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Thread: 2003 Televised Skate America Thoughts... (8^D

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    2003 Televised Skate America Thoughts... (8^D

    Sorry if I'm starting a new thread but over here, in Seattle, this competition ended over 2+ hrs. ago...

    ***Note: btw I missed the first 1/2 hr., which must have been ice dancing, but I'm lucky I stumbled upon it in the first place - thought it was supposed to air in the afternoon.***

    LADIES (initial impressions; haven't rewatched any of them)

    Viktoria Volchkova - whoa, can this lady jump (that 3lutz was the best one I've seen since Julia Sebestian's at 2003 Euros - no lie! Too bad she only landed 3 triple jumps, but if she were to land 7 triples (which I don't think she ever has) I could just see those points tallying up. However, even with those magnificent jumps, she definitely needs to work on spins, spirals, choreography, projection, et al (especially w/COP) - can't even remember what she skated to - that was how unmemorable it was to me. :(

    Galina Maniachenko - more exciting skate than Viktoria's. However, other than that, I can't remember much else except that she splatted A LOT. :(

    Sasha Cohen - loved the new bun, went well w/her costume & the music. Also, this skate seemed to me better than the one she did at Campbell's in terms of being more seamless. And she skated pretty darn good, only two-footed one of her 3jumps (five landed in total; not including the 2footed one).

    ***Note: grateful to ABC for showing us Sasha's SP (only minor flaw was the wonky landing on her 3L/2T combo.), but very disappointed that they didn't show Jennifer Kirk's . :(***

    Jennifer Kirk - wow, it was a true joy to see Jennifer skate her personal best since, she said, her winning 1999 Jr. Worlds FS! However, I recall her 2000 Trophee Lalique FS, where she won bronze by landing 7 triples along with a 3T/3T combo. (this is the first time she has done so since that time)! It was her first time out as a Senior and by winning the bronze she joined a rare group of female singles skaters that captured a medal their first time out on the Senior circuit, including Sarah Hughes. Anyhow, back to this competition, overall it was a pleasant & delightful FS - loved the joy that radiated from Jennifer, along with the crowd - had tears in my eyes (reminded me of Sarah Hughes winning FS at the 2002 Olympics). And to add to that image was the roar of the crowd, the well-deserved standing ovation, and how it was raining flowers & stuffed animals!

    ***Note: easy to see that Jennifer has gained height on her jumps & has definitely improved overall (even scored a perfect 10 on her 3T/3T combo.)! The only thing I think that is holding her back is her spins (slow & not as innovative as Sasha's) and spirals (need more stretch & more speed). JMHO***

    Amber Corwin - gooooooooo warhorses! What a delight it was to see Amber still trying her hardest & giving it her all, not to mention that perfect 3T/3T (looked just as great as Jennifer's)! Too bad about that one fall, otherwise it would have been closer between her & Shizuka. JMHO. WTG, Amber. (:^D

    Shizuka Arakawa - ah, she has always reminded me of Sarah Hughes in terms of body build, jumps, combos., and just overall. However, Sarah's spins are a tad better than Shizuka's, but Shizuka's jumps are a tad better than Sarah's in terms of execution. Anyhow, it was great to see her skating to Turandot - remembered when she skated to it in the Fall of 2001 at Skate America. And, once again, it reminded me of Sarah's 2000 Turandot. She has definitely got the goods - just too bad it wasn't seen here. But regardless, I can see Shizuka giving those above her a run for their money, including Michelle, Irina, Sasha, & Fumie. Mayhap even skating her personal best one day (just like Jennifer Kirk did here).

    As regards the new judging system (COP), the verdict is still out for me.....still not sure if I did the right thing by watching Campbell's, SA, & the others coming up.....or whether I should have just waited for the competitions that really count, IMHO, and where one will see the skaters at their best; the best of the best (aka Worlds & Olympics; also possibly Nationals).

    ***Note: one thing that I definitely DO NOT like about COP is the fact that the SP counts as much as the LP. To me, personally, this is outrageous - the SP only lasts half as long as the LP - also one does 3times more stuff in the LP. Thus, IMHO, the SP should only count for 1/3 of the score. JMHO.***

    Peace & Love, Nadine

    P.S. My hope is that we'll see more clean 7-triple programs (along with one 3/3 combo.) in the Grand Prix. Hard to believe that Michelle Kwan started this trend a decade ago and that there are only a handful of ladies that can do it as consistently as she (Sarah Hughes being one). Ah, the old days....

