Monday, April 8, 2013

Why have Davis & White gotten so much worse?

Yes, they're stinking it up all the way to 2 World championships, but it's not on the strength of their skating, which has taken a downward turn since 2010.

Here's a theory:

Ironically, but very typically for what ice dance has turned into, the deterioration of Meryl and Charlie's technique is key to their success. Taking the skating out of their skating is key to their success. Trading in decent technique for cheating the technique is the only way they can win.

In order to "compete" or create the illusion of competing, they've prioritized frantic motion. Their  technique isn't strong enough to carry that impression of frenzied motion into their elements, so they've dispensed with technique. And actual skating.

In 2010, Phantom of the Opera was very different from Mahler, obviously, as was Bollywood to Farrucus. Meryl and Charlie's programs had very little "us" in it. The dynamic went: "first you, then me".  Charlie would serve as a stable base for something Meryl did, Meryl gets out of the way when Charlie does something. The lift stability issues were there but the lift execution wasn't the unadulterated sloppiness we see now. That backwards gliding lift where Charlie flips Meryl onto his back and she rests her sit bone against his back and her skate blade on his leg demonstrates that she completely lacks Tessa's core stability (see Tessa in The Goose - nobody but her is keeping her hips, her core, her shoulders and her head aligned, still and stable - and Scott is making sure she's got a stable base not by hanging onto her or vice versa, but by his own ability to keep his edges steady and his body stable while another human being is balancing herself vertically on his thigh), but it was done calmly. They also didn't skate (as many) miles apart, pose, and then pose some more on the way back to each other en route to more skipping and hopping.

Bollywood and Phantom of the Opera, as skated by Davis White, were considered sufficient to compete with Mahler-era Virtue Moir.

But since the Mahler year, Virtue and Moir have completely revamped their power. They were always faster and more powerful than the "D&W are ying, V&M are yang" types liked to pretend, but after 2010 their ability to skate with power transformed. You can see it in the shows they did even when Tessa was pregnant. They grew their technical range. Their technique was always terrific, but they expanded what they were able to do with their blades even further.

How could Davis & White compete with Virtue and Moir while skating as Davis & White skated in 2010? Davis & White were better skaters in 2010 then they are now, Virtue and Moir were better than they were in 2010, and had gotten still better.

Somewhere it was discovered that the frenetic, frantic, desperately theatrical style created enough of an impression of "more" going on that it appeared to elevate the apparent difficulty of the entire program.

Of course it required D&W to become ever crappier skaters because they're just not good enough to frantically dive bomb into and out of stuff with that breakneck busy-ness and with good technique, so good technique goes out the door and they clutch and grab, swing and flail. They "by any means necessary" their programs, and that "means" turns out not to be actually skating.

To beat Virtue Moir, they've priotized frantic movement and apparent pace, but lack the technical chops or stability to execute at that pace. The result is an epic fake out of horrible cheated technique - maybe that priority became ever more urgent after Vancouver because of how Virtue Moir themselves evolved.

You could "see" DW in POTO. Compared to what VM have done subsequently, the POTO era DW aren't fast enough, not powerful enough, aren't "doing" enough compared to Virtue Moir Latin program, or Funny Face, or Carmen. So maybe it's VM's huge strides since Mahler that has made DW throw technique out the window in favor of kicking up desperate clouds of dust. And they simply can't execute properly going at that pace - or what seems to be a hectic pace.

Hence, cheating.

In 2010-2011 I believe the USFSA and Charlie and Meryl themselves believed that Virtue and Moir would sit out the entire season. This was a golden opportunity to get off the hamster wheel and re-set their technique, get themselves grounded in good skating again, grow it over the season, and add speed and power by Worlds (a la the habitual pattern of Virtue Moir, minus the need to re-set their technique and get themselves grounded in good skating). Even if they still had a way to go by Worlds, chances are they'd still win Worlds.

But Virtue and Moir decided to come back at the end of the season. And the attempt to re-set Davis & White's technique with the tango was more of a challenge and more of a struggle than maybe the skaters had expected.

Who told Davis & White to ditch the noble experiment and not even go back to the POTO style of the previous year? Instead a bizarre non-skating program package featuring lots of nothing done with hectic energy and tons of two-footed theatricality from the waist up was born. Was this a born-in-desperation solution after it was learned VM were coming back - and lord above - it worked?

