Sasha was absolutely exquisite, and even with the fall at the end, she was light years ahead of Mao as far as presentation, and it was NOT reflected in the score. Paul Wylie commented on that fact and said he didn't understand it (that she should have been 6 or 8? points higher than MAO in the PCS). She skated with more passion and added some new moves to the program. Paul Wylie said she was exquisite and he was absoultely right. It was simply one of the most beautiful skates I have ever seen. Shizuka was wonderful as well and skated the footwork section beautifully. Her speed was fabulous. Mao was the jumping bean of the night but I would have placed her after Sasha. Sasha's program was mature, elegant and difficult. The same can be said of Shizuka's. Mao had the jumps and a Bielman and that's it. Her PCS should have been much lower than Sasha's.
Umm, did they show Kimmie's program? Because I swear they cut it off! I only got Mao Asada and onwards (minus Rochette's scores) on my computer. But I don't see Kimmie...
I found it VERY amusing, with all the Kimmie hype and Kimmie fluff....they don't show Kimmie! Hehehe.
I thought Sasha was rather tentative, markedly slower looking than Arakawa, and a few scratchy and two-footed jump landings. It is another ironic amusement, how Wylie points out Arakawa's "lip", but blithely let's Sasha's egregious "flutz" go by unnoted.
And again, comparing Arakawa's spiral sequence to Sasha's, saying how much inferior it was....but Arakawa's sure had better speed and edging.
Asada's 3axel looked at least 1/4 cheated on the landing, but also pre-rotated...no commentary on that. Oh well.
I have to agree with Kyla (and Paul, LOL). The New Judging System stinks. Bad performances can still amass lots of points. Sasha was the only performer that held my interest at all.
If the purpose of the NJS was to make figure skating "more like other sports," congratulations, it has succeeded.
I was going hunh??? after seeing the skates. From the results, I figured Sasha had skated poorly. Now I do think that Mao was terrific, and that she definitely deserved the silver, but Sasha was so clearly head and shoulders above her -- even with Mao's 3axel. I wonder if the PCS scores wouldn't have been vastly different if Mao had skated after Sasha, because that would have very starkly shown the maturity differences.
Originally Posted by kyla2
Also, why didn't Mao get a deduction for the touch down on her last spin? AFAIK, if you have to put your hand(s) down to keep yourself from falling, it's considered a fall. Without that hand down on that spin, she would have been on her backside. Wouldn't have effected the outcome, but I wonder why she didn't get it.
You know what's the worst thing about the New Judging System? The spins. Everyone is going around really slow sticking out their arms in weird positions hoping that this will count as a "change of position" to get a higher level. A spin can be a pretty element and actually add something of artistic value to a program. Now...ptttt!
I hope Michelle retires and leaves figure skating to lie in the bed it has made for itself.
Last edited by Mathman; 11-29-2005 at 12:23 AM.
Michelle transcends the sport. It is time for her to spread her wings and leave Speedy and company behind, eating her ice chips!
The "lip" comment was aimed at Sokolova, not Arakawa. Elena does a true lutz, and Paul just pointed out that she does the opposite of the ladies that flutz. She turns a flip into a lutz, instead of a lutz into a flip. Everyone knows about all the ladies who flutz. Why mention it again when it's been done to death? Sokolova's "lip" is something that had never been commented on before.
Also, got to agree. Sasha was exquisitely beautiful in the LP. She was clearly cheated on the PCS scores. They should have been in the 70's, IMO.
Last edited by Eldredgefan2001; 11-29-2005 at 12:49 AM.
I stand corrected. The "lip" was about Sokolova. But, it's not a matter of not pointing out the flutz because it has been mentioned multiple times. It's the fact that they were bringing up a jump entry error on one skater, but not pointing out a worse jump entry error on "their" skater.
