This probably the best, smartest post I ever saw on here. MAYBE now people will start to understand a little better. Im saving this post. Great job!As Doris pointed out, it's a simple matter of physics. Tessa is taller and not at small as Meryl. The height difference between her and Scott is less significant than between Meryl and Charlie. Anyone who knows the physics of lifting will tell you that it's not only easier to lift a smaller person relative to your own height and weight, but its also easier to maneuver that person into more difficult positions and to travel at greater speed while performing the lift. This is true of both ice dancers and pairs. Doris already broke out the physical reasons why it's easier for Meryl to achieve that specific split position and why Charlie can lift and maintain her in it while continuing his speed. There's a reason why many of V/M's rotational lifts involve Tessa being draped around Scott's shoulders. It physically more manageable to lift a body of more similar height in more or less of a "fireman's carry" position than in a position more apart from your own center of gravity (like the split rotational lift). Trust me I know something about lifting as a former high school wrestler. We routinely paired off against heavier practice partner in training and often had to lift them. I was frequently paired with a guy 20-30 pounds heavier than me and the most efficient means of lifting him (by light years) was in a fireman's carry over my shoulders.
Nicky has become increasingly crabby about dance recently and often his criticisms are based on his own sometimes limited aesthetic taste or on his personal experience with ice dance from several decades ago. He is very taste specific and often has trouble broadening his perspective. His comments are usually about what he wants to see as opposed to what the skaters are actually doing or intending to do.
As to the criticism of D/W's difficulty not looking as effortless as V/M, please forgive me Buttercup, but that has become an almost cliched argument among many fans based on initial impressions of the two teams from 5-6 years ago. It's been carried over, in particular by V/M fans, for years as a fallback argument whenever D/W make strides to challenge or defeat V/M. It's almost like a security blanket to justify an entrenched unwillingness to acknowledge any inprovement in movement, line, unison, dance quality, edge quality, intricacy, interaction or performance that D/W have made. It casually assumes that they have not and can never make sufficient improvements to be accepted as better than V/M under any circumstances.
It's the same flawed logic that fans employ when comparing scores across events or between skaters. The assumption is that there is a particular standard or score that a skater or team should fall within based either on previous season's or personal bests or on personal opinion or perception by the viewer. That assumes that any score outside that expected range must be anomalous. It ignores the existence of facts that are based on what the skaters actually do on the ice which might counteract that logic and force a reassessment of accepted assumptions. The super quick movement in an out of all elements and the increased connecting steps between them by D/W which are all done at tremendous speed would massively trip up most teams other than V/M. That is what they make look easy. The speed. Plus many styles of latin dance are not meant to look as restrained as other ballroom forms, especially if ballroom latin is not what you are going for. The abandon and looseness they show is spot on for latin night club dancing. Classic ballet body lines and pointed toes are unnecessary for this dance and would actually detract from it.
Lastly, as Doris and I have pointed out, the Shibs dance is entirely appropriate and correct ballroom latin in its style. Ballroom latin is meant to have a restrained character to it. Clearly less earthiness and soul and more focused on precision and technique. Their scores were not lucky, but based largely on improved levels from previous competitions. D/W's club style is conversely not intended to have such a rigid structure to it. It goes full on for the earthy Carribean/night club dance style prevalent in latin dancing done in large cities like NYC and Miami. There is an uptempo raunchiness to it that is entirely intentional, including the saucier positions they incorporate. V/M's more sensual take on the same style of latin dance, softens their choreographic impression (which frankly is usually the approach they take for most dances). So I feel that many fans confuse the intentional incorporation of sensuality by V/M for smoothness that hides their difficulty while also expecting the same from D/W despite them having a different set of goals for their own dance.