Friday, November 15, 2013

TEB GOE

This post will expand later. While the scores are good news, I would like to ask the relevant judges on the TEB panel precisely what a dance team needs to do to get +3 on the ss sequence. Do they need to actually fly? Do they need to finish up their doctoral dissertation while skating? Do they need to ask an audience member to join them on the ice while they continue hitting Level 4?

They got the level, so there's no tech nits in the case. It's just that somebody on the panel watched and thought - eh, +2. Actually only 3 judges gave +3. And one judge gave +1. It's amazing how the standards rise when VM skate, where when DW skate it's more like "Did they execute the element? Yes? +3!"

And one judge gave P/B (who are fine, don't get me wrong) higher pcs.



Take a look at the step sequence one judge thought should only be +1. And remember that the ISU claims judges are anonymous to prevent their identities from being known to those who might bribe or influence them. Not to conceal their identities so they can do shit like this.

This post pre-empted a planned post where the title "there's a baby in her shorts" was rejected for tackiness (my own). I had been reading the "investigative" tumblr about Tessa's pregnancy, and looking at the efforts of the person who has taken it upon herself to rebut this tumblr, a person who has used diagrams, outlines, logic, corrected timelines, etc. And of course, this person re-states that there are people, and this person is one, who know about Tessa's pregnancy not from "investigative research" of other people's pregnancies, or photos of Virtue taken from the web, but because they got the actual information from credible sources off line.

And that said, when I looked at the Gemini lounge photos, really looked, it was obvious the investigative tumblr creator missed half of Tessa's body. Tessa was a clever dresser.

So while it's a bit possibly tangential during TEB to have a post that diagrams some of Tessa's pregnant lady wardrobe strategems, and while I'm not as precise with marking the contours of where Fetal Moir resides as the tumblr participant is; it's close enough. And I think will be a worthwhile exercise in anticipation of the reality show coming soon to a television near us where we watch the platonic Scott and Tessa "Blow off steam" with family and friends. (Considering what has transpired in the sham albums over the years, I think that was a very unfortunate description.)

Somebody got new lips for their Olympic spotlight.

Normally I wouldn't think this merited comment, but if a small-busted sham girlfriend uploaded a cover photo with a close-up of her brand new rack, it would be rude not to notice. So same here.

179 comments:

  1. Guess who's in France?

    Our beloved CASSANDRAAA! ^^^^^^^^

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    1. Of course she is. That was predictable.

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    2. 1:36 again.

      Where did they drop the sham information at?

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    3. 1:36, I am here in Paris and saw her in hotel.

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    4. LOL, 1:49. I thought they'd put photos somewhere.

      Cassandra had no profile pic during NHK. She changed it to the icky ass grab again yesterday, I think. I'd expected her profile pic to go from blank to something of her in Paris. Taking her to Paris for shamming was just too easy, really.

      I'm sure we'll get treated to a Paris sham spam in the coming weeks, perhaps for the GPF.

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    5. 1:49
      Is she supposedly rooming with Scott?

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    6. It wouldn't surprise me if Hilborn were there, given the reality show.

      Checking her facebook, she's gotten a lip job for her Olympic spotlight.

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    7. Although one would think a comment from Paris would hit the stat counter.

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    8. "Although one would think a comment from Paris would hit the stat counter."

      Oops.

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    9. LOL! One would think. Oops indeed.

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    10. Furthermore, as there were fans with posting histories headed to Paris for TEB, it's been fun to predict what stories some would concoct. But for somebody to say "I saw Cassandra at the hotel" when Virtue and Moir's short dance blade carvings were still in the ice on the rink was OTT and way too on the nose even for some of the people that enjoy crafting that sort of thing.

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    11. I have been to Paris, Cassandra was not there and I saw Tessa and Scott enter the same hotel together

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    12. 2:28PM, thanks.

      The person who claimed to see Cassandra in the hotel was ridiculous. Fans never learn. As to the fan who claimed to see the Moirs, Scott and Cassandra at breakfast, that's something we can't put past them given the reality show, but at the same time, reading fsu over the years has taught me that even regular fans make shit up all the time. All the time. Virtue Moir and significant others have been one of the all time favorite shit stirring fake sighting topics over there. I can't figure if it's due to just enjoying pressing people's buttons (that's certainly common), just wanting to spread stories (people do that too), or people who know otherwise who just prefer to be in the know and like to make sure everybody else gets lies.

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    13. If Cassandra was there, it's sounding a lot like she was a prop and nothing else, as is the norm with Scott's fake girlfriends. People did not see Scott hanging out with her at all. So then what's the point? It's to take some photos that will be posted on some public site just to mess with fans. Breakfast with the Moirs? Think about it. A very public statement, breakfast with Scott and Mom and Dad at the freaking skater's hotel. Positioned to be seen by everyone. And what else is new? Nothing. If this happened (and that could be in doubt), Moirville are acting true to form. (Shrug)

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    14. It's interesting the FSU breakfast report says Scott and his GF. How do they conclude that? Why not Scott and some other person, could be a cousin, family friend, other relative. They forgot to add the necessary FSU details so we all know it's a GF. Were they cuddling? Holding hands? Ignoring Scott's parents and gazing lovingly into each other's eyes?

      I'm not sure we can know anything without those other supporting details. LOL

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    15. She was there. She was seen by Russian fans at men's event sitting with Scott's parents.

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    16. I'm sure she was there. Apparently she was keeping Scott's parents company more than being with Scott.

      What an awful lot of money to spend just to get her on film and in some photos. What do they all think they're accomplishing when sooner or later this is all exposed as fraud?

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    17. 5.17 thanks!
      cassandra was not in paris and scott's parent too! I was there!! but still believe these things? Tessa and Scott were in version married couple with no children! there was not even toddler moir!

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    18. Oh,no,she was. As well as Scott's parents and Tessa's mom. Just read and google translate the Russian LJ. People even talked to them! There is absolutely no reason for these fans to lie all together. And in Russian.

      P.S. Alma attended the meet&greet, there are photos of her taken. Will you tell me again she wasn't there?

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    19. 7:12, are you saying Russian fans talked with Cassandra or with Scott's parents and Tessa's mom?

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    20. 8.37 yes. A couple of girls were sitting next to Alma at the pairs event and they talked a lot (also they've invited her to the meet&greet). Cassandra and Scott's dad came later to watch men , but as far as I know, they only waved at them and said hi.

      Also Alma told fans that Tessa's mom is in Paris living in the other hotel and that most of the time she is busy with her French relatives.

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    21. Well I think we predicted that Ms. Hilborn would be in Paris...no surprise there...with the film crew being there...and let's face it if you were Ms. Hilborn would you choose St. John, New Brunswick (Skate Canada) or Paris, France...You also have to wonder down the line - how much vacation time does Ms. Hilborn have as a dental hygienist? I mean the Hilborns usually vacation down in Florida for X-mas, will she be at Nationals? Sochi? Do you see Tanith following Charlie? No...Some nice perks...oh well...Gotta laugh at Alma taking in the pairs event...wait...you mean she wasn't shopping with Ms. Hilborn at high end boutiques? Instead Ms. Hilborn was accompanied by papa Joe. Naturally the Virtues would spend their time with close family friends...

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    22. She has seemingly unlimited vacation time. Oh, except for when she wanted to go to Japan and didn't have vacation time. Poor Cassandra. :(

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    23. I don't know about the rest of you, and I may very well end up eating these words, but I'm not taking anything reported by the Russian fans as the gospel truth. Much like a few select FSU posters who always seem to be in the right place at the right time to see these things that no one else does, a few of these Russians also seem to have the same good fortune. How lucky to see all these things and be told all of this stuff!

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    24. I know the person who wrote about talking to Alma in real life. She has no idea there can be some other reality in VM relationship status and takes Cas as a real gf. For me that is a ridiculous thought, there is absolutely no reason for her and her friends to make up things like that. Moreover, 99,9% of Russian fans take everything VM say as a gospel truth, I can tell you. So "we are platonic" actually means "we are platonic" for them. They don't search for subtext

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    25. I believe Cassandra was in Paris, but like another comment upthread says, it looks like she was a prop. She was seen with Scott's parents. But were Scott and Cassandra seen hanging out together? Were they seen acting like boyfriend and girlfriend? It looks like we should expect the couple-posings to be in photos or video but not in front of fans at TEB?

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    26. 11.52 I agree with you! but if the mothers of Tessa and Scott were in Paris who was holding toddler moir? is Cassandra the babysitter?!?!? ahahahaha

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    27. It will be very interesting to see if Scott's brothers and Cara Moir attend Nationals and/or Sochi...