    "if only we could bring back the hour of splendor in the grass, glory in the flower...but we shall grieve not...rather, find strength in what remains behind. - William Wordsworth

  2. #2
    GOLDEN DREAMS RealtorGal's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for the review. I need to "see" this vicariously through all of you, since I'm sure I'll never get to see it on television, since it was pre-empted, of course, by the news of the ongoing fire situation here. I was SO looking forward to it... If anyone has an extra tape...?

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Thanks for starting this thread, Nadine.

    I think that the CoP is weighted so that the short program does count about 1/3 of the total score. For instance, Sasha got a total of 66.46 points for her short program and 130.89 points for her long program, for a total of 197.35.

    Jenny was just super. I am a huge Jenny Kirk fan anyway. This was the best performance of her life. She skated her heart out, and her interpretation of the music was perfect. BUT...

    Sasha's presence and command of the ice had no rival in this competition. If I had to nitpick, maybe some of her jump landings were not 100% solid yet. I think that she can improve the footwork sequence. But her spirals and spins were exquistite and her overall "stage presence," for lack of a better word, swept everything before it. If Michelle can't beat this girl, nobody can.

    In ice dancing, I have never been a big fan of Belbin and Agosto. I especially was not enthusiastic about their Elvis Presley routine. But this program won me over. They are soon going to be a force on the world scene (I hope). I thought that the music suited them to a T. Just great. Also, has Ben gotten better looking since last season? Tanith always was a knockout, but Ben seems to have a new and quite dashing look of maturity about him this year (despite the fact that they were acting silly with stuffed animals after their skate).

    Suzie Wynn mentioned that the West Side Story music was too choppy, with too many cuts. I did notice how many short fragments of tunes they squeezed in, but I still liked it. It was never boring, that's for sure.

    Michelle did very nicely in her little segment about how to prepare for a competition. I think she does have a future in front of the camera after she leaves skating.

    Mathman
    Last edited by Mathman; 10-26-2003 at 07:38 PM.

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    Also, has Ben gotten better looking since last season? Tanith always was a knockout, but Ben seems to have a new and quite dashing look of maturity about him this year.
    No, he was always this cute

    Suzie Wynn mentioned that the West Side Story music was too choppy, with too many cuts. I did notice how many short fragments of tunes they squeezed in, but I still liked it. It was never boring, that's for sure.
    Argh, of all of the versions of WSS they could have used, they picked the brassiest, tackiest one, and the vocal was horrendous, IMO. I didn't notice how choppy it was, because I tried my best to tune it out.

  5. #5
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    I was so happy for Tanith and Ben. I agree with Susie Wynne that there are too many cuts in the music though. I thought that last year about their Elvis routine too. I also found the same with one of Sphilband's other teams last year--Wing and Lowe (John Lennon theme). I guess Sphilband likes variety. It was a really good program though.

    It was really nice to see Jenny do so well. Can't wait to see next week's coverage.

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Skate America on TV"

    Sasha, imo, was even better than she was at Campbell's. The music of the third act of Swan Lake fits her perfectly. Congrats to her and to TT for this extraordinary choreographic number which highlights Sasha's bravura style. Loved it.

    Jenny, Whodathunkit? She was brilliant to Die Fledermaus, and the whole audience let her know it. (A 3x3 toe absolutely perfect.) Congrats to her and Callahan for getting this ballerina to jump with the best of them. US Nats will be a tear jerker with all those gals who don't make the podium.

    Shizuka - Lyrically beautiful. What a treat to watch her skate so silently over the ice. But I agree with Peggy, she's not connecting to the music as much as she can. Maybe by GP Final.

    Amber - Very nice job! Her technical is all there including 3x3toe and a few other combos of 3x2. She did a camel jump to the other foot into a sitspin.

    Viktoria - Not her best day.

    Galina - So much talent; So much passion; So musical; Such flow over the ice but way off on consistency. Sad because she should be a winner somewhere.

    I'm not sure about the scores yet. I didn't tape but I'll check them out on ISU site and figure out what would make me think is the equivalent of a 5.9.

