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Thread: 2010 Olympic Preview to Ice Dance

  1. #31
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dyan View Post
    In trying to keep my post from being overly long some things I posted came across differently than I meant them to.

    First off, I do not think that D&W's success is only due to politiking. I meant that I believed that was part of it but definitely not all. I do like D&W but I suppose my issue is (I've seen this elsewhere and it fits) they are good but not THAT good. I realize that part of the job of NBC's commentators is to get the viewers revved up but some of Dick Button's comments at U.S. Nationals were a tad over the top.

    I do see D&W as legitimate medal contenders but even with RUS and FRA D&S's being question marks I still don't see them as a gold medal couple. Now if we reversed the programs from this season and last I might be inclined to agree.

    IMO D&W have many of the same issues that B&A used to get trashed for yet they don't seem to get the same criticism for it. D&W's skating unlike B&A's wasn't interrupted by a coaching change and having that coach rebuild their technique from scratch. D&W's programs are also (like most of the other dancers) choreographed to maximize their strengths and play to the crowds. I've been trying to follow up and read the rules closely so I suppose I can't complain about the who skating skills issue. In theory I still feel that the judges apparently feeling that D&W's skating skills are superior even to those of V&M is questionable yet going by the way the marks are being interpreted and applied this season then by the rule they are whether I fully understand or not.

    I also feel that D&W because they are more popular and an American couple won't have their marks questioned the way other couples might. I'm thinking of DomShabs and even F&S and Delobel/Schoenfelder future marks have been questioned. D&W do have a great OD but if they weren't the young American team would so many people be seeing their FD as some sort of artistic statement? I'm getting off track again.

    Actually it was D&W's marks against V&M that makes me think that D&W are partially being given a boost rather than D&W vs B&A.

    As for Linichuk, even though I've always enjoyed icedancing I dislike the fact that there has to be any discussion regarding politicks at all. The teams should skate and the judges should mark what was skated according only to the rules. However that isn't always what happens. This year Natalia seems to be placing all her attentions on Domnina/Shabalin. Natalia did want to train B&A but she probably had no way of knowing that shortly after B&A finally agreed to be trained by her and Gennady the Russian Federation would send Oksana and Max.

    I do think that having three of the top five teams injured helped B&A last season but IMHO it also helped D&W to build the reputation they have now. Without the injuries to Isabelle, Maxim and Tessa it's possible that neither B&A or D&W would have won their GP events and even though Samsom and Delilah was a beautiful FD I don't believe D&W would have beaten a healthy V&M, or the two D&S teams. I admit being pleasantly surprised by B&A's success at worlds last year and they way they were skating. Pre worlds I felt that B&A would finish anywhere from 3rd to possibly 5th. I'm not just defending B&A this season because I like them; if I didn't feel the skating was there (as during last years GP season) I would be more than willing to say so.

    As for the speed issue, this is one area where B&A's choice of FD may have hurt them. I feel that both V&M's and B&A's FD's are more slower paced dances and the interpretation of those dances would be off if both teams went flying down the ice at full speed. It reminds me a little bit of Michelle Kwan's Lyra Angelica program and why I still feel she skated well enough to win the gold in 1998. Another well, lyrical and slower paced program that (again IMO) would have looked wrong if skated wide open. It is possible to have great coverage of the ice surface without looking frenetic.

    I know it's commonly thought that only the Russian and French federations do the majority of politiking but I feel that all the federations do this and USFS is doing so this year as well. This is the first time an American team has a real shot at winning a gold medal and when B&A's marks ended up being so low this season I believe USFS decided to throw all their support behind D&W.

    I don't think I'm really addressing everything that well. I hope I've clarified some of the things I posted earlier.
    USFS is fairly new to ice dance politicking, actually. In the past they would trade off any ice dance team to get a used copy of Blades magazine and a 6.0 for one of the ladies. Ice dance was often not even on TV here! And in fact, we have had a number of undergraded teams. I am still annoyed at the undergrading of Blumberg and Siebert in the 1984 Olympics Not to mention Punsalan and Swallow, from time to time. And Wynne & Druar's Charleston OSP and tap dance, their last competitive season. (well on W&D, I am kind of partisan...)

    In any given year, in dance and pairs, the big politcking IMO goes on in the creation of the yearly additions to the rules. The last 2 years, these rule updates have been 30 pages each. They are, of course, voted on. However the head of the rules committee is Gorshkov. There is nothing in those rules changes that the Russian fed is not OK with, IMO. While number 2 and number 3 Russian skaters have often been undergraded (as have the number 2 & 3 skaters of other feds), I don't recall any Russia number 1 team who suffered from severe undergrading.

    The success of D&W is due to the fact that the current rules favor them. Part of that is due to the fact that rules and penalties emphasizing balletic character, toe point and extension, would not favor DomShabs or K&N either. K&N have too big a size mismatch, and Max's knee has impaired their ability to do these things. So D&W's main weakness is not particularly penalized these days.

    D&W have wonderful spins, both for speed, difficulty of entry, and ability to keep timing and express character during them, rather than just doing the spins. B&A's are good, but not special.

    On the step sequences, speed rules, and deep edges. D&W have both. B&A are slower.

    On the lifts, everybody in the top 10 these days gets level 4, so actually greater difficulty in lifts is only rewarded via GOE. This helps B&A, but they have decided to do acrobatic lifts like V&M and D&W and they don't do them very smoothly yet. They may well by Olympics, but they haven't so far this year. Both V&M and D&W have complex, smooth lifts.

    And so D&W have had the tech mark over B&A for some time now.

    Sooner or later, the chickens come home to roost, and this year they did at US Nationals, particularly as D&W really brought a good Golden Waltz CD, comparable to B&A's, and although one could argue a couple tenth's one way or the other, I would agree with the judges and give the CD to D&W. That was supposed to be B&A's strength, so it was all downhill for B&A from there.

    By the way, Dick Button gave the OD to B&A over D&W (opposite of the judges), so I don't quite see why you are picking him out as a B&A hater?

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    USFS is fairly new to ice dance politicking, actually. In the past they would trade off any ice dance team to get a used copy of Blades magazine and a 6.0 for one of the ladies. Ice dance was often not even on TV here! And in fact, we have had a number of undergraded teams. I am still annoyed at the undergrading of Blumberg and Siebert in the 1984 Olympics Not to mention Punsalan and Swallow, from time to time. And Wynne & Druar's Charleston OSP and tap dance, their last competitive season. (well on W&D, I am kind of partisan...)

    .......The success of D&W is due to the fact that the current rules favor them. Part of that is due to the fact that rules and penalties emphasizing balletic character, toe point and extension, would not favor DomShabs or K&N either. K&N have too big a size mismatch, and Max's knee has impaired their ability to do these things. So D&W's main weakness is not particularly penalized these days.


    And so D&W have had the tech mark over B&A for some time now.

    .....By the way, Dick Button gave the OD to B&A over D&W (opposite of the judges), so I don't quite see why you are picking him out as a B&A hater?
    Well I guess you are partisan towards D&W as I am towards B&A so when things become subjective I suppose I have to wave the white flag.

    And Whoa! I never said Dick Button was a B&A hater.

    Once again my attempt at an explanation failed me. I was referring to the commentators and their abilities to lead the more casual viewers to which team is supposed to be superior. As an example, I could use last nights pair SP's in Vancouver. Team NBC is clearly in love with S&Z as are most of the hardcore and casual skating fans. They could do no wrong and the whole they are in love thing was put into play. I felt that while S&Z were put forth as untouchable, Scott and Sandra seemed to downplay the talents of the two teams closest to them.

    I thought S&S's SP was beautifully skated throughout but at the end (even though I couldn't see it) Sandra suddenly piped in with how much slower S&S were and that the end of their SP was off (not her exact words). K&S got even worse treatment (again IMO). I thought Yuko and Alexander skated well but team NBC seemed to see something else. They made it sound as if K&S skated without expression and commented on how calculated Mosvina was in choreographing the program with CoP in mind. That might be true but that is true of all the teams and I felt there was nice emotion to the skate. Basically Sandra's comments were said in a negative way that I felt downplayed how well K&S actually skated.

    Anyway, long story short I felt that with many of the matchups this season (B&A/D&W, S&B/N&B and W&P/C&P come to mind) one team has been a tad overrated, being built up into even more than what they are while the team being put forth as the "lesser" team is a tad underrated. D&W are the best team to ever come from the U.S.? Comparing POTO to Bolero? That's what I meant by Dick Buttons comments regarding D&W. I adore V&M and disagreed with the T&D comparisons a couple of seasons ago and no I do not think that B&A are the best team to ever come from the U.S. So far IMHO that title still belongs to B&S.

    It's true that Dick Button felt that B&A should have won the OD at Nationals. That surprised me and while I can see why he felt that way I had no issue with D&W coming ahead in that portion. I had been expecting that all season since I saw the OD's of the top teams.

    There are some areas that I can't argue as the rules do favor D&W's style. I had been thinking about that and it reminds me of the success of Tara Linpinski being due at least in part to the change of the second mark from artistic merit to presentation. Those are the rules now and whether it's unfortunate for the skaters who might lose out because of it (Michelle, B&A) doesn't matter. Well only to their fans.

    I suppose my issue is being one of the few left who like/love and sympathize with B&A. For so many years Tanith has been repeatedly trashed for her supposedly poor skating skills, B&A improve in that area but now a team has become the new be all end all but with the same issues that Tanith had. Again I can no longer say anything regarding the judges favoring of D&W because of the rule changes but it does surprise me that so many of the same people who just hated B&A and Tanith in particular are huge D&W supporters. However sometimes people can't help who they like whether I understand it or not.

    Honestly in hindsight B&A really didn't need to work on their skating skills at all. All they seemed to need was better programs. Of course since people aren't able to look into the future there was no way to know about the rule changes that would all of a sudden make the all important posture and toe point issues moot.

    As for D&W having the edge over B&A in the technical mark that once again goes back to what B&A were led to believe the judges would reward. B&A had been skating those types of technically challenging programs for years but were criticized for it so they changed. I don't think that B&A are no longer capable of skating with speed and difficulty; they just left those programs behind as they were led to believe (IMO) that they needed to do something different. Again, wrong place wrong time.

    Anyway, I'm waving the white flag. I know how the handfull of DomShabs fans (of which I am one of those as well ) feel. Not liking who the majority of fans like will always make it difficult to try and get your point across as so many feel that the team you like is subpar. The discussions might be interesting but they could go on forever as neither side will ever fully agree.

    I'm not saying that B&A are the main contenders for the gold or any medals but I honestly don't believe they have fallen so far behind that they aren't contenders at all.

  3. #33
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    impossible to guess, evrth depends on the judges' sympathy... All top skaters are relatively of the same level.

  4. #34
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Dyan, Please don't wave the white flag entirely. I really like B&A as well as D&W and V&M and a lot of other teams. I just think that so far this year, D&W have gotten their correct grades, and so have B&A. Yes, it stinks that B&A didn't read the rule communications themselves, and understand what those rules reward, and what those rules do not reward. And it's possible that everything will be different at the Olympics for the two teams. For one thing, B&A have competed under Olympic pressure, done well, and come away with a medal in the past and D&W never have.

    I am reminded of an interview Marina gave about B&A, V&M and D&W, back when all were Shpilband students. She said something nice about all the students. At the time, D&W were definitely their 3rd place team, so of course that is tricky. What she chose to say was, D&W were the smartest ice dancers she had ever taught. And I think they are. It's no wonder that they help their coaches pick programs that suit them and that are set up to score well under COP as it is today, rather than working on things that were more important in previous years.

    And as to the things that B&A were critiqued by skating fans for? Go look at the line and extension of Grishuk and Platov and Torville and Dean. They were not particularly balletic toe-pointy dancers. Now Navka had balletic lines so in the 2002 to 2006 quad, balletic lines were a big deal. Not so much in the 1994 to 1998 quads. Even when B&A rose to prominence the team they eventually took over from as US champions, Lang & Tchernyshev had absolutely gorgeous balletic posture and extension, and internationally they never went anywhere really. That stuff is not all that & a bag of chips despite what the balletomanes among us say. For one thing there are a lot of dance styles where they are totally inappropriate. Charleston, jive, most folk dance & so forth, for some examples. For another, it's importance has been a matter of come and go fashion in ice dance rather than a requirement. Deep edges, for example, have always been a requirement.

    But I think you should reconsider what Dick Button said. This is a guy who gave the OD to B&A, and he goes nuts positively about D&W's FD. He also really like Eleanor Rigby and Samson and Delilah from D&W. (where B&A won at US Nationals back then & they were the number one team). Dick calls them like he sees them. D&W are a team that are better seen live.
    Last edited by dorispulaski; 02-16-2010 at 09:27 PM.

  5. #35
    leave no stone unturned seniorita's Avatar
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    I couldnt find it here, maybe it is discussed, DomShabs are asked to change their OD?
    I thought it was just the costumes change they had to do.

  6. #36
    Custom Title pista04's Avatar
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    That would be insane...purely insane.

    Has anybody heard or read anything about Del/Schoe?

  7. #37
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seniorita View Post
    I couldnt find it here, maybe it is discussed, DomShabs are asked to change their OD?
    I thought it was just the costumes change they had to do.
    I read that they may have had to change the Sheila Chandra section of their music. I don't know whether that is true or not though (it would be over 1 minute of the music). There would be 2 reasons:
    1. Everybody knows it's Sheila Chandra, and that she is a UK citizen of South Indian descent. Not good if you're trying to be Aboriginal of any kind. It's possible that DomShabs decided not to risk music deductions in the appropriate PCS component.
    2. There is a story that Chandra sent them a letter the music is copyrighted and she is not giving permission for it to be used. Yes, she can do that. It would definitely block broadcast of the OD music by NBC if she does not give permission. She is the writer and performer of the music, and has a record that has been issued not all that long ago. Plus DomShabs listed their music as 'arrangement by Goldstin'. Not good if half the music is by Chandra. I have not seen an article linked yet, though. Certainly there was a post in answer to the BBC article about the OD that Chandra would do that. One never knows if a person who says on the internet that they are Chandra really are who they say they are.

    We will have to see what DomShabs actually perform for the OD when they do it.

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