I originally posted this in the PAIRS live thread, but thought it belonged here:
T/M totally deserved to win, however, it may be the least memorable Olympic Gold skate in recent years, at least IMO. Don't get me wrong, it was skated well - it just lacked that certain something to make it great. This pair just never has learned to share a skate with the audience.
While I have the utmost respect for Z/Z and Shen/Z for competing under such difficult circumstances, I felt neither deserved to finish ahead of Pang/Tong - in spite of the fact that I don't love P/T's choreography or music choice. I simply felt they had the second best free skate here and deserved to finish on the second step of the podium.
I actually couldn't believe Obertas and Slavnov stayed in the top 10 with their dreadful skate. To put things in perspective, yes, I did see the top 10 - in fact between CBC and French CBC I saw the entire field. This team totally highlighted the weaknesses of COP in pairs right now. They skated horribly. There was no speed, no musicality, no grace, no precision with bad choreography. Almost every single element they did, they did badly. All of their lifts were terrible and looked as if they were about to come down at any minute. However, under COP they had shoved enough difficult elements in - no matter how badly they performed all of them - to pull out enough points to stay top 10. The overall mess that was the program didn't seem to matter enough. In my mind, both D/D and Zag/Sui did enough that they should have finished ahead.
On a less specific note, I found the clutter added to many of the elements in the quest for COP points to be extremely ugly. The many ladies who did the shoot-the-duck position going into the death spirals, for example. I can count on one hand the number of actually beautiful death spirals there were in this final. Pairs spins (not to mention the side by side spins) is another area that needs significant work by almost all of the teams.
What really got me was the lack of coherent programs I saw. Almost all of them were a series of elements with some music playing in the background. It significantly lessened by enjoyment of this competition.
On a positive note - yea to D/D for an impressive 10th place finish in their first significant senior international. This team has it all to move up quickly. I fully expect them to be top 5 in the coming years on a regular basis (many of the current top teams I expect to retire after this comp.)