Did the USFSA tell them to stop the idea of figure skating and just get it done? The USFSA have told Davis White "no" to other programs. Clearly they want Davis White to win gold in Sochi and are working every media angle they've got to promote the cause. Davis & White showing good technique vis a vis Virtue Moir showing superb technique = Virtue Moir win. Davis & White churning up clouds and clouds of dust like a Roadrunner cartoon seems to work to beat Virtue Moir - or give the judges the cover they need to pretend it does. So do that.

It also puts the pressure on Virtue Moir because while apparently nobody judging or watching live can actually see what Davis and White are doing and not doing, Virtue and Moir, who actually have technique, who actually extend their moves, are made vulnerable because when you actually skate, you've left yourself exposed, which plays into the hands of the judges. With Davis White, there is literally nothing to see here.

Cheating pays off.

P.S. - one wonders what Davis White will do for their free dance next season and you'd think they've exhausted the noble monster/young girl theme.

Both Giselle and Die Fleudermaus seemed well suited to hopping and bouncing and skipping and leaping. Die Fleudermaus was a waltz and they didn't waltz, or dance, or do much skating, but the rhythm is very bouncy and they did a lot of bouncing.

2014 is 20 years after Grishuk/Platov won at Lillehammer with a Rock Medley featuring "Rock Around the Clock." I picture that with some Dirty Dancing mashed in and how can you fault them for energetically standing in place, bopping around, punctuating stuff with leaps and skips and hops? It's a nod to the Russian ice dance champions of 94. I can see it. Same program - just strip out Strauss or Adolphe Adam's Giselle music and plug in Meryl in either ankle socks and some type of 50's circle skirt or else Ratzo Rizzo bad girl gear. Charlie will of course NOT pomade his hair but he can be some type of adorable dork at the hop.

Come to think of it - Grease would serve just the same.

I am not one to imagine programs for figure skaters, to where I've mentally chosen the music, designed the costumes and played around with choreo, although that seems like a popular pasttime on many message boards. I thought of sock hop type rock only when I tried to think what DW could do next year that would seem "completely different" while actually being "exactly the same" and then remembered Grishuk/Platov in 1994, and that the Olympics in 2014 are in Russia, and the nightmare was born.


  1. d/w have gotten soooo stale since the olympics

  2. Is there even anything that Tessa and Scott can do at this point? Are they doomed next season?

  3. I feel like DW haven't grown since POTO but primarily since S&D, which I think, it's their best program of all the times.
    With DW is always 10% of them and 90% of Marina's genious. They don't add anything to the coreography, wich is something they do since S&D/POTO. I agree they were far better skaters 3/4 years ago.

    I have to say that spin in ND at worlds makes me furious. Charlie doesn't complete the rotation and it's evident. Level 4? GoE 3?
    There is something dirty as hell going out there.

  4. S & D was a good program for them, but it was still crap compared to Pink Floyd. I can't believe there was so much outcry that should have beaten PF at 2009 Worlds.

    1. S&D did beat Pink Floyd at Worlds. It wasn't enough to get them on the podium because of VM's lead (over DW) in the cd and od.

      When I look back at that competition it becomes ever more ridiculous. In the battle of the injured, gimpy teams, and everyone on the podium had taken a big hit, Pink Floyd comes out ahead.

    2. The more I think about it, the more I feel like PF should have won the FD at Worlds.

      Gimpy though they were, they received an equal TES score than Domnina/Shabalin, .2 higher than Belbin/Agosto, and only .5 below Davis/White. It all came down to the components, and PF was by far the most complex FD, and their skating was much more mature than B/A or D/W. D/S weren't more polished not have better edge quality than V/M either.

  5. Do you think that DW are worse than 2nd place? Are they worse than the Shibs who are the "lesser VM"?

    1. I don't know. I'd have to see DW actually skate now.

      The "problem" is that VM are really better than everyone by a fair piece. They have as much room between them and the rest of the field as Chan does between himself and the men.

      Most of the other skaters, with Gilles & Poirier a big exception, are taking the rulebook seriously and seriously going after their levels. The judges are putting their feet to the fire too - look at the disapointing feedback Weaver & Poje got on their Statue program before Kaitlyn Weaver was injured.

      So for the skaters who are actually doing it - and only two teams aren't - DW and G&P - we can really see that the gap between them and VM is big. We can see that they're doing the same thing - they're skating in and out of their elements. They're doing their lifts with the best technique of which they're capable. IOW, they're skating their programs, and even a casual viewer can tell that VM are much better skaters. And dancers.

