Quote Originally Posted by jcoates View Post
Buttercup, it's not hard to fathom that fans would prefer one team or another over D/W. I have never advocated otherwise. In fact I do like V/M. However it is somewhat exasperating to know that V/M fans in particular, but also fans of other teams, routinely make largely predictable arguments based on longstanding biases rather than on the actual performance on the day. That sort of thinking assumes that there is some consistent level of quality that V/M possess that is so significantly higher than D/W that it's almost not worth comparing them or even holding a competition in the first place. Which is ironic given how often fans complain about judges pre-judging events based on common wisdom while they are actually guilty of doing the very same thing with regard to their favorites. It's one thing to like or prefer particular skater or team, but to dismiss their competition out of hand consistently or to refuse to look at what they are doing with fresh eyes is rather unfair IMO. Lord knows, I have had to acknowledge occasions when D/W have been inferior to other teams. It is frustrating and at times confusing. I get that. The 2007-2008 season was painful b/c D/W were in a dog fight with P/B and F/S most of the season. But, I understood that at the time both teams were better compulsory dancers and had slightly better constructed ODs than D/W.
I really appreciate this post! You've detailed very well the extremist position of many V/M fans--simply, that V/M are just so inherently better than any other ice dance team ever possibly could be, that, as you say, "it's almost not worth . . . even holding a competition in the first place." V/M certainly are an outstanding team, probably one of the best ever, and I'm becoming more of a fan of them this season than ever before. However, to suggest they should win every competition simply because they've shown up denies the fact that this is indeed a sport, and as such, anything can happen on any specific day. Including V/M falling and rightfully being scored behind D/W due to actual technical errors.

This thread has been so informative that I probably can't add much to it . . . However, just a couple of my own impressions.

I personally think D/W's short dance is very good and improving with each competition. To me, they have a raw energy and excitement to their dance that's quite unique. I especially like the second half of the program to the J.Lo song, it's just very explosive. And I'm impressed by the super difficulty they achieve in the dance, as outlined in Doris's posts.

I also really like V/M's short dance. In fact, this SD and last year's FD (to the same music) are my favorite programs from them ever. I thought they had the best hip action of the top teams. To me, their interpretation of this dance is very confident, and very "big", if you will. They really fill out the space so impressively when they're on the ice. However, I did notice that the second rhumba sequence was not skated with the same deep knees that I'd seen from them at TEB, so even I could see some of the difference in technical quality as detailed by Doris.

I was not hugely impressed with P/B. I love the concept, choreography, and music of this Brazilian SD--so different and fun (plus the costumes are exquisite). But to me, their actual execution of the dance hasn't lived up to its potential. As Tanith pointed out on Universal Sports, there are just a lot of little moments when their lines or positions or transitions aren't quite up to par; a lot of moments when I find myself thinking, "That could have been done better" or "They looked slightly off there." I don't agree with some posters who seem to feel P/B should be much closer to the top 2 teams than they are. If anything, I think they were closer last year, and feel their marks this year have been a bit generous. Still, I do really like this dance, and hope they can perform it better at Europeans and Worlds.

I thought Weaver/Poje looked pretty good. However I'm not a big fan of their SD. It seems sort of typical; not terribly inventive. The music is quite familiar, and they don't really do anything different with it. (Certainly I found Daisuke's interpretation last year much more fun and exciting.) Overall the program felt a little long to me. Also the costumes/makeup are tawdry and over the top.

I agree with jcoates and Doris that the Shibs have opted for a very classic Latin ballroom feel to their dance. That was my thought exactly as I watched it. And although it's perfectly fine conceptually, I have to agree with other posters that it's not terribly exciting. However, in terms of execution, I thought they looked really sharp--fast and accurate in their movement. Was glad to see they at least placed above the oft-overscored Bobrova/Soloviev.

Really looking forward to the FD tonight--can't wait!!