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Thread: Skating Commentating: What "should" or "should not" be said?

  1. #16
    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle View Post
    no sports commentary team does that. nor should they not be able to.

    :
    You are right about that and what happened in the beginning of this NFL season with the replacement refs is just one of many examples of this.

    In fact it was the relentless criticism from broadcasters and the press that forced the NFL to end the lockout.

    But it is pretty much an accepted tradition in American sports that broadcasters will speak freely when they don't agree with officiating or judging.

    I actually find Olympic coverage more restrained at times than what we normaly see in other sports.

    I wonder if any Canadians here watched the recent USA/Canada Ladies Olympic soccer game.
    That game had some controversial calls and I would bet the Canadian broadcasters called it the way they saw it.

    If an announcer's job is to keep us informed then it seems they have a responsibilty to bring what they consider bad officiating or judging to our attention.

  2. #17
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    Different countries have different styles of commentating on TV. From my limited experiences with the American commentators, they are the worst in this sport. Passé, opinionated and demeaning it instead be promoting it.

    My favorite is Kurt who is both entertaining and very educational, enlightening with his insights and pointing out what casual fans may easily miss, either in errors or in difficulties of executions. Canadian commentators often call an error as it happens and the consequence, demonstrating their keen professional eyes.

    Chinese commentators usually give background info about the skater and sometimes the program before the skating starts. They are completely silent during the performance. Then they comment on the highlights and the scores as they come up. COP scoring is referenced and explained through out.

    The British Euro guys are mostly enjoyable in their polite and enthusiastic comments but I find them a bit old fashioned, er, I mean 6.0 minded still. I like the French commentators if I can access their videos which are mostly blocked.

    Would love to experience the Japanese TV comments if they would be translated.

  3. #18
    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Was this Scott and Sandra at their best or worst?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRWHwt91oj0

    It certainly helped shake up skating when they told us something was wrong.

    Here are their comments leading into the medal ceremony:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iphql...eature=related
    Last edited by janetfan; 09-28-2012 at 05:06 PM.

  4. #19
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkateFiguring View Post
    Canadian commentators often call an error as it happens and the consequence, demonstrating their keen professional eyes.
    ...isn't Sandra a Canadian?

  5. #20
    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle View Post
    ...isn't Sandra a Canadian?
    It's hard to tell after seeing how neutral and objective Sandra was in SLC

  6. #21
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    I think this question needs to be contextualized in a larger debate (meaning, how should the ISU in concernt with media corporations market figure skating) but I think this specific example of two commentaries have different effects on the audience is the clearest I can think of to demonstrate the difference between good and bad.

    The Skate: Rahkamo/Kokko, 1995 Worlds, FD

    The Bad: BBC Eurosport
    Right of the bat, they signal a pretty massive bias with their "Spot of trouble comment." They're actually silent throughout the entire performance and they you enjoy it which is a definitely plus. But there's so little content in what they actually say. They keep emphasizing how the audience reacts ("are they all wrong?"), how nice they are ("just for their character they should win it"). There is massive booing from the audience ("not one of the judges has given them the verdict) and they say "needs no more words from Chris and I."

    WRONG. We need to know why the judges (unanimously, I might add) prefered the G/P over the Finns. Leave it dangling like they did, you're inclined to view it as an unfair result.

    The Good: Sandra Bezic (yes, I said Sandra Bezic)
    They talk more during the performance, but it's not bad chatter. And they don't talk that much (just that the Eurosport guys were dead silent). But listen to what she says after the performance was over: "It was well skate and lots of fun to watch but far too simple.... I love watching them , but this is too simple" and "they [the judges] have rules to follow." Even when her co-announcer tries to goose the tension or tries to make it seem like more than it is, she won't have it. The same program, the same audience, the same result. But for the television viewers, you leave Sandra Bezic understanding that yes it was fair.

  7. #22
    Skating is art, if you let it be. Blades of Passion's Avatar
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    Kurt Browning and Dick Button commentating together is great. Dick Button can occasionally infuriate you (American bias) but he really does provide a supreme understanding of what the essence of skating is, not to mention hilarious comments at times. Kurt is all-around knowledgeable and fun and will take jabs at performances as needed, plus he's one of the few who doesn't back down from Button's opinions.

  8. #23
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    I often find Judy Blumberg's commentary very informative in ice dance, particularly when she gets into the more technical minutiae of ice dance that most commentators skim over. Blumberg's background as an ISU tech specialist definitely helps here.

