Monday, September 29, 2014

If it ain't broke . . .

Here's the first part of a post about the short dance of the 2015 United States Ice Dance Champions broken into far too many gifs and screen caps. It will be finished tomorrow, followed by posts about the other new short dances.

Yanking, pulling and dragging is the new skating, and as long as you make strong eye contact with the audience, and avoid any kind of contact with each other, you'll max out the scores. If Madison does win a U.S. gold medal in ice dance, I hope she hangs it on her left arm; it's doing all the work here.

It's a bit dispiriting to go through this, because it's not as if I have Virtue and Moir to fall back on. Ah, here's the real thing! We're going to see variations on this Chock Bates deal all over the place this season, although after breaking down the short dance I already know their predetermined victory over the Shibs is criminal.The Shibs skated better than this in 2009. But as we all see, the secret to successful ice dancing is to strip out most of the skating, and the secret to strong pcs is to skate far apart. But at least they have great lines!

Bobrova and Soliev posture is the new proper
posture.


See that straight up and down thing from Madison, dead on her flat? Lots and lots of that.

First gif:

Pulling is the new skating.
Work it, Maddy's Arm.
Lift prep. A flat and two footed in quasi snow
plow, all hands on deck. We all know how high risk
these short dance lifts can be. A real test of the skating skills.

This one is all about the security, stability and
perfect alignment of Evan's feet.
That looks familiar
Meryl loaned Maddie the leg when Meryl sat out 2014-15.
Scott must be kicking himself that he never
tried to get with Madison Chock as a partner
after 2010, right, pani?
My favorite. Madison Chock's performance
in a nutshell. Truly a worthy heir to Meryl Davis.
As long as that arm is going strong, they're golden
(literally).
I'm not ignoring Gumby there next to her. He's
got some scampering and gesturing coming up.

Another shot so we can see the nuances in Evan's edge work.
There's also this type thing:

Eat your heart out, Alex Shibutani.
Twizzle prep.
Twizzles
(Three. Well, they're not Davis White YET. Maybe
some day they'll get that hop + two mastered)
P.S. - I failed to notice, but someone else in the comments
section did - Evan drops his catch foot twizzle while Chock
hangs onto hers. It'll be fun seeing stuff like
that get the level and the extra GOE in Greensboro

This is what Steve Milton means when he says an
ice dance team is "classical", in the Russian tradition.
Two decades of figure skating expertise behind that sort of
discernment.
To be continued.
Note. They're not going fast. They're not rushing. They're actually crawling. This is them taking their time. That's the key. Go slowly. Be deliberate. Let the judges know that no matter what's going on from the knees down, your face and arms have it covered. Shoot those arms in the air, and turn your head back towards the crowd to make sure we saw.

Second Part:

Paso?

And drag.


Memories.

Igor is like the Forever 21 of
ice dance choreographers.
Oh come on!
I'm truly appreciating the extra butt jut, waist piking and thigh gap (MADDIE) they picked up over the summer. Good job, Igor.
This is a still from the action movie they filmed in their
down time. They've just realized the bad guy is making a run for it.
Hermoine always knows the answer. All
Ron can do is make fun.


Level 3, + 2 for this sequence, am I right?
Touchdown!
Unlike in football, Chock & Bates won't have to actually do anything to get the extra point(s).

83 comments:

  1. I've been wondering since I watched this a few days ago...in the first twizzle pass are they supposed to be holding the free blade or no? Are they really gonna go with she is and he isn't? Because that looks stupid. And obviously out of sync.

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    1. Yeah, they need it to get the level. They did receive a L3 for the SD.

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  2. "We're going to see variations on this Chock Bates deal all over the place this season, although after breaking down the short dance I already know their predetermined victory over the Shibs is criminal."

    It's also criminal that it's predetermined that they're going to also be placed ahead of Hubbell and Donohue. The same could and should probably also be said about Chock and Bates being placed ahead of Hawayek and Baker. HD, Shibs, and HB would make one hell of an ice dance team to send to 4CC and Worlds. Instead, DW Jr. are going to win nationals with bad ice dancing. HD are PI's United States twins in many ways. The Shibs have been dropped because they're a sibling team. HB are new to senior ranks. But all of them show true ice dancing skill and have programs (I presume HD and Shibs will at this point) that follow the VM model of skating. USFS has something pretty special in those three, so obviously they're going to ruin it by once again giving the national title to a team that doesn't earn it on the ice with their skating. Chock and Bates have never once outskated HD or the Shibs and I don't think that's going to change. So, of course, CB are going to rack up the national titles while neither HD nor Shibs end up with one. HB are still young enough that maybe they can wait it out for CB to retire and if there's not another crappy team being pushed, they'll get a shot in 2019.

