Thursday, April 24, 2014

It's not you, Maks

Here is Maks and Meryl's tango from Dancing with the Stars, Season 18, Episode 6.



Meryl's pretty fucking disappointed she got all those nines for
her "samba" last week. She's Meryl Davis. She's entitled to tens
for her bullshit. She's not disappointed in her performance
or the choreo. Just - doesn't understand it. What's with this nines
crap? Meryl Davis gets tens. She went from eights to feeling
entitled to tens in just over a month.
A little refresher. This shoulda been tens.



They proceed to rehearse, and

Maks doesn't understand why she's so fucking timid
(i.e., "small" I believe, and self protective as a mover), why
she's got a memory like a sieve, and why she can't pick up some
basic simple steps or get the rudimentary timing.
Oh Maks. She's Meryl Davis.
Meryl doesn't need to learn new steps.

She's got this:


Note that in the Argentine Tango part of the gif, Meryl does her kick/swing back while Val does a sharp bent knee AT tango inside kick. It's meant to be a mirror move, and sort of tricks the eye that it is, but she's not doing the AT move (haven't reviewed the proper names) that's he's doing.

Don't want to leave anybody in suspense about this week:


Let's lift the veils, and look at how balletic:

There she is.
And she's got this:




 So Meryl tells Maks:

"It's not me. It's you."



Here's Charlie's dance this week, the cha cha.

I considered titling this post, "How does it feel, Charlie." And/or how does it feel Ms. Belbin, come to wonder.
 
Charlie's got a unique opportunity to see this shit go down from the outside. Here he is, paired with a pro partner who really does it. Charlie's now into the process. He likes it. He's learning stuff. He learns new routines, real ones, because his partner puts in the content. And he's pretty good, considering. However, compared to his erstwhile ice dance partner, he's getting dicked over in the scores. His ice dance partner merely has show up in a diaphanous ankle length costume and do the same program set to different music each week in order to get tenned up the ass. Each week her choreography is the same posing and face acting, broken up by the same three or four bent-legged, off-time, off-balance moves, and filled in with some trotting and walking. Meryl gets apologies if someone even thinks about not giving her a ten. Just like when Meryl and Charlie got a little huffy when, on rare occasions, the mass-fellating from the judges wasn't delivered with the expected enthusiasm, Meryl got a bit shirty when her hip bumping Maks, "dancing" with him at arms' length, kicking bent legs and waving her hands in the air got only nines. I guess she'll just have to look at those protocols.

As I said in the comments section for the post below this one, Charlie and Sharna broke hold a couple of times in their tango so she could spin, and so he could arrest her spin. She didn't walk halfway across the dance floor. It was all phrased to the next beat. Still, nope, nope, here's two nines, and a seven from Len because of that hold breaking. 

Everybody in that celebraquarium, or whatever they call that DWTs fishbowl where the others watch the performances, saw that Maks and Meryl killed fourteen and a half seconds walking side by side, broke hold repeatedly, and kind of hung out looking at each other while they broke hold. I figure they've all noticed her moves this week look like her moves last week, which look like her moves from the week before. Ten ten ten ten!! Charlie - have some nines and maybe an eight!

He's doing it, she's not. And as he has a real teacher who is actually teaching him, he knows he's doing it, and Meryl's not. He knows he got punished for breaking hold, and that she rang a perfect score for breaking hold even more. 

He's not exactly Virtue and Moir to Meryl's Charlie and Meryl, but the experience is similar in its own small bore way. Wonder if he gets it.

Here's some of the tango gifed and capped, more later.

Fourteen and a half seconds of walking.

I think this is an all purpose fox-tang-emporary thingie.

Walk walk walk walk walk walk walk walk.


Walk walk walk walk walk walk walk. I think Meryl's gonna have to start skipping and hopping. Maks is pretty much dragging her here and she's scurrying, and can't keep up. If you look at it in the extended video of this section in the embed at the top of this post, she's tripping and hopping her little feetsies off.


Second or third hold break and scurry scurry scurry scurry scurrry.


More later.

40 comments:

  1. It's OK. Tessa knows what it's like.

    http://oi57.tinypic.com/165vo2.jpg

    I wonder if Scott helped her poop out the baby in this position. It would make sense.

