Friday, December 5, 2014

Hoping for schadenfreude

The ice dance results in the Grand Prix series were so egregious it seems (almost) pointless to do more than acknowledge this, while moving on to national championships and worlds. It was demoralizing to watch strong skates vis a vis numerous slow, "meh" skates as they were competed, knowing the irrelevance of performance to the outcome.We'll see how it shakes down in the Grand Prix Final for the teams that were gifted with a berth, and by that I mean, which teams are in favour enough to stand on the second and third tiers of the podium.We all know it's in the bag for Papadakis and Cizeron. Prior to TEB, P.J. Kwong demonstrated that, unlike last season, not everybody following figure skating got this season's memo: 
This is a dance team that has been slowly improving under the radar. I like what I saw in Barrie in October and they followed it up with a win against world champions Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte at their first Grand Prix. I wouldn’t have thought necessarily they would qualify for the Grand Prix Final if you had asked me in September. This weekend will tell the tale.
Wait - Papadakis and Cizeron are not the second coming of Virtue Moir, only better? P.J., what have you been doing, looking at the skating? You know better. Last season, you proactively lectured others not to do that. Don't be a hypocrite.

Grand Prix Final?! Grand Prix and World gold. A notch below them will be Weaver Poje, then we'll see which of Chock Bates or Gilles Poirier round things out. Poirier is the only good skater of the four - will that count, or is the ISU all about the big tent?

The scoring this season so far is nearly as revolting as it was last season, with the sole mitigating factor that last season, the greatest ice dancers of all time, who delivered the greatest set of competitive performances of all time, when it counted, in the Grand Prix Final and the Olympics, were fucked over for one of the worst teams of figure skaters, let alone ice dancers, to stand atop any podium anywhere. So bad that the guy on the gold medal-wearing team ducked the question of whether he knew he'd skated a gold medal-winning performance, drawing our attention instead to the real reason they got gold handed to them, namely, the many people who were promised a return on their investment.

This year, it's merely a bunch of wonderful ice dancers really doing it getting thrown under the bus so skaters wheeled around the ice by their partners can dominate. It's merely stuff like Tanith Belbin inaccurately throwing shade at Alexandra Paul for getting dragged around by her partner. Setting Tanith's Charlie Meryl hypocrisy aside, that was pretty rich coming from Ben Agosto's human travel blanky.*

P&C are this season's golden children. P.J. needs to get on board.
Dylan Moscovitch is once again fully funded. 18k for the season. Go you, Mike Slipchuk, for retroactively nominating Moscovitch per AAP guidelines. It's nice to see someone at Skate Canada doing their real job. It's so rare, and from Slipchuk not least of all. Put the prize money for winning Warsaw Cup on top of that, and maybe Dylan's depleted savings account can stop circling the drain for a minute.Thanks,Tessa and Scott, for declining the remaining balance of your funding this season despite being entitled to it for no reason whatsoever in Sport Canada's policy guidelines, so teammates like Dylan could benefit.* This is the sort of generosity that's won you your class act reputation.

Which brings me to the thing I've been watching with my eyes open, while watching ice dance through my fingers: Pairs.

Is becoming a technically secure pair boy part of gelling with a new partner? One imagines you choose as a new partner someone who is already a technically secure pair skater. Once the new pair gets to work, it finds its groove together, matching rhythms, timing, technique, lines.With pairs elements, my understanding is there's more than one proper way to set up for them, and a new team needs to mesh what they bring to the partnership. Bad technique is not one of the proper ways.



The gif of this element, which MTM2 performed at Trophee Eric Bompard, shows that the side of Marinaro's pivot foot skating boot hit the ice first, then he drags it in, turning his foot over to plant the toe pick. This follows his performance in Skate Canada's short program where he re-set the pivot toe-pick and lost all credit for the element.

I watched a bunch of other senior men, most of whom just plant that toe-pick in directly on the vertical. Others, such as Eric Radford, may touch down with the pivot foot at an angle, but it's their blade, not the boot, that's on the ice.

I'm sure Marinaro has done some very nice death spirals, but two different technical errors happening in the same element two competitions in a row don't feel like one of those "what the hell was that" mistakes that happen to the best skaters around from time to time. It's not a missed connection or a lapse in concentration where his balance abruptly fails.There's no pivot foot weirdness that should happen because your partner is new.This is a pair boy whose technique is not secure. He's the same age as Kirsten. It's not as if she plucked him out of novice. Michael Marinaro started with his previous partner in 2007, and had another partner before that.

I write off stuff such as clumsy lifts, because I've seen a few new pairs struggle there. Splatting on a throw or lurching forward on a landing are issues that happen to the best pairs teams in the world.

