Sunday, October 12, 2014

Nebelhorn: Canadablue compares Chock & Bates to Weaver & Poje

cuteiceprincess's articles will be next. This post took much longer than I anticipated, and I completely blame Chock & Bates, as explained more fully later on in this post.

****

In considering Chock & Bates, it seems to me that, along with, and because of, so much two footed skating, and faking-it-skating, they lack real performance energy.While few skaters will light up the building at a season's first competition, with Chock & Bates, there's little of the natural adrenalin we saw with the Shibs, or that builds in Weaver & Poje in those sections of their program where they find their rhythm and get their feet under them. Chock & Bates mime energy in the choreographic gestures they've been assigned, the arms, the faces, but from the hips down, they're flaccid. They're not building energy with their stroking; momentum is constantly thwarted. As with Davis White, Chock & Bates' programs are constucted to work around, rather than with, their medium (ice)

canadablue's Nebelhorn 2015 FD Comparison, W&P vis a vis Chock & Bates.


ETA: My video editing program didn't recognize any of the video from the spinning sequence to the end (less than a minute left in the program). I like the spinning sequence, and think the comparison between the teams is useful, so I'll try to work around the issue and get gifs of that part up. Meantime, canadablue's full length video embedded above has the spinning sequence (which the ISU probably should have called a rotational movement sequence).

These gifs don't include most of the title cards that precede each sequence in the full video; the title cards can and should be read in the video embed, as they note assigned values and GOE, and for the purpose of this discussion on the blog, we're still pretending that scoring is meant to reflect what was executed on the ice.
Chock & Bates skate like a 7 year old with an etch-a-sketch is controlling their blades. Coach Igor uses the "They're about to do something but then nothing happens" gambit deployed so often with Davis White. Look at Evan's expansive Drama Arms swing as he and Chock separate from their opening pose, but all he does then is take one stroke, resume the vertical stance, and ride a flat back towards her to re-set their pose - classic example of Charlie White-ing. Chock is Meryl Davis-ing it - one stroke, plant feet wide and turn on two feet.Ta da.


I'm still working out Kaitlyn, but for the moment, I'm thinking her skating is stronger in the "important" parts of the program, and elsewhere she forgets she's supposed to bend her knees, finish her movements, or extend energy throughout her body. Her arms and hands drive me crazy in this thing. But, while she's not the most talented skater ever, at least when she gets a bit half-assed with the program, it's mostly knees up, not knees down. She cares about the skating.The choreography may get sloppy at this early stage, but she's keying in on her basics.

Transition into circular step sequence:


I actually think Chock & Bates have somewhat stronger skating skills than Davis White, particularly Chock vis a vis Meryl. But, even to the extent they're individually somewhat stronger than Davis White, their skating is just a prop. Take an edge and get back on your flats.Take an edge while your partner takes a break. Keeping waving your arms and you're golden. Maintain as much space between you as possible, no sense risking a fall and putting your predetermined medals in jeopardy. Use your arms like two Harry Potter wizards setting up for dueling wands.Your fingertips are the wands and if they touch, that's contact while skating, so your GOE will be awesome. Design programs where the lack of unison is a feature, not a deficit. Don't forget to plant your feet so wide a horse could run underneath and join in the fun.


See there, it's possible to do this without yanking or
swinging your partner. Their blades are doing the work.
I don't know why the DSC insists on having their
skaters work harder than they need to on their skating.

What's the purpose?


I like how Evan just trots beside Chock as she turns
away from the judges - the sort of trick DW used to create
the impression they did something in unison. Everybody

managed not to notice that one partner was doing one
thing, while the other was merely bullshitting in the same direction.



220 comments:

  1. "By the time of the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Chock & Bates will clear the Shibs by about eight points."

    I think only 8 points is optimistic. Remember, out of Shibs, HD, and CB's average total scores from the GP last fall, CB had the lowest. When everyone got to nationals, CB's total score was almost 30 points higher than what they'd averaged on the GP. Shibs and HD's scores were both only about 15 points higher. I know HD were dealing with the injury and could not train in the way they wanted or the way everyone else was, but even taking that into consideration they still outdid CB (and DW). As far as we know, Shibs were healthy and training as planned. But, really, what the USFSA was trying to say was that CB had improved twice as much as Shibs and HD when it simply wasn't true. Shibs and HD should have been the leaders of US ice dance for the past couple of seasons, and certainly should be now as well. However, as DW were preparing to exit with their stolen OGM, CB were elevated with overinflated scores. It's disgusting.

    "All its years of whining and bitching out stunningly skilled Russian figure skaters, North American ice dance has arrived on the World and Olympic podium, and this is what it looks like. No wonder they bitched for years about the Russians. How awful for teams that are actually good at something to be winning all the time. It's supposed to be about storyline off the ice. Now, finally, it is."

    I've been thinking about this a lot. For years, NA press and skating whined about the Russians and other Europeans dominating in ice dance, ignoring that the reason was that the Russian and European teams were simply better. Then, VM come along and they're the greatest ice dance team to ever lace up their skates. Finally, one would think, NA has what they dreamed of, and not only is it just an Olympic Champion team, it's the best team ever. Instead of celebrating that talent and rewarding their skating all the ways and all the times it should have been, VM and their Vancouver win are used as a pawn to allow for the narrative BS to take over and for crappy teams to win. When VM won in Vancouver, the sport did an incredible amount of patting themselves on the back and crowing about how the sport had been cleaned up, etc. VM's win was correct, but the fact that the rest of the podium was wrong is often overlooked. VM's win was, in a way, misdirection from the other placements that night and from what was to come next. They needed a legitimate NA team to win (and there is no team with skating more legitimate than VM) in order to serve as the trojan horse. Once a legitimate NA team won, then they could narrative it up about how fair everything is/was and proceed with slotting in the inferior teams.

    Between the US and Canada, even in the absence of VM, there are 5 fine teams right now in WP, PI, HD, Shibs, and HB. For a couple, the time to shine should be now. A couple of them are on the brink of greatness, and we have a team that's the future once the older ones leave us. At this same time, the European and Russian fields are weak. What we're seeing though teams like CB and GP get the praise and high scores that they do not deserve.

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    1. The participant here who declared that podium placements are determined without any regard for the skating was absolutely bang on. I believe possibly these wide open programs are designed for the designated champion expressly to avoid a fall. A fall is the only thing the sport recognizes as a fault, unless, of course, you're a magnificent team skating near-impossible content brilliantly, and perhaps experience a fractional timing issue somewhere that creates a teensy glitch in a non-critical place in the program. Then the judges will come down on you like thunder, if you're a team who is not allowed to win.

      If you're the pre-designated champion, the important thing is you don't fall on your face and slide across the rink. If that happens, the press and the public might wonder why you won. Ergo, coaches design programs that keep the partners on separate sides of the rink when possible, at arms' length at all times, and if there's ever a moment where you can't actually be at arms' length, then you take turns skating when you're closer together. If the guy happens to be on the edge, the girl is on her flats or has both legs wide-planted on the ice, and vice versa. A lot more time can be filled in with the guy on the ice, feet planted wide apart, not just even on flats, but in a snow plow (a kiddie stance used by rank beginners, particularly out of shape adults, so they don't fall down) while dragging his partner whose boot leather is on the ice.

      Delete
  2. Hahaha, awesome post OC!

    "Oh look, Andrew keeps skating when supporting Kaitlyn's turn."

    And Kaitlyn then stays gliding on one foot while she waits for Andrew to do his twizzle.


    This is off the main topic, but relevant, both in general and because the first P/I G/P faceoff of the season happens this week. It occured to me that I haven't posted these over here yet - videos of the Central Ontario Section ice show in May that I attended where both teams debuted a new ex program. P/I were delightful, G/P were gross. The difference in ice coverage was embarassing.

    P/I - I Wanna Be Loved by You
    http://youtu.be/EADBq9R3YSQ
    G/P
    http://youtu.be/S6ced_0XhLo
    Dance group number
    http://www.mediafire.com/watch/7ljahbtsgkf3dlb/Dance_Group_Number_-_COS_Ice_Show_2014.avi

    [Also, here's Whitley/Graham, a young Mariposa team who just had their first JGP event! Jacquelyn Thayer did a profile on them recently, and turns out Mitch actually helped pair and coach the team for a bit! Cute story.
    http://youtu.be/j1Fzvad5l2s
    http://www.ice-dance.com/main/news/general-articles/1880-teamwork-the-key-for-whitley-and-graham ]

    And on that note, has anyone here been in the habit of saving COS protocols over the years? They don't archive anything beyond the current season, which means the exact details of just how overscored G/P were at 2011 Octoberfest and 2012 Thornhill are no longer publicly available. I am very interested in seeing those if anyone has a copy.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Oh, and happy Thanksgiving to fellow Canadians! :)

      Delete
    2. P/I were lovely, and I really hate that song, but they found a non-obnoxious rendition. If I had one critique, it goes to performance only, which would be project it more, while still keeping their wonderful natural performance quality. I hate "bigger" because it usually means cheesy, but I actually did think of Virtue and Moir when I watched that. Facial expressions aside (I love P/I's), Virtue and Moir, particularly Tessa, are unmatched when it comes to clarity of performance movement (arms, head, emphasis, etc.) that projects.

      Whoever does G&P's exhibition programs has horrible horrible taste.

      P/I's exhibition had more skating content than Chock & Bates' free dance.

      Delete
    3. Agreed, OC, in general that is something they can definitely work on. But having been there live, I have to say the video angle doesn't do it justice.

      Delete
    4. They also talk about using this number as an experiment in this interview
      http://www.twofortheice.com/lifted-by-success-paul-and-islam-hold-to-foundations/
      and how they need to keep working on performance level. So I assume it's something they plan on focusing on this season.

      Delete
    5. Oh, and Dean choreographed G/P's ex, lol.

      Delete
    6. 1:48pm - thanks for the reminder of what a great article Thayer did there with them. I was really watching the exhibition closely, and I think Mitch is maybe a step ahead in terms of projecting the choreography. They're pretty seamless, so, as best as I can express it, I think it's a matter of picking and choosing moments to amplify, or even playing with which moments to amplify performance to performance, once the concept is in their bodies. Playing with emphasis, playing with time, extending a moment, strengthening an expression (by "expression" I mean non-blade level).

      2:35 - G/P's exhibition is awful.

      Delete
  3. "P/I were delightful, G/P were gross."

    That pretty much sums it up. I so hope that P/I will somehow rise above those turds on skates. It's like comparing fine wine to screw top garbage.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Tessa posted a pic that says " Love me till I'm me again ".
    Is she starting to feel insecure about her pregnant body ?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anon at 11:50 pm - if I had to guess - Tessa was probably trying to convey the message that she was in Toronto. If you google the image and saying - there is a pricey restaurant in Toronto that has that image. Mind you I am just guessing - but who knows and at this point who cares...
    Back to the skating conversation - great video comparisons - I think after Skate America and Skate Canada we will have a good idea about placements...I am also interested to see how CL and SK look from Zoueva. And indeed if VM are retired - I would prefer Scott to work with PI and mentor them...

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  6. I suspect most of Scott's energies will be directed to funneling as much as possible to the ISC, whatever that looks like. If he mentors skaters outside the family business, I suspect it will be the coaching equivalent of a TED talk from time to time - a special appearance, weekend or gig. Or, as when some visiting expert makes a $pecial appearance, tickets on sale now, going fast.

    As to messages they convey on social media - if something real/actual about their lives occurs on social media, there's a self-serving reason and that would be it. There's nothing real for real's sake on there, not even cryptically.

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  7. 6:33 AM - should Scott work with P/I, let's find a word other than "mentor". Virtue Moir are enough of a freak show for any country's generation of ice dancers. Nobody needs to be made in their image.

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  8. I only wish I could skate like Davis and White... they're the Olympic Champions. What are you smoking?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can you at least explain what you like about Davis/White other than their medals? I never understood what D/W fans see in them. Is it blind patriotism?

      Delete
    2. Hop on over to your local rink (no pun intended) and try on some skates. You probably can manage a lot of what they do after one adult class. Good luck!

      Delete
    3. 11:26 - their dream is within reach!

      Delete
    4. Everyone should get their dream :)

      If 9:16 and 9:16's parents put in enough money for their skating, and travel to competitions, and put the time in, I hope 9:16 will be awarded an Olympic gold medal. 9:16 seems like a really good person, and good people who pay their dues deserve to be rewarded with Olympic gold medals. I'll take a page out of Doris Pulaski's book and say whatever skills 9:16 is able to complete after their lesson should be awarded level 4, because it's the effort that counts, and that's only fair.

      Delete
    5. Yes. It's in the Principles of Fairness second subsection of CoP. It's unfair to expect a team to twizzle in unison. It's even more unfair not to give them full points and maximum GOE for twizzling in unison afterwards.

      Delete
    6. Going at this from a different angle - yes, D/W can do things that your average skater on earth can't do. If you compare them to the skaters who don't make it to the free dance at Worlds and compare them to the skaters who finish near the bottom at Nats, they aren't bad. So sure, they're among the best in the world in a very broad sense. But WHAT ON EARTH does that have to do with criticizing their placement among that select group?

      Delete
  9. 9:16 AM - they're fraudulent Olympic champions. Start explaining, according to the rules determining how ice dance is scored, which are publicly available on the web, what Davis and White did on the ice to deserve an Olympic gold medal. What they did on the ice is public. The rules are public. Match it up. If you can't, take your what are you smokings someplace else.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. P.S. - don't explain according to protocols they received - explain according to what they did on the ice, that we all can see, and match it to the rules that we can all read.

      Delete
    2. How are they fraudulent? How do you know this? Where is the proof? If your only proof is the skating you see with your own two eyes, I say I believe that with my own two eyes that they have the best skating skills and are most precise. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out. It is obvious.

      Delete
    3. So then it should be really easy to explain.

      Delete
    4. The proof is the detailed analyses posted on this blog, on cuteiceprincesslove tumblr and youtube video comparisons by canadablue. And the British commentator actually said that V/M are the better skaters. What more proof do you need ? If you think that D/W are better, then you probably need to rewatch the compulsory dance from Vancouver. It's so obvious that D/W suck, it doesn't even look like the same dance. If you still don't see it, then you probably have vision problems.

      Delete
  10. ^I know it because I matched what they did on the ice with the rules. Don't come back and tell me what they did in your eyes, match it to the rules that you also read with your eyes. Take CoP, and, segment by segment, explain why how Davis and White skated that segment was not only better than Virtue and Moir per the rules by which this sport is judged, but better than a number of other teams.

    I don't care what's in your eyes. I care about what's in the rulebook. So again, don't return with "I can see, blah blah blah." Read the rulebook that governs how the judges score. Find a specific rule and match it to something particular that Davis White did in Sochi. Explain the GOE. Explain why it was better than Virtue and Moir. What your eyes tell you is meaningless unless you can explain you have any clue what "precise" means in skating and exactly what about Davis and White's skating skills were "the best." I don't think you know what skating skills actually are, nor have you read CoP.

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    1. The problem is that even if D/W fans actually familiarized themselves with CoP and the qualities of good skating (hahaha), they could still say exactly what's opposite to reality, just in more detail. There is nothing stopping them from saying exactly the things that are true about V/M about D/W instead. Some of these fans have no shame and will continue to bluff, and some think they can make things true just by saying them.

      Delete
    2. I disagree. If that were possible, they'd do it. Not a single DW fan has made the attempt. The best any of them have attempted is to claim a different video angle would show completely different skating, or claim VM fans are photoshopping or manipulating the clips and stills.

      Delete
    3. ^the above raises a question. Why can't we see the angle the judges see? This is supposedly a real sport. We see those angles in every other sport. Let's see the magic judges angle where Meryl Davis never misses a key point, where Charlie White's skates don't wobble, and where their run of blade is deeper, longer and more powerful than Virtue and Moir's.

      Delete
  11. I thought this was interesting - a news item about twitter. The headline reads: "Can twitter make money out of breaking news or is it a p.r. platform?"

    http://www.theguardian.com/media/media-blog/2014/oct/12/twitter-breaking-news-pr-vivian-schiller

    We all know it's a p.r. platform; the headline should really be "Is it strictly a p.r. platform."

    Vivian Schiller resigned as twitter's head of news. Questions raised include:

    "Yet the fallout from internal conflicts is of less interest and importance than what these departures say about the future direction of a service that has become such an important tool for journalists. If anything, the management meltdown has simply served to highlight an ongoing struggle within Twitter over whether it should largely be a conduit for journalism or PR."

    The article discusses how it's an important tool for journalists, but I think EVERYTHING is p.r. about every public platform in existence, practically, and that's the problem.

    The article also talks about how twitter seems bigger than it actually is - something to keep in mind when everybody who spots Scott and Tessa in the company of their super famous fake significant others always seems to be one of those rare people who are super active on twitter, recognize Scott and Whomever and Tessa and Whomever on happenstance, and set to telling the world with similarly-toned hashtags. Those who read twitter without having an account vastly outnumber those who have and use their accounts, yet Scott and Tessa are forever encountering ordinary people in the former category. One of twitter's money-making problems is how to make money from non-account users who read the service. Youtube viewers sigh and watch ads. Non-account users have to read Kaitlyn Lawes referencing @pbchocolate milk a billion times a minute, right inside her tweets, and twitter hasn't really solved the challenge.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. So - a fairly small percentage of the people who read twitter, have a twitter account. Of that small percentage who not only have a twitter account, but are active, a great many appear to be fans of both ice dance and curling, can recognize Scott Moir on the street or in a bar, same with Tessa, and are apt to immediately tweet and hashtag the news, as well as tag their tweets with Scott and/or Tessa's twitter account name. So there is an incredible concentration of not just active twitter users wherever Scott and Tessa may go, but active twitter users who recognize ice dancers and curlers. I wonder if that's been studied - the corrollary between an active twitter user and ice dance/curling fandom.