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    1. Also, I'm guessing you know absolutely nothing about Tango, with all of this "walk, walk, walk" criticism. Can't come up with anything more in-depth, huh?

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    2. Please regale us with your in-depth breakdown of Meryl's dance technique and genius, @8:29. I can assure you, many readers of this blog are excited to read what you have to say since you have such a problem with the criticism of Ms. Davis here.

      Don't just tell us the criticism is wrong, show us how, and why.

      I expect we won't be getting those answers from you, just more weak attempts to kill discussion, but we're all holding out hope.

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    3. poop out? considering how ignorant and misinformed your other posts are, i am not surprised you dont know that a baby comes out of a woman's uterus, not ass :)

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    4. notice how even in a transition, how elegant tessa's back/posture looks like. if meryl tried to do that spin position. it would just look ugly because of her shit technique.

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    5. 8:31, I'm guessing you know nothing about syncopated rhythmic footwork, which is not WALKING. Meryl doesn't work through her feet, doesn't have proper rhythm, and may has well have Amy's prosthetics. Even you know you don't trot, flat foot stomp, and scurry in tango.

      Don't spam this place with diversionary b.s. about Tessa. It IS classic though, because nothing gives a DW fan more of a meltdown than someone noticing that they suck. They never defend DW, they go "Look at Tessa!" Look at Tessa what? At her worst, she, and numerous other ice dancers, are better than the best effort of Meryl Davis in the past quad through now. All Meryl has done in the past five years is calcify her bastardized "technique" and restricted movement vocabulary while choreographers rearrange them to different music.

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    6. 12:13 - and if Tessa "knew what it was like" she'd be clutching onto Scott with both arms, have one arm hooked around his shoulder, or have him in a headlock while waving the other arm in the air. And if I were the person who linked this image, I'd follow the line of Tessa's back up from her hips, and the angle of her left leg from the hip (it's turned out), rather than get excited thinking she's doing the same as Meryl. It's nothing like Meryl.

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  2. i still cant believe that we have two people who are unsteady on their blades/feet and cant even point their toes as OGM for ice DANCE. as a dancer i will be forever SMH @ this outcome.

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  3. Meryl is so stiff.

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    1. It's because her hips are so tight and her shoulders are so tight. I don't know what the permanently bent knees are about. She's bow-legged but so are many other skaters with superior skating skills (Midori Ito, Kirsti Yamaguchi, Michelle Kwan), and bow-legs means the natural line of the leg is curved from the hip to the foot, even when the knee is locked. Meryl actually has her knees bent all the time. It's got nothing to do with her being bow-legged. Because Meryl's so tight, she doesn't move freely through the hips (she can kick her leg up but not control/extend it in both directions) she looks like this stiff wooden doll with rapidly scurrying feet from the knees down, and because she's not working through her feet there's no dance rhythm. She's just going straight.

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    2. But I'll tell you, watching Meryl move on DWTs makes me believe Charlie must have been bored out of his ever loving mind for the past quad, just drilling the same shit over and over. Definitely there are other incentives - wanting to make sure they don't do anything to screw up the gold medal agenda - but there is no way he can have felt engaged in training, as far as enjoying the program and working with his partner. It's entirely rote and the range of movement is so restricted and so repetitive.

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    3. It would have been interesting to see if Charlie and Tanith would have teamed up after worlds 2010...to see how Charlie might have developed..

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    4. Tanith and Charlie would have made a good looking ice dance team. Meryl looks like a drag queen on DWTS.

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    5. Charlie would have gotten the best of that team-up. Ben Agosto was/is a better ice dancer than Charlie.

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  4. To describe the birth of a human the way the first commenter did shows they are completely void of understanding in even basic things. How vile.

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    1. The commentator doesn't care, since she's talking about a skater she's mad about. That's the level of discourse - crude. Her shared jpgs are ridiculous as well. They don't show that Tessa and Scott are like Meryl and Charlie. Even somebody who knows absolutely nothing about ice dance, movement, or figure skating can see how Tessa and Scott both carry themselves and how their bodies match - not in every instant LITERALLY match (as in a micro-snap, Tessa or Scott can be out of perfect sync) but the lines of their bodies. Their bodies are open, chests open, shoulders settled, they're open in the hips and pelvis, the angles of their limbs are the same. For example, in the screen cap where Tessa's arm is elevated higher than Scott's for an instant, if Scott elevated his own arm from where it's seen in the image, it would match Tessa's, because he's carrying his at the same angle from his shoulder as Tessa is carrying hers, because they both have excellent alignment when they skate. This is completely unlike Charlie and Meryl, who may, at times, each have their respective arms in the air at the same time, when they can manage that without having a major, visible-with-the-naked eye break (as we can see in both twizzle sets with our naked eyes, watching real time video), but their alignment is both terrible, and terrible DIFFERENTLY from each other's.

