Nice report Paula ... I was there and the only thing I would disagree with is that I thought Jenny interpreted her LP music very well. I do agree that Sasha was the clear winner, but IMO ... Jenny stole the hearts of everyone there.
It was a great competition though ... can't wait for Nationals now!
Interesting report.........nice insight into whom the writer's favorite(s) are..........thanks for taking the time to write it up & share with us all. (:^)
Peace & Love, Nadine
"there can be no peace without the truth." - Ludwig Van Beethoven
I have to say I'm a little "Hmm" on this one, too, which is unusual. I'm all for hearing the writer's interpretation of what happened, but in this case I thought there were a few points that were irrelevant to the competition. Fine line between fairly expressing opinion and showing bias. Perhaps some descriptions had an unintentional slant. I also would have liked to have seen more care taken in the places where opinion was stated as if it were fact. To cite just one example, from the section on Arakawa's LP, "Her nervousness affected her..."
There was one mistake I noticed and a couple of things I have questions about. In the portion about Cohen's "Swan Lake" it said, "Cohen produced five triple jumps including a triple Lutz/double toeloop and a triple flip/double toeloop, only her second flip was two-footed." Sasha landed six triples and was given credit for all six triples in the COP. The two-footed 3flip received a -1.40 deduction.
In describing Jenny Kirk's LP, it said, "Her long program to The Bat featured seven triples including a triple/triple toeloop combination (but she pre-rotated the first toeloop which can almost be called a toe-axel)..." If Kirk indeed significantly pre-rotated the first toeloop to the point where it could have almost been called a toe-Axel, why did every judge give her at least full base credit for the 3/3, with seven judges giving the combo +1 and two judges giving the combo +2, with a trimmed mean final score of 10.00 out of a base of 9.00? I would think if the pre-rotation was significant enough to describe in those terms that at least a couple of judges would have given the combo less than full base credit and that nine out of 11 judges would not have given it at least one point additional credit.
Also, this is picky but even though the English translation of Die Fledermaus is "The Bat," the music is from the opera and unlike many operas that are known by their English translation titles as well as the title in the original language, Die Fledermaus is generally known as "Die Fledermaus"--or "Deflated Mouse" as I understand one GSer's child calls it. I said it was picky.
Thanks for the report, Paula. It's always interesting to hear from somebody who was there.
Last edited by Rgirl; 10-29-2003 at 05:25 AM.
I would agree that Jenny's Die Fliedermaus was not as well interpreted as Sasha's Swan Lake, so I am in reasonable agreement with the scores (and Paula's report) on the LP.
Jenny seemed to be being too careful to land everything in the LP to have the wonderful performance quality of her SP. I did not see any prerotation on Jenny's 3toes, but then I was 3/4 of the way down the rink from them and not at a good angle to tell. But if the caller said it was a 3/3 and not a 2/3, whiche means every judge graded the execution of a 3/3. If the caller had called it a 2/3, that's what they would have graded. The judges only get to grade a GOE, not what was done. Jenny flutzes but her flip is great, so you can tell the 2 apart, which is the more typical flutzer case. And Fliedermaus does not have the complexity of Sasha's Swan Lake for transitions, and the judges got that right. The height of Jenny's jumps and her speed is markedly better than previous years.
I was much bemused to see Sasha do exactly the same combination at both ends of the ice-I was sitting there going, and which of these 2 combinations is supposed to be the flip and which is supposed to be the lutz, because they both look alike and the tracing on the ice is the same. Which means that Sasha did 3 flips, so theoretically, one should not count (but they did).
However, other than that (and the two footedness on one of the flips, and the weird bobble during a sit spin during her final combination spin, this is a great skate for Sasha. Technically, her QR at world's was better, but the performance quality of this skate was better, and Tarasova has really choreographed a masterpiece for Sasha here.
However, Jenny's SP to Chicago was significantly better than Sasha's Malaguena in every way, IMO. While Fliedermaus did not have the complicated steps of Swan Lake, Chicago was if anything more complex than Malaguena. Chicago was interesting, well delivered, with great attention to the character of the music, and surprising (for Jenny, especially) speed, and it got a roaring standing ovation with the crowd clapping to the music and stamping even before the end of the program. Malaguena did not get even this partisan American crowd out of its seats. The reason for that was that all 3 of Sasha's jumps were noticeably wobbly, which is why Sasha's tech. scores for the SP were lower than Jenny's. Sasha mailed in the SP performance, and it was without fire, skating quite slowly. (Sasha on interview, reported in the Reading paper, said that it didn't feel like a competition to her, more like a performance, and that attitude showed in the skating.) So the Performance grades for Sasha's Malaguena seemed very inflated to me, and to the entire block of people around me at the event who were all going, "Where did the judges get those grades from ??"
Doris ... very interesting comments.
It's funny, but I thought Jenny's SP was better ... but some "experts" told me absolutely not ... that Malaguena was much more difficult, etc. I am not an expert on some of the technical aspects ... I just know what I like ... and I was smiling through Jenny's entire SP. I attributed my feelings to the fact that maybe I had just seen Malaguena so much more ... thus the ho- hum feeling I had. So it's interesting to hear someone else say sort of what I was feeling.
I know in the LP that Swan Lake was the winner of the two programs, but I can tell you that again I absolutely loved Jenny's performance and was out of my seat before she finished. I have to admit that I didn't think Jenny had it in her to do that clean a LP ... but she proved me wrong. I hope she can build on this. She really seems like such a sweet person, who has overcome some serious heartache the past few years. Congrats Jenny!
Just wanted to whine in that ABC DIDN'T SHOW JENNY'S SP!! Now I cannot wait to see it! I hope this is a great year for Jenny!
Thanks for the great report, Doris. As always, excellent insights. Good point that the judges have to score based on what the tech caller says it is, but even so, if they judges thought the first 3lp was pre-rotated, they still could have deducted a point or two. Instead, as I said, nine of the 11 judges added at least one point to the base score for a 3t/3t. Well, one thing the COP does is give people more specific things to disagree about, lol.
One reason why Sasha may have received higher Total Component Scores for her SP than Jenny is that when you look at the definitions and specifics of the five components, they include a lot of technical elements (see first post on "ABCs of COP" on "The Edge"). So even though a skater may blow the roof off the arena as compared to a more workman-like performance, there are still plenty of reasons why the judges might give higher TCS to the latter skater. Although people have generally associated the Total Element Score with the technical marks under the 6.0 system and the TCS with the presentation, at least the way I read the COP, they're not that clearly differentiated. OTOH, perhaps this is something that needs to be addressed in the COP. That is, in the TCS perhaps there needs to be a "blowing the roof off" component. I'm only being facetious in my choice of words; I'm serious about the concept that this might be an area where the COP needs "tweaking," to reward skaters who skate a program in such a way that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, which in essence sounds like what Jenny did with her SP. Hopefully they'll show the ladies' SPs on Sunday. I'll have to check Heather's schedule to see if ESPN or Lifetime is showing any parts of SA.
Thanks again for the report, Doris. Actually, there are several things about the jumps in terms of rewards and deductions that I think will take time to get worked out. For example, wobbly landings, wide swinging free legs, landing on an inside edge, jump height or lackthereof--from what I could see from the detailed results compared to what I saw the skaters do on TV, these things weren't cause for deduction, rather the skater would either just get the base value or only a few judges would reward a point.
Anyway, I'm sure there will be a lot of "what the?" with the COP scores this season partly because there are always "What the?" between people who were there vs those who only saw it on TV and even between people who each saw it live. And then we have even more fun when the judging goes back to the 6.0 system for Nats and Worlds. Aaaahhh!
Now which are more loveable: Bats or Swans?
Bats of course! How could we not like little fuzzy animals that eat mosquitoes? We refer here to swans as "Rats With Wings". They are quite agressive and nasty and hiss at you.
Rgirl-there are 2 categories in performance, Interpretation and Choreography that should definitely be affected by the WOW factor. I saw almost no evidence that this opportunity to reward artistic excellence was taken advantage by the judges at Skate America. The different performance scores for a given skater or team varied very little . Jenny was not given a huge bump for Interpretation for Chicago (which she richly deserved). Petrova Tikhonov were not given a huge ding for Music by Baxter (which they also deserved). I think we should definitely lobby for use of those 2 lovely categories to reward Performance. The skating skills and transitions Performance categories are definitely technical, really, though.
Double damn on ABC from me for not showing the top ladies' SPs because I can't even discuss Jenny's SP with Doris or Nymkfan because if you weren't there you didn't even get to freaking see it! There's another thing to lobby for, Doris--SHOW THE SPs! SHOW THE SPs!
I know what you mean Rgirl. What I can't figure out is why ABC doesn't show the ladies Sp's from SA. They will be showing Sp's from SC.(I think)
The silly thing is that here in the US, the ladies are the most popular discipline ... so if they didn't have time to show everything ... why would they cut out their bread and butter material?
Maybe I will email them and ask them.
Here is the contact information for ABC Sports and ESPN/ESPN2:
Didn't they have an extra day of coverage this year? We got to see more skaters but still no LSPs (except Sasha's) or ODs.
Good idea, Nymkfan and thanks for the link Pairsfan. I'm going to complain to ABC Sports and ESPN/ESPN2 as soon as I say one thing:
Paula's report is correct about Jenny prerotating the first 3t on her 3t/3t. I was checking my SA tape to see if there was enough room on it to include the pairs' and men's finals. Since the tape was already on the end of Jenny's LP, I decided to check that 3/3. I'd watched it three times before and that 3/3 had always looked 3clean/3clean. But as soon as I saw it this time, even on full speed I thought, "I see prerota..." But before I decided, I looked at it on slow-motion and the prerotation is quite evident, almost a half-turn pre-rotated.
So, my apologies for questioning the report about the 3/3 without checking the tape. And so much for 9 of the 11 judges giving Jenny at least +1 point and some +2 points being a reliable standard for evaluating the accuracy of the 3/3. What also struck me was DorisPulaski's point about where the caller and judges are seated. The main reason I think you could see the prerotation so clearly on the tape, and probably from certain sections of the arena, was the camera angle. The camera was shooting the side of Jenny toward which she was rotating (same side as the leg that does the toe pick) and from an angle just slightly to the back of her. If the caller/judges had been sitting on the opposite side and angle, ie, across and slightly in front, it would have been very difficult to see the prerotation. It still was a great jump combo, it just shouldn't have received full credit for a triple toe loop/triple toe loop.
Anyway, it makes me wonder what other jump errors that should result in less than full credit are being missed because of problems with sight lines. I don't know if it will ever be solve the problem to put four callers in four parts of the arena and judges at different places because this would probably just mean that some callers or judges might see an error and some might not. I wonder if there might not be something in "instant replay" of 3/3s, 4/3s, or any jump or jump combo that tends toward prerotation or incorrect edge take-off (ie, 3Lutz with ladies), using slow motion if needed. Anyway, if it turns out all ladies skaters prerotate their 3/3s at least 1/4 turn, perhaps this is much ado about nothing. But if there are ladies who are doing full rotations on both jumps of a 3/3 and I was a skater doing them, I'd be pretty ticked off if skaters who were prerotating were receiving the same credit as I was.