I do not understand how these political conspiracies are supposed to work. Does the President of USFS send a memo to each of the judges saying, here are your instructions: put a Sjpilband team on the podium?
while I think USFSA did want both Igor and Marina to have a top team. Honestly the real reason Igor team went second was because he's more tech savvy than Zoueva. And she has her "favorites" (pretty evident these days) and the others suffer from it. Shibs need to at least jump to their former coach or a new team entirely.
Welome, Beure. Post often, post long!
I was in tears watching Meryl and Charlie skate this program. When they first debuted the program at the beginning of the season, I wasn't completely sold, but you could see the potential there...and WOW have they delivered! (I dare say this is on par with Samson and Delilah...if only b/c the style of the two programs are different so it's hard to compare them head to head). I really think they have a good shot at gold at Worlds...and even if Tessa will the be darling of the competition seeing as London, Ontario is her hometown, I'd like Meryl and Charlie to grab the top spot. yes, Tessa and Scott are as great as ever, and their Carmen skate is spectacular, i also find it a little too in your face and almost too powerful, it's 4 minutes of full steam ahead...besides, i think D/W's SD is just pure magic.
you can tell that since Vancouver Meryl and Charlie are really working really hard in every regard to BE the best. Tessa and Scott have continued to improve and take risks and they definitely skate with a "devil may care" attitude especially in the development of their programs, but at times it seems a bit over-indulgent...i guess the best way to put it is i could watch D/W's programs anytime, but i have to be in the right mood to watch V/M otherwise i don't pay attention or am a bit put-off...i dont' know if that actually made sense, but i was a bit surprised to make that revelation over the last two seasons (i REALLY wasn't a fan of V/M's FD last year) especially since i used to find V/M so pleasant to watch...
Meanwhile - while the choreography isn't as seamless - Igor's teams are improving (or at least not going backwards) technically.
I think it's become obvious what both Zoueva and Shpilband contributed to the success of their teams when they worked together. The Canton teams are now struggling a bit with levels, technique, problems in lifts etc., not to the point where it's catastrophic or anything, but it's a consistent trend with all the teams. But V/M have a great FD, the Shibutanis' FD is also lovely and IMO D/W have by far the best SD choreography (I'm not convinced by the concept of their FD, though it has great moments). So this is where Zoueva really excels.
The Shilband teams OTOH don't have choreography that's as inventive and seamless, and he really should step away from the "Figure Skating's greatest hits" box LOL. But IMO parts of the choreography are really demanding when it comes to linking movements, transitions into elements, not only the elements themselves. And all the teams usually get the necessary levels, nationally and internationally. So he's got the technique down and how to incorporate it into programs.
I mean, people speculated that this is how the division of work between Zoueva and Shpilband went down anyway, but IMO this season really confirms this.
Was lucky enough to be in Omaha for the Dance. (Wow, it was amazing). Chock and Bates have some neat highlights but just can't get into this team AT ALL. He is too tall, she is pretty but the hearts on her boots drive me crazy, and while they had nice highlights overall I thought their skating skills were below the Shibs. I realize H/D have some work to do to up their technical skills but they are so much better performers. LOVED their FD and wish they were going to Worlds.
I have not given up on the Shibs. They are doing great things with 2 lackluster programs. I could watch them skate for hours and have high hopes for next season.
The main attraction, D/W, did not disappoint. I cried during their program. It was so awesome and I am such a fan that it was unreal to me that I was there seeing it LIVE. I will long cherish the memory of that skate.
Meryl and Charlie's performance from the Skating Spectacular: Fade into You
Doubt this music would get any respect if used in a competitive program, but I feel the Free Dance choreography works better here.