Monday, March 24, 2014

She's tight with the music all right

I won't be able to gif this until tomorrow, so for now:

Gee, they thought Meryl lost timing a couple of times.

You don't say.

Imagine being an Olympic-gold medal possessing ice dancer on DWTs, getting a dance that goes right to your specialty, which is being tossed, flipped and flung like a sack of laundry while warp-speed flinging out your legs below the knee and your arms from the shoulders out, and the judges can only cough up one extra point from your debut. Meryl is really bad. How can a solid, built-like-a-fireplug, slam-into position, under five feet tall, teen gymnast be a better dancer than a gold-medal draped ice dancer? Shawn Johnson was Yulia Zagoruychenko compared to Meryl. Meryl is terrible!

No rhythm at all, no musicality. Her shoulders, head, back and hips are rigid. She's had two super fast, athletic dances to help her get her feet wet before the slower, dramatic, more controlled, more graceful stuff starts, and she can't pull them off.

She's doing nothing differently in terms of dancing than she did on ice, where judges apparently thought she was so "tight" with that music they wish they had +10's - referencing that section of the guidelines that deals with "tightness" that I can't seem to find anywhere.

This performance has nothing to do with the difficulty of transferring from ice to the floor. She wasn't on the damn floor half the time. This is - she can't dance.

I think the judges are being kind, and were kind last week. They're giving her points for the energy and the fitness. For now they're focusing on her total lack of musicality and her imprecision. Dear God wait til they get to her alignment and her rigidity. Baby steps. Don't want to pile on.

I don't know if I've ever seen an ice dancer with such a stiff, brittle back, who is all knees down, and then arms, no torso, no hips, can't phrase, and has no sense of time. I don't think even Maria Butyrskaya was this tight.

Butyrskaya had better edges too.

Meryl "dances" like one of the exercise obsessives in some high intensity, high impact jazzercise or aerobics class - you could break your face on her muscles, and your jaw drops at the zero body fat, but she has no rhythm whatsoever and walks funny. Little spastic scurrying feet, oblivious to any timing but frantic, is not dancing.

And why not watch Kristy Yamguchi on her first DWTs episode (not a dancer, a singles skater. And a pairs girl), years removed from her competitive prime, and in her thirties:

Okay, waiting for Charlie. And gifs tomorrow.

Let's check in with the eye contact situation:


Plus lip bite.

Oh yeah.

Seriously, at this point my imagination is putting skates on Sharna, pressing rewind and imagining a rivalry with Virtue Moir that is a whole lot less full of shit. Sharna would make sure that boy actually did it. She'd break it down. "These are skates, Charlie. You SKATE with them."

OTOH, traditionally, when a partner plants her celeb in a chair for the first phrases of the "dance", things do not seem promising.

Look at that. Erotic Touching.
Tomorrow there's something I want to gif. I'm a little uncertain of some stuff in this tango, such as just how strong Charlie actually is (or isn't) on his feet when they're moving, but Sharna's like Cheryl Burke - she's SOLID. She knows how to put it together so it's always relating to the music, and there was one section where Charlie did this, that, and then something else without resetting. I think it was only a couple of strides, swing his leg behind him and then back again and turn, and it did all conclude with a squat, but it was more sequential changes of direction in hold with a partner then he's ever done on ice. I'm giving Sharna the credit but, I do find one thing interesting. In the acting/performance part, Charlie seems eager to expand his range. How come Meryl is just pushing the same button?

Len: "Charles. Charles. In your sport, there are rules. And you
have to adhere to them. And if you don't .. the judges go down on you.

 Len, you are right, they sure do. But not the way you meant.

I have to say, Charlie and Sharna have chemistry, they connect on the floor, he's throwing himself into it and I think she really knows how to tell a story with the music, versus letting the music ACCOMPANY the story, which a lot of pros do. She's really having the music drive the story - it's nothing literal.

So points to him for being consistent with toe leads, holding frame, doing some stuff in sequence, moving in and out of hold, but there was something funky about the way he was moving and I think it's this: I don't think she was holding him up, but he MOVED sort of like she was holding him up (literally). I don't think there was true weight transfer as he moved, from leg to leg. It was like he held his center of gravity tight and moved his legs apart from his center of gravity, with no weight transfer. Even though I was going okay, toe lead, check, shoulders down, check, something felt kind of fake/phony, or that something wasn't happening that only pretended to be happening in Charlie's mechanics, and I think it was that.


  1. You'll definitely want to take a look at the practice packages this week, if you haven't already. Meryl takes some splats learning lifts, and Charlie needs help learning to be a "bad boy". I'm not sure what that makes the king from Scheherazade then.

  2. If Meryl is having a tough time now - I can't see how her learning curve will improve once the US Stars on Ice starts.Yes Max might travel with her but eventually his patience will lose out.
    Also to keep in mind - if Charlie doesn't enjoy skating with Meryl - this will be a long tour and they may end up looking like Sale/Pelletier doing their last Canadian SOI tour where both were just phoning it in.
    I have to laugh at Charlie learning to be a bad boy...there is a reason why Marina insisted that Charlie remain blond throughout his career (instead of the natural brwon hair)...and for lord sakes - if you can't do a tango - see exhibit Worlds 2011 - I have no words...

    1. Well, to be fair, Meryl and Charlie are accustomed to executing for Olympic level ice dance judges. The DWTs judges are far more stringent.

