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Thread: Junior Grand Prix Final (December 3-6, Tokyo)

  1. #16
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    Oh Life684, I totally agree. No cake walk for sure. Russians have a very strong and deep team in every discipline this year, and no question the dance teams will make for a very competitive and exciting event at the final. I especially like the top two Russian junior teams from what I have seen. They are impressive and skate with confidence. Their coach Zhulin is teaching them well.

    I just find the Shibutanis have something unique about them. Something special that has not been seen before. I agree with people who compare their strong technique to their teammates. They are like a next generation of Davis and White, Virtue and Moir combining strong technique with good sense for music. It is hard to put your finger on what their quality is. Maybe it is that they are just wonderful story tellers. When I watch them skate I lose any sense for time. When their programs are done I think, what? already over? Program ends and it is like waking from a beautiful dream and feeling sad that the program is over. I want to make myself go back to sleep to slip back into the story of the dream. I want them to skate another program right away. Which is why I want someone to please post programs from this year to youtube! Icenetwork is so clumsy!

    I think it will not matter if they win at final. Their positive impact will be no different. Last year when they did not skate well at final when Maia was hurt, they still captured so many hearts all over the world. My skating crazy cousin in China is even thinking of seeing if she can combine a business trip to Tokyo to see them. I am so jealous. If they can keep doing what I think they already do, they will have already won something more important that cannot be worn on a ribbon. And it will mean so much more for years to come.
    Last edited by Binthere; 11-04-2009 at 04:50 PM.

  2. #17
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    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!

  3. #18
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    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...

  4. #19
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    If the Shibutanis are going to be senior champions, Maia's going to need to improve the consistency and speed of her twizzles.

  5. #20
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    Hmmm

    ...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 ).

  6. #21
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    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
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1ONEuW7RxE&feature=fvw
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMoZl...eature=related

    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

    Free dance
    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.

  7. #22
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    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.

  8. #23
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    I'm sorry,...
    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.

  9. #24
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    I love the Shibutanis too! I'm rooting for them to win JGPF, US Nats (as juniors) and Junior Worlds!

    I think it's a compliment that the Shibus are getting compared to V/M and D/W, both of whom are teams with outstanding technique. Sure, they're not at quite the same level yet but they're well on their way! Pretty amazing for a pair that's only in their 2nd year as Juniors internationally! Now all we need is for Maia to grow a little taller and for them to keep improving.

    IIRC, Maia had a foot injury that hurt very badly at the JGPF, especially in the OD. That might have been a factor for her step out and fall. Props to the tought little cookie!

    ITA about Shibus having the "IT" factor ... they charm me in the same way the young V/M does (I think their 04-05 OD is just darn cute!). So far, I loved all their programmes, especially their FD from last season. Just lovely.

  10. #25
    Always supporting skaters :) 100yen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mishieru07 View Post
    ITA about Shibus having the "IT" factor ... they charm me in the same way the young V/M does (I think their 04-05 OD is just darn cute!). So far, I loved all their programmes, especially their FD from last season. Just lovely.
    Firstly, I must agree with so many.... SHIBUTANIS FOR 2014!!!


    And secondly, I will also have to say it again even though I have said it many times before--they do simply have the "it" factor. They are technically and artistically very strong, but they also have a connection with each other and with the audience that is not tangible. They have something that can't be measured in points....spirit!

    Not to mention, they have done more for the sport of ice dancing (from what I have experienced from those I have spoken to) than any other team. I am constantly talking to people who knew nothing about ice dancing or could care less for it until the Shibutanis showed up.
    Last edited by 100yen; 11-15-2009 at 04:04 PM.

  11. #26
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    I do like that duo, fell in love with them in 2008 at nationals. They were just so dang cute, all of us in the group were falling all over ourselves about them LOL

    whether or not they can be credited with the most influence in ice dance remains to be seen. Can't deny that Tanith and Ben got a surge of interest [in the US] going when they showed up... especially once they started becoming serious contenders.

  12. #27
    Always supporting skaters :) 100yen's Avatar
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    Haha, of course I'm going to be a little biased in favor of the Shibutanis, but I think they have already started an influx in ice dancing popularity and they are only juniors. As you said, we;ll just have to wait and see what happens in the senior circuit.
    I know some people that are going to JGPF specifically to see the Shibutanis, though :3 I think it's rare to see this kind of fan support behind a junior ice dancing team.

    However, Tanith and Ben have done a lot for the sport. I think they are the ones who revived the ice dancing "spark" in the world.

  13. #28
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    [

    I don't have strong feelings about the rest of the ladies (yet). Anybody here crazy about Kiri Baga? I'd love to hear reasons.[/QUOTE]

    Baga is awesome but is right now having issues with the 3Lz. She still have problems getting the jumps consistent but she's got everything else.

  14. #29
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    CUTE is the operative word for the Shibbutani's, but can they give a mature performance?

    I'm not crazy about Baga since I ony enjoy mature performances. She's new to Juniors and as a sport she has done admirably winning Novice . I think this Junior contest, since she is not one of Seniors returning to Juniors, will give her just that more experience regardless of the outcome, and we can talk more about Baga as a Senior Skater some day.

  15. #30
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    Have any ice dance teams been penalized for the appearance on ice, for instance the huge height difference, in the past? The Shibutanis are so adorable and excellent in skating skills, however, if they skate senior, will the look on ice be their enemy? Ice dancing is the discipline that focuses so much on the appearance, just curious??

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