Sunday, December 1, 2013

Virtue Moir versus Davis White 2009-(projected) 2014

Once again, thank you canadablue.



Some DW fans claim the reason Davis White's scores have risen is they've surpassed Virtue Moir (and I guess since some fans can't demonstrate how Davis White have improved, they instead claim Virtue Moir have declined, while being unable to demonstrate that, either).

The video is depressing, but instructive. But after CoR, the sport did show its ass. Or is it only B&S who are getting score inflation?

Again, great skating skills look the same from team to team, skater to skater. Technique in elements from one to another may vary. For example, Sergei Grinkov continued to glide when throwing his partner into the 3 twist or a jump, and Trankov pops off the ice in both, but both skaters have great knee compression, deep, powerful run of blade/ice coverage, and real speed.  Both skaters skate their program. How come Davis White are the only skaters out there whose basic skating doesn't resemble any other skater before or since with great skating skills?

I was looking at a pilates tape the other day. All of the advanced moves involved extending the plane of the body away from the core while maintaining control. Every single lift Davis White do reduces the move to cores and centers of gravity pasted together while pinning limbs with limbs or while hooking limbs - or by dispensing with control all together (Charlie swinging a splayed-legged Meryl up under his shoulders).

With Meryl, especially, she cannot control her own body weight (that's right, Meryl Davis can't control her own body weight no matter how she whittles down her size) without resistance. Resistance means give her weight over to something external and pushing against it, or have something external push against her. Or locking her limb in (for example, in the transitional move of a lift last year, she actually pushed down/gripped her own leg because she couldn't keep the leg extended without using her arm/shoulder to press down).

She can't control herself in space with her core and control of her body. She always uses external resistance. This simplifies moves even in training tapes for the at home consumer, but in ice dance, these moves score the same base value as moves that require truly superior body control and skating skills to execute.

104 comments:

  1. With the exception of the hop-into-the-twizzles, D/W's programs are interchangeable; same non-skating filler, same hauling-Meryl-like-a-sack-of-laundry mechanics into and and out the lifts, same crappy lines and non-unison. Okay, maybe less hair-flinging in Shez, but that's really about it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yet another article to perpetuate the myth that ice dance is all about the choreography and nothing to do with the elements. And the writer claims that D/W have "surpassed" V/M technically, yet can't detail why:

    Taking Stock of the Olympic Free Dances
    http://www.theskatinglesson.com/taking-stock-of-the-olympic-free-dances/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Watching the comments section....the D/W fans can spend all the time in the world bashing the posters as crazy and disciples of the blog, but can't defend their faves when put in the hot seat. No surprise there.

      Delete
    2. It is the common tactic--resort to personal attacks on V or M or VM fans--because they really can't justify DW scoring even close to VM let alone beating them. Look at their reactions to the analysis in the bookie thread.

      And with people like Cyn, mia joy, and Jessiebanana in their uber group, they are the last ones who should be calling anyone crazy.

      Delete
    3. The D/W ubers have really gone off the deep end in the that stupid TSL thread...they are now saying that the reason why D/W haven't changed their twizzles is that they need for them to be reliable so that they can win, and winning leads to sponsorship opportunities. Ya, because ice dance is such a lucrative, glamourous sports that sponsors are clamouring to promote. And never mind that D/W are privililged as fuck and don't have to worry about money.

      Unbelievable the ends they go to avoid actual discussion about skating. Surely, it is more effort to come up with this shit than to actually learn about the rules, in the same way it is more effort for D/W to work around the fact they can't skate/dance, rather than learning proper technique.

      Delete
    4. I think DW have proper technique but it's not competitive with Virtue and Moir. If they skated their programs, their skating would be exposed as non-competitive and possibly non-podium. Look at most of the skaters who honestly skate their programs. Skating exposes your weaknesses. DW design their programs to hide their weaknesses, and the rules, and apparently how some ISU judges are instructed at seminars, allow them to be judged not on skating. Their non-skating transitions can be judged and scored higher than VM's skating transitions.

      Delete
    5. The real question about twizzles isn't DW not changing them. It's why are those twizzles level 4? THAT's the issue.

      Delete
  3. at least back then they tried new things and even attempted to skate near each other during the step sequences

    ReplyDelete
  4. yeah, Meryl Davis and her "save me Charlie" style

    ReplyDelete
  5. "she actually pushed down/gripped her own leg because she couldn't keep the leg extended without using her arm/shoulder to press down"

    lmao you'd think she'd be able to that with the off-ice training skaters do. oooops I almost forgot Meryl dislikes ballet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ballet is all about opening up the core and controlling your limbs and refining balance, so that makes sense.

      Delete
    2. "oooops I almost forgot Meryl dislikes ballet."

      wait, I thought this was one half of the hardest-working team in ice dance?

      Delete
    3. I hate that hardest-working shit. Who doesn't work hard?

      Try having to work part time or do without, or other sacrifices besides time and lifestyle. There are plenty of skaters who do so.

      As Meryl and Charlie have said repeatedly, they're extremely fortunate to have trained their whole lives in their own backyards. Of course they've been tempered by the atmosphere of hardscrabble Detroit that, if Charlie listens to enough Eminem, he can sometimes imagine he detects over the local golf course.

      Every single ice dancer at the top works hard. Enough with this. The fact that they pretend they don't know how fortunate they are so they can position themselves as these scrappy try hards is pretty obnoxious when one considers skaters who actually have had to kill themselves to get where they are, no sororities, no golf, no shopping sprees, no Sunday sails.

