Sonia Bianchetti's Review on TEB
Rooting for the divas with Kwanford
She is always worth reading and I appreciate her insistence on both emotion and decent math.
But she continues to repeat the mantra about Kim, that she's in a class of her own. I just don't see it. I prefer Blades of Passion's view of Mao and Yu Na as different types of skaters, both fabulous, with Mao's gifts being a bit dimmed right now.
Skating is art, if you let it be.
Why, thank you Spun Silver.
Kunstrijdster is correct, a thread was already started:
Skating is art, if you let it be.
She isn't even factually correct. A cheated Quad does not garner more points than a well executed Triple, and a cheated Triple does not garner more points than a Double. If the jump is cheated, the base value is completely downgraded to the same amount.
Which is actually not fair at all. A Quad Toe that is a little short on rotation is FAR more difficult than a Triple Toe. It should be getting more points, if the landing is clean. More rotation is being achieved.
So far the comments have been about the last few sentences of Bianchetti's article. But she wrote so much more.......
I have to agree with her disappointment in so much of the skating at TEB.
I found much of it as she described - and even though it was the first event of an Olympic season I found myself taking one "kitchen break" after another.
Unfortunately, I saw too little of what Bianchetti describes here:
"In a program I want to see passion, I want to see the joy of the skater, his feeling for the music, his personality. A skater must be fascinating, captivating and appealing for his art. A real champion is beautiful to look at because he is elegant, because he is harmonious and expressive, intense and communicative."
A week ago there was so much complaining about a lack of TV coverage.
If this is the product ISU/CoP scoring is delivering then I can see why the major networks in North America and Europe are taking a pass on extensive coverage.
This is what Bianchetti is saying - and if in a sentence or two her mathematical analysis was off - that was hardly the main thrust of her article.
It is what it is. I am a longtime skating fan but can understand why TV networks are passing on the slopfest ISU calls "The Grand Prix of Skating."
I agree with Bianchetti - the "Grand" moments were few and far between at TEB.
Sorry if this gets off topic, but I lived in Prague back in 1993 and will forever have a special place in my heart for that beautiful city and it friendly people.
Originally Posted by Kunstrijdster
I remember Dick Button giving one of his biggest rants about Tomas (was it at '08 Worlds?). I mean Button just laid into Tomas and although I forget his exact words he basically said the guy has too much talent to be skating so poorly at big competitions. (Button did the same thing to Sasha at Torino although he wasn't quite as harsh).
If Tomas could ever learn to compete better he would never miss a podium. He has it all - but unfortunately he aslo..........
There are many improvements in the new scoring system. Maybe I watched 6.0 for so many years it is harder for me to adjust.
One of the things I dislike the most is how similar the ladies spiral sequences have become - for me it is close to being ruined. In fact it appears as if 90 % of all ladies are doing the same three positions and too often with little or NO connection to the music. I feel that way about CoP step requirements at times as well. There is a disconnect from the music in general and with such an emphasis on quantity over quality musical skating and beautiful LP's have taken a step back since M.'s retirement.
I think part of the fascination with M.'s skating (I am afraid to say her name) was the pursuit of the perfect program. I am uncomfortable with a degree sloppiness that is not only accpeted but often rewarded by CoP scoring.
Anyway, I am getting used to the new system. The runaway victory margins under Cop have taken some of the thrill away from competitions but since Yuna was the only lady who was able to skate a clean program I guess it is OK that she won by a gazillion points. In fact so many Cop competitions are over after the SP but if it is in the name of progress I just have to accept it.
Last edited by janetfan; 10-21-2009 at 07:47 PM.
1. How many COP competitions are actually over after the short?
At TEB, only one short program winner was the overall winner.
At Worlds 09, it was 2 of 3 (Kim and S/S; Lysacek was second after the short).
At Worlds 08, it was 1 of 3 (Buttle; S/S were second after the short, so was Asada)
At Worlds 07, it was 2 of 3 (Joubert and S/Z; Ando was second after the short)
At Worlds 06, none of the short program winners won. But they also had the qualifying rounds.
Now, comparing that to the years before COP....
2004 Worlds: Cohen and Arakawa won qualifying. Cohen won the short. Arakawa won the long and won the championship. Plushenko won all three. T/M won the short, came second in the long, won overall. So 2/3
2003 Worlds: Kwan and Plushenko won all three events. T/M won the short, came second in the long, came second overall. So 2/3 again
2002 Worlds: Slutskaya, Yagudin, S/Z all won all portions of the event. So 3/3
2002 Olympics: Yagudin won both portions, Hughes won the long. So 1/2.
2001 Worlds: Kwan and Slutskaya each won qualifying. Slutskaya the short. Kwan the long, Kwan wins overall. Plushenko won all three. B/S won the short, S/P the long and the title. So 1/3
Obviously, I excluded ice dance (which would show little movement before or after COP), but I think the results state something different. The thing is because Kim's dominating - at 4CC, at Worlds, now at TEB, posting huge scores that dwarf everyone else, it seems like people are inclined to say the competition's over after the short. I just don't see that to be true, or certainly not moreso than in pre-COP days. Is it because of the big Olympic victories of Huges and Lipinski?
Bianchetti's article in general
She makes the same arguments she always makes, which I have to admit is rather boring to me. My biggest beef lies in what I believe to be the central contradiction in her thesis: the new system kills artistry. But she also points out that Kim, Asada, (and in other articles, Buttle/Chan/Rochette... she loves them Canadians) etc are in fact able to combine artistry with athleticism to earn the points required to excel. So the new system doesn't kill artistry. It DOES make it more difficult to combine the two, and because it's a sport, the emphasis is on athleticism, which is perfectly fine. However, those who excel at doing both, excel overall. It doesn't seem like something worth complaining about, but she does it, and does it big time. It seems like the direction the sport SHOULD be heading in is the one it is. (Also, frankly, there's a degree of schadenfraude in her tone that bugs me).
Some very good points and logic. But extremely superficial. Many of the events you use were actually nailbiters and featured upsets.
I still prefer the suspense that the SP's from 6.0 provided. No way could some one like Evan totally bomb their SP and then come so close to a medal like he did in Torino. Some like it that way but it takes away so much of the suspense.
I miss having two separate competitons that were both so meaningful and important to a skaters chances for a medal.
Maybe it is better for someone like a Yuna to be sick and skate poorly and finish 12th in her SP and then come back strong and still win the event. Nothing wrong with that but I prefered how much more competitive the SP was under 6.0. This system feels soft........
Last edited by janetfan; 10-21-2009 at 09:06 PM.
I, too, am little by little getting used to the new judging system.
I think that Mrs. Bianchetti is viewing the old 6.0 era through the rose-colored glasses of nostagia. I find that when I go back and look at some of those competions, I see pretty much what we are seeing now. One or two performances that really touch us, and a bunch of others that are quite forgetable.
And if you think about it, how could it be otherwise, no matter what scoring system is used? These are amateur athletes, many of them teenagers, who are out there giving it their all, earnestly trying to win a prize. It would be unreasonable to demand some sort of artistic depth.
For instance, in the men's LP there was really only one program that held my attention -- Oda.s. Still, I enjoyed seeing Tomas Verner throw a quad toe-triple toe and I could appreciate the progress Adam Rippon is making. A nice competition, if you are not expecting the Bolshoi. I think it was the same under 6.0.
Vancouver 2010, 247.23, Bronze
This pretty much sums up what I think about Mrs. Bianchetti and her writings.
Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue