Go Caroline! <3
US and Eurosport commentators disagree on Mao and Yu-Na
I thought it was interesting that the British commentators on Eurosport and our own Dick Button disagree on Mao and Yu-Na's skating.
Dick tought that Mao was brilliant in her short program, even with the popped loop in her combination. He also comments on how the aspects of Mao's skating are superior to Yu-Na's. In Yu-Na's free program, Dick says that her inability to land her lutz is "avoiding the issue" (if she was able to land a solid triple flip-triple toe, the lutz should have been landed; it shouldn't have been a back problem). Eurosport raved on and on an on about Yu-Na's short program, saying it is the best that they have ever seen, and praise her for the efforts in her long program. When Mao skates her free program, Eurosport praises it, but mostly for her jumping ability, saying that she does not have the maturity of Yu-Na or even Miki. Eurosprt does not address the fact that Mao has set a new world record for her lp; however, they don't let anyone forget about Yu-Na's short program. At the end of Miki's freeskate, they remark about how Yu-Na will "certainly have her day."
Just thought that was interesting...
Personally, I perfer Dick Button. Eursport seems to be only concerned with a skater's jumping ability. I have never seen a video where they have mentioned the quality of a skater's spirals or spins.
Mao's 2007 World's sp ESPN
Yu-Na 2007 World's sp Europort Britian
Yu-Na 2007 World lp ESPN
Mao World lp Eursport Britian
Miki World lp Eurosport Britian
That's interesting. They both had absolutely incredible performances in both the short and long programs at worlds. The contest was decided solely on mistakes -- Mao flubbed her combo in the SP and Yu-na missed jumps in the second half of her LP.
(As for the SP, watching on TV I didn't think anyone was going to beat Carolina Kostner).
Dick does have his personal preferences regarding the perfect spiral position (no hands), the perfect spins (turned-out hips on laybacks & camels), doesn't he? And he sure doesn't hesitate to voice his opinions. But I don't think British Eurosport is completely oblivious to aspects of skating outside jumping. After all, their greatest claim to fame in skating is Torville and Dean, to whom they compare all performance in regard to presentation. I think it's more that they're much more sparing in their comments during a performance than anything else that they say so little regarding spins & spirals.
Originally Posted by carolinefan177
Out of curiosity, I went back and looked at how they commented on Sasha Cohen's Olympics SP:
To each of her jumping passes, they said, "Clean as a whistle" (3lutz-3toe), "as was that" (3flip), and "deep landing edge" (2axel). And to her spiral sequence they said "trademark flexibility." And then after her performance they gushed about it. So I think it's mainly a matter of commentating style. Frankly, I prefer it. Dick Button is welcome to say all he likes (which is often informative and amusing) when they show the replays, but it really destroys the performance to me when they talk straight through it...
I'll agree with anything the EuroSport guys say any day over Dick Button. Some of his remarks are just so personal it's not even funny. The old guy's probably just biased against anyone who doesn't train in his own country (slight sarcasm intended here).
Actually. YES, Eurosport had mentioned the quality of spins and overall artistry rather often. In Yu-Na's LP they comment a lot on her spins and most importantly, musicality and expression. They didn't mentioned Mao's expression/artistry because, like me, they think she is focusing on her jumps too much (and, well, her face reminds me of a porcelain doll; expressionless and unmoving). Just because Mao has a balletic and airy style on ice, not everyone thinks of it as "artistry" and interpretation of music. EuroSport values expression, creativity, and spark in a skater's program - which Yu-Na's SP was filled with. Have you noticed, they are not biased against anyone? They always have something good to say.
I just hate when Dick complains that a skater lacks stretch just because it isn't a text-book position. Male american commentators in general make me SICK, they are often so biased against skaters from other countries... take Kurt Browning, for example. *ech*
I also loved Carolina Kostner's Worlds SP. She has great jumps, flow and quickness across the ice, and her posture improved since Euro (maybe she lost weight too?). But I think at this particular SP, she didn't really have her usual quickness and flow. Her circular footwork wasn't particularly good (not bad, just not her best), and her spins lacked speed and centering. I think it was mainly on these accounts that she didn't win the SP.
Originally Posted by Mathman
I think it attests to a SP competition of very high standards that a program as good as hers only got 3rd place.
Go Caroline! <3
Thanks for the replies guys! I think Mao's performance did have musicality and spark, and I truly believe that she has greater quality skating. Elegance, line, musicality, are all part of the pcs marks. Just because a skater can't produce a facial expression that correlates with the music doesn't mean that he or she is any less artistic. I love Yu-Na's skating but I thought her score was a little inflated. She did not recieve any negative GOES for her spiral sequence when it was clear she had a little bobble and no stretch, and yes a spiral should have a good back and leg position. It is unfortuante that Eurosport thought that Mao was too focused on jumps because her skating was superior in so many aspects.
Personally, I like the British version better because they don't overemphasize the mistakes (flutz, two foot, fall, bad stretch, wobbly spiral, uncentered spins, etc). What they do is they praise the good qualities of the skater. I heard them say that Yu-na will no doubt be a future world champion but they said the same thing about Mao because both of them really have the qualities of a world champion or olympic champion. Honestly, there is no disagreement. What I can see is Dick Button's obvious preference for Mao and you know when he likes a skater, he is very vocal about it.
I think both sides have their points...Mao's basic posture is textbook, and she hits much better positions than Yu-Na, especially in the spiral and the Biellmann. However, as Eurosport said after Yu-Na's SP, skaters who express the music as well as she does are rare. And as far as the jumps go, Mao has the 3A and the 3L combo but I prefer the quality that Yu-Na has (and she does get better GOE's for them). Yu-Na's spins are also faster and more centered, and while Mao has the super-bendy positions she lacks something really elementary that Yu-Na has...a halfway-decent sit-spin.
I suppose they're both justified in what they're saying, but personally I agree more with British Eurosport. The reason they commented mostly on Mao's jumps is because without the jumps, there's not much excitement to her skating. Her carriage may be excellent, but that in of itself doesn't generate emotion. In Yu-Na's case, you can see the emotions on her face and in her gestures whether she's landing the jumps or not.
Dick and the Brit most likely have different opinions on what the skating was about. Dick, imo, who favors the lyrical style would choose Mao even if she fell on her face. The Brit who could favor a more dramatic style chose YuNa. I only watched the SPs, so I can't say who should have won the whole contest.
Mao did a very nice lyrical number to an obviously lyrical tune, and she did it well.
YuNa did a nice dramatic number to an obviously dramatic tune, and she was ok. She could have been more bravura in that number and glared at the audience in defiance. She didn't.
Since I didn't yet watch the LPs I would not venture to say who the winner should be, imo. However, they are extremely talented young ladies and both are very musical. Only the 3A separates them as far as the CoP is concerned.
What I like about YuNa is her blending of the tricks into steps in the choreography. Never a hard landing on the jumps. There is never a big sell of her performance (although that SP could have had a little more sell).
I prefer British Eurosport. They always have something nice to say, don't overemphasize mistakes (as einna said), and don't talk a lot throughout the performance. Dick Button has favorites and not-so favorites, and he never shuts up during the performances!! Well, none of the American commentators shut up during the performances.
As for the Mao vs Yu-Na, I personally prefer Yu-Na because to me, she has the complete package. Mao never expresses herself during her programs, and it's all about jumps.
I like when commentators don't bash skaters. So I'll go with Brit Eurosport. I don't like Dick negative comments about skaters he doesn't like. Brit commentators have always a good word for everyone. I prefer them over the Italian ones too.
Choosing between Mao and Yu Na is very difficult. I'll say a tie.
Keep in mind, she was still bothered by the recent back injury, which you can especially decipher by taking a look at her Biellmann spin (usually she holds it for longer and the free leg is straighter and more elegant-looking). Just a thought . . .
Originally Posted by carolinefan177
When it comes to Mao vs Yu-Na, my choice is rather obvious.
(Yu-Na Kim forever.)
And Mao marks were inflated too (+3GOE for the df 3A). They both had inflated scores. But still this doesn't change a thing.
Originally Posted by carolinefan177
Dick Button, the most stupid commentator in FS history. He kept on ranting how poorly Lambiel skated his long program, and how he could not understand why Lambiel pumped his fist for such a 'poor' performance. Even Kurt Browning had to politely remind him it's 'not such a bad performance'. When the scores came up, it just made poor Dick look even more silly.
Dick Button is living in a la la land, a bubble. He's been mumbling on the most trivial things such as 'stretch, the free leg of a layback spin' etc for ages.
It's an embarrassment for ESPN to have him as a commentator.
You can watch this clip here:
BTW, Dick's comment that Lambiel suddently became an 'artist' this year was also quite bizarre. It makes you wonder whether he's having some memory problem. (Lambiel suddently became from a good technician to a good performer?? suddently converted from a teenager into a romantic performer this year??? Dick, give me a break...)
Hopefully this is Dick Button's last year.
Last edited by netnuts; 05-21-2007 at 08:02 PM.
I don't think that British commentators were negative about Mao' artistry. They commented on how beautifully the program was constructed. They also expected that the second marks would be very high.
Mao's SP British
As someone said, the differences in commentators' tones would be partly a matter of preferences for styles.
I personally value musicality and elegance the best. To me, facial expressions and theatrical aspects are not most important in artistry. I certainly do appreciate theatrical performances; but I cannot watch them too many times. I like performances that have beautiful flow, elegance, and subtle sophistication. In that sense, I liked Carolina's and Mao's SPs the best in this past season; they were very calm, smooth, elegant, and had sophisticated simplicity.
Although some people comment that Mao's face looks like a 'porcelain doll', I think it because she is really focused in competitions. She tends to have more natural facial expressions when she performs in galas (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7qDPBPlxHw) or when things are going well (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkp-5n1fb2k).
But I cannot blame 16-year-old Mao for being really focused when she was having hard times with her elements (and that's what matters the most in current system, right?). Indeed, she rated her past season as only 50 or 60 points on a 100-point scale.
Yet, she seems to have determined to improve her artistry. Several years ago, Jeff hadn't been as artistic as he is now. Two years ago, Shizuka wasn't as artistic as she is now. Mao is still very young and I would look forward to more artistic performances of Mao during the next several seasons
Last edited by morninglight; 05-21-2007 at 08:09 PM.