  3. I can't believe someone could be so hateful of someone they don't know, so here it goes: Meryl and Charlie are wonderful, and the haterz can go cry over their lesser opponents' silver medals. 8)

    1. Whose, Chock and Bates from US Nationals?

    2. They're not wonderful ice dancers. This is a sport. You're supposed to win by actually being the best, according to the rules. They were not. In order for them to win, the judges ignored the rules and guidelines of the sport. And I imagine you don't know what they are, and don't care, either. But it's not fair that a team like VM, who demonstrates the highest standard and follows the rules to the letter, are jobbed so DW can get an undeserved gold. They didn't win it on the ice.

    3. And the reason re-capping DWTS is interesting is it allows a closer look at Meryl and Charlie's actually abilities when it comes to the dance part of their supposed expertise. A lot of their high scores came from having the proper timing and rhythm in pattern dances, which they seldom had, and did not have this season, and the judges gave them points for it anyway.

    4. The fact that you're writing these blogs in such detail about someone that you despise is pretty pathetic, and it won't change the fact that they were deemed the best in the world. 8) Do something better with your life, such as volunteering or something. It might help you get over it better!

    5. Hey, Anon at 4:02am and 5:12am, there are D/W threads just for you on FSU. You can rhapsodize about them there to your hearts content. So, run along now, no one here wants your D/W Kool-Aid, thank you very much.

    6. Well, I certainly can understand why a DW fan would want to avoid discussing skating or dancing in detail, 5:12 AM. And I'm glad you're doing good things with your life rather than doing something like hanging out at a blog you hate.Who would waste their time like that?

    7. 5:12 AM by whom exactly? the isu? who has a history of being corrupt? judge shawn restatt who their moms are best friends with and who also was on the panel @ the olympics?

    8. Anon 5:12: ."...and it won't change the fact that they were deemed the best in the world."

      Yes, they were deemed the "best in the world" by a bunch of corrupt judges that decided to disregard the rulebook, all in the name of some corrupt agenda at the top that had nothing to do with sport, and all about egos.

    9. Not only is Shawn Restatt FB friends with the moms, he's also FB friends with Meryl. No conflict of interest there AT ALL.

    10. and for some reason, adelina hugging the russian judge is getting more publicity than this? someone needs to screencap it and spread it around.

    11. PLEASE can we stop this ridiculous thing with Restatt being friends with the moms and Meryl? He's friends with EVERYBODY. It looks like EVERY judge is friends with skaters, coaches and family members. Is it incredibly effed up and not appropriate? Yes. But it is not evidence to do with what happened with D/W, unless we are going to say the marks of every team with a connection to a judge on facebook is equally messed up, which they aren't. We don't need any more evidence than what we already have - what's out on the ice. Adelina hugging the judge is different because we've never, to my knowledge and recently, seen something equally suspect. If someone wants to spread the facebook stuff around as evidence of how dysfunctional the skating community is, that's possibly a good idea. But to make the emphasis on Restatt and the moms makes us look pathetic, because it appears there are far more skaters/coaches who are friends with judges on facebook than not.

    12. Anon 11:09: Is it normal for athletes in other judged sports to hug the jugdges or befriend them on their personal FB pages? I highly doubt it. Shit like this is why figure skating has no credibility.

    13. Read my post again.

      "Is it incredibly effed up and not appropriate? Yes. "

      "If someone wants to spread the facebook stuff around as evidence of how dysfunctional the skating community is, that's possibly a good idea."

      The point is that it's not unique to D/W, so to use it as evidence that there was corruption specifically related to D/W is useless. To use it as evidence that figure skating as a whole has some serious problems, great. But I keep seeing it being presented as some smoking gun in D/W's case, which it's not. We already have the smoking gun (their skating), there is no need to grasp at straws.

    14. I don’t care about Rettstatt’s fb friendships.

      I do believe the fsu-er who pointed out that at every ice dance competion to which Rettstatt was assigned as judge and VM competed, there was a corresponding ridiculously low set of scores for VM.

      I think the mention that there's this scoring pattern for VM when Rettstatt is on the panel is relevant. A sport just isn't generally corrupt without that corruption displaying itself in specific events. It's not PASSIVELY corrupt. The outcome of the rivalry between Virtue and Moir and Davis and White was, by the evidence, corrupt, because the evidence is on the ice. It was THE major signifier of corruption this quad. Corruption is ACTIVE.

      It is certainly not unreasonable to speculate that a judge as powerful and as networked as the USFSA's Rettstatt – a prominent official of the Federation to which Davis White belong - a man who was in among a crowd of judges we are led to believe include many insufficiently compensated, undertrained dumb asses, worked in conjunction with David Dore, the ISU VP, a Skate Canadian without whom Skate Canada's cooperation in throwing VM under the bus could not have occurred, was, with Dore, possibly the architect of the outcomes in ice dance this past quad. There is certainly nothing wrong with looking at the situation. Something was up on the ice – Davis White weren’t doing it. Flagrantly not doing it.

      Corruption is people and it's action. This quad was absolutely unique to DW as there was no other skater or team who took the ice and routinely received monstrous scores no matter how their nearest rivals skated and no matter how they skated - or, more significantly, did NOT skate.


    15. " Adelina hugging the judge is different because we've never, to my knowledge and recently, seen something equally suspect. "

      It's very common for judges to hug the skaters. The Japanese judge also hugged Hanyu after his skate, and someone on FSU did a comparison and showed that his PCS have gone up this season just as much as Adelina's. People (not you, 11:09, but in general) just have a bug up their ass about it because Adelina is Russian.

      I personally have never heard of other skaters or their parents being facebook friends with a judge, just as you had never heard of a skater hugging a judge, so I would be interested to hear about other examples, because to me, that stuck out as a very big thing.

      Obviously it's not quite the same, but in the legal world, a judge could get into a lot of trouble for friending an attorney who is part of his/her social circle, and this varies by state law. (For example, in California, "a judge's online social network may not include lawyers who have cases pending before the judge." - See more at:"). There are similar issues involving a juror being connected to a lawyer, plaintiff, or defendant on social media. In NY, an attorney can research a juror online, but can't communicate with them in any way, including by sending a friend request.

      The Professional Skaters Association (which I don't think is related to USFS), also has strict ethical rules about facebook, including not friending students of other coaches

      The National Association of Women's Gymnastic's Judges (again, not sure if this is related to the FIG), says judges should avoid communicating with coaches or gymnasts during, before or after a competition, though it doesn't prohibit them from being friends.

      I don't think this is the dispositive evidence that proves DW are winning because of cheating - that evidence is on the ice. Still, I think this is at least as big of a deal as hugging a judge, and if the media were inclined to believe that Americans could be cheats like Russians, this would, and should, certainly be grist for the mill.

      Then you have issues like Blumberg advising DW this season and then not being allowed to sit on the panel when they skate, but allowed to be the caller at TEB where their biggest rivals skate. Galit Chait is also a technical specialist, at events such as Skate Canada, despite the fact that she is an ACTIVE COACH who had students at the Olympics!

    16. 11:09 and 12:13 here again.

      Yes, I think it can certainly be valid to be concerned about the actions of a specific judge if there are patterns in the scores. That being said, this wasn't one judge who made it happen, and we shouldn't lose sight of that. That was the problem with the L'Equipe story - there may have been some truth to it, but this was a problem with the whole panel, for several competitions in a row. (Also, I'm curious, I didn't really follow the initial Rettstatt conversation - did the poster who discover the pattern check to make sure that there was no other judge those comps had in common? Because there seems to be a pretty small pool they're selected from).

      5:22, good to know re: the hugs. Again, I agree it's a big deal - all of it - it's just not a D/W specific one. If hugs are that common, though, it is hypocritical of the media to single out Adelina, and not other skaters, whether hugging or the pervasive facebook problem.

      Scrolling through Rettstatt's friends and I get: Galit Chait, Kaitlyn Weaver, Greg Zuerlein (who ended up marrying a judge), Logan Guiletti-Schmitt, Yuka Sato, Peter Tschernyshev, Massimo Scali, Elizabeth Swallow, Meryl Davis, Aaron Lowe, David Islam, John Zimmerman, Keiffer Hubbell, Igor Sphilband, Emily Samuelson, Pasquale Camerlengo, Todd Gilles, Douglas Razzano, Anjelika Krylova, Devidas Stagnuinas, Alexander Smirnov, Nikolai Morozov. Judy Blumberg...

      Plus several retired skaters who I don't know if they are involved in coaching or not. I don't know the names of family members, but there are familiar surnames sprinkled in there too, so I would be surprised if Jacqui White is the only one.

    17. Thank you, 6:42, that's an interesting list. What stands out is Meryl is one of the few currently competing skaters on the list... I count 5 current ice dancers, one singles and one pairs skater (not sure if Rettstatt judges those disciplines). IMO, it's a terrible idea and very tacky.

    18. Here's the thing with the L'Equipe story. Meryl and Charlie's unearned rise has been systematic. Since before the Vancouver Olympics, they go onto the ice and the scores blow up. They outscored VM in the 2009 GP and beat VM at the GPF, although VM won the free there. Even so, in that season VM were told to change both the Goose (after the GPS) and the ending to Farrucus (after the freaking Olympics).

      Without reviewing every season, there has been a systematic debasement of Virtue Moir, low-balling, dropping levels, fucking with their new elements (take it out or lose points) and a systematic inflation of DW's scores no matter how DW skate, and many times DW have struggled, rocked on their blades, been slow, been out of synch in twizzles, clumsy in lifts, and missed key points. Nada of it shows on the protocols. Record after record after record.

      Suddenly come the Olympics, and prior to the ice dance competition, L'Equipe reports what sounds like some small bore deal between some Russians and Americans to elevate DW, a story that leaves the Great and Powerful ISU out of it.

      I wonder if L'Equipe was set up with that story. Get it off and running in the wrong direction with a story about corruption that is easily dismissed and prompts the narrative of - look at how highly DW have been scored for years! Why would the two Feds need to rig this one competition!

      After L'Equipe comes the second phase - reports from Canadians!! that the Russians (of course) probably made the story up.

      IOW, L'Equipe was used. It was a gambit to remove the topic of DW versus VM from the table forever. "Oh L'Equipe had that story - there was nothing to it! Even the Canadians thought it was Russian sour grapes."

      Uh huh. IOW I'm wondering if L'Equipe was fed a red herring in order to divert from what was actually happening and HAD been happening. A story that immediately brought in DW's marvelous scoring record and reaffirmed it. A story that placed all stories of corruption lower down in the ranks, not high up with prominent U.S. officials and the ISU VP.

    19. And a story that conveniently opened the door to everybody's favorite justification for Meryl and Charlie's protocols: Meryl and Charlie's past protocols.

      The problem with the attempt to dismiss stories about fixes and corruption is the evidence is ON THE ICE and is still on the ice, in videos. Contrary to the claims of DW fans - everybody can see it. The double standard is glaring. Not just DW versus VM (although that is ridiculous) but DW versus other top level ice dancers.

      The narrative can be manipulated all they want, but the skating can't be manipulated, no matter how DW fans pretend. Although the media is ignoring it at the moment, as it turns out, many more fans than the sport pretended actually do know their ice dance, and they're putting tutorials on the web, Exhibit A, DW's technique/skill versus everybody else's technique/skill. Take a look and judge for yourself.

      Most DW fans don't. They don't say, okay, I will "DW are marvelous!" when asked to judge for themselves, they say the video is manipulated or inaccurate. My oh my, what are they seeing in those videos that they aren't able to say DW are clearly the best, but instead scream the videos are fake?

      Skating isn't so hard to "see" after all. Even DW fans can "see" it. They just refuse to believe their lying eyes.

      This is a sport with definable standards and criteria and visible blade technique, and visible indicators of superior skating skills. DW didn't do it and yet they were awarded scores that broke records, and they wore gold medals while standing at the top of an Olympic podium. It is clear that their skating didn't take them there. They didn't defeat VM, not at that competition, and not at any past competitions. So why were they at the top of the podium? It wasn't magic.

      The blog said that people would ignore what South Korea said in its lawsuit announcement, and that's what's happened.

      But, South Korea is the home federation of Olympic gold medalist Yuna Kim, South Korea has hosted spectacularly attended and lucrative star-studded televised figure skating extravaganzas, South Korea is hosting the next winter Olympics. They are not some Podunk little backwater Fed. They crept on cat feet into the public sphere with their complaint about Slotnikova versus Yuna Kim because in their experience, and they made this part of their announcement, the ISU is perfectly capable of instructing international judges to garbage the scores of Korean skaters in retaliation, and of putting South Korea on the shitlist.

      How does the South Korean Fed know that the ISU is capable of controlling how particular skaters are scored by international panel after international panel? That the ISU is capable of targeted scoring manipulation, and capable of directing all of these credentialed, seminared, trained, discerning judges to ignore what's on the ice and score according to an ISU agenda, whether it's punishing Korea for complaining or establishing a protocol pattern that railroads DW to gold. Think the ISU can't or won't? Why does South Korea think they can and would? Just a guess?

    20. BTW, networks and network commentators (who are entertainers primarily, not journalists) who have bought the television rights to a competition, aren't going to spend their time telling the viewing audience that they've purchased the rights to a rigged event.

      Unless of course, it's been rigged by Russia. That's good fun. That's Russia trying to get away with something and the good guys in the sport calling it out and trying to set it to rights, or at least throwing up a stink. And of course, calling out the bad things Russia does lets viewers know that everybody else is a good guy, you just gotta keep an eye on those Reds.

    21. OC @7:16
      Fascinating theory. It certainly sounds plausible.

      I agree DW's rise had to start before Vancouver and it was systematic in nature, with the intention of giving them gold in Sochi. If there had been no VM around I wonder if they would have given them gold in Vancouver.

      This started so early, before it could be known DW could get away with this with the help of Marina's choreography. Is it possible it was first fueled by some Davis and/or White $$$$? Why in the world would the ISU be enamored with this team when Belbin-Agosto were still around and still competitive? And there were other good teams potentially coming up the ranks. There's no reason for this DW push so early on if it weren't for some other powerful influences higher up. That's what's smelling rotten to me.

      It was a perfect set-up. The ISU is run like a mafia and they had a plan and made sure it was executed over a period of 8 years at least. Perhaps before that.

      No one in the media dares touch this. In fact they're running away from it as fast as possible.

    22. And there are 11 active coaches in that list, 7 of whom are ice dance coaches, and none of whom work at Canton. So?

      That's an interesting theory, OC.

    23. I'm not convinced that L' Equipe was a plant, at least not entirely. The story reports there was a deal. It doesn't report *when* that deal was made. People assume thanks to mindset that it was made recent to the Olympics when it could have been made years ago, or at least early in the 12-13 season or just after Nice.

      There may have been something to the timing of when it was reported though.

      The agenda to put DW on top of the podium, and specifically DW, not just an American team, goes way, way, way back in to the Vancouver Olympic Quad. There was nothing about DW's skating that should have ever warranted them placing over VM in any segment in any competition. There was nothing about DW's skating that year that warranted them being placed ahead of BA at the US National level, but that had to be done for the long term setup of DW.

    24. My problem with the L'Equipe story was it placed the corruption too far down in the hierarchy, and the DW trajectory was facilitated by the higher ups. You don't get Skate Canada, the Canadian media, and all of the commentariat here and abroad reciting the same narrative about DW versus VM if it's some judges in the back room trading favors.

      It's where the corruption was supposed to have occurred, not when, that is dubious.

      What did Vassily Solovyov say? Judges can be bought with Versace pants?

      I don't think Jacqui White had to run rampant through the international judging ranks with a measuring tape, promising them Versace pants and Fendi bags.

      This isn't a bunch of bullshit between judges. This was top down. It was too unvarying, too systematic, for it to be grass roots. There was no variation whatsoever. I look at Rettstatt and he's a powerful, successful man, extremely influential with the USFSA and the ISU, and somehow on every panel he was on where VM competed, he or some other judge lowballed them to an absurdist degree. That almost seems beneath the guy - he seems like a back room, doesn't get his own hands dirty sort.

      Then we have Dore, that deep and profound exemplar of the figure skating elite and ISU intelligentsia and a heavyweight alumni of the Skate Canada power structure. Remember after the L'Equipe article freaking CANADIANS supposedly fell over themselves to say the story was a plant .. by the Russians. Even if there was no basis to believe DW were receiving unmerited scores, why for Christ's sake would some CANADIAN insider be first in line to say there was nothing to the story, it was a Russian ploy, and DW's wins over VM were legit.

      Really? Whose dog did VM kill?

      I don't think so. I think that story was planted all right, but not by the Russians.

    25. "This isn't a bunch of bullshit between judges. This was top down. It was too unvarying, too systematic, for it to be grass roots."

      Or maybe they were just better. Or maybe Virtue and Moir declined in their quality.

      What I don't follow is how you feel the need to discredit the entire system, when it's the same system that Virtue and Moir won under. What does that say about their accomplishments?

