Sunday, October 11, 2015

I'm sure they've got a lot to say.

And now, "skating":

Weaver and Poje
Finlandia 2015 short dance

The skating got rough with the music change, but then they actually do skate their programs while remaining engaged with each other.

And here's Bratislava:

Oh  hey. Power and speed.
Let's ignore it.

The Shibutanis free dance was also lovely - overall speed, sustained speed into and out of elements, beautiful run of blade, quiet, deep edges, the best twizzles in the competition (or in ice dance at this point), best unison of the competition, ice coverage for days.

What fresh hell is this.
Coomes and Buckland.

Until this competition, I'd forgotten Coomes Buckland were a thing.

And of course, the winners:

Shibs were third.

A couple of mediocre pair teams stripped the pairs tricks from their programs and were placed ahead of the Shibs at a senior B ice dance competition.

No matter where the Shibutanis compete running up to Worlds, or how they skate, going forward until they retire they will be lucky to place between 3-5 during the season, end of, and perhaps 7-8 at Worlds if they blow everybody else out of the rink. Marina Zoueva had the Olympic gold and silver medalists in 2010 and 2014, and the World Champions throughout that cycle (notwithstanding that in 2014 the "Olympic gold medalists" robbed teams 2-5 and should never have been near the top of the World podium at any point), so her post 2014 star team is out of luck.

I'd give anything to see the USFSA's press guide to the Shibs. Remember when we got a look at that document that was put together prior to the season, going on and on and on about its favored skaters while about others, it went:

"Mirai Nagasu:
is a skater."

And you know the USFSA was gritting its teeth with the "is" part.

Who knows what trades, deals, agreements, etc. have been hammered out, but:

The Shibs are in an existential no man's land. They're not acknowledged. It doesn't matter what they do. I also keep thinking they're being punished for beating Davis White in TES in that one competition after Vancouver. Shibutani? What's a Shibutani?

During the Sochi 2014 postmortem, Tessa Virtue said that she and Scott Moir had stepped back for a "bird's eye view" after what happened at the Grand Prix Final. I wonder what the Shibs will do after this season. Nothing they do matters. They're not allowed to be in the game. It actually hurts to see them skate the way they do, and with heart. It would be easier they went through the motions.

P.S. - As for the chance of my finding a happy place this season so far:

Dear God, Tatiana and Maksim, CRUSH
Duhamel Radford. Let someone's
arm punch up through the
dirt piled atop the grave.

I'm not surprised about Iliushechnina/Moscovitch, or writing them off, but, there are teams that shine when expectations are charitable, but whose gut check wobbles when the stakes and pressure get higher. Anybody can have an off competition, but you should deliver at least once when pressure is on. With these two, there was last year's Canadians and Worlds, and now we're off to this kind of start.


  1. I expect W/P to be completely dropped this season.
    Dave Lease is an idiot but he has good connections and usually forms his opinions after what's being decided in the inner circles of skating and with his less than favorable opinion on W/P this season it seems they are no longer in the running for gold. He was rather harsh on them, said Andrew doesn't look like he wants to skate anymore ( he said the same about Tessa when looking for ' reasons ' to criticize her in favor of Meryl's ' grit ' ), complained about recycled elements ( that never seemed to bother him with DW ), called them a team that should be in 5th place that only got lucky because better teams retired and just threw them under the bus all together.
    Whatever agenda he follows doesn't seem to include WP anymore.

  2. I do expect the crowning of G/P nationally (accompanied by whatever international idiocy, be it C/B's world gold or something we haven't seen coming yet), but TSL's never cared for W/P. They were banging the drum about their lack of connection last season, and I believe, though I can't find it all right now, have made snide insinuations in the past that Kaitlyn's some ultra diva harpy who terrorizes former training mates. It's hard to say right now if this is TSL pushing skating's agenda or just indulging in an Aunt Joyce-style petty bitchfest/takedown...

    IIRC, TSL had originally planned to visit DSC in their road trip and it never happened. I've wondered if they got turned down, which would also account for their nastiness towards both Finlandia teams -- they loved H/B last year -- as well as the club overall (all the programs there are recycled and trite blah blah blah).

    1. Here's one of the tweets regarding W/P:

      Such professionalism on TSL's part, especially tagging Nathalie!

    2. Just in case you missed it OC - did your realize that TSL raised literally thousands of dollars via FSU fans for their road trip? This while worthy teams are retiring or ridiculously overworked because of lack of funds.

    3. DSC is a mess. After the mass exodus of P/I and H/D and the less than stellar programs of W/P and H/B, its probably best TSL didn't waste money on going there. Why didn't they visit Montreal when they were there is the real question.

    4. Would love to hear what is lacking with the programs of W/P and H/B. Not sexy enough?

    5. H/B have a good SD but a boring FD. Orford and Hill have a much better Theory of Everything FD and they are a new couple. Plus you can tell that their levels aren't quite there, not enough substantial choreo. W/P have boring programs too.

    6. 6:16, you sound like an FSU-Er, meaning you're clearly dumb as fuck about what constitutes good ice dance, if your only criteria is "that the programs are boring".

    7. Yeah, I for one would like more detail on how H/B's FD isn't as substantive as O/H's. H/B have too many holds or too much glide? Are they trying too hard having that much difficult contemporary movement?

      I mean, I don't dislike O/H. I'm happy they both found a way to continue. They're an unoffensive, adequate team. But the way fans are going on about them - especially in comparison to H/B - is insulting. They are not nearly as good of skaters as H/B, Nicole especially is still noticeably sluggish, and they have a mediocre program in terms of content compared ot them. I have no idea what people find mesmerizing about O/H's FD, but it's certainly not the quality of ice dance.

      And same goes for W/P. Boring is not a legitimate criticism of a program. Both SD and FD have some very nice things happening in terms of the type of things teams are supposed to show they can do. As OC noted - using the blades to get from point A to point B, staying connected... it's not that a team like O/H isn't attempting to go down that path, they're not a G/P by any means, but what they are doing is much simpler.

      It's just so disheartening that there is only a small handful of teams with truly difficult content and it seems every year they are more disliked and taken for granted.

  3. You wouldn't say there were more like eight or nine teams that should have placed ahead of D/W during Sochi? Not that it matters, the fact they won at all is why things are this way.

  4. I'll be celebrating the 5th birthday of my child soon, and made me think that V/M's little girl will also be turning 5 soon. How long is this sham going to continue? Do they feel that because everyone in Ilderton knows the truth, their girl is unaware of the alternate universe they constructed everywhere else? That is probably true, but won't there come a day soon when it all falls apart? What a shame.

  5. How can Tessa and Scott be keynote speakers at a business integrity event? With the sham they conducted in the name of their figure skating business, what would they know of integrity? How not to have it?

    1. 4:32
      It really is bizarre the way VM specifically market themselves on the concept of "integrity."

      They do have a lot to share that is admirable and good. But they should just shut up when it comes to the ideas of "sincere," "genuine" or "integrity." Although I think all those terms could be applied to their skating, and their skating only, that is not how they present in these speeches, where they apply "genuine" to all of their PR narratives.
      What a joke.

  6. I wonder if they are taking questions at this event. Would love to ask them about the sham and why they did it. Unfortunately I live far away from London, ON and I'm not flying over just to see this.

  7. According to Cindy Adams, gossip columnist of the New York Post, Davis and White are coming back to compete in the 2018 Olympics. Dear God, shoot me now!

    (Scroll down to the second last item of the column)

  8. They'll win gold, even if they compete only at the Games. The US wants to have double gold to show its dance dominance. Meryl is a DWTS winner so a second gold will be totally believable to the US public, which is the only viewership that counts in the Olympics. They will also use all the same moves they used in the last Olympics, and Tanith and NBC will say how no other team could do any of those moves as well as them.

    I really wish the Shibutani familly would do something about this. It is truly sickening.

  9. Looks like EventPhotoMan is new to the block. Wonder how many seconds passed after his tweet before Tessa hit the panic button and made sure Mr. EventPhotoMan knows how the game is played.

  10. Scott could not look less interested in what Tessa is "saying"

    1. Scott has been "off" for months now - he looks fed up with pretty much everything.

  11. It's about time he got fed up. He's been married to Tessa for 6 years and still can't publicly acknowledge it. What kind of marriage is that? No woman is worth that. Time to find someone who actually loves you, Scott.

  12. He must really be fed up to turn down a trip to the British Virgin Islands. Tessa will be doing that gold medal plates events solo.

    1. Most likely because someone needed to stay home to parent their child. The BVI trip is for a longer time than the Scotland trip.

    2. They have a newborn right now but having kids has never stopped them from travelling.

      How long is this trip? The website won't load for me. I'm still holding on to the hope of a comeback but going off on a long vacation wouldn't be an encouraging sign.