I think the Shibutanis have what Dick Button calls the "it" factor. They have outstanding edge quality. Their sound technique and security enable us to enjoy their musicality. I enjoy them because I also sense their joy of skating - something I sensed in Mao Asada when she was young but don't see in her for the last two seasons.
Finally they both are so darn cute!
I do love the Shibutanis, but their height difference looks a little jarring sometimes. I hope she catches up in height as she gets older! Still years to grow anyway...
If the Shibutanis are going to be senior champions, Maia's going to need to improve the consistency and speed of her twizzles.
...I'm quite puzzled as to why you'd say something like that. If any of the younger skaters that we've seen this year are going to be senior champions, of course there will be improvements that need to be made! Kind of a pointless post IMO. Why single out Maia?! There are so many talented young skaters who are in dire need of much more than picky things than what people "criticize" the Shibutanis for...(it must be like grasping at straws - height difference and twizzle speed) such as personality, crowd/fan appeal, skating skills, choreography, triple jumps, etc.
For example...If Adam Rippon (who I LOVE) is going to be a senior champion, then he's going to have to improve the consistency of his 3A. If Caroline Zhang is going to become a senior champion, then she'll have to fix her jump technique and skate with more speed. So it goes, with EVERY young skater out there! If my daughter is going to be a senior champion, she's going to have to improve the consistency and the speed of her one foot glide!
If I remember correctly, bunches of teams have had twizzle trouble this year. (Some examples: Virtue/Moir (slight bobbles), S/B, H/H, and C/Z...and let's not forget Charlie White at Cup of Russia last year who is supposedly one of the greatest twizzlers the universe has ever seen?! I would put a lot of money on twizzles being a really difficult skill (Not that I've done one - haha I'd be ) and that's why so few teams do them well.
Maia and Alex are amongst the best "twizzlers" in the world. They've gotten +3s on their twizzles this year! I don't really know, but I doubt many teams (junior/senior) get +3s. Just watch their twizzles from the OD/FD at the JGP Lake Placid! They looked really solid to me!
The Shibutanis are really young and I have a feeling that they will only get better. They are so enjoyable to watch. Their technique, mature presentation, "it" factor, etc (previously discussed) make them extraordinary and I am looking forward to being taken along on the journey (and maybe seeing them compete live someday ).
When it comes to the Shibutanis I realize I am very partial to them But to make sure I was not overlooking a good point, I checked some facts. Yes, Maia had mistakes last season but they also performed some twizzles that were not just OK but exceptional. Like any element, there can be a price paid when one "goes for it". When the girls go for the loop as the second jump in combination, to me, the risk of "going for it" never gets rewarded enough because I think it is so much harder to control or "save." But back to twizzles.
Twizzles should be synchronized and have good speed in both directions. The commentator from Junior Worlds and in France seems to think Shibutanis have that. If Maia needs to make hers go faster, then Alex sure better speed up his too
What did ISU judges had to "say" with their scores. This season out of 28 possible GOEs they had 11 scores of +3. 11 more than any of the other top (I only compared with top three finishers) for juniors all season. That's a lot of judges from different countries that also judge seniors who thought they did a good job. In seniors so far, only Davis and White have scored +3.
For total points earned in comparison with what the three top seniors in the world scored this season, in original dance where twizzles have a higher base value:
Shibutanis 7.80, 7.57 points for 2 events
Davis and White 7.30 and 6.90
Virtue and Moir 6.80
Belbin and Agosto 6.00
Shibutanis 6.80, 6.36
Davis and White 6.90 and 5.60
Virtue and Moir 6.10
Belbin and Agosto 6.50
To do well in senior will take a lot of different things for juniors to keep on improving like Mad6am3 says. Absolutely agree. And while this reply may come across to the poster as a "slap down" I truly intend no personal insult. (rolling of eyes I know. Oh well ) I am a scientist now though (no longer a skater) so "unexpected findings" make me want to check facts. I also know I have loads of "blind spots" (Just ask my husband. ) when it comes to my favorite things. (Ice cream is good for you because it is a source of calcium! ) Shibutanis twizzles though seem to be in pretty good shape.
Umm...because Maia has a history of falling out of her twizzles, and when she does complete them they are very cautiously done and not at all with the speed of, say, Meryl Davis. Course, they are much younger and less experienced so thats understandable. But I would NOT say Maia's twizzles are "exceptional." And I'm not singling her out either-- Madison Chock could improve her twizzles as well. They-- along with Tanith, have been sort of the "less technical" female ice dancers, when compared to Meryl or Tessa Virtue. Not saying they aren't artistic, because they are...they just are less of technical savants.
But do you realize that you are comparing apples to oranges? Maia (15 years old, I think) to Meryl Davis (22), Tanith Belbin (25), and Tessa Virtue (20)?
I've seen videos of Meryl and Tessa when they were juniors and Maia looks to have a pretty good head start in the "technical savant" category (especially when you remember that she is 15)! I think part of this is due to "growing up" in the age of the IJS, but to be perfectly honest, I am seriously impressed by Maia.
Besides, the reason why Virtue/Moir and Davis/White have been so successful is because they are great TEAMS. Both partners complement one another so perfectly. Right now, I can't say I've seen any young up and coming ice dance teams that could match, or even better their potential/results other than the Shibutanis.
On cloud nine and refusing to come down!
"I was sad because people can't see my legs" -Yuzu