      And what is up with the supposed victimization of V/M? It's not like they're some nobody team from Latvia, they were the Olympic Champions. They've won silver.

    26. 2:33, maybe nothing. They weren't. You obviously don't know anything about figure skating, because if you tried to break down what Davis & White did and related it to CoP, and then broke down what Virtue and Moir did and related it to CoP, Davis White weren't in the same universe.

      But feel free. The blog and many participants who are thoroughly versed in figure skating looked at the primary evidence - what Davis White put on the ice versus what Virtue Moir put on the ice, and related it to the rules, standards and criteria set down in the rulebook, which is how they tell us the sport is judged. Davis White didn't actually do what the rulebook says they needed to do to be awarded the scores they received. They flagrantly employed moves explicitly discouraged in the rules and guidelines, and were scored as if they were doing something else.

      The reason you don't follow is you don't know figure skating. The evidence that it's corrupt is on the ice and looking at what's there, then at the rules. If you're not equipped to do that, your speculation that DW were better is invalid. If you are equipped to do that, you're welcome to do it. Go ahead, grab the rulebook grab the criteria, and take apart DW's skating and tell us how they EARNED the scores they got on the protocols. Taking it apart is what judges do. This isn't performance art, it's a sport. The scrutiny takes place in gymnastics as well as figure skating. You don't get gold because people enjoyed your program better. You got gold because your skating stands up when scrutinized for how well it fulfills the rules. DW's didn't. If you think that's wrong, you have to do both things, the rules and the skating and match them up in order to have any business telling anyone here maybe DW were better.


    27. I don't know about you, but I've been watching figure skating for well over a decade, so yes. I know figure skating.

      I hope Meryl and Charlie have some kind of official protection against you, because you are clearly both delusional and obsessed. It's kind of scary, actually.

    28. You do know figure skating, 8:29 PM? Or you've just watched it? One doesn't lead to the other.

      If you know it, that explains why you don't match what DW did on the ice to rules and criteria governing the scores they received. You can't. They don't match.

      OTOH, if your belief that you know figure skating derives from having watched it for 10 years and listened to uninformed commentary, that means exactly nothing. Many fans - many journalists - have watched figure skating for decades, and written about it, and demonstrably don't know anything (see Christine Brennan. See E.M. Swift. See Steve Milton. They have no idea what's going on with a skater's blades, and they haven't read the rulebook).

      I don't know what fascist part of the world you come from (haven't checked the stat counter) but I'm always just amazed how many fans think a point of view they dislike must be illegal. Or not showing due deference must be grounds for a lawsuit.

    29. She must be going by the FSU definition of libel. On FSU, not liking Meryl and Charlie is libel, and libel is a criminal offense, which may cause your address to be turned over to the FBI. It's even worse than threatening the president.

      Vive la resistance, OC!

    30. No, I don't mean libel or slander. I mean physical protection. You appear to be verifiably crazy (nuts, whacko, mentally deranged, etc.). So I mean a restraining order. Heck, I hope Tessa and Scott get them too. You are no true fan of theirs.

    31. And where has OC threatened, abused, stalked, or harassed DW or VM? Not writing nice things is not grounds for a restraining order.

      I mean, I might as well file a restraining order against DW because their dancing is abusive to my eyes, if the criteria is not liking something someone did or said.

    32. You know restraining orders aren't issued for criticism, right?

    33. Be it noted that once again a DW fan enters complaining that DW actually are better and exits without being able to say word one related to the actual rules and criteria about what they did on the ice that matched with the rules for superior skating/elements. It never fails.

    34. Oui, vive la resistance!!!!

  4. This comment came from Amy Purdy, but it applies even more to Meryl and Charlie:

    "It's just hard to balance. If anything worries me about swing dance, it's how quickly you move. For me, I have to have moments where I regain my balance because sometimes I have no idea what my feet are doing down there."

  5. So who should we vote for the partner switch?
    You can vote as often as you like until voting closes at 11:59pm ET on MONDAY MAR 31, and remember, everyone has to switch. So start dreaming up your favorite combinations because the only thing that can come between this hot, new cast and their partners is you!

    1. That's the story of Meryl's life on and off the ice when it comes to dance.

      There's a tumblr linked in the comments to the post below, where somebody has gifed steps, holds and turns as executed by top flight ice dancers.

      I'm going to repost the steps section in a post later.

      Meryl and Charlie are shown executing a bracket turn. Immediately you can see that Meryl's skate jerks/becomes unsmooth as she turns/switches to the outside edge. Just as notable, look at the curve the other teams describe with their blades in their turns, and look at Meryl and Charlie's curve, which is short, shallow and tight, no flow, negligible run of blade compared to everybody else.

      The gifed example is from the Olympics, where they got the highest points for everything, while being considerably below the standard of most at the top. It's unbelieveable. I'm so glad so many people are now taking the bull by the horns and showing what the ISU decided should get the highest points this past quad, because it's criminal. If people in the sport can break down Slotnikova versus Yuna Kim and get specific about how Slotnikova executed on the ice versus Kim, referencing the actual skate and the actual rulebook, certainly fans can do the same with DW versus VM, I've yet to see a DW fan make the attempt to prove that DW merited their points. DW fans hate to look at DW's skating. Instead, DW fans invent rules of physics (why not, it's just like inventing new rules that aren't in the rulebook, like 110% and tight with your music) to justify the dumbed down elements Meryl and Charlie execute that the ISU has decided to award the highest base value, and DW partisans prefer to point out where they believe VM are imperfect. When they do the latter, they avoid looking at how DW skated in the same competition, even though it is a competition, not a set up where VM have to be perfect while DW can skate however, and if VM are imperfect, DW win. Although that's the way it's been rigged for years, until finally this year it became, even when VM are perfect and DW downright struggle, DW win.

