Doris, your posts are wonderful, informative, and if some on here still can't get the picture...oh well. Some of you on here need to realize that Doris isn't trying to change your OPINIONS but educating you on why skaters get the scores they do. Yes, we know ice dance has its political bias but the rules about judging are crystal clear. If you don't like a certain team it's usually due to your own personal bias.
For myself, I prefer to support the skaters I like and not say much at all about ones I don't. Constructive criticism is one thing but I've seen enough mean-spirited posts on this forum and another forum to know that a lot of posters just get frustrated and resort to their inner child.
Last edited by ~tapdancer; 11-08-2009 at 07:28 PM.
I'm rooting for F/S over P/B. Hopefully K/K can make up the difference on points the tie resultant tie. If not, I'd still rather have F/S in the GPF over any of the non-annointed.
Wicked Yankee Girl
I agree...although I find the part about releasing the little birdie just a little bit too precious for my tastes. B&A have done Eastern European folk dance pieces very well since their earliest days in seniors when they danced their Sarajevo dance and later on Shadritsa. The contrast between their FD and OD nicely highlights the bookends of their senior career..it's a very clever packaging of them, and I admire both their OD & FD in any case.
Originally Posted by Dyan
I agree with Doris' post and I don't think many were were questioning D&W's win over K&K. I think even longtime skating fans at times end up responding like the general public when watching skating. People are reacting to how they feel about the programs artistically rather than breaking it down by the TES and PCS marks.
Originally Posted by ~tapdancer
OTOH, I'm guessing it's easier to be fair minded and open to being educated when Doris' post supports a victory by a favored skater rather than a skater who is less favored by the fans. I've never agreed with the end results but maybe there is a reason why DomShabs won worlds last year.
Wicked Yankee Girl
I'm sure there are reasons...
Some of it would be that DomShabs CD was a lot better than the other teams. I think everyone would agree on that.
Only B&A of the top 4 teams failed to screw up in the OD. Trying to get the right order of finish when many of the competitors screw up is much harder than trying to get the right order when they all do their best.
And when the 4th place and least regarded team has the FD performance of the night, that is equally difficult--when judges have to change their perceptions suddenly. Judges are people too. (IMO D&W are getting this year PCS scores they actually earned last year. It is often so in judged sports.)
Another reason would be that DomShabs several screwups affected only a particular element rather than the quality of the whole program, as far as the judges were concerned. COP lends itself to being used that way. It's why Kawaguchi/Smirnov had their season high score with a dreadful fall and a penalty for the interruption.
But a better case for the DomShabs Worlds 2009 win could be made by a knowledgeable DomShabs fan, or at least someone who was more comfortable with the judges' decision than I am.
It was easy to compare K&K and D&W because I love both teams and they both skated well at NHK.
The only DomShabs program I really loved was last year's Waltz OD and they didn't skate it well at Worlds. So I am not the right person to be their advocate. But I believe a case and a good case could be made for their win. They do have a number of very sterling qualities. The problem is that Max was not at his best last year. When Hongbo Zhao was not at his best at Olympics 2006, almost all fans were happy that they got the bronze and got a lifetime achievement award, so to speak. However, DomShabs got a lifetime achievement award while skating when Max was injured and it is an eternal shame, apparently--and I don't think so.
Myself, I am not a huge fan of lifetime achievement awards. One team's award means another team got rooked.
On cloud nine and refusing to come down!
ITA! It's nice to see objective, detailed explanation regarding the scoring, especially technically! I can see the case for DomShabs winning the CD but frankly I thought the FD judging was absolute nonsense and B/A should have gotten more marks for their OD. It is NOT DomShabs' fault though; I blame the judges for that.
Originally Posted by ~tapdancer
I'm with you on just shutting up about skaters I don't like (far too easy to cross into hate ranting). I dislike people insulting my favourites so I try not to make negative comments about anyone (I may dislike the programme, but not the skater). Like the B.Eurosport folks, there's definitely something nice to be said about everyone and even if you want to be critical, you can do it in a nice way.
I'm a fan of Domnina/Shabalin, even though often a frustrated one , and also have no real knowledge of technique, only my own impressions as an ice dance fan since 1997. So take this for what it's worth.
I didn't think the results 2009 were some big highway robbery, though you could make an equally strong argument for Belbin/Agosto winning those Worlds. The problem was IMO that none of the teams skated a totally convincing competition that would have basically forced the judges to pick them. And perhaps since Russia has such a strong tradition in dance it might have come down to "When in doubt go with the Russians". DomShabs IMO rightly won the CD. They made mistakes in the OD, but so did V/M and D/W. They should have lost more points compared to B/A, though, which would have put the Americans first after that portion.
