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Thread: The Sympathetic "Awww"

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    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    The Sympathetic "Awww"

    Do you ever wonder/think that when a skater falls/pops a jump/makes a mistake and that collective "Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww" is heard all around the rink that THAT is what sucks out the skater's energy and helps them change the mind set of their program?

    Many skaters say they feed off the positive energy of the crowd, so isn't it safe to assume the negative also affects the skating?

    I'm watching Skate Canada right now and it hit me lol maybe I'm just up too early.

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    Resident Chinese pair nerd
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    Well it's better than them hearing the stifled laugh I've been known to have pop out of my mouth at times.

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    I'm not sure "AWWW" represents negative energy. It's a sympathetic reaction, and the skater can feel that the crowd is with her/him. OTOH, when people applaud, laugh or whistle at a mistake, that is negative.

    In most cases, I think skaters are concentrating so hard on their programs that they don't let the crowd reactions influence them.

    After watching Skate Canada on ESPN, though, I thought the very biased crowd there did influence the judges. The crowd sat on their hands through Kevin Van Der Perren's pristine skate and gave him only tepid applause when he had finished. But the crowd applauded EVERY move Christopher Mabee did, even when he stood Plushenko-like and struck poses twice during his FS, and they gave him a standing ovation when he finished (I thought Mabee was pleasant, but no world beater). The French skaters received tumultuous applause too, from the heavily French-Canadian crowd.

    But skaters from other countries were treated to polite but unenthusiastic applause, especially Yukari Nakano, who edged Joannie Rochette.

    If I were a skater from another country who was a close competitor to a Canadian skater, I wouldn't be too enthused about an invitation to Skate Canada. You could almost feel the negativity of the crowd when KVDP and Nakano were skating.

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    Beliver in Sasha's Perfect Program Tinymavy15's Avatar
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    I would hate to hear the awwww! I remeber inSalt Lake when Michelle fell on the flip there was an awwwww heard round the world!

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    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckm View Post
    I'm not sure "AWWW" represents negative energy. It's a sympathetic reaction, and the skater can feel that the crowd is with her/him. OTOH, when people applaud, laugh or whistle at a mistake, that is negative.
    I was having a hard time figuring out how to say what I meant... while I agree that it's not "negative" as in a bad reaction but a sympathetic one, it could still have a negative affect... that a whole arena feels bad/sad about a fall the skater feels it that much more...


    As for other reactions... take a lot of people's reactions of Evan's fall in his SP at nationals 06... he was this powerhouse and went and attacked that footwork section and before anyone realized it he was on the ice and there was a gasp lol... it was a funny reaction in a way and not the typical... awwwwwwwww (which he heard just a month later in Turin...*sigh*)

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    Skate With Me Teresa Dawn's Avatar
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    A bit random, but have you ever noticed that sometimes when there is a show, a skater falls and the crowd does the "awwww" or groans or whatever, but then they do re-takes and the skater lands the jump... I've seen sometimes on tv after, the edit the video but not the sound... So you're watching on tv, the skater lands a perfect triple lutz or whatever they were doing and the audience goes "awwwww"... anyways sorta random haha but I've seen that a few times now.

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    Skating Freak Barbie
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckm View Post
    I'm not sure "AWWW" represents negative energy. It's a sympathetic reaction, and the skater can feel that the crowd is with her/him. OTOH, when people applaud, laugh or whistle at a mistake, that is negative.

    In most cases, I think skaters are concentrating so hard on their programs that they don't let the crowd reactions influence them.

    After watching Skate Canada on ESPN, though, I thought the very biased crowd there did influence the judges. The crowd sat on their hands through Kevin Van Der Perren's pristine skate and gave him only tepid applause when he had finished. But the crowd applauded EVERY move Christopher Mabee did, even when he stood Plushenko-like and struck poses twice during his FS, and they gave him a standing ovation when he finished (I thought Mabee was pleasant, but no world beater). The French skaters received tumultuous applause too, from the heavily French-Canadian crowd.

    But skaters from other countries were treated to polite but unenthusiastic applause, especially Yukari Nakano, who edged Joannie Rochette.

    If I were a skater from another country who was a close competitor to a Canadian skater, I wouldn't be too enthused about an invitation to Skate Canada. You could almost feel the negativity of the crowd when KVDP and Nakano were skating.
    That is disappointing, since the last two years I was at Skate Canada, the crowd was enthusiastic to all of the skaters, even the lesser-known, lower ranking ones (I am specifically recalling last year, when Jamal Othman got a partial S.O. for his LP).

    However, I would have "sat on my hands" probably this year to VanDer Perren's "pristine LP" as well. Jumps do not make the program for me, and on viewing it, it was VERY slow, lacking expression and choreographically empty IMO. Polite applause would have been the best it would have gotten from me. Perhaps the majority of the audience felt the same.

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    Trixie Schuba's biggest fan! blue dog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kasey View Post
    That is disappointing, since the last two years I was at Skate Canada, the crowd was enthusiastic to all of the skaters, even the lesser-known, lower ranking ones (I am specifically recalling last year, when Jamal Othman got a partial S.O. for his LP).

    However, I would have "sat on my hands" probably this year to VanDer Perren's "pristine LP" as well. Jumps do not make the program for me, and on viewing it, it was VERY slow, lacking expression and choreographically empty IMO. Polite applause would have been the best it would have gotten from me. Perhaps the majority of the audience felt the same.
    I'm with Kasey on this one. VDP and Nakano aren't the most exciting skaters, even with the jumps.

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    I guess as one is used to watching figure skating almost totally on TV, one gets habits like expressing aloud something like "awwww", if a fall or some other mistake happens. E.g. in Finlandia Trophy I have noticed that I simply cannot refrain from that habit, the "awwww" is just out so quickly, LOL. Anyway, it is a sympathetic reaction, nothing negative. I´d imagine that the skater understand that it means the audience is supporting her/him.
    Last edited by Jaana; 11-13-2007 at 01:38 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blue dog View Post
    I'm with Kasey on this one. VDP and Nakano aren't the most exciting skaters, even with the jumps.


    Ditto...................I am also surprised re the comment re non-Canadian skaters as I have attended several events in Canada and have found the crowd appreciative of a good skate regardless of wherer the skater is from. I can't comment re Nakaro 's program but I found Kevins rather boring to watch despite the jumps................:indiff:

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    Many times that "awww" is followed by clapping, to show support for the effort and to give the skater some energy to continue. (I can't say whether this was true for Skate Canada this year.) At TEB a couple of years ago, the crowd tried to do the same for Goebel and Weiss, but they were so visibly disappointed in themselves that nothing was going to help.

    The one time I attended Skate Canada -- Victoria last year -- the crowd was behind almost all of the skaters, including the two teams of young Russian ice dancers who should have been Virtue/Moir's chief competitors from the Junior ranks -- and this was with Dubreuil/Lauzon at the event, and V/M were not the #1 Canadian team.

    I don't see what the problem is when a local crowd cheers on their own skaters, especially those who don't have a lock on a Worlds berth. It is to show appreciation, even if those skaters aren't in medal contention.

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    Custom Title dwiggin3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle View Post
    Do you ever wonder/think that when a skater falls/pops a jump/makes a mistake and that collective "Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww" is heard all around the rink that THAT is what sucks out the skater's energy and helps them change the mind set of their program?

    Many skaters say they feed off the positive energy of the crowd, so isn't it safe to assume the negative also affects the skating?

    I'm watching Skate Canada right now and it hit me lol maybe I'm just up too early.
    Toni, I think it could go either way. In know some skaters, and I was like this, who don't even HEAR the audience. We just block it out. I think in most cases, these are skaters who have not yet developed a repore with the audience and are often thought to lack musicality.

    On the other hand, there are those that hear the audience and when they fall, hearing that AWWWWW can either reinforce the dissapointment they already feel (and they go on to make more mistakes - Kostner, Liashenko, Nikodinov ect) or provide some encouragement to get back on track (Cohen comes to mind, since IIRC, she only would mess up once in a program) - I think it can go either way.

    What's interesting is that when a skater falls in a big, big event - say the Oly. and they were a favorite (like when Cohen and Kwan fell), you could sense the tension when they skated on the ice and people were on the edge of their seats. When the skater falls, the AWWWW is such a perfect audible representation of what that skater feels and often what you see on their face. I remember Michelle's face in Salt Lake....it was so sad.

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    I was in the crowd at SC this year- and Kevin's skating was slow and ponderous. He is quite popular in Canada, actually, and has been well received in the past (Mississauga a few years ago anyone?) . There was no emotion in his skating this year, and he didn't get a standing ovation. (Jeff didn't get one either by the way for his LP). The crowd gets behind good or entertaining skating.

    Vaughan and Chris gave it their all, and the crowd loved them. By the way Jamal Othman was very well received for his LP and got a partial standing O, as did Mao, Ashley Wagner, Carron/Jost and Cappelini/Lanotte, as well as some of the Canadians (but not all of them btw).

    I have been to skating competitions in several countries, including the USA, Russia, Poland and Germany, as well as Canada. I have never been to a competition where the local/national skaters were nor received more enthusiastically than most of the other skates. Canadian crowds are no more biased than any other, and maybe less than some.

  14. #14
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Canada seems to be the preferred country by a lot of skaters, not just the homegrown ones... because of the crowd response...

  15. #15
    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckm View Post
    I'm not sure "AWWW" represents negative energy. It's a sympathetic reaction, and the skater can feel that the crowd is with her/him. OTOH, when people applaud, laugh or whistle at a mistake, that is negative.

    In most cases, I think skaters are concentrating so hard on their programs that they don't let the crowd reactions influence them.

    After watching Skate Canada on ESPN, though, I thought the very biased crowd there did influence the judges. The crowd sat on their hands through Kevin Van Der Perren's pristine skate and gave him only tepid applause when he had finished. But the crowd applauded EVERY move Christopher Mabee did, even when he stood Plushenko-like and struck poses twice during his FS, and they gave him a standing ovation when he finished (I thought Mabee was pleasant, but no world beater). The French skaters received tumultuous applause too, from the heavily French-Canadian crowd.

    But skaters from other countries were treated to polite but unenthusiastic applause, especially Yukari Nakano, who edged Joannie Rochette.

    If I were a skater from another country who was a close competitor to a Canadian skater, I wouldn't be too enthused about an invitation to Skate Canada. You could almost feel the negativity of the crowd when KVDP and Nakano were skating.
    This is such a ridiculous statement, I don't even know why I am replying to it. Only to say that Christopher Maybe was the hometown favorite since Chris is from Ontario. So naturally the crowd was with him. I am sure any US skater or international skater would get the same treatment if they were competing in front of their hometown crowd. Canadian fans are very knowlegeable about skating and always cheer other skaters from different countries on - so I don't know what you are complaining about. As for Kevin he did not skate his best and his program was not that inspiring. I thought he got a pretty good reception. I have seen him skate better.

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