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    1. Do you really think the Shibs are dropped because they're a sibling team? My theory was always it was because they came so close to DW in TES at one point and after that were dropped - what? Twenty points down? Every other up and coming team was suddenly better than they were. They were dropped like a rock. I also wonder about mom and dad. Without knowing anything about the family other than the level at which their kids are training, the fact that both were able to attend school when their schedule permitted, the fact that they are able to employ hugely expensive contributors like Corky Ballas (these top ballroom people are $$$) - and Ballas was p.r. for them, basically that they can do whatever they need to do for their skating without having to take on jobs (unlike Madison chock, for example), without feeling the pinch, says they come from extremely comfortable circumstances, and yet where are the Shibs parents'? How come they're not out on social media? Why weren't the kids in that Tessa and Scott documentary? Why aren't the Shib parents posing left and right with USFSA notables?

      I wonder if some of that plays into it. But I really think it's - Canton had three top teams, Igor got kicked out, he deserves a top team, that's Chock & Bates. Figure skating is all about the fair, particularly ice dance.

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    2. Winning gold with bad ice dance is one thing, but it's really important to have the worst skating. Chock & Bates are a double threat.

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    3. I don't think the Shibs being siblings is the sole factor but I think it's a contributing factor. The Shibs actually beat DW on TES in the FD at nationals in 2011. The Shibs TES was 52.34. DW's was 52.16. Never again did it happen. I just think the Shibs being siblings makes them harder to shoe horn into some of the ridiculous narratives USFS likes to cook up and by cook up, and I mean steal from VM. Also, historically, sibling teams have had it harder in ice dance than non-sibling teams in terms of some things because of the perception that their needs to be romantic chemistry. It's not fair, but it happens.

      I suspect the Shibs not playing ball the same way the DW mothers did or the way the Gilles family does in Canada. It's not hard to deduce that the Shibutani family is well off, yet we don't see their parents being gross or trying to be in the spotlight.

      "But I really think it's - Canton had three top teams, Igor got kicked out, he deserves a top team, that's Chock & Bates. Figure skating is all about the fair, particularly ice dance."

      That probably is the Occam's Razor of what's happening with CB and why the other teams have and are going to continue to be shafted. After the split, Igor had to have a top US team too. DW were cemented on the team. Shibs actually earned their spots, and so that left one spot open. It should have been HD's, but since Igor had to have a team, USFS sacrificed them. Now, Igor gets to have a top team in the world, so the other 3 teams get sacrificed for that.

      How and why does Igor have that much power or influence?

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    4. Maybe the Shibs parents thought that good skating would speak for itself and gross politicking is for skaters who suck. See: Piper Gilles, DW.

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    5. It speaks for itself, but the USFSA is all "We can't hear you."

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    6. What about Piper Gilles?

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    7. Piper's family has big bucks and Skate Canada thinks the sun shines out of Paul Poirier's ass. These two things have led to to Piper's ugly mug and immature rambling showing up all over the place. Her skating makes Weaver/Poje look like Olympic gold medalists - not that it means much anymore!

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    8. Piper Gilles spent all of the summer of 2013 working the media about her Canadian citizenship application, needing it to be put on the express track under the "special services" provision, I believe. She didn't really qualify for that provision considering Canada was overflowing with already-Canadian ice dance teams considerably better than Piper and Paul. She herself went to the media talking about her great love for Canada, how her love for Canada was really sincerely sincere, how she even disciplined herself not to celebrate American holidays like July 4th because she'd never want anyone to question how very Canadian she already was. Then she doesn't make the Olympic team and proceeds to cheer on Meryl Davis and Charlie White on twitter. This proud new Canadian also uses twitter to urge a friend to boycott the opening ceremonies with her and watch something else on television. Because the Olympics are all about Piper.

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  3. Also, can we call Madison Chock BadMadison to distinguish her from Madison Hubbell, GoodMadison?

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    1. In posts that are not exclusively about Chock & Bates (unlike this one) - I'll find a way to distinguish them.