It's weird though, when a guy "forgets" that he's supposed to rotate the exit of a lift, or quits skating for a second so he can look at his feet and line himself up properly behind his partner mid-performance. The team wrote everything off as uncharacteristic, but that's some weird stuff. What is preferable, making the same mistake over and over, struggling to master the problem, or finding new ones? His technical issue might be between the ears.

I made incredible fun of Sebastien Wolfe and Jessica Dube, but my focus was more on Jessica's lack of confidence in Sebastien, who didn't appear to have the compensatory bent she was accustomed to with Bryce Davison. He didn't skate with her as well as Bryce had, didn't accommodate her quirks, such as only semi-carrying her own weight. Wolfe's own basic pairs skills seemed solid.

Partner switching is where I sometimes enjoy projecting soap opera dynamics onto what is fundamentally just normal, strategic, athletic ambition. Athletes in other sports routinely join other organizations, find new partners, or end what appears to be a beneficial association. While I certainly never wished for Michelle Kwan to tank another Olympics after her split from the endearing Frank Carroll, I did enjoy Jessica Dube dangling off Sebastien Wolfe's back like a Christmas ornament. I excuse myself for these reactions, as figure skating has spent the past three years telling us the actual skating is too complicated even for the "professionals" who report on it, so we fans best just focus on the personalities instead. Being judge-y about partner splits is one way I can join the mainstream.

(In that regard, Elena Ilinykh must be feeling pretty good right now, at least as far as her new partner's performance in the paso doble at the Rostelecom Cup Grand Prix goes. Not so much the free dance for the two of them. But, she's still solidly ahead on karma points vis a vis Nikita Kasparov.)

Still, more of interest to me is the fate of Moore Towers Marinaro vis a vis Iliushechkina Moscovitch. The soap opera component is encapsulated here:

Dylan dumped for a trophy wife.
That's a concept to fire a fan's rooting interest, even without the stuff about Kirsten's secret try-outs in 2012, exposed by her co-conspirator's own sister.

At the Warsaw Cup, Lubov Iliushechkina two-footed all of her triple jumps and touched the ice with her free foot or a hand in two out of three throw triples, while the lifts, twist, spins, and most of all, skating skills, were spectacular. Dylan's skating was wonderful throughout, although it's about time he dropped his arms for the twist. She gets plenty of air.

It appears to me the technique and athletic ability is there in the throws, and we'll see consistent, clean throws sooner, rather than later. But, if the Iliushechkina/Gordeeva comparison holds true for triple jumps as much as it does with the good stuff, that's going to be the fly in ointment of the who laughs last, laughs best narrative I'm hoping to witness.

The general fsuniverse discussion that took place when the Moore Towers Moscovitch split was first announced was the usual skating-savvy, fsu eye-opener, replete with comparisons of Kirsten to Aliona Savchenko, thoughts that Amelie Lacoste and Margaret Purdy! would be wonderful partners for Dylan Moscovitch, and a consensus that if you want to compete in Olympics 2022, you really do need an eight year head start to gel. Sure. Let's look at all the pairs for whom that eight year lead time was a big help. Moore-Towers Moscovitch. Valosozhar Trankov. Duhamel Radford, Stolbova Klimov, and more. If I were Kirsten, I'd absolutely be looking to peak at age 29, using the coming quad as my growth cycle.
_______________________
*Not quite fair, but you get the point.
**"could have gotten away with it" is not the same thing.

74 comments:

  1. Not sure if it is just me, bit I cannot read the message board screenshots

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    1. Did you try clicking on them? That brings up larger versions.

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    2. They're normal-sized. Large.

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  2. " (In that regard, Elena Ilinykh must be feeling pretty good right now, at least as far as her new partner's performance in the paso doble at the Rostelecom Cup Grand Prix goes. Not so much the free dance for the two of them. But, she's still solidly ahead on karma points vis a vis Nikita Kasparov.)"

    You should check into SK's NHK FD. Lowest tech scores of anyone the entire season.

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    1. I have, more or less. Meaning, I've read Kasparov's comments on the dismal showing. What I haven't done is watched the team to see if they deserve to be buried to the degree they've been buried. I do wonder if Marina, the coach of Davis White, is going to be buried as well. You know how it goes.

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    2. You should definitely watch it. Hard to really describe it in words: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTIC5sxnsTc

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    3. S/K's NHK FD was a trainwreck, a scary one at that, so a great deal of that tech score, at least, was accurate. Still, my impression is that S/K have been underscored in some ways this fall, and aren't glaringly weaker than I/Z when they're not crashing and burning.

      (Also, his name is Katsalapov.)

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    4. 8:12 continued - Let me rephrase that to "underscored vs others".

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    5. Thanks 8:12. One of my advance New Year's resolutions is to take more care with the spelling of proper names.