      Delete
  12. "See that little bastardization of Virtue and Moir's 2011 Latin Program free dance curve lift? When Virtue and Moir did it, it was sexy and sensational, and of course,
    featured a truly difficult entrance where the curve speed and depth had to come strictly from the running edge. Bates lassos Chock into it, and still isn't getting much of a curve. I expect the ISU will make them take it out, as we know from Virtue and Moir they're sticklers with this stuff."

    Aldridge/Eaton, who moved from DSC to Canton this summer, competed at International Classic last month and have been given V/M's Temptation lift for their FD, or a closer approximation of it at least, as she needs considerable assistance maneuvering up into position. (Considering that and and a Carmen SD with input
    from Swan, I'm worried their political strategy is "doing V/M things but not really"). But anyways, if I'm not mistaken, V/M's lift might have been downgraded because
    a change of pose for the woman needed two distinct poses, which you can see in C/B's. This season the rule has changed that a continous movement throughout the lift is acceptable, so I suppose that's the explanation as for why A/E can suddenly do the lift again.

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    Replies
    1. You may be right but at the time, my impression from Tessa's remarks was the temptation lift didn't move enough.

      Delete
    2. 3:09 is correct. My recollection is that VM learned that the lift would not score above a level 3. It's a miracle they were told this at a senior B instead of 15 minutes before the SD at worlds.

      How convenient though that as soon as VM stop competing, the lift is back to level 4.

      Delete
    3. Virtue and Moir's sublime skating isn't apprehended as sublime skating both technically and in terms of performance, grace, etc., by the general public, but in every program beginning in 2009-2010 their free dance had a sensational element that left the audience with a palpable excitement, and every single time the ISU went after that element, as often as possible under the most bullshit circumstances (right before Worlds, right before the Olympics, right before the biggest Canadians of their lives). I love how the team that served as the "Trojan Horse" allowing a bunch of shit North American teams to reach the podium and even the gold, that's the team the ISU both used and then attacked/undermined at every turn. Every turn.

      Delete
    4. 11:23. DW fan? Trying to shut down the skating discussions, eh?

      Or you're a C/B fan?

      Delete
    5. "I love how the team that served as the "Trojan Horse" allowing a bunch of shit North American teams to reach the podium and even the gold, that's the team the ISU both used and then attacked/undermined at every turn. Every turn."

      ITA. Also ironic, they were the only team that could change what they were asked so quickly and *still* look amazing and out perform every single other team. I can't think of anyone else who would have been able to "fix" things all the time like they had to and not crack under the pressure, or succumb to low quality skating.

      Delete
  13. Thanks CanadaBlue!! I laughed so hard at C/B ending. This is the first time I watched C/B and here's my takeaway: lots of arms (I felt like they were saying "look!! I'm skating!!) and lots of flying legs and NO UNISON in anything. W/P had some decent elements though. Neither holds a candle to V/M. I can see why VM would retire at this point. It's a completely ridiculous playing field. Too bad.

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  14. Looks D/W might not come back...please let it be so!

    http://olympictalk.nbcsports.com/2014/10/14/meryl-davis-charlie-white-ice-dancing-figure-skating-winter-olympics/


    This made me laugh out loud:

    "For us, there are a lot of moves that are important and require daily training. It’s not quite to the nth degree. The areas in ice dance that you can actually improve not by competing but by experiencing other things are palpable and would show up in the scores.”

    "...experiencing other things" refers to corrupt judging?



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    1. "“That would never go well,” White said. “Everything that makes us good skaters is entirely reliant on the other person. We’re symbiotic.”"

      Nailed it. Except for the part where they're good.

      Delete
    2. "White recently performed at a figure skating show in Japan. An International Skating Union official they’ve known for years approached them.

      “You’re bringing so much more to the ice now after ‘Dancing with the Stars,'” the official said. “You have to come back.”"

      Was that you, Shawn Rettstatt?

      Delete
    3. Also this:
      "“They’re such icons in England, I feel like there would be a revolt if they stopped skating,” White said. “They’re such legends. They’re untouchable. You don’t, like, text Christopher Dean, ‘Hey what’d you think of my performance?'”"

      Yeah, I definitely wouldn't ask Christopher Dean what he thought of their performance if I was DW.

      Delete
    4. What did they do - review every narrative that's ever existed to make sure there's nothing that was ever said about Virtue and Moir that they haven't ripped off for themselves? They realized they'd left the Torvill & Dean comparison on the ground?

      Delete
    5. I called it a while ago. All this off ice dancing stuff they're incorporating is to push them as the next TD (and eventually, better than TD). It was not enough being Olympic champions. It wasn't even enough beating the reigning gold medalists, who were the finest team of their generation, possibly ever. They have to become TD, who are recognized and appreciated by most worldwide as the best ever.

      It actually all speaks to a deep-seated insecurity. Maybe deep down they're in their own private hell because they have the gold medal but they know they weren't the best? When you read those comments, they're still competing... "a judge told me..." "people came up to me and..." is the stuff they used to say in their pre-season interviews. Now they're using it for validation, but it's the same old tricks.

      The one thing they seem to lack is respect in Russia. They got some kudos from Platov but I can't think of any Russians who outright said they deserved the gold medal. Tchernyshev, a fellow US champion who choreographed them as kids and has a strong personal relationship with them, didn't even list them on his list of who should have made the podium. Averbukh apparently trashed their Olympic programs fully and gave VM a standing O from the START of their FD. They got very lukewarm, almost no applause in Sochi and the Moscow Olympic show, despite pandering with Shez and Rachmaninoff. The Moscow announcer called them the Sochi bronze medalists at one point, lol. At one point Tchernyshev had to vamp because the Russian skaters hadn't arrived from the airport yet and he did a long on ice interview with VM as the crowd screamed for them not to retire, while DW were totally ignored.

      I have no doubt they will someday start saying "how popular we are in Russia." TD won over the Russian audience (they toured with TAT) and it's another feather in their cap that they'll need to say they're the greatest ever.

      With DW, there's just the sense of, we've gotten all this stuff we don't deserve, but it's STILL never going to be enough.

      Delete
    6. 5:27, I've also thought for awhile now that DW's next target was TD's legacy and place in ice dancing. They want to be thought of as better than VM and better than TD.

      Delete
    7. Look how Charlie White ducked the question about "When you finished, did you know it was a gold medal skate?" He dodged it completely and basically said they didn't fall down, which meant they had the gold and what a relief because so many people were expecting it/had earned it. Push him an inch more and he sings like a canary and they find a spot for him in the Witness Protection program.

      Then this stuff. "What makes us good skaters." "Not the best, not champions, not great." "Good."

      The elephant in the room is Virtue and Moir. They were handed the medals that Virtue and Moir had earned. Their friends (or former friends). That's one thing that is NEVER mentioned. Never ever does anyone ask how they trained to beat Virtue and Moir, how it felt to get the gold after losing in Vancouver to Virtue and Moir, how they trained to get better than Virtue and Moir.

      White knows damn well Virtue and Moir outskated him and Meryl at every outing, and he's just wanking his ass off.

      Delete
  15. I believe these pictures haven't been posted here yet :

    https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpa1/t31.0-8/775257_775946382467759_3776499393097449658_o.jpg

    https://scontent-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xaf1/v/t1.0-9/10351655_775946555801075_6344211876004712597_n.jpg?oh=9881055a43e69bb038c4125a20cf20ea&oe=54B40080

    http://scontent-b-lga.cdninstagram.com/hphotos-xap1/t51.2885-15/1208457_304924643041406_1556903099_n.jpg

    I don't know where they were taken but they seem fairly recent.
    Tessa's midriff got Really wide by now.

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    1. I think she's also projecting a bit more out the front during this pregnancy than the previous one if this picture is anything to go by: http://cs622228.vk.me/v622228336/5fbe/zshOoIiH1wg.jpg

      How disgusting to hide your pregnant belly against a man who isn't your husband. I wonder if Tessa ever feels sick.

      Delete
    2. Somehow I feel like Tessa doesn't have a problem with this at all. She doesn't seem to see this a problem.
      I'm not so sure about Scott though. He looks miserable next to his girlfriends and I think he would have an issue if Tessa stood any closer to Ryan.

      Delete
    3. Wow, special lens and light can really do a number on an image, huh. Who'd ever guess the Gumby-esque six foot tall six inch wide supermodel in the touchdown dance video was the same wide-set woman in the print dress posing on the ice in the first image up above?
      The picture with Ryan really is gross, but that's how they roll. What else is new.
      Interested to see how the RealStyle images of her end up looking when they're officially published. I experimented with the first image. A slim-fix was easy, especially since the original resolution/detail is so poor and background is cluttered. Change the aspect ratio slightly for less width - there's no immediately obvious "stretch" effect by taking the width down by about 5, but things slim up a degree or so. Push in the waist, slim the arms, then fix the section of rink border on the right of the image that became distorted – just clone a copy of that section over the distortion, and fill in where it bleeds over. And done. The cut of the bodice and line of the skirt is all angled - very easy to manipulate. Her arms are in space at long angles, easy to slim down. And there she is, slim as can be, no leg warp, no background warp. The dress's print, a-line skirt and knee-length means there's minimal body tell tale body distortion and it's easy lines and angles to reduce without giving things away.

      Delete
    4. Scott has made out with other woman and rolled around with them on the beach. I don't care if he thinks he needed to do it to protect his family; he has no right to have a problem with anything Tessa does in the name of sham. The thought of him getting jealous or not wanting Tessa to get closer to Ryan is laughable (and what's more laughable is I wouldn't be surprised at all if he gets like that).

      Tessa is a better faker than Scott, but she always brings the crazyface with Ryan. Scott looks disinterested, she's smiling, but neither has any chemistry with their presumptive partners. She might just be better at putting up a front (and not just in terms of sham).

      Her pushing her pregnant stomach against Ryan disgusts me too, and at this point I wouldn't put anything past her. "Sex tape? Why not - I mean, it's not like Ryan's going to get me pregnant at this point! And they won't be able to say I'm photoshopping if I'm naked! NOW tell me I'm pregnant and married to Scott! Married moms would never do this!"

      Delete
    5. There's a lot of footage from the reality show that was never shown. I wouldn't be the least surprised if there were indeed rolling-on-a-bed scenes with Cassandra.

      I don't put anything past either of them at this point.

      Tessa's social media presence has been the most narcissistic crap from day one. Together, she and Scott have done a great job killing the golden goose of any "special brand" for "marketing." What marketing? Two morons full of themselves who will once in a while agree to be seen together for business purposes only. Other than that, they've *made sure* it's known they have separate, self-absorbed lives and they each are in "other" relationships and they're willing to sexually act-out to make sure it's *completely understood* they're "marketing chemistry" is FAKE.

      The most incompetent PR campaign since PR was invented. And they've been stupidly and blindly implementing it (whatever *it* is) since they were teenagers.

      Delete
  16. It appears that VM will be MCs for both the Victoria and Toronto goldmedalplates dinners - per their website.
    As for Chuck White - holymoly - that quote about the ISU official saying that they have so much to give after the Dancing with the Stars stint - what crap. That's insulting to everyone team that actually ice danced ie. VM and PB...and Chuck - Torvill and Dean are legends but there are other notable ice dance teams that were Russian...again to think that DW have a gold medal and Krylova doesn't..hell I would challenge DW to do a compulsory now vs. Krylova and any partner and you would see the difference in the quality of the skating. Sorry I needed to vent..

    ReplyDelete
  17. https://twitter.com/tessavirtue/status/522172592577576960

    CDN Olympic Team ‏@CDNOlympicTeam 44m44 minutes ago
    @tessavirtue Definitely. Please do politely let them know we prefer the Canadian spelling on behaviour.

    Chris McLachlin ‏@chrismclachlin 37m37 minutes ago
    @CDNOlympicTeam @tessavirtue Looks like someone's prof is using the slides that come with the US textbook...

    LOL or like someone just googled this and is putting up fake shit on her twitter like always, Chris...

    ReplyDelete
  18. Anon at 5:43 pm - "Tessa's social media presence has been the most narcissistic crap from day one". I couldn't agree more with this statement.
    Personally - I don't believe that VM are together or that she is pregnant. I know that others have indicated before that what is on Tessa's media presence is not her real persona. I am starting to think a good portion of it is real. Semple and her actually makes sense. Semple wants a trophy girlfriend to parade to his elite circle of friends/family connections and well Tessa is looking for someone who is well off, has family connections, is willing to go to media events, take pictures/video of her...basically she gets a yes man...he puts up with her "me me me" personality and she accepts his douchey characteristics...
    Scott may not be a saint - but I do think he is more down to earth and is comfortable with the simple things in life...and honestly you do have to wonder how the Virtues treated Scott and whether they made him feel like a second class citizen...Tessa is the talent and well Scott you just need to do your job...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. V/M are married to each other and Tessa is not dating Ryan Semple, so you believing otherwise is irrelevant to reality.

      Delete
    2. 5:17 - setting aside what you believe or don't (addressed below), let's look for a second at the negative impression they leave on social media. When Scott was the social media guy, his social media was also negative. He was a douchebag rubbing Bryce Davison's face in his relationship with Jessica despite Bryce confessing that it was difficult for him, despite Bryce being a teammate, and despite Bryce being responsible for Jessica's safety on ice (that alone ought to have tipped people off that Jessica/Scott was completely fake). Scott was also a creepy guy who pretended not to be involved in social media while posing for a whole bunch of smarmy, creepy, TMI images with girlfriends who then posted them on social media while family and friends basically acted like they were jerking off to it. Simultaneously, his demeanor and facial expression in most of the photos conveyed extreme discomfort and weirdness, while he fawned over Tessa on and off the ice. He'd also promise stuff on social media and not follow through, just like now. He ignored birthday wishes and sincere congratulations, just like now. If you scrol back through this blog, the blog discussion was almost entirely about Scott, because the blog focuses on their p.r., and Scott did all of the "unofficial" (a/k/a social media) p.r. and was absolutely gross about it. The part where he doesn't talk about Jessica (or Cassandra - not until the reality show) and pretends not to be on social media, while all of these TMI pictures came off gross, almost like the icloud leaks of celebrities, except we KNEW they were on purpose, but he wasn't admitting it. It came off exhibitionistic, like "I'm pretending I don't want you to look and I'm private, but somehow my girlfriends keep putting this stuff I posed for out on the public web." Plus his girlfriends acted like they couldn't breathe unless he was around. The ass kissing was beyond belief.

      Anyway, the point is, when Scott was the one shamming on social media, he was a douchebag and Tessa looked "classy" by comparison, even though we knew she had to sign off on it all, and then some (there were signs even back then that she directed some of it).

      Delete
    3. It's interesting both Tessa and Scott have managed to create a social media presence that's extremely crass and tacky. Surely they could have been private, even carried on a discreet bit of shamming, while still staying classy. But no. They had to choose this route. It doesn't say good things about them nor their families to see how this fiasco has gone down.

      No one in Moirville seems to be interested in cleaning up this mess. Everything is more about "how can we cross more lines / how can we be more crass".

      Delete
    4. When Tessa started on twitter, it was all "Now THAT's how you do it." Right upfront she used images of Scott, not pretending that her partner of 17 years had no part in her public identity. She appeared to be giving a good plug to her golfing event, and touted Scott's appearance as caddy, just as would happen on legit media. In the past, they'd be one thing on legit media, and in social media act as if they barely remembered each other's names. Her twitter seemed professional and common sensical.

      But these two don't hide their cards very long. It's like - okay, I gave you bitches something, now here's the deal! It's like they can't stand giving something without getting something for longer than a day.

      That's how it went with her twitter. On the heels of the golf thing came all of the "here's how not pregnant I am!" tweets, followed by her making an absolute point of showing up on twitter to ignore everyone wishing Scott Happy Birthday. That's why she was there that day. So everyone would know she was ignoring them - she didn't happen to be off line or something. It was on purpose.

      There were the usual fans who took it upon themselves to act as if the "happy birthday" fans wanted Tessa to convey each individual message to Scott, or acknowledge each individual message. Pretending that all these fans wouldn't have been perfectly happy with something like a smiley and "I'll pass it along everyone!"

      Scott was just as nasty and self-absorbed-seeming on social media. Lest we forget all his broken assurances promises, or forget the brilliantly callous and insensitive way he handled shutting down his "personal" facebook for his "fan facebook."

      All Tessa's twitter did that was different was go from nice to mean on the fast track - a couple of weeks versus a couple of years. But it was the same kind of mean. And Tessa's twitter let us know that when Scott went out of his way to be unkind, such as publicly deleting people from his "personal" facebook after announcing he wanted nobody to be left out and was shutting it down (and keeping some fans, thus leaving people out) - it was on purpose. It wasn't some messy clusterfuck that happens when you're trying to play people off. She wanted us to know she was blowing fans off on September 2, and that means he wanted us to know he was blowing us off with the facebook. He wanted us to KNOW that when he said he wasn't leaving people out, he didn't mean it. They wanted people to feel bad.

      Delete
    5. 1:29 PM - One theory is they do it to provoke fan discussion about them, and then point to the fan discussion to show how they need to sham - i.e., look how they're analyzed and picked over on the internet.

      The problem with that theory is this big circle jerk Virtue and Moir keep going isn't needed even if that were the agenda.Nobody cares why they're doing it, even those who help perpetuate it. All they have to do is want it, and it's done. No "really good reason" needed. The matrix of talent representation/event production/sponsorship/corporate partnership/entertainment media/fellow athletes does whatever the talent wants. It's all just promotion. If they decide to reveal in their lifetimes, they'll make up a reason, we'll be the scapegoats, the end. Even if not a single peep were ever uttered about them online, the narrative would say the opposite, and that's enough. (Look at the Bucsis story. There were gaps in that and yet it got hand-waved.)

      Even regular journalism sucks these days, and regular journalism goes nowhere near figure skating. Everybody who is all - oh it's so impossible, doesn't get it. If Tessa and Scott DO agitate fans so that when fans talk about them online, they can go - look how much they talk about us - our lives would be impossible if we came clean - it's a mystery who this cover story is for. The media would say it was happening even if it wasn't. Scott and Tessa don't need to actually create it.

      (An example of regular journalism that sucks - the coverage of the Ferguson, MO shooting. People running with rumors, planted stories, poor sources, bad fact checking, mischaracterizations. The only good reporting that came out of Ferguson early was reporting on how bad the actual reporting/coverage was, not on the situation itself.)

      Delete
    6. When it comes to regular journalism these days, at least of the televised kind, unfortunately, a lot of the decisions on how the news is presented aren't made by the journalists. The decisions are made by TPTB and marketing types at the network, a group whose main goal is not to cover the news well, but to get ratings and bring in advertising dollars.

      I was told by someone that VM's story, both the lying and the actual truth, would basically have zero interest in terms of being covered by the regular news because it would be boring.

      Delete
    7. 2:01
      Well the reality show was sure boring. The only ones who *loved it* are the predictable junior high shippers.

      Tessa on twitter imo is also a spectacular pr fail. The fans falling over themselves to fawn over her are a very small number, in spite of the thousands of followers.

      She presents as vapid and silly. Boring. All the upping the ante in the shamming is not making them more interesting. On the contrary.

      Delete
    8. 2:01 PM - in my own experience, various people in media have shared their judgment on the value of this story or that, and I always find it self-serving. Nobody knows. If everybody knew what was a boring story or a hot story, everybody's ratings and newsstand sales would be a whole lot better than they are. The easy thing is to go for the lowest common denominator, and argue that's what sells, but it doesn't always sell, and sometimes the audience is actually interested in stuff that bores the media.

      IMO there are two main problems with Virtue and Moir's story becoming a "story". One, it's not a headline. Countless celebrity couples have denied being a couple (or, conversely, denied breaking up or divorce), only to have it come out they are a couple, or have split. Going back ... ten years? Everybody knew Ben Affleck and JLo were done, and he'd dumped her, and the time they spent pretending they were back together (after calling off the wedding, and after the first tabloid cycle, he went to meet her somewhere non-H'wood where they posed for "paps") was just to help her save face/preserve her image. Everybody gets it when Jamie Sale says she and Pelletier kept their split quiet to protect their brand. What makes Virtue and Moir different? Their pattern of fucking with the fans over an 8 year period. The bait and switch. Instigating and game playing. Too complicated, too much research involved, too much time-lining, too much contextualizing, and for what? A couple of ice dancers? That's the kind of research/backtracking only something like a Vanity Fair cover story would attempt, and THAT sort of story would be attempted only if Scott Moir or Tessa Virtue became newsworthy outside of their minor celebrity or their sport, and the research/sham helped to explain Scott and Tessa in the framework of whatever larger story they found themselves in.

      Secondly, Scott and Tessa don't succeed in the sham because they sham - they succeed because celebrity media culture helps them - proactively helps them. That's not something the media is going to seriously examine. PRETEND to examine - put up straw man issues and look at those - but not really examine. The news arm isn't going to call out the entertainment arm. In the second half of this past Olympic cycle, the most interesting aspect of the sham hasn't been the sham, or Moirville, but how it's default to absolutely lie to, manipulate, intimidate, disparage and pre-empt the public. I see it with Virtue and Moir, but I also see it with everything, from the most minor stuff, to whether or not some plot point in some show worked. So many media outlets set out to pre-empt audience response by informing us how we feel. "Don't worry, this didn't happen!" Even if it was something that clearly everybody WANTED to happen.

      It's not really about boring story or non boring story. It's that the media/journalism is part of this story - a key part, and they don't want to deal with that. Scott and Tessa didn't fool the media, after all.

      Delete
    9. 1:29PM - as to the "mess", I believe Moirville would say you're looking through the wrong end of the telescope. It's not a mess. WE (fans) are stupid. WE (fans) are tacky and crass. That's how come the sham is tacky and crass.

      VM/Moirville, etc. are skating culture through and through. Skating culture is corrupt and contemptuous.Skating culture takes no responsibility - things are the way they are because it's someone else's fault.How many times have we heard skaters say they don't do this or that exhibition/program because it wouldn't appeal to "our audience." Audience = FRAUS. We all know the word. Even though datalounge.com has nearly been (finally) shamed out of using the term, I think the concept is alive and well in figure skating culture.

      Virtue and Moir HAVE to be tacky and crass because WE are. We, the supporters of figure skating, won't pay attention unless it's gross, rude, tacky, crass, obnoxious and mean.

      Nothing to do with Virtue and Moir, who they really are.They have to be like this because we're so pathetically simple, low and stupid. Oh, and needy.That's a very popular fan word, I've learned, looking at not just Virtue Moir, but other celebrities.

      I don't know how the decent people in skating (I won't list them but some are obvious) continue to abide by the concept that how you treat other people reflects on YOU, shows something about YOU. It doesn't say anything about the people you're dealing with. Virtue and Moir are emphatically on the side that says how they treat people says something about other people and nothing about Virtue Moir. If Virtue Moir treat a certain category of people like shit, it's because that's all those people are worth. Besides, those don't know the difference because they're stupid and self-important. Anyway, the whole thing is really funny and they get a laugh out of it.

      Delete
    10. About the vapid and silly. If you are going to not just hide a few important facts about your life from the public (such as your marriage and the fact that you're a parent), but you believe that who you really ARE - your actual personality - is too sacred to be shared even in a professional context - then vapid and silly is default. Tessa doesn't share anything, nothing, zero, on her twitter. Not even real stuff about her professional life. They always did this. In legit media, real stuff about their professional life showed up and was promoted. On social media, this stuff didn't exist.

      The reason "Scott's girlfriends" came off desperate was they had to reconcile two incompatible realities.One being, they had no relationship with Scott, not even a real friendship.Therefore, no mutual experiences, shorthand, jokes, shared friendships, shared events, shared history. This is the stuff of relationships. Look at any real relationship among celebrities, even friendships (for example, Julie Benz (of "Dexter") and Jaime Murray (also of "Dexter")). You won't get personal stuff but you know those two know each other, make fun of each other, know each other's habits, quirks and taste, and refer to them appropriately on twitter. Scott and his fake girlfriends have nothing. BUT, the girlfriend's job is to establish, on social media, that he's their boyfriend. What do you do when that's the job, but the only stuff you actually know about the guy has nothing to do with you (you know he's married and in love with his wife and any personal stuff you know has to do with him and his wife). Well, you say, "Say, have I mentioned lately that Scott MOir is my boyfriend?" "Say, I am so freaking excited, because I'm going to ILDERTON ("wink"/Scott Moir)." "I am sobbing so hard cause Scott MOir is leaving and my life is nothing without him!" "BTW, have I mentioned I'm fucking Scott MOir?"

      One of the reasons Tessa's twitter sucks is every single thing on it, she doesn't give a fuck about. Not the shoes. Not the hair. Nothing. It's all a garbage dump, for us, the landfill.

      Delete
    11. Over the past year or so my respect admiration for some lower ranked skaters, and some retired skaters, has increased incredibly as I've realized how many skaters get points for being GREAT PEOPLE even if they're assholes. And yet, there are eligible skaters and retired skaters who conduct themselves decently, with consideration, and there's no tangible upside except self-respect. These people seem as if they wouldn't have self-respect if they stooped to the level of a Scott and Tessa, and it doesn't actually matter to them if they get credit, and the way they treat people doesn't appear to depend upon if they might be accountable or not. I root my ass off for these people.

      Delete
  19. 5:17
    The problem is there are people who know for a fact Tessa and Scott are married and have a child. It's not a hypothesis based on what someone feels/thinks.

    Speculations about motives and character do need to be based on what is known as fact. That's not to say the media narratives don't have any truth. Maybe Scott is more down to earth or whatever. But he's with Tessa. That's a fact. Since they are lying about their real status, who knows what else is lies.

    Although I will agree RS is douchy and seems to be a complete ass. He's disgusting. But then, what other kind of person would sham with a pregnant wife of another man, taking advantage of the opportunity to touch her. Yes. I know it's just posing and it's considered quite decourous. I think not. RS is an ass and VM don't care. That makes them equally douchy.

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  20. Anon at 5:25 am - no worries. As OC and you have information or sources that I don't - I am okay with your statement. It was a personal observation - that's all. I am not on fsu, goldenskate, twitter, instagram, tumblr or facebook - so I don't interact with other fans. If OC wants to delete the post - she can - its her blog...
    On another note - it will be interesting to see what VM do with their exhibition skating in 2015. If everything is basically rehashed then I don't think they will be skating together for much longer.

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  21. @5:45 AM - I'm leaving it up because, as I read it, you were expressing what you believed without ignoring what the blog is about - some people come in and pretend the blog is hosting a "theory" and think, well, I'm going to discuss my own theories. Yours read to me as just - I don't believe what's here, this is what I think, but more about YOU and your feelings about Virtue Moir in general. No blog hijacking, purposeful mischaracterization or trolling. 5:25 am is correct - discussion and speculation in the comments section is in the context of what's true - that they're married. As I know these facts, it would be ridiculous to pretend I don't and go, go ahead and speculate based on stuff I know isn't true! So that's the rule, but on occasion when somebody makes a one-off sort of post that doesn't appear to have agenda, it's okay.

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  22. Welp, not the most promising start to the season. G/P in 4th but still close even with a huge lift mistake, P/I with a shaky lift but in 2nd and 4 points behind P/C. Protocols not up yet, but I doubt that all works out to something that makes sense.

    The sound is out of synch on the stream videos, but I'll be posting fixed (as well as I can) versions on my aWaltzFlower channel. And then obviously will be getting comparisons out as soon as I'm able to.
    Here's P/I
    http://youtu.be/w-6VKN-376c

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, canadablue (sound problem is fixed it says, and it seems to be). Boy I love that program. I love everything about the twizzle sequence. There are ice dance teams who wore gold medals in Sochi who can't even pay lip service to twizzling in the style of the dance, who haven't evolved their basic, should be L2 twizzles technically in five years, while everybody else kept upping the ante, and Paul/Islam ESTABLISH the character of the paso in their twizzles. Love the transition into it, and another thought is that the transition to the step sequence is absolutely beautiful. They have better unison, with markedly closer blades, than any team I've seen this season and pre-season to date, and Mitch Islam, despite having a body type that isn't dissimilar to Evan Bates', has a beautiful frame. It's going to be a travesty when Chock & Bates are on the podium or in fourth at Worlds and these two are top ten. Ridiculous. That Chock & Bates would be scored anywhere near these two is a joke.

      Delete
    2. What the unholy fuck, G&P got the highest pcs? The ISU needs to put in a program insert: "BTW everybody, pcs means exactly the opposite of what the rules say they mean."

      Delete
    3. And they're less than 2 points behind P/I with a 0.00 on their lift. IOW, they're 2.5+ points ahead of them with a finished lift.

      I'm pleasantly suprised with P/C this season, they're improving and skating honest programs, but they shouldn't be ahead of P/I either.
      http://youtu.be/JBzPWOmOX_Y

      Delete
    4. I'm also enjoying PC this season, and I greatly appreciate the work they have done to make improvements in their skating and that they're skating honest programs. I am already weary of the hyperbole by some message board participants who are trying to tout them as world champion material this year based on reasons that have nothing to little to do with their skating. It's sad to me that it's not the improvements in their skating that have caught the attention of those trying to overhype them.

      Delete
    5. P/I's program was by far the most complex but they appeared to be thinking through most of the choreography so I can accept their pcs being closer to P/C. I hope they'll be rewarded when they finally skate it full out but I'm not holding my breath. As G/P have shown, as long as you skate skate confidently and look fast you'll get the marks, complex interdependent choreography slows you down and is a competitive disadvantage.

      Delete
    6. Yes, Alex in particular was thinking through it,but she EXECUTED. How does that justify higher pcs for GP? PCs is a technical mark. It's not waist up. It's about the quality of the skating, not the quality of the facial expression or gestures.

      Delete
    7. Yeah, so this program is just all kinds of special...

      http://youtu.be/0vvg-AAKj0I

      Delete
    8. 6:56 again. I meant I agreed with P/C's pcs being closer than usual (although I still wouldn't have them quite that close). G/P is another story, gimmicky choreography sloppily excuted and Piper's skating is still problematic. But hey, they looked very fast in some parts (and then had to slow down whenever they had to do anything the least bit complex) and Piper's facial expressions were good, I guess that's all it takes.

      Delete
    9. Maybe they ended up with PCS that high because the judges were distracted by that damned awful cape.

      Delete
    10. P/I's warmup - look at that speed <3
      http://youtu.be/qPy9Ql3pvkM

      Delete
    11. I'm really not feeling this SD from P/I and I don't think they are the second coming, which I am sure is an unpopular opinion here. For example, I felt I/K were a superior team when they were still together.

      Delete
    12. The second coming of whom, 9:06 PM? I'm curious why you think saying otherwise would be considered an unpopular opinion since I don't think anyone here has ever said P/I are the second coming of anyone, let alone V/M. Also, what is it about I/K's skating you thought was superior to P/I's? Curious.

      I agree with OC that it appears Alexandra Paul is still thinking through the execution of the program and it left her a bit tight in parts, but the execution was there and that's how you properly build on a program - start with a focus on the technical precision and then let it drive the expression as you grow it throughout the season. I don't think I/K were ever as well matched as P/I from a technical skills and execution standpoint, nor did they possess more musicality or greater quality of movement.

      P/I aren't the second coming of anyone. They're unique to themselves (as all teams are) and they're the real deal.

      Delete
    13. P/I will get better as the season progresses. But I do have to say that I miss, miss, miss V/M right now. You can bet on your life that their paso doble would have been fantastic, sharp and crisp. They've been the cream of the crop for two quads, and the only people who refused to acknowledge it were either (a) delusional or (b) threatened by V/M's superiority (see: USFSA).

      Delete
    14. How could a team that skated as programs as ridiculously open as I/K be superior to a team like P/I, a team that has grown to successfully execute incredibly difficult content? It's what you actually get done on the ice, not what natural talent you might possess when doing skating drills alone. And it's not even like I/K were known for seamless execution of their simpler choreo. Their programs always had an unfinished quality, and they had just as many big mistakes as P/I over the last quad, if not more.

      Delete
    15. 2:30 AM - that really is how I'd describe I/K. They had potential but IMO never gelled as a team as their programs were, as you put it, ridiculously open. The idea is to have lovely edges and work closely, as one, with your partner.

      Of course the trend now is to reward those ice dancers who take turns doing what skating exists in the program, and the ISU doesn't give a hot damn if they do it on opposite sides of the rink from each other.

      Delete
    16. So. I'm 2:30. And am quite disappointed in this vehicle for P/I. It's far too open for what they're capable of. Skating close and in closed holds is their speciality, I do not understand why there's not enough of that here.

      http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x282ol7_paul-islam-can_sport

      Of course, you only get marks for being a bit open and sloppy if you're bad. If you're good, you get a couple of 5s while G/P get 8s.

      Delete
    17. Was G/P's stunt at the end of their fd more or less disgusting than DW's at SA 2012? Her rubbing off her lipstick really sealed it.

      Watching these teams I'm still so amazed at what VM accomplished and in what time frame.

      Delete
    18. I’m not 9:06 but I certainly can understand what they mean. There have been lots of posts here implying that PI are the second coming of VM – that PI should already be second in Canada and basically saying they should be world champions this year with VM out. Someone here had posted that, while not as good as VM, PI were overall the second best team in the world, the closest to VM. And someone here posted they wouldn’t be upset if VM retired because they didn’t want PI to lose their place on the team (basically suggesting that for them, PI are an adequate replacement). The PI fans love to co-opt the language that has been used here about VM… some of the posts read like a copy/paste of a VM analysis. On FSU there was a conversation suggesting that PI could easily handle Pink Floyd, or something “even harder” because PF was watered down due to PI’s injury, and even suggesting that they could perform something like Carmen.

      Look, I think PI are a decent team and I appreciate that they really try to skate. They are hard done by vis a vis GP. I find them wildly overrated by some commenters here. Their programs are not generated off effortless speed and power. They often look like they are doing choreography (or trying to), not dancing. They can be very mechanical. I’m definitely not seeing the “two shall skate as one” aspect at all. Doing stuff in hold and skating close together makes it more difficult to do *clean and with speed.* PI don’t skate with much speed and they rarely skate their programs clean, so it’s not all that impressive. It’s not easy to develop power. DW and CL haven’t after 8 years. PI are still in the phase of “trying” to do the things that make a great dance team. I find that PI fans often talk about them in theoretical terms – the PI that we see, but with power, speed, confidence, effortlessness, and consistency. Which would be very nice, but that’s not how they skate. And for all the different styles that PI fans say they are so sure they could do very well, they haven’t actually done them. They keep doing variations of the same things (the music tempo may change from rhumba to tango to waltz but their movement isn't, IMO of course). They were slow and shaky at the Olympics. I don’t think she’s as gorgeous of a dancer as some claim – her positions are so labored in the lifts in their new FD. She does not extend or hold positions long enough. She’s not bad, and she’s definitely not Piper, but it’s also nothing that makes me look twice at them.

      A commenter here recently said that PI would certainly have improved enough to be competitive with WP at Nationals, without regard to the fact that others could improve just as much or more, as Papadakis Cizeron have clearly done, along with FOURNIER BEAUDRY / SORENSEN (29th at Worlds). I am so impressed with what DL are doing, but that’s another post.

      Delete
    19. P/I will never get anywhere if they keep presenting themselves as weaker junior versions of V/M. They have yet to show individuality, personality or originality.

      Delete
    20. P/I have NEVER presented themselves as weaker junior versions of V/M. FSU has unfairly bestowed that label on them from the beginning (but it's FSU so what else is new).

      Not sure what you're talking about regarding P/I never having shown individuality, personality, or originality unless you're focused on theme and your own personal taste instead of what actually matters, which is the skating.

      Delete
    21. I'm less than thrilled with their new FD, but I am operating under the expectation that they will make some changes. I'm not ignoring that it's a potential problem, I'm just answering like I would have answered this time yesterday. Because nothing that happened today changes what they've accomplished in the past.

      " The PI fans love to co-opt the language that has been used here about VM… some of the posts read like a copy/paste of a VM analysis."

      That's because P/I share enough characeristics that there is overlap in discussing their strengths. Are they as strong as V/M? No. Should we invent another language to avoid any confusion for you? What else should we say if their skating skills and matching and intricacy is of a similar, although not necessarily equal, nature?? People who defend P/I have been pretty specific about what it is they bring to the table and why they're among the best. They're not just saying whatever's true about V/M without explaining why it applies to P/I.

      " I’m definitely not seeing the “two shall skate as one” aspect at all. Doing stuff in hold and skating close together makes it more difficult to do *clean and with speed.* PI don’t skate with much speed and they rarely skate their programs clean, so it’s not all that impressive. "

      You have got to be kidding me. P/I don't skate as one?? SERIOUSLY? What team, besides V/M, do you think skates closer together and more in sync with each other? Look at this video. http://youtu.be/wjNLG9ImZHU How else exactly would you describe their matching here? Did you even watch their FD last season? Really stop and watch the difficulty and compare it to anyone other than V/M?

      V/M weren't perfectly clean most of the time either. And you are ignoring reality when it comes to speed. P/I have consistently gained speed each season, and had plenty of power yesterday in the SD - the most I've seen from them, and an amount that compares favourably to the current field. And who exactly do you compare them to, if they are slow? If you are meaning that incredibly fast open skating is better or equal to difficult skating with medium power, I disagree, and so does CoP.

      "power, speed, confidence, effortlessness, and consistency. Which would be very nice, but that’s not how they skate."

      They skate like that sometimes. You're pretending that a team like V/M just went out and knocked it out of the park each time. There's a price to be paid for skating difficult content.

      "I don’t think she’s as gorgeous of a dancer as some claim – her positions are so labored in the lifts in their new FD. She does not extend or hold positions long enough. She’s not bad, and she’s definitely not Piper, but it’s also nothing that makes me look twice at them"

      I'm half convinced you are trolling. Again, this FD and particular first outing of the season is NOT how to judge the Alexandra Paul of the last quad.

      "A commenter here recently said that PI would certainly have improved enough to be competitive with WP at Nationals, without regard to the fact that others could improve just as much or more, as Papadakis Cizeron have clearly done, along with FOURNIER BEAUDRY / SORENSEN (29th at Worlds). I am so impressed with what DL are doing, but that’s another post."

      I can see how OC sometimes gets frustrated at people making shit up here without reading what's actually said. You really think people involved in that conversation were just assuming NO ONE else could improve? I agreed with that assessment by considering the likelihood of what all the teams might look like, and the way in which P/I have grown since moving to DSC led me to believe that was realistic.

      You know, it's funny, but some D/L fans seem to have a bee in their bonnet about P/I. Well, I have a bee in my bonnet about D/L, because they're responsible for P/I's new FD and I think they can do better.

      Delete
    22. P/I can do better, that is.

      Delete
    23. 4:05: "It’s not easy to develop power. DW and CL haven’t after 8 years"

      Did either team make the attempt? For example, with DW, it's difficult to develop power if the goal is to avoid skating your program. The choreography didn't allow it - there was little skating in it.

      Also 4:05 says PI are still in the position of trying the things that make a great dance team, and observes that Alex doesn't hold her positions.

      1:09 says: "Skating close and in closed holds is their speciality, I do not understand why there's not enough of that here."

      I'd argue it's because that IS their specialty. This is the first season of a new quad. That's the season to address what ISN'T your specialty, particularly if the goal is to move up.

      4:05 - dance teams and pairs teams have developed power. VM and MTM - Kirsten in particular - for two. VM don't even resemble the VM that skated in 2008.

      IMO, P/I would benefit from more ice coverage per run of blade, more ice coverage per sequence, more power in general (power produces speed). I know a lot of people still don't like Seasons, but the reason Virtue and Moir were a slam dunk at the GPF and the Olympics despite the refusal of the ISU to acknowledge it, is they skated HUGE. VM can do intricacy. Skating huge, powerful and fast, covering tremendous amounts of ice, and then coming together with bang on timing and working interdependantly with some exquisite blade work and then back on an extended edges in perfect unison is the sort of skating that has as little margin for error as skating intricately in closed hold. It, too, demonstrates partnership, dance and superior skating skills.

      Fans bitched about the curve lift in Seasons because juniors had done it. No junior could do it as Virtue and Moir did it. Not with Scott's impeccable edges, the speed, the enormous, powerful arc described with his perfectly aligned skate blades, not with Tessa's brilliant carriage, seamless entrance and exit and perfect, mutually interdependent alignment with Scott.

      cont'd

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    24. I don't know how this season will play out for PI. They skated poorly (for them) here. But if close/intricate work is their specialty, I can either think someone dropped the ball (very unlikely, IMO), or somebody thinks they can grow beyond "simply" skating their specialty with confidence and skating clean, and their free dance is a vehicle intended to get THEM, not the choreography, to fill the ice. It's up to them to get their skating there.

      I know this is about weighing values, but that's a practical matter. We could talk all day long about what it takes to skate like Alex and Mitch versus what it takes to skate like Paul and Piper, and which set of attributes demonstrates superior skating, which is what this is all about. Except it's not. It's about what the judges are doing and rewarding. The judges appear happy to reward sloppy skaters that power across the rink, despite wide open choreography. Hell, they're happy to reward sloppy skaters that PRETEND to power across the rink via face acting, arms, and Federation narrative, even if they're actually glacial. They're happy to give Piper all the points only Paul is earning for his skating skills.

      So Paul Islam are in this sport, and have their ambitions and their goals. I don't know if skating clean all season in one of their "specialty" programs would get them to their goals - judging trends suggest not. Who knows if anything will. But as the saying goes, you can't control what you can't control. They're not quitting. So why not use this "gimme" season (it's a total write-off reputation-wise, and used that way, to the benefit of many skaters) to get that power, that ice coverage? Then you tack back and the next program has more closed hold, more close blade work WITH added power, more ice coverage, bigger and bolder skating. I believe the free dance would be a different animal if the skating were bigger and bolder, and, despite what 4:05 believes, plenty of skaters have acquired more power. I'm not sure one of their two examples ever tried. If Alex and Mitch are to do so, this would be the time.

      Delete
    25. P.S. when it comes to coaching and choreography, I really resist any notion that a coach or choreographer "missed" something fans can see, or didn't realize something fans realize or know about a set of skaters. I think skaters know themselves better than fans, and wouldn't take a program that fans could immediately see was bad for them because they couldn't see that it was too this or that. If it's too this or that, it's a CHOICE, not an oversight. It's a choice that might pay off or not, but it's a choice.

      Delete
    26. I think at one point in time that the first season of a new quad was a "gimme" season, but I'm not convinced that the notion holds at this point in time. In this day in age, I feel like the first season of the quad is largely the power-grab season where the teams are vying for attention and political position in the establishment of the political pecking order for quad. Pre-DW era corruption, skaters weren't expected to come out in top form in October. Now, thanks to corruption, teams are expected to show up "strong out of the gate." DW never were strong out of the gate in reality and whatever it was they did was incapable of growth, but the narrative did a number on things in terms of how the skaters who are capable have to show up now. Crappy teams with political favor can show up crappy. Teams that are good but don't have political favor *do* have to show up in top shape from the start. Much like all of that, I think the good teams without political favor are under more pressure to be outstanding from the word "go" this quad to try to mitigate politics. I don't think there's any season or period of time that gets to be freebie anymore in terms of working on the skating because of politics and narrative.

      "IMO, P/I would benefit from more ice coverage per run of blade, more ice coverage per sequence, more power in general (power produces speed)."

      I agree with this. They've improved in this area from several years ago, but it's still something they need to work on. If you go back and look at teams like VM, TD, KP, and UZ, they all have the smooth, rhythmic knees in common. I feel that PI need to work on using those knees better. I think it would help to generate more power off of each stroke.

      "P.S. when it comes to coaching and choreography, I really resist any notion that a coach or choreographer "missed" something fans can see, or didn't realize something fans realize or know about a set of skaters. "

      I understand where you're coming from, but at the same time, I don't think coaches, skaters, and choreographers are infallible in their work. Everyone makes a miscalculation or bad decision from time-to-time. In any field, bad decisions happen on occasion. I don't think skating is immune from that.

      Delete
    27. I don't think they're infallible, but I don't think the flaw is something major fans can see but completely got past the skaters and the choreographer and coaches. Paul Islam are self-aware. Their choices as ice dancers have been conscious. They know what they value in ice dance. I find implausible a scenario where D/L give them an overly simplistic program, not appreciating what they're capable of doing, and Paul Islam either don't realize it's as open/simplistic as it is (I mean, come ON) or are too deferential, manipulated, cowed to speak up. What are the other possible scenarios that produced this program (Sincere question)?

      I do think it's much more likely an agenda or method is behind it that is, as you say, going to be either a good decision or a bad one. But it's not an "ignorant" decision. "OMG, I didn't know they had the capability, and gave them too dumb a program, and they never said anything! Neither did their coaches!"

      Which would require Paul Islam not realizing they had a dumbed down program, or going along because ... why?

      I'm not saying that this is going to work. BUT, I guess we have to decide who knows Alex Paul and Mitch Islam best. Us or them. IF all of the attributes I mentioned were gettable within their specialty, why wouldn't they go that route? I"m going to guess their team knows them, and they know themselves, and they need to get these skaters out of their habits, and their habits might be entrenched, psychologically or some other way. Alex works beautifully with Mitch closely in close hold, and, as I've speculated elsewhere, this could have become a screen she hides behind, a safety zone that impedes development of other aspects of her skating. If that's in the ballpark, then you do a cost benefit analysis. Sacrifice some of that intricacy and close hold FOR THIS YEAR, push her into her own space, make her fill it. Let go of your security blanket. Drive down that ice after those twizzles. Fly across that ice in that solo twizzle Mitch partners. It's not abandoning their specialty. This is not the last season of their career. It's using this season to get something else from their skating, and doing a cost benefit analysis. If there's a cost, and despite agreeing that coaches and skaters aren't infallible, I can only surmise that the calculation was it's worth it, and it's important.

      Delete
    28. "P/I have NEVER presented themselves as weaker junior versions of V/M. FSU has unfairly bestowed that label on them from the beginning (but it's FSU so what else is new)."

      I don't even visit FSU, it was my very first impression of PI.
      There also have been various commentators from around the world who had the exact same impression of them and I doubt they'd care too much what FSU has to say.

      "Not sure what you're talking about regarding P/I never having shown individuality, personality, or originality unless you're focused on theme and your own personal taste instead of what actually matters, which is the skating."

      What have PI ever done choreography or theme wise that was original or made them stand out from the rest of the field ?
      They have been seniors for an entire quad now yet hardly anybody remembers their names or their programs. Especially Paul can be dreadfully bland.
      All the skating skills in the world won't help them if their performances are weak.

      Delete
    29. Not to mention, when you work with a new team, don't you watch their past skates on youtube? Wouldn't professional choreographers and well known Canadian champions D/L have done so, and thereby known what P/I were capable of doing? Even If they have no internet connection, what would lead them to assume P/I were less capable than they are? Just - assume it? Fail to test out more complex sequences? Not have the skating knowledge to develop more intricate sequences? Not be able to just look at how they use their blades and assess that they can probably do what they do well? So I guess the question is, how does a choreographer work with a team and not know they're as good as they are? What thinking process produces that gap? Not looking at their past work? Not being able to perceive based on their basics that this or that is worth trying?

      Delete
    30. OC @. 6:56

      Do you think it's possible that there could be an injury that led to watering down the choreography?

      Delete
    31. "What have PI ever done choreography or theme wise that was original or made them stand out from the rest of the field ?
      They have been seniors for an entire quad now yet hardly anybody remembers their names or their programs. Especially Paul can be dreadfully bland.
      All the skating skills in the world won't help them if their performances are weak."

      Really, this is a complete mish mash and pointless. All the skating skills in the world are inextricably tied into performance.

      Give me an example of "original" choreography - I'm dying to see some. I don't think I've seen any ever in all the figure skating I've ever watched, mostly because skating has a vocabulary of steps that are used by every skater, and a vocabulary of elements, moves, etc.

      Your perspective - skating doesn't matter, only performance - is contrary to everything the skating discussion on this blog examines. Skating matters first, performance second. MY perspective on P/I's free is that it demands they skate bolder. I don't mean Paul starts face acting, hair flinging and swinging her arms, but that she uses her body to fill her movements (something you have mentioned), but, more importantly, that she uses her blades and her skating skills to fill the ice and the perceived open spaces in the program. If you are the one who said power is difficult to achieve, then you're the one I've answered that plenty of skaters have done it, usually skaters with excellent basic skating skills, which P/I definitely have.

      It's just weird that you're here and all the questions you ask about P/I have absolutely nothing to do with the rulebook and what's quantifiable in CoP. It could be straight out of an Aussie Willie seminar.

      Delete
    32. "4:05 - dance teams and pairs teams have developed power. VM and MTM - Kirsten in particular - for two. VM don't even resemble the VM that skated in 2008."

      I almost brought up VM preemptively in my first post. I think that they improved their power of the years, and they developed and built on what they had, but they didn't develop it from scratch. They were much further along than PI are now in 2007 already. They had extremely deep edges and it was only their second season in seniors... I don't think PI have ever skated close to the level VM did in the 2006-07 season, and that's not meant to be a diss, because no currently competing teams have. I think it's easier once you get to the elite senior level to take a team that already has that power and barrels down the ice and get them to slow down, take a breather, extend, and dance in hold (sort of like Kostner did in singles). The basics are, as you of course know, the foundation. The construction of the programs is secondary. Starting with the difficult construction and then building the skating four years into seniors doesn't really make as much sense as taking a couple with huge skating and refining their technique and adding difficulty.

      "IMO, P/I would benefit from more ice coverage per run of blade, more ice coverage per sequence, more power in general (power produces speed). I know a lot of people still don't like Seasons, but the reason Virtue and Moir were a slam dunk at the GPF and the Olympics despite the refusal of the ISU to acknowledge it, is they skated HUGE. VM can do intricacy. Skating huge, powerful and fast, covering tremendous amounts of ice, and then coming together with bang on timing and working interdependantly with some exquisite blade work and then back on an extended edges in perfect unison is the sort of skating that has as little margin for error as skating intricately in closed hold. It, too, demonstrates partnership, dance and superior skating skills."

      Exactly. This is what PI don't have. It's what makes VM VM, so I don't see the argument that they're like VM, just the slightly lesser version who need to work on a bit and hey even VM have off days...

      Delete
    33. 7:17 - no idea. I was quite puzzled by Alex's hesitancy from the very first note in the free dance, and the fact that she never regrouped or recommitted or started attacking. I wondered what it was about but I honestly don't know - I don't know her.

      I know that after watching her "I want to be loved by you" exhibition, watching the brilliantly choreographed (and, for the most part, gorgeously skated) short dance, and this, that I see aspects of her skating that could be addressed by setting her up so that her skating has to fill the ice. She didn't even make the attempt at this competition, so I don't know what that's about. I saw the attempt in the short. Not that she doesn't fill the ice, but MORE, and I saw that she was getting there in the short, and it was set up for her to do even more.

      Delete
    34. FSU took one look at a young P/I and said something to the effect of "hey look, Mitchell has dark hair and Alexandra Paul has a ballet background and looks like Tessa (even though she doesn't) and they're skating a program about a love story between a man and a woman. They're trying to be V/M. BORING."