      DW's fans can "gloat" about haters all they like but it only emphasizes that DW got away with an unearned win and their fans are trying to rub it in. I wouldn't get excited about the corruption in a sport that permitted that to occur, but different strokes.

  6. The TWOP DWTS Meryl thread has found this place. OC, you are sooooo mean. You only pick on Meryl instead of Charlie cause Charlie is friends with Scott. Not only do you analyze their dancing, but you also found imaginary mistakes and flaws in their skating technique that no one else can see!

    1. I was completely ready to pick on Charlie but he has a smart partner. Based on his partnership with Meryl, he was the last person I expected would throw himself wholeheartedly into all the emo and drama in the dances he had. I figured he'd be meh in that department and finally perk it up when he and his hair could dance the quickstep.

      But, go figure, he's trying to smolder. I'm not saying he's GREAT at it, but for me, I always am fascinated when something is really happening in the moment instead of canned. For him, I'm watching him engage for the first time in the history of my watching him perform, I'm watching him get into it. That part is real - I'm watching somebody really engage and invest - is he a great actor, no, but the engagement and investment is moment-to-moment (alive in the moment) and that's never not interesting no matter who is doing it.

      Ironically, this was what I was expecting more from Meryl. I anticipated that she'd focus more on Maks, relating to Maks, and it would bring out something real in her because at last she had a partner who engaged with her. But NOPE. Robot robot robot. That music comes on, she puts on her "show face" and some light goes OFF. That light is the human being.

      Of course, all of this is besides whatever dancing ability they may or may not be displaying.

      The reason Charlie's doing better than Meryl, IMO, is he has apparently completely turned himself over to his partner and is doing exactly what she says, and that includes how she wants him to perform. I don't know what Maks is doing with Meryl besides having her frantically hop and flail like she's on fire in a not good way, but there's not one thing different in performance from her on the ice to her dancing with Maks and that's ridiculous. There should be a huge difference between dancing with Maks and dancing with Charlie. Totally different guys, totally different ways of relating to a partner on the floor.

      Next comment I'm going to say something about the scoring so far.

    2. "imaginary mistakes and flaws in their skating technique that no one else can see!"

      They've been saying this since all the videos of DW's skating started appearing, complete with analysis.

      Imagine that. Stuff that can be SEEN on video - but it's all imaginary.

      Eh - let them stay in their fantasy land where DW are perfect. Their bubble is bound to be burst some day. Won't that be fun to watch.

    3. On DWTs, at least early on (late in the season this all goes to hell) there are two parts to a given performance. One is, was the performance clean, no mistakes, no missed steps, executed as rehearsed. The other is - what type of dancer are you? Flat feet, wooden hand, stiff torso, dance too small, etc.

      Meryl isn't making "real" mistakes based on the sorts of mistakes or rule breaks others have made. They're grading how she dances, and to them it's about an 8 even when she's "perfect".

      Amy Purdy scored a point lower but she had points deducted for a mistake. If she'd been "clean" this is a woman with prosthetics who dances better than a "clean" Meryl Davis and would have been scored that way.

      Meryl not being in time, and not always in synch with Maks (because she doesn't know what synch is, she has one speed - rushing) aren't "mistakes" - that's how Meryl dances, just as somebody else dances with flat feet or pigeon toes or wooden arms.

      Charlie for some reason is seen as having a base of a nine, and Len only gave him seven because of rule breaking.

      Even though all three got 25, Meryl as the "clean, mistake free" person with 25 was actually rated behind Amy (who had a score dropped due to a mistake) and Charlie (who got higher scores from two judges and Len did the 7 for non-dancing reasons).

      They always storyboard with those paddles. :)

    4. It's kind of hard to "see" a mistake if you haven't bothered to learn anything about figure skating, isn't it? If you haven't you can't see a mistake in skating - or tell poor skating from bad. The reason they can't see it is they don't know anything about it. That's like the person who said they couldn't tell who was the pro and who was the celeb.

      The world view of people like this is always amazing. *I* don't know anything, but still, if *I* can't see or tell something, it can't been seen!

      No. It means you don't know what you're doing.

    5. They also get a lot of praise the other way round - *I* know nothing about ice dance, I don't even *watch* ice dance, but even *I* can see that DW have IT.

  7. It's weird to see Meryl so touchy feely and affectionate with Maks. They really seam to have chemistry off the dance floor. They can't keep their hands off one another. She seems so happy and relaxed with him. She's never really showed that type of emotion on the ice.

    1. That's how Maks has looked with every partner since the beginning of the show. He paws them, and they just go with it.

    2. That's really true. He even did that with Hope Solo until it fell apart. He tends to wrap his arms around their neck or their torso, with their arms pinnted to their side (or they bend their elbows and grip his forearms) and he does a lot of whispering into their ear.

      I don't know what that's about. Maks has had rocky times with his partners and I speculate this sort of bonding makes them forgive him/blame themselves/Stockholm Syndrome or whatever when things go bad. With him it's useless to check for showmancing because it's anybody's guess. The body language is the same whether he's hooking up or not. I believe he confessed once to having hooked up with long ago partner Willa Ford but I can't remember others, although maybe there were. He showmances a lot so people don't know if he and Erin were a thing or not, or he and others were a thing or not.


    3. But that notwithstanding, this sort of touchy feeliness is new for Meryl Davis, and I thought it might spark some sort of ability in her to connect with her partner while she's performing, engage with him, work with him, and USE him in her performance, work the rhythms of their connection along with the music. But he's not doing it. Maks is so completely opposite Charlie White I almost thought that was the intention of the producers, that is if they're familiar with DW at all - find a guy who will break Meryl Davies out of that closed-in, brittle, one-note performance shell. I haven't watched many rehearsal packages but apparently in rehearsal, she's engaged, but when it's time to perform, she tunes out even though that's the time she should be tuning in.