    Joe

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    Okay...here goes my thoughts:

    Sasha: This performance was confident and lovely. She's a contender this year. Artistically, she's ready to do battle with Michelle. I love it! Two accomplished artists! Technically, she was wonderful, but I do agree that some of the landings weren't 100% secure (the 2nd flip and the loop). I also don't like the footwork as of yet and I really preferred the catch-foot (or was it a semi-Biellmann?) spin ending from Campbell's. Anyway, I really feel like this program is far superior to last years "Rach". The spiral was great and the forward scratch spin was wonderfully exciting. I hope she keeps building with each competition and really puts it down at Nationals. (If Michelle is there, it is going to be a fantastic competition, the best Nationals since 1998!)

    Jenny: WOW! I loved it. She just wasn't in her groove last year and that was plainly apparent when she performed the same long program with such intensity this year. She gave this performance a lot of energy and personality and the 3/3 was great. I hope she can also carry this momentum with her all the way to Atlanta...and then Dortmund!

    Shizuka: I feel her style is much more streamlined this year, I guess better packaged is the right description. Certainly, it didn't have the fire of some of her performances last year, but overall the program is strongly constructed and balanced. I think "Turandot" is a great choice and that the connection to the music will come as the season progresses.

    Amber: Okay, admittedly, I've never been a big Amber fan. But, honestly, I enjoyed this particular performance. It wasn't a carbon copy of everything else she'd ever done and the music seemed to fit her personality. The 3/3 was great as always and she really fought for that triple lutz! I think it'd be hugely exciting to see Amber deliver a knock-out freeskating performance sometime this year.

  8. #8
    Tripping on the Podium
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    Re: 2003 Televised Skate America Thoughts... (8^D

    Nice review, Nadine! Just one minor clarification:
    Originally posted by Nadine
    easy to see that Jennifer has gained height on her jumps & has definitely improved overall (even scored a perfect 10 on her 3T/3T combo.)!
    The 3toe-3toe combination has a base value of 9 points; Jenny earned 1 additional GOE point for a total of ten points for the combination. Since the maximum GOE is 3 points additional, a "perfect" score for 3toe-3toe would be 12.

    Did anybody else think Vika has lost weight? Her legs looked awfully slender! I was wondering if loss of muscle was interfering with her jumping?

  9. #9
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    I'm with everybody else who was thrilled with Jenny's performance. When I saw her at Campbell's, she had a hard time with several jumps and just didn't seem able to bring herself up to the level of contender. I was afraid she might be another to suffer the "curse" of the Jr. World Champ. But if she can pull off this kind of consistency, then maybe she should tell Fedor Andreev she's not available for pairs, lol. Actually, as Jenny said, she felt practicing pairs improved her singles skating.

    Not to take anything away from Jenny's achievement and my being excited for her, but I think she still has some important things to work on. Although the 3/3 was as clean as they come, as were several of her other jumps, she did have some wonky landings and as others have noted her spins need better speed and position as do her spirals. Also, I think her overall sense of choreography and authority need to improve as well, but hopefully with more performances like this, those things will come for Jenny. She's such a bright light of a personality that I would love to see her put those extra points on that will make her not just a good but a great skater.

    Somebody asked about Vika's weight. I thought both Jenny and Vika looked thinner than last season. With Vika re reduced muscle mass and the poor jumping, I think it's impossible to say since Vika had performances as bad as this one last season as well.

    As for the COP, I like it. I think it gives both fans and skaters a much more accurate and comprehensive assessment of their programs and performances. For example, if you go to:
    http://www.isufs.org/results/sa2003/index.htm
    and click on "Detailed results" you'll get a PDF format table for each program by each skater/pair. Just to give an example of how these detailed assessments can allow fans and skaters to evaluate what they did, here's a comparison of Sasha, Jenny, and Shizuka on a couple of like elements in their programs as well as the presentation components. BTW, the detailed results also give each judge's scores.

    All three ladies did a 3F/2T, which has a base value of 6.90. Here's how SC, JK, and SA compared on this jump combo (trimmed mean score):
    SC 8.10
    JK 6.10
    SA 7.30

    Under "CCOSp2," which I think means combination spin with 2 positions and one change of foot, though I'm not sure about the exact breakdown, here's how the top three ladies compared:
    SC 3.60
    JK 3.10
    SA 3.50

    Of course Jenny gained points on her other elements relative to Shizuka, but I found it very interesting reading across each judge's scores. On Sasha's double-footed 3F, 10 of the 11 judges on the panel took off at least 1 point for that error and four took off -2 points. So for a jump with a base value of 5.6, Sasha only received a weighted mean score of 4.62. OTOH, Jenny received a WMS of 6.16 for her clean 3F. Shizuka did her 3F in combo so I used her wonky 3L to compare. With a base value of 6.1 and with most judges deducting -2, Shizuka received a WMS of 4.73. (BTW, Sasha landed six triples, Jenny seven, and Shizuka six.)

