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. (ETA that this difference was fixed for 2011 2012, but the judges' software was not fixed until after the GPF)
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.