  8. A little off-topic for this post, but good heavens, this sounds like a disaster:,0,3069833.story

    1. Jesus. But of course he wants to keep the judging anonymous so nobody can tell who gave what score. Because if they could tell - then..... WHAT?

    2. Of course anonymous judging will stay ... shocker. God forbid anybody demands the judges be responsible for their actions. We need to keep the door wide open for corruption.

      If they get rid off of the short dance it would benefit a lot of weaker teams or it would completely ruin the FD if they had to use the compulsory patterns for their FD. This would kill any originality the sport had left.

    3. Well just when we thought things couldn't get worse from the bad judging to the introduction of the team event and now even thinking of getting rid of the short program for all disciplines...oiee...well then I propose to take it a step further- ban actual skates on the ice and have the athletes use rollerblades instead...should provide ample entertainment...
      At this point perhaps Scott Moir should consider a career switch to perhaps architecture, engineering, electrician, plumber...
      And if you get rid of the short program - theoretically wouldn't you need less judges overall...just what the doctor even smaller group of anonymous judges to corrupt...

  9. O/T but do we have a new candidate for the sham? "Casually eating dinner beside Canadian Olympians @LKLawes and @scott_moir" I don't know anything about this woman or her connection to Scott.

    1. She's a Canadian curling player and won gold in Sochi.
      Her Wikipedia page says her curling club is in Manitoba, wouldn't that be too far away to involve her in the sham ? Or maybe that's what Scott wants : shamming without actually interacting with each other.
      I just wonder why an Olympic gold medalist would agree to that.
      Or maybe they are really just friends having dinner together ( one can dream ).
      I knew this was just the calm before the storm ...

      But assuming she's Moirville's latest minion, when would Scott have started dating her ? In Sochi, while Cass was still around ? Or in the four days he spent without Tessa post Sochi ?

    2. Hmm, I'm not up on my Canadian geography, but even I know Manitoba is a hell of a long way from Ontario. Jessica was a skater, so they were at some of the same competitions. Cassandra was from the home town. This one doesn't make sense. Maybe it's innocent. Maybe there was a bunch of other people there but the tweeter only recognised Scott and Kaitlyn?

    3. Yeah, I'm not benefitting of the doubting. There were a few people who thought Cassandra's first fb profile pic with Scott meant nothing, that the M'ovember stuff meant nothing.

      They never explained when he broke up with Jessica and got with Cassandra, they won't explain when he broke up with Cassandra and got with Kaitlyn. At this point I think the further away, the better, shamwise, as far as VM are concerned. I don't know why a gold medalist would participate either, but even social media/fan chatter gossip counts as p.r. and gets your name out there more.

    4. I seriously don't know how two separate people in a restaurant on the same night can be so up on curling that they recognize Kaitlyn Lawes, gold medal or no godl medal. The reality is only a tiny percentage watch figure skating and an even tinier percentage watch curling events, yet this night two people not only recognized them both, but TWEETED it?

      Uh huh.

    5. Kaitlyn Lawes has a long-time boyfriend, a fellow curly named DJ Kidby:

      I doubt she's a candidate sham gf.

    6. OC at 8.09 - I have to say, when GB won the gold in the women's curling in Salt Lake City, every person in Britain could have told you who the team were, even though we're not a huge curling nation. People sat up until the small hours watching the final.

    7. Didn't she just have a baby ?! or perhaps I hear wrong lol

    8. Anon @ 8.41 - wan't that Jenny Jones, the captain?

    9. They were also together at the Ilderton Jets hockey game.

    10. 9:21
      This is so odd.
      Were they there together as a couple? Acting like a couple?
      She could just be a friend of VM checking out the local rinks.

    11. Come on people. If it walks like a duck.

    12. Did everyone in Canada stay up and watch KL & Co. win curling?

      I still maintain that the two of them being recognized by name by two separate people at the same restaurant in one evening, and both those people decided to tweet about it is not an accident.

    13. Anon 9.21 here, I have no idea if they were acting like a couple - you can google images 'Kaitlyn Lawes Scott Moir' will give the photographic evidence currently available. Yep, she could be a friend of VM's though it doesn't look like Tessa was around for this one. I'm sure they made various friends at the Olympics but it does seem like a pretty personal thing to travel to someone's hometown and go with them to the local boys hockey game. Who knows? I mean Tessa did look pretty annoyed at Scott at various turns during the weekend's Womens' lifestyle show, especially in the clip where Scott says he's not as good at processing things as Tessa...

    14. But equally, it did just occur to me (anon 9.21), that I could see Scott asking various Olympians to go to Ilderton for a visit, show off their medals to the local kids, really could just be a simple friendly favour.

    15. Is this Kaitlyn ?

      Why would she be in Ilderton if she wasn't somehow involved in the sham ? It doesn't seem like she had any previous encounters with Scott before Sochi and now she suddenly travels with him, whom she hardly knows, to Ilderton and is randomly spotted in restaurants with him. Scott only ever gets recognized when he happens to be with his girlfriend. What a coincidence. The same happened with Cassandra. It's the same pattern.
      After all he probably needed a new girl for the upcoming beach vacations.

    16. Why would a girl who has been in a long-term relationship that was discussed in the press last month and has in no way been hidden sign up for the sham though?

    17. Anon @ 10.40 - yep that's her. Call me stupidly naive, but I really can't believe this is starting all over again. These people are insane. This was their chance to walk away from it all, keep a low profile and not NEED a sham.