      It's not as easy to see in gif form, because the video gets jerky, but there's a TON of swerving in this program, particularly from Evan. Apparently they have been ordered not to ever look at each other - no eye contact is the new chemistry you can cut with a knife. There's a lot of that intersticial stuff done by Meryl and Charlie, a quick running stop, a lunge forward of the upper body, a scrambling of the feet to re-set and get organized for any change of direction. They do what DW did when it was time to change direction - pull, clutch, scramble, or drop Maddie to the ice and drag or swing her. And making a big display of absolutely nothing - such as Maddie's straight up and down head turn with arm extended after she's dragged, and such as that open kick she does coming around the end of the rink. The arm is killing me. It's the only thing working out there. It's like when a receiver trips or something in football and he sticks his arm up through the tangle of bodies to show he still has possession. Meryl's arm looked like that and so does Chock's. As long as that arm is sticking up, by God, it's + GOE.

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    2. I've seen the video too and I agree with you. It's the same junked up stuff that DW presented. I'm not the only one who has noticed, but one of the tricks that CB use that aggrevates me the most is that at a lot of points when there should be a turn or some sort of skating move with their blades, Evan just picks BadMadison up and sets her down else where on the ice like he's moving a vase or something else setting on a table from one spot to another.

      I cannot believe that after a quad and more of DW, we now get to watch this happen with CB. I also can't believe that, although GP remain a concern, we're in a position where PI are likely going to have a decent shot to finish where they should at nationals, while we have a DW redux in the US with CB starring as DW and HD, Shibs, and HB in the VM role.

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    3. ^Yes - that's what I meant when I said it's pulling, picking up, dragging or this messy flurry when it's time to change direction. DW used it all the time. That's what the dragging and pulling was about. Oh, gotta change direction here. If they're not going to hunker down and bend at the waist like hockey players, they'd just yank and pull around the corner or across the rink. This is the DW legacy. Isn't it exciting?*

      It wasn't exciting when DW did it either. I don't think even their fans really thought so. Their fans only cared about the "Meryl and Charlie" ship (friend or other) dynamic and how they looked. DW were dull too, and got duller as the last quad wore on.

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    4. ^We don't have to watch it. I think this is what that other comment meant when they said they can't watch. It's the corruption, yes. I'm never going to get past what happened in Sochi (and in the run up to Sochi). But it's also this shit. We're supposed to sit and watch skaters like this win all the time. They're bad. Bad is boring unless someone is trying desperately to be good and failing. Deliberately bad in a cooked up junkyard of an empty program is plain bad.

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    5. they really suck. why is she always leaning? her back must really hurt since its doing all the work. i've never seen an ice dancing program with NO edgework. i hope weaver poje win gold at worlds. at least they know how to skate!

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    6. I think Die Fleudermaus and Giselle came damn close to no edgework, but it's still shocking in a short dance. They're awful. They both must have gone to leg gap school - the wide stepping, especially from her, is ridiculous.

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  4. I don't know, it's good but I'm not sure it's Persian enough. Needs more park it on flats, kick it out, wave it like an inflatable wacky waving tube man gesticulations.

    Of course it's early, still. Programs grow.

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    1. It's early days. Ian got some good scampering in there a la Charlie White. Scampering is punctuation. The female does something genius, like kick, or flip her hair, and, after flinging an arm at the audience so as to say "Did you see that?" the guy scampers after her to catch up and support her in the next wow factor. Ian is hampered somewhat by curly hair that sits tight to his head, but Madison's hair is doing the work of two.

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    2. OC - I think you meant Evan Bates instead of Ian - lol..but seriously perhaps hair styling/flickering should be its own PCS category the way things are going in icedance...

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    3. Totally mashed up Ian Ziering with Evan Bates in my head. It's the hair.

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    4. @5:22 That made me cackle with laughter. Thanks for that!

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  5. "Meryl loaned Maddie the leg when Meryl sat out 2014-15" - LOL. Never ever change. As for Bates I mean you can barely see him not holding onto his skate. They are like the wind. So fast you can barely catch that drop. No. Wait. Injury. So poor thing had to compensate. Season just started. Have mercy!

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  6. SC announced that Chan sits out the season and refuses the funding he'd be entitled to so other skaters can have it.
    Why do they feel the need to keep repeating this ? Especially since Chan is not entitled to anything if he isn't competing and if I'm not mistaken he didn't get any money for this season in the first place.

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    1. Can anyone check if Anastasia Bucsis (Patrick Chan's ex - speedskater) is receiving funding since she announced back in May that she was taking the year off and not competing? (but not retiring).