      That's how FSU rolls. Nobody looked at the skating because WHO GIVES A SHIT ABOUT THAT?

      But fair enough, you don't read FSU. So could you explain then - in a skating sense, not in terms of theme or dance/movement style or music divorced from the skating - how P/I are presenting themselves like weaker junior versions of V/M. Explain how Paul is "dreadfully bland" in a skating sense? Is her edge-depth bland? Her blade drives? The way her expression is driven up from her feet and out through her body the proper way instead of pasting on a bunch of theatric expressions on her face and doing nothing of substance from the waist down?

      You say all the skating skills in the world won't help them if their performances are weak. Are you talking about their execution of the elements in this case? Because skating skills cannot be separated from performance. P/I's skating skills have made them stand out from the field for several years now, and those skating skills drive their choreography, which has been intricate and quite difficult. Originality of theme means nothing on its own. G/P's "Wild Spirits" was an original theme but it was an empty program with little to no difficult skating.

      "They have been seniors for an entire quad now yet hardly anybody remembers their names or their programs."

      I'm not saying you're Doris Pulaski, but that's a Doris Pulaski-type statement. Who is hardly anybody? The judges? The audience? The FSUers you don't interact with because you don't go there? How is somebody not remembering P/I's names an indicator that they aren't excellent skaters? Can you point to the PCS category in COP that specifies how many points should be given to a team based on how quickly they're recognized?

      Delete
    35. " If you are the one who said power is difficult to achieve, then you're the one I've answered that plenty of skaters have done it, usually skaters with excellent basic skating skills, which P/I definitely have."

      No, that's not the same poster. I'm 4:05 and 7:22, but not 6:56 (anonymous posting has its benefits but it can be so confusing sometimes :))

      Delete
    36. ^But when have P/I tried to acquire more power before this season? They've been together much much less time than VM. FAR less time. I think before VM were actually in juniors they'd already been together longer than P/I have been together to date. When a team is that new, it makes sense to use what they do well. Here are their attributes, here is their specialty, show it off. That's what you do with any new team. You use what you've got and maybe a little of what you don't have as well. You can't compare VM to P/I as literally as you're doing, which is saying "They'll never be VM". Does this mean they can't be a more powerful, stronger, bolder P/I? This means they may as well forget trying to compete with the likes of Chock & Bates, Weaver & Poje and Gilles & Poirier? Really?

      Last year, P/I made the Olympic team. They skated fantastically at Canadians and commendably at the Olympics and Worlds. Prior to last season it appeared they had no hope of the Olympic team, it was earmarked for Gilles/Poirier. But they earned it.

      Now they're in a new quad. Last Olympic quad was their first ever. They were perfecting what they do well, learning to compete. It's a mental game along with everything else. So the new quad is what? Hold their ground? Which is what? Here's the list of positives in their skating, and their assets are considerable. What can they add? If (only speculating) the conclusion is - bigger, more powerful, cover more ice, use more of the rink, extend that blade run - how do you achieve it?

      My guess is - it depends. You know your skaters. The skaters know themselves. The team and the skaters take an assessment - psychologically, athletically, technically, etc. The result of that assessment shows itself in a program. This is purely an hypothesis, but it may be that in order to address the issues of filling the ice, and greater power and blade run, Alex needs to be thrown into the deep end, out of her comfort zone.

      Delete
    37. "There also have been various commentators from around the world who had the exact same impression of them and I doubt they'd care too much what FSU has to say."

      And we all know how discerning and correct commentators are. If they think they see some superificial similarity, it must be true on some really deep level.

      "All the skating skills in the world won't help them if their performances are weak."

      Help them at what? Winning? Being loved by skating fans no matter how shallow they are? Or being a great team who deserves to be awarded under CoP. Their performanes aren't weak. They can work on things, but 4:52 already said it - it's your preference of what you enjoy that you're talking about, not the quality of their skating, not the quality of their performance in the styles they've chosen to do and excel at.

      Delete
    38. ""There also have been various commentators from around the world who had the exact same impression of them and I doubt they'd care too much what FSU has to say."

      You can't be serious. The same commentators who found Carmen lacking? The same commentators who declared Davis White legitimate Olympic gold medalists and GPF gold medalists and World Champions?

      Delete
    39. "But when have P/I tried to acquire more power before this season?"

      I guess we have different philosophies about this? I think it's ground zero, so skaters are always trying to work on it, unless they are at the level where their skating is wild and they need to harness it. (Maybe DW were an exception... I don't know what kind of fuckery was going on with them and they seem to be the exception to everything. You also asked when did CL ever try to acquire it, and I believe they have each season, it just didn't go far. If anything, CL seem to be honest about their skating, never trying to fake it. I don't think they have the natural talent to take it any further than they've done. There have been times they've achieved level 4 footwork when higher ranked teams didn't, and I had no reason to believe that was politically motivated. There have been times when they've briefly been able to demonstrate extended blade run, but they always get tired in the end and just can't do it throughout the program... I never doubted that they desperately wanted to.)

      I guess I can't imagine how PI would have ever not been working on it. I'm not familiar with their previous coaches, but Krylova has always pushed this aspect in her teams. I do understand the concept of dumbing down your program so you can skate faster and freer, but I think PI need more than that (the filling in the spaces as you talked about - I think we're on a similar wavelength as to do what they need to do but we think they're at different levels of progress - I think they're not as far along as you seem to consider them, and I'm not really sure how we could really demonstrate that through examples or come to an agreement).

      "This means they may as well forget trying to compete with the likes of Chock & Bates, Weaver & Poje and Gilles & Poirier? Really?"

      I think they're much better than CB and GP. They could potentially be better than WP but they're not now. In this competition though they were outskated by the French and Danish couples. Going back to the original conversation, someone said PI fans were calling them the second coming, someone asked of whom, and I was giving examples where I believed they were presenting PI as a second coming of VM. That's why my examples are VM centric. Not only are they not VM, I don't believe they are the best in the world after VM, a position that has definitely been stated here in the past. Since GP and CB are far from the best in the world, of course I am not saying they can't compete with them.

      "This is purely an hypothesis, but it may be that in order to address the issues of filling the ice, and greater power and blade run, Alex needs to be thrown into the deep end, out of her comfort zone. "

      Do you really think this FD is outside their comfort zone though?

      Delete
    40. 4:05 here, replying to 5:03 (again, I'm not the person who brought up commentary and said all the skating skills in the world wouldn't help, just to be clear)

      “I'm less than thrilled with their new FD, but I am operating under the expectation that they will make some changes.”

      Just saying, this seems to happen a lot with PI fans. Everything is always posted with an underlying expectation that there will be some kind of improvement/change happening that corrects whatever the issue is. That’s fine for a fan thread kind of conversation but I’m going by what’s actually been presented by them over the years. I’d say PC improved more over the summer than PI have since going to Krylova (they also happen to be 5 years younger than PI). By this age VM had won their second World title with Funny Face and were preparing to debut Carmen. PI have never skated with an iota of the power that VM showed in FF. You have every right to hope and believe that PI will improve, but I don't assume there will be radical changes (if there are, great!) nor do I consider PI up and coming young skaters anymore.

      “That's because P/I share enough characeristics that there is overlap in discussing their strengths. Are they as strong as V/M? No. Should we invent another language to avoid any confusion for you? What else should we say if their skating skills and matching and intricacy is of a similar, although not necessarily equal, nature?? People who defend P/I have been pretty specific about what it is they bring to the table and why they're among the best. They're not just saying whatever's true about V/M without explaining why it applies to P/I.”

      I think it gets exaggerated. Just because they’ve skated in hold doesn’t mean they are the masters of interdependent skating. They share some characteristics (they’re imitative of VM) but it’s really not that similar. PI do not really skate well interdependently, IMO, because they don’t have that invisible thread between them where their position relative to each other maintains equal space and distance while they’re in motion – in other words, PI tend to lose their place and their hold, they miss each others’ hands when they’re supposed to join up again, they lose their footing. And those are not just mistakes that happen sometimes. That’s their typical skating except for a few of their very best performances, where they are thinking a lot. VM have had this quality since their senior debut. It’s a secureness that they have where they can do all these complex changes of edge and their bodyline and position never wavers. And their programs are way more difficult and they have shown many different movement types (not "themes") in their skating... authentic tango, authentic flamenco, authentic contemporary, authentic Latin (transposed to ice through their movement, utilizing different parts of their bodies, their limbs, their cores). What PI do is an average senior level program construction similar to that performed by the Shibs, American HD, and WP. And they don't really skate faster or closer together than those teams either.

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    41. 8:01 cont
      “You have got to be kidding me. P/I don't skate as one?? SERIOUSLY? What team, besides V/M, do you think skates closer together and more in sync with each other? Look at this video. http://youtu.be/wjNLG9ImZHU How else exactly would you describe their matching here? Did you even watch their FD last season? Really stop and watch the difficulty and compare it to anyone other than V/M?”

      By skating as one I don’t only mean unison (and there are plenty of teams who have done twizzles very well and in sync). I’m talking about rhythm, the ability to play off each other, turning and gliding as one. I am sure you can come up with examples of a beautifully executed lift in one place, a very well done set of twizzles, matching footwork, but what they have never done is to do all of those things at once, carried by incredible speed, filling the ice, dancing without thinking, as if the music is creating their movement…. Again, I’m not saying their unison is bad, I’m saying I don’t see this “skating as one” that is apparently blowing some PI fans away. Sometimes they even seem to be in each others’ way.

      “V/M weren't perfectly clean most of the time either.

      They skate like that sometimes. You're pretending that a team like V/M just went out and knocked it out of the park each time. There's a price to be paid for skating difficult content.?”

      VM and PI are on a COMPLETELY different level of skating skills. VM might lose unison here and there, but they get it back and they’re always skating with incredible speed and amplitude… they’re never tripping or fumbling through a routine as PI have often done. Everything is always perfectly smooth as silk. I think we are talking about different things. The kind of power, speed, consistency, and effortlessness I’m talking about is not something you can have “sometimes.” It’s a basic quality inherent in skating. VM have it the moment they step onto the ice even for a gala practice session when they’re half asleep. It’s a command of their craft. Of course, everyone can have a bad day, but these qualities are the reason VM’s bad day is still far above anyone else’s good day. As far as consistency, VM could make mistakes but the basic quality of the element was always there – even the mistake was corrected skillfully, on a dime, without losing the speed. PI can sometimes skate clean when they concentrate very hard. They’ve never had that ownership of the ice (I am talking about edges, not facial expressions) where they can skate with confidence because they KNOW they can’t put a foot wrong, and their program content is nowhere near as difficult either.

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    42. 8:01 cont/last part

      “I'm half convinced you are trolling. Again, this FD and particular first outing of the season is NOT how to judge the Alexandra Paul of the last quad.”

      Definitely not trolling. Something like a person’s basic dance quality and movement shouldn’t change radically competition to competition. A lot of these lifts were reused from last year and the I Wanna Be Loved By You exhibition. There is no reason she should not carry herself elegantly in them. I’m not even talking about her lines. She isn’t transitioning smoothly through the positions. Even going back to past seasons, my impression of her was always that she’s pleasant, but never “wow, this girl should be doing ballet.”

      “You know, it's funny, but some D/L fans seem to have a bee in their bonnet about P/I. Well, I have a bee in my bonnet about D/L, because they're responsible for P/I's new FD and I think they can do better.”

      Yeah, I don’t think they did a great job. They did better with their own teams, but it’s not really about the program and style. The skating of PI here lacked relative to the others.

      “I can see how OC sometimes gets frustrated at people making shit up here without reading what's actually said. You really think people involved in that conversation were just assuming NO ONE else could improve? I agreed with that assessment by considering the likelihood of what all the teams might look like, and the way in which P/I have grown since moving to DSC led me to believe that was realistic.”

      When one says they’ll definitely have improved enough to contend for the Canadian title, this implicitly means that WP will not improve enough to keep a distance ahead of PI, and that no other Canadian team will improve enough to be better than PI. And I’m quite sure someone here did post at one point that with VM out PI should be contending for world champions this season. None of the examples in my post from PI fans were made up.

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    43. True - In 2006, V/M had been together 9 years. In 2014, P/I have been together 5 years.

      "I guess we have different philosophies about this? I think it's ground zero, so skaters are always trying to work on it
      ...
      I guess I can't imagine how PI would have ever not been working on it. I'm not familiar with their previous coaches, but Krylova has always pushed this aspect in her teams."

      Yes, they've been working on it because they HAVE improved. Do they have lots of room to grow? Yes. Not trying to speak for OC, but I think what was meant is that they haven't ever made it their number one aim.
      OC's theory about trying to focus on that especially this season is an interesting one.

      Delete
    44. "I’d say PC improved more over the summer than PI have since going to Krylova (they also happen to be 5 years younger than PI)."

      P/C have definitely improved, but you're seeing what you want to see (or rather not seeing what you don't want to see) if you think P/I's improvement hasn't been substantial. And cumulative. I think P/C's improvement seems dramatic in large part because of a change in the packaging (as in content, dance style) they're doing. Which certainly has meaning, don't get me wrong, but it's not comparing apples to apples. You can see the marked improvement P/I while skating difficult programs.

      Thought this might be on topic, although I realize your claim is in the last two years, rather than this particular 3 year time span.
      http://youtu.be/LztQuqDZ1ng?list=UUWeaKR-Uv1oqnQK3zwEtkhg

      "When one says they’ll definitely have improved enough to contend for the Canadian title, this implicitly means that WP will not improve enough to keep a distance ahead of PI, and that no other Canadian team will improve enough to be better than PI. And I’m quite sure someone here did post at one point that with VM out PI should be contending for world champions this season. None of the examples in my post from PI fans were made up."

      No one said you were making them up out of nothing, but you once again have ignored what was actually written in that conversation. It was not that they definitely will have improved that much. It was that it would be surprising if they had not improved that much. Contending also doesn't mean they definitely should win. There's not a big group at the top. I think you are underselling P/I by quite a bit, but even granting some of what you've said, I don't see the proposition that they should be contending for the World Championship as ridiculous at all, depending on how their FD develops from here. Who all is at the top blocking their way to contender status?

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    45. How did comparing P/I to VM become such a feature of this conversation? VM aren't competing this year, and the designated permanent champions, DW, aren't either. P/I's programs are certainly designed as vehicles they'll compete against the existing field.

      My hypothesis is that P/I are strong skating closely and in close hold. On the same level as VM? No, but how is that relevant? Take VM out of it. Who else currently competing is skating intricately, closely, in close hold, and better than P/I while doing it? Doing it cleanly, smoothly, brilliantly, no glitches or mishaps? W&P try to skate interdependently and also trip up, miss connections, etc. For the rest (Shibs aside, so far) I see so much arms' length skating out there I want to inspect CoP to see if there's a penalty for getting any closer. Therefore, IMO, there's no reason that P/I can't be in the mix for a World championship in this quad. I also look at the field and see that non-skating teams and terribly sloppy teams who have apparent or real power are disproportionately rewarded. If I'm setting myself up for this quad I might say "I'm gonna get me some of that." As I'm trying to emphasize, of course it doesn't mean they never worked on power and extended blade run. Skating is a holistic pursuit. But, if you weigh values, extended blade run, more ice coverage, more power is something P/I might want to highlight these season, choosing a program that allows them to showcase it when they peak. W&P are pretty damn sloppy despite all they attempt in their program, and are frequently also pretty damn sloppy right through the season. But, it's been observed (at least at London World's) that they do skate "bigger" than P/I. Bigger blade run, more ice coverage. Other skaters come out and, if they're honest, try to work more interdependantly than they did the season before. P/I appear to have set their programs up to specifically demand a bigness and boldness that would have been terrific in past programs, but not required for the programs to work. These programs, particularly the free, will only really work if Alex's skating, in particular, begins to cover a lot more ice and generate more power. I don't think her team would have decided upon this program if she couldn't do it. She has an entire season to get there. She doesn't have to get where VM are. That has no relevance.

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    46. "That's how FSU rolls. Nuobody looked at the skating because WHO GIVES A SHIT ABOUT THAT? "
      The judges don't give a shit. Or how do you explain DW's wins ?
      Why are you all so sure PI are going to be successful when much better trs have been held down and robbed ?

      Delete
    47. That's what VM did in 2008, they took out most of their transitions and skated very open programs, focusing instead on skating "bigger" with a lot more power. I definitely think that's what PI are attempting with this FD and Alex especially is going to have to command the ice much better or it'll fall completely flat. It's risky, especially for a team that isn't exactly a judge's favourite, but it could be what they need for their long-term development.

      I also think it's hard to evaluate the choreography when they were already off from the start and were going through the motions after the spin mistake. I see some potential and already like it better than my first glimpse of VM's Umbrellas (a program that was almost universally hated by fans up until nationals). I'm not convinced it's a gamble that'll pay off, certainly they haven't shown the same level of improvement VM did in that first outing, but we'll see. I think OC's analogy of throwing Alex off the deep end is very apt and hopefully she'll manage to swim because I think they have lots of potential. I understand being put off by the OTT proclamations of their fans but all fans do that; I've seen some eyerollers on here about VM, for example (no they did not deserve to win worlds in 2007). In the end no one currently competing is even close to VM but lots of teams have some nice qualities that we can still enjoy. PI are one of my favourites and one disappointing competition doesn't erase all I like about them. PC are another team I've loved since the first time I saw them and for a few years there it looked like they'd never turn into the team I thought they could be. Now it looks like they're finally on the right track so hey, anything is possible...

