Although I prefer Akiko over Ashley as a skater and a performer, there seems so to be several reasons why she gets continually low-balled on PCS. Her body movements sometimes look awkward (on the contrary, I think Yuna and Mao know how to look natural and effortless every time they're competing), she is less superficially stylish and elegant than a lot of skaters, her relative lack of transitions and finally the federation support because she is her country's number 2 skater behind Mao Asada.
To the poster below you, that's fine. Gracie's program suffers the same as Suzuki's. I have no idea what it's about. She just has better transitions and a bit better choreography. However Gold has a more polished look on the ice.
Form does matter, even in skating.
Also I didn't say anything about a Biellman spin. You don't need to be a contortionist to be polished. Look at Michelle Kwan.
PCS overview where it says "all programs must have an easy to understand concept"? It's exactly this kind of approach that gets us all these Carmens and Swan Lakes - oh noes, if the music's not familiar it'll be too difficult for people to understand.
I've stayed out of this thread, as I don't want to criticize Ashley Wagner, a skater I admire, just because I like Akiko Suzuki better. But I think Akiko has challenged herself far more than Ashley has in terms of expanding her range as a performer and choosing diverse pieces of music and program concepts. Yes, it's easier for the audience to understand that Ashley was the Black Swan; it was made so obvious in the program that it would be hard not to. Some of Akiko's programs are more subtle and less obvious, but this does not make them lacking artistically (I liked Morozombie's take on her O program from this season). Where you got juniorish, I have no idea; you could say that about Mao's SP this season, maybe, but Akiko's? Of all the critiques that can be made about her, and there certainly are some, that one shouldn't even be on the list.
Both Wagner and Suzuki are wonderfully committed to their programs and choreo; for me, it comes across as more genuine in Suzuki's case, but I like seeing that kind of enthusiasm in any skater. I respect both ladies for sticking it out in the sport despite challenges and disappointing results along the way. Suzuki is still dealing with the challenge of not being her country's #1 skater, which certainly doesn't help her scores. She has been an underrated skater for years.
To suggest that Gracie Gold has a more polished look than Akiko Suzuki is laughable. Gold is a promising young skater, but she still has a way to go when it comes to presentation, polish, sophistication etc. She shouldn't even be part of this discussion. Maybe a few years down the line she'll be where Suzuki and Wagner are today.
What, exactly, is Ashley's LP about? Is she supposed to be Delilah? If so, what's she doing? Seducing Samson? Taunting him? Or getting crushed by a falling temple? In a way, Ashley's program is just as abstract as Akiko's. The difference is that Ashley is using much more familiar music, which *tells* us what the program is about even before Ashley starts skating.
Also, I completely disagree that Ashley and Akiko are equal in skating skills. Akiko's flow, speed, edge control, knee action >>>> Ashley's. I've seen Akiko live and she is just so fast and smooth over the ice.
Last edited by evangeline; 02-22-2013 at 03:05 AM.
Um..It's already in the ice dance rules.
Rule 610, communication 1738; Adjustments to the Choreography PCS mark
It's OK to have no theme or story thoughIF THERE IS A STORY OR THEME IN THE PROGRAM AND IT IS NOT CLEARLY UNDERSTANDABLE TO THE AUDIENCE: - 1.0 TO - 2.0
BTW, are you sure it's in communication 1738? I couldn't find it there. Certainly it isn't something that is highlighted by the ISU via their main site (though that's not saying much).
What does "clearly understandable to the audience" mean anyway? Understandable to some of the audience? Or a majority of the audience? And which audience? I'm sure a program like V/M's "Funny Face" is much more "clearly understandable" to an American audience than, say, a Chinese one. Actually, I, a Canadian, did not "clearly understand" V/M's "Funny Face" until I actually watched the movie myself recently. Would V/M still get a deduction in that case?
Figure skating is hopelessly conservative, and has been recycling same ideas over and over and over for decades. The judges have no intelligent imagination and need to be told the story before actually watching the performance. They don't value originality and creativity. That makes figure skating really boring to general public. Many people don't take figure skating seriously as a sport, and I really doubt they take it seriously as art either. Watch Blades of Glory. No wonder figure skating hasn't been able to attract new fans. Suzuki's O is suffering in the same way Takahashi's Blues for Klook did.
Last edited by mikeko666; 02-22-2013 at 09:04 AM.
It's definitely a rubbish rule, since it is a deduction taken by an individual judge in a single PCS component score, rather than an overall penalty.
And any judge can defend taking this deduction with, "Well I didn't understand it..."
Nonetheless, it exists.
Doris, are you sure that the ISU actually enacted this? As I wrote earlier, I don't see such a rule in communication 1738. The references to rule 610 in that communication appear to be related only to having a required change of tempo and/or expression in the FD - "this change may be gradual or immediate, but in either case it must be obvious" (p. 4). That does not mean that the concept of the program must be obvious, and indeed, the word "story" does not appear anywhere in the communication. Is there another part to the rule that appears elsewhere and covers the conceptual side of things?
Last edited by Buttercup; 02-22-2013 at 07:52 AM.
Suzuki was a successful junior skater who suffered from an eating disorder in her late teens; consequently, she was off the ice for some time, making the age-matched comparison kind of irrelevant (also, her early career was under 6.0).
ETA: but if you're curious, here's 16 year old Suzuki at the 2001 Nagano JGP (which she won) and at 2002 4CC (where she was 8th).
Last edited by Buttercup; 02-22-2013 at 09:12 AM.