What a fantastic thread. Thanks to everyone for these insightful comments. I'd just like to throw in my two cents on a couple of points.
First off, I really don't think Marina Zoueva's choreo was that bad this year, although I will say I wasn't partial to any of the SD's her teams came out with. I thought D/W's FD was a total masterpiece, but felt that D/W lack of connection and refinement was what didn't make it work for me, not the choreo itself. Admittedly, V/M's Funny Face was no masterpiece, but when you look at the crop of hideous programs that popped up on the international circuit this season it still looks pretty good.We must also keep in mind that (as far as I understood) the issues with Tessa's legs forced them to modify a lot of their elements, which may have also been a contributing factor. And I didn't mind the Shibs program, but again I feel that the Shibs lack emotional/performance maturity, and that combined with the brother/sister thing makes it more difficult to choose a concept that works for them. I think we need to remember that she creates a large number of programs each season on top of her coaching responsibilities, and that it's impossible to expect every one to turn out to be a masteripiece. At the very least, you can say that her programs are always of good quality, even when they're not her absolute best work.
As for bronze at worlds this year, I felt it should have gone to W/P, but was not terribly surprised (or dissapointed, for that matter) to see it go to P/B. My main issue in all of this was that the difference between the two came down to PCS. If it had been the tech score, I think it would have been easier to swallow. I felt that W/P had better material and skated with more speed and expression, though I will admit that P/B had awesome lifts and probably have slightly better skating quality than the Canadians. Either way, what's done is done. I do feel, though, that W/P might establish themselves solidly as the world #3's as early as next season. They have made huge leaps in technique and performance, and there is nothing to suggest that the won't continue to improve. I think the polka will be extremely well suited for them (Kaitlyn has that sort of infectious enthusiasm that this type of program needs, and Andrew, I believe, has experince with folk dancing off the ice). I worry, though, about them having to follow up Je Suis Malade, which becamse such an iconic program with the fans. I have faith, though. Unlike past dissapointments, loosing the world bronze didn't seem to deflate Kaitlyn. I'm sure they were dissapointed, but they have really improved on their mental toughness, and seem to be cometing with a really fantastic attitude, so I have no doubt they'll come out on fire next season.
As for the I/K vs. B/S debate, I would have to go with I/K, simply because I feel they are better performers, and have more sensitivity towards the music. That being said, I find both teams to have really sloppy technique. Every element looks like a struggle to me. Furthermore, the choices of music and choreography have been horrible, particularly for I/K. I will never understand why their coaches feel it is appropriate to take a young, expressive team with obvious chemistry and weigh them down with heavy, dramatic music and overly angsty choreography. It doesn't show off any of their assets. I really, really hope that they see the light and move seomwhere else for training, or at least get some new choreographers.
As for the judging at Canadian nationals, I fear I might go into a fairly long rant here. It was an absolute joke. Aside for V/M and W/P, who were rightfully in the top two spots, the rest of the cometition was rediculous. I don't know what Skate Canada was trying to pull with Gilles/Poirier, but there was no way they should have even been fourth, let alone on the podium. They skated sloppily, there was tons of space between them, their FD basically consisted of them standing around making silly arm movements (sorry Christopher Dean) and Paul was so much stronger than Piper that it was actually painful to watch him drag her around. Their placement was a total slap in the face to Ralph/Hill, who in spite of some persistent technical issues, improved in leaps and bounds this season and skated the FD of their lives at Nationals. It was an even bigger slap in the face to Paul/Islam. And it's Paul/Islam that I worry will be the ones to suffer if Skate Canada continues to inexplicably hold G/P up. I realise that R/H beat P/I repeatedly this season, but given that they barely squeaked by them at nationals, I honestly don't see them doing this again if P/I come back next season helathy and with a full summer of training under their belts. Thus, I think it'll turn into P/I vs. G/P for that third worlds spot in the forseeable future (along with the third spot to Sochi), and P/I might end up loosing every time regardless of what they put out on the ice. Unfortunately, P/I's entire season was an absolute injury-filled nightmare, and they were horribly underprepared for every competition as a result. And their scores showed it. The problem there is that they created a buzz in 2010/2011, and then fell flat on their faces through no fault of their own trying to live up to it. I truly think these two are completely brilliant, and that they have the potential to be incredible, but they have almost zero competition experience, are virtually unknown outside of the country, and missing out on worlds repeatedly will, I fear, completely derail their career. The only hope here comes from the fact that Skate Canada chose to send them to 4CC even though they didn't earn the spot. That seems to indicate that SC has an idea of which team of the three has the highest scoring/placement potential outide of the country (when healthy, of course). That might also mean that next season, when G/P are actually elidgeable for worlds and 4CC, SC might think twice about holding up a team that would probably get absolutely decimated by an international pannel (unless they make drastic improvements) and let the skating determine the results.