      Delete
    4. And yet for all their money and "hard work ethic", they still suck. How can a team that has had the best coaches, trainers, off-ice dance specialists, etc, not to mention be in the company of amazing training mates, be devoid of all basic skating and dancing skills? It boggles the mind.

      Imagine if they didn't have all that at their fingertips.

      Delete
    5. "I hate that hardest-working shit. Who doesn't work hard?"

      apparently DW. I mean, how do your lifts still look like a mess after skipping summer shows to train, after putting in the hours "when everyone else [has] gone home"? What exactly do they do with all that time? They certainly aren't putting hours in at the gym or the dance studio...or if they are, they are doing something very, very wrong. I would really like to know what exactly they are working hard at...because it's not their skating or dancing, that's for sure.

      Delete
    6. Over the last 3-4 years everyone but DW has been injured in one form or another..it's a liile uncanny but I believe that because they don't skate close to one another and two foot all over the place - there chances of injury is less and let's face it - Meryl is such a lightweight and basically she holds on to Charlie for dear life - that the lifts are all on him...Lastly because of the recycling - there are less risks of injury...

      Delete
    7. Actually, because Meryl is essentially deadweight, there is a greater chance of injury for Charlie. It's a miracle that he hasn't pulled something by now.

      Delete
    8. Ben Agosto was plagued with back problems for having to do so much of the work in lifts prior to BA's move to Linichuk. Even before the move and work on lifting technique, Tanith could still carry herself better in a lift than Meryl can now.

      Charlie's back should be broken by now. The fact that DW are never injured drives me insane. If you look at the teams who finished in the top 10 at worlds the last 2 seasons, DW is the only team who has not had an injury issue at some point in the last two seasons (or ever during their senior career). In general, bad technique in sports leads to injury. I'm not sure how DW have escaped this.

      Delete
    9. Do DW do any dance training? It sure doesn't look like it.

      Delete
    10. @Anon 8:53: they do lots of posing training. They had Persian dance specialist come in to get their Persian-esque arm movements down pat. I don't know what they acquired from Derek Hough, because their SD really has no dance to speak of.

      Delete
  6. If DW win the Olympics, they will be the only team ever to win without actually skating or dancing. What an accomplishment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It will be a win where people look back and ask "how did that happen?"

      Delete
    2. Also, the direction other skaters have taken their skating - 3 twizzles, trying to skate more, not less, seems to indicate that the consideration given Davis White's non-skating and non-dancing is only for Davis White, and no other teams who try to run around. No other teams will have ludicrous base value for elementary elements or see their scores advance without their skating advance.

      So IOW, once Davis White have been awarded gold, CoP will be amended so no other skaters can do the same thing. That's what it looks like. If so, it reveals that the sport knows Davis White aren't real dancers or skaters - they know what's up. But they're keeping up the charade til after Sochi.

      Delete
    3. Perhaps Charlie White's dad is supplying free oil to the ISU and ISU judges for at least a ten year period...but yeah - DW don't exactly exhibit textbook technique in dancing or skating skills...hell they wouldn't even get a ticket for Vegas on SYTYCD...shakes head to think that Aliona (from S/S) who is a solid skater and can move will not have a Olympic gold medal but Meryl Davis will? wow....

      Delete
    4. they'd be the dullest OGM

      Delete
    5. I feel sorry for all the teams who actually can skate and dance who are being held down by DW. VM are clearly one of the all time greats and should be trampling DW but there are other teams like PB, the Shibs, IK, PI, who should be beating them handily as well. DW really should be fighting for top 5

      Delete
  7. yup - you also have to love that some folks are indicating that WPs tango is not tango enough this year and I am thinking - hmmm and DWs tango back back in 2011 was so textbook (insert sarcasm)...anyways interesting developments it seems that Isabella Tobias has been granted citizenship to skate and will skate in the Olympics for Lithuinia and the german ice dance will be at the Olympics as well...The Gilles family will probably escalate escalate and escalate at this point..at least Deveidas Stagnuinas is friends with Scott - and he is a very solid ice dancer so I am happy that he will be able to experience the Olympics...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No "dancing" DW do is with their, you know, feet. They stand still and pose. Meryl keeps an arm up in the air like a flag. Charlie has his all purpose gesture which is turning towards the audience as he skates in the other direction, smiling angelically and giving an expansive sweep of his arm. This is Persian, ballet, waltz, polka, not that they've ever done any of those dances, but they've used the music.

      Ever since Die Fleudermaus someone figured this move was a winner with the hair. That's the alpha and omega of Charlie's dancing.

      Meryl it's waving the arms around. Always be waving. Although for some reason, in the fetal ball lift, they both find it prudent for her to continue to cling to Charlie, after an initial attempt at her poking her arm out briefly while the rest of her was gripped around Charlie and vice versa. Now it's just Charlie that juts an arm out briefly, after lashing Meryl to the mast.

      Her skating gets bashed a lot, but his position and technique in lifts isn't scrutinized either, nor is the stability of his blades. He's bent over with his head jutted forward as if Meryl weighs a ton, his knees and feet are conspicuously braced (sometimes he's in snow plow) and when he's actually heaving her up there, there is no attempt at carrying his form (what there is of it) in the dance through the entrance. He just blatantly crouches down, bends over and hauls her up there, totally out of alignment himself.

      Delete
  8. Have you guys seen this survey project that TFTI is doing? It's on the ice dance fandom itself, cool idea. I've done it, it doesn't take too long, has some interesting questions.

    http://www.twofortheice.com/2013/11/25/a-new-two-for-the-ice-survey-project/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's also a great recap of the Grand Prix on there.
      http://www.twofortheice.com/2013/11/27/2013-14-grand-prix-in-review-dance/

      LOL to this part (about the Shibs)
      "Choreography and Linking Footwork were essentially unchanged, while Performance and Interpretation marks each declined by 0.18, but most strikingly, Skating Skills dropped from 8.07 to 7.93 and from an even better mark of 8.14 at Worlds. Given the unlikelihood that the team’s strength as pure skaters has declined in a matter of months, this shift could point to simple differences between panels, but may also suggest that a program of Geisha‘s lyrical nature may have showcased skating outright in a more obvious manner than the more rhythmically-diverse Jackson program, which in multiple sections calls upon less fluid and more staccato and pop-based movement. "

      Thayer is very good at subtly telling it like it is. There's also a very fair take on the P/I vs G/P situation.

      Delete
    2. Telling it like it is = figure skating judges are intellectually (reasoning ability, logic) challenged? And that's putting it kindly.

      Delete
  9. you know what, OC, I sometimes think I'd prefer B/S to win in Sochi than D/, at least if that happens, we could blame politics :))))))

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I honestly think BS are a better team than DW. They have better skating skills and are much better dancers. They are sloppy as hell, but so are DW but DW's programs are designed to make this seem like a style.

      Delete
  10. http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/showthread.php?89967-V-amp-M-vs-D-amp-W-Help-from-dance-experts-out-there!-(no-uber-fans-please)&p=4068805&viewfull=1#post4068805

    Depressing. VM really have zero chance in Sochi. If the Chinese judge doing the commentating feels that way, the rest of the judging community likely does too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i wonder how much money the usfsa paid this judge to say this

      Delete
  11. I want to scream when I read this. D/W have harder transitions? Really? Lunges, hops, twirls, non-blade work BS count as transitions? And faster as compared to V/M? This person is obviously blind as a bat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it's quanitity over quality right now. It doesn't matter if there's any skating or dancing going on, it's all about moving and doing something to as many highlight notes as possible. It only counts if you're using highlight notes. Use of phrasing or any other construct in the music is pointless as it cuts down on the number of movements the skaters are making.

      Delete
    2. So basically look busy...If I had the money - I would so hire Toller Cranston to commentate and say what is real skating and what is filler...that still doesn't explain why Carmen lost to Notre Dame...again even the judges can't provide an explanation that's consistent...sometimes I have wondered why someone like a Lori Nichol or a Brian Wilson haven't choreographed an ice dance team...no wonder...the rules as written are not being adhered to like in the other disciplines...

      Delete
    3. David Wilson's done some ice dance choreo. I know he was behind P/I's 2011-12 free dance, at least.

      Delete
    4. Anon at 3:12 - thanks for mentioning David Wilson - PI association - my bad - Brian Wilson - hahaha (hello Beach-boys)...but overall - there hasn't been a huge cross-over of choreographers from singles/pairs to dance...which I think is a shame...

      Delete
    5. Or that is what some low level seminars are saying. Oh, this is why DW are getting scored. Harder transitions and faster, plus Tessa can't train, and DW are more accessible. Rules, what rules, skating, what skating.

      What IS ice dance? What is the sport supposed to be? How is it a sport based on what these lower judges are spouting?

      Never mind that to anyone who isn't blind as a bat, Virtue and Moir's transitions are harder.

      oc

      Delete
    6. There is no comparison between their transitions. VM have tons of them and they are very difficult, usually done on one foot, and tehy always are in control. DW rarely sustain an edge (if they do something on one foot they usually put the other foot down right away) and use way too many hops and toe steps. DW look busy by throwing their arms and hair around but the feet-only videos show you that they are actually doing very little with their blades.

      Delete
  12. Ice dance is all about edgework and control. That's the fundamentals. Judges should be looking at feet period. This discipline is losing credibility and fast. Sometimes I do wonder if Japan had a top ice dance like the Shibs - if the power balance would have been a little different this quad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How would Japan having a team like the Shibs change anything? The problem isn't the scoring of the other teams, the problem is the unjustified overscoring of D/W. The Shibs are being held down for no other reason than they make D/W look bad; but any team that makes D/W look bad would be used as a sacrifical lamb.

      But I'm sensing a turning of the tide...I have a feeling that the Shibs will reclaim their #2 spot in US nationals, and Chock/Bates (aka D/W lite) will either be third or fourth; Hubbell/Donahue are much better skaters and have done well this season.

      Delete
    2. You are right that the issue is the overscoring of DW..what I was implying is that if Japan had a strong ice dance team (which would have inevitably also helped in the team event), perhaps there would have been a little more accountability in ice-dancing..right now - Japan has no interest in ice-dance and thus as we say - one less person at the table...Japan takes their skating seriously as observed by the funding they give their athletes...do you honestly believe that had it not been for the Olympic team event that Mervin Tran and Narumi wouldn't still be skating together? That break-up was initiated by the Japanese federation...Again the overscoring of DW would have been there - but if the Shibs would have been skating for Japan - don't you think that Zoueva would have been a little more accountable to the JSF? Of course - I am dealing in hypotheticals but it would have made the team event literally a dog fight between Russia, Canada and Japan

      Delete
    3. So it doesn't matter what the transition is, just that there's a lot of it? And judges obviously have no idea about musicality. Use the music seems to be be very busy during music. So it's set up that actual big curves in your skating is a liability. Extending a move on an edge is a liability.

      oc

      Delete
    4. OC at 2:20, I think you have adequately summed things up. Yes, to all of the above.

      Everything has been turned upside down/inside out. This is why V/M are going to lose in Sochi. DW can't skate or dance on VM's level, so everything was redefined so DW can walk away with the OGM.

      Disgusting.

      Delete
    5. That comment on FSU was so depressing. There is literally nothing VM can do. The judge even noted that VM look more like idols... WTF? Good to know that DW's scrappy, hardworking, oh isn't a shame that Tessa is injured and VM can't train bullshit is working.

      It's really scary the level of some of these judges. As I believe someone else pointed out, that poster Aussie Willy could potentially end up on a 4CC panel someday. I don't expect the Chinese judge to know a lot about ice dancing since China has zero tradition in it. So how do these judges from countries without strong ice dancers learn about it? From the ISU seminars of course. The Chinese judge is basically spouting the same garbage about being loose with the music and tight with the music.

      I know some people like to complain when there are too many ex-Soviet bloc judges on the panel, but at least we can be sure they have actual working knowledge of ice dancing and the fundamentals the top dancers should display. (Pity that none of the current Russian teams have these qualities and I guess this is why the narrative got so far away from VM. DW should've been the ones that got picked on this quad, for obvious reasons).

      Finally, with the Chinese judge approaching this as American Idol style voting based on personal preference, it definitely makes me think the sham could play a role in how the judges perceive VM.

      Delete
    6. "That comment on FSU was so depressing. There is literally nothing VM can do. The judge even noted that VM look more like idols... WTF? Good to know that DW's scrappy, hardworking, oh isn't a shame that Tessa is injured and VM can't train bullshit is working."

      That's the worst thing. There is absolutely nothing that VM can do, even if they go out there and skate both programs perfectly. The way their programs are designed, particularly the FD, using the phrasing and more subtle parts of the movement, is a liability. VM holding sustained edges is a liability. Their power is a liability because they're using fewer strokes to cover the ice. Everything good in their skating has been turned into a liability that's going to hurt them in Sochi.

      The more I think about it, the more convinced I am that their wins at 4CC and Worlds in 2012 were not intended to happen by TPTB. After that, they went into over drive to make sure it never happened again, no matter how deserving VM were.

      Delete
    7. "it definitely makes me think the sham could play a role in how the judges perceive VM."

      How do you think the sham plays a role with the judges?

      At one point I had wondered if VM wanted to be judged as pure skaters and not with the perceived enhancement of also being romantically involved off-ice. But lately I doubt this theory and I'm more inclined to see the sham as a boundary problem VM have with Ilderton/London.

      In any case, do the judges know or care about VM's off-ice lives? I doubt it. The overscoring of DW is corruption, plain and simple. I don't think it's linked at all to any of the skaters' real lives. It's about Federation politics and the prestige to the country that gets the medals.

      I also think that right after the Olympics all the rules that favor DW will be changed so that ice-dance will return, at least for a while, to more traditional roots.

      Delete
    8. Yes, it is corruption I agree (I'm 3:54). But the Chinese judge's comments gave a bit of insight into how DW are working the narrative into something more than skating. He said DW are "the real deal" (snort) while VM are the "idols" and that he heard a rumor that Tessa was injured and can't train as hard. I can easily see other rumors floating around about VM being "distracted" while DW are in that rink, night after night, plugging away... apparently that shit works. They paint themselves as these outsiders from the mean streets of Detriot, no not as pretty or naturally gifted as VM, but making up those points with all the extra practice sessions, while VM are busy not training, doing reality shows, being injured, having babies and all of this other stuff. I'm not saying the judges are shipping or care whether Scott is dating Tessa, Jessica, or Cassandra but I can certainly see this whole affair which is stretching on six years now being used against them, just like everything else is used against them. It's positioning them as dishonest and unlikeable, so why not let those likeable hardworking kids win over them? I'm not one of those people that divorces their skating from the sham and believes they have good judgment when it comes to skating but bad judgment about the sham, although I understand those opinions. I think everything is a big clusterfuck and is affecting their judgment, perception of them by others, the way they practice, the way they skate in competition....

      Delete
    9. But then how do you explain the judges' fucking-over of other teams, not just V/M? D/W shouldn't be anywhere near the podium, much less the top of it. V/M are heads and shoulders above the field, but that doesn't discount the amazing qualities P/B, W/P, the Shibs, C/L, B/S (okay, their FD this year is a mess, but last year they improved considerably), etc; all those teams can and should be duking it out for silver and bronze.

      I don't get how D/W have been upheld in the way that they have all these years, especially considering the amount of quality ice dance talent in the US. The corruption stinks to high heaven.

      Delete
    10. That's correct - if Aussie Willie and this guy are both spouting the same thing - and what they're spouting doesn't reference CoP at all - WHY? Why isn't he pointing to the rules, criteria and standards set down for the judges - even though they're imperfect, they're there. What is this nebulous crap he's spouting? Preference, idols, real deal, do more with the music (more being the operative word) - none of it about skating?

      Exactly right - the standards of judging have been defined down so DW meet the standards and not VM, and VM are penalized for actually skating well (the better the skate, the less they use the music, that's how it works according to this). Skating has nothing to do with how ice dance is judged. And now there's two judges whom we've heard from, as low rent as both are, who explain the scoring without making a single reference to the rules. So the ISU ice dance seminars don't bother with that either?

      Delete
    11. "Ice dance is all about edgework and control."

      No it isn't. It's never been about that. It has always been about *what the judges want it to be about.*

      It's like Marina Z. once said in an old interview -- before COP, she never wanted to coach ice dance, because there were no criteria, and it was simply about what the judges liked.

      Now that COP is around, you, OC, and a bunch of other posters on this blog think that ice dance has something to do with the criteria in the rulebook. It does, but only to the extent that the criteria can be interpreted in any damn way the ISU wants them to be interpreted.

      What ice dance is really all about is getting medals for the most powerful Fed at the most powerful time (i.e., the Olympics).

      Right now, money + first ever Olympic gold for a US ice dance team + opportunity to get that medal on former Soviet soil = very high potential of good ratings = IOC very happy because they'll be rolling in dough = USFSA becomes a powerful fed and judges from other countries will listen and try to judge in accordance with US view.

      Delete
    12. I don't buy that ice dance is instant ratings in the US. All the US media buzz coming out of the 2013 Worlds was that the US secured three spots for their women; D/W's "win" was given cursory attention.

      Delete
    13. The US is on the technical ice dance committee, as are Russia and France. Canada isn't.

      Delete
    14. @ Anon 7:28: Lemme guess, Judy Blumberg is on that commitee? God help us all.

      Delete
    15. Anon at 7:13 pm - the IOC doesn't role in the money - during the Winter Olympics...it's not a money-maker...is it prestigious - yes but with the Superbowl this year being in New York in February before the Olympics and the World Cup of Soccer being in Brazil this year in the Summer - advertisers will put their money in those two events before the Winter Olympics...hmmm if Procter and Gamble is one of the main sponsors for the Winter Olympics - I wonder why VISA, MasterCard, Coca-Cola, Nike, Adidas and other companies aren't exactly lining up and being in the forefront...their big budgets will go to the World Cup...soccer (football) is the ultimate in advertising...

      Delete
    16. "Right now, money + first ever Olympic gold for a US ice dance team + opportunity to get that medal on former Soviet soil = very high potential of good ratings = IOC very happy because they'll be rolling in dough = USFSA becomes a powerful fed and judges from other countries will listen and try to judge in accordance with US view."

      Rolling in dough? That's laughable. The IOC doesn't make money off of ice dance. It never has. And the USFSA is already a powerful federation. It doesn't need D/W to win a gold medal to cement that fact. Those two are their best shot at Olympic gold in skating and the USOC and their own federation pay them far less attention than they do Gracie Gold, who has almost no shot of even medaling in Sochi, much less winning gold.

      Names in the United States that drive Winter Olympics advertising are Shaun White, Bode Miller, and Lindsey Vonn.

      Delete
    17. 8:28 -- Are you the same person who said that there's no way Tanith Belbin will be handling the ice dance commentary at the Olympics for NBC? Cause that's laughable.

      Delete
    18. 7:52 - No, but the Russian representative is the wife of Piseev, the federation president. That tells you all you need to know about ice dance, really. Each federation is in for itself and the goal is to convince the others that it's in their interest to do what you want.

      The USFS might not be the biggest ice dance fans but there's been a bit of a vacuum with the decline of Russian ice dance, and it's the perfect opportunity for an Olympic gold medal. Not to mention all the Russian coaches who moved to the US. There are a number of thriving schools and high participation numbers, there's good depth, there's one team that has a shot at gold. To say that they're not a power in today's ice dance is ridiculous, we're not in the 90s anymore. The USFS would be stupid not to push for their ice dancers just because they're not ladies skaters. An olympic gold medal means increased visibility no matter the discipline.

      Delete
    19. Huh? Tanith Belbin isn't going to be handling ice dance commentary at the Olympics for NBC. Tracy Wilson and Tom Hammond will be in the booth, just like last time. Tanith will be "presenting features" for a separate show for NBC affiliates. Most of them will probably be pre-taped.

      Get your head out of your ass.

      Delete
    20. 9:11 pm: all the Russian coaches came to the US long before D/W, and will continue to stick around for years to come. Sure, Zhulin went back to Russia, basically by order of the Russian government in the lead-up to Sochi, but I'm sure he'll leave after Sochi. D/W winning (or not) is not going to change that.

      I just can't see how the Russian and French feds, who each have long respective histories of churning out quality ice dance teams, can get behind a huckster team like D/W. They represent everything that is the opposite of what ice dancing should be, and no young team is looking up and saying "aw, jeez, I wanna be just like D/W!". There is something rotten to the bone here, because nobody in good conscience can claim that D/W are a gold-worthy (or medal worthy team, for that matter).

      Delete
    21. Zhulin returned to Russia in 2006. He's done well there with his Russian skating show involvement, and he and Navka's daughter is there. I don't think he'll be leaving. What happened in the lead up to Sochi is that his non-Russian teams (i.e., PB) were forced to leave Russia.

      Delete
  13. If ice dance is being judged according to personality and if seminars are pro-actively teaching stupid (what does looking like idols have to do with how a team skates?), then we're back to politics and I could see how VM politics impact how they're perceived, which then impacts how they're judged, and none of it has to do with sport. Look at the reaction to the interruption in 2013 - overreaction - as if people are waiting on the sidelines for an opening. Look at the immediate suspicion. As far as I'm aware, this blog is the only place throwing shade on VM as far as their credibility. Other places that aren't fans are hitting the usual points - don't like Scott, prefer DW (ergo, VM are boring) or whatever, but they never had a credibility problem. Yet when they interrupted 4CCs it was as if it was understood they had a credibility problem. Nobody suspected Alex Shibutani faked his cramp. I think only VM got the snide remarks that they were trying to pull a fast one.

    Where did it come from (if one agrees it was there, and compares it to how VM were spoken of after Vancouver)?

    After Vancouver, DW and VM were painted as equally delightful as people. Then something happened - NONE of which should be relevant to the scoring, but it seems some low level judges don't agree. If something happened to make VM politically vulnerable (the way Russian teams have been painted as low down - even that Rebecca Babb interview had "the Russians" sitting near S&P to intimidate them prior to the competition) - it was 2010-2011 when they kept playing a shell game with when they would show up to compete (she was pregnant, so she wasn't going to), and finally when they did compete, they withdrew. On top of that, IMO, was that some people took it as they weren't showing DW respect, coming in after being sidelined and thinking they could just waltz (or samba) off with the title after DW worked all year. Who did they think they are?

    I have wondered what this political crap is for, and I think maybe it's that if there are shenanigans, there's not much of a hue and cry over unfair scoring, because the public has been taught that VM are undeserving as people, and the skating is secondary.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just don't get why DW are thought to be such kind people? They basically shit on Russian skating, complain about their marks, and then they make insensitive comments about gay rights in Russia and lay claim to the hardships of the people of Detroit and they are still seen as saints?

      Delete
    2. They also never have anything nice or complimentary to say about their competitors or any humbleness about their own skating.

      Delete
    3. Anon at 8:04 pm - I have to agree that DW are not saints. I mean when was the last time they actually acknowledged VM in an interview...I wouldn't call them gracious or humble...the problem is that the examples you gave although valid are not consistent messages that have been repeated in interviews...I mean how many people actually saw the Skate America fluff about Russian skating and judging...there was no uproar about that although I cringed...besides this year in the odd icedance article/tweet - when was the last time we saw anything negative about DW....yup...it's kind of been see no evil, hear no evil....

      Delete
    4. @8:11

      I've noticed that too. All praise in their interviews is directed towards themselves. VM are complimentary of other teams but with DW it's just DW. They talk about how hard they work, how much they have improved, how well they skated (even when they didn't)...what sweethearts.

      Delete
  14. OC - could this be personal - wouldn't surprise me. It's a small world - the figure skating community and let's face it - not everyone likes everyone from skaters to coaches to parents etc. I for one as a VM fan was not crazy about some of the interviews when they were doing the book tour - emphasizing Tessa's injury and how she could barely walk twenty feet during the Olympics - yet she managed to skate 3 amazing programs during the Olympics to win gold...look we all know that the injury was serious and that she needed all the physio she could get...but in some of the interviews - it was coming across as over the top...and can be interpreted by others including some judges down the line - as kind of - wow - if I was crippled and I still won gold - I must be untouchable...this would have been fine - if they had retired from amateur sport - because well - you are done. But in hindsight - instead of talking about their skating - the talking points were the injury / relationship question - so I think anytime that there has been an injury issue around Tessa this quad - well folks have decided - (unfairly) - you won Olympic gold and made your overcoming the injury - your story - we won't be fooled twice...I also wouldn't be surprised if the Moirs have created enemies within Skate Canada after their win and hence - the lack of political backing...and god knows if VM actually have a child - that would enter into the equation and then add this reality show - I mean really? You know the ISU is the type of organization that likes to run the show and you have to play by their rules...DW have played their cards correctly - meaning - that they have been the ideal employee...VM on the other hand are not part of IMG, the injury stoppages/withdrawals...not being accessible online (except for shamming purposes by Moirville)...Tessa not talking to others before competition (being in a zone)...it can offput folks...I remember Tracy Wilson said that in one broadcast that Tessa is really a nice person but you wouldn't know it during the warm-ups or during the competition...
    The skating should ultimately matter - and I think they do get respect from their competitors and coachs but I think had they been open and accessible to the media and fans and promoted the skating - the ISU and perhaps the skating community would have felt that they shared in their success.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. V/M DO have a child, it's not an "if..." situation.

      And if this is personal and related to everything that went on in Vancouver, explain why V/M won a second World gold medal in 2012.

      Delete
    2. None of this is related to the sham. It's just a "D/W have to win for the US" thing. V/M just happen to be collateral damage. If they weren't skating, it would be whoever else would be challenging D/W.

      Delete
    3. I agree 8:35. VM are collateral damage in DW having to win for the US. If VM weren't skating, it would indeed be whoever else was challenging DW. If VM had been honest about their personal life from the beginning, team DW would just be finding different tactics to use to go after them.

      The sham is infuriating and gross, but when it comes to what's happening with the placements, VM just happen to be in the way of what the USFSA and DW want.

      Delete
    4. Anon at 8:32 pm - anon here at 7:33 pm - I don't claim I know answers - but with regards to VMs win in 2012 - it was a legitimate win -- VM killed the short dance (actually it was the cleanest SD of this quad in my opinion) and the FD was fairly clean. At that point in time - it wouldn't surprise me if the ISU thought that 2012 would be VMs swan song...they knew that DW would be in for Sochi...following the 2012 win - icenetwork really started taking cheap shots at VM...just a theory...

      Delete
    5. I think it was all the media's whining that D/W should have won in 2012 with that DF shit program that basically coronated them in 2013. It wouldn't have mattered what V/M skated last season, the outcome was set from the start. Except that V/M unleashed Carmen, arguably the best and hardest FD ever in the history of the sport; one wonders if the judges regret going along with that scheme.

      Delete
    6. Well who knows anon at 9:52 pm...but it seems that the film crew for the reality series are in Japan for the GPF (per Instagram)...dammit...I thought filming was going to be wrapped at TEB...they don't need this...actually Skate Canada should have stepped in and said - there is enough footage blah blah blah and if you wanted other footage of the competition and interviews - to wrap it up before the holidays...go to the CBC...again just another thing to think about...

      Delete
    7. It was never going to be wrapped at TEB. The GPS and GPF were going to be filmed and then the reality show aired during Canadians.

      Delete
  15. "Depressing. VM really have zero chance in Sochi"

    V/M knew this before the season started. That's why they're putting all their eggs in the reality show basket.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 8:33
      That doesn't make any sense. VM are as dedicated to their skating and to working toward winning as they have ever been. It's some fans who think that knowing there might not be a chance to win = pack it in and quit. No competitive elite athlete thinks that way. Ever. VM are in this to win, make no mistake.

      It also doesn't make sense all their eggs are in the reality show. As with anything pertaining to PR or long-term vision, they have none. This looks like nothing more than taking advantage of what they see as an expedient way to make money plus give their loved ones AND the sham some very public face-time. It's asinine PR but that's how they roll. It won't end up giving them anything but grief when the public finds out what was really going on. And they will find out and of course VM have not considered any future reality when they agreed to this project.

      Delete
    2. Someone suggested to me that the mindset might be, obviously, completely short term. This is the window, grab all the publicity you can. When Sochi's over the audience automatically shrinks and they might not care about the eventual fallout among that much smaller audience, which is mostly fans.


      My question would be - what ARE VM getting out of this? It appears to me it's Moirville that's getting the most out of it. I don't see VM's shenanagins leading to $$$$. They lost a decent deal with Roots, possibly due to their decision to stick with the sham. What can the reality show pay? Maybe it's a lot of money to them, the equivalent of several seasons' worth of prize money.

      This is Moirville's opportunity, certainly, but I wonder how smart it is for them long term as well. They get to roll around like big fish in small pond, but there have to be people turned off by their grasping style.

      Basically, to me, the sham and the Moirville part of it seems to create a lot of noise and some spotlight in which they can preen, but as to actual material benefit, I wonder how it stands up to any cost/benefit analysis. Attention for attention's sake, there they have a winner. Any other agenda, IMO looks questionable.

      oc

      Delete
    3. oc @ 8:11
      I also question exactly what VM are getting out of this TV show. It's not as if going into another Olympics they need the exposure.


      I've speculated their priority first and foremost is getting the sham out to the public. Not just the fake-gf but the platonic narrative. My follow-up question is why is this so important to them that they're willing to mainstream it? Up to now it's been mostly confined to social media and only a small group of fans were following. That's apparently not enough for VM. They want this in people's faces in the most OTT way possible. Is it mostly spite? Showing the fans (this blog) they can win? Why and who cares?

      Another follow-up question is what the hell are they thinking as far as their child? They intend to keep her hidden forever? Why. And why are they very evidently not putting her interests first? All for the sake of maintaining a lying front that is full of holes anyway and does not end up "protecting" her. Putting their act on TV doesn't make them more believable. I will be surprised if it isn't quite the contrary, that seeing these people drama-up their b.s. will be the biggest turn-off ever, along with making the lies even more apparent.

      Delete
    4. Well, I did talk with someone about this recently (not someone connected to the sham, but someone who is conversant with marketing/pr). They pointed out that Louis C.K. used to talk about his kid's private parts in his act (his little daughter). The person I spoke with was like- how did nobody not take him aside and say DUDE, no no no no no. It's short term thinking and it's being surrounded by yes people. The bigger you get, the less feedback you get. You're even a celebrity to your friends and family. Scott can protest all he wants that he's just "Scotty" or they keep him in line, but that's just blowing smoke up their asses. It's blatant that they're all attracted to his celebrity and milking it and they all want their piece of it. They're all going to help him rationalize.


      How the child will perceive Scott's behavior on the internet will depend on how it's framed/explained in terms of the business mommy and daddy were/are in. Good luck, but at the same time, kids tend to not be all that fascinated with mommy and daddy's lives.

      It's when she's older, has her own family, and there's nothing, that this will suck. It seriously doesn't matter what's in the bank. The neices have stuff in the bank too. But they also are on the contemporaneous record in public, because apparently it's important to their parents. Also important was for the neices' mom's to place their child front row center during Scott and Tessa's skate(s) at Worlds in London, so the child will have made the "big screen". And for PJ Kwong to tweet Danny's daughter at the press conference table. Not just take her photo. Tweet it.

      Those girls have roughly the same inside view as Scott and Tessa's daughter, but the parents still wanted the girls on the public record. You can't back up and change that. That's going to suck.

      Delete
  16. New comparisons:
    http://youtu.be/Ad0LKXjhjbI
    http://youtu.be/I9uklHfJBKM
    ^Thoughts on the second one - should a jump OUT of twizzles count towards levels? Because that's what V/M did in their SD last season. Also, Carmen got seriously under-GOEed, but we already knew that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm, good question. The jump out in this case is coming out the twizzles, where they're not trying to generate fake speed. And they still sustained an edge coming out those twizzles. In this case, I'm willing to speculate the jump is adding true difficulty, not fake, "ankle jerk" difficulty a la D/W. But I could be wrong.

      Delete
    2. I think it's a case of they have so much momentum that they're able to launch a jump from a maintained edge.

      Delete
  17. Somebody posted VM's broadcasted CSOI programs on YT, as well as the opening and 'Wonder' number. IIRC, Jeff Buttle choreographed 'Wonder', and it's obvious he did it with Tessa in mind. Most of the choreographers doing programs for ice dance want to work with VM. Too bad in actual competitions politics is shortchanging them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tessa is a wonder in shows. I'm not certain I can express this clearly, but she, more than many many skaters, can clearly communicate the "story" of what she's doing - literally, or the physical/movement story, or the music story. So the audience keys in on her immediately, because she's got so much clarity of intent in every single move. Other skaters get lost in the movement (she does as well) or are beautiful movers and enjoy themselves, but she's so wonderful at making the "whole" make sense and having every move become part of the whole. There's a through line to everything.

      Delete
    2. "So the audience keys in on her immediately, because she's got so much clarity of intent in every single move. "

      Yes. I've seen her once in that setting, in a gala finale, and she stood out like a spotlight was on her alone. Scott probably would have too, except for the fact that he was right beside her.

      Delete
    3. I absolutely love Tessa in shows. Without all the pressure competitions bring, she can freely let go and just express herself. It's very palpable that she loves performing.

      Delete
  18. Doris Pulaski is at it again, this time claiming that the idea of Tessa using an inordinate amount of core strength to complete the Carmen rotational is "laughable" because anyone sittingon a stool needs core strength, and there is no difference whether they sit using their butt or their thighs. For those of you unfamiliar with this poster, she claims to be a big fan of both DW and VM and passes herself off as an authority on ice dance but is really just a passive-aggressive DW uber who copies and pastes from Wikipedia and uses it to support the most far-fetched and inane arguments. One of her most recent is that VM's SD is not in accordance with the rules because it is skated to jazz music. She clearly knows nothing about dance or basic physics as someone pointed out in that thread. I want to register for an FSU account just to call Doris out on her BS.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Doris P is ridiculous. I dared criticized D/W in a thread, and I got negative repped by her and the usual suspects. Now I can't even post on FSU. Fuck them.

      Delete
    2. Doris pretends to be so knowledgeable but i have only ever seen her copy and paste or interpret the stuff she is copying and pasting in the most literal or ridiculous way. She also twists people's words to make them look like idiots or troublemakers and make herself look superior. She is so pretentious and condescending. Yet many people seem to take her seriously as an authority on ice dance. She spreads all sorts of strange theories and people believe it. The criticism about the jazz music (which is silly--these dances are usually done to jazz music) as a way to deflect attention away from the fact that DW aren't doing anything that even resembles the correct dances is typical of her.

      Delete
    3. Is she serious?

      "Tessa was sitting -if you use the dictionary.com def which involves having your weight rest on your thighs or buttocks (in her case, thighs) on Scott's shoulders
      http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/sit

      The part about her "core" is pretty laughable. Anybody sitting on a stool or backless chair of any kind, including somebody's shoulders, is held sitting upright by their core."

      http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/showthread.php?89739-If-you-like-both-D-W-amp-V-M-but-love-other-couples&p=4069699&viewfull=1#post4069699

      She is comparing the way Tessa uses the muscles in her thighs and core in a rotational lift to the way someone would use those muscles to sit on a stool? How can anyone take Doris seriously? She is just a desperate DW uber who will do anything to discredit VM's skating.

      Delete
    4. I've always been suspicious of her. She claims to be neutral but is certainly not. It does suck that she seem ~respected among online posters because she "sounds" smart. She's really pretentious and very passive-aggressive. Whenever someone calls her out, she takes back some of the words she has said. Desperate.

      Delete
    5. Anyone who thinks that what Tessa does in that rotational lift is anything like sitting on a stool or a jungle gym knows nothing about basic physics. These fans are getting really desperate.

      Delete
    6. It's desperate and stupid and also pose-focused. The lift is the entrance, the transitions, the exit, AND the positions. Meryl and Charlie are a fail on all of them because they don't manage their own bodies. If that position is so elementary how come Meryl can't do something so elementary? She can't even keep her own leg extended in space. She needs external support, and she needs her own center of gravity externally stablized as well, with resistance or actually pinioned.

      I would like Doris - or anyone - to point out what is so challenging about DW's lifts. They HATE to talk about DW in these terms. They prefer to disparage VM.

      Delete
    7. Yes, for one thing, a stool isn't a person who is rotating on thin blades, and, generally speaking a stool doesn't have two legs. Let's start there. Doris is ridiculous. Tessa has to carry herself in that position to support Scott's stability in HIS position. Scott isn't a fucking stool. He's a two legged human being with blades at the bottom of his boots upon which he's rotating. She's a moron.

      Delete
    8. You should read some of her D/W and V/M analysis on GoldenSkate...she is the "ice dance expert" all the D/W ubers look up to there for "in depth analysis". Very Scary.

      Delete
  19. Pulaski is the biggest hypocrite. She's the sole reason I stopped going to GS. She would pretend she loved VM on FSU then say something completely different on GS. And what's worse is her passive aggressiveness. I would have more respect for her if she just plain out said she hated VM, but she tries to pull a wool over our eyes like we're stupid and can't see through her bullshit.

    ReplyDelete
  20. STFU, Rosie:

    http://www.thestar.com/sports/skating/2013/12/05/sochi_2014_moir_and_virtue_set_to_clash_with_familiar_foes_dimanno.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is just another journalist who likely only looks at the results...forget that those results don't reflect what is actually happening on the ice,

      DW have been surpassed technically by several teams. The judges jut won't acknowledge it.

      Delete
    2. There isn't a single positive word about V/M while she waxes poetic about D/W's awesomeness (and also crudely takes shots at Meryl's looks, because of course). Why do V/M never get respect from Canadian reporters? It isn't just Rosie...

      Delete
    3. Rosie is a joke of a journalist. I have read other things she has written and she is seriously terrible. Was someone on something when they hired her?

      Delete
    4. She's tabloid. Nobody likes her. She's sort of an at-large journalist who can write about what she wants to write about, and is sent to skating events because she loves it and wants to go, not because she knows anything. She's probably a lightening rod and that's better than nothing - maybe it's something like that that keeps her employed.

      Delete