    Anyway, for each skater, the judges were fairly consistent in the way the added, maintained the base value, or deducted points for each jump or spin. If I were a skater, I'd find such an assessment very helpful in terms of seeing my strengths and weaknesses. For example, at Campbell's Sasha finished her program with a combo spin ending with a half-Beillmann (catch foot with opposite arm). At SA she finished with a combo going into the BC. Aesthetically, I prefer the half-Beillmann ending. It would have been interesting to be able to compare which spin received more points from the judges or if there was any difference.

    Also interesting to see were the WMS and the range of scores for the presentation components or Total Component Score (TCS). Here's how the top three fared on these (Skating Skills, Transitions, Performance/Execution, Choreography, nterpretation):
    Sasha
    SS 8.50
    TR 8.25
    PE 8.75
    CH 8.75
    IN 8.80

    Jenny
    SS 7.55
    TR 7.15
    P/E 7.85
    CH 7.55
    IN 7.95

    Shizuka
    SS 7.85
    TR 7.50
    P/E 7.55
    CH 7.60
    IN 7.70

    Based on the TCS alone, Sasha has a five point lead over Jenny and Shizuka, and at least six points over every other skater except Vika in the free skate alone. So Jenny can see that the judges feel she needs to work on her transitions especially, then skating skills and the choreography. The COP details what makes up each component, for example Transitions for singles is made up of:
    * Difficulty and quality of steps linking elements
    * Creativity and originality of steps linking elements
    * Originality and difficulty of entrances and exits of elements

    One thing I noticed about Sasha's "Swan Lake" on this viewing is that prior to many jumps there are connecting steps, which might contribute to her higher TR score.

    In the Sasha's SP, I liked the new footwork sequence. I think it flows better by using less toe work and I really like the tuck 1/2 Axel in the middle. ESPN2 is supposed to show the SPs tonight and I'm very interested to see Jenny's.

    In general re the COP, I think it addresses the full range of aspects that makes up a good figure skating program and in so doing it gives more credence to FS as a measurable sport. With the 6.0 system, if a skater fell on one jump, judges were limited to taking off 1/10ths of a point. One judge might feel falling on one triple out of six triple program might warrant a 5.6 whereas another might give it a 5.8. And how many times have people bemoaned that good or even great spins were not rewarded? With the COP a skater can fall on or pop a jump and not have a major technical deduction if the rest of the technical elements are superb. Conversely, a skater can hit a beautiful 3/3 and while it gives her four to six additional points, it doesn't make 3/3s the Holy Grail of jump combos, which I think is good for skating, especially in helping to reduce the risk of injury.

    Finally, I'm beginning to wonder if Sasha's suppsed concentration problems are actually related to concentration. When I look at the kind of mistakes she makes and when she makes them, for example the little stumble as she was just skating out for her SP and the slight loss of balance during her final spin combo in her LP, it seems to me that these are more indicative of a kind of physical dyslexia, for lack of a better description. In other words, little neurological "blips" that interrrupt the smooth flow of kinesthetic information. She's developed what I see as a strong sense of totality in her skating and has improved so much since changing to Tarasova, which takes nothing if not concentration, that the idea that she "loses her head" or "spaces out" just doesn't jive with the kind of errors I'm seeing. Sports psychologists have tests that are supposed to measure things like kinesthetic concentration (concentration during physical activity) and I suppose short of thorough neurocognitive and neurokinesthetic testing, we'll never know. JMO.

    Anyway, interesting first GP event--and I only got to the ladies!
    Rgirl

    PS Question for Nadine: You said you wondered if perhaps you should have not watched skating until the big events. I'm curious as to what the advantage in that would be? At Nats and Worlds they'll be using the 6.0 system; the COP will only be used during the GP series.

    Off-topic: Anybody know what Yoshie Onda's condition is?
    Last edited by Rgirl; 10-28-2003 at 02:28 AM.

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    SA on TV

    I did not find the dance competition particularly entertaining. I wasn't really enamoured of any of the programs. That said, I think the right couple won.....Belbin and Agosto are a very talented team that has the potential to go all the way in my opinion. I kind of cringed, however, when I heard they were skating to West Side Story - it goes on my list of the most overused pieces of music....I thought there were too many music cuts, as others have said already, which didn't help things. They needed to have fewer so they could really create several different moods and sustain them. They had good speed, could have done better lifts - overall it's a good program, but not something I love.

    Of all of the teams the most interesting I found was the Italien team. I liked their freedance, though obviously they were not in the same league as the top three in terms of difficulty, etc. But this is a team I will certainly look forward to seeing more of in the future.


    The Ukrainian team has some great footwork, but overall I found the program too frenetic.... I also find the whole war/peace theme overdone and not terribly interesting or moving.


    The French team's program also wasn't much to write home about. On the whole I'd like to see some programs that look like they were choreographed for the one specific piece of music the couple is skating to, and that music only. I just get the sense of them performing elements on the ice and opposed to really creating something original.


    Ladies:

    Loved Sasha Cohen's program - I can see the changes from Campbells already - she's found moments in the program that really set the mood, and I like the changes to the footwork in both her short and long programs. I liked the end spin better at Campbell's as well, though I know why she changed it....the old spin caused her to significantly lose speed when she made the change of position, no doubt losing her points, whereas the raised leg one maintained the speed of the spin. Her presentation was second to none, as was her program as a whole, I think. The new COP system seems to distribute the weight given to elements more evenly - spins, footwork, transitions etc now have more weight when compared to jump elements - whereas sometimes before it was all about the number of triples.


    I thought Jenny Kirk's performance was beautiful - a great surprise. Hope she can keep it up. I was annoyed that the commentators made a huge deal about how gorgeous her short program was, then they never showed it. She did a triple/triple, and more triple jumps than Cohen, with a clean program, and while in the past that could possibly have landed her ahead of Cohen, under the COP system, her less spectacular spirals, spins and 'in-between' stuff counted.


    Shizuka Arakawa was good, and I think she has the drama in her to sell Turnadot, but it wasn't quite there yet. Perhaps just feeling out the program still this early in the season.


    Viktoria Volchkova obviously didn't have her best day. I agree with the commentators as well about this particular program not really doing much for her. Such a beautiful jumper when she hits it.


    Maniachenko just kept falling. Ouch.

  11. #11
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    goodness... lots of reviewing of the ladies... but not much on the dancers save for the winners... I wanna know what you all thought on Gregory and Petukhov's performance, or were they chacked?

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    GOLDEN DREAMS RealtorGal's Avatar
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    Question

    RGirl wrote:
    "All three ladies did a 3F/2T, which has a base value of 6.90. Here's how SC, JK, and SA compared on this jump combo (weighted mean score):
    SC 8.10
    JK 6.10
    SA 7.30"

    What did SA and SC do in that combo that earned them extra points; in other words, points ABOVE the base value?

  13. #13
    Tripping on the Podium
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    SA

    I saw Tanith and Ben skate at Campbell's and didn't particularly like their WSS program. However, I saw it live again at SA and was floored by the difference. I'm not sure if they changed any moves or just did it with more energy and conviction, but I was completely drained after B&A skated. The footwork was amazing, and I don't really think the tv did it justice. I completely disagree with Suzie's comment that the audience didn't seem to be wowed by the program. Everyone I talked to loved it and the audience went wild for it.

    I think the only thing that topped the audience's reaction to B&A was the applause for Jenny. The absolute joy on her face was just contagious. I don't think I've ever cried for happiness at a program before, but I did this time. Sasha's programs were great and got a wonderful reception, but these were the best skates of Jenny's life and I think the audience reacted to that. I wish ABC would show Jenny's short - she sure sold the program with a realy sassy attitude! Sasha deserved to finish first, but I was so thrilled for Jenny!

  14. #14
    Thank God for Stephane Lambiel and Matt Savoie! shine's Avatar
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    No idea how Cohen got 8.50 for SS while none of the other skaters event got close to 8.0. What a joke.

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    SC

    Just wanted to comment and ask a question on the ladies event.....

    Jenny Kirk was great. I've been waiting for her to put in a clean program. And from the sounds of the commentators, she did a clean competition. If she keeps that up for the rest of the season, she's looking at some great placements.

    Sasha was brilliant, considering her past lapses in her programs. I have just one comment ab out her SL program...What happened to her arm movements on her layback spin. It's a gorgious element for and the arm movements took it over the top. I wished that she would continue with them. Does anyone know what I'm talking about or did anyone notice too?
    Ab

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