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    6. Am I the only one that can't take S/K seriously? Its like they're trying to be a bad mashup of V/M & D/W. A lot of the choreo/lifts are similar to Marinas other stuff and common the use of Farrucas? You might want to be a little less transparent next time Marina because we didn't already know this was your new fave team.

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    7. Whoa. That's some turgid program in the first instance. Until we got to the train wreck, I was wondering if elements had been removed from the requirements. Deadly. Until the second lift crash, I was thinking that they're a mess together, but they are skating their program, engaging their edges, and they need to sell the mess as a feature, instead of telegraphing it as trying to be something else. Come off like "It's SUPPOSED to look this way!" as all the other bad teams do. But as the program went on I gave up. He's got problems.

      A lot of everybody's choreo is similar to choreo they've done before. Everybody. Everybody is working with a movement vocabulary, everybody is working with required elements. There are only so many positions, transitions, entrances, exits, and its stupid to be different for the sake of being different. I recall fans having fits when VM did their Seasons curve lift, as if VM's technique and execution weren't on a different planet than anyone else's, as if legitimate judging wouldn't be able to perceive that, as if the skating itself isn't more important than what is being skated, as long as what's being attempted has the requisite degree of difficulty to demonstrate a superior skill level. I know it's trite, but Gelsey Kirkland's Giselle was completely different than Natalia Makarova's Giselle, even when both danced the same choreography.

      What they appear to be trying here is to work with, and make an attribute of, the team's long limbs and her perceived sex appeal. Each separately is a decent skater, but when they get together they're tripping over each other. It could be the material isn't comfortable for them at this early stage in their partnership, but it's pretty hard to say what the problem is in a performance that disastrous.

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    8. Although, taking a second look at S/K, it's seldom one sees a skater with some of Katsalapov's obvious issues with stability and control showboating all over the ice to the point where one fears he might kick his partner in the face. He takes no account of her at all, and that's part of the problem. He treats her as a necessary evil and in his way. The program may be choreographed one way, but in performance he appears to be trying to elbow his way into the spotlight, while she's a prop. His awareness of her on ice is negligible. On Dancing with the Stars, pro Mark Ballas has been notorious for making his partnered dancers about him, showboating and leaving his partner in the dust, but he's technically proficient. Nikita is showboating but doesn't have the chops to back it up. He's putting his partner at risk, and not just in the lifts.

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    9. No no, haven't you heard that I and K had absolutely magnificent skating skills, the closest of anyone to V/M? Skills that other teams can't hope to catch up to?

      He definitely has issues with both control and attitude. At the time of the breakup, he threw shade at Elena for being the reason they were prone to make mistakes. And now S/K are very obviously having trouble gelling as a team. Still, their Rostelecom Cup FD gave a better picture of what their capabilities might be if they can figure out how to work with each other.

      Also re:8:29 - Marina has given old V/M and D/W material to A/E as well. She's said ridiculous things about S/K, and made the odd choice (in my eyes) of trying to package A/E as a dramatic, romantic couple. It's not going well with these two teams, so I'm at a loss as to where she's really at with them. All I do know for sure is that the Shibs look great and have excellent programs.

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  3. Just bringing this up from below since it's more on topic here.

    G/F managed to improve 10 points in the SD in 2 weeks to be on par with Hb/Dn. Unfortunately no video is available of this miracle.
    http://www.isuresults.com/results/gpfra2014/SEG007.HTM
    http://www.croskate.hr/GS47/html/SEG007.HTM

    P/O's FD almost broke 100 today at Skate Canada Challenge, 14 points above where they (and P/I!) were scored during the Grand Prix.
    http://www.skatecanada.ca/results/2015Challenge/2015challSrDanceFreesegJudgesDetails.pdf

    Does this performance not just scream +3s and 8s? Being a D/L team is a special thing indeed.
    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2buyzh_elisabeth-paradis-francois-xavier-ouellette-qc-senior-free-dance-replay_sport

    I agree with the poster who said P/I's fate is likely sealed. P/O had their first and only international competition last season, a second tier Senior B. This year they have two Grand Prix spots, score comparably with the much stronger P/I, get an insanely high Challenge score that has no correlation to their performance or those of the other teams even factoring in national inflation, and they share coaches with the golden children, P/C. There is no reason why P/I had to be held down to the level they have been just for G/P's sake.

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    1. I don't think there's any argument that P/I have been buried. I understand Carol Lane, of all people, has been one of the few pushing back.

      Ice dance is full on corrupt. The ISU makes no bones about the scoring having no correlation to performance. That was clear last year, has been carried through this year; the only difference between last year and this appears to be that some of the usual figure skating observers aren't clear what edict has been issued. Tanith likes long limbs and smiles - she loves Piper Gilles and also loves W&P, and when it comes to W&P, not for their skating, but their toothiness.

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    2. Obviously, C&L have also been dumped.

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    3. Italy's moved on to Guignard/Fabbri. Their sd increased 10 points since TEB, TES by 7 points. Their fd is worse but I'm sure they'll still win.

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    4. I just watched P/O at Skate Canada challenge. I'm not enough of an ice dance fan to watch mid-rank teams or a lot of bad ice dance, so I wasn't familiar with them. Midway through I double checked that they were seniors, unsure if maybe the travesty here was that a junior team had just been awarded higher scores than P/I received during the GP. They sure skate junior. Slow, pretty, staying mostly in the center of the rink, light, shallow edges, nice dress on her, one note, one speed, comfortable distance between the two of them, slow to a standstill for transitions. They skate mostly like he's a flagpole and she's the thing that flutters. Pretty sure the scores were for the dress; it carried most of the choreo.

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    5. I love how Tanith makes no bones about the fact that - DW aside - she is most enthusiastic about dance teams where the female is most like herself.

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    6. Well put, OC. And nope, this is the senior team who could quite possibly be going to Worlds instead of P/I. They're also the team several V/M fans prefer to P/I, even though P/O are more similar to D/W than V/M in some respects. Grabby lifts and an affinity for yanking-dragging transitions, for example.

      The team in second by a large margin is a D/L team as well. If I was Carol Lane, I'd be a bit worried too.

      How nice that H/D were allowed to win GSZ by 0.28 points. I have to wonder if C/L have unofficially retired, the extreme boost that G/F have suddenly seen. They are a legitimately terrible team. It's amazing that H/D were elevated to around where they deserve to be, instead of being held down to a somewhat more realistic score for G/F. Soon it won't be possible for this sport to be any more of a farce than it is.

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    7. Sometimes I think *some* Virtue Moir fans love Virtue Moir *despite* how they skate.

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    8. Indeed. What really amazes/frustrates me is that some that fall into that category were the most vocal CoP-argument regurgitators, and it clearly didn't mean a damn thing to them now that they think P/C and P/O are deserving of what they get based on their enjoyment of them.

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    9. No it didn't. I, personally, think real skating "gets in the way" of what they're looking to enjoy in a program, which is shipperyness, pretty posing, and graceful lines from the hips up, never mind the blades vis a vis the ice.

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    10. I think it was convenient for VM fans who liked VM for non-skating reasons and wanted them to win for reasons that had nothing to do with the skating that VM were the team that should have been winning according to the CoP. Now that VM aren't competing and the teams they want to see win shouldn't win according to the CoP, it's ignored.

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  4. I also have to wonder if this overinflation of scores in general this year - is to set a hierarchy for teams that are set to go into the senior ranks next year. One example I can think of is for at least in Canada is that there is a push for Paradis/Ouellette to possibly even nudge there way to 3rd at nationals. It will be interesting to see how Edwards/Pang get judged at Nationals..I think Edwards/Pang is a team with potential but given the political garbage that is going on - who knows...
    Ice dance - where the less you actually skate - the better....but then again look at what happened with Hanyu recently - with the falls and signs of concussions...the ISU does not care about its skaters...jesus even Orser should have stopped him...and then of course the ISU granted him Chan points to get him into the GP Final...that's how diluted the talent has gotten....smartest person to get on with their lives - Yuna Kim...but then again since when has the ISU and federations cared about actually keeping talented athletes involved in the sport...

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    1. One of the reasons I've avoided ice dance in the GP series and am only catching up recently is because the trend of rewarding the "less you skate, the better" is so in your face I really don't want to put myself through it. This was once the skating-centric discipline. Now skating is beside the point. There's more skating in pairs. The top teams try to see how they can create a program that minimizes skating, and minimizes even more both partners skating at the same time. I can't stand it. I am NO huge fan of Elena Ilinykh, and I know the short dance was far from flawless, but it makes no sense that Chock and Bates beat her and her new partner. They had actual speed, their blades were close together (even when it got rough) and they skated at the same time. Drawing a veil over the free dance, how is that justified? Madison Chock may as well be in a little red wagon costume in the sd.

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  5. It was another miracle for GF at Golden Spin today. Their FD score improved by 14.34 points over what they had at TEB a couple of weeks ago. They also became the first team to earn all level 4 elements with the exception of the choreographic spin.

    The Italian technical controller tried as hard as they could, but Hubbell and Donohue managed to win by 0.18 points. I'm sure the margin should have been considerably higher, but a win is a win these days, especially for the teams who are often abused by the judges for doing ice dance right.

    http://www.croskate.hr/GS47/html/CSCRO2014_IceDance_FD_Scores.pdf

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  6. In more positive news (at least for me), Lubov and Dylan lead by over 3.5 points after the short at Challenge, with both teams skating clean.

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2bxtxp_luba-ilyusheshkina-dylan-moscovitch-senior-pairs-short-program-replay_sport
    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2bxufq_kirsten-more-towers-michael-marinaro-senior-pairs-short-program-replay_sport

    Protocols: http://www.skatecanada.ca/results/2015Challenge/2015challSrPairShortsegJudgesDetails.pdf

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    1. Thanks! Protocols continue to be somewhat irrational, even in a discipline such as pairs, which is at least somewhat accountable, as the public knows what the elements are meant to look like. I hate how GOE depends on the time of year you're skating your program, and in what event. Don't get the GOE for the 3twists of both teams at all.

      That said, very very very impressed that Lubov did her triple jump and triple throw so easily. It had appeared to me that her technique was fine, and she needed to get the mileage back in her muscle memory and up to speed athletically; glad to see it show up in this performance.

      The difference in skating skills between the teams at this moment appears vast, with the obvious nod to IM, but, while the music in MTMV2's short is excruciating (to me, anyway), they do more in hold, change direction more, vary speed more, even if the speed and directional variation is a mash-up of hestitation, sloppily chopping up the ice while running, and mismatched skating. Lubov and Dylan are trying - and succeeded here - to do clean elements and quality, matched, powerful skating in a more open program. I figure that must account for MTMV2 being "only" a little more than 3 points behind, because LORD is Michael Marinaro a mess. I don't know how you score something like that. What if the person executes, but is completely jacked up. He didn't commit dangerous technical errors, but his feet are sloppy, the lift is labored and his hands in the lift are also slobby (he moved and adjusted them), and there are no words for the stiffness of his knees and his jacked up posture.

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    2. IM are also a V2 - her first partner's name was Maisuradze, so they were also IM, and her and Dylan are IM2.

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    3. Upon rewatch, I get the "minus" GOE for the IM2 3twist in the short - she braced her hands on his shoulders coming down. That may be why they did a double in the long - clean catch. I love how they're training - make sure the technique is textbook and trained into the body before going for the triple. In Octoberfest they did double everything, now it's triples; they tacked back for the clean catch in the twist at the long and with her ability I expect to see a clean catch triple twist by Canadians.

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  7. Nice to see both teams improving upon their last performances, especially for MT/M. I/M have such class and their program is like a breath of fresh air. I can't wait to see it at Nationals (where hopefully they place 2nd!), its one of my favorites this year, as is their lp too.

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    1. I wish Kirsten would learn to stay "in" her program and keep a game face. I recently rewatched 2014 Olympics and Worlds with Dylan, and there are points in both programs where her awareness of how she's doing and what she's thinking about how she's doing is all over her face, even when she's doing well, and that sort of consciousness starts to wear on her ability to execute - her freedom of movement and her timing. She and Marinaro are funny to watch - she's skating for two out there, Marinaro is both looking to her for cues and approval AND skating with abandon/totally into it at the same time - hard to explain, but that's what I get from him. He just spazzes out out there. They need to skate within themselves more. I think both programs were designed a little too effortfully to show off "personality" and some sort of youthful spark. I'm never a fan of leave this coach or go to that choreographer, and but I wish someone would address the quality of Marinaro's basic skating and get it consistent.

      I love both of IM's programs as well. I appreciate the speed, the quality of the blades, the easy rhythm in the bodies, and their complete immersion in the program, and their awareness of each other. Still so surprised they match as well as they do - I've always loved Dylan but may have underrated his skating all this time. I know he's worked on his skills, but skating with her just shows off. I'd love for them to take the National championship but I think baby steps is better, just get those quality elements secure and consistent, and in subsequent seasons that will become the building blocks for more intricate choreography. I'd love to see them second at Canadians too. :)

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  8. Pictures from their Christmas show :

    http://balletfever89.tumblr.com/image/104470200390

    http://41.media.tumblr.com/0e105f43b88682fb38f41664b7fd623f/tumblr_ng5afoIXaL1sww5tlo4_r1_400.jpg

    Somehow Tessa looks fuller again than she did the weeks before, especially her face is bloated.

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    1. I know, but the truth is, if one goes by the image output, we barely know what Tessa's looked like the weeks before - all of her images have been manipulated to hell and back, including her face. Her facial proportions often (not always) altered too. If we're pretending they're not manipulated, then she's had hip implants, boob implants, surgery to narrow her jaw, and leg extension surgery. Paradoxically, based on some pictures, she's also had an ass and thigh-ectomy and shrunk her skull. There are two Tessas running around. One is a bodacious hourglass with Kardashian hips and butt, and JLaw boobs and a very defined waist. The other is more delicately built and fine boned than a New York socialite consuming laxatives for breakfast.

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    2. That said I want to cry revisiting Scott's perfectly balanced, perfectly aligned edges in the Goose. I've seen a whole bunch of off-center, weight shifting, insecure squats this season.

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  9. How adorable is Lubov? I just love her. And her and Dylan won Challenge today!

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2c0uri_luba-illyusheshkina-dylan-moscovitch-interview-replay_sport

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    1. That was an eye-opener. IM won the free over MTMv2 by just about 11 points, with a 2twist (versus MTMV2's 3twist), a two foot by Lubov on the second jumping pass, Dylan taking a couple of tries for the catch-foot in the lunge lift, and what looked like a premature or misfired exit from that lift. MTM2 had two element misfires - a two foot landing on a throw, and a hand down by Michael on I think a double. What did them in, IMO, was the lack of commitment from Kirsten, which resulted in slow, hesitant skating, lots of tiny pauses and checks, and impoverished movement. IM skated calmly, skated big, and had quality edges throughout. Those marks are some kind of validation for the essential calibre of their skating - they outscored some of the medalists in the Grand Prix series while leaving quite a few points on the table they seem likely to get next time.

      Their story continues to kill me - there's Dylan, blindsided by his partner, abandoned, reaching out to someone on facebook, and look at him now. He can pat himself on the back and so can she.

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    2. I'm so happy for them, they're looking just fantastic. It's very refreshing things are going well somewhere other than in ice dance. And as a Canadian, I'd take 100 of her over a Piper Gilles. She's just dripping with authenticity.

      http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XODMyNzY4NzEy.html
      This K&C of G/P's might be the most obnoxious in the history of skating.

      Piper: "I won, I won the cruise!! Sorry I didn't deserve it, but woohoo!!"
      Paul: "Don't be sorry. Who cares if we didn't earn it on the ice! We're just that fascinating!"
      Piper: "My faux display of concern just shows how much I'm really a Canadian."

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    3. We all found out all we ever need to know about Piper when she announced on social media she was boycotting the opening ceremonies, and later rooted on Meryl Davis and Charlie White.

      I'm happy for Lubov/Dylan as well, to be more than redundant. He got an upgrade, so it's one of those mysterious things where someone appeared to blindside him for their own aggrandizement, and it turns out to be a once in a lifetime opportunity for him, and so far, not so much for her. If this were a movie, there would definitely be a supernatural force setting this in motion.

      Correction to previous comments about Skate Canada Challenge - IM won the event by 11 points, the free skate by eight. MTM have real issues if that's the outcome when both teams had visible element errors.

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    4. The other thing I hated about them was the TEB interview when they were asked what set them apart and Piper looked at Paul and burbled: "Personality!" Oh fuck you. That's right, every other figure skater is a flatline.

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    5. Another comment on Lubov Iliushechkina - imagine coming from what sounds like an insupportable situation in Russia followed by just about a 3 year exile from the sport, and landing not just in Canada, and not just Dylan Moscovitch as your partner but Bryce Davison, Tracy Wilson and Lee Barkell as your coaching team. Heaven.

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    6. "Piper: "I won, I won the cruise!! Sorry I didn't deserve it, but woohoo!!"
      Paul: "Don't be sorry. Who cares if we didn't earn it on the ice! We're just that fascinating!"
      Piper: "My faux display of concern just shows how much I'm really a Canadian.""

      Of all of the stolen and gifted spots for ice dance at the GPF this year, none burns and angers me as much as Gilles and Poirer. Hubbell and Donohue outskated them twice, but HD will be at home in Michigan this week while GP are in Barcelona. The tone and attitude displayed by GP over their stolen GPF trip is gross and obnoxious. There isn't the first smidgeon of humility. They, especially Piper, really do treat this as if they've won a cruise or fun little December vacay to Spain. They don't even pretend they have a job they're supposed to be doing on the ice or feign to take this with the seriousness that it should be taken. The other gifted teams at least approach this event with the tone that they have a job to do rather act like they just won a sweepstakes trip.

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    7. Well at least they found perfect partners. No wonder Zach dumped her.

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    8. "The other thing I hated about them was the TEB interview when they were asked what set them apart and Piper looked at Paul and burbled: "Personality!" Oh fuck you."

      Two years later:
      http://youtu.be/oXDX-Mr6kdo?t=48s

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    9. Bad losers AND bad winners. Class all the way.

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    10. Speaking of - well, this is just beyond the pale. This is the third or fourth article this season to state outright that G/P only missed the Olympics because he was injured, and insinuate that they didn't even compete the qualifying event and finish 4th. This time it's right on Skate Canada's website. Obviously P/I won't be getting the slightest consideration from this fed going forward if they have the gall to promote such a lie.

      "After a disappointing season last year, after missing the Olympics because of a severe leg fracture for Poirier, Canada’s other dance team finds their season going exactly to plan. The twosome set lofty goals for themselves this year and they are attaining them: winning medals at grand prix events and qualifying for the final. "

      http://www.skatecanada.ca/2014/12/next-stop-barcelona/

      G/P competed first in October 2013, the SD at Octoberfest, and then both Grand Prix events coming up to Nats. Kaitlyn Weaver couldn't go to 4CC, but placed 5th in Worlds the season before. Hubbell/Donohue missed the Olympics spot by skating better than Chock/Bates *while* injured. They have no fucking shame at all. They weren't capable of outskating P/I when healthy. They still aren't capable now, nor of outskating H/D (who beat G/P when injured as well at 4CC).

      "They’re gratified that they were able to edge past Americans Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue this season, when last year they were neck and neck with them."

      Ie. be as blatantly overscored as they have ever been at Nats, despite making visible errors - at least D/W had to skate their version of "clean" - to steal medals and a GPF spot from H/D. All the while piously patting themselves on the back for handling the loss of their Olympics spot, that they didn't even begin to deserve, so maturely. YFR.

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    11. Well, I actually dared to ask that question in the comments section of the website. (My comment was "awaiting moderation" ---i.e. it will never see the light of day) Plus, this makes no sense at all: " Poirier’s right leg is still weak, and he has limited range of motion in the ankle, but he can train at full capacity and the injury doesn’t limit him." Umm....if he has "limited range of motion in his ankle," then YES indeed, that would "limit" him, and his skating. What in the world is Beverly Smith talking about?

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    12. Ha, me too 1:46! Let's see if we make the cut.

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    13. "Hubbell/Donohue missed the Olympics spot by skating better than Chock/Bates *while* injured."

      In addition to outskating DW, but even CB outskated DW.

      "Ie. be as blatantly overscored as they have ever been at Nats, despite making visible errors - at least D/W had to skate their version of "clean" - to steal medals and a GPF spot from H/D. All the while piously patting themselves on the back for handling the loss of their Olympics spot, that they didn't even begin to deserve, so maturely. YFR."

      HD and GP only competed once against each other last season at 4CC. HD beat GP by 4.54 points overall with Madison very hurt and in pain and HD undertrained because of it. Here, they call that neck-and-neck. If DW won by that many points over VM, they called it annihilation.

      HD outskated GP at both SC and TEB. The only reason GP ended up with the medals they did and the trip to the GPF is that they were given marks inflated somewhat like a balloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. HD should be on their way to Barcelona, having qualified for the GPF with a 2nd at SC and 1st at TEB.

      You're right that GP made visible errors in both competitions. Not even DW could have gotten away with those kinds of visible errors. If DW had had errors that obviously visible in Sochi or the GPF last year, VM would have those titles.

      OC has noted several times that when asked in Sochi, Charlie couldn't bring himself to say they'd had the gold medal skate. It was that they'd done their job. Compare that to GP's pious patting themselves on the back.

      Although it was many days late and dollars short, I'd hoped the Beverly Smith article on the eve of Sochi was an indication that she might be a voice willing to start speaking up. I was wrong about that.

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    14. http://judgingtheisu.blogspot.ca/2014/12/skate-canada-censors-criticism-of.html

      A comment containing no mention of G/P has now been approved on the article. 1:46 (or anyone else who submitted a comment critical of the part about G/P) - if you would like to, feel free to make a screencap of your comment that shows it still awaiting moderation and I'll add it to the post. Just link to it here or on my blog, or you can DM me on twitter if you don't want it associated with an upload account. https://twitter.com/canadablues

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    15. DW were evil, but GP are demonic. http://www.goldenskate.com/2014/12/piper-gilles-paul-poirier/

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    16. LOL: "Gilles is currently in a new program called “Creative Industries” that includes fashion, communication, film and journalism."

      Of course she is. A total bullshit made up program for a bullshit made up skater. Let's just cram all of the cool-sounding ones and make it a major! Good thing she has that scholarship too.

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    17. 10:00: Really?
      http://creative.fcad.ryerson.ca/about
      You may want to fact check before you sound like an idiot.

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    18. Anon @1:46 here---Canada Blue, when I go to the Skate Canada site, any sign that I ever made the comment has completely disappeared, nor is there any mention that the comment is awaiting moderation. I didn't think to make a screen capture at the time....perhaps I will try to post it again, and get that screen capture....

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    19. Oh, how strange 1:46 - my comment is still showing for me, even though there's no sign in... perhaps you cleared cookies or something?

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    20. 3:41, I went to the school's website, read the course description, and still have absolutely no idea what, exactly, she is studying. What the heck is "Creative Industries?" Care to enlighten us?

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    21. Um it "includes fashion, communication, film and journalism." What part of that did you not get? Geez I understand that you guys hate Piper Gilles (and G/P), but this is getting a bit ridiculous. You sound like petty high schoolers. Grow up. Not 3:41 pm BTW.

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    22. No one is disputing it exists. It just sounds like a bullshit basket-weaving program that was made up to take money from people who want to "go to college" without actually studying.

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    23. New commenter on this topic - Ryerson's programs in general are more career-oriented and less academic, kind of a hybrid between a university and a college (in Canada, the latter tends to refer more to institutions that award technical/vocational diplomas). On the one hand, I don't think people should be looked down upon simply for not being cut out for rigorous academic programs. On the other, I understand where 7:10 is coming from, that there are programs that don't really train people for anything, but are just a way to purchase the school experience. I don't know where this program falls on that spectrum, but I do know that Ryerson has a very good employer reputation for certain career-oriented programs that they offer. I guess what I'm saying is that some "basket-weaving" courses aren't evil or something to mock in and of themselves IF they prepare people for non-academic job opportunities. As someone familiar with Ontario universities, I've never thought of her program as pretending to be anything more than that, because that's Ryerson's focus in the first place. It's the scholarship that raises my eyebrows, because Piper's family is loaded.

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    24. "On the other, I understand where 7:10 is coming from, that there are programs that don't really train people for anything, but are just a way to purchase the school experience. "

      "Communications" majors fit that bill for years. As to the scholarship, at times certain high profile students are considered value adds to the program, so they get the free ride. We think Piper's family isn't beyond pulling those strings so they can broadcast that?

      I fucking hate Skate Canada's wanking. Jessica Dube dumped Bryce and in a blink of an eye Skate Canada had him retired, way before he had himself retired. Now the only reason GP didn't make the Olympics was he was injured. I saw the competition; a healthy GP were outskated by P/I. The program content alone determined that outcome if skated clean.

      Skate Canada lies. Look at the bullshit about the funding. Their press release acted as if skaters taking the season off were still entitled to funding but released it cause they're classy like that.

      I can deal with mendacity, I just don't like what it says about the attitude towards the public. Actually, it says two things: "Our public is stupid and in the tank." And, it says, "we're not accountable so we can say what we want. There isn't a sportswriter on this planet up for jeopardizing an expense-account weekend in a foreign location where they don't have to do anything but drink and make shit up."

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  10. I have several new Grand Prix feet only videos posted. Or half feet only, half waist up videos in the case of Rostelecom Cup. It should be required to show the entire body during the performance on the broadcast - no closeups, not even of feet- so that the whole picture is on public record. And then, naturally, they should go crazy with feet only and useful angles in the slow motion replay. Comparison videos are on the way too.

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHHPzj0Ja-Ven6k7_yFq5kg/featured

    -canadablue

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    Replies
    1. :) Thank you - again! - canadablue. I will get started with these this week.

      Of course, we should also see the same replay the judges see. We all know that when somebody is clearly on a flat from our perspective, in the judges' replay they clearly get the key point. So many wonderful things happen only from the judges' angle. Skate blades are simply magic.

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    2. Yep. I assume they archive all the footage of tech calls somewhere. That would be *fascinating* to compare our reality and their reality.

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  11. And now she's super tiny again :

    https://twitter.com/tessavirtue/status/541715716127592450

    Tessa needs her own fitness brand, she'd make millions if she sold her secret to her weight loss ;)

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  12. ^^she was never large or pregnant lol ^^
    her fitness brand is pretty basic no secrets involved..train..exercise..eat right. Period.

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    Replies
    1. I don't think she was/is pregnant but you can't honestly claim that she didn't put on weight or that her Twitter pics differ vastly from video footage.

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  13. Does anyone know why P/I are so hyped up when W/P have had a much more successful season then them? (I just don't understand why skate Canada shoves them everywhere)

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    Replies
    1. I think you mean GP instead of PI. PI have no hype.

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    2. ......? P/I have had far less attention from Skate Canada than W/P and G/P combined. Zero hype.

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    3. I agree. I/P get no attention from SC. It's all about G/P. Even W/P imo receive the kind of hype that mostly implies it's simply their turn. All of SC's love and admiration is for the crap team of G/P.

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    4. If WP scew up at GPF GP might over take them at nationals. Maybe not this season but they'll set everything up for GP to over take them in 2016/17

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  14. OMG, Weaver/Poje lead after SD...6 points ahead of Chock/Bates!

    Shibs two points behind Chock/Bates in third. Hmm...

    http://www.isuresults.com/results/gpf1415/CAT004RS.HTM

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