      We can't really see ANYTHING about DW when they perform, and I think that's the whole point. We're meant to believe it's skating and we're told it's skating, but it's not skating. Because it's awfully hectic and histrionic, though, it's hard to actually come out and make the case that VM are better because what DW do is so different.

      And then you take the time to look at them (which the judges don't do or refuse to do) and realize it's hard to make the comparison, because what DW are doing is - not doing it. They're doing something else.

      If DW skated would they beat the Shibs? Would they defeat Weaver & Poje? We'd have to see. They would most decidedly not, ever, beat VM. Which apparently, figure skating doesn't want.

  6. THIS to the entire post. I've been racking my brain to figure out how can you compete in ice dance without the skating, even more why would you WANT to compete in ice dance if you weren't into doing the skating, and it finally occured to me...enforcers in hockey. Guys who want to play in the NHL, but can't really do the scoring and the assisting and the defending, so they become the fighters and it gets you the career. It's just in this case, somehow DW are leading in goals scored anyways.


    seriously how the hell was THIS undefeated for a season?
    how the hell did v/m lose to such an inferior team?

    1. I've watched a whole bunch of DW and obviously patterns have emerged. One is how the choreography works to extend Charlie White's two foot opportunities. If something's coming up where he as the male partner is legitimately on two feet or at least begins on two feet - such as a lift - the choreography will place him on two feet prior to the start of that element - and then extends his two-foot stance afterwards, and it's designed to fool the eye that the whole thing is the element, which it isn't. If the guy manages to do something on an edge for longer than two seconds, cue the two-footed celebration! You earned it dude!

      That last occurs especially after twizzles. Post-twizzles earns a lot of two-footed hopping, lunging, and squatting, sometimes punctuated by leaping. Occasionally there will be some stroking in between but then to celebrate that awesome accomplishment, he'll go flying into two feet again. All of this seems very calculated in the choreography.

      Meryl is a different deal. She literally seems to forget to keep her free foot off the ice. With her, it's all about the intersticials. Yes, I figure the running twinkle-toes skipping on toe picks that happen incessently when she's on the ice, the little pirhouettes - most of them launched with an assist from Charlie, the scampering, etc. is all in there to keep that impression that something dynamic and propulsive is going on. But other times, especially in any type of hold with Charlie, it's - say what? and her two-footing seems random, out of habit.

      Both of them seem to be most concerned about maintaining that dynamic, propulsive impression. I've not seen either one EVER do a check or adjustment when they're on two feet. I'd expect to see it from her as a lot of her two-foot suddenly just appears - she's turning and it's a step instead. She's transitioning in some linking choreo and it's just second nature to two foot - again, especially if there's any contact with Charlie or turns while in contact with Charlie.

      Neither seems all that concerned with where their feet are as long as they're not explicitly showing footwork or showing the pattern. Of course footwork consists of snack-sized pieces of short turns that can be punctuated by "transitions" to the next footwork section, and Davis White always uses leaps, skips and hops to get themselves from footwork section to section. Although I think something really came apart in the last piece of Notre Dame footwork. Nobody noticed or cared, of course.

      Another thing that has come up is you know how we're supposed to be fanning ourselves because of where Scott's hands are in Carmen from time to time? Well, in the "arabesque" lift in Notre Dame, where Meryl is on Charlie's thigh, his hand is so far up her leg she may as well be a hand puppet. This is because she can't stablize herself with only calf or knee support (from Charlie). She needs EXTERNAL support very close to her center - always. The entire length of her supporting leg is also against Charlie's torso, in addition to his extremely high hand placement keeping that leg plastered to him. And she continues to keep her right hand on his neck until she releases for about one second, and she gets up in lifts by clutching her hands around his neck.

      Now why does she need the support? Is it because Meryl's not stable? Is it because Charlie's skates, with that amazing "skates pointing in opposite directions" position that thrilled the media after his and Meryl's win - is rocking like a boat in a storm and Meryl would go overboard without the entire length of her leg lashed to Charlie's torso?

  8. They won't do a jive or Grease type program. It would be... honest. The whole goal is to have them a'hoppin', and a s'kippin' away but looking as if they're skating. That's what ice dancing and ice dance judging are all about. Appearances.

