Last edited by Joesitz; 11-13-2005 at 05:29 PM.
Even though the TV picture is clearer than the internet feeds, my thoughts didn't change.
Originally Posted by Joesitz
Irina - Wow. This SP already seems in top form.
Mao - Wow for a young up and coming talent. Will be interesting to see her again at TEB. IMO she is not yet on par presentation wise with some of the veterans, but she is doing extremely (!!) for her age and situation - Sr. GP debut.
Shiz - :( I hope she can bring this program along to a higher level as the season progresses. I LOVE to see her when she is ON.
I've commented elsewhere on these before, so I'll stick to the top 3 here.
I think Irina's athleticism and her unitard would make Tomaso de Celano turn in his grave shouting bravo!!! She won hands down. Musically, it is boring, how many Dies Irae repeats can her choreographer feed into those 2 minutes.
Mao is awesome, her Carmen is one of the best in recent years. She too is extremely athletic, just wait for her to gain more power.
Arakawa deserved to be third. I am grateful to TT for choosing variation #18 and not variation # 7, 10 or 22 from the rhapsody, therefore sparing me from listening any further abuse of Celano's Dies Irae.
Last edited by gezando; 11-13-2005 at 07:10 PM.
I think Elena deserves to have that lutz entrance official named after her....
Originally Posted by Joesitz
I had a hard time getting past the shrieky chirping birds at the start of the program. I knew to "get read for it" for the TV broadcast, and I think they might have done some sound editing or something. But when I didn't know to expect it, and it was the raw feed over the internet, OH MY!!!! Made my ears hurt and sadly, I think that initial reaction may have ruined this program for me forever.
Thank God for Stephane Lambiel and Matt Savoie!
Irina had lots of energy and her jumps were so on. But that program choreographicaly and muscally was so boring. I still think she's much more of an athlete than an artist. She just doesn't feel it. But you really can't argue with the elements.
Mao has unbelievable ease in everything she does. But her presentation is just "too light" for my taste and I didn't really like the cutesey things she's doing in her program. An amazing skater nevertheless.
Yes, we have always known that Irina is more of the athelete than an artist.. but that short program was on fire! I haven't seen her LP yet, but if she keeps up steam like like till the Oly..I believe she will have the gold medal.. and if she does it will be well deserved..
While Irina's SP is not the best choreography I've ever seen for an SP, it is close to being the best performed SP I've ever seen. If she turns her combo into a 3L/2lo or 3L/3t and skates everything else as well as she did here, then I'd probably crown it as best performed SP I'd ever seen, unless somebody else outdoes her this year.
Originally Posted by shine
Ironically, the best choreography I've ever seen for an SP was also for Irina at the '98 Olympics, "Piano Waltz" choreographed, IIRC, by Peter Oppregard. It suited her stylistically so well, too. But she totally bombed it. That was during the "I grew five inches and gained 20 lbs. in one year. Skating, BLUK!" phase Irina went through. But the choreography was brilliant. Like Chen Lu's "Take Five" SP was brilliant but the performance was not.
As for all the flutter about "They've already decided Irina is going to win the OGM! Oh, noooooo!" Okay, even I believed you guys and did not check for myself that Irina's SP score was some statospheric number; "the highest in the history of skating" said Mathman (and I'll never let you forget it); higher even than the men, someone said. So poo on me for not checking. Irina's SP score is second to Sasha Cohen's SP score of 71.12 at Skate Canada '03, which I realize doesn't really count because she earned it before the ISU came down on the judges for the high PCS scores. OTOH, there were only 3 levels to spins, FW, and spirals in '03 instead of the 4 levels we have now. So choose your quibbles.