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    48. I also don't think anyone has claimed that P/I are truly equivalent to V/M, yet you (8:01) continue to compare them to V/M alone when the vast majority of the discussion about them ever on the blog has mostly been about where they rank vs other teams - and that's definitely what's relevant right now. Yes, many posters here think very highly of P/I, but that seems to bother certain other posters who then attack the strawman argument of them being just a hair off V/M's level.

      (I remember your example of the person who said they'd be OK with V/M retiring - and IIRC as the conversation went on, the poster made it very clear that it was because they were such a fan of P/I, not that they felt P/I were objectively equal or should be a replacement for V/M for everyone. I have seen people arguing that there are plenty of teams left to enjoy - and I agree. If you only V/M will do for a fan, I'm not sure they can claim to be an ice dance fan. It's been a priviledge to be a fan while V/M were competing, but they aren't the sport itself. They are only the best embodiement of its ideals so far.)

      "I think it gets exaggerated. Just because they’ve skated in hold doesn’t mean they are the masters of interdependent skating. They share some characteristics (they’re imitative of VM) but it’s really not that similar. PI do not really skate well interdependently, IMO, because they don’t have that invisible thread between them where their position relative to each other maintains equal space and distance while they’re in motion – in other words, PI tend to lose their place and their hold, they miss each others’ hands when they’re supposed to join up again, they lose their footing. And those are not just mistakes that happen sometimes. That’s their typical skating except for a few of their very best performances, where they are thinking a lot."

      I'm sorry, but I find this assertion absolutely bizarre. If P/I "do not really skate well interdependently", who on earth besides V/M does? One thing I've always enjoyed about P/I is that they DON'T fumble for each other's hands, they are most at ease when they're skating together - I agree with OC on this point, if there's something they can work on, it's being apart. Obviously we can go round in circles on this, but I have no idea what you're talking about. I'm not saying they never have bobbles, but especially last season, "fumbling" was absolutely not typical of their skating and interaction throughout a routine.

      "VM might lose unison here and there, but they get it back and they’re always skating with incredible speed and amplitude… they’re never tripping or fumbling through a routine as PI have often done. Everything is always perfectly smooth as silk"

      Everything was not always perfectly smooth as silk. V/M have had their share of huge errors too. I'm not saying it's equivalent to when P/I have struggled, but to you when V/M lose unison, they "get it back", but when P/I adjust seamlessly back together it's them "fumbling". Do P/I have the sureness of V/M? No. But you're taking every quality that V/M possess, and then going "well, if someone doesn't have it THIS much, that means they don't have it at ALL". I completely disagree.

      "By skating as one I don’t only mean unison (and there are plenty of teams who have done twizzles very well and in sync)."

      Unison isn't something that is confined to twizzles, nor best demonstrated during them IMO.

      Delete
    49. One thing with PI is that when they make a mistake they have a really hard time getting back into the performance and they end up making more mistakes. It's often all or nothing with them and that's something they need to work on.

      Delete
    50. "What PI do is an average senior level program construction similar to that performed by the Shibs, American HD, and WP. And they don't really skate faster or closer together than those teams either."

      I think you'd be hard pressed to find a P/I fan that doesn't think the Shibs or American H/D are in the same ballpark and hold similar promise. For whatever reason, those teams haven't been discussed here as much. If they were, perhaps you'd feel the discussion of those teams were just copied from V/M analysis as well. I don't think any of the teams skate as close as P/I - most certainly not W/P, although as of now they are faster.

      "Just saying, this seems to happen a lot with PI fans. Everything is always posted with an underlying expectation that there will be some kind of improvement/change happening that corrects whatever the issue is."

      Maybe that's because they keep correcting issues they have had.

      " I am sure you can come up with examples of a beautifully executed lift in one place, a very well done set of twizzles, matching footwork, but what they have never done is to do all of those things at once, carried by incredible speed, filling the ice, dancing without thinking, as if the music is creating their movement…. "

      Got it. If a team isn't as perfect as V/M in their fifth season together, and only can do some things beautifully executed in perfect synch some of the time, they'll never ever ever ever be able to do a whole program like that. Them being able to execute these things so well it just a coincidence, and not a sign of underlying skill that could be developed to increase their speed. Again, because you seem to keep getting confused on this, I'm not saying they will ever do it was well as V/M. I do think they may be able to get to the point where that's a fitting description of their program. But oh right, unless it's at V/M superb level, it can't possibly be any of those things at all.

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    51. I agree 9:57, but they did much much better at that last season. I wish I knew why they've taken a step back on that front.

      Delete
    52. The reason I'm comparing VM to PI is the strong undercurrent of "if you like VM, then you'll love PI" that's been pushed here for months. I know that the PI fans always preface their comments with them not being as good as VM, but that's not the tone I infer from the comments, which of course is my subjective opinion. Fans of the Shibs and HD aren't doing that. What I see on here often, as well as the PI thread on FSU, is walls of paragraphs that basically read as if PI are doing what VM do, are the heirs apparent to VM, but with a clause here and there of "but of course they do need to improve" or "but they are not quite as good as VM." Saying things like they could easily handle PF or even a harder dance, or can come close to the movement in Carmen (granted, those are from FSU but I suspect there is overlap), or even here saying that this FD is comparable at any level with UOC (even though it was clearly noted as the person's opinion) are absolutely begging a comparison to VM. The implication is very strong that they are closer to VM than any other couple, doing basically what VM do but on a lesser level. I categorically disagree; they aren't even on the same planet.

      Where some people are seeing best in the world (or among them), I see their skating, even from last year, as good, and around the same level as the junior world skating of Hawayek Baker and Yanovskaya Mozgov. They were outskated in this competition by two lower ranked teams, PC and FB-S (not outmarked, outskated - they were outmarked by GP, but not outskated by them), and did not differentiate themselves substantially from HD of Spain, which should be no problem at all for any team seriously expected to contend for the world title, no matter how early in the season. Where we differ is I think PI have never once even skated with the type of command and control that PC did here (and no I don't think PC will contend for the world title, but I hope they can get bronze at Europeans - I don't mean to hype PC but I keep defaulting to them since they competed here). The teams I rank at/above PI's level as of last season would include WP from Canada, Shibs, HD, and HB of the US, PC of France, CL of Italy, the team from Azerbaijan, BS and YM from Russia… so not GP of Canada, CB and AE of the US, CB of Great Britain, etc. But I didn't think PC were better than PI last year at all, and I would have not thought FB-S could outdo them either, so in the same way PI fans can see PI passing some of these teams with improvement I can actually see other teams passing PI (legitimately). There are also skaters that are individually as strong/stronger but are not currently in partnerships that are stronger than PI as a unit, like Porier, Zhiganshina (Germany), Ilinykh, Katsalapov, Zhiganshin (but not Sinitsina), Bukin. As far as the comparison to IK, I've always found them very difficult to rank on the world scene because all of the critiques of them are absolutely true, yet they really did have the second best blade run in the world after VM. Most skaters would die to have that. I guarantee you PI wish they could have that. It's not like PI just decided to prioritize different things than IK but they could skate like that if they wanted to. It's the very foundation of ice dance - the most important one from which everything else flows (but the other parts never developed correctly in IK, so they’re a conundrum).

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    53. 4:27 cont

      I realize my list will probably sound harsh and offensive to some PI fans, but it's not meant to be. I'm not trying to say here are some terrible teams that are better than PI (Azeirbaijan, the horror!). I think PI are a good and solid team, with a few areas of concern, and I've listed some other good teams, who also make an effort to really skate, and also don't always get it right, but all of them are capable of outskating PI and have outskated them on various occasions (judging aside), and PI have also outskated many of them at times as well. I see PI as fighting with these teams for places in the top 10, maybe the top 5 (as in the actual 5 best skaters in the world, not the top 5 that has CB in it). I am going by the actual PI and the actual skating they have done in competitions, which varies wildly in quality, including the Olympics where some of these teams were better than them, not a theoretical version of PI skating their programs full out.

      Someone said WP and others have also missed connections and fumbled... that is true, but they've never totally lost their program like PI did at this competition and many others in their career.

      Also, we all have totally different views on things if one consider PI's FD "risky." It's easier than their previous dances and contains some old elements. It's only risky in the sense that it's so simple and bland that it won't get any traction unless it's skated full out but that's kind of a backwards way of looking at it. When VM skated to UOC, they'd clearly been in the gym working on their strength. Their lifts were upgraded in difficulty. They had a beautiful no touch step sequence in that FD, which was the first time that'd been done. There was risk in that program and growth other than growing their flow and speed. PI's program is simply an emptier rehash of the type of stuff they've always done. To me, that's the antithesis of risky.

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    54. "Saying things like they could easily handle PF or even a harder dance, or can come close to the movement in Carmen (granted, those are from FSU but I suspect there is overlap), or even here saying that this FD is comparable at any level with UOC (even though it was clearly noted as the person's opinion) are absolutely begging a comparison to VM."

      No offense, but if P/I were to try the PF program V/M did in 2009, I'm pretty sure they would face-plant onto the ice. Just saying.

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    55. "That's what VM did in 2008, they took out most of their transitions and skated very open programs, focusing instead on skating "bigger" with a lot more power. I definitely think that's what PI are attempting with this FD and Alex especially is going to have to command the ice much better or it'll fall completely flat. It's risky, especially for a team that isn't exactly a judge's favourite, but it could be what they need for their long-term development."

      I do too, and to 4:31 above, it's risky "For P/I." As has already been observed, their specialty is skating close together in and out of close hold. "Commanding the ice" is where they need to grow. If you take them away from their specialty, they might be "exposed" to a degree, and all I mean by that is the areas they need to develop might be highlighted. That might be the whole idea of this program. When I look at the layout of the free, particularly the music and choreography coming out of the twizzles, it's designed for much bigger skating than they''re executing right now. When I look at their short dance, which I adore, Alex can appear to sort of commit, then pull back. Go all in with a movement when she hits it, but not fill it and hold it once she's hit it. You know how in skating, dance, etc. one movement's finish is another movement's beginning, so she needs to finish her moves with the same energy she begins, and show continuity.

      As I look at figure skating, the best skaters have superb skating skills - superior run of blade, power and control on any edge, changing directions, varying speed. The elements in a program are meant to test those skills; they're not a value in themselves unless they tell something about the skating. Look how good this skating is - they can do THIS while skating. That's how I look at skating. That is what makes VM brilliant. They can do anything while skating. That continuity of quality is ideal. Of course these days, the opposite values rule ice dance - your skating can go to absolute shit as long as you execute the athletic part of it, the tricks, and it certainly doesn't matter if you skate your program. That's what the step sequence is for. "Look, some skating!"

      As for easy, as I've said before, some people said the Seasons curve lift was "too easy". I'd like to see any skater execute with Scott's impeccably balanced blades, deep, secure edges, enormous arc, perfect stability, seamless entrance and exit work with a Tessa whose spacial alignment in vis a vis Scott would probably impress da Vinci. In its own way, V&T's "Jesus Christ Superstar" looked pretty open, but holy hell, the speed, the edges, the power into and out of elements, the ice coverage. Matched with the quite intricate short program, it was a slam dunk (even though they didn't skate their best at the Olympics).

      I see the program as setting a particular task for P/I. Fill the ice with your basic skating skills. Guess only, I think Alex can do it in terms of talent, but I don't know the psychological component. I guess we'll see.

      I admire what Krylova does with her skaters, but sometimes I think if Alex and Mitch did a week at Canton, they'd come back transformed psychologically. If the top three Marina teams are anything, it's do or die on the ice, full commitment, even if what's being performed is shit (like DW).

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    56. I also don't agree that the year after an Olympics is now when you "grab for power." That's not realistic. That's not how it played out the last quad, or the quad before that. Everybody plots to grab for power in the season just before the Olympics. That's what happened last quad. V&T won their first Worlds, for example. Pairs started to shake down. VM launched Carmen at the skating world (which ought to have been the ultimate power grab, but if it's set up so you can't win no matter what you do or how your opponents suck, then it doesn't matter what you skate or how you skate). It still is the regrouping season. Plenty of individual skaters and teams come on late; if the judging allows real judging, they can win.

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    57. Obviously I can't speak for what all P/I fans think. If I sound like that, it's just for convienence, or because I haven't seen any of us *say* something.

      "The reason I'm comparing VM to PI is the strong undercurrent of "if you like VM, then you'll love PI" that's been pushed here for months. I know that the PI fans always preface their comments with them not being as good as VM, but that's not the tone I infer from the comments,"

      It has not been "pushed" here. I've seen only a handful of comments out of the many discussing P/I, confused why people don't enjoy other dance teams and are ready to bail on the sport and using P/I for an example of a team who are doing ice dance properly. You don't think they're fit to skate on the same ice as V/M and are so far removed that they don't share any qualities with V/M - fine. Then why not trust the posters when they say that P/I aren't as good as V/M? Why "infer" this whole other subtext when they agree with you on the main point, and just think P/I are still a great, talented team. It was coming across like you think P/I suck, and that's what you were really upset, but then you go on to say they're still among the best in the world. So.... all the teams other than V/M suck in a similar way, yes? Some have more natural gifts with skating skills, but everyone's missing something, right? I think that's an underlying thing people who say there are still teams to watch have accepted, and that you're misinterpreting it to mean it'll be just the same with V/M gone.

      " What I see on here often, as well as the PI thread on FSU, is walls of paragraphs that basically read as if PI are doing what VM do, are the heirs apparent to VM, "

      I don't see that. I see walls of paragraphs on why they are one of the best in the world and most certainly better than G/P. Again, what language should be used to describe them? Interdepenent, close skating, flow - these are not Y/N characterstics that ONLY V/M possess. It's a spectrum. V/M are at the very end on one side and there's a big gap between them and the rest of the field. But it's not like these adjectives can't apply to anyone else.

      If anything, I think why that stuff gets said about P/I the most is because they’ve attracted the fans who are the most informed about CoP and what makes for good ice dance. You see it as copying straight from V/M analysis. I see it as some of the same people who wrote the V/M analysis in the first place because they know what they’re talking about see that some of it applies to a team like P/I. You are then taking it further than they ever claim, and get in a snit that the same words might be polluted by them applying in some small way to a team other than V/M.

      "but with a clause here and there of "but of course they do need to improve" "

      Why is it problematic to see some great qualities developed in a team, but think they have room to grow in those areas, or are uneven in other areas? I think most of those comments are comparing P/I to the potential they see there - because of things that P/I have shown at times. Not saying just a little more will get them to V/M's level. Not saying no one else can improve. Just thinking through what they can do to become a better team, and thinking it's possible because P/I have shown real improvement. Something that isn't as common as it should be.

      “Saying things like they could easily handle PF or even a harder dance, or can come close to the movement in Carmen (granted, those are from FSU but I suspect there is overlap),”

      I don’t remember ever reading anything like that. I know it’s hard to find old convos some time, but if you happen to remember where those things are, I would be interested in seeing the link.

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    58. 4:47 part 2

      “or even here saying that this FD is comparable at any level with UOC (even though it was clearly noted as the person's opinion)”

      I took that to mean the person saw a similarity in strategy, not quality or construction. That OC’s theory made sense as that was how V/M approached gaining power and bigness.

      "are absolutely begging a comparison to VM. The implication is very strong that they are closer to VM than any other couple"

      I think YOU are the one who is making this implication and running with it. Although wait - there's two ways to take this. One that it's

      V/M.....P/I................others
      I don't think ANYONE thinks that. The absolute most boldest claim I've seen people say is that if they CONTINUE TO IMPROVE at the same rate they PERHAPS might be capable of putting out performances this season that would be deserving of a National championship and a World medal. With V/M out.

      But if you mean people think
      V/M.............P/I-others

      Again, I don't think anyone thinks that P/I are clearly the overall best in the field. Even that fan who said they think they're the #2 in the world clarified as the conversation went on that it was because of certain aspects of what they put out there, and wasn't a claim that that they clearly should have been 2014 World Champions. But let's just say that people were forced to rank what teams are left and a few put P/I on top. You have yet to say much at all specific about why P/I aren't a fantastic team compared to anyone but V/M except that they are inconsistent. Which no P/I fan will disagree with. Last year, they made a vast improvement in putting out strong performances. It's not ridiculous at all to think they'll keep doing this, even if they took a step back yesterday.

      "doing basically what VM do but on a lesser level."

      There are many teams doing *basically* what V/M do but on a much lesser level. They are trying to - and succeeding on SOME level - to skate with power, with flow, in synch with each other. V/M are other-worldly. We get it. We agree. This is a semantics issue. There's "skating with flow" And there's "skating with V/M flow". The word flow still applies to other teams. You conceptualize it as V/M are doing an entirely different thing. Fine, think of it that way. But accept that that is not how others view it, and yet they are not saying there's much less of a difference between V/M and other teams than you do.

      "Where some people are seeing best in the world (or among them), I see their skating, even from last year, as good, and around the same level as the junior world skating of Hawayek Baker and Yanovskaya Mozgov. "

      This is ridiculous. I really love H/B, but they are not skating at P/I's level yet. If you don't see it, I don't know what else to say, but there it is.

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    59. 4:47 part 3

      "They were outskated in this competition by two lower ranked teams, PC and FB-S (not outmarked, outskated - they were outmarked by GP, but not outskated by them), and did not differentiate themselves substantially from HD of Spain, which should be no problem at all for any team seriously expected to contend for the world title, no matter how early in the season."