D/W owned the FD and should have been rewarded for it more IMO, but that wouldn't have changed the first two places. And placing D/S in front of B/A in the FD was to me justifiable since I vastly preferred concept and choreography of Spartacus to Tosca. IMO Linichuk went way over the top in trying to remake B/A into a dramatic team, this year's FD does that much better and suits them perfectly. B/A also seemed cautious to me, while D/S seem to be able to "skate big" and project well even when making mistakes. But as I said, D/S were shaky in places and making B/A champions would have been justified as well. I mean, the margins of difference in the FD between the first four were minimal, so the judges didn't seem all that sure either...Yeah, it was a bit of a "Lifetime Achievement Award", or the judges perhaps projecting the potential team DomShabs could be if only Maxim were healthy (and someone weaned them off the "Most bombastic pieces of Russian music" CD) onto their actual performances.
You can't really compare it to S/Z IMO, because they weren't skating against North American teams. D/S OTOH regularly beat not only one but three very good teams from North America, and that DOES make a difference. As does their being Russian, and not only by nationality but also very recognizably in the way they present themselves on the ice, their music, their style of dancing, their costumes etc. I don't think that Delobel/Schoenfelder, for example, would provoke the same antagonistic reactions even if people thought they had won something unfairly. Look at the way the Western media (and not only in NA) portrayed the SLC scandal: "That nice wholesome Canadian pair cheated out of their rightful gold medals by those evil Russians." Never mind that the French judge displayed questionable behaviour and B/S were completely innocent in the situation. These stereotypes from the Cold War era are still very much around IMO...
Speed and Edges
It's hard to generate great speed and good flow without having deep edges and soft knees. Artur Dmitriev and Evgeny Platov both great skaters with great speed in their day, showed me how they generated speed from almost a complete stop. Deep edges create less friction against the ice and allow you to move faster, but you need the push from a (soft) knee. It's all in the technique.
Originally Posted by Enthusiast
Love Artur Dmietriev but I'd never compare his basic skating to an ice dancer's. He kicked up as much spray and made as much noise as a hockey player in his day.
One thing about Domnina & Shabalin that I rarely see addressed in discussion is simply their physical advantage over their competition. Everyone seems so obsessed with who got the highest TES and whose program racks up the highest PCS and how much GOE did that twizzle earn that they forget that many small things add up to something big in the big picture. And Domnina & Shabalin have many small things going for them.
For starters, no other team is as striking physically. Not only are they both tall and long-limbed, but their bodily proportions are perfectly matched. That automatically gives them a presentation advantage over shorter, short-legged teams such as Davis & White, or teams with big height differences such as Khokhlova & Novitski, or teams with little height difference, such as the Kerrs, or teams with mismatched proportions, such as Delobel & Schoenfelder.
Domnina & Shabalin also present their physical beauty in a powerful, commanding way. They take the ice like champions, and every move in their programs is finished; they never rush to the next move but instead let you enjoy the picture they are presenting. They have incredible unison in their free legs, and they show off that leg line constantly by stretching their legs and turning out their hips and pointing their toes, to the point where that alone can be a highlight in their programs. This is true of no other team currently competing. Oksana also has the ability to hit striking yet beautiful positions with her arms and back. I honestly think the Y-shaped lift from their FD last season was worth a gold medal in and of itself: just compare it to Crone & Poirier's version of the exact same lift in this year's FD. There is no comparison in effect.
These little things matter to the judges. They allow Domnina & Shabalin to be majestic and regal: qualities which scream champion. This is not to say that they don't also have to skate well and keep improving their skills and have well-choreographed programs, but as far as I'm concerned, one gorgeous, held position from Oksana Domnina is worth more than Meryl Davis scrambling to contort herself into five different positions in the same time frame, none of which have a single extended free leg.
The only other team that I think could physically challenge Domnina & Shabalin is Belbin & Agosto, who are also a tall, long-limbed couple, but they don't present their beauty to their advantage. It frustrated me for years that Shpilband never had it in his head to show off their legs or the flexibility in Tanith's back. Of course, in the past, they never had the technique that would have enabled them to do so in the first place. Now that they're with Linichuk, they are making some progress (the bow lift from their new FD is a good start), but they're still playing catch-up to DomShabs.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that when all things are more or less equal, the most beautiful team will come out on top. That's pretty much what happened in Los Angeles. And until Belbin & Agosto, Virtue & Moir, and Davis & White can show an equal amount of beauty and presence, they'll always have to do just a little bit more to win.