I also saw Irina's LP online and though it's difficult to tell on my 56k dial-up, her LP didn't seem to have the fuel injection of Moscow Worlds, which I'm glad it didn't. IMO, Irina's big albatross is that she comes out all fireworks at the beginning of the season and gradually wears herself down. Prior to being diagnosed with the vasculitis, that could have played a role in her poor endurance over the season. Or else maybe she really did blow all her gaskets before the '02 Olympics and many Worlds. I hope Irina keeps the lid on while still showing her stuff--I mean, it's not like she's not used to big-time competition--but not tearing herself up either physically or mentally for the Olympics and Worlds.
Interviewer: "Well, Mean Ol' Rgirl! How could you NOT like a beautiful, precocious 15-year-old who can skate like heck?"
Mean Ol' Rgirl: "She's beautiful and has excellent skating skills for any age. And even though I too find her 'light,' this is not a criticism, just my preference for more powerful, deep-into-the-ice skaters. What I don't like is her cloying persona while performing. Everything is done with a 'wink and a wiggle,' which to me is like a comedian ending every joke with a 'Get it! Get it!.'"
Interviewer: "Okay, Mean Ol' Rgirl! You certainly live up to the 'MEAN' in your name, ha ha! We'll be taking you out to be shot now, on camera! Wanna blindfold? Any last words?"
MOR: "I think Mao Asada will do extremely well in figure skating and will probably upset Sasha Cohen's hopes for a World Champi..mmh!...pff!!!...MMM!!!!"
Interviewer: "Thank you, Mean Ol' Rgirl. BANG! I'm sure we'll all *cough*miss*cough* your opinions about skaters in years to come. Are we still on? Is the b**** dead yet? Gimme that cigarette. Yeah, I know. But at $8 bucks a pack, you think I'm gonna offer one to a goner?"
Okay, seriously. I won't say, "Great for her senior debut at 15!" because nerves put some athletes in their senior-debut-at-15 zone and kicks others out of theirs. I won't mention any names, but there are enough skaters who had great senior debuts or seasons and that was all to form a baseball league. I think there will be a lot more "it" from Asada and personally I look forward to her losing the cutesy approach and maturing into a sophisticated 19-year-old.
I agree with Shine that her style is light for my taste, but that doesn't prevent me from appreciating her technical and "component" skills (might as well use the lingo). The tough thing about evaluating someone so small and young is the same problem there was with Cohen at 15. You don't know how much is due to being a tiny, "bendy" girl at 15 and how much will hold up once she grows taller and heavier and, more importantly, the growth plates stiffen into cartilage and bone, the latter making injury more likely, not to mention just skating at more events for more years.
What I wonder most about Asada, who I'm sure I would grow to like in any case, has much more to do with the Japanese Skating Federation than Mao herself. Every year since the last Olympics, there has been the steady beat of prediction: "The Japanese ladies will sweep in '06!" Fumie has won two World bronze and Shizuka the World Title in '04, which is nothing to sneeze at. But even as much as I LOVE Shizza, I have to admit it was a funky win. Not that she didn't skate brilliantly and completely deserved the title, but in '05 she dropped to 11th at Worlds and overall, except for '04 Worlds, she has not skated like a World Champion before or since. (Great time to skate like a champ, though!)
So now Fumie is stymied by a groin injury after changing from a Russian to a Japanese coach before an Olympic season (wha?). Onda shows nothing today of the espirit de glacee she had a few years ago. And even though I've heard people say Shizuka has been skating all summer with joy back in her skating, I've seen her in three events now and haven't seen anything close to World Champion form or joy. I do not expect Shizza to be doing 3/3/2s at this time of year, but even in '03 when Shizza was coming in 2nd at her GP events, she looked stronger.
So my question is, "Why didn't these incredibly beautiful and promising Japanese skaters make more of an impact?" A few years ago ABC did a piece on the changes the Japanese Federation had made to get their ladies back into world class form. Maybe it's a case of learning from the mistakes of the first try for the next set of changes. In any case, I hope they are changes Mao Asado benefits from because she certainly has the technique and form to go far.
Mean Ol' Rgirl, R..I.P.
Rgirl - I love your 'wink and a wiggle' remark and I agree with your description. She's young. However, that wink and wiggle got Tara a gold medal, imo.
Anyone: Does she have another GP? If so, I think she'll be in the Final.
Mao is scheduled to compete at TEB this coming weekend. It will be interesting to see her and Kimmie in the same comp - first time since Jr. World's last season.
Originally Posted by Joesitz
R-Girl - the "youngster" I'm waiting for is Yu-Na Kim. From what little I've seen (internet only - no TV) I like her style a lot better than Mao's (I think it's more mature than Mao's at this stage). But of course lots will change for these young ladies in the coming years. Yu-Na is heading into the JGP final (Thanksgiving weekend) with a commanding lead. I hope somebody somewhere is "covering" it so we get to see some performances via the skating video site.
Young skating young
While, yes, the 'wink and wiggle' is a very apt comment, hafta say that I much prefer a youngster skating light than a youngster pretending to be a heavyweight by slapping a bunch of makeup on and trying to emote.
Quibbles? I'll show ya' quibbles!
Originally Posted by Rgirl
#1. OK, Irina's stratospheric score is the highest in the modern history of skating.
#2. Better than the men? If Irina had skated in the men's division she would have won the bronze in the SP competition at Cup of China:
Eliminate the 20% "woman's penalty" in the PCS, and Irina wins the gold with 78.15 points.
(The ladies' PCSs are "factored" by .8. To see what Irina would have got if she had skated in pants -- wait, she did -- multiply the PCS by 1.25 and add it on to the TES.)
Still not impressed? That SP performance would have put her in the final group to skate at Worlds:
If only she had a quad! Despite her desicive victory over Evgeni, we have to take into account that he was injured. As it is, in the men's division I'm afraid Irina will be on the bubble for a podium placement at Torino, in the same plight as Buttle, Weir and Lysacek.
That having been said...
What is the argument about? We are all agreed -- friends of Irina and foes alike -- that this was the most outstanding short program performance in the (modern ) history of skating. Why shouldn't she get scores that match?
Does anyone know what the intent of the CoP score for "choreography" is in cases like this? Peter Oppegard deserves a prize for choreography, but does Irina deserve high marks in this program component?
Originally Posted by Rgirl
Great choreography, stinko execution. Should she get 4.25 in "perfomance/execution" and 9.0 in "choreography"?
* Purpose (idea, concept, vision)
* Proportion (equal weight of pats)
* Unity (purposeful threading)
* Utilization of personal and public space
* Pattern and ice coverage
* Phrasing and form (movvements and parts stuctured to match the phasing of the music)
* Originality of purpose, movement and design
* Physical, emotional, and intellectual involvement
* Style and individuality/personality
* Clarity of movement
* Variety and contrast
Slutskaya at the 98 Olympics? I don't remember her "totally bombing" her short program. She doubled the lutz in the combination, probably had less energy throughout than at her best, and her carriage and body line were definite weaknesses then, compared to today or to some of her competitors then. But I thought she did pretty well with individuality/personality, clarity of movement, variety and contrast, and projection.
Last edited by gkelly; 11-14-2005 at 02:57 PM.
Shizuka didn't finish 11th at 2005 Worlds---that was Joannie Rochette.
Shizuka was 9th--a big drop, and even lower than the 8th she finished in 2003. But if she went from 8th to 1st, she could recoup and go back up this year.
Back in 2004, the one expected to make the biggest splash was Miki Ando. She won 2004 Junior Worlds and finished 4th at 2004 Worlds, almost pushing Kwan off the podium.
But last year, Miki seemed to have lost her focus. Shizuka stole Miki's thunder in 2004, but Miki wasn't able to distinguish herself in her first season on the GP, even while Shizuka herself seemed to be going through a post-championship letdown. Maybe that's why the JF put Mao in the GP a season before she was eligible for ISU championships, so she could make adjustments to Seniors before the pressure was on to deliver results.
Last edited by chuckm; 11-14-2005 at 03:42 PM.