    I totally agreed with the blogger's previous contention that the Yankee Polka SD was used as an excuse to skate an open side by side program, hands on hips, with lots of leaping and skipping. A hoedown, basically. Hoedown was a legit option this year. Lots of country music polkas mixed in with a little Tennessee Waltz. But DW didn't use hoedown music. They used ballet music. It's like they're afraid that if the music reveals what they're really doing, they will get marked down for actually looking like they're doing what they're doing... inelegant, choppy, hoppy schtick. So they skate to ballet, and not just any ballet, but the ballet with the most coveted female role, a ballet about freaking ballet. It's all part of their "mark what we say, not as we do" strategy.

    I would rather see an honest, well done hoedown than a fool's ballet.

    So no, not jive, that'll look immature. Their music has to either give the feeling of elegance (as in the tango or waltz) or have the appropriate pathos to make all of the running around deep and meaningful and reflective of their inherent connection. If they're Sandy and Danny, they'll look like what they are, two kids at the hop. It'll be some Epic Theme with sweeping crescendos on which Charlie can ruuuun to the other side of the rink, arms outstretched, while Meryl makes the intellectually pained O face (which is so much more profound than the Tanith O face), and then they will race towards each other (literally running across the ice, natch), appear as if they're about to do Something Big, flop around on two feet, and run away from each other like he's got mono and she has to study for the AP history exam. Preferably, all of this will be in a foreign language, because that makes it just super deep... that's your big improvement in artistry between Phantom and Notre Dame (oh, and the bells!), cause I don't see anything else much different, at least different in a positive way.

    Like many others, I'm calling Les Miz.

    1. >>>>I totally agreed with the blogger's previous contention that the Yankee Polka SD was used as an excuse to skate an open side by side program, hands on hips, with lots of leaping and skipping. A hoedown, basically. Hoedown was a legit option this year. Lots of country music polkas mixed in with a little Tennessee Waltz. But DW didn't use hoedown music. They used ballet music. It's like they're afraid that if the music reveals what they're really doing, they will get marked down for actually looking like they're doing what they're doing... inelegant, choppy, hoppy schtick. So they skate to ballet, and not just any ballet, but the ballet with the most coveted female role, a ballet about freaking ballet. It's all part of their "mark what we say, not as we do" strategy.<<<<

      Well, maybe they'll Grease it up for the od. The Finnstep is the pattern. There is literal skipping in place, or close enough to skipping. In place is the important part. Imagine, a pattern dance that insists you stop and twinkle your toes - and it's the Olympic pattern dance! How did that ever happen?

      I, too, thought of Les Miz, although there really isn't that central boy/girl deal going on. Maybe they can do Eponine and Marius - and apparently Yuna Kim skated to a selection of songs from Les Miz.

  9. I'm not sure they'll do Les Mis. Wasn't it Charlie who insisted on PotO and was later dismayed when a bunch of other people were using it for Olympic season? I think he's learned from that by now. Samson and Delilah would have been the better package against Mahler (though S&D still wouldn't have won).

    Also, I'm of the opinion that while Grishuk/Platov were gifted a lot during their career and had a number of shortcomings, I still think they were better than D/W overall. You'd never accuse Oksana and Evgeny of not skating in the character of a tango, for instance. And Platov, before those blasted knee injuries, was miles ahead of White as an ice dancer.

    1. I agree re Grishuk/Platov on all points.

      Man in the Iron Mask hasn't been done in awhile has it? For an Olympics? By a podium contending team? Yags did it in 2002.

  10. It will be 30 years since Bolero, 4 years since Mahler. The bar can't be re-set with a crap program from DW.

  11. Why all the hate? Can't you agree that both teams are extraordinary? I'm a fan of Virtue & Moir also, but I don't see the need to trash Davis & White just to support Virtue & Moir. Also, Virtue & Moir did make a mistake on the twizzles in the short dance, so they should have been scored behind Davis & White. We all know their Carmen routine has been polarizing all season and the judges never got on board with their innovative interpretation. You disrespect yourself and them when you post this kind of stuff. They know they don't need to put anyone down to achieve. Do honor to them by following their classy example.

    1. Here's the thing though: when you really examine what D/W are doing on the ice and compare it to what's in the CoP, then, no, they are not extraordinary skaters. You're free to like both teams if that floats your boat, but simply liking a team doesn't mean they're extraordinary or should be winning. We're not going to agree that both teams are extraordinary when based on what they're actually doing out there, D/W are not.

