In the Canadian Championships sub-forum, a member had the following comment :

Quote Originally Posted by Krislite View Post
Yuna has quite a bit more advantage than only her 3Lz+3T against Kaetlyn, especially in the free skate. Kaetlyn's LP has no 3/3, repeats only the Flip and the Toe, whereas Yuna repeats the Lutz and Salchow. And of course there's a huge PCS gap, though Worlds being in Canada may narrow it a little bit. Kaetlyn also has a mild Flutz. Interestingly, both of them omit the 3Loop.
The bold & underlining was done by me. It got me thinking. Why "of course there's a huge PCS gap"? My reading of the member's post and tone is that because it's Yu Na, the Olympic Champion, since Krislite did not give any specific reasons. In other words, the "of course" comes from reputation as opposed to actual skating. Very often, fans criticized judges for seemingly giving marks based on reputation. What I have noticed is that fans do the same thing, if not far more often than judges. The same member kindly posted a link to Yu Na's clean FS at the most recent Korean Nationals here :

[url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O59GUx8iJMI[/url]

After watching it, I was very surprised how simplistic the choreography is compared to many of Yu Na's past work. So I posted my comments here and got a rebuttal, which I like to examine and solicit others' take on :

[url]http://www.goldenskate.com/forum/showthread.php?39724-Sr-Ladies-SP&p=699377&viewfull=1#post699377[/url]


In my post, I have three main points: 1) Yu Na lacked difficult transitions between her elements. 2) Her choreography is overly simple and not challenging enough for what she is capable of 3) Her Interpretation stayed at the same level throughout the performance and failed accentuate the highs and lows of her chosen music

In response, member jaylee, had the following rebuttals for each of the above 3 points so I am going to fact check them for discussion purpose:

1) Yu Na lacked difficult transitions between her elements

Rebuttal :
[COLOR="#0000CD"]She has steps preceding the 3F[/COLOR], [COLOR="#008000"]back spiral preceding her second lutz (and a mini-spread eagle immediately exiting out of it)[/COLOR], [COLOR="#0000FF"]a spread eagle into the 2A combo[/COLOR], [COLOR="#008000"]Ina Bauer into the final 2A[/COLOR]. [COLOR="#0000FF"]Her solo 3S exits directly into her footwork[/COLOR], which is important because transitions are not just about difficult entrances but about not having lots of set-up in between elements. Most skaters would not set up a jump right before their footwork. Along those lines, the choreographed spiral sequence into the Ina Bauer into the 2A is impressive for seamlessly linking a series of elements.
1A) "She has steps preceding the 3F"

Really? What steps? [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O59GUx8iJMI#t=0m34s[/url]

1b) "back spiral preceding her second lutz (and a mini-spread eagle immediately exiting out of it)"

Back spiral? Is this the back spiral referenced? [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O59GUx8iJMI#t=2m04s[/url] If so, that ain't a spiral as the free leg never went above the hip and the position was not maintained for even half a second. In a spiral, it is very important the tension of the position be maintained in the upper body as well but there was no such tension in that "split second spiral", too short, no tension and free leg below the hip. Mini-spread eagle : [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O59GUx8iJMI#t=2m11s[/url] That is not a spread eagle, not even by adding the qualification that it is a "mini". By definition, a spread eagle needs to be on either inside or outside edge with clear gliding movement. The video clip showed the edge is flat in an almost standing-still position - it is simply standing on two foot.

1c) "a spread eagle into the 2A combo" Agreed on this one, there is a SE preceding this element : [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O59GUx8iJMI#t=2m26s[/url]

1d) "Ina Bauer into the final 2A" Agreed on this one, there is a IB preceding this element : [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O59GUx8iJMI#t=3m39s[/url]

1e) "Her solo 3S exits directly into her footwork" This is factually correct but the subsequent interpretation of its value is incorrect. [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O59GUx8iJMI#t=1m16s[/url] Going into a step sequence upon exiting a jump does not add value to the transition of the program given that this component criteria specifically evaluates the linkage between two elements. There is no linkage between the two elements to speak of here. I think the confusion here is the GOE bullet points on jumps in which Communication 1724 p. 10 allows difficult steps or elements immediately preceding a jump (e.g. performing a jump upon existing a spin) to be counted as one of the feature bullet point. Even then, the rules called for the steps or spins to be preceding the jump, not after the jump. There would be no positive GOE feature added to this jump either unless the order of the elements were reversed - the jump was executed immediately upon exiting the step sequence.

Of the 7 jumping passes, I counted only 2 cases of moves in the field preceding the jump / jump combo elements. To see if I was missing anything, I expand my evaluation to include the 3 spins in the program to see if more of them are being preceded with steps or moves in the field :

Spin 1 : FCCoSp : [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O59GUx8iJMI#t=0m43s[/url] No, there was no transition into the spin at all.
Spin 2 : LSp : [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O59GUx8iJMI#t=2m51s[/url] No, there was no transition into the spin at all or out of it.
Spin 3: CCoSp : [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O59GUx8iJMI#t=3m44s[/url] No, there was no transition into the spin at all.

Conclusion : There is a serious lack of in-between skating in this program. Of the 10 jump and spin elements, only two of which are shown to be preceded with connecting steps and/or moves in the field. The video clips above were cut from the clip provided by Krislite demonstrate that the vast majority of Kim's elements were either executed one immediately after the other or were simply preceded by stroking. Hence, I gave that a 6.5 for TR, which I think is fair. Plushenko and Joubert have had very similar issues and despite their reputation, they should not be gifted on the TR marks neither should Kim.

As for points 2) and 3) regarding her choreography and interpretation, I am simply going to open it up for people to comment and tell us what they think. My view is that the choreography is a little too simple compared to her past work and the facial expression appeared to stay the same level throughout.

Do you feel Kim has a huge PCS advantage over Osmond based on their respective national long program performance? Since Krislite did not specify what "huge PCS gap" is, I am going to assume by huge, it is meant the difference would be at least 10+ points of difference in the overall PCS. Do you feel that is the case, based on their respective most recent performance at their nationals and why?