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    28. A bunch of Moirs always attend the competitions, especially Canadians. Why is this interesting?

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    29. Well the reason I ask for Sochi is that both of Scott's brothers have young girls. It's one thing to have everyone come at Worlds when they are in your backyard and another to bring them overseas and getting visas for even for one week of the Olympics...

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    30. The brothers and wives and babies were all at Worlds in Nice. I don't think traveling with young children is something they view as a difficulty. Traveling expenses don't look as if they're a problem either.

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    31. 0:20 - I agree with you, as sincere as the Russian fans are, I don't necessarily believe what they relate. Just because an agenda or influence isn't apparent doesn't mean it's not there. This isn't a "you can't prove a negative!" circle jerk, it comes from awareness that at least one member of that community believes that being a good fan means promoting Scott and Tessa's lies, even though in some respects I think this fan is off base (for example, reporting that independent people saw Scott and a "gf" making out somewhere might not be something Scott & Tessa actually want, down the line. It might be that they want to be able to expand the context in which we receive the sham, when the time comes, and people claiming Scott was sneaking around isn't part of the game plan.). I think some fans can easily be influenced that they're helping Scott and Tessa.

      IMO it's likely Cassandra was there, and just as likely that fans are lying about seeing Cassandra. These aren't incompatible realities.

      I believe the fan upthread who says Scott and Tessa were in a hotel together as a couple, because that has been their reality and how they handled the GP for years.

      What - I guess - we need to distinguish is agendas. Fans who are all "Cassandra was there - with Scott!" are full of shit. She's not with Scott. Scott is with Tessa.

      I don't know what I'm missing, but I do find this sham an interesting reflection on London and Ilderton. It's okay for a dental practice employee to spend time hoaxing the public in her off hours in the interest of her own self-promotion. It's okay for community leaders like the Moirs to scam the public and charge them for it. It's okay to pick the public's wallets while hoaxing your asses off and receiving recognition for being outstanding members of the community and outstanding members of a sports federation.

      Since when?

      That all of this is okay in figure skating but not in other sports says a whole lot about what figure skating - and the media - thinks of figure skating's fan following. If they ever got all the men following it that they wish they had, we can be sure of a sudden outbreak of both integrity (much less blatant lying and manipulation) and flattery (not so much disdain right in the faces of the people who follow the sport).

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  2. "And one judge gave P/B (who are fine, don't get me wrong) higher pcs."

    To add to the weirdness, there was one judge who gave higher PCS to IK than they did to PB. There was a lot of whackery with GOE and PCS today. VM and PB each had one judge to give them GOE that was not in line with what the other judges gave them. Mysteriously, this phenomenon did not happen with IK's GOE.

    Despite the whackery, VM do now have the highest SD PCS this season. It's only by .02 though, which is ridiculous.

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    1. also one judge gave v/m p/b i/k 2 GOE for everything

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  3. Virtue Moir make sure that never EVER are fans distracted from his fake relationships by the skating. And the blog has re-learned that talking sham is never ever tangent.

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  4. Considering the reality-show cameras, it looks like VM are looking to establish this sham on legit media, unlike the Jessica days. They never did get a chance to show all their pictures around the Paris sites with Jessica, like we know they took.

    They are *determined* to show Scott around Paris with the GF. Really, they're sick.

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    1. I'd temporarily forgotten about the reality show cameras being there.

      They are sick, for sure.

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    2. OTOH I would be cautious about it. One, the Paris comment didn't show on the statcounter as from Paris. Two, while it seems to make sense she'd be there given the reality show going on, there's at least one fan attendee at TEB with a history of either "spotting" Scott's "gf" or having friends who spot Scott's "gf" at very opportune times. One of those fans who not only usually has the luck of spotting her or them, but also the good timing of witnessing personal behavior - or their friends do. This sort of luck seems to befall the same people repeatedly, often at the same competition each season.

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    3. "One, the Paris comment didn't show on the statcounter as from Paris."

      Haha! Busted.

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  5. If Cassandra's presence makes them skate that well, then hey, whatever turns them on. The fake gf is there and suddenly Tessa nails her twizzles, lmao.

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    1. Could be part of Tessa's superstitions. To do well at TEB she needs the "protection" of Scott being assumed to be with the fake gf and not with her? She might feel it takes pressure off her personal life. Regardless, it's stupid and very naive and immature to "need" the umbrella of a sham.

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  6. Best news about this SD is that their score of 75.31 beat DW 73.70 last week and they still have room for a higher score because they still didn't get their levels on the finnstep.

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    1. @3:54
      Very true, and i am happy about that.
      In a fair world, though, DW wouldn't have even cracked the 70s with that garbage SD. They barely dance in it, and Meryl is still hopping all over the place. At best they are doing some fucked up version of a waltz. When someone can't even tell what dance style you are interpreting, or mistakes it fr a different one, that is a huge problem.

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    2. 4:11
      Of course this is true, but as TS progress toward that unfair mark this early in the season, it becomes increasingly oblivious the difference in quality between the teams. And Remember Judy was the caller on this event!

      PS something strange went on with at least one of the judges when you take a look at the protocol.

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  7. I've always been under the impression that the judges' scores are all randomized, so that there's no way to tell by looking at the rows OR columns which judge gave which scores?

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    1. No you can't. But the scores the judge assigns to each element and category aren't scrambled. When you see a number on a team's protocol, and then a string underneath, all those numbers are assigned by the same judge.

      I'm actually not sure if Judge #1 on VM's protocol is also Judge #1 on P/B's, but if people think it was the same guy it's possibly because there was a scoring pattern.

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    2. "I'm actually not sure if Judge #1 on VM's protocol is also Judge #1 on P/B's, but if people think it was the same guy it's possibly because there was a scoring pattern."

      Pretty sure it's not the same judge. I'm also not seeing any kind of pattern in the protocols to indicate it either.

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    3. What I meant by pattern was if people look at the protocols for the segment and see that consistently there's one judge on the panel scoring in what seems to be a particular pattern, it might be the same judge even if the pattern shows up as Judge #1 for one team and Judge #5 for another.

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    4. Right, I understand. I guess what I'm saying is that I don't see any scoring patterns at all that would indicate "oh, that's the same judge."

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  8. i think their ss is unreal. the rest is technically great but i like their sd last year. and the best of all time was 2012 latin one. i mean, unreal sd. in my mind the sd should always be some kind of latin dance or waltz. anything else is not inspiring and dull in sd format. also, i love your commentary re ice skating. ive learned a lot. but please, at this point, your are obviously a major supporter of virtue moir, going into olympic season, unless you are ready to give smoking gun evidence, i.e., a picture of the sham or the baby, maybe cool it? maybe you are helping davis white and theyre contingency more than you think?

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    1. Cool it? The people who need to cool it are Virtue and Moir. As in, cool the lying, the blaming of their lies on the public, and all the other bullshit they peddle via the media and social media. They are not victims.

      Why should a moratorium be called on criticizing them? Because it's an Olympic year? They made the decision to do what they're doing. If any of that is hurting them in the run up to the Olympics versus D/W, the only people V/M have to blame are themselves.

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    2. I don't get the connection between "cool it on Virtue and Moir" and UNLESS the blog produces a smoking gun. It would be okay to continue to criticize their sham behavior if I shared how I know with the class?

      Criticizing this season is either appropriate or it's not. I don't see where the smoking gun comes into it.

      I agree, no moratorium. Fans in the past have had every expectation (based on nothing but assumption) that Virtue and Moir would cool it. She's pregnant - they'll cool it. They have a child - they'll cool it. It's the most high stakes competitive season of their career - Davis White are salivating for the gold medal and will say anything, Charlie's girlfriend is in the comment booth and will say anything, and most of the western media follows along - they'll focus on skating. Hell, any romantic OR platonic team would buckle down and focus on skating in their media profile, no matter whether they were with each other or with others.

      What platonic team, dating others, would decide the Olympic season was the time to parade their family and friends and SO's in a "reality show"?

      No one. Only these clowns.

      This, decides Scott and Tessa, is a good time to have a reality show full of hoax and tell everyone it's a documentary. Never mind their daughter who is nearly three. And of course the impression they leave is that with their last hurrah as eligible skaters, their connections are falling over themselves to squeeze every last ounce out of the cow. It's as grabby as hell.

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  9. Who is the woman commentating for Eurosport, alongside (the useless) Nicky Slater? Aside from her annoying accent, she was actually quite good, as she actually talked about SKATING and substance. Nicky, as always, was doing fashion commentary.

