13. Posture, crispness and speed are remarkably different 4 years ago, and the gap between the teams now is much wider.

    14. 2:57

      And it's so frustrating that the scores have made them equal. VM have become even better and they were already miles ahead to start with. DW's skating is more horrid every season. And they win!

      Such obvious politiks.

  7. Just throwing this out there - in terms of marketability - I think Ashley Wagner has more potential than Davis/White personally in the US. Hell I think that the Shibs have more marketability than D/W. Don't get me wrong - I have nothing personal against D/W but if I was in marketing - I would rather have Ashley or the Shibs as clients. Aside from being blonde/blue-eyed, Ashley comes across as accessible and fun and a hard-worker - kind of your yes - comeback kid. Another angle I would emphasize is her dad being in the military and basically Ashley moved around a lot when she was younger and irregardless she pursed her passion of skating. In today's age - with the American Idol, the Voice blah blah demographics - that resonates well with the target audience (basically she pursued her dream and she and her family made sacrifices)....I think Nike did well in signing two cents...whereas D/W got a deal with Kellogg's (but with Kristi Yamaguchi also signing on...)...I mean even last year didn't one of the Detroit car companies have a commercial and they used Alissa Czsiny (sorry for the spelling) where they could have used D/W? And D/W are from Detroit? So yeah...

    1. They would if they could politic Ashley to a major win. I think they are trying, but it's hard when she doesn't have a 3-3. Her PR has been very savvy. There were lots of articles about how she feels like the heir apparent to Kwan, and I've noticed a lot of posting about her improved artistry. She has improved, but not as much as people are saying, IMO. It's the same strategy being used with DW's newfoundconnection, and it's the same strategy as when Lysacek "me too'd" his way to Olympic gold by pretending he was as good of a skater as Buttle, when the only thing they had in common was not doing a quad.

      In ice dancing, you can just say that whatever DW do is level 4 (no one seems to know the difference) and give it positive GOE and great PCS.

    2. Your energy is meant to be extended to your fingertips - your hands shouldn't be disengaged or wooden. At the same time they need to remain light, flexible. Meryl's aren't "free" they are abolutely splayed to where her fingers are distorted looking. That's the opposite of free. If they lose their function because of what you're doing with them, you're doing it wrong. As you've said, her hands are "for show".

      With all I've watched of DW they don't appear to understand at all that proper line and form is a natural extension of proper technique, and that's because they don't have proper technique. They're able to perform without proper technique because their elements are less difficult. To do the elements as done by VM, your technique has to be correct or the element isn't going to happen. DW's elements are one dimensional. There's room for clutching and climbing. VM's are not.

      There have been many successful skaters who lacked ideal line, who were sloppy. From pairs skaters - Shen & Zhao Exhibit 1, to singles - very early Michelle Kwan was more of a jumper, Tara Lipinski skated "junior" til she turned pro. Cleaning it up, when that happened, wasn't some Herculean task because they were doing most things "right" technically already. They just weren't finishing their movements or mindful of their carriage (and how that frees up the stroking).

    3. Yes, that's a good point, "free" is not the right word for Meryl's hands.

      WTH is going on in that fsu thread? Why are people being polite and saying they understand her point? The pictures she posted do not show what she pretends they are showing. I am so sick of this saying things that are the exact opposite of reality and everyone accepting it as truth! And yes, if you think Tessa does "The same lovely romantic looking skate, over and over" that is a FACTUALLY WRONG statement.

      Sorry for venting, but I don't have an FSU account, and even if I signed up, a new poster couldn't really express the appropriate amount of frustration and have any sway.

    4. I guess this is what she considers textbook

  8. Anon 1:55

    Ashley is probably more marketable in the USA simply because traditionally the ladies' figure skating champion is the one the public recognizes, more than pairs or ice-dance.

    You have to admit DW have very good PR and I personally think they are very marketable. They come across sincere, charming, smart and hard-working. I don't think they have the megawatt charisma that just oozes from VM, but DW are decent, marketable athletes. True, they don't skate as well as their placements would suggest, but they are ranked at the top right now and I say good for them for taking advantage of all that their PR-management team can do for them.