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  5. Tessa, guuuuurrrlll https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BmGQ7J2IIAAAp1y.jpg:large

    Baby on board?

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    1. ??? The fan standing next to Tessa looks more pregnant than Tessa in that pic.

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    2. Tessa looks like she put on a few pounds but i don't think that's a bad thing?

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    3. 9:03, as with the last pregnancy, this same rule applies: Don't compare Tessa to other people. Compare her to her normal self.

      In the two months since the Olympic games, Tessa has gotten wider, she's gotten thicker, and her body is changing the same way it did the first time around. Tessa's normal figure is that she tapers in down from those broad, square shoulders to a very narrow waist. Her side are filling in now, just like they did when she was pregnant with Little Moir.

      For a comparison, here's what Tessa looked like two months ago at the end of the Olympics:

      http://cs540101.vk.me/c608823/v608823336/741b/iWPBhVX_A0o.jpg

      http://cs540101.vk.me/c608823/v608823336/743f/GitojMzYeHY.jpg

      She's also gaining in her hips and upper legs. And don't tell me it's chocolate and meat.

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    4. i dont see it...

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    5. Don't see it or don't want to see it?

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    6. If you're trying to show that she is pregnant at least use a better picture. Also its far too early to tell.

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    7. I think the photos are showing that her body has changed the way her body changed the last time she was pregnant. And what does "Too early to tell" mean? Some women blow up the second the rabbit dies. Others don't show til they're in the seventh month.

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    8. "And what does "Too early to tell" mean? Some women blow up the second the rabbit dies. Others don't show til they're in the seventh month."

      Exactly.

      I also think this point is worth making. I think right now to say that it's "too early to tell" comes from a place of assuming that Tessa didn't get pregnant until after they got home from Sochi. I would not make that assumption.

      US beach volleyball player Kerri Walsh Jennings was 6 weeks when she and Misty May Treanor won their (3rd?) OGM in London in 2012. Hypothetically, let's say Tessa was already 6 weeks by the time of the individual event in Sochi. A woman is considered 2 weeks pregnant when she conceives, so that would put conception in mid-January. Right now, she'd be approximately 16 weeks. 16 weeks with a second pregnancy is in no way too early to tell. She'd be close to the mid-way point by the end of CSOI.

      I think the general rule of thumb is that in a healthy pregnancy, most doctors will clear a woman to fly internationally until around 32 weeks. The China shows that they're on the roster for will be done shortly before this time point if she's as far along as she may very well be. The due date (40 weeks) would be in mid-October (so don't expect VM to appear as spectators at SC this year).

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    9. if the conception date is mid-January how come she does not look different in the sochi gala practice pics that 9:30 posted?

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    10. 1:04
      It's unusual for anyone to be showing the first month. In fact, most women won't be showing much at all, if anything, till the third or fourth month.

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    11. Because she wasn't showing yet. I didn't show until week 20 with my second pregnancy.

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    12. If we're correct, then I think 12:22 might be onto something. Tessa's body is changing exactly as it changed back in 2010, only here, she's ahead of where she was in 2010. It's closer to how she looked at the Calgary Stampede, skating Jack and Diane with a camisole under her midriff button down.

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  6. If Meryl is such a bad dancer, why is she kicking ass on DWTS? Why would the network and show want her to win? First the ISU, IOC, and NBC, and now ABC as well? What is the magical power that Meryl has that makes those in power to want her to win?

    On a related note, should Meryl run for US President in the next election? Would she win through the same power that makes her win everything else she enters? I wouldn't mind if she's able to then persuade Congress to get their act together...and I' m beginning to believe she might have the power to do that as well.....

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    1. 9:10, you're sorely misinformed if you think DWtS is a fair dance contest. It's not. It's storyboarded.

      ABC, like all networks, is a business. Thanks to the corruption within the ISU, DW had an OGM put around their necks in Sochi. There were no other individual skating medals to be had for the US. ABC has teamed with Disson to put 4 skating specials on the air. As DW have an OGM, even though they didn't actually win it on the ice, and there are no other medalists from the US, they're going to be used as the centerpieces. Neither ABC or Disson wants to lose money on these shows. They need eyeballs on them when they are. Pushing through DW on DWtS is about getting them exposed to as many audience members as possible in hopes that those people will watch the skating shows that air later. Like how DW ended up with that OGM in their possession, the DWtS scores has nothing to do with their actual abilities.

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    2. because dwts is rigged/has a predetermined winner? as all dance shows? and meryl would make a baaaaad president or governor anyway but she probably have a chance considering how corrupt US politics are. remember that whole bush/gore thing? she could probably hustle an election just like she hustled that gold medal

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    3. So IOW, you are using scores to argue her ability, not what she's actually doing to prove her ability?

      DWTs has never been a fair dance contest. In the first place, this has been an unusually high scoring season where numerous teams are pulling tens and nines straight off the bat for mediocre dancing that would have gotten steady eights in the past, maybe the occasional nine. If you reviewed past seasons, you'd see it.

      In the second place, and for many seasons now, DWTs producers, via the judges paddles, start storyboarding as soon as the fan vote comes in, and we end up with Drew Lachey held to a higher standard than Stacey Keibler, J.R. Martinez held to a higher standard than Ricky Lake, Sabrina Bryant getting tens for stomping all over the floor, Gilles Marini getting impossible music assignments for jive while L'il Kim gets "Jailhouse Rock" and tens for no jive content. It's not a contest. It's a reality show.

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    4. Here, with Meryl, we've got "Maks' story". The chastened bad boy of DWTs, never won the show, returns a new man. He's got a ringer.

      Problem here is he doesn't have a ringer. That is the spanner in the works for the show and for him.

      I'm sure he thought he had a ringer because you'd THINK, since his partner had just stood on top of the Olympic ice dance podium with a gold medal around her neck, but surprise surprise. Maks is a mediocre choreographer, as we can pretty much see. Lots of filler. Even in this past episode, with all his angsting around and self-pity, all his talk about pressure, he produces something where he and his partner walk side by side for fourteen and a half seconds to start (the long walk before starting is his hallmark). We can see the moves that Meryl repeats from dance to dance - all purpose moves that amazingly fit every dance. Val is a whole lot more technical than Maks and a smarter choreographer and HE had to use sleight of hand and HE had to repurpose what Meryl already does in order to get that AT. The heavy-handed production values assist as well.

      One presumes that when DWTs acquired Meryl and Charlie for the show, they assumed Meryl would be really good, as most figure skaters are on the show (unless they're pushing sixty and ailing, like Dorothy Hamill), and would also make a very strong showing in the fan vote, as figure skaters do. Her scores the first two weeks showed that.

      I believe that after the first two weeks they realized she's not very good. That's also when her costumes started covering her legs and feet - even in samba. The first two weeks, she was in short skirts. It was very notable that Val gave her an Argentine tango costume that covered an entire one side of her body down the leg, as a review of the show will demonstrate that when you've got somebody young and fit, AT costumes are short, with fishnets. Where the storyline is going, who knows. Are they storylining her to a win, because the story this year is that poor old bad boy crying to mama Maks feels insecure and worthless because he doesn't have a mirror ball? That he feels like "the weakest person on the show" as he said in the package? Is the show's story that this is the season he wins, and then the show realized his partner couldn't get it done, so the show has to get it done for her? Or is she playing the Ricky Lake/Stacey Keibler role where one person gets tens thrown at them week after week no matter what, to the everlasting frustration of the fans, blatant double standard scoring (as with Meryl's hold breaks in tango getting straight tens while Charlie's got marked down), until finally in the semi-finals and finals, an underdog has a breakthrough and takes the crown? It's one of the two scenarios, I suspect the first, with all of the emphasis on Maks.

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    5. 9:26 a.m., I was posting while you were posting, and your points make better sense as to what's behind the sudden protection of Meryl's scores. If she could deliver, then the judges could nitpick, assuming that along the way she'd blow it out of the water and then she, Charlie, and whoever else survived til the end would duke it out til the finals. As it turns out, she is an impoverished mover with a lot of technical issues her partners have to mask. I doubt either DWTs nor the folks at Disson knew this, since neither knows figure skating (even Disson - are they really scrutinizing the skating and the programs?).