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  10. The FSU poster quiqie uploaded a translation of ice dance European/World champion and Olympic silver medalist Ilya Averbukh's recent interview. There is a mention of V/M:

    "Q: Who do you think are the style icons in the ice dance?

    IA: I like all the programs of Tessa Virtue/ Scott Moir. They usually don't tell a story in their programs, but show a story of the souls with shades and undertones. And honestly, if we are talking about the two top teams, for me they are uncomparable. Last year, I was extremely confused by the judges' decision to put the American team above the Canadian. I still haven't completely understood why Davis/White won the Worlds Championships last year, because for me Virtue/Moir stood head and shoulders above, from the choreography of the free dance to the perfromance."

    V/M really are ice dancers' ice dancers, so to speak. I don't think many in that discipline will look to D/W for *style*--as well as technical content.

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    1. Okay, and now I'm a fan of this guy. He came out and said it.

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    2. Haha. I didn't like the programs he did when he was still competing (too...'voidy' for my taste), but I do respect his work as a producer of skating TV shows and tours. I think he has played an important part in keeping skating front and center in Russian public's consciousness (even if the shows/tours are mainly for the retired/pro skaters).

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    3. Agreed. Although surely, he didn't have D/W in mind when he said the following:

      "But all in all, technically both of these teams are still unreachable. In general, if we speak about basic skating, Americans and Canadians were always ahead, not just now. North American school was always famous for its ability to teach soft stroking, edgework. It's not a coincidence that the introduction of the new rules was heavily lobbied by North Americans. Basic skating started to play a big role in the total score, because this component was always their forte. And I cannot say we came very close to them now. Yes, we did certain work in this direction, yes, we have imagination that allows us to make interesting programs, but stroking is not our main trump card. The main trump card in ice dance is still choreography and composition, and in pairs and singles skating it is technical content."

      D/W's stroking sucks. Everything about their technique sucks, I laugh whenever I hear someone like a Zhulin say they are better technical skaters. Their technique sucks ass.

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    4. Yes - it's great to hear him say the truth, but he could've gone further in talking about DW's shit technique. Although not everyone loved his partnership and programs with Lobacheva, he individually was considered the strongest male ice dancer of the 98-02 quad by many. He used to skate with Anissina too.

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    5. Other Americans - such as the Shibs, and teams outside the senior division, use edgework as the foundation of their programs. But not DW.

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    6. D/W don't have to show edgework since they are rewarded for the mucked up messes they do perform - wild & with the appearance of being fast. Pointed toes, held positions, seemless gliding, powerful strokes from their blades are NOT things that D/W are known for.

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    7. Look at any other skater or skating team known for great skating skills, power, and speed. None of them look like Davis White. They all look like each other. Volosozhar and Trankov carve deep, long, powerful curves that cover tons of ice. Virtue and Moir carve deep, long, powerful curves that cover tons of ice. Patrick Chan carves deep, long, powerful curves that cover tons of ice. Then we get to Davis and White whose stroking is choppy, who rock onto their toe picks and flats, who are short-stroked in their step sequences and patterns, and who employ frantic motion to create the impression of speed, and we're meant to believe they, too, have great skating skills. But they don't look anything like other skaters with great skating skills and powerful stroking. Why is that?

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    8. Huh. I don't think Tessa will be using that green dress again...

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    9. Probably not, but does it matter? I was hopeful there for awhile, but this FD and VM aren't getting it done.

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    10. The fd is fine. It's VM who need to get it done.

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    11. If Davis White were Russian, we wouldn't hear the end of it about how they're faking their programs, the work arounds they employ, the tricks they use to fake the thing. I was right on board with everyone else, make no mistake, but when Domnina & Shabalin were competing in 2010 the western media wouldn't get off their case from the tackiness of the aborginal short dance to the bungee cord swinging around in the free. Davis & White's free - and most of their frees - have been in the spirit of the bungee cords - work around actually doing it. And tons of filler. If they were Russian, or non-North American, we'd hear about this and get it hammed into our brains everywhere they competed. The "something is fishy" tone would creep into every person commenting on their skates. But they're American. So the comment booth actually makes up what they're doing out there, because they figure we don't know the difference.

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    12. "The fd is fine. It's VM who need to get it done."

      I get that VM have to do their part, but, IMO, the FD is also not getting it done, or more, it won't get it done even if VM do. This situation is on both VM and due to problems with the FD.

      In 11-12 and 12-13, they had the level 4's on all of the lifts by their second GPF. This season, they haven't managed it yet. They don't have until the middle or end of March. They have less than 3 months. Is there some bullcrap with part of it? Maybe. But should they maybe look at how these lifts are constructed and if that's playing a role? Yes. The placement of the second step sequence so late in the program sets them up to not be able to get a level 4. This is a program that has to be skated perfectly. Why set it up so it can't be?

      We've all spent a lot of time talking about how ice dance is supposed to be scored, and what is supposed to be important, but we all also know that those things aren't happening in reality right now. The reality is that there is a lot of bullshit fluff that counts for far more than it should. Carol Lane and Kurt Browning commented today that they had fears about the program being too subtle. I agree with that. There is no wow factor. The music is subtle and unknown. There's nothing that grabs people and nothing that builds (IMO).

      For all of our outcry previously, Kurt Browning is also right that momentum counts in ice dance. Racking up a string of wins counts more than what happens on the day. VM needed a great outing today to give themselves a shot at winning the GPF which they have to win to have half a chance in Sochi. We're going on close to two years by Sochi since VM have beaten DW. Not one victory over them last season. When DW win the GPF, it's absolutely all over with. A full season of wins last year for DW + a win in their one pre-Olympic meeting gives them an impressive string of "wins" and all of the momentum while VM are dead in the water.

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    13. Mahler was a "subtle" program as well. The issue here isn't the FD - the FD is gorgeous, filled with difficulty and exquisite details. The lady commentating for Eurosport got it bang on today; their transitions are difficult, no basic skating, all three turns, all hallmarks of true ice dance. Yes, they didn't have a great skate, but the quality and difficulty of everything they do is head and shoulders above the field.

      And again, the commentators are not questioning the marks. I enjoyed I/K's FD, but really, how did that place above V/M in TES? It was filled with open hold, and all the lifts looked him trying to flip her around as many times as possible before slamming her down on the ice; and compared to NHK,it wasn't a better skate, they clearly had lots of bobbles.

      But more importantly, nobody is dissecting D/W's scores. They are treating it as a given they should score higher, when it is obvious every aspect of their skating is junk compared to any of the other GP medalists, never mind V/M. It is beyond ridiculous.

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    14. Thanks 3:31. I agree. Nobody dissects DW's scores. It's a free ride. And a double standard. Even the stuff Tanith points out in another team's skate is ignored with DW. It's skating while DW all the way. And as I've said, if they weren't North American, the North American commenting would be full of both insinuation and questions. Why is a team that's faking it getting a free pass?

      oc

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    15. This is what I don't get. DW are visibly struggling on their lifts--you can see it in real time. Yet they get strong GOEs for them and people like Kurt and Carol refer to those mistakes as little things or "high class problems". No, they're not. They signal more serious issues with actual technique. And don't even get me started on the levels--this sport makes no sense in terms of what it is choosing to reward with respect to difficulty.

      But the most infuriating thing for me is that DW get a free pass for not dancing or even skating! Honestly, what in their programs can you identify as dance? There are singles and pairs skaters who dance more in their programs. And again, they hop, skip, and toe-pick the fuck around the ice and get a huge PCS for it. Look at the marks they have been pulling in for skating skills in particular. Are the ice dance judges confused about which part of the blade the skaters are supposed to use? It sure seems like it.

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    16. For the purposes of this quadrennial, the ISU has decided posing is dancing. It's not anything you do with your blades. Meryl's "Persian" dancing is all posing. At a literal standstill or in a lift position. Their "dancing" is accent marks in between lunging, swinging each other across the ice, two footing and hopping.

      I definitely noticed lift issues at NHK, particularly the transition between positions in the upside down lift. That a lift with that entrance - both of them bend over and all hands/arms on deck while she rolls up there in a fetal position - gets a high base value is criminal. The transition from that position to his back is labored.

      The judges don't care.