    Although - I do agree that in the last year DW seemed to go more out of their way than ever before to say things that sounded like put-downs to VM, while IMO VM have never done anything like that toward DW. But that's a separate issue to DW's marketability. Many times I have wished VM would follow DW's example of good PR.

    1. Anon here from 1:55 - I agree that DW have good PR and are marketable. But I do think PR and marketability are different. Yes traditionally US ladies have been more marketable and that point is well taken. But I also think to be marketable you have to be a little different and stand out. I am not sure if DW have that "IT" factor. You also have to factor in that the US version of Stars on Ice is basically on life support. My understanding is that Kurt Browning did the last US version this year. If there is no big-post Olympic US tour (like the one in 2010, where would you get the advertisers to offer $$$ to DW or Wagner)...? We know the Japanese and Canadian versions of SOI do fairly well...

    2. I don't think it's the last US SOI. I think it was the last time that Kurt participating in it as a skater.

    3. Anon here at 5:44 pm - I wasn't indicating that there would be no US SOI next year. However post 2010 Olympics, the US SOI hit close to 40-45 cities. This year - it barely made 10 cities and none in any big cities with the exception of Chicago. Considering the US economy is not exactly booming (and I work in the pharmaceutical industry - which is usually recession proof) I am not sure that next year's US SOI tour will be as big as 2010's. And I am not sure if you will have the same North American star power (in 2010 - along with Kurt Browning, D/W, you had Lysacek, Belbin/Agosto and Joannie Rochette's story resonated well with the american media). So let's say for next year for the american SOI tour - you replace Kurt Browning with Kristi Yamaguchi, you get Lysacek back, put D/W and Wagner and possibly Gracie Gold etc - will people fork out the money? Not sure...Basically, my point is that without a half decent US SOI tour next year - I think DW's marketable opportunities decreases...

    4. What is the deal with DW not doing any shows this summer? Are they actually going to work on some new moves?

    5. anon 7:15 - naaah they are too lazy ;)


    Interesting concurrent poll at FSU. A bit of background - the author explains that the list was space-limited and not meant to be comprehensive, but that she didn't intend to leave Jayne Torvill off the list. That being said... Tessa is not only a central topic of discussion, but she's winning. Where are the fans saying Meryl should be on the list? Once the conversation shifts to who is the best EVER, no one even dares to compare Meryl to these legends, hmm, why is that?? It's only logical that if D/W are equal to V/M, that both girls would be part of this conversation, no?

    1. lbr Meryl can never compare to the top dancers ever. D/W are stronger as a team than separated individually. As a team, they do their elements & achieve WTF-worthy PCS. While V/M are very strong as a team & individually. Separately, both Tessa and Scott have skating skills to die for. They really both are a perfect mix of technique and artistry.

  10. LOL there is a recent post asking why Meryl is not on the list (page 3) take a look over the next few days to see if anyone else acknowledges the question

  11. Some of the these are good for a laugh...there's a new poll asking what will happeb V/M's legacy if they lose their Olympic title next. Um, let's see, first NA team to win OGM, youngest team to do, first team to win on home ice, first team to win on their first trip to the Games, and one of the most memorable free dances of all time.

    One person is aruging that although V/M are considered the best 5 of all time, they might not be considered the best of their era, because they never won GPF. I'm willing to bet V/M are too busy polishing their OGMs to care.

    1. The polls do create some interesting discussions, but of course none of it has any real impact on ISU politics.

      I think the most hilarious are the VM fans over there on fsu who keep posting how important it is to gather 'round and support Tessa and Scott. I never understand that. Does a fan's participation in a poll or the reading of specific fan-blogs make Tessa and Scott feel better? Or it will bring about a change in how they're scored?

      Kum-ba-ya for VM!! That will make them beat DW! Lol

    2. Oh my goodness, that one posters lack of logic and basic reasoning skills...

      " think the most hilarious are the VM fans over there on fsu who keep posting how important it is to gather 'round and support Tessa and Scott. I never understand that. Does a fan's participation in a poll or the reading of specific fan-blogs make Tessa and Scott feel better? Or it will bring about a change in how they're scored?"