    18. Scott didn't act like a couple with Jessica in public. Scott didn't act like a couple with Cassandra in public. So how he acted around Kaitlyn means nothing. Scott does the couple stuff for the camera, that's it. Not live.

      and of course, it could completely be off-season entertainment, jerking chains to see people react. But they don't have any new moves. See the new moves, same as the old moves.


    19. 10:54AM - disbelieve it on the basis of Kaitlyn Lawe's presumed status with her boyfriend and status as an athlete, but any of us who ever think something like "this was their chance to walk away" or "keep a low profile" is working with a flawed template that presumes VM dug themselves in or trapped themselves and don't see a way out, but when there is a way out, they'll take it.

      No they won't. Remember, they already don't NEED a sham. They've never needed this shit. They didn't need a reality show, he didn't need to prove he wasn't with Tessa. None of it has to do with legitimate privacy reasons.

      I think people keep projecting onto Tessa and Scott as well intentioned. I firmly believe they want the blog talking about it (and anybody else on the web). Want the sightings of Kaitlyn Scott discussed, want the reality show recapped, and on and on. That's what it's become. They're very single-minded. If they've made a mess then by God they'll pretend a mess is exactly what they wanted all along.

    20. +1. Tessa and Scott enjoy the sham. They will never give it up. They aren't doing it for the fans. I don't even believe they do it for Moirville. They do it for themselves. Tessa, especially, loves it.

  10. Thanks for the info anon at 8:19 am...and yes it was Jennifer Jones, the skip who had a baby recently. Curling is a fairly popular sport in Canada - especially in the prairie provinces. For someone as young as Kaitlyn Lawes - 25 - to be a third on a curling team when typically you peak in your mid to late must be good. And her career is just starting......I have to agree with anon at 8:19 am...


    Interesting article about what Patrick has contributed to the sport. I wish he would write something about V/M explaining why they aren't always perfect. They did, however, get the job done in Sochi. Patrick doesn't seem to peak in the same way, so I suspect there's also something a bit amiss in his training. But there is a similarity between V/M and him in what they tackle in their programs.

    1. " Patrick doesn't seem to peak in the same way, so I suspect there's also something a bit amiss in his training."

      The something amiss is the lack of a proper technical coach.

  12. Charlie should be using heel leads on his forward steps (he is correct in using toe leads for the backward ones). I thought he looked a bit flat-footed in his forward steps, and in general his feet looked a bit messy (though the smoke did a good job of distracting us from this). The way he holds his body in this dance just looks so he does not have that sense of what to do with his body. I don't think this was a good dance from him and the judges were generous, to say the least, in scoring his tango.

    1. Ah, that explains the awkard. I was seeing him on toe leads and thought, okay, they're there, why does it look a bit awkward?

      I thought the routine was terrific as designed by his partner - she used suspense, tension, release and timed highlights so that when the music - to put it awkwardly - would seem to require a sort of punctuation moment she had the two of them moving, and vice versa. She had herself and Charlie relating to the music (playing with it - or "playing with time" as Gelsey Kirkland, I think, describes it), rather than merely in synch with it, and she also got a pretty decent frame out of him, considering. I thought she broke hold as much as she did to demonstrate that he was able to quickly get back in hold without losing stride, and so gambled with the rules.

      I remember whan Mario Lopez was on DWTs - he faked it and was on his toes all the time, but Sharna Burgess is better able to get the lines and timing to match, which helps. If everything's organized, then technical stuff can get overlooked. I doubt this effort would be deemd 9 worthy later in the season - it's an early season 9, and relative to the field.

      They do seem to be all about him though. Len obviously thinks he's the greatest (the "Charles" gives that away). Compared to the celebs this season, and considering his pro, he's probably legit front runner. Compared to other guys kind of cut from the same cloth in past seasons - fit, movement background, malleable partners, can perform - he's overscored. I can think of a few past contenders who'd have gotten lower scores for the same effort.

    2. P.S. - and broke hold to free him up too, so he could re-set and while re-setting, look dynamic, because, as you say, there's funkiness with his feet and how he carries himself below the shoulder line. Sharna's good.

    3. In some weird way I think being mediocre will help Meryl and especially Charlie, since he combines it with personality. If they had come out looking too good, like Corbin Blue or Mario Lopez, the ringer label would be all over them, but since Charlie is dancing more like a boy band member or tween actor, that will fade away. People will almost forgot he's supposed to be pro at this, and think yeah, he's pretty decent and doing a good job.

    4. 9:59 - good point. He absolutely is coming across like a boy bander with a real knack, versus a guy who did this for seventeen years. He looks the part and I can see the whole ringer thing fading because of it.

      I don't know if this will help Meryl because her issues are much more on display than Charlie's. I think she HAS more issues, but Maks is really showcasing them. Her first two dances were the same note -it's a seamless one note in the energy and [lack of] timing from the cha cha to the swing (there was no swing in that swing - it looked more like a jitterbug but that's also down to how Meryl moves). She gets out of synch with her partner, she's off time, and she's not over her feet. Somebody like Derek, without telling her flat out her technique is bad, would probably get things lined up and organized and do less, but have everything she did be on point.

      Meryl's just like a damn jackhammer out there. If there were a box of kittens on the dance floor she'd just drive right over them. She doesn't use what's going on in the moment, she goes rote with what she's prepared. Charlie appears to be working more in the moment and be willing to use himself more in the moment, and that's a performance attribute that helps him, even though it's Meryl who really needs to do it.

      Long way of saying I think mediocre will help Charlie but not Meryl, unless she learns how to perform, verus flip a switch. There's nothing all that great about the performance mode she's used to using, and that's another issue, IMO.

    5. It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing...