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Thread: 2003 Televised Campbell's Thoughts... (;^)

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    2003 Televised Campbell's Thoughts... (;^)

    Sorry about starting a thread but I was surprised to find none mentioning this...

    Anyhow, just got through watching this competition on the West Coast and needed to vent. That said, here are my impressions:

    MEN

    boooooooooooooring (:o ), wish ABC would've just shown the ladies first, then I could have turned off the t.v. set. (no lie). As it was, I just got up & walked out and checked back every 10 or so minutes until this part of the competition was over.

    LADIES

    A-P McDonough - love the dress (no lie), but then again I've always been known as weird as far back as I can remember. So whatever. And I also thought A-P's program was pretty good........could use a little more work, as all of them could IMHO........but as a debut it was alright. Only thing I didn't really care for was the extraneous "swan flapping" during the footwork section (just didn't look right to me). But other than that, and of course the little technical mistakes here & there, I actually enjoyed it. Am anxious to see what it will look like come Nationals.

    Jennifer Kirk - aaah, Jenny, I've always had a soft spot for you and that will never change (no lie). Such a class act ~ you've always always reminded me of Grace Kelly ~ from your cool Patrician beauty to the elegant aura that surrounds you. You would look spectacular skating pairs with Fedor Andreev (though Nicole Watt remains forever my first pick for him; so sad about Nicole :( ). Anyhow, for your sake, I wish you would consider skating pairs full-time with Fedor (if he wants to, of course; you two better decide ASAP IMHO).

    Michelle Kwan - another class act, like the Energy bunny. What a pleasure it's been to live in the same era as the greatest American female skater ever (bar none). And I have no doubt that she will be fully prepared come Nationals. Btw, that's the best type of competition ~ to win when everyone skates their best. JMHO of course.

    Sasha Cohen - my hat goes off to you, Little One, all your hard work paid off. No one can ever fault you for your work ethic. Also, IMHO you have the best spins in the world (bar none). Your bravura interpretation of Swan Lake is very very good, but could even be better. Am looking forward to seeing it come Nationals, along with the jumps.

    Elena Sokolova - boooooooooooooooooring (please see my comments up above about the men; ditto here). :o

    Peace, Love, & Sincerely, Nadine

    P.S. What a bummer about Fumie, would rather have seen her instead of Sokolova (no lie). Not only that, since Elena came in last she should have been the one not to have been shown (not Fumie). JMHO.

    "In every generation there is born a creature of darkness and a creature of light" - Carnivale

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    I'm going the long way about it, gotta download each video off Rinkside So far I've seen two performances:

    Michelle Kwan - She looked bored. I felt as though I was watching a warm up stoking session. Stroke to one end of the rink, jump, repeat process, insert kwan spiral, insert spin combo, garnish with Peggy and Dick gushing. It was like Aranjuez, without the passion. And I really enjoyed last season's performances from Michelle too.

    Sasha Cohen - Loved it, regardless of the somewhat controversial dress design and over done music. It's those inventive little touches in her spins that I enjoyed the most. I still don't like watching Sasha jump, but she at least landed them all. Spiral looked much more secure than last years, her leg just shot up there, no wobble or hesitancy.

    Ann Patrice McDonough - I think she's got a real graceful feel to her skating, apart from the jump landings, she's very elegant. The costume was hideous, it was like a parody of a swan. The fringey bits are so distracting! And sorry, but Sasha beats you on the arm flapping AP, she at least made it look balletic. AP looked like a pigeon being chased by a cat when she flapped her arms.

    Now to see if I can download a few more skaters, with bandwidth allowance.
    Last edited by blurrysarah; 10-21-2003 at 08:12 PM.

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    I haven't had time to watch my tape, but I'll get to it soon.

    BTW, nice use of parentheses(no lie).

    Now that I've watched it, my comments:

    Men: Booooooooooooooooring. I didn't even take the time to watch most of them.

    The ladies were also boring. Michelle's Tosca could use some more tuning, the program lacked the emotion of Tosca. Sasha was okay. It was better than the average Sasha though her marks seemed a bit too high. I noticed that the ladies all want to try intricate footwork, but it's not working thus far. An overall mediocre event of the early season
    Last edited by dewet; 10-19-2003 at 08:57 PM.