      Singles and pairs skaters who dance more in their programs - Patrick Chan in singles, most blatantly Volosozhar and Trankov in their Masquerade Waltz short program do more dancing there than D/W have done in their entire senior career, and Moore-Towers Moscovitch skate with more rhythm and relation to their music.
      oc

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    17. 12:11 here

      OC, M-TM was who I had in mind when I originally posted. IMO, V&T and Chan are some of the all-time greatest skaters (though Chan did not always move so well but he worked on this aspect of his skating and it shows). But M-TM are not in that league yet they have managed to improve their skating skills quite a bit while learning how to dance, how to use melody and rhythm, They dance much more and much better than DW. I can't believe I am comparing a PAIRS team that is ranked 4th in the world and a World Champion ice DANCE team (and one that is beating one of the greatest ice dance teams of all time) and saying that the pairs team is far superior in their ability to dance. What ooes that say about the 'sport' of ice dance. This would be more forgivable if DW were excellent skaters, but they are not--far from it.

      Looking at TEB this past weekend, the differences between the top three teams there and DW is so obvious...DW should be fighting to be in the top 5 in the world, not sailing to a victory in Sochi. This is the worst judging I have ever seen in ice dance.

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    18. "If Davis White were Russian, we wouldn't hear the end of it about how they're faking their programs, the work arounds they employ, the tricks they use to fake the thing."

      Absolutely. What really angers me is that Grishuk/Platov (who imo endured the worst smear campaign from the Canadian and US media ever) were excellent ice dancers, imo one of the greatest teams ever. They had amazing blades and intricate programs. Yet most commentators glossed over their many strengths and picked at weaknesses, real or imagined.

      Now we have D&W who really DO have considerable weaknesses and who ARE being held up by the judges. Yet the Canadian media and commentators, some of whom played a large role in the anti-G&P campaign, just go along with this, actually defending D&W and pretending that they deserve to be beating teams that are so far superior to them. Why? When did Canada become best friends with the US? (I hate when nationalism enters into things, but I know it is always there and that's why I am talking about it). And it's not like VM are enjoying the same treatment from most of the US media (at least NBC was really good in their coverage of Skate Canada). I just don't get it.

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    19. I remember watching the CBC coverage of the 1998 Olympics, and even Paul Martini acknowledged Grishkuk/Platov's superior speed and technique; he just thought the program was entirely forgettable (which it was); him and Sandra Bezic (who was covering for a pregnant Barbara Underhill) showed their obvious bias for Bourne/Kraatz. Much as I loved that "Riverdance" program, when I see it now, its obvious to me they danced in open hold and their lifts were quite poor.

      But B/K always had beautiful edges, and I think their footwork was really improved towards the end of their careers.

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    20. "When did Canada become best friends with the US?"

      When they wanted to ensure that Chan wins Sochi gold. Trades happen all the time. This isn't anything new.

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    21. If TEB was any indication, Chan is on the right track and won't have any problems in Sochi. SC should be fighting to have two OGMs, and in V/M, the potential to have the first Canadian figure skaters of ANY discipline to defend their historic gold medal. They shouldn't have to sell out.

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    22. @2:47

      Yes, you are right, Paul Martini at least acknowledged G&P's incredible talent. I wasn't crazy about "Memorial", though I admired its difficulty.

      I have heard some people comparing DW to BK and I don't think that is at all an appropriate comparison. While BK had issues with posture and unison, and Riverdance was too open, they always had incredible blade technique as you mentioned. They could also carry rhythm (and towards the end of their careers they had very difficult footwork). DW don't have either the technique nor the rhythm. It is shocking taht they have been winning as much as they have, I do believe they have deserved to be on the podium many times, but certainly not winning or pulling in huge PCS.

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    23. Anon at 4:47 pm - you are right that Canada shouldn't have to sell out. But seriously - the team event will throw a monkey wrench for some skaters - since the team event is before the individual events. Can Patrick Chan do 4 clean skates (since Kevin Reynolds will not compete until Nationals) in Sochi? who knows? at least in pairs and in dance - Canada can split the programs etc...If Skate Canada was smart - they would just let the chips fall and support all skaters instead of putting all their eggs in one basket with Chan...

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    24. The team event in Sochi is going to be a shitshow. It would make sense to have it after all the individual events (like in speedskating), but the IOC, in all its benevolence, doesn't want to take away from the women's event (aka pre-pubescent girls). God forbid the IOC look out for the best interests of the ATHLETES.

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    25. It was originally supposed to be at the end of the games. NBC forced the change, not the IOC. I suppose the IOC could have said no though.

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    26. @2:47, I agree with Martini; I am not crazy about 'Memorial', though I do admire G/P's superior qualities. I liked their '96-'97 programs a lot better than what they cooked up for Olympic season. Especially that Libertango OD (D/W could only wish they could skate a tango with that smoldering chemistry and connection). I really wonder how much better the team could have been if Platov hadn't had the knee injury that required surgery. He had such gorgeous line and wonderful edges....

      @9:28, I have not read anywhere that NBC forced the change to the schedule of the team event. May I ask where you got this info?

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  11. ok this FD is really not getting it done. the 3rd lift has to go back to original entry. the 2d is so boring and recycled. what's going on?

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    1. I actually love the curve lift - a lot. I just want to know why the level drop. Was it the execution or is it just someone deciding it's time to fuck again with Scott and Tessa?

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    2. blumberg's influence i bet

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  12. It doesn't matter what they do. Difficult program, easy program, open, tons of transitions, no transitions, accessible music, voidy music, new elements, old elements, subtle, in your face, recycled lifts, innovative lifts... they will find something to pick at. It's ALWAYS going to be the wrong thing because it was skated by VM and for no other reason.

    I fully admit they didn't skate well today, but if they had, they would still not have a score as high as DW. Bottom line, if they fix everything that needs to be fixed, they will still lose. The PCS and GOE will simply adjust downward when skating head to head with them.

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  13. Ilinykh Katsalapov's lifts are better. the point is yes, they will be judged more harshly than davis white. but, vm are the greatest ice dancers of all time. is that fd the greatest fd of all time? no way. they are asleep at the wheel. this is not interesting, creative, its great but not what you close your career out. this fd will never be remember the way mahler and carmen will be. its funny face, great creative but whatever. adds nothing, does nothing. the spins are so boring, why not end the career with spins that are creative and noone will forget? it seems as if vm are not bright enought o understand this and zoueva is spent. the other russian choreographers are doing more innovative material.

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    1. IMO, the judging last season has a lot to answer for re: VM/Marina's creativity/innovation. Carmen was the pinnacle of ice dance programs this quadrennial when it came to all the things that *should* matter most in ice dance. But what happened? The judges screwed VM over in favor of an inferior team, IMO, because the powers that be don't want to acknowldege their superiority and that the so-called rivalry is largely manufactured.

      VM were not getting rewarded for doing stuff that was head and shoulders above everybody else. It must be disheartening to be giving your all, technically and artistically speaking, and yet another pair is being given massive scores that don't reflect what is actually done (or not done) on the ice. I think that VM want that 2nd gold medal badly, and thus are forced to compromise a bit for that effort. The judging situation must be galling and stifling for them.

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    2. Seriously...in V/M, we have two of the best skaters to have graced the sport. In D/W, we have two of the worst skaters to have ever DISgraced the sport. And yet D/W are likely going to be handed gold in Sochi. So, so, so WRONG.

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    3. Is it a co-incidence that Benoit Lavoie was there as a controller in ladies? A person at the centre of the 2002 controversy. I suspect he is one of the most crooked people in the sport wrapped up in a charming little package. Just hasn't been caught red handed yet (or the ISU looks the other way). Can't help but think he was there to work to get chan the marks (which when he skates well, he more than deserves) and to give the ok to dumping V/M thus setting up the results in Sochi. A deal orchestrated by the US and Canada and facilitated by the ISU as it serves them well. The whole thing has a decided smell to it. Could be off base but where there is smoke....

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    4. 4:53 - exactly. When skaters in other disciplines began doing more difficult elements, the sport responded. It didn't pretend sbs triples in pairs was on par with sbs doubles. It didn't pretend a split double twist merited the same score as a split triple twist. It didn't pretend a combination jump with run out on the landing was equivalent difficulty to a single jump with a stand-still landing turning into a pivot.

      IOW, the scores adjusted to reflect that the standards of difficulty had risen. But when VM did that, they were penalized while DW, doing the same WWW lifts they've been doing forever, got scores that pretended what they did was on par with VM.

      It's a mess in every way. It's a mess in a rulebook that refuses to acknowledge difficulty and is used to keep a better team down. And it's a mess in how GOE is employed no matter how a team actually executed. It's also a mess because a blind eye is turned to sloppiness in one team while another team is scrutinized.

      It's not just the top two teams- there's a lot of WTF in the ice dance judging overall, but in the top two teams it's the most egregious.

      D/W aren't the worst skaters to grace the sport, but what they're doing isn't ice dance. And a lot of what they do actually avoids skating.
      oc

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    5. the thing is with i/k having better lifts is that i/k is utilizing what they know best - they are using their balletic training. v/m aren't using their potential.

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    6. Who is worse than D/W? Who has been held up as much as D/W? Even Dominina/Shablin, with those awful programs in 2010, skated their programs, and had beautiful lines.

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    7. "Who has been held up as much as D/W?"

      No other team has been held up the way DW have. It is disgusting. VM are in another galaxy but PB, IK, Shibs, PI, BS (when they don't have horrible material and have had enough prep time) and even WP are now better than DW.

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  14. When ik are in closed holds their pelvis are still far apart, a quality that vm really do well like floor dancers no matter how difficult the bladework

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  15. Last time I checked cm won world's with funny face. And last year at 4cc they won the short dance and beat dw. Dw are marked too high. But vm wasted their masterpiece last year. And I love Carmen but they only skated it it perfecrlyy at world's. No place else. So lets not overstate the dw advantage. They had their chances last year and blew it and this fd sux. The lifts are beneath them and the music was like choice

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    1. When D/W get 77 points for that hopping skipping mess Giselle, in the flight before the final flight at Worlds, it's impossible to overstate the DW advantage. When one compares the skating and the program content, VM ought to be able to absorb one or two glitches, particularly when D/W's programs build the glitches in as their style.

      Tessa did exit the Carmen twizzle element on a sustained edge but she put her foot down before Scott at the point where they arrest momentum in unison after they exit.

      That was still a longer sustained edge than Meryl's, and the element was done - they were out of it. But the element got docked.

      DW have apparently taught judges that what they do before and after the element counts as the element, except when it doesn't, when that's convenient to how they're scored.

      I believe this program - Seasons - is perfectly suited to the occasion of the Olympics at Sochi. At TEB, they had timing issues starting with the first lift. Either Scott or Tessa was off time with the other, with the consequence that Scott had to pull Tessa into the lift while barely getting into the squat position. The fact that he was able to transition and hold position as well as he did once they were both facing the same direction testifies to how secure they are in that lift because he had to abort his prep.

      The issue wasn't the lift itself but the timing before it - and they couldn't look at each other and take an adjustment because Tessa was already facing away from him. The footwork also looked to have timing issues.

      The basic skating was bigger, stronger and in my eyes, faster than at SC. The twizzles now look nailed in both programs.

      My only concern is the curve lift and why it's now Level 2. That kind of bullshit happens every year - maybe the ISU figures it's doing them a favor by telling them at the second GP instead of waiting til the morning they skate their free dance in Sochi. It's done too easily and too smoothly, maybe, and perhaps the ISU thinks they made a mistake letting that one pass - it was an easy Level4 and great GOE.

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    2. "My only concern is the curve lift and why it's now Level 2. That kind of bullshit happens every year - maybe the ISU figures it's doing them a favor by telling them at the second GP instead of waiting til the morning they skate their free dance in Sochi. It's done too easily and too smoothly, maybe, and perhaps the ISU thinks they made a mistake letting that one pass - it was an easy Level4 and great GOE."

      If that's the case, it's actually telling them the competition before the GPF, which they needed to win to have some momentum going into Sochi so they'd have a chance there.

      Does anyone really think VM will be allowed to win in Sochi after DW "won" every meeting they had last year once this years GPF is also added to DW's tally? DW are crap skaters, but they've been given a number of consecutive wins that make them look unstoppable, so they won't be.

      At this point, it doesn't matter what VM do to the program or how they skate in the future.

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    3. "My only concern is the curve lift and why it's now Level 2. That kind of bullshit happens every year - maybe the ISU figures it's doing them a favor by telling them at the second GP instead of waiting til the morning they skate their free dance in Sochi. "

      same. god didnt that happen to them at worlds 2010? people told them their lift at the end of the od was illegal and they had to change it the last minute?

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    4. Yep. Same with the original goose. All the way through the GP series and final it was fine, by Nationals it was gee, if you go to the Olympics with that we don't know.

      It's not a sport if they don't know, if it's hints and grapevine bullshit. You know or you don't. The sport can't insinuate to the skaters that something bad may or may not result or a move is illegal or it might not be illegal. This shady shit is bullshit.

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  16. Maybe Tessa and Scott should just have another secret baby (her shins. ouch.) and call it a day.

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    1. 10:34, it would probably be one of their better ideas to have a second child now.

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    2. If they have no chance of winning, then they should go out and enjoy themselves. Clearly they enjoy skating their SD, and they say the same for the FD. So I'm down with what they're doing this year. It wouldn't matter what they did. They will never get gold in Sochi.

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    3. They say the same for the FD but so far, I'm not seeing it. Scott seemed especially distant at TEB. I know they're touting this as being a story of their love but so far it's been kind of a bust. They almost hit the right notes at Skate Canada but then regressed at TEB.

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    4. they have regressed tbh at teb except in terms of lifts. i liked the little hand kisses at skate canada and hated how they simplified the choreo at teb. at SC they skated with their souls/had an emotional skate and TEB they didn't.

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    5. It was similar last year with Carmen at Skate Canada and CoR. I still like the emotional feeling that I got from SC the best. CoR might have been a step up for them technically but they lost the feeling. This year they've lost the feeling and the technical.

      Scott was still kissing her hand at TEB. I guess it's part of the choreo. It seems a bit unnecessary to me, tbh. I should be able to know how he's feeling about her without hand kisses interspersed throughout the program.

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    6. "They say the same for the FD but so far, I'm not seeing it. Scott seemed especially distant at TEB. I know they're touting this as being a story of their love but so far it's been kind of a bust. They almost hit the right notes at Skate Canada but then regressed at TEB."

      I'm not seeing it either. They say they love the program, but it's sure not showing up when they skate. They seem emotionally disconnected to that program and from each other, completely opposite of the SD. If they can't connect to the program and each other well enough to skate it well and sell it, they need a new program. Not that a new program will do any good in terms of winning at this point, but at least maybe their last FD won't be remembered by most as being a bland mess.

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    7. I can't see them skating just to enjoy the moment or whatever. They have to go out there believing they can win otherwise they shouldn't skate. And looking at the numbers, they can make this up, but their chances are nearly infinitesimal... need to hit all level 4s, skate perfectly, and even then DW will have a PCS lead that VM will have to overcome on TES by having DW lose levels. That's how they won the 4CC SD last year. They have to skate a brilliant program perfectly just to eke out a tiny advantage. And they need to do it in both programs.

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    8. "I can't see them skating just to enjoy the moment or whatever. They have to go out there believing they can win otherwise they shouldn't skate."

      Exactly. VM aren't the type at this point to just enjoy the moment. If they know they can't win, they can't skate believing it. Maybe they should just walk away from this now because it is kind of pointless.

      They needed to come out ahead of the game on both programs. They fell behind on that FD and there is just no catching up at this point.

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    9. I don't agree there's no connection at all in the FD. I think they do portray connection simply because that's part of who they are as a skating team. For sure, the little difficulties in levels and lifts are interfering with the cohesiveness, but I have to admit I feel there's some kind of emotional disconnect, in spite of there still being "connection."

      I read somewhere that Stavisky and the European commentator said VM's emotions felt faked in this FD and to me that was an *aha* moment.

      Maybe Tessa and Scott need to figure out exactly what story they're telling with this FD. Is it the fake public story? If so -- guess what, that strategy isn't working and the fakeness is showing.

      Is it the real story of childhood sweethearts, marriage and parenthood and the normal ups and downs of a REAL relationship, plus the ups and downs of being skating partners within that real off-ice relationship? Well then -- stop pretending that's not the real story and go out there and invest emotionally in telling the real story through this FD.

      Tessa and Scott have always been very genuine in their emotions on-ice. On-ice they're real. I think it's messing with them to bring their fake personas onto the ice. They can't be real and it shows.

      I also have to wonder how much they've been affected by the documentary cameras. So far at the GP's they've never had a moment where they can be themselves, since they have to keep up their fake personas for those cameras every moment. It's kind of a joke - they have to pretend that the genuine affections are all pretend. How stressful is that,in addition to skating a FD where they're pretending to be pretending?

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    10. 1:48, you nailed it. The ice used to be a place where they could play out their TRUE story, from young kids falling in love, to a man proposing marriage, to a steaming hot couple, all under the cover of the sham. It was the only public place where they could be real and genuine about their relationship. Calling the Seasons FD their story is fucking all of that up.

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    11. 1:48, that actually makes a lot of sense. We've had conflicting comments on what exactly this free dance is supposed to portray. Is it the story of their career, sham components and all or is this the story of their very real romance and relationship.

      They can blah blah blah all they like about the cameras not interfering but when you are not being yourself and instead having to portray a character when they're around, that would be incredibly exhausting. If Cassandra has come along and we can expect to see a picture or two of her and Scotty snuggling at the Eiffel Tower, then this has been doubly stressful for Scott.

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    12. If they had no intention of revealing to the public their true status, then they had no business doing a "their story" FD that they would never be able to perform well because of all the fucked up external constraints they placed upon themselves.

      They clearly have no intention of revealing now, so they need to ditch this FD that they can't properly sell or skate.

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    13. Yeah, I'm sure the European commentator is as on point as he is with all the other nonsense he spouts.

      They had timing issues throughout this free dance. Carmen had more segmented mood/tempo/music changes where adjustments to timing and to each other could be taken without affecting the execution of the program. In that respect the Seasons program is more difficult because it's a seamless flow. When either Scott or Tessa was off time in the straight line set up, Scott had to abort his prep and go straight into the transition. There was a clear beat missing. If you go astray in terms of timing with this there's not the same opportunity to re-set as with Carmen. They also seemed a bit out of sync in the footwork, again, IMO, due to the same issue - as this program is a continuous flow weaving in and out, if you have timing issues you're going to have to abbreviate things versus take a breath, an extra half beat and get back in synch, which was the one thing in Carmen that was "easier" than in this program. Timing with each other and their elements is not usually a VM problem. None of the elements seemed like a struggle technically. And as others have said, Scott and Tessa's demeanor was happy and calm, and I believe Scott that he's excited to face D/W at the GPF.

      During the 2008 season, with UoC, there was a performance (GPF? 4CC?) where the comment was they'd screwed with it too much - the twizzles seemed off, she'd changed her dress (yep, the comment sort of lumped both in the same category)

      I'm worried about the curve lift, not the other lifts. I will be so pissed if suddenly someone has decided that should be Level 4. Of COURSE. Take a VM lift and kick it downstairs. Don't take one of Meryl and Charlie's World Wide Wrestling Federation specials and call that what it is. It's always VM.

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    14. As Seasons uses dance vocabulary, the story is expressed in abstractions. If you look at Gordeeva & Grinkov's "This is our story" Lillehammer skate, there's a point where Tracy Wilson says "This part is about their love for each other." Frankly, as beautifully as that part was executed, it could have been about any damn thing, because it expressed whatever it was expressing in harmony of line and calm, serene choreography. They weren't using pantomime or mime on ice expressing anything literally.

      The reality is seasons could be any damn thing. At the moment they say it's about their story in skating (not their story on ice). They've skated other free programs that were not "their" story - Funny Face and Carmen would be two of those. I don't think the Latin free we saw only once in 2011 was another either. UoC wasn't their story - girl meets boy, boy joins army, girl is pregnant and marries rich dude. I wouldn't put much stock in "the only place they can express themselves in public." Scott and Tessa do whatever they want. If they are really dancing their story in Seasons they're not telling us the whole story they're dancing.

      The reality is if you have timing issues or a skate isn't going perfectly, you're going to have to stay on top of the timing issues while maintaining the expression, and so it's not going to be skated with the same freedom of expression. These things are connected. It's not like they went out and said - let's have a cold skate. It's an athletic program, a technical program. If technical/timing issues arise, that's what they have to address first in the program.

      Frankly I'm interested to see what the judges do with DW's lifts in the GPF. It's lifts where VM are getting hurt - of COURSE because DW's are ass (the fetal lift is ridiculous, the backpack sling is just a wrestling/fireman's carry) - so to distract from DW, toss them high GOE and start telling VM that one of their most effective lifts might not hit the level. This sport is shit.

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    15. Another point - it is so freaking typical of skating for commentary to say "oh, the emotion seems imposed" and acting like THAT's the problem from which everything else flows. The emotion is the last thing happening in skating - the first thing is the skating and making sure the skaters can execute the program. If there are timing issues of course the performance aspect is going to become somewhat rote because the agenda of the skaters becomes getting the program back on track. That's basic, but the basics seem to fly over the heads of a great many people in the booth.

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    16. I feel the exactly same way about the timing of this FD.
      The music is INCREDIBLY difficult to manage in terms of timing, because it has no "beats", it is full of irregular rhythms and rhythmic disconnections, just because it is part of the early '900 music (better to say last period of '800). That music age was a transition that would have led to the vanguards.
      I think this music is incredibly risky. I feel like the big problem about this FD will be to hit the right momentum in the right time and place.
      It seems to me that they miss to get into the music with the second rotational and with the immidiately after exit/transition.
      Also before the twizzle section it always seem to me they have a lot of work to do to make it fixed with the music.
      I think if they'll be able to skate perfectly and hit the positions with the right times, this FD will be epic.

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    17. And all the people whining that the music is boring and music edits don't make sense need to STFU. The music is gorgeous, and the music edits make sense in the context of the seasons and the ups/downs of their skating partnership.

      For once, Kurt Browning said something intelligent during the CBC coverage; he said it was the type of music that requires pure skating skills, given the subtleties of the music. It is the type of music that they need to skate perfectly to, otherwise the mistakes are very glaring.

      I don't think D/W have ever skated to subtle music throughout their senior careers; they need big, brash music to mask their non-skating. Of all the top teams of the last quad, they've had the least varied repertoire, and their sad attempts at a tango (2011) and waltz (2012) were just that - sad.

      For their Shez FD, what was the point of getting a Persian dance specialist to consult on the FD? They are basically recycling the same BS poses from all their other FDs; there's no actual "Persian dancing" to be found. Similarly, with their SD; really, Derek Hough consulted on this? If that's the case, it doesn't reflect on his abilities as a choreographer.

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    18. The music edits are bad. After the spin when there's split second silence and then Tessa raises her hand and the final part of the music begins... that is just terrible music editing and choreography. As bad as the generic singles "the music starts and I look up like I've just discovered sound" intro choreo.

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    19. "For their Shez FD, what was the point of getting a Persian dance specialist to consult on the FD? They are basically recycling the same BS poses from all their other FDs; there's no actual "Persian dancing" to be found. Similarly, with their SD; really, Derek Hough consulted on this? If that's the case, it doesn't reflect on his abilities as a choreographer."

      This is what bothers me so much--that DW are getting away with not skating OR dancing. Why aren't commentators and other figure skating insiders mentioning this, Tracy Wilson and Rob McCall were all about the dance. I can't imagine that the fact that DW are not actually dancing is lost on Tracy--I guess she has to play nice to keep her contract with NBC.

      I also wonder where the Persian dancing went because I sure ain't seeing it in their FD. and I honestly think they took out a lot of what Derek choreographed for them or that Derek saw recognized their weaknesses and couldn't really give them much choreography (and I am guessing that is what happened with the Persian dancing in their FD). I know he is known for working around the dancing and compensating with flashy moves but I can't imagine him wanting to choreograph a dance that has so little actual dance in it. I honestly don't think I have ever seen a top team skate these rhythms so poorly. That the judges are throwing 10s at this is disgusting.

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    20. But why were/are VM having timing issues with the FD to begin with? Scott did seem distracted and nervous before they even started. Could it be because the fake gf was in Paris and he was distracted by having to sham? The SD is great, but they are not at all on top of their game with this FD. It's nowhere where it needs to be. In a post-skate interview, Scott even said that this FD wasn't getting the points that it needed at this point. If this FD is off track now, it will still be off track at the GPF, Nationals, and Sochi.

      Someone on FSU who I wouldn't think would be lying reported seeing Cassandra at breakfast with Scott and his parents in Paris. I wonder how gross they'll get with this batch of sham, because you know pictures are coming.

      I hope their happy because this sham crap has now cost them a second OGM.

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    21. I just think with this program if you get off time at one point it impacts the timing of the rest. The music and the layout don't provide many points where you can re-set (FF did, Carmen did, the Latin did - this is a continuous flow) and it's harder than Mahler. The entrance to the straight line lift - understand that Tessa is facing, and moving, away from Scott, and not in contact with Scott - she's gliding away on an edge. He has to time his plie' so he's in it and can also reach her leg and pull her in. If she's gliding away too quickly or he's a beat behind, he can't look at Tessa so they both understand an imperceptible hesitation is required. Scott had to act quickly to stay with the music and he did, and it was amazing he pulled it off with an aborted prep.

      That move looks so smooth, open and simple, but consider what's actually happening there. It's like everything they do - sensationally difficult.

      The reality show and Cassandra, if she's there, were there for the short dance and the short dance was perfection.

      The presence of Cassandra may point to one positive in this whole thing - that the W network isn't lying to us. That the W network has limited access but as far as what it is allowed to film, it believes it is filming what it thinks is a facsimile of the real thing (obviously with the make-up, the staging, the camera-set ups and the rest of the bullshit, the network knows it's not the real deal, but they may believe they're creating facsimiles of actual situations). I, personally, would prefer to believe Scott and Tessa have lied to the W network than to believe that, again, because the target audience is figure skating fans, actually hoaxing the public is a perfectly legitimate tactic for members of the media. We already know a Skating Federation (Skate Canada) thought that was a legitimate way to deal with the public, and for years.

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    22. "I just think with this program if you get off time at one point it impacts the timing of the rest."

      That's exactly the point! I'm amazed at how they manege to keep pushing ahead themselves, every year, and every year in a completely different way. One year is dancing, the other one is acting, one season they are in a contemporary drama and the other it's all about the complexity and innovation of the music. Everything mixed with their enormous talent and their incredible skating skills.

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    23. "I just think with this program if you get off time at one point it impacts the timing of the rest."

      Why choose a program like this when you know the judges are looking for any reason to dock you?

      I wish they'd get rid of that first lift. If it doesn't go perfectly, it ruins the whole program. Why not do some showy bs a la D/W and give yourself breathing room AND consistent levels?

      Of course, if artistic integrity is more important, then fine -- just be prepared to be fighting for silver.

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  17. I share your opinion.

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  18. excuse me, but i love VM, but their lifts this FD except for the first lift, and the next to last as presented at finlandia, are beyond subpar for the standards VM set. boring, typical, rehashed. zoueva is off her game. and vm are not bright enough to figure it out on their own.

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    1. Yeah, this is a critique taking place in your head alone. Both as to the lifts and VM's acuity.

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  19. What's the deal with Tessa's titty flashing dresses? Do they not try these things out before a competition?

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    1. Tessa's had a wardrobe malfunction twice in the six years she and Scott have been senior. One of the time was in practice. It's not a trend.

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    2. she had a waldrobe malfunction during practice?

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    3. What's the big deal? You've never seen a nipple before? Do you dress yourself in the dark because you can't handle the shame of seeing yourself?

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    4. Double nip slip. Poor girl. :/ http://cs409930.vk.me/v409930791/7cb3/0swVAUaAdX4.jpg

      I think it's rather unfortunate that her other malfunction was published in the book.

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    5. I thought the FD was supposed to be about their lives? She's a mom. A bare nipple is part of the story. Stop with the mommy-shaming. You people are disgusting.

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    6. LOL I forgot about the breastfeeding portion of the free dance. My bad.

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    7. What page of the book?

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    8. 5:58 -- can't see how you forgot about it as you linked to the picture (if you're also 4:35). If you're not 4:35, now you know what that lift is supposed to be symbolizing.

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    9. i dont understand why people freak out so much over a nipslip. i cant help but be reminded of that heidi klum story.

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    10. Because most of these posters are Americans. Americans (particularly the type of women who make the D/W fan base) are deeply ashamed of their bodies. It distorts their view about everything.

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    11. ^probably because of their puritan origins.

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    12. I also don't get what the big deal is about women's nipples.

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    13. I think it's juvenile to make a big deal of it although the photo should have been vetted before it was published.

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    14. Everything to thrash V/M is good enough for certain people - no matter how silly it is.

      I doubt that Tessa bothers with these things. After all there even is a similar picture in their very own book ( from the Olympic CD ) and either she didn't pay attention or she didn't care.

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    15. And that's the end of the discussion that is not really about Virtue Moir or anything relevant or connected to the blog's focus.

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  20. hay guise wanna hear a joke?
    "A bit confused rather with the judging.. Elena and Nikita got 94.49 at NHK with an absolute flawless performance.. And then they receive the marks here what they should've deserved at NHK.. at 102.?? I'm sorry again.. I love Virtue and Moir.. They may feel this feels like this program is presenting their best skating.. But it's really not their best program.. Not even close.. It's just pretty skating with nothing further beyond that.. While their other programs have had more depth in expression..emotion..character.. Feeling as if they've stepped back like five seasons or so ago.. In comparison with Davis and White who've progressed even further with maturing their skating and style.. Also if we want to talk about Virtue and Moir's coming through with romance for eachother in their freeskate .. Here's this.. Valse Triste.. You were the young ones in a serious young relationship.. In Umbrellas of Cherbourg you were teenagers in youthful bliss .. In 2009 you showed your were young adults with a college groove vibe.. In 2010 you showed adult romance with grace, passion, and beauty.. In 2011 you gave us a little zest, pizzaz, and a little sexy flair knowing there's always fun to share with romance.. in 2012.. You got to see the mid 30 something of cocktails and swanky soirees at a dinner party romance.. and now it's like the honeymoon is a bit dry and over done.. Just an observation.. It seems as though the judges are tackling on more to the past then the present.. I would really like to see fair judging go this season.. The Russians and the French really have stronger programs that are more entertaining/unique/and difficult in other ways compared to the Canadians which I would hope would push them ahead as far as programs go this season.. "

    courtesy of the icenetwork comment sections lmao

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    1. I love how the skating - and how, you know, this is an Olympic SPORT - is sort of an incidental to these people.

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  21. other than the first lift in the fd, how do the other lifts compare to the ones in carmen? are you kidding me? these lifts are recycled from funny face and 2011 and boring. the lift they took out of carmen last year should be put back to replace the second lift which is so beneath them. even the lift in sd is RECYCLED! this is olympic season, stop recycling same lifts.

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    1. I think they need to keep the first straight line and the rotational that has been getting level 4. Drop the curve lift and the other rotational and replace it with a combo. VM's combo lifts are always a stunning highlight.

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    2. 4:55 YES YES YES Combo lift! please!!

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    3. wasn't mahler and farrucas full of recycled/repurposed lifts anyway? excluding the lifts at the very end?. i mean the first lift in farrucas is basically a combination and variation of the lifts from dark eyes and wont you charleston with me. mahler - goose is from PF, mahler combo lift entrance is taken from PF. rotational lift is a variation from PF. the only completely original lift in mahler is the spin thing they do at the end

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    4. The goose evolved from Pink Floyd. In Pink Floyd she stepped up on to Scott's thigh and held his hand for a beat before releasing it, then took his hand again to step down. In Mahler she lets go as soon as she's in position, and her position is much more secure and open. She gets herself down by either pivoting back onto the ice or jumping into a catch.

      Many lifts have similar building blocks but if you look at them they've grown.

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    5. And in Mahler, Scott extended his arms instead of bracing his hands on his knees.

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  22. Recycling isn't an issue - level of difficulty is. The reason D/W's recycled lifts have been brought up is they're a lot more primitive than Virtue and Moir's and less difficult, yet the rulebook takes no account of the difference. At the level they are scored, D/W have no business doing the fetal position roll-up lift where Meryl basically makes herself a ball, she and Charlie actually bend forward at the waist to circle each other with their arms, and then she's hoisted and ta da's her straight legs like she's a toddler while the two glue themselves in position. Can she not get up there straight off the ice with her legs extended? Does the woman need a girdle around 3/4ths of her upper body to do something as elementary as putting her legs in the air while upside down?

    If that lift held up, or were competitive, they could recycle it every year without a problem. Many teams have signature elements that carry through season to season, often with enhanced difficulty, sometimes not, and it's not relevant if the element is still inherently, genuinely difficult in the same way other lifts granted the same base value are difficult. It's when they're not and still get the base value that this sport goes into the craphole. That's where ice dance is living at the moment.

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    1. And an additional reason DW's recycling has been brought up is going back 4 years this stuff wasn't even good enough to make them US champions, yet somehow without their skating changing, they became US champions, and without their skating changing and while Virtue and Moir's power and speed kept expanding, their run of blade got deeper and longer, and every aspect of their skating improved, suddenly DW were elevated to on par in freaking pcs and GOE and often ahead of them. How does that happen without a team changing? That's where DW's repetition is relevant. They didn't change. The judges just decided to grade them higher.

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  23. OC, after TEB do you think there is any chance they can win GPF and/or Olympics?

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    1. Look forward to OC's view but gotta think no. The fix is in. Today SC puts a photo up of V/M on their website with the president. So Lavoie is there, new president Caron is there. Looks like a show of support but more likely making sure V/M are dumped for Chan. Brutal

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    2. Yes. The scores show that they can. DW's overscoring is a problem and a scandal in itself, VM or no VM - but the judges are willing to put VM ahead of them. I'd still like to read somewhere what happened with the curve lift level. It's shit like that that grates - if it is shit, and not something with the execution that dropped it. The scant +3s for the ss in the short was nonsense. That was perfect GOE. But they still bested DW's score at NHK.

      They actually had quite a few issues in the free - more than at Finlandia in my eyes. Get those points, get the levels (and presumably GOE then goes up as well, and even higher pcs) and they're fine. Then they'll win. I am a huge fan of the Seasons program.

      I am interested in seeing if DW's scoring inflation continues, particularly where their lifts are concerned. It's like whack-a-mole with them. Scores in one area finally get a bit more in line with reality, scores elsewhere jump up to compensate (with them, it's GOE).

      Their twizzles have been scored conservatively, and rightly so, finally.The GOE on that scratchy, short-stepped, sloppy Finnstep pattern should be low as well, but good luck there. The scores given the lifts are criminal. We can't do anything about the base value assigned to these grapple and wrestle moves, but when Charlie is dragging Meryl across the ice holding himself like a guy hauling sandbags, when Meryl lands on his shoulder/arm with her legs splayed (no control in the landing) and he has to edge himself under her as she turns, when his feet are planted a la snow plow, the grade of execution should not be what they're getting. And as someone here said, the fact that Meryl and Charlie are "tight" shouldn't be scored as "controlled". Their bodies are tight - they skate small (apart from Charlie's eternally, incessantly sweeping arm).

      The fetal lift's base value is ridiculous, but when he tips her to the back, it's obviously awkward.

      I don't think any of their scores will become reality based until fans start asking why the hell does this get the scores of that? I think that started happening with twizzles but only in the most elementary way (Two versus three).

      oc

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    3. Yes. The scoring during the GP says yes.

      Yes, DW are still massively overscored and no matter how highly VM are scored, and what the judges pulled at worlds with Giselle last season is still a cautionary tale. That indicates that at the last minute they can pull shit like that no matter how they score during the season proper. This season is seems to me the judges have made the scoring for DW's twizzles more reality based while making the scoring for their lifts less reality based, so they don't really want to modify DW's scores in line with what they do on the ice - they're just going to redistribute.

      But VM actually had a bunch of issues in the free dance at TEB, more than in Finlandia, and the judges didn't use it as a reason to yank the rug out from under them.

      oc

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  24. At this point, most of us would like to believe that VM, with their much superior skating techniques, skill and dance chemistry, are in favorable position to win their second OGM. However, looking at what has transpired over the past 4 years, I am now in position where I will (try) not be "surprised" (most likely, shocked and disgusted) should the judges reward DW for the win.

    Funny business this...anonymous judging...we want to think that they will not abuse their position by judging fairly...but looking back at scoring with such glaring inconsistencies (like one judge awarding a level 4 another at level 2), I am left to wonder if they are ever qualified to judge at all. Nothing makes sense and to top it off, we don't even know who the heck are marking them as such.

    I'd say your guess, mine or even OC's is good as any right now...

    I am seriously hoping for the best for VM...

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    1. The minute the ISU determined the judges would be anonymous and came up with that crackpot excuse about protecting them from bribery, everyone knew it was going to be the same corruption in a different package. The sport needs accountability a whole lot more than the judges need protection from bribery. And what type of sport protects from bribery with secrecy anyway? The logic was ass. That's like saying bribery and other influence is SOP in figure skating. It's stupid.

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  25. Is Tessa pregnant again or is she just starting the season off with a bit more weight then she usually does?

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    1. And here I am thinking that she looks the thinnest she's been all quad….

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    2. I don't think she's pregnant, but she does look bigger. Not in a bad way, but I did notice.

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    3. wtf she looked thinner @ the teb gala than the SC one

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    4. She does look heavier but it suits her. She was far too thin earlier in the year. Besides, she seems to lose weight with stress, so it's good that she has a bit of a "cushion" to lose.

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    5. Nah, I think it's the cut of her costumes this season. They're weird.

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    6. Really if you think she's heavy .. a lot of people are obese....

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    7. I don't think anyone was saying that tessa's heavy, just that she's a bit heavier than she usually is. Look at the way her dress for the exhibition at TEB was fitting her.

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  26. I still think this program can be a masterpiece come Sochi. Look at the other teams--no one is attempting anything close to the difficulty VM are showing in their FD. Look at their feet, look at the details in the program, look at how little set up they have for their elements.

    I also don't get some of the praise I have been reading for DW's Shez from people who seem to be non-ubers. I am not getting the story (Meryl has a pained look on her face from almost the beginning) and their blades aren't doing the work they should be. They are still running and hopping all over the ice. That doesn't say 'masterpiece' to me.

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    1. I totally agree...the more I watch the FD, the more I appreciate the subtleties and all the hidden difficulties, especially in the footwork sequences; in the circular sequence, they are moving counter-clockwise...what other team is doing that? None. The diagonal is a marvel of one-footed turns, all in close hold. And the mini-footwork sequence they do just before the spin, it is so balletic (and not to mention difficult).

      Contrast that to the ridiculous "hops and twirls" sequence D/W do after their twizzles, which is just WTF. And we're supposed to believe that Meryl's character is seducing Charlie? Really?

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    2. Omg...that's so true! That's what Meryl character is supposed to do but it's not even done....what's with the upside down lift mean anyways with that program? Some hidden meaning to a form of seduction? Anyhow, that bit was bugging me and I'm glad someone brought that up ;)

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    3. d/w lifts also suck too. v/m lifts may suck but at least they look clean

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    4. @9:36
      I didn't even think about the fact that they are doing the circular in a counter-clockwise direction. Wow, they always include so much hidden difficulty. It is a shame that they are not getting the respect and appreciation they deserve from a lot of the judges and media. They are head and shoulders above the rest and have been for the whole quad.

      DW seem to have an aversion to using their edges. I watch their programs and wait for the edge work and it never comes. such flagrant disregard for the rules, yet the judges reward them for it, even though there are several teams who DO use their edges and use them well. This sport makes no sense.

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  27. Tessa once again said her favorite book is the fountainhead god i hope she is aware how terrible ayn rand is and how fucked up the book is as well.

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  28. In the Russian-fans interview Tessa says they were filmed in Paris taking a boat ride. I'm calling it. It's either Scott with Cassandra or Tessa with her Mom or some other unexpected and/or strange combination of people, but not Tessa and Scott alone.

    They've done this kind of bait and switch for years. Especially when they call our attention to it. It's bait.

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  29. So Scott said he can imagine to write another " tell it all " book in a couple of years ... interesting, considering that they already told their complete and utterly true story in their first book - as they wouldn't grow tired of telling us - and keeping in mind that their documentary is also " nothing but the whole truth " . So for what another book, Scott ? At least he's honest about one thing : he'd call their biopic " Tessa and Scott - On Thin Ice ". Truer words have never been spoken.
    In the video of the Russian fans you can see how attached he is to Tessa. He really does care about her and he can't hide it. Just like he can't act like he cares about any of his girlfriends.
    I haven't completely lost faith in him. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he won't introduce Cass in their TV show. It probably doesn't mean much but for me that would be a total no-go ( after all these years my standards and expectations are rather low when it comes to the sham ... ). I can understand that they don't want their marriage to be public, to a certain extent I can understand why they hide their child ( though the execution of it is absolutely hideous ) and I can even understand why they keep shamming on social networks but keep it out of the real media ( and who can blame them, because everybody plays along it actually works and they probably believe by now that this is completely acceptable ). But if they paraded Cass around in their show that would be the end of it. There is no way they could ever come clean afterwards.
    I hope I won't be disappointed.

    And now you can all laugh at me for being so naive =)

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    1. Cassandra was in Paris as well as the documentary crew. I have no faith

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    2. I don't believe for a second that she won't be in the documentary. Before they dragged her to Paris, I had hoped that they'd keep her as just one of Scott's friends, in background shots but since she was there as the girlfriend, she'll no doubt be introduced to the fans as Scott's girlfriend. How sad that they've felt they need to go this far. There's no going back once they do this.

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    3. Of course she will be in the documentary. Why else did her brother tweet a pic of cameras in the house?

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    4. So Cassandra really was at TEB. There's still the mystery of who posted here asap that she was there. OC, you said those comments did not come from Paris? Someone from Moirville was making sure the fans were alerted. God forbid we should focus on the skating.

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