      No, but it makes the fans feel better and it isn't hurting anything.

      My one caveat on "no" is this: There is some speculation that the press and others from the insane world of skating do read FSU. It probably won't do a lick of good, but on the off chance that someone reads something and gets an idea, I don't think it hurts to try to keeep the discussion on the actual skating. Again, odds are probably definitely no, but you just never know who may be reading and who may get an idea for an article or something. (Nevermind that a random skating board shouldn't have any sort of influence at all, but again, you just never know.)

    3. It probably has little to no influence, but isn't one premise of this blog that DW have successfully played a media game that in some way assisted the politics that enabled them to win? To whom would that media game be targeted, except for skating fans, with FSU being the place the majority congregate?

      There are judges who do read FSU. Joe Inman posted there during transitions-gate.

      PJ Kwong posts there and so do a bunch of skaters and their families.

      It's not like posting a bunch of polls will help VM win, but more like FSU does somewhat measure the pulse of the skating world. What that's worth, I'm not sure.

    4. I detest Rosie DiManno as much as the next fan, but looking back at this article is interesting In this case, her hyperbole compared to others reporters actually makes her more accurate. I wonder what silenced her after Worlds, although considering how unpredictable what she will say is, it was probably for the best.

    5. Too bad she's saying they should have won because their program is daring and bold, not cause they're better skaters. Scott shouldn't homologate the TES marks by saying “We can’t blame anybody else for the technical marks,’’ and "I think Tessa and I can bring a little more GOE in the elements."

      You could, or you could just be DW and get the GOE marks for doing whatever.

    6. 5:15

      Idk, if Scott in any way sounded like he was complaining, whining, casting blame or excusing his own performance - wouldn't it sound like poor sportsmanship? He could be absolutely right about any of his complaints, but the way politics is in this sport it would never be received well. Maybe someday, years removed from amateur competition, he can write some tell-all about ISU shenanigans and how it affected him and Tessa. But for now - he has to play ball.

      Good media training/good PR practically insists he agree with the scores, take full responsibility for his own scores, talk about personal improvement (without mentioning any improvements needed in other teams), etc. And if along the way he also throws in some praise for the opponents, well so much the better.

      It really is going to have to be someone that's seen as totally separate from the VM Camp who starts the ball rolling for scrutiny and outrage over the scoring.

    7. "Too bad she's saying they should have won because their program is daring and bold, not cause they're better skaters. "

      Although you could hardly describe DiManno as "informed" in this case, she still said more specific than the average reporter. She noted that it's a huge point difference in ice dance, that the two teams tied in levels, that DW scored higher in GOE, that that was inexcusable, that Charlie lifts Meryl like a sack of potatoes, that their speed makes them sloppy...So no, not enough, but...(Am I really defending Rosie DiManno? Gawd.)

    8. To April 15 at 5:46

      Maybe Scott should say something like this. Have Davis & White ever once admitted to any mistakes or problems in their performances, other than just that it was a struggle [which implies they made it through and skated well]
      Charlie White on 2012 Worlds: "We don't know where the discrepancy was in the judges' eyes," White said. "We're aiming for first, so we're disappointed we didn't get that, but we're so proud of the way we skated, despite the discrepancy in the scores, we're going to go home really pleased, and also find out what the judges are looking for."

    9. I meant April 22 at 5:46

    10. wow charlie is so stuck up talk about having foot and mouth disease ;)

    11. Anon 10:22 -- I never used to think that about Charlie. But, wow, really sounding stuck-up. He and Meryl are majorly self-deceived if they think their standing with the judges is for real a reflection of their skating skills. How can they possibly train alongside Tessa & Scott and not see the difference?

  12. lmao people on ontd_skating are so pathetic

    1. I think people over there love to be contrary. It used to be more fun back in the day (and there were some really hilarious posts) and people didn't take themselves seriously. But as time went on it became 'narrower', and if they didn't like the skater you liked, well... Let's just say it became less welcoming over time to fans of certain skaters. Granted, Scott's off-ice personality didn't help at all...