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    With the exception of Evgeni, I agree with Nadine on the men. Tim, if you must use Queen, please pick a different interpretation. The one you have is barely recognizable as Queen. Mikey's program has promise, but I must agree with Deick and Peter (or Terry, whoever that was) that it may not play well in Dortmund. But then, Evgeni won Worlds in DC with St Petersburg 300, so who knows? Takeshi's program may also be better later on, now it's just dull.

    I,too, liked AP's dress. Lose the swan head and it's perfect. I also liked this program.

    I thought Michelle's program was great, and knowing her, it will only get better, and here is my surprise of the evening....sasha. While she normally does nothing for me, this was a great performance. While I don't think we need to be bashed over the head with "look, I'm a swan" costuming, the spins and choreography were great. She seemed to travel a bit on the spins, more so than the other ladies, but it looked like the spiral got over an edge, so that's wonderful. Jumps ar estill scary to watch, though, and I had to laugh when Peggy said she was a "great technician" (she and I must have different definitions of that word) and Peter and/or Terry babbled about Sasha being the best ever. Please. She had a great night, let's not get all carried away....

    Laura

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    Nadine - Ooooh as in "u". Very definitive comments. I dig it but not necessarily agree with it. I saw the real thing, and because I was at the Cuban Ballet this afternoon I have no seen the tape. I'll report the difference when I get a chance to see it.

    Meantime the Cubans are trying to out bravura the Bolshoi. They performed a Don Q in the utmost bravura style I've ever seen. Imagine the ballerina executing 6 rotations on point for a pirouette. You would have thought she was on ice.

    As to your report..... The boys were a bit off but so were the gals except for 'the determined one'. When this competition was posted and everyone was making predictions, I thought how ungambler the fans were. There was no way anyone could predict of winner for the first contest of the season but so what they will do it again next years anyway. Favorites are not always ready, but oh well.

    Joe

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    Haven't finished watching my tape yet. Comments thus far:

    MEN: Boring. Except for Tim's spins being very well-centered, I didn't see 'improvements' or anything new from the Men. Also, Tim's still gotta work on the posture.

    LADIES: Just based upon the 'previews'. What's up with Sasha's need for plunging necklines. She's too flat to carry off a neckline to the belly button - she should have a sweetheart necklline which will give her the appearance of a bust and would better resemble a swan. Didn't like MK's color - too pale for her.

    Also, it's too early in the season for me to give this competition a lot of significance.

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    I missed everyone but Sasha! AAARGH! Anyway, I really enjoyed Sasha's interpretation of "Swan Lake". I like this program better than anything she's done yet. She was secure and the spins were incredible. I also don't like watching her jump, but everything else was quite nice. The only other thing I wasn't too thrilled about was the footwork sequence...but maybe that will change by the time she takes the ice in Atlanta. Good for Sasha!

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    I doubt a sweetheart neckline would give Sasha the appearance of a bust, I'm afraid the only thing that could do that would be Kleenex.

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    I never expect much from this competition, but it's fun to see the early programs. I liked Sasha's new spins, but I thought she had almost as many crossovers as Michelle. Her dress is simply horrid. I can't believe she talked about this dress all summer long. It is one of the ugliest I have ever seen. She does, however, look ready for the season, which she should. She should dominate the GP.

    I liked Michelle's program so much more than her LP from last year already, and I am hoping it gets refined just like last year's (only with a bit more added). Her footwork turns in both directions this year and I love the split falling leaf at the end. I love the dress, but a bit too much cleavage shows.

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    The men. I am trying my hardest to see improvement in Timothy's presentation. But with no quads, his program was ho-hum.

    Michael's music was weird, not rousing, I thought. I love patriotic and martial music, like what Todd Eldredge typically choses. Michael's choices seemed all minor key. When they played "When Johnny comes marching home again," instead of "The men will cheer and the boys will shout, the ladies they will all turn out" I found myself singing the words of the Irish anti-war song to the same tune:

    "Oh, where are your legs that used to run, hurrah, hurrah!
    Where are your legs that used to run, hurrah, hurrah,
    Oh where are your legs that used to run, when first you went to carry a gun?
    Indeed your dancing days are done,
    Oh Johnny, I hardly knew ya'."

    Evgeny -- So far ahead of anyone else that it doesn't really matter what he does or doesn't do out there.

    The ladies. Jenny Kirk is my new favorite this year. So elegant and pretty. To me, if she stays on her feet this could be a great year for her. I hope she makes the podium at Nationals.

    AP -- Her spirals were much better this year.

    Elena -- Her music didn't help. Or her costume. Both were dreary.

    Sasha -- Good for you, girl. Super.

    Michelle -- To borrow a phrase from Maria Butyrskaya, a woman among girls.

    Heyang, that was interesting about the color of Michelle's dress. I agree that it looked too pale on TV. But the pictures that I have seen of it look like a richer purple. What do the people who saw it live think?

    Interviews. Nice interview for Sasha with Peter Carrothers. Very mature and poised.

    Evgeny seems quite comfortable with English this year.

    Michelle's interview in the taxi. Oh gosh, I think we're losing her. She said that she is thinking about getting married, thinking about having children, thinking about finding something else to do that she can develop a passion for. That teenaged spirit which says, "I wanna win a medal to show I'm better than you are," is pretty much gone.

    Mathman

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    Men:

    I liked Timmy's program, except that I often couldn't hear the music. He seemed to have less of the jump--jump --jump mentality this year. I enjoyed the program. I also enjoyed Honda's program, and I didn't like his skating at all last year. Evgeny was simply comfortable with his program, which, IMO, is part of why he won (quads not withstanding). It was like an old shoe, comfortable and well worn, while the others had new squeeky shoes to deal with.

    Women:

    Sasha was by far and away the most enjoyable program, IMO. If I had been there, I probably would have been on my feet at the end. This is a hard emotion to get through the tv. I thought Michelle was lackluster. The program she performed had beautiful lines and beautiful jumps, but no passion. I do not like her layback (which I really have no right to comment on since my layback is awful ). I thought AP's costume too distracting. Jenny Kirk sure is a pretty skater...maybe pairs would be good for her since the singles scene is so darn competitive.

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    Thanks for starting the thread, Nadine. I wasn't sure at first if it should go here or on The Edge but Duh, of course it should go here.

    I was there and watched it on TV. Re showing Elena vs Fumie, I think ABC went with Elena because of all the excitement she generated by winning the silver at Worlds after five years of being off the radar. Honestly, there wasn't that much difference between Fumie and Elena's performances. If I were Fumie, I'd be glad that ABC decided not to televise one of my poorer performances. Also, Elena was limping as she left the ice and later confirmed that she had a knee injury.

    ABC also didn't show Scott Smith, who was part of the threeway tie for fourth. In tie or close situations, I think the networks go with whom they feel is the most well-known or "hot to watch" skater.

    Costumes: On TV I liked AP's costume less than seeing it live. At least live you can see it's a swan head. On TV it reminded me of the alien head coming out of her chest. Maybe it's one of those love it or hate costumes, though I like the back. I thought the lavendar looked gorgeous on Michelle live, not as good on TV. Maybe it's the beautiful contrast between the color and Michelle's skin that didn't come across on TV because live, she was stunning. The feather details on Sasha's costume aren't nearly as obvious live. Live it looked more like texture. To me, the neck and backlines seem part of the whole design and I just don't care about a female skater's decolletage or lackthereof. I like the way the black and white patterns are affected by the movement, especially the spins. On TV, it does look like it's shouting SWAN! but live it didn't at all and I had third row seats.

    I would LOVE to see Jenny skate pairs with Fedor Andreev and for her to start now. She is so beautiful and has so many great qualities as a skater, but I just don't see her moving up the ranks the way she would need to in order to medal at Nats. However, I can definitely see her as kind of a Kyoko Ina. Kyoko skated singles and pairs for a while and was in the same place Jenny was as a singles--good but not a top contender. As a pairs skater, Kyoko improved a lot and improved fast. I think a partner--the right partner--could do the same for Jenny and also bring out Jenny's personality more, the way Kyoko's was brought out first with Jason then with John Z. Plus, Jenny skating with Fedor, man, would they would look gorgeous or what?!

    Michelle kept tying and retying her skates at the event so this and her interview with Paula confirm that her boots indeed were bothering her. "Aranjuez" was nothing special IMO last year at Campbell's but it sure was something at Nats and Worlds, so I'm witholding judgment about "Tosca" until the choreography is finished and Michelle is in "Nats/Worlds" shape.