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    2. I think they mentioned it in VM's case cause of what was written on this blog, and then felt compelled to write it about Chan too. What they really should have said is they would have been eligible had they competed.

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    3. This is the Sept AAP list http://pch.gc.ca/DAMAssetPub/DAM-sptCan-canSpt/STAGING/texte-text/aAP_September_2014_1411648409210_eng.pdf

      Bucsis isn't on it. Of course she might be receiving funding from other sources with different rules.

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    4. Am I recalling correctly that Chan was never on the list, and VM were? That's a difference. Or were they both on it last time?

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    5. Chan was never on the AAP list this season.

      So, what do we think is the deal with VM only being on it for July/August?
      a) They really were training for Worlds, but changed their minds.
      b) She's pregnant/someone's injured and they were going to collect the four months of injury time, but put an end to that cause the blog called them out.
      c) It was their two month retirement funding period and they're done and lying about not having decided on the future.

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    6. I think Chan wasn't on it because he wasn't intending on competing.
      I think VM were on it because she is pregnant, (so they were able to still be on it even without heavily training), and they were considering it since they were able to compete last time. But, for whatever reason (the pregnancy itself, spending time with family/kids they may have missed last time, they decided it wasn't worth it for one competition, they wanted to participate in some shows, etc.), they decided to forgo the rest of this season, and therefore, stopped receiving funding.

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    7. Well looking at the list of Canadian carded athletes from September - it's interesting to see how some athletes are not on the list like in skiing - Erik Guay and Jan Hudec - both haven't announced retirement...Heather Moyse and Jesse Lumsden are not on the bobsleigh funding - though Moyse has indicated that she would probably take the year off and explore options and then you have Meghan Agosta - female hockey player who hasn't officially retired but is now working/under apprenticeship for the Vancouver City police and she is listed as getting 18G and I doubt she will be seeing any icetime this year..so I don't know..its interesting to see...then you have Christine Nesbitt - the speedskater who has been injured and she isn't sure she will compete this year and she is good for 18G...All I can say is that there needs to be more accountability with this federal funding....but at least I can honestly say there seems to be more accountability with this list than the ISU or the IOC at this point, lol...

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    8. As far as I know Agosta is still training and there's a decent chance she'll compete this year. I don't think the system in practice is quite as clearcut as OC made it sound but it does sound like you have to at least be training and VM made it look like they weren't training at all (and were of course ineligible for the pregnancy exemption). Skate Canada's reaction to the speculation on the blog also makes me suspect there was some truth to it.

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    9. Dylan Moscovitch is off the list.

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    10. And oddly enough so is Kaetlyn Osmond...along with Paige Lawrence, Rudi Sweigers and Asher Hill...Osmond had surgery recently but perhaps she has decided to take the year off

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    11. 9:16 - perhaps. Injury falls under the same medical exception as pregnancy or illness. Osmond has four months without AAP oversight, and after that there's flexibility as long as she intends to resume high performance training at the earliest possible time she's able.

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    12. This "declined money they're entitled to" must have really hit a nerve with Skate Canada. The skaters are NOT entitled to the funding if they're not competing, that's it. Stop lying, Skate Canada. Their need to keep saying "entitled to" and their pulling Patrick Chan into it, apparently to provide cover for their concern re Virtue and Moir, does make one wonder if Virtue Moir ever WERE on the up and up with their funding, or if it was, well Tessa's pregnant, but last time we came back - we always come back - so we can just say that this time and pass the $$ onto Aunt Carol and the ISC. Then we'll bail before Canadians.

      I hope the ISC isn't out four months of AAP money they'd already used in budget projections or something.

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  7. This is very OT but I'm quite shocked that Carolina Kostner might get banned from competing if it can be proven that she knew about her boyfriend's doping practices.
    And I'm very surprised that this hasn't been noticed in the skating world before TSL brought it up.

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    1. http://espn.go.com/olympics/figureskating/story/_/id/11592004/figure-skater-carolina-kostner-questioned-doping-case

      Here's an article. I haven't listened to the TSL videos and won't, but I wouldn't trust any information that they give.

      If you care to venture to FSU, the Italian skating news thread has many excerpts and translations with a lot of details (mixed with a lot of BS to sort through).

      Apparently Kostner had to give quite a few details about her personal life, such as which competitions her boyfriend traveled to, when they stayed in the same hotel, when they stayed in the same hotel but different rooms, when he spent the night with her, and when they stayed in the same room but he left when she went to bed. They need to know this because he had a sleeping machine that is not legal in Italy but isn't banned by WADA and may be legal in other countries.