      Yes, Tessa made a mistake in the twizzles, but the quality of what what V/M do is so far ahead of D/W, that they should have been easily able to absorb that mistake. It shouldn't have taken them out. Really though, the problem is that D/W got points for doing things they didn't actually do out there when you look at their skating.

    2. It does not necessarily follow that because Tessa made a mistake on the twizzle, they should have scored below Davis White. The correct syllogism would be, because Tessa made a mistake on the twizzle, VM should have received whatever downgrade in level and GOE that were appropriate. And they did - only a level 3 on twizzles and only .57 in GOE points. At the 4cc, they had received level 4 and an additional 1.21 in GOE, so they were marked accordingly.

      That does not necessarily mean they weren't better than DW on other elements/components, enough to absorb that mistake and come out ahead, just like Chan and Kostner so often do with outright falls because of superior skating skills.

      The only way that your premise works (that a mistake from VM automatically means placing behind DW with no obvious mistakes), is if one accepts as fact that VM and DW are equal. That is what this blog is challenging, and it's doing a great job. In order to combat this, a DW fan could explain exactly how and why DW earned enough points to win the SD, based on their activities on the ice, not just a recitation of the marks they earned. It may even be the case. As a VM fan I would be ok with DW winning the Worlds SD, but not by that much, and not winning the FD and the title. I think it is possible to do an elemental analysis with DW ahead in that segment, but have yet to see anything but the usual VM were slow/made a mistake/are boring/didn't have the true polka feel.

      That Carmen has been polarizing and its innovation not appreciated are not figure skating arguments. In fact, "originality" is part of the components score for choreography, therefore innovation should have helped, not hurt. And the bottom line is if a program is more difficult, and better skated, and interprets whatever style of dance has been chosen appropriately, then the judges need to score it as it deserves even if they don't "like it."

    3. Your question is inane and lazy and there's no thought behind it. Well maybe this thought "Man, critical thinking is mean."

      This isn't hate, it's analysis. And last I checked it's perfectly okay to call out cheating and corruption.

      And if you have read the blog and watched DW skate and still believe they are "extraordinary skaters" then you don't know extraordinary skating but don't expect me to admit to something that's not true. DW aren't extraordinary skaters.

      And as the other two posters have said - a mistake by Virtue and Moir in the twizzles only puts them behind Davis & White if they're equal and they're not.

      Your question wasn't mean but it was shallow and the sort of beside-the-point inanity that gets put on twitter and helps perpetuate what is wrong with figure skating. Because seriously - why do you want anyone to admit that two teams who are not both extraordinary ARE extraordinary? Why is that more comfortable?

  12. The music from Game of Thrones is quite good. Did anyone use that this year in any discipline?

    1. Anything melodramatic with a generic "epic" tone set in non-contemporary times is what everyone's looking for from them.

      I suspect we're going to get a "Die Fleudermaus" situation instead. Something that reads like a departure but will be the exact same.

  13. "We all know their Carmen routine has been polarizing all season and the judges never got on board with their innovative interpretation."

    Where do you even GET this? Polarizing to whom? Have the judges given an interview that I haven't seen? Have different factions of the ISU staked out different positions? Have the scores in a given competition varied so wildly among the judges in an event panel so that it can be said the judges are polarized?

    Doesn't the rulebook exist to prevent "polarization" (i.e., opposite sides of a question) because the rulebook establishes the criteria?

    It's not fucking UP to the judges on this matter.

    Furthermore, if something IS polarizing - which Carmen is not but let's pretend - isn't proper procedure to have a meeting or conference to review, clarify and resolve the issue, because with a clearly written rule book and legitimate judging, "polarizing" should not happen.

    Has such a conference taken place for Carmen yet? Has the ISU issued a communique or does it plan one? Surely they don't want to leave the impression that judges can be "polarized" according to the whims of their hormones, culture, personal taste, entrenched stupidity or biases instead of adhering to such carefully composed, statistically-based rules of the game.

    The taste of the judges have absolutely no space in the RULEBOOK. All that matters is if Carmen was interpreted according to the style of the dance, which was contemporary. There are no ice dancers in ice dance history who have fulfilled that guideline as completely as Virtue and Moir in Carmen.

    If the judges couldn't "get on board" then they're not judges, but a bunch of bullshit slinging, rule-ignoring, power-tripping shysters and there's no reason at all a fan of the sport needs to accept the judges ignoring the sports own rules.

    Which is the whole point of this subject. It looks as if that's exactly what they're doing.