    Terry Gannon may not have the strongest skating background (esp. when it comes to tech), but it's kind of heartwarming when his love for the sport shines through in his commentary when he gets excited.

    I think Tracy Wilson is generally OK but she's definitely had her moments of extreme bias (cough, Nagano ice dance, cough).

    I also thought Josee Chouinard was hilarious when she commentated at Canadian Nationals a few years back
    Last edited by evangeline; 09-28-2012 at 08:44 PM.

  9. #24
    Skating is art, if you let it be. Blades of Passion's Avatar
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    Oh God, Chouinard.

    Her and PJ Kwong together is one of the worst things ever. I laughed so hard, in the worst way possible, when they commentated on Patrick Chan's performance at Canadians last year and talked through EVERY FREAKING SECOND of it (with some of the most reductive and useless chatter possible) and then after the one second they do stop talking, Chouinard suddenly starts talking again, saying "I don't know about you PJ, but I just had to be quiet and enjoy the performance." What a gross, annoying mess.

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    LOL, Chouinard was terribad to the extent that it was funny. My favourite moment was when she found out what a cantilever was called and breathlessly told the audience, all excited

  11. #26
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    Paul Wylie didn't know what hydroplaning/shoot the ducks were... he was commentating during Nicole Bobek's skate one time and said he didn't think the move had a name so "let's call it a Nicole Bobek"... roz sumners had to explain what it was...

  12. #27
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    He didn't? That was one of Kerrigan's specialties and they trained together for years. How odd. Well, I missed that exchange. I still like his commentary. Ignorance is curable.

    As for Sandra Bezic, I have a soft spot for her, and I can't be too down on her. When I look back at her contributions to skating, I'm in awe. That "Singin' in the Rain" program of Kurt's that we love so much is hers, I believe. So is the torrid duet, Casi Un Bolero, that Gordeyeva and Kulik did in Stars on Ice in about 2000. So are the OGM-winning programs by Brian Boitano, Kristi Yamaguchi, and Tara Lipinski, as well as Underhill/Martini's World Championship-winning program, not to mention Carmen on Ice (the Emmy-winning TV program with Witt and the two Brians).

    Here's the Casi un Bolero, with commentary from Sandra as Katia and Ilia rehearse and then perform

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-dpKl10DLg

  13. #28
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    It was during the Pro compeition "Grand Slam" which was kinda like the grand prix, but not lol It was during her "I Need To Know/Let's Get Loud" number iirc... unfortunately youtube only has her COI version of that... gotta see if I still have my tape and maybe I can upload it myself...

    it aired on FOX in 2000.
    Last edited by Tonichelle; 09-28-2012 at 11:43 PM.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by evangeline View Post
    LOL, Chouinard was terribad to the extent that it was funny. My favourite moment was when she found out what a cantilever was called and breathlessly told the audience, all excited
    YES, that was hilarious! It was during a Shawn Sawyer program that I watched over and over so I remember it well.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post
    Was this Scott and Sandra at their best or worst?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRWHwt91oj0

    It certainly helped shake up skating when they told us something was wrong.

    Here are their comments leading into the medal ceremony:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iphql...eature=related
    That was an unfortunate result - to have two Olympic gold medals.

    My heart went out to Anton and Elena. If I were the judge, I'd have given the Russians the gold. So you know I couldn't be a judge. Anton and Elena's program, even though had a few tiny flaws, had higher quality and much more artistic beauty than Sale&Pelletier's program. I agree that was Sale and Pelletier's best performance. But their best performance did not mean that they were the best. The French judge wasn't the only one who gave Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze the first place. China, Poland, and Ukrane gave them first too besides the Russian judge. How do you explain their motives for giving the Russians the gold and the Canadians the silver?

    Even though the final outcome has turned out to prove that Scott and Sandra called out correctly, I still don't like their style of calling out things before and after the results come. Even the judges on the same panel have different opinions. The commentators are not on the panel even if they are as good as the judges. Why should they call out the results if they are not on the judge panel in that paticular competition? The worst thing is the commentators could use their platform to influence the viewers and listeners. Even if their opinions counted in the result, they were maximum one or two opinions (one or two commentators). There were nine judges on a panel. Who's opinions do you think the viewers, especially the viewers who watch skating once in a while and don't know much about skating, would likely accept, the judges' or the commentators'? Most likely the commentators' because they are the one who are talking.

    I like Kurt's commentating very much!
    Last edited by Bluebonnet; 09-29-2012 at 10:42 PM.

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