      They also need to know when he was with her in her apartment in Germany, and when he was in his apartment in Racines (Italy). Apparently he often was with Carolina when he was supposed to be at home, and on the occasion that they tried to go to Carolina's home when he was supposed to be at his home, he was there, but made Carolina lie and say he was in Racines (this is why she's in trouble).

      I found it really interesting reading through this, because it occured to me that as Olympic eligible athletes, Virtue Moir are also followed by WADA. What this means is that somewhere out there is an itinerary with their real home addresses and everywhere they've traveled and the times throughout their entire careers. And even the room assignments. Those doping people can knock on your door anytime day or night, and you need to inform them of your whereabouts at all times. They might have even been informed when she was in the hospital in labor.

      It would be fascinating if somehow we could see copies of Tessa, Scott, Jessica, Fedor, and Semple's (?) WADA files. I bet they were not always where social media implied...

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    2. I understand they need to investigate but that's kind of gross. Let's do a big fishing expedition about this woman's intimate business so we can figure out if she knew. I'd bet half the stuff isn't necessary to make a determination. I don't want to see anybody's WADA files. We already know they weren't where social media implied.

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  8. Such a feminist.

    https://twitter.com/tessavirtue/status/517107407588446209

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    1. Couldn't you tell from the reality show? Everything's her fault, she's dissected, Scott's just Scott. Nobody analyzes him, he's the dude, he feels bad sometimes his masculine power makes some of the chicks feel bad, but on balance, the chicks get on his nerves, so it's a trade off. Sure, "absolutely" is what I'd expect Tessa to say. It probably means she's raising her daughter not to go to college. You know how it is with her and social media.

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    2. @ 5:30pm, what's wrong with being a feminist? Or am I missing something?

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    3. 5:30 is trolling and saying Tessa isn't actually a feminist. Nothing she's put out either fake or genuine is anti-feminist.

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    4. I would posit the "reality" show as a veritable smorgasbord of anti-feminist tropes.

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    5. 7:49 AM, I completely agree, through and through. It's possible that she's feminist in her "real" life, but the largely female figure skating public doesn't warrant respect from anybody, not even a self-described feminist. The reality show, on feminist grounds, was offensive through and through.

      One of the comments here said Tessa and Scott don't acknowledge anything other than what they intended. They don't credit what actually was transmitted. No doubt Tessa and Scott were just pandering their little hearts out, Tessa reducing her personality and her talent in order to pander to the limited experience/intelligence of the fandom - hold her firepower, so to speak. Very feminist, that. As for Scott, it was only women that got on his nerves, and we were all told "chicks" wouldn't be able to handle him in velour pants, he spoke of his fake girlfriend with as much acknowledgment of her individuality as if she were a body pillow, and pretty much acted as if she were as disposable as Kleenex and there were plenty more where she came from. Did he ask her a question that didn't have "me" in it? I don't care what Scott and Tessa intended, what matters is what was actually done.

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    6. Not to mention I can't think of a single skating "issue" in the reality show that wasn't framed as Tessa's fault or Tessa's problem, Tessa continually portrayed herself as responsible for her partner's moods (not just anti-feminist, but fucking SCARY, to promote that), and while manly Scott appeared to lose his patience once or twice (or make a big, deadly silent, stone faced, tight-jawed display of trying to KEEP his patience), that was only because Tessa was being so annoying.

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    7. Lest we forget as well - Scott and his "buddies" in their ATV/shooting expedition while nonparticipant, silent Cassandra sat parked in the vehicle as Scott's pals talked about how they'd take up skating if they got to "use" Scott's partner.

      Oh, and Tessa being embarrassed that her golf swing was so powerful the pro at the shop suggested men's clubs. Very feminist, Tessa.

      Words. Tessa doesn't know what they mean.

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    8. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dbd7fV23ixY

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    9. @ 11:23 AM, what is the purpose of posting the above video clip?

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    10. I think a feminist should be someone who's confident and secure in the decisions that she makes, whether that means career/family, married/single, childless/having a nuclear family, etc. And Tessa is basically the opposite of that. Spending time on juvenile hijinks on social media and in real life, what is the point of that, and of wanting people to think you're sitting around not skating and eating pastries, and dating some Neanderthal man? How is that feminist?

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    11. A woman making her own decisions. Doing what she wants to do. Having equal opportunities and treatment as men. That's feminism.

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    12. I go with the definition Emma Watson used in her UN speech: "For the record, feminism by definition is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is the theory of political, economic and social equality of the sexes."

      I don't think it necessarily means feeling empowered, confident, secure as such. That's a different issue. All human being work on that stuff. Feminism isn't an attitude. It's believing in political, economic, and social equality. I would further stipulate that it also doesn't believe in gender stereotyping. For me, I get annoyed when it's "women's stuff is just as equal as men's stuff! The nurturing, empathy-driven, consensus-focused female dynamic is just as valid as the hierarchal, authority-driven male dynamic!" Meh to that. I think Watson spoke to that as well when she mentioned some of her male friends trapped by gender stereotypes.

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    13. That's a very simplistic definition of feminism. We don't live in a bubble and the messages society gives us about women and men shape people's attitudes, decisions and actions in a way we're barely aware of; there's no such thing as a completely independent decision. For example a woman may decide not to go into engineering but be influenced in her choice by society's view of it as a generally male profession. There's technically nothing preventing her from being an engineer but there are still some barriers there.

      The reality show reinforced harmful societal ideas about women, they didn't need to have Scott force her to wear a costume she didn't like, for example, to be anti-feminist. If they were going to create a work of fiction the least they could have done is have some positive messages for its mainly teenage girl audience.

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    14. 10:35 AM - kind of surprised Tessa tweets about raising strong daughters and being a feminist, but when it suits her to exploit a bunch of girls/women and their limited, stereotypical imagined analysis of the dynamic between Scott and Tessa, Tessa gets in there and tells them they're right. "Perfectionist" becomes self-flagellating, neurotic and exhausting. She doesn't show any confidence because she wants to pander to the template some fans have created where she's the self-doubting loner and Scott's the extroverted party boy. It's how it is with everything with them - their principles or beliefs are only principles or beliefs when it's convenient, and when it comes to the sham, they feel the sham is exempt from the exercise of any ethics, principles or decency whatsoever, including Tessa's apparent belief that it's important to promote positive images of women. She trashed herself nonstop in the reality show.

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    15. Displaying low self confidence does not equal not feminist. Not every image a woman puts out about herself needs to be positive. It can be frustrating or annoying as a fan but it isn't sexist.

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    16. Give me a break 1:57, the reality show was focused on the dynamic between Scott and Tessa. Tessa treated herself, and was treated, as "less than", and responsible for Scott's moods, while Scott worked every ludicrous macho stereotype in existence and explicitly and implicitly treated women as creatures that taxed his manly patience. That reality show was Scott and Tessa's joint image-message.

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  9. On top of the skating issues, another thing that bothers me with C/B's SD is the complete lack of anything resembling a paso interpretation. I know the paso isn't an easy dance to master and I don't expect perfection but they aren't even trying! Madison's expression and style of movement is exactly the same in the paso SD and the American in Paris FD. Exactly.

    And to think this is a team that has a decent shot at being world medallists this year...

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    1. I beg your pardon, Maddie has that arm stuck out and is clenching and unclenching her hand about nonstop. If that's not paso, what is? And I believe Ian has grown facial hair. Sheesh.

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  10. Watching that last gif of the end of CB's SD, I feel like it's a cheap imitation of this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdJBI-20EPM&feature=player_detailpage#t=274

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    1. I love the transition between the first and second twizzles in that program.

      I can't stand the utter fake in Chock & Bates sd. It's all making your face fierce and sticking out your hand, while everything from the hips down goes to shit. Look at the difference with Hubbell & Donohue.

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    2. I love that transition too. Of all the twizzle passes in 12-13, that one is my second favorite behind VM's Carmen twizzles. The execution at nationals was particularly stunning. That transition is not easy, yet according to many, that pass just can't compare with the difficulty of DW and the hop+2.

      There is a great interview with HD from TEB in 2012 where they talked about the program: http://web.icenetwork.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20121115&content_id=40300440&vkey=ice_news

      "Hubbell: Of course, we wanted to skate something different from what we had been skating before but still keep the same alchemy inside. Our program last year was much easier, in the way that it came much more naturally. In flamenco, everything is tense all the time, with this energy you have to have in your arms, legs, chest...

      Donohue: Four minutes is very long, actually! There is a lot to think about all the time. In other kinds of programs, muscle memory can help you after you have practiced enough. In flamenco, muscle memory is not enough, because it's not natural moves.

      We worked with Timo Nuñez, a flamenco dancer from California. He taught us the complexity and intricacy we needed. There are lots of subtle movements in that dance. In addition, there are four-side audiences -- not just one like in real flamenco -- so you can't just breathe through it.

      Hubbell: It was a lot of fun working with him. It was his first experience on the ice, so it was like a brain-teaser for him. Flamenco is more static, whereas we need to make it dynamic. On the ice, you need to have contact with one another, which is not the case in the regular dance. It takes lots of effort to create a traditional flamenco (which is what we wanted) on the ice!"

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    3. ^Thanks for that. "Flamenco is more static, where we need to make it dynamic. On the ice you need to have contact with each other."

      Where did they get these ideas about making it dynamic while maintaining the posture, the energy in your chest, arms and legs? Or having to have contact with each other? You can be RIGID in your unextended chest and shoulders and just jut out your arm, take enormous steps down below, and when going around a turn pick up your partner and set them down in the new direction, or pull and swing them. They're going to be off the podium if they don't get with winning skating technique.

      Do love reading that though. I don't haven't tested this hypothesis, but my impression is those skaters that can speak intelligently about their skating, break down what they're doing, describe the technical challenges in terms that tie to actual skating and dance, are usually good skaters and dancers. Those that manage to give an entire interview about their goals and how hard they've worked towards these goals without ever actually talking about their actual skating are bogus. Chock & Bates learned from the highest example.

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  11. 8:04 again.

    Also, with maybe a little influence from this bit of choreography: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nr8DWfFkTIc&feature=player_detailpage#t=222

    Igor really is the Forever 21 of ice dance choreographers.

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    1. These DW skaters are puppets, just like DW. The expression is a mask. It's absolutely rigid. Of course, now that's seen as a plus. The building could explode and those facial expressions would remain frozen, because the entire performance rests with that and nothing else. Hubbell Donohue, among other underappreciated skaters, are actually skating with the character of the music and the dance.

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    2. The HD IceNetwork interview from TEB 2012 that is linked in the comment at 6:43 above also yielded this comment from Zach: "You can express yourself by a smile or a grin on your face. But you can also have your movement tell a story and show an emotion you want to put forward. It's something I tell myself each time I go to the ballet: Only the people in the front row will see your face, whereas turning sides, staccato, skating high or low, will create a much more visible expression."

      They get it. It's not supposed to be about what your face is doing. It's supposed to be about what your body is doing with dance.

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    3. Skaters like H&D and P&I are truly throwing pearls before swine in this era. It's absolutely maddening because of the work we all KNOW it takes for even brilliantly talented skaters to compete at the elite international level and really, really do it. These skaters and the Shibs, and VM, and skaters like them actually care about the skating and doing it properly, but it's a sport, and it's just horrible, horrible, horrible that the best skaters, dancers and athletes are hand waved in order to elevate whatever political favorite the ISU and/or Fed has thrown its support behind. It's been said before but never ever until freaking North America began to be an influence in ice dance has ice dance been so blatant, so in your face about political results without any regard whatseover for who is the best team, or the better teams. There's not even a fig leaf or pretext.

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  12. Well not a moment too soon tonight - just as Marnie McBean tweets a picture from the charity tonight in Toronto - Ms. Lawes has to pipe in...and then guess who is in London this Saturday to promote her team's sponsor...yup Ms. Lawes...because London Ontario is the bastion of curling...who knew?

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    Replies
    1. I commented on the picture already in the sham blog post, but yes, here they go with the coordinating social media again.

      It's been a long time since we've seen KL. We're people not talking about her (and Scott) anymore, or is this in response to tonight's joint event, lol.

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    2. Is this London appearance Scott's TIFF?

      What I mean is-- is this occasion going to be used to take this sham as public and mainstream as Tessa attempted to do with the red-carpet walk with RS? A gold-medalist curler doing an official appearance merits a news blurb in the local papers, doesn't it? And there it will be... Scott Moir's girlfriend and/or Kaitlyn Lawes' boyfriend... To say nothing of the anticipated tweets of gushing store-owners and fans, making sure the world that follows these guys on twitter are up to date with the latest Scott&GF sightings.

      These guys *want* these two sham "relationships" to be as officially acknowledged as possible.

      And they keep finding ways to give the fans the finger. Good going Scott and Tessa. Shining role models of the highest ethical standards. Thousands of children and adolescents are going to be crushed when they realize the extent of the lies and the whoremongering. Such idiotic and careless ruining of their brand/marketing potential.

