Wicked Yankee Girl
The fact that the judges must give scores immediately probably affects the scores a lot. In the case of B&S, the difficulties they had with their last two lifts turned what was supposed to be an effective, exciting, explosive ending to a failed firecracker with a faint pop. That was the last thing the judges saw before they figured out the PCS scores for them.
It can't have helped.
The SD has a number of rules and regulations for PCS additional to what the FD has. At some point I'll probably kill some time writing about them, but in a thread about the SD, not here.
Mrs P, Tex & semosk8fan, thanks for following this all the way through!
Especial thanks to Mrs P for finding the Shib's FD. I guess frida340 has a misspelling in her tags, because the search box does not bring it up. I would give the FD to Meryl & Charlie at this event on PCS as well, but when you get to the elevated level of V&M and D&W, it's difficult, and the judges have a difficult job.
I started this project because of Scott Moir's interview.
I thought, if you don't know what the scores mean, how can the viewers? I think we should pick through them.
Both dances are excellent, and are getting enthusiastic audiences out of their seats to applaud. Both are performed at a high technical level. If I were a judge, how would I split them?
Meryl & Charlie's pluses are:
1. Effortless lifts, seamlessly integrated into the program, so that they do not seem to be elements. The whole segment around that amazing 2nd lift (rotational) is just fabulous. Tessa & Scott's lifts are still not entirely smooth yet, particularly the first curved lift, where the balance point is difficult, and they seem to be struggling. By the end of the season, I expect to see everything perfect, but it isn't yet. Plus by doing a combo lift, V&M give away 0.5 in technical score.
2. Music that almost everyone likes, and wants to clap along to (particularly in Russia!). I noticed the British Eurosport guys struggling to like the Funny Face music, and one telling the other you had to hear it a few times to get it. Fred Astaire programs are much beloved by North Americans, but they have sometimes been a bit less successful than they should have been internationally. I am particularly thinking of T&D 1994, and Blumberg & Siebert, not to mention Belbin & Agosto's That's Entertainment (not Astaire, but a similar genre). You could hear comments internationally about "dated" while in the US and Canada, Fred is "timeless".
3. They are faster than V&M.
4. Die Fledermaus, as choreographed, has fewer, shorter resting points and posing sections than Funny Face, simply because D&W don't need to stop and pose to create the mood change; the music does the work for them. This affects the transitions score.
Tessa and Scott have the following advantages over Meryl & Charlie.
1. Their unison is somewhat better. They skate a little closer. They extend their legs a little further at the end of the stroke. Consequently, they get a little better skating skills score. The difference is small, because D&W are faster. In a non tap dance program, this advantage could translate into better scores on the step sequences, if they are able to skate them with clean edges. This outing, they did really well, and got level 4's on both step sequences in the FD (D&W often have a little cleaner edges than V&M and get level 4's a hair more frequently). However, the trying to portray the staccato nature of tap dance blunts the impact of their lovely glide, so they didn't really get the advantage here that they might have with a different program.
2. They are significantly better actors than Meryl & Charlie, and they do a particularly good job of characterization in Funny Face. However, a review of PCS shows that the only positives for good story telling are indirect, because a good story involves the audience. The actual reference to story is a deduction: if it isn't simple & easy to understand, or if the music isn't uplifting, there is a deduction.
3. They do a better job of portraying a romantic interaction on ice than Meryl & Charlie. Again, there are very few points in the current PCS rules where this benefits them much.
So on balance, this time, I'd give it to Meryl & Charlie. But it is so close, that reasonable people can and do disagree.
Thanks, Doris! That analysis really helps me understand what to look for when I'm watching the two of them. As you say, they're both so amazing that it's barely possible to give them anything but a tie, but your breakdown identifies the elements in which each couple is especially bullseye.
After just watching the FDs of D/W and V/M, I feel underwhelmed. If it was the 6.0 system for artistry, I would give my highest score to W/P. I felt connected to W/P in their FD and they were able to make me feel something. But things are different and there's a lot more than emotion involved. Looking at all the sections that make up PCS, I wouldn't know which I would rank higher V/M or D/W. Some of V/M lifts looks effortful (maybe too mechanical or thought out) and not as smooth as D/W, but practice will iron out those kinks. I think it's these programs I don't particularly like/connect with. My first thought was this is like watching the best dancers on SYTCD, executing a dance near perfect, but no emotional connection or lack of a story. D/W and V/M have technically difficult programs but the characters and story of their FDs are too simplistic for my liking. There speed and their flow from one thing to the next was amazing and I bet better in person. I wish story-telling had a little more factor into the scoring but then again, I don't know if that would change anything. I do miss some of the dramatic pieces like the one's from Drobiazko/Vanagas or out of the box ones like Delobel/Schoenfelder.
With the whole-uplifting requirement, I wish it change so that one year, if you do a dramatic FD, then the next you are required to do something more uplifting/upbeat (happy, funny, perky, hopeful, and so on). On dance shows like DWTS and SYTYCD, audiences repsond to both styles and with SYTYCD I would say even more so to dramatic pieces. It would challenge the skaters and give the viewers/audiences some more variety in the FDs.
Funny, I get a little tired of the forced romantic programs. W/P did nothing for me. I thought with the quality of their skating they should have been fifth.
Wicked Yankee Girl
The audience really connected with Weaver/Poje during their FD, and I'll bet they will at Worlds in France, as well...
One odd thing about Weaver / Poje is the really ugly lift they do in the SD. They are very, very good at lifts, but that lift where she ends up in a pose, standing on a bent leg , and the other leg is bent too is really awkward looking, not sexy, and not Latin. So I don't know what they are thinking with it. I don't know why they don't alter the final pose. She could just stand, or she could drape around him...anything but this.
Here it is, at the end of their rhumba sequence:
And it's clear that the judges have scored that lift lower than their other lifts:
The base level for a short lift is 4.00, and if you do it perfectly, you can earn 5.50.
Their GOE for the ugly lift in the SD is 0.71 to 0.86.
Skate Canada 4.75
Other lifts at GPF
SlLi3* They had a problem, as seen by the tech panel, but GOE was still 1.07, higher than the SD lift.
If they could creep a little closer to P&B during the SD, they could grab that bronze at Worlds.
In this season, it's only fitting that my first post to the forum be one of thanks to dorispulaski and the countless others on this thread for contributing to my education about ice dance. I'm a long term fan with many opinions. Now, thanks to all of you, I'll have some facts to back them up.
My best to all for a happy holiday.
Wicked Yankee Girl
mare, welcome to Golden Skate! We hope you will post long and often.
And thanks for the kind words!