Originally Posted by Mathman
I have always believed it wasn't the judging previously that was the problem...rather the judges.. but no one wanted to points fingers and ban judges for life... so instead of 'fixing' the problem, they created another one. case in point: sasha's finish at TEB. just a joke. sasha should have been so far ahead of the others in PCS that she ought to have won. exquisite... really was.. she wants it badly this season and i hope she can achieve her dreams.
Outside of the fall at the end, I thought Sasha's LP was breathtaking.. She looked very strong to me.. What I don't understand is are her PCS scores?
International have always given Sasha huge PCS scores. MAybe the are trying to tell her something? It's her first time out, so let's give her a message to go home, keep working and improve that program more..Then we will give you that silver medal in Torino.. I have to say that I have never really cared for Sasha's attitude, but she is such a marvelous skater.. No one has her posture and can hit positions like her..
I think you have a good point about skate order possibly affecting the PCS scores. Jumps and non-jump element levels, I don't think so, though anything is possible given the proclivities of the Caller.
Originally Posted by sk8er1984
US commentators tend to "see" fewer problems in US skaters (don't know if this happens in other countries). Even though I don't like it, I can understand it as human nature.
Originally Posted by Kasey
As for the commentator's saying Mao was overmarked on her PCS, it's difficult for me to tell not being there live. However, even if Mao's scores were right on the money, again I think it's human nature for the US commentators, who've only seen Mao compete twice but who have watched Sasha and Shizuka fight through the tough times over the past four years, to go against the hype--at least for right now--and point out some very valid weaknesses in Asada's skating. I do wish, however, that the commentator's had been more generous in talking about the things she does incredibly well, at any age.
Also, re Sasha, after Campbell's, her injury, her SP, and what I'd read on the forum, I expected Sasha to basically drag herself through this performance. Boy, was I wrong! Not only did she light up the arena just skating out to her position, but this skate was better than Campbell's by leap years. I hadn't thought of it before since I also love Irina and Shizuka a lot--Michelle, too, but sadly she'd been in limbo lately. But when either Paul or Suzie said that they realized how much they'd missed Sasha and what she brings to the ice (at her best or close to it, I assume), I realized, "Yeah, watching her now I realize I have missed watching her skate, especially when she skates like she did here."
Of course Sasha has a lot of work to do, especially on her speed. edges, jumps, and overall timing of her LP. But last night, I must say I was really proud and excited that Sasha Cohen may represent the US at the Olympics. Except for the year she was injured, she's come in second at Nationals every year since '99 except the one year, IIRC, she came in third. Since '02 Worlds she's finished no lower than 4th and has two silver medals to show for the last two years. Also, except for '04, she's gone through every GPS season winning most or all of her events and has also won a couple of GPFs. Of course she tanked a lot during GPS in '01.
As Sasha said in another interview, she has skated through all kinds of ups and downs, but since her first performance at the '02 Olympics, she's never finished lower than fourth and has won silver at the last two Worlds. But what made me feel proud of her is how she's been from the beginning, both on and off the ice. Call me crazy--everybody does, lol--but I like a young woman with hutzpuh. She doesn't always do the right thing, sit the right way, swallow instead of spit (I can relate), and certainly doesn't always say the right thing, though (sigh) as they grow up they do tend to watch what they say and sound more "spun." Nice girls have never been my thing, no offense to nice people. When Sasha spit the infamous "spit," I caught her face as she was turning away from the camera and she had what I interpreted as a wry smile, as if to laugh as she was thinking, "Of course the camera's on you when there's no where to spit but on the floor. What can you do except laugh and go out and skate?!" Three years ago I think it would have been a moment full of tension and would have negatively affected her performance. As she said in her interview, "I do feel pressure because it's the Olympics. Last time I had something to prove, to make the team, just to get out and compete at the World level for the first time. And I've done that, I've competed at Worlds, so this will be different."
It's highly unlikely that Sasha will make Bartlett's Quotations--we'll leave that to Dick Button. I just liked her whole demeanor both in the interview and while she skated. I still wish she had used cuts from Prokofiev's "Romeo and Juliet," but this program has a lot more depth than it did at Campbell's and I just hope things keep going in that diirection for "R/J." OT, but, boy howdy! What Edmond Martin was able to do with the Muzak/Rota version of "R/J" for Totmianina and Marinin! Now that's music for figger skatin' BIG TIME!
Okay, on to the actual ladies competition and specifically how the LP was judged. Recently we started a thread based on Joe's signature: "Do you believe the Technical Assistant (the Caller) is the most important official in the competition? I do." Many expressed that by increasing or decreasing the levels for non-jump elements or by downgrading a jump from a triple to a double, the Caller could have the real power in the NJS since s/he can chip away at a winning performance, especially if second place is close, in order to affect the podium standings, or how many skaters a country gets to send to the next Worlds or Olympics.
For example, did you notice Paul Wylie's comment that Shizuka kept getting her 3/3 downgraded to a 3/2 that she, or more likely Tarasova, decided, "What's the point in risking a 3/3 if it's just going to end up a 3/2?" Thus last night, where Shizza usually did her 3/3, she just a 3/2. How many of us have had the opportunity to really look at Shizza's 3/3s and see if they were really more than a quarter turn underrotated or prerotated? I'm not automatically impugning the Callers, but their position does give them a lot of power.
At TEB, I think the Caller was tough on certain elements. For example, s/he (where does one find the names of the Technical Specialists?) gave every one of the eight LP skaters except the one who finished last a Level 3 on her Spiral Step sequence. Of course we who saw the ESPN TV version in the US, saw only five skaters--hey, a whoppin' number for ESPN! But even just out of those five, no way could I give all their Spirals a Level 3. I thought Sokolova deserved a 2, yet she received a 3, the same as Arawakawa, who I thought deserved a 4. And I haven't been able to face the spins yet.
Fortunately with a good Caller and unfortunately with a bad or cheating Caller, this is something we're just going to have to get used to, at least for this season. However, at the season's final Cheesefest when we give half the audience cards that when turned over spell out, "THE CALLERS IN THE NJS SUCK! ISU, FIX THIS NOW, YOU WEENIES!" I think we can be hopeful that next season there may be three Callers. If all 3, or 2 of 3 agree on the non-jump levels or that a jump is what the skater intended it to be, ie, a 3/3 rather than a 3/2, then majority rules. If all three disagree, eg, a level 2, 3, and 4 for the same spin, then I say use either the mean or the score closest to the mean. Right now, under the right circumstances, which so far have happened pretty often, the Caller alone can decide who is where on the podium and even who is on or off the podium, especially for the bronze.
IMO, since flutzes and lips aren't being counted by the Callers as a deduction, I'm fine with the commentators pointing them out as long as they also point out that, at least this season, there is no deduction for doing one. If I were Sasha, Elena, or any other flutzer or lipper, I wouldn't worry about mine until the day after Worlds, then when I started training again, I'd work on my flutz or lip like gangbusters.
As for Sasha's Spiral, I would have given her a Level 3, as the Caller did. Of course the Caller has to make a pretty quick call, but given that I have my VCR and can take as long as I want to determin the levels of various Spiral Step sequences, I decided to mess around. Here's what I would use to determine the level of a given Spiral Step sequence: Edges, speed, and positions.
I know this isn't the ISU wording, but it seems like what the Callers are mainly looking at and since I'm too tired (lazy) to try to find the ISU wording, if anybody has it, I'd appreciate it and I'm sure others would, too.
Specifically for Sasha, here's how I evaluated her Spiral Step sequence based on edges, speed, and difficulty/quality of positions:
(a) The FIE on her 180-degree arabesque before the change/edge isn't deep at all, but it's there nonetheless and the 180-degree free leg is directly behind her, thus making a deep edge especially difficult because the center is so far forward and moving the left free leg to the right, providing more balance, is virtually impossible when it's amplitude is 180 degrees. I'd give that FIE a 2.
The FOE after the C/E is good, but only good, not great. However considering again that the free leg is directly behind and not held out to the left for balance--from what I could see--I'd give Sasha's FOE on the 180-degree arabesque after the C/E a 3.
(b) Sasha's best edges are on the catch-foot up to the head, a BOE, just before going into the "fan" or "front-side" free leg position. She leans back well and has a good BOE on the curve. I give both BOEs for this section a 3.
(c) Her Charlotte is supposed to be a FIE but it's even less barely there than her FIE during her 180-degree arabesque before the C/E. Caller Rgirl gave Sasha's Charlotte FIE barely a 1.
(d) Speed: I gave Sasha a 2 for speed throughout her Spiral Step sequence.
(e) Number and difficulty of positions. Number of positions: 4. Difficulty of positions, looking at control, amplitude, extension, stillness, and "wholeness" of entire position on each one, I gave Sasha a 4 for what I'll call "high quality difficulty."
Sasha received from Caller Rgirl two 4s, three 3s, two 2s and one 1.
I would think the Callers wouldn't have time to do this kind of doo-doo, but doing it has been helpful to me in breaking down what makes a poor, okay, good, and great spiral. When I get the time--in another life--I'll try doing it for some of the spins, as well as elements in other disciplines. Anyway, in a case like this in which you, the Caller, feel the skater is somewhat all over the place, I would make my decision based on which aspects I felt were most important and how well the skater did them. Did she do a number of positions but was her speed slow? Did she do difficult positions but did the difficulty show with strain, or did she have relatively shallow edges? In Sasha's case, she has good control over her edges, ie, the change/edge and the foot-to-head into fan position with an especially high free leg, but her speed is slow and her edges shallow. Thus Caller Rgirl feels that Sasha did not do the most important aspects of the spiral as well as she should have, although she did others extremely well.
Thus, Caller Rgirl agrees with the TEB Caller for giving Sasha's spiral sequence a Level 3.
If I were advising Sasha, I'd suggest that she work like a mofo on her speed and edges, since I think those two things drag down not just her spirals, but also her whole LP as well as her SP. I'd also change that last Charlotte--we already know you can get your leg up there Sasha, show us something else. Hmm, what gets lots of points and would be easy as pie for Sasha to do? Big surprise! A Biellman or variation thereof, going backwards, preferably using a BIE, since good ones are rare. If her BIE really stinks even after a lot of work, then a BOE. Just as long as it's backwards and not the Charlotte.
If Sasha really digs the Charlotte, use it as choreography with a nifty pull-out not unlike Emily Hughes's swirl or something even groovier.
Let's take Elena, same criteria: Edges, speed, positions.
(a) On the crossed Biellman C/E, I'd give her FIE a 2 and her FOE a 3. On the backward arabesque spiral held up at the knee with it slightly bent, I don't know if it was the camera angle but couldn't tell if there was an edge at all. I think it was supposed to be a BIE, so I'll say it was and give Elena the benefit of the doubt for going backwards. I say 2.
(b) On her overall speed, a 3.
(c) Her positions included two. The first was the crossed-hand Biellman. The second was the backward arabesque spiral held up at the knee. I don't know if you can give a 0, but for number of positions, I'll again give Elena the benefit and a 1 on Number of Positions. As for Difficulty/Quality of Positions, also a 1.
Now here's a question: Do you count only the number of positions the skater does or do you compare it to skaters who do more positions? I'd say you should base it on the number of positions a skater does, as well as their quality. If those 3 positions blow the roof off the arena, give the girl Level 4. But if they're run-of-the-mill positions, I'd take off for only 3 positions, especially when there are skaters doing 6 and 7 positions that are absolutely exquisite. In other words, a lower Level for three positions done poorly; a high level for 6 or 7 positions done exquisitely, but also vice versa.
Elena's received two 3s, two 2s, and two 1s. Elena gets a Level 2 for her Spst from Caller Rgirl. From the TEB Caller, Elena's Spiral sequence received Level 3.
Now Shizuka, same critera:
(a) Edges on cross-arm Biellman with C/E: FIE 4, FOE 3. Edge on arabesque with upper body twist--missed a lot on her edge because the boards got in the way, but BofD, FOE 3. Cross-arm Biellman going backwards, tough to tell with camera angle, but with BofD BIE 2. Catch-foot to head into "fan" spiral. Catch-foot BOE 3. Fan spiral on curve BOE 4.
(b) Overall Speed: 4.
(c) Number and Difficulty/Quality of Positions: Shizza did seven different positions, including the arabesque with the twist and a cross-arm Biellman going backwards. Definite Level 4. Difficulty/Quality of Positions: Paul Wylie said he saw a big difference in the quality between Sasha and Shizuka's positions, with his opinion that Sasha's were far superior. I disagree. I gave the higher level to the Difficulty/Quality of Positions to Shizuka over Sasha. It all came down to edges and speed for these two skaters. Shizza had great edges and speed as well as excellent positions. Sasha may have won on positions by some, but she lost by a lot in terms of edges and speed, IMO.
Shizza had five 4s; three 3s; and one 2. Shizza gets Level 4, no question about it, from Caller Rgirl. The TEB Caller gave Shizza Level 3.
I was only going to do three skaters, but Caller Rgirl just noticed something. Mao's entire Spiral Step sequence consisted of two cross-foot Biellmans.
1. The first a FOE C/E to a FIE. The second a cross-foot Biellman on a curving BOE. Caller Rgirl, the FOE gets a 3; the FIE a 1; and the BOE a 3.
2. Speed is a 2.
3. Number of Positions is one, the cross-foot Biellman. I give Number of Positions a 1. Difficulty/Quality of Position: 1.
Mao does 3 edges, a 3, 1, and 3. Speed, 2. Number of Positions, 1. Difficulty/Quality of Positions, 1. Caller Rgirl would give Asada a Level 2 for what she did. However, with only two positions that I gave the Difficulty/Quality of a 1, IMO, I'd have no problem giving her entire Spiral Step sequence a Level 1.
The TEB Caller gave Mao's Spiral Step sequence a Level 3.
So Caller Rgirl feels the TEB Caller undermarked Shizuka on her spiral, got Sasha just right, and overmarked Sokolova one level and Asada 1 to 2 levels on her spiral. Anybody care to figure out if a difference on the podium might have been made with different Levels of Spirals and Spins for the top three skaters?
Since most of the Callers tend to consider edge and speed more than number and difficulty of positions, with which I agree for the reasons stated above, If I were Sasha, I'd either lower the free leg or let it go slightly to one side or the other in order to balance and get a deeper FIE and FOE, but more importantly, learn to use her arms to balance as well as strengthen her ankles. plus work on my other suggestions. Or, heck, just hire me and I'll fix all Sasha's programs--if I can remember what they are when I get there, LOL.
BTW, nothing against Asada. I love a lot of things about her. She's just not all the way there yet.
Seriously, the spiral Levels at TEB were a joke. I don't even want to think about what the Caller did with the Spin Levels--but I probably torture myself and do with the top three skaters' spins what I did with their spirals.
Once again, sorry this is sooooooo long.
Last edited by Rgirl; 11-29-2005 at 12:30 PM.
Here's something I never thought I'd say.... Sasha was robbed... Diva was robbed... and to a certain extent, Mao was robbed... Generally, when I don't understand a judging result, I just chalk it up to not understanding the new system & wait for the CoP crowd to break it down in the forums and then going back and re-watching it via Tivo (best invention since the coffee pot!)
But last night.... whew.... what a mess... For me skating is a visual sport ~ you see what's presented & judge from there. But the ISU is turning it into a mess with this whole "are you gonna believe what you see or what we tell you?" approach... I'm sorry, I'm done. I used to contemplate what skating would be like after Michelle retired in relation to my interest, but MK could skate for another 20 years within the competitive ranks, and I'd still be done.
I'm with Mathman on this one...