What an extremely well skated event. I can't remember a better top 3 at Europeans.
I have to say, I'm a bit surprised that S/S weren't scored a lot higher than they were. I thought they should have had a much bigger lead over K/S and M/T should have been second. Watching them all back to back really highlights how poor Kavaguti's positions are in comparison to Mukhortova's and Savchenko's and her expression is a lot more forced. They also had a crashy twist and a dicey lift set-down, so I'm a bit confused as to how they got the highest TES.
The problem is that if the top teams all have great skates, we are often in for a bad bad freeskate.
I am mildly curious about how the scores for the Germans stagnated, but the two Russian teams both got bumped up point-wise. But since I am also the one who is often saying that equal technical content with decent presentation should be scored rather equally - I won't complain.
I watched eurosports live coverage of this last night (the only short programme they will even air...grumble...grumble) and agree that the top 3 were absolutely amazing.
I haven't looked at any of the protocols but think it's fair enough that the top three are all within a point of each other.
It's the first time I've seen the programmes this season and I have to say that S&S's costumes seem ridiculous to me. Yes i know the music is send in the clowns but do the costumes and make-up need to be so over the top/ridiculous? I thought there was a rule against theatrical costumes? I think they could have had the same effect with better costumes - his in particular is so baggy that it ruins the lines. Anyway you can tell it's a good programme and was a great performance when all i have to criticize is the costumes. The smoothness and sureness of edge, the interaction between the two and the HEIGHT on that throw, the speed and synchronisation on the SBS spins was breath taking!! It was amazing.
I also have to say that for the first time possibly ever I was totally wowed by K&S. I thought the programme was beautiful and flowed really well. One gripe I have is that they seemed to have been skating this programme for their entire career! I'm only half joking - have they kept their SP from last season? Anyway it seems they are always doing "ballet" programmes and while i usually find them far too contrived I actually loved the flow of this programme. I still find them a bit "gorilla and flea" on the ice and am therefore not blown away by their lift which didn't look that great and I can't stand that "frog" position in the lift (i also hated it when Aliona had one in an LP too!). But agree that they should be virtually tied with S&S.
M&T - personally I would have had them in first. I think the top three all hit their elements well, but from memory, the SBS jumps M&T did were identical - same take off and landing, exact same rotation - it was Shen & Zhao standard! The thing that really for me would have put this team ahead was that they seemed to have the best speed (but that was difficult to tell on TV) and for me they hands down had the best choreography. Their patterns across the ice were unsual, I found myself expecting them to exit elements in one direction and they'd go in another. Every movement matched the music and they really were telling a story with their movements. They often had counterpoints where they were doing different things and go in different directions and then suddenly there were together again skating as one. I thought it was magical and personally I would have had them in the lead by a tiny amount.
One final comment to say what on earth were V&M wearing? It was as if they looked Morosov up and down and said, what is the worst thing we could possibly dress you in...oh I know how about bright blue tin foil with go faster stripes? The music was forgetable but the thing that struck me most is that compared to last Europeans he skates as if he's on a practice session and not bothering and she has to try and perform for the both of them. Yes he's strong, yes he's big but he makes barely any effort to even pretend he's competing and performing!
I actually feel that way about M&T. I'm looking and I'm trying but I simply cannot get behind them. It is technically flawless but I'd definetely have S&S and K&S ahead of them. The fact that I really dislike M&T's long also adds to this conviction.
Btw, I think S&S costumes are great, it was over the top with the white clown face make-up but not that they've toned it down to sad clown faces, it absolutely adds to the programme. I love it..
I'm so sorry for Zanforlin-Degli Esposti withdrawn.......i met them when they still skate with roller...i'm sure they should deserve a place in italian olimpic team...
I finally managed to access the forums, having been unable to do so since yesterday evening, so I'm a bit late to this thread...
You mean there's someone on the ice with Tatiana? I just try to ignore him, though certainly the ugly costume makes this a major challenge.One final comment to say what on earth were V&M wearing? It was as if they looked Morosov up and down and said, what is the worst thing we could possibly dress you in...oh I know how about bright blue tin foil with go faster stripes? The music was forgetable but the thing that struck me most is that compared to last Europeans he skates as if he's on a practice session and not bothering and she has to try and perform for the both of them. Yes he's strong, yes he's big but he makes barely any effort to even pretend he's competing and performing!
Basically Morozov is useful for the pairs elements, especially the lifts, but all of Ingo's hard work won't make that guy a graceful skater. So: Free Tatiana! And have her skate with Maxim Trankov, that would be excellent.
I love S/S costume; Both S/S and M/T had low levels on two elements so; with the right levels you could have proably incease both of there scores by one or two points;
I have to say that it's been a long time since my once favourite discipline of pairs even raised my interest but last night's competition did.
The reason I have never really seen much in K&S's skating is the firstly, the gorilla and flea aspect. Despite this their throws are still not particularly big (i don't think she could handle the landing of a big throw). The main thing i dislike is the Moskvina touch to a pair that is not excellent. Let me try to explain....I've always found K&S's skating to be a little like Obertas & Slavnov. Moskvina gives her pairs challenging programmes in the hope that they will grow into them and execute them well by the end of the season. To me K&S have never really made it, the struggle on with the throw quad, have other sloppy mistakes and to me they don't seem to skate like a pair. The only way they can get some emotion into the perforamnce is to have these uninteresting faux ballet programmes that positively put me to sleep. I think now i've seen this SP that perhaps it was because unless they are absolutely spot on with the elements it just doesn't work. That to me is a bad sign, because if you can enjoy performances even with mistakes it shows the programme and the skating is good (like B&S for example).
Also as to Nicky's comment I was left scratching my head. I would not have given it 6.0s (didn't he say he'd have given 6.0 for tech and for "artistic impression") I shouted at the tv "you'd have had a job since the presentation mark hasn't been artistic impression since....the 80s or early 90s? I think Chris disagreed and i tend to find myself disagreeing with Nicky more often than not!
Good call - i agree completely. Though after watching all the SPs that Eurosport showed the biggest freeing campaign that needs to happen is "FREE THE DEATH SPIRAL" once one of the most beautiful elements in pair skating is now virtually unwatchable. One of Chris or nicky commented on disliking COP death spirals with the "ungainly positions". Free the death spiral, free the death spiral!
FREE THE DEATH SPIRAL!!!
p.s. Aliona and Robin's improved makeup: here's the old version.
I am pretty sure Chris was disagreeing cos he kept suspiciously quiet during Nicky's rant about 6.0 but I happen to agree with him so I cheered on! i also thought S&S were 6.0, it was really hard for me to differentiate. I'll give M&T another try in the long, but I'm really putting an effort!
I agree with the sentiment about the hideous death spirals we see today--sure, the catch-foot is a "difficult variation" but it looks awful and is often done very slowly. I miss the days of a simple death spiral done well--with good speed, the lady's head close to the ice, full pivot....
Good for Mukhortova/Trankov and Kavaguti/Smirnov for forgoing the catch-foot death spiral.
Also - hilarious that we all agree on the death spirals. I'm sick of the hand changes, i'm sick of the shoot-the duck, catch foot, fugly entrances. Mandaotry SP requirement: single position death spiral for three revolutions. No gimmicks, not changes just purely hit the pivot and ride the edge.
Watching the top 3, I would give the highest technical score to M/T, then S/S, and K/S. The artistic/component score should be the highest to K/S, S/S, and M/T. All 3 pairs were wonderful, but K/S was the most memorable and breathtaking.
It's a virtual tie after the short program, just like the ladies in the 2006 Olympics. May the best win.