Off the ice
Originally Posted by Buttercup
You know, that could be a fun topic for an off-season thread...
Originally Posted by tulosai
The biggest story for me in ice dance this year was I&K's sudden elevation to 'striking position'. Was it a prophecy being fulfilled, or divine intervention because of their choice of music?
Their programs were really bad for I&K i guess ISU needs to start the push now to position a russian team for the podium in Sochi, i don`t see any of their junior teams doing it saw the winning couple from junior worlds they looked pretty average to me.
Off the ice
They moved up two spots at Worlds, where two of the teams that finished ahead of them last year made serious errors (the Shibs and B/S) and one spot at Euros - where the team that finished directly ahead of them in 2011 had retired (the Kerrs). So overall, I'd say they are making steady progress, not enjoying a sudden elevation. Last year they didn't quite live up to the buzz they generated as juniors, but they seem to be on the way up.
Originally Posted by slipslidin
I don't like their programs much, and they still have work to do on the technical side, but they do show a lot of promise in the long-term. My guess is that the Russian fed decided to give itself more than one option going into Sochi. Next season will tell who will be the Russian no. 1s going into the Olympics.
On a more shallow note - Elena is stunning, which certainly doesn't hurt their marks.
I'd rather watch I/K than B/S any day. Both teams had bad programs, but bad programs plus poor posture is an awful combination.
While it's definitely true that it's become their stock answer to the question, I did find Meryl's comment a little sharper then the generic platitudes they prefer (she's practically daring the judges to find something wrong with their skate).
Originally Posted by dorispulaski
Ehh, I/K's FD music was worse than B/S'. I think the best solution would be to watch I/K's FD with B/S's music in the background. There won't be much difference.
Originally Posted by chuckm
Constable , Costume Police
Last edited by colleen o'neill; 04-09-2012 at 11:26 PM.
How can you read such ridiculousness into a pretty standard skater comment after an event. Skaters like to get this kind of input from the judges regularly because it helps them to know what they need to be working on.
Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue
You seem to WANT at lot of drama here and you're prepared to twist things to that line of thinking at every turn. Skater focus on what they need to do, not what others are doing and none of them like to lose. That's how they became Champions in the first place. Just like Scott said after the GPF, whatever it takes, we'll do it. Meryl and Charlie want it just as bad as Scott and Tessa. That's what makes this rivalry the treat that it is. When one team loses they refocus and get ready for the next round.
It's that dramatic enough for you? It sure works for me.
I don't necessarily want a lot of drama. I won't deny my perception of Meryl colours my interpretation of this comment though. In context, I find this comment sharper than what they've said into the past.
they may want it just as bad, they are simply not as talented as Tessa and Scott, the judges have always prefered Virtue and Moir ever since they were juniors they have taken advantage of Tessa Virtue`s injuries enormously to close the gap both teams have now competed 6 times at worlds and Davis and white have never beaten them in either a CD or SD.
I was really impressed with the improvements D&W made this year, improving their matching lines, and the performance levels. They skated with such confidence. My first thought was that they had no intention of just handing the World Championship back to V&M and their win at the GPF pretty much confirmed it. It will be very interesting to see what happens with these two teams next year. It's fun having them so close together but nerve wracking.
I agree that they are not as naturally talented but to be honest in my mind that just makes me like them more/makes what they do more impressive because they have achieved all of their results through hard work and really, every year, struggling to improve to the point where now, despite the fact that V/M are the more naturally gifted, they are right in the running with them. People always say because of Tessa's injury D/W had the chance to catch up. There is of course something to that, but I think the other thing people say less is this: V/M had less of anywhere to go. They essentially (IMO) have peaked because (again IMO) with Mahler they reached the ceiling. This isn't because they are not great- to the contrary, it is because they are so great. D/W on the other hand are not as good naturally and so they have yet to reach their ceiling (though for all I know DF may have been it- I guess we will see).
Originally Posted by romanoff81
Of course I could be wrong, but this is what I think.
ETA: When I say they have peaked I don't necessarily mean they are on the decline. I just mean it's been a while since I have seen them get better.
It's pretty hard to improve when you can't train and V&M spent two seasons unable to train. This year was spent getting back to where they were before the surgery. Next season will tell the tale. They had a big gap between themselves and the rest of the field but Charlie & Meryl have almost caught up to them. If they can put some distance between themselves and the rest of the field next season, that will be interesting.
Originally Posted by tulosai
I don't think that Mahler is the epitomy of what they can do, and I actually like Funny Face better than Mahler. Having watched Funny Face develop over the season, I think this program is a masterpiece and their best work.
I agree Funny face was very difficult international european judges have never really warmed up to these types of programs see Torvill and Dean in 1994 the fact they were able to sell it to them and score a convincing victory is a testament to their greatness.