      They had their worst skate since 2011-12 there. Even the 2013 Nats FD disaster had significantly stronger skating as a whole. I disagree that a very bad skate is indicative of some terrible underlying disease that prevents them skating as well as they did last season for the rest of this season. Just because V/M screwed up far less and had far less variation in their skating doesn't mean that other skaters are hopeless when they have a bad day. It doesn't mean they are suddenly "on the level" of the Danish team.

      “Where we differ is I think PI have never once even skated with the type of command and control that PC did here”
      Again - ??? You really think P/I have *never* skated that way? I disagree with the is statement as it is. I’m seeing a completely different 2014 Nats and Worlds performances from you. Also 2013 Nats SD. Confident, sure, seamless. P/C had a very good skate here, but it wasn’t a flawless magical skate that P/I have never done.

      On the other hand, what do you even mean by “command”? A lot of teams might appear to have command because they don’t let mistakes show on their faces. P/I in the past haven’t been good at faking mistakes. Most teams let mistakes slide by, doesn’t mean they didn’t happen. And even further, attack only gets you so much under CoP. Difficulty matters big time.
      " The teams I rank at/above PI's level as of last season would include WP from Canada, Shibs, HD, and HB of the US, PC of France, CL of Italy, the team from Azerbaijan, BS and YM from Russia… "
      I don't think most P/I fans would disagree with the statement that they can be outskated by these teams (although, yes, I do take issue with Z/S.) Where P/I fans disagree with you is where their average lies. You keep saying “only a few of their best performances”. I don't know what's going on in your head, and so I'm not trying to say I do, but it seems like you have focused in on P/I's flaws to the point where they loom very large and then you're comparing that to other teams’ absolute best. If you look at P/I's skating the last two seasons, it's not almost all but a rare performance was one way, and everything else was shaky crap. There were a few really rough gos, a few absolutely brilliant performances and an average where they were an excellent, solid, but imperfect team. And that middle ground they hit is above the middle ground of many of the teams on that list. The middle ground they hit was stronger and more difficult than P/C yesterday.

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    60. ^oops, sorry part 3's spacing isn't the best

      4:47 part 4

      " There are also skaters that are individually as strong/stronger but are not currently in partnerships that are stronger than PI as a unit, like Porier,"

      If you read the P/I thread, you know this has been asked more than once and never answered. Why is Poirier as strong or stronger than P/I? Not on some theoretical basis of what he was in 2011. Why now when he steps on the ice as Piper is he stronger? I think 2014 P/I compare favourably with 2011 G/P, and I don't see any reason to be sure he's maintained that level skating alone when trying to match Piper all this time, and I’m definitely not going to assume that he’s improved.

      " It's not like PI just decided to prioritize different things than IK but they could skate like that if they wanted to. It's the very foundation of ice dance - the most important one from which everything else flows (but the other parts never developed correctly in IK, so they’re a conundrum)."

      Again, you're making this a Y/N. Because P/I didn't have natural talent of I/K from the beginning, and didn't choose to work doggedly at that while ignoring all the many gifts they could bring to the sport at the beginning of the partnership, that means they haven't improved their skating as they went? They can't improve even more if they focus on that now? No one said it was something P/I chose to not do. If they could have skated their content with better skating skills from the beginning, they would have, of course. What someone said was that ice dance isn't going out doing solo skating drills. I/K only get a certain amount of points for skating the way they do, the same way P/I only get a certain amount of points for skating as closely and itnricately as they do. That's the way the system is set up.

      You seem to be saying that if you don't have the foundation there from the beginning, you're toast. That leaves a very very very small field that deserves to ever compete in ice dance. I don't think anyone here would deny that skating skills are the central feature. What I don't agree with is that the other features that team have of are somehow less real if they're still working on the skating. Will those features get better if their skating gets better? Yes! There is a connection, but P/I have very good skating skills at this point and they are already using them to make the rest of their ice dance happen. You don't see it. Ok. Lots of ardent, informed ice dance fans do.

      "maybe the top 5 (as in the actual 5 best skaters in the world, not the top 5 that has CB in it). "

      Then why is them *contending* for the World Championships a ridiculous thing for P/I fans to say? Why is them *contending* for the National Champships a ridiculous thing for P/I fans to say?

      “I am going by the actual PI and the actual skating they have done in competitions, which varies wildly in quality, including the Olympics where some of these teams were better than them, not a theoretical version of PI skating their programs full out.”

      I haven’t seen anyone say that P/I should have placed before the teams on your list in Sochi. I have seen people say they shouldn’t have been 18th behind a myriad of much weaker teams. They had some goofs, but their performances were not terrible. Nowhere near yesterday.

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    61. 4:47 part 5


      Now, I already said that I think their average is better than you obviously do, and am basing my rating on that. But why is it such a ridiculous concept to play with of a P/I who skate their programs full out? They’ve done it a few times. They did it last season far more than in the past. When they made errors last season they didn’t freeze up. I don’t know what on earth happened yesterday, but it is not an unreasonable expectation that P/I will continue to improve (because they have), and continue to get their nerves under control, because last year they did.

      In fact, why are you making predictions about P/C based on just two competitions? They look great, I’m not saying that IS a problem. Just that you can sometimes see the potential in a team even if it hasn’t been borne out through several successful examples.

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    62. *Part 4 - 2011 C/P, obviously

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  23. Scott rather hold somebody else's baby than his own ( the pic is old but whatever ).
    http://instagram.com/p/tC_dy0C4WF/

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    1. Given when and where that photo was originally made and it's caption when posted, I highly suspect that baby *is* Little Moir. The caption was something about Scott and....Tessa.. Little Moir is the product of Scott and Tessa...

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    2. I don't think it's their actual baby either. It's just Pat Jackson trolling.

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    3. Judging by his hair cut I assume the pic was taken sometime in 2008.
      In 2010/11 , the time LM was a baby, he had longer hair and didn't look as young as he does in this picture.

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    4. I've always thought that baby's ears bore a resemblance to a certain female ice dancer. ;)

      Whether it was or was not Little Moir, Pat Jackson was trolling though.

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    5. She was like the Paul Revere of the Jessica sham. 12:01AM - Jessica does a sham dump on her facebook. 12:04AM Pat Jackson comments.

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    6. I don't remember him wearing that shirt or jacket until 10-11 though.

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  24. Scott tweeted. That means something sham related is going to happen soon.

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    1. Considering he got on, said he lived in Ilderton, joked about something that's currently being discussed here, and followed exactly one person, I would tend to agree with you.
      Add that to Tessa's earlier tweet promoting them and this weekend. This is all obviously highly planned out.

      Funny how the past day has specifically been discussing Tessa's Twitter personality, and how she's just doing the same thing Scott used to do on FB/taking a turn, and suddenly, look who appears!
      You can't tell me that second tweet about disappearing again for months wasn't in direct response to those comments.

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    2. When was the last time either Scott or Tessa said ... ANYTHING .. that was even arguably simple and sincere? I can't remember. All their stuff after Sochi was hedging, hot footing, pretending to blame Marina (one of their lowest moves but who is to say she didn't cooperate/give the green light). Not one honest moment. You go back and these two are media trained from an early age, but just using a basic humanity meter, there were hit and miss moments when their demeanor appeared authentic. Not personal. Authentic. One that comes to mind was Scott Moir's incredible enthusiasm over having been invited to dine with Queen Elizabeth. He was never on facebook but he blasted his excitement afterwards, in what I remember as an all caps status update but probably just had a bunch of exclamation points.

      Sincerity isn't the same as "personal". Whether or not they know the difference, these two have been absolute assholes for at least a year straight. I only wish it had something to do with them being affected by the corruption that robbed them of the gold medal they earned. I doubt it though.

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    3. Maybe it has something to do with being out in the corporate/local celebrity/athletic/sponsorship world and finding themselves validated, it's puffed them up to greater assholery. Neither appears to have core values. It's all cosmetic with them, it's all narrative with them. Same shit that defeated them on the ice.

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    4. I reference 30 Rock often enough, but it's a quote machine. One of my favorite Jack Donoghy moments came when Liz Lemon said she'd debated if she should have tried to be amusing/funny in some note or message. Jack said "DON'T. It's exhausting." I really wonder about the twitter mindset about - look, charming trivia with lots of exclamation points! Shoes food hair fun! I'm quippy - look! I'm always happy and always up and positivity is my middle name!!

      Really? That's the only thing that ever sells?

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    5. "pretending to blame Marina (one of their lowest moves but who is to say she didn't cooperate/give the green light) "

      Pretending to blame Marina ? All they've said was they felt Marina wasn't in their corner, that they went to her to talk about it and that they were upset that Marina skipped their nationals. That's not blaming Marina, that's completely understandable. If they feel like the woman they're paying thousands of dollars a year isn't giving 100% for them it's their good right to call her out for it.

      I doubt they're on good terms with Marina right now. Just look at how Arctic Edge treated them right after the Olympics. And they left the skating club for good when Marina wasn't even around.

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    6. "I doubt they're on good terms with Marina right now. Just look at how Arctic Edge treated them right after the Olympics. And they left the skating club for good when Marina wasn't even around."

      Not to get into another Marina Zoueva discussion, but why do people assume V/M traveling to Arctic Edge to pack up their things is some indicator they were avoiding Zoueva? It's not as though they might not have talked with her before or after that point. It's like "oh, she wasn't there on that day, must mean this!" Not really. It could mean something or be of no significance.

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    7. What motivation would Marina have to greenlight these apparently disparaging remarks against her?

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    8. What about Arctic Edge's celebration of DW that just so happen to completely forget about VM's mere existence ?

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    9. Marina was in the reality show. She had to sign off on it. If she didn't agree to be in it, Virtue and Moir were shit out of luck. She played into every story point they wrote. THAT's why. Marina and VM have spent years being close, she knows their situation, and she knows the culture.

      We've said it a million times but we don't know the relationships from the public narrative.

      The blog examines the public narrative based on what it knows that's OUTSIDE the public narrative. A lot of visitors get confused. They think the blog has concluded Virtue and Moir are married based on what's in the public domain. Nope, totally outside the public domain. It's because of THAT information that the public narrative can be weighed. There's truth to weigh it against.

      The public narrative about Marina is just biased interpretation by some posters and fictional shit from the reality show which was itself based on fan fiction.

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    10. Did the celebration actually forget V/M existed or is it that they weren't featured in coverage of the event because they didn't attend? My guess is the latter, but since I can only go off the photos from the event I hesitate to assume anything about the current relationship between V/M and Zoueva or V/M and Arctic Edge.

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    11. For example - we know that Virtue and Moir wanted to celebrate at Arctic Edge? They put a good face on getting silver, but they knew damn well they won that fucking competition. Arctic Edge is more than Marina, it has OWNERS. Those owners pander to Davis White. I think Virtue and Moir will keep their lips zipped and say all the right things about their fantastic silver but as we've observed, they've never said a word about Davis and White's Olympic skate. Tessa mewled something about everybody being technically sound and it coming down to preference (thanks for helping skating stay a bullshit sport, Tessa, and I think they reaffirmed that they've been friends with Charlie, but they've never validated that win). Do you really think Tessa and Scott, at their home rink, are going to join a celebration that validates Davis White standing on top of the podium? That's the assumption - that they'd have done it, but were left out. Nobody thinks that they'd never do it.

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    12. 7PM - because the only times any of these people interact is when we know about it. If Tessa and Scott cleaned their stuff on a day Marina wasn't there, it means they never went to her home, never talked to her on the phone, never went to a restaurant with her, because she wasn't there that one day the cleaned their lockers. If they had any other contact with her then or subsequently or ongoing, WE'D know it. If we're not told, it's unlikely it ever happened.

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    13. "The public narrative about Marina is just biased interpretation by some posters and fictional shit from the reality show which was itself based on fan fiction."

      Pretty sure the same goes for the relationship between D/W and V/M. It's assumed based on the reality show and given the anger a lot of fans feel about D/W's wins and how they present themselves in their own public narrative that the four skaters do not get along or are not friends. I wouldn't assume that. Just like Zoueva, D/W signed off on being in that reality show and portrayed in a very specific, negative light. They're all playing very specific media games directed at the public and the culture of figure skating is very insulated, narrative-dependent, and protective of its skaters.

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    14. DW and Marina signed up to allow their images to be used on the show. They would not have signed off on being portrayed a certain way. Those contracts are boilerplate and they are written as to allow the producers to use their images in any way they want. So to that extent, as reasonable people who could reasonably assume the rivalry would be played up, they signed up knowing that was a possibility, but they did not sign off on being portrayed specifically in a negative light.

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    15. Actually I wouldn't refer to D/W's portrayal in the reality show as being negative. That was a cush portrayal. The team that could not be beat while V/M floundered because of a bunch of imaginary problems they made up. Why not sign off on that? V/M certainly did.

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    16. Marina wasn't born yesterday. She already KNOWS the VM storyline/narrative and her place in it.

      D/W's portrayal wasn't negative. They couldn't have bought better promotion. "Perfect in what they do." while VM are worrying about I/K and W&P.

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    17. DW and VM aren't friends, they've said so themselves.
      VM said they were on friendly terms with Charlie ( but apparently not Meryl ) but that's as far as it goes.
      Post Sochi Scott said at the Moscow show they talked more to them than they have in the past 4 years.

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    18. VM have also said that they're not married. VM lie. They lie a lot about a lot of things.

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    19. Right 8:50PM. VM aren't a couple. They've said so themselves. They had this mega rift back in 2008-2009, they told us all about it. That reality show was a freaking documentary and the most honest truthful thing they ever did, really geninely sincere. Scott dated Jessica Dube and Cassandra Hilborn, and Tessa is whooping it up with Ryan Semple. Tessa's also gotten really tall this post-season, almost supermodel tall, lost all of her muscle, become fine boned, and has nonexistent thighs. Except when she has enormous boobs. And except when she's wide and square. And except when she's totally pregnant. And except when she has no boobs, just a v-neck showcasing a sternum.

      "They've said so themselves." I can't believe you came here with that. Is this your first time at the blog?

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    20. Well, then tell me why VM would choose to be friends with the people who constantly thrashed VM in the media, who stole their gold and made a mockery of the sport that VM dedicated their lives to ?

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    21. Well, then tell me why VM would choose to be friends with the people who constantly thrashed VM in the media, who stole their gold and made a mockery of the sport that VM love so much ?

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    22. Constantly thrashed V/M in the media? Bahaha. Come on. I think the D/W public narrative was and is ridiculous but it's not like V/M didn't also sign off on it every step of the way and even include it in their reality show. D/W talked a lot in the press about the supposed superiority of their own skating, but saying "we're clearly the best team in the sport now and can't be beat!" is not the same as directly thrashing V/M's skating, nor did they slam V/M for the things that apparently matter to them above all else - selling fake personal lives to the public.

      Stop conflating your own dislike of D/W with what you perceive V/M to dislike. They may be annoyed they didn't win gold and that the sport is rewarding non-skating but it doesn't necessarily mean they are placing the blame for that directly on D/W's shoulders. Point being, I certainly wouldn't assume such a thing based on ANYTHING V/M have done or said publicly, since they frequently lie. In fact, I'm not sure why anyone believes a thing that comes out of their mouths anymore since it's all filtered through their public personas.

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    23. 10:25 PM - their entire sport did that, including, and in large part, their own Federation. Including their pal, see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil, Mike Slipchuk, and everybody else involved with Skate Canada. Still buddies with those officials. Including close associates and supporters like Tracy Wilson. They're still friends with those people. Tracy Wilson's in the comment booth touting Davis White. She started going mute on Carmen in 2013, along with everybody else.

      Remember, Lynn Rutherford of icenetwork was deployed by Skate Canada to write in ice network about how brilliantly Virtue and Moir were practicing their free dance in Taipei, how sensational it was. A year or so later she's poor mouthing them and, after Sochi, shutting down fans on twitter.

      A fellow Canadian, David Dore, had to have been the architect of that stolen gold, impossible without him, and the Western Ontario sector wasted no time inducting him into its Hall of Fame after Sochi. Do you know how long the Moirs have known David Dore? All the coaches and other skaters who've known VM for years, know they were better, and promoted Davis White or kept their lips zipped? P.J. Kwong who acted as if the teams were equal, and actually went out of her way to instruct fans to respect Davis and White's win?

      As an aside, I've been recently curious what Sinead Kerr got out of her negative tweet when Scott and Tessa interrupted the free dance at the 4CC's 2013. She didn't previously have the profile of someone overly concerned about the "perception" of the sport, she's an ice dancer and knows Virtue and Moir's superiority, yet she jumped on that thing..

      To tell the truth, I sometimes wonder what Virtue and Moir knew when they knew it, and to what, if any extent, they played along. All that stops me is the programs themselves. We've seen that they're terrible liars on the ice - take a look at 4CC's 2011 free dance before they withdraw. The quality of the skating, the audaciousness of the choreography, is not something you do when you're just pretending to compete. I know they do love skating for skating's sake, but they really really want to win, and at least right now I can't envision them skating programs like that just for its own sake, knowing they'd never be allowed to win. Scott is not a good enough actor to explode with joy the way he did after the Sochi short dance, simply because it was skated brilliantly either. So I don't know.

      Finally, the exact same culture of corruption, complicity, and contempt for the public supports Virtue and Moir's hoaxing and scamming the public. Everybody can see the two things are mirrors of each other. Reality is what you say it is, and it can change at the sport's convenience. Married people are not married, and the sport and those around it pretty much order the public that it's so, and everybody else in the media climbs aboard.

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    24. "We've seen that they're terrible liars on the ice - take a look at 4CC's 2011 free dance before they withdraw. The quality of the skating, the audaciousness of the choreography, is not something you do when you're just pretending to compete. "

      No, it isn't, and I don't believe they were just pretending. I believe they skated that FD with the intention of finishing. Have you changed your position on that withdrawal being planned? I wish that you would stop referring to it as if it were a known fact, because my understanding is it's something that you're inferring based on public domain stuff, not something you were told as fact, like VM having a kid.

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    25. 1:24, I am saying that VM were terrible liars on the ice at the 4CC's 2011, and that it is completely naive to suppose VM, extremely sophisticated about the state of their bodies, where they are vis a vis what's needed to complete a program, imagined they were set up to complete the free at that point. Post-pregnant women with Tessa's capability can do the short dance, and do it well. At the point Tessa was then, it's impossible to attack key elements of a free dance with competitive intensity and because it requires engagement of parts of her body that are still not at pre-pregnancy strength, couldn't be trained full out during her pregnancy, and nor are workarounds available - pelvis, groin, etc. When you see that 4CC's 2011 you see tons of attitude from the face and demeanor, but they're faking. It's not in their bodies. The twizzles were completely off and they didn't care (look at any other time their twizzles went off). They weren't surprised their twizzles went off, they blew through it, didn't check, didn't re-attack.

      They were just getting through to the point where they were going to bail. Elite athletics actually is a science in many respects. It's not a mystery. It's not a movie. It's not - let's try it, I think I can do it! They knew exactly where they were, and so did Maria Mountain, and their other trainers and coaches. Moreover, setting that demeanor aside (a time they were lying on the ice and did not skate with trrue commitment - at blade level they place held nearly everything), let's just extrapolate from Worlds, which was, mind you, delayed a month that season. While they clearly deserved to defeat a laboring, unfinished and struggling DW, they were gassed by the end of the Latin free, powering through on determination. Where do you think they were two months prior, in February? Use common sense. These are elite athletes. The difference between what can be done between February and April is vast. And yet in April it was clear they weren't fully returned to form, and they admitted themselves it was a roll of the dice/hail Mary pass. In APRIL. Then what was it in February? These people know their own bodies like finance people know the stock market. They're dispassionate - at least in how they evaluate their bodies readiness. There's an entire infrastructure that exists to support, evaulate, test, prepare, goal set, prepare to peak - elite athletes. Scott and Tessa were barely there in April. You think they planned to compete that thing all the way through in February? This isn't a movie.

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    26. Of course the reason they did the 4CC's is because they're ferociously ambitious, competitive, salivate at a challenge, are almost too in love with stuff that's hard, and wanted to win WORLDS. They weren't salivating to win the Four Continents. However, that was the year the short dance was introduced. It was an od/cd hybrid. Virtue and Moir had never done it, never tested it against the feedback of the judges. They'd also skated it all summer and fall, while she was pregnant. It had mileage and was within what they could do, even pregnant, because it didn't put stress (for TESSA, not for a regular skater or citizen) on parts of her body most impacted by pregnancy - pelvis, groin. Those are parts of the body that get a workout in many L4 lifts done at competitive intensity. They's competed free dances against DW many times and nothing earth-shattering had been introduced that season in the free dance. They knew how to prepare a winning free dance. The short dance was more than ready, and needed a pre-Worlds competitive evaluation against DW before Worlds. You don't roll out a new phase of your competitive season for the first time at the World Championships. You find a test event where you get feedback so you know where you are and can take any adjustments prior to the competition that matters, Worlds. As it happens, they won the short dance. That's the feedback they got. Mission accomplished. The mission wasn't to win 4CC's or skate the free. It was to get short dance feedback in a competitive setting vis a vis DW prior to Worlds.

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    27. Yes, I've read all of your reasons before. I understand why you think what you think. I think it could have been accomplished by just withdrawing due to injury after the FD practice. You don't have any inside information about this issue. You're analyzing stuff that's in the public domain. There's nothing logical about faking a minute of the FD and then faking an injury in the middle of the dance - but it doesn't really even matter what's logical, what matters is what actually happened, and neither one us know that for sure, so I wish you would stop boldly proclaiming what their mission was as if it were a fact.

      " When you see that 4CC's 2011 you see tons of attitude from the face and demeanor, but they're faking. It's not in their bodies. The twizzles were completely off and they didn't care (look at any other time their twizzles went off). They weren't surprised their twizzles went off, they blew through it, didn't check, didn't re-attack. "

      This is pure mind-reading. Speculate all you want, but you can't reasonably expect people to agree. This is *your interpretation* of a situation.

      "Post-pregnant women with Tessa's capability can do the short dance, and do it well. At the point Tessa was then, it's impossible to attack key elements of a free dance with competitive intensity and because it requires engagement of parts of her body that are still not at pre-pregnancy strength, couldn't be trained full out during her pregnancy, and nor are workarounds available - pelvis, groin, etc.
      ...
      They were just getting through to the point where they were going to bail. Elite athletics actually is a science in many respects. It's not a mystery. It's not a movie. It's not - let's try it, I think I can do it! They knew exactly where they were, and so did Maria Mountain, and their other trainers and coaches. "

      And are you an elite level trainer or coach who's worked with pregnant women, or is this information that you googled? It's strange to me how in other contexts, like speculation about them training for this season, you were quite adamant that we're not experts and we can't understand exactly what goes into their training, but here, you have it all down pat. You're making it sound so absurd that they thought they could get by on pure adrenaline, even though they managed Pink Floyd with only three run-throughs amidst physical limitations (albeit different ones), as if it's not absurd at all that they would decide to put on a fake skating performance for a minute and then withdraw in plain sight for no reason when there seems to be absolutely no benefit to that whatsoever, since the "injury" could've occurred off-camera, even though they're not known to pull shenanigans with their skating itself... again, though, I'm making up scenarios too, and what matters is not which scenario is more plausible, but what actually happened, and you have never said that a trusted person in their camp told you flat out this was the plan. You are extrapolating from public domain stuff, similar to how people assume things about personal relationships based on K&C stuff.

      I just wish that you would stop presenting this particular theory as a fact. This is the one thing on the blog that I've ever felt was libelous. The marriage and kid stuff is true, and besides, isn't damaging in itself. This is attacking their character as athletes, and is completely uncalled for without any proof, and should be very very clearly designated as an opinion and speculation, IMO.

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  25. um what did she do to warrant that win? https://twitter.com/WomensSportsFdn/status/522558284742803456 especially considered there were women nominated who are more qualified than her. a dubious olympic win is nothing to be proud of.

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    1. There was a huge social media campaign to get people to vote for her.

      I'm seriously convinced that "Shilling for Meryl Davis" is going to be a real PCS category for the ice dancers, if not all skaters, at US Nationals this season.

      Delete
    2. ah so thats why she won. her fans cheated the voting system again?

      Delete
  26. Interestingly one of the more vocal twitter accounts who has tweeted Tessa about a pregnancy has been suspended. It's interesting because I don't think the tweets constituted as abuse and twitter has a policy to not get involved unless threats are being made. Also I don't think Tessa reported the user, it seems Tessa blocked them months ago so she wouldn't see the tweets anyway. And if she was concerned about censoring public domain she'd care more about the blog. A third party can report an account though. The suspended user can file an appeal and since the tweets weren't abusive it would probably be reinstated.

    And both of them have blocked that Sackett acct so whoever that is can stop @ing them and save character space.

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  27. https://twitter.com/TeamGalusha/status/521796093911113728

    " Met Olympic Medalist @ScottMoir this weekend who was watching some curling!!#medalseverywhere #autumngold #starstruck http://t.co/eZoplz2sG1"

    Considering this was posted two days ago but was somehow overlooked it makes sense for Scott to start tweeting again. God forbid we miss Scott's deep love for curling and inevitable connection to KLawes !

    ReplyDelete
  28. Thank goodness Scott was there to explain the deep mysteries of curling to a fellow Canadian Olympian....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And what a fortunate coincidence that KLawes happened to be there too just the day before ...

      https://twitter.com/TeamGalusha/status/521675254368706560

      Delete
    2. He's a great ambassador for curling. Really enjoyed the interest he showed in the Autumn Classic where some of his former teammates debuted their programs. And fans claim TESSA is the one who is "not just a skater."

      Delete
    3. ^BTW - meantime, wouldn't be surprised if he gave a kidney or marrow or blood to some fellow skater - or they stayed at his house, or he loaned them money. But that's real stuff, and the supporters of his sport are skells that deserve only shit.

      Delete
  29. Scott/Kaitlyn and Tessa/Ryan should double date. Tessa and Scott are easy liars, but I love looking at the stricken faces of Kaitlyn and Ryan. If what you're doing does that to your face, you shouldn't be doing it. Unless you're a sociopath, and that's not a good thing.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Incidentally, those who believe that Kaitlyn is just stepping in to do Scott and Tessa a favor have it by the wrong end, I believe. Just as there was something in it for Jessica and for Cassandra, there's something in it for her.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kaitlyn wants fame and attention and the sham is an easy way for her to stay in the spotlight. She doesn't have to do much aside from posing for a couple of pictures and Twitter will be talking about her for the next couple of days. It's easier than constantly promoting her chocolate milk on Twitter. The fans are doing all the work.

      I wasn't sure what's in it for Ryan since he seems to have been involved with the sham without getting much in return but now Tessa dragged him to TIFF and posed with him at other events he might be getting a piece of the cake himself.

      Delete
    2. Tessa has a "classy" public persona - maybe it makes him look less douchey? (Provided nobody checks his Instagram follows, of course).

      Delete
    3. We don't know what's in it for Kaitlyn any more than we know what's in it for Ryan. The sightings and discussion and high profile of her linked with Scott have, in .. how many months? absolutely buried any social media mentions of the other guy she actually admitted dating for several years. It's amazing how every girl Scott "dates", no matter what their past patterns, suddenly become HUGE social media enthusiasts as soon as they start dating him, and not only that, so does everybody they know, and on top of that, random strangers find the excitement around the relationship contagious. One really wonders how big Scott Moir's penis actually may be.

      Delete
    4. I used to know a four-year old (not four years old anymore) who could kick her dad's ass in every video game ever invented. Her thumbs weren't thumbs, they were genies or something. Little Moir is getting to the internet age. I hope they've prepped her properly. Not that she has much choice. Likely she's already been told how mommy and daddy want her to think and react, and nobody wants to displease mommy and daddy, particularly famous, loving, nice mommy and daddy. It wouldn't be right.

      Delete
    5. BTW - By next week, Scott and Tessa will have been married for five years. Get them some wood and silverware.

      Delete
  31. I hope that Sackett twitter keeps it up, responding to KL tweets and others. So far I haven't seen it throw fits nor call anyone names. It just keeps bringing up what is real. More power to it.

    VM, KL, and their associates all think it's just fine to use twitter to propagate their hoax and to make fun of the fans. But they don't own twitter and they're lying. I'm all for response tweets that don't let them get away with it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why was that Michelle Bonio banned from twitter? I mean she was annoying, but she wasn't doing anything worse than a typical internet troll. It didn't seem like she broke the twitter terms of service.

      Delete
    2. I can't figure that out either. Sackett is still hounding them much worse and the fucking sheep account is still there.

      Delete
    3. And Tessa had blocked that Michelle troll person a few months ago anyway so she wouldn't even see those tweets. They've both blocked the Sackett acct.

      Delete
    4. I imagine many of VM's connections have also blocked those twitter accounts. Still. Many many others can see them and I think it's a good thing.

      Isn't it nice. VM get to throw out any kind of garbage on social media but if anyone responds with reality they pretend it's not there... Blocked!

      From the beginning of their social media games way back when, I've hated the patronizing and the mocking. Now they're getting close to their 30's and they're still acting like teenage assholes. I love them as skaters but these off-ice personas are simply grotesque.

      Delete
    5. How can you guys tell that Tessa and others have blocked someone?

      Delete
    6. 11:27AM she obviously did break " the twitter terms of service" which is why her twitter was suspended.
      I've looked into the terms and basically a lot of it comes down to, if you spend the majority of your time on twitter just tweeting stuff to the same person - essentially harassing them (regardless if what they are saying is true (to the person who saying it)- its still harassment in the basic sense) then when the twitter 'police' see that they'll suspend the account because it basically looks like it was created it just for spamming/harassing purposes.

      Delete
    7. According to the Twitter Rules accounts can be suspended for these reasons under one of these rules:

      Targeted Abuse: You may not engage in targeted abuse or harassment. Some of the factors that we take into account when determining what conduct is considered to be targeted abuse or harassment are:

      if you are sending messages to a user from multiple accounts;
      if the sole purpose of your account is to send abusive messages to others;
      if the reported behavior is one-sided or includes threats

      Delete
    8. The messages aren't abusive or threatening though. And twitter says it doesn't censor messages unless it includes threats. Putting out "false" information isn't a bannable offense. I guess it could be harassment but I've seen way worse on twitter and accts weren't suspended.

      Delete
  32. So precious, Scott pretending he's new at twitter and is just now learning how to use it. Tessa did the same. Such liars. Makes me wonder is *anything* they say the truth?

    Another thing that stands out is VM plugging this mall appearance but there's no mention of Scott being at that charity event last night, or any well-wishes or congratulations to friends competing in the GP's.

    They're quiet on things that are really worthwhile, but when it comes to the silly stuff, they're all over it. Including acting ignorant when in fact they are not. I understand they are "obligated" to plug endorsements. That doesn't mean they should never mention the other, more important, things.

    It shows their priorities.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Bringing this conversation back around to skating, I saw this post this person clearly doesn't know much about ice dance except that it is a sport Tessa and Scott are part of but thought I'd post it here; could bring in a interesting discussion.

    "I’ve been thinking about this for a while and hopefully I can get an insight from others; Connection.

    Here’s the thing - how much does the Connection of the Ice Dancing Partners really matter?

    For Tessa and Scott a very large amount of what they do, connecting on ice, is part of who they are as a team - its a staple to their ‘style’. So how do judges mark Connection?

    Admittedly and obviously Tessa and Scott connect on ice in a romantic way, the stories they tell are romantic and about love - so of course that connection is looked at to coincide with their style. But what about Ice Dance pairs who don’t use that connection?

    For example the Shibutani siblings. The story they are trying to tell through their programs won’t necessarily mirror the same connection story that Scott and Tessa are trying to portray because Tessa and Scott aren’t siblings. So things like lips touching, caressing the body or face - those things add to T&S’ connection but for the Shibutani siblings - that shouldn’t be something that is also happens for sibling reasons.

    So my question is - how much does connection really play in the over all scoring of their programs?

    Or are they marked for ‘connection’ on different levels. Maybe strictly connection to music as one factor and then connection to your partner on another level.

    But then that raises the question of why would Tessa and Scott spend so much time focusing of their connection if, say, they aren’t scored for it? Or at the very least are going to be scored differently then a Sibling Ice Dance Pair?

    I always wondered about that because even if the Shibutani and Tessa and Scott used the same music for a program - T&S program would obviously look different but it would also feel different because T&S are a man and woman who are not related to each other so they can create a story around a man and a woman falling in love or falling out of love, it can be sexual and sensual. But for the Shibutani siblings - if trying to tell the similar story of a man and a woman in love - would have to go about it in a very different way because anything sensual between them would become awkward and weird for the viewer and also the program to be choreographed in that way would come off wrong as well.

    So how much does connecting to your partner really matter? Or is it really just a score that exists for each individual dance pair that takes the ice?

    (Note: I don’t know all the rules to ice dance or even any at all - so even if ‘connection’ is not an actual scored mark, it is something that is still looked at in relation to the pairs style. So this question is raised to reference style and if connection is really relevant at all.)"

    Again this person doesn't know Ice Dance rules.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 9:52, I'm going to back you up and turn you around right here. :)

      There is a huge problem in skating discussion where connection is used as a synonym for chemistry between skaters or another bond (friendship, romantic, sibling) between skaters. Connection in partnered dancing is not any of those things. Connection in partnered dancing is literally a physical means of communicating about the dance the team is doing. When a team is dancing in hold and have their dance frame set up, they use that frame and things like pressure, push/pull, etc. to communicate what's going to happen next in terms of steps or moves. It's important that this be done accurately and rooted in correct technique by both partners, or the team sets itself up for miscues that lead to errors. VM certainly have chemistry and a strong bond, but their connection in terms of partnered dancing is a big part of the foundation for the interdependence we see in their skating. Their precision in communicating these physical cues is what allows them to execute choreography and elements in ways that no other team can. The chemistry and bond can play into presentation, but the big focus on connection for VM is that it's the physical skill that underpins so much of what they do on the ice.

      Delete
    2. 10:09 AM is correct. Chemistry is not the same thing as connection, though fans often (incorrectly) assume they mean the same thing.

      Maia and Alex Shibutani relate to one another on the ice in an excellent, organic fashion vis-a-vis their blades and body movement and can instinctively counter one another's movements like V/M can. That's connection.

      Unlike V/M, the Shibutani's do not have a romantic chemistry because they are siblings.

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    3. *siblings and not named Kerr

      Delete