      Of course the ABC/Disson partnership is key, and it's an affiliation I'd forgotten about. Of course you're correct. And given the issues that have presented themselves with Meryl, there's nothing for it but to protect the hell out of her in every way that can be contrived. Overscoring. Backstage packaging that tugs the heartstrings and brings the drama. Validation by the judges. And costuming that covers her legs and feet so we can't really see what she's doing and not doing.

      Charlie, as it turns out, is a pretty decent mover. A better mover than a skater. He can be taught. He can pick up new stuff. I love his partner and think she could settle down a little bit - not deliver routines as empty as Meryl's, but deliver routines that are more focused and less "here's everything and the kitchen sink." But both ABC and Disson can leave Charlie to his own and his partner's devices, because he doesn't need to be protected. They can score him more or less as they score the others.

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    6. She's not "kicking ass" on DWTS any more than she kicked ass on the ice. She's being preposterously overscored for obvious reasons.

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  7. It's funny and very obvious with Meryl's scoring, because when the show has somebody genuinely good, versatile, and popular (and Charlie is showing himself to be more that than she is, along with a couple of other celebs participating this season), then they don't just hand out ten after ten. They validate that the person is good but then sometimes start picking at programs that go over like gangbusters with the crowd and viewers at home, creating an outcry and lots of drama. The team becomes frustrated but vows to improve and address the judges' critique. Shortly thereafter, they deliver a routine that may or may not be as good as the routine that was critiqued and lowballed. The judges declare a breakthrough, and the tens come cascading down. That seems to be Charlie's story, and the story of a couple of others, like Amy (who has not been straight tenned). Meryl it's just,"whatever you want honey, here's tens!"

    The storyboarding has run into a couple of roadblocks in the past. One time, it was Carrie Ann Inaba lowballing Shawn Johnson's cha cha, her best dance by far (and I was not a huge fan), and then rolling in with a ten the following week for a dance that wasn't nearly as good. Those moments can be a little embarrassing and sort of show DWTs ass.

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    1. I don't watch DWTS, but I've been watching the original (Strictly Come Dancing) over here since the beginning, and have watched the evolution of producer manipulation. More and more judges are handing out tens very early in the competition. One of the best dancers they ever had was a cricketer called Mark Ramprakash - he was a phenomenal (for an amateur) dancer who had a great "journey" in terms of overcoming his own crippling nerves and self-doubt. He's still spoken about among fans as one of the best dancers SCD ever had....and he didn't get a ten until the semi-final. Now, the tens come out in week 2, all so that producers can push that this is "the best series" ever and also, I suspect, to prop celebs they want to keep in who are tanking with the viewers. I'm guessing they want Meryl and Charlie in the final - and from the looks of the marks, Meryl is the one in need of the producers help.

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    2. Thanks very much for this - it made me check out Mark Ramprakash out on youtube. First - he's one attractive guy. Second, it's fascinating to watch him because he doesn't know what he has at first. He'll hit lines and he'll move as if he's been doing it all of his life - he's a natural dancer as a mover, and has natural musicality. It's more than simply natural rhythm - he instinctively uses his body properly. And then because he's not actually a dancer yet and it's still early on in his season, you'll see him hold back at times, hesitate, or have small miscues. It was really a matter of him having confidence in what he actually already could do, it seems, because what a natural talent.

      That was 2006 and the show looks very like DWTs 2006, which means nothing like DWTS 2014. They've hyped the show up and amped it up to where we can hardly see the actual dancing unless we force ourselves to pay attention, because the dances are overproduced with the smoke effects, strobe lighting, other lighting, animation, CGI, etc.

      DWTs still handily wins its time slot, but abc has dumped the results show. The overproduction, and, I imagine, the early and often score inflation to which you allude - the ridiculous number of early tens - is a reaction to the fact that it now has merely healthy ratings instead of monster ratings. I guess it's all meant to convince us that the show is the best ever and can't miss, but it comes offf tacky and desperate. The show used to be tongue-in-cheek tacky and fun.

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    3. ^^ You're welcome....and yes, it's no hardship to watch Mark dance (or do anything else really!).

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