    I felt the music selection for AP's "Swan Lake" was too overpowering for a single's skating program. It's mostly the heavy Act II corps music and I think the program could benefit from recutting and using some different sections of the music. I thought AP looked stronger on TV than she did live, although I noticed both at the event and on TV that she's been working on her arabesque spiral. Live she didn't seem to connect well with the audience, IMO.

    People have said before that Sasha's skating looks better on TV than live because things like line come across well on TV. Ironically, the things that made Sasha's "Swan Lake" program so strong seeing it live--the authority, the speed, getting deep into the ice, the connectedness of the transitions, the lack of rushing from one element to another, etc.--didn't come across well on TV. Also, comparing her jumps from Stars, Stripes, and Skates in Sept. '02 to Campbell's, both of which I saw live, I thought her jumps at Campbell's were significantly stronger. In fall '02, every jump had a lack of control to it. This year, even when she two footed the flip and skidded some landing the 2Axel, I didn't think any of her jumps had the "whoa!" factor that they had last year. She's still got things to work on in her jumps, but at Campbell's, I thought they looked very secure.

    As for the edging on her arabesque spiral, I've always watched for the nonexistent edge on that spiral and I've always seen one. I've seen her wobble, I've seen that the edge is not as fast or deep as Michelle or Irina's, but last season when she did the change edge spiral, I still always saw a FIE and a FOE. She also had good edges on her fan spiral and catch-foot turning/slide spiral at Campbell's. At the event, Sasha's program really electrified the audience and I don't think it was just because the previous performances either were not that skater's best or downright awful. I thought Sasha's skating was the strongest I've seen her do in an LP ever, world class level with the exception of needing one or two more jumps, and I'd like to see her be given her due for putting it out there. JMO. When Michelle is at her peak, has finished choreography, and no boot problems, Sasha will absolutely have her work cut out for her. But on Oct. 3 at the Garden, Sasha both skated beautifully and had a decisive victory.
    Rgirl
    Last edited by Rgirl; 10-19-2003 at 10:23 PM.

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    You know, I wondered about ABC's showing the interview portion about the skates. It looked like Michelle was giving an excuse for losing. I'm not saying she was, but it looked that way.

    I am a way-below-elite adult skater. I bought new skates (I really needed them) that came in a month before a test that I needed to pass in order to compete at Adult Nationals. My coach would not let me skate in the new skates until the test was finished (I passed). It makes me wonder why MK mentioned them at all. If she made a decision to go with the new skates now (which was probably the correct decision, because Skate America is more important than Campbells), then don't blame your performance on your skates. That was a tactical decision.

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    Hey, Mathman.

    Good point about color distortion on TV. The same thing happened the 1st time I saw 'the' Lyra Angelica dress - didn't like it at Nat's, but loved it at Oly's and World's. It was all because of the broadcast.

    It looked like a really pale lavender on my TV and the color doesn't seem dramatic enough for Tosca.

    I've watched the rest of the tape now - except for Sasha:

    AP - get someone besides your Mom to design the costumes. This type of costuming is so 80's with the blatant motif. The butterfly last year was sorta pretty. This swan costume just doesn't match the music - it's a ballet. I think Oksana's costuming was probably the most 'ideal' for Swan Lake.

    JK: I think she's a gorgeous skater, but she can't seem to land the jumps consistently. With the depth of ladies US skating, perhaps it would be better for you to try pairs. You and Fedor would make a handsome pair on ice and with your individual single's strengths and each others support on ice, you just might be able to dominate the weak US pairs field.

    Elena: I think she took a step backwards since she went on tour this year. It's something that's new for her and I don't think she learned out how to keep up those skills and physical conditioning while travelling from city to city.

    MK: As always, blah at the beginning of the season. Not unexpected since it's the usual pattern, but it's worked in the past. You know how to pace yourself for the season.

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    Mathman,
    Re Weiss: I was thinking "The ants go marching one by one..." Yeah, definitely something about the music that held the program down--that and the skating. And Elena's music, ugh! Poor girl, skating to that music with a bad knee. Fumie's music is nice, though I can't remember what it is right now. Actually, that would have been the decisive factor in which program to show on TV if I were in charge. Fumie's music was much better than Elena's.
    Rgirl
    Last edited by Rgirl; 10-20-2003 at 12:04 PM.

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