    The sort of thing you're saying isn't serious. It's insipid. It doesn't take skating seriously as a sport. It's disrespectful to skating as a sport. It's disrespectful to thinking people's intelligence.

    Also what the hell with "don't have to put anyone down to achieve." How the fuck ELSE do you achieve except by being better than your competitor.

    IOW what you said has no real point and isn't relevant.

    It IS, though, characteristic of the figure skating fandom that doesn't care about the sport as a sport, doesn't examine what's taking place, and holds figure skating to a completely different standard than any other sport.

    If, for example, in the championship college basketball game between Louisville and Michigan this year, the refs had ignored every single violation by Michigan while not only calling every violation on Louisville but also pretending they'd had violations when they didn't, if the refs had awarded baskets to Michigan that Michigan didn't score, would you sanctimoniously advise that Louisville would never be so unmannerly as to mention that they'd been royally fucked and cheated and Michigan handed the game?

    Ice dance is not a sport now? It's "not classy" to notice cheating?

    I'll tell you what's not 'classy'. Cheating.

    Double standards.


    Schemes, deals, agendas, lies, manipulation. That's not classy.

    Interesting none of that bothers you. Only being so impolite as to mention it.

    Do you work in figure skating? That would explain it.

  14. P.S. - how exactly is Carmen "innovative" other than in taking CoP as on the level and elevating the precise standards laid out in the rule book? Not getting around them, not ignoring them, but taking the standards seriously, so that when the guideline says "maintain an edge", Virtue and Moir don't simply indicate that edge, but REALLY maintain it. How "innovative" is it to take the rulebook seriously?

    I guess very.

    Otherwise, the "innovation" of Carmen is the amazing innovation of a couple of ice dancers actually using real dance choreography throughout every single piece of their program. Boy, I can see ice dance judges struggling to get on board with that one.

    There was nothing else innovative about Carmen. Just that. That a couple of extraordinary ice dancers were able to execute authentic contemporary choreography with their exquisite skating skills.

    The Carmen "story" the skaters told was unchanged. Even Debbi Thomas's Carmen didn't die on the ice (1988) so that plot alteration isn't even new. The "sexuality" in Carmen was expressed using choreography that had psychological intent and was no more extreme than Volosozhar and Trankov in their Godfather short.

    Contemporary dance? I guess the problem is they used actual contemporary dance, which so many fans love to talk about and so few fans have a freaking clue about.

    Gilles & Poirier did "Wild Spirits" - i.e., we're going to make shit up and call it what you want.

    THAT might be a WTF for the ISU, don't you think? We're dancers, we don't really have a name for a dance, it's sort of like we're in the west somewhere and ingested some really rad peyote and we're just feeling it, man.

    Ice dance today is a lot more comfortable with fake and cheats. That's what it encourages. That's what it rewards. It's not classy.

  15. One would think that with all of the "rules" and the CoP in place that over the course of a season certain new and innovative moves in dance would be given base value like in gymnastics or like a jump in single. It is not like the judges do not see these programs in advance? How can the same required element performed by the same team in the same program in the same season be given a different value at different competitions? Shouldn't it be same value with a GOE deduction or bonus depending on how it is performed?

    1. There has been more than one article written about how CoP has actually enabled corruption instead of rectified it, and that it was actually the purpose of CoP, as some have claimed. The sport can hide behind the rule book while ignoring the rulebook. The media laments the loss of 6.0, and gripes about CoP as arcane, but I think it's arcane intentionally. It covers every base - it's a purportedly statistics-based scoring system - and stats don't lie! Look how often people say "I looked at the protocols and ..." to support an outcome.

      It's not the protocols they should be looking at, it's the fucking figure skating.

      And then see if the protocols are accurately reflecting how something was skated.

      The idea that CoP is math-based, its statistics, and therefore less corrupt is also erroneous because its model is faulty, not to mention, the whole thing depends on honest scoring. It's easy to be dishonest when everybody from the commentators to the media refuse to bring an informed critique to the skating.

      The lack of transparency is the other obvious thing that makes corruption more likely. David Dore and Cinquinata pretending anonymity would promote integrity was a flagrantly fraudulent posture for them both to take, and they knew it.

      IOW, they really don't want to make the system cleaner. CoP was public relations. Hide the bullshit in a morass of faked statistics.

      The bottom line is the public and media need to learn SKATING. And they don't. I don't think the sport wants them to.