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    3. Don't forget Scott has that event a few days later that's already been promoted sans Tessa. Wonder if KL will be staying in town a few extra days.

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    4. 6:03
      KL has to stay in town long enough for the obligatory sighting&reporting of some kind of appearance with family Moir. It's a tradition. Jessica in the Moir bosom. Cassandra skipped that part but then, she was part of the "clan of buddies". Now there's KL, from out of town. Like Jessica, instantly part of the family. There's a new baby Moir from brother Charlie. They can stick him in KL's arms and tweet the happiness of Scott's GF.

      No way in hell this London visit is not sham heaven for them.

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    5. ^Yeah, but even though Tessa went "official" with Ryan, where's all the stories about Tessa Virtue walking the red carpet with Ryan Semple? It's Tessa and some nameless suit, or it's twitter spam.

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    6. 6:54. Right. But did Tessa think there wouldn't be a bunch of stories or soundbites about her having a "bf"? Since the reality show, they like going big and in our face. I believe *they think* they're going to get lots of mileage from these kinds of stunts.

      Someone has commented before they may be following certain twitter fans and/or tumbler sites. If they do, and if they think that is representative of the general fandom, then they could be feeling there is great response/lots of mileage to their public shamming. Those sites periodically have meltdowns over every little thing, sometimes not even from real happenings but from some dramatic fan fiction someone has put out. It all gets treated as "real" and VM and all their imagined intimacies are discussed in great detail and with great angst.

      It's an embarrassment to the regular fans who follow VM. But all celebrities have those kinds of fans and the celebrity manages to realize they're a very small slice of the fandom and doesn't treat the general fans with contempt because of that very small slice.

      VM don't see the difference or don't want to see it. Those fans are their excuse for their gross behaviours.

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    7. "It's an embarrassment to the regular fans who follow VM. But all celebrities have those kinds of fans and the celebrity manages to realize they're a very small slice of the fandom and doesn't treat the general fans with contempt because of that very small slice.

      VM don't see the difference or don't want to see it. Those fans are their excuse for their gross behaviours."

      Absolutely. It's also mean to the fans in question. It basically mocks them, encourages their delusions. It's somebody with information leading on people who don't have information, exploiting their ignorance. These fans go more and more out on a limb, become bigger and bigger patsies.

      I think VM know the difference. They just don't acknowledge the other fans.

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  13. Noticed Tessa linking to Scott's instagram.

    Who are the 3 people Scott follows on insta? I can't see cause I'm not a member.

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    Replies
    1. Tessa, Sam abd Jesse.

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    2. Maybe this is what Scott meant by being back on twitter this week.

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  14. Maybe I should just call Evan, Ian from now on.

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  15. Are we all still pretending that Tessa is pregnant?

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  16. Are we still pretending Tessa's not pregnant?

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  17. It's canadablue here! I haven't published much over the off-season only because I've been working steadily on some large projects that are still not quite ready
    to share (PCS criteria videos, the D/W Flaw Extravaganza and also a summary comparison of recent corruption that brought certain terrible teams to the top).
    I will, however, be keeping up with some of my regular comparisons as I put the finishing touches on those.

    P/I vs C/B - 2012 Nebelhorn FD
    http://youtu.be/os9NFok02Dk

    W/P vs C/B - 2014 Nebelhorn FD
    http://youtu.be/ADBhy-h3bQk

    H/B and SD versions to follow. (As well as Funny Face vs Die Flederamus - C/B's recent comment about D/W's grace in losing helpfully reminded me of the VM vs DW ones that still need doing.)

    Just a reminder that there have been significant tweaks to both the level requirements and the Scale of Values for 2014-15. Here's a roundup of the changes from TFTI, with links to all the relevant Communications:
    http://www.twofortheice.com/a-guide-to-the-off-season-the-rules/

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  18. Shibs FD:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L672nwMFeyU

    I know it's still early, but I didn't care for this as much as their SD. I actually found it extremely boring, with the exception of the magnificent twizzle pass, but their superior skating skills cannot be denied. Even as blah as it is, I can still appreciate the dance for the edges and posture and purposeful movement, over some of the other programs we've seen this year, thus far.

    I know it's comparing across competitions, but the scores have them pretty much neck and neck with C/B, with the slight advantage to C/B by 3/4 of a point